Pennant Fever: What You Need to Know about the Baseball Playoffs

Includes video and map

Oh Oakland, why must you break my heart … all over again.

It took 12 wrenching innings — a nearly five-hour battle of attrition — for the Kansas City Royals to oust the A’s with a 9-8 victory in Tuesday’s sudden-death wild card face off in Kansas City.

Oakland headed into the eighth inning with a comfortable 7-to-3 lead (thanks in large part to Brandon Moss’s two homers), Victory seemed imminent.

But alas … things fall apart. Continue reading

Visualizing the Inequities of Climate Change

This Carbon Map was created by Duncan Clark and Robin Houston from the design firm KILN as an entry in the World Bank’s Apps for Climate competition. Recently updated and featured on The Guardian, the map resizes the world’s geography so as to reflect the nations that are most responsible for climate change and those most vulnerable to its impacts. Click the PLAY button to see a demo. Listed below the map is a collection of additional interactive climate change resources. 


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Yell Fire: California Wildfire Resources for the Classroom

Includes interactive resources

California is feeling the burn big time.

As of September 18, about a dozen major wildfires were raging across the Golden State. That includes the massive King Fire near Lake Tahoe, which burst out of control this week just as firefighters began to contain another formidable blaze north of Redding. The King Fire has already burned more than 70,000 acres in El Dorado County, threatening thousands of homes and leading to the evacuation of nearly 3,000 people. Officials on Thursday arrested a 37-year-old man on suspicion of arson in connection with the fire. Continue reading

Understanding the Ebola Outbreak: A Multimedia Resource Guide

A health worker sprays the sole of a colleague’s shoes at an Ebola Isolation Clinic in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo by Staton Winter, United Nations


A health worker sprays the sole of a colleague’s shoes at an Ebola Isolation Clinic in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo by Staton Winter, United Nations

Since the Ebola outbreak claimed its first victim more than nine months ago, an estimated 5,000 people in five West African nations have been infected, and nearly half of them have died. It’s the worst Ebola outbreak on record; it’s been wreaking havoc for months, but until recently, has been largely overlooked by the international community.

That changed in early August, when the first American to contract the virus was brought back to the United States for treatment. And this week, President Obama announced plans to provide support. The World Health Organization recently estimated that, at the current rate of infection, the number of cases would double every three weeks, and that nearly $1 billion in medical aid would be required to stem the crisis. Select from the tabs below to view a collection of multimedia resources from around the web that explore the issue from a range of angles.

U.S. response

About the outbreak

View this Associated Press interactive in fullscreen mode here.


Why it spread so fast

Inside the Hot Zone



How the virus works

Epidemics compared

The infographic below was produced by Good Magazine and Column Five Media. View original version here.

This inforgraphic was produced by Al Jazeera. View original fullscreen version here.

Finding the cure


Why no vaccine yet?

An interesting New Yorker article on “Ebolanomics” and the inequities of the global health system:

When pharmaceutical companies are deciding where to direct their R. & D. money, they naturally assess the potential market for a drug candidate. That means that they have an incentive to target diseases that affect wealthier people (above all, people in the developed world), who can afford to pay a lot. They have an incentive to make drugs that many people will take. And they have an incentive to make drugs that people will take regularly for a long time—drugs like statins.

This system does a reasonable job of getting Westerners the drugs they want (albeit often at high prices). But it also leads to enormous underinvestment in certain kinds of diseases and certain categories of drugs. Diseases that mostly affect poor people in poor countries aren’t a research priority, because it’s unlikely that those markets will ever provide a decent return.

How you can help

A recent Vox piece emphasizes the importance of wise charitable giving and provides some good tips on identifyng the most effective organizations and causes (not just the ones that are most popular). According to one charitable giving expert interviewed, “donating money to the best developing world health charities will reach at least 100 times as many people than if you donate to developed world health causes.”

The US Agency for International Development provides a good list of 37 non-governmental organizations involved in the Ebola crisis, including links to donate. In a recently released statement, the agency emphasizes that monetary donations to these organizations are the most effective way for Americans to help:

The organizations below are involved in response work in areas affected by the Ebola virus, which has impacted thousands of people in West Africa. As relief and recovery efforts evolve, these organizations tailor their work to meet the changing needs of people and communities. Monetary donations enable responding organizations to react with speed and specificity in critical sectors now and as communities recover. Even a small donation can have great impact. Monetary donations save lives and money.

List of Non-Governmental Organizations
americares-logo

Act!onAid

Act!onAid Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

americares-logo

Adventist Development and Relief Agency

ADRA Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: View

Donate Online: Here

adventist-logo

Adventist Health International

AHI Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: 11060 Anderson St., Loma Linda, CA 92350

Donate Online: Here

africare-logo

Africare

Africare Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

americares-logo

AmeriCares

AmeriCares Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

ajws-logo

American Jewish World Service (AJWS)

AJWS Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: 45 West 36th St., 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018

Donate Online: Here

redcross-logo

American Red Cross

Red Cross Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

amref-logo

Amref Health Africa

Amref Health Africa Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

bwa-logo

Baptist World Alliance

Baptist World Alliance Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: 405 North Washington St., Falls Church, VA 22046

Donate Online: Here

Brac-logo

Brac

Brac Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: 110 William St., 29th Floor, New York, NY 10038

Donate Online: Here

bbf-logo

Brother’s Brother Foundation

Brother’s Brother Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: 1200 Galveston Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15233

Donate Online: Here

CRS-logo

Catholic Relief Services (CRS)

CRS Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: PO Box 17090, Baltimore, MD 21297

Donate Online: Here

CBM-logo

CBM (Christian Blind Mission)

CBM Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

CW-logo

Concern Worldwide

Concern Worldwide Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

cdc-logo

CDC Foundation

CDC Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: View

Donate Online: Here

devafr-logo

Develop Africa

Develop Africa Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail:

Donate Online: Here

DR-logo

DirectRelief

DirectRelief Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

ERD-logo

Episcopal Relief and Development

Episcopal Relief Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: PO Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116

Donate Online: Here

cdc-logo

Friends of UNFPA (United Nations Populations Fund)

UNFPA Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: Visit Here

Donate Online: Here

gbowee-logo

Gbowee Peace Foundation USA

Gbowee Peace Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail:

Donate Online: Here

GivChildren-logo

Giving Children Hope

Giving Children Hope Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

globalhealth-logo

Global Health Ministries

Global Health Ministries Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

GlobComm-logo

Global Communities

Global Communities Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: 8601 Georgia Ave., Suite 800, Silver Spring, MD 20910

Donate Online: Here

GlobalGiv-logo

Global Giving

Global Giving Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

IMA-logo

IMA World Health

IMA Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail:

Donate Online: Here

IMC-logo

International Medical Corps

IMC Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

IRC-logo

International Rescue Committee

DirectRelief Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

Jhpiego-logo

Jhpiego

Jhpiego Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

map-logo

MAP International

MAP Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

MSH-logo

MSH (Management Sciences for Health)

MSH Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

Medsans-logo

Med Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders

Med Sans Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: View

Donate Online: Here

medteams-logo

Medical Teams International

Medical Teams International Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: Visit Here

Donate Online: Here

medshare-logo

MedShare

MedShare Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

nethope-logo

NetHope

NetHope Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

opusa-logo

Operation USA

Operation USA Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

pih-logo

Partners in Health

Partners in Health Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

PCI-logo

PCI Global

PCI Global Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

Plan-logo

Plan

Plan Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

PMAg-logo

Presbyterian Mission Agency

PMA Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: PO Box 643700, Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700

Donate Online: Here

CURE-logo

Project C.U.R.E.

Project C.U.R.E. Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

sp-logo

Samaritan’s Purse

Samaritan’s Purse Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

salesian-logo

Salesian Missions

Salesian Missions Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

savethechildren-logo

Save The Children

Save The Children Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: 501 Kings Highway, suite 400 Fairfield, CT 06825

Donate Online: Here

sim-logo

SIM USA

SIM USA Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: SIM – Ebola Crisis, PO Box 7900, Charlotte, NC 28241

Donate Online: Here

stophunger-logo

Stop Hunger Now

Stop hunger Now Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

ucsf-logo

UC San Francisco

UC San Francisco Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

Umcor-logo

UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief)

UMCOR Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068

Donate Online: Here

unicef-logo

Unicef

Unicef Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

gbowee-logo

Women’s Campaign International

WCI Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

WFP-logo

World Food Programme USA (WFP)

World Food Programme Ebola Info

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

renew-logo

World Renew

World Renew Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: 1700 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508

Donate Online: Here

vision-logo

World Vision

World Vision Ebola Website

Email Contact

Donate by Mail: N/A

Donate Online: Here

From FDR to Obama: Words Presidents Use to Wage War

Includes videos

President Obama’s address on Wednesday authorizing U.S. airstrikes against the Islamic State (a.k.a. ISIL or ISIS) in Syria, was a sobering reminder of the immense power bestowed on the Commander in Chief to single-handedly order military action.

Like his address last September threatening the use of military force against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (a threat that never materialized),  Obama’s most recent speech was the latest in a long history of solemn presidential declarations of war and authorizations of lesser military action.

Since World War II, the United States’ increasingly large and powerful military has been quite busy, to say the least, consistently involved in conflicts around the world. In little over half a century, American forces have fought in five all-out wars (Korea, Vietnam, the first war in Iraq, Afghanistan and the second war in Iraq) and been involved in many additional smaller military invasions.

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How 9/11 Changed America: Four Major Lasting Impacts

Includes videos
Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Thirteen years ago the United States wasn’t officially engaged in any foreign wars. We deported half the number of people we do today. Our surveillance state was a mere fraction of its current size. And — hard as it might be to believe — getting through airport security didn’t involve removing your shoes.

America’s involvement in the War on Terror — spurred by the 9/11 terrorist attacks — resulted in changing attitudes and concerns about safety and vigilance, ushering in a new generation of policies like the USA Patriot Act that prioritized national security and defense, often at the expense of civil liberties. The changes have had ripple effects across the globe, particularly in the Middle East, where American military operations have influenced rebellions and unrest throughout the region.

Four of the most dramatic domestic transformations brought on by the events of 9/11 are detailed below.

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Burned Out: Why Western Wildfires Have Gotten Bigger, Hotter and More Out of Control [Comic]

The 2014 fire season was predicted to be a doozy, and so far it hasn’t failed to disappoint. Prolonged drought conditions throughout the West, felt particularly hard across the Golden State, have resulted in a string of large, destructive and extremely costly blazes, charring huge swaths of forest in Northern California and the Northwest and leaving local and federal fire prevention agencies dangerously strapped for staffing, funding and resources. As of September 4, over 38,000 fires had been reported since the beginning of 2014, burning more than 2.7 million acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

Why has fire season gotten so much longer, more dangerous and increasingly expensive? Comic journalist Andy Warner explains the heated history. Continue reading

Interactive Earthquake Map: Get to Know Your Local Fault Lines

Mouse over this USGS earthquake map to see the names of the fault lines (in red) nearest you. Zoom in and click on the South Napa quake for more specific location data and to view a map showing the quake’s geographical intensity range. Zoom out to see the locations and sizes of other recent earthquakes around the world. View a full-screen version of the map here.

A 6.0 magnitude earthquake that rattled Napa and surrounding communities early Sunday morning was the largest to hit the Bay Area since the devastating 6.9 Loma Prieta quake in 1989. The South Napa Earthquake, as it’s being called, struck at 3:20 a.m., causing significant damage and injuries in the immediate vicinity and waking folks up as far south as Salinas and as far north as Ukiah.

As of Monday morning, USGS scientists still hadn’t confirmed the specific fault line where the quake occurred, although the likeliest culprit is the Browns Valley section of the West Napa fault, one of the many fault lines comprising the sprawling San Andreas Fault system.

For more on the science of earthquakes, check out KQED’s free e-book.

Four Factors Fueling the Rage in Ferguson

Includes interactive charts
Day six of protests in Ferguson (Loavesofbread/Wikimedia)

Day six of protests in Ferguson (Loavesofbread/Wikimedia)

Relative calm seems to have been restored in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo, where the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black male shot by a white police officer, sparked nearly two weeks of fierce protest and rioting. But the underlying racial and economic tensions in the community that helped create such a powder keg have not gone away. And with increasing poverty in a growing number of suburban communities across the country — including several in the Bay Area — Ferguson’s issues certainly aren’t unique.

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