Archive for December, 2004

Gurstein on the Sad, Doomed Palms of Los Angeles

Friday, December 3rd, 2004

As someone who grew up watching the palm trees of L.A. grow taller every year, I was really touched by this piece from Rochelle Gurstein of the New Republic: On the lifespan of trees.

I guess it matches my mood these days, watching the world unfold, mourning what’s lost while trying to stay open to the possibilities of the future.

141 Dead in November

Thursday, December 2nd, 2004

I’ve updated my Iraq-Vietnam comparison graphs with the number of US dead for November, 2004. This is the worst month in terms of US fatalities since the beginning of the war, edging out by one last April, with its 140 US dead.

Again, I’m getting these figures from the advanced search tool at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund site, and from Lunaville’s page on Iraq coalition casualties. The figures are for the number of US dead per month, without regard to whether the deaths were combat-related.

The first graph shows the first 21 months of each war. (Click on any image for a larger version.)

Next, the same chart, with the Vietnam numbers extended out to cover the first four years of the war:

Finally, the chart that gives the US death toll for the entire Vietnam war:

Disclaimer: I’m aware that we have more troops in-theater in Iraq than we had during the corresponding parts of the Vietnam War graph. Vietnam didn’t get numbers of US troops comparable to the number currently in Iraq until shortly after Johnson won the 1964 election, some three-and-a-half years after the starting point of the Vietnam graphs above.

These graphs are not intended to show the relative lethality of the two conflicts on a per-soldier basis. I was just curious how the “death profile” of the two wars compared, and these graphs let me see that. You are free to draw your own conclusions.

You can view more discussion of these charts on the following pages, if you’re interested. The graphs are all the same; I just update them in place when the new numbers become available.

Yale Pranks Harvard

Wednesday, December 1st, 2004

It’s pretty silly, but still fun: Project: The Game! Glad to see that the next generation of dirty tricksters is honing its skills in our elite institutions of higher learning. (Via