Of hamburgers, pizza, turkeys and romance

November 14, 2014

Working on this weekend’s Data Dive made me think of the word mimesis—”representation or imitation of the real world in art and literature”—which I first remember hearing in romantic literature class in 1996. I Googled “mimesis” and was delivered a Google Books interactive of references to the word in books published between 1800 and 2008; it peaked in 1997. We truly live in wondrous times.

Maps are a good way to represent the real world, and they can even pertain to romance, like this Flowing Data post full of maps visualizing county-level data for U.S. marriage stats. It was inspired by the Information Capital, a site that visualizes life in London in 100 maps and graphics.

Not as sexy, but perhaps more juicy, is this hamburger helper from mental_floss, which unearths Flowing Data maps of the tens of thousands of U.S. burger joints. Flowing Data produced similar maps for pizza, coffee and grocery stores.

If you prefer your imitation of the real world in video form, this week Lifehacker introduced us to wheretowatch.com, a site from the Motion Picture Association of America that points to legally streamed versions of popular movies and TV shows.  And if you’re looking for something to watch, the folks over at mental floss put together this Venn diagram infographic featuring the fictional intersections of pop culture in space.

The artful merging of technologies means that art and literature needn’t be constricted to one medium. This week Quartz pointed us to the Listen to Wikipedia project, which allows one to “listen to the sound of Wikipedia’s recent changes feed,” an enjoyably Dada multimedia experience. And for an example of more traditional music, less traditionally expressed, check out this Sploid.Gizmodo link to Pianogram, a series of keyboard shaped histograms that visualize piano compositions. You can even upload a song yourself.

Finally, with Turkey Day less than two weeks away, the Dogtington Post put together a useful infographic of eight Thanksgiving foods that can kill your dog. And since thinking abut dead dogs is a bummer, here’s a huge Mashable infographic of the top 10 dog breeds in the U.S. and why we love them.

 Labradors are America’s number one dog.

REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

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