Monthly Archives: November 2008

Gapminder: The Beautiful Visualization of Social Statistics

Watch the pretty balls

Image by James Morrison via Flickr

The following is a slightly edited description of Gapminder taken from their own website. Really, they are trying to describe an orchid by listing the chemical composition. You have to go to the site and play with the software. Otherwise, you will never see the beauty of the “orchid.”

Gapminder is a non-profit venture promoting sustainable global development and achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals by increased use and understanding of statistics and other information about social, economic and environmental development at local, national and global levels.

Gapminder was founded in Stockholm February 2005. Gapminder does not award any grants. It is an operating foundation that implements activities as defined by the board, often as collaborative projects with universities, UN organizations, public agencies and non-governmental organizations. Read the rest of this entry

Cropped picture of Joseph Stiglitz, U.S. econo...

Joseph Stiglitz Image via Wikipedia

[This letter, signed by 387 economists, including Nobel Laureates Joseph Stiglitz, Robert Solow, and George Akerlof, urges Congress to move quickly and decisively to pass an effective new economic stimulus package.]

The Honorable Henry Reid           The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Senate Majority Leader                 Speaker of the House
Washington, DC 20510                 Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Mitch McConnell          The Honorable John Boehner
Senate Minority Leader                        House Minority Leader
Washington, DC 20510                       Washington, DC 20515

Dear Sen. Reid, Sen. McConnell, Speaker Pelosi, and Rep. Boehner:

We, the undersigned economists, urge Congress to pass a new stimulus package as quickly as possible. The need to deal with financial turmoil has directed attention away from the “real” economy. But the latest data clearly show that the economy is entering a serious recession, initiated by the collapse of homebuilding and intensified by the paralysis of credit markets. Without a fast an effective response by government, the economy could continue to spiral downward, leading to a large increase in unemployment and a sharp decline in GDP. Read the rest of this entry

New Website for Progressive States Network

website screenshot

The following is a communication from Progressive States Network:

We invite you to check out PSN’s new website at

While it is very much a work in progress, we hope it will make it easier for state leaders to access the wide variety of legislative and policy resources that Progressive States Network has archived over the three years of our existence, along with information from allied organizations that we highlight.   From health care to tax policy to election reform to technology issues to fighting foreclosures, our website aims to be a “first stop” destination for legislators and advocates, who can read about topics and find links to legislation enacted in other states, research reports, and the range of organizations available to support legislators looking to enact similar policies in their state. Read the rest of this entry