At school, the languages lessons offered to me were either French or German. Some more forward-thinking schools had Spanish in their curriculum. This graphic, by freelance data visualiser Alberto Lucas Lopez, puts into perspective how much more of the world is opened up to you if you know Spanish. If you want to be able to communicate with even more of the world population, then Chinese or Hindi would work in your favour. The presentation here, with the data shown in a circle, with the countries that speak these languages included by area based on population feels novel too, especially if you stretch your imagination to think of it as a globe.
The Pudding has created some of my favourite data visualisations over the years. Originally their content focused on music, but now their scope has broadened. This chart looks at which countries have been talked about most in the New York Times each month since 1900. A grid of flags shows the beginning of the first world war, as mentions of Germany flood the headlines. In 1965, Vietnamese flags dominated, and from 2003, Iraq. The present day leans mainly towards China, followed by President Trump and the trade war.
Ever wanted to step inside the hotel room you have seen in a movie? Expedia created Sims-like architectural sketches of the floor plans of seven famous hotel rooms from films, and in most cases offered a way of booking that very same room in real life. The attention to detail here is what makes it so cool – the tiger strolling casually through the apartment in The Hangover, down to the cutlery that was used on the tables – it’s making those magical scenes in your favourite films a livable reality.
Lyft gave users one free ride during Black History Month to Black history museums, memorials, and relevant cultural sites. Promo codes for participating cities were given out in a blog post, along with possible destinations. Calling out the contributions of black women and men throughout history makes Lyft come across as forward-thinking and timely. It’s my guess that supporting communities like this improves brand sentiment with lasting effects.
Enough brands focus on the lovey-dovey aspect of Valentine’s Day during this annual celebration of romance; Hemsley Conservation Centre’s campaign however stood out from the crowd by putting in place a stunt that helps you get back at your ex. Not that it is healthy to dwell on negative things in the past, but this tongue-in-cheek cockroach-naming service certainly makes revenge that little bit more sweeter, and all at the tiny price of £1.50.
In January, Gillette launched a new ad changing its strapline from ‘the best a man can get’ to ‘the best men can be’. Piggybacking off the #metoo movement, in this ad, Gillette challenge men to hold themselves accountable and to stop bullying, violence and sexual harassment. The ad received mixed opinions, I am in agreement with Bernice King (Martin Luther King’s daughter) who said, ‘This commercial isn’t anti-male. It’s pro-humanity’. Changing habits and mindsets is one of the hardest things to do, and I feel this was a courageous topic for Gillette to comment on.
Advice from those older than us has been a successful format for us recently. For A Place For Mom, a senior care referral service in the US, we analysed over 100 news articles which gave advice from people over 100 on how to have a happy, healthy, and – most importantly – long life. Similar to this, Ryder Damen created a piece, offering advice to all ages from those older than them. At age 33, I quite agreed with mine.
Looking back as well as looking forward can often be a good basis for an idea. The National Archives have used their data to calculate modern day equivalents in the values of wool, horses, wheat and other tradable products from a year in the past of your choosing, based on the value of today’s money. For example £100 of today’s money would have brought me three horses in the 1920’s when my grandparents were born. Comparing today’s money to horses feels silly, as not that many people want to buy a horse, but it works as a concrete comparison to show how value has changed over the years.
In a world where it seems we’re often powerless to make a change with our opinions, especially those towards controversial leaders, something, anything we can do to get back at them even in a silly way to their often ridiculous statements feels empowering. This silly game allows you to ‘praise’ or ‘haze’ Donald Trump for things he has said. My personal favourite is when a large waterfall of wee is poured onto his head…I didn’t bother pressing the praise button.
Dollar Street – Gap Minder
Gap Minder create free teaching materials to dismantle misconceptions and promote a fact-based worldview on cultural differences. The money other people is always a cause for intrigue, as we inevitably compare this to our own wealth. This piece, in particular, looks at the differences in monthly household earnings, and also even allows you to take a deeper dive into what basics, like fetching water, a refrigerator or cutlery look like in these countries.