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Painting by Numbers – NYTimes.com

I am an artist, and a colleague recently asked me to make her a painting. It will be an arduous process, and I’m charging her my usual freelance rate. In the next few months I must give a wedding gift to the same colleague, who is not a close friend. …

Money Tips for Globe-Trotters – NYTimes.com

CREDIT cards and A.T.M.’s may have eased the challenge of spending and exchanging money on a trip abroad, but that doesn’t mean we don’t occasionally find ourselves in a foreign country, fuming in front of machines that have just rejected our plastic cards. Fortunately, American banks have recently begun issuing …

M-PESA and other ICT4D projects are leaving behind the developing world’s poorest people. – Slate Magazine

The cost of cellphone-based services is hurting huge swaths of the developing world. For more on cellphone use around the world, see the Slate/New America Foundation map, “Which Countries Have the Most Mobile Phones?” Entrepreneurs, businesses, NGOs, and governments exalt mobile technology as a game-changing tool to fight global poverty. …

HOAX: McDonald’s Official Statement Condemns Racist Sign [UPDATED]

    Making the Twitter rounds on a super-sized scale today (under the hashtag of #seriouslymcdonalds) is this obviously fake sign that’s allegedly in a McDonald’s restaurant. It claims that “African-American customers are now required to pay an additional fee of $1.50 per transaction.” The picture originated on twitpic and …

Bulgaria’s black market in blood is flourishing

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Her 85-year-old husband needed immediate surgery but doctors told her to find blood for the operation herself. So Slavka Petrova swallowed her anguish and went to haggle on the black market outside the national blood clinic. It’s a grim reality for patients and families in Bulgaria, …