xkcd: Calendar of meaningful dates

Posted to Infographics  |  Tags: ,  |  Nathan Yau

Using the Google ngrams corpus, xkcd sized the days of the year based on usage volume. Lots of firsts of the month and September 11th.


  • I’m a fan of XKCD’s “sketchy” graphics (and his interesting data collection using systematic searches), but in this case particularly I think it would be better as clean typeface. I want to see some of the subtle distinctions, but I have trouble making comparisons because of the sketchiness of the font.

  • I wonder what this would look like in other languages. Certainly April 15th (for example) gets a boost because it is tax day in the U.S, but I imagine that the 1st is referenced relatively evenly across languages,


Years You Have Left to Live, Probably

The individual data points of life are much less predictable than the average. Here’s a simulation that shows you how much time is left on the clock.

Real Chart Rules to Follow

There are rules—usually for specific chart types meant to be read in a specific way—that you shouldn’t break. When they are, everyone loses. This is that small handful.

The Changing American Diet

See what we ate on an average day, for the past several decades.

Think Like a Statistician – Without the Math

I call myself a statistician, because, well, I’m a statistics graduate student. However, the most important things I’ve learned are less formal, but have proven extremely useful when working/playing with data.