Just forget about politics.

Former President Bill Clinton appeared on The Daily Show last week. Jon Stewart asked about Clinton’s DNC speech, and Clinton shared an insight that’s applicable to crisis communications.

Just think about any time in your life you’ve been confused or angry or frightened or resentful or anything and you didn’t know what was going on. In those moments, explanation is way more important than eloquence.

Worth remembering next time there’s an incident involving complex technology or circumstances. Watch it below at the 2:15 mark.

Mysteries of Vernacular

Mysteries of Vernacular is a series of short animated films by Myriapod Productions, each of which summarizes the etymology of a word.

The series has only just begun, with four complete videos and four more on the way. An animation is planned for each letter of the alphabet.

I can’t wait to see the complete series.

At least it’s not a pie chart.

I make a lot of charts at work, but I’m not a visualization guru and I’m frequently faced with the choice of bars versus lines. Which is better? Jorge Camoes has an excellent post about bar charts and line charts on ExcelCharts.com.

TL;DR version:

Perhaps you could use this as a rule of thumb: use a bar chart when you have a single series and a line chart when you have two or more series.

Good starting point.

Goblin green is the manliest color.

Stephen Von Worley has created His And Hers Colors, a spectacular bubble plot of the 2,000 most commonly used color names, based on data from the XKCD color name survey.

Sorted by popularity, goblin green (#5AB82F) is the most male (93%) color, while dusty rose pink (#D2697E) is 99% female. The chart is sized by relative usage and positioned vertically by gender preference, so these percentages represent the degree to which they were mentioned by male vs. female survey respondents, not their overall overall popularity.

People are bad at generating passwords.

DataGenetics analyzed 3.4 million four digit passwords and found, perhaps unsurprisingly, that the most popular password is 1234 — representing nearly 11% of the 3.4 million passwords. And almost 27% of all passwords could be guessed by attempting the top 20 combinations.

Statistically, with 10,000 possible combination, if passwords were uniformly randomly distributed, we would expect the these twenty passwords to account for just 0.2% of the total, not the 26.83% encountered.

Also popular? Numeric passwords that can be interpreted as years.

The universe is hard enough.

Neil deGrasse Tyson rants about scientific jargon.

The last thing the universe needs is a complex lexicon laid down between the communicator and the listener to confuse them about what it is they’re trying to listen to.

Can’t argue about that.