Friday, December 19, 2014

2014 Recap


Compared to previous years, the activity in this 2014 run-down is mayyybe tough evidence of the long tail of my muse slipping away.  I'll need more data points to say this with confidence, of course.  They come and go; it's ok.
Life is a big ledger of cost and opportunity cost -but it's also a wonderful adventure; I'm concentrating on recognizing loveliness in things that are inherently lovely and looking for the loveliness in things that are, on their surface, unlovely.

So here's a recap of those times when I couldn't keep that to myself...

Visualizations
Occasionally, some pile of data will drag itself across my eyeballs and I can't not try to see it as a picture. Here are some manifestations of that.


Know-it-all-iness
Here are a couple wordy posts where I advise on crap like professional fulfillment and communication, for whatever that's worth.


Textures and Bathymetry
I had a lot of fun trying to make realistic-looking surfaces by marrying bathymetry map layers and material textures like slate and wood. When the universe was bashing skeuomorphism, I was having a great time reveling in ratcheted-up phony carto realism.


How and Why
For a nerd like me, reminiscing how and why I made things is just as fun as the making, and it also serves as a nice feedback loop for appreciating the process of creation and the fun in sharing that with others.



And here's a look at the relative interest the internet had in these posts...



Anyway, be thankful for your 2014 and do well in 2015. All the best,
John

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

2015 College Football Playoff

The first round of the first ever College Football Playoff will occur on January 1, 2015. #1-ranked Alabama will play #4-ranked Ohio State, and #2-ranked Oregon will play #3-ranked Florida State. And of course the winners of those games go on to play in a mega awesome national championship game.

The First Two Games
Alabama and Ohio State: North versus South. Here are the hometowns of all of the players on those teams, who will meet at the Sugar Bowl:

The recruiting footprints of Sugar Bowl teams, Alabama and Ohio State.


Oregon and Florida State: West versus East. Here are the hometowns of all of the players on those teams, who will meet at the Rose Bowl:

The recruiting footprints of Rose Bowl teams, Oregon and Florida State.

A Closer Look at the Teams
Here are the individual teams' hometown maps, with a calculation of the recruiting footprint (the Air Mile Index, 10 is mega-local, 30 is insanely broad), numbers of players per class, and the programs' stated revenues and expenses (I did a basic difference to show the net) over the latest four seasons.

#1 Alabama

#2 Oregon

#3 Florida State

#4 Ohio State


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

IDV Lunch & Learns: On the Menu

Part of the fun of working here at IDV is the twice-weekly-ish Lunch & Learn sessions where we devour a lunch and get learned.  Over time, I tired of including the actual lunch info in the staff invite and, naturally, began inventing radical meals -regardless of what was actually on the menu.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, what follows is a list of the ominous lunches throughout the year that IDVers were told to expect, plucked from each hyperbole-laden email invite:

  • Ancient insects harvested from encasing amber. The amber waste will be sold on the Estonian semi-precious stone commodities market, the insects eaten here at IDV with a horseradish dipping sauce
  • Roasted Angus Femur. If you can crack it open, you've earned the marrow
  • Hot birch-bark tea and cold sockeye salmon gill tissue
  • Seasoned curly fries and stewed water buffalo
  • Dried perch sticks with Edwardian-era mummy dipping paste
  • Blanched spinach leaves draped atop an unaltered macaque
  • Rare mutton pancreas and watercress with peyote dipping sauce
  • Owl Kebabs!
  • A high-energy demonstration will be your sustenance!!
  • Blanched watercress in pulverized Carrier Pigeon bone stock
  • Michigan tart cherries that failed to sell at a roadside stand in Mesick, MI, and came onto the market at an attractive price. And sliced pickled bologna
  • Dry toast. No beverages
  • Non-Newtonian dilatant cornstarch suspension
  • Extruded and steamed laboratory-grown protein strand paste
  • Raw turmeric seeds and beluga spleen
  • Rhubarb chutney drizzled over melted brie with komodo kebabs
  • Nothing. You will receive nothing
  • Slow roasted capuchin on a bed of peyote shavings
  • Dried and pulverized lobster shell re-hydrated with straight bourbon into a fine paste to be spread over thinly-sliced, toasted, goat kidney
  • Alabaster dust slurry over rice cakes and hot sugared absinthe
  • Rare narwhal liver over shaved ice paired with mandatory Flaming Moe’s
  • Marinated alligator sinew and bamboo shoots
  • Seared wolf tenderloin on a bed of mixed poppy petals
  • Giraffe tongue and marinated squirrel
  • Grist pellets and curdled opossum milk
  • Dry buckwheat hulls drizzled with EVOO and dusted with graded marmot cheese, and beet juice to quench your powerful thirst
  • Connective tissue and absinthe
  • 3 pints of mead each. And empty stomachs otherwise
  • Hand-massaged Kobe beef medallions and wine spritzers
  • Raw corn flour and wasabi paste
  • Warm mayonnaise slurry and dry oats
  • Toast, curds, and grits
  • Dried kale chips, raw carrots, and water
  • Rice cakes and Hi-C
  • Theater nachos with way too many chips and not enough cheese
  • Desiccated emu filings
  • A galaxy of free appetizers and watered down drinks in an oxygen-enriched human circus
  • Cold butter sticks and lemonade
  • Olive pits and raw ramen noodles
  • After dinner mints and ketchup packets
  • Soft pretzels and nacho cheese bar
  • Rice cakes and tepid water -as a cleansing meal before your gluttonous near-future
  • Live chef omelet station
  • Cheetos and Miller Lite
  • Caviar trimmings and lobster effluence
  • Vitamins and roughage
  • Snifters of Potbelly’s BBQ sauce to chug

Which one is your favorite?  Frankly, I think they all sound delicious and I'd be hard pressed to choose.  In reality, we sampled from the galaxy of various local options, which turned out to be much less precarious but much more nutritious than the invitations promised.
Have a great Thanksgiving!



Monday, October 6, 2014

Atlas of Design II

It is a real honor to be found in the pages of the second volume of the Atlas of Design.  The contributors make up a list of folks whose craftsmanship I really admire, and it is a privilege to be listed alongside those cartographers.
You can read how I made this map, here, and pick up the book to read a probably too-personal recounting of what it meant to me and the difficult context in which it was made.  Oh well, everything is personal -even the maps that nerds make.