I can’t remember where I found this link, but Flowing Data is an interesting site for those interested in visual rhetoric…or professional writing (I feel like I know slightly more about the latter than the former, meaning not much about either.  Still, I want to learn).  I was particularly intrigued by the 5 best data visualization projects of the year.   Good stuff!

This might be kind of random, but since I know people on the job market this year (and I’m a big nerd who thinks this stuff is cool): check out the cost of living calculator at Sperling’s Best Places.  You punch in two cities, and the site will compare the average costs for a whole bunch of different categories… cool beans!

Also, it’s nice to know that celebrity scandal is dead. I don’t know if I buy it, but I think everyone is excited by the Obama-natory mood of the coming New Year.

Speaking of the New Year, I have a fairly traditional (read: stereotypical) list of resolutions this year:

  • Lose weight (50 pounds by the end of the year) 
  • Write my dissertation on schedule (250 pages by the end of the year)
  • Drink less, eat better, take vitamins, go to the gym, etc.

I have a couple of less obvious resolutions, though.  For starters, I want to establish a routine: I think I will be more productive if I am doing the same things each day, such that I build up a rhythm, and can sustain my work over a longer period of time.  To that effect, I will be: going to bed at the same time each night (11:30 or 12), working out at the same times each week (although this might run counter to some weight-loss advice I’ve heard…we’ll see), and writing during certain times of day, regardless of what else is going on.  I also want to do certain things every day that I don’t always do: take vitamins, drink two gallons of water (total), floss, exercise for at least 30 minutes (preferably an hour), and only spend an hour surfing the inter-tubes (maybe half an hour each, morning and night?).  

I’m curious to know what other people might be resolving at this time of year.  Or do you even believe in resolutions?  Do you get more points for certain resolutions, a kind of degree-of-difficulty challenge?  Should we avoid arbitrary time-related comitments, and focus instead on doing the things we think we should do all the time, not just in response to a socially constructed calendar point?