Nov 242011
 

If you’re a little taken aback by the sheer consumer frenzy that is Christmas shopping, just think about all the “impossible” or “too expensive” things that you could do with that money — a total of about $45 billion this year — instead.

Thankfully, the people at Visual.ly have done all the thinking for you. Full infographic after the jump.

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Nov 042011
 

I guess anyone can declare anything day at any time now? Okay, then tomorrow is Intergalactic Send-Me-A-Dollar Day.

But I guess I can’t be too churlish about sandwiches. They’re almost a perfect food — you can put anything in between two slices of bread, and depending on what you use, you’re done! You don’t need a plate or cutlery or anything.

To celebrate National Sandwich Day (which nation?) you could have just eaten a sandwich. Or made a sandwich for someone else. We apparently celebrated and didn’t even know it! Or, if you missed it completely, you can visit Foodbeast, and see what they had.

One thing was a sandwich infographic, embedded after the jump:

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Oct 262011
 

Apparently, this infographic about the “Anatomy of an Agency” was created at Toronto’s Grip Limited, and sent to the ad blog copyranter, where I saw it.

Having only once been in the presence of a real, actual full-on ad agency, I guess I can’t say for sure how accurate these jokes are, but they look pretty standard. But funny. Even if you’ve only seen ‘Mad Men’ a couple of times.

Full graphic after the jump

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Radiation dosage chart

 Posted by on 20 March 2011  Modern Life
Mar 202011
 

(Click for full-size)

This chart, created by xkcd’s Randall Munroe (with help, sources here), does an excellent job of putting radiation dosage into context — especially with all the fear and uncertainty surrounding the current problems in Japan. The danger is Japan is real — it could get a lot worse, very quickly — but for the moment, the radiation from spending a day near the Fukushima reactor is somewhere around the amount you’d get from a mammogram.

So about this pi

 Posted by on 14 March 2011  Modern Life
Mar 142011
 

Today, March 14, is Pi Day. In honour of this mathematically inclined day, I had turkey pot pie for lunch, and brought blueberry pie for my officemates. I picked blueberry because it was the most spherical pie I could buy (other options: strawberry and rhubarb) but I unfortunately neglected to bring forks, so there were a lot of sticky fingers around the office. There’s a shoplifting joke in there.

Amusingly, I had more complaints about the lack of ice cream than the lack of forks.

To help you understand a little bit of pi, which is an amazingly transcendental number, here is a link to a cool infographic (partially visible above). It’s from OnlineSchooling.net, which looks like a cool resource in and of itself. From their “About” page:

We’ve made it our mission to create visually engaging posters with truly valuable educational content.

At Online Schooling our infographic creations cover everything from the size of the Universe to the splitting of a cell. And the best part is we do it for free. Just let us know which poster you’d like and we’ll send you the print for free if you mention us on your website.

Thanks to Lauren from Pacific Northwest Librarians for bringing it to my attention!

Feb 182011
 

Huzzah! Drawing on data published in the Lancet, the Economist has produced a chart showing the prevalence of obesity in countries around the world. I’ve embedded it above, and you can select either data from 1980 or data from 2008 as well as the percent change over those nearly 30 years.

Not exactly shocking, but saddening.

I know I’m struggling with maintaining a healthy body mass index — something I attribute pretty much 100% to the fact that I’m paid to spend the majority of my waking time sitting nearly stationary in front of a computer. It wouldn’t be so bad, except that we’ve spent those same last 30 years designing leisure activities that also require us to be stationary in front of a screen.

They also link to a less user-friendly but much more in-depth chart done by the original authors of the study, at Imperial College. At that chart, you can also examine different risk factors, like cholesterol and blood pressure.

Feb 042011
 

Click the image or here for a full-size version, which is 3,200×2,400 pixels, and if you’re really interested in a poster, head to DeviantArt or RedBubble for prints up to 30″x40″. For a taste of what it looks like close-up:

Illustrator Joumana Medlej, of CedarSeed.com, created this chart as part of her tutorials series. It is almost certainly the most complete look at feline coat colours and patterns that I have ever seen. It looks like something that you would see hanging in a veterinarian’s office.

It’s precisely the kind of thing that would have fascinated me as a kid, and it fascinates me now. I can’t wait to get home and pore over this with my own cat in my lap, comparing eye and nose colour, and all the faint patterns, plus checking out where, precisely her hair is coloured.

Awesome find by @jameshopehoward, who runs the thought-provokingly hilarious Slurpees and Murder blog, as well as Winnipeg Cat. Also, he needs a job. Do you need a librarian?

Jan 242011
 

This is perhaps every soft drink known to man. So far. Click the image or here for the massive 4590 x 4333 pixel original, sorted by parent company, brand, style and flavour.

Then ask yourself, is the production of an infinite variety of colas really the best use of our society’s energies? Are we at least approaching the limit of some sort of Platonic cola ideal? Or are we just regressing towards some mediocre mean?

Sigh. Unfettered capitalism :(

(source, author, via)

Jan 092011
 

Nick Foster owns many T-shirts, and, while cleaning, he stumbled upon a heretofore unrecognized organization scheme that his subconscious mind had imposed:

I have a T-shirt problem: after years of buying them, my house is now full. Whilst recently trying to tidy up the situation I realised that I was subconsciously categorising them. As with everything on the internet, it ain’t a ‘thing’ until it’s visualised in an infographic.

Good for him! I don’t have that many T-shirts, but I recognize his classification. Many of the comments on his post offer up suggestions for new schemes, too.

(kottke, via tdw)

The movies of 2010

 Posted by on 2 January 2011  Modern Life
Jan 022011
 

That, above, is a colour-coded chart of the box office results from every week of last year. It’s one of a dozen or so such charts (in regular and logarithmic form) posted at xach.com.

Click here to see the 2010 one in huge, horizontal scrolling glory, with extra info if you hover your mouse over any colour stream. It’s cool.

Dec 312010
 

io9 came up with this intriguing infographic, which shows a few of the differences between the year 2000 and 2010. Who knows what might happen in the next ten years, but we can maybe get a glimpse by looking back at the last decade.

I didn’t see too many surprises — except that energy consumption in the U.S. appears to have declined slightly? Meanwhile, China’s is skyrocketing. They’re presented in different units, but I did the conversion (1 kWH = 3412.3 BTU) to show that the Chinese power consumption of approximation 4.17 trillion kW/h is roughly equal to 14.2 quadrillion BTU. The American’s are still way ahead in wasting power. Go North America!

Some other comparisons are “for entertainment only” since I have no idea if they dollar values were adjusted for inflation or not.

Nov 182010
 

According to the following infographic, from the Globe and Mail, the total sum of human knowledge has doubled since 2008:

I have some lingering questions, namely how does one measure the sum total of human knowledge? If two people know the same fact, does that count as an increase? Or does it have to be new information? Does every new baby learning how to walk increase the “sum total” just because there’s more babies around? Also, I now know what I got for Christmas 2009. So does everyone else (who celebrates Christmas. Does that count? Because if it does, then of course our knowledge is increasing exponentially — after all, I don’t know what I’m going to have for breakfast in the morning, but I’ll bet I figure it out by noon. New knowledge! But hardly significant.

Don’t even get me started on that market penetration starburst.

Of course, maybe I’m just being cynical. After all, the data was compiled by a computer security firm called Digital Wyzdom. That looks pretty legit.

(thanks to @nisseworks for the link!)

UPDATE: It’s not the “sum total of human knowledge” that is being measured and has doubled, but the “generation of human knowledge … [increasing] at a logarithmic scale.” That’s probably even less meaningful.