Three reasons why the periodic table needs a redesign

New Scientist: Chemists can’t agree on the best way to arrange the elements, prompting proposals of everything from spiral-shaped alternatives to radically elongated versions.

Theodor Benfey periodic table

Above: This reimagining of the periodic table, proposed by chemist Theodor Benfey in 1964, emphasises the continuity of the elements rather than imposing artificial breaks.

Mark Leach at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, keeps the internet database of periodic tables, which contains hundreds of versions.

See also: other posts tagged ‘science’

Miscellany

Why the periodic table needs a redesign

Redesigning the periodic table might seem a quixotic quest, but it could soon take on a new urgency. We are already on the trail of element 119. Where it will go, and how the table will morph to make space for it, remains to be seen.

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Council Against Intolerance in America

A Pretty 1940 Map of American Diversity, Annotated by Langston Hughes

Slate: This map, issued by the Council Against Intolerance in America in 1940, shows the ethnic groups living in the United States, offering a picture of their geographical locations, typical employment, and religious commitments.

The map omits state boundaries, opting instead to show the mix of ethnic groups by area. For heavily-populated areas, such as the Northeast or Chicago, pop-out keys framed with line drawings of people engaged in typical industries show the diversity of urban citizenry.

Altas Obscura: “Maps of this kind were not particularly common and especially not at this scale,” says Ian Fowler, the director of Osher Map Library at the University of Southern Maine, who notes that the physical map itself is quite large. “While this map does borrow stylistic elements from pictorial maps produced during the 1920s and ‘30s, it is very unique in its emphasis and display of information.”

See also

Progression and regression

Annotated map of diversity in 1940s America

The Council Against Intolerance, a New York group active from the late 1930s through the mid-1940s, was founded by left-leaning Jewish author James Waterman Wise. Wise is notable for having warned of the dangers of Nazism in several books as early as 1933. — Slate

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Dogs of the World

366 Dogs and Their Countries of Origin

A wonderful illustration by Lili Chin who has a whole series of posters for sale for dog and cat lovers.

See also: Urbano Monte’s remarkable 430-year-old map of the world

Humans and other animals

Map of the Dogs of the World

A wonderful infographic illustration by Lili Chin.

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Medieval trade routes and geography

Even before modern times the Afro-Eurasian world was already well connected. This map depicts the main trading arteries of the high middle ages, just after the decline of the Vikings and before the rise of the Mongols, the Hansa and well before the Portuguese rounded the Cape of Good Hope.

Medieval Trade Routes and Geography

Credit for this map goes to Martin Månsson who posted this on /r/MapPorn, which has some interesting discussion.

The map also depicts the general topography, rivers, mountain passes and named routes. All of which contributed to why cities came to be, and still are, up until modern times.

The Silk Road is not just one, but many roads that leads through all of Asia, from Constantinople in the west, through Central Asia and the Himalayas, to Liangzhou in the east. During this time, the Chinese Song dynasty was in its height and it was one of those Chinese dynasties that were open to foreign trade and invested in commerce and infrastructure. Foreign trade was mostly concentrated to the southern ports were both Jews and Muslims had their own communities.

(via @stephenniem)

See also

Miscellany

Map of medieval trade routes

The high middle ages were a time when the stars aligned in terms of commerce for many areas of the world. In central Europe many German and French cities initiated annual trade fairs, some of which are still active today – most notably in Frankfurt.

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True Colors

True Colors

A visual experiment that evaluates the evolving graphic symbolism of the United States, True Colors is a collection of flags generated from the 2016 American Community Survey. Each flag is based on data specific to its state, and provides information at a glance.

Most existing flags share the same common visual cues: stripes, circles or polygons, and stars. You’ll find these familiar components in the flags of True Colors as well but their color, size, shape, and position are all determined by data.

Each layer of the flag corresponds to subjects that provide an informative snapshot of life in that state. The background visualizes population, the stripe shows housing, the circle or polygon represents economics, and the star indicates education.

Indiana - details

(via @WalterStephanie)

See also

The Refugee Nation flag

Shape of things to come

True Colors: If US state flags were designed by data

How do the United States flags look when data decides their designs? True Colors was created by Olivia Johnson, a graphic designer and flag enthusiast based in New England.

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Diglû

Diglû

Diglû consists of 440 characters and 404 pictograms developed for the analysis and mediation of archaeological finds. It was developed as a research project of the Swiss National Fund for Scientific Research as a part of the doctoral thesis of Fabienne Kilchör.

A lineal typeface designed with 6 weights and 844 pictographic symbols Diglû is a substantial subset of the Unicode standard focused on one specific area of application.

Diglû will be made available through the independent type foundry Extraset.ch, where other pictograms serving different niches will be developed.

(via @typeroom_eu)

See also

Craft and creativity

Diglû: a pictographic typeface for archeology

A lineal typeface designed with 6 weights and 844 pictographic symbols.

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Julia Evans' blogging principles

Julia Evans: Blogging principles I use

“I constantly write things on this blog like “I’m not sure about this part…”. I try to not be falsely modest (when I do actually know something, I try to just state it without hedging), but when I don’t know something, I say so.”

See also

Use your words

Julia Evans’ blogging principles

Julia writes about technical stuff, but these guiding principles are universally applicable.

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