Yes, Biden won with only 16% of U.S. counties. No, that's not mathematically impossible.

Along with fraud allegations that don't even have enough evidence to make it into a courtroom, much less win a single case, people who want the outcome of the election to be different keep sharing all kinds of statistics designed to make Biden's win look fishy.

The problem is that none of these purportedly suspicious numbers are actually suspicious at all.

Let's start by looking at county counts. Right now there are lots of posts going around comparing the vote counts and counties won between Obama, Trump, and Biden, making it seem like it's just not possible for Biden to have won the popular vote with the number of counties he won.



First of all, the numbers appear to be off. Biden, according to the most recent count from the Associated Press, won 527 counties, not 477. That's still far fewer than Trump won, but it doesn't matter.

According to the U.S. Census, more than half of U.S. residents live in just 143 counties (or 4.6% of total counties). Counties vary vastly in size and population, from fewer than 100 people to more than 10 million per county. In fact, Los Angeles County alone has more people than 41 whole states, and more than the 11 least populous states combined, which have a total of 416 counties between them.

So yeah, Biden could have won even fewer counties than the 500+ he carried and still have come out on top in the popular vote. Especially since urban areas tend to vote Democrat in higher numbers than Republican.

As far as the rally visuals go? One word—pandemic. Biden didn't want crowds because...pandemic. This one's really not hard.

And regarding the higher vote totals, well, yes. The U.S. has grown by more than 27 million since Obama was elected in 2008 and there was record turnout of voters in this election to boot. In fact, there were so many more voters this year, Biden could have lost the popular vote and still had more votes than Obama got when he won. Because that's just how numbers work.

And as in every election, a certain percentage of voters only showed up to vote for their presidential candidate of choice, ignoring the down-ballot candidates. Considering the fact that Trump never even reached a 50% approval rating and was one of the least popular presidents in the past 50 years, people turning out just to mark a ballot for Biden isn't a stretch in any way.

The numbers totally work out. This map breaks them down visually. Each dot represents 250,000 votes, distributed approximately where they came from. Breaking it down this way makes it easy to see where population centers are located in the country and how the areas with large cities tend to swing Democrat.

imgs.xkcd.com

That map looks a lot different than this one, which makes the U.S. look far redder than it is in reality. (To be clear, I'm not sure for which election this map was made—there were some of these going around in 2016 as well, so it may have been from that election —but the basic gist in the morphing map below is correct. Land doesn't vote. People do.)

(You have to push the play button if it's not changing for you automatically.)

Coloring each county one color or the other as if they were all equal in population paints a false picture. The blue and red dots that the map morphs to presents a more accurate (though of course not completely accurate) portrait of how Americans vote than coloring in the whole thing. Anyone who has driven across Nebraska or Montana or most of Nevada knows that there are vast expanses of land with virtually no people for hours.

Another interesting statistic: The counties that Biden carried account for 70% of the U.S. economy. According to the Wall Street Journal, the 84% of counties that Trump won accounts for just 30% of the U.S. GDP, while the 16% that Biden won make up 70% of it. Even when Trump won the election in 2016, the counties he won only accounted for 36% of the economy.

While we're here and looking at election math, let's go ahead and nix another misnomer that's floating around. Does "Simple Math" show that Biden claimed millions more votes than there were eligible voters who voted in the election?

Umm, no.

This meme looks pretty fancy with the colors and the numbers and the dramatic "AWAKE YET?" But there's a very basic error here.

That "2020 Election Turnout Rate" of 66.2% doesn't mean 66.2% of registered legal voters, it means 66.2% of eligible voters. Super appreciate that they gave the source, but if you actually look up that WaPo article, it very clearly says "As a share of the voting-eligible population," not "registered voters." All registered voters are eligible voters, but not all eligible voters are registered voters. The eligible voting population is approximately 239.2 million, so the math in this calculation falls apart right where the multiplication starts. If you replace the registered vote total with 239.2 million, you come out with the original 158.4 million votes that were certified.

But the funniest thing about this one is just...really? Do people really think that our multi-step, multi-check electoral processes wouldn't immediately catch 13 or 17 million illegitimate votes if they actually existed? Do people really think that this very basic counting epiphany more than a month after the election took place, and after it has been checked and verified, even makes sense?

These numbers are all out there for everyone to calculate for themselves, but if people aren't calculating with the right variables, then they're going to come up with shoddy conclusions like these ones. And they'll accept it because it backs up their belief that the election was fraudulent.

Please, if you see things like this, check the details. Read through the responses, as most misinformation usually get corrected by someone fairly quickly. Look at the information for yourself. Ask questions if it doesn't seem like it makes sense. Don't believe a meme just because it supports your belief, and if you see it and know it's wrong, correct it. Misinformation is rampant and literally tearing at the fabric of our nation. It's up to all of us to battle it when we see it.

Pexels
True
Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

Photo by Naomi Hébert on Unsplash
gray steel 3-door refrigerator near modular kitchen

There's more to keeping a green kitchen than recycling your yogurt containers or opting to store your leftovers in glass Tupperware. Little things, like your trash bags, can add up, which is why it's important to try to reduce your footprint as much as possible. Fortunately, these sustainable kitchen products make it easy keep a green home!

Reusable Silicone Baking Cups



Reusable silicone cupcake liners save you money on having to buy disposable paper cupcake wrappers every time you bake. These sustainable cupcake liners are just as festive as anything you would throw away. Because the liners are made with a sturdier silicone, they can be used for other purposes, like arts and crafts projects.

Amazon Basics, $7.99 for a pack of 12; Amazon

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
True

Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

Keep Reading Show less

A week after learning she was pregnant with twins, TikTok user @theblondebunny1 and her fiancé, got the stunning news she was pregnant again. And, no it wasn't because the doctor missed a kid when they did the first count.

She was impregnated again ten days after the first embryos took hold. How in the world did that happen?

This pregnancy is known as superfetation and according to Healthline, it's so rare that there are only a few cases noted in medical literature.

Keep Reading Show less
via WFTV

Server Flavaine Carvalho was waiting on her last table of the night at Mrs. Potatohead's, a family restaurant in Orlando, Florida when she noticed something peculiar.

The parents of an 11-year-old boy were ordering food but told her that the child would be having his dinner later that night at home. She glanced at the boy who was wearing a hoodie, glasses, and a face mask and noticed a scratch between his eyes.

A closer look revealed a bruise on his temple.

So Carvalho walked away from the table and wrote a note that said, "Do you need help?" and showed it to the boy from an angle where his parents couldn't see.

Keep Reading Show less