Turns out that a large vocabulary is not necessarily what wins you games of Scrabble. Instead it has more to do with probabilities and statistics of values assigned to letters. Five Thirty Eight has a nice piece that charts the high scores of Scrabble games.
Scrabble scores of the 2013 championship
Credit for the piece goes to Oliver Roeder.
For those of you unaware, the United States became involved yet again in Iraq. This time, air dropping humanitarian supplies to Yazidi refugees near Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq. (Also, we have started bombing ISIS positions near Irbil, a large city in Kurdish-controlled Iraq.) In today’s post we have the Washington Post and its look at just what is going on around Sinjar.
Credit for the piece goes to Loveday Morris and Richard Johnson.
Beyond the fact that it isn’t a country? This week the White House hosted the US–Africa Summit. The Washington Post took the opportunity to quiz readers on their knowledge of African countries’ locations on a blank map. So this Friday, you get to take the quiz and post your results if you dare. A nice touch is that the map colours the countries by the number of guesses and then provides different colour outlines for your selection and the correct one—should you err.
I messed up Burundi—I always confuse it and Rwanda—and only got a 98%. /humblebrag
Credit for the piece goes to Kevin Schaul.
If you haven’t heard, there is a fairly significant outbreak of Ebola occurring in western Africa these days. The most attention has been drawn since the death of an American national in Nigeria. He had been working for the Liberian government and collapsed at the Lagos airport and died shortly thereafter. So the Centers for Disease Control has been reporting and advising on the outbreak and they have at least two graphics.
This first is good. It looks at the spread of the disease through different areas of several countries. It also identifies sites of interest for treating/containing the outbreak.
Outbreak map as of 3 August
The second, however, takes prominence as an “infographic” on the CDC homepage. How this qualifies as an infographic I have no idea. It is…just sad. I mean I get it, too many people do not understand how Ebola is transmitted. But to call this an infographic does disservice to other, real infographics.
Credit for the map goes to Elizabeth Ervin. For the “infographic”, no idea.
Today’s piece comes from the South China Morning Post. It looks at the Chinese government’s efforts to connect China to trade partners via a maritime route. This is conjunction with efforts to build a railway intended to connect Europe and China via Russia.
Cropping of the revival route
Credit for the piece goes to Lau Ka-kuen.
Two weekends ago I visited the Magritte exhibit currently showing here in Chicago. While I would love to share photographs of some of my favourite works, I cannot. The museum staff was clear that part of the rules for exhibiting loaned work was the prohibition of photography. So that prompted me to wonder how often is artwork loaned?
Thankfully, the Boston Globe (sort of) answered my question this past weekend with a graphic detailing some of the major loans from Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.
Three paintings on loan
Credit for the piece goes to Cecilia Reyes.
This week starts with a several-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip—though as I write this I am reading reports of a strike in Gaza City. So as those who can remember a few years back might recall, these sorts of Israeli–Palestinian conflicts take a certain, almost prescribed course. The New York Times today charts the parallel narratives through the use of small multiples comparing rockets fired from Gaza and cumulative deaths.
Comparing the three most recent conflicts
Credit for the piece goes to Jeremy Ashkenas, Archie Tse, and Karen Yourish.
It’s Friday, so we should try to take things a bit lighter. For me that usually means knocking back a drink or two and a swear-y exultation about it being the end of the work week. But, it turns out, I’m just trying to emulate our captains of industry. Bloomberg has gone through company conference calls and tabulated the number of swear words used and charted the results. And for fun, you can read some of the excerpts.
They’ll swear by it
Credit for the piece goes to David Ingold, Keith Collins, and Jeff Green.
Yesterday I mentioned the cost of the conflict in and around Gaza and we looked at a map of damage. Today, we look at a daily-updated graphic from the Washington Post that counts the human cost—the number of dead.
The dead in Palestine and Israel
Credit for the piece goes to Lazaro Gamio and Richard Johnson.
I have done quite a fair bit of coverage on Ukraine. It is a terrible story, but I have also been personally interested in Eastern Europe for awhile. But Ukraine is not the only story in the world, we have seen Gaza erupt in flames. But with the recent, temporary ceasefire, we have been able to calculate the physical and human cost of the Israeli airstrikes and incursions. The New York Times in this graphic looks at the destruction wrought by Israel in one neighbourhood of Gaza City.
Destruction in Gaza
Credit for the piece goes to the New York Times’ graphics department.