In Ukraine, continued conflict, collapsing currency and a money crunch

February 6, 2015

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Ukraine is a bad — if somewhat surreal — place to be right now.

On Friday, the leaders of France and Germany flew from Kiev to Moscow to try to broker a peace between Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels in the conflict that began when Russia annexed Crimea early in 2014. As this Reuters graphic shows, in just over nine months since the conflict started, in April of 2014, more than 5000 have died, with the number of wounded approaching 12,000. A Reuters map shows the ebb and flow of territory under the separatists’ control, as well as the locations of dozens of recent flash points of violence.

Broadband speeds get a boost from the FCC

February 5, 2015

U.S. Internet users got two big news items courtesy of the Federal Communications Commission  this week.

Trains have more accidents, but plane crashes kill more people

February 4, 2015

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Airline and train accidents are quite rare, but vivid video footage of accident scenes give both a sense of a terrifying immediacy.

Numbers show just how deadly measles can be

February 3, 2015

An outbreak at Disneyland in December of last year caused at least 59 people to contract measles, and as cases of the viral disease continue to grow, so, too, does an epidemic of outrage over what is considered by many to be a preventable danger.

Venezuela’s vanishing economy

February 2, 2015

For months Venezuelan shoppers have been enduring long lines in order to buy basic necessities like flour and diapers, but given the country’s increasingly dire economic situation, these may soon qualify as the good-old days. Years of fiscal mismanagement of the country’s vast oil resources by Venezuela’s government, combined with a 60 percent-plus inflation rate, put the country on economic footing that is tenuous at best. But it may get worse, if more companies decide doing business in Venezuela just isn’t worth it.

Super Bowl ads, chemistry life hacks, Kool-Aid Man physics and more

January 30, 2015

Sunday is the Super Bowl, and just in time Data Dive has teed up a grand slam list of weekend links to ratchet-up your enthusiasm for kickoff, or to help you ignore the big game altogether. Try not to concuss yourself with excitement.

Drones, by the numbers

January 30, 2015

Drones tend not to be seen as especially funny. Still, the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart was able to extract some humor from them after a government employee crashed a toy drone on the White House lawn at 3 a.m. this week.

On oil, Americans poll with their pocket books

January 29, 2015

Even as broad economic indicators continue to improve, Americans poll with an eye on their pocketbooks when it comes to energy policy.  As this Reuters graphic shows, the results of just-released Reuters/Ipsos poll show that 63 percent of those surveyed think American oil should stay at home to push down gas prices, versus 21 percent who think it should be exported to bolster the U.S. economy.