The 2011 news cycle is, for lack of a better word, greedy. A year that already has massive global political upheaval under its belt has no business pulling down a pair of very notable obits right before it's about to turn the operation over to a nervous, unproven 2012 calendar year. But then again, who knows? Maybe the Mayan calendar will even things out.
And in the interests of putting any speculation to rest, here's what those weird, steampunk-y meters signify: how much room you were allotted on A1, how much you love communist dictatorships, and how much money you probably had your people spend on sunglasses at Macy's last year.