This We Know

Staying clued in on what's going on in your town can be fun, until you find out what's going on is a factory purging buttloads of chemicals, and you're going to lose every hair on your body. Find out the dirty deets on where you reside, with This We Know.A team effort between a design firm and a couple web/tech companies, TWK's a slick new portal that takes select sets of complex US Census and government agency data on every town/city, then translates and cleanly organizes it to break down the deets on everything from how many area people have cancer/what kind, to how often people move-in/out of your town, which may have something to do with the fact that your humble burg is clearly giving people melanoma. Every bit of local data can be drilled down into more specific "factoids", e.g., a breakdown of types of crime (burglaries, assault, murder, etc), or what type of factories're in the ZIP and their output of chemicals in pounds, which, given the current exchange rate, is even scarier than it might seem. If you're just curious about how particular spots around the country rank in different categories like most/least toxic or employed, TWK's got top-100 lists, with Malaga, MI at the top of the unemployment chart, while Pittsburgh-suburb Springdale, PA's sitting pretty with the most released pounds of pollutants, which range from arsenic-containing water discharges to air stack emissions of hydrochloric acid, clearly emanating from the local manufacturer of high school chemistry class accidents.They also give you some more-general facts for each locale like number of households and land/water square mileage, and they'll be introducing even more data sets in the future, although if your town's factories keep things up, you won't live to see it.