GOOD

Explore the Food That Sets Your State Apart on This Interactive Map

Fifty States. Fifty deliciously iconic foods.

image via mapbox screen capture

Growing up in Minnesota, I could have easily told you our state bird (the humble Loon), our state motto (“L'Étoile du Nord”), and even who designed our state’s domed capital building (legendary architect Cass Gilbert). I was a walking, talking, fountain of North Star trivia. But, had you asked me what type of food sets Minnesota apart, well, I would have been at something of a loss. There are plenty of meals I’d grown up associating with my home state—hot dish, walleye, various things on a stick—but to pick just one would have been next to impossible.

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The word “transition” does not quite adequately describe my recent transplant to Manhattan from my hometown of Vestavia Hills, Alabama. Perhaps “transformative” or “life altering” would better embody the sentiment. Since moving to the city to join the MFA in Design for Social Innovation program at SVA, I have received quite a few inquiries regarding life in the Deep South. The majority of them can be summed up as going something like this:

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My partner and I have been together for 13 years. We had a commitment ceremony 10 years ago and we have an eight-year-old daughter, yet we still cannot get legally married in our home state, and we are not protected legally under the state law and still in some Pennsylvanian and federal laws. Similarly, my co-founder has been with her partner for 17 years, and they still cannot get married. They want to be legally married because they are in a loving committed relationship, and because they recognize that, as they get older, their future health and well-being may very well depend on the social benefits that heterosexual married couples are entitled to under the law.

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John Wesley Powell's Watershed States Map Map: What If Our Western States Were Shaped by Watersheds?

John Wesley Powell thought our western borders should be shaped by watersheds. A 130-year-old map shows how the West would have looked.

We've covered the Western water crisis quite a bit, from the demise of Lake Mead to this startling infographic about the inter-state battles for the Colorado River's vital waters.

This tension between Western states was anticipated by John Wesley Powell, the great frontier explorer and head surveyor of the West for the federal government back in the 1880s. (You might remember him from history class as the one-armed maniac who lead the first European American expedition down the then-ferocious Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.)

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Why Early Childhood Education Matters

States are grappling with whether to eliminate preschool, as education dollars shrink. Do we fund early childhood education now, or pay more later?

As education dollars shrink, states are grappling with whether to eliminate preschool. Do we fund early childhood education now, or pay more later?

As school bells rang for the first time this fall, thousands of preschoolers were left on the sidelines because state funding cuts forced their classrooms to close. And the sad fact is that most of these young children left behind by budget cuts will never catch up to their classmates.

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