Tag: ants

Feed The Pig – Savings Strategies for 25-34 Year Olds

Feed The Pig – Savings Strategies for 25-34 Year Olds

Feed the Pig

Any time is a good time to start saving.  Obviously, the sooner you start, the more money you will have when you really need it.  This infographic reminds us that there are a lot of things to save for – retirement, emergencies, personal goals, and more.  So what are the savings trends among people of prime savings age (25-34), and why aren’t more people saving money?

Saving Money…In Theory

A small graph in the upper left corner shows the most likely New Years Resolutions among 25-34 year-olds, and the number one choice is to save more money.  That’s followed by losing weight, spending more time with friends, and volunteer work.  In reality, only 4% of this demographic saved 20% or more, 24% saved about 6-9% of their income, 32% saved 1-5%, and 40% saved nothing.

Desirability vs. Affordability

This section reviews some of the things that people spend money on, and how money can be saved.  For instance, you may need to have a smartphone with a data plan, but you could save a lot of money if you only buy what you need.  For instance, everyone wants the latest and greatest, but that costs the  most.  A basic phone with limited features costs the least for a data plan, but might not offer the functionality you need.  If you go with a middle of the road free phone with a 2-year contract, you could save while still getting what you need technology-wise.

Similarly, people spend a lot of money on their home entertainment.  A cable package with the works, including a DVR, can cost $200 per month, while streaming web service only costs less than $10 per month.  Basic cable costs about $30 per month, so you could have that and the streaming web service and still be paying a lot less.

As for eating, everyone likes a nice meal out every now and then, but it is so much cheaper to cook at home.

Generally, if you use common sense and a little self control, you can save money without sacrificing too much of your comfort.

If You DO Start Saving

This graph is the best part of the whole infographic.  It shows you, based on how much you save per week, how much you could have in 5, 10, and 30 years.  It’s inspirational and makes you want to start saving, even (ahem) if you’re older than the demographic targeted in this infographic.

Scorecard

Design:  B

The design is clean, but there are a lot of tiny words that make the eyes swim a little.  Other than that, the colors and fonts are good and the background is quite nice.

Information:  A

Good information for everybody, and puts data in an easy-to-understand way that packs a punch.

Source:  FeedthePig.org

Combating Mass Incarceration Infographic

Combating Mass Incarceration Infographic

massincarceration

This infographic starts off with a shocking fact – that the U.S. has 25% of the world’s prison population, but only 5% of the world population.  That’s sort of mind-boggling, when you stop to think about it.  We recently posted an infographic on innocent people who were imprisoned, and then released because DNA evidence proved their innocence.  How many of that 25% of the world’s prison population is potentially innocent?  What are the costs associated with keeping so many people in prison?  That question and more are addressed in this infogrpahic, described by the creator as such:

“The war on drugs has helped make the U.S. the world’s largest incarcerator, but our addiction to incarceration is unfair, costs too much and doesn’t make us safer.”  This leads one to believe that the creator of the infographic does not believe that drug offenders should be imprisoned, which is definitely debatable, as some consequence needs to occur to help keep drugs off the street.  What are the right answers?  What’s a country to do?  But I digress…

Violent or Nonviolent?

One fourth of the infographic is taken up by a picture of a prison with blue and red bars.  The blue bars indicate the nonviolent offenders, the red ones indicate the violent offenders.  Visually, this image is not very effective, and the information that half of the inhabitants of state prisons are “locked up” for nonviolent offenses is presented in such a way that the reader sees the creator’s bias – obviously the person who compiled and presented this data feels that nonviolent offenses are, by and large, nothing people should be “locked up” for.  Rather than persuading the audience, as more data might do, one is left with a feeling that all the data to come will be biased and therefore, not completely reliable.

The Cost

The next section talks about spending – that by 2007, “states spent more than $44 billion on incarceration and related expenses, a 127% jump from 1987” and then states the spend on higher education has rose only by 21%.  These statistics are taken from a report by The PEW Charitable trusts, which is supposed to be a non-partisan, objective, and non-ideological organization, so it is safe to assume the numbers are right, however even the source information uses the term “behind bars” as a way to emphasize the severity of the situation.  This makes even the source information seem biased, and at a glance it looks like the source document talks about the cost of prisons in the United States.  While this is an important topic, one cannot help but think about all the information that is left out of the infographic.  The numbers are there, but is the reader supposed to be shocked and dismayed by the number of people in prison and the cost to keep them there in that they want less incarceration?  If so, what solutions does this infographic offer in regards to reducing crime and what does it do to offer an alternate solution to incarceration?

Some Statistics

A ball and chain graphic shows the data that while the United States saw a 44% increase in population overall from 1970 to 2008, that the prison population growth rate is 700% during that same time period.  We’re told that this “outpaces” crime rates, but I find this confusing.  If the crime rates are not as high as the prison population growth, is the implied message that innocent people are being incarcerated?  With some blocks of stick figures, we’re given some demographic information, that 1 in 106 white males 18 or older is in prison, 1 in 36 Hispanic males 18 or older is in prison, and that 1 in 15 black males 18 or older is imprisoned.  At a glance, this looks terrible – that so many more black men and Hispanic men are imprisoned than white men, but the supporting data that would show the cause for incarceration is missing.  Though the creator of the infographic went to the trouble of drawing a line between violent and nonviolent offenders, the demographic information does not draw in that data regarding the percentages of each demographic incarcerated for violent vs. nonviolent crimes, and though the description provided says something about the war on drugs, drugs are not explicitly mentioned anywhere in the infographic.

Design:  B

The graphics and typefaces are fine.  Perhaps the prison graphic takes up too much space, but the colors used are appropriate and the images tell a story.  The supporting data does not.

Information:  D

This infographic gives facts without context, which shows bias.  Bias shows a certain vulnerability regarding factual accuracy, and the point of this infographic is lost.  The way the information is presented, and how one piece of information is disconnected from the other does a great disservice to the message this piece was supposed to send.

VIA:  mass incarceration

High Street Shops – Rise and Fall Infographic

High Street Shops – Rise and Fall Infographic

high-street-britain-infographic

Britain’s High Street may have been hit by the recession, however this information-heavy infographic throws up some surprising tidbits on my fellow countrymen’s shopping habits. Before I get into the nitty gritty, I’ll confess I’m a Brit, though I now live in the US. I was born and raised ‘Oop Northe, but exported myself to the lager-drinking ‘Sarf and raised some Essex boys and girls. With that off my chest, I can throw my mud without fear of the cries of rampant, regional prejudice.

Initial Reaction

I didn’t like it.

Pastel shades turn me off: you are supposed to be portraying information in a concise and attention grabbing fashion, so why use sickly shadow coloring? Be like the SAS (British Special Forces), whose motto is “He Who Dares Wins”, but this piece scored high on the wimp-o-meter with poor attention-grabbing power.

The interaction between the data bars for 2008 and 2010 underlined my initial lack of confidence. Indeed, I thought it looked suspiciously like a first, faded draft of a truncated London Underground tube map sans station names.

Information Reaction

When I started to look deeper into the information portrayed, I felt myself getting hooked. This kind of thing always does with me. My favorite part of the piece was the regional hotspots which, despite the pastel shading, clearly presented the information.

London has more restaurants than the rest of the country and of course, fine dining requires fine clothing, so London’s High Streets also boast more clothing stores. That makes sense to me.

The North-South divide is made clear with the number of fat people directly correlated with the concentration of takeaways (fast food for my American cousins), in the North of the country. Alas, as a Brit in the US, this only made me yearn for chips, mushy peas, pudding and gravy…twice!

One surprise for me was that the Welsh have such a higher concentration of pubs on their High Streets than the rest of the country, even London. This may have something to do with the state of Welsh rugby and the need to drown sorrows, but one glaring sign of whiteness was around London itself. Something didn’t ring true for me.  According to this infographic, London has the lowest concentration of the country.  Now I may be wrong on this, but I seriously must question the data on that, though if true, it is a shame this wasn’t highlighted and drawn out more.

Another surprise for me was that the hairy Scots have a higher incidence of hairdressers. I expect this can be explained by the need for all that Celtic hairiness creating demand.  However, it is usually the English who are viewed as more, shall we say ‘effeminate’, by our northern coiffured neighbors. This may also be explained by the parlous state of Scottish rugby at the moment, with husbands and boyfriends losing huge bets with wives and girlfriends. Long may that continue.

Design: C-

A lack of boldness, sickly colors and the London Underground-style comparative chart just turned me off. What saved this from an F were the 6 regional hotspot maps of the country.

Information: A+

Loved the information with the regional hot spot maps. Could have drawn out some of the big points a little more, but in a way this was a good thing because it made me curious. In other words, it gave me just enough to leave me wanting more.

via:  simplybusiness.co.uk/knowledge from simplybusiness.co.uk

 

Eating Insects: Eco-Friendly Meat

Eating Insects: Eco-Friendly Meat

Eating-Insects-infographic

So, Food Service Warehouse, a national provider of restaurant equipment, has created a very interesting, and some would say disgusting, infographic on the topic of eating bugs. Now, I like to watch people who are pretending to survive on an island for $1,000,000 as a cash prize eating bugs as much as the next person, but when it comes to my protein intake I would rather it moo, cluck or oink, but I digress…

Sometimes I am not that gung-ho to read submitted infographics based on my own interests, but this infographic sucked me in with the foreign idea of eating insects as a diet change for the world’s population. Certainly a radical and stomach churning idea, but maybe we just have to get used to this culinary switch? A lot would have to factor into your thoughts about global warming. Do you believe it is happening? Do you think we can change it, if you do? Then do you believe eating bugs and creepy crawlies will affect it vs chowing down on steaks and pork chops?

The insect eating infographic goes into detail to set-up its case. How much nitrous oxide do our main food sources put in the atmosphere? It looks like 18% of the GHG (Greenhouse Gasses) come from our delicious livestock. And there are a crap load of hogs in Iowa, 6 hogs for every 1 person, in fact. So we have a lot of food walking around adding to the GHGs. The infographic proves its point about greenhouse gases and then offers the solution, which is to farm insects which produce far less GHG. Beef cattle produce 2,850 CO2 vs the less-yummy cricket which produces 1.57 C02. I wonder though if 2,000 or so crickets would be as filling as one cow? I guess that is an infographic for another day.

I am fascinated with this topic and think it is certainly “food” for thought. The data and information provided is very engaging, topical and well researched. I wanted more details and statistics to really convince me.

The design keeps with a “green” theme, using earth tones and a soft color palette. Green and brown with a tan background are all good and honest choices. The playful title graphic works well and using the millipede and the ants as part of the titling is a welcome addition to the fun feel of this infographic. Fonts are easy to read and I would guess Futura is the typeface chosen, which is clean and has a earthy feel with its rounded appearance. The animals appear to be clip art, which is okay because they look to be from a similar illustration style. My only fault is with the “stink lines” above each pile of creatures in the “farm insects not cattle” section.

While I may not be able to swallow the idea of eating a locust over a lamb chop, this eating insects infographic was very filling.

Design: B+

Very good effort and excellent layout. Easy to follow and simple design.

Information: A

I loved the idea and the research was an interesting read, even if I don’t like the solution to the problem of greenhouse house gasses.

Airbus A380 Extraordinary Facts Infographic

Airbus A380 Extraordinary Facts Infographic

fc-a380-airbus-baby

Here is an Airbus A360 infographic that will send you reeling through the air like an out-of-control plane. Let’s open this analysis with the following question. Think American-based airline companies are good? B-b-baby, you ain’t seen nothing yet. American airline companies ain’t got nothing on Singapore. Why? Because of a little plane called the Airbus A380. Of course, this plane isn’t actually little at all. It’s the largest plane in the world. It can carry a monstrous 450 passengers.

The graphic notes a series of interesting facts about the plane, such as the fact that Sydney Airport Authorities spent $128 million to upgrade its infrastructure in order to accommodate the jumbo jet, which included the widening or runways, the building of special air bridges, and the reinforcement of underground tunnels. Alright, let’s get down and dirty with some nitty-gritty facts about the plane. The plane is 72.7 meters long (which is the size of two blue wales), and it is 24.1 meters high (which is equal to five giraffes). Qantas is adding 20 A380s to its fleet at a total cost of $6.7 billion. That is a whopping number. Just how whopping. Well, it’s three times the GDP of Greenland, which is equal to 13 ritzy Sydney Opera Houses. It has an 80 meter wingspan (equal to 35 wedge-tail eagles), and the thing weighs 580 tonnes, which is equivalent to 165 elephants, meaning that even the Incredible Hulk would probably have trouble lifting the plane. I imagine even he has a maximum capacity.

Oh, and how much cargo room is there in the plane? Enough for 3,000 suitcases, so if you fly on this baby, you don’t have to pack light. It is now time for the grading portion.

Infographics Scorecard

Design: B+

Pretty decent graphic, from a design standpoint. I am not that impressed with the color scheme. Seems pretty plain. Beyond that, the images were captivating.

Content: A-

A great research job here. The creators went out of their way to find intriguing facts. Showing, for instance, that the amount of paint required for the craft was equal to the amount of paint Michelangelo would need if he painted the Sistine Chapel 97 times over took some real research.

I applaud the Flight Centre for providing such a stupendous graphic.

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Bed Bugs Facts Infographic

Bed Bugs Facts Infographic

bedbug-infographic

If everything you ever wanted to know about bed bugs could be encapsulated by one graphic, it would probably be this one.  Bed bugs are making a comeback in 2010, as recent infestations have been reported across the country.  We tend to hate these pests without really getting to know them, and that’s not entirely fair.  They have little families and love their children just as much as the next species. This graphic is loaded with essential facts about the critters so that we can understand their psychology a bit more.

The average psychology of a bed bug is this: eat and drink blood like there’s no tomorrow, because, baby, there isn’t! Bed bugs only have about 10 months to live, so believe you me, they are going to try and make the most of their lives.

Now, let’s examine some of the bed bugs facts presented in the graphic shall we.  A female bed bug lays a whopping 200-500 eggs in her lifetime.  Given these numbers, it’s no wonder there are so many bed bugs in existence. Compared to other blood-eating critters however, a bed bug is a small potato. The damned things only eat .0055 milliliters of blood per bite. The common household horsefly eats 0.5 milliliters by contrast.   So while a bed bug might be an annoying pest, it doesn’t strike the fear of man into people like the treacherous horsefly.

As you probably know, the bed bug is making its presence known across the country in recent months. What cities are experiencing their wrath more than others? According to the graphic, Denver, New York, Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, and the three major cities of Ohio are getting hit the hardest. If you’re on the west coast, you’re a lucky dog it seems.  Alright, time for the grading portion.

Design: B

Nothing too new or innovative here.  The color scheme is kind of boring to be frank.  Black, gray, and brown dominate the graphic–not exactly ideal colors if you’re tying to catch people’s attention, especially the way they’re presented here. The charts are average, both in design and concept.

Content: B

The content is somewhat deep, so that’s an area that the graphic handled well. Comparing how much blood bed bugs consume per bite to other insects is an interesting segment.  The fact that the infographic incorrectly labels a tick as an insect though (it’s an arachnid, not an insect) caused me to lower their later grade from B+ to B.

So, overall, I would call this graphic pretty good, but not outstanding.

Submitted by NJ.com.

How Much Do We Really Recycle: Infographic

How Much Do We Really Recycle: Infographic

recylcing infographic

As this infographic confirms, we are, for lack of a better phrase, a “throw away” culture. That is, we do ridiculous things like dispose of seven and a half times our body weight each year. As expected, the above infographic makes a compelling case for recycling. It’s filled with tidbits that make you throw your hands up and say, “recycling is best!” That’s assuming you were on the fence of course. Most people know recycling is best; they just don’t do it out of laziness.

Some things about recycling you probably did not know but likely are not surprised by:
–Glass can be recycled over and over without ever losing its purity
–70% less energy is used to manufacture recycled paper
–The energy conserved from recycling one bottle can power a light bulb for one hour
–One recycled can of aluminum contains enough energy to power a Sony TV for three hours

Yes, there can be no argument. A world where more people recycle is the kind of world that most people should want to live in. I do have some issues with the “facts” presented at the bottom of the article though. The graphic claims that certain objects would take several thousand (or in some cases, several million) years to decompose. A Styrofoam cup, for instance, supposedly would not decompose until the year 7,500,000,000 A.D. Really? I have a hard time believing this. If you threw a Styrofoam cup in the woods, you’re telling me it would really take over a billion years for it to erode? I doubt that. What would happen in reality is that maggots and ants would eventually get on it, and it would begin to break down. When you combine the effects of animals with other elements of nature, such as rain and acid rain, the abstract theory that it would take billions of years for the cup to break down becomes even more implausible.

My basic philosophy is this: I’m all for recycling, but don’t try to scare me with inane claims about how long it takes for objects to decompose in a non-controlled, natural environment.

Infographics Scorecard

Design: B

The design meshes several elements well, and the bottom of the graphic is very aesthetically pleasing due to its use of objects.  Certain elements of the graphic are patchy though.  The “Total Individual Lifetime Disposal” circle is not necessarily easy to understand at first glance. It bogs down a bit. That portion of the graphic could have been handled better.

Content: B+

The content is well-presented, and for the most part, in an easy-to-understand way.  I would have awarded a higher grade, but as I explained earlier, I’m not buying the creator’s argument that it would take thousands and thousands of years for plastic jugs and glass bottles to decompose.  The Styrofoam cup theory makes even less sense when you factor in the temperature changes of the planet.  Think about how hot the planet will be in 7 billion years.

Overall, this graphic is very well-done but has some room for improvement.

This graphic was provided by the fine folks at recycle.co.uk

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