A Narnian Timeline

I’ve been on a bit of a Narnia binge recently. Continuing that theme, here is a timeline of the Chronicles of Narnia (click to zoom). The Terran time axis has varying scales (although piecewise linear), since 5 of the 7 Narnia books (53% of Narnian history) are set during 1940–1942. For simplicity, I also assume a piecewise linear mapping of Narnian time to Terran time (see graph below), although the text of the books indicate that the mapping is more complex than that. For Narnian events in the chart, only the vertical position has meaning (the sideways curve is only there to create space).

The Crucifixion of Jesus is included as a significant Terran event, since its Narnian parallel is the key event of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Some scholars date this to the year 30, rather than 33.

The chart was produced using R. The curved lines are plotted with colours from colorRampPalette(). Images were added using png::readPNG, as.raster(), and rasterImage(), with circles using plotrix::draw.circle(). For the title, the extrafont package was used.


Information is Beautiful 2014: Creative Routines

I forgot to cover the 2014 Information is Beautiful Awards on this blog. A particularly nice entry, winning gold in the infographic category, was this fantastic Creative Routines infographic by RJ Andrews of Info We Trust (inspired by the book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey).

The image below shows just one entry from the infographic, that of Charles Dickens (midnight is at the top of the circle). Click to see the whole infographic.

Accurate to one second in 300 million years

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology has announced a new caesium-based atomic clock, NIST-F2 (see photo above). The clock is accurate to one second in 300 million years. Together with the older NIST-F1 clock, it will serve as the US civilian time standard – underlying time services such as the one at time.nist.gov. The diagram below gives a conceptual view of how network time servers interconnect. Accurate clocks like NIST-F1 and NIST-F2 underpin the whole enterprise.

See also this story in Wired.