It has been a long week and I think everyone is more than ready for a relaxing weekend, so I’ll do my part and get the ball rolling with a few clever – and perhaps too accurate for comfort – maps of the U.S. Like all good maps these ones not only provide the requisite geographic information but also give the viewer a sense for the people who call this land their home. The first map (above) comes to us from the wit of Pleated Jeans concisely outlines those things that *ahem* might be areas for improvement. Hailing from the great state of Illinois myself, I can attest that our elected officials really do not seem to have cracked the code when it comes to lining their own pockets. As I write this, we Illinoisans have a former governor (George Ryan, Federal Inmate Number 16627-424) serving a six-and-a-half year sentence after being convicted on a number of counts related to a wide-ranging corruption scandal that also led to the conviction of more than 75 other Illinois officials and lobbyists. In addition, our most recent former governor – the well-coiffed Rod Blagojevich – is awaiting sentencing after being convicted on 17 of the 20 counts including conspiracy to commit mail fraud and solicitation of bribery. He was even foolish enough to allow himself to be recorded by the FBI while trying to sell President Obama’s former U.S. Senate seat.
The second map (also from Pleated Jeans) provides valuable insight into most fearsome things to come from each state. I might argue that the scariest things to come out of Illinois is not a zombified Abraham Lincoln, although that would be a bit unsettling, but rather politicians in general. Including governors Ryan and Blogojevich, half of the eight governors Illinoisans have in office since the 1970s have gone to jail (Otto Kerner and Dan Walker round out the list). In fact, according to a tally compiled by the Chicago Sun-Times in 2006:
“…at least 79 current or former Illinois, Chicago or Cook County elected officials had been found guilty of a crime by judges, juries or their own pleas since 1972. The paper provided this tally of the tarnished: three governors, two other state officials, 15 state legislators, two congressmen, one mayor, three other city officials, 27 aldermen, 19 Cook County judges and seven other Cook County officials.
The article noted that so many aldermen had been jailed that the newspaper ran a front-page-story in 1991 when the year passed with none being indicted or convicted.”
Yikes! I have shivers just thinking about about them!
The third and final map is my personal favorite given that Halloween is just around the corner. This insightful map delves into our deepest and darkest fears (on a state level of course). I’m not sure that I completely relate to Michael Myers topping my personal list of terrors (although the original Halloween was pretty darn scary) but I did have a good laugh at “daylight savings time” for our neighbor Indiana. Until 2005 Indiana had a unique and complex time system that observed daylight savings time on a county-by-county basis. According to Infoplease:
“Under the old system, 77 of the state’s 92 counties were in the Eastern Time Zone but did not change to daylight time in April. Instead they remained on standard time all year. That is, except for two counties near Cincinnati, Ohio, and Louisville, Ky., which did use daylight time.
But the counties in the northwest corner of the state (near Chicago) and the southwestern tip (near Evansville), which are in the Central Time Zone, used both standard and daylight time.”
Looking at the rest of the map there seems to be a general fear of zombies and vampires but I did want to take this opportunity to allay the concerns of all Hawaiians – there hasn’t been a documented tiki curse since the 1972 Brady Bunch family vacation (episodes 073-075).