Fair Warning
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Fair Warning

Fair Warning: Facebook, Hamilton (again), and data sonification


It is quite amazing how much time gets taken up by stupid life stuff like travelling from Wales to London every weekend and then back. I did however go back for good reason — I FINALLY saw Hamilton. More on that in a sec, but something I meant to add (and forgot) last week was that someone did some analysis of the #NICAR18 hashtag on Twitter and I was the fifth most prominent tweeter. Actual lol. Sorry everyone.

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On the home front

There was a genuine cock-up from me last week in that I absolutely meant to include all the Cambridge Analytica stuff in here but completely forgot. There are now way too many links to share but the Guardian, Channel 4, and NYT have been publishing bits and bobs on it for about a week now. I am still super skeptical that there was any actual impact on voting. It’s more the intention and the illegality(!) that is the issue. It’s just very weird that people are taking this marketing company at face value when it says “we can do all this stuff”.

The ‘home’ connection here is tenuous at best so forgive me. I saw Hamilton this week!! Yes it was brilliant, yes you should go, yes I have had the ‘Da da da dat da dat da da da da ya da’ bit of You’ll Be Back in my head for the past four days. And yes, you should now go and look at this amazing visualisation of Hamilton lyrics (I included it last summer, but I wanted to go back and look at it once I’m more familiar with it).

I’ve been looking into data sonification for several months now but never had a decent project to use it for, so I was thrilled to see this video — UK income inequality data turned into music (H/T to @WarningGraphicC).

You can now check to see what the gender pay gap is at your company (UK) — that is, if they have actually submitted the figures. Only a third have actually done it.

Over the pond

The Washington Post has done an incredible piece looking at the collateral damage from school shootings. It says: “187,000 students attending at least 193 primary or secondary schools have experienced a shooting on campus during school hours… Many are never the same.” It’s worth reading the whole thing though.

Another WaPo thing that struck me this week, a beautiful visualisation of where Spring has come early and late across the US. They have also created a map showing every inch of snow that fell on the States in the year. They’re very pretty aren’t they?

A great graphic on the Economist shows that Americans of both parties hate Congress equally, which made me laugh and in a way is probably quite reassuring?

I love the New York Times for creating this amazing, hypnotic visualisation of how racism affects black boys as they grow up. Watch it. It’s so good. Just brilliant.

Odds and ends

This is very very old but I only found out about it this week — FiveThirtyEight made a Twitter bot which tweets out a line from the US Census every hour. It’s called CensusAmericans. I wonder if anyone has spotted themselves in it so far?

Apropos of um, all the news… this made me laugh (source):

I had a brief play on this Jehovah’s Witness Simulator which is probably the weirdest thing I’ve seen all week… to be honest, I didn’t play with it too much because it weirded me out and I wasn’t quite sure where it was going. Let me know how you find it. (Thanks to @puntofisso who mentioned this in his newsletter this week)

This week it was the 19th anniversary of NATO bombing Yugoslavia. Milos Popovic looked at where bombs hit and how many people were injured — there were 3089 bombs dropped over 78 days, and this is what that looks like (source):

That’s all for this week, thanks for reading! If you like this newsletter, please forward it to people, encourage friends to subscribe to it, or buy me a coffee to show your appreciation. I’m on Twitter @SophieWarnes.



A weekly round-up of data-related stories and thoughts by Sophie Warnes

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Sophie Warnes

Data nerd and journalist— has probably worked at your fave UK paper. Unrepentant feminist. Likes: Asking irritating questions. Hates: Writing bios, pandas.