SHOW, not tell; Bird and Dinosaur chromosomes; and To(o) funny
NPR's Science Friday discusses the art of displaying data in a user friendly and fascinating way in the article "Show, not Tell." The "infographic age" is here.
Above, New York's carbon emissions are shown in real time. Clear, dramatic, understandable: data you can sweep right up ;-).
And 85 dog breeds are shown below based on four categories of herder, hunter, mastiff-like or wolf-like. Showing large amounts of data in a way that is quickly understandable has moved leaps and bounds from bar graph and pie chart days.
On Fridays I leave the fascinating world of oil and gas and environmental geology for a few hours to work with 14 brilliant kindergarteners doing hands-on science. We made giant dinosaur nests and edible coconut bird nests and talked about clades. We made our own infographics last week showing bird and dinosaurs differing by a chromosome (simplified but effective as the kids ran around on the playground after looking at the chromosome bracelets saying "You're a bird!" or "You're a dinosaur!")
If a had a really good infographic person I'd make these data into a fascinating SHOW:
Organism Number of Chromosomes
Adder's Tongue (plant) 1260
Birds 78 - 80
...And tell you that none of the kids were at all concerned that the plant has so many chromosomes and that, (whew!) no one asked HOW the mom gives the X chromosome to her kid or the dad gives the X or Y to his kid.
The kids in kindergarten don't do show and tell any more. They just DO.
And finally, I believe I will need to sign off now. I am on a quest to find funny: