F

Notebook

Here's where we post periodic updates on what we've been up to at Fathom. Reflections on the interesting stories that emerge from our client work, side projects, after-hours rabbitholes, and other miscellaneous threads of inquiry.

Katy steals the keys
Katy always tries to steal the key to the third floor. How to stop her? With a key ring that's too big to fit in anybody's pocket of course!
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If you're passing by 214 Cambridge Street...
Look up!
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Lunch with Sam Arbesman
Scientist and science writer Sam Arbesman just paid a visit and showed us his research on how and where innovation occurs. Sam draws from theories of scalability of cities, social network data, and experiments in cooperation to see how the number and quality of human connections affect innovation.
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How Power Happens
Last week a small Fathom delegation ventured to Washington, DC, for the Health Data Initiative Forum. More on that shortly.
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Surviving the Winter
It’s almost summer! For the casual gardener, that means you probably want to get your new plants in the ground before it gets too hot. To avoid the extra effort of replanting every year, lazy gardeners like myself prefer perennials, since they can survive the winter and bloom without any help from me come the spring. Of course, not all plants thrive everywhere, so the first step in finding out whether a plant will survive the winter is to check its USDA Hardiness Zone. This is an indicator of how cold the weather can get before killing the plant.
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Axel Kilian at the Fathom office
Sometimes friends visit the Fathom office to show us something nice.
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Fathom Test Kitchen
The Test Kitchen — a lesser known branch of the Fathom family — was established earlier this year in an attempt to explore the relationships between two of our favorite things: data and food. Inspired by a recent speaking engagement of Ben's, at which the organizers set up a coffee bar called the Data Vis Café, we spent the last few weeks contemplating what sort of things our coffee could (or would!) say to us if given the chance.
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Fathom Prepares for the Rapture
The scene from Beacon Hill on Friday, where an unnamed Fathom staffer prepared for his departure from Earth (while also calibrating some computer vision code).
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Revisiting previous work
We gave a previous web design project a face-lift earlier this year — a rare luxury amid the rapid pace of design work these days. Since creating the site last year, GE has been amassing an inspiring collection of data visualization projects on their Making Data Work blog, and the expanding volume called for a slight update in layout and architecture.
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MacRecipes is born

When I was forced asked to write a blog post, naturally I did what anyone would do when looking for inspiration: I went home, opened a beer and started streaming old episodes of MacGyver. There is something truly marvelous about combining a few simple household items and getting yourself out of a near-death situation. As MacGyver put it himself,

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