Want to know what a direct variation looks like graphically? Basically, it's a straight line that goes through the origin. To get a better picture, check out this tutorial!
Ratios are proportional if they represent the same relationship. One way to see if two ratios are proportional is to write them as fractions and then reduce them. If the reduced fractions are the same, your ratios are proportional. To see this process in action, check out this tutorial!