Magic use in Harry Potter novels charted


Skyler Johnson created an interactive infographic that charts the use of magic in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels. The spells are organized by count or time, with instances color-coded by the book they appear in. Hover over each use and you even get the quote, for context! [via Tor and Metafilter]

Emily Asher-Perrin writes:

Perhaps not surprisingly, the spells that we see used most often are commonly used by Harry and his friends as means of non-violent resistance; Expecto Patronum; Expelliarmus; Stupefy. The Killing Curse appears sixth down on the list, which is fascinating–it is technically speaking the “most evil” of all the dark magic spells, and it is the most often used.
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Great audio/visual presentation of Billboard Top 10 songs from 1956 - 2016 (22,000 songs!)

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Polygraph studio created this great timeline of Billboard Top 10 songs from the last 60 years. Read the rest

Seriousness and sincerity: how to tell jesters from trolls


Trolls, when cornered, often excuse themselves as Shakespearean fools of the modern age, as jesters. Given that the term "troll" spans a vast expanse from cute to abusive, this grasp at virtue seems legit. But there's a plain difference between jesters and trolls: sincerity. Jesters are unserious – a good thing! – but that doesn't mean their performance is insincere. Trolls, though, are both of these things.

How, then, do you see a troll for what they are? Unseriousness is visible, but insincerity is often not.

Mercifully, the excuse itself is a clue. Trolls don't really get the difference between themselves and the noble, world-improving court fools of their imagination.

So, when scrutinized in ways that require sincerity, they stop being unserious as well. Instead of proving themselves to be Jesters, they become Squares, serious and sincere, explaining themselves at sententious length until they can retreat back to the Troll corner and resume normal operations.

The people to really watch out for, though, the truly Machiavellian types, are people who are serious yet insincere. These Worms (lots in Silicon Valley!) slide across the opposite diagonal: whenever cornered for their shenanigans, they're disturbingly good at excusing themselves as Jesters – unserious in tone, yet ostentatiously moral.

The corollaries are also true, I find. When otherwise happy, decent, respectable Squares get defensive, they transform into amazingly unpleasant Trolls. And true Jesters, in their weak hours, tend to moonlight as Worms, manipulating others with affected seriousness.

This is just a dumb chart on the internet, of course, even dumber than the Mills Boon personality test or whatever it's called. Read the rest

The Power Donut

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What does "probability" mean in your profession?

Distorted by the jargon and cultures of various disciplines, the concept of probability—and the terms we use around it—tend to be somewhat misleading. Math with Bad Drawings probably has your profession nailed with its set of what are, in fact, very good drawings. [via Flowing Data] Read the rest

The most loved and hated TV finales, charted


A simple methdology: compare the IMDB rating of the final episode vs the show's average. Dragonball Z and Dexter share bottom spot, but who wins? Read the rest

Steampunk infographics

I'm not quite sure why Geoff McGhee describes these vintage-style charts of modern data as "steampunk," but they sure are gorgeous! Perhaps … lithopunk? Mimeopunk? [via] Read the rest

Liberals winning, simplistic charts agree


The New York Times charts the inexorable liberalization of America on social issues. But there's a caveat!

The article's thrust is that gun control and abortion are exceptions: "The second category of major issues is different. In it, both sides in the debate are often able to make a rights-based argument. … That’s why the second set of issues defies the confident predictions that come with the first."

The number of Americans calling for more gun control has trended down to under fifty percent, but to cast that abortion chart as a similar exception seems a stretch: Americans who are OK with it has gone up from 75% to 80% in the last few decades.

I'm not sure I believe it (most polls put it Americans about net 55/40 OK with abortion). But either way, the imposition of brutal burdens on pregnant women has become a legislative candle in the dark for conservatism. It's hard not to think last week is only the beginning of their misery.

Cheer up, guys: you'll still have your guns!

Missing from the Times' roundup is a climate change chart.

CONCLUSION: Your annoying uncle who proudly declares "social liberal, fiscal conservative" in his smug, nasal voice is winning. Read the rest

Average Masters thesis lengths charted by discipline


Those medicinal chemists do go on. Read the rest

Short documentary puts World War II fatalities into context


More people died in World War II than in any other conflict in history, yet it can be hard to conceptualize that massive loss of life. Read the rest

Amazing beer wall map

Advertised as "the most complete charting of beer ever," Pop Chart Lab's 60" x 40" wall chart is printed on 100lb archival stock and is available for pre-order at $80. [via FastCo] Read the rest

U.S. teen pregnancy drops sharply; child impregnation most popular in Bible Belt

Richard Florida on this fascinating map, produced by the Centers for Disease Control:

There is good news: teen births are at their lowest level in more than 60 years (10 percent lower than 2009, 43 percent below their peak in 1970). But the geographic variation is substantial. Teen birthrates are highest in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas, and New Mexico,. There are slightly lower concentrations in the neighboring states of Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Arizona. New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts have the lowest rates of teen births.

The full CDC report details drops in most states (excepting North Dakota, West Virginia and Montana), with the sharpest drops in Nevada, Arizona, California, Florida and Rhode Island. Elsewhere the impregnations continue apace, with Kansas, Michigan and Arkansas posting less dramatic declines.

The teen pregnancy rate is highest in Mississipi and lowest in New Hampshire, the CDC said.

What will stop Conservative America's progeny from having so much hot, wild, bareback sex?

U.S. Teen Birthrates Are Down, But Still High in These States [The Atlantic] Read the rest

The Instagram buyout: charts!

Andy Baio breaks down Facebook's $1bn buyout of tiny image-sharing competitor Instagram. It reveals much about the rationale behind what appears to be an inflated price: while the cost per employee acquired is high, the cost per user is surprisingly low. Instagram is, put simply, unbelievably successful. [Waxy] Read the rest

Are you Rob Base?

[From ilovecharts, and here's the song, released on cassette ca. 1990: "It Takes Two." Video below.]

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Credit ratings for every country

The agencies currently rating the U.S. below prime are Standard and Poor's and Beijing's Dagong.

Standard & Poor's Credit Rating for each country [Chartsbin via horhito@Reddit] Read the rest