Filed under: Art, Education, History | Tags: Edward Tufte, Envisioning Information
“Making a presentation is a moral act as well as an intellectual activity.
The use of corrupt manipulations and blatant rhetorical ploys in a report
or presentation — outright lying, flagwaving, personal attacks, setting up
phony alternatives, misdirection, jargon-mongering, evading key issues,
feigning disinterested objectivity, willful misunderstanding of other
points of view— suggests that the presenter lacks both credibility and
evidence. To maintain standards of quality, relevance, and integrity for
evidence, consumers of presentation should insist that presenters be held
intellectually and ethically responsible for what they show and tell. Thus
consuming a presentation is also an intellectual and a moral activity.”
Charles Joseph Minard’s data-map describes the successive losses in men of the French Army in the Russian campaign of 1812-1813. Drawn by M. Minard, Inspector General of Bridges and Roads in retirement, Paris, November 20, 1869.
The numbers of men present are represented by the widths of the colored zones at a rate of one millimeter for every ten thousand men. The tan represents the men who enter into Russia, the black those who leave it. The overall toll, French and Russian was approximately 700,000 to 1,000,000. Place names are shown, as are the rivers, and at the bottom a graphic table of the temperature in degrees of the Réaumur thermometer below zero. Moscow, October 18; October 24 –rain; November 9, –9°; November 14 –21° at Smolensk; December 1, –24 ° at Minsk; December 6, –30°. Only one soldier in 42 survived this brutal campaign — six months from start to finish.
At the war’s beginning , the army crossed the Nieman River with 422,000 soldiers. At the end, 10,000 soldiers returned across the Nieman River. The width of the lines accurately represents the numbers. So much information is conveyed by this one beautiful analytical graph, in a combination of beautiful design, true and accurate information, and a long dreadful story. Amazing.
Edward Tufte is a Professor Emeritus at Yale University, where he taught courses on statistical evidence, analytical design and political economy. He has written four books on visual displays: The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Envisioning Information, Visual Explanations, Beautiful Evidence. They are incredibly beautiful, true, refined and luscious books, and I cannot recommend them highly enough. Tufte is also a sculptor. His works are available through his website: www.tufte.com as is a poster of the above beautiful graphic in either French or English. He includes this analytical graph in each of his books, as probably the best graphic conveyance of information ever made.
Filed under: Freedom, Heartwarming, Sports | Tags: Sled Dogs, The Inuit, Thousand-Year Old Mode of Transportation
A mode of transportation thousands of years old, a pack of dogs and a dogsled. Notice the way the dogs are harnessed. Quite different from what I’ve seen on the Iditarod.
Filed under: Architecture, Art, Freedom, Heartwarming, History, Humor, Science/Technology | Tags: Acrocanthosaurus, Don't Try This At Home, Twenty-Foot Dinosaur
Here’s a time-lapse video of how a 20-foot acrocanthosaurus is made. The Airigami team assembled the dinosaur and its ecosystem, including plants and some crawly insects at the Virginia Museum of Natural History’s Hall of Ancient Life. It took them four days, but it looks like they didn’t have to blow up the balloons, at least not there.
That is without question the best balloon accomplishment I’ve ever seen.
Always just out of reach, but keep on trying. I liked this little video.
Filed under: Entertainment, Humor, Pop Culture, YouTube | Tags: Advertising Humor, Does It Work?, Well Done
Are you more apt to buy a company’s product if they make you laugh? This one’s cute and they get additional traffic from blogs like this one for free. That’s worth something.
(h/t: Maggie’s Farm)
Filed under: Communism, Freedom, History, Politics, Pop Culture | Tags: Labor and Illegal Immigrants, May Day Celebrations, Maypoles & Communists
It came to my attention that President Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation today, to proclaim that this is Loyalty Day, 2013. Huh? I had never heard of Loyalty Day, but it appears that it began in the Eisenhower administration. How could I have missed it? Presidents issue a proclamation every year. It’s a presidential thing. But let’s go back a little:
May Day in many cultures has marked the beginning of spring, a half-year from All Hallows, celebrating the bringing back of the light, moving the cattle out to the fields, having a big bonfire and parading the cattle around the bonfire decorated with bright yellow may flowers. The Celtic countries called it Beltane, in Germany it was pretty much the same thing except called Walpurgisnacht after an English missionary named Walpurgis, also bonfires and celebration.
Just where and when it became a May Day celebration with maypoles and baskets of flowers, I’m not sure. (I checked with Wikipedia, but didn’t pay too close attention).
In small towns, young people made little may baskets filled with flowers and hung them from a friend’s front door, then rang the bell and ran away, leaving the basket a mystery. That’s all pretty tame, and when the Soviet Union began to take over May Day to show off their military might and their solidarity, maypoles began to seem a little wimpy. Besides those Soviet parades were annoying.
Filed under: Entertainment, Humor, Intelligence, Pop Culture | Tags: Compulsive Crazy-Making, Just Stop it!, Language Obsessions
Filed under: Entertainment, Fun n Games, Sports | Tags: Agile Little Kids, Strength and Balance, Tarragona Spain
The Concours de Castells in Tarragona, Spain is a human tower-building competition. It is a long tradition in the region, castells began at the end of the 18th century. The sport has rules, techniques, and team responsibilities to guard safety and success. The pinya or base is made of a few hundred people that can catch anyone who falls. The tower itself has a variety of different formations. The top three levels are the pom de dalt, made up of children in helmets. This 2010 video by Mike Randolph shows why safety and teamwork are so important.
Strange and interesting sports. I’d be a spectator.
Filed under: Art, Fun n Games, Global Warming, Middle East, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Politics, Terrorism
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have charged two men living in Canada with conspiracy to carry out a terrorist attack against a VIA Rail passenger train inside Canada. The RCMP said the two men planned to carry out an “al Qaeda-supported” terror attack to derail a train, which was also aimed at harming the economy.
The Police said, at a news conference, that the two men were receiving guidance and direction from al Qaeda related elements in Iran. The men are not Canadian citizens. There was no imminent threat to the public, but had the terror project come to fruiting, innocent people would have been killed or injured.
The Obama administration has gone out of their way to make light of the threat from terrorism, but the evidence merely points out the presidents state of denial about the rising threat. CNN’s homeland security analyst, Juliette Kayyem asserted “We have not had (even) a small-scale terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11.”
We have suffered a number of major attacks, and most of them have taken place on Obama’s watch. Since 2009, terrorists have attacked our military bases, assassinated our diplomats, burned our embassies and murdered innocent spectators at a sporting event and ambushed and shot police officers.
— June 1, 2009: Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad shot and killed a military recruiter and wounded another at a Little Rock Arkansas recruiting station. A convert to Islam, Muhammad identified with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
— September 2008: Afghan native Najibullah Zazi was arrested before he could blow up the New York City Subway.
— September 2009: Police nabbed Jordanian Hosam Maher Husein Smadi before he could plant a bomb in a Dallas skyscraper.
— November 5, 2009: Nidal Malik Hasan, a U.S. Army major psychiatrist opened fire at Fort Hood Texas, shouting “Allahu Akbar!” as he killed 13 fellow soldiers and wounded 29. He was advised by al Qaeda operative Anwar Awlaki. Homeland Security has defined this as a workplace incident.
— December 2009: Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was tackled by passengers before he could detonate explosives sewn into his underwear. He was trained in Yemen by al Qaeda.
— March 4, 2010: John Patrick Bedell, a Muslim convert, shot and wounded two Pentagon police officers at a checkpoint in the Pentagon station of Washington Metro in Arlington, VA.
— May 2010: A massive bomb was planted by Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan failed to explode in an SUV parked in Times Square. He was trained and funded by the Taliban.
— October 2010: Chicago synagogues discovered explosives packed inside two printer cartridges shipped by cargo planes from al Qaeda in Yemen. The attack failed.
— Sept. 11, 2012: On the anniversary of 9/11, al Qaeda operatives attacked the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. The armed assault targeted the consulate compound, and a nearby CIA annex. The U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens was killed along with three others and ten others were wounded in a 7 hour gunfight.
— April 15, 2013: Two Muslim jihadists set off bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring 183. The terrorists shot two police officers, killed one, and injured several others. One of the brothers is dead, the other in custody.
The administration continues to downplay Islamist terrorism, and proposes talks with the Taliban and with Iran.
The “Arab Spring” was mistakenly assumed to be a movement for democracy in Arab North Africa. The movement was perhaps inspired by televised shots of Iraqis, male and female, proudly voting in free elections. That was considered the equivalent of an earthquake in the Arab Middle East, where oppressive dictatorship was the norm. But Arabs had no experience of Democracy, and the Muslim Brotherhood was ready to step in.
No terrorism here, nothing to see. Just move along.
Here’s the Legend of Zelda theme song on marimba, snare drum, cymbal, bells, timpani, and triangle.
Filed under: Entertainment, Heartwarming, Humor, Politics, Pop Culture, The United States | Tags: Extraordinary Comedian, Jack Paar & Johnny Carson, The Tonight Show
Jonathan Winters passed away last Thursday at the age of 87. Funny, funny man, and an extraordinary comedian. I somehow missed that news. Here is a video of an appearance on the Jack Paar show in April of 1964. (That was before Johnny Carson) , (Who was before Jay Leno) for you young folks.
Jonathan Winters was at his best simply improvising, as he does here with a stick. What a quick (and bizarre) mind. Our world was richer for his humor.
Filed under: Art, Capitalism, Economy, Education, Fun n Games, Politics | Tags: Crayons, How Thing Are Made, Pigment and Wax and?
I love watching assembly lines, seeing how things are made. It’s no wonder so many science fiction stories portray a society that suddenly doesn’t work at all; and we’re all left to try to cope, and we don’t know how to make anything useful. Did you learn how to make fire in Boy Scouts? And snares? We are useless without our electricity and creature comforts.