Best Book EVAH — The Visual Miscellaneum

Visual MiscellaneumAs a long time fan of Tufte, and one time cartoonist, I was instantly addicted to David McCandless’ new visual styling in The Visual Miscellaneum: A Colorful Guide To The World’s Most Consequential Trivia.

Some of today’s most difficult issues to digest, let alone agree upon, such as the evolution of dance or rock music, the hot colors for the upcoming season, military spending, the greatest digital distractions, global climate change, become much more easily grasped with the intensely colorful visual portrayals of information far too dense for non-statisticians to grok.

Have a hard time explaining what a difference individual actions can have on global climate change? There’s an illustration for that. Have a hard time understanding the impact humans have had on carbon emissions? There’s an illustration for that.

The pages also contain visual representations on common miscellany, such as why people break up, what gay and straight folks look for in relationships, ridiculously overblown media coverage, the overall similarities in our DNA, how to maximize your survival chances in plane travel.

I have literally been carrying the book around with me, and with the exception of a couple of drawings lacking labels (possibly intentionally?) not one of the 200 images isn’t worthy of a good glance, if not studious review.  I plan to make this a staple holiday gift. If you see me out and about with my backpack, chances are you can catch a glimpse. I will use it anytime I need to explain why we don’t have time to pretend global climate change is up for dispute — as well as making sure New Agers realize what bunk the world ending in 2012 is.

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