Data + Design Project
Benjamin Starr

About Benjamin Starr



Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea. When not impressing people with his humbling humility, he can be found freelance writing, finding shiny objects on the internet, enjoying the company of much-appreciated friends and living out his nomadic nature. He is Managing Editor of Visual News. Follow his movements on Twitter:

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It Took Over 1000 Light Paintings to Create This Impressive Video

Friday 01.23.2015 , Posted by
snake1

Darren Pearson, aka Darius Twin, takes us on a trip to the Photon Zoo in his mesmerizing video Lightspeed. The last time we featured the Los Angeles-based light artist he was creating glowing dinosaurs in mid-air. Now he’s put his art in motion, which is no small feat when you consider how it’s made. For each frame you see here, Darius Twin takes a long exposure photograph and draws the entire camel, snake, dolphin, etc. Think about drawing something repeatedly, in mid-air, in darkness, and you get how impressive that is. [Read more…]

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10 Must-See Movie Trailers for Films Showing at Sundance

Thursday 01.22.2015 , Posted by
True Story

The Sundance Film Festival just kicked off its annual frenzy of film watching in Park City, Utah. This will come as no surprise to the seasoned festival follower, but there are a load of ridiculously exciting films to catch. Looking for drama, documentaries, horror or sci-fi? There’s that and everything else too.

We’ve rounded up 10 must-see films from the fest. And if you aren’t joining the movie buffs shuffling through the frigid Utah weather, we’ve included trailers so you can have a sneak peak. [Read more…]

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Flying Over Southern New Zealand Feels Like a Beautiful Thrill Ride

Thursday 01.22.2015 , Posted by
Toia helicopter tour of NZ

Southern New Zealand is known for its exceedingly beautiful and rugged landscape, and this video from Australia-based director Mark Toia shows it from its best angle – above. The video captures a landscape pushed upward by the slow but powerful force of shifting tectonic plates. From those snowy mountain heights, water flows into perfectly translucent lakes, making its way downhill in a series of precipitous drops. It’s these stomach clenching heights that are captured over and over in this video, highlighting a collection of ‘aerial rushes’ produced as part of a TV commercial project. [Read more…]

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Movie Theaters Had Very Different Rules in 1912

Wednesday 01.21.2015 , Posted by
Silent film etiquette warnings 4

You’ve seen it many times. You’re sitting there waiting for your movie to start, but first this message plays across the screen: “For the comfort of those around you, please silence your cell phone.” While you may think that this is simply an aspect of our modern era, it’s actually been a practice since the very start of film.

These fantastic movie theater etiquette slides from 1912 show many of the same rules as today (like keeping quiet and not standing up) and plenty that we wouldn’t even consider being a problem – like wearing really huge hats. [Read more…]

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This Video is NOT in Reverse

Wednesday 01.21.2015 , Posted by
not in reverse

Eran Amir has a talent for creating videos which are not what they seem. When we last covered his work, he’d created a fascinating video which seemed to be in black and white – only it was soon revealed to be in vibrant color. Now he’s created a video which was filmed in forward motion, but seems to be going backwards. Some of the tricks are easy to figure out, but we’re still stumped on how he managed to eat a sandwich in reverse. Can you figure it out? [Read more…]

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What Is Real and What is Magic? Masterful Illusions Painted by Robert Gonsalves

Tuesday 01.20.2015 , Posted by
Rob Gonsalves 2

Almost nothing is as it seems in Canadian artist Robert Gonsalves’ surreal paintings. Look at them from one perspective and they’re one thing, but from another an entirely different scene emerges. His witty and inspired creations are filled with masterful illusions that keep you guessing at what is real. [Read more…]

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The New Canadian Passport Is a Big Party Under Black Light

Monday 01.19.2015 , Posted by
UV Canadian Passport 1

The new Canadian passports look completely normal to the uninformed. There’s an information and photo page, along with the typical numbered pages covered with softly shaded Canada inspired imagery. But put the new passports under a UV light and everything changes. [Read more…]

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Data Visualization 101: Area Charts

Monday 01.19.2015 , Posted by
area charts featured

In our Data Visualization 101 series, we cover each chart type to help you sharpen your data visualization skills.

Like the mountains that they resemble, area charts are a representation of change over time. Whether you’re looking to chart net earnings for individual departments month to month or examining the popularity of music genres since the ‘50s, there are few chart types that communicate time-series relationships so well. Let’s see how area charts can work for you. [Read more…]

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How Much Does It Cost to Live In Each of the World’s Countries?

Sunday 01.18.2015 , Posted by
cost-of-living-featured

How much does it cost to live in Sweden? How about Morocco or Japan? You can’t just compare exchange rates to figure that out. You need people on the ground reporting on how much they pay for a loaf of bread, an apartment or a glass of beer in Stockholm, Fez and Tokyo. That’s what Numbeo has been doing for years, creating a cost of living database with a lot of help from people all around the world. Movehub recently took that information and created a fantastic series of maps comparing how expensive it is to live in all the world’s countries. How does yours measure up? [Read more…]

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Learn The Incredible Physics Behind Falling Dominos

Friday 01.16.2015 , Posted by
Toppling Dominos

In this video, Stephen Morris gives a fantastic demonstration of how dominos work. He uses a collection of dominos made from steel, with each one 1.5x larger than the one toppling before it. Pushing over the minuscule first domino (just 5mm high and 1mm thick) starts a chain reaction that looks nearly impossible – especially when it knocks over the last domino that weighs over 100lbs. [Read more…]

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