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The Weekend Links

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Everyone is getting tired of year-end lists I know, but this one is worth it. Truly stunning, and mostly heartbreaking, Boston.com has compiled some of its very best photos from 2009 into a 3-part post that reminds you of the good and bad of this past year, and best of all ... no Jon and Kate.
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If all these year-end lists have you thinking you know just about everything there is to know about 2009, take this quiz and find out! (much harder than I was expecting!)
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From Hannah, a video of an improv group that holds a quick bell choir performance with a Salvation Army bell ringer. Isn't that better than just the high-pitched tinkling?
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You may be familiar with the phrases "snafu" or "son of a gun," but did you know that these and other phrases originated on the battlefield? That's the scuttlebutt, anyway!
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I should have only picked one, but I just couldn't. I found several related links full of amazing pictures, so in the spirit of giving, I am giving you all three! The first showcases 8 Showy Snow Sculptures, followed by some Extreme Christmas Decorations, and then rounding out the list are 9 Gorgeous Gingerbread Creations. May this motivate someone to achieve holiday greatness this year in one of these categories (if you do, send a pic!)
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Have yourself a ... creepy little Christmas? Revisiting some of the lyrics of popular Christmas songs.
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10 notable mustaches and the men behind them. My trusted mustache connoisseur friend Pat says of this list, "well there are a lot of fantastic mustaches left out, but this list does include Nietzsche, so I feel it's legit."
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A recent Vanity Fair article explored our growing cultural addiction toward the cute, and its downsides. I'm sure website like this one of tiny cute baby animals doesn't help, BUT ...

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If you need to learn how to communicate with your tween cousin during family time during the holidays, you may need the aid of this English-to-12-Year-Old-AOLer Translator. To give you an example, I put in the Shakespeare quote, "A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool," which translated to "A FOL THINKS HIMS3LF 2 B WIES BUT A WIES MAN KNOWS HIMS3LF 2 B A FOL!!!1111" Scary, no?
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In other translation news and views, check out this "English" song sung by Italians. It's complete gibberish (but then again, so are so many songs), but it's meant to convey our phonetic sounds. The results are intriguing to say the least!
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If you are suddenly filled with patriotic pride, check out this very cool USA heart featuring all the states (they're all there, right? Did anyone count?)
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You may be dreaming of a white Christmas, but maybe not a white bridal gown. Here are some inspired weddings full of color to prove that not all successful bridal gowns must be white. (I would however avoid the scarlet red ones ... that just seems to send such a wrong message ...!)
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For those looking for motivation to exercise more regularly in the winter months, see how you measure up to Modern Fitness Standards for jobs like firefighters and police officers, and even on up in difficulty to marines (if you dare!)
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Forget Not Where Thy Petrol Floweth From! A funny and somewhat though provoking cartoon.
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Twitter is occasionally used for good, but more often than not it's used for nonsense. In one of the most ultimate examples, a best man at a wedding pulls a prank that rigs up his friend's honeymoon mattress to tweet the, er, consummation. Pretty funny stuff, although undoubtedly horrifying for the couple!
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I am a big fan of re-purposing, so I particularly like this simple tutorial on how to turn a shirt into a skirt (this is also handy for the Walk of Shame crowd).
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Some of those images of the Google logo on the Google homepage don't always look a lot like, well, Google. Here's a gallery of some of the most obscure drawings of the logo to date.
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Finally, from Flossy reader Doug, "this is a Christmas related musical I made for my family last year. I do one every year." I'm not exactly sure what to make of this, so I give it all to you. It clearly took a lot of time, this I know for sure!
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Thanks to everyone who sent in links this week - in the spirit of giving, give me some links! Send them along to FlossyLinks@gmail.com. Stay warm!

[Last Weekend's Links]

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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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