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The Week in Review (Plus Some Weekend Nonsense & a T-Shirt Giveaway)

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In case you weren't glued to this site all week, consider this your make-up class. Here's a look back at some of the wonderful topics we've recently covered:

"¢ 7 Pampered Celebrities and their Ridiculous Pre-show Demands

"¢ Manly Ways to Prepare Turkey

"¢ 7 Insane Food Competitions

"¢ Famous Last Words: The Animated Musical

"¢ When Sitcom Stars Start Expecting

"¢ Stuff You Don't Know About Writers You Might

"¢ The Monster of the Andes, The Meanest Man in America, and 7 other Prolific Serial Killers

Read on for more of this week's best posts, plus the aforementioned weekend nonsense and a chance to win a t-shirt!

Absinthe Comes to America

"¢ The First Time News Was Fit To Print: Golden Gate Bridge, Bill Maher, Toyota Prius

"¢ (Way More Than) Everything You Wanted to Know about Guinea Pigs

"¢ The Life and Times of Gary Larson

Dumpster Diving

"¢ Nine Holiday Gifts that Send a Message

Feel Art Again. And Again.

"¢ Why the Farm Bill is Cool

Brand Affinities

"¢ Eat Like the Pilgrims

"¢ Quizzes: Nintendo History, Transient Sports Franchises, Inventions Timeline and Opening Lyrics

And here now the nonsense: How long do you think it takes for toothpaste to fall off the brush?


At 11:30am Eastern Time this morning (and 59 seconds), I (Jason) stood my Braun Professional Care electric toothbrush upright. At what time will the toothpaste become unstuck and reach the strategically placed Post-it Note waiting below?


A couple of things to consider:

1) After taking this picture, I relocated the toothbrush to the top of my dresser. Laptop heat is not a factor.

2) The toothpaste is Crest Sensitivity.

We'll play Price is Right rules. The person who comes closest to the actual time of toothpaste/toothbrush separation without going over wins a free mental_floss t-shirt. You can guess up to five times, but they all must be in separate comments. Keep those guesses in Eastern Time. And be sure to mention which shirt you're playing for. Like this:

Comment #1: Jason
Saturday, 11:33am
Rhesus shirt, Large

Since there's nothing more boring than thinking about someone watching toothpaste, scroll back up and read a few of this week's greatest hits. I'll post the winning time tomorrow. Best of luck.

UPDATE: Sunday, 11:52pm

Around 3pm Saturday, I moved the toothbrush back to its bathroom base. (Around 2:59pm, this was what my wife said: "Seriously, get the toothbrush out of here.") All afternoon, the increasingly solid Crest Sensitivity toothpaste clung admirably to the bristles. But after an intense evening walking of the dog, I chose to shower up. I like my showers hot. And the steam hot showers produce does wonders for crusty globs of toothpaste. While toweling off, I noticed the toothpaste had fallen, the contest over. It was 10:38pm. Looks like Sarah's guess "“ 10:04pm "“ is the winner! We'll be in touch about your t-shirt. Congratulations!

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10 Classic Books That Have Been Banned
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From The Bible to Harry Potter, some of the world's most popular books have been challenged for reasons ranging from violence to occult overtones. In honor of Banned Books Week, which runs from September 24 through September 30, 2017, here's a look at 10 classic book that have stirred up controversy.


Jack London's 1903 Klondike Gold Rush-set adventure was banned in Yugoslavia and Italy for being "too radical" and was burned by the Nazis because of the author's well-known socialist leanings.


Though John Steinbeck's 1939 novel, about a family of tenant farmers who are forced to leave their Oklahoma for California home because of economic hardships, earned the author both the National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize, it also drew ire across America become some believed it promoted Communist values. Kern County, California—where much of the book took place—was particular incensed by Steinbeck's portrayal of the area and its working conditions, which they considered slanderous.


The cover of Dr. Seuss' The Lorax
Google Play

Whereas some readers look at Dr. Seuss's Lorax and see a fuzzy little character who "speaks for the trees," others saw the 1971 children's book as a danger piece of political commentary, with even the author reportedly referring to it as "propaganda."


James Joyce's 1922 novel Ulysses may be one of the most important and influential works of the early 20th century, but it was also deemed obscene for both its language and sexual content—and not just in a few provincial places. In 1921, a group known as The New York Society for the Suppression of Vice successfully managed to keep the book out of the United States, and United States Post Office regularly burned copies of it. But in 1933, the book's publisher, Random House, took the case—United States v. One Book Called Ulysses—to court and ended up getting the ban overturned.


In 1929, Erich Maria Remarque—a German World War I veteran—wrote the novel All Quiet on the Western Front, which gives an accounting of the extreme mental and physical stress the German soldiers faced during their time in the war. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the book's realism didn't sit well with Nazi leaders, who feared the book would deter their propaganda efforts.


The cover of George Orwell's Animal Farm
Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

The original publication of George Orwell's 1945 allegorical novella was delayed in the U.K. because of its anti-Stalin themes. It was confiscated in Germany by Allied troops, banned in Yugoslavia in 1946, banned in Kenya in 1991, and banned in the United Arab Emirates in 2002.


Though many people consider William Faulkner's 1930 novel As I Lay Dying a classic piece of American literature, the Graves County School District in Mayfield, Kentucky disagreed. In 1986, the school district banned the book because it questioned the existence of God.


Sure, it's well known that Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita is about a middle-aged literature professor who is obsessed with a 12-year-old girl who eventually becomes her stepdaughter. It's the kind of storyline that would raise eyebrows today, so imagine what the response was when the book was released in 1955. A number of countries—including France, England, Argentina, New Zealand, and South Africa—banned the book for being obscene. Canada did the same in 1958, though it later lifted the ban on what is now considered a classic piece of literature—unreliable narrator and all.


Cover of The Catcher in the Rye

Reading J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye is practically a rite of passage for teenagers in recent years, but back when it was published in 1951, it wasn't always easy for a kid to get his or her hands on it. According to TIME, "Within two weeks of its 1951 release, J.D. Salinger’s novel rocketed to No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list. Ever since, the book—which explores three days in the life of a troubled 16-year-old boy—has been a 'favorite of censors since its publication,' according to the American Library Association."


The newest book on this list, Lois Lowry's 1993 novel The Giverabout a dystopia masquerading as a utopiawas banned in several U.S. states, including California and Kentucky, for addressing issues such as euthanasia.

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Data Viz Project, Ferdio // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
From Donut Charts to Bubble Maps, This Site Will Help You Choose the Best Way to Visualize Your Data
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Data Viz Project, Ferdio // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

For many researchers, gathering data is the fun part of their job. But figuring out how to convey those numbers in a clear and visually appealing way is where they lose confidence. The Data Viz Project streamlines this step: With more than 150 types of data visualizations organized by different categories, finding the perfect format for your information is quick and painless.

According to Co.Design, the compendium comes from the Copenhagen-based infographics agency Ferdio and it took four years to develop. It started as a collection of physical graphs and charts posted on the walls of their office before moving online for all employees to use. Now, they’re making the project accessible to the public.

The website includes all the basic visualizations, like the line graph, the pie chart, and the Venn diagram. But it also makes room for the obscure: The chord diagram, the violin plot, and the convex treemap are a few of the more distinctive entries.

At first, the number of options can seem overwhelming, but narrowing them down is simple. If you’re looking for a specific type of visualization, like a chart, diagram, or table, you can select your category from the list labeled "family." From there you can limit your results even further by selecting the type of data you're inputting, the intended function (geographical data, trend over time), and the way you want it to look (bars, pyramids, pictographs).

Each image comes with its own description and examples of how it can be used in the real world. Check out some examples below to expand your own data visualization knowledge.

Alluvial Diagram
Alluvial Diagram

Arc Diagram
Arc Diagram

Hive Plot
Hive Plot

Hexagonal Binning
Hexagonal Binning

Violin Plot
Violin Plot

Packed Circle Chart
Packed Circle Chart

Kagi Chart
Kagi Chart

Sorted Stream Graph
Sorted Stream Graph

[h/t Co.Design]

All images courtesy of Ferdio // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0


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