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Best of the Web

Best of the Web

A gamble in the sand
The Las Vegas Sun looks at the colorful history of a city that started as a watering hole on the road between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City and became what some call the adult entertainment capital of the world.  The rich history of Las Vegas is outlined with interactive timelines showing the development of the city through the years and video features that explore the old mob connections, current events and issues and the entertainers who add to the color of Vegas.

Coal. a love story
“Coal, a love story” is the latest part of the Powering a Nation Project,  part of a Carnegie-Knight initiative to advance journalism. The News21 project reports on the economic, political and scientific impacts of energy consumption around the world.  To date, 12 journalism schools have been involved.  The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill produced the portion that looks at the nation’s use of coal.  Videos vignettes ruminate about a way of life born of coal, and the communities and families that are wholly dependent on it.  Motion graphics explore the complex balance between the nation’s need for a cheap and abundant fuel source versus the toll on the environment and those who work to mine the coal.

The Global Post series “Powerland: Adventures in new urban energy” looks at global efforts to find greener energy solutions.  The solutions include innovative techniques that convert human waste and trash to sources of energy as well as green vehicles produced in Africa.  The series also notes large-scale projects such as Paris’ Orly International Airport, which is powered with geothermal energy, and a colossal building designed to harness as much natural energy as possible.

Coming home a different person
The Washington Post investigation “Coming home a different person” looks at soldiers who have suffered traumatic brain injuries and the life-altering repercussions of those injuries.  The online presentation investigates the phenomenon of traumatic brain injury through the stories of three soldiers and two Marines who must deal with dramatic cognitive changes and/or behavioral changes that literally have made them different people.  Interactive graphics allowing users to learn the effects of damage to different parts of the brain, and community discussion groups in which readers can contribute to the story round out the online presentation, giving viewers many options on how to take in the story.

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