Animation of the TransAtlantic Flight Paths of Over 2000 Airplanes

Here’s a relaxing video and soundtrack to start off your Monday.



An animation by the National Air Traffic Services (Nats), the UK air traffic control service, demonstrates the flight paths of the 2,000 to 3,000 aircraft that fly across the North Atlantic on a daily basis. This animation shows 2,524 flights that travelled between Canada, the US and Europe on a single day in August 2013

Of course, knowing that many airplanes are in the air at any given time of the day may not be your idea of relaxation. However…Happy Monday!

[Source: The Guardian.]

Why Digital Preservation is Important to **You**

If you ever want a cocktail party conversation killer, try announcing that you work in “digital preservation”. You can watch people’s eyes glaze over within a split second!

Digital preservation does matter, as much to the average person as to the Information Professional. The Library of Congress tells you why in the video below. They also offer tips and tricks for preserving your personal digital materials.

Does digital preservation matter to you? What are you and are you not doing now to preserve your personal and work-related digital material? Do you agree or disagree with the above tips and tricks?

And, finally…what occupations and topics do you consider conversation killers? :)

Prudential: The Curious Secrets of a Long Life (Kind of)

the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Do you want to live a long life? Or would you rather live fast and short? Either way, Prudential has some amusing tips for you on how to extend your life. (And if you don’t want to live a long life, now you’ll know what not to do in order to shorten your time on this earth.)

Will you make any changes to your current lifestyle, after watching this video?

Dumb Ways to Die, Via Melbourne, Australia’s Metro Trains

Dumb Ways to Die by Melbourne, Australia's Metro TrainsSo, you want to make a Public Service Announcement (PSA) that will deter the public from engaging in activities that may cause bodily harm, if not death, around trains.

How do you do this?

If you are the Melbourne, Australia Metro Train organization, you create a catchy animated and real-world video of the various ways to die, augmented by a catchy tune.

This video first went viral in November 2012. Recently, it “won the Grand Prix in the public relations and direct marketing categories at the Cannes Lions festival.” In addition to doing well at Cannes, the video “won gongs at One Show D&AD and the Webby Awards. It also earned mentions in YouTube’s Year in Review, Google’s Zeitgeist and TED’s Ideas Worth Spreading.”

I thought this was a great way to take a serious topic and engage the public with a slew of serious data and information.

Do you have any favorite PSAs?

CNN’s Peter Valdes-Dapena Drives the Tesla Model S from D.C to Boston without a Hitch

Tesla Model S InteriorPeter Valdes-Dapena of CNN Money drove the Tesla Model S from Washington, D.C. to Boston without a hitch.

Does it prove Broder lied in his NY Times article? No. Valdes-Dapena wasn’t trying to recreate Broder’s trip, although he more or less followed the same route. The weather was warmer, however, than when Broder made his trip, and Valdes-Dapena made a point of following the manufacturer’s recommendations. As he pointed out in his article, after he establishes the car and the charging stations will do what the manufacturer claims it does, then he’ll push the envelope. I’ve included the short video of Valdes-Dapena’s trip below.
Continue reading “CNN’s Peter Valdes-Dapena Drives the Tesla Model S from D.C to Boston without a Hitch”

Shoutout/Halloween’s History

Before I get on to Halloween, I’d like to thank the readers of this blog for your time and attention to my nattering.

Have you ever wondered how Halloween began? What is truth? What is fiction? The video below from National Geographic provides a quick history of the holiday.

Some Halloween statistics are listed after the video, courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau.

Trick or Treat!

36 million
The estimated number of potential trick-or-treaters in 2009 — children 5 to 13 — across the United States. This number is up about 190,000 from a year earlier. Of course, many other children — older than 13, and younger than 5 — also go trick-or-treating.
Source: 2009 population estimates [http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb10-81.html].

111.3 million
Number of occupied housing units across the nation in 2009 — all potential stops for trick-or-treaters.
Source: Housing Vacancies and Homeownership [http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/hvs/historic/].

92%
Percentage of households with residents who consider their neighborhood safe. In addition, 78 percent said there was no place within a mile of their homes where they would be afraid to walk alone at night.
Source: Extended Measures of Well-Being: Living Conditions in the United States, 2005
[http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/extended-05.html] Table 4.

Jack-o’-Lanterns and Pumpkin Pies

931 million pounds
Total production of pumpkins by major pumpkin-producing states in 2009. Illinois led the country by producing 429 million pounds of the vined orange gourd. California and Ohio were also major pumpkin-producing states: each produced at least 100 million pounds.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service
[http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/current/VegeSumm/VegeSumm-01-27-2010.pdf]

Where to Spend Halloween?

Some places around the country that may put you in the Halloween mood are:

Transylvania County, N.C. (30,203 residents)
Source: 2009 population estimates [http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb10-81.html]

Tombstone, Ariz. (population 1,562)
Source: 2009 population estimates [http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb10-81.html]

Pumpkin Center, N.C. (population 2,228); and Pumpkin Bend, Ark. (population 307)
Source: 2000 Census
[http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/BasicFactsServlet]

Cape Fear in New Hanover County, N.C. (population 15,711); and Cape Fear in Chatham County, N.C. (population 1,170).
Source: 2000 Census
[http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/BasicFactsServlet]

Skull Creek, Neb. (population 274)
Source: 2009 population estimates [http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb10-81.html]

Candy and Costumes

1,317
Number of U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2008, employing 38,369 people. California led the nation in the number of chocolate and cocoa manufacturing establishments, with 146, followed by Pennsylvania, with 115.
Source: County Business Patterns: 2008 [http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/] NAICS code (31132) and (31133)

422
Number of U.S. establishments that manufactured nonchocolate confectionary products in 2008. These establishments employed 16,860 people. California led the nation in this category, with 47 establishments.
Source: County Business Patterns: 2008 [http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/] NAICS code (31134)

24.3 pounds
Per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2009.
Source: Current Industrial Reports, Confectionery: 2009
[http://www.census.gov/manufacturing/cir/historical_data/ma311d/index.html]

1,814
Number of costume rental and formal wear establishments across the nation in 2008.
Source: 2008 County Business Patterns
[http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/county_business_patterns/cb10-114.html] NAICS code (53222)

I hope you have a spookalicious day!

The Value of Data Visualization

Have you ever wondered why data visualization matters? Do you prefer to look simply at numbers in a spreadsheet, or would you rather seen an image of that data?

Many people learn better visually. We all have to crawl through a great deal of data each and every day as well as process the meaning of all of this information. So, why bother with data visualization at all?

To understand that, it helps to understand the principles we strive for in data journalism. At The New York Times, we strongly believe that visualization is reporting, with many of the same elements that would make a traditional story effective: a narrative that pares away extraneous information to find a story in the data; context to help the reader understand the basics of the subject; interviewing the data to find its flaws and be sure of our conclusions. Prettiness is a bonus; if it obliterates the ability to read the story of the visualization, it’s not worth adding some wild new visualization style or strange interface. (From: http://www.niemanlab.org/2011/10/word-clouds-considered-harmful/.)

Column Five on Vimeo also provides a brief overview on The Value of Data Visualization below.

What do you think are the key concepts for a clear visualization of data? What do you consider a bad info graphic? Do you have a favorite infographic? (This could be a favorite because it is excellent, or a favorite because it is so awesomely bad.)

[Via Junar.]

User Experience Design

Have you ever visited a web site and wondered who created such a great experience? Have you ever wondered who makes the invisible visible?

No? Why do you think that is? If it works well, you don’t notice it, and if the site is a mess, it is all you do notice.

Therefore, what element can help make or break a web site?

To me, one of these elements is the site’s User Experience Design, or lack thereof.

The following humorous animations by Lyle hail the role of the user experience designer. I bow….

Do you have any favorite web sites? Why do you like them?

[Via frank j. garofalo.]