Drone Wars

This is a small interactive piece by the Washington Post that looks at the drone wars being waged by the United States specifically in Pakistan and then Yemen/Somalia. Clicking on a specific date in the timeline brings that date into focus with articles about the attacks in question.

Drone Wars
Drone Wars

What would have perhaps been interesting is a comparison of the number and location of drone strikes between the Bush administration and the Obama administration. Regardless, it illuminates a dark front of our ongoing wars.

Credit for the piece goes to Julie Tate, Emily Chow, Jason Bartz, Jeremy Bowers, Anup Kaphle and Olga Khazan.

Tracking the Royal Navy in World War I

I’ve always liked naval history. So I was pleased when several days ago this movie of Royal Navy ship movements during World War I was released. Using data from navigation logs, it plots the locations of the UK’s naval ships throughout the course of the war and so when played out over time you see the changes in those positions. The screen capture below shows just how much the UK depended on guarding the trans-Atlantic convoys. But also note the UK’s operations on rivers deep inside China.

Escorting the convoys
Escorting the convoys

My only complaint is that I could not find a way to slow it down or pause it once it had started.

Credit for the piece goes to CartoDB and Zooniverse, via the Guardian.

The Enemy Amongst Us

Perhaps the greatest danger now facing NATO and US troops in Afghanistan is the age-old wolf in sheep’s clothing, the insurgent dressed in Afghan Army fatigues. As the graphic below shows, the number of fatalities has been increasing along with the number of attacks. The silver lining in the cloud (to mix metaphors) is that the average lethality of the attacks is on the decline as fewer ISAF soldiers are killed per attack.

The Second Battle of Bull Run or The Second Battle of Manassas. Take Your Pick.

So the battle has two different names, but it was undoubtedly bloody. The Washington Post created an infographic exploring this important battle of the Civil War that led to a bloody Union defeat.

Second Bull Run
Second Bull Run

Credit for the piece goes to Gene Thorp, Brenna Maloney, Laura Stanton, and Don Troiani.

USS Iowa

Battleships are cool. Pointless in the 21st century, but they’re still cool. And now the USS Iowa is open as a museum in Los Angeles. Around the opening of the museum earlier this month, the LA Times put together a few graphics that were collected in one infographic piece that illustrated some of those parts of the ship open to the public. But what’s cooler than the guns that fire shells as big as trees (wrong ship in the song, but the point stands).

The turret
The turret

Credit for the piece goes to Tom Reinken, Raoul Ranoa, and Anthony Pesce.

Blowing Things Up (Or Shooting Them Down)

After an odd two short weeks—imagine two weeks with each only having a Monday and a Friday—we (in the royal sense of I) are back to the routine. So what better way than to look at American awesomeness in blowing things up. Through air strikes launched from US aircraft carriers.

This graphic comes from the New York Times and looks at the changed nature of air warfare in Afghanistan. No longer are US fighters dropping bombs all over the place—during the early days of the war, aircraft would take off laden with so many bombs that they needed to drop some before returning to the carrier—instead they use cannon fire and use it far more sparingly.

Carrier strikes
Carrier strikes

Credit for the piece goes to Sergio Peçanha.

North Korean Missile Technology (Or Lack Thereof)

North Korea wanted to launch a missile, but failed miserably in doing it. Richard Johnson at the National Post created an infographic, prior to the missile’s launch, that looked at what the North Koreans wanted to do.

Unha-3 plan
Unha-3 plan

Today is a Happy Happy Joy Joy Story

For the past two posts I focused on the sinking of the RMS Titanic, an historical event that has always been of some interest to me, but is not always the most uplifting of subjects. When in high-school, I once had an English teacher who took to heart our complaints that our literature selection was rather dark and depressing. So after finishing yet another such story, he had us turn to a specific page in our reader. The title of that day’s story was To the Gas Chambers, Ladies and Gentlemen; it was a story about the Holocaust.

Here is today’s uplifting story. What would happen if a dirty bomb was detonated in lower Manhattan. Courtesy of the National Post.

A dirty bomb in New York
A dirty bomb in New York

Credit for the piece goes to Richard Johnson.