After getting frustrated with having to run python over and over again (see previous post) to see the trends in the Papal odds, I’ve put together a basic shiny app that allows for real time updates and interactivity.
With the State of the Union address tonight, The Guardian plotted the Flesh-Kincaid grade levels for past addresses. Each circle represents a state of the union and is sized by the number of words used. Color is used to provide separation between presidents. For example, Obama’s state of the union last year was around the eighth-grade level, and in contrast, James Madison’s 1815 address had a reading level of 25.3.
After the “Arab springs” and other protest movements that prompted many rises and falls in last year’s index, the 2013 Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index marks a return to a more usual configuration. The ranking of most countries is no longer attributable to dramatic political developments. This year’s index is a better reflection of the attitudes and intentions of governments towards media freedom in the medium or long term.
Last Thursday the United Nations opened an inquiry into the “civilian impact of the use of drones and other forms of targeted killing.” Data - data about casualties, targets, frequency, and other topics - will play an important role in this investigation, led by the UN special rapporteur for human rights and counterterrorism. Visualization can add important context to help the public follow this inquiry. Adding markers dynamically can be a serious game-changer for visualizations using time-sensitive data, and something that you can do with MapBox.”
In the aftermath of the Newtown tragedy, President Obama on Wednesday announced new national gun control measures. He has already urged members of Congress to do the same. Here is our comprehensive look at where lawmakers stand on guns, as well as political spending and voting history. Explore and share what you think Congress should do about guns in this country.
Today’s ranking of the world’s richest people
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Secret Service have institute the following vehicle access and parking restrictions for today’s Inauguration activities. You can download the full list (PDF) or the map above (PDF)
Following a New York newspaper’s controversial decision to publish the names and address of local gun owners, state legislators are moving to make such information private, even as a Sunlight Foundation analysis shows that in a majority of states, the data are already off the public record.
Because of some the work we’ve done before on last minute negotiations and divided government, Sunlight prepared the following graphic that visualizes the recent history of US House votes on the debt ceiling, based on public voting records and a CRS report.
We’ll have more commentary forthcoming, but here are a few initial thoughts on what this graphic makes clear:
- Opposition to raising the debt ceiling is often partisan, with opposition coming from either party, based on who is in the White House. Many House Republicans have voted for raising the ceiling, just as President Obama voted against it when he was a Senator.
- Divided government has necessitated support from both parties to raise the limit.
- There is a significant untold story about the Gephardt Rule, a House Rule which enabled the limit to be raised with little public record. The role this rule played in setting up the current showdowns has been insufficiently examined.
- Good access to congressional data and reports enables this kind of analysis; it could be improved.
- Each of these votes was a predictable consequence of budgets that were passed before them, demonstrating another facet of political hypocrisy.
We’ve experimented with it though I know it annoys a lot of people.
What do you think? Yay or nay?
Not a data visualization or an infographic but important none the less.
A community’s great loss: RSS co-creator, early Reddit employee, tech activist Aaron Swartz dies at 26
Swartz committed suicide as he faced a federal trial on criminal charges. One of the hacker world’s most iconic personalities, he had played a key role in building a number of things that defined the internet’s voice, helping build the RSS spec at the age of 14, helping build Reddit in its early days, and playing a key role in modern tech activism. It was this last aspect of his life that got him into significant legal trouble, as he faced a FBI investigation after publicly releasing large parts the for-pay PACER database to the public, then, two years later, found himself facing criminal charges after downloading millions of articles from the private JSTOR academic journal database. Swartz faced $4 million in fines as as many as 35 years in prison over felony charges related to the case — though both MIT and JSTOR declined civil actions in the case. (photo by quinnums/Flickr)
EDIT: Here’s a roundup of some noted tech-world reaction to Swartz’s death.