Ukraine has dominated the news much of the last few weeks. But the new 24/7 international news story is the missing aircraft (at least as of my writing this) that was Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. There are presently two nice graphics I have seen attempting to explain the story. The first, a cropping of which is below, is from the Washington Post.
The Washington Post piece
The second piece, again another cropping, is from the South China Morning Post.
South China Morning Post’s graphic
Credit for the Washington Post piece goes to Gene Thorp, Alberto Cuadra, Laris Karklis, and Richard Johnson.
Credit for the South China Morning Post piece goes to the South China Morning Post graphics department.
So Ukraine is even more of a mess and in less than a week’s time, the Crimean people will vote in a referendum on whether they want to remain a part of Ukraine or rejoin Russia. This graphic of mine is an attempt to answer some questions—though hardly all I wanted—about Ukraine, Crimea, and about what the Russians have been doing. (To be fair, the Russians still don’t admit that the troops and soldiers are theirs. But really, I mean come on, we all know they are.)
Last month, police in Hong Kong defused a 2000 pound (900 kilogram) bomb found undetonated since World War II. The South China Morning Post created a small graphic to diagram just what the bomb was and how it was delivered (by US aircraft) to Hong Kong.
Business Insider posted a neat graphic that compared the walkability of a suburban neighbourhood outside Seattle to a dense urban neighbourhood in Seattle. Turns out you can walk a lot more and further in a gridded mile than in a faux-organic sprawl.
The West hesitates to use military force to push Russian troops out of Crimea. Likely with good reason as any such campaign would be neither cheap nor bloodless in addition to running the risk of spreading beyond the borders of Ukraine. So that leaves diplomatic and economic isolation. Diplomatic isolation is already underway—the G8 conference to be hosted in Sochi this summer is all but dead. But economic isolation is still being discussed.
The United States is generally in favour, but Europe—namely Germany—has been more cautious. But as my graphic shows, without Europe a sanctions regime would be largely toothless since half of Russia’s exports go to Europe. Except that Russia is also responsible for a significant proportion of Europe’s imported natural gas and sanctions on Russia could cause an interruption in that fuel to Western Europe. Naturally, most of that natural gas is, of course, transported through pipelines running across Ukraine.
A lot of things happened in Ukraine this past weekend. Unfortunately, I was not able to quite capture all of the events and the background I wanted. So, until I do, this quick graphic will have to suffice. In short, Ukraine is a big European country, one of the largest prizes remaining in the struggle between the West/EU and the East/Russia. I took a look at the forecast for Ukraine in 2050 for both number of people and the size of the economy and put that in the context of Europe. And while forecasting that far out clearly has risks, one can see with a grain of salt that Ukraine is set to be an important middle-sized European nation.
A quick introduction to Ukraine
But, like I said, there is more to do. I just was not able to do it.
If you’ll allow your humble author a humblebrag, I often complain about having to daily deal with people around the world living in a lot of different time zones. How do I keep track of business hours around the world? I don’t. Well, not easily. But thanks to xkcd, this is no longer a problem.
Clearly, I wrote this in the evening
This is only a screenshot. But the actual image actually generally follows the Earth’s rotation. You know, until it stops. Or until we hit daylight saving time. Whichever comes first.
I do not know a thing about horses. I leave that knowledge to others in my family. However, this piece from the South China Morning Post explains quite a bit of why the thoroughbred is such a famous type of horse for racing.
Today’s piece comes from Bloomberg Businessweek. In the wake of the Pentagon’s decision to push for budget cuts including force reduction and slashing several programmes, I decided to show this chord diagram that shows how the defence industry supports itself.
Defence companies supporting each other
Credit for the piece goes to Robert Levinson, Dorothy Gambrell, and David Evans.