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Dataterrific: Time Travel in TV and Movies Visualized February 19, 2010

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In case you didn’t already know, let’s be clear about something: Information Is Beautiful – especially when it’s collected and displayed by David McCandless (and friends). This graphic can be found in his new book (available now from Amazon.UK) – but he generously has also shared it on his site!

You can find a HUGE version of the image directly on his website.

Early draft sketch

Also, he talks about how he (and his collaborators) went through 36 drafts before arriving at this final version in this post about his data graphing process. It’s incredibly impressive.

We’ve shown you some of McCandless’ work before, but it’s even more fascinating now, knowing how much work goes into the details of an infographic.

What do think? Are you impressed? Any information you think would make a compelling infographic?

(via A.V. Club)

How to Get Cheap TV (Sports Fans Need Not Apply) December 16, 2009

Posted by pupfiction in Uncategorized.
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Everyday, it seems, another one of my friends cancels their cable service, deciding instead to stream shows from the internet, join Netflix, or watch shows on their laptops. While I have watched with envy as my friends save over a hundred dollars a month, my husband’s love of SportsCenter (ESPN’s flagship program), not to mention everything else sports related, has kept us from joining their parsimonious ranks. Because I thought the movement to circumvent cable’s outrageous fees was an underground movement, I was surprised to see the New York Times Personal Tech section explain just such a move. Nick Bilton explains, in the Times column, how he and his wife have pieced together different technologies to create a fulfilling (if not slightly more labor intensive) method of watching the tube. Check out the full article to see if you are savvy enough to do the same. While I don’t see my family canceling cable anytime soon, perhaps at least this will cause the service providers to lower their rates.

Turning Science Fiction into Fact December 1, 2009

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I often find myself linking to, or Retweeting, articles on the Wired Magazine’s GeekDad Blog. They just find some of the coolest stuff out there on the web, movies, tv and popculture. This morning’s post is no exception – it’s a plug for a new show, Sci-Fi Science: Physics of the Impossible on the Science channel.

TIME Visions 21 issue contributor physicist Michio Kaku. (Photo by Ted Thai//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Check out this interview with the Theoretical Physicist that will help figure out how to turn science fiction into reality. He talks about things like why time travelers from the future aren’t interested in us (despite our huge egos, we aren’t actually that interesting) and if we should worry about robots taking over the world (yes, but we’ll have plenty of warning.)

As if the very concept of the show wasn’t already enough to make me tune in, GeekDad added this enticement:

They’re going to make lightsabers that actually work.

The show premieres tonight at 10pm EST, on the Science Channel. Check your local listings.

Lists to Be Thankful For November 20, 2009

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Recently we posted about why people make lists. Since then, lists seem to be popping up everywhere. And now, especially with Thanksgiving around the corner, people are making lists of things for which they are thankful.

I, personally, am thankful for the lists. Here are a couple I came across this morning, that I thought were worth sharing.

Television Without Pity’s 10 TV things We’re Thankful For This Year

Wired’s GeekDad Blog’s 10 Geeky Things to Be Thankful For

I expect there will be more as we get closer to Thanksgiving, and Year-End Reviews, so check back for more in the weeks to come. If you have a list you’d like to see us highlight, let us know in the comments!

Photo by Steve Voght; used under CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

The Wire at Harvard November 5, 2009

Posted by dataduchess in Books vs. TV.
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A new course being developed by a sociology professor at Harvard will use the HBO show “The Wire” as “a case study for poverty in America.”

I think its an interesting concept to develop a class based on a television show – one that I can’t imagine is particularly popular among ivy league universities. But, is any old book really better than a well-researched and written television show? Does the mere fact that the information is presented as a narrative through the medium of television make the information any less valid or authentic? I don’t think so. What do you think?

(via OpenCulture)