Examining evacuation during fire

Computer simulations, or models, are commonplace in the scientific world. They are used to predict hurricanes, forecast the spread of epidemics and calculate how long it would take people to leave a crowded building. Computer models are considered scientifically reliable, yet they are a rarity in the world of computer-assisted reporting. In the course of…

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Vigilant program tracks Web changes

As any journalist who has to deal with presidential campaign finance raw data can tell you, the 20th of each month this year poses a competitive nightmare. Candidates must report their contributions and expenditures to the Federal Election Commission by midnight of that day. But some report a day or so early, and others miss…

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Calculating unfair tax assessments

Since at least the time of Huey Long, who enacted a homestead exemption that essentially protected all homeowners in the state from property taxation, Louisiana has been known for a deep aversion to property taxes. Of course, it’s also been known for colorful political traditions. And property taxes and politics have traditionally crossed paths in…

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