Five by 8 – 3/18/10: From archives to data

Good morning! Let’s spin the calendar alllllllll the way back to 2009, when St. Patrick’s Day was some kind of fun. This year I’ll walk around News Cut headquarters just to be sure it was less fun in 2010.

1) As long as we’re in time-travel mode, I revisited News Cut’s flood archive. Collins’ coverage in and of Riverview Circle remains. Track the 2010 flooding on NewsQ. We have weather watchers on Updraft. Clearly we also have water watchers just down the street.


Students from the River’s Edge Academy in St. Paul observe the rising Mississippi River along the Upper Landing community near downtown on Wednesday. St. Paul could see moderate flooding as early as this weekend. (MPR Photo/Laura Yuen)

2) Speaking of home safety, our Reporter Tim Nelson covers natural gas safety and maps out “trenchless utility installation” on a whiteboard.

3) Safe and sound. Sahil Saeed freed after cash paid in Paris, say police. (BBC News)

A ransom of £110,000 was paid to gain the release of five-year-old Sahil Saeed, who was kidnapped in Pakistan, Spanish police have said.

The 5 year-old British boy was kidnapped in Pakistan on March 3 and will be returned to his family in England. Arrests have been made.

For those who follow the money, that ransom is the equivalent to over $168,200.00 dollars. Precise amount depends on your currency calculator exchange rate. For discussion: How many people thought a ransom transaction could result in a family reunion and international police cooperation?

4) Our disappearing yet extremely public lives: How Privacy Vanishes Online (New York Times)

If a stranger came up to you on the street, would you give him your name, Social Security number and e-mail address?

Probably not.

Yet people often dole out all kinds of personal information on the Internet that allows such identifying data to be deduced. Services like Facebook, Twitter and Flickr are oceans of personal minutiae — birthday greetings sent and received, school and work gossip, photos of family vacations, and movies watched.

This actually came up at home when the census arrived the other day. What personal info do we deliberately state, and which disclosures are subtle or even completely unnoticed? Does it matter to you who is asking? Is your life already an open book?

5) Speaking of the census… data graphic, cartography fans, and pretty much anyone can open up the 1870 census courtesy Radical Cartography. (!Note! Graphic-heavy site may load slowly.) From to the map depicting the hotspots of wealth to swatches of church accomodations, it doesn’t just reflect on who occupied the U.S. but social perspectives. (See also Fast Company)

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