Love, Hate & Other Difficulties in the Middle East
David McCandless & UniversLab created an interactive visualization of the relationships between countries and entities in the Middle East, along with those that exert influence on them.
Images from the Top: Those that hate each other; that that love each other; those that hate Syria (left); those that love Syria (right); and, probably, the most apt visualization, those whose relationships are “complicated” (bottom). Via Information is Beautiful. Select to embiggen.
The data and sourcing McCandles & Universlab use can be viewed via this spreadsheet, and they invite feedback and updated information as relationships evolve.
The lowest literacy rates are observed in sub-Saharan Africa and in South and West Asia. Adult literacy rates were below 50% in the following 14 countries: Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Sierra Leone… It is important to note that regional averages can mask disparities at the country level. This is most apparent in sub-Saharan Africa, where the adult literacy rate ranges from 15% in Niger to 95% in Equatorial Guinea.
The UN group has an “eAtlas of Literacy" that lets visitors browse and export maps and data to explore global literacy rates and regional indicators.
Images: Adult and Youth literacy rates, via UNESCO (PDF). Select to embiggen.
Illustrations from Everard Digby’s De Arte Natandi (The Art of Swimming) published in 1587, considered the first English treatise on the practice. Divided into two parts, the first is largely theoretical (Digby wrote in Latin, though it would be translated into English by Christopher Middleton eight years later). The second part is concerned with practical demonstration borne out in a series of 40 beautiful woodcuts, all composed from five landscape blocks into which swimmers in various positions have been placed. The work was hugely influential, not just providing a practical guide to staying afloat and different strokes but also in its attention to issues of safety. As the Wellcome Library blog notes: “The work is alive to the dangers of swimming outdoors: Digby makes careful note of the safest methods of entering rivers, warning against jumping in feet first (particularly if the water has a muddy bottom to which your feet would stick) and advocating a slow and patient entry. Swimmers are also advised to have a companion with them, to help if they get into difficulties.
Why do maps always show the north as up? For those who don’t just take it for granted, the common answer is that Europeans made the maps and they wanted to be on top. But there’s really no good reason for the north to claim top-notch cartographic real estate over any other bearing, as an examination of old maps from different places and periods can confirm…
…There is nothing inevitable or intrinsically correct — not in geographic, cartographic or even philosophical terms — about the north being represented as up, because up on a map is a human construction, not a natural one. Some of the very earliest Egyptian maps show the south as up, presumably equating the Nile’s northward flow with the force of gravity. And there was a long stretch in the medieval era when most European maps were drawn with the east on the top. If there was any doubt about this move’s religious significance, they eliminated it with their maps’ pious illustrations, whether of Adam and Eve or Christ enthroned. In the same period, Arab map makers often drew maps with the south facing up, possibly because this was how the Chinese did it.
Things changed with the age of exploration. Like the Renaissance, this era didn’t start in Northern Europe. It began in the Mediterranean, somewhere between Europe and the Arab world. In the 14th and 15th centuries, increasingly precise navigational maps of the Mediterranean Sea and its many ports called Portolan charts appeared. They were designed for use by mariners navigating the sea’s trade routes with the help of a recently adopted technology, the compass. These maps had no real up or down — pictures and words faced in all sorts of directions, generally pointing inward from the edge of the map — but they all included a compass rose with north clearly distinguished from the other directions.
The map runs from June 17 to July 17 and covers hashtags such as #BringBackOurBoys (when three Israelis disappeared while hitchhiking), #MohammadAbuKhdair (when a Palestinian teenager was killed in Jerusalem) and, of course, #IsraelUnderFire and #GazaUnderAttack.
Select to embiggen and view the color key for the screenshots above, or, better, read through to watch the timeline unfold.
Some context: We’ve written before about PR and propaganda surrounding the Gazan war. Here are a few more:
Via Gizmodo, which also includes graphics on what brands own what consumer goods, consolidation in financial markets, what auto makers own what cars, and what breweries make what beer… which is important.
Images: Studios and media companies (top), and TV stations (bottom). Select to embiggen.
Literary elites love to rep Shakespeare’s vocabulary: across his entire corpus, he uses 28,829 words, suggesting he knew over 100,000 words and arguably had the largest vocabulary, ever.
I decided to compare this data point against the most famous artists in hip hop. I used each artist’s first 35,000 lyrics. That way, prolific artists, such as Jay-Z, could be compared to newer artists, such as Drake.
So, Aesop Rock is the most verbacious, DMX the least and were Shakespeare penning his stuff nowadays, he’d fall somewhere among the members of Wu-Tang Clan.
Read through for Daniels’ analysis and methodology.
The Pew Research Center put together this visualization on the social harassment of religious groups around the world. Harassment includes physical or verbal assaults, arrests, detentions, desecration of holy sites, and discrimination in housing, employment or education. The study is based on public data from the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, the U.N., Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, among others.
2012 saw an increase in religious hostilities in every major region of the world except the Americas. These include a number of particular social hostilities such as:
Abuse of religious minorities by private individuals or groups in society for acts perceived as offensive or threatening to the majority faith of the country (as in Egypt, Libya and Sri Lanka)
Violence or the threat of violence to compel people to adhere to religious norms (as in India, Vietnam and Somalia)
Harassment of women over religious dress (as in China and Moldova)
Mob violence related to religion (as in Kenya, Indonesia and Nigeria)
Sectarian violence (as in China, Myanmar and Syria)