What the New Census Data Means

Looking at the changes in the 23rd census.

The new census data was released today, and here's what we learned:
  • There are about 309,000,000 people here (up almost 10 percent since the last census in 2000, though that is the slowest rate of growth since the great depression)
  • Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Washington will gain members in the House
  • Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania will lose members in the House
  • The state with the largest population growth: Nevada (35.1 percent)
  • The state with the smallest: Michigan (-0.4 percent)

There's a lot more over at, including a video on apportionment and this excellent interactive infographic in a larger size (and be sure to follow them on Twitter):

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Why Foie Gras is Not Unethical

The folks over at Serious Eats visit a foie gras producer in New York to explore the ethical issues of foie gras production.

GOOD is no stranger to the foie gras debate. We've explored a number of angles, from a spa-like farm for pampered animals, to our national fascination with ducks, and even a complaint that it's just not as important as other issues we face. And in California, it will be banned in 2012. The folks over at Serious Eats do one better, and visit a foie gras producer in New York to explore the ethical issues:

So the real question is: is the production of foie gras torturous under even the best of conditions? Those on one side would answer yes. How could force feeding an animal ever be considered anything but torture? On the other hand are those who claim that American foie farms are positively idyllic with ducks waddling around spacious pens, even queuing up for their gavage, that for a duck, none of the things we consider uncomfortable stress them out in the least. But who's right?

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California's First Stretch of High-speed Rail Now Actually Useful

A vote yesterday will extend the first segment from the relatively unpopulated Central Valley to Bakersfield.

As previously mentioned, California is building the first stretch of its high-speed rail thoroughfare in a relatively unpopulated area in the Central Valley. This struck some of us as odd. But good news yesterday for the skeptics: money has been approved to nearly double the length of that first segment, and extend it to Bakersfield. From the WSJ:

Critics had panned the first 65-mile route as the "train to nowhere" because it would start from the tiny town of Borden, connect to new stations in downtown Fresno and another one east of Hanford before ending in Corcoran, another small town. Authority board members hoped the expansion to an Amtrak station in Bakersfield, a city of 339,000 on the southern end of the valley, would put an end to critics' derisions.

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Rally to Restore Sanity/Fear Vs. Glenn Beck: Which Was Bigger?

Here's a bird's eye view visual comparison of the Rally to Restore Sanity/Fear and the Glenn Beck Rally.

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