The Life Cycle of Ideas is a data-analysis and visualization we published for the May Issue of Popular Science.
As Katie Peek wrote in the introductory text:
“Every scientific idea has its day. Theories are born and experiments are designed; results are put to the test, then disproved or accepted as canon. As scientists discuss an idea, they cite the paper that proposed it in their own work. Then, as the conversation moves on, references to the paper drop off. The rise and fall of citations serves to measure the lifespan of a paper’s underlying ideas. Popular Science visualized that pattern across disciplines. Generally, citations peak more quickly today than they did 50 years ago. According to Jevin West, an information scientist at the University of Washington, that trend could be because there are more scientists tackling problems, or because technology has connected them better, accelerating the conversation.”
—from the work of giorgia lupi
Famous Novels’ First Sentences, Mapped [Infographic]
Sentence diagrams never looked this good
By Colin Lecher
Maybe you spent a week in school making these, but the ones in your class almost definitely didn’t look as good. The folks at Pop Chart Lab, which now has an oeuvre of infographics depicting everything from classic games to beer, took a literary turn with their latest chart. A Diagrammatical Dissertation on Opening Lines of Notable Novels (itself one hell of a tongue-twister) is a series of simple Reed-Kellogg sentence diagrams, but there’s something special about placing them all next to each other. The start of Don Quixote looks especially circuitous next to the deceivingly simple “124 was spiteful” of Toni Morrison’s Beloved. Plus, “A screaming comes across the sky,” from Gravity’s Rainbow, is appropriately askew in this format. (More information here)
Blind Date with a Book
Delightful marketing by an indie bookshop: hand-picked, red-wrapped Valentine’s Day picks offered for sale sight-unseen. You can do this when you’re the best bookstore in town, your staff is intimately familiar with the books you sell, and your customers have come to trust you implicitly. Bravo, Brazos Bookstore! We ❤ you!
A Wedding Under the Great Oak
My beloved niece will soon be married on the family ranch, under an ancient oak that we love. I shared the job of creating a beautiful, meaningful invitation with designer Carmen Garza, whose selection of an engraving from Emblems of Immortality (published 1795) was perfect. She used classical iconography—acorn to oak, caterpillar to butterfly—to represent perpetual renewal, and wrapped the invitation in lace as delicate and intricate as the couple’s shared memories. A deep-red wax seal is the finishing touch on this very special memento.