Quantifying Conflict Casualties in Syria

Interesting Strataconf talk by Megan Price from the Human Rights Data Analysis Group on how the numbers of conflict casualties in the press are related to the violence (or not).

I once made an app so (I think) one or two other people could enter the daily deaths to a database, here’s the visualization.

Islamic State in het Midden-Oosten

Ik dacht: laten we eens een fancy kaartje maken van dat Midden-Oosten.

Islamic State movements in the Middle East

Aja, ik was dit woest interessant artikel van Reuters aan het lezen. Het eindigt met de vermelding van ene Abdallah al-Belgiki, een of andere belgische fanaat die afgereisd is naar het kalifaat. Dat is eigenlijk verbazingwekkend dat die mannen van IS 3G hebben in the middle of fucking nowhere van Syrië en Irak he?

Hebt ge dat Wikipedia artikel over de Sykes-Picot agreement van 1916 eigenlijk al eens gelezen? Zot slecht geschreven. Er is sprake dat België toen een of ander mandaat ging krijgen over een gebied in het Midden-Oosten, samen met Frankrijk en Engeland. En dat allemaal om van het Ottomaans rijk af te geraken. En nu proberen die van het IS af te geraken van die Sykes-Picot overblijfselen (zie YouTube).

En die al-Assad van Syrië, die heeft eigenlijk wel schoon volk in zijn leger zitten:

The only threat belgians worry about

“The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Syria and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.” The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s get the Bastards.” They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from “Run” to “Hide.” The only two higher levels in France are “Collaborate” and “Surrender.” The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France ’s white flag factory, effectively paralysing the country’s military capability.

Italy has increased the alert level from “Shout Loudly and Excitedly” to “Elaborate Military Posturing.” Two more levels remain: “Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides.”

The Germans have increased their alert state from “Disdainful Arrogance” to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.” They also have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbour” and “Lose.”

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from “No worries” to “She’ll be alright, Mate.” Two more escalation levels remain: “Crikey! I think we’ll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!” and “The barbie is cancelled.” So far no situation has ever warranted use of the last final escalation level.

— John Cleese – British writer, actor and tall person.