Wall Drawing 797

The first drafter has a black marker and makes an irregular horizontal line near the top of the wall. Then the second drafter tries to copy it (without touching it) using a red marker. The third drafter does the same, using a yellow marker. The fourth drafter does the same using a blue marker. Then the second drafter followed by the third and fourth copies the last line drawn until the bottom of the wall is reached.

What's On C-SPAN Right Now?

For a story I'm writing about OpenedCaptions, I made this little chart, which should update automatically. No guarantees that it will be interesting at any given moment.

Time on the Bench

Supreme Court justices serve for life, or until they retire. But a life term means something different if a justice starts serving at 50 or 65. With the Court's term ending tomorrow, I was curious if terms on the bench are becoming longer. Do presidents have an incentive to appoint younger judges? Or do longer lifespans in general have the side effect of extending judicial careers?

Beer, in one chart

Mmm... beer. As you can see, there's been a massive shift from large- to small-scale.

TODO: Understand Network Diagrams

Kim Rees, sitting in for Nathan Yau at Flowing Data, has been posting examples of network diagrams lately. I have to confess I'm stumped by most of them them. Or maybe I'm just overwhelmed. Maybe I'm not alone:

Network diagrams are notoriously messy. Even a small number of nodes can be overwhelmed by their chaotic placement and relationships. Cody Dunne of HCIL showed off his new work in simplifying these complex structures. In essence, he aggregates leaf nodes into a fan glyph that describes the underlying data in its size, arc, and color. Span nodes are similarly captured into crescent glyphs. The result is an easy to read, high level look at the network. You can easily compare different sections of the network, understand areas that may have been occluded by the lines in a traditional diagram, and see relationships far more quickly.

This seems like the kind of thing that could be useful for news, where we're often trying to understand and illustrate complex relationships. I'll have to find a good dataset to play with.