Category Archives: Infographics

Infographic: The Insane Amount of Unoccupied Space in the World’s Tallest Buildings

Readers:

Matt ShawMatt Shaw, recently posted this blog on the Architizer web site. Mr. Shaw is an architecture writer, editor, etc. interested in political aesthetics, interaction design and comedy as formal generator.

Matt is the founder and co-editor of Mockitecture, a half-manifesto/half-satire collection of architectural debauchery. He has worked for the Columbia Laboratory for Architectural Broadcasting (C-Lab), Storefront for Art and Architecture, and been published in Beyond, Domus, Icon, and the Architect’s Newspaper. He recently finished writing and researching the guidebook Europe’s Top 100 Architecture and Design Schools, for Domus, and helped edit Reiser + Umemoto’s O-14: Projection and Reception for AA Publications. He has been an invited critic at numerous schools including Yale University, Syracuse University and UCLA.

Visit Matt’s Mockitecture web site by clicking here.

Best Regards,

Michael

No Vacancy – Really?

Skyscrapers have long been a contest of sorts. Owners are secretive about the actual height of their buildings, so that others do not eclipse them before their time as tallest has come. The tricks that designers use to inflate tall buildings’ heights are impressive, too. Spires and decorative elements are often used to get those last few precious feet.

Vacancy Tallest Buildings

Image courtesy CTBUH

But underneath these shiny glass facades is another trick. A recent Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) study illustrates that big chunks of useless space are hidden at the top of many of the world’s skyscrapers in order to inflate their height. In fact, as much as one-third of a building’s height can be “vanity space.” Consider it space as decoration.

Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa. Image courtesy Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill

The building that is set to be the world’s tallest, the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudia Arabia, set off the Council’s alarms. A case study suggested that the structure was designed with decorative, height-inflating space on top, inside of its unoccupied spire. This led the CTBUH to investigate this phenomenon in super-tall buildings, defining “vanity space” as “the distance between a skyscraper’s highest occupiable floor and its architectural top.”

Kingdon Tower

Kingdon Tower. Image courtesy Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill

The current tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, has an enormous 800-foot spire that accounts for almost one-third of its 2,716-foot height. The building with the most useless decorative space is the Ukraina Hotel in Moscow. Its unoccupiable space makes up almost half, or 42 percent, of its 675-foot height. In the United Arab Emirates, we find some of the most “vain” skyscrapers, with an average of 19 percent vanity space, including the vainest super-tall, the Burj Al-Arab in Dubai, which has a useless 39 percent of its 1,053-foot height.

Burj Al-Arab

Burj Al-Arab. Image via www.amazingplacesonearth.com

 

Infographic: The U.S. Government’s Missing Money

Please read the text narrative, provided by the editors at Masters in Accounting Degrees, listed right after the infographic they created below.

Missing Money Infographic

 

The editors at Masters in Accounting Degrees decided to research the topic of

Missing Money

With a national debt approaching $17 trillion, Uncle Sam is tightening his belt and looking under the cushions for extra change. But a closer look at his pocket book reveals just how little he knows about where your money is going. Below are a few examples that will make you think twice about Uncle Sam’s accounting skills.

There’s No Business Like D.O.D. Business (2000)

2000 (From a Government Accounting Office Report): Several major departments are not yet able to produce auditable financial statements on a consistent basis. The most significan … is the Department of Defense (DOD), which represents a large percentage of the government’s assets, liabilities, and net costs, followed by the Forest Service, the FAA, and the IRS. While DOD has made progress and is working hard to correct its financial management systems and internal control weaknesses, it is not yet able to comply with generally accepted accounting principles and pass the test of an independent financial audit. For fiscal year 1999 GAO auditors reported that 21 of 24 major agencies’ financial systems did not comply substantially with federal accounting standards or financial systems and other requirements.

Unsupported Adjustments

By law, each federal agency and department is required as a minimum to balance its books at the close of each fiscal year and to submit audited financial statements. However, both Congress and the White House have continued to appropriate and pay government officials, bureaucrats, and government contractors who plug in dollar amount under the category “unsupported adjustment.” An “unsupported adjustment” is a plug figure for cash and assets that are unaccounted for and/or disbursed with no supporting records or audit trail.

Black budget

A black budget is a budget that is secretly collected from the overall income of a nation; the budget is kept secret for national security reasons. Bottom line: we may never know exactly how much is spent or how much is missing from a black budget.

Dude, Where’s my $2.3 Trillion (1999)

$2.3 trillion of balances, transactions and adjustments are inadequately documented, according to a 1999 Defense audit. Military money managers made almost $7 trillion in adjustments to their financial ledgers in an attempt to make things add up. Alas, the Pentagon could not show receipts for $2.3 trillion of those changes.

“According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions. We cannot share information from floor to floor in this building because it’s stored on dozens of technological systems that are inaccessible or incompatible.”

- Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld 9/10/2001

Tanks, Planes, and Javelin Missile Command Launch Units (2003)

Though Defense has long been notorious for waste, government reports suggest the Pentagon’s money management woes have reached astronomical proportions in 2003. A study by the Defense Department’s inspector general found that the Pentagon couldn’t properly account for more than a trillion dollars in monies spent. A 2003 GAO report found Defense inventory systems so lax that the U.S. Army lost track of 56 airplanes, 32 tanks, and 36 Javelin missile command launch-units.

Cash on a Plane (2004)

Back in 2003, Pentagon officials determined that one giant C-130 Hercules cargo plane could carry $2.4 billion in shrink-wrapped bricks of $100 bills. They sent an initial full planeload of cash, followed by 20 other flights to Iraq. By May 2004 they had sent $12-billion and eventually $20 billion. Despite years of audits and investigations, U.S. Defense officials still cannot say what happened to $6.6 billion of that cash. The missing $6.6 billion may be “the largest theft of funds in national history.”

Contractors Gone Wild (2002-2011)

As much as $60 billion in U.S. funds has been lost to waste and fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade through lax oversight of contractors, poor planning and payoffs to warlords and insurgents, an independent panel investigating U.S. wartime spending (Commission on Wartime Contracting ) estimates. At least $31 billion has been lost and the total could be as high as $60 billion. The commission called the estimate “conservative.”

Crude Awakening (2004-2007)

The U.S. Defense Department is unable to properly account for over 95 percent of $9.1 billion in Iraqi oil money tapped by the U.S. for rebuilding the war ravaged nation, according to an audit released Tuesday. The audit found that shoddy record keeping by the Defense Department left the Pentagon unable to fully account for $8.7 billion it withdrew between 2004 and 2007 from a special fund set up by the U.N. Security Council. Of that amount, Pentagon “could not provide documentation to substantiate how it spent $2.6 billion.” The funds are separate from the $53 billion allocated by Congress for rebuilding Iraq.

The Money Tip (2003-2012)

An audit report released in March 2013, two weeks before the tenth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the soon-to-be-defunct Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) found that incomplete data and inconsistent cost reporting have made it impossible to track a large portion of the $53 billion the U.S. spent to rebuild Iraq from 2003 through September 30, 2012 – “Nonetheless, based on the 390 audits and inspections and over 600 investigations conducted by SIGIR’s audit, inspection, and investigative staff since 2004, our judgement is that waste would range up to at least 15% of Iraq relief and reconstruction spending or at least $8 billion.”

The Hunt for Fed’s 9 Trillion

From 2008-2009, the Fed had placed $9 trillion onto their off-balance sheet. During a congressional hearing, the Federal Reserve Inspector General could not account for the money.

TOTAL
- D.O.D. – 3.4 trillion
- Fed – 9 trillion
- Total – 12.4 trillion

These are estimates based on what is known about the unknown; nevertheless, 12.4 trillion is 73% of America’s entire national debt. That’s a whole lot of missing money. Maybe that’s why the Founding fathers said this:

“No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and account of receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time.”

- US Constitution, Article I, Section 9

Sources

- http://www.usgovernmentdebt.us/spending_chart_1999_2013USb_14s2li111mcn_H0fG0f
- http://www.usdebtclock.org
- http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/15/business/cbo-cuts-2013-deficit-estimate-by-24-percent.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
- http://www.gao.gov/pas/2001/d01241.pdf
- http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/IB87201.pdf
- http://www.whereisthemoney.org/FAQ-detail.htm
- http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=44199
- http://www.defense.gov/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=430
- http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Military-waste-under-fire-1-trillion-missing-2616120.php
- http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/07/27/pentagon-account-87-billion-iraqi-funds/
- http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/06/19/missing-iraq-money-may-be-as-much-as-18-billion/
- http://cybercemetery.unt.edu/archive/cwc/20110929213820/http://www.wartimecontracting.gov/docs/CWC_FinalReport-lowres.pdf
- http://www.sigir.mil/embargo/files/audits/13-006.pdf

Infographic: Texas Trivia

Readers:

Tomorrow is my last day in Austin and I thought I would end this trip with a fun infographic from The Great State of Texas.

Here is an infographic of Texas Trivia from Cash1Loans from their blog site this past July.

This infographic is filled with trivia about the Lone Star State. If you live in Texas or are simply curious about Texas, then explore all the fun and interesting facts.

Here are some of the interesting statistics that you may not know:

  • Texas was an independent nation from 1836 to 1845. When it was annexed in 1845, it retained the right to fly its flag at the same height as the national flag.
  • The World’s first rodeo was in Pecos, TX and occurred on July 4, 1883.
  • The battle cry “Remember the Alamo!” is usually thought to be said by Sam Houston but was actually coined by Sidney Sherman. Sherman was a Texas general.
  • The most popular snack foods in Texas are Frito pies (a bag of Fritos mixed with chili, cheese, and onions eaten straight from the bag), peanuts in Dr Pepper, jalapenos, beef jerky, and corn dogs.
  • King Ranch, located in South Texas, is larger than Rhode Island.
  • More wool comes from the state of Texas than any other state in the United States.
  • If you live in North Texas and the Panhandle then you’ve probably seen quite a few tornadoes. With an average of 139 tornadoes per year, Texas experiences the most in the United States.
  • Aransas Wildlife Refuge is the winter home of North America’s only remaining flock of whooping cranes.

Best regards y’all,

Michael

Texas Triva Infographic

Infographic: Armadillos (Municipios) by Alfredo Vela

Readers:

I am back in Austin this week on business. I wanted to showcase another Texas-themed infographic and have chosen one from Alfredo Vela. I have always been fascinated with the Armadillo and found Mr. Vela’s infographic full of great information on our little animal friend.

Alfredo VelaAlfredo Vela has developed his career in the world of corporate training in the areas of ICT, IT, media policy and social skills. He has directed several companies in this field, and is currently managing partner of the Social Enterprises Media ICT and Training, a company that has 5 focus areas:. communication, training, social media, digital marketing and infographics. Mr. Vela has given more than 40,000 hours of training over 250 conferences throughout the Spanish geography and maintains several blogs, one in the journal Economic Castilla y León , another in ICT and training , with almost 5 million visitors and a third called Infografiasencastellano.com.  

He has worked for Renault , Michelin, General Council of the Judiciary, General Council of Lawyers, National Employment, Public Employment Service of Castile and Leon, coercio and Industry Chamber of Valladolid, Vallisoletana Confederation of Employers, University of Valladolid, University of Jaén, European School of Marketing and Business … among others.

I hope you enjoy his infographic as much as I do.

Best Regards,

Michael

Infographic: The Ebola Virus: Are You at Risk?

Zaire Ebola Virus is a great threat to the people living in West Africa. Since this past winter (2014), 1,323 people have been infected. The death rates are ongoing in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and most recently Nigeria. Originally spreading through contaminated bush meat, this deadly virus has caused alarm worldwide. Should you worry about Ebola?

View the HelloMD infographic below to find out and learn more about Ebola.

Ebola_Infographic

Infographic: A Guide to Austin Food Trucks

Austin Food Trucks

Infographic: Austin City Guide by Loku

Readers:

I am in Austin, Texas for some training. Here is a neat infographic that was created for SXSW 2012 that depicts what to see that is the best of the city while you’re in Austin. Find out what the locals do and the favorite Austinite hotspots with this infographic guide created by Loku.

Enjoy!

Michael

loku-sxsw-guide_5029153325c31

Infographics Related to Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 from The Daily Mail Online

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2697010/Faces-innocent-victims-Melbourne-real-estate-agent-wife-student-leading-AIDS-doctors-confirmed-dead-Flight-MH17-terrorist-attack-killed-298-people-board.html

Click on images to enlarge

article-2697010-1FC63B5100000578-793_964x1618 infographic-map-flight-mh17

 

Infographic: Facts about Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed in eastern Ukraine yesterday, carrying 283 passengers and 15 crew members from the Netherlands to Malaysia.

The infographic below from the UK website, The Conversation, shows confirmed information as of 8:24am BST today.

Ukrainian authorities had closed airspace up to 32,000ft. Despite this, the aircraft’s flight route was declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). MH17 was flying at 33,000ft when it was hit by a surface-to-air missile.

The aircraft did not make a distress call.

Facts About MH17 Infographic

Infographic: The Deadliest Animal in the World

Readers:

Bill GatesThis infographic is from Bill Gates’ blog from back in April of this year. It is probably more disturbing to see we are the second most dangerous animal in the world. The mosquito, which is very small, kills the most.

Here is part of what Bill notes.

 

What would you say is the most dangerous animal on Earth? Sharks? Snakes? Humans?

Of course the answer depends on how you define dangerous. Personally I’ve had a thing about sharks since the first time I saw Jaws. But if you’re judging by how many people are killed by an animal every year, then the answer isn’t any of the above. It’s mosquitoes.

When it comes to killing humans, no other animal even comes close.

What makes mosquitoes so dangerous? Despite their innocuous-sounding name—Spanish for “little fly”—they carry devastating diseases. The worst is malaria, which kills more than 600,000 people every year; another 200 million cases incapacitate people for days at a time. It threatens half of the world’s population and causes billions of dollars in lost productivity annually. Other mosquito-borne diseases include dengue fever, yellow fever, and encephalitis.

There are more than 2,500 species of mosquito, and mosquitoes are found in every region of the world except Antarctica. During the peak breeding seasons, they outnumber every other animal on Earth, except termites and ants. They were responsible for tens of thousands of deaths during the construction of the Panama Canal. And they affect population patterns on a grand scale: In many malarial zones, the disease drives people inland and away from the coast, where the climate is more welcoming to mosquitoes.

Considering their impact, you might expect mosquitoes to get more attention than they do. Sharks kill fewer than a dozen people every year and in the U.S. they get a week dedicated to them on TV every year. Mosquitoes kill 50,000 times as many people, but if there’s a TV channel that features Mosquito Week, I haven’t heard about it.

That’s why we’re having Mosquito Week on the Gates Notes.

I hope you find this as interesting as I do.

Best regards,

Michael

BiggestKillers_final_v8_no-logo

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