Everybody loves Natalie Portman

At one point it felt like Natalie Portman was EVERYWHERE. Natalie Portman is awesome, but there are lots of great actresses out there. Thinking others felt the same, I made a gallery quantifying the Portman overload feeling. What I didn’t expect: People LOVE Natalie Portman. If you offer just a smidgen of criticism about her prevalence in movies, her fans will assume you are some spawn of Satan out to burn every copy of “Garden State.”

The lesson? Know when to let the graphic go. Not everything has to get made to prove a point.

a chart of portman's awards chart of portman's movie roles by year chart of google searches for natalie portman chart of percent of movies natalie portman starred in

I recalled the Natalie Portman lesson while working at an Atlanta community garden in 2013. The organizers and residents felt neighborhood crime had decreased with the introduction of the garden. Thinking I could make a great graphic for publicity and fundraising, I researched the numbers.

Surprisingly, the data showed the garden had no effect on crime. In fact, there appear to be as many reported crimes in the area in 2012 as in 2009.

map of crime in English Avenue neighborhood by year
Created using Photoshop while studying digital media at Georgia Tech, 2013.

If you’re finding the map hard to read, it’s because this is a low-fidelity draft. I dropped the project after making this.

So why would people say the neighborhood is safer? I did some research, and apparently it’s not uncommon for gardens to increase perceived security but have no real effect on actual security. In the end, the fact that residents felt safer was more important than whether or not the data had had time to catch up.

Thanks, Natalie Portman fans.