Computing the optimal road trip across the U.S.

Last week, Tracy Staedter from Discovery News proposed an interesting idea to me: Why not use the same algorithm from my Where’s Waldo article to compute the optimal road trip across every state in the U.S.? Visiting every U.S. state

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Top 25 richest living comedians

It’s fairly common knowledge that comedy isn’t a terribly lucrative career. Not only do most comedians spend decades doing small-time standup hoping to be discovered, but most of those comedians never end up being discovered either. But what about the

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Revisiting the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon

In early 1994, three Albright College students were watching Footloose during a heavy snowstorm. By pure coincidence, the next movie that came on the television was The Air Up There, another popular film starring Kevin Bacon. Intrigued by the coincidence,

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Design critique: Putting Big Pharma spending in perspective

Recently, /r/DataIsBeautiful began hosting weekly visualization redesign competitions challenging everyone to come up with better and less misleading designs of existing graphics. Below is the first of many redesigns and detailed critiques that I will be working on. In early

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Here’s Waldo: Computing the optimal search strategy for finding Waldo

As I found myself unexpectedly snowed in this weekend, I decided to take on a weekend project for fun. While searching for something to catch my fancy, I ran across an old Slate article claiming that they found a foolproof

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Python usage survey 2014

Remember that Python usage survey that went around the interwebs late last year? Well, the results are finally out and I’ve visualized them below for your perusal. This survey has been running for two years now (2013-2014), so where we

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The Shrinking Battleground: Every 4 years, fewer states determine the outcome of the Presidential election

Every 4 years, Americans are tasked to elect the leader of one of the largest democratic nations in the world. Eager to have their voices heard, U.S. citizens from every state stand in line to cast their ballot for their

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A data-driven guide to creating successful reddit posts, redux

A couple years ago, I wrote an article using massive data set of reddit posts to tackle one of the more popular questions about reddit: How do I get a highly-upvoted post on reddit? In light of the recent findings

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Over half of all reddit posts go completely ignored

A couple years ago, Eric Gilbert published a research article showing that more than half (~52%) of all popular links submitted to /r/pics go completely ignored the first time they’re posted. I found this phenomenon to be strange because those

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The biggest box office booms and busts since 1982

If you read my last post about the correlation between a film’s budget and its performance in the box office, you were possibly intrigued about my mentions of the biggest box office successes and failures. I decided to focus on

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