Information is beautiful

Cover imageInformation can be interpreted in many ways, kind of like statistics, you can make it mean whatever you like with the right ‘spin’.

David McCandless has sought out the weird and the wonderful for his book, Information is Beautiful, and by using colour, graphic art, charts, inter-connected diagrams and humour, he brings to life all sorts of random and interesting information. And it is indeed beautiful.

Like the Guinness Book of World Records, you can spend hours pouring over random information, wondering why and how anyone thought to collect and analyse that type of information.

You learn which countries top the charts for being #1 for rollercoasters, going to the cinema, using the web, car theft and cheese (hint, choose from South Korea, Iceland, Malaysia, Venezuela and Australia).

You can read the timeline of internet viral videos (how many have you seen?), find out the most common break-up times on Facebook, work out which Hollywood and Bollywood movies are the most profitable, compare the size of the Aral Sea and Lake Chad from 1978 to 2008 (they’ve both shrunk considerably more than you’d think), discover the most popular US girls’ names (and what tv shows influenced when new names debuted on the chart), learn which Hollywood actors which would be far better than Kevin Bacon to play the game “Six degrees of Kevin Bacon”, and find out what facial hair says about a man.

Lose yourself. Learn something. Laugh out loud. Share this book with others.