Pure silliness, that's all. If you've never seen this blog, consider it your laugh opportunity for today. Its approach: Take a standard method of visually presenting quantifiable data--a bar graph, a pie chart, a Venn diagram, etc.--and plug in unscientific information (sometimes just plain made-up) to communicate some perceived truth about life in an amusing way. Probably doesn't sound so funny when I describe it that way, does it? Well, some examples will illustrate my point (and the blog's approach):
- "Why I Became a Professor," a pie chart that shows tiny pie slices for the honorable reasons (such as to "enrich the minds of young people"), all of which are dwarfed by the largest slice: "so I can impress people despite my sh*tty car, little house, shabby clothes, and tiny bank account."
- "Quantity vs. Price in Restaurants," a line graph that shows food quantity rising and then falling as the price of the meal increases (from little food for a cheap "kids' meal" to too much food at a medium-priced restaurant to little food again at the most expensive "high-class gourmet" restaurant).
- "My Cat's Interest in Me vs. What I Am Doing," a bar graph that shows the cat's desire for attention at its lowest when the owner wishes to pet it and at its highest when the owner is "in very awkward Wii Fit yoga position."
Three good things about this blog:
- Two or three new graphs are added daily.
- The site offers a chart builder for readers who wish to create their own funny graphs
- It is part of a network of sites, each dedicated to offering amusement via the Interwebs. For example, look at the menu bar across the top of Graph Jam and use it to check out Fail Blog (videos, photos, and news articles featuring examples from all over of minor and major mess-ups from daily life) and Engrish Funny (photos of mangled English taken from products, posters, and publications in which people not fluent in English try to communicate in our language--think of product instructions written for American consumers by Chinese manufacturers, and you've got the general idea).
P.S. Graph Jam reminds me of another excellent blog called Indexed, which its creator calls "a little project that lets me make fun of some things and sense of others . . . to think a little more relationally without resorting to doing actual math." Each weekday morning, you'll find on Indexed a photo of an index card on which the blogger has drawn (in blank ink on a white, lined card) a chart or graph or diagram that finds humor in real or imagined relationships between/among things (e.g., how Santa Claus and Osama bin Laden are alike and different). If you add Graph Jam to your list of Web site favorites, then you'll want to add Indexed, too!
(What is a catablogue?)