10 Inspiring Ways Brands Celebrate Holidays on Instagram

There’s a reason we honor holidays and special events: It brings us all closer together. And on social media, it gives us an excuse to join a celebration—or a conversation at least. Hence, practically every day is national something day.

Brands are particularly known for joining in, sharing their own social posts to honor special events. Unfortunately, these posts can often feel cheesy or forced.(We’ve all seen the cringeworthy 9/11 tweets.) But sometimes, brands do it right. On Instagram, the social platform that is the perfect place to experiment with visual content, we’re seeing lots of companies doing creative and clever work around holidays. That said, here are 10 great pieces of content that we’d like to celebrate.

This Visualization Will Help You Understand the Unbelievable Number of People Lost in WWII

The Fallen of World War II is a documentary visualization that gives us a heartrending perspective of the casualties lost during the conflict. Created by filmmaker Neil Halloran, the 18-minute short breaks down the war’s tragedies, stacking them into a sobering tally of the people who lost their lives.

With numbers reaching into the tens of millions, it is difficult to comprehend the magnitude of the war, or how it compares to the conflicts of today. But with Halloran’s exceptional comparisons and storytelling, the magnitude of World War II is made clear.

Exploring the Fear of Failure and Creative Success

If there’s one thing that is kryptonite to creativity, it’s fear of failure. Every working creative knows this struggle and how it can affect the work you do. To explore this theme, Visual News’ parent company Column Five partnered with the Laguna College of Arts + Design (LCAD) to create a data visualization exhibit, “Fear of Failure and Creative Success.”

Google’s Project Jacquard Weaves Touch Interfaces into Your Clothes

Smart textiles are one stitch closer to being a daily reality. Google’s Project Jacquard is experimenting with conductive threads woven into garments that transform nearly any area into a touch sensitive panel much like the screen on your smartphone.

The brainchild of Google’s Advanced Technology and Progress (ATAP) department, Project Jacquard was announced at their I/O developer conference in San Francisco (the same event which saw them announce a tiny hand gesture sensing radar).

The technology is seamlessly simple, and that’s the point. When touched, a grid of conductive threads send signals to a chip which translates them into simple controls for devices like smartphones or tablets. Want to crank the volume on that song you’re listening to? Just brush your sleeve.

Happy Donut Day! What’s Your Fave Type?

It’s National Donut Day! (If you haven’t scored some yet, check out Foodbeast’s list of everyone who’s giving away free treats.) The donut has certainly had the foodie treatment in recent years, with specialty shops springing up in hip cities around the country. Now you can get unconventional flavors, from Froot Loops to Country Ham & Eggs, but not everyone is on board. A recent Ipsos poll asked individuals about their favorite flavors—who knew cream-filled was America’s fave?

Delta Airlines Made a Meme-Filled Safety Video You’ll Actually Want to Watch

We don’t get too many opportunities to write about airline safety videos, and there’s a pretty good reason: they are stare-into-space-dreaming-about-anything-else BORING. Then you have this version from Delta.

At 6 minutes long, it easily exceeds the length of your average safety video, but you’ll probably watch every second. Why? They’ve filled it to the brim with the internet’s favorite memes, from Overly Attached Girlfriend and Keyboard Cat, to the Double Rainbow guy and the shark suit wearing Roomba cat.

Pierre Cerveau Imagines What the iPhone Would Have Looked Like if Jobs Made It In the 80’s Instead

Remember the gigantic Zack Morris cell phone of the early 90’s? Apple would never create something so hideous. But what if Steve Jobs had visualized the iPhone 20 years earlier? The Macintosh Phone is what we would have had. Pierre Cerveau designs the concept of this retro awesomeness along with ads that might have lined the billboards of 80’s NYC. With a rotary phone dial, bulky pixelated screen, and 512kb of space, this would have been hipper than hipsters.

You Make My Heart Race: Visualization of A Man’s Heart Rate As He Proposes to His Girlfriend

No matter how long you’ve known and loved your girlfriend and no matter how sure you are that she will say “yes”, popping the question will still make your heart tremble. Redditor jakeinfusino decided to wear a heart rate monitor as he built up the confidence to ask his girlfriend to be his wife. He fed the data through Particular/ Form and used After Effects to create this awesome visualization. Although it took 40 minutes to pop the question and let his heart rest again, this 90 second video shows the highs and lows as he gained the courage to ask that magic question.

This Time-Lapse of One World Trade Center was 11-Years in the Making

This 2-minute time-lapse from EarthCam has been in creation since October 2004 when construction began on One World Trade Center. It finally wrapping up this year on Memorial Day 2015… 11-years later. Just released as the official time-lapse video of the building’s construction, it begins with below-ground utility relocations, footings, and foundations for the new building. It completes as the structure is sealed by its highly reflective windows and takes its place as the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, at 104 floors and 1,792 feet tall.

Support for Same-Sex Marriage is at a Record High

Support for same-sex marriage is at an all time high, with 60% of Americans in favor. That’s according to the latest poll from Gallup, which has been asking this question since 1996:

“Do you think marriages between same-sex couples should or should not be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages?”

This finding comes at a pivotal moment, with the Supreme Court set to rule on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage this month.