Complex data visualisation has grown in popularity over the past decade. This is partly thanks to a increasing wealth of vast, open data sets and a need to represent complex relationships and multiple variables changing in response to each other over time. When you’re trying to explain these insights to time-poor (or attention-impaired) online audiences, you need a medium that compresses several vectors of information in a coherent visual whole: so shape, motion, colour, size can all be used to make comparisons. Graphing and animation tools like the giCentre Utilities toolkit have opened up the possibilities of creating visualisations to any coder proficient in Processing, a simpler version of Java, and The Guardian’s data blog and the Information Is Beautiful blog and book are full of creative and accessible examples of visualisation put into practice. What about sonification, then?
Jessica x Cosmopolitan

September issue - Interview with Jessica

MYLOVE

Love is a good thing, everyone should be in love, nevertheless what I love is…fashion! Fashion is a way of self-expression of feelings and personality.

MYSTYLE

In recent years, the Korean entertainment business has been leading trends, leading to the popularization of Korean fashion as well. Koreans are skilled in matching, proficient in mixing and blending femininity, chic, cute and various other elements together. I incline towards modern classic style, less ia more, simple, classic, not over the top. Among the many pieces, shirts are easy to wear and match, matches jeans, skirts, boyfriend jeans too, bringing out the seductiveness of a lady. My wardrobe has the most shirts, they may look similar but the material and details of each are different.

MYINSPIRATION

The source of my love for fashion is my family. The mix of kiddy fashion was handled by my mother, many complimented on it. I also shop with her often. I grew up in San Francisco, Americans dress casual, I adopted mix and match the middle ground style, not too grand, not too casual.

MYPICKS

I don’t really follow trends, inclining towards basic and classic. This autumn, a must-have is a perfect cutting boyfriend jacket. For example, leather jacket, best pick is black and easy-to-match ivory, can be matched with any item. My latest buy is Chanel’s shorts, the pair I wore to the studio for the cover photoshoot.

MYDREAM

In the blink of an eye, SNSD has been formed for 7 years, it’s hard to believe. Ever since debut, I’ve learnt a lot. Thanks to the fans and media for their support, our future will be even more colourful. As for myself, other than my artiste career, I will work hard to fulfill my dream, carving a path in the area of fashion. I just created my brand, Blanc, turned into a fashion designer, my products’ conceptualize modern classic, feminine, and fashion forward, simplistic yet quirky design, easy to match, just like my personal tastes, less is more, dressing up too much isn’t my cup of tea. Blanc’s first launch is the sunglasses line, the inspiration is derived from my favourite cities, a total of six designs, Seoul, HK, Shanghai, Tokyo, NY and Paris. 2015 will be the launch of my clothing line, I hope to share it with everyone. As for the future after that, of course I hope to open a chain of boutiques in the big fashion cities.

MYHAPPINESS

Fulfilling my dream in fashion is joy but I’m not a workaholic. Looking for happiness is an important part of life, enjoying gourmet food, travelling and seeing the world, hanging out with friends, are all part of being happy. At the end of the day, attaining a balance is the most important.

source: Cosmopolitan Sep, Sy__PPcnga
translation: @itsakyo

image

(Me cosplaying as Reese from Animal Crossing)

Name: Kayla

Age: 26

Gender: Female

Location: Michigan, USA

Hobbies: Reading, doodling, traveling & adventures, American comics, anime, retro video games, thrift store scavenging, web design, crafts, cosplay

Likes:

  • Books: Yes! I read nearly everything, all different genera, Science fiction, action, historical, love (but not over the top), how-to, ect
  • Shows: Red Dwarf, Once Upon a Time, Gravity Falls
  •  I’m a big sentai fan (Power Rangers) Gokaiger recently stole my heart!
  • I am also a big Green Lantern fan. 
  • I am currently learning Japanese.

 Dislikes: Close-minded people, dish water left in the sink too long and you have to reach in the cold slimy water to drain the sink. >_<

Languages: English(Native), Japanese (Elementary), Spanish (Limited Working Proficiency)

I would like a pen pal from anywhere!

Age Range: Any age & gender

I would prefer snail mail

You can contact me at my tumblr: chubbygirlclub.tumblr.com/

Fun Fact:

1) I used to run an Anime Convention, but have recently retired..although after my wedding I may get back into it. 

2) I love crafting! Cross-stitching is my current obsession, I cross-stitch video game sprites!

3) I collect hotel key cards, so nothing would make a cooler present for me than one from your recent travels! 

I look forward to being your friend! 

Imagine Hogwarts after the Battle, after the War, sure

But imagine Hogwarts’ students, after their year with the Carrows and Snape.

Imagine a tiny little first-year whose porcupine pincushions still have quills, but to whom Fiendfyre comes easily. The second-year who tried to go back, to fight; whose bravado got Professor Sinistra killed, as she pushed him out of the way of a Killing Curse. The third-year who perfectly brewed poisons, hands shaking, wishing for the courage to spike the Carrows’ cups. The fourth-year who throws away all of their teacups, their palmistry guidebooks, because what use is Divination if it didn’t see this coming? The fifth-year who can barely remember what O.W.L.S. are, let alone that she was supposed to take them. The sixth-year who can’t manage Lumos to save their life, but whose proficiency with the Cruciatus Curse rivals Bellatrix’s.

Imagine the seventh-year who laughs until he cries, thinking about the first-years who will fall asleep in History of Magic while their story is told.

Imagine the Muggleborn first-years left alive, if there are any: imagine what they think of the magical world, when their introduction to it was Death Eaters and being tortured by their classmates for having been born.

Imagine the students who went home to their parents (or guardians, or wards, or orphanages) and showed them what they’d learned: Dark curses, hexes, Unforgiveables; that Muggles are filth, animals, lesser. Who, yes, still can’t transfigure a match into a needle but Mum, there’s a hex that can make you feel as though you’re being stabbed with thousands. (Don’t ask them how they know.)

Imagine the students who will never be able to see Hogwarts as home.

Imagine the students Hogwarts has left, when it starts up again the lack of Muggleborns, blood-traitors, half-bloods, dead and gone the lack of purebloods; the Ministry would have chucked everyone of age (and possibly just below) in Azkaban for Unforgiveables, wouldn’t they?

Imagine how few students there are left to teach; imagine how few teachers are left to teach them.

Imagine the students who can’t walk past a particular classroom, who can’t walk through a hallway, who can’t walk into the Great Hall without having a panic attack or breaking down. Imagine the school-wide discovery that the carriages aren’t horseless after all; that everyone, from the firsties to the teachers, can see Thestrals.

Imagine the memorials, the heaps of flowers and mementoes in every other corner, hallway, classroom; every other step you take on the grounds.

Imagine the ghosts.

Imagine the students destroying Snape’s portrait, using the curses, hexes, even Fiendfyre they’ve been taught how to wield it has to be restored nearly every week; Snape stays with Phineas Nigellus semi-permanently. (None of the other portraits will welcome him. His reasons do not excuse his conduct.)

Imagine the students unable to trust each other everyone informed on everyone, your best friend might turn you in.

Imagine the guilt that everyone carries (it should have been me, it’s my fault s/he’s dead, I told on them, it’s all my fault), the students incapable of meeting each other’s eyes because it’s my fault your best friend, your sibling, your Housemate, your boy/girlfriend is dead.

Imagine the memorials piled high with the wands of the dead. Imagine the memorials piled high with the self-snapped wands of the living.

Imagine the students who are never able to produce a Patronus.

Imagine Boggarts being removed from the curriculum because Riddikulus is near impossible to grasp, even for the sixth- and seventh-years. Because their friends and families dead will never, ever be funny.

Imagine the students for whom magic feels tainted.

Imagine the students who leave the wixen world hell, the students who leave Britain entirely, because there’s nothing left for them there.

Imagine the students who never use magic again.

(Image source.)

(From the mind of the wonderful lavenderpatil, a keen look at how students might be after war.)

The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ‘em, join ‘em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe a happy man, nor make any celebration of joy.
—  Ursula Le Guin, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas
4

Remember that Slate.com map? Our data wizard partner in crime Karthick Ramakrishnan had a crack at the data because he thought it looked a little fishy. He came up with the top map, which has since been replicated by another demographer. (Not 100% sure how Slate came up with their original map using the same data.)

He also responded to a popular social media request for a most common Asian languages map (map #2 above). And decided to make another critical intervention: which languages are commonly spoken in households with limited English proficiency (maps 3 & 4).

Tracking and mapping limited English proficiency households is in many ways more important than the feel-good language diversity of the first two maps. It can inform how we allocate resources to translation services, how we provide essential services like health care and education, how we do business, and how we live in our communities.

Read more about the map fixes here.

I encourage all Black people to: Learn parkour, learn martial arts, get in mad shape, learn about drones, become proficient in weapons and languages, stop believing in politicians, educate thyself, love thyself, and most importantly, love each other and don’t fall victim to hate of any form. The 21st century is gonna be a shit fest, I can feel it.
—  Nappychan

Head injuries can make children loners

New research has found that a child’s relationships may be a hidden casualty long after a head injury.

Neuroscientists at Brigham Young University studied a group of children three years after each had suffered a traumatic brain injury – most commonly from car accidents. The researchers found that lingering injury in a specific region of the brain predicted the health of the children’s social lives.

“The thing that’s hardest about brain injury is that someone can have significant difficulties but they still look okay,” said Shawn Gale, a neuropsychologist at BYU. “But they have a harder time remembering things and focusing on things as well and that affects the way they interact with other people. Since they look fine, people don’t cut them as much slack as they ought to.”

Gale and Ph.D. student Ashley Levan authored a study to be published April 10 by the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, the leading publication in the field of rehabilitation. The study compared the children’s social lives and thinking skills with the thickness of the brain’s outer layer in the frontal lobe. The brain measurements came from MRI scans and the social information was gathered from parents on a variety of dimensions, such as their children’s participation in groups, number of friends and amount of time spent with friends.

A second finding from the new study suggests one potential way to help. The BYU scholars found that physical injury and social withdrawal are connected through something called “cognitive proficiency.” Cognitive proficiency is the combination of short-term memory and the brain’s processing speed.

“In social interactions we need to process the content of what a person is saying in addition to simultaneously processing nonverbal cues,” Levan said. “We then have to hold that information in our working memory to be able to respond appropriately. If you disrupt working memory or processing speed it can result in difficulty with social interactions.”

Separate studies on children with ADHD, which also affects the frontal lobes, show that therapy can improve working memory. Gale would like to explore in future research with BYU’s MRI facility if improvements in working memory could “treat” the social difficulties brought on by head injuries.

“This is a preliminary study but we want to go into more of the details about why working memory and processing speed are associated with social functioning and how specific brain structures might be related to improve outcome,” Gale said.

More misguided ideas about language I'm tired of hearing
  • "The English language is in decline. Do you see how all these kids are writing in text speak?"
  • "The French language is in decline because people borrow too many English words, like 'le cheeseburger'."
  • "Spanish is not as advanced as English. For example, they don't have the verb 'to like,' so they have to say 'me gusta,' or 'it's pleasing to me.' Also, Spanish doesn't have as many vowels."
  • "If a language doesn't have a word for something, its speakers don't know what it is."
  • "English is more advanced than other languages because it's so easy for us to borrow words." (Actually, all languages borrow. And it's no easier, or harder, in English than in any other language.)
  • "If you have an accent, you can't speak the language properly."
  • "The British speak a purer form of English than people in America or Australia." Or, "People in Spain speak purer Spanish than people in Latin America."
  • "Language influences thought."

Welp. It was nice being the dominant species while it lasted.

5 Animals Who Taught Themselves Human Skills

#5. Orangutans Are Learning to Spearfish

In 2008, workers at an animal sanctuary on the island of Kaja in Borneo noticed the apes hanging from tree branches and attempting to spearfish with harpoons, just like the locals do. In other words, the orangutans saw us using weapons to cause harm to other species and quickly realized how powerful and awesome that makes you feel. Look at that majestic bastard up there. He even seems proficient, dangling precariously above water that we assume is full of deadly piranhas, steadying himself for a lethal strike of laser-like precision.

Read More

Compton School Board Approves AR-15 Rifles for Campus Police | The Atlantic 

The school board in Compton, California, has voted to arm campus police officers with AR-15 rifles, according to the Los Angeles public radio station KPPC. Some parents and students are expressing discomfort, citing the same sorts of concerns sparked by the militarized police force of Ferguson, Missouri. In Compton, the local police union says its officers are hardly alone in seeking such weapons:

Currently, the following School Districts authorize their Police Officers to deploy these weapons; Los Angeles School PD, Baldwin Park School PD, Santa Ana School PD, Fontana School PD, San Bernandino School PD.

The police union goes on to defend the semi-automatic rifle for campus police officers:

If we encounter an active mass murderer on campus with a rifle or body armor, our officers may not adequately be prepared to stop that suspect. School Police Officers will undergo a training course, followed by a shooting proficiency test on a firing range and a written exam. The rifles are designed for increased accuracy and use rifled ammunition than can pierce body armor. The safety of our Students, Staff, and Parents are very important to us.

In a recent New York Times item, Ross Douthat rebutted just that sort of argument.

He says of school shootings:

…the evidence that such sprees are sharply increasing is shaky and debatable, and the evidence that a more militarized police is necessarily crucial to stopping such killers seems thin as well. In Sandy Hook, for instance, the killer committed suicide about ninety seconds after the cops arrived; in Aurora, the killer surrendered to police; at Virginia Tech, the killer shot himself rather than engage with police. (At Columbine, things were more complicated: there were cops surrounding the school who didn’t fully engage until the SWAT teams arrived, which could be a case that the average cop should be trained more like a SWAT member … except that then the SWAT teams moved extremely slowly through the school as well, because even heavily armed and armored cops can be—understandably—loath to rush in without knowing how many active shooters they’re facing.)

From the D.C. sniper (picked up at a rest stop) to the Isla Vista killer (dead by suicide after a car chase), there just aren’t that many recent cases where a spree killer has gone down, Symbionese Liberation Army-style, after a long siege or in a hail of bullets that only a militarized police unit could deliver, or where specialized equipment has made all the difference to the cops. It’s much more common for such killers to either take their own lives or surrender, and when they’ve been stopped by return fire from cops, it’s usually been regular police units rather than SWAT teams that have done the necessary work.

None of this means, again, that SWAT teams shouldn’t exist; it should just cast doubt on the idea that every police department needs SWAT equipment and lots of it, and that arming them accordingly will make all the difference when a psychopath comes calling. 

The campus officers in Compton are expected to be trained and have the new weapons within a month. And the nationwide trend of militarized police officers continues, even in schools with heavily armed city and county police agencies nearby. It’s easy to imagine a lot of areas where extra training would benefit Compton’s school resource officers—and hard to imagine AR-15 training is high on the list. 

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons/AmericaWakieWakie)

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