Awesome visualizations from the NYTimes and Guardian

Check out the terrific timeline visualization of protests in the Middle East. The navigation and elements surfaced simultaneously is informative and makes exploring fun.

The NYTimes engineering blog “Open” shares novel uses of its API, some of which are physical!

How a handful of operators averted a nuclear meltdown

There will be songs, books, poems, and movies written about them in coming years, all deserved: Nature: “The meltdown that wasn’t”:

It will probably be years before anyone knows exactly what happened inside the three reactors at Fukushima Daiichi that seem to have partially melted down in the wake of the tsunami. But from press reports, public statements and interviews with experts, it is possible to work out the most likely scenario. And already it is clear that decisions made in the initial 24 hours by the handful of operators in the control room probably averted a much greater nuclear catastrophe than the one that now faces Japan.

Yesterday Android Alliance launched in Philly

Yesterday folks interested in Android development got together at National Mechanics in CC Philly and had a few drinks with one another. The big takeaway for me from the first meeting is that there are many in the region involved in mobile development (including myself) and that a community here is ready to connect.

Kudos to Corey and Arpit for bringing this together. It was fun and I hope to learn much from everyone.

Join the Google Group and follow on on Twitter.

Additional links can be had from CIM Labs.

America’s homeless generation

60 Minutes recently ran a segment revealing the stories of children in America who are fighting to survive homelessness. It is a must watch. A painful watch.

60 Minutes: Homeless children: the hard times generation

Be sure to check out the followup on how the report was produced: The hidden America

Philadelphia grew in size, first time in over 40 years

Now it’s official – Philadelphia Inquirer: “Census: Philadelphia grew, slightly”

Philadelphia Inquirer: “Surprise: Philly still the 5th largest city” Chris Satullo: “Could census give Philly a better sense of itself?”

Lots of work yet to do in Philly to keep the momentum going.

You need to recognize the momentum in order to grow it.

Puppy Mills in PA coming back?

In 2008 Governor Rendell signed into law regulation that closed down abusive puppy mills in PA.

Don’t look now, but the state legislature is moving to turn back the clock. I’m having a hard time finding updates to this story on the Web interestingly enough, so if you know about updates, where to find them, and how to fight this, feel free to share.

Shelley Powers recently posted about the situation in Missouri, which seems to have set the stage for PA.

Where to follow news about Japan

Like many, I’ve been sending my thoughts, prayers, and donations to resources related to Japan this week. The scale of the devastation is hard to comprehend. While CNN and other stations seem to have woken up and the NYTimes has been fantastic, these days you can get local news when an event occurs from anywhere in the world, translated to English. The following two sources of news I’ve been following all week long:

Kyodo News

NHK World

On Twitter:



In addition, the following Metafilter conversations have been powerful reminders that simple software, with strong community participation and active, thoughtful guidance, is the secret sauce to grow a discourse online:

On the nuclear crisis

On the earthquake and tsunami

On helping

Here are some additional links to check out:

Google’s Crisis Response

Rafe Colburn has additional links

CrisisWiki: 2011 Sendai Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

A new CMS to watch?

Armstrong is a new open source CMS in development, based upon Django, and funded by the Knight Foundation.

There is a recent piece about Armstrong posted at The Nieman Journalism Lab with a good thread questioning the need and the backing technology since other options exist. I think the more experimentation in this space the better because as Rafe Colburn has rightly said, “Content management is still an unsolved problem”. Rafe ruminates that, “For some reason, finding an adequate balance between usability, flexibility, and performance is nearly impossible.”, and it can seem that way if you are shooting at a fixed target. Anyone who has worked on a CMS project has felt this way. I certainly have from time to time. The trick is to have a solution that not only meets your needs, but can evolve as those targets shift, and educating those involved that it is a part of a larger ecosystem where evolution is a feature and not a bug.