1. For every human being on the planet, there are one million ants.
2. There is a lava lamp on permanent display in the Smithsonian!
3. The United States outpaces all other nations in its military spending.
4. The United States’ military budget of 1.6 trillion dollars is 37% of the total spent on militaries in the world.
5. The United States’ military budget is the size of the next seven countries’ military spending, combined.
6. The United States has been downgraded from a “Full Democracy” to a “Flawed Democracy” by the Economist Intelligence Unit, joining countries such as South Korea, Israel, Estonia, India, and Chile.
7. The United States ranks #14 out of 40 countries in the field of education.
8. The United States ranks lower than Kazakhstan and Algeria on gender equality.
9. Fourteen women died per 100,000 live births in the United States in 2015, a similar number to Uruguay and Lebanon.
10. Chickens have more bones in their necks than giraffes!
11. Muhammad Ali, hailed as the Greatest Athlete of All Time by Sports Illustrated Magazine, was originally named Cassius Clay.
12. Muhammad Ali, Jr. was detained by immigration officials in a Florida airport for several hours, and repeatedly asked if he was a Muslim.
13. Of the seven countries detailed in the Trump Administration’s travel ban, none of them pose any elevated threat to national security.
14. Australian children’s book author Mem Fox, author of titles such as “Where is the Green Sheep?” was detained for hours and interrogated at Los Angeles International Airport this month.
15. Analysts estimate that President Trump has cost the tourism industry $185 million in lost revenue, as flight bookings have significantly declined in the wake of the travel ban.
16. Jesus is mentioned more times than Muhammad in the Qur’an, the holy text of the Muslim faith. Both Islam and Christianity consider Jesus to have been sent by God.
17. Pandas can poop up to 40 times per day!
18. Facts can be defined as “a piece of information presented as having objective reality” or “something that has actual existence.”
19. PolitiFact, an independent and politically neutral website run by the Tampa Bay Times, rates only 4% of Donald Trump’s statements as “True.” The rest range from “Mostly True” (12%), “Half-True” (14%), “Mostly False” (20%), “False” (33%), and “Pants on Fire” (17%).
20. A human sneeze can travel up to 100 miles per hour!
21. When Russia’s ambassador to the United States died suddenly last week, he became the sixth Russian ambassador to die unexpectedly since November.
22. 34 journalists have been murdered in Russia since the year 2000.
23. The area of the land in Russia is 1.8 times larger than the total size of the United States!
24. Latest estimates by former Russian fund manager Bill Browder have placed Vladimir Putin’s personal wealth at approximately $200 billion, more that double the fortune of Bill Gates.
25. Donald Trump has condemned Saturday Night Live and Meryl Streep more than he has condemned Vladimir Putin.
26. Vladimir Putin and the Russian government interfered in the 2016 Presidential Election.
27. Trump aides had repeated contact with Russian intelligence officials throughout his campaign.
28. Jeff Sessions, a Republican politician, served as a key advisor to the Donald Trump campaign.
29. Jeff Sessions is now in charge of the Department of Justice, which oversees, among other things, any investigation into the connection between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
30. Donald Trump could at any time, if he chose to do so, release his tax returns to the public.
31. 229 House Republicans voted to block a resolution that would have released Donald Trump’s tax returns to Congress.
32. Donald Trump’s leaked 1995 tax returns show a $916 million loss, a tax deduction so substantial it could have allowed him to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years.
33. Donald Trump’s tax returns could quell the fears of the American people that his pro-Russian business dealings present a conflict of interest.
34. Donald Trump held a press conference, surrounded by folders claiming to be legal paperwork, in which he claimed that he would avoid conflicts of interest by turning his business over to his sons. Reporters were not allowed to examine the contents of the folders, and many people pointed out that they appeared unlabeled, and in many cases, empty.
35. Michael Flynn, the former Trump White House National Security Advisor, resigned after it emerged that he had conversations with the Russian Ambassador about U.S./Russian sanctions before Trump’s inauguration.
36. Trump praised Michael Flynn in the wake of his resignation as a “wonderful man” who was “treated unfairly by the media.”
37. Michael Flynn regularly directed his Twitter followers to fringe conspiracy theory websites, including an article alleging that Hillary Clinton was running an underground money laundering and child sex ring at a local pizzeria, despite no evidence whatsoever to support this claim.
38. Each man, woman, and child in the United States eats, on average, 23 pounds of pizza per year!
39. A 2014 poll showed that only 36% of Americans could name all three branches of government, and 35% couldn’t name any of them.
40. 132 million votes were cast in the 2012 finale of American Idol, securing Phillip Phillips’ victory over Jessica Sanchez.
41. 122 million votes were cast in the 2012 American Presidential Election, securing Barack Obama’s victory over Mitt Romney.
42. Undocumented immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than American citizens.
43. No refugee has ever killed an American citizen on American soil.
44. There is no evidence to support claims of mass voter fraud.
45. Anti-semitic crimes are on the rise in the United States.
46. Anti-muslim sentiments are higher in the United States now than they were in the wake of 9/11.
47. Immigration officials do not want a wall along the southern border in large part because they believe it’s a security risk to not be able to see what is happening on the other side.
48. Barack Obama deported more people than any other president.
49. Giraffes give birth standing up!
50. There are more documented cases of GOP lawmakers assaulting people in the bathroom than there are any documented cases of transgender individuals assaulting anyone in the bathroom.
51. One in two transgender individuals are sexually abused or assaulted during their lifetimes.
52. One in five women will be sexually abused or assaulted during her lifetime.
53. Donald Trump has said, on tape, that he entered the dressing rooms of the Miss Teen USA Pageant while girls as young as fifteen were changing.
54. Donald Trump has been accused of sexual assault by more than twelve women.
55. During his eight years in office, Barack Obama spent $97 million in taxpayer money on travel. Donald Trump has spent $10 million within the first three weeks.
56. Donald Trump settled a $25 million dollar lawsuit after plaintiffs allege that “Trump University” scammed hard-working Americans into purchasing useless degrees from unqualified instructors.
57. Only eighteen percent of college instructors in the U.S. rated their first-year students as “ well-prepared” in the area of “distinguishing among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment.”
58. If a Trump supporter reads this far, I will eat my shorts.
59. The above sentence can be defined as “hyperbole,” an exaggerated statement not meant to be taken literally. It is not a fact, and does not belong on a list of facts. It is wise to begin looking for hyperbole within articles that you are reading, or news that you are watching on television.
60. If facts mean anything to you, subscribe to a trustworthy news source. The Washington Post and the New York Times are doing excellent work. The Guardian and the BBC provide an excellent perspective as they are not U.S. based. Supporting your local newspapers is important, too: those are the people attending your local town halls and city council meetings, and reporting on issues close to home. Remember that reporting only the facts is not enough: none of us are experts on everything, and we often need help to place facts in context in order to understand them better. Remember when I cited the American Idol versus 2012 Election voters above? I didn’t mention that American Idol voters can vote as many times as they want, while there are very few documented cases of voter fraud. Journalists have the job of sifting through all of this information, and putting facts into a context that the reader can understand. It’s a job that requires long hours, and sometimes great personal risk: 116 journalists were killed on the job last year, frequently in countries where trying to report on war and violence placed them in harm’s way. While all journalists are subject to human errors, and they sometimes make mistakes, journalists have been providing effective checks and balances to those in power for centuries. We are overwhelmed by an administration claiming that facts do not matter, and so it is essential that you do your best to seek out the truth, and correct false statements whenever possible. Take care of yourself as you proceed: gaslighting and manipulating are tried-and-true tactics of abusers (such as narcissists or sociopaths) as well as authoritarian regimes. Take breaks whenever you need to. Be aware that there are clickbait sensationalists on both sides of the aisle: plenty of people are attempting to profit off our national sense of anxiety. When you are feeling overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of living in an uncertain world, as I often am these days, the fact that I have listed below always provides me with a glimmer of hope. I hope that it does the same for you, too.
61. The human brain is the most complex object in the known universe.