Random Asides

  • a barbell on a gym floor

    Self Care Sunday: Do something you’re bad at

    I am someone who is a bit of an overachiever. I’m definitely Type-A, where the A stands for my Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Also, I’m in academia which is, let’s say, really really really frakking competitive and stressful. I love teaching and working with undergraduates so SO much that it’s worth it, but it’s a recipe for me to be overwhelmed.…

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  • US Voters Map Accurate

    What the Hell Happened to Bad Chart Thursday?

    Bad Chart Thursday, for me, has always been about examining through satire how people and organizations mislead, through charts or through ideas I can illuminate as nonsense simply by charting the logic. But satire has become really difficult to write lately, with reality repeatedly seeming like an Onion headline. And every day, there are serious issues going on that are…

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  • Seriously Learn Science poster art by Amy Davis Roth, used with permission

    Mad Monday: Seriously, Learn Science, Rick Astley, Werewolves and Big Frank

    It’s Monday and so I have some cool geeky art to share with y’all. First of all, I illustrated a new poster for you to download and print and put up in your home or school. Or even better, take it to a march or protest! It is created at 22 inches by 28 inches so it’s the perfect poster…

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  • Anatomy Lesson for Feminists tweet screenshot

    Bad Chart Thursday: “Anatomy” Lesson for Feminists

    Complete, often willful, ignorance of biology is characteristic of the anti-choice forced birth movement, perhaps even more characteristic than religious faith. Yet this ignorance is equally fanciful, imagining fully formed babies inside women (often inside our stomachs, apparently), rape never leading to pregnancy because “the female body has ways to shut the whole thing down,” embryos and fetuses magically feeling…

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  • San Diego Crime bar chart

    Bad Chart Thursday: Crime-Fighting Border Walls Cause Cancer

    The justification for the border wall that Donald Trump wants to build at the US-Mexico border is that the wall would reduce crime. Though it’s well established that the immigrant crime rate is much lower than that of native-born Americans, and evidence suggests that immigrant-friendly cities tend to experience a lower crime rate than other urban areas, Trump and his…

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  • pot pie chart

    Bad Chart Thursday: From 0 to Pot Pie in 5 Charts

    I had so many terrible charts to choose from this week that it seemed a shame not to share them all, so here’s a quick rundown of my favorite data visualization fails this month, starting with the least egregious and working toward the worst chart ever to grace this site’s pixels. First up are a couple of charts that aren’t…

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  • What are the odds chart

    Throwback Bad Chart Thursday: You Are Not a Special Miracle Because Odds. Sorry.

    Today’s chart is actually a few years old, but it occasionally pops up in my various feeds, and the concept behind it is prevalent in multiple mathematically challenged arguments, such as those for creationism. The infographic “What are the odds?” was created by Sofyay Yampolsky based on a blog post by Ali Binazir, “What are the chances of your coming…

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  • CAHC Obamacare chart

    Bad Chart Thursday: GOP Obamacare Chart Makes Case for . . . Obamacare

    Last week, Politico shared the internal GOP policy brief for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), a brief that inadvertently makes a pretty good case for not repealing the ACA at all. No where is this better illustrated than in this chart: The source is given as the Council for Affordable Health Coverage, a group lobbying for…

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