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Information Illustrated: 14 Illuminating Infographics

Write out a paragraph explaining how various telecom companies are suing each other, and it might be hard to grasp just how interconnected all those lawsuits are. But break that same information up into a graphic, and it suddenly becomes clear as day. Infographics make news, scientific data and other information far easier to digest, and these 14 clever examples cover everything from Facebook’s social media takeover to the best way to win ‘rock, paper, scissors’.  (Click the images to view a full-sized versions.)

How We Shared Content in 2010


(image via: add this)

This sharp, brand-spanking-new infographic by AddThis shows us just how much we all came to rely on Facebook for sharing information in 2010. Its share of the social media pie grew by 1/3 over 2009, though other services are growing faster: it’s outpaced by Gmail, StumbleUpon, Orkut and even Yahoo Mail.

How Would You Like Your Graphic Design?


(image via: colin harman)

A fun, colorful Venn diagram by Colin Harman makes it easy to see why graphic design that’s fast, cheap and great is “impossible utopia”. At the intersection of fast & great, “you get what you pay for”, but want it great & free? “Try again!”

How Coffee Affects the Global Economy


(image via: mint.com)

There’s a lot of information about coffee packed into this simple infographic by Mint.com. A quick glance tells us that most of the world’s coffee comes from Brazil, and that despite the reputations of both Italy and France, it’s the U.S. that leads the world in coffee consumption.

Building a Company with Social Media


(image via: elliance)

While many infographics contain only partially illustrated jumbles of semi-related content, this crisp representation of a businessperson’s social media needs is the epitome of what an infographic should be. It’s clear and concise, making the information easier to digest with eye-catching visuals.

Pink Floyd 1960-2000


(image via: 802.11)

Have you ever seen a more psychedelic timeline that’s so well-suited to its subject? Flickr user 802.11 designed this eye-catching graphic history of the band Pink Floyd from the first meeting of future bandmates in 1963 to the release of the album ‘Is There Anybody Out There? The Wall Live’ in 2000.

Top Jobs for Critical Thinking


(image via: thinkwatson)

Fanning out in an asymmetrical spiral, the main graphic in this design by ThinkWatson shows us that it pays to be a critical thinker. The ‘Top Jobs for Critical Thinking’ are arranged in red, blue and green in order of the amount of critical thinking required, starting with Administrative Support Supervisor with an estimated salary of $48,700 a year and ending with Surgeons at $206,770.

Where is Everyone?


(image via: design you trust)

Between 1800 and 1900, the sole sources of news and information were the local marketplace and newspapers. Radio and television slowly crept in over a century, but by 2000, our choices exploded, as illustrated in this infographic published by Design You Trust.

Facebook Privacy: A Bewildering Tangle of Options


(image via: nytimes)

The New York Times published this flow chart of Facebook’s 170 privacy options, from how to filter your personal information to controlling how your data is used by third party companies. It also depicts the disturbing growth of the social media empire’s privacy policy, which has gone from 1,004 words in 2005 to 5,830 words in 2010.

Lawsuits in the Mobile Business


(image via: design language)

Who’s suing whom in the mobile business? Design Language lays it all out with this clean and simple infographic, which proves that Nokia’s got a lot of beef and Apple has a lot of problems.

The Colors of the Web


(image via: colourlovers)

What are the most powerful colors in the world? According to this infographic by Colour Lovers, when it comes to logos and web design, the world’s biggest companies are feeling blue. Interestingly, top brands within the same categories like social media, blogging and geotagging tend to use similar color palettes.

Where are the World’s Small Arms?


(image via: fast company)

This infographic shows that when it comes to guns, nobody tops the good old U.S. of A., where there are an incredible 9 guns for every 10 people. Only Yemen comes close, with 6.

How to Win Rock, Paper, Scissors


(image via: chacha)

Want to know how you can beat the game rock, paper, scissors every time? Just study this amusing infographic by ChaCha, which recommends a series of choices based partially on the sex of your opponent.

Meet iPad’s Competition


(image via: section design)

The iPad debuted in 2010 as a virtual all-in-one gadget, offering internet surfing, e-mail, video, games and e-books in a compact tablet form. So just how many brands did the iPad effect? This graphic lays it all out, showing the iPad’s competition in various areas of usage.

Infographic Airplane

Ever seen an infographic this big before? Kulula Airlines printed one of its planes with ‘Flying 101′, labeling the parts of the plane with funny comments like “loo (or mile-high club initiation chamber)” and “rudder (the steering thingy)”.


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Fashion - 2nd place: White by Joanna Kustra (UK)

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Fashion Winner: Painting by Joanna Kustra (UK).

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Bone Voyage: 10 Man-Made Skull Rocks, Mountains & Islands

Looking to get a head in the housing market? Think location matters less than gray matters? From natural parks to theme parks, these 10 man-made skull rocks, mountains and islands show that home isn’t always where the heart is.


Skull Rock, Disney’s Fantasyland, CA, USA

(images via: Yesterland and Gorillas Don’t Blog)

Skull Rock, looking over Skull Rock Cove just steps away from Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship Restaurant at Disneyland’s former Fantasyland, took its inspiration from Walt Disney’s 1953 classic animated film, Peter Pan. Though demolished during the extensive 1982 overhaul of Fantasyland, Skull Rock set the bar for theme park skulls worldwide.

(image via: Yesterland)

At night, Skull Rock really came alive (so to speak) thanks to cleverly positioned lighting and of course, those eerily glowing green eyes. Gone but not forgotten, Skull Rock continues to prompt fright and delight thanks to pre-1982 visitors who’ve posted their photos on the Internet.

Disneyland Hotel’s Never Land Pool, Anaheim, CA, USA

(images via: Expedia, TripAdvisor and Travelmuse)

Skull Rock at Fantasyland may be gone but it’s not forgotten – in particular, by Disney’s Imagineers who reincarnated it at the nearby Disneyland Hotel. The hotel’s Never Land Pool, which was included in a large-scale 1999 renovation, now features a new and updated Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship and a re-worked Skull Rock.

(image via: Yesterland)

Though somewhat smaller than its Fantasyland ancestor and lacking its progenitor’s signature waterfalls, the revised Skull Rock at the Never Land Pool overlooks a hot tub and a 100-foot water slide.

Disneyland Paris, France

(images via: Yesterland, Panoramio/Mald, Meanderingmouse and Subhayubagchi)

What is it with Disneyland and giant skulls? Whatever the reason, the entertainment empire seems to like them – almost every Disney theme park has got a skull or two. Take Disneyland Paris for example. The Gallic noggin can be found in the Adventure Isle section of Adventureland which features Captain Hook’s pirate ship, a suspension bridge and a pirate lookout. The giant skull itself displays a complex facade meant to evoke the appearance of tilted and eroded sedimentary rock.

(image via: Adrian Langford)

Unlike most other skull rocks, the one at Disneyland Paris was designed as a cave. Visitors who enter can look out through the eye socket windows and get a skull’s eye view of Fantasyland.

Skull Rock at Desert View Tower, Jacumba, CA, USA

(images via: Notcot, Subarite&Ryquail and Travelmarx)

Desert View Tower, located along I-8 between San Diego and El Centro, was built in the mid-1920s. Declared a California Historical Landmark, the 70-ft (21m) tall tower and adjacent Boulder Park are striking examples of folk art that offer visitors a hands-on, interactive experience like no other.

(image via: Tech109)

It’s in Boulder Park, carved during the Great Depression by out-of-work engineer W.T. Ratcliffe, that you’ll find hand-sculpted quartz granite boulders including an imposing painted skull.

Skull Mountain, Six Flags, New Jersey, USA

(images via: Theme Park Review)

Skull Mountain, a 1,377 ft (420m) long enclosed roller coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure & Wild Safari in New Jersey, USA, opened in 1996 and is one of the theme park’s most popular attractions. Strobe lights and sound effects provide a sufficiently spooky atmosphere during the ride, which only lasts a minute and a half but seems longer due to a series of unexpected twists and turns along the way.

(image via: Gary Burke)

Due to its enclosed format, Skull Mountain is one of the few large roller coasters to remain open during heavy rain and thunderstorms. That doesn’t mean guests are guaranteed to stay dry, however. The huge skull on the ride’s front facade incorporates a waterfall that can be turned on and off at the park’s discretion, allowing water to pour out of the skull’s eye sockets. Be prepared to get “cried upon” on hot, crowded summer days!

Skull Mountain, Phantasialand, Germany

(images via: Theme Park Review, Panoramio/Gustl, Cool_Colonia4711 and Killer Bob)

Phantasialand, located in Brühl, North Rhine-Westphalia, opened in 1967 and is one of Germany’s largest theme parks attracting around 2 million visitors annually. The park includes one of the most spectacular large skulls found anywhere – and its awesomeness is helped by its isolation from other man-made distractions.

(image via: Wikimedia)

You can find the skull rock behind the Arabian Nights Gondola Ride as it forms part of the ride’s exterior wall. The lushly landscaped area around Der Totenschädel makes a great place to enjoy an outdoor picnic.

Skull Wall, Treasure Island Hotel, Las Vegas, NV, USA

(images via: Flickriver/Rosa71uk and My Real Vegas)

Las Vegas’ Treasure Island Hotel was a more kid-friendly place to stay in the late 1990s, mainly due to the sprawling Pirate Village of Buccaneer Bay complex built right out front. The outstanding feature of the faux pirate’s cove was an ominous skull that leered out from a plaster & concrete wall. Night lighting gave the eerie visage an extra-gothic glow.

(image via: Darknews)

In 2003, Buccaneer Bay matured into “Sirens’ Cove”, along with the hotel distancing itself somewhat from the pirate theme with its new “TI” nameplate. Luckily, the skull wall survived the transition – adults like to get scared a little too, amiright?

King Kong’s Skull Island

(images via: King Kong Wiki, Designzzz and Brady McIntosh)

Mythical Skull Island, home of King Kong and any number of angry, toothy dinosaurs, has been represented a number of ways since the franchise first came down from the trees in the 1930s. The greatest of great ape’s stomping grounds have even made the jump to video games, in King Kong Skull Island Adventure.

(image via: Every Picture Tells A Story)

“Kong, King of Skull Island”… really, whose going to argue the point? And if you think about it, where else would one expect the gargantuan gorilla to live – Candy Apple Island?

Skull Island & SS Venture, Universal Studios Hollywood, USA

(images via: Hollywood Movie Costumes & Props)

One of the most striking modern-day attractions based on King Kong’s Skull Island can be found on the Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood. Visitors can view the actual model of the 1930s SS Venture ship that appeared in Peter Jackson’s 2005 King Kong remake.

(image via: Hollywood Movie Costumes & Props)

The movie was shot in New Zealand to take advantage of the country’s awe-inspiring scenery (LOTR fans will agree). Upon completion of filming, the models of both the SS Venture and Skull Island were disassembled, shipped to California, and set up again on the Universal Studios backlot.

Longhorn Bar & Grill, Amado, Arizona, USA

(images via: Visual Funhouse, Chris Mooney and Roadside Peek)

Ahh, the sweet, succulent scent of sizzling beef hot off the grill… how does one improve on that? Simple: serve it inside an enormous Longhorn Steer skull! That’s exactly what the Longhorn Bar & Grill does, and the Amado, AZ (near Tucson) landmark has been serving up steaks with style since the mid-1970s.

(image via: Beige Journal)

According to Roadside America, directions to the Longhorn Bar & Grill are as follows: “Take I-19 until exit 48. Drive west on Arivaca Rd., then immediately turn right onto S. Nogales Hwy. The big skull will be on the right.” You can’t miss it… in more ways than one!

(image via: FrogMiller)

If you’re up to some skullduggery, you’ve come to the right place… to 10 right places, actually. These supersized skulls add a little dash of Goth to your travels, so be sure to bone up on your tibia, er, trivia before planning your next vacation.


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Panini Girl

Panini Girl by Marek Tkaczyk (Poland). "An empty bar somewhere by the seaside in the UK."

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Watchmaker by Enzo Penna (Italy). "I would like to tell, without words, the life of this person."

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Aldona's History

Aldona's History by Anna Bodnar (Poland). "Aldona is 18 years old. She is full of energy and an optimistic girl."

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Detroit’s Michigan Theater: The World’s Most Beautiful Parking Lot

Detroit’s Michigan Theater: The World’s Most Beautiful Parking Lot

By Steph in Abandoned Places, Architecture & Design, Furniture & Interiors, Urban Images

It was built upon the birthplace of the Ford automobile, so perhaps it’s fitting that Detroit’s Michigan Theater is now a parking lot – except that such a use seems to be such a terrible waste for such a stunning historic structure. Built in 1926 alongside the connected 13-story Michigan Building office tower, the 4,000-seat Michigan Theater has been left to decay, another casualty in Detroit’s long decline since its heyday as a car-manufacturing mecca.


(above image via: bourbonbaby)

(images via: wikipedia)

“It is not merely a theatre for Detroit,” John H. Kunsky, the theater’s owner, told The Detroiter in August 1926. “It is a theatre for the whole world. It is designed to be the great showplace of the middle west.” It was described in the press as “a jewel”, and “the world’s finest”. The auditorium featured 10-foot crystal chandeliers that hung eight floors above the seats, and the mezzanine was open to black-tie guests only.  But by the mid-1960s, the Michigan Theater was among dozens in the city to close due to dwindling profits, and though it was saved from the wrecking ball in 1967, its glory days were over.

(image via: decojim)

Ironically, one of the factors that forced the closure of the opulent theater was a lack of parking. The theater faced stiff competition from modern nearby theaters that offered plenty of parking space. After a brief interlude as a music venue, during which it drew some of the industry’s biggest names, the Michigan Theater was gutted. While the shell of the building remained intact, it was filled with a three-level, 160-space parking deck.

(image via: detroitderek)

One perk to the theater’s latest incarnation is that one need not be an intrepid urban explorer (which often includes law-breaking and physical danger) to get a good look at these modern ruins. A paltry parking fee will get you up-close-and-personal with peeling gilded walls, a crumbling ticket booth, the remains of an upper balcony and a shredded bit of red curtain. See more photos of the decaying interior at DetroitFunk.com.


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Wallflower by Carla Broekhuizen (Netherlands). "Wallflowers are overlooked. "

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Cyborg Kiss

Cyborg Kiss by John Leech (UK). "I immediately saw the robotic vorticist portrait on reviewing the image."

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