Reading Room

Comparison of Republican and Democratic tax plans

Comparing Democratic and Republican tax plans

Lori Montgomery of the The Washington Post reports on the difference between the Democratic and Republican tax plans.

The Republicans’ plan to extend the Bush administration tax cuts for the wealthy would cost $36.6 billion more than the Democrats’ plan, which extends cuts only for families making less than $250,000 a year and individuals making less than $200,000.

As you move down the chart, there are relatively small differences, until you hit the bottom. Medium circle. Huge circle.

And while we’re on the topic of telling stories with data, here’s Rachel Maddow providing an interesting explanation of what we’re seeing, along with some context.

[Washington Post | Thanks, Ed]

How to edit a magazine

From The Atlantic, twelve timeless rules for making a good publication.

3. Don’t over-edit. You will often estrange an author by too elaborate a revision, and furthermore, take away from the magazine the variety of style that keeps it fresh.

7. A sound editor never has a three-months’ full supply in his cupboard. When you over-buy, you narrow your future choice.

Tags: how to   lists   magazines

DIY Goody Bags

What a refreshing new take on Birthday Party Goodie Bags. Use pages from an old magazine with imagery you like, cut out squares about 15×15 cm (6″x6″) and glue the outer ends together to make a tube. Then sew together one end, fill it with a surprise, turn it 90 degrees and sew together the other end. Presto!

The Copenhagen Wheel

This is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. All you have to do is attach a hubcap like device called The Copenhagen Wheel to your bike and you can immediately transform an ordinary bicycle into a hybrid e-bike that also acts as a mobile sensing unit. Sounds like something Inspector Gadget would drive!
The Copenhagen Wheel stores the energy created while cycling and braking and with a click of a switch you can use stored power to give yourself a bit of a boost. (perfect for hills!) It also maps pollution levels, traffic congestion, and road conditions in real-time and transports it to your iPhone. Wild!

Time Flies

Time Flies is is an iPhone App that let’s you keep track of how long it has been since you did something. This is BRILLIANT! And I so need this. Brita water filter, do I need to say more?

(via @globalmoxie/@craigmod)

City Hall Subway Stop

Here’s a blog post that makes want to jump up and run to take the 6 train:

“New York’s famous City Hall subway station, one of the most gorgeous gems in the world of mass transit, has been closed for decades but now it can be viewed again by in-the-know riders of the 6 train.

Although it’s not open to the general public, there’s a way in-the-know New York subway riders can still see this famous and beautiful architectural glimpse at the city’s past. The 6 train used to make all passengers leave the train at the Brooklyn Bridge stop, but no longer.

If you have a little extra time, you can stay on the train and view the City Hall Station as the train makes its turnaround.”

I can’t wait. Can NOT wait to do this.

(via jalopnik and @HelenWalters)

First election map

Matthew Ericson tracked down the first national election map published in the NY Times; it showed William McKinley’s victory over William Jennings Bryan.

1896 Election Map

The speed with which the results made it into print boggles the mind given the technology of the day (especially considering that in the last few elections in the 2000s, with all of the technology available to us, there have been a number of states that we haven’t been able to call in the Wednesday paper).

(thx, tyson)

Tags: maps   NY Times   politics

Morse code necklaces

I’m in love with these Morse code necklaces! They spell out things like “Mom,” “Friend,” “Love,” even your name. What a brilliant idea.

Klas Ernflo


I have been utterly seduced by this piece from Stockholm’s Klaus Ernflo. I (like you) am still kicking myself for not thinking of it first, such a simple idea incredibly well executed – a story with its words coloured to create an image about that piece of writing. How nice would a whole series of these be?

Cook & Book

I love bookstores. Just spending a few minutes in one provides me with a tremendous sense of well-being. I also love to eat; however, many of the book cafes around my way are tacky, little holes in the wall where the nibbles look about as appetising as the mould growing between the pages of the unloved books. Enter Cook & Book – a supermarket-sized bookstore in Brussels that also features dining spaces and oozes sophistication.

Brought to life by interior architects Delacroix & Friant, the space is divided into eight themed sections: comics, children’s books, travel, fine arts, music, lifestyle, cooking, literature and English-language books. And, boy, have they gone to town with recreating the details of the theme of each space. Taking the act of perusing books to a whole new level, there is a grand piano in the music portion, a chrome caravan in the travel division and all manner of foodstuffs in the cooking section.

And the menu? Hot goat’s milk cheese salad, vanilla-flavoured tomatoes and acacia honey? Why, don’t mind if I do. In short, Cook & Book is pretty much the bookstore of my dreams. Just don’t get any crumbs on the books, please.