This week, The Economist plotted the upswing in a Supreme Court justice’s time from nomination to confirmation. In recent years, the process has been protracted for Republicans and Democrats alike, an issue that Biden’s nominee must contend with. A Reuters map, painted in a beautiful palette of earth-like reds and browns, shows the gas lines that flow from Germany and Ukraine into Russia. And a Fox News journalist who tweeted that an Ottawa protester was trampled by a police horse went on a run of re-tweets, shortly thereafter, in what may have been an attempt to bury the false claim.
Visual take on text readability: Another gem from The Pudding.
Trendiest names for boys and girls: A 3D ridgeline plot from Nathan Yau.
More charts: Other data graphics seen around the web.
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The Flesch-Kincaid, the Dale-Chall, the Lexile Framework. Each offers a formula to assess the difficulty of a text. The Flesch-Kincaid formula counts the number of syllables in words. Sentences that use words with fewer syllables have a lower score, suggesting that they’re easier to read. The Dale-Chall formula scores sentences based on whether its words are included in a “list of 3,000 words familiar to fourth-grade students.” And an algorithm from MetaMetrics, called the Lexile Framework, scores texts in a way that nobody really understands.
Each of these algorithms is flawed in some fundamental way. A new story from The Pudding lays out those flaws by using interactive buttons and by juxtaposing plain language versions for each paragraph in the story. It’s an amazing demonstration of accessible data visualization, a roadmap for how designers and programmers can do more to clearly explain their code, their words, their stories.
Read more at The Pudding.
In 2020, Liam and Olivia were the most popular names for babies. That’s according to data from the Social Security Administration, which puts out a new list each year.
Nathan Yau, of Flowing Data fame, visualized the trendiest names for ever year from 1930 through 2020, the most recent year for which data is available. His decision to use a three-dimensional ridgeline chart unveils intriguing trends, but also makes some of the data hard to decipher. The height of each peak is based on the percentage of babies given that name each year, and tops off at 0.5 percent.
In the late 1940s, Brenda surged. Cheryl dominated the 1950s, and Lauren the 1990s. For boys, Landon seems a perennial favorite, while Dustin had its heyday in the 1980s, and has been basically extinct since.
Read more at Flowing Data.
When the 1800-meter tall volcano near Tonga erupted, sending its ash 100,000 feet high, the world trembled. It also set off a chain of lightning storms, scattered around the island nation. See the scrolling interactive from Reuters.
Supreme Court nominations have grown arduous and lengthy in recent decades, often dragging out for several months. See the scatterplot from The Economist.
A beautiful map shows the dependence of different European countries on Russian gas, and maps the paths of pipelines between Russia and the west. See the map from Reuters.
Think food, gas and rent is crazy in the U.S.? In Argentina, Turkey and Pakistan, the soaring prices are far worse. See the map from the Financial Times.
Murder rates increased between 2019 and 2020 in major cities across the U.S., at least as a percentage. Actual rates remain relatively low, at least when compared with historical highs. See the map from The Economist.
Gems mined in India and Thailand snake their way around the world in a complex supply chain that is often rife with exploited workers and predatory traders. Read the visual story from the Kontinentalist.
A Fox News journalist tweeted that a protester in Ottawa was trampled to death by a police horse. It was a lie. Shortly after, that journalist went on a spree of re-tweets, perhaps in an effort to bury the false claim. See the chart on Reddit.
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This issue was written while listening to “Laurel Canyon” by Jaden. Did someone forward you this email? Subscribe here.