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The Weekend Links

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"¢ If you are one of those savvy TV viewers who gives a knowing nod when, say, Britney Spears or Cher suddenly shows up on your favorite network show ("sweeps!" says I), some of these ridiculous celebrity cameos will probably look familiar.

"¢ The ultimate show of fandom—how about a person who makes the entire Godfather script into a piece of art? I tried to do the same thing with Drillbit Taylor, and have been banned for life from the LA art scene.

"¢ Sure, talk of third ears and buttocks injections are all fun and games when you're talking about jocks ... but what about geeks? Slate.com reports on the rampant use of "enhancement" drugs by a faction of the populous you may not expect.

"¢ Sometimes it's just best to walk away: a story on why, forty years ago, LBJ chose to bow out.

"¢ Reader Lance directs our attention to WiseGeek.com, host to a sundry of interesting queries. Sometimes they compile information, but the best is when they go searching for it, such as how to make the most of an all-you-can-eat buffet...

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...and which pro sports teams fail to own their own domain names.

"¢ A story on the strange power of slow-mo that offers up clips and history on the process that makes the mundane become so gloriously dramatic.

"¢ It was a big deal at Emory when they added a Visual Arts minor, but what if you could major in a person? Say ... Joe Pa? ESPN Page 2's dubious sources have uncovered a test from Penn State for those taking the Joe Paterno class.

"¢ After being saturated by news of the pregnant man, here's a fresh look at the matter: a blogger who takes on a labor of love—24 hours of male pregnancy.

"¢ This oldie but goodie, just because.

"¢ An in-depth look at some of the theories on how Deja Vu works. I experience it myself from time to time ... just a glitch in the Matrix, right?

"¢ Ah, now this is what I log on for. Radar counts down 10 personalities we love to hate on the internet. Would you rather be loved and forgotten, or hatefully remembered? Most of these people would probably choose the latter (but not Tony K, I love that guy). [via GorillaMask.net]

"¢ Yikes—some truly terrifying comic book covers from the 1950s. Would these be allowed today? Imagine the Congressional hearings ... (via blogs.usatoday.com/popcandy)

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"¢ More good stuff from WebUrbanist: 8 Remarkable Palace, Fort and Castle Hotels: Living it Up in (Ancient) Luxury Around the World. Can we convince this guy to guest blog for us?

"¢ Great list of pet peeves from McSweeney's. Some are funny, but you may find some to be very familiar and true (Thanks Stuart!)

"¢ If you haven't heard about the Chinese Democracy album and Dr Pepper's promise of one beverage for every American if it's ever released, educate yourself on the latest happenings. (Much thanks as always to Kevin).

"¢ As Jerry Seinfeld says, "There's no such thing as dry cleaning. There's no way of cleaning with dry. If I gave you a filthy shirt and said, 'I want this immaculate. And no liquids!' what are you going to do? Shake it? Tap it? Blow on it? Give me a break. You almost can't get something dirty with dry, let alone cleaning it." Here's a clip on the science of dry cleaning and how it can be environmentally friendly ... but yeah, using liquids.

OK guys, I go into the link trenches every week to suffer out the link mines (and make my friends do the same), so help a comrade out! Send in your links and internet oddities to FlossyLinks@gmail.com. Helping me, helping you.

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literature
10 Classic Books That Have Been Banned
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iStock

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.

1. THE CALL OF THE WILD

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.

2. THE GRAPES OF WRATH

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.

3. THE LORAX

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."

4. ULYSSES

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.

5. ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT

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.

6. ANIMAL FARM

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.

7. AS I LAY DYING

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.

8. LOLITA

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.

9. THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

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."

10. THE GIVER

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
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Design
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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