Map 319 displays the minimum wage in each of the United States. The federal minimum wage was first established in 1938. Since then, Congress has occasionally raised the dollar amount based on inflation. May of 2007 was the last time that happened when it was raised to $7.25 (a change that went into effect in July of 2009). Some states and the District of Columbia have made their own laws to raise their minimum wage above that of the federal rate. D.C has the highest minimum wage in the country at $13.25. Massachusetts and Washington are tied for second at $12 and there are 11 other states with a minimum wage $10 and above. On the other end of the spectrum, there are five states that have no state minimum so employees in those states get the federal minimum by default. There are sixteen other states where the state minimum is equal to the federal.
Yahoo Finance created this map using Department of Labor information but their creation isn’t perfect. There is no date on the map so anyone looking at it has no idea when it was made. It would be a huge improvement, in my opinion, to slap a date on there so as the map ages at least the reader would know one date on which it was correct. The ranges at the top of the map are flawed as well. These are the ranges listed:
- No Minimum
- $7.50 – $8.50
- $8.50 – $10.00
- $10.00 and Above
And, in my opinion, these are what the ranges should be:
- No Minimum
- $7.26 – $8.50
- $8.51 – $10.00
- $10.01 and Above
Do you see the problems with the first set? There might be zero states with a minimum wage of $7.33 currently but why would you have a series of ranges and leave a gap between $7.25 and $7.50? Additionally, there might not be any states with a minimum wage of exactly $8.50 or $10.00 at this time but if there were, which color would it be? The ranges are not supposed to overlap! I’m not perfect (probably). I know I’ve made mistakes in maps before (perhaps, don’t go looking for them or anything) but this just screams amateur! Be better Yahoo Finance! The article that featured the map was about the longest gap in raises to the federal minimum so at least the article appears to be well-intentioned. Hopefully Congress will get around to raising the minimum wage again real soon!
Map 320 features a huge aquifer under the Atlantic Ocean. Apparently there is a freshwater aquifer six hundred feet below the ocean floor off the coast of New England (and possibly extending under the land a bit too). Researchers from Columbia University and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution started mapping what became the world’s largest underwater aquifer in 2015. It contains roughly 739 trillion gallons of freshwater based on their electromagnetic field scans (apparently freshwater shows up differently than saltwater on scans). That’s a lot of water!
The researchers hope to locate additional under-ocean freshwater aquifers in other parts of the world. If successful, their discovery could lead to a new industry of drilling as homo sapiens attempt to prolong our survival on a dying planet. Obviously drilling can cause other problems like earthquakes, just has been the case with fracking, but I’m fairly certain we will choose a bountiful supply of freshwater as clean drinking water has become extremely scarce in many places.
Extra freshwater supply is not going to save us alone, of course, but ideally we still have enough time to turn this around and fix enough to prevent our mass destruction. Perhaps the planet is still lost but we’ll have enough water to pump on to big spaceships so we have enough to drink while we fly across the galaxy. Perhaps I’ve been watching too much science fiction on television. Have you guys seen the new Lost in Space, Dark Matter or Altered Carbon? The last two don’t have much to do about climate change but Lost in Space surely does. The characters are flying across the galaxy to escape a dying Earth. They’re all great shows that I highly recommend unless you’re a scientist working on solutions to climate change. You scientists just stay focused!
Until next time,
Bonus Map Link: Top Searched Democratic Presidential Candidate by County
Bonus Bonus Map Link: Best and Worst States for U.S Taxpayers