Archive for the ‘Fun’ category

More death by PowerPoint

March 30th, 2010

One of my earliest posts on information presentation was entitled Death by PowerPoint and talked about Edward Tufte and his well-documented dislike of the hideous tool.

I wish I’d had this image back then (to help me convince many other people since then).  If you’ve read Tufte’s views on the subject you’ll see the humour.


Author Mark Goetz created it using OmniGraffle, something I’d never heard of (is that embarrassing?) but which looks like a really cool tool if you’re creating diagrams and want them to look a bit un-officey.

Where did my mouse go?

February 9th, 2010

I just love this representation of the last hour of my life…

It is a map of my mouse movements while I wrote a document about options for student load forecasting.  The black dots are where the mouse didn’t move, probably when I reviewed what I’d written or went for a beer 😉


It’s created using a java applet developed by Anatoly Zenkov, clearly a very smart chap.

I’ve left mine running and will see how it looks in a day or so

UPDATE – 16th Feb

And here it is alongside the original…hmmm

Presidential Pies

November 27th, 2009

Just in case you hadn’t seen this one doing the rounds…  Apparently the 2012 presidential race is on already.  Good to see the major news agencies have really got their visualisation brains engaged early on.


Less is More

October 23rd, 2009

I saw a link to this on Flowing Data just now. Jessica Hagy is the illustrator and author and she’s been doing similar wonderful work for over 3 years and won countless awards for it.

I think it is a great reminder to those of us working in BI/DW that sometimes we can overwhelm our audiences with information and that there is a trick to finding the right balance.


The temptation is to give lots and lots and lots of information and let the audience worry about interpreting and acting on it.  I think I’m guilty of that at times.  We’re working on our Exec Dashboard delivery right now and guidance from visualisation experts like Stephen Few points to the same thing – keeping it simple can actually be quite difficult but makes the consumption so much easier.

Let the Bruising Begin…

March 12th, 2009

Yes, it is indeed that time again.

The FOURTH Annual ITD Conker Challenge is well and truly on.

Friday 20th March 2009 in the ITD Breakout Room, Level 3 C34 @ 2pm.


Will reigning champion bheywoo2 dare return to defend his title or will kday3 make sure the ladies take the podium once again?

This year the entry fee has been entirely abolished, there is absolutely no charge and the winner of the contest will take away and retain for an entire year, the Annual ITD Conker Challenge Trophy engraved with their UNE userid.

What do I do?

  • You submit a comment on this page saying you are up for the challenge
  • You are automatically entered into the draw and will receive an email with further details
  • You will be provided with FREE conker and string on the day


1. All Conkers and Strings are supplied. Strings must not be knotted further or tampered with
2. The game will commence with the toss of a coin, the winner may elect to strike or receive
3. A distance of no less than 8″ or 20cm of string must be between knuckle and nut
4. Each player takes three alternate strikes at the opponent’s conker
5. Each attempted strike must be clearly aimed at the nut, no deliberate miss hits
6. The game will be decided once one of the conkers is smashed
7. A small piece of nut or skin remaining shall be judged out, it must be enough to mount an attack
8. If both nuts smash at the same time the match shall be replayed
9. Any nut being knocked from the string but not smashed may be re-threaded
10. A player causing a knotting of the strings (a snag) will be noted, three snags and you’re out
11. Players not present within 2 minutes of each round starting will forfeit their gam
12. Rob is able to change rules at his absolute discretion and at any stage
13. UNE, ITD and Rob are not responsible for any injuries sustained
14. Where any dispute arises, refer to rule 12