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The U.S. Map Redrawn as 50 States With Equal Population

[Map credit: Neil Freeman / See larger]

Neil Freeman redrew the state borders to get a visual sense of what it would take for the electoral college votes to match the popular vote. That is to say, for each state to be weighted evenly.

"The largest state is 66 times as populous as the smallest," Freeman explains on his site, "and has 18 times as many electoral votes."

His map is based on 2010 Census data, which records a population of 308,745,538 for the United States. Divided up among 50 states, that's a population of a little over six million people per state. The names of new states are mostly taken from geographical features.

Before you freak out about the feasibility of such a plan or whether it's a real improvement on the electoral college, Freeman notes, "this is an art project, not a serious proposal. So take it easy with the emails about the sacred soil of Texas."

See Also: The U.S. Map With Only 38 States

The Afternoon Map is a semi-regular feature in which we post maps and infographics. In the afternoon. Semi-regularly. Thanks to Neil Freeman for this one, which you can buy from his site for $35.

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The Evolution of "Two" in the Indo-European Language Family
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The Indo-European language family includes most of the languages of Europe as well as many languages in Asia. There is a long research tradition that has shown, though careful historical comparison, that languages spanning a huge linguistic and geographical range, from French to Greek to Russian to Hindi to Persian, are all related to each other and sprung from a common source, Proto-Indo-European. One of the techniques for studying the relationship of the different languages to each other is to look at the similarities between individual words and work out the sound changes that led from one language to the next.

This diagram, submitted to Reddit by user IronChestplate1, shows the word for two in various Indo-European languages. (The “proto” versions, marked with an asterisk, are hypothesized forms, built by working backward from historical evidence.) The languages cluster around certain common features, but the words are all strikingly similar, especially when you consider the words for two in languages outside the Indo-European family: iki (Turkish), èjì (Yoruba), ni (Japanese), kaksi (Finnish), etc. There are many possible forms two could take, but in this particular group of languages it is extremely limited. What are the chances of that happening by accident? Once you see it laid out like this, it doesn’t take much to put *dwóh and *dwóh together.

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Beyond Plumbing: 19 Other Jobs on Mario's Resume
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Nintendo made news this week by subtly announcing that Mario is no longer a plumber. In fact, they're really downplaying his whole plumbing career. On the character's Japanese-language bio, the company says, "He also seems to have worked as a plumber a long time ago."

But Mario has always had plenty of jobs on the side. Here's a look at his resume:

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