Once again, here’s the rundown of the best data stories you might have missed from the past week.
How College Changes Your Spending Habits. This chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the higher up the ladder people get, the smaller a share of their income they generally spend on food and the more they tend to spend on pensions and retirement, as well as “other” expenses, including alcohol, tobacco, reading and personal care. All of which makes a certain intuitive sense, as it may illustrate that more education means more money, but even a rich person only needs so much food, leaving disposable income for spending on Boone’s Farm and Proust. I mean, for example.
Wait. What Does a Finger Computer Look Like? Quartz breaks down the numbers on what parts of our bodies are now home to wearable computers. By and large, wearable devices either currently or soon to be on the market are worn on the wrist or head, though farther down the list are legs, fingers and hands. In addition, a vast majority are either “lifestyle”-focused – as Quartz points out, a broad category that could include most wearables – or fitness-focused.
Twitter Conversations, Graphed. There’s little to say about this Pew Research Center study except, “Wow.” The center’s Internet Project took on the formidable task of mapping out how Twitter conversations happen and found six different patterns. The whole thing is a fascinating overview of how we communicate in a largely uncharted space. (Full disclosure: I used to work at PRC, but I’m going to say the “wow” here still stands as unbiased.)
Congress’ Spending Votes, in One Chart. The Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham uses congressional votes to illustrate what he calls the “default caucus” – the population of congressional Republicans who voted to spend more but did not vote to raise the debt ceiling. Whatever your politics, the chart is a revealing summary of how our politicians have voted on major fiscal measures.
Figure Skating is Complicated. Remember the days when figure skating judges did artistic and technical scores on a neat, zero-to-6-point scale? And you knew exactly why Katarina Witt won or Michelle Kwan lost? No longer, which is why it’s great when a place like The Wire explains exactly how Adelina Sotnikova’s gold medal-winning long program scores stack up to the scores of silver medalist Kim Yu-na and bronze medalist Carolina Kostner.
What Numbers Can’t Tell You. Another fantastic bit of data reporting from Quartz, this time on China’s massive R&D spending … and why it’s not as massive as it looks (i.e., corruption).