Data is more than just numbers on a page. It augments every aspect of what we do: what stories we tell, what arguments we make, and what insights we have. Every day, we share a number—a number that has little meaning when isolated, but when given context, connects the dots in our constantly changing world.
Take me to the highway
November 20, 2017
This comes as a town in Wisconsin is expecting the construction of a 20 million square-foot factory that will bring significant commerce to the region. A lane dedicated to autonomous vehicles will ideally alleviate heavy traffic flows that are expected to come with the new factory.
November 17, 2017
Researchers used cosmic-ray imaging to find the previously-unnoticed void in the ancient site. Immediately, scientists are raising questions about the discovered space’s function and whether or not it was intentional. 2,500 years after its construction, scientists are still making fascinating discoveries about the pyramid that, despite rampant hypotheses, have few concrete answers.
November 16, 2017
The majority of respondents in an RISJ poll said they turn off their ad-blocker not for the love of pop-ups, but when there is no other way to view a website or its content. But is obligation the only way online media can get visitors to turn off their ad-blockers? Interestingly enough, the same poll indicated that sites that explain to users that ad money is needed to fund the website might see significant success. 26% of respondents said that they would switch off their blocker when notified that the website depended on ad viewership, and 43% indicated that they would occasionally turn off their ad-blockers for a site they trust.
Happy 117th Birthday!
November 15, 2017
This Japanese woman just became the oldest living person after an Jamaican woman who was born in 1900 passed away. She’s in good company, as several individuals around the world vie for the title of oldest person and old age is growing increasingly normal. With more and more people pushing their 120s, it’s no surprise that retirement age is rising worldwide, demographic breakdowns are veering elderly, and consumer habits and resource access are changing.
Walking Your Way to a Healthy Heart
November 14, 2017
If you ever find yourself complaining about crowded roads or jam-packed public transit on your commute to work, you might seriously want to look into other, more active means. The reasoning is simple (activity is good for your heart’s health) but the margins of benefit are shocking. And as well as its impact on heart health and life expectancy, commute-exercise in a dense, fast-paced city also reduces your chances of being obese by 10%.
Parking Spaces Are the New Houses
November 10, 2017
11 years earlier, they bought it for $45,000, suggesting your next investment could be in a piece of pavement. Even when the overall real estate market dips, parking prices are steadily increasing. Spaces are in extremely high demand in various big cities, with New York topping the list at $32.97 for 2 hours, according to the 2017 Global Parking Index. Sydney follows at $28.45 for 2 hours, and London makes the top ten at $16.26.
Instagram Stories Surge
November 9, 2017
In an earnings call for Q3 2017 last week, Mark Zuckerberg revealed that the app’s story feature, which is barely over a year old, draws over 300 million daily active users. Instagram decided to add the feature as a mechanism for lighter, short-lived sharing, and it took well. Instagram itself sees 500 million daily active users, indicating that over half of them engage with the Stories platform. The feature sees such heft growth and success that we wonder where the app will take it next.
Public Transportation Going Green
November 8, 2017
Hong Kong’s network transports about 12.6 million people everyday, which makes up 90% of all daily journeys in the Asian metropolis, and is reportedly relatively cheap. The Sustainable Cities Mobility Index grades cities for their ability to balance three pillars of sustainability: social (People), environmental (Planet) and economic (Profit). Zürich trails closely behind with a grade of 65.0%, and the cities that make up the top 10 are located in Europe or Asia.
China and the US Leading Economic Growth in the Next Three Years
November 7, 2017
It’s predicted that from 2017-2019, the $75 trillion global economy will grow by $6.5 trillion, with over half of that growth stemming from two world powers: China and the United States. Despite recent economic stagnation in China, its economy continues to grow relative to the rest of the world, with the nation anticipated to contribute 35.2% of growth in global GDP, followed by the US with 17.9%, India with 9.6%, and the EU with 7.9%.
November 6, 2017
Many cultures differ in their perception of slurping. Some find it rude, and others consider it the proper way to eat noodles. The solution? A fork that detects when slurping sounds are being made, and sends a signal to an app on the user’s phone to play calming noise to drown the slurp out. The new device emerged after a recently publicized phenomenon called, “noodle harassment,” in which non-slurpers feel uncomfortable dining around slurpers, and vice versa.
Cheesy in China
November 3, 2017
Roquefort, Gorgonzola, and Brie are examples of cheeses that are produced using certain bacteria, which China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine deemed unsafe to import. But the ban, which was put in place only weeks ago, has now been lifted as a result of the immense economic opportunity presented by cheese sales. According to CNN, China is the world’s fastest-growing market for cheese imports. This, combined with the EU’s aggressive lobbying against the ban, caused China to decide the ban was not in the best of interests.
Working with Robots
November 2, 2017
Each 7-foot arm of robot Guardian GT is capable of lifting 500 pounds, and is nimble despite its size. This revolutionary robot is controlled by a human using an apparatus that gives the operator a sense of the pressure and weight of the object they are touching. To avoid feeling overly disoriented or detached from the lifting process, the operator feels a fraction of the weight its robot lifts. Keeping the human essential to the robot’s functioning is key—it keeps the labor force contingent on human coordination, but lets automation do the heavy lifting.
Benjamin Franklin Went Vegetarian
November 1, 2017
Though he’s most known for his key and his kite, it turns out Benjamin Franklin was also a vegetarian. Vegetarianism and veganism have in fact been around for hundreds of years, though the lifestyles have become more and more prevalent in (relatively) recent years. In 2016, a study concluded that half a million people in the UK are vegan, up from 150,000 in 2006, and meat consumption in the EU has decreased 42 million tons. No matter the reason for switching diets, the fact is its impact is notable.
Too Old to Trick-or-Treat?
October 31, 2017
How old is too old to trick-or-treat? The answer to the long-debated question varies, but one Canadian town has made their stance firm and, to the surprise of many, legal. The town of Bathurst, New Brunswick has a bylaw banning anyone older than 16 from trick-or-treating, and has set a $200 fine for offenders. Critics of the bylaw claim that maximum age for trick-or-treating lies with parents and community members, not with legal bodies. While public perception of the unwritten rules of the holiday is fascinating, more interesting even is the public outcry that came with legal intervention. As for Bathurst, New Brunswick, officials say they’re just trying to keep the town out of trouble.
October 30, 2017
The days of plopping kids in front of the TV are over, with Nielsen reporting that 54 percent fewer kids age 6-11 watched Nickelodeon in 2017 than they did in 2008, and the trend visible across channels and networks. Instead, Gen Z is turning a more social form of video consumption: YouTube. And it turns out, kids are not only watching YouTube videos, but they are acting as young influencers and consumers on the platform. Children are flocking by the millions to watch homemade videos of other children playing with, unboxing, and reviewing toys, and toy companies are paying anywhere from a few thousand to $200,000 to sponsor the shorts.