from the world's big
Why Trumpistan Is So Much Bigger Than Clintonesia
The winning side in the U.S. presidential election rules a vast, contiguous land mass, the losers are cooped up on a far-flung archipelago
These two maps show the two starkly different countries that emerged from the latest U.S. presidential elections in November 2016. Trumpistan looks like a swiss-cheese version of America, but it is still yuuuge, and you can get around most of it without getting your feet wet. The bits left out form Clintonesia, a far-flung collection dry land, in some parts organised into island chains, but often stuck in the middle of nowhere, many days' sail from likeminded places.
The U.S. professes to be one country, but each divisive presidential election gives map cartoonists ammunition to the contrary. After the 2004 re-election of George W. Bush, the Jesusland map meme captured the mood of exasperation on the losing side (see #3). The Democrat-leaning states were shown as having merged with Canada, leaving the Republican-voting states, a gigantic contiguous area (except for Alaska), free to go it alone as a Christian fundamentalist state.
At state-level, the presidential election maps for 2004 and 2016 aren't that different: just add Colorado and New Mexico to the Democratic column, and Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania to the Republican camp. To oversimplify: the West Coast and the Northeast remain solidly blue, the rest in between is mainly red.
Yet, by drilling down to voter preference on county level, these two 'maritime' maps present a very different view - and in doing so, generate the map meme that captures the country's mood at this point in time. At that level, Trump won 85% (3,000,000 sq. mi) of the land area, leaving only 15% (530,000 sq. mi) of U.S. territory for Clinton. Despite the massive size advantage, Trumpistan is much less populated: home to only 46% of Americans (148 million), vs. 54% (174 million) in Clintonesia, which consists in large part of urban areas.
Showing the two sides each as separate island nations captures the sense of alienation and distance between both. The existence of the other is negated, submerged, reduced to lapping waves. On the Trumpistan map, pro-Hillary counties coalesce into nothing more than bodies of water: Las Vegas Harbor, the Santa Fe Sea, Des Moines Pond, the New York Narrows and the D.C. Delta. A similar nomenclature on the Clintonesia map shows the Wyoming Shallows, the High Plains Sea and the Great Bays (bye bye, Michigan). Not so much rival territory as another realm. Democratic islands in a conservative sea include Albuquerque Island, the Montana Archipelago and Isla Grande, in the south of Texas.
It is not the first time that a deep political divide has been portrayed as a surf-and-turf dichotomy. Some years ago, French mapmaker Julien Bousac drew up a map of Palestine as an archipelago, to illustrate the fragmentation and isolation of Palestine self-rule under Israeli occupation see (#370).
Strange Maps #810
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WADA uncertainty<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUzNzU0OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMDc4NjUwN30.fFTvRR0yJDLtFhaYiixh5Fa7NK1t1T4CzUM0Yh6KYiA/img.jpg?width=980" id="01b1b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2fd91a47d91e4d5083449b258a2fd63f" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="urine sample for drug test" />
Image source: joel bubble ben/Shutterstock<p>When inhaled β-agonists first came out just before the 1972 Olympics, they were immediately banned altogether by the WADA as possible doping substances. Over the years, the WADA has reexamined their use and refined the organization's stance, evidence of the thorniness of finding an equitable position regarding their use. As of January 2020, only three β-agonists are allowed — salbutamol, formoterol, and salmeterol —and only in inhaled form. Oral consumption appears to have a greater effect on performance.</p>
The study<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUzNzU0Ny9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MTIzMDQyMX0.Gk4v-7PCA7NohvJjw12L15p7SumPCY0tLdsSlMrLlGs/img.jpg?width=980" id="d3141" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ebe7b30a315aeffcb4fe739095cf0767" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="runner at starting position on track" />
Image source: MinDof/Shutterstock<p>Of primary interest to the authors of the study is confirming and measuring the performance improvement to be gained from β-agonists when they're ingested by athletes who don't have asthma.</p><p>The researchers performed a meta-analysis of 34 existing studies documenting 44 randomized trials reporting on 472 participants. The pool of individuals included was broad, encompassing both untrained and elite athletes. In addition, lab tests, as opposed to actual competitions, tracked performance. The authors of the study therefore recommend taking its conclusions with just a grain of salt.</p><p>The effects of both WADA-banned and approved β-agonists were assessed.</p>
Approved β-agonists and non-asthmatic athletes<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUzNzU1MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMzkxODk0M30.3RssFwk_tWkHRkEl_tIee02rdq2tLuAePifnngqcIr8/img.jpg?width=980" id="39a99" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b1fe4a580c6d4f8a0fd021d7d6570e2a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="vaulter clearing pole" />
Image source: Andrey Yurlov/Shutterstock<p>What the meta-analysis showed is that the currently approved β-agonists didn't significantly improve athletic performance among those without asthma — what very slight benefit they <em>may</em> produce is just enough to prompt the study's authors to write that "it is still uncertain whether approved doses improve anaerobic performance." They note that the tiny effect did increase slightly over multiple weeks of β-agonist intake.</p>
Banned β-agonist and non-asthmatic athletes<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUzNzU1Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNjI3ODU5Mn0.vyoxSE5EYjPGc2ZEbBN8d5F79nSEIiC6TUzTt0ycVqc/img.jpg?width=980" id="de095" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="02fdd42dfda8e3665a7b547bb88007ef" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="swimmer mid stroke" />
Image source: Nejron Photo/Shutterstock<p>The study found that for athletes without asthma, however, the use of currently banned β-agonists did indeed result in enhanced performance. The authors write, "Our meta-analysis shows that β2-agonists improve anaerobic performance by 5%, an improvement that would change the outcome of most athletic competitions."</p><p>That 5 percent is an average: 70-meter sprint performance was improved by 3 percent, while strength performance, MVC (maximal voluntary contraction), was improved by 6 percent.</p><p>The analysis also revealed that different results were produced by different methods of ingestion. The percentages cited above were seen when a β-agonist was ingested orally. The effect was less pronounced when the banned substances were inhaled.</p><p>Given the difference between the results for allowed and banned β-agonists, the study's conclusions suggest that the WADA has it about right, at least in terms of selection of allowable β-agonists, as well as the allowable dosage method.</p>