October 23, 2015

G.I. Joe

Playing with action figure toys is an immersion in fantasy and a suspension of disbelief.  Let’s look at the G.I. Joe action figures that make it possible for young players to enter into a wondrous state of play and make-believe.

In 1982, Hasbro re-launched the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero line of action figures in smaller 3 ¾” height, complete with vehicles, play sets, and a complex background story.  This popular toy line which included of a group of heroic, dedicated, fighting soldiers lasted for 12 years until it was canceled in 1994.  The G.I. Joe figures have become American icons among toys and their appeal, stories, and concepts have entered into American popular culture.

Here’re the 162 freedom fighters of the 1982-94 toy line that most people identify with.  Idea for this visualization came from this G.I. Joe article.

October 2, 2015

Iran Nuclear Deal Survey

On July 14, 2015, Iran has reached a historic nuclear deal with the US, European Union, and China. The deal calls for Iran to restrict its nuclear program that makes it harder for the country to develop nuclear weapons in return for the US and other Western countries to lift major economic sanctions. 

Between July 16-20, 2015, the LA Jewish Journal conducted a survey of American Jews and the general US population to find out what people think of the Iran nuclear deal. The result reveals that more American Jews (1) support the deal than oppose (48% vs. 28%), (2) want Congress to approve the deal (53% vs. 35%), and (3) think it was a good idea for the US to negotiate with Iran (58% vs. 18%). 

For the general US population, (1) similar percentage support the deal as oppose (28% vs. 24%), with a large 48% don’t know enough to decide, (2) similar percentage want Congress to approve the deal as oppose (41% vs. 38%), and (3) slightly more percentage think it was a good idea for the US to negotiate with Iran (30% vs. 23%), with a large 47% don’t know. 

Read here for the detailed analysis of the survey by Professor Steven M. Cohen. The findings show that despite misgivings by American Jews and in spite of opposition by Israel and many Jewish groups, most American Jews support the deal and want it approved.

*For standardization, answers 'Very confident' or 'Somewhat confident' & 'A lot' or 'Some' were grouped as 'Yes';  whereas 'Not confident at all' or 'Not so confident' & 'Not at all' or 'Not much' grouped as 'No'.