05 Sep 2016

Listen & Read: On The Media’s News Consumer Guides

Whenever there’s a seemingly universally accepted narrative surrounding a particular news story, On the Media (OTM for us Brooke Gladstone fan-boys) seems to be the place to get that prevailing wisdom checked. They’re reliably the source of that much needed “other side” of the story, filling in gaps in the

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14 Aug 2016

Read: Good Charts

  Visualizations have finally become a respected language of business. So who better than Harvard Business Review to give you a crash course on how to speak fluent chart. What is it? A beginner’s guide to viewing and creating good data viz. Think of it as a much needed, easy to

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19 Jul 2016

Read: The Smarter Faster Better Way to Deal with the Stupid Gap

Charles Duhigg, in chapter 8 of his latest book Smarter, Faster, Better, perfectly illustrates the challenge of, as well as outlines a solution to, information overload. 6 years ago Patrick (aka General Knowledge) and I unknowingly dove head first into this world of cognitive psychology. It was filled with high-falutin

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05 Jul 2016

Listen: Sometimes The Truth is Not Enough

No that’s not the title of a long lost Bond flick (#TeamBrosnan). It’s the main takeaway of a recent episode of one of my podcast obsessions: Only Human, from long time War on Stupid Idol WNYC. The episode provides a few of the starkest cautionary tales about what’s at stake

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28 Jun 2016

Hero Salute: Wisecrack

With a tagline like “Laugh Harder, grow smarter.” it’s no surprise that this band of  creatives has caught our eye. Using hilarious critiques and analyses of pop-cultural artifacts like TV shows, movies, video games and books, these youtube videos manage to keep you entertained long enough for them to slip in

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06 Apr 2015

Hero Salute: A Master Lesson in Making the Complex Understandable

We’ve been fans of John Oliver’s show Last Week Tonight ever since his now famous rant on Net Neutrality went viral and nearly broke the FCC website. But on one of his latest videos he’s managed to outdo himself again and teach us budding sense-makers a thing or too on

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24 Dec 2014

Hero Salute: kurzgesagt

If you’ve watched an animated video explaining how Ebola works or why wars are decreasing over time, you’ve probably seen Kurzgesagt’s work. This Munich-based studio has garnered a lot of attention, not only because of the topics they’ve chosen to tackle, but also due to their efficiently minimalist style and

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15 Dec 2014

Hero Salute: Animagraffs by Jacob O’Neal

These animated technical drawings take the typical static infographic one step further by adding motion where it’s most useful. Even though the topics tend to be mostly technical in nature, Jacob has tackled a wide variety of fields making even tarantulas fascinating to learn about. You can check them all

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30 Nov 2014

Fake news as a tactic in the war on stupid?

Most savvy news consumers are not only familiar with the Onion and it’s brand of satire, but the accompanying phenomenon of mistaking an Onion news article for real news. So familiar that there’s even a subreddit dedicated to real news that sound so outlandish they could be mistaken for real

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21 Nov 2014

Terms of Service

It’s 2am, do you know where your data are? Do you even care? IF you’re like the majority of people, you probably don’t. But some of that might be due to how that information has been presented to you in the past. Well thanks to journalist Michael Keller and non-fiction

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18 Nov 2014

XKCD- The Philae Landing

So where were you when mankind landed a probe on a moving comet? While many of us were busy trying to understand the magnitude of what happened, Randall Monroe (of the web comic xkcd) was busy scribbling down accurate depictions of what was happening… for those of us who had

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14 Nov 2014

Confusing Chart Infraction: Librarian Edition

This chart infraction was spotted in the latest issue of American Libraries (the magazine of the American Libraries Association). The chart in question is a part of an article summarizing the findings of a survey of school library supervisors. This one in particular is trying to convey the different properties

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12 Nov 2014

Data Viz in the wild: How much sugar is in your snack food

I recently came across this great attempt at some data visualization at my local YMCA. As you can see, the table display, using sugar packet as the unit of measurement, compares the sugar content of various common snack food items. But the reason why I think this was a good

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10 Nov 2014

Hero Salute: We the Economy

Tactic: Short form film making. Topic: The ‘Merican economy In another attempt to get us to think differently about topics that we take or granted, Morgan Spurlock has teamed up with Paul G. Allen and 20 film makers to tackle the exciting topic of how an economy works. Varying greatly

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24 Oct 2014

Read: Resonate by Nancy Duarte

  A must-have for any communicator’s library, this book comprehensively breaks down the anatomy of a compelling presentation.  

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24 Oct 2014

Read: The Visual Miscellaneum: A Colorful Guide to the World’s Most Consequential Trivia

The Visual Miscellaneum: A Colorful Guide to the World’s Most Consequential Trivia by David McCandless Already well known for his work on the site Information is Beautiful, McCandless  gives us a sense of what’s possible as far as creative ways to visualize data, no matter how seemingly trivial. You can read

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17 Jan 2013

Hero Salute: HowToons

  From animation to Robotics, this comic series explains how to make cool stuff in a way that tickles even the most casual Manga fan.

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17 Dec 2012

Visual Budget

  With a combination of motion graphics and interactive charts, this work-in-progress project of Neil Halloran perfectly dissects the US federal budget in a way that will (hopefully) cut through unnecessary bickering at family gatherings. It’s in BETA so you’ll need to sign up for an entry code, but it’s

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10 May 2012

Hero Salute: Epipheo Studios

  No stranger to the limelight, this band of intrepid animators, illustrators and all-around creative geniuses deserve a salute for their years of brave service in making sense of so many topics. Tactic: Animated web videos in every which way possible Topics: From commercial to cause-based, their work varies from

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30 Mar 2012

TED-Ed: Lessons Worth Sharing

Tactic: Short animated videos Topics: Any and everything that can be taught by a teacher. Continuing its tradition of knowledge sharing, TED has begun an initiative that teams up animators with educators to distill complex topics into engaging animations. All of which will be posted on their Youtube channel. But it

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