Research help


Hello all!

I have a problem. There’s too many ideas flooding my brain, all of which I’m itching to write about. But, simply put, I have no idea which one to write about first. Which ones do you like or think should be written first?

1. The plight of cocoa beans and chocolate (there are many reasons why the price of chocolate is increasing from fungus, climate change, etc.

2. A grant in Texas that is helping kids learn about story telling by having them create games

3. The mystery of bee disappearances (a number of species of bees have been put on the endangered list and scientists aren’t clear as to what’s going on)

4. Facebook’s fight with another social media company over how people’s data is used

5. The advancement of facial recognition software and other data tracking methods (mostly used for advertisements)

Any suggestions would be helpful!


@scottbaptista, these are some pretty interesting ideas! I’ll definitely add them all to the project ideas voting poll.

I’d rank them in the following order based on a criteria of Interesting Topic + feasibility of sources:

  1. Cocoa beans & environmental change
  2. Bee disappearances (possibly #1, but it’s also been written about elsewhere)
  3. Facial recognition software
  4. Teaching narratives by game creation
  5. Facebook and data

Shoot me an @mention, as well, if you need help in figuring out how to approach the topics, whether to go quantitative, qualitative, or a mix, or evaluating your sources.


Also, apologies for not responding sooner @scottbaptista. Mini Zed has a fever and has been home all week, rather displeased with the world, so I’ve been a bit less productive than normal.


@scottbaptista, can you stick the links to those two videos you found about cocoa bean economics here? They’re useful secondary sources.


@pzed, sure. The two secondary sources are as follows:

1. Cocoa in West Africa – Short Documentary (
2. Chocolate Lovers Send Demand, Prices Souring: Retailer (

Also, I hope Mini Zed is feeling better.


@scottbaptista Thanks. Just wanted to make sure there was a record that we could refer to of those videos. The fact that they’re not primary sources doesn’t mean they’re not useful.

And Mini Zed is running around, even though he doesn’t really have the balance to support such ambition and has a couple of scrapes and bruises as as result. Pretty clearly a lefty thrower, even at 15 months, and is obsessed with books and handing people a size 1 soccer ball to throw for him.

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