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.
Projects by Nathan Yau See All →
This is an American Workday, By Occupation
I simulated a day for employed Americans to see when and where they work.
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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.