My new New York Times puzzle is up

Circular Reasoning, a new puzzle I designed and wrote for the op-ed section of the New York Times, is up!

My brief companion essay is here, and the introductory essay by novelist Arthur Phillips, who introduced me to the editors, is here.

It’s meant to be hard and yet amusing enough that you’ll want to share it with a friend or family member and work it together as part of your long holiday weekend.  Did my best, anyway.  Enjoy!

My 650th Kiva loan

Goes to this group of 20 small entrepreneurs in Trou-du-Nord, Haiti.

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If you’re just tuning in, I’m writing a book about microfinance for Bloomsbury. Kiva is quickly becoming the microfinance equivalent of eBay. Great place to start if you’re interested.

Want to do something cool today? Go visit, open an account, and loan a few bucks halfway around the world. (Hundreds of loans now, I haven’t lost a dollar yet. That’s unusual, but their default rate is less than two percent.) It’s not charity; you get the money back, they get to build their business, and you get to keep loaning the money right back out, over and over if you like.

My plan is to make 1000 loans this year. I’m a little behind right now, but I’ll catch up. After that, I’ll just keep re-loaning the same money over and over. It’s a great addiction, if you’re looking for one. Highly recommended.

The New Xerox Logo and the Kyrgyzstan Flag

I just saw the new Xerox logo for the first time (I guess I don’t buy office equipment much) in the background of the Dodgers game.  My first thought: why did Xerox (left) adopt the symbol on the Kyrgyzstan flag (right)?

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Obviously a coincidence.  Still: small, weird planet we live on.