Marc Silver

Secrets Of Success From A 102-Year-Old Runner

Sep 14, 2018

Editor's note: This story was originally published in January and has been republished with updates on Man Kaur's running achievements.

At 102, Man Kaur is still running — and winning gold medals.

The phenomenon from India just nailed the gold medal in the 200-meter race for the 100-to-104 age group at the World Masters Athletics Championships in Malaga, Spain. She finished in 3 minutes and 14 seconds.

Then again, she was the only competitor in that age bracket.

She also picked up a gold medal in the javelin competition.

So I finally did it. I went and took a goat yoga class. As the editor of the Goats and Soda blog, I felt it was my duty.

Goat yoga is one of those things that sound like a joke. But it is very real.

The idea is pretty simple: A yoga teacher leads a class of humans while goats interact with the yogis.

Preferably the goats are kids because, really, you wouldn't want a 30-pound goat climbing on you. Or butting heads with you.

In 2015, I heard about this made-up holiday called "World Kindness Day" and thought it would be interesting to talk to someone whose life had been changed by the kindness of strangers. A contact put me in touch with Kennedy Odede.

As the editor of a blog called Goats and Soda (see this story for the explanation behind the name), I'm always interested in the latest goat research.

So I was definitely hooked by a press release that declared, "Goats prefer happy people."

He was 11 years old. He lived in Niamey, the capital of Niger. And he'd never had a chance to go to school.

"Education in my country sucks," he says.

So he played soccer on the streets.

Then he had an idea. The father of a friend owned a company that made leather goods. Soumana Saley decided he wanted to learn to be a leather craftsman. "I really liked the work," he remembers.

Editor's Note: In 2016, Anthony Bourdain visited Senegal and spoke with NPR's Africa correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton. Their meal and conversation were filmed for his travel-food show Parts Unknown on CNN. With the news of Bourdain's death, we wanted to revisit our interview with Quist-Arcton about that day.

Leah Feldman is on Ebola duty — again.

The young Maryland trauma nurse is a veteran of the Ebola wars. She worked on the Doctors Without Borders team in Guinea in 2014 and 2015.

She happened to be in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, working on a cholera vaccination project, when a case of Ebola was reported in a remote part of the northwest in April.

If someone were to tell you their job was a burden, you might feel sorry for that person.

So when Consolata Agunga told me, "I feel good because I have the burden of serving my people," I was puzzled.

How can a burden make you feel good?

You can't help but note that of the six winners of the 2018 Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship, five are women.

"I'm the odd man out," jokes Harish Hande, an awardee for his SELCO Foundation, which works to provide solar power systems at low cost to the poor in India.

From time to time, readers ask us, "How did your blog get its name?"

It's a longish story (here is the full explanation). In a nutshell, goats are a useful animal in the lower-income countries we cover. They can contribute to the income and the nutrition of a family.

We've also learned from talking to goat specialists that goats are curious and independent animals — true to the spirit of our blog, if we might humblebrag.

In late January, NPR global health correspondent Jason Beaubien went to the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh for a series of radio and web reports. It was the week that a plan to send the refugees back to Myanmar was supposed to start. But that program was put on hold because of logistics.

We interviewed Beaubien about his trip.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the Liberian elbow bump.

When Ebola overtook the West African country in 2014, many people were afraid to shake hands and embrace in the customary way. That's understandable, because Ebola is spread by the exchange of bodily fluids during body-to-body contact.

So Liberians came up with a less touchy-feely greeting. They bumped elbows.

What happens after a cancer diagnosis?

That's the question investigated by a study published by the CONCORD program on cancer survival published on Tuesday in The Lancet. The study looks at patient records for adults and children diagnosed with a variety of cancers in 71 countries. The records are from 2010 to 2014. The goal is to compare five-year survival rates, a number used to assess effectiveness of treatment.

Here's a fun piece of trivia you might not know: January 4 is National Trivia Day.

Now technically trivia is defined as "matters or things that are very unimportant."

We here at Goats and Soda wanted to mark the occasion with a quiz on some of the facts in our recent stories. Now we can't promise that all the facts are truly trivial ... but they're definitely interesting. See how much you know about a viral YouTube video from Kenya, a new investigation into extreme poverty in the U.S. and much more.

For more details on the answers, check out these stories:

By looking at the number of page views for our stories from 2017, we came up with our most popular stories of the year.

But there are other ways to measure success.

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