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‘Black Panther’ Is Groundbreaking, But It’s Shuri Who Could Change The World
Shuri (played by Letitia Wright2) is the sister of T’Challa, the king of Wakanda and the film’s titular character. She oversees the technological operations of the superscientific nation. If you’re comparing T’Challa to James Bond, she’s Q.She’s also the funniest character in the movie, steals every scene she’s in and — for my money — the most important character.Here’s why: The volume of evidence shows that when audiences see on-screen representations of themselves, particularly aspirational ones, that experience can fundamentally change how they perceive their own place in the world. Black people have been historically underrepresented on screen, and black women in strong roles even more so. Shuri provides a science-y role model for black women, a group distinctly underrepresented in STEM fields.On the one hand, sure, movies are a product engineered to optimize financial windfalls for a small group of corporations and intellectual property holders. But on the other hand, I personally got interested in math because of Ian Malcolm, rock-star chaos theory mathematician in “Jurassic Park,” and you would not be reading this if not for that.So “Black Panther” is a big deal for a lot of reasons, but Shuri is chief among them.
movies  538  zeitgeist  behavior  trends 
17 hours ago by thomas.kochi
From Where I Sit, The Trump Era Began In 2014
It’s a nice, digestible way for the brain — soft and squishy with emotion and memory — to bookend vast swaths of history.A year into this president’s first term, I’ve been trying to answer a similar question about the era of Donald Trump: When was America’s emotional table set for his election? I think it starts with a year: 2014.History elides, one event melts into the next, one year builds on the last — the sentiments of people growing and changing year over year. But a series of events can also surface strong feelings in a group of people and feed the idea that a change is afoot, that Americans’ self-presumed exceptionalism has atrophied.Consider that all this happened in 2014: ISIS executions of American captives; the killings of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Tamir Rice by police and the ensuing protests; the annexation of Crimea by Russia; the downing of a civilian airliner by Russia; and a wave of unaccompanied minors from Central America crossing the border illegally in what then-President Obama called “an urgent humanitarian situation.Trump’s ultimately brilliant political intuition was to burrow deep into this recess of the American mind and to reflect back the sense of creeping disarray. He capitalized on racial and economic fears, but his campaign kickoff proclamation that “the American dream is dead” didn’t just resonate with the people who might have voted for populist and nativist campaigns of the past. Trump’s appeal was broad, resonating with the relatively well-off and the well-educated...the themes of fear and mortality that hovered over the 2016 election made some sense to me with 2014 in the rearview mirror. It’s hard to tell how long it takes for emotional responses like mine to get into the political bloodstream of a country, but when pricked by the right needle, America’s primal worry and righteous anger bled out over an election.
538  culture  politics  zeitgeist  usage 
3 days ago by thomas.kochi
From Where I Sit, The Trump Era Began In 2014 | FiveThirtyEight
People are always trying to pinpoint the moment that the free-wheeling, summer-of-love spirit of the 1960s died. For those who look back on the era fondly, maybe it faded away after Woodstock. For the pessimists, it’s more like the Manson Family murders and Altamont. It’s futile, of course, but I’ve always liked the idea of trying to pinpoint when an era begins or ends. It’s a nice, digestible way for the brain — soft and squishy with emotion and memory — to bookend vast swaths of history.
A year into this president’s first term, I’ve been trying to answer a similar question about the era of Donald Trump: When was America’s emotional table set for his election? Trump has been driving the American political conversation in one way or another for a while now, ever since he floated, tanned and confident, down an escalator to the strains of Neil Young, like an aging mallrat. But I think the real emotional buildup to Trump started before he appeared on that escalator. I think it starts with a year: 2014.
trump  politics  gov2.0  538 
4 days ago by rgl7194
White Democrats Have Gotten Way More Liberal On Identity Issues | FiveThirtyEight
The ongoing fight over funding the government — which may finally be on the verge of a long-term resolution — has centered in large part on immigration. Democrats want a replacement for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and if they settle for a deal without one, they’re likely to incur a good deal of wrath from their base.
That wrath probably would have been substantially milder even a few years ago. But there is a broader story happening here, according to public opinion polls and the moves of key elites in the party: Democrats have grown more liberal on issues of race, gender and identity — and not just the nonwhite and female Democrats.
gov2.0  politics  racism  sexism  Dems  liberal  538 
8 days ago by rgl7194
Why Democrats And Republicans Did A Sudden 180 On The FBI | FiveThirtyEight
President Trump is weighing allowing the release of the second of two memos addressing allegations of improper conduct by the FBI. The latest classified memo, drafted by Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, allegedly defends the agency in a rebuttal to a memo that was released last week. The earlier memo was written at the direction of the committee chairman, California Republican Devin Nunes, and criticized the FBI’s surveillance methods in the early part of the Russia investigation.
The tussle over the two memos is leaving many observers with a sense of political whiplash. Democrats who were once quick to castigate the FBI and other intelligence agencies for overreaching on surveillance are now defending the agency’s need for secrecy. Meanwhile, Republicans like Nunes — who led the charge just a few months ago to pass legislation extending the government’s surveillance powers — are arguing that agents abused their authority.
gov2.0  congress  politics  Dems  GOP  FBI  538 
8 days ago by rgl7194
The Shutdown Lesson People Seem To Have Trouble Learning | FiveThirtyEight
If another continuing resolution to fund the government is passed Thursday without an immigration deal, Democrats will learn a hard lesson from history: If you’re in Congress and planning to shut down the government to score political or policy points, you might want to think again.
The idea that every shutdown has political “winners” and “losers” is an oversimplification; historically, the compromises that emerge from these standoffs have often allowed people on both sides to point at something that they could claim as at least a small victory. That said, the side that has consistently gotten the shorter end of the stick during shutdowns is the members of Congress who oppose the president. That’s bad news for 2018’s Democrats, who, if the historical trend holds, are unlikely to extract many concessions on immigration in the wake of their decision to force a government shutdown over the issue last month.
gov2.0  politics  congress  money  538 
8 days ago by rgl7194
The Eagles’ Offense Needed To Be Virtually Flawless. And It Was. | FiveThirtyEight
Nick Foles matched Tom Brady strike for strike in the Super Bowl shootout to end all shootouts.
In Super Bowl LII on Sunday night, the New England Patriots racked up 613 yards, the most ever for a team in the Super Bowl. Tom Brady threw for 505 yards, which was the most by a quarterback in playoff history. The Patriots didn’t punt once in the entire game. It was a masterclass in offensive execution, and it was all for naught.
The Philadelphia Eagles’ 41-33 win over New England will be rightly remembered for the triumph of backup quarterback Nick Foles over a Super Bowl legend. But perhaps more remarkable was that the Eagles needed to be virtually flawless on offense to keep pace with New England, and they succeeded.
football  superbowl  foles  538 
9 days ago by rgl7194
Our Data | FiveThirtyEight
We’re sharing the data and code behind some of our articles and graphics.
538  datasets 
10 days ago by harrylove
News that forecasts elections may confuse voters, lower turnout | Pew Research Center
RT @SolomonMg: Very proud to have worked with @seanjwestwood @ylelkes on this:
politics  voting  538  election  turnout  research  pew 
13 days ago by alexleavitt
Why The Nunes Memo Probably Won’t Do What Trump Wants It To | FiveThirtyEight
Public opinion on the Russia investigation has been pretty stable all year — Republicans are skeptical but Americans overall support it. It’s hard, therefore, to see the much-hyped “Nunes memo,” which Trump declassified and congressional Republicans then made public on Friday, changing all that much.
Trump has reportedly told friends he thinks the document — which was written by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, led by California’s Devin Nunes, and criticizes the FBI’s conduct in the early stages of the Russia investigation — will undermine special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, but opinion on Trump, Mueller and Russia largely falls along partisan lines, which will make it hard to move. And where it doesn’t, Trump comes out the worse. So Trump should be careful about taking any action based on the memo, like firing Mueller — at least if he wants to avoid a public backlash.
538  crime  DOJ  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump  nunes 
14 days ago by rgl7194
Is Trump Delivering On His Promises To Reverse Obama’s Policies? | FiveThirtyEight
A year into his term, President Trump has not yet completely dismantled President Barack Obama’s signature achievements, many of which Trump pledged to get rid of during the real estate mogul’s presidential campaign. But he has chipped away at several of them, and Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday suggested that he will not give up on getting rid of Obama-era policies that he strongly opposes.
In September, I came up with an informal list of Obama’s top 10 policy achievements, relying on the Obama White House’s descriptions of his key accomplishments, several media outlets’ lists of Obama’s biggest successes, the views of authors of books on the Obama presidency, and my own analysis. Obama enacted thousands of laws, executive orders and other administrative guidance in his eight years, so this list is far from a full picture of his presidency.
Since September, I’ve found four general patterns:
A subset of the 10 achievements that Trump either can’t or hasn’t tried to affect very much (or wouldn’t want to)
One that is still in place but might be overhauled dramatically very soon
A couple that Trump has changed modestly but whose core policy remains
A couple that have been largely stalled by Trump but that a future Democratic president could easily put it back into place.
trump  obama  gov2.0  politics  538  obamacare  banking  climate_change 
17 days ago by rgl7194
What To Make Of Republicans’ Decision To Release The ‘Nunes Memo’ | FiveThirtyEight
The House Intelligence Committee’s vote on Monday night to release the so-called Nunes memo, which is expected to criticize the Department of Justice’s handling of the Russia investigation, is the latest illustration that some key Republicans and President Trump are prepared to break with traditional norms to work in opposition to the probe. But the memo probably doesn’t matter that much for the actual investigation, which is the bigger story and remains a threat to Trump’s presidency.
The push to release the memo, which relies on classified information for its findings, is the most recent in a series of moves by congressional Republicans and Trump to break with traditional practices of letting the Justice Department and FBI operate mostly independently on investigative matters.1 Over the last week, reports have emerged that...
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump  FBI  538  nunes 
17 days ago by rgl7194
We Measured Trump’s First Year According To His Own Goals. Here’s What We Found. | FiveThirtyEight
Well, it’s been a year — how is President Trump doing? Last spring, we picked seven measures that would allow us to gauge Trump’s success or failure in office according to his own goals. Now, as Trump prepares to deliver the State of the Union address on Tuesday, we take a look at where the country is headed and compare that with the direction Trump wanted it to take.
For the sake of this exercise, we weren’t interested in whether Trump’s actions directly caused any of the changes we saw in the metrics. We cared only about outcomes, not what produced them. The story of Trump’s presidency so far: Some things are going his way, but many results, both good and bad, are a continuation of trends that began well before Trump took office.
trump  statistics  politics  gov2.0  538 
19 days ago by rgl7194
If You Stop Thinking Of Exercise As A Way To Lose Weight, You May Actually Enjoy It | FiveThirtyEight
For years, I thought of exercise in terms of calories in and calories out: Eat too much pizza on Saturday night, take an extra spin class. Skip an hourlong run, skip a bagel the next day. Train for a triathlon, eat whatever I want — because, hey, wasn’t I burning like a zillion calories a day?
This approach had two problems. First, it didn’t work. My workout load seemed to have no bearing on my weight, and this isn’t just anecdotal; studies have shown that exercise isn’t a particularly effective way of losing weight. Second, it seriously screwed up my relationships with both food and exercise, two things that I inherently enjoy. I worked out way past the point of fun because I felt I had to make up for the previous day’s overindulgences — which I hadn’t really enjoyed because I was already anticipating the need to burn them off.1
health  exercise  538 
19 days ago by rgl7194
The Gerrymandering Project – FiveThirtyEight
Redistricting has a huge effect on U.S. politics but is greatly misunderstood. This project uncovers what’s really broken, what's not and whether gerrymandering can (or should) be killed.
gerrymandering  gov2.0  congress  politics  538  election 
22 days ago by rgl7194
We Drew 2,568 Congressional Districts By Hand. Here’s How. | FiveThirtyEight
In most states, district maps — which define where the constituency of one representative ends and that of another begins — are drawn by the state’s lawmakers. Having politicians define their own districts has not gone entirely smoothly — and two cases involving political gerrymandering, or the drawing of districts (especially oddly shaped districts) to favor one party over another, are now before the U.S. Supreme Court.
But if gerrymandering is a bad way to draw districts, what happens when you try other ways? At FiveThirtyEight, we’ve been exploring this and other questions in “The Gerrymandering Project.”
As part of this project, we set out to determine what districts for the U.S. House of Representatives could look like if they were drawn with different goals in mind. We did the drawing ourselves … 258 state congressional maps, or 2,568 districts, sketched out over the course of months, with the indispensable help of one developer’s free online redistricting tool.
gov2.0  politics  election  gerrymandering  538  congress 
22 days ago by rgl7194

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