0930: "Days of the Week"

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quadmaster
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0930: "Days of the Week"

Postby quadmaster » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:13 am UTC

Image
http://xkcd.com/930/
Not pictured: the elongated Halley's-Comet-like orbit of every Rebecca Black lyric.

I'm most interested in the breakup orbit. I wonder if it coorelates with my experiences *checks facebook history
Last edited by Felstaff on Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:27 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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rbedi100
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby rbedi100 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:14 am UTC

The 930_large.png that the comic is linked to is throwing a 404.

ks_physicist
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby ks_physicist » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:17 am UTC

Fun concept, but tl;dr.

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TaylorP
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby TaylorP » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:17 am UTC

Anyone else getting a 404 on the large view? I'd love to see this in full size, as I think my eyes will explode if I try to read it as it is. :)

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby brandon309 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:19 am UTC

I really like "due on..." because it is such a regular shape.

I didn't expect Wednesday to be such a popular ladies night!

And this would make a really interesting app - you start the sentence, it searches and graphs the results.

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby nqdp » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:19 am UTC

I'm also not getting the large view. It's really hard to read at that resolution TT

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby cherub_daemon » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:23 am UTC

This is really nifty! Two questions, though.

1) You mention that they're normalized to have the same number of total hits. Did you do this by forcing all of the curves to bound the same area, or preserve the total length of the curve, or what?

2) Somewhat related, but give your description, you're working off of 7 data points per curve. Did you use any kind of rigorous interpolation method for the inside points, or was it mostly going by what looked good/added "drama"?

Thanks!

hetas
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby hetas » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:24 am UTC

Here's the large one.

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/days_of_the_week_large.png


Can't link yet, though.

Edit: I'm no longer link-challenged.
Last edited by hetas on Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:26 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

Aitamen
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby Aitamen » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:26 am UTC

Looks a lot like Things mostly happen on Monday and Friday, the rest of the week blurs by, except for "church on sunday" and Ladies' Night on Wednesday... interesting type of thing, honestly. I've love to do something like this for other words...

YAY GRAPHS!

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KShrike
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby KShrike » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:27 am UTC

Don't mean to be mean to Randall, but...
it seriously looks like gibberish.
On 10/10/10, My Little Pony started to appeal to adult males. Ya rly!
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby skittlemonster » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:28 am UTC

A little brute force goes a long way.

http://xkcd.com/930_large/

that actually works believe it or not. Enjoy.
(I cant make it a link for some reason. I fail)

EDIT: well it used to work :[
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby Fixblor » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:31 am UTC

KShrike wrote:Don't mean to be mean to Randall, but...
it seriously looks like gibberish.

My guess is, he's never read Edward Tufte.

:EDIT:
oh wow, http://xkcd.com/124/ ... he has.
this makes me all the more sad, since apparently he missed the point.
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby davidhbrown » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:36 am UTC

Fixblor wrote:My guess is, he's never read Edward Tufte.

I'm not sure how well this graph is doing for data density (I think there may be as few as 70 values?), but it is an excellent example of direct labeling vs. resorting to a legend. Using small multiples would have improved legibility.

(Have all 5 Tufte books at arm's length from my computer and took his one-day class twice, about 14 years apart.)
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby PeeDub » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:37 am UTC

Poor poor Thursday.

Also, it looks like people like to get their breakup out of the way so the weekend is clear. Figures.

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby madock345 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:37 am UTC

I'm laying bets that most people get fired on Friday too...
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:39 am UTC

Must be a Thursday.

I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
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Fixblor
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby Fixblor » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:43 am UTC

davidhbrown wrote:
Fixblor wrote:My guess is, he's never read Edward Tufte.

I'm not sure how well this graph is doing for data density (I think there may be as few as 70 values?), but it is an excellent example of direct labeling vs. resorting to a legend. Using small multiples would have improved legibility.


The problem is, he should have resorted to a legend.
Each value is bottled up in grammatical script and repeated and repeated with multiple inexact delineations between "bought a hamburger ____" (tuesday) or (today) ...
It's muddled and confusing and not readily discernible what the heck he's talking about.
If he's trying to suck the reader into a vortex of headache, he has suck-ceded.

He missed the point of Tufte, in a nutshell that is that data in graphical form is supposed to be more accessible, not less.
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Almost in register
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby Almost in register » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:46 am UTC

Cool info, but this would greatly benefit from a way to isolate each curve or compare a few selected curves at a time. It's like too many people talking at once—everything's a mishmash.

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby davidhbrown » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:56 am UTC

Fixblor wrote:He missed the point of Tufte, in a nutshell that is that data in graphical form is supposed to be more accessible, not less.

Fair enough... but perhaps you're missing (what I see as) the point of this sort of effort in xkcd... to create art out of mildly interesting information. Part of what makes it interesting is the challenge figuring out how to access the data. I can think of probably 5 ways of presenting the data quickly, clearly, unambiguously... but I don't know that any would be as visually striking.

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby glasnt » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:57 am UTC

I was expecting "Gotta get down on <FRIDAY>" to win.

Thank god it didn't

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby Fixblor » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:58 am UTC

davidhbrown wrote:
Fixblor wrote:He missed the point of Tufte, in a nutshell that is that data in graphical form is supposed to be more accessible, not less.

Fair enough... but perhaps you're missing (what I see as) the point of this sort of effort in xkcd... to create art out of mildly interesting information. Part of what makes it interesting is the challenge figuring out how to access the data. I can think of probably 5 ways of presenting the data quickly, clearly, unambiguously... but I don't know that any would be as visually striking.

I'll accept your "fair enough" and raise you a "well said".
I still have a headache though.
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby jpk » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:00 am UTC

ks_physicist wrote:Fun concept, but tl;dr.


Because I am Tanget Man, when did this abominable meme pop up? I started noticing it maybe three weeks ago, but I'm always the last guy on the bus when it comes to the shit you cool kids say. When did this turn up, and what do you take it to mean, anyway?

OB_ON_TOPIC_CONTENT: I think the presentation is quite effective. You don't actually have to read all of the strings, you just read one to figure out what event that particular thread represents and then the graph does the rest. As for the paucity of data, we really don't know how many instances each token represents, so while it might be one to one, the ratio could be rather higher.

Some sort of scale might have been useful. But the data does make a pretty picture - what more do you want, really?

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby hetas » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:04 am UTC

I've never heard of Rebecca Black but it can't be a good sign that youtube has so many parodies of her song that I can't find the original. If there even is one...

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby josiahstevenson » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:13 am UTC

jpk wrote:
ks_physicist wrote:Fun concept, but tl;dr.


Because I am Tanget Man, when did this abominable meme pop up? I started noticing it maybe three weeks ago, but I'm always the last guy on the bus when it comes to the shit you cool kids say. When did this turn up, and what do you take it to mean, anyway?

OB_ON_TOPIC_CONTENT: I think the presentation is quite effective. You don't actually have to read all of the strings, you just read one to figure out what event that particular thread represents and then the graph does the rest. As for the paucity of data, we really don't know how many instances each token represents, so while it might be one to one, the ratio could be rather higher.

Some sort of scale might have been useful. But the data does make a pretty picture - what more do you want, really?


http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=tl%3Bdr

Earliest definition showed up on urbandictionary in March 2003; on May 16, 2005 it was the "Urban Word of the Day". OED has nothing on it...yet.

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby lly » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:14 am UTC

davidhbrown wrote:Fair enough... but perhaps you're missing (what I see as) the point of this sort of effort in xkcd... to create art out of mildly interesting information.


To go back to Tufte. Graphs should give the most ideas in the least least amount of time with the least amount of ink. There is nothing non-artistic about it, and there's a great bit of art involved in making the graph representative of the data.

Part of what makes it interesting is the challenge figuring out how to access the data. I can think of probably 5 ways of presenting the data quickly, clearly, unambiguously... but I don't know that any would be as visually striking.


If by "visually striking" you mean "ambiguous mess" then sure...

The goal of this sort of thing should be to create something that you want to look at, that is intriguing and that draws the reader in. Not that creates a confused mess that is difficult to follow, one that is essentially useless at lower resolutions. I find that there is skill and art in taking a vaguely interesting data set and turning it into a compelling graph. Turning it into a visual mess that is difficult to discern and "visually striking" without conveying anything useful? Not so much.

Problems here, for example:

- The rays are hideous and text of certain colors over them is nigh unreadable. For example, look at the cyan color on Tuesday and the yellow on Monday
- The text size is difficult at normal computer monitor distances even with good eyes. A legend would be one approach, or you could use different types of lines that are tagged once with the phrase in a clear and readable location.
- This would also solve the problem of the text being unreadable when it crosses.
- Tic marks could be used along the axis to give a better idea of where things are relative to one another. Done properly, this could also give us a sense of the absolute scale along with the relative scale.
- Would it really have been so difficult to make it so that the text didn't run off the side of the image? I mean, seriously now…

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby ExplodingHat » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:20 am UTC

Possible relationship between non-Sunday churchgoing and heavy drinking? :shock:
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby rcox1 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:29 am UTC

The concept here is good. As mentioned, the basic idea of Tufte and graphics is to make data easier to read. It is clear that regular events, such as getting laid, has a more circular appearance. Irregular events, such as ladies night, are clearly indicated to predominately happen on Wednesdays. Correlations are also easy to see such as fewer people getting laid after ladies night, or few women menstruating on ladies night, or that people tend to get drunk the day after they break up. We also have shapes that indicate periodic patterns, such as thing tend to be due on Monday of Friday, with Wednesday far behind, with the weekend being not common.

So what are the problems. The first is too many colors. Men in particular often can't distinguish colors, so if one is make a graph accesible to all the population, using more than the primary colors is problematic. In this case I think the contrasting color scheme is good at making the graph work as well as can be expected.

The second is a design decision. The data itself is discrete, so it is technically improper to connect the data. Most business applications will connect the data, but that is because business is about wishful thinking, not correct data. However in this case the connection of discrete data is defensible as it provides the aforementioned shapes that really makes the data come alive. Also, by using words instead of lines the discrete nature of the data is reinforced. Lines with legends may have been easier to read, but the words allows a level of technical correctness.

I must say that this is a realy well executed concept.

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby lly » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:38 am UTC

rcox1 wrote:I must say that this is a realy well executed concept.


Please tell me you are being facetious.

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:38 am UTC

Sunday is not a day for ladies. No ladies nights, and extra periods.

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby Tyrannosaur » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:43 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Must be a Thursday.

I never could get the hang of Thursdays.


I sound pitiful, but I really haven't had reason to smile all day. And you sir, made me smile. Thank you :)

Oh and GOTTA GET DOWN ON FRIDAY - Thanks for putting that song in my head again :x
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby Eternal Density » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:48 am UTC

1. See title of comic
2. Immediately expect Rebecca Black joke
3. ???
4. Loss!
If I'd been wrong that would have been a profit. And I haven't even seen/heard the original video :P The Minecraft parody on the other hand...
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby Bellerophon » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:52 am UTC

I need a version I can rotate with my mouse around the centre. Someone! Internet magic me this thing!

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby nmp303 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:59 am UTC

hetas wrote:I've never heard of Rebecca Black but it can't be a good sign that youtube has so many parodies of her song that I can't find the original. If there even is one...

Well, I can't promise that this will be helpfull (video sharing sites are blocked at the office), but this seems like it might be the original.

If not, it might be a little hard to find, because I see Wikipedia says she had the original removed from Youtube for copyright reasons.

Hope that helps.

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:08 am UTC

Can we only talk about Black's new song because it is actually worth one ironic listen and another to realize just how much better it is than "Friday"? For the record, the Stephen Colbert version is excellent.
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby elitekross » Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:13 am UTC

To those who complain about the design, I didnt have a problem with it. The not letting things go of the page thing, the only one I saw was church on Sunday, it is hard to rescale data for the same set, in this case "church" for one, graphically speaking, abnormally large data point. If he had scaled it down, the other church points would be to compressed. Well that's my two sense.

EDIT
just noticed ladies night wensday, but the other corresponding points are small too

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby milN » Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:22 am UTC

Judging by the fact that most people break up, get laid, and get drunk on Friday, I think Friday is my day :)

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby doggitydogs » Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:37 am UTC

PeeDub wrote:Poor poor Thursday.

Also, it looks like people like to get their breakup out of the way so the weekend is clear. Figures.


I hereby submit a proposal suggesting the transferance of 24-hour discontinuation of postal service operation from the day of Sunday to the day of Thursday due to a distinctly noticeable lack of postal activity on this day at an interval of seven days.

Translation: Deliver mail on Sunday and not on Thursday. I never get anything good on Thursday.

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby rpgamer » Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:38 am UTC

Wednesday is clearly hump day.

The "We broke up" one looks like a rudimentary cocks drawing you'd find in a rest stop bathroom stall.
All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day.

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby Fixblor » Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:39 am UTC

To clarify, the problem is more about clutter than scale.
Having a few points go off the chart can be a useful tool for conveying info, while preserving focus of scale.

No, the problem here is that there are too many bits of information being crammed into a space and, rather than making that information as clear as possible, the author specifically went out of his way to jumble things.
I don't see how anyone could honestly argue that changing the lines of data to just lines, color coded with accompanying legend, that that wouldn't be crisper, clearer, and less stressful on the eyes (for males and females).

There's your internet magic request:
Move the sentences to a legend.
Keep the colors, but change the lines of words into just plain old lines.

Not the best solution, but an improvement that would preserve the full concept of the graph , while reducing the vomit factor.
And we would still talk about it, Randall, just with fewer headaches ... maybe.
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mschmidt62
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby mschmidt62 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:50 am UTC

Who died and made Edward Tufte God? I like the comic as is. I like having to look carefully. It's about words and the words are there and the words change as they traverse the days. Drawing a line with a legend would eliminate that. Too many colors? People can't distinguish colors? So the wuck fhat. They should get glasses and just follow the individual lines around regardless of color. Randall's not making a powerpoint presentation for men in khakis.


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