Daily Archives: November 5, 2009

A Tuftian bounty

If you aren’t aware of Edward Tufte, he has some interesting things to say about the visualization of data.  When I saw this graphic from xkcd

I immediately thought of Minard’s graphic (which Tufte claims is one of the greatest graphical displays of information) of Napoleon’s march to (and from) Moscow or this similar one of Hannibal’s march.

Very interesting way to display several data sets all in one place (time, number of troops, and place) in a way which also helps to convey a narrative and explain their interaction quickly.


Kvick Tänkare – Military edition

Sven writes the definitive post on Multiple Rocket Launchers (MRLs).  As someone who was taught to fear the BM-21 like kids are taught to be afraid of the boogy man during my initial training back in 1987, I found it quite interesting.

The best weapon of our enemies?  Cheap double cheeseburgers apparently,

75 percent of the nation’s 17- to 24-year-olds are ineligible for service for a variety of reasons…In 1987, according to the CDC, a mere 6 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds, or about 1 out of 20, were obese. In 2008, 22 years later, 23 percent of that age group — almost 1 out of 4 — was considered to be obese.

The Armchair Generalist continues to whittle away at my support for the war in Afghanistan.

Tigers to the left of me, bears to the right…

About six years ago I heard rumors that the Afghans were convinced that the U.S. had released killer cats into the countryside to terrorize the population.  Now, just to prove that truth is stranger than fiction there’s this report from the BBC…

A bear killed two militants after discovering them in its den in Indian-administered Kashmir, police say. The militants had made their hideout in a cave which was actually the bear’s den, said police officer Farooq Ahmed.  The militants had assault rifles but were taken by surprise – police found the remains of pudding they had made to eat when the bear attacked.

Perhaps Colbert will need to rethink his anti-bear approach.