Thursday, January 28, 2016

Where's the Midwest

So there were two things that took over the little corner of the internet I reside on Wednesday afternoon. The first was Kanye West's twitter beatdown of Wiz Khalifa over what turned out to be a misunderstanding about a slang term for marijuana. Being that I couldn't tell you who Wiz Khalifa is or any music he's released, I'm not going to write about it, though if you're interested, you can find out details here.

The other big thing to take over was a question on that simply asked readers to identify what states were part of the midwest. I'd never really thought all that much about exactly what states made up that portion of the country and instead just had a general idea of "yeah, that's the midwest." But I quickly learned that it's not as easy as that. There are some states that everyone essentially agreed on. Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, are obviously in the midwest. For me, the inclusion of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana were also no-brainers. 

But Nebraska? Kansas? The Dakotas? Are they midwest or are they great plains? Does Missouri fit and if not, does it count as the south? I didn't know. At times I'm sure I considered them a part of the region, but if you asked me to label the Great Plains region, I'd put Kansas, Nebraska and the Dakotas there. So I didn't know.

Neither did the rest of the internet. Debates were had. Arguments (mostly good-natured, I think) were had and at the end of the day, it seemed most people settled on "if the state had a Big 10 school in its state prior to 1992, then it was the midwest.

You can make your voice heard on this important issue here.

And if I spent that much time yesterday on those two things, you know I had a lot of time to read. Here's the best of what I read yesterday:

Ann Selzer is the Best Pollster in Politics - Polls drive so much of our political coverage and Ann Selzer is the gold standard in polling. 

Brazil in Peril: The World Cup, the Olympics and the Zika Virus - The World Cup and Olympics were supposed to showcase Brazil to the world stage. Instead, its legacy could be spreading an awful virus around the globe.

Football Killed Tyler Sash - I linked to a news story about this yesterday, but this by Adam Jacobi does an amazing job of forcing us to decide if the sport is worth enjoying. Jacobi writes "Football's an easy sport to watch, but sometimes, it's awfully tough to enjoy.

The Useless Agony of Going Offline - Like Matthew Malady, the author, I spend a lot of time online. Also like Malady, I like to think that most of that time is learning something new. This story is his account of going offline for 72 hours and why he feels that while it may work for some, cutting the online cord isn't for him.

What I Paid to be a Division I Athlete - Luke Bonner tells of his experiences dealing with the NCAA and what he wishes he had done differently.

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