Sign up FAST! Login

Fascinating Science Databases to Get Lost in for Days

Fascinating Science Databases to Get Lost in for Days WIRED


DATABASES ARE RAD. You click this, toggle that, and you surface little bits of the captured world that have been tumbled into a digital hat, one from which you can produce surprising, shocking, sad facts to share with the people around you. We’ve collected some of our favorites for this week’s Follow Friday. Only it’s not so much a Follow Friday as a fall-down-the-rabbit-hole all weekend kind of situation.

CropScape at the National Agricultural Statistics ServiceSo then you’re all like, oh, I wonder what kind of crops they grow in the United States, and hey wow, there’s so much corn in Minnesota, and ooooh look at all that cotton in the Texas panhandle, that’s amazing, and also in California, hey wait, I live in San Francisco, let’s zoom in to see what’s around here, oh of course, they grow soooooo much stuff in the Central Valley, and those purple dots in Napa, those are grapes, duh, oh, and that’s a funny pocket of alfalfa there and suddenly it’s half an hour later and you’re kind of hungry.

The CDC’s Traumatic Occupational Injurydatabase We’re not proud of this one, but we have to confess a certain ghoulish attraction to lists and charts of how people get killed or injured at work. Because how else are you going to know that between 1995 and 2000, of 10,000 percutaneous injuries caused by medical devices, 29 percent were caused by hypodermic needles and 7 percent were caused by scalpels? But then you find a listing of childhood agricultural injuries by body part and your stomach kind of lurches. (The good news: Those kinds of injuries dropped by around 50 percent between 2001 and 2012.)

A view of the planet Kepler-47c and its binary suns, as seen from a hypothetical icy moon.

A view of the planet Kepler-47c and its binary suns, as seen from a hypothetical icy moon. STOCKTREK/APAnd now, onward to a place where no one gets hurt because no one is there. Quick: Which exoplanet has a really big giant radius? Planet ROXs 42B b! Ok good. Now let’s plot the calculated temperature against year of discovery! Looking pretty hot there, Kepler-70b, bring your sunscreen, amiright? Because when the alien overlords finally make landfall, you’re going to want a little background on their homeworld so you can make ingratiating conversation.Suggested by Johnny Peruvian

Stashed in: Science!, Big Data!, SETI, Reference

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

Wow, these are WONDERFUL. There goes my weekend...

You May Also Like: