Kurt Vonnegut Shows Us the Shape of Stories

Kurt Vonnegut was a master writer and storyteller. And as we all know, a good story has a solid structure. But what does that look like?  We recently stumbled across an old video of Kurt Vonnegut visualizing story arcs in true data scientist fashion. (Storytelling + data visualization + data visualization about storytelling = minds blown.)

What Major Writes the Longest Master’s Thesis?

Even if you don’t count the research that goes into it, writing a master’s thesis is a whole lot of work. So. Many. Pages. But are all majors equally lengthy? Marcus Beck of R is My Friend has the answer in this visualization of masters’ theses from different fields, arranged by average page length.

Medical Chemistry, and Science Technology and Environmental Policy top the list with average lengths well over 100 pages. On the short end of the scale is Clinical Research, having average page lengths of around 25.

Visualizing the Movements of Chess Pieces Using Millions of Games

Every chess piece has a signature footprint after millions of moves. Using the 2.2 million chess games stored at Million Base, Steve Tung has visualized the movements of individual chess pieces across the board. Each of his images reveal that unique footprint and some of the most popular strategies used during a normal game.

Stanford Study: Walking Increases Creativity by 60%

It’s not unusual to get good ideas while walking, and now we know why. A new study by Stanford researchers has found that a person’s creative output increases by an average of 60% when walking.

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.

What’s the Most Mentioned Car in Rap Music? It’s Not an Impala.

Luxury cars have always been a staple element in rap music. Snoop Dogg waxed lyrical about his ’64 Impala in ‘Still A G Thang’, and The Game has dropped seven major car brands into the songs he writes – but what car is the most popular? Medium crunched the numbers on lyrics from Rap Genius, and came up with the lowdown on what cars, and car brands top the rap world – and it’s not an Impala.

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.”

Be Emperor of the Penguins with Daniel Rozin’s Bizarre New ‘Mirror’

We just covered Daniel Rozin and his collection of bizarre interactive ‘mirrors’ a few weeks ago, but this new creation can’t be missed. His ‘Penguins Mirror’ let’s you be emperor of the penguins – just stand in front of all 450 motorized stuffed animals and they turn their white bellies towards you reflecting your silhouette. Is it brilliant or just absurd? Probably the best of both, and a really good laugh too.

Michael Pecirno’s Minimalist Maps Reveal the Hidden Landscapes of America

London-based designer Michael Pecirno creates minimalist maps in an ongoing project to understand the landscape of the world. His work is exploratory, using a decidedly narrow set of data to see the unique patterns it creates across the land. In each case, the map is drawn with data points, leaving traditional physical and political borders to our imagination.

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?