Friday, November 12, 2004

Polizia Lamborghini

Now you see it, now you don't. The highway police's Lamborghini patrol car has a top speed of 190 m.p.h.


NYT Excerpt:

"Few make the case that the highway police need a Lamborghini. But in a nation crazed with car racing - where Ferrari, the legendary Italian car company, recently opened a clothing store in Rome, and where engine revving at normal stoplights can feel like the start of an urban rally - few would say they do not need one either. Certainly not the police.

"Some people from Lamborghini had spoken with the police administration about the idea," said Sergio Fontana, a Lamborghini spokesman. "They said, 'Why don't you have a Gallardo for the highway police?' And the police chiefs said, 'Why not?' It is very good for the image of the police and for the image of Lamborghini around the world."

Mr. Fontana made no bones about the fact that the inspiration was partly commercial, aimed particularly against Ferrari, the leader in the superfast luxury car market here that put a police car on the road in the 1960's and 1970's. He said Lamborghini figured it could perform dual duty, helping both itself and the police, and so in May they donated the car, worth about $165,000 before all the fancy electronics (GPS, radar and an automatic license plate scanner, to check for stolen cars), to mark the national police force's 152nd anniversary. The police graciously accepted.

"It was a very big occasion for us to show to the people, especially the Italian people, that there is a Lamborghini," he said. "Now, if someone drives a Gallardo on the road, they say, 'I am driving the car of the police.' "

Whoosh! For Speeders, Speedier Justice, via Lamborghini
New York Times, November 12, 2004

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Tuesday, November 09, 2004

2004 U.S. Presidential Election Results by County (pop density)

via the-raw-prawn, we are pointed to GIS company ESRI. They collaborated with CBS News Election Data Center and the Presidential Analysis Desk, using GIS-enabled mapping. They created a demographic map to help analyze election results:


2004 U.S. Presidential Election Results by County

Pretty damned cool!

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Population Density Electoral Map

So you don't like the Cartograms? Are they too distorted for you?

Consider controlling color for population density, which comes to us via the Obsidian Order:


This shows us as less a nation of Red and Blue . . .

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Cartograms of the 2004 US presidential election

University of Michigan's Michael Gastner, Cosma Shalizi, and Mark Newman approach the election results via "cartograms" -- maps in which the sizes of states have been rescaled according to their population. 

States are drawn with a size proportional not to their sheer topographic acreage -- which has little to do with politics -- but to the number of their inhabitants. States with more people appearing larger than states with fewer, regardless of their actual square mileage  Thus, a cartogram of Rhode Island, with its 1.1 million inhabitants, would appear about twice the size of Wyoming, which has half a million, even though Wyoming has 60 times the acreage of Rhode Island.

This map shows Red/Purple/Blue coounties, reflecting the intensity of the vote for either party by county. The Redder, the more Republican votes, the Bluer, more Democratic votes. Purple counties reflect a fairly even split:


Now converting this into a cartogram -- controlling for population rather than land mass -- reveals this:



So much for the Red/Blue discussion -- this is an evenly divided nation . . .

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Monday, November 08, 2004

Blue and Red within States

Here is a variation of the Purple America design via Cheryl Charles -- she came up with the idea and design, while her husband did the actual development.  (You can CC her on comments at


Blend the Blue and red together within each state, and you end up with something like this:

via AranWorld

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Saturday, November 06, 2004

Demographics versus Geography

Here's a demographic map of how the data breaks down into categories


Its a different way to look at the election: demographics instead of geography.

via the Votemaster

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Red States Feed at Federal Trough, Blue States Supply the Feed

The TaxProf Blog points us to a report from the Tax Foundation.

This fascinating study shows exactly which states benefit from federal tax and spending policies, and which states foot the bill.


Surprisingly, the "value conscious" Red States -- you know, the folks preaching independence and self reliance -- are the biggest hogs at the federal trough.

Sayeth the TaxProf:

"The report shows that of the 32 states (and the District of Columbia) that are "winners" -- receiving more in federal spending than they pay in federal taxes -- 76% are Red States that voted for George Bush in 2000. Indeed, 17 of the 20 (85%) states receiving the most federal spending per dollar of federal taxes paid are Red States. Here are the Top 10 states that feed at the federal trough (with Red States highlighted in bold):

States Receiving Most in Federal Spending Per Dollar of Federal Taxes Paid:
1. D.C. ($6.17)
2. North Dakota ($2.03)
3. New Mexico ($1.89) (flipped Red in 2004)
4. Mississippi ($1.84)
5. Alaska ($1.82)
6. West Virginia ($1.74)
7. Montana ($1.64)
8. Alabama ($1.61)
9. South Dakota ($1.59)
10. Arkansas ($1.53)

In contrast, of the 16 states that are "losers" -- receiving less in federal spending than they pay in federal taxes -- 69% are Blue States that voted for Al Gore in 2000. Indeed, 11 of the 14 (79%) of the states receiving the least federal spending per dollar of federal taxes paid are Blue States. Here are the Top 10 states that supply feed for the federal trough (with Blue States highlighted in bold):

States Receiving Least in Federal Spending Per Dollar of Federal Taxes Paid:
1. New Jersey ($0.62)
2. Connecticut ($0.64)
3. New Hampshire ($0.68) (flipped Blue in 2004)
4. Nevada ($0.73)
5. Illinois ($0.77)
6. Minnesota ($0.77)
7. Colorado ($0.79)
8. Massachusetts ($0.79)
9. California ($0.81)
10. New York ($0.81)

Note that Florida, which had previously received exactly $1.00 in federal spending for each $1.00 in federal taxes paid, has since seen a windfall; Federal largesse was dramatically boosted in the post-Hurricaine, pre-election."

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County-by-County vote, with Population

Robert J. Vanderbei, a Professor of Applied and Computational Mathematics at Princeton, put together these beauties:


Here's how:

"Using County-by-County election return data from USA Today together with County boundary data from the US Census' Tiger database we produced the following graphic depicting the results. Of course, blue is for the democrats, red is for the republicans, and green is for all other. Each county's color is a mix of these three color components in proportion to the results for that county.

Counties shown in black represent either missing election data or a mismatch between the US Census data and the USA Today data. For example, the New England states' election return data is given for each municipality and/or district rather than for each county. Hence, it couldn't be easily matched with the county boundaries."

This is what it looks like if we don't control for population:


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Voting: Free versus Slave States

Sensory Overload contributes what is probably the most disturbing map pair of the entire series: How did the Free States vote, and how did the Slave States cast their ballots?



Oh, how far we've come...

via Sensory Overload

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The Kids Are Alright

"Despite long lines and registration snafus, voters under age 30 clocked the highest turnout percentage since 1972. The good news is that America's young people are more engaged in politics than at any time in two generations. Aging cynics have been quick to blame the kids for a host of political lapses, but the cynics have it wrong." -Music for America.


via Music for America

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