A Data Visualization Newsletter
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Our Favorite Stuff
Looking for the Earth Next Door Astronomy
Over the last 30 years, astronomers have dramatically improved our understanding of what lies beyond our solar system. Almost 4,000 exoplanets have been discovered, most of them as part of NASA’s recent Kepler missions. While we’re still a ways from determining whether any of these exoplanets have life on them, hundreds are a habitable distance away from the star they orbit.
There’s long been a theory — dating back at least to Doug Flutie’s miraculous Hail Mary against Miami in 1984 — that applications to a college surge after a major athletic achievement. And an analysis by The Washington Post shows some evidence that the “Flutie effect” is real. Still, it’s difficult to tease apart the impact of winning a national title in basketball or football from other marketing tactics.
For most of the 1980s and 1990s, economic growth in Hong Kong outpaced that of Shenzhen, the closest metropolitan city on mainland China. Yet a combination of manufacturing prowess and IT innovation have allowed Shenzhen to develop into a booming urban center very quickly. As of 2017, the cities’ GDPs are nearly identical.
What the Street!? Public Policy
Public space in major cities is limited, with much of it dedicated to streets and subway lines. But how well is this space being used in some of the most congested urban centers across the world? The cities we live and work in (San Francisco and New York) devote a large amount of their public spaces to roads and parking spaces for cars — but there’s a strong case to be made that that should change.