Mary Magdalene Easter Eggs

There exists a tradition which makes Mary Magdalene the originator of the custom of making red eggs at Easter. After the Ascension of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, called “the apostle to the apostles” because she brought the good news of the resurrection to the other apostles, wen to Rome to preach the Gospels there.

In Rome she had dinner with the emperor Tiberius to tell him what a mistake he had made by allowing Pontius Pilate to crucify Jesus. But, she told him, on the third day Jesus rose from the dead–conquering death for all. She held took up a white egg from the table to explain the new life in Jesus. Emperor Tiberius scoffed at her saying, “Your Lord could no more be raised from the dead than that egg your holding could turn red. At that moment the egg is Mary Magdalene’s hand turned red, reflecting the blood of Christ. She raised the red egg and said to Tiberius, “Christ is Risen!”

At this, Tiberius asked that Mary preach to them about Jesus and he and his whole household became followers of Jesus, believing because of her word and the miracle of the red egg. Forever after, whenever Mary began to preach, she would hold up a red egg.

Just What Color of Country Are We? Maps of the 2012 Election Results

Mark Newman, from the University of Michigan department of Physics and Center for the Study of Complex Systems, posted an excellent map series reflecting the results of Tuesday’s national election. Here are three results below, but check out the whole series:

“Above is a standard state map. The states are colored red or blue to indicate whether a majority of their voters voted for the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, or the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama, respectively. Looking at this map it gives the impression that the Republican won the election handily, since there is rather more red on the map than there is blue. In fact, however, the reverse is true – it was the Democrats who won the election. The explanation for this apparent paradox, as pointed out by many people, is that the map fails to take account of the population distribution. It fails to allow for the fact that the population of the red states is on average significantly lower than that of the blue ones. The blue may be small in area, but they represent a large number of voters, which is what matters in an election,” writes Mark Newman

Above here is a cartogram of the United States based on population.

“As you can see, the states have been stretched and squashed, some of them substantially, to give them the appropriate sizes, though it’s done in such a way as to preserve the general appearance of the map, so far as that’s possible. On this map there is now clearly more blue than red.

The presidential election, however, is not actually decided on the basis of the number of people who vote for each candidate but on the basis of the electoral college. Under the US electoral system, each state in the union contributes a certain number of electors to the electoral college, who vote according to the majority in their state. (Exceptions are the states of Maine and Nebraska, which use a different formula that allows them to split their electoral votes between candidates.) The candidate receiving a majority of the votes in the electoral college wins the election. The electors are apportioned among the states roughly according to population, as measured by the census, but with a small but deliberate bias in favor of less populous states,” writes Mark Newman.

Below, is the United States using more colors than red and blue, but also allowing them to reflect the mixture of votes, creating the purple areas.

See more of Mark’s maps here.