I Love Charts


35 Responses to “I Love Charts”

  1. Axx says:

    Haha. Maggie, I think you are my favorite guest blogger so far. Thank you!

  2. Anonymous says:

    @ #7: Exactly what I was thinking. Not to mention the background shouts of “Maybe, maybe not!”

  3. Birdguy says:

    As one of the Tufte Army, I’m a bit queasy about all the 3D bar charts, 3D pie charts, no units or labels, blah blah blah…but if it gets kids excited about trying to represent numbers visually, it’s all good.

  4. FreakCitySF says:

    I miss Mr. Wizard…

  5. jimh says:

    @Birdguy, you’re aware that this is essentially a Tufte Army recruiting tool? Lousy layout, powerpoint aesthetics, and vague presentation are then drilled out in basic training…

  6. Maggie Koerth-Baker says:

    We all do.

  7. tuckels says:

    It’s so cute my ovaries are aching, and i’m a dude!

  8. Cildar says:

    Um, you what you call pain in your ovaries over a kid’s video?

    The alarm going off on your biological clock.

  9. Anonymous says:

    “See, I made a graph. I make a lot of graphs.” — Lisa Simpson

  10. vettekaas says:

    that is the geekiest thing I’ve seen in a long time. a rallying cry for the future geeks of the world! “charts rule!!!”

  11. cookiemonsta17 says:

    @ Cildar

    From the Reduced Shakespeare Company

    “Cut the crap Hamlet, my biological clock is ticking, and I want babies NOW!”

    …that’s all i could think of when i read your comment.

  12. arlopickens says:

    I like Jarts

  13. eustace says:

    The music is meh. I’m eagerly awaiting the Kutiman remix, tho…

  14. Maggie Koerth-Baker says:

    #4, that was the implied feeling, yes. ;)

  15. Leon Kowalski says:

    She’s singing “chicken out charts”.

  16. RedMonkey says:

    My daughter loves that show; it does a very good job of balancing education and entertainment.

    She’s 3 and actually hates most TV; kind of drives me nuts since she won’t watch a movie with me. :(

  17. Anonymous says:

    Not bad at all, but compared to Schoolhouse Rock, it’s still second-rate.

    Compare this to the lifelong educational value of “I’m just a Bill” for teaching civics, or “We the People” for teaching kids the preamble to the Constitution of the United States.

    You go talk to an American (or yes, a Canadian) kid in their mid-40s, I bet a majority will be able to recite the premble to the U.S. Constitution…but they’ll have to sing it mentally to remember it.

  18. Anonymous says:

    No, if they were really recruiting for the Tufte Army all the charts would be in black and white. ;)

    Sid the Science Kid is great for teaching kids about science. My kids were fascinated with the show about decomposition (the kids on the show got to ‘investigate’ a moldy pumpkin). Another less it taught my 2.5 year old daughter basic life science, like melting and reflection. Joan Cusack narrates, how awesome is that?

  19. harpdevil says:

    I much prefer the video of Feist singing on Sesame Street, now that was just cool :)

  20. cyberscythe says:

    Can’t wait for the trance/techno remix to come out.

  21. Oskar says:

    Charts DO rule!

  22. KurtMac says:

    There is something amiss with that weather calendar chart. They say “Clouds on Friday” and zoom into a tile that is in the 5th column, suggesting this is a Monday-Sunday calendar. But then they say “Rain on Monday” and zoom to a tile that is in the 2nd column, suggesting this is a Sunday-Saturday week. And then the last “Sun on Sunday” is located in the 7th column, bringing us back to the original layout. Tell us, PBS, which one is it? You are disorienting our children’s understanding of a chart that may not, after all, be a work of art!

  23. monopole says:

    coming soon:
    Sgt. Tufte and his howling visualizers

  24. Pirate says:

    Cute and “Yay, kids!” and all that.

    But people of my generation had Schoolhouse Rock growing up. They had real musicians like Bob Dorough & Blossom Dearie performing real songs to teach us how to make laws and use language and shoot pool… I mean, count by 9.

    This song, admirable as it is, has all the musical appeal of a floor wax jingle.

  25. extrafancy says:

    I wear a hoodie

  26. LeavingHalfway says:

    That’s pretty much how I feel about charts, too.

  27. kaelsleeps says:

    information you can see with your eyes!

  28. rrh says:

    Kurtmac: Yes. Also I noticed none of the charts had textual labels. The ambiguity of the weather chart that you point out could have been avoided if a simple SMTWTFS had been printed across the top.

    But they probably avoid written text entirely. Many kids shows are fixated on international sales and reversioning, likely to the detriment of their educational value, since it then presents a world where the written word doesn’t exist.

  29. presterjohn says:

    The music is meh. I’m eagerly awaiting the Kutiman remix, tho…

    sounds like they are using autotune…curse of a musical generation.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Great concept and execution but she’s sharp pretty much throughout the song. If you’re gonna use Autotune, use it correctly.

  31. jasonjayr says:

    My 6yo loves this show too :)

    For a while she was singing/shouting “Chicken-o Charts” after this episode aired :)

  32. DianneS says:

    Here to say that my 3-year-old daughter also loves Sid the Science Kid. She also likes “Hey Cow” from the Old School Sesame Street DVD (Yay, Joe Raposo).

  33. takeshi says:

    Ovaryaches are no laughing matter, but I’m laughing. Regardless of what anyone else says, though, the remedy is NOT having children. Just ask my Mom.

  34. Gilgongo says:

    I find charts (and infomation visualisation in general) a very big deal. I suppose it’s inevitable that they would use pie charts as a (frequent) example, but it does make me wince.

    But perhaps a more significant criticism is that they didn’t make the fundamental point about charts strong enough: why would you want to make “information you can see with your eyes”? The answer is that information can be presented in ways that hide the truth, or at least hide aspects of it that you would otherwise not know. I’m no educator or film-maker, but at some point I would have had a bunch of tabular data morphing into a chart of some kind. That’s the fundamental point they fail to make.

  35. Felix Mitchell says:

    Dunno about what it did to your ovaries, but my ears hurt from that singing. Do I like charts enough to listen agai…mmmm… maybe

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