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.

Want to Be More Creative? Do Something Boring

If you often find yourself bored at work because you’re doing the same dull things over and over, you might be secretly helping your creativity. Yes, it sounds crazy and counterintuitive, but hear us out. A 2013 study by psychology researchers at the UK’s University of Central Lancaster found that being bored at work—roped into monotonous tasks—give us time to daydream, which, in fact, makes us more creative. 

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.

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 Best Way to Call Out Polluters and Advertise Your Air Filter Company? Try Projecting Crying Babies on Smog.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang declared a war on pollution last year, but despite efforts the problem continues to grow, leaving hundreds of thousands of citizens dead annually due to poor air quality. For their Breath Again campaign, Chinese air filter company Xiao Zhu took an unconventional approach to advertising their product and called out some of the countries biggest polluters in the the process. They did it by projecting crying babies on clouds of pollution.

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.

ONDU: A Pinhole Camera Launching With a Very Snappy Campaign

When it comes to getting projects off the ground, there’s nothing like Kickstarter. But, when it comes to Kickstarter, there’s nothing more important than a good campaign. ONDU is one of those projects. Elvis and Benjamin Halilović are the two brothers behind the slick little pinhole camera that combines good design with top-notch production to create a campaign that’s going sky high – already crushing their $20k funding goal by over $60k. Let’s look at a few aspects of this Kickstarter campaign that make it really snap.