Fascinating Election Maps

After the US election, I looked at the numbers for the results and saw that they were actually quite close, then looked at the results shown on a colour-coded US map and saw a lot of red (Republican), especially if the map was colour-coded by county. I knew that many of the areas where Kerry won (blue) had a denser population, but it was hard to see this on the maps that every TV station, newspaper article, and web site were showing.

These US election result maps are different to the ones you’ve probably seen. They scale the actual shape of the US to reflect each state’s or county’s population. All of a sudden the closeness of the election is made clear in a simple, if twisted, graphic.

One Map and One Cart of the 2004 US Elections

I wonder if anyone did anything similar for the Australian election?

Star Wars Episode III

I just watched the trailer for the next (last?) Star Wars film. Almost the entire first half was footage and audio from the original Star Wars film (the film everyone else now calls “Episode Four”, but what most of my generation just call “Star Wars”) and the other previous films. The trailer looks great, with lots of shots that suggest some fun scenes. One shot that caught my eye was a brief one of C3PO standing in what looked like the hallway of the Tantive IV Rebel Blockade Runner, a ship we first saw in the opening shot of the first film. Interesting…

Will it be a good movie? There’s no doubt that it will be a great moment when Anakin Skywalker puts on the Darth Vader mask, breathes like Darth Vader, speaks with James Earl Jones’ voice, and is backed up with John Williams‘ Darth Vader Theme – I hope that moment is handled well. But will it be a good movie? Hmmm… It’s got Chewie in it (and a whole load of other Wookies). It’s got a big lightsaber fight between Anakin and Kenobi. Hmmm… Yes, it will rock. Yes. It will. It will (performs Jedi-mind-trick on self).

The trailer reminded me of my trip to Sydney in December 2002 where I saw the Star Wars exhibition. I took a few snaps with my 2MP digital camera of the props, costumes, and models on display. Here are some of them:

Star Wars Exhibition

(click for a larger version)