More Better Cake Than An Unnamed Atlantic Editor Can Bake

This confection showed up in my email this morning as a data visualization treat.  Good kindergartner that I am, I find I have enough to share:

<a href=””> <img src=”” alt=”data cake” width=”550″ height=”521″ /></a><br />Image by EpicGraphic

And as long as we’re on the subject of visualization, here’s a lagniappe.  The inestimable and inexhaustible Bora Zivkovic, major-domo of the Scientific American science blogging network, recently wrote a long post on future forms of science journalism..  I agree with some of what he says, though not all, and there is a slim chance I’ll actually find the time to argue with him in public.

But in the meantime, let me share with you this little number from Bora’s post that to me makes the point that there are stories within stories within stories, if only one chooses to look — even in the midst of the most familiar tale.

<div align=”center”><iframe width=”560″ height=”349″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe></div>

Consider this an I-can’t-stand-any-more-tea-leaf-reading-on-the-debt-ceiling open thread.

Update: per commenter Matt F @22 — this video is actually a reference/response to this one, “Remind Me.”  The maker of the LRRH clip above writes on the Vimeo posting of the piece that he made the cartoon to satisfy a school assignment to reinterpret the fairy tale, and he acknowledged that it was inspired by Röyksopps’ original.

49 replies
  1. 1
    wesindc says:

    Umm cake meanwhile…

  2. 2
    dr. bloor says:

    The Teatards called–they refuse to authorize funding for the flour and eggs, and want to know where the hell their cake is.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  3. 3
    PurpleGirl says:

    Yes, I can’t take any more writing/commenting on the debt ceiling and the gutting of Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid.

    I’m sitting here trying to decide if I want to order a bunch of books from Borders today or wait to see what I can get in a store tomorrow. (Will relatives understand my spending or not, hmmmm, probably not?)

    It’s absolutely too hot to go to a store today. Maybe I’ll go and see who’s in the cooling center in my development — there are residents who don’t have A/C so they open the community center.

  4. 4
    Rosalita says:

    carrot cake? mmmmmmm

  5. 5
  6. 6
    Mike Goetz says:


    These things have no place in our politics.

  7. 7
    wesindc says:

    Perhaps I’m being insane but a bombing of a large European city takes precedence to cake? Sorry for the rant but the Danes are good people.

  8. 8
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    Umm…wasn’t it Norway and not Denmark?

  9. 9
    Citizen_X says:

    Meanwhile, some wingnuts in in Arizona are upset over the use of the word “haboob” to describe the recent giant sandstorm (AKA as, well, a haboob). (Note: the NYT article only quotes two people, so I don’t know how widespread the “outrage” is.)

    I say let’s give ’em this one. We can call it “God’s wrath on the idiots,” instead.

  10. 10
    MikeJ says:

    @wesindc: When did the Danes take over Oslo?

  11. 11
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    I want to know what’s in this data; and I want the precise algorithm for turning it into information.

    Presentation and knowledge will take care of themselves.

  12. 12
    wobblybits says:

    @wesindc: The Danes? Didn’t the explosion happen in Norway? I always thought the Danes referred to people from Denmark?

  13. 13
    Citizen_X says:

    but the Danes are good people

    Oh yeah? Why’d they just bomb Norway, then?

  14. 14
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    Meh, nice video, I guess some people with good video making skills have way too much time on their hands.

    Blah, just in a bitter mood this morning. I guess that video reminds me of the superficial faux intellectualish type people who’d read Gladwell or something.

  15. 15
    wesindc says:

    LOL my bad. Had Danes on the mind. However…why not an issue enough to interrupt the non stop chatter about how important the US is?

  16. 16
    NonyNony says:

    @Ivan Ivanovich Renko

    I want to know what’s in this data; and I want the precise algorithm for turning it into information.

    One of the most awesome things about living in the future is that if we want an algorithm like that all we have to do is ask.

    Sometimes I resent that I live in the future and I don’t have a flying car. But more often living in the future has more subtle benefits than a flying car could give.

  17. 17
    Citizen_X says:

    Right now the “bombing” in Oslo is just being reported as an explosion, cause unknown.

  18. 18
    Quackosaur says:

    The explosion happened near the PM’s office in Oslo, so most certainly Norway and not Denmark, unless we’ve managed to travel back in time 200 years.

  19. 19
    chopper says:

    the cake is a lie.

  20. 20
    MikeJ says:

    @wesindc: GYOFB

  21. 21
    slag says:

    there are stories within stories within stories, if only one choses to look

    Quelle que “choses”?

    But it’s still a great point!

  22. 22
    MattF says:

    That video is just a ripoff, IMO. The original is this.

  23. 23
    Tom Levenson says:

    Re Oslo: I don’t know anything about it other than what you can read at sites that have actual reporters on the ground. I can’t speak for the other FP folks here — but I’m not writing about the explosion/bombing because I literally have nothing useful to say about it at this time.

  24. 24
    slag says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay:

    I guess that video reminds me of the superficial faux intellectualish type people who’d read Gladwell or something.

    Are we really going to get into a smackdown over Malcolm Gladwell? It is Friday, after all. And isn’t there some Mac v. Microsoft action happening already? Sometimes, there really can be too much of a good thing.

  25. 25
    wesindc says:

    What the hell does GYOFB mean?

  26. 26
  27. 27
    LGRooney says:

    Thanks to their knowledge of geography, Fox news must have gotten a graphic wrong somewhere, the teahadists hit the wrong capital!

    We’ve been discussing their ability to become violent…

  28. 28
    slag says:

    @wesindc: Get Yoda Out For Brunch.

  29. 29
    MikeJ says:

    @wesindc: Get your own fucking blog.

    If you want to inform people that something just happened, that’s a nice thing to do. If you want to shit on a thread because people aren’t discussing what you want to discuss, that’s whining. There’s way to get people to discuss what you want. Go to your own fucking blog where you set the agenda. Don’t whine because other people don’t want to panic or talk about shit that nobody actually has any information about yet.

  30. 30
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Get Your Own F’n Bourbon.

    Or not.

  31. 31
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    As usual the Telegraph has live updates.

  32. 32
    Tom Levenson says:

    Re Slag @21. Well yeah.


  33. 33
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    NonyNony – mmmmmm, carrot cake


  34. 34
    wesindc says:

    Now wonder ABL is all up in arms. If one makes one simple mistake attack ensues. WTH? I rarely comment and when I do I am nice. I think Tunch looks good for his size.

  35. 35
    Surly Duff says:

    “…major-domo of the Scientific American science blogging network recently wrote a long post on future forms of science journalism..”

    Does it also claim all science writing is just boring climate change and global warning articles like Argle Bargle whines?

  36. 36
    Tim F. says:

    From your graphic, I conclude that knowledge is the process of converting useful information into shit. Too often true.

  37. 37
    Davis X. Machina says:

    You thought that the Danes were going to take that Fortinbras business lying down? Hell, no.

    Of course, they had to wait. But that’s what the wily Danes are good at… waiting. And butter cookies. And Lego™.

  38. 38
    Yutsano says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    But that’s what the wily Danes are good at… waiting. And butter cookies. And Lego™.

    And wind turbines. But no one mentions that because Algore is fat.

  39. 39
    slag says:

    @MattF: You’re right. That video is very much a ripoff. But that’s also why the eaten cake isn’t the best metaphor for knowledge. Knowledge is regenerative.

  40. 40
    wesindc says:

    Yumm butter cookies…

  41. 41

    Frank Zappa
    Trouble Every Day
    Well I’m about to get sick
    From watchin’ my TV
    Been checkin’ out the news
    Until my eyeballs fail to see
    I mean to say that every day
    Is just another rotten mess
    And when it’s gonna change, my friend
    Is anybody’s guess

    So I’m watchin’ and I’m waitin’
    Hopin’ for the best
    Even think I’ll go to prayin’
    Every time I hear ’em sayin’
    That there’s no way to delay
    That trouble comin’ every day
    No way to delay
    That trouble comin’ every day

  42. 42
    murbella says:

    that looks delicious.

  43. 43
    stuckinred says:

    gocart mozart –

    Someone beside me knows it!

    as it applies to you and me
    there ain’t no great society

  44. 44
    Yutsano says:

    Ican’t also help but notice the data side of the equation is missing a few critical points. Which makes the metaphor even more apt.

  45. 45
    ET says:

    lagniappe is a great word

  46. 46

    Stuckinred Johnson is right!

    You know we got to sit around at home
    And watch this thing begin
    But I bet there won’t be many live
    To see it really end
    ‘Cause the fire in the street
    Ain’t like the fire in the heart
    And in the eyes of all these people
    Don’t you know that this could start
    On any street in any town
    In any state if any clown
    Decides that now’s the time to fight
    For some ideal he thinks is right
    And if a million more agree
    There ain’t no Great Society
    As it applies to you and me
    Our country isn’t free
    And the law refuses to see
    If all that you can ever be
    Is just a lousy janitor
    Unless your uncle owns a store
    You know that five in every four
    Just won’t amount to nothin’ more
    Gonna watch the rats go across the floor
    And make up songs about being poor

    Blow your harmonica, son!

    More lyrics:

  47. 47
    Bill Murray says:

    MikeJ – July 22, 2011 | 10:46 am · Link

    @wesindc: When did the Danes take over Oslo?

    1536-1814, after the fall of the Kalmar Union

  48. 48
    DFH no.6 says:

    Citizen_X @ 9, re: “haboobs” in AZ,

    Not really much outrage in these parts that I’ve noticed at the use of Islamofascist term “haboob” to describe the recent dust storms.

    Just the typical Abe Simpson types yelling at clouds (literally, in this case). Fuckers gotta complain about something.

    The local rightwing rag (The Arizona Republic) even had the term in large font on its front page. Proving, I suppose, to Teabag Nation around here that the paper really is part of the liberal media.

    Have to say, it’s the first time in my 30 years here that I’ve ever heard the term “haboob” used for a phenomenon that occurs pretty regularly. Maybe someone used it here before, but I never heard it myself till last month’s monster that made the news. “Dust storm” has always been the common (and, truly, perfectly adequate and accurate) term used before.

    I don’t care, we can call them “haboobs” instead from now on. Have to admit, it sounds somewhat humorous to us English-speakers (making it more fun to say than the pedestrian “dust storm”). And if it pisses off a few cranky rightwingers, all the better.

  49. 49

    DFH,are the haboobs more well-developed in Arizona. Do they bounce around from place to place? Please keep us abreast of the situation.

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