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The Markup

Young Adult Migration and Talking to the Starship Enterprise

Data Is Plural is a weekly newsletter of useful/curious datasets. This edition, dated Aug. 10, 2022, has been republished with permission of the author. Young adult migration. Researchers at Harvard University and the Census Bureau have linked federal tax filings, Census records, and other government data to track the migration patterns of young U.S. residents. Specifically, for each person born in the U.S. between 1984 and 1992, the researchers compared where they lived at age 16 to where they lived at age 26. The project’s public dataset counts the approximate number who moved to/from each pair of commuting zones—overall and disaggregated by race/ethnicity and parental income level. Read more: A reporting recipe from Brent Jones and Eric Schmid, who analyzed the data for St. Louis Public Radio.
IMMIGRATION
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Employee Benefits, Cropland, Christianity In China, Data Governance, and Diplomatic Gifts

Data Is Plural is a weekly newsletter of useful/curious datasets. This edition, dated Aug. 3, 2022, has been republished with permission of the author. Employee benefit plans. U.S. companies that offer their employees a retirement plan, such as a pension or 401(k), must report the particulars of those plans through Form 5500—a creation of the IRS, Department of Labor, and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Employers offering health plans, vacation, or other welfare benefits to 100-plus workers must typically report those, too. The Department of Labor publishes datasets with details from all Form 5500 submissions going back to 1999, as well as a search tool that goes back to 2010. Related: Through a FOIA request, Dan Bauman has obtained decades of metadata on 80,000-plus “top hat” statements, which concern plans “providing deferred compensation for a select group of management or highly compensated employees.” [h/t Vincent Cocula]
RELIGION
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More Than 350 Gig Workers Carjacked, 28 Killed, Over the Last Five Years

Meanwhile, Uber confirms 24,000 alleged physical assaults and threatened assaults against its drivers from 2017 to 2020 By Dara Kerr. By the time the ambulance arrived, Brandy Littrell said she didn’t know how many times she’d been shot. As the paramedics carefully cut off her clothes, they counted—seven. She said she was hit in her leg, stomach, arm, breast, neck, and back. The impact of the bullets broke her shoulder and bruised a lung.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN

Wildfires, Hospital Prices, Startups, and Sharks

Data Is Plural is a weekly newsletter of useful/curious datasets. This edition, dated July 27, 2022, has been republished with permission of the author. Wildfires around the world. The Global Wildfire Information System, expanding on the work of European Forest Fire Information System, uses satellite data to provide weekly and annual estimates of the number of fires and area burned in 200-plus countries. Its bulk data indicates monthly burned hectares by country, sub-country unit, and land type from 2002 to 2019, as well as the boundaries of individual fires from 2001 to 2020. It also publishes gridded spatial data relating to fire danger forecasts, active fires, emissions, and more. As seen in: El Diario’s analysis of forest fires in Spain. [h/t Olaya Argüeso Pérez]
ENVIRONMENT

Who Is Collecting Data from Your Car?

A firehose of sensitive data from your vehicle is flowing to a group of companies you’ve probably never heard of By Jon Keegan and Alfred Ng. Today’s cars are akin to smartphones, with apps connected to the internet that collect huge amounts of data, some of which is highly personal.
TECHNOLOGY

Voting Laws, U.S. Budget Appropriations, and the World Cup

Data Is Plural is a weekly newsletter of useful/curious datasets. This edition, dated July 20, 2022, has been republished with permission of the author. New voting laws. The Voting Rights Lab has been tracking 2,000-plus laws proposed in U.S. state legislatures since 2021. The tracker focuses on “12 major issue areas relating to voter access and representation,” such as early voting, same-day registration, and ID requirements. It lists each bill’s state, number, author, date introduced, current status, and issue areas, plus a summary and the lab’s “assessment of whether the legislation is likely to improve or interfere with voter access or the administration of elections.” As seen in: “Has Your State Made It Harder To Vote?” (FiveThirtyEight) Related: States Newsroom’s Kira Lerner has compiled a spreadsheet of 120 new election-related criminal penalties, based partly on the tracker’s data.
U.S. POLITICS

From U.S. Heat Metrics to Early Oregon Moviegoing

Data Is Plural is a weekly newsletter of useful/curious datasets. This edition, dated July 13, 2022, has been republished with permission of the author. Heat metrics. When you talk about outdoor heat, you’re likely referring to “dry-bulb” temperatures, measured by a thermometer shielded from the sun and moisture. But other factors also contribute to the physiological experience of hot weather. To that end, Keith R. Spangler et al. have created a dataset containing daily estimates of the wet-bulb globe temperature, Universal Thermal Climate Index, heat index, humidex, and other heat metrics for every county in the contiguous United States from 2000 through 2020. That first metric, for instance, was “originally developed in the 1950s to establish epidemiologically relevant thermal thresholds to prevent heat-related illnesses at US military training camps” and takes humidity, solar radiation, and wind speed into account.
OREGON STATE

Banned Books, Mass Expulsions, and Saturday Night Live

Data Is Plural is a weekly newsletter of useful/curious datasets. This edition, dated July 6, 2022, has been republished with permission of the author. Banned and challenged books. A recent report from PEN America identified 1,500-plus decisions, made between July 2021 and March 2022, to ban books from U.S. classrooms and school libraries. A spreadsheet accompanying the report lists each decision’s date, type, state, and school district, as well as each banned book’s title, authors, illustrators, and translators. Related: Independent researcher Tasslyn Magnusson, in partnership with EveryLibrary, maintains a spreadsheet of both book bans and book challenges, with 3,000-plus entries since the 2021–22 school year. [h/t Gary Price]
BOOKS & LITERATURE

State Abortion Laws, Automated Driving Crashes, and Bay Area Rents

Data Is Plural is a weekly newsletter of useful/curious datasets. This edition, dated June 29, 2022, has been republished with permission of the author. State abortion laws. The Guttmacher Institute, a “research and policy organization committed to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights,” maintains a table summarizing each U.S. state’s abortion laws. It examines key aspects of the legal landscape—such as gestational age limits, mandated counseling, and whether an abortion must be performed by a licensed physician—and links to topic-specific tables with additional detail. A separate table categorizes, as of June 1, the policy implications in each state of overturning Roe v. Wade. Previously: Guttmacher’s state-level statistics on pregnancy, birth, and abortion (DIP 2020.10.28) and Global Abortion Incidence Dataset (DIP 2021.04.14), the World Health Organization’s Global Abortion Policies Database (DIP 2021.10.13), and Caitlin Knowles Myers’s dataset of abortion facility distances (DIP 2022.02.02).
POLITICS

Police Are Looking to Algorithms to Predict Domestic Violence

Domestic abuse is a widespread problem in the United States and around the world. Violence at the hands of an intimate partner has affected more than 600 million women globally, according to World Health Organization estimates, and the problem has only grown during the pandemic. Law enforcement officers have turned...
PUBLIC SAFETY

Monkeypox, Ukraine Air Raid Alerts, and Inclusive Crossword Names

Data Is Plural is a weekly newsletter of useful/curious datasets. This edition, dated June 22, 2022, has been republished with permission of the author. Monkeypox cases. Global.health, a data-sharing initiative launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, has compiled a dataset of 2,500-plus confirmed cases from this year’s monkeypox outbreak. Drawing from government and media sources, the dataset lists each case’s country and publicly known characteristics, such as the patient’s gender, age range, date of confirmation, and/or symptoms. As seen in: Charts and maps from the Global.health team and from Our World In Data.
SCIENCE

Tech Giants Make Headway on Gig Worker Classification

Tech giants have won over two more states in their ongoing battle with worker advocates over the classification of gig workers. Georgia and Alabama are the latest states to pass laws ensuring that gig workers for companies like Uber, Lyft, Instacart, and DoorDash are not considered employees. The laws come on the heels of legislation passed in March in Washington State—which classified ride-hail drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. Delivery drivers for apps like DoorDash are not covered by the Washington law.
GEORGIA STATE

This Children’s Hospital Network Was Giving Kids’ Information to Facebook

One of the largest pediatric networks in the country was sending personal information about children and their parents to Facebook, The Markup found. Nemours Children’s Health, which serves nearly half a million families in the U.S., had a Facebook tracking tool on its appointment scheduling website that shared details about the appointment with Facebook.
INTERNET

LaMDA’s Soul, Apple’s Give and Take, and Meta’s New Battlegrounds

LaMDA controversy prompts discussions on machine sentience. Apple's new services compete directly with third-party startups. Meta launches a metaverse testing ground in Hong Kong, as it faces legal challenges in the U.S. The LaMDA controversy has sparked some interesting discussions on the nature of artificial general intelligence. WIRED described the...
BUSINESS