Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Information Highway? A Scenic Route

Warning: The next two paragraphs are alot of rambling. Looking to get straight to the point? Scroll down please.
I'm an information glutton. I just can't get enough of it. Let me illustrate by explaining to you the overload that is my daily (weekdays, mostly) schedule.

6:00 a.m. YMCA: Women's Health magazine turned to the latest health breakthroughs, while watching several televisions turned to the local morning news stations

7:30 a.m. Shower, Dress at Home: The Today Show for background noise

8:30 a.m. Kitchen: Breakfast amongst more The Today Show and The Delaware State News and The News Journal

9:00 a.m. (or usually 9:10 a.m.) Office: browse through mail, check monthly pubs for any Biggs Press
9:15 a.m. Office: Sit down at computer, check work and personal email, contains The Daily Beast, Daily Candy, and several other daily e-newsletters for art news (blog material!)

11:00 a.m. Office: Morning brain break, check Facebook and favorite cooking blogs (about 15 in rotation)

2:00 p.m. Lunch at Home: Martha Stewart Show is full of information

6:00 p.m. UD, night class: THREE hours of information in first advertising class

9:30 p.m. Cup of Tea at Home, unwind with the Wall Street Journal, breeze through Marketplace section

10:15 p.m.: Bed time, crack open my new book Buyology

10:30 p.m.: Brain dead.

I'm sure I missed some parts here and there, if you can believe it.

Now, where am i going with this? I'll take you on my information highway. One health email newsletter I received yesterday morning, contained a link to a diagram of an XY axis plotting calories versus caffeine for popular coffee shop beverages. After a click here and there I landed on David McCandless' blog, called Information is Beautiful. David is a London-based author, writer and designer. He's done alot of copyrighting, won awards for it in fact and has been published in many places many times.

He loves information, just like i do. But he takes it a step further and has a passion for visualising information, as he did in the Caffeine and Calories Chart. His blog is filled with not only his own charts but other visualizations he finds interesting elsewhere. Some are quite serious, such as how to reduce your chances of dying in a plane crash, but I find most quite useful. I was particularly intrigued by the Timeline of Global Media Scare Stories. Who would have thought that storied about violence in video games would always be prominent in the spring time right around the anniversary of Columbine?
But I LOVED the Movie Monster Comparison Chart. Does size really matter?

And don't think about finding a pie chart on his blog, he hates them. Who doesn't these days?

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