Data Scientists Are Uncovering War Crimes in Syria. By Lorenzo-Frencheschi-Biccierai. Although the war in Syria is essentially too dangerous for journalists or international observers to cover in any depth, data scientists are yielding important insights and trends — including the fact that the percentage of those killed who are women has risen from 1% in 2011 to 13% in 2013: a clue to something even more sinister.
Those numbers alone don’t tell the whole story, though. Taking a closer look at how women were killed, the researchers discovered a pattern. Women weren’t random victims of bombings for example. Instead, many were killed by snipers, indicating a deliberate policy to go after female civilians, which would constitute a war crime.
Data on how children were killed suggest a similar conclusions. Of the thousands killed in the conflict, at least 700 have been summarily executed and tortured, and about 200 boys under the age of 13 have been killed by sniper fire, according to the data.
“It’s a systematic way of killing,” says Taha Kass-Hout, one of the founders of Syria Tracker. “The individuals who committed those crimes really knew what they were doing.”
Speaking of data: U.S. mass shootings appear to rise partly from an ugly mashup of gun-nuttery and misogyny. By Rebecca Ruiz.
A recent analysis of media reports and FBI data by Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety found that 51% of the mass shooting victims attacked between January 2009 and July 2014 were women. By contrast, women comprise only 13% of total gun homicide victims in the U.S. In more than half of the instances analyzed by Everytown, the shooter killed a former or current spouse, or intimate partner. In several cases the shooter had been previously charged with domestic violence.…
Former world chess champion Gary Kasparov has lost the presidency of the World Chess Federation because Putin hates him. By Dylan Loeb McClain.
In evident retaliation in the months leading up to the election, Russian embassies in many countries called chess officials in an effort to help the candidacy of Mr. Ilyumzhinov. Among those who said they were contacted were officials in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Myanmar, Nigeria, Norway and Singapore.
The election was held during the biennial Chess Olympiad and each of the participating countries had one vote.
Kasparov lost 110–61.
Shark Week is total bullshit and lies to scientists, yet people talk to them anyway. By David Shiffman.
Davis was shocked to find that his interview aired during a 2013 Shark Week special called Voodoo Shark, which was about a mythical monster shark called “Rooken” that lived in the Bayous of Louisiana. The “other filming” his interview was combined with featured a Bayou fishermen, and the clips were edited together to make it seem like a race between his team of researchers and the fishermen to see who could catch the mythical voodoo shark faster. In reality, Davis was barely asked about the voodoo shark at all. His answers from unrelated questions were edited together to make it seem like he believed in its existence and was searching for it.