As I have mentioned previously in my blog, one of my childhood heroes was Harry Houdini. Halloween holds a sad, special place in my heart in that it is the day Houdini died. Houdini died of peritonitis, secondary to a ruptured appendix at 1:26 p.m. on October 31, 1926 in Room 401 at Detroit’s Grace Hospital, aged 52. In his final days, he optimistically held to a strong belief that he would recover, but his last words before dying were reportedly, “I’m tired of fighting.” Eyewitnesses to an incident at Houdini’s dressing room in the Princess Theatre in Montreal gave rise to speculation that Houdini’s death was caused by a McGill University student, J. Gordon Whitehead, who delivered a surprise attack of multiple blows to Houdini’s abdomen.
The eyewitnesses, students named Jacques Price and Sam Smilovitz (sometimes called Jack Price and Sam Smiley), proffered accounts of the incident that generally corroborated one another. Price describes Whitehead asking Houdini “whether it was true that punches in the stomach did not hurt him”, and after securing Houdini’s permission to strike him, delivering “some very hammer-like blows below the belt”. Houdini was reclining on a couch at the time, having broken his ankle while performing several days earlier. Price states that Houdini winced at each blow and stopped Whitehead suddenly in the midst of a punch, gesturing that he had enough, and adding that he had no opportunity to prepare himself against the blows, as he did not expect Whitehead to strike him so suddenly and forcefully. Had his ankle not been broken, he would have risen from the couch into a better position to brace himself.
Throughout the evening, Houdini performed in great pain. He was unable to sleep and remained in constant pain for the next two days, but did not seek medical help. When he finally saw a doctor, he was found to have a fever of 102 °F (39 °C) and acute appendicitis, and advised to have immediate surgery. He ignored the advice and decided to go on with the show. When Houdini arrived at the Garrick Theater in Detroit, Michigan, on October 24, 1926, for what would be his last performance, he had a fever of 104 °F (40 °C). Despite the diagnosis, Houdini took the stage. He was reported to have passed out during the show, but was revived and continued. Afterwards, he was hospitalized at Detroit’s Grace Hospital.
It is not entirely clear what relationship the encounter in the dressing room had on Houdini’s eventual death. As Snopes points out, the relationship between blunt trauma and appendicitis is not clear. One theory suggests that Houdini was unaware that he was suffering from appendicitis. If he had not realized that his stomach pains were symptomatic of appendicitis, he would not have appreciated the potentially critical effect of the blows to his abdomen.
After taking statements from Price and Smilovitz, Houdini’s insurance company concluded that the death was due to the dressing-room incident and paid double indemnity.
This Houdini Infographic was created by Mark D., an experienced Mac technical Expert & Designer located in Ballston Spa, NY. Mark has over 15 years experience troubleshooting and maintaining Apple-based equipment including desktop and portable computers, iPads and iPhones, Mac networking and the Macintosh OS as well. He is also a graphic designer who can design your next logo, sales literature and even icons for your projects.
Best Regards and Happy Halloween,
Every year, halloweencostumes.com brings us “Creepy Calculations,” a visual compilation of some of some of Halloween’s freakiest facts. This year is no exception! What are some of the 2014’s most popular costumes? How much money will Americans spend decorating their homes and filling our bellies with sweet candy treats? Who do people trust more to give them costume advice: friends, family, or Facebook??
As a followup to the visualization I shared on mankind’s greatest architectural achievements, Britt from Podio.com shared a chart her team has created. It depicts the world’s most over-budget projects, which shockingly consist of some of the world’s most monumental buildings, such as the Montreal Olympic Stadium and the Empire State Building.
To give you more of an overview, it charts large-scale projects in history known for cost overruns. Project timeframes, budgets and costs were taken from reliable news media and academic literature to create a comparison chart that allows you to contrast each project’s percentage over budget, years over deadline and total amount over budget.
Simply click on any of the images to see the more detailed information.
You are allowed the option to view it via the grid or the graph view. I highly recommend checking out the graph view as it will give you a better picture of how the costs to build each building compares to one another.
Thanks to Britt and her team for sharing this with me.
Here is where you can view the entire interactive visualization: https://podio.com/site/budget-busters
Best regards, Michael
When I clicked on the Scottish Parliament Building, the following information displayed.
While called the “Festival of Lights,” Diwali is most importantly a day to become aware of one’s “inner light.” In Hindu philosophy there is an idea of “Atman,” something beyond the body and mind which is pure, infinite and eternal. Today is a celebration of “good” versus “evil”; A day when the light of higher knowledge dispels ignorance. With this awakening comes compassion and joy.
The background story and practices vary region to region. Many people celebrate by lighting fireworks and sharing sweets and candies. Diwali is a holiday celebrated across a vast array of countries and religions. It is celebrated in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore and Fiji, by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists.
This informative infographic is from 2012, but I like the information about Diwali it provides and thought of sharing.
Source: Metal Gaia, Happy Diwali!, November 13, 2012, http://metal-gaia.com/2012/11/13/happy-diwali/.
Ticketcity has created an infographic comparing the attendance, ticket prices, number of artists present, and locations for Coachella, Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and South By Southwest – which one are you attending?
Source: Laura Baker-Finch, [INFOGRAPHIC] The Big 5 US Festivals, Cultvora.com, March 29, 2013, http://cultivora.com/coverage/view/infographic-the-big-5-us-festivals-coachella-bonnaroo-austin-city-limits-acl-lollapalooza-sxsw.
Are you playing, Disney’s Star Wars: Commander mobile game? No? You might soon be in the minority. According to Disney Interactive, the game has now been downloaded five million times since it launched on August 21. To celebrate this milestone, they created the rather cool infographic below to give you a look at what percentage of gamers choose to play as the evil Empire versus the Rebel Alliance and how that varies country to country.
Here are some fun facts about the game play so far:
- Five million players have now joined the war (downloaded Star Wars: Commander since its launch on August 21st).
- With more than 57% of its players representing the Empire, Russia is one of the strongest Empire strongholds. Other nations that have fallen to the Emperor include Austria, Germany, Finland and the Ukraine.
- India stands out as a strong member of the Rebel Alliance, as are most countries across South America and Africa.
- The United States is nearly unanimous in its following of the Dark Side, with the single exception of North Dakota. The force is strong in North Dakota.
- Half a billion troops have been deployed across both factions.
Star Wars: Commander is a free-to-play combat strategy game where fans will join either the Rebel Alliance or the Galactic Empire to recruit and lead an unstoppable force across the Star Wars galaxy.
Star Wars: Commander features the full array of vehicles, weapons and technology from the Star Wars universe. Players who rally to the Rebellion will call upon iconic heroes such as Han Solo, Chewbacca and Princess Leia to support missions for justice and freedom, while leaders of the Imperial forces will command AT-ATs, TIE fighters and Stormtroopers to gain control of the galaxy. Star Wars: Commander also offers an original Star Wars storyline set within the Galactic Civil War of Episodes IV VI, where commanders determine if it’s the Empire’s strength and relentlessness or the Rebellion’s heroism and resourcefulness that will win the war.
The game is free to download on iPhone and iPad.
Source: John Frost, Disney’s Star Wars: Commander mobile game spreads across the galaxy, The Disney Blog, September 12, 2014, http://thedisneyblog.com/2014/09/12/disneys-star-wars-commander-mobile-game-spreads-across-the-galaxy/.
Pop Chart Lab’s latest infographic charts the most significant works of architecture since 4,800 B.C.
Yet another creation has rolled off the powerhouse infographics assembly line over at Pop Chart Lab, and this time, the indefatigable taxonomizers of alcohols and famous quotes have turned their attention to works of architecture.
The Schematic of Structures organizes what the designers describe as “90 eminent edifices erected and perfected throughout history.” Arranged by height, the infographic lines up some of the greatest works envisioned and built by man since prehistory, from the Neolithic Cairn of Barnenez and the Parthenon to more modern creations like London’s Gherkin and the Burj Khalifa. The White House even makes an appearance.
Designed in imitation of a blueprint, the infographic is expansive in scope and information (if not extraordinarily innovative in execution). The buildings are presented along a simple grid design, and drawn in two different scales (so as to allow the 2,722-foot-tall Burj Khalifa to appear on the same poster as the 25-foot-tall Stonehenge). Along with an illustration of each structure, the poster includes the location and approximate date of construction, as well as its primary architectural style.
Pre-order the poster here for $23.
Source: Shaunacy Ferro, Mankind’s Greatest Architectural Achievements Since Prehistory, Co.Design, Fast Company, September 24, 2014, http://www.fastcodesign.com/3036227/infographic-of-the-day/mankinds-greatest-architectural-achievements-since-prehistory?utm_source=mailchimp&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=codesign-daily&position=1&partner=newsletter.
As many of you know, I am a born and raised Detroiter. Despite living in Arizona most of my adult life, I still root for the hometown sports team, seem to be able to find another Detroiter in a crowded room, and long for Sanders Hot Fudge and Lafayette Coney Island hot dogs and hamburgers.
I came across this beautiful chart of buildings in Detroit created by Eric Jang on her blog, The Indigo Bunting. Erin Jang is an art director and designer living in New York City. She has worked as a designer/illustrator/art director at several publications including Esquire magazine and was the senior art director at Martha Stewart Living magazine.
She now runs a design studio called The Indigo Bunting (theindigobunting.com) and works on custom freelance design projects and wedding invitations. Her design and illustration work has been recognized by PRINT magazine, Communication Arts, and the Society of Publication Design. She can be contacted at erin [at] theindigobunting [dot] com.
Check out Erin’s other work on her blog. It is truly beautiful.
Detroit Building Chart
Illustrations of 16 historical buildings in Detroit
Art Director: Jessica Decker
DBusiness Magazine, March 2013.
 Erin Jang, NEW WORK: Detroit Building Chart, The Indigo Bunting, 4/2/13, http://theindigobunting.blogspot.com/2013/04/new-work-detroit-building-chart.html.
 Bella Figura, Erin Jang Photo and Bio, http://www.bellafigura.com/designers/jang.html.
This infographic is from Lifehack and provides us a Vitamins Cheat Sheet.
Hoi Wan from Lifehack states:
When it comes down to healthy eating and balanced diets, we need to make sure we get our fair share of vitamins. But what do they actually do? What are the benefits and what food sources are they available in? Here’s a handy infographic we prepared for you to share, print out, re-use as a handy reference sheet. The next time you are preparing a meal, or shopping, you’ll have a good idea which food contains which vitamins, and remember, when you’re cooking the food, it’s a myth that the vitamins will be ‘cooked out’.