Archive | 8:27 pm

Information is Beautiful

16 Mar

I think I just found one of my new favorite websites.  Information is Beautiful is a project of David McCandless who calls himself “an independent data journalist and information designer” who has a passion for “visualizing information – facts, data, ideas, subjects, issues, statistics, questions – all with the minimum of words”.

I think that I may love him almost as much as danah boyd.  (She’s a social media researcher that studied at the iSchool and I pretty much geek out about anything she writes.)

Basically, Information is Beautiful shows visual representations of information that can be difficult to process in a written format.  I found it via The Mary Sue, which had a post David’s visualization of Books Everyone Should Read (“a consensus-cloud of most mentioned titles from various book polls & top 100 lists”).  I’ve included it as the image for this post, but you’ll really need to visit his post to understand the analysis and the underlying data (which you can see on a Google doc).

Aside from visual representations, David also posts… guess what… Interactive Maps!  Check out this one about America’s health stats.

This post makes as much sense as an analogy written by a high school student

16 Mar

This is one of the many reasons that I love having a teenage sister.  She sends me awesome links to things that I would never find otherwise.  (I’m pretty sure this came to her via StumbleUpon.)

So, courtesy of my sister, I present the 56 worst/best analogies of high school students.  My favorites are below.  Follow the link for the rest.

From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30. — Got to hand it to the kid, the Central time schedule flip of Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune is distressing.  Actually, this is not the only place that I heard this complaint today, although that site is not nearly as fun to write a blog post about.  Title: A Lie of The Mind.  Tagline: Brain tumors are funny, but they’re not hilarious.

He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a land mine or something. — Well, points for actually knowing the definition of lame…  I knew that I needed to post about this when I shared this one with one of my friends today.  (Hi Kofi!)  Had he not been strapped in (we were driving at the time) I think he might have fallen out of his seat.

The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife’s infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM. — I’m guessing that this kid had recently experienced a nasty ATM freeze surprise.

Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph. — This is my favorite.  I’m assuming that the kid who wrote this was doing a lot of Algebra homework at the time.

The source,, a very trustworthy site I’m sure, (grrr, I think it is hard to convey sarcasm via blog post) says that this list initially came from The Washington Post.  However, a search of revealed no such article.  (I did, however, find a lot of other sites that posted the same list and also references The Washington Post.)


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