Orion Test Flight

At the time of writing, Orion has yet to launch. But by the time this is published, Orion—NASA’s successor to the space shuttle—will hopefully be at or near the greatest distance from Earth achieved by a spacecraft since the Apollo programme. The Houston Chronicle illustrated the different stages of the unmanned test flight. Hopefully in several years when the programme has its manned flight this blog will still be here and somebody out there will similarly illustrate that mission.

Stage 4

Stage 4

Credit for the piece goes to Ken Ellis.

White (Immigrant) People

This is an old map that saw the light of day a while back. Featured on Vox, the map supports the notion that some white people are whiter than other white people. The map explores immigrant populations. Using a map for spatial arrangement of integrated components, the data looks at immigrants’ ethnic origins, their workforce breakdown, and their recent growth.

A look at PA, my ancestors are in that data set

A look at PA, my ancestors are in that data set

Credit for the piece goes to FS Howell. (I presume.)

Habitable Exoplanets

What is out there beyond our solar system? Are there little green men in flying saucers? Or Klingons waging war? The first step in figuring that out is knowing how many planets can be inhabited by life as we know it. This interactive graphic from National Geographic explores just that. And as it turns out, most of the exoplanets we have discovered are not habitable. But a few offer promise. If only we could warp on over and properly explore them.

Exoplanet habitability

Exoplanet habitability

Credit for the piece goes to John Tomanio and Xaquín G.V.

American College Football Part Deux

A couple of weeks ago I shared a map from the New York Times that looked at American college football programme loyalty. And I quipped that none of it made sense to me as someone born and raised in the Northeast. The New York Times followed that piece up with another that looks solely at Facebook likes of college football via likes for any team. Not surprisingly the sport does not do too well in the Northeast. But it does appear quite popular in other regions of the country.

Chester County is not big on it…

Chester County is not big on it…

Credit for the piece goes to Neil Irwin and Kevin Quealy.

Thanksgiving Recipes by State

Today is an American holiday: Thanksgiving. We give thanks that European diseases and military technology allowed us to remove the native population for colonisation of the continent. We do that by watching American football and eating lots and lots of food. For dessert, well, we have dessert. But also gluttonous amounts of shopping. So in that spirit, here is the New York Times’ presentation of Thanksgiving recipes per state. The description is followed by an expandable recipe.

Mmm…bacon.

Mmm…bacon.

To be fair, I really am a fan of shoofly pie. But that’s just me.

Credit for the piece goes to the New York Times.

The 76ers Are a Terrible Basketball Team

The Philadelphia 76ers are a terrible basketball team. FiveThirtyEight details the deficiencies of the team in this small table. Icons represent characteristics that can be either positive or negative. They are then placed within the table to quickly show how awful the team is. My favourite is the icon for poor player.

Just terrible

Just terrible

Credit for the piece goes to the FiveThirtyEight graphics department.

The American Empire

The United States has a long history of deploying troops overseas. How long? And where to? Well, ABC (as in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation) mapped out every US deployment dating back to 1798. I captured the year 2014, but if you are curious, you should check it out for yourself.

US Deployments Abroad

US Deployments Abroad

A neat little bonus, watch the growth of the borders of the United States from 1798.

Credit for the piece goes to Simon Elvery.

Whence do US Retail Sales Come?

Today’s piece comes from the Wall Street Journal. It looks at US retail and foodservice spending through different types of stores.

Retail sales by store type

Retail sales by store type

I take issue with a few things, firstly the tree map. Because it’s not really a tree map. Another thing I am not keen on is the comparison feature in the piece. The user can select up to three types of stores to compare. And while the result works in the line chart—three lines—the bar chart devolves into a near useless component. There is no easy way to compare the actual lengths of the individual bars short of mousing over and scribbling down each individual datapoint. In the particular case here, I likely would have changed from bars to line. Because that way I can compare the actual magnitude of each store type.

Credit for the piece goes to Dan Hill.