In Now, the latest XKCD cartoon, Randall Munroe provides a handy, continuously updated way to visualize the current time all over the world. I happen to know that Munroe is an inveterate long-distance driver who likes to pass the hours on the road by calling friends; I imagine that a wheel like this would be handy for helping him figure out which continent he should be searching for in his address-book in order to find conversational partners at any hour of day.
Good to see America's educational priorities on such sound footing:
You may have heard that the highest-paid state employee in each state is usually the football coach at the largest state school. This is actually a gross mischaracterization: Sometimes it is the basketball coach.
Based on data drawn from media reports and state salary databases, the ranks of the highest-paid active public employees include 27 football coaches, 13 basketball coaches, one hockey coach, and 10 dorks who aren't even in charge of a team.
...Coaches don't generate revenue on their own; you could make the exact same case for the student-athletes who actually play the game and score the points and fracture their legs.
It can be tough to attribute this revenue directly to the performance of the head coach. In 2011-2012, Mack Brown was paid $5 million to lead a mediocre 8-5 Texas team to the Holiday Bowl. The team still generated $103.8 million in revenue, the most in college football. You don't have to pay someone $5 million to make college football profitable in Texas.
Infographic: Is Your State's Highest-Paid Employee A Coach? (Probably) [Reuben Fischer-Baum/Deadspin]
Redditor Jasonp55 has a neat demonstration of the perils of confusing correlation with causation, and his well-chosen example makes this a potentially useful chart for discussing this issue with friends who won't vaccinate themselves and their kids.
If you're a fan of Wes Anderson movies because you felt you could relate to the characters, then this is the infographic for you! Follow this flow chart (created by Jennifer Lewis at Flavorwire) to find out which Wes Anderson character you are. (For the record, I'm Steve Zissou. I haven't decided how to feel about this yet, but it's Bill Murray, so I'm leaning towards "tickled.") (via Flavorwire)
Richard Johnson and Andrew Barr of the National Post have sifted through all two and a half seasons of AMC's The Walking Dead and have come up with one of the most straightforward and fascinating visual guides documenting every single zombie killing that has taken place on the show. It has statistics, graphics, plot points, pretty much everything you could ask for in a Walking Dead infographic. For example, Rick has the most zombie killings out of everyone with 84, out of a total of 347 killings. Firearms are generally the most popular weapon of choice, but something as innocuous as a golf ball can still kill one zombie in a pinch. The number of killings also grew per season as the show progressed. (And we're only halfway through the third season!) It's a really interesting way to see where the show started and where it's led us. (via Warming Glow)
Just look at it.
The banana (Musa acuminata) genome and the evolution of monocotyledonous plants Angélique D’Hont, France Denoeud, Jean-Marc Aury, Franc-Christophe Baurens, Françoise Carreel, Olivier Garsmeur, Benjamin Noel, Stéphanie Bocs, Gaëtan Droc, Mathieu Rouard, Corinne Da Silva, Kamel Jabbari, Céline Cardi, Julie Poulain, Marlène Souquet, Karine Labadie, Cyril Jourda, Juliette Lengellé, Marguerite Rodier-Goud, Adriana Alberti, Maria Bernard, Margot Correa, Saravanaraj Ayyampalayam, Michael R. Mckain, Jim Leebens-Mack et al. Nature (2012) doi:10.1038/nature11241
Randall Munroe's produced another in his series of his spectacular, gigantic charts of unimaginably large and complex things compared and rendered tractable by the human imagination. "Lakes and Oceans" has everything you need to cultivate an appreciation for the vasty depths and the ocean blue. Plus, a snarfworthy punchline at the deepest depths.
Christopher sez, "We developed an infographic along the lines of 'The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly' to show how Charter Cable is engaging in predatory pricing to kill cable/broadband competition in one of the few places in the US people have a choice. You want to know why we don't have real competition in broadband and cable? Anytime a new entrant builds a better network, these big corporations run them out of town by dropping their rates for crappy cable. If the FTC/FCC bother to act, it will be years from now."
You know, when I was sitting down with entertainment execs on a regular basis to debate applied, practical technology choices in DRM standards bodies, their constant refrain was, "We love technology! We use it all the time!" The implication being that if they instigated a law prohibiting a technology it would not represent ignorance or fear, but well-informed solemn judgement. I'd often cite Jack Valenti's infamous words to Congress: "The VCR is to the American film industry as the Boston Strangler is to a woman home alone," and they'd scoff. "Why do you always bring that up? It's ancient history!" And I'd say, "Oh, do you repudiate Jack Valenti, then? Because the last time I checked, you guys renamed your headquarters (I shit you not) the Jack Valenti Building." And they'd say, "Ha, ha, very funny. But seriously, is one wrong-headed statement from Jack all you've got?" And then I'd go into the long list of all the crap they'd fought as an industry, from the remote control to cable TV, from diversified cinema ownership to yeah, the VCR, and they'd mumble something about how EFF stood for "Everything For Free," and I just didn't understand the arts. Which always made me laugh because generally speaking I was the only working creative artist in the discussion, and I'd often be going to meetings in between working on novels. Clearly, to understand the arts you need to be an entertainment industry lawyer working for a giant multinational conglomerate, not a working artist.
Anyway, if I was still in those stuffy, hateful rooms where they plotted to ban technologies, I'd print out a stack of this Matador Network infographics, which are a handy guide to the pig-ignorant campaigns that Hollywood has waged against new technologies since the industry's founders ripped off Thomas Edison's patents and fled to California.
Joey Sellers sez, "I know you've been covering PIPA-SOPA and wanted to share a large flowcart I just completed on the subject. It brings together a slew of material to get folks new to the subject up to speed and fill in the blanks for those who have been following it."
Super PIPA-SOPA Flowchart (Thanks, Joey!)
Money is the dark matter of American elections: visualizing political donations since Citizens United
Mike from Mother Jones sez, "For our upcoming "dark money" print package, we chartified the known galaxy of outside political spending groups by their size. As you can see, we ended up with red giants and blue dwarfs."
If Citizens United was the Big Bang of a new era of money in politics, here's the parallel universe it formed: rapidly expanding super-PACs and nebulous 501(c) groups exerting their gravitational pull on federal elections. A group's size in the chart below is based upon all known fundraising or spending since 2010…so keep an eye out for dark matter. Come back for regular updates.
The Crazily Expanding Political Money Universe (Thanks, Mike!)
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has posted an interactive map showing where the chokepoints are for online free speech, and which laws, proposed laws, and tactics can be used to force them to take your material offline:
Speech on the Internet requires a series of intermediaries to reach its audience. Each intermediary is vulnerable to some degree to pressure from those who want to silence the speaker. Even though the Internet is decentralized and distributed, "weak links" in this chain can operate as choke points to accomplish widespread censorship.
The Internet has delivered on its promise of low-cost, distributed, and potentially anonymous speech. Reporters file reports instantly, citizens tweet their insights from the ground, bloggers publish to millions for free, and revolutions are organized on social networks. But the same systems that make all of this possible are dangerously vulnerable to chokeholds that are just as cheap, efficient, and effective, and that are growing in popularity. To protect the vibrant ecosystem of the Internet, it's crucial to understand how weaknesses in the chain of intermediaries between you and your audience can threaten speech.