Heroes

Sometimes there's nothing like a great infographic for showing what data only says.

Making scientific data a visual thing can really drive home a truth. It's amazing how saying something without words can be this powerful.

Cold, hard numbers are nice for experts. But how can the rest of us understand them?

Visualizations and infographics are everywhere these days — TV, mobile devices, wherever you look. They seem like a very modern, friendly way of getting a science-y point across. But as the Nature video below explains, they actually have a long history that includes some surprises, including a historical name you may recognize.

Remember Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing, the “lady with the lamp"?


She was actually an eminent statistician. Who knew?

Nightingale translated war statistics into something regular folks could understand.

This infographic is her most famous work:

It made its point about the benefits of sanitary practices so eloquently that it changed the way science was done in the 1880s. Even politicians could understand it. (Joke. Well, they could.)

It's easy to understand what it says, once you realize the picture on the right is "before" and the one on the left is “after." The blue area shows preventable diseases that could be controlled by more sanitary practices. “Before" shows the original amount these illnesses, and “after" shows what happened after things got cleaned up. Simple and powerful evidence for her cause.

Another example? The Human Genome Project.

Mapping human and animal genes has involved the collection of a gargantuan amount of data. Infographics to the rescue.

Here's an example. To show the genetic material that a person has in common with a chimp, a dog, a chicken, and a platypus, scientists spun the data into circles that show a human chromosome in the bottom half and any genetic material the animal has in common in the top.

Here, doggie!

Each of the 22 chromosomes has its own colored circle, and there are also circles for the male and female X and Y chromosomes. These circles are used all the time in scientific literature because they make it so easy for scientists to see what they've got.

And check out this more hypnotic, lovely way to show ocean currents.

This beautiful animation of ocean-current data collected by satellites and buoys speaks for itself. This isn't made-up movement. It shows what the data actually says. Wow.

Turning data into animations — OK, cartoons — like this doesn't make light of it.

It just lets more people in on the wonder of discovery.

And now, the video:

True

From the time she was a little girl, Abby Recker loved helping people. Her parents kept her stocked up with first-aid supplies so she could spend hours playing with her dolls, making up stories of ballet injuries and carefully wrapping “broken” arms and legs.

Recker fondly describes her hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as a simple place where people are kind to one another. There’s even a term for it—“Iowa nice”—describing an overall sense of agreeableness and emotional trust shown by people who are otherwise strangers.

Abby | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Driven by passion and the encouragement of her parents, Recker attended nursing school, graduating just one year before the unthinkable happened: a global pandemic. One year into her career as an emergency and labor and delivery nurse, everything she thought she knew about the medical field got turned upside down. That period of time was tough on everyone, and Nurse Recker was no exception.

Keep Reading Show less
via Pexels

The Emperor of the Seas.

Imagine retiring early and spending the rest of your life on a cruise ship visiting exotic locations, meeting interesting people and eating delectable food. It sounds fantastic, but surely it’s a billionaire’s fantasy, right?

Not according to Angelyn Burk, 53, and her husband Richard. They’re living their best life hopping from ship to ship for around $44 a night each. The Burks have called cruise ships their home since May 2021 and have no plans to go back to their lives as landlubbers. Angelyn took her first cruise in 1992 and it changed her goals in life forever.

“Our original plan was to stay in different countries for a month at a time and eventually retire to cruise ships as we got older,” Angelyn told 7 News. But a few years back, Angelyn crunched the numbers and realized they could start much sooner than expected.

Keep Reading Show less
True

It takes a special type of person to become a nurse. The job requires a combination of energy, empathy, clear mind, oftentimes a strong stomach, and a cheerful attitude. And while people typically think of nursing in a clinical setting, some nurses are driven to work with the people that feel forgotten by society.

Keep Reading Show less

We're dancing along too.

Art can be a powerful unifier. With just the right lyric, image or word, great art can soften those hard lines that divide us, helping us to remember the immense value of human connection and compassion.

This is certainly the case with “Pasoori,” a Pakistani pop song that has not only become an international hit, it’s managed to bring the long divided peoples of India and Pakistan together in the name of love. Or at least in the name of good music.
Keep Reading Show less

Dr. Alicia Jeffrey-Thomas teaches you how to pee.

A pelvic floor doctor from Boston, Massachusetts, has caused a stir by explaining that something we all thought was good for our health can cause real problems. In a video that has more than 5.8 million views on TikTok, Dr. Alicia Jeffrey-Thomas says we shouldn’t go pee “just in case.”

How could this be? The moment we all learned to control our bladders we were also taught to pee before going on a car trip, sitting down to watch a movie or playing sports.

The doctor posted the video as a response to TikTok user Sidneyraz, who made a video urging people to go to the bathroom whenever they get the chance. Sidneyraz is known for posting videos about things he didn’t learn until his 30s. "If you think to yourself, 'I don't have to go,' go." SidneyRaz says in the video. It sounds like common sense but evidently, he was totally wrong, just like the rest of humanity.

Keep Reading Show less