Wawa vs. Sheetz…Wawa of Course…Was There Any Doubt?

Once when I worked at the Jersey shore as a kid a woman purchased her books and then asked me the location of the nearest ATM. I replied “Wawa”. She looked at me as if what I said was gobbledy-gook. She asked again. I replied “Wawa” again but with probably a look of confusion upon my face. It turned out she was from California and she thought I was mentally ill. I did not understand how anyone did not or could not know about the awesomeness of Wawa.

But for all of my upbringing in the Philadelphia suburbs/South Jersey loyalty to Wawa, I must confess to an unfortunate divide in Pennsylvania between we civilised folks near Philly and, well, the rest of the state. We in the Philadelphia metropolitan area are loyal to Wawa. The rest of the state swears allegiance to Sheetz. But how stark is this geographic loyalty? The New York Times mapped store locations with Wawa in blue and Sheetz in red to accompany an article about the “tribal loyalties” to the two chains.

The geographic footprint of Wawa (blue) vs. that of Sheetz (red)
The geographic footprint of Wawa (blue) vs. that of Sheetz (red)

For those more curious about this author’s loyalties, the author of the article, Trip Gabriel, included photos by Mark Makela of one of my local Wawas (the one near Malvern at 202 and 29 for my hometown readers) as the main image for the article along with photos of interiors in West Chester. And of course the Wawas where I grew up:

My Wawas
My Wawas

 

 

All Your Drone Base Are Belong to Us

John Brennan’s confirmation for heading up the CIA begins today. He’s been pretty instrumental in strengthening the United States’ counter-terrorism programme, especially the use of drones to eliminate terrorists.

For those drones, the Washington Post mapped out the known bases in Africa and the Middle East from which we operate our drones.

Map of drone bases
Map of drone bases

Detroit

Detroit’s population has fallen drastically while its economy has been all but eviscerated with the near-collapse of the American automotive industry. But it was not always that way. The National Post looks at Detroit over the years, starting in 1950. It’s the mapping and charting out of the decline and fall of what was once a great city.

Cropping of the fall of Detroit
Cropping of the fall of Detroit

Credit for the piece goes to Kristopher Morrison and Richard Johnson.

Girls in Science…Just Not in the United States

This piece from the New York Times is really well done. With simple colours to differentiate three groups, values are charted on a scatter plot to show the distribution of results for an OECD science test in 65 countries. The results clearly show regional differences in the performance of girls in the sciences depending upon the region.

The overall picture
The overall picture

But to make the story clearer for those who may not take the time to really delve into the data, five simple buttons on the upper right take the user through the story by annotating the different highlighted views shown in each step.

Southern and Eastern Europe and the Middle East are Highlighted
Southern and Eastern Europe and the Middle East are Highlighted

Credit for the piece goes to Hannah Fairfield and Alan McLean.

A Horse, a Horse, My Kingdom for a Horse

DNA has confirmed a skeleton found underneath a parking lot in Leicester is that of Richard III, the last English monarch to die on the field of battle. He was portrayed by Shakespeare as being—if I recall my English lit classes correctly—a hunchback. And, as shown in this BBC interactive piece, he indeed suffered from scoliosis, which would have made his back appear hunched.

The spine of Richard III shows scoliosis
The spine of Richard III shows scoliosis

Credit for the piece goes to Greig Watson, Christine Jeavans, Mick Ruddy, Sophia Domfeh and Paul Kerley.

Super Bowl (Some Number)

If you didn’t know, the Super Bowl is Sunday. I admit, I forgot it was this Sunday. But you probably know that’s because I’m more of a baseball guy, specifically a Red Sox guy. Prior to forgetting I had been looking for a nice infographic on either the 49ers or the Ravens, the two teams involved. I forgot because I didn’t find any. Until this morning.

It’s not very large, nor very detailed, but it’s about football. And it’s about the 49ers. So it meets my requirements.

Frank Gore
Frank Gore

Photograph by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images.

Full disclaimer, despite being a Red Sox fan from Philly, I’m an Eagles fan. So I could care less who wins this match on Sunday.

French Special Forces Seize Kidal

On Tuesday French special forces captured the airport in Kidal, Mali. (Although the use of the term airport is a bit generous.) In an unanticipated move—the Malian army was not informed before the operation commenced—the French retook the last major urban centre that had been under Islamist control. This may well end the first phase of the war in Mali, i.e. the recapture of major cities and towns taken by the Islamists since last year. The next phase will be training the Malian army and securing the towns and cities taken by the French. But there is little indication that the latter task will be undertaken by the French army.

As usual, click the image below for the full-sized version.

The capture of Kidal by airmobile French forces
The capture of Kidal by airmobile French forces

Whence Chicago’s Guns Came

Chicago has crime problems. Specifically homicides and gun-related crimes. This is despite the fact that Chicago has some of the strictest gun regulations in the country. But over the last decade, the Chicago Police Department has collected nearly 50,000 guns (excluding buybacks and turn-ins) of which nearly half originated from outside the state. The map below comes from an infographic by the New York Times that traces the origins of those guns.

Whence the guns came
Whence the guns came

Particularly useful are the small maps that accompany this larger one. The first looks at the Chicago metropolitan area, the second the country as a whole with counties filled-in if even one gun originated there, and then the third looks at Mississippi.

Credit for the piece goes to Kevin Quealy and Tim Wallace.

Where in the World is the Secretary of State?

On Friday Hillary Clinton steps down as Secretary of State to (likely) be replaced by John Kerry whose confirmation votes will (likely) be later this week. One of the big roles for the Secretary of State is to travel abroad and represent the United States. If secretaries go where the US needs to be represented, that would imply that some states are more important for foreign visits. So has there been a shift in priorities in recent years?

In this interactive piece the Washington Post looks at where James Baker, Warren Christopher, Madeline Albright, Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, and Hillary Clinton visited during their tenure at Foggy Bottom. The screen shots below only show the maps—there are very useful tables for finding data on trips to specific countries—for Baker and Clinton and comparing the two. The shift from the European/Cold War mentality is quite pronounced.

James Baker's trips abroad
James Baker's trips abroad
Hillary Clinton's trips abroad
Hillary Clinton's trips abroad

Credit for the piece goes to Emily Chow and Glenn Kessler.