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Data Shows Logic Gap in Trump's So-Called Muslim Ban

Number of terrorist acts perpetrated in the U.S. by nationals of any of the seven countries? Zero.

Figures from CATO, a conservative think tank, show deaths caused on U.S. soil from countries Trump did not target in the Muslim ban.

The so-called Muslim Travel Ban is President Trump's most controversial measure yet


The suspension of entry into the U.S. covers citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries, mainly in the Middle East. Comments by Trump indicating that he would exempt members of Christian minorities in those countries have fueled accusations that the measure specifically targets Muslims. 

However, the travel ban does not include a few other important Middle-Eastern countries, also with a Muslim majority. To assume, as some have done, that the latter countries were exempted because the Trump Organization has vested business interests there would be to ignore former vice president Joe Biden's parting advice: “Question a man’s judgment, not his motives”.

The ostensible motive of Trump's executive order is "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry". However, as pointed out by CNN's Fareed Zakaria on his show GPS, the total tally of Americans killed on U.S. soil by nationals of any of the seven countries is... zero. Or, as he quoted the list in full: "Iraq – zero, Iran – zero, Syria – zero, Yemen – zero, Libya – zero, Somalia – zero, Sudan – zero".

The figures quoted by Zakaria were produced by the Cato Institute, a conservative think tank. Comparing those figures to those of some countries left off the banned list: "That number for Saudi Arabia is 2,369, for the UAE is 314, for Egypt is 162, according to CATO," Zakaria says.

Images from GPS. 

Strange Maps #821

Got a strange map? Let me know at strangemaps@gmail.com.

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Scientists see 'rarest event ever recorded' in search for dark matter

The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.

Image source: Pixabay
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  • In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
  • The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
  • The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
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LGBTQ+ community sees spike in first-time depression in wake of coronavirus​

Gender and sexual minority populations are experiencing rising anxiety and depression rates during the pandemic.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
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  • Anxiety and depression rates are spiking in the LGBTQ+ community, and especially in individuals who hadn't struggled with those issues in the past.
  • Overall, depression increased by an average PHQ-9 score of 1.21 and anxiety increased by an average GAD-7 score of 3.11.
  • The researchers recommended that health care providers check in with LGBTQ+ patients about stress and screen for mood and anxiety disorders—even among those with no prior history of anxiety or depression.
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The mind-blowing science of black holes

What we know about black holes is both fascinating and scary.

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  • When it comes to black holes, science simultaneously knows so much and so little, which is why they are so fascinating. Focusing on what we do know, this group of astronomers, educators, and physicists share some of the most incredible facts about the powerful and mysterious objects.
  • A black hole is so massive that light (and anything else it swallows) can't escape, says Bill Nye. You can't see a black hole, theoretical physicists Michio Kaku and Christophe Galfard explain, because it is too dark. What you can see, however, is the distortion of light around it caused by its extreme gravity.
  • Explaining one unsettling concept from astrophysics called spaghettification, astronomer Michelle Thaller says that "If you got close to a black hole there would be tides over your body that small that would rip you apart into basically a strand of spaghetti that would fall down the black hole."

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