A Smart Animation Explores the Magnitude of our Solar System [Infographic]

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The last time I went to the planetarium it was in Delhi, India. I didn’t expect much from the domed structure with swarms of kids inside, but in fact I was blown away. It’s a hard thing to show the magnitude of the universe and impress people with its true scale – but even the rough idea I saw that day was mind blowing. This video from German design trio Kurzgesagt takes a whole different angle, impressing us with facts about the form of our solar system in flat infographic form. The result is informative and even jaw dropping when you consider the facts.

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This Map of Internet Usage Shows Why China is a Sleeping Internet Giant

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The internet is a massive place, but not as massive as the world population. This map, created by Mark Graham and Stefano De Sabbata using data from The World Bank, puts some of the internets demographics in perspective while creating a rather stunning picture of just how big China ranks on internet traffic and how much room it still has to grow.

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Fields of Gold: Changes in the US Corn Industry [Infographic]

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Corn was once a straightforward crop, but the US industry has seen big changes in recent years. Ethanol and GMOs are both relatively new to the scene, and they are both hot-button issues. Since 1980, the use of corn has increased significantly as a result of renewable energy legislation. Not only are we using more corn, but we are using different strains of corn. In 2013, genetically engineered corn accounted for 90% of the planted crop showing a steep increase from just 25% in 2000. A series of graphs were produced by Flapjack Media to detangle the data. The full graphic is available here.

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Visualizing the Fires of Yosemite: Interactive Graphics, Maps, and Photos

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(Image source: NPR)

Nearly 400 square miles have burned as a result of an August 17th campfire that went awry.  After three and a half weeks of battling the blaze, the wildfire is now 80% contained, and costs estimates are totaling $96.2 million. The LA Times reports, “The blaze has destroyed at least 11 homes and 97 outbuildings, according to the Forest Service. More than 3,000 firefighters were battling the blaze.”

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Charting the Beatles: Nerdy Designs Indulge in Obsessive Minutia about the Fab Four

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For the past three years, Pop Chart Lab has been producing stellar infographics on a ridiculous range of subjects. Graphics include such topics as beer, kitchen utensils, and superpowers. PCL’s business goal reads, “to render all of human experience in chart form.”  Last week, the Brooklyn based company released Volume 3 in their series of infographics about the Beatles, completing a nice little set.

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A Breathing Earth: Watch the World’s Seasonal “Heartbeat” from Outer Space

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Each year we experience our normal seasons of hot and cold. Winter brings snow to many of us, and in summer, often blazing hot temperatures and beach days. John Nelson has given us a new vision of this familiar cycle in the form of a simple GIF… but the result is mesmerizing for its profound demonstration of these cycles upon our lives and the world processes it clearly illustrates.

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The Art of Pi – A Colorful Data Visualization

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Calling all data geeks! Using Circos, a circular visualization software popular in Genomics, Cristian Ilies Vasile and Martin Krzywinski have created these vibrant representations of π, φ and e. First Cristian Ilies Vasile had the idea of connecting each digit of π to its successive digit with links to the position of the numerically corresponding segments. Martin Krzywinski added to Vasile’s visualization “by showing the transition probabilities for each digit across bins of 10 digits” and did this for φ and e as well for the first 1,000 digits, followed by the first 2,000 digits.

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Movies in Color: Film Stills Broken Down by Color

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If you love data, pantone, and cinematography, then you will love this color analysis by Roxy Radulescu. The LA-based graphic designer originally from Illinois was inspired to look into cinematographic color choice when she was watching Skyfall, directed by Sam Mendes. She selected a still and used a color generator in Photoshop to get the basic swatch ranges, then she composed the general color palette of the most prominent colors in the still. She has continued to use this process on some of the most popular films in cinema history, choosing a theme each week. This past week she took requests, but before that she had Scorsese, Hitchcock, Kubrick, and Tarantino week. With so many amazing films out there, Radulescu will not be running out of content anytime soon to keep this Tumblr going strong!

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Wine Pairing: What Wine with What Food?

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With the traditional and practiced “wine and cheese crowd” quickly being outnumbered by a world in love with wine, it’s not surprising that many of us have no idea what wines go with what food. Wine pairing is an art often lost on the new wine fanatics, not that it’s entirely their fault. There are loads of wine types out there – and even more types of food – making it a tough task when you just want to quickly select a nice bottle to go with that soft cheese and cured meat platter.

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Happy 40th Birthday Cell Phone!

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On this date forty years ago the first cell phone call was made in New York City by Motorola’s Martin Cooper. To celebrate the 40th birthday of the cell phone, Column Five teamed up with Mashable to bring us the most important facts in a single timeline. What started as a 2.5 lb brick with a 20 minute battery life that only the richest people could afford is now something that the vast majority of first world citizens carry in their pockets.

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