That’s Mimal the elfin chef with a pan of fried chicken. He is named after the first letter of each state that he is composed of: Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana. It’s an old gag but it still amuses me, and it always unburies the age-old question. Do the states make Mimal or does Mimal make the states? The question is so deep and profound that I don’t dare try to answer it.
Mimal came across my desk the other day, and as I stared longingly at his pan of fried chicken, I wondered:
“Are there more Mimals among us? What other characters are hidden in our boundaries? And are these clues that I can pass on to Nicholas Cage to find the next national treasure, or does he already know about them? Am I just wasting my time?”
I brushed off my insecurities and fear and began the journey. And began it did. Here’s what I found.
Here’s the thing though. If you stare at the states long enough, your mind tricks you into seeing anything. I mean, come on. Green slug with an orange wig and an underbite? That’s a stretch.
But this. This my friends is glaringly obvious, and like Mimal, once I saw this I could not believe it was there all along, right in front of me.
Life, as we know it, will never be the same.
Reviving the Statistical Atlas of the United States with New Data
Due to budget cuts, there is no plan for an updated atlas. So I recreated the original 1870 Atlas using today’s publicly available data.
Visualizing the Uncertainty in Data
Data is an abstraction, and it’s impossible to encapsulate everything it represents in real life. So there is uncertainty. Here are ways to visualize the uncertainty.
Divorce Rates for Different Groups
We know when people usually get married. We know who never marries. Finally, it’s time to look at the other side: divorce and remarriage.