Have a question you want answered in a nefarious fashion? Have something to say about a Plot? Want to tell me how great I am?


What is Nefarious Plots?

Nefarious Plots is a data-driven web-comic, for lack of a better term. My goal with every Plot is to provide an interesting answer to a question that no reasonable person would even think to ask. Most stem from interesting data sets I stumbled upon at random, some are spin-offs of work I was doing for legitimate reasons, and some are just ridiculous questions that popped into my head.

I don't think of Nefarious Plots as a blog. You won't find opinions or arguments here; I'm not trying to convince you of anything. You won't even find a lot of text. One figure, one caption - that's the rule.

How often do you update?

Every Wednesday.

Can I buy a print of a Plot?

Not yet, but I'll look into offering prints if there's interest. Let me know!

Who are you?

I'm Grant Elliott, a comically overeducated MIT grad with a PhD in electrical engineering and some other degrees in other things. My interests in word games and exhaustive brute force search (some of you can guess why...) tend to bleed into the Plots.

What does your tool chain look like?

Most of the Plots are rendered using D3, sometimes in conjunction with jQuery and an assortment of cool plug-ins like Chroma.js and PowerTip.

If pre-processing was required, I probably did it in Python, using my own proprietary blend of praising and swearing at it. Occasionally SciLab is more convenient.

A Plot isn't working!

What browser are you using? I use a lot of very new web technologies to make the Plots as nice as possible, but that does leave some older browsers out in the cold. Every Plot is tested with the latest webkit (Chrome and Safari) browsers and hopefully (that's a big hopefully, unfortunately) should work equally well on current Firefox and Internet Explorer (You're definitely out of luck with IE7 or below). Feel free to send me bug reports and fixes.

A Plot is hard to read on my phone!

I try pretty hard to make Plots scale gracefully and most do, but sometimes there isn't much I can do other than let fonts shrink and force you to do some zooming.

Even when a Plot looks good on mobile, I really recommend opening it on a larger screen. A lot of features are only enabled on larger displays or when a precise pointing device like a mouse is available.