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Did you know that there was a major American election on Tuesday? Great. Let us all never speak of it again. At least for the next 3.5 years.

But before we send the parts of our brains that care about politics off to recuperate at a nice imaginary spa, take a quick look at a page of election maps put together by University of Michigan physics professor Mark Newman. He studies complex systems, including the networks of human relationships and decision-making that go into election results. His page of maps shows several different ways to visualize the same 2012 presidential election data — methods which provide different pieces of context that you don't normally see in the simple state-by-state map.

The basic map — the one you see on TV and in the newspaper — doesn't really tell you the whole story. It gives you no idea of population density (a factor that obviously matters a lot in tallying the popular vote), and it only shows the winning party in each state. In reality, the vote is seldom all-Democrat or all-Republican. There's a gradient, no matter where you live.

The map above takes both those factors into account — distorting the country to make the more populous parts larger, and showing split turnouts in shades of purple.

See all Mark Newman's maps at his website

And here's his FAQ

Thanks, Rick Musser!

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Aung San Suu Kyi, once a prisoner, is now a parliamentarian. On April 1, the Nobel Laureate led the National League for Democracy to victory in by-elections hailed as a landmark for Burma. For five decades, the former British colony has languished under military rule, caught in the clutch of a small group of cadres. This was just the third poll since they seized power in 1962 and the first that might plausibly be called free or fair. Suu Kyi’s party swept it, claiming 43 of 44 seats.

For Suu Kyi, who spent much of the last 20 years under house arrest, the win was a stunning reversal. For her followers, it was a revelation. On the streets of Rangoon last week, the joy and relief were palpable. Supporters piled into pickup trucks, honked horns and cheered. A year ago, you could be arrested for clutching a portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi. Now, people wave her picture proudly.

James Nachtwey’s photographs from the campaign trail capture this rapturous moment, but hint, too, at challenges to come. Though voters handed a clear victory to the opposition NLD, just a small portion of parliamentary seats were at stake and reports of electoral infractions abound. The military maintains its grip on power. Poverty persists. After 50 years of authoritarian rule, it no doubt will take time for the country to find its footing. For Suu Kyi, and for Burma, there is a long road ahead.

James Nachtwey is a TIME contract photographer. Keep up with his work on his Facebook page.

Emily Rauhala is an Associate Editor at TIME. Find her on Twitter at @emilyrauhala

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Last month we launched our “Before Life” project with Poketo and we finally have our finalists but we need your help to choose which one to make into a wallet! Oh yeah, everyone who votes is eligible to win one of the wallets!

We received nearly 300 submissions so narrowing them down was not easy! I picked my favourites, the Poketo team picked theirs, and after some arm wrestling we were left with these 5 designs:

poketo x booooooom wallet finalists

FINALIST #1 – Jessica Fortner (see larger design here).

poketo x booooooom wallet finalists

FINALIST #2 – Jake Pauls (see larger design here).

poketo x booooooom wallet finalists

FINALIST #3 – Heiko Xylophone (see larger design here).

poketo x booooooom wallet finalists

FINALIST #4 – Andrew Lawandus (see larger design here).

poketo x booooooom wallet finalists

FINALIST #5 – Alice Maca (see larger design here).

VOTE HERE: facebook.com/booooooom

Poketo will produce 50 pieces of the winning design to be sold alongside the works of 200 other international artists. The winner gets 20 of the 50 limited edition wallets to keep and one of you voters snags a wallet too!

Voting ends Wednesday 9pm PST.

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