I’m teaching a data journalism/investigative reporting class for the first time this spring. I’ve got the class pretty well mapped out — I know what I’m going to teach — but I’m struggling with a course description. Here’s what I’ve got. Fellow data nerds, what say you?

Every day, more of our…


A great reminder. Thanks, Des, for the reminder and for putting this online in a handy way.

PyTone is a music jukebox written in Python with a curses based GUI. While providing advanced features like crossfading and multiple players, special emphasis is put on ease of use, turning PyTone into an ideal jukebox system for use at parties.


Today in Ethiopia, over 100,000 women are living with a debilitating condition called obstetric fistula. Ostracized by their communities, disowned by their husbands, and unable to work, these women are forced to exist on the margins of society.

What if you could change all that by providing…



There has not yet been a breakthrough in the At War blog’s crowd-sourced effort to identify a cluster munition found last year in Libya. The first answers, which piled up in my email accounts or were floated in tweets or submitted on comments to the NYT site, mostly echoed the early efforts of the specialists, who noted that this DPICM appeared to be a rough conceptual derivative of the American M-series. But now we have more to work with: At War has published a new post with another set of photographs of the bomblets, providing much more detail and offering views of the submunitions’ presumed delivery system — a 122-millimeter cargo rocket.  

These photos were made by Per Bjerde, an EOD team leader working in Libya. If this was in fact the delivery system, as it appears to have been, then the images could contain the information that puts this nettlesome case to bed. The images include close-ups of the stenciling on the rocket body and more detailed looks at the submunitions and many of their components. A few friends are trying to run down what it all might mean.

The working theory thus far is much like the working theory when we began — that these are likely reverse-engineered updates on the old American line. But we still do not know for certain. Nor do we know which country made them, and when, and when and how they were transferred to Libya.

Parallel to the public effort, several specialists are working away quietly. These new photographs provide a departure point for more inquiry, and for fine-tuning the search. There are any number of clues. The 122-millimeter rocket serves to narrow the list of potential manufacturers to countries and to arms plants that have produced 122’s. And the fin design might tell something of provenance, too. The stenciling can be read to suggest dates of manufacturer: one EOD source has already suggested that the rocket motar might have been manufactured in 1973, and the cargo canister in 1985 — at least by his initial read of the images. He is checking with friends. If this is the case, it would suggest that these weapons were assembled before many nations moved toward banning cluster munitions, though those dates do not tell anything about when the weapons were shipped to Libya, which is not a party to the convention. (For more on the convention, which several important nations, including the China, Russia and the United States, have not signed, go here.)

Send tips to chivers@nytimes.com or thegun.book@gmail.com, or use At War’s comment section. We’ll be back here and on At War as more information comes in. 


View of the Week: Klieg Lights - Pikit shared by mikokapow

As near as I can tell, Klieg Lights are an indie rock band from the Philippines with a thing for dramatic electric piano riffs and delayed guitars.  Like, I can totally imagine listening to this stuff, slow dancing at prom in Manila.  Do you think they have proms there?


The best part of dating Nikki is I have no doubt she can get a perfect score on this test.


The best part of dating Nikki is I have no doubt she can get a perfect score on this test.


Evolution is too slow for Theo Jansen, so he is engineering an entirely new kind of animal — giant sculptures that are built from a “genetic code” of algorithms. Blending the boundaries between art and engineering, Theo shows us a few of his mesmerizing works: “animals” that can walk down the…


According to BGR, the iPhone 5 is scheduled to launch in Fall 2012. So what does this mean for the publishing industry? It means there are going to be a lot of iPhone 5 articles coming out over the next 9 months, assuming that’s when the product will actually launch. This is great news for…

Know-Anon fix


Know-Anon has been updated to version 2.1 and actually works now. If you have already, you won’t need to install it again, you will need to reinstall the styling.

Install Know-Anon here.