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October 30, 2008

Financial quiz: Are you ready for the holiday season?

Adding to our stress over the economy is the upcoming holiday season. It is quickly closing in on us. It's time to start thinking about how much we are willing to shell out this year on presents, decorations, etc. It seems that every year people spend more and more on Christmas presents, but according to recent surveys that could change this year. Check out the charts below.

Also, if you haven't started thinking about your holiday budget because you aren't really sure how much extra cash you have, take the quiz below the charts and see how financially stable you are. That might be a good starting point.



POSTED IN: Economics (5), LIndsay Dubois (35)

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October 24, 2008

History of Converse

They have been around for a hundred years, and they are more popular than ever. Now, you can even customize your very own pair by choosing a different color or pattern for every part of the shoe.
Just go to "Design your own" tab on the Converse website:


Download Sunday's News Illustrated here
to learn how Converse became the shoe to wear.

POSTED IN: Fun and games (21), History (20), Renee Kwok (24)

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October 21, 2008

Pentagon Memorial: Open to the public

The Pentagon memorial, dedicated to the victims of American Airlines Flight 77 and people at the Pentagon, is now open to the public. The memorial park has 184 inscribed memorial benches, one for each person that died.




This News Illustrated
page has all the details
on the
Pentagon Memorial.

our multimedia gallery
has many more
News Illustrated
graphics. Once there, select the
News Illustrated tab and download page.



An interactive graphic allows users to see
details of the park and search for
individual victims, by the Washington Post.


The couple that designed the memorial talks about different features in the park and how truly special it is.


An interactive map shows landmarks around the memorial park and the Pentagon in case you would like visit.

POSTED IN: Cindy Jones-Hulfachor (46), Government (48), History (20)

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October 16, 2008

The final debate: Who do you think won?

So the last of the three presidential debates was on last night. Did you see it? Was there a clear winner?

If you didn't watch but still want to know what went down, here is a great interactive piece from the New York Times. There is a timeline that you can scrub along to different topics of the debate and it will take you directly to that place in the video and the transcript. You can read, hear and see what was said and decide for yourself who did best and hopefully learn something about who they'd be as president. You can also type in a word and see how many times it was used in the debate by each candidate.


And if you missed the earlier presidential debates or the vice presidential debate, those are there also.

POSTED IN: LIndsay Dubois (35), Politics (29)

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October 14, 2008

Florida felons illegally registered to vote

Well, the state is down to the wire on elections and now we find out that more than 30,000 felons are illegally registered to vote in the upcoming election. Florida's elections chief, Secretary of State Kurt Browning, says that his staff has failed to remove thousands of ineligible felons because of they are short of workers and swamped with new registrations.

To give you a better scope of the issue we put together an interactive map that shows the number of felons registered to vote by zip code.

Read more on this story.

Credit for the interactive: Lindsay Dubois, Alex Bordens, Dana Williams

POSTED IN: Cindy Jones-Hulfachor (46), Government (48), Politics (29)

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October 10, 2008

Lionfish: Predator on the loose

Lionfish are the first exotic saltwater fish to establish themselves in Florida and U.S. eastern coast waters. They have venomous spikes and will sting in defense. They don't pose much threat to humans other than their sting, which can be very painful, but they do pose a threat to other fish in their new environment.

Scientists are still working to figure out how much of an impact lionfish will have, but one recent study suggests that lionfish could drastically reduce other small prey fish populations in some areas by as much as 80%. One lionfish was even seen eating 20 small fish in 30 minutes.

On top of their large appetite, other fish are not familiar with this new fish and so far, it has few known predators. It is near the top of the food chain in its native waters, the Indian and Pacific oceans, and now in their new environments. Below are some videos showing just how dominating this fish can be.

This is video of a lionfish eating a small fish. They are known for using their fanned out fins to corner their prey. Watch as it blocks the fish from escaping.

This video is pretty cool. You can see in slow motion how its jaw expands to eat its prey.

Watch this potential lionfish predator check out the lionfish. You can tell he's checkin' the fish out and may think he's going to have a tasty meal, but the lionfish wins this battle without even breaking a sweat.


To learn more about lionfish and how they have spread, check out my News Illustrated page on the back of the Outlook section on Sunday.

POSTED IN: Environment (52), LIndsay Dubois (35), Science (44)

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October 9, 2008

Electoral votes: Change the winners and see the outcome


Are you curious about how different states' electoral votes could affect the outcome of the presidential race in November? Well, we have a handy interactive that will do the math for you. You can click on a state, select a winner and see who would win overall as a result. You can also compare it to the electoral winners from the 2004 election. It's pretty cool. Click here to check it out.

POSTED IN: Government (48), LIndsay Dubois (35), Politics (29)

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October 8, 2008

The Edge multimedia gallery expands

Over the past decade, the graphics and photo departments here at the Sun Sentinel created hundreds of interactive projects for TheEdge, our multimedia gallery. For the past two years, it has promoted 18 of our latest and greatest projects.

Now we're expanding the TheEdge to offer more than 200 items that we consider to be our best and most relevant. You'll find interactive graphics, photo and video essays, databases, News Illustrated pages and even some games — all in one convenient place.

If you like it, Digg it. If you want to offer suggestions, let us know in this item's comments section. We hope to improve upon it after we get past the elections, if we get past the elections. So stay tuned...



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October 3, 2008

Nanoparticles join cancer fight

The fight against cancer just found a new group of soldiers: magnetic nanoparticles. In a recent study at Georgia Tech, scientists proved they could attach the nanoparticles to cancer cells then isolate them with a magnet. The procedure still has some bugs to work out (like whether the nanoparticles are poisonous) but early results are promising.

The new procedure combined with already proven, cancer-fighting procedures such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery could significantly help stop cancer from spreading to other areas in the body.

I found a video showing how the procedure works in the bloodstream. I also have a News Illustrated page running this Sunday explaining how the process works. You can also try own hand at the procedure with the interactive graphic below.


POSTED IN: Science (44)

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Troubled banks contribute money to political parties and campaigns

Our country is teetering on the edge of a financial crisis, and what do I find? A graphic from the MCT wires showing 10 of the major banks that are involved in this mess and how much money they've shelled out to both political parties and presidential candidates since 2001.

The amount is staggering: A whopping $64 million!

And the Democratic party made out like bandits, receiving $34.1 million to the Republican's $29.8 million. Check out what each presidential candidate received, and you'll see it's the same thing.

At this point, all I can say is hindsight is ...



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October 2, 2008

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States and affects thousands of women every year. It is very important to check regularly for lumps and detect breast cancer early. Below is some information on how to check for lumps and what kind of lumps you may find.

For more information, visit the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month website.


POSTED IN: Health (21), LIndsay Dubois (35)

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October 1, 2008

Roof gardens: How do they do that?

High rises are using their roof space as gardens, green space and landscape.


Here is a graphic that shows how the roofs are layered to enable greenary:


POSTED IN: Environment (52), Home (7), Renee Kwok (24), Space (9)

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