Visualizing World Life Expectancy at Birth

Omani designer Marcelo Duhalde recently released the latest of his Miscellanea Infographics, this time visualizing the life expectancy one could hope for in the 195 countries around the world. It’s a simple graphic, but don’t let that get in the way of the fantastic insights hidden in each book-like sweep of his graph. He points out that “life expectancy is a synthetic indicator of the living conditions, health, education, and other social dimensions of a country or territory.”

The When and Why of the Breakup (or What Happens When Relationships Go South)

As the old song says “breaking up is hard to do”… but perhaps a little insight could help us understand why it happens in the first place. Information designers David McCandless and Lee Byron teamed up to create three graphics dedicated to breakup miscellaneum – from what day of the year is the most popular breakup day (the first Monday of December), to the country with the most affairs (we’re looking at you Turkey!).

TED Talks: Meeting of the Minds [Infographic]

When it comes to world changing projects, it’s hard to get any better than TED. With a mission to share “Ideas worth spreading” the talks have become a household name and a go-to for inspiration, peaks at cutting edge innovation and thinking… all explained in a maximum of 18 minutes per talk. Notable speakers have been Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Richard Dawkins, Malcolm Gladwell, Al Gore, Gordon Brown, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and many Nobel Prize winners.

50 Years of 50 “Must Have” Toys

Ok, I’m going to ask a personal question: how old are you? Too personal? Ok, ok… I won’t dig that deep here. How about: what toy was popular for christmas when you were 10 years old? I know you remember it. In those exciting youthful days, there was always a “must have” gift on the list… something that would absolutely crush Christmas without finding it under the tree. Was it a Cabbage Patch Kid, a Hot Wheels car, or a Razor scooter? For me it was a remote control submarine from the Sears Wishbook. Remember that? This great graphic tracks some of the most popular holiday toys from the past 50 years. Is your favorite gift from Christmas past on the list?

Coolness Graphed: Charting Life with Bar Graphs and Humor

Coolness Graphed has been charting life and its relative coolness or ‘uncoolness’ for the past two years. RC Jones began the project as a creative outlet to counterbalance a boring day job, and within three months of publishing on tumblr, the project was receiving attention from national media including Forbes and MSN.

Earlier this year, a collection of graphs was published in a book that seems perfect for geeky gifting. In the announcement of his book deal, Jones shares, “Less than a year ago I got an email that I could tell was very important because it contained the phrase “you had us at ‘sporklift.’”

What Lies Beneath: Diving Into the Neptune Undersea Observatory Project [Infographic]

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On the surface, it would seem that new frontiers have been just about exhausted on Earth… but sometimes you just have to look deeper. The world’s oceans are vast, covering 71 percent of the Earth’s surface and containing 97 percent of the water… yet only about 5 percent of the ocean and its depths have been explored. The Neptune Canada project is aiming to change that. By filling us in with real-time video and data direct from the far reaches of the sea floor, the project launched in 2009 is already helping scientists understand mysteries of the deep – and they’re doing it with the help of people like you.

The Galaxy Quest: Going Into Orbit With the International Space Station [Infographic]

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In recent years, there have been few space projects as exciting as the International Space Station, or ISS. Even though it is the 9th space station to take orbit, it is the first to house a full-time crew and a dedicated research laboratory. And, with recent social media exploits – like those of the excellent Commander Chris Hadfield who famously sang David Bowie’s Space Oddity from orbit – space has never looked so near or friendly for the human species.

Visualizing Spending Habits of the Average Holiday Shopper in 2013 [INFOGRAPHIC]

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A person’s average holiday spending can be organized into four key recipient categories: family, friends, coworkers and the all-encompassing others.

According to this visual breakdown by MyPoints, the average holiday shopper will spend $536.86 on gifts this year, allocating 77% for family, 13%  for friends, 4% for coworkers and 5% for all the others in their life.

From the Inside: Looking into the Human Genome Project [Infographic]

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As far as great projects go, it’s hard to top the Human Genome Project (HGP). Still the largest collaborative biological endeavor in history, it has given us the first complete look at the blueprint for building human beings, and with that knowledge, it’s hard to think of anything that is contributing more to human health in our modern world.

It’s a Matter of Darkness: Digging Into the Large Hadron Collider Project [Infographic]

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You’ve heard about it before: the Large Hadron Collider, often referred to as “one of the great engineering milestones of mankind,” it is also one of the largest, encompassing a 17 mile circumference tube buried 330 feet under the border of France and Switzerland. But just what is it intended to discover? The behemoth project is tasked with unlocking the secrets of particle physics, giving us a look into what happened at the dawn of time by recreating the conditions when it all began.

This graphic – a collaboration between Microsoft Project and Column Five – looks at the massive scope of the experiments being undertaken and the equally massive implications to everyday life when we find out what’s really going on.