Well here’s a nice bit of search engine trend news: search engine query traffic detects outbreaks, and there’s accompanying paper in Nature. Can we compete with that? Not really, but here’s a plot anyway:

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In the week that Amazon announce their new Kindle 2 ebook reader, let’s look to see how ebooks are doing vs. their more established paper counterparts:

ebook vs. paperback

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Not really, it’s just a catchy headline to point out the problem with correlation being confused with causation. Here’s a plot I just made with the current sporting event (better not name it in case I get sued) in mind:

There’s a strong correlation between smog and human rights abuses, but we can’t say that one is causing the other!

Here’s a quick “how to” because I don’t have another blog to put it on.

If you are making a poster with web browser screenshots on it, they will look poor quality when eventually printed out at A0 size. This is because unless your screen is absolutely huge, there aren’t enough dots there to look good on a poster. Ideally you should work with vector graphics formats (like EPS, PDF) in a proper drawing program like Adobe Illustrator (since PDF is imported as an ugly low-res bitmap into Powerpoint), but if you can’t do that, then the following may work for you.
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For some reason, I thought it would be interesting to follow “hay fever” through the days of the week. I couldn’t think of another good query to compare it against so I typed the same thing without quotes. The result was quite interesting:

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Forget the US elections, things are hotting up in London’s mayoral race. Any PR is good PR for Boris Johnson it seems. His web visibility is rising faster than Ken Livingstone’s…

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Well you heard it here first. April Fools and gooseberry fool are both on the up.

April Fools is getting more popular pretty damn fast actually (try some other controls like silly fool).

Reading The tyranny of pink in the Guardian today I had to try this one out:

The thrust of the article, that cutesy pink stuff is increasingly turning our daughters into zombie consumers, is true. Although pink was all over Compare Stuff News first…

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Another time trend plot, showing Barack Obama’s relatively faster rise to fame compared to the Clinton brand. Perhaps no surprise as I (in the UK) had never heard of him until the current race.

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Let’s see if talk of house repossessions is on the rise, and let’s use a similar phrase as a control:

It seems to be true, although no meteoric trends here.

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