TRACKS OF A BYGONE ERA MADE BLUE COLLAR DREAMS COME TRUE

The once mighty Milwaukee Road spanned 16 states with 10,000 miles of track and boasted some of the most avant-garde streamlined passenger cars of the railroad era. But its busiest branch was the Beer Line, a freight track that served all the big breweries and many of Milwaukee’s industrial champions. The Beer Line encircled the city’s black community with a throbbing corridor of industry. Like the railroad, the thriving factories relied on African-American labor. And, like the railroad, many of these factories went out of business as the ’60s turned into the ’70s.

For a detailed look at this full-page graphic, please click here to view a PDF. This is a heavy file, so it might take a while to load the PDF.

Graphic by Alfred Elicierto, published in the Milwuaukee Journal Sentinel in 2005. Research by Steven Potter; original map references by Bob Kwas and Art Harnack; file photos from the Journal Sentinel archives.

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Also in this blog

What caused the collapse of Newfoundland fishing
Not a time for dictators
The cost of ever-expanding cities
The beginnings of the Amazon
The Oil Sands of Alberta


Summer in Wisconsin is not the same without Wisconsin Dells.

I lived in the Badger State for several years, and not a summer went by without my family and me staying for a few days and nights in Wisconsin Dells, the “waterpark capital of the world.” The 4.4-square-mile city of Wisconsin Dells is home to the largest indoor and outdoor waterparks — among them Mount Olympus Water and Theme Park, Noah’s Ark, Kalahari Resort and Great Wolf Lodge.

This is a full-page graphic. For a more detailed view, please click here to view a PDF.

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Click here for more graphics

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The Dells is made up of a seven-mile-long network of rivers, lakes and canyons, as deep as 10 feet in some parts, carved into Cambrian sandstone by the glacial draining of Lake Wisconsin during the Cenozoic Age. Over the years, the city has parlayed its natural beauty into a giant, year-round amusement park, offering all sorts of thrills — from scenic river boat cruises and water rides in the summer to downhill skiing and snowmobile rides in the winter.

This graphic is about how these rivers, lakes, canyons and rocky cliffs — that give shape and texture to the area — evolved over time, forming what has become a geological gem of the American midwest. Almost 2 billion years ago, according to various sources, Wisconsin was literally under water. It was drenched in tropical climate in its position just south of the equator. Then about a billion years later, a large mass of rock broke out of water and rose above sea level to form the Wisconsin dome. Over time, after a series of freeze-and-thaw cycles, Wisconsin evolved into a dry land, then plant and animal life began to appear.

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INTERACTIVE: TURNING BACK THE ASIAN CARP

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Graphic by Alfred Elicierto. Published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 2007.

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Also in this blog:

How the Penumbra system works
The world’s richest oil deposit
The Haiti earthquake
Treating gunshot wounds
What animals mean when they ‘talk’


Carbon dioxide is one of the many natural and man-made gases that build up in the atmosphere, forming a thick layer that affects the Earth in two ways, both detrimental to life in this planet: one, it blocks heat and energy coming from the sun; and two, it traps unwanted heat that would normally escape into the atmosphere and away from the Earth were it not blocked by the layer of emitted gases. This phenomenon, called the ‘greenhouse effect,” is characterized by the rising temperature of the Earth’s surface, which drastically alters normal weather patterns and causes radical changes in ocean levels. This is “global warming,” and it is exactly what is happening today in many parts of the world.

The atmosphere is known to be capable of absorbing as much as 6.1 billion metric tons of man-made carbon dioxide emissions a year. But economic activity on Earth, which drive the increased burning of fossil fuels, raise the amount of carbon dioxide dumped annually into the atmosphere to about 3.2 billion metric tons more.

Click here to view interactive graphic.

 

One way to alleviate the unchecked rise in gas emissions — which, by itself, grew by 80% between 1970 and 2004 — is to trap carbon dioxide it at its source, extract it and  transport it to a safe location for storage, and eventually release it back into the atmosphere.

As of 2008, Wisconsin’s utility company, We Energies, has begun employing a process called “scrubbing” to extract carbon dioxide. It uses chilled ammonia to separate carbon dioxide from exhaust gas before carbon is shipped by pipeline to a storage area with vast underground sandstone formation.

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INTERACTIVE: TURNING BACK THE ASIAN CARP

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Interactive graphic by Alfred Elicierto. Related story and print graphic published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in on Feb. 27, 2008.

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Also in this blog
How the Penumbra system works
The world’s richest oil deposit
The Haiti earthquake
Treating gunshot wounds
What animals mean when they ‘talk’


Here is an illustration on the perils of engaging in activities other than work during work hours — particularly surfing online sites that have nothing to do whatsoever with the job one is paid to do on company time. With the  coming of  the Internet in the early 1990s, and the ensuing widespread use of computers in all forms of business and economic activity also came all sorts of software that management could use to keep tabs on what workers are doing with company-supplied laptops and desktop computers while on the clock.

For a closer look at this illustration, click here to view a PDF.

Illustration by Alfred Elicierto, Knight Ridder Tribune Graphics (now known as McClatchy Tribune), produced and syndicated in November 2000.

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Also in this blog

What caused the collapse of Newfoundland fishing
Not a time for dictators
The cost of ever-expanding cities
The beginnings of the Amazon
The Oil Sands of Alberta


If it has a smell,  it can be sniffed — by a wasp. That’s the idea behind a gadget that employs specially trained wasps to smell, detect and identify certain chemicals the same way a trained dog does. A three-man team of wasp experts, one of them a biological engineer, has invented a software-run device that could  accurately identify  a chemical by the reaction of parasitic wasps to its unique scent. The gadget, now called the Wasp Hound, has plenty of potential applications, specially in the fields of security (explosives) and drug enforcement (illegal drugs and banned substances).

For a detailed look at this graphic, click  here to view a PDF.

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INFOGRAPHIC: SHOOTING AT IPPERWASH

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Graphic by Alfred Elicierto. Published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Nov. 14, 2005.

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Also in this blog:
Tragic end to a bombing raid
Treating gunshot wounds
Recalling the Nimrod air crash in Lake Ontario
What animals mean when they ‘talk’
A biodiesel project


Here’s a graphic about the different types of gamblers and what goes on in their minds while on the casino floor. The typical players usually belong to one of four distinct types based on whether they are introverts or extroverts, and whether they are high- or low-risk takers. These traits determine largely on what gaming table they would end up on and and the level of risk they would take.

For a detailed look at this graphic, click here to view a PDF. It might take some time to load the image because this is a big graphic that takes up plenty of memory.

Graphic by Alfred Elicierto. Designed and produced in 2011.

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INTERACTIVES: SHAPING THE AMAZON / TURNING BACK THE ASIAN CARP / HOME OF THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER

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Also in this blog:
Tragic end to a bombing raid
Newfoundland’s cod fishery killed by overfishing
What animals mean when they ‘talk’
Recalling the Nimrod air crash in Lake Ontario
Treating gunshot wounds


As the weather warms up to usher in what could be a long, hot summer here in North America, people begin to flock to the beaches for a respite from the punishing heat and humidity. In this time of year, drownings are not uncommon.

Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children ages 1 to 14,  and the fifth leading cause for all ages, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About half of all drownings occur in natural water settings, such as lakes, rivers and oceans. In 2007, at least 43% of all recreational water drownings in the U.S. happened in natural waters, more than twice the 19% rate of occurrence in swimming pools. Boating incidents accounted for 9%.

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For a detailed look at this graphic, click here to view a PDF.

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In Canada, about 500 people die every year from drowning, 69% of them occurring in natural waters. Swimming is the activity during which the largest number of  drownings occur.

Graphic by Alfred Elicierto. Published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on July 9, 2003.

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Also in this blog:
Why cities are spreading to the countryside
Remembering Katrina of 2005
Tragic end to a bombing raid
Treating gunshot wounds
Crime news infographics as old as crime


DEPLETED COD STOCKS IS WHAT’S LEFT OF A ONCE MIGHTY INDUSTRY


In July 1992, the Canadian government issued a moratorium on fishing in Newfoundland and Labrador, practically shutting down an industry that, for centuries, has yielded an annual catch of up to 200,000 tonnes of northern cod, supporting Atlantic Canada’s livelihood and way of life.
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This is a full-page graphic. To see it in detail, click here to view a PDF.

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Click here for more graphics

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The first signs of trouble came in the 1950s when huge fishing trawlers, both Canadian and foreign, began to replace traditional small boats that used hooks, lines and inshore net traps to catch cod. This was like using a bazooka in place of a small-bore pistol. The fishing industry was booming, everybody was happy. The waters off Newfoundland yielded up to 800,000 tonnes annually at its peak in the late 1950s, the bulk of the catch accounted for by foreign trawlers.

Then the ecological disaster struck in the late 1960s: cod population started to fall precipitously.

To have a harvest of 200,000 tonnes a year, and still sustain cod population for future supply, the waters should have a healthy stock of cod in their ideal spawning age — seven-years or older. Obviously in this case, cod of spawning-age cod was rapidly being depleted.

Canada responded to the crisis by extending its fishing boundary from 12 miles to 200 miles, pushing away foreign trawlers farther out in the Atlantic. But this was not enough to avert the crisis. Too little too late.

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INTERACTIVES: TURNING BACK THE ASIAN CARP / TOYOTA’S STICKY GAS PEDAL
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As of July 1992, cod stocks were less than 2 per cent of sustainable level, forcing the government to totally ban fishing in Atlantic Canada. Some 44,000 industry workers, 27,000 of them fishermen, lost their livelihood as the entire region was devastated.

Today, while some degree of recreational fishing has returned to the Maritimes, cod stocks haven’t recovered.

Graphic by Alfred Elicierto. Published in the Toronto Star in 1993.
Sources: Canada’s provincial fisheries departments; Statistics Canada

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Also in this blog
How to keep the Asian carp out of the Great Lakes
The beginnings of the Amazon
Tectonic movements and the Haiti earthquake
Emerald ash borer threatens forests
Navigating the Seaway locks


On August 14, 1999,  the final section of the  16-kilometre long Oresund Bridge connecting Denmark and Sweden – the world’s longest single bridge carrying both road and railway traffic – was put in position by a floating crane. Then in a simple ceremony six hours later, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark met at the halfway point of the bridge to mark the historic re-linking of the two countries some 7,000 years since they were last joined as a landlocked mass before the end of the Ice Age. The project opened to traffic in the summer of 2000.

For a detailed look at this graphic, click here to view a PDF.

The design for the bridge that would link the two countries across the Oresund  was completed in 1994 after the agreement to build it was signed in 1991 and ratified by the parliaments of both countries. The design took full advantage of repetition by composing the major part of the bridge of identical spans.

The high bridge, with its record cable-stayed span of 490 metres, is designed to harmonize structurally and aesthetically with the design of the eastern and western approach bridges. It is made of composite steel and concrete, with truss girders standing on prefabricated concrete caisson on the limestone 17 metres below sea level. The bridge was completed in just two and a half years.

The 4,050-metre tunnel running 7.7 metres deep under the  Drogden Channel is the world’s  longest immersed-tube tunnel for both road and rail traffic.

Linking Copenhagen in Denmark to Malmo in Sweden was expected to create a major metropolis that would be competitive with other urban centres in Europe’s Baltic region. Today, the link handles an estimated 8 million vehicles a year, or roughly 60,000 travelers daily, and another 8 million passengers a year on the two train tracks.

Graphic by Alfred Elicierto. Published in the Toronto Star in 2000.

Oresund Bridge photo by Koosha Paridel; aerial view photo by Jorchr

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Also in this blog:
Not a time for dictators
The changing face of Milwaukee Street
Toronto sprawl revisited
Water lost in the leaky St. Clair River
Treating gunshot wounds


Leading Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney tries to put another state under his belt as Wisconsin votes tomorrow in the Republican primary. Romney is expected to win the Badger State and pad his lead over former U.S. senator Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, with only 22  primary and caucus states remaining. While Wisconsin was never a kingmaker, the 42 delegates to be had is still a good number to pad a lead.

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This graphic was published as a double-truck. For a detailed look, please click here to view a PDF.

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This humdrum three-horse race could have been a lot more interesting had not the ongoing recall of ultra-conservative governor Scott Walker stolen the thunder and largely dampened the mood among Wisconsinites for presidential politics. Still, the hopefuls are working hard to play catch up, connect with their supporters in the state and treat this race as crucial going into the remaining contests.

In the 2004 primaries that led to an election that pitted incumbent president George W. Bush (Republican), against Democratic senator John Kerry (Democrat), I put together a centerspread graphic showing the winners of the Wisconsin primary from both sides, Republican and Democrat, and how the winners fared in their subsequent presidential bids.

Graphic by Alfred Elicierto. Published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on February 8, 2004,  a week before the Wisconsin primary.

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Also in this blog:
Why cities are spreading to the countryside
Remembering Katrina of 2005
Tragic end to a bombing raid
Treating gunshot wounds
Birthplace of the Star-Spangled Banner




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