Do You Need To Yell At Your Congressperson? Check Out This Map To Find Out.

I like to think that most states are pretty diligent at providing at least a base level of equal rights to their citizens. Sadly, it looks like I’m wrong.

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See Which Fast Food Chain Has Taken Over Your State

The fast food feudal lords have taken over our country! Here’s a pretty new map charting aggregated data about fast food location and influence, correlated with where consumers spend their money when they travel. Aka this is why we’re fat. 

Color key: black is McDonald’s, red Burger King, yellow Wendy’s, magenta Jack in The Box, periwinkle Sonic, cream Dairy Queen, green Carl’s Jr., and cyan Hardee’s. Three colors combine per region; so if you see darker colors, it means McDonald’s is supreme. Whiter ones mean Dairy Queen reigns, etc. Kinda frightening, huh? 

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MAP: For A Global Superpower, America Sure Doesn't Measure Up Here

If the women in your life suddenly up and move to Iceland, Finland, Norway, or Sweden, this map should give you a good clue why. But it’s not all bad news for American women — despite America ranking 22nd overall in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index, we do rank #1 when it comes to women getting their educations. 

Click on your country to see how it ranks in offering women the best shot at their dream jobs, education, and oh yeah … health and survival

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MAP: The 16 States Where The Latino Vote Will Decide The Elections This Fall

The Latino vote makes more of a difference now than ever. With many states so evenly split, Latino voters could easily mean the difference between a Republican and a Democrat in office.

Here’s the map without the chart for reference.

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13 Hilarious Maps That Satirise European National Stereotypes

These maps of Europe from designer Yanko Tsvetkov tell it like it really is. 1.

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Ysanko Tsvetkov / 2.

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Yanko Tsvetkov / 3.

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Yanko Tsvetkov / 4.

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Yanko Tsvetkov / 5.

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Ysanko Tsvetkov / 6.

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Yanko Tsvetkov / 7.

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Yanko Tsvetkov / 8.

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Yanko Tsvetkov / 9.

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Yanko Tsvetkov / 10.

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Ysanko Tsvetkov / 11.

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Ysanko Tsvetkov / 12.

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Ysanko Tsvetkov / 13.

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Ysanko Tsvetkov /

All these are from Bulgarian designer Yanko Tsvetkov who has been producing maps like this since 2009. The second collection of his Atlas of Prejudice is out now.

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Does What This Map Shows Us About Marriage In America Matter That Much?

More than 50% of the U.S. adult population is single. My hunch is that this information is worrisome to National Organization for Marriage and “traditional” types. But I have to ponder, what’s the big deal? Is it bad that people aren’t rushing into marriage? Or if they entered one that wasn’t working for them, that they left it to navigate the world alone? Is it bad that some people may never want to get married?

Some might say this indicates a decline in traditional values, but my take is that it might signal a genesis of critical thinking about “traditions.” See the entire article linked below for a deeper breakdown.

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An Interactive Map of Every Cargo Ship in the World in 2012

Map by Kiln

Using over 250 million data points from the UCL Energy Institute (UCL EI), Kiln, a London-based data visualisation and digital journalism studio, created the incredible interactive map embedded below.

The map displays movements of the global merchant fleet over the course of 2012, overlaid on a bathymetric map. You can also see statistics such as a counter for emitted CO2 (in thousand tonnes) and maximum freight carried by the represented vessels (varying units).

The merchant fleet is divided into five categories, each of which has a filter and a CO2 and freight counter for the hour shown on the clock. The ship types and units are as follows:

– Container (e.g. manufactured goods): number of container slots equivalent to 20 feet (i.e. a 40-foot container takes two slots)
– Dry bulk (e.g. coal, aggregates): combined weight of cargo, fuel, water, provisions, passengers and crew a vessel can carry, measured in thousand tonnes
– Tanker (e.g. oil, chemicals): same as dry bulk
– Gas bulk (e.g. liquified natural gas): capacity for gases, measured in cubic metres
– Vehicles (e.g. cars): same as dry bulk

To see a full screen version of the map embedded below visit You can also find some additional information on the map below.

[via Digg]

Why do ships sometimes appear to move across land?

In some cases this is because there are ships navigating via canals or rivers that aren’t visible on the map. Generally, though, this effect is an artefact of animating a ship between two recorded positions with missing data between, especially when the positions are separated by a narrow strip of land. We may develop the map to remove this effect in the future.

Why are there fewer ships visible in the first part of the year?

Unfortunately the data we are using for the map is incomplete for the first few months of the year: roughly January to April.

How was the map created?

UCL EI took data showing location and speed of ships and cross-checked it with another database to get the vessel characteristics, such as engine type and hull measurements. With this information they were able to compute the CO2 emissions for each observed hour, following the approach laid out in the Third IMO Greenhouse Gas Study 2014. Kiln took the resulting dataset and visualized it with WebGL on top of a specially created base map, which shows bathymetry (ocean depth), based on the GEBCO_2014 Grid (version 20150318), as well as continents and major rivers from Natural Earth.

Where did you get the data and who paid?

Our data sources for shipping positions are exactEarth for AIS data (location/speed) and Clarksons Research UK World Fleet Register (static vessel information). We are very grateful to our funders, the European Climate Foundation.

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The Relative Size of Colorado from the Equator to the North Pole Using Mercator Projection

To demonstrate how the Mercator projection distorts the size of places on a map the further you get from the equator, reddit user h2ppyme used the website to show how Colorado ‘grows’ as it approaches the North pole.

If you check out the interactive website you can enter any country in the world and drag it around to see how its ‘size’ changes depending where it is placed on the map.

[via h2ppyme on reddit]

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How Many Minimum Wage Hours Does It Take To Afford A Two-Bedroom Apartment In Your State?

Ever wonder how people manage to get by on minimum wage? Oftentimes, they don’t…

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17 Landmark Smoking Bans That Cleared the Air


A smoking ban icon is seen inside Hofbraeuhauskeller traditional beer hall on January 2, 2008 in Munich, Germany.
Image: Johannes Simon/

On March 29, 2004, Ireland became the first country in the world to introduce comprehensive legislation that banned smoking in the workplace, including in all bars and restaurants. In advance of the bill, pub owners and citizens spoke out, claiming the ban would “sound the death knell for the Irish pub.”

Despite resistance, the measure had its intended effect: One year later, it was reported that 7,000 people had given up smoking, and researchers found a 17% drop in respiratory issues. Recent research indicates the ban saved an estimated 3,700 lives.

“I didn’t anticipate the world focus on it,” Ireland’s former health minister told the Independent.

Smoke-free legislation hardly began with the Emerald Isle, however. In fact, the very first anti-smoking edict was issued in the 16th century by Pope Urban VII, best known for succumbing to malaria after a two-week reign. Urban VII proclaimed that anyone who “took tobacco in the porchway of or inside a church” risked excommunication. In the 17th century, meanwhile, the American colony of Massachusetts attempted to curtail smoking outdoors, mainly in the hopes of preventing fires.

Although the United States holds no federal ban on smoking in the workplace, each U.S. state has introduced its own legislation designed to safeguard non-smokers against the dangers of secondhand smoke. Arizona was the first state to restrict smoking in government buildings, health facilities and other public places in 1973. Aspen, Colo., became the first U.S. city to ban smoking in restaurants in 1985.

By 2010, 25 states had enacted comprehensive smoke-free legislation, according to the U.S. surgeon general’s website.

While the surgeon general estimates 88 million Americans are still exposed to secondhand smoke on a daily basis, worldwide anti-smoking laws have helped millions breathe easier. A 2012 study conducted at Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic found that smoke-free laws contributed to a 33% drop in the number of heart attacks in Olmstead County, Minn., as well as a 17% decline in sudden cardiac deaths. Meanwhile, a study spearheaded by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, found that regions that restrict public smoking saw a sustained drop in hospital admissions and deaths from a variety of smoking-related illnesses, including heart and lung disease and stroke.

“All people should avoid secondhand smoke to the extent possible, and people with coronary heart disease should have no exposure to secondhand smoke,” the authors of the Mayo Clinic study concluded.

To mark the 10th anniversary of Ireland’s historic legislation, we’ve created a map of other notable smoking bans around the world. Take a look to see how your country stacks up.

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