Gorgeous 1939 map of physics

I love this Map of Physics that turns an entire academic discipline into a fictional country, showing the way different sub-disciplines interact and the concepts that connect seemingly disparate discoveries.

Posted by Frank Jacobs at The Big Think, it dates to 1939. I'm not sure who or what originally made it (maybe one of you know) but it's great.

The map is more than a random representation of the different fields of physics: by displaying them as topographical elements of the same map, it hints at the unified nature of the subject. “Just like two rivers flow together, some of the largest advances in physics came when people realised that two subjects were [like] two sides of the same coin”, writes Jelmer Renema, who sent in this map.

Some examples: “[T]he joining of astronomy and mechanics […] by Kepler, Galileo and Newton (who showed that the movement of the Moon is described by the same laws as [that of] a fallling apple.” At the centre of the map, mechanics and electromagnetism merge. “Electromagnetism [itself is] a fusion between electricity and magnetism, which were joined when it was noted by Oersted that an electric current produces a magnetic field, and when it was noted by Faraday that when a magned is moved around in a wire loop, it creates a current in that loop.”

Read the rest and see some close ups of various corners of the Land of Physics at The Big Think blog

Via Ananyo Bhattacharya

Visualzing 3D printing statistics

Stephen sez, "A few months ago I became fascinated by 3D printing and have read some of your work on the subject. Then I came across some stats by The Journal of Peer Production and decided to make a really short video using the results."

3D Printer Community Survey Results

Manufacturing processes beautifully illustrated in cutaway drawings


On the Vintage Ads LJ group, the fabulous Man Writing Slash has posted a set of "industrial cut-aways" by Frank Soltesz -- these being elaborate diagrams showing the details of manufacturing processes and businesses (brewing, making ice-cream, hotels). If you like comic-book villain-lair cutaways, you'll love these.

More Frank Soltesz Industrial Cut-aways

Corporate IT adoption visualized


As someone who's spent a bit of time working in corporate IT management, I had to laugh and wince at Simon Wardley spot-on chart of the enterprise IT adoption cycle. It's so sadly accurate, including the steepness of the curve between "Oh fuck" and full adoption (which is why so many vendors hammer away at IT departments with technologies that IT has already rejected).

Adoption cycles (via O'Reilly Radar)

Mitt Romney doesn't know how Venn diagrams work


From Sociological Images's Lisa Wade:

Mitt Romney’s campaign put out a set of graphics illustrating a “gap” between what Obama promised and what he has delivered. The graphic is in the form of a Venn diagram, a visual designed to show the overlap between two conditions...

Unfortunately, Romney’s overlapping circles are not Venn diagrams, making the campaign somewhat ridiculous and giving nerdy liberals all over America a good chuckle.

HOW NOT TO VENN DIAGRAM

Infographics from 1917 on the exciting future of aviation


Scott scanned and posted, "A page of charts and graphs from the July 7, 1917 issue of The Graphic displays, among other things, Lord Montagu's ideas for how to divvy up airspace, the estimated annual cost of running a London-Paris air route, and the distances covered in one hour by different methods of transportation of the day. Perhaps the most entertaining part is its warning that with the coming age of non-military aviation, 'there may be a revival of smuggling.'"

1917 aviation infographic: “Incidentally, there may be a revival of smuggling” (Thanks, Scott!)

How books are born

Mariah Bear created an amusing infographic explaining the book proposal process. [via Mediabistro. Thanks, John Biggs]

Comparing gender in Lego minifig heads


From the Boing Boing Flickr pool, Maia Weinstock's chart of gender in Lego minifig heads. There's an accompanying blog post, where Weinstock explains:

So many of LEGO’s sets today are made in conjunction with a movie or other Hollywood media brand. It’s a win-win for Hollywood producers and LEGO alike. But how many of those brands star girls or women in the lead role? Star Wars? Toy Story? Pirates of the Caribbean? The Lord of the Rings (available in LEGO this summer)? Hermione Grainger is a major character from the Harry Potter series, and there were a fair number of female minifigs incorporated with those sets, so I’ll give them that one. But still, in almost every franchise that LEGO has partnered with, females are secondary or sidekick characters at best. To be sure, this heavy male slant in children’s programming is a problem with Hollywood as a whole, not just with the famed brick-makers. (For an in-depth look at how girls and women are marginalized, sexualized, and stereotyped in family films, check out these studies by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.) And yet, LEGO could go a long way toward increasing its girl-friendly cred by creating sets and minifigs that mirror movies and shows featuring prominent leading ladies—like Avatar, Dora the Explorer, Spy Kids, and The Hunger Games.

See also: History of gendering in Lego.

LEGO minifig head breakdown by pixbymaia

Computer-generated PR spam trying not to look like computer-generated PR spam

PR people sometimes say "I loved your coverage of x, perhaps you'd like to hear about y!". The idea is to ensure that I, Esteemed Journalist, know that I am worthy of personalized attention, rather than being an entry on a mailing list.

Some of them, however, are trying to have their cake and eat it, too. I've started getting emails that contain computer-generated personal touches. Computers trying to copy what humans would say to avoid looking like computers!

Here's one that just came in. He/she/it even tweeted me about an unrelated subject--a nice proofing touch--shortly before the email came in. Needless to say, the pitch is terrible. As the named sender might be a real person, I've changed the name to spare them the embarrassment.

Hello Rob,

My name is [horse_PR] and I work with BlueGlass Interactive, Inc. During SOPA, I found a particular interest in, "Infographic: Hollywood's long war on technology." This infographic did a great job at presenting SOPA, in a way that the average consumer could understand.

I noticed a good portion of your site is dedicated to Gweek and Computers. I thought you might enjoy a related infographic, "12 Cities to Find an IT Job." With product and service development growing, more IT jobs are emerging across the states. This IG reviews the top 12 cities that are currently growing and hiring in the IT realm. I believe a good portion of your readership would find this IG to be a great resource!

Do you agree?

I'd love to have you feature this on BoingBoing. I've attached the IG for your review. I look forward to receiving your feedback!

Kind Regards, [horse_PR]

BlueGlass turns out to be an infographic/SEO/marketing outfit: the business model is to make ads look like content, then pitch them to sites as free editorial. The visual complexity of infographics helps conceal or transmute advertising material, and their linkbaityness makes it easy to get them picked up and linked to. I've fallen for it, once before! In this case, the offered infographic advertised the IT recruiter that presumably paid for the service.

Given that I am making hay of BlueGlass's incompetence, I thought it only fair that I publish this infographic in full. It may be seen to the right.

The history of timelines

The earliest timelines, published in the 1500s and 1600s, were difficult-to-follow mashups that attempted to place all of human history into a list of numbers or an elaborate graphical metaphor. (I imagine the people who made these being somewhat stoned ... "So the fourth millennium before the birth of Christ was totally like a dragon! Here, let me show you ...")

By the 19th century, though, the art of the timeline had progressed significantly, and people like French engineer Charles Joseph Minard were creating infographics that look recognizably like infographics. This one, from 1869, traces the routes taken by Hannibal on his march through the Alps and Napoleon on his march into Russia, showing, through the thickness of the bars, how both armies dwindled during the journey.

This is from a great collection of historic timelines published on The Morning News website. Definitely worth flipping through the entire slideshow!

Via Philip Bump