A graph of our obsessions

Being a child of the Edward R. Tufte generation, few things make me happier than complex information presented in a graphically compelling way.  The post about Michael Bierut’s 100 day project got me thinking about graphic design and, in turn, led me to a site called Information is Beautiful and this visualization of our fears: on one axis is the number of global media scare stories about, say, killer wasps or swine flu; on the other the year the fear peaked and, soon enough, disappears entirely.  The graphic can be adjusted to scale by fear (the default) or by actual deaths.  The conclusion: we panic, then we get over it.

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