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Watch Neil DeGrasse Tyson educate Richard Dawkins on the importance of understanding context when “teaching” others. Tyson makes a wonderful point about the difference between information and persuasion.

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Infographic: World of Religion

When I moved to the great state of North Carolina, I learned an important lesson: Never talk about religion, politics, or college basketball in polite company. College hoops is taken seriously in these parts.

This is rivalry week in the Triangle, with Duke and UNC meet for the first of two (or three) times this season on Wednesday night. One the eve of what will certainly be an epic matchup, one of the nation’s leading political polling firms, Public Policy Polling, have released their annual UNC/Duke Poll.

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • UNC is North Carolina’s most popular school, with 32% of respondents saying it’s their favorite college. Duke (19%) and NC State (18%) are in a tight battle for second place, with ECU claiming 8%, Wake Forest 6% and 17% saying “none of these” schools are their favorite.
  • UNC also leads when voters are asked who they’ll be rooting for in Wednesday’s Duke-UNC men’s basketball matchup, 41-31.
  • There’s a healthy amount of respect between the fanbases. 49% of UNC fans say they “respect” Duke while just 16% “hate Duke.” And 53% of Duke fans “respect” UNC with only 16% “hating” the Tar Heels.
Regardless of who wins on Wednesday night, this is the greatest rivalry in sports, IMHO. The proximity (8 miles from campus to campus),  success (UNC and Duke have 10 national championships between them), parity (the cumulative point total for the last 75 meetings is Duke 5,858- UNC 5,857) and sheer hatred are unrivaled in any sport, college or pro.


 

The words“geek” and “nerd” are often used interchangeably, despite the clear differences between them. Finally, a comprehensive infographic that explains the distinctions, both broad and subtle, between the two. Click the above image for the entire infographic, as this is just an excerpted portion. Enjoy.

So much has been said, read, and posted about Steve Jobs in the months since his passing. While so much was known about Steve Jobs as an innovator, marketer, and world-class jerk, It’s been interesting to hear more about who he was, personally and philosophically – to really get a sense of what made him tick. Maybe he was too guarded in life, and all of this insight about him was only able to emerge after his death.

The above video is a great example. He’s not talking about a specific product…even technology in general. He’s talking about a philosophical approach that guided the way he sees the world. This becomes even clearer in this article. What’s becoming clear is that he had big ideas about the way the world worked. These ideas made it possible for him to see something most of his peers missed. He was able to take something confusing and make it simple – to take something ugly and find a way to make it elegant.

 

recent USA Today article brings to light the growing trend of referring to food products as “artisan, ” with the number of “artisan” products in store shelves having doubled in the last four years. The word “artisan” implies that a product has been created with care by a craftsperson, yet these seem to be mass-marketed and -produced products. (Nevermind the fact that the  “artisan” refers to to craftsperson, while “artisanal” refers to the product itself.)

Now, when a company sub-brands its product as “artisan,” as is the case with Tostitos chips or Domino’s Pizza, what does that say about the rest of their products? Seems to me that the flip-side to going up-market with a sub-brand is that you’re admitting some sort of deficiency in the rest of your products. At the very least, it raises questions…

– Are “regular” Tostitos not as tasty as their “artisan” counterparts?  
– If my “artisinal” Domino’s pizza is hand-crafted, what about the rest of their pizzas? 

Like “organic” and “natural” before it, “artisan”seems to be the next ill-defined food buzzword.

Check out this beautiful little video from Chipotle, illustrating their position in support of sustainable farming. With Willie Nelson covering Coldplay’s “Scientist,” this animated short by Johnny Kelly shows us one farmer’s rapid expansion, crisis of conscience, and return to simpler times. Though it’s already spreading like wildfire on the web, Chipotle plans on showing it in movie theaters this fall. Enjoy.

This collection of motion infographics from Bloomberg is pretty amazing. Each takes a single, complex issue and explains it using brief, animated infographic. Beyond simply being a visual expression of data, each video tells a story, leaving the viewer with a full understanding of the issue at hand. Granted, not everyone has the expertise (or budget) to employ motion infographics, but there are little lessons to be learned in each. Enjoy.