us map united states

These two maps show the exact same thing - results of the 2016 presidential election in the lower United States. The upper map seems dire to people like me, who believe Donald Trump is a bad person in general and a horrible person for this most important office in the world. It looks like almost the entire nation choose Trump over other candidates. 

However, if you look at the lower map, things change a bit. Blue color is more present and although some places seem clearly red, others are more mixed. This is because circles, which represent counties, were scaled to total number of votes casted in a given county rather than geographical area of such county (as in the upper map). 

Nevertheless, Donald Trump won, even though more people voted for Hillary Clinton. This is because of a very strange U.S. presidential election system, where there is an intermediate body between popular vote results and election results - the electoral college. In effect, even though difference in votes in key states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin was very slim, Trump got all electoral votes from those states. This electoral college system is also why third-party candidates rarely get much attention - people fear if they vote for a third party candidate, they risk the candidate they strongly oppose could win. 

As a person living in Europe, I find it surprising that the Americans have not changed their system to be up with times. Even if they want the electoral college to stay, there is still a matter of second turn. In Poland and many other democracies, presidential elections are often unresolved in first turn because no candidate has gained more than 50% of all votes. A second turn is then called, in which two candidates who got most votes in first turn can compete. 

It’s best to explain it on an example. Suppose you have 100 voters and three candidates. Candidate A got 32 votes, candidate B got 33 votes and candidate C got 35 votes. In the U.S., candidate C wins even though 65% of voters did not for this candidate! In Poland or France, since no candidate got 50%+1 of all votes, candidates B and C are invited to second turn. It might happen that candidates A and B had similar views and candidate C is someone like Trump. So in second turn, all candidate A voters casted their vote to candidate B and that candidate won with 65% of the vote. Clearly more democratic than the American system in my opinion.  

3

Main Interstate highways are colored by their number: even-numbered interstates are red, odd-numbered interstates are blue. This usually, but not always, corresponds to east/west and north/south.

Just a quick (hopefully no big mistakes were made) map inspired by this map of Indian national highways, using this map of Interstate highways as a base.

it sounds really odd to me, as a brazilian, to see that countries with free college education are a minority in the world.

every brazilian state has at least one ‘public university’, as we call it. it’s not easy to get in though: all universities (both public and private) have a test you have to go through, and depending on how good the university is, it’s harder. the university of são paulo (usp), for example, is the best university of brazil and latin america*, and completely free, but the two-part test is nationally known as the hardest one. the problem we get is that the basic education, where you should get the knowledge to get in those universities, is not good at all. so the people who get in are normally the ones who can afford private education their whole life. and then you can imagine how social inequality works over here.

i see the US and people having to save money since they were born so they can go to college, and it’s just. wow. such a different culture

*i’m not sure if it is anymore, it was a few years ago but i remember i read somewhere that a chilean uni passed us. still #2 tho

7

Hi guys! Found this interesting article on the Business Insider about what Americans thought were the craziest, hottest, smartest, etc. states! I chose a few of my favorites above but there are a lot more, check it out at http://www.businessinsider.com/poll-how-americans-feel-about-the-states-2013-8 . Wasn’t surprised seeing the results, with New York and California being equally praised and shat on at the same time, and with everyone hating on poor Texas haha. 

Gotta love the Golden State!