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Author: George Gorczynski

Compare Prices Everywhere

This is my entry for the Tableau Ironviz qualifier contest. It is all about mobile design and Tableau 10’s new Device Manager. I intended to create a simple and functional visualization resembling a mobile app. When I played with the app and browsed through the data, the biggest surprise for me was the cost of apartments in Luanda, Angola. It didn’t seem right for the country whose GDP is so much lower than the rich European, Asian or North American superpowers. But apparently the data checks out and the high prices of properties in Luanda are the result of a limited...

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Bob Dylan – analyzing 55 years of lyrics

Love him and his music or not, Bob Dylan is considered by many to be one of the greatest lyricists of all time. He has recorded 36 studio albums, written hundreds of songs, and is still touring the world, performing at dozens of concerts each year. Not bad for a 74-year-old grandpa who started his career more than 5 decades ago. He’s been recognized so many times that Wikipedia has a separate page to list all of his awards and nominations. But what is it that draws people to his songs? Do his lyrics have a particular essence? Are they happy or sad?...

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Chicago Crime Scene

I lived in Chicago in the early 90s. I loved the city, the hustle and bustle, grandiose architecture, busy urban streets, and its bold location on the shores of Lake Michigan. I also felt quite safe there, living in the Far North Side neighborhood of Jefferson Park. I knew that there were parts of the city that should be avoided so that’s exactly what my friends and I did and we went on with our busy lives. Well, Chicago has a problem. A very serious problem with violent crime, and especially deadly shootings. It has been dubbed by some...

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What is morally acceptable? It depends where you live.

In 2013, the Pew Research Global Attitudes Project asked over 40,000 respondents in 40 countries about their opinions on eight topics generally considered to be moral issues: Abortion Divorce Drinking alcohol Extramarital affair Gambling Homosexuality Sex between unmarried adults, and Use of contraceptives Respondents indicated their sentiment about each issue by choosing one of the following responses: Morally unacceptable Morally acceptable Not a moral issue Depends on the situation, or Refused to answer Unsurprisingly, there was a great deal of variation in responses across countries and topics. The data suggest that Pakistan and Ghana are the most conservative countries...

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The Militarization of Police in the US

At the end of August, US president Barack Obama ordered a review of federal programs that enable local and state law enforcement agencies to receive or purchase military equipment. This decision was prompted by the unsettling images of heavily armed police officers during clashes that followed the recent fatal shooting of a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri. Within one such federal program, the “1033 program” initiated in 1991, over $5.1 billion in military hardware was transferred to date to 8000 local and state law enforcement agencies in the United States.  Since 2006, police have received tens of thousands of pieces...

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