After a week of some depressing material. Let’s lighten things up. Since, you know, it is a Friday.
Two weeks ago we looked at comparisons of actual geographic area. These are sometimes useful comparisons. But more often than not we are talking about the people that live in said areas. And speaking as someone who has lived in either suburbs of big cities or within big cities my entire life, comprehending the not-do-dense rural flyover states is a bit hard to do. Thankfully Ben Blatt over at Slate put together a nice interactive piece that allows you to get a better sense of just how empty the middle of the country really is. (Hint, it is empty.)
Here we take a look at comparing the East and West coasts to Chicago. Turns out you have to go pretty far from the shores of Lake Michigan to equal the population of the two coasts. That’s a lot of flyover.
It’s Friday. And that means you will likely be contorting on the dance floor this weekend. But if you tried to bend to conform to any of these congressional districts, you would likely break your back. Gerrymandering is an old practice that basically allows state governments to decide what area (and therefore populations) belong to which congressional district. If you carve up your opposition well enough, you can consolidate them into far fewer districts than they might otherwise win. Pennsylvania is just one such example of an unbalanced state. This interactive infographic game from Slate forces you to solve the jigsaw puzzle of congressional districts.