Tag Archives: charts and graphs

Interactive Global Map of 2000-2014 Attacks to Aid Workers

A visual interactive walk-through of attacks to aid workers around the world over the last 15 years. Last year, more than 300 aid workers were killed, wounded or kidnapped, the second-worst year on record.

This map, a joint product between IRIN and Humanitarian Outcomes, is the first time ever the full scope of aid worker security events has been presented in visual form, which can be searched and filtered and browsed. It shows events from the beginning of 2000 until the end of May 2015.

Humanitarian Outcomes have been running the Aid Worker Security Database since 2005, and made it publicly available online in 2010. The database records major incidents of violence against aid workers. It is not absolutely comprehensive as some incidences are not reported, but it is the sole global open source of this data, providing the evidence base for analysis of the changing security environment for aid operations.

It’s a sobering testament to the dangerous work of saving lives.

Aid Worker Attacks Global Map [via IRIN News]

All Drugs Have Been Legal in Portugal Since 2000… So What’s Happened Since?

Source: Washington Post

Well, technically drugs aren’t completely legal in Portugal (trafficking in and selling them will still earn you to a ticket to jail).  But since 2000 possession of all drugs for personal use has been decriminalized to where if you are caught carrying a small amount of any drug, at worst it would earn you a small fine and you would be sent on your way, with no arrest or criminal record. (This amounts to a 10-day supply  —  a gram of heroin, ecstasy, or amphetamine, two grams of cocaine, or 25 grams of cannabis). Despite this, deaths due to drug overdose are the second-lowest in the European Union.  HIV infections have also dropped dramatically.

The rate of new HIV infections in Portugal has fallen precipitously since 2001, the year its law took effect, declining from 1,016 cases to only 56 in 2012. Overdose deaths decreased from 80 the year that decriminalization was enacted to only 16 in 2012. In the US, by comparison, more than 14,000 people died in 2014 from prescription opioid overdoses alone. Portugal’s current drug-induced death rate, three per million residents, is more than five times lower than the European Union’s average of 17.3, according to EU figures.

Source: Transform Drug Policy Foundation

Portugal’s officials estimate that by the late 1990s one percent of its  population, around 100,000 people, were heroin users, compared to around half that many today. So why did decriminalization result in such positive results?  It’s complicated, but it likely has to do with the country coming to regard drug use as less of a criminal problem and more of a public health issue – those who are repeatedly caught using drugs or identified as addicts can still be ordered into treatment or to check in regularly with their family doctor.

Why hardly anyone dies from a drug overdose in Portugal [via Washington Post] and Portugal’s Example: What Happened After It Decriminalized All Drugs, From Weed to Heroin [via Vice News]

WhatsBusy Shows Security Wait Times Before You Get to the Airport

Whats-Busy-Screenshot1Website WhatsBusy can show you how long you can expect to stand in line at any major airport depending on when you plan to arrive. Plug in what airport you’re flying out of, on what day and when you plan to arrive at the airport, and WhatsBusy will use historical data from the TSA and the airlines to give you an estimate of how long security wait times will be to help plan for the best time to arrive. In addition to the website, there is a free WhatsBusy iPhone app for download.

What’s Busy

Most State Gun Laws Have Relaxed Since Newtown Massacre

Since the Newtown school massacre, where Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School, almost every state has enacted at least one new gun law. According to The New York Times, which has a nifty chart summarizing each state’s new laws, the majority loosen – not tighten – gun restrictions.

Nearly two-thirds of the new laws ease restrictions and expand the rights of gun owners. Most of those bills were approved in states controlled by Republicans. Those who support stricter regulations won some victories — mostly in states where the legislature and governorship are controlled by Democrats — to increase restrictions on gun use and ownership.

State Gun Laws Enacted in the Year Since Newtown [via The New York Times]

[ARTICLE & VIDEO] New Technology to See Motion Through Walls


This is totally cool.

MIT professor Dina Katabi and graduate student Fadel Adib have announced Wi­Vi, a demonstration of a technology that uses Wi­Fi to allow a viewer to “see” a person moving behind a wall. (Wi­Vi stands for “Wi­Fi” and “vision.”)

Previous work demonstrated that the subtle reflections of wireless inter signals bouncing off a human could be used to track that person’s movements, but those previous experiments either required that a wireless router was already in the room of the person being tracked, or “a whole truck just to carry the radio,” said Katabi.

The new device uses the same wireless antenna as is found in a cell phone or laptop and could in theory one day be embedded in a phone.

The trick is canceling out all interfering signals – Wi-Fi doesn’t just bounce off humans, but also walls, floors, and furniture. And those signals are 10,000 to 100,000 times more powerful than the reflections off a human body.

Katabi’s wi­vi sends out two wireless signals, one of which is the inverse of the other. In what Katabi calls “interference nulling,” the two signals cancel each other out unless they hit a moving target – such as a human.

Here’s a breakdown of the system’s capabilities. The new device could one day result in an extremely portable and versatile system that would law enforcement agents to see the motion of subjects they are tracking through walls and other obstructions.

Researchers See Through Walls With ‘Wi-Vi’ [via Tech News Daily]

[ARTICLE] Which Professions Have the Most Psychopaths?

A new book by Kevin Dutton, The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success, lists the professions with both the highest percentage of psychopaths and lowest percentage. (Police officer is ranked # 7 on the list of most psychopaths). The logic behind the list? According to Dutton:

Most of the professions on the right require human connection, dealing with feelings and most of them don’t offer much power. Psychopaths, by their very nature, would not be drawn to or very good at these things.

On the other hand, most of the roles on the left do offer power and many require an ability to make objective, clinical decisions divorced from feelings. Psychopaths would be drawn to these roles and thrive there.

And from the Amazon.com book description:

In this engrossing journey into the lives of psychopaths and their infamously crafty behaviors, the renowned psychologist Kevin Dutton reveals that there is a scale of “madness” along which we all sit. Incorporating the latest advances in brain scanning and neuroscience, Dutton demonstrates that the brilliant neurosurgeon who lacks empathy has more in common with a Ted Bundy who kills for pleasure than we may wish to admit, and that a mugger in a dimly lit parking lot may well, in fact, have the same nerveless poise as a titan of industry.

Dutton argues that there are indeed “functional psychopaths” among us—different from their murderous counterparts—who use their detached, unflinching, and charismatic personalities to succeed in mainstream society, and that shockingly, in some fields, the more “psychopathic” people are, the more likely they are to succeed.