Sunday, June 26, 2005

The sad lapsing of time....

Iraq War Fatalities provides a time-lapsed look at the fatalities that have occurred as the war has gone on, up until about three weeks ago. It's basically a map of Iraq, upon which little dots appear each time a death occurs, accompanied with a "ticking" noise, with one frame equaling one day and ten frames elapsing to one second. You can also select for which country's fatalities you want to track -- you can watch just the US fatalities, or the entire coalition's, or some other subset therein. (I suppose that data is not available to do something similar for Iraqi fatalities, be they civilian or opposing forces or insurgents.)

It takes a couple of minutes to watch the entire war from beginning, more than two years ago, to the present day; what struck me is how the rate of deaths doesn't seem to drop all that much from those very first days of hostilities. There's a flare-up of "ticking" around late Spring and early Summer of 2004 that sounds like a corn popper hitting its stride, and then you remember what those ticks and flashing dots actually mean.

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