Creating Geographies

When I was much younger I invented a game where you essentially managed the development of civilisations. xkcd pretty much explains why the idea appealed to me. Minus all the power, obviously. Because that house is by far the best place for a deep water port for the import/export of valuable commodities. This, however, is missing all the tanks and battleships.

Defining geographies

Defining geographies

Credit for the piece goes to Randall Munroe.

Shovelling Out of Boston

Boston and the rest of Massachusetts are attempting to dig out of the blizzard that struck them earlier this week. The Boston Globe has provided its readers with a step by step set of directions for how to best extricate people and cars from snowed in homes.

Shovelling out

Shovelling out

Credit for the piece goes to James Abundis and Javier Zarracina.

How to Better Alight an Aircraft

Alighting an aircraft is a time consuming pain in the arse. Probably number one for me, after security. Anyway, Vox looked at the slow boarding and alighting process and how to improve it. And why, most likely, airlines are not terribly interested in improving it. Hint, follow the money.

Doing it right

Doing it right

Credit for the piece goes to Menkes van den Briel.

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles: A Comparison (Kind of)

Travelling by plane can often be a hassle because getting from the airport to the destination is not always easy. Suffice it to say your humble author has—on a few occasions—been almost stranded at Philadelphia International because of no way to get where I was going. A lot of that comes down to poor public transit options. In my cases, it mostly stemmed from terrible weather delaying my flight until the wee hours of the morning after which train service stops.

Thankfully, Five Thirty Eight took a look at the public transit vs. car options for various cities/airports and seeing which option is faster. Ultimately Philly is awarded an honourable mention because the R1 (what some people now call the Airport Line) is convenient if your timing is right. Mine, obviously, has never been.

Travel times to downtowns

Travel times to downtowns

Credit for the piece goes to Allison McCann.

Big Dollar Baseball Pitchers

For those knowing baseball, Max Scherzer has almost officially signed with the Washington Nationals for lots and lots of cold hard cash. Over $200 millions’ worth. But how do these big dollar contract pitchers compare over the years? Thankfully the Washington Post took a look at that for us.

A few of the $100 mn plus contract pitchers

A few of the $100 mn plus contract pitchers

Credit for the piece goes to Todd Lindeman.

Boko Haram Attacks

For those of you don’t know, there is an Islamist group operating in northeastern Nigeria. And they have been for a few years now. But recently they devastated a town and killed somewhere between 150 and 2000 people. Now they have taken to kidnapping Cameroonians, who live across the border, but whose government has been taking military action against Boko Haram. In this context, the BBC put together a map that shows the spread and scale of Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria.

The fatal attacks

The fatal attacks

Credit for the piece goes to the BBC graphics department.

All the Goats

Today is Friday. And that means it is time for the seriousness. So here you go, folks. Goats. All the goats. The US Agricultural Census recorded all the goats as of 2012. And so people can map that out. Thankfully the Washington Post did it for me.

Note the exclamation point

Note the exclamation point

Credit for the piece goes to the Washington Post graphics department.

Setting the Presidential Primary Field

The last week or two have seen some interesting announcement regarding Republican potential presidential candidates. Seems pretty early no? Well, FiveThirtyEight looked at the timing of the announcements and found that it’s quite normal to be announcing this early. The data was summarised in this great dot plot/box chart.

Plotting appearances

Plotting appearances

Credit for the piece goes to Ritchie King.