30 May 2010

Gettin’ by pouring drinks

Meet Dominic Loki.

The business

First, I worked as a Gardener, then a cleaner, before finally becoming a Barman. I only went to school until Senior 4 in Uganda.

The costs

Most hotels provide all the logistics needed for survival – accomodation and food.

Although the costs I encountered in turn on my family are high for me. For my two wives in Torit, I send them 150 pounds [$50] every 2 months. For the one in Juba, I give her 50 pounds per month.

The pay

I earn 25 pounds [$10] in a day … I also make side income from customers who give me tips in appreciation for serving them … My mandate is to save all the salary I make. I usually ask the cashier to pay me at the end of the month.

With [my savings] I have managed to build a small 14 roomed lodge with a bar in Eastern Equatoria. This is another big boost to my income.

Typical day

I am up by 5:30 a.m. each day to count the available drinks and also to clean up bottles and glasses for customers. After a hard working day, I go to bed after serving all my customers. Sometimes at midnight, sometimes at 2 o’clock.

From the South Sudan Business Week, May 31 2010.

Gettin’ by in Bangladesh

Meet Hamid. He is a “reserve driver” for a motorised rickshaw in Dhaka, Bangladesh. This job earns him about $70 per month, with which he supports his wife Khadeja and their son. This works out at about $0.78 per person per day. Yet despite this low income, the family have an impressively wide range of financial activity.


And what about purchasing power parity (because a dollar goes much further in Bangladesh were things are cheap)?  That multiplies family income by 3:


Multiplying the $0.78 per person per day by 2.88, gives a PPP amount of $2.08 per person per day.

All of this is from the freely downloadable first chapter of The Portfolios of the Poor. Yes I’m a bit slow to this, but I live in a country that doesn’t have any book shops yet, so leave me alone.

The AfDB vision for African Infrastructure


From the ONE campaign DATA report

Why do the Lib Dems want to get rid of Child Trust Funds?

I’m surprised that one of my biggest gripes with the Coalition plans (aside from the illiberal immigration nonsense) comes from the Liberal Democrats. Surely a nest-egg for every child is a liberal policy, good for social mobility. It is also pretty cheap, and popular (see below, from the Economist). What is going on?


Brad Delong on the New York Times

I have reached my limit with the New York Times: I think it would be a better world if it shut tomorrow--all of the best and some of the good journalists would go elsewhere and do their work, and a lot of bulls--- would vanish from the public debate.

Shut down the New York Times today

29 May 2010

Scott Adams on BP

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I bought some BP stock recently because I liked the odds that the top engineers and scientists in the solar system, with unlimited funding, presumably somewhat freed from management meddling, could plug a hole. And yes, I averaged down.

I also assumed that the liberal media's coverage of the oil damage would depress the stock more than necessary. It's a catastrophe, no doubt, but even catastrophes have levels. I'm betting the financial damage will be very, very, very bad and not very, very, very, very bad.

This is also a test of my theory that you should buy stocks in the companies that you hate the most. In general, you hate the companies that have the most power. And BP is the frickin' Death Star of companies. They're in the process of destroying an entire region of the world and there's still no talk of cutting their next dividend. I admire them in the same way I admire the work ethic of serial killers. There's an undeniable awesomeness about BP. I hate BP, but I still want to have their baby.

Note: Do not take stock advice from cartoonists who want to have babies with oil companies.

on dilbert.com

28 May 2010

Why don’t aid workers pay tax?

If oil and aid were given directly to citizens rather than governments, then governments would presumably need to generate a bit of revenue through their tax systems to deliver some public goods.
Independent of these arguments – a good tax system is inherently a good thing: providing predictable funding for the government and a bit more accountability.
So why doesn’t the international community do more to support these systems directly by putting their (overpaid?) salaries through them? Hey donors – we’re giving aid anyway, does it really matter if some of it goes into developing country government coffers in a good way? Wouldn’t the increased volumes create demand for a better, more efficient tax system? Is it only Southern Sudan where the entire international community is exempt from paying any income tax?

27 May 2010

UK coalition government: development policy scorecard

Dirk Villem te Velde of the Overseas Development Institute delivers a scorecard on the new UK coalition government’s development policies
His verdicts are:
Aid: very good.
Beyond aid: promoting international finance: unknown.
Beyond aid: promoting Foreign Direct Investment: cautiously positive.
Beyond aid: trade: mixed, because unclear.
Beyond aid: migration: potentially bad.
Beyond aid: climate change: positive
And on new challenges:
the absence of concrete suggestions dealing with the new challenges– all of them critical to the development agenda – is a major concern.
The role of the private sector in development: few new ideas on the private sector and development (PSD)
Dealing with the new international powers: no analysis of the implications for development (and the UK) of the rise of emerging markets.
Reducing vulnerability to shocks: no mention of the need to make the development architecture better able to deal with such shocks as the global financial crisis.
What does all of this tell us? People are stupid. Aid and climate change are easy sells to the public, and therefore that is what the public knows and cares about, and therefore that is all that politicians know and care about. Everything else gets ignored. Even if the "everything else" is actually more important for, you know, development.

Which means we need some leadership from somebody, anybody, to promote this whole development policy agenda thang. Erm ODI…..?….Oxfam?…….

Duncan Green suggests that this new IPPR/World Vision paper might be making waves amongst tory policy wonks. The paper makes for the case for DFID behaving more like "Whitehall warriors", pushing their message across government. Which is fine. But I would guess that they'll be needing a bit of public support for that....

Just Give Money to the Poor

A new book by Hanlon, Barrientos and Hulme from the University of Manchester on social cash transfers finds that:

‘Four conclusions emerge repeatedly: These programs are affordable, recipients use the money well and do not waste it, cash grants are an efficient way to directly reduce current poverty, and they have the potential to prevent future poverty by facilitating economic growth and promoting human development.’

HT: Duncan Green

WB Chief Economist for Africa supports cash transfers…

… for oil revenues. In a paper co-authored with World Bank Senior Economists Tuan Minh Le and GaĆ«l Raballand, Shanta says

accountability,  and  hence  public-expenditure  efficiency,  can  be  increased  by transferring oil revenues  to citizens and  then  taxing  them  to  finance public spending ... We  conclude  that, while  it may be difficult  to  implement  such  a proposal in existing oil producers, there is scope for introducing it in some of Africa’s new oil producers.

[For more papers from the 2010 Oxford Economic Development in Africa conference, go here.]

Nancy Birdsall and Arvind Subramanian of the Center for Global Development raised this proposal in 2004 for Iraq, so it isn’t exactly brand new, but good to see the Bank looking at it.

Now, how long before the World Bank make the logical leap from decisions they have very little influence over (how developing country governments choose to use their own revenues) to decisions which they do (how rich countries choose to spend their aid in poor countries).

Oil and aid are both money into the government coffers (directly, or indirectly, via fungability), removing the need for government to bother tax people and face any accountability for its actions. In places where there is low accountability and low efficiency of government spending, why not strengthen the hand of citizens rather than the state, and give our aid money directly to the poor.

Cut out the middle-man.

26 May 2010

New evidence on the importance of migration for development

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) have just released the data from a survey of over 10,000 migrant households in Bangladesh. Michael Clemens does a quick calculation of the rate of return on investment for these migrants – 117% per year for an upfront investment of $3150. “That’s a stunningly profitable investment,” given that the returns to microfinance in Bangladesh might be 11% at best.

Meanwhile the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and the Global Development Network (GDN) have released a new study based on 10,000 households across six countries: Colombia, Georgia, Ghana, Jamaica, Macedonia and Vietnam. Their findings on the economic impacts of migration are that:

  • migration increases migrants earnings
  • it also increases the incomes of the households they come from
  • receiving remittances increases business ownership
  • receiving remittances does not impact labour market participation or unemployment
  • receiving remittances increases savings


1. A reminder that Easterly actually does great research as well as snark

2. Why Southern Sudan should be called "the Nile Republic"

3. A Glimpse Into the Awesome World of Meetings

4. AidThoughts on the J-Pal research on education information

5. Economics proves that England, or Brazil, will win the World Cup

World Touristiness Heatmap

Some clever soul has mapped the location of holiday photos uploaded to website Panoramio and made this cool “touristiness heatmap.”

Look how bright Europe is! Given that tourist spending in developing countries is already 3 times official aid, how to harness a bit more of all that spending in Europe? Could the World Cup have a disruptive impact?


HT: Lifehacker

23 May 2010

Foolproof Job Application Questions

A friend was asked this on the standardised online job application form of a major international organisation:

What is your level of interest in fighting poverty and reducing gender inequality?

  • Low
  • Medium
  • High


22 May 2010

A change.org campaign for oil transparency

Dear rovingbandit.com,

In 2008, Chevron paid more than $40 billion to the governments of countries around the world – most of it entirely in secret.

Chevron drills for oil in places where millions of families struggle on less than $1 a day. That $40 billion could have supported schools, health care and food programs – so where did it go?

Chevron knows exactly how much it paid to each country. But they won't say. And without any information on these secret payments, poor communities can't demand their fair share – to send their children to school, create jobs and escape poverty and hunger.

Tell Chevron to open the books on its secret payments so that the world can follow the money and help put it toward real development.

In less than a week, Chevron will hold its annual shareholder meeting. This is our moment to demand that Chevron finally come clean. Greater transparency and accountability will stabilize countries and help Chevron in the long run.

Chevron won't even provide a basic accounting of how much money goes to each country – so there's no transparency, no accountability, and no way for poor people to call for their fair share.

That means people whose lands are yielding up billions of dollars in oil revenues still face chronic hunger and poverty. It means some officials remain free to enrich themselves with no public oversight. This makes it hard for citizens and watchdog groups to follow the money and keep officials honest.

Our partner, Oxfam America, has met with Chevron multiple times, but they keep refusing to disclose. So they have filed a shareholder proposal for Chevron's May 26th annual meeting, by which shareholders can exercise their rights and ask Chevron to open the books on its secret payments – and in partnership with Oxfam America we're also making it easy for people like you to put direct pressure on Chevron.

Other oil and mining companies disclose this information, and Chevron should join them – especially since more transparency will actually help Chevron in the long run by stabilizing countries. If the company agrees to change its policies, it could be a watershed moment across the oil, gas, and mining industries.

Tell Chevron to stop the back-room deals that open the door to corruption and keep people in poverty.

Chevron advertises itself as a protector of the planet. So why isn't it agreeing to let the public see what it pays to foreign governments?

With your help, we can pressure Chevron to make a real change in its policies – and help millions of poor people in the process. Please share this alert with your friends and family.

Thank you,

- The Change.org team in partnership with Oxfam America

Tyler Cowen on the World Bank Dining Room

Overall you could do worse than to eat here, which implies donor opinion is a constraint on raising WB salaries explicitly.

The rest here.

17 May 2010

What is better than deworming for increasing school student attendance?

For me this was the stand-out chart from Esther Duflo’s recent TED talk. Apparently providing information on the returns to education does even better than deworming for increasing school attendance.

Student Attendance

I am somewhat surprised that there haven’t been more efforts to replicate the Kenya deworming finding, which is quite old now (noting that there is one study on India here – but what about other African countries?). A key defence of the randomistas position is that external validity can be improved by replication of findings in different settings. The incentives probably aren’t there for academics to do boring replication studies, but surely there is an incentive for donors to want to fund such studies?

16 May 2010

Dear Secretary of State

Alison Evans, Director of the Overseas Development Institute, has written an open letter to the new Conservative Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell MP.

She highlights 10 priority issues for UK international development policy:

1. With only five years left to realise the  promise of the Millennium Development Goals, the international community must refocus its efforts

2. Think aid, think smart aid, but also think beyond aid

3. Global economic governance and the G-20

4. European development policy

5. Climate financing

6. Trade

7. Migration

8. The private sector

9. Rebuilding in fragile states

10. Accountability


How do poor people define poverty?

A fascinating new paper by Ben Olken and Abhijit Banerjee uses a field experiment to look into the difference between “objective” consumption-based measures of poverty and what Indonesian villagers define as being poor. They find that a community ranking exercise basically does at least as well as an objective alternative in estimating consumption (until people get tired of the exercise), but that villagers value other non-consumption factors in determining who is poor.

Independent of consumption, poorer households are deemed to:

  • Be smaller (reflecting a view that there are household economies of scale)
  • Have more children
  • Not be elite-connected
  • Not be connected to the financial system
  • Not have family outside the village (who might be able to send remittances)

the community seems to have a widely shared objective function that the government does not necessarily share, and implementing this objective is a source of widespread satisfaction in the community. Moreover, what makes this objective function different is neither nepotism (elite capture) nor majoritarian prejudices. Rather, these preferences appear to be informed by a better understanding of factors that affect the earning potential or vulnerability of the household, such as the returns to scale within the family, incentives, and insurance, as compared to relying purely on consumption as the government does.

Targeting the Poor: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia, Vivi Alatas, Abhijit Banerjee, Rema Hanna, Ben Olken, and Julia Tobias. May 2010.

15 May 2010

Poverty Professionals

Via Chris Blattman, here is Ravi Kanbur on Poverty Professionals and Poverty

those of us, including me, who analyze poverty and discourse about poverty, seem to do rather well out of it.

Ravi’s concluding proposal is that

each poverty professional should engage in an “exposure” to poverty (also known as “immersions”) every 12 to 18 months.

That sounds a bit weak to me. Especially when he also briefly hits upon what could potentially be a more significant problem.

How many poverty professionals could really and truly get an equally well paying job in the private sector, say, even allowing for the specific human capital they have built up in the organization in which they work? This is an empirical question, of course, but I advance the hypothesis that pay among poverty professionals is better explained by distribution of economic rent than by a market process (or any process) that selects talent for poverty reduction and rewards it by results. There are, of course, individuals who have demonstrated that they could thrive in alternative settings, and have come to the calling of poverty reduction after achievements elsewhere. But as I noted earlier, increasingly, in agencies, in academia, in think tanks, in foundations and in NGOs, poverty professionals are on a cradle to grave career path within an organization

Perhaps reforming the cradle to grave career path would do more good than just assuaging some middle-class guilt?

Why is America so much more religious than Europe?

it is precisely the de-regulation of the religious market and not, as is often assumed, the residue of the “puritan founding” that explains why Americans are so much more religious that Europeans. [Finke and Stark] estimate that rates of religious adherence in the colonies reached their maximum at about 20% and religiosity took off only after previously protected monopolists lost their privileged access to colonial markets (starting in 1776).

From William Roberts Clark in a survey essay on the political economy of religion.

The religious markets approach typically explains variation across time and space in terms of the regulatory environment. In the absence of over-regulation of religious markets, a variety of religious firms hawking variegated religious products can be expected to arise in response to the natural heterogeneity of religious preferences. Consequently, one would expect to find a vibrant religious market where the regulatory environment allows low cost entry of new firms and where state-run monopolies are absent.

The theory also fits with experience in Latin America:

As the Catholic Church lost its ability or willingness to impose monopolies, Latin America countries came under increased pressure from protestant groups who attracted many followers and also spurred Catholics into action

The essay also disputes the phenomena of significant secularisation in Europe:

Stark places one more nail in the secularization hypothesis by arguing that its acceptance has been fueled in part by what he calls the “myth of past piety” in Europe. Current differences in religious behavior between  the U.S. and Europe are  not  the  result  of  secularization  in Europe but  rather  the  fact  that Europe was never as christianized  as  commonly believed.  In 1551 the Bishop of Gloucester  found,  for example,  that more than half of his 311 parish priests could not recite the Ten Commandments

On relative poverty

I learnt yesterday that, at market prices, my income is roughly at the Norwegian poverty level threshold.

Given that my personal subjective valuation probably wouldn’t put my income level beyond any poverty threshold, we can conclude 2 things from this information.

1. Relative poverty in rich nations is a very strange concept.

2. Let’s all move to Norway!

14 May 2010

Alex de Waal on Urbanisation

This is not wholly negative. Sudan’s cities, while poorly planned, have better services  than  the rural areas, and are more stable and  less violent. The urban economies are dynamic.

Erm, better services, less violence, dynamic economies, is it just me or does that sound like something slightly better than not wholly negative?

Heinrich Boll Foundation, Sudan: No Easy Ways Ahead


  1. New ODI blog on EU development cooperation http://international-development.eu/
  2. Africa's journalists are under attack – why the rest of us should help http://tinyurl.com/28q83bm
  3. Development policy under the new UK government - some background: http://is.gd/c7lsg
  4. Hal Varian (Google's Chief Economist) on the Newspaper business http://tinyurl.com/2fdjaqr
  5. Kayak.com Cofounder Paul English Plans to Blanket Africa in Free Wireless Internet http://tinyurl.com/33a4k53
  6. All the research, 1/40 the size! | Innovations for Poverty Action http://poverty-action.org/node/2912
  7. Technology linked to happiness http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/10108551.stm

11 May 2010

The best graph of the election

There is next to no difference between the main parties’ tax and spend plans.


From the BBC

10 May 2010

Easy rider

My heap-of-junk car finally packed in for good a couple of weeks ago. The cost of repairing the engine is now more than the car is worth. So yesterday I bought myself a new red shiny Senke motorbike.

1 hour lesson from a boda-boda driver.

$10 for the boda driver.

4 large patches of sunburnt skin for me.

Approximately 14 stalls.

0 crashes.

Wish me luck.

PS. Yes mum, I have a helmet.

PPS. Do let me know if you’re in need of a Hilux Surf for scrap

08 May 2010

Thrilla in Manila


Call for Papers: Microinsurance Conference (Manila, November 2010)

Deadline is 31 May. More here.

06 May 2010

Election Day Morning Round-up

Still no response to my question about international development policy from my local Labour Party candidate.

So Hilary Myers (Lib Dem) gets my vote (assuming my proxy voter doesn’t cheat me) , for saying

We remain committed to increased coherence between UK development, trade, investment, migration and agriculture policies.

Sam Lampert just told me about fivethirtyeight.com which is frankly awesome – model-based seat estimates (generally more reliable than polls) with cool graphics. Trust the americans to cover our election better than we can.


If it is this tight the regional parties (Scottish and Welsh nationalists) are really going to come into play.

Results are also in from the Give Your Vote project – UK voters have pledged their votes to people from Afganistan, Bangladesh and Ghana.



I bet Nick Clegg wishes his electorate was Bangladeshi.

I’ll watching at Sam’s place (we love you Sam!), and playing election bingo courtesy of the BBC.

I’ll leave you with John Stuart Mill (1866)

"The Conservative Party is, by the law of its constitution, necessarily the stupidest party. I do not retract that assertion... stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it."

The next 4 years are going to suck. But with any luck, the massive cuts will make everyone hate tories again, and there will be a wonderful Lib/Lab coalition in 2014 with proportional representation and House of Lords reform and rules against going into stupid wars and a truly social liberal progressive domestic agenda that is fiscally responsible and coherence between UK development, trade, investment, migration and agriculture policies.”

I can’t wait.

03 May 2010

Maybe grievances do cause conflict after all

Another counter-intuitive freakonomics-finding-fail?

Everyone knows that civil wars are driven by grievances right? Israel-Palestine and all that. Until along came the quants who found no relationship between measures of ethnic diversity or grievances with civil war. The claim was that diversity and grievances are too ubiquitous to be able to predict isolated incidences of conflict.

Until now. A new, more detailed GIS dataset from researchers at Zurich is finding some effects.

Our most recent dataset GeoEPR, which was published earlier this spring, offers a “bird’s eye view of ethnic settlements” around the world … the new dataset offers geo-coded information about ethnic groups’ settlement areas around the world from 1945 through 2005.

Based on this information, we show that excluded and downgraded groups are much more likely to experience civil-war violence. Furthermore, our most recent research, conducted by Lars-Erik Cederman, Kristian Gleditsch at University of Essex, and Nils Weidmann at Princeton University, uses GeoEPR data suggesting that ethnic groups that are either considerably less or more wealthy than the country average are also exposed to higher conflict risks. Such “horizontal inequality” has previously been associated with conflict, but our research is the first to do so globally with the help of geographic information systems (GIS).

From Lars-Erik Cederman at the University of Zurich Political Science blog.

You can download the data here.

Charlie Brooker on David Cameron

Like an ostensibly realistic human character in a state-of-the-art CGI cartoon, he's almost convincing – assuming you can ignore the shrieking, cavernous lack of anything approaching a soul. Which you can't.

I see the sheen, the electronic calm, those tiny, expressionless eyes . . . I glimpse the outlines of the cloaking device and I instinctively recoil, like a baby tasting mould. Don't get me wrong. I don't see a power-crazed despot either. I almost wish I did. Instead, I see an avatar. A simulated man with a simulated face. A humanoid. A replicant. An Auton. A construct. A Carlton PR man who's arrived to run the country, and currently stands before us, blinking patiently, blank yet alert, quietly awaiting commencement of phase two. At which point, presumably, his real face may finally become visible.

The Guardian

02 May 2010

Banerjee and He on Making Aid Work

We live in an age of aid pessimism. There is a strong, if rarely completely articulated, presumption that aid can at best help people survive, but it cannot promote development. The U.S. government’s new initiative, the Millenium Challenge Account (MCA), is based on the idea that the whole idea of aid giving needs to be rethought. In particular, it wants to tie aid to country performance: only countries that pursue economic policies that the U.S. government approves of will be eligible for aid from this account. The premise is that aid has not been working because the policy environment is not right. While it is clear that this is a problem – there are countries where the risk of the money ending up in a government official’s pocket is substantial – the thrust of our argument is that the way money is planned to be spent is also a very big problem, but a problem whose source lies in the way the donor organizations function. Combined with the fact that many of the world’s neediest live in the countries that will not make it onto the MCA list and that we expect the incentive effects of the MCA to be minimal, this suggests to us that the MCA approach amounts to abandoning a large part of the world’s poorest for no fault of their own. A more effective and less unfair challenge may be to try to see if it is possible to design projects that work in the countries with the biggest problems. If we could make that work, we would not only help those who need it the most, but what is perhaps even more valuable, we will raise expectations and build hope where there is none.

I am intrigued by the last sentence. How do we measure the value of raising expectations and building hope?

Read the whole thing here.

01 May 2010

Malaria almost eradicated from Zanzibar?

Apparently rates have fallen from 38% in 2008 to less than 1% in 2010. Too good to be true?

IRIN via African Politics Portal

Twitter Round-up

  1. The Guardian is backing the Lib Dems http://tinyurl.com/2vsxzuj
  2. New blog from DFID India's Economist (via @owenbarder) http://tinyurl.com/2d9v7ek
  3. RachelStrohm Amartya Sen on Adam Smith - well worth a read http://j.mp/cfdWAg
  4. ilovemigrants Check out the I Love Migrants website! http://ilovemigrants.wordpress.com/
  5. bill_westerly comrade-in-arms barbarian egonomist @rovingbandit #followfriday
  6. The Economist backs the Conservatives http://tinyurl.com/2bxfo39
  7. sunny_hundal RT @moogyboobles: #iloveimmigrants because I'm a human being and we share a planet with other human beings.
  8. TimHarford On @r4today this morning figuring out how big the mystery spending cuts will be after the election. £1350 - £2000 per household per year
  9. xtophercook I'm going to Germany next month - bit worried. I might be assaulted by their dangerously hung parliament.
  10. Only Liberal Democrats would end child detention | Alex Morrison http://tinyurl.com/28vdrgv
  11. RIP, Angus Maddison http://tinyurl.com/29ms5ff
  12. jjaron RT @RichardA: Debate advice for Nick Clegg: in answer to every question, slam down fist on podium and roar "I'm Nick fucking Clegg!"
  13. stephenfry Frankly I'm tempted to vote Lib Dem now. If we let the Telegraph and Mail win, well, freedom and Britain die.
  14. oliver_m_wright Great artists (satirical) map of London, can be seen at the British Library! http://icio.us/igo2st
  15. owenbarder RT @GlenTarman: 1 million children <5 will probably die around the world during UK election + no Q from SKY on world poverty #LeadersDebate
  16. Hey Sudanese abroad - GoSS is recruiting Directors - http://tinyurl.com/2exob2b
  17. maggie4Enough Beautiful photos from Sudan's polls: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/04/scenes_from_sudan.html
  18. IMF revises world growth forecasts up http://tinyurl.com/2f8dg82
  19. loomnie RT @whiteafrican: "The Macroeconomics of Mobile Money" http://bit.ly/bHg3bl via @mpayconnect (via @creditsms)
  20. corduk Check out @vote_global - an Int. Dev. Manifesto for the UK Gen. Election http://bit.ly/bkuMkI #ukelections #voteglobal

To follow me on Twitter go here: http://twitter.com/rovingbandit