Water Consumption During Olympic Gold Medal Hockey Match

Posted By Ben Goulding, 10 March, 2010 | permalink

The water utility in Edmonton, EPCOR, published the most incredible graph of water consumption last week. The graph compares and contrasts water consumption on a normal day in Edmonton (Feb 27th) and the day of the gold medal hockey match between the USA and Canada (Feb 28th).

With 80% of Canadians watching the game, they all used water at the same time during different periods of the day. Who doesn’t go to the bathroom during the break anyway?

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Burger Dominance In The USA

Posted By Ben Goulding, 8 March, 2010 | permalink

Take a look at this ironically beautiful map which illustrates the territory controlled by seven of the largest burger chains in the USA compared to McDonald’s.

Link Via Consumerist

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USA vs Canada Was The First Ever International Cricket Match (WFOTD)

Posted By Ben Goulding, 26 February, 2010 | permalink

The first ever international cricket match in history was between two countries not well renowned for their cricketing play – the USA and Canada.

The match took place between 25 and 27 September 1844 at the St George’s Cricket Club, Bloomingdale Park in New York, in which Canada won by 23 runs. It is widely regarded as the first ever international sporting match of any kind.

Need a reminder on what cricket is? Check Wikipedia.

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West Virginia Is The Most Sleepless Place In The United States

Posted By Ben Goulding, 2 November, 2009 | permalink


If your looking to get a good night’s sleep, it’s best you don’t stay over in West Virginia. 20% of the West Virginian population suffer from insomnia, which is more than any other state in the US.

West Virginians’ lack of sleep was about double the national rate, perhaps a side effect of health problems such as obesity, experts said.

Nearly 1 in 5 West Virginians said they did not get a single good night’s sleep in the previous month. The national average was about 1 in 10, according to a federal health survey conducted last year and released Thursday.

Tennessee, Kentucky and Oklahoma also were notably above average in their reported lack of sleep. In contrast, North Dakota had fewer problems sleeping, with only 1 in 13 reporting that degree of sleeplessness.

Health officials do not know the exact reasons for the differences.


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The Best Places To Live In The World Based On HDI Rankings

Posted By Ben Goulding, 6 October, 2009 | permalink

norwayThe United Nations human development index is a criteria that measures factors such as literacy rates, life expectancy and gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. The 2009 HDI which was released on Monday, has found that Norway is the best place to live in the world.

China has made the biggest strides in improving the well-being of its citizens. It moved up seven places on the list to rank as the 92nd most developed country due to improvements in education as well as income levels and life expectancy.

The top ten places were taken by Norway, Australia, Iceland, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, France, Switzerland and Japan respectively, whist Niger was ranked bottom, just ahead of Afghanistan.

To put the data in context, a child born in Niger can expect to live to just over 50, which is 30 years less than a child born in Norway, and for every dollar a person earns in Niger, 85 dollars are earned in Norway.

The United States was ranked 13th, which is down one place on last year.


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Ohio – A Piano In Disguise

Posted By Ben Goulding, 29 September, 2009 | permalink

If I were to tell you that Ohio is a piano, you’d probably slap me in the face, however there’s more to Ohio than meets the eye.

Andy Woodruff, from CartoGrammar, noticed that Ohio has 88 counties, which is the same as the number of keys on a piano. So then the obvious thing to do, was to turn the state of Ohio into a huge piano.

Andy made a flash application, so that we can play the counties in Ohio, just like we’d play a piano.


How the keys are mapped to the counties depends on a specified data attribute: the notes and counties are ordered by that attribute and then linked to one another. For example, if the chosen attribute is population, the county with the lowest population is assigned the lowest-frequency piano key, the county with the highest population is assigned the highest-frequency piano key, and so on. The data I have here are a little out of date, but that doesn’t matter for demonstrating the idea.

Take a look at the Ohio piano here.

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Fastest Time To Recite All 50 U.S. States Whilst Being Hit On The Head With Wooden Spoons

Posted By Ben Goulding, 28 September, 2009 | permalink

(Youtube Link)

Aside from having one of the longest titles in the history of this website, this is also one of the strangest things that I have ever seen.

Everyone wants to be a world record holder, and these guys have got the right idea about how to get one. That’s right, you think up the most weird task that nobody has every tried before and voila – new (unofficial) world record.

Brian Pierce & Kellie Michaels set world record for Fastest Time reciting the United States in Alphabetical order while being hit on the head with wooden spoons. 21.204 seconds.

Randomness FTW!

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How Far Can You Get Away From McDonald’s?

Posted By Ben Goulding, 23 September, 2009 | permalink


We all know that McDonald’s is a huge company, and it seems like you can’t go anywhere in the U.S. without seeing one.

Stephen Von Worley created this map of the U.S. illustrating where all the McDonald’s outlets are. The most depressing fact came from this though, is that you’ll have to go to South Dakota to get 107 miles away from one.

Link (Thanks Matt!)

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The Best Shot Roger Federer Ever Played

Posted By Ben Goulding, 15 September, 2009 | permalink

Now Roger Federer has make a heck of a lot of brilliant shots in his career, but the one he hit against Novak Djokovic in his US Open Semi final on Sunday was, according to Roger, the best shot he has ever played. Pure beauty!

(Youtube Link)

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Senator Al Franken Draws a Map of the USA

Posted By Ben Goulding, 8 September, 2009 | permalink

(Youtube Link)

Here’s senator Al Franken drawing a surprisingly accurate map of all fifty U.S. states at the Minnesota State Fair.

This isn’t the first time Sen. Franken has impressed a crowd with his impressive map drawing skills. In 2007 he auctioned off another map of the U.S. during a 2007 Democratic fundraiser in Minnesota.

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How Devilish is Your State? Mapping the 7 Deadly Sins Across the U.S. Per Capita

Posted By Ben Goulding, 4 September, 2009 | permalink


A team at Kansas State have plotted the 7 deadly sins per capita. How devilish is your state?


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A Spectrum Of U.S. Consumer Spending

Posted By Ben Goulding, 11 July, 2009 | permalink

US Consumer Spending. Image: visualeconomics

The image illustrates consumer spending as of April 2009.

It’s interesting to see that only 7 out of the 12.4 percent of income spent on food is for food at home. Is this a sign of lavish lifestyles or is it the root cause of the obesity problems we have in the US. Read into it what you will.

[Via Visual Economics]

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What Do You Really Know About 4th July?

Posted By Ben Goulding, 4 July, 2009 | permalink

On July 4th 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress and has since been celebrated with fireworks, parades and barbecues across the country, but what do you really know about the Fourth of July?

  • Betsy Ross, Philadelphia, PA sewed the first American Flag in June 1776 for George Washington.
  • Independence Day was first celebrated in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776. where the Liberty Bell was rung after the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence.
  • 4th July

  • In 1778, General George Washington marked July 4 with a double ration of rum for his soldiers and an artillery salute.
  • 50 years to the day after the approval of the Declaration of Independence, which they both had a hand in drafting, former presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams die on the same say.
  • In 1938, Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday.
  • Eleven nationwide places have “independence” in their name, Including Independence, Missouri, and Independence, Minnesota.
  • There’s a one-in-four chance your hotdog has come from Iowa as well as a one-in-six chance your beef on the backyard grill came from Texas.
  • Last year, the U.S. imported $193 million worth of fireworks from China and $3.4 million worth of American flags.
  • On July 4, 1916, four immigrants are said to have argued amongst themselves as to who was the most patriotic. They decided to settle it by having a hot dog eating competition. This, would later spark the famous “Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest” which is held annually on 4th July at the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York. In 2006, over 30,000 spectators attended the event, and an additional 1.5 million households watched it live on ESPN.

How will you be celebrating today? Do you have any special traditions?

Well, whatever you’re doing, have a great Independence Day!

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