With Hillary Clinton scheduled to accept the Democratic Party’s nomination for president tonight in Philadelphia, the U.S. general election is officially upon us.
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That means we can expect plenty of fireworks, cable news prognostication, and partisan bile in the next three months. Most of that, it’s safe to say, is best ignored. Fortunately, an election year also brings plenty for the history- and data-minded among us.
With Nov. 8 in mind, we took a look at how state-by-state voting results have changed over the last 13 presidential elections. You can find our visualization – made in OnePager for Excel – here, or expand it by clicking the thumbnail on this page. Bright blue means an overwhelming Democratic victory, and red means the same for the Republicans. Shades of purple represent a closer vote; true purple would be a 50-50 tie.
What do we learn when we examine historical voting trends this way? Quite a few things. Continue reading →
It’s enough to make any professional project manager’s skin crawl. The United Kingdom’s pending exit from the European Union – the biggest shakeup in Western statecraft since the fall of the Soviet Union – appears to be proceeding essentially without a plan.
David Cameron, Britain’s Prime Minister, is stepping down before October. He’s said he won’t trigger Article 50 – the EU’s method for a member state resigning – in the near future; that’s up to his successor. And even when (or if) Article 50 is invoked, no one quite knows exactly how the “Brexit” itself will work – the rule has never been used.
As you surely know by now, boxer, social activist and global icon Muhammad Ali died over the weekend at age 74.
While there was so much more to Ali’s life than just his boxing career, it’s stunning to look at what he accomplished (and what more he could have accomplished) in the ring.
Using Microsoft® Excel and OnePager® plan communication software, we’ve created a visual representation of Ali’s 20-plus year boxing career. Flags represent the location of his fights (the 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” against George Foreman, for instance, was contested in Kinshasa, Zaire).
Human beings have been using visuals to communicate for some 40,000 years. Whether it’s a cave painting of a deer or a complex, computer-generated chart showing the steps involved in building a rocket, the aim is the same: Get the information across as efficiently as possible, in a universally understandable manner. Visuals rely on language and cultural cues significantly less than spoken or written words; in many ways, they’re simply easier for (most people’s) brains to process. Continue reading →