• Coffee place geography

    Coffee place geography

    My fascination with the geography of place and businesses continues.
  • Where people run

    February 5, 2014  |  Data Underload

    Where people run

    There are many exercise apps that allow you to keep track of your running, riding, and other activities. Record speed, time, elevation, and location from your phone, and millions of people do this, me included. However, when we look at activity logs, whether they be our own, from our friends, or from a public timeline, the activities only appear individually.

    What about all together? Not only is it fun to see, but it can be useful to the data collectors to plan future workouts or even city planners who make sure citizens have proper bike lanes and running paths.
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  • Famous movie quotes as charts

    January 16, 2014  |  Data Underload

    AFI movie quotes

    In celebration of their 100-year anniversary, the American Film Institute selected the 100 most memorable quotes from American cinema, and a few years ago, for kicks and giggles, I put the first eight quotes into chart form. I planned to chartify all 100, but I got distracted.

    Lately though, finishing what I started became my distraction. So here it is: the 100 most memorable quotes in chart form and I can finally put it to rest. See the big version for more detail.

    Also available in print.

  • The most regional names in US history

    November 18, 2013  |  Data Underload

    Outlier names

    It was a challenge to choose a name for my son, someone who wasn't born yet, because I didn't know where to start amongst hundreds of thousands of choices. So I approached the decision the best way I knew how, through data. That brought me back to Hilary Parker's analysis on the most poisoned name in history, which led me to the most trendy, and then the most unisex. I wanted a name that wasn't automatically associated with a fad or gender ambiguous.

    Here's one more criteria I could've added: regionality. (My wife and I already named our son, but the data from the Social Security Administration continues as a source of entertainment.)
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  • Pizza place geography

    October 14, 2013  |  Data Underload

    Pizza place geography

    Most of the major pizza chains are within a 5-mile radius of where I live, so I have my pick, but I usually order from whatever place is closest to where I am. So it doesn't matter if there are more Domino's locations than Pizza Huts where I live. I just want my feeding time to come sooner rather than later, and if that place happens to be Pizza Hut so be it. (Although, if I'm not in a rush, I'll go to the local sit-down place.)
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  • The most unisex names in US history

    September 25, 2013  |  Data Underload

    The most unisex names in US history

    Moving on from the most trendy names in US history, let's look at the most unisex ones. Some names have always been predominantly male, such as Frank and Joseph, and some names are mostly female, such as Jessica and Michelle. However, there is a small group of names that is split between male and female. The charts above show the most unisex names between 1930 and 2012.
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  • Most popular porn searches, by state

    September 3, 2013  |  Data Underload

    Most popular porn searches, by state

    We've seen that we can learn from what people search for, through the eyes of Google suggestions: state stereotypes, national stereotypes, and even the insecurities of age. Do we see anything when we look at porn searches?
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  • In search of food deserts

    August 27, 2013  |  Data Underload

    In search of food deserts

    Last time I looked at where major grocery stores are across the United States. Where you shop for groceries changes depending on what region you live in, but hunger and nutrition carries less variance. It's important that everyone has access to healthy food options, so I looked at the data, this time from Google and from a different angle. Instead of where stores are, I looked at how far away the nearest grocery store is.
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  • Doctor timeline for Doctor Who

    August 5, 2013  |  Data Underload

    The Doctors

    I have yet to see a full episode of Doctor Who, "the longest-running science fiction television show in the world" but it was apparently really big news that Peter Capaldi is set to be the next regeneration of the character. Capaldi will be the twelfth doctor since the first episode aired in 1963. Out of curiosity, I had a look at past seasons and how some past doctors have crossed paths.

    Counting specials and the one television movie, it's been 800 episodes. Maybe there's something to this phone booth guy.

  • The most trendy names in US history

    July 29, 2013  |  Data Underload

    Names are incredibly personal things. It's how we identity ourselves. We associate others, places, and points in our past with names. Maybe you recall a family member, a celebrity, or a significant other.

    At the same time, it's not uncommon for two people with the same name to run into each other, and it's why gift shops can sell and profit from those mini license plates. Parents decide what they want to call their kid at some point. So as you walk through history, you end up with names that surge, some that die off, and some that come back again.

    Hilary Parker already looked at the most poisoned name in US history (her own). Here we look at names from the other direction. The most trendy:

    Most trendy names
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  • Grocery store geography

    June 26, 2013  |  Data Underload

    Where the grocery stores are

    I've been poking around grocery store locations, courtesy of AggData, the past few days.

    There's a grocery store just about everywhere you go in the United States, because, well, we gotta eat. They look similar in that they sell produce on one side, meat in the back, and snacks and soda on the side opposite the produce. Magazines and small candies are carefully situated at eye-level by the cash registers. There's usually a deli counter and prepared foods near the bread section. And yet, despite the generic format and layout, these stores can remind us of places and specific periods of our lives.
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  • What the Sexes Want, in Speed Dating

    June 12, 2013  |  Data Underload


    A few years ago I downloaded speed dating data from experiments conducted by Raymond Fisman, et al. (2005), which represents about 8,000 dates by 551 people. On each date, people scored each other on attractiveness, intelligence, ambition, and some other things, along with a yes or a no to seeing the other person again on a regular date.

    Fisman, et al. noted gender differences in mate selection, such as: "Women put greater weight on the intelligence and the race of partner, while men respond more to physical attractiveness." And this: "Men do not value women's intelligence or ambition when it exceeds their own." Seemed like data worth checking out.
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  • The real A/C repair schedule

    October 4, 2012  |  Data Underload


    My central air conditioner started to suck about a month ago, so I called A/C repair. It took them five appointments, four to assess the problem and one to fix it. The trouble was that for each appointment they'd give me a four-hour window, and every time except the last, they arrived about a half an hour outside the window.

    I think they might need to tweak their scheduling system, unless their end game is to set expectations so low that an on-time arrival seems amazing. If that's the case, well, I slow clap in your direction, A/C repair.

  • What 3-D pie charts are good for

    June 15, 2012  |  Data Underload

    Suck on that, Conway.

    3-D pie charts are never a good idea? Ha. You just got served.

  • cutting-cable

    Why I want to quit cable

    There are good reasons to cancel cable, but there were a few channels and programs that kept me on. When you look at it in dollars though, it's hard to justify the value for the cost.
  • What costs more in 2011?

    April 27, 2011  |  Data Underload


    After seeing this article and graphic on the rising cost of food in The New York Times week in review, I was curious about how prices for other stuff has changed in the past year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides this data monthly via Consumer Price Index (CPI).
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  • Who spends the most years in retirement?

    April 7, 2011  |  Data Underload

    Life Expectancy and Retirement Years

    Early retirement. That's what most people want, unless you're lucky enough to love working. When you have the luxury of retiring early though, why not take advantage? According to OECD estimates for life expectancy and retirement ages, in countries like Mexico, it is common for men to work up to the last year of their lives. On the other hand, women in Austria spend an average of 26 years in retirement.

    In the United States the average years in retirement is 10 years for men and 16 years for women (mostly because men typically die earlier)—among the least in the world.

    When will you be retiring?

  • In land of YouTube dislikes, Justin Bieber rules

    April 1, 2011  |  Data Underload

    Most disliked videos on YouTube

    Happy Friday, everyone. If you'll allow me, I'd like to take a moment to talk about something serious.

    In a move I believe is best for everyone (but mostly me), I am switching gears to only cover facets of pop culture and toilet humor. I will also be switching focus to online education. It's come to my attention that this is a lucrative area, and leveraging my authority on information and data graphics, I believe I can become a rich man and retire by age thirty, quite possibly making four figures even sooner.
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  • Valentine’s Day importance

    February 14, 2011  |  Data Underload

    Data Underload #26: Valentine's Day

    (This might look a little different for men and women.)

    Long before any relationship begins, Valentine's Day is just another Hallmark holiday to take your money, but then that special someone starts to come into the picture, and Valentine's Day transforms into opportunity. He or she could be the one. Then he or she does become the one.

  • States with the most and fewest firearms murders

    January 19, 2011  |  Data Underload


    According to 2009 numbers reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, DC, Louisiana, Alabama, Maryland, and MIssissippi had the highest rates of firearms murders. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Vermont, Idaho, New Hampshire, Iowa, and North Dakota had the lowest. Time to move into a bed and breakfast.

    Update: Made some small changes to the copy, so that everyone and their mom isn't confused.

Unless otherwise noted, graphics and words by me are licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC. Contact original authors for everything else.