How to spot a misleading graph (Vol.1)

A toothpaste brand claims their product will destroy more plaque than any product ever made. A politician tells you their plan will create the most jobs. We’re so used to hearing these kinds of exaggerations in advertising and politics that we might not even bat an eye.

But what about when the claim is accompanied by a graph? After all, a graph isn’t an opinion. It represents cold, hard numbers, and who can argue with those? Yet, as it turns out, there are plenty of ways graphs can mislead and outright manipulate. Here are some things to look out for.

In this 1992 ad, Chevy claimed to make the most reliable trucks in America using this graph. Not only does it show that 98% of all Chevy trucks sold in the last ten years are still on the road, but it looks like they’re twice as dependable as Toyota trucks.

That is, until you take a closer look at the numbers on the left and see that the figure for Toyota is about 96.5%. The scale only goes between 95 and 100%. If it went from 0 to 100, it would look like this.

This is one of the most common ways graphs misrepresent data, by distorting the scale. Zooming in on a small portion of the y-axis exaggerates a barely detectable difference between the things being compared. And it’s especially misleading with bar graphs since we assume the difference in the size of the bars is proportional to the values.

So the next time you see a graph, don’t be swayed by the lines and curves. Look at the labels, the numbers, the scale, and the context, and ask what story the picture is trying to tell. Look out for more tips on reading graphs coming later this week!

From the TED-Ed Lesson How to spot a misleading graph - Lea Gaslowitz

Animation by Mark Phillips

Demons were like genies or philosophy professors — if you didn’t word things exactly right, they delighted in giving you absolutely accurate and completely misleading answers.
—  Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters

I love that we say “happy barricade day” as if we’re not all curled up on the floor sobbing about dead French revolutionaries

3

the distance keeps shortening

PSA: Don’t compare yourself.

Follow this ONE SIMPLE TRICK and get abs in ONE MONTH!!!

WRONG.

There are some things in the fitness community that I absolutely hate. There are a of half truths and whatnot’s that go around on tumblr and other image hosting sites that are being less than honest with people that are barely starting out, and it really strikes a nerve in me when I see people purposely lying to sell their products/services, get likes/notes, etc.

It strikes a nerve in me because it sets up high expectations of yourself. It makes you feel terrible about your own progress, and makes you want to quit. “They managed to [look some way] in a month? I’ll never be able to do that. Might as well not try.”

So what can we doing to misguide you guys? Camera tricks, misleading text, the works. The above “before and after” picture? I took the “After” first and the “Before” after filling up on food and soda. I’m angled differently in the “after” to make my body look sleeker than it actually is. I can even choose an area with different lighting to make changes look even more intense. And you know what? People can do a lot of this with these methods.

I could slouch my shoulders, look miserable, stand unflexed and give off an image of someone unhappy and unhealthy. Yet two seconds later, after flexing and posing, and I make it seem like after training/using some product, I have turned my life around.

THIS is how badly I can mislead you: using 1. different lighting, 2. posing, and 3. switching the “before” and “after” pictures around.

And it can go even further:

NEVER compare yourself to some of the progress pictures you see out there, especially if they’re attached to a product or service, and the time frame is too good to be true. Fitness takes a long time to reach, and looking the part even longer.

## “It takes 4 weeks for you to notice your body changing, 8 weeks for your friends to notice, and 12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice.“

So you’ve been working out for a few weeks/months and don’t quite look the way you want to? That’s how it works. I look the way I do after 4+ years of manual labor, and 1+ years of body building&diet changes, and I’m still not where I want to be. I didn’t start looking the way I do until nearing up on the one year mark of heavy weightlifting. It takes time to get there, but eventually we get there.

Don’t let some pictures on the internet ever stop you from doing something. Don’t compare. Never, ever compare. Just keep going. I have suffered far too long comparing myself to others to let anyone else fall into the same trap.

2

Rakan and Xayah appreciation post!
Even though they’re both clearly crazy, I’m sure it’ll end well ;)

“People aren’t pissed just to be pissed. They’re mad because a tiny group of crooks on Wall Street built themselves beach houses in the Hamptons through a crude fraud scheme that decimated their retirement funds, caused property values in their neighborhoods to collapse and caused over four million people to be put in foreclosure.”

You used me, confused me and mislead me. Don’t blame me for trying to find someone who knows how to respect me.
At this point, im done trying to connect with people on a relationship level. To many let downs. Im better off bein on my own, workin and enjoying life on my own. I was definitely born in the wrong era to form a love life. If that makes me jaded and cynical so be it. Ima do me and make me happy.
Regional cryptids
• Kanto: mewtwo. People were going after this thing getting lost in caves with their cameras for months. Rescue squads were not amused. The white hand is a big one, too.
• Johto: holy ho-oh is that a pikablu?! It's mostly a meme but some people take pikablu way too seriously. And bigstep. It's probably just an ursaring.
• Hoenn: a full length sharpedo. Like a full fish. Locals try scaring foreigners off beaches with this. Also Jirachi granted my wish behind a closed Sawsbucks.
• Sinnoh: the lake trio. Mostly involves people throwing various food items into the lakes for goofy internet videos. Also rotom of course. Did that lamp post just move? It's rotom.
• Unova: they love their cryptids. Someone catching a marshmallow on fire before a big test, "for victini". Current popular cryptid is the green haired guy that told me my pokemon wants to be a (insert occupation).
• Kalos: Az. Hey I just saw this really really tall guy, this isn't normal right? Floating ghost girls are also a big one. As well as Az's floette. It's totally a zombie you guys, look at its colors.
• Alola: UBs and aliens in general. People blame the most minor inconveniences on aliens. The printer isn't working. Darn it's those aliens again. Also werewolves. Those too.
2

This is so misleading and wrong!!!

• Shiro: You deserve nothing....
• Keith: (๑◕︵◕๑)
• Keith: (◍•ᴗ•◍)

me in my rules: alice is aroflux and ships are rare
me writing: [blasts ashley tisdale’s iconic pop cover of “kiss the girl” in the background]

Comic-Con 4k Bob Morley Talks Space Orgies, Threesomes & more!

hot wheels are nice

• Shiro: I hate the thought of you...
• Keith: (◕︿◕✿)
• Shiro: ...being all alone tonight, so hit me up so we can cuddle!
• Keith: ✿♥‿♥✿
5

Assassin’s Creed 3 - Title Card

Jen’s guide to the Lapidot in the SDCC trailer

Alright, folks – I’m gonna try and answer the most common questions that you’ve been asking me regarding the fabled SDCC trailer, all in one place, and throw some of my early thoughts and analysis out there.   I might have already covered some of these points briefly, but we’ll go with it anyway for the sake of completeness.

Warning: long post incoming.

Is Lapis going to leave Peridot and Pumkin?

The trailer makes it look that way, but it’s worth bearing in mind that trailers can be very misleading indeed (not intentionally, but they’re cut in such a way that they’re designed to create maximum hype and are very easy to misinterpret).

There’s nothing to say that this:

will definitely come after this:

Sure, that’s the common assumption, but how do we know that Lapis doesn’t leave in the first image and then get reunited with Peridot in the second image?

We also don’t know for sure that Lapis is even leaving at all! Remember in Room For Ruby when Lapis got upset and her immediate reaction was to fly away from everyone?  Well, that could very well be what’s happening here.  She might just need to spend some time alone, exactly as she did in that episode, rather than actually leaving the vicinity completely for whatever reason.

- If Lapis leaves, is it because she doesn’t care about Peridot?  Is Lapidot really one-sided, like the haters claim it is?

No, and no.

Lapis suffers from PTSD, which means that her fear of the impending war could completely override all of her other emotions – including her feelings about Peridot.

And as for Lapidot being one-sided…

…absolutely not! Lapis has made her feelings perfectly clear on a number of occasions.  And:

Look at her face in the trailer here.  If she’s leaving, she feels horrendous about it.

Let’s not forget the Shoulder Squeeze as well!

The camera here is putting complete emphasis on the squeeze, because it’s a vitally important moment that sees Lapis (physically, and most probably metaphorically) holding onto Peridot.  There’s something incredibly tender and meaningful about this, and I can’t wait to see it in context.

- There’s a “Shorty Squad” episode coming up.  Does that mean A//me//dot might have a shot instead of Lapidot, if Lapis has left?!

That’s extremely doubtful.

There could be any number of reasons for Peridot going with Steven and Amethyst.  Perhaps Lapis has left, and they’re trying to cheer her up? Or maybe Lapis is still at the barn but has withdrawn herself and is extremely upset, so Peridot removes herself from the situation in order to give her room-mate some space (because, again, Lapis likes to be alone when she’s upset)?  We just don’t know.

There’s nothing in the trailer to suggest that we’ll have any “A//me//dot moments” – it’s more likely going to be a return to that lovely sibling dynamic that we saw in the previous Shorty Squad episode (as well as the recent Shorty Squad comic).  Lapis and Peridot’s relationship, romantic or otherwise, is most likely going to be front-and-centre of this latest arc; so I feel like it’d be incredibly out of place to suddenly start dropping A//me//dot hints instead.

Whatever way you look at it, this episode is probably going to provide a lot of character development for (a possibly heartbroken) Peridot, so it’s definitely one to watch out for!

- If Lapis has gone, will she be back?  Is Lapidot now dead? D:

Guys, seriously – it’ll all be fine!

Jennifer and Shelby have been recording with each other recently, as well as many other times in the past.  If Lapis leaves, it’s a 100% guarantee that she’ll be back again.

There’s an expression that I’ve brought up a few times in the past couple of days, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”.  If Lapis and Peridot do spend some time apart, it’s highly likely that they’ll bounce back from this with a stronger relationship than ever.

As someone who’s previously had to spend months at a time away from my then-fiancé (due to him living in California and me living in England, before he could move over here to live with me), I can attest to that expression!  It’s horrific being away from the one you love for a prolonged period of time – but you feel on top of the world when you finally reunite.

- Do you think we’ll see the Lapidot fusion in this arc?

It’s very, very likely.

For all we know, this:

could be Peridot holding her hand out to Lapis, as an invitation to fuse with her.  Which, incidentally:

would be a pretty incredible parallel to this!  The camera angle is the same and everything.  A loving fusion born out of hope and trust, versus a hate-fuelled fusion born out of anger and a desire for revenge.

Fusion seems like the natural “next step” for Lapis and Peridot, given how incredibly close their relationship with each other is.  There’s also the fact that Peridot is almost defenceless on her own (thanks to the tragic loss of her limb enhancers) – so if Lapis decides to fight, she’ll probably want to protect Peridot.  And what better way of doing that than to physically fight with Peridot by forming a fusion with her?!

- Do you think it’ll provide good character development for Lapis and Peridot if Lapis does leave?  When they reunite, will we see how much Lapis does care for Peridot (as that’s what some people struggle to see)?  Will Lapis learn she can’t run from all her problems forever?

Absolutely, on all counts.

Peridot will be heartbroken if Lapis does leave.  It’d be painful to watch, I think.

But I imagine that their reunion would be a big, heartfelt thing.  Peridot would  probably be the main reason why Lapis decides to return!  She might end up feeling guilty for leaving her little green bean on her own, and decide to come back for her even if it means facing up to something that she’s completely terrified of.  This could be the start of Lapis facing up to her past head-on, rather than burying her emotions and letting the past drag her down into some very dark places. Indeed, this could even lead to her and Jasper eventually settling their differences – and Lapis fully forgiving the Crystal Gems.

In any event, Peridot is going to be a huge part of her recovery – which is something that seems to have already begun.

- Do you think Peridot could end up being in danger if Lapis leaves – but then Lapis swoops in to save her?  Could we see Peridot poof?

Either one of those scenarios could play out (or perhaps, even both of them).

We know it’s only a matter of time until Peridot gets her star.  This was confirmed well over a year ago, if memory serves, so it’s likely to be happening very soon now.

Things are going to start getting very real and very dangerous. This could also lead to the retrieval of Peridot’s limb enhancers (perhaps by Lapis), so that she can defend herself against whatever Homeworld is about to throw at the earth.

Stop doing this!

Joey: Oh my goddddddd!

Seto: *Walking towards Joey’s bedroom*

Joey: This is amazing! *squeals/screams*

Seto: *whispers to self* Is he doing what I think he’s doing?

Joey: I feel like my heart is pounding *wheezes*

Seto: Hes doing IT *barges into the room* Puppy stop doing this!

Joey: *gasps and turns around with a ‘ I’m screwed ‘ expression* S-Set, I was just uhm having a bit of time alone

Seto: I’ve noticed that and you dare have a moment like this without me? *glares*

Joey: It’s something that drives us both crazy so I uhm didn’t want to drag you back into this nail biting romance *blushes and looks back to his screen*

Seto: *Breathes in* PHAN TIME