The Boston Marathon Bombing in More Detail

Today’s post comes from the New York Times and offers more detail on the twin terror bombings Monday. While the topic is surely gruesome, the interactive graphic is clean without the inclusion of photos or videos of the violence. It focuses on the facts without the fanfare or sensationalism to which we are accustomed from a media that too often needs it to draw and sustain viewership. A sober and informative piece from the New York Times.

Details of the Boston Marathon Bombing
Details of the Boston Marathon Bombing

Credit for the piece goes to the graphics department of the Times.

The ABCs of the F-35

Certainly in the more illustrative range, a few weeks back the Washington Post published a small piece that looked at the F-35. Somehow it has survived budget cuts and become a monstrous $400 billion defence project. Partly that is because it is being built in three different versions for all the main aircraft-flying service branches: the Air Force (A), the Marine Corps (B), and the Navy (C). The Post piece highlights some of the key differences between the  versions.

The F-35A
The F-35A

Credit for the piece goes to Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Alberto Cuadra, and Bill Webster.

Pro Tip #314: Don’t Stare Into the Sun

Don’t stare into the sun. It’ll burn your eyes out, kid. Okay, so maybe that’s a stretch of a reference, but, seriously, don’t. Let the professionals do it with (properly shielded) telescopes and such. This piece from the New York Times looks at a solar flare from 2012 and shows how quickly it developed. The bottom of the piece then shows the reader the frequency of solar minimums and maximums along with some explanatory graphics about just what flares and sunspots are and how they are created.

Also note the centre panel in the top row for the relative size of Earth. Yeah, who’s feeling big now? (Not me.)

Don't stare into it…
Don't stare into it…

Credit for the piece goes to Jonathan Corum.

Counting Zombie Kills in the Walking Dead

I watched the first season of the Walking Dead, but I have not followed the show closely since. That is not to say it is a bad show or is not entertaining, I just haven’t had the time. Fortunately Richard Johnson and Andrew Barr of the National Post have been following along. Otherwise, they would have not been able to create the infographic from which this cropping comes.

Who Killed What When and How
Who Killed What When and How

The piece examines which character killed which zombie and with what weapon. They then pivot the data to examine the total kills by type and by character. What is interesting, however, is that when the image is reduced and rotated, you get a quick overview of the amount of carnage.

Reducing the image and rotating it provides a concise view of the carnage
Reducing the image and rotating it provides a concise view of the carnage

Credit for the piece goes to Richard Johnson and Andrew Barr.

The Sky Is Falling…No…Wait…It’s Just a Dream(liner)

Boeing has been having some problems with its new aircraft, the 787 Dreamliner from cracked windshields to oil leaks to perhaps most problematic battery problems. Over the course of the last week, the New York Times has published a series of small graphics to complement stories about the problems and the investigations.

The first graphic looked at the Dreamliner and where its batteries are located. Unfortunately for Boeing, the Dreamliner is critical to its success moving forward and the remainder of the graphic shows just how important.

The importance of the Dreamliner
The importance of the Dreamliner

The next day a graphic about total deaths on US airline flights supported a piece about the Dreamliner.

Fatalities aboard US flights
Fatalities aboard US flights

Then yesterday the NYT published a graphic about the specific battery type (lithium ion) and what role it played in aircraft incidents, be them cargo or passenger related.

Battery incidents
Battery incidents

Fighter Jets

A large-scale infographic with lots of drawings of fighter jets. That’s pretty much what this is. And that’s cool enough for me. The background is that the US fighter programme for the F-35 is increasingly ridiculously expensive and beyond budget. Some nations, like Canada, are starting to have second thoughts. This post outlines potential options and adversaries.

Not all of these aircraft are really options. For example, the US has banned the export of the F-22 and it is highly unlikely that Canada would purchase the Raptor. Will the Russians ever build the PAK FA? They’ve been trying to build them for years and the aircraft has yet to go into production. Regardless of the likelihood of facing the adversaries or procuring the options, they’re still pretty cool illustrations and side-by-side comparisons.

Fighter jet options and adversaries for Canada
Fighter jet options and adversaries for Canada

Credit for the piece goes to Jonathon Rivait, Mike Faille, and Matt Gurney.

More Evidence on Why You (I) Need a Good Night’s Sleep

The Washington Post looks at sleep and how lack thereof may lead to various health problems, including Alzheimers, diabetes, and others. Maybe this means I have a reason to sleep in the mornings now…probably not.

Credit for the piece goes to Bonnie Berkowitz and Alberto Cuadra.

Absentee Ballots

This graphic comes from a set by the New York Times that looks at absentee and mail-in ballots, which are particularly popular in western states. The representation of the absentee ballot from Minnesota in 2008 is then examined to see which areas were the reasons for discounted ballots.

Minnesota's 2008 ballot
Minnesota's 2008 ballot

Follow the directions to the best of your abilities, people. Make your vote count.

How a Dead Panda Should Have Grown

Earlier this month a panda was born in Washington. The Post did a small infographic looking at how a panda cub grows over the course of its first year. I decided I would probably wait until sometime later this week to publish it.

Except it died yesterday. So before the moment is gone, here’s a graphic from the Washington Post looking at how the cub should have grown up.

How it should have grown
How it should have grown

Credit for the piece goes to Patterson Clark.

Climate Change

When I was younger—albeit not by much—I applied my interests in geography, history, and politics to create maps of fictional places. I used knowledge of things like the Hadley cell and the Koppen climate classification system to figure where on the maps I drew people would be able to live in temperate climates and where nobody could live because it would be an arid desert. I also read encyclopedias growing up, so go figure.

But I never bothered to apply my amateurish interest in geography and climatology to Earth. Rather, to an alternate Earth. But Randall Munroe over at xkcd did take a “what if” about a rotated Earth’s surface and investigated what would be the results. Of course he is also not an expert and even after thousands of years of living on this planet, humanity has yet to figure out all the variables that determine climates. But he gave it a shot. And he explained how it works (in theory). The result is called Cassini.

Climate of Cassini
Climate of Cassini

Blue is cold; think Siberia. Green is temperate; think rain and trees and, well, green things. Yellow is arid; think deserts. Red is hurricane zones—appropriate for summer. Think, well, hurricanes.

Cities on Cassini
Cities on Cassini

Turns out Philadelphia would still be a great place to live. Just saying.