Kids project: Micro-loans to women entrepreneurs

As part of many city-wide initiatives meant to encourage preventive behaviors, when the kids got their Covid vaccine they each received a cash incentive. So we started talking about donating part of that money, and Kiva came up as an option for investing for social impact (the 'investment' being in social capital, not profit). There's been much debate over the years over how impactful investing through Kiva really is. Middleman MFIs (microfinance institutions) who are on the ground provide micro-loans to populations otherwise considered too 'high risk' by traditional banking institutions. And Kiva offsets those risks for the MFIs. The pros and cons are discussed at great length on blog posts, business reviews, white papers and in … [Read more...]

Gender differences in athletic training

Did you know that performance advice for athletes are mostly based on studies done on young white males, but are generalized to all other populations? How should those of us, from demographics who are not typically studied, approach the mainstream training advice? . So I’m training for a marathon this year. It’s been a while since I was on a training regimen, and I had coaches back then to push and help me do my best. These days I’m on my own to figure out my workouts, fueling, hydration, etc. There's a lot of new info! Below are notes from the various emerging research on gender differences and performance. At the end of this post I reference resource persons and podcasts where I learned these. Note this is specific to female … [Read more...]

gray hair is cool

Several women in my family went prematurely gray, and since they were not slaves to the beauty industry I knew from an early age those strands which society hates so much would pop out soon. Sure enough, at the age of 12, they started. Remarks were plenty, but none (that got to my ears) were patronising about my choice to leave it be. (Frankly, the thought of that carcinogenic sludge on my hair or skin was less the attractive option than staying salt-n-pepper, never mind the time sink of perpetual coloring sessions.) Here in Southeast Asia, with the role of women as they are (subservient, servile, invisible unless spoken to), the pressure to look good is greater, which explains why the taboo of gray hair is so much worse than it is back … [Read more...]