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Complex Curiosity

How an engineer renounced control and embraced the real world

From complicated to complex: my journey through spaceships, an MBA and medicine to learn how to work in an irrational, chaotic, complex world. Illustration by RJ Andrews.
From complicated to complex: my journey through spaceships, an MBA and medicine to learn how to work in an irrational, chaotic, complex world. Illustration by RJ Andrews.

I thought becoming an engineer would help me understand how the world works. As a high school STEM nerd, I saw the world as a technical place and a technical proficiency as a practical necessity‚Ää‚ÄĒ‚Ääif you could build a jet engine, what couldn‚Äôt you do? And doesn‚Äôt it sound like fun? And boy did I have fun. I got to work on the Ferrari F430, a stealth warship, and the biggest baddest LEGO set of them all: NASA‚Äôs Space Shuttle at the Kennedy Space Center.

But something was missing. READ MORE

Navigating Data

navigating data with lessons from master storytellers

As¬†a professional data storyteller, I use pictures to show you numbers. Sometimes the pictures are really pretty, sometimes the numbers are¬†controversial‚Ää‚ÄĒ‚Ääbut the pursuit always is to humanize a complicated and complex world into a package that you can more easily appreciate. To create these experiences with data I have learned a lot from different master storytellers across many media: myth, science, comics, radio and film. READ MORE

Data City

Data storytelling and the graphic novel are smashed together in one adventure through the numbers behind the city built on numbers: Las Vegas, Nevada. Explore the underside of tourism, gambling, and entertainment as we move through one exciting evening on the Strip.


Alternatively, you can click through the gallery below: READ MORE

Board Member Overlap

The¬†CEO of Disney is on the board of Apple, whose CEO is on the board of Nike, which has a board member on Disney… which all got me thinking: how many powerful companies are connected via their board of directors?:


Are you¬†surprised how well networked most of the boards of DowJones top 30 companies are… or surprised that not all 30 companies are connected? I find it fascinating that several people serve on the boards of not two, but THREE of the most powerful companies in the world. READ MORE

Endangered Safari


The ENDANGERED SAFARI¬†project contains all of the large¬†African mammals along with juicy info like animal size, family, population trend, range, and IUCN threatened¬†species status. The static version, above, is an artsy layout that¬†makes a great print, but to really dig into the data, including individual animal range maps, you will¬†have to jump on a computer (it’s not built for mobile) and play with the interactive below by hovering over each READ MORE



About the design
Bloom¬†visualizes the life of all 212 flowers in Jefferson’s Monticello garden across the year. In the animated GIF, flowers appear when they first start blooming and leave the piece when they finally die. The animation has 26 frames, each representing two weeks. Each flower is¬†placed radially around the year according to what week it¬†first blossoms and for how long it blooms (longer living flowers are closer to the center).¬†A¬†small bar graph provides¬†an easier comparison between total READ MORE

Creative Routines

“We all have the same 24 hours that Beyonc√©¬†has” and its various iterations took the web by storm in late 2013 as the megastar became the figurehead of not only having it all, but being able to somehow do it all too.

How do creatives Рcomposers, painters, writers, scientists, philosophers Рfind the time to produce their opus? Mason Currey investigated the rigid Daily Rituals that hundreds of creatives practiced in order to carve out time, every day, to work their READ MORE

Stacking Up Best Pictures

Nine films are in the running to win best picture at the 86th Academy Awards – and they could be compared in many ways. They all feature incredible stories, great acting, and, well, it gets pretty subjective very fast.

Let us let the masses duke it out: here are the the nine nominees for best picture with their Tomatometer scores (both all critics and audience), box office gross as of mid-January, and their total number of nominations.

2014 Oscars Infographic

The gaps between the critics and the rest of us is pretty interesting. Some films (Dallas Buyers Club, Captain Phillips) have READ MORE