The Human Microbiome Project (or We’re Not Alone, We’re Teeming)

If you’re feeling full of life, it might be because on a cellular level your own cells are outnumbered 10-to-1 by microorganisms inside your body.  We know some are keeping us healthy and others are making us sick, but the initial goal of the Human Microbiome Project is to simply take attendance of all our guests.

Now prepare for some potentially unsettling truths with this New York Times’ visualization of the project’s microbe survey:

Yes, we’re all completely gross.

Now Playing: Great Galactic Ghoul and the Human Errors

Of humanity’s 40 attempts to explore Mars to date, the success rate has been a disappointing 50%, which has prompted some to wonder if there is a space monster out there with a taste for probes.

Decide for yourself with the Mars Exploration Family Portrait below and learn more about our track record, including the time the Mars Climate Orbiter (#31) made it all the way to Mars only to burn up in its atmosphere due to a mix-up between imperial and metric units.

(click to enlarge)

[Chart by Astrosaurus]

Seedy Industry Structure: 1996-2008

From Philip H. Howard at Michigan State:

Consolidation has increased in the international seed industry in recent decades. The chart below depicts changes in ownership involving major seed companies and their subsidiaries, primarily occurring from 1996 to 2008. The largest firms are represented as circles, with size proportional to global commercial seed market share.

(click image to view version)

Extra Credit: Count how many sound like food companies.

Under the Influence, Philosophically Speaking

If you’ve ever wondered where your favorite (or least favorite) philosopher got their ideas, the following chart will guide you through the history of thought based on the “influenced by” section for every philosopher on Wikipedia.

Try getting your head around that…

(click image for larger versions)

[Chart from Drunks&Lampposts via Foucault News]

Untitled Occupy Wall Street Plug

The Occupy movement spontaneously created something that doesn’t really exist in the country: communities of mutual support, cooperation, open spaces for discussion … just people doing things and helping each other.  -  Noam Chomsky

Perhaps what also didn’t exist was an entity of sufficient complexity to compete with the corporate and political structures at work in this country.  Compared with yesterday’s conglomerate chart, it looks like Occupy Wall Street‘s NYC General Assembly is starting to hold its own when it comes to tentacles…

(click to enlarge)

(And what is it they say about the side that isn’t getting paid?)

Wish you were in NYC?  Be there online.

[Chart by Jack Smith via Mapping the Movement]
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