PBS web series Off Book has produced a short, compelling video called “The Art of Data Visualization,” which showcases powerful presentations of complex data. Nuances in such information might be lost without displaying it visually.
“Humans have a powerful capacity to process visual information, skills that date far back in our evolutionary lineage,” the team behind the video write. “And since the advent of science, we have employed intricate visual strategies to communicate data, often utilizing design principles that draw on these basic cognitive skills. In a modern world where we have far more data than we can process, the practice of data visualization has gained even more importance.”
Top Image: Hurricanes and Tropical Storms Since 1851 courtesy of data visualization expert John Nelson and IDV Solutions. See the full-sized image here.
NASA’s fleet of spacecraft observing the sun have sent back fascinating and beautiful video from the most recent coronal mass ejection, when a massive burst of matter and magnetic fields shoot out from the star into space.
Four spacecraft recorded the eruption in the extreme ultraviolet band of the electromagnetic spectrum over the course of 2.5 hours. The space agency says CMEs typically eject more than one billion tons of particles at a speed faster than one million miles per hour.
Happy Birthday, John James Audubon! The famous student and painter of birds was born on April 26, 1785. In celebration of his great work, and of the conservation movement he helped inspire, we present a few examples of his illustrations.
All of these images come from his seminal work The Birds of America, printed in a series from 1827 to 1838. These drawings come courtesy of the digital collection of the New York Public Library, which includes many other illustrations from Audubon.
Above is an adult male whooping crane, which appears to be going for a meal of baby alligators. The bird is presently endangered.
The performing arts and the natural sciences, usually on opposite sides of campus, collided on April 9 at the World Science Festival’s annual gala in New York City.
And, boy, those two had some chemistry.
The evening featured music, dance, theatre, film and culinary artistry with a scientific bent. Chefs froze finger foods with liquid nitrogen. Broadway singers and dancers performed standards that had been reworked to include “primordial oceans” and “hydrothermal vents.” Festival co-founder Brian Greene talked about the Higgs boson while surprising edible art emerged from CO2 tanks, a high-speed evaporator and a centrifuge.
Hosted by Alan Alda and festival co-founders Tracy Day and Greene, the night honored Nobel Laureate James D. Watson on the 60th anniversary of the discovery of DNA’s Double Helix.