Category Archives: Infographics

Infographic: A Look Inside the Star Wars Imperial AT-AT

Star Wars Trailer 2

Click on image to watch the trailer


So, this week is the big Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California. I was not able to attend, but I wanted to find some excuse to blog the latest trailer from the upcoming Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens.

I found this great infographic that shows the insides of a Star Wars Imperial AT-AT. This is from Doug Osborne from March 1, 2011 on The AT-AT is one of my favorite vehicles from the best of the Star Wars movies, The Empire Strikes Back.

Enjoy and May The Force Be With You.



Infographic: Sugar Consumption in America


Sugar Consumption

Infographic: Inequality At The 2015 Academy Awards By The Numbers

Source: Niall McCarthy, Inequality At The 2015 Academy Awards By The Numbers [Infographic],, February 20, 2015,

Oscar predictions are certainly gathering pace in the run-up to the 87th Academy Awards, taking place in Los Angeles tonight. Will Bradley Cooper walk home with the award for Best Actor? Why did the Lego Movie only get one Oscar nomination? There are many exciting and intriguing questions but some important ones also need to be asked. Such as this one: where are the women?

The 2015 Oscar nominations have been rightly criticised for gender inequality, something that’s a far wider problem throughout the film industry. According to research conducted by the Telegraph, 102 nominees are men with an average age of 51 compared to just 25 women with an average age of 41. When it comes to voting members of the Academy, there’s also a significant gender gap with 77 percent being male.

A lack of racial diversity is also blatantly obvious with no non-white actors nominated across the four acting categories. Out of 127 nominees, 118 are white and 9 are non-white. When it comes to Academy voting, the ethnicity ratio is 94 percent white and 6 percent non-white. One prediction is definitely accurate, however. You can expect middle-aged white men to take home the majority of the awards on Sunday night.

*Click below to enlarge (charted by Statista)Gender Inequality Rife At The Oscars

Wired: College Faculties Have a Serious Diversity Problem


To be a professor is to belong to a select few—an insider’s club of vanishing tenured faculty positions. It’s no secret that a fancy diploma can help grads vying for those coveted spots. But while working on his PhD and contemplating his career prospects, computer scientist Aaron Clauset wanted to know just how much weight a prestigious alma mater—an MIT, a Stanford, a Harvard—carried. So he decided to dive into the data himself.

Clauset and a couple of grad school friends started gathering information about who’s hiring whom. After a break in the project, during which he graduated and landed a faculty position at the University of Colorado at Boulder (yup, he joined the club), Clauset started up again—recruiting his new students for help. They spent three years grabbing and analyzing hiring data from computer science, business, and history departments, collecting info on 19,000 faculty positions across North America.

Their results: 71 to 86 percent of all faculty came from only a quarter of the institutions surveyed. In computer science, just 18 institutions produced half of all faculty jobs. “Essentially, faculty jobs are reserved for a small number of graduates from a small number of institutions,” Clauset says.

But that’s not necessarily bad, right? The prestigious universities are supposedly the best, so shouldn’t their graduates be the best too? Not so, Clauset says. The imbalance is just too stark to be merit-based. Academic hiring leans heavily on name-recognition, biasing the universities’ decisions toward prestigious, branded institutions—just like hiring in a lot of other industries.


Like tech, for example. Clauset’s study shows a strong hiring bias in computer science departments, and many people perceive the same insularity in tech companies hiring CS majors. “They share the problem of giving preferential consideration—sometimes almost exclusive consideration—to graduates from the top universities,” says Catherine Ashcraft, a researcher at the National Center for Women and Information Technology.

Now, that’s not entirely true. WIRED did its own analysis of LinkedIn data, and found that major tech companies recruit from plenty of institutions that aren’t usually considered elite. Microsoft, for example, gets most of its workers from the University of Washington, which is close to the company’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington. Apple hires from Stanford and Berkeley, but also from Cal State Poly and nearby San Jose State.

But that doesn’t mean tech is free of bias—all of these companies are still hiring a majority of employees from a small set of schools, whether it’s because of prestige or proximity. Google still hires a ton of employees from Stanford and Berkeley, as well as Carnegie Mellon, UCLA, and MIT, which all grace the top of the much cited/loathed US World & News Report rankings.

What does that mean for companies like Google and Facebook? Well, like universities, it means that they’re hiring a lot of the same kind of people, over and over again. And that means less diversity—of opinion, of technical and cultural background, of ideas, of talent.

Those practices are also what make gender (and racial and ethnic) diversity so hard to come by. Hire based on familiarity—either a name-brand school, or maybe, your sex chromosomes—and you end up with a homogenous workforce. Google, for example, has a worldwide employee base that’s only 30 percent female. That number drops to 17 percent when considering only technical jobs. And the same problem exists in academia, Clauset says: “Only 15 percent of computer science faculty is female.”

Not only that, but Clauset’s analysis shows that women in computer science have a harder time finding quality faculty jobs. Most graduates tend to get jobs at a lower-ranked institution than the one they attended. But in computer science (and business), women have to settle for jobs at schools ranked especially low—the drop in rankings between their alma mater and their new employer was 12 to 18 percent greater than for men. “I was surprised that the difference was large as it is,” Clauset says.

Biases in hiring practices run deep, so if companies and universities want to change these trends, they have to tackle diversity head-on. “If we want to improve it, we’re going to have to make a concerted, conscious effort to change it,” Clauset says. He thinks extending his analysis to job placement in the tech industry could help companies figure out how to improve diversity and retention rates.

But that requires data that companies would have to divulge. “If there are people in the tech industry who want to collaborate, I’m happy to chat with them,” he says. And step one is not to get blinded by the famous name on the diploma—or whether or not your applicant is wearing heels.


Source: Marcus Woo, Infoporn: College Faculties Have a Serious Diversity Problem,, February 19, 2015,

Infographic: Valentine’s Day in the UK (2015)

NOTE: 1 British Pound Sterling equals 1.53 U.S. Dollars on 2/11/2015.


Infographic: The Evolution of Spawn

The Evolution of Spawn infographic is a fantastic design. Not fan art, this official infographic was designed by Todd McFarlane, Creator of Spawn and Co-Founder and President of Image Comics!

From Todd’s Facebook post:


With Spawn issue #250 coming up at the end of the month…. I thought it would be COOL to put together all the different costumes Spawn has had over the years.

And if you’re doing the math, that’s 24 YEARS. TWENTY-FOUR!!!!!!!! It’s cool to look back and see how things have changed since 1992….it’s hard to believe we’re already coming up on our #250th issue.

Thanks for all your support over the years!!! I’ll be doing a giveaway with these, soon.


P.S.- There have been a few requests for a downloadable poster (and higher res)… You should be able to download the poster from this link:

Found on GeekTyrant

The Evolution of Spawn

Infographic: Monsters in America


This great infographic is from Hog Island Press in Philadelphia, PA.

Monsters in America: A Cryptozoological Map of the United States is possibly the first of its kind – a snapshot of American cryptozoology that brings together the Jersey Devil, Bigfoot, Mothman, Chupacabra, Shunka Warakin, Caddy, the Honey Island Swamp Monster and many more cryptids on one hand-drawn, hand-screened map.

Loren Coleman, the Director of the International Cryptozoology Museum, had this to say: “The cryptid-filled, cartographically accurate Monsters in America: A Cryptozoological Map of the United States should be on the walls of every museum, library, and researcher’s office interested in the science of as-yet-to-be-discovered animals. Hog Island Press has produced an informative, affordable, high quality collectible, which also serves as an educational tool useful for your next road trip, a future research trek, or everyday bibliographic study. There is not a fake on the map. I love the heavy paper stock. Discover and obtain yours today!”

The 25 x 19″ ltd. edition print is screenprinted on 80 lb archival paper and shipped in a reinforced cardboard tube. If you are interested in ordering one, click here.



hog_island_press_monsters_in_america hogislandpress_monstermap_sm3 hogislandpress_monstermap_sm4

Infographic: Super Bowl XLIX By The Numbers


Source: John S. Kierman, Super Bowl XLIX By The Numbers,, January 26, 2015,

Shapes, Pictures and Colors: Environmental Print as a Teaching Tool

Environmental Print

My wife and I were driving in the car last weekend and were discussing environmental print. My wife is a retired Special Education teacher who taught in the K-3 grades for 39 years. Currently, she is Adjunct Faculty at Arizona State University. I found her discussion of it very interesting and saw some parallels with what we try to do with data visualization and infographics. My blog today discusses what environmental print is and how it is used to help teach literacy in our early stages of education. It is from a paper by  Rebecca McMahon Giles and Karyn Wellhousen Tunks (source noted at the end of the blog post).

Best Regards,


What is Environmental Print?

“Hey, Ms. McMillan, you have three McDonald’s in your name.” This observation, made by 4-year-old Jadin as his pre-kindergarten teacher wrote her name, reflects young children’s familiarity with popular logos and commercial print that they see every day. [1]

Early encounters with environmental print, words, and other graphic symbols found in children’s surroundings are among their first concrete exposures to written language.

These experiences

  • provide an introduction to making meaning of abstract symbols and
  • offer children their first opportunity to make sense of the world through print.

As a result, children typically read print from their environment before reading print in books.

Why Environmental Print Is Important in Early Literacy

More than four decades of research on the role of environmental print has substantiated its important influence in young children’s literacy development. The preponderance of studies on environmental print, however, took place in earlier decades and focused on its impact on early reading behaviors. Interest in the impact of environmental print on children’s early writing is a more recent development.

Research clearly shows the benefits of exposure to environmental print for emergent readers and writers. In one study of preschoolers, 60% of the 3-year-olds and 80% of 5-year-olds could read environmental print in its context of cereal boxes, toothpaste cartons, traffic signs, and soft drink logos.

Children typically read environmental print first.

Children are initially dependent on the label or logo associated with the word. As their understanding of print and phonetic skills necessary for reading increases, they gradually begin to read words presented separately from the logo.

Children’s responses to environmental print are the direct outcomes of their prior experience with it. Academically at-risk preschoolers recognized significantly fewer environmental print logos than did their academically advantaged peers. However, studies consistently show that regardless of socioeconomic status or home language all children benefit from exposure to print in their environment.

Barbie - Environmental Print

Choose Suitable Environmental Print

Using environmental print in preschool, kindergarten, and primary classrooms is an important part of developing a language/literacy-rich learning environment. Many products marketed in the United States are labeled in English, French, and Spanish, so they can be tools to broaden children’s language experiences even further. Even so, reading environmental print is likely to be individual and dependent upon geographic location. For this reason, children should collect much of the environmental print that they will learn from at school.

  • Experiences in which children take ownership, such as cutting out a recognizable name or label from a container or magazine found at home, are particularly beneficial.
  • Contributing their own examples of environmental print to create class books or displays also strengthens the home-school connection.

Activities like these reinforce the fact that readable and writable print can be found everywhere, while ensuring that the print is actually familiar to the children.

Env Print2The purpose of using familiar environmental print for instruction is to form a bridge between the known and new, so it is important that teachers use
examples that are meaningful for the children in each group. Horner (2005) recommends emphasizing the use of child-familiar logos—such as those from toys, movies, and television shows—rather than community signs or household items. These were found to be most recognizable by both males and females of various ages. For instance, the journal entries in Photo 1 (above) [1] by two kindergarten girls, reflect their recognition of and interest in the text found on a classmate’s lunchbox.

Horner (2005) also points out that an educator’s use of logos could imply approval of the products they represent. She recommends that teachers use acceptable toy names whenever possible. Children usually enter learning settings already familiar with a wide variety of commercial environmental print, such as road signs and household product logos. Their classrooms often are filled with homemade environmental print, such as daily schedules, labels on shelves, and a list of birthdays. Initial experiences with both types of environmental print enable children to associate print with meaning. This enables them to build confidence in their ability to read, which is necessary for becoming successful readers. In addition to supporting young readers, recent research demonstrates how print from the environment gives young children confidence to experiment and use print resources to improve their writing. These researchers found that children experimenting with writing engage in  “environmental printing”— copying conventional forms of print—directly from sources in their immediate surroundings.

This study of kindergarteners’ journal-writing behavior revealed three distinct ways children used environmental print.

  • Some children used environmental print simply as a source to copy without regard to its meaning.
  • Environmental print also served as a resource for the correct spelling of particular words or phrases, such as the day of the week, needed in the child’s message.
  • Environmental print inspired children’s choices of writing topics.

Environmental Print in Daily Explorations

Env PrintEarly writing attempts can easily be promoted by deliberately stocking children’s play and learning areas with a combination of authentic environmental print and writing supplies along with other props. For example, a block center that contains street signs, “under construction” labels, and corporate logos such as those from
restaurants and manufacturers encourages the use of environmental print when building. Coupling such signs with blank index cards, sticky notes, and markers promotes environmental printing as children label or write about their structures.
Placing cookbooks, large colorful paper, and blank recipe cards in the pretend play area may prompt children to record the dishes being served.

They might design restaurant menus or transfer information from a cookbook to a personalized recipe box using the original text as a model and spelling reference. By adding labeled measuring utensils in pretend and water/sand play, children begin to see the relationship between quantities, numerals, and words. Setting up a classroom movie rental facility, pet rescue service, or grocery store with children for their dramatic play is another way to provide familiar environmental print as a motivation for writing. Telephone books, magazines, travel brochures, play money, and similar items all can expand children’s early literacy resources.

With a wide array of manipulatives that spark the use of environmental print, children will soon be able to write words to their favorite songs, learn color name words (in three languages) from crayons or markers, and match the names and shapes of seashells. Immersing children in a learning setting intentionally filled with environmental print to be used as a writing resource increases their ability and motivation to write.


Children who are surrounded by print flourish in literacy development and are often more successful in school. As children observe, read, discuss, and copy the signs and symbols in their world, they become aware that literacy is part of everyone’s daily activities. They come to realize that reading and writing fulfill various purposes and functions in their lives. Environmental print

  • provides models for children’s writing,
  • helps them internalize correct spellings of commonly used words, and
  • inspires their own writing through environmental printing. With support and guidance, young children eventually learn to write conventionally, composing messages for a variety of purposes and audiences.

Consciously capitalizing on their familiarity with environmental print as an aid for early writing is one way to promote their progress on the road to becoming independent authors and readers.



[1] Rebecca McMahon Giles and Karyn Wellhousen Tunks, Children Write Their World: Environmental Print as a Teaching Tool, Dimensions of Early Childhood, Fall 2010, Volume 39, Number 3,


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