Happy Friday everyone.
Here’s a little fun math for you:
Grumpy Cat x 10 = Office Rampage Panda
Hopefully this weekend takes some of the stress away, but these past few weeks have been SO UNFUN. I overstudied enough for the GRE that my eyeballs got so dry that I accidentally scratched one bad enough that I couldn’t go to work for a day (or open the blinds), there is currently a 2-3-inch layer of ice covering everything, and I’m on my last liter of soymilk (which is impossible to find in Astana).
I need a vacation. Or a visit from office rampage panda.
We just announced our Top Volunteer States! Did your state make the list?
For the second consecutive year, the District of Columbia, Vermont and Oregon top the list of Volunteer-producing states per capita, with 8.1, 7.2 and 6.4 Volunteers per capita, respectively; while the greatest number of Volunteers call California, New York and Texas home with 1,084, 448 and 381 Volunteers, respectively.
Nate Silver has brought his trademark data analysis to the newfound gun control discussion today, breaking down what gun ownership in this country looks like numerically. Using data from a 2008 national exit poll—the question was not included, he explains, on 2012 exit polls—some of the details in his chart will likely strike you as obvious: for instance, that Republicans own more guns than Democrats and that there are far more guns in rural areas. What might be more interesting, as Silver points out, is that gun ownership is not necessarily tied to being religiously devout, despite Presdident Obama’s 2008 suggestion about communities that “cling to guns or religion.” Also, the chart reveals that gun ownership is “highest among the middle class,” as Silver writes, with people making $50,000 to $100,000 per year more likely to own guns than their counterparts in other wage groups.
One of the clearest regional differences in the U.S. can found by tracking the words people use to refer to soft drinks, which is in fact the map you saw at the top of this story. Pop or soda, or even Coke, these small linguistic differences are not as small as we might think. While “soda” commands the Northeast and West Coast (green) and “pop” is in between (black), “Coke” reigns in the south (turquoise). These small distinctions can often act as touchstones for larger cultural differences.
Read more. [Image: Samuel Arbesman]
What you see about is the center of our galaxy, as seen by the powerful Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) instrument in northern Chile—but it’s just a thumbnail of the largest catalog of stars ever made. The original image, navigable and zoomable here, covers 108,500 by 81,500 pixels (just under nine billion pixels or nine gigapixels). If you were to print it out at normal book-level resolution, it would be something like 30 feet wide and 23 feet tall.
Read more. [Image: ESO]