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The Pudding is a digital publication that explains ideas debated in culture with visual essays.

The Pudding team regularly maintains an on-going dump of questions, ideas, datasets, and half-baked thoughts for potential stories, listed below. If any of them excite you, feel free to pitch us your manifestation of the idea. Details here.

We are actively seeking contributors for ideas highlighted in gray.

We have a more vested interest in the production of certain stories. If it has a collab tag, we want to be involved in the creation process. If it has an edit tag, we’re happy to take the backseat and just help guide the story. Ideas without tags are blank canvases—feel free to work on them and then pitch us.

2017-10-31

Shel Silverstein markov chain

collab

An homage to the great children's poet, create a visual poem remix using markov chains (eg. Lil’ Silverstein - Where Tha Carter Ends). In the style of his books.

Looking for: illustrator

2018-04-04

When I was your age

collab

Looking at activities throughout time and how they've changed (eg. going to the movies). Presented through a hybrid of data and documentary.

Looking for: filmmaker

2017-03-30

Can new parents afford to take parental leave?

Between the cost of childcare, transportation etc. can new parents afford to go back to work after they have a new child? Worded another way, how much do new parents need to make per hour (per state) to make the return to work financially "worth it"?

2017-10-01

Complexity of language in headlines

edit

Inspired by this paper.

2017-10-01

Unpaid + pay to play internships

collab

Inspired by this Twitter thread, how many internship postings are either unpaid or require the applicant to pay?

2017-10-18

Explaining gun violence

Separating talking points from statistics when it comes to gun violence and exploring its impact in the US visually.

2017-11-03

What is adulting?

edit

Look at Twitter (?) to find all the things that people consider to be adulting?

2018-04-04

Generative soundtrack of America

collab

Using geographic or geological data to create an actual album / soundtrack to America.

2018-04-04

Meta viral

collab

A story about viral stories. It unlocks more content as certain viral milestones are hit.

2018-04-21

Wedding traditions

Weddings in the US have a lot of traditions. Some are cultural, some are religious. But how many people actually stick to them, and how long have those traditions been around?

2018-06-06

Recall and working memory

collab

An interactive explainer about recall ability / working memory.

2018-07-01

End of athletic careers

collab

Do athletes have a sharp or slow decline as they get older? Does it vary across sport?

2018-07-25

Color temperature explainer

This would take a nerd topic like color temperature and attempt to explain it using social media photos and filters.

2018-08-01

Ideal amount of time for comebacks

edit

How much time has passed between when an original movie/tv show aired and its sequel/prequel/remake? What's the ideal amount of time between these two things (i.e., when do you hit "peak nostalgia"?)

2018-08-01

What’s a millionaire, anyway?

Examining spending power over the years throughout North America.

2018-09-01

Opioid crisis timeline

edit

The history, facts, figures, major players, etc., of the enornmous topic in one interactive timeline.

2018-09-04

Which name is going extinct?

edit

Look at the age of names, which could lend itself to predicting which name will go "extinct."

2018-10-10

Quantity of media coming at us

Visualizing the amount of emails, headlines, and social media posts that target people daily.

2018-10-17

Touring bands

collab

I'm fascinated with the idea of bands who tour like crazy for years before they're signed, particularly in the UK. I want to do a story about one or two of these bands through data. Catfish and the Bottlemen and the 1975 are the examples I always use for this phenomenon.

2018-10-24

Youtube apology impact

Based on the Reply All - Alex Jones episode. Do subscribers go up/down after a huge apology video?

2018-11-07

Millennials kill everything

There are countless headlines proclaiming “Millennials have killed X” or “Millennials are the death of Y.” That gives you a single item, but is there a larger pattern to what we have supposedly killed? Do other generations kill the same types of things?

2018-11-07

NOW That’s What I Call Music

2018 was the 20th anniversary and there have been 67 US albums since 1998. The songs included were the most “now” songs when each edition was released, but which album remains the most “now” now?

2018-11-07

Black Mamba vs. White Mamba

Kobe Bryant and Diana Taurasi are undoubtedly some of the best to ever play the game of basketball — they even share similar nicknames. This would be a love letter comparing their careers and marking the end of an era. Kobe’s already retired and Taurasi isn’t far out.

2018-11-14

Is rock music (really) dead?

collab

Temporal and potentially demographic analysis on if rock music is really dead or if it is going to die or if everything is cyclical.

2018-11-14

British Royal Family explainer/deep-dive

collab

I watched The Crown and immediately wanted to do a visual essay on the British Royal Family. There are many angles that could be done with this one: An explainer about succession, a deep-dive into the current family, etc.

2018-11-14

New York City subway

edit

What is the best NYC trainline? How does hundred-year-old infrastructure serve the city's needs today? Draw your own trainline?

2018-11-14

Is the cover better than the original?

collab

I was watching every BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge and Triple J Like a Version in existence one day to procrastinate, and I truly believed some of those covers were better than the original. Can we quantify this?

2018-11-14

Pubs!

collab

There's this fantastic dataset of every pub in the UK, and I want to know define what the best measure would be to find the dryest place there. What is the farthest location from a pub? Doing something with the pub names here would be fun, too.

2019-01-01

Annotated speech

Take a debated speech and annotate it. Or commission two people to have a debate and annotate.

2019-02-13

The decline of banana in recipes

Apparently bananas were forced upon us by big banana industry. Are people still using recipes with bananas?

2019-02-13

Tracking trump on homepages

How often Trump appears on homepage of news sites over time.

2019-02-13

Headline grammar optimization

What does the evolution of underlying grammatical structure of headlines look like?

2019-02-13

One day of internet the book

collab

Everything published in one day, printed as a book.

2019-02-13

Egg labeling

The use of marketing words that don't mean anything on packaging labels.

2019-02-27

Image analysis of musician's Instagrams

collab

There are some musicians who match different album eras with a very particular image, and they subsequently curate their Instagram to reflect that image. Therefore, when you scroll through their Instagram, you can start to see those "eras" come to life. I think some kind of image analysis would be cool here (a fingerprint, if you will). Working with a photographer/photo expert would be great.

2019-02-27

Does style recycle itself?

collab

My mom is always all like “I was wearing that in the ‘80s!” and I’m like 🤷🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️, but does she have a point?

2019-03-01

Shows that launch most careers

What TV shows produced the most future stars?

2019-03-01

Discourse markers / filler words

collab

How much people use the word "like."

2019-03-01

Clutch in the NBA

collab

Who is the cluchest players in basketball?

2019-03-10

Ryman performers

How has the genre of acts that perform at the mother church of country music changed over time. Are there any other venues so closely associated with a particular type of music that would be good to look at too?

2019-04-02

Astronaut.io for Wikipedia

Least viewed wiki pages as a passive experience, kind of like astronaut.io.

2019-04-04

The Max Martin mafia

collab

The outsized role of Max Martin and his deciples on the charts. This would also show the various "Max Martins" of each era.

2019-04-12

Visualize Stanford traffic stop data

collab

Stanford has released a paper summarizing its findings from the traffic stop dataset. There is an opportunity to visualize this data.

2019-04-12

Age of atheletes extending over time

collab

This idea aims to look at whether performance of older atheletes is improving in major sports, potentially due to the improvement in training and medicine.

2019-04-12

Words babies say

collab

We don't have an idea yet, but we're looking to build some sort of narrative with this dataset.

2019-04-17

Twitter verification investigation

Does Twitter has a provable gender and race imbalance for verified accounts? Related.

2019-04-18

Longevity of dance fads

collab

Are we ever going to produce another macarena? I feel like dance trends are more frequent and fleeting since social media. Perhaps wedding data as proxy, or quiz.

2019-04-18

What Would a Truly Representational US Congress Look Like?

collab

This idea is from this Kottke link and has been executed a few different ways in the past.

2019-04-18

The mixed effects of online diversity training

collab

This idea is based on visualizing this paper