John Walsh, the U.S. Senator from Montana, is in the news lately for plagiarizing a large portion of his final paper towards his master’s degree. The New York Times highlighted the portions that Walsh copied without attribution (red) and the portions he copied with improper attribution (yellow). About a third of the paper was just straight up lifted from others’ works, including the final recommendations and conclusion, which is basically the grand finale.
See also: Visualizing Plagiarism by Gregor Aisch, which shows the plagiarized PhD thesis of Germany’s former Minister of Defense.
How the first world war changed the world
ON JULY 28th 1914 Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, beginning the first world war. In the following four years, millions would lose their lives. What else changed? Economies shrank, stagnated and hyperinflated. It took over a decade for the German economy to recover to its size in 1913. Industry was weakened across Europe. As the continent splurged on munitions, financed with debt, America manufactured arms and saw its economy expand. Hyperinflation in Germany shrank the size of the country’s debt.
Geography changed too. After the war the Treaty of Versailles carved out new countries from what remained of the old pre-war empires. Independence was granted to the Baltic states, which had been handed to Germany in 1918 as part of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which ended Russian involvement in the first world war. Poland was reconstituted from former Russian, German and Austro-Hungarian territories, and Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and a larger Romania…Continue reading
GDP “measures everything,” quipped Bobby Kennedy, the American president’s brother, “except that which makes life worthwhile.” To better track living standards, the Human Development Index (HDI) ranks countries by life expectancy, education and income per person. The latest report on July 24th put Norway on top (as it has been since 2000). America is fifth. Drought-ridden Niger and war-torn Congo are lowest.
How does this compare to day-to-day well-being? We plotted HDI against self-reported data on happiness from Gallup, an international polling company. It asks if people had been “laughing or smiling a lot, feeling well-rested, and being treated with respect” in the previous day. By this measure Paraguay has been the happiest place on Earth for the past three years. Syria, locked in civil war, is lowest.
Strikingly, there is little correlation between the two measures (the correlation coefficient is 0.25, which is a very weak association). Lithuania has a happiness score of 53%. For its level of development one might expect happiness…Continue reading
Yelp released an amusing tool that lets you see how the use of word in reviews has changed over the site’s decade of existence.
From food trends to popular slang to short-lived beauty fads (Brazilian blowout anyone?), Yelp Trends searches through words used in Yelp reviews to show you what’s hot and reveals the trend-setting cities that kicked it all off. Our massive wealth of data and the high quality reviews contributed by the Yelp community are what allow us to surface consumer trends and behavior based on ten years of experiences shared by locals around the world.
Just type in keywords, select your city, business category, and click the search button to see the changes. For the less used words, the data looks mostly like noise, but there are also some clear trends like in craft beer and chicken and waffles.
The Economist’s interactive currency-comparison tool
THE Big Mac index is a lighthearted guide to whether currencies are at their “correct” level. It is based on the theory of purchasing-power parity (PPP), the notion that global exchange rates should eventually adjust to make the price of identical baskets of tradable goods the same in each country. Our basket contains just one thing, a Big Mac hamburger.
Track global burger-based exchange-rates over time with our interactive Big Mac index (updated July 24th 2014).
Vendor: Pop Chart Lab
Make your walls blossom with this exquisite arrangement of flowers! We’ve artfully illustrated 50 peonies of several shapes and shades—from the the beautiful Buckeye Bell to the aptly named Pastel Splendor—and bundled them into a vibrant bouquet complete with empirical labeling of flower parts, from petal to penduncle to stigma. Poised to be a perennial favorite among budding botanists and full-fledged florists alike, this posy of prized pistil-packers will transform any room into a veritable garden–and is guaranteed to always be in full bloom.
18″ x 24″
Each print is signed and numbered by the artists from a first printing of 500, and comes packaged in a Pop Chart Lab Test Tube. See the menu to the right for finishing options, and note that framed prints require an additional 3-4 business days of processing time.
Using 100 lb. archival stock certified by The Forest Stewardship Council, this poster is pressed on an offset lithographic press with vegetable-based inks in Long Island City, Queens.