Martin Krzywinski / Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre / Martin Krzywinski / Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre / - contact me Martin Krzywinski / Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre / on Twitter Martin Krzywinski / Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre / - Lumondo Photography Martin Krzywinski / Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre / - Pi Art Martin Krzywinski / Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre / - Hilbertonians - Creatures on the Hilbert CurveMartin Krzywinski / Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre / - Pi Day 2020 - Piku
Lips that taste of tears, they say, are the best for kissing.Dorothy Parkerget crankymore quotes

PNAS Cover: Earth BioGenome Project

fun + amusement

Dummer - Like Nothing Else / A Hummer Satire

The Dummer project might give you the impression that I don't like Hummers. You'd be right.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
What's after worst? This. (Dummer. Like nothing else.)

The project was well received by The New York Times and very poorly by someone who felt sending me hate mail was a good idea. It was — I loved it.

Other Hummer satires include — there's some hope for us all.

The World's Most Popular Questions

What are the world's most popular questions? After all, what we know defines us as much as what we ask. So, let's look at who we are.

Using Google's autocomplete feature, which suggests the most similar searches to the one you have entered, I maintain a real-time compilation of the most common questions asked by millions of worldwide internet users.

This project (a) yields insight into the zeitgeist and (b) scares me. My reason for fright are questions such as these:

General Issues

How do people do extreme couponing?

Why can't I hold all these limes?

Why do I always feel like murdering everyone?

What's up with the World

Is the world really flat?

is the world being controlled by aliens?

Limits & Desires

What happens if I make a formal commitment to Satan?

Love & Heart

Why is my boyfriend so insecure?

Why is my girlfriend so emotional?


My head is full of pretty lumps.

Pain & Suffering

my elbow is dark and dry

why do I continue to hit myself with a hammer?

when does my head stop growing?

Sizes & Extremes

Who is the most powerful Jedi?

Where is the hardest part of your head?

Religion & Faith

Can Jesus microwave a burrito?

Can I pray with my eyes open?

Should I pray for a husband?

Neologisms - New Words, Much Needed

I like words. The pleasure of effectively using acerebral and defenestrate in the same sentence cannot be understated.

On occassion I found myself in a situation where no word fit, existing or that I know about. Instead of rushing to the dictionary, I decided to make up my own, such as inconversible (a statement without a logical converse), mystific (unexplainably wonderful), postpetizer (course ordered after dessert), prenopsis (a summary of something formulated before it was experienced), suscitate (breathe life into, for the first time), and others.

The current list of my neologisms is circos plot, compure, culturally inconversible, dependers, ee spammings, existangsty, fezday, hilbertonian, hive panel, hive plot, inconversible, metaomome, mystific, naytheism, naytheist, nes, neuroterror, neuroterrorism, newgrade, noward, nonposter, oldgrade, omome, omeomics, omicsophy, over, piddle, port knocking, postpetizer, pregratulate, prekfast, prenopsis, prepetizer, quinty, ratio hive, spammings, suscitate, unappropriate .

HDTR: High Dynamic Time Range Photography - Visualizing the Flow of Time

The HDTR method is a new approach to depicting the passage of time. High Dynamic Time Range (HDTR) images and are a composite of many photos taken over a long period of time, such as a day or even longer. Each part of the HDTR image is sampled from a different photo, either by column or row.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
An HDTR is generated from a set of time-lapse images. Here, a simple HDTR is created from 5 images taken at different times. From each image, a strip representing 20% of the image is extracted and the strips are blended to reduce banding artefacts. (hires)

For example, the left part of the HDTR image might show the scene from 7am and the very right from 8pm, capturing the variation in light across an entire day.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
An HDTR image shows the flow of time across a scene. Here the Vancouver skyline is shown from about 6pm (left) to 9pm (right). (Download)


news + thoughts

Cancer Cell cover

Sat 23-04-2022

My cover design on the 11 April 2022 Cancer Cell issue depicts depicts cellular heterogeneity as a kaleidoscope generated from immunofluorescence staining of the glial and neuronal markers MBP and NeuN (respectively) in a GBM patient-derived explant.

LeBlanc VG et al. Single-cell landscapes of primary glioblastomas and matched explants and cell lines show variable retention of inter- and intratumor heterogeneity (2022) Cancer Cell 40:379–392.E9.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
My Cancer Cell kaleidoscope cover (volume 40, issue 4, 11 April 2022). (more)

Browse my gallery of cover designs.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
A catalogue of my journal and magazine cover designs. (more)

Nature Biotechnology cover

Sat 23-04-2022

My cover design on the 4 April 2022 Nature Biotechnology issue is an impression of a phylogenetic tree of over 200 million sequences.

Konno N et al. Deep distributed computing to reconstruct extremely large lineage trees (2022) Nature Biotechnology 40:566–575.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
My Nature Biotechnology phylogenetic tree cover (volume 40, issue 4, 4 April 2022). (more)

Browse my gallery of cover designs.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
A catalogue of my journal and magazine cover designs. (more)

Nature cover — Gene Genie

Sat 23-04-2022

My cover design on the 17 March 2022 Nature issue depicts the evolutionary properties of sequences at the extremes of the evolvability spectrum.

Vaishnav ED et al. The evolution, evolvability and engineering of gene regulatory DNA (2022) Nature 603:455–463.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
My Nature squiggles cover (volume 603, issue 7901, 17 March 2022). (more)

Browse my gallery of cover designs.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
A catalogue of my journal and magazine cover designs. (more)

Happy 2022 `\pi` Day—
three one four: a number of notes

Mon 14-03-2022

Celebrate `\pi` Day (March 14th) and finally hear what you've been missing.

“three one four: a number of notes” is a musical exploration of how we think about mathematics and how we feel about mathematics. It tells stories from the very beginning (314…) to the very (known) end of π (...264) as well as math (Wallis Product) and math jokes (Feynman Point), repetition (nn) and zeroes (null).

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
Listen to `\pi` in the style of 20th century classical music. (details)

The album is scored for solo piano in the style of 20th century classical music – each piece has a distinct personality, drawn from styles of Boulez, Feldman, Glass, Ligeti, Monk, and Satie.

Each piece is accompanied by a piku (or πku), a poem whose syllable count is determined by a specific sequence of digits from π.

Check out art from previous years: 2013 `\pi` Day and 2014 `\pi` Day, 2015 `\pi` Day, 2016 `\pi` Day, 2017 `\pi` Day, 2018 `\pi` Day, 2019 `\pi` Day, 2020 `\pi` Day and 2021 `\pi` Day.

PNAS Cover — Earth BioGenome Project

Fri 28-01-2022

My design appears on the 25 January 2022 PNAS issue.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
My PNAS cover design captures the vision of the Earth BioGenome Project — to sequence everything. (more)

The cover shows a view of Earth that captures the vision of the Earth BioGenome Project — understanding and conserving genetic diversity on a global scale. Continents from the Authagraph projection, which preserves areas and shapes, are represented as a double helix of 32,111 bases. Short sequences of 806 unique species, sequenced as part of EBP-affiliated projects, are mapped onto the double helix of the continent (or ocean) where the species is commonly found. The length of the sequence is the same for each species on a continent (or ocean) and the sequences are separated by short gaps. Individual bases of the sequence are colored by dots. Species appear along the path in alphabetical order (by Latin name) and the first base of the first species is identified by a small black triangle.

Lewin HA et al. The Earth BioGenome Project 2020: Starting the clock. (2022) PNAS 119(4) e2115635118.

The COVID charts — hospitalization rates

Tue 25-01-2022

As part of the COVID Charts series, I fix a muddled and storyless graphic tweeted by Adrian Dix, Canada's Health Minister.

I show you how to fix color schemes to make them colorblind-accessible and effective in revealing patters, how to reduce redundancy in labels (a key but overlooked part of many visualizations) and how to extract a story out of a table to frame the narrative.

Browse all the COVID charts.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
Clear titles introduce the graphic, which starts with informative and non-obvious observations of the relationship between age, number of comorbidities, vaccination status and hospitalization rates. Supporting the story is a tidy table that gives you detailed statistics for each demographic. (more)

me as a keyword list

aikido | analogies | animals | astronomy | comfortable silence | cosmology | dorothy parker | drumming | espresso | fundamental forces | good kerning | graphic design | humanism | humour | jean michel jarre | kayaking | latin | little fluffy clouds | lord of the rings | mathematics | negative space | nuance | perceptual color palettes | philosophy of science | photography | physical constants | physics | poetry | pon farr | reason | rhythm | richard feynman | science | secularism | swing | symmetry and its breaking | technology | things that make me go hmmm | typography | unix | victoria arduino | wine | words