While on the subject of gas prices, Foreign Policy has a graph of the prices per gallon of gasoline from 2000 to 2006. With the US at the lower tier, I feel like a bit of a whiner ("Waa waa waa, it costs 30 dollars to fill my tank"). At the lower end, it seems Venezuela seems the place to be, with some major government subsidizing going on.
A very simple graph from The Economist (spiced up a bit with a picture of a delicious gasoline droplet) that quickly gets its point across. The United States uses a lot of petrol compared to other countries, while at the same time, it costs less to fill up a Honda Civic in the US than most other places.
However, the left graph is based on 2003 data. I wonder what the graph looks like now? Similar, I'm sure, but still something to look at.
Anyways, something really interesting here -- even though Venezuela has crazy low gas prices, the average petrol consumption per day over there is still quite low. Whether this is a cultural thing or just some weird supply and demand thing (that I have no clue about) might be worth some investigating.
In any case, just because we have lower gas prices (that we still complain about) than a lot of the world, we're still consuming a lot. What's our excuse?
Everyone's familiar with tag clouds, but Aaron Bassett put a slight twist to the now commonplace clouds. Aaron calls them Focus Clouds. Basically, they're still tag clouds, but instead of weighting tags by number of times used, there's some weight given to how recent a tag is. There's also some simple highlighting going on with related tags.
The idea is that the focus cloud then gives you an idea of what is currently of interest. Aaron's code is available on his blog. The code is a bit buggy, but interesting nevertheless.