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Today in Geographic Microdata

Clarity Campaign Labs invites you to use TargetSmart U.S. voter data to discover, via seven yes/no/don't care questions, What town matches my politics? Business Insider uses it to determine the most liberal and conservative towns in each state.
posted by psoas on Jun 19, 2014 - 87 comments

The third-most spoken language in the U.S. overall? Chinese.

What language does your state speak?
posted by and they trembled before her fury on May 14, 2014 - 119 comments

Prayers get a new blessing

The Supreme Court ruled (PDF) this morning that the town of Greece, New York did not violate the Constitution by starting its public meetings with a prayer from a “chaplain of the month." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 5, 2014 - 167 comments

Unrecognized state continues to exist anyway

Somaliland is an odd land. In global limbo since its birth, it continues to develop economically and socially in a reasonably stable and secure environment. Recently, the British town of Sheffield was the first to recognize its very existence as an independent country. In the meantime, the capital Hargeisa city, which has only one paved road, recently installed streetlights for the first time, and an enterprising entrepreneur returned home from Australia to start a familiar city service - the yellow cab. Investors and businesses have started paying attention while the major powers still prefer to pretend it doesn't exist. Even while experts debate whether their model can be utilized in far more volatile Somalia, Hargeisa's residents want you to know they are Happy.
posted by infini on Apr 6, 2014 - 13 comments

WORST. STATE. EVER.

What is your state worst at?
posted by blue_beetle on Sep 23, 2013 - 88 comments

You don't win friends with salad

Iowa State Fair officials have announced 10 new food options for the 2013 fair, in addition to the eight announced earlier this month. These include maple bacon funnel cake and deep fried prairie oysters, and join old favorites including deep fried butter on a stick, pork chop on a stick, and over 60 other foods (on a stick). [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Jul 22, 2013 - 130 comments

"...we should take a close look at repealing compulsory education."

Utah State Sen. Aaron Osmond (R-South Jordan) has introduced a proposal to abolish compulsory education for children in his home state. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Jul 17, 2013 - 188 comments

"align the nation’s political landscape with its natural resource base"

our highly speculative proposal for the reconfiguration of the political geography of the United States to better conform to the spatial distribution of various water resources, such as rivers, aquifers, and man-made infrastructures.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 15, 2013 - 14 comments

"You don’t like it? Find another place to live."

"Them and Them." "Rockland County, New York's East Ramapo school district is a taxpayer-funded system fighting financial insolvency. It is also bitterly divided between the mostly black and Hispanic children and families who use the schools and the Hasidic and ultra-Orthodox Jewish majority who run the Board of Education and send their children to private, religious schools." Also see: A District Divided. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 24, 2013 - 168 comments

Lawsuit(s) in Washington anti-discrimination case

The state of Washington has filed suit against Arlene's Flowers, whose owner, Barronelle Stutzman, refused to provide flowers for the wedding of regular customers Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 11, 2013 - 232 comments

Incommensurable values

Economists and the theory of politics - "why unions were often well worth any deadweight cost" [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 25, 2013 - 27 comments

Water Wars

Georgia Senate passes resolution to move state line, claim Tennessee River water. A TPM reader provides interesting background.
posted by maggieb on Mar 25, 2013 - 47 comments

the mundane face of evil: Chinese state-sponsored hackers

A new report, the National Intelligence Estimate, released by the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence "represents the consensus view of the U.S. intelligence community, describes a wide range of sectors that have been the focus of [China-based] hacking over the past five years, including energy, finance, information technology, aerospace and automotive." One face of Chinese state-sponsored hackers profiled by Bloomberg Business Week is Zhang Changhe, an instructor at the People's Liberation Army Information Engineering University in Zhengzhou. [more inside]
posted by gen on Feb 14, 2013 - 11 comments

Mark Zuckerberg's Hoodie

It is June 2, 2010 and Mark Zuckerberg is sweating. He’s wearing his hoodie—he’s always wearing his hoodie—and he’s on stage and either the lights or the questions are too hot. … “Do you want to take off the hoodie?” asks Kara Swisher.
“I never take off the hoodie.”
The varied cultural resonances of an unassuming garment.
posted by the mad poster! on Jan 29, 2013 - 157 comments

This is not the Africa you're looking for

What Susan Rice Has Meant for U.S. Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa Right now, Africa is changing with extraordinary speed and in surprising ways, but American policy there remains stale and stuck in the past: unambitious, underinvested and conceptually outdated.
posted by infini on Jan 1, 2013 - 13 comments

The most romantic web series there will EVER be

Former MTV State member Ken Marino will make you fall in love with him all over again! Did you love The State on MTV? More recent collaborations like Reno 911? The Ten? Party Down? Adult Swim's Children's Hospital? You may enjoy the Yahoo web series Burning Love, a pitch-perfect parody of reality shows like The Bachelor, but with so much more DRAMA! Narcissism! Alcoholism! Sexuality! Crazy eyes! Homelessness! Pantslessness! [more inside]
posted by Queen of Spreadable Fats on Sep 25, 2012 - 26 comments

Empire State of Pen

Empire State of Pen — 80 second timelapse video of artist Patrick Vale drawing the view of the Manhattan skyline from the Empire State Building.
posted by netbros on Sep 13, 2012 - 9 comments

"So think about what you would want to know from someone who was actually there."

In school, most grades have a favorite teacher. For Rockport-Fulton Middle School's seventh grade, it's Bobby Jackson. He teaches Texas History. (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 8, 2012 - 39 comments

The beginning of tyranny.

Last year, The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU's Law School released a report (pdf) detailing new, more restrictive state laws that affect voting rights and are likely to impact the outcome of the 2012 elections. The restrictions "fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities." On August 3rd, 2012, they updated their analysis with a pdf of passed and pending State government legislation. Their conclusion: after a century in which the United States "expanded the franchise and knocked down myriad barriers to full electoral participation... that momentum [has] abruptly shifted." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 17, 2012 - 47 comments

And Shopping. Always Shopping.

Propaganda - A film alledged to be from North Korea about the excess of Western decadance and public relations propaganda - hits Youtube (1:35:52)
posted by The Whelk on Aug 10, 2012 - 44 comments

"I'd like to file a complaint."

"I'd like to file a complaint." [more inside]
posted by Meatbomb on Feb 28, 2012 - 82 comments

Marriage Equality in Washington State Takes the Next Step

The Washington State Senate has approved SB 6239, a bill granting marriage equality, in a 28-21 vote. It now moves on to the House, where its passage is all but assured, then to the desk of Governor Gregoire, who started the process earlier this year and has promised to sign it.

But, then what? As in 2009, when citizens voted 53-47 in favor of Referendum 71 to reject overturning the legislature's domestic partnership bill, the bill will likely be subject to a citizen referendum, rendering it temporarily inactive until approved by popular vote. A recent poll found that 55% of voters would approve that measure. If that holds true, same-sex marriages could begin in Washington State starting December 7th, 2012.
posted by 0xFCAF on Feb 2, 2012 - 70 comments

Sandusky Charged

After three years of investigation, the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office has charged former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky with 40 counts related to sexual abuse of young boys. The disturbing grand jury report can be read here. Two top school officials have been charged with perjury and failure to report in connection with the case, and University President Graham Spanier offers unequivocal support of his colleagues. More recommended reading: Putting loyalty to the many, the program, in front of the victimization of even the one, a child.
posted by acyeager on Nov 6, 2011 - 207 comments

phone's not working today

It took the photographer Donald Weber more than five years to make his way inside a Ukrainian police interrogation room.

For months, Weber showed up every morning at police headquarters, where he sat on a wooden bench in a drab hallway, waiting to ask the suspects if they’d let him witness their interrogations. When they agreed, he sat and watched from his chair in a small room as a damaged light fixture cast spider-web patterns on the wall. [more inside]
posted by plexi on Jul 17, 2011 - 25 comments

Sometimes state flags are just so Vermont.

Sometimes state flags have aspirations of being limited edition vinyl release indie rock album covers.
posted by dersins on Jul 13, 2011 - 108 comments

Exxon State Park?

Goodbye public spaces? A recent St. Petersburg Times op-ed reports that Governer Rick Scott, through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has drawn up a plan to turn over portions of more than 50 state parks to private corporations to build camping and RV sites. [more inside]
posted by anya32 on Jun 28, 2011 - 54 comments

Butter cow sculptor, Norma Lyon, passes away at 81

Norma Lyon, the "butter cow lady" whose sculptures were a primary Iowa State Fair attraction for decades, died of a stroke early Sunday.
posted by Foam Pants on Jun 27, 2011 - 31 comments

Tressel Resigns

Jim Tressel, one of the most successful college football coaches in history, has resigned as coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. After several players were discovered to have traded Ohio State football memorabilia for tattoos (actions which represent NCAA violations), it was revealed that Tressel knew of the player's actions and attempted to conceal the information from investigators. Though Tressel often projected a squeaky clean, conservative image, detractors have often accused him of hypocrisy.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates on May 30, 2011 - 44 comments

Of spies, special forces and drone strikes

Warfare: An advancing front - "The US is engaged in increasingly sophisticated warfare, fusing intelligence services and military specialists" [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 21, 2011 - 19 comments

2011 on track to be the worst year for wildfires in Texas history

Texas is burning. Despite it being only April, due to severe drought conditions, over 1.8 million acres have already burned throughout the state, which could soon surpass the two million acre record set in 2006. Here are the 10 largest current wildfires as seen from orbit. [more inside]
posted by Unicorn on the cob on Apr 25, 2011 - 53 comments

brittle efficiency and shallow triumphalism

Fareed Zakaria: Are America's Best Days Behind Us? - "We have an Electoral College that no one understands and a Senate that doesn't work, with rules and traditions that allow a single Senator to obstruct democracy without even explaining why. We have a crazy-quilt patchwork of towns, municipalities and states with overlapping authority, bureaucracies and resulting waste. We have a political system geared toward ceaseless fundraising and pandering to the interests of the present with no ability to plan, invest or build for the future. And if one mentions any of this, why, one is being unpatriotic, because we have the perfect system of government, handed down to us by demigods who walked the earth in the late 18th century and who serve as models for us today and forever. America's founders would have been profoundly annoyed by this kind of unreflective ancestor worship." [for/against]
posted by kliuless on Apr 17, 2011 - 93 comments

Red State Blue

Kevin Smith brought a new film to Sundance, Red State. But he's not looking for a deal. He's going to distribute himself with no advertising. And not talk to the press. And quit making films to concentrate on distributing other indie film makers. Smith explains his plans at the screening (30min Vimeo) (NSFW)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jan 24, 2011 - 96 comments

The State Budget Apocalypse

CBS investigates the next financial meltdown: The coming crisis with U.S. state budget shortfalls. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on Dec 20, 2010 - 124 comments

The Trouble With The View From Above

The Trouble With The View From Above. James C. Scott at Cato Unbound has an interesting essay on what we gain - and what we lose - when we trade localized, vernacular categories for the uniform, official categories of a state. His ideas are fleshed out more in his book, Seeing Like A State. Economist Donald Boudreax responds. Brad DeLong and Timothy Lee have forthcoming responses.
posted by Sticherbeast on Sep 13, 2010 - 22 comments

THE PHOTO ISSUE 2010

Still Lifes
"Supposedly the still life came to the fore when religion and the state became replaced by the middle class. Do you know when that was. The world began to be run by people who just wanted a lot of shit. And would go anywhere to get it. The Dutch who invented our own dear New York and this is why it is this wayfull of people who want stuffthey were the stars of this moment, collecting shit from around the world and putting big piles of it on shelves, in boats, taking it somewhere else. And making paintings of it. And really this moment never ended. They would paint marketplaces, and the thing that's funny is that if you were a painter and you weren't being paid to paint someone rich you would just probably paint some stuff and sell it in the market and so the place where all this was happening of course got painted too—it's dizzying." (via dd)
posted by kliuless on Aug 1, 2010 - 30 comments

Your Unconventional Ways Are So Inspiring, and Your Beauty Is Surprisingly Non-Threatening!

Manic Pixie Dream Girls!
posted by WCityMike on Apr 3, 2010 - 132 comments

One if by land, two if by sea.

Started in 1930 (by the by the lieutenant governor while the sitting governor was out of state) to protect the great state of Nebraska from all that wish it harm, Nebraska has it's own navy. Want a commission? Just ask the governor and join these notable members.
posted by 1f2frfbf on Mar 19, 2010 - 26 comments

Be it resolved that financial 'innovation' does not boost economic growth

Basicland vs. Sorrowland
A parable about how one nation came to financial ruin by Charles Munger. For extra colour there's... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 2, 2010 - 34 comments

Church, state, basketball and Mennonites

Church, state, basketball and Mennonites. For the first time in 116 years, Goshen College, a small Mennonite school in Indiana, will play an instrumental version of the Star-Spangled Banner before college sporting events. As a college in a "peace church" tradition, this decision has not come without controversy. [more inside]
posted by jhandey on Mar 1, 2010 - 50 comments

Local Knowledge

In 2000, the Library of Congress celebrated its 200th birthday by inviting representatives and members of the public from each of the 50 American states to nominate folk traditions, local customs, and special places to a "century's-end time capsule" called the Local Legacies Project. A nice little introductory catalog to points of local pride, like Fountain Green, Utah's Lamb Day, Oakland, CA's Black Cowboy Parade, Kentucky's Bourbon tradition, and Binghamton, NY's Spiedie Fest, and plenty more. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Feb 5, 2010 - 7 comments

The State of the Turkey Address

Happy Thanksgiving, MetaFilter! If you have friends from different parts of the U.S., you might have wondered why they consider certain dishes to be an essential part of a Thanksgiving feast, when you've never even thought of them as remotely Thanksgiving-related. Now you can see what dishes were popular searches on allrecipes.com in various states thanks to a series of infographics in the New York Times.
posted by grouse on Nov 26, 2009 - 70 comments

George Soros on the Way Forward

Soros lectures
You can slog through the video, but I preferred the transcripts 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Nov 21, 2009 - 13 comments

WY couldn't get any more square here.

Senators' STATEments: As part of Geography Awareness Week, National Geographic asked United States Senators to draw and label their home states with at least three important places.
posted by NikitaNikita on Nov 18, 2009 - 41 comments

50 million and counting..

A concise article in support of a single-payer health care system written by an East Tennessee family medicine physician. [more inside]
posted by pwedza on Jul 13, 2009 - 79 comments

In Washington State, echoes of Proposition 8

In September of 2004, a Superior Court in Washington state ruled the state's 1998 "Defense of Marriage" act unconstitutional, a ruling which would have allowed the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In 2006, the state Supreme Court issued in an opinion in Andersen v. King County overturning the lower court's ruling, noting "that our decision [pdf] is not based on an independent determination of what we believe the law should be." The legislature, in response, created the state-registered domestic partnership in 2007, expanding many (but not all) marriage-related rights to same-sex couples. Last month, a new law expanded the partnership to cover the remaining rights, creating an "all-but-marriage" partnership.

This year, the Washington Values Alliance has filed Referendum 71, which would put this expansion to a ballot vote. The referendum will need 120,000 signatures to make it to the ballot. WhoSigned.org intends to make these signatures searchable. Predictably, this is creating some controversy. [more inside]
posted by 0xFCAF on Jun 2, 2009 - 114 comments

Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong

Prelude to Federation - Like a neocolonial SEZ (or TAZ) Paul Romer, not to be confused with David, posits "less developed countries contract with capitalist nations to set up Hong Kong's for them... that we rethink sovereignty (respect borders, but maybe import administrative control); rethink citizenship (support residency, but maybe import voice in political affairs); and rethink scale (instead of focusing on nations, focus on cities—on city states like Hong Kong and Singapore)." cf. neocameralism [1, 2, 3] [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 21, 2009 - 16 comments

Jesus registered my hotrod

"Jesus is to be mass-produced, imprinted on metal, given a reflective coat and sold for money." The Florida Senate is considering a bill to put Jesus Christ on a license plate. Governor Charlie ("No H.") Crist has come out in support of the bill (or at least in support of not vetoing it). [video]
posted by dersins on Apr 28, 2009 - 151 comments

Porcupine Racetrack the way it was intended

It's finally happened: After a decade of struggle with MTV over royalty fees and the belief that there would be no market for it, The State is finally being released on DVD on July 19th, 2009. Until then, you can watch streaming video (albeit chopped up in an irritating way) of the episodes from MTV's site, via Hulu, and compare differences such as the soundalike placed in for The Breeders' "Cannonball" in this famous sketch.
posted by Navelgazer on Apr 20, 2009 - 83 comments

It's Commencement Season; Controversy Ensues

To Degree or Not to Degree? President Obama will get an honorary degree from Notre Dame but not Arizona State University during commencement ceremonies this year. ASU finds the first black American president's "body of work" insufficient. The East Valley Tribune disagrees. And some enterprising ASU students have found a way to profit from Obama's appearance at their commencement. [more inside]
posted by etaoin on Apr 11, 2009 - 67 comments

Jimmy Smith Park

Jimmy Smith Park. Breadcrumbs so you can find your way back: Jimmy Smith Park -> About -> Rivers Park -> Dreams about Drunks -> The evolution of previously.
posted by xorry on Feb 21, 2009 - 11 comments

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