Perhaps a Budding Data Storyteller: Part 4 – Processing

Recently, on my journey to learn more about data visualization, I stumbled upon Processing. I found the course “Interactive Data Visualization with Processing” with Barton Poulson on The course seems pretty promising, and I am looking forward to using Processing to create some neat graphics.

Processing is an open-source software and it is also a programming language. Unlike the other languages that I am familiar with, C++ and Python, it focuses on implementing code with visuals.

I am not sure how to embed the files to this post, but here are screenshots of what I have come up with after going through the examples so far.

1000 lines
1000 random lines, 5 different colors, created in Processing.
Smiley Face created with basic drawing functions in Processing

Lines: I looped 1000 different colored lines together with random start and end points. The y-values are the same, so that the lines stay within the window. The colors, except for the white lines, were arbitrarily chosen.

Smiley Face: I mostly wanted to play around and create shapes with the code. I used the ellipse function to create the head and the eyes, and I used the arc function to create the mouth. I also learned how to make the head float across the window.

So far, I find Processing to be a really fun visual tool. Processing is an open-source software and you can download it here:


Perhaps a Budding Data Storyteller: Part 3 – Tracing Project

One of my first infographics is a very simple tutorial for a taekwondo roundhouse kick.

Roundhouse kick Infographic

The purpose of the project is to practice tracing in Adobe Illustrator. I asked my roommate to take pictures of me executing a roundhouse kick. With the pen tool, I traced my silhouette and added details, as necessary. I practiced adding realistic shadows in illustrator.

Perhaps a Budding Data Storyteller: Part 2 – the Functional Art

Alberto Cairo is one of the biggest reasons why I became interested in data visualization. At first, I did not know that Data Visualization could be a career possibility. I first checked out his book the Functional Art from the library in my hometown. I was simply intrigued by the title. The Functional Art: An introduction to information graphics and data visualization.

I was surprised to find a book dedicated solely to infographics. I am not particularly fond of marketing infographics that focus too much on contrasting colors and busy pictures. Although I am an artist and I love comics, I also like numbers and analyzing data. The book focused on the design aspects of graphs. Cairo emphasized the importance of simplicity and telling a story with the data.

Data storytelling sounded intriguing. I realized that Cairo taught at my University. I thought about it. Infographics at the Communication School does not have much at all to do with what I was studying and I have already taken plenty of elective courses. However, on the other hand, would I regret not taking a course with Cairo?

Perhaps, A Budding Data Storyteller: part 1 – Why Data?

Data visualization, infographics, data science, data analyst, data storytelling, data journalism. Data, Data, Data, Data, Data, Data.

Well, what about it?

Data is more prevalent now than ever. Every transaction is processed and stored, every blog post is tracked, every click on the internet is another piece of data. As data continues to accumulate, I become more wary of its presence. It worries me how much someone can know about me, but at the same time, I can learn so much about everyone else and the world through data. Data, is neither a friend or an enemy. It exists and it would not be going away as this society becomes more digitally-connected than ever.

I Don’t Like Watching Movies

My friends are getting excited for the new premiere of Jurassic World, yet I am feeling pretty indifferent towards the film. I have never been a huge movie fanatic. I often prefer doing other things rather than sit through a whole film. I wonder if it has something to do with my attention span?

While I thought about this topic, I tried to remember what movies I really love. My favorite is definitely “My Neighbor Totoro” by Miyazaki because it’s the movie that I watched over and over again growing up. I also enjoy Disney films because I enjoyed singing along. I also enjoy (clean) comedy films and martial arts films. I used to love this one Chinese movie called “Shaolin Popey”(笑林小子) which is a comedy/martial arts children’s film which I also watched frequently as a kid. I realized that my favorite films are mostly from my childhood.

I feel like movies are an integral part of the American culture, yet I have never really bought into the hype. I have no problem waiting to watch a movie at home instead of at a theater. In fact, I prefer watching the movie at a small cinema or at home. I don’t like huge crowds, especially at a premiere, and I sometimes feel uncomfortable when people are too hyped up. I guess a part of me has always been a bit different from others, which makes me not “fit in” in many situations. I don’t love movies, but I don’t hate it either. I can still have a good time watching movies with my friends, but I would rather we go eat something yummy or run around outside instead.

The most recent and fun movie experience for me was watching a re-run of the first Pokemon movie at the cinema at my university. It was extremely fun because my friends and I laughed the whole time because of the nostalgia and the trippiness of the Pokemon movie. So, yes, I sometimes enjoy watching movies, but I just don’t consider it to be one of my pastimes.

Slow Reader

I am definitely not a fast reader. I read rather slowly, and I also enjoy reading aloud when I am by myself. Lately, I have been reading a lot of non-fiction books. For my pleasure-reading books, I often keep a notebook where I write my thoughts, quotes, and ideas as  I read. Sometimes I daydream while I’m reading and will have to read the chapter again or even a few chapters.

I want to have a book log… to jot down things that I learn while reading.

Thinking Too Much — but I can’t help it!

I can’t help thinking a lot. I hate that side of me, that’s why when I get extremely frustrated with being too caught up in thinking, I do rash things just to take some sort of action. Getting things done makes me feel good, but alas I really am a tormented thinker.

I think, think, think.

Usually in the form of day-dreams, I just wander off in my inner world and not actually do anything substantial in the physical world.What can I say, I am a dreamer. A slightly anxious one that has too many worries, paranoia, and stress. I live in the world of possibilities as it tries to drown me in a sea of lost time.

One goal that I have for this blog is to be able to share information that I learn. Because I have so many questions in the world, I try my best to find answers. Hopefully, I share things that others find useful or enjoy reading.

By the way what’s my name? Should I use my real name? If I use my real name, then people can look me up, which could be a good thing or a bad thing. I can link this wordpress to my personal website which uses my real name and build my personal name or whatever the business articles on Forbes or Business Insider usually suggest, but what if stalkers come and track me down? Internet privacy — is almost nonexistant. I already have way too much information on the internet, I shouldn’t make it any easier for others to track me down. Anyways, I decided I should stick to the alias that I always use for my drawings and artwork, DimsumPanda. You may call me Dimsum. Otherwise, you may also call me Barqbar which is the nickname that a very good friend of mine coined for me when her phone auto-corrected my real first name, Barbara. Oh no! Gasp, now you know my real name!