Sunday, August 29, 2010

Many Eyes...

Many Eyes has emerged as a powerful story-telling tool. Limited, but very simple to use, it's a great way to show visually the power of different data sets. Take a look at these examples:
Prison populations by country:
Slave population of the U.S. by decade (with interesting comments):
Internet penetration by country:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Million Dollar Blocks

Researchers and designers at Columbia University's Spatial Information Design Lab (SIDL) have gathered hard-to-access data on inmates and their last residential address to combine an innovative graphic tool. Million dollar blocks illustrates blocks in 5 major cities where the combined cost of incarcerating residents of specific blocks costs more than $1 million per year. At a time when more than 2 million Americans are incarcerated, this is a compelling illustration of a critical issue!
To see the work, click here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

An ant colony and the loss of its Queen

This New Yorker piece, by renowned scientist E.O. Wilson, is absolutely captivating. Especially when we consider that it basically tells the story of a colony of ants, faced with demise after its Queen has died and another colony has come to attack it. But the writing is so eloquent and paints this picture with such clarity and purpose, it comes across as the tale of a town confronting its own dark future. Well done. See it at

Sunday, August 16, 2009

San Miguel de Allende

A week ago Carmen and I were invited by our friend, architect Federico Vidargas, to attend a conference in SMA. Federico, who is from San Miguel but has lived and raised family here in Chicago for many years, was concerned about how the city is growing, some poor developments have been allowed in recent years, growing traffic, and water quality, affordability and availability. The conference he put together, called SMASH, was an intriguing model for a convening meant to target specific issues and produce concrete suggestions and action steps. Federico secured funding, convened a great group of people (majority from SMA, a number from the U.S. and other countries) and set up an itinerary meant to shed light on critical issues and to address them. Along the way, we got to meet (in addition to numerous other outstanding people) his brother, sister and mother - all very committed to the city. We'll write more here when the conference web site is loaded with photos and video.

To see an audio slideshow on the conference, click here:

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sociologists Aim at Climate Change

Interesting piece in Nature Reports on the sociology of climate change - what urges people to take action at the community level, the household level, etc. Has ramifications for policy makers at various levels, as well as for advocates and targeting media campaigns. See the story at

North Lawndale Youth Target Food Deserts

Chicago's Free Spirit Media has just posted its latest video piece, done in collaboration with UMOJA, online. It's at: This 10-minute piece explores the issue of lack of affordable, healthy food and includes a community survey, interviews with experts, conversations with people on the street. Well done all around.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

IJJ Fellowship Links

IJJ’s Current Fellowships

American Prospect

Bay State Banner


The Grio

KMEX-34/Los Angeles

Metro San Juan

Michael Eric Dyson Show

New Orleans Data Weekly

NPR West

Sho-Ban News

Yale Forum on Climate Change & the Media (Chicago workshop)

CNT's Housing + Transit Affordability Index

PPIC's "How much do California's low-income households spend on transportation?"

TCDP: Climate Change and Low-Income Communities

U.S. News & World Report: Cleanest & Most Polluted U.S. Cities

Chicago Magazine: How do we compare? The myth of green space

LA Times: California's poor neighborhoods push for parks

Justice in the Air: Toxic Pollution in Our Neighborhoods

ALA's Most Polluted Areas

Environmental Justice in L.A.: A Timeline