Chicago Police Accountability Task Force Report: racism, corruption, and a "broken system"


Chicago's Police Department are notorious: the force maintains a "black site" where prisoners are secretly held under fake names and tortured, uses political shenanigans to suppress information about corruption, sabotages their own dashcams, secretly operates illegal mass-surveillance equipment (bought with asset forfeiture money, natch), forces out internal investigators who do their jobs conscientiously, and don't get me started on the evils of the Illinois prison system! Read the rest

Virus trading cards, animated and 3D-printable


Eleanor Lutz used files from the Protein Data Bank to model the molecules comprising the viruses that are the scourge of our human race. Read the rest

XKCD is coming to America's science textbooks


Textbook giant Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publishes Randall Munroe's amazing Thing Explainer, and a lucky accident happened when someone in the textbook division noticed Munroe's amazing explanatory graphics, annotated with simple language (the book restricts itself to the thousand most common English words) and decided to include some of them in the next editions of its high-school chemistry, biology and physics textbooks. Read the rest

Infographic: what's the TPP, what's wrong with it, how'd we get here, and what do we do now?


Burning questions that you're desperate for answers to, and their answers, courtesy of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Read the rest

Spectographic analysis of a modem handshake

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A lovely piece of nostalgic datadiz: the squeals and chirps, converted to a stream of glowing pixels. Read the rest

Gorgeous infographics from the 19th century


At the dawn of the 19th century, naturalist Alexander von Humboldt invented the "thematic map," pioneering infographics through the likes of maps annotated with zoological life, temperature, elevations, and other data meant to present an area's "physical phenomena into one image," according to this profile on Atlas Obscura.

Above, "a plate from Atlas of Alexander von Humboldt's Kosmos, illustrating the composition of the Earth's crust via color-coding."

Below, "a snowflake of clocks illustrates world time zones, with Dresden at the center. "

Read the rest

Survey results from Cards Against Humanity's Hannukah Gifts package


People who bought Cards Against Humanity's Eight Sensible Gifts for Hannukah subscription were invited to take a survey at the end of the purchase, one that asked all kinds of weird, invasive questions -- naturally, CAH has published the results! Read the rest

Sometimes, starting the Y-axis at zero is the BEST way to lie with statistics

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If you've read Darell Huff's seminal 1954 book How to Lie With Statistics, you've learned an important rule of thumb: any chart whose Y-axis doesn't start at zero is cause for suspicion, if not alarm. Read the rest

Hey, kids, let's play Corporate Monopoly!


Global Justice Now's "Corporate Monopoly" is an excellent piece of information design; it's a playable boardgame adapted from Monopoly (itself originally designed to teach the evils of capitalism), in which a shoe (the 99%) and a top hat (obvs) take it in turns to go round a familiar board whose squares tell stories about real-world class war, centred around UK policies and business. 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

Uncovering sexual preferences by data-mining sex-toy sales [NSFW]

UK sex-toy retailer Lovehoney allowed researcher Jon Millward to data-mine its huge database of over 1,000,000 sex-toy purchases and 45,000 reviews, in order to see what he could infer about Britons' sexual proclivities from the things they bought. Read the rest

VISUALIZE: Daily routines of accomplished creative people

This chart summarizes data from Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, providing that rarest of treasures: an infographic that actually improves the legibility of information. Read the rest

The rise and fall of American Hallowe'en costumes

A clever, interactive chart from NPR's Planet Money tracks the relative popularity of different American Hallowe'en costumes over the past five years.

Zombies Are Hot, But Clowns Are Not [Planet Money/NPR]

(via Kottke) Read the rest

Tumblers that trace whiskey's noble lineage

Pop Chart Lab's Whiskey Glasses Set is comprised of four tumblers, each of which traces the lineage of different branches of the whiskey tree (rye is a notable omission). They're very beautiful, and cost $45 for the set. They're adapted from the Whiskey Taxonomy poster, which can also be had in laser-engraved form.

Whiskey Glasses Set (via Laughing Squid) Read the rest

Distribution of letters in parts of English words

Prooffreader graphed the distribution of letters towards the beginning, middle and end of English words, using a variety of corpora, finding both some obvious truths and some surprising ones. As soon as I saw this, I began to think of the ways that you could use it to design word games -- everything from improved Boggle dice to automated Hangman strategies to altogether new games. Read the rest

Cognitive Bias Parade: CC-licensed collage illustrations of predictable irrationality

James Gill writes, "Cognitive Bias Parade is a site that takes a daily look at deviations in judgement and reconstructed realities. It is an illustrated review of the many ways the brain has evolved to lie to itself. It is not simply meant to scold. The spirit of the project was captured once in a quote by the magician Jerry Andrus: 'I can fool you because you're a human. You have a wonderful human mind that works no different from my human mind. Usually when we're fooled, the mind hasn't made a mistake. It's come to the wrong conclusion for the right reason.'

"I've given a Creative Commons Share-Alike status to my work on the site. I ask only that a link-back be given for my website as credit."

(Above: Observation selection bias... The effect of suddenly noticing things that were not noticed previously – and as a result wrongly assuming that the frequency has increased.) Read the rest

Spurious correlations: an engine for head-scratching coincidences

The Spurious Correlations engine helps you discover bizarre and delightful spurious correlations, and collects some of the most remarkable ones. For example, Per capita consumption of sour cream (US) correlates with Motorcycle riders killed in noncollision transport accident at the astounding rate of 0.916391. Meanwhile, but exploring the engine, I've discovered a surprising correlation between the Age of Miss America and Murders by steam, hot vapours and hot objects (a whopping 0.870127!).

Spurious Correlations (via Waxy) Read the rest

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