Playing-With-Graphs

Category archives for Playing-With-Graphs

Roller Slide Physics Explained

On Monday, I posted a short video and asked about the underlying physics. Here’s the clip again, showing SteelyKid and then me going down a slide made up of a whole bunch of rollers at a local playground: The notable thing about this is that SteelyKid takes a much, much longer time to get down…

A month and a half ago, I reported on a simple experiment to measure the performance of a timer from the teaching labs. I started the timer running at a particualr time, and over the next couple of weeks checked in regularly with the Official US Time display at the NIST website, recording the delay…

We took SteelyKid to the playground at one of the local elementary schools on Sunday morning. this one includes an odd sort of slide, made of dozens of rollers that are 1-2 inches in diameter (they’re all the same size– the range is just because I didn’t measure them carefully). They’re on really good bearings,…

Great Moments in Deceptive Graphs

This morning, via Twitter, I ran across one of the most spectacular examples of deceptive data presentation that I’ve ever seen. The graph in question is reproduced in this blog post by Bryan Caplan, and comes from this econ paper about benefits of education. The plot looks like this: This is one panel clipped out…

This Is All For Science

Today’s Links Dump came late because I was at the meeting of the APS’s Committee on Informing the Public. We apologize for the inconvenience, but I was too busy acquiring this critically important scientific data: What is that, you ask? It’s this:

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m schedule to teach a class on “A Brief History of Timekeeping” next winter term as part of the Scholars Research Seminar program. Even though I have a hundred other things to do, I continue to think about this a lot. One of the goals of the course is to introduce…

A few months ago– just before the paperback release of How to Teach Physics to Your Dog– Amazon started providing not only their Sales Rank data, but also sales data from Nielsen BookScan. Of course, the BookScan data is very limited, giving you only four weeks, and the Sales Rank data, while available over the…

Kevin Drum re-posts a chart on wind power made by Stuart Staniford showing that the number of new wind power plants installed in 2010 was way lower than in 2009 or 2008: This is meant as a starting point for discussion about the big economic issues that might’ve caused this. One of the many, many…

Benford’s Law of Amazon Rankings

Late last year, Matthew Beckler was nice enough to make a sales rank tracker for How to Teach Physics to Your Dog. Changes in the Amazon page format made it stop working a while ago, though, and now Amazon reports roughly equivalent data via its AuthorCentral feature, with the added bonus of BookScan sales figures.…

Charting Fantasy Art

Nobody who likes both SF and the graphing of odd things as much as I do could possibly fail to link to Orbit’s charts of fantasy art. These include the frequency plot of various elements seen at right, a comparison of fashion trends for urban fantasy heroines, color trends in cover dragons, and a study…