Tag: graphs

On the relationship between correlation and causation…

While Michael Bay’s cinematic success and the number of explosions in his movies probably do represent a causal link, such incredible examples of correlating data points in different sets aren’t always linked. As demonstrated by these graphs from Business Week.

Graphiti: Get your pie chart on with this graffiti stencil

Want to make a political statement on the streets in the form of a pie chart? I know I do. Want to do it in regulated (and regulation) stencil style? Just download this handy PDF, grab some spray paint, and hit the streets.*

You’ll need:

  • 1/8″ (3mm) thick sheet material, suitable for lasercutting. I used MDF, but acrylic is fine.
  • A one-inch 1/4″-20 bolt, wing-nut and suitable pair of washers.
  • Scotch tape or masking tape (to hold the letter in the stencil)
  • 1 quart-capacity Ziploc bag (for storing the letters)
  • Spray paint
  • A laser cutter! (or a really steady hand and a sturdy knife)

Via fffffat

*Actual hitting of streets and actual graffiti is neither endorsed or encouraged any reference to such behaviour is figurative and st-eutychus takes no responsibility for any consequences if you choose to enact said ideas literally.

Data Visualisation: Break up season

A guy named David McCandless put together some data visualisations for a talk he gave at TED. You can watch it here.

But in my opinion, his really interesting research went into this graph of when people experience relationship break downs based on mentions of “break up” or “broke up” in Facebook status updates.

Here’s the graph (posted on Information is Beautiful):

He also put together this cool “if Twitter was 100 people” visualisation that I’ve posted before (I think)…

And this one on caffeine and calories, that I know I have posted before.


Data visualisation is the future of communication – Christians need to think about how we can use it well to communicate the truths of the gospel.


Why printers are overrated

I’ve never had a good experience with printers. They never work. They are frustrating. And worst of all… they are expensive. The Oatmeal has an exploration of printer frustration – this is my favourite.

This graph – via Boing Boing Gadgets (and I think originally from Gizmodo) – compares ink prices to other liquids.

Peak Rock

There seems to be a strange correlation between oil production in the United States and the production of good music (as qualified by Rolling Stone magazine).

“First, a little theory. The decline in U.S. oil production* is explained by the Hubbert Peak Theory, which states that “the amount of oil under the ground in any region is finite, therefore the rate of discovery which initially increases quickly must reach a maximum and decline.” Makes sense, right? The same theory can apply to anything of a finite quantity that is discovered and quickly exploited with maximum effort.

Including, it would seem, rock & roll. I know, the RS 500 list is not without its faults, but it does allow for some attempt at quantifying a highly subjective and controversial topic and for plotting the number of “greatest songs” over time. Notice that after the birth of rock & roll in the 1950’s, the production of “great songs” peaked in the 60’s, remained strong in the 70’s, but drastically fell in the subsequent decades. It would seem that, like oil, the supply of great musical ideas is finite. By the end of the 70’s, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, the Motown greats, and other genre innovators quickly extracted the best their respective genres** had to offer, leaving little supply for future musicians.”

Via Good.

More graphically speaking

Graphjam is fun. More fun on PCs than Macs – for some reason I couldn’t save the ones I made yesterday to graphjam’s servers. Today, on the other hand, I’ve managed to put one there for the world to see.

This is what it looks like.

If the awesomely persuasive power of graphs isn’t enough to get you people commenting, I don’t know what is…