- CJR: The Shorter-Form Journal
This clever analysis of Wall Street Journal article lengths over the years shows that, under Rupert Murdoch, articles have gotten quite a bit shorter.
- The Washington Post: Five myths about voter fraud
There are some important and interesting facts about voter fraud here. A member of the Commission on Federal Election Reform figures that requiring that voters show ID will prevent between 1,000–10,000 legitimate votes from being cast for every 1 illegitimate vote that is stopped. 25% of African Americans do not have valid photo IDs. In Wisconsin, 55% of black men do not have valid photo ID. Fraudulent voting is stunningly, stunningly rare.
- mental_floss: 14 More Wonderful Words With No English Equivalent
In Tagalog, "layogenic" describes somebody who is beautiful from a distance, but unattractive up close. In Thai, "greng-jai" is the feeling of not wanting to put somebody out by taking them up on an offer to do something for you. I love these.
- Reuters: How I misread News Corp’s taxes
Pulitzer-prize winning journalist David Cay Johnston broke a story earlier this week about how News Corp had received $4.8B in income tax refunds over the past four years, while paying nothing. Turns out he was entirely wrong. What he'd written was the opposite of the truth. News Corp changed how they report their tax payments on their financial statements—switching from positive to negative numbers—and that was how it all started. Further confusing matters, Johnston contacted News Corp about his conclusions, and they had no quarrel with it. To Johnston's credit, he's going on the same press tour he went on a few days ago, trying to make the story of his mistake as big as his incorrect initial story.
- CSS Sprite Generator
Upload a ZIP file full of images, it returns with a file full of sprites and the relevant CSS. It's a great little tool!
- Thirty Thousand: The Population Size of U.S. House Districts by Year and by Congress from 1790 to 2100
This website, which advocates returning the House of Representatives to its 1793 rate of representation, provides this chart of the average population per U.S. House district from its founding until 2010. The chamber was envisioned—and created—to have each member represent 30,000 people. Congress fixed the number of seats at the arbitrary number of 435 back in 1929, and congressmen have come to represent more and more people ever since. It now stands at 710,000 people and climbing.
- GitHub: nysenatecio/OpenLegislation
The New York Senate's online legislative repository is available on Github. Very impressive.
- Reuters: It pays to be Murdoch. Just ask US gov’t.
Over the past four years, not only has News Corp. not paid income taxes, they've actually gamed the system to collect $4.8B in tax refunds. Murdoch has 152 subsidiaries spread among tax havens throughout the world, and uses them to make *us* pay *him*, via our government.
- The Daily Beast: Debt Crisis Deepens as Eric Cantor, GOP Propose New Cuts
Eric Cantor proposed to the president that college students start making payments on student loans immediately, rather than waiting until graduation. Apparently Cantor doesn't know any actual college students. To his credit, the president responded, "I’m not going to take money from old people and screw students."