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The Cartoon Guide to Life, the Universe, and Everything

Larry Gonick is a veteran American cartoonist best known for his delightful comic-book guides to science and history, many of which have previews online. Chief among them is his long-running Cartoon History of the Universe (later The Cartoon History of the Modern World), a sprawling multi-volume opus documenting everything from the Big Bang to the Bush administration. Published over the course of three decades, it takes a truly global view -- its time-traveling Professor thoroughly explores not only familiar topics like Rome and World War II but the oft-neglected stories of Asia and Africa, blending caricature and myth with careful scholarship (cited by fun illustrated bibliographies) and tackling even the most obscure events with intelligence and wit. This savvy satire carried over to Gonick's Zinn-by-way-of-Pogo chronicle The Cartoon History of the United States, along with a bevy of Cartoon Guides to other topics, including Genetics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, The Environment, and (yes!) Sex. Gonick has also maintained a few sideprojects, such as a webcomic look at Chinese invention, assorted math comics (previously), the Muse magazine mainstay Kokopelli & Co. (featuring the shenanigans of his "New Muses"), and more. See also these lengthy interview snippets, linked previously. Want more? Amazon links to the complete oeuvre inside! [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jun 6, 2011 - 29 comments

 

There can only be one...billion.

The most typical person on the planet is a 28 year old Chinese man. For now. [more inside]
posted by phunniemee on Mar 4, 2011 - 50 comments

Statistics, Damn Lies or a Damn Shame?

How Rich am I? Heard a talk today from the founder of Gapminder, a non-profit company that creates Flash and shockwave pieces that are somewhere between information visualization, socially motivated art, and interactive educational pieces. Be sure to check out the Human Development Trends, and the Dollar Street (photos of real homes of real people who live on $1-2 per day, $2-5 per day, to $100 per day). See also: Understanding USA for more nice pictures of statistics.
posted by zpousman on Mar 25, 2004 - 6 comments

Everything About Everywhere

Nation Master An amazing resource that displays all sorts of comparative national statistics on practically everything, and with an option of selecting any region / list of countries you choose. It plugs itself as "The world's biggest general stat site" (which might or might not be true I don't know), and it has a wealth of data on economics, sports, population, geography and a dozen more categories. Some interesting statistics; Top 100 in Olympic medals per Capita. Top 100 Murders with firearms (per capita). Top 100 Military Expenditures as a percent of GDP . Top 100 Net migration rate .
A heaven for data freaks.
posted by talos on Jul 10, 2003 - 30 comments

The Hostest With The Mostest And The League Of Nations

Which Country Has The Most Beautiful Women? The best quality of life? The most divorces? The most mobile phones? The highest cost of living? Which one is the most visited? Rank the bastards! After browsing through this website, I'm sure the conclusion that we're all living in the wrong one is inescapable. The statistics and sources may be questionable, but there sure are a lot of interesting lists here! Meanwhile my own country, Portugal, has just been denounced as the the laziest in Europe and the booziest in the world. They lie! They lie! [Actually, it's a fair cop, guv. And it was nice to drag down the Brits with us.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Apr 17, 2003 - 53 comments

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