Vol. 2.20 | 05.17.19

Read time: 2 minutes
Golden Spike’s 150th Anniversary

It’s difficult to appreciate just how momentous the finishing of the first trans-continental railroad was in 1869. Here in this modern age, the entire globe is wrapped in multiple layers of interconnectivity. Here’s the story behind the photo that captured the joy and accomplishment of the men who built it.

Getting the Shot

Take a look at the photo below and know this great image was captured in 1966 without the use of today’s miniature, high-definition photography tools. It was the work of Sports Illustrated photographer Neil Leifer, and how he got the shot was featured in Smithsonian Magazine once upon a time.

How DataViz Has Changed the Game of Basketball

I’m not a fan of basketball, let alone the NBA’s version of it. However, this story of how the pro game has changed is a fascinating look into the power of visually displaying statistical data. Here, University of Texas professor Kirk Goldsberry combined existing data sets about NBA shot location, frequency, accuracy, and point value into a visual map. By combining existing data and displaying them in a creative, never-done-before way, Goldsberry unlocked insights that have either revolutionized the way the NBA game is played … or destroyed it (depending on your view). Fascinating either way!

Was Shakespeare Really Named Emilia?

Evidently there’s a well-known debate around the identity of William Shakespeare. The debate isn’t about who he was or whether he existed (both are well documented), but rather whether the William Shakespeare that we can prove existed was actually the author of all the great works of English literature that are associated with his name. Within this debate, there are a subset of scholars who contend that not only was the author of such classics as Romeo and JulietMacbethHamlet and Othello not William Shakespeare, but the author wasn’t even a “he.” This is an interesting look at the case for the “Bard of Avon” actually being a woman named Emilia Bassano.

Space Shuttle Launches Up Close

With over a million moving parts, the Space Shuttle was the most complex machine every built by humankind. Using the footage from over 125 high-speed cameras capturing some truly mesmerizing and gorgeous images, two NASA engineers narrate what happens during a shuttle launch, from engine ignition and liftoff through the roll program and SRB separation. Due to its stunning visuals and slow-motion majestic beauty, this video is “oddly satisfying” as my 14-year-old daughter would say.