Data Is Plural

... is a weekly newsletter of useful/curious datasets.

2019.05.15 edition

Executions, populism, books in translations, social animals, and speedcubing.

U.S. executions. The Death Penalty Information Center maintains a database of all executions in the United States since 1976. (There have been 1,495 so far.) The database tracks the date, method, county, and state of each execution; the name, age, sex, and race of the person executed; and the race and sex of the victims they were convicted of killing. Related: The Marshall Project’s The Next to Die. Previously: Death sentences (DIP 2018.08.01) and executed prisoners' last words (DIP 2019.03.06).

Populism. Team Populism is an initiative that “brings together renowned scholars from Europe and the Americas to study the causes and consequences” of the titular political style. The collaboration has published several datasets, including one that scores the populist rhetoric of 40 countries’ leaders between 2000 and 2018 — a project commissioned by The Guardian, which has visualized the findings and described the methodology. [h/t Erik Gahner Larsen]

Books in translation. Publishers Weekly’s Translation Database tracks books of fiction and poetry that has been translated into English and published in the United States. The database, which contains more than 7,200 entries since 2008, includes the books’ original languages and countries of publication, the authors’ and translators’ names and genders, the publishers´ names, publication years, prices, and ISBNs. Related:Will Translated Fiction Ever Really Break Through?” a recent Vulture article by Chad Post, who created the database.

Social animals. A team of biologists has compiled and standardized data on 790+ animal social networks, covering more than 45 species on six continents. The Animal Social Network Repository features networks of wild and captive mammals, reptiles, fish, birds, and insects; the connective data-tissue includes dominance relationships, group memberships, grooming behaviors, and several other types of interactions.

Speedcubing. The World Cube Association “governs competitions for mechanical puzzles that are operated by twisting groups of pieces,” the most famous of which is the Rubik’s Cube. The association also publishes a database of all competitions, competitors, results, rankings, and more. Related:Children of the Cube,” by the New York Times’ John Branch. [h/t Michael Höhle + u/cavedave]