Crossing the Radar Screen

5 Feb

radar-333574_960_720It’s Friday and it’s snowing here in Worcester – all of the makings of a quiet afternoon. I’ve spent the day mostly working through a book that I recently bought, Tableau Your Data! It’s a lot to take in, so I thought I’d take a break and clear out my “Weekly Blog Post Items” bookmark folder. Here are some fun and interesting finds that crossed my radar screen during the past week:

Determined to hone my data visualization chops, I’ve been on the lookout for interesting sources of data to use for practice. The U.S. Census Department’s website is a great spot, of course, but a special gem that I found hidden on it is Stats for Stories. Here, you’ll find statistics related to stories that are in the news, calendar events and/or holidays, and more.  

It’s 2+ hours long so I’ve hardly sat and watched the entire thing yet, but what I’ve seen of the keynote address by Christian Chabot and Chris Stolte on the “Art of Analytics” at Tableau Conference 2014 is quite fascinating. Data visualization as an art form – it’s a topic that draws me in.

Obsessive fans (who me?) of the TV show, Law & Order, along with its many iterations will find Cecilia Esther Rabess’ latest entry in her McSweeney’s column, Mostly Uninformative Infographics, hilarious and oh, so true. … About Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit

My wife has been co-teaching Sunday school these past few months using a curriculum called, “D’oh, God!” It’s based around episodes of The Simpsons. Naturally, when I learned about Frinkiac, the database of 3 million+ screen captures from the show, I had to pass it along. Enjoy!

The Washington Post’s story, “What Ivy League Students are Reading That You Aren’t,” along with the data source for it, the Open Syllabus Explorer database, both fascinated me this week. 

If you’re curious about the source of words and phrases in the English language, you’ll likely find Arika Okrent’s YouTube channel awesome. Okrent is a contributor to the magazine, Mental Floss. I’ve subscribed to it for years, preparing myself for that “Jeopardy!” tryout that I just know I’m going to be invited to some day.

Virginia Woolf made famous the idea of “a room of one’s own.” I’m so very fortunate to have a studio space in an old factory mill in town where I can go and be creative in any and every fashion. It’s my space. My room of my own. Bored Panda’s “100 Famous Artists and Their Studios” is a wonderful photo trip through the rooms of some incredibly talented people. I found it inspiring.

Finally, the SuperBowl is this Sunday. I’m likely in the very small minority who tunes into the game to watch the game. I turn to a different channel during the half-time show and I mute all of the commercials. I realize that folks pay a gazillion bucks for these spots, but I always mute (or fast-forward through) commercials. Bleh! That said, these two spots made for Sunday’s game but released earlier got me. Dachshunds and singing sheep. What could be better?!  

and

Happy Friday, everyone!

3 Responses to “Crossing the Radar Screen”

  1. Didi Yunginger February 5, 2016 at 3:35 pm #

    Some real gems here, thanks! Love the L&O SVU infographic (for fun) and the Stats for Stories resource (for utility)! Enjoy the game Sunday. (I will – as long as it’s not lopsided. But I will stick around for commercials. Awaiting something as funny as the eTrade baby a few years ago. 🙂

    • salgore February 5, 2016 at 3:41 pm #

      I’m glad you enjoyed these. 🙂 I’m definitely hoping for a good game on Sunday. Happy Weekend!

  2. Stephanie Friree February 5, 2016 at 4:11 pm #

    I love these. The Law & Order SVU infographic is hilarious and I’ll be checking out the rest when I have a little more time.
    I once tried out for Jeopardy. Take all the hardest questions from the show. You know, the ones you can’t answer and say “who would know that” to? Put all of those on a questionnaire and give that to your potential game players. It’s difficult! A lot harder than you would ever expect. Needless to say I did not get to go on the show. But hey, I did get invited to tryout after passing that first test!

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