Significant Digits For Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.


‘Less than 50-50’

President Trump pegged the chances that a new group of 17 House and Senate members would be able to forestall another government shutdown by crafting a deal in the next three weeks at “less than 50-50.” [The Wall Street Journal]


4 product categories

(Sponsored by Mott & Bow) For many men, a t-shirt, a button down and a pair of jeans go a long way, but not all manufacturers think in terms of style and variety. Fortunately, one brand offers numerous options across 4 product categories. Their premium denim comes in 3 fits and over 10 washes, their button downs come in 4 colors and 2 styles with 2 collar options. And their tees, which they say are the “softest tees you will ever wear,” come in 2 sleeve lengths and 10 colors. With this many possibilities, it won’t be hard to put together a seemingly unlimited number of outfit options for work, weekends and more.


$3 billion lost

The five-week government shutdown cost $11 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO projected that $8 billion of that will be recouped during the rest of this year, while $3 billion will never be seen or heard from again. [Politico]


84 percent of firms

The White House hoped its huge $1.5 trillion tax cut package, which reduced the corporate tax rate, would “boost business spending and job growth.” However, 84 percent of respondents to a poll from the National Association of Business Economics said that the package “has not caused their firms to change hiring or investment plans.” There were exceptions: Fifty percent of goods-producing respondents did say that they’d increased investment. [Reuters]


More than 70 percent of House members

The House of Representatives is, ostensibly, representative. I mean, it’s in the name. But its members tend to follow specific and elite career paths before joining the body. More than 70 percent of current House members, for example, were lawyers in private practice, businesspeople or medical professionals. As a result, the House is “much, much richer than the people it represents.” [The New York Times]


3 dead, 172 hurt

A rare tornado — the first in decades, apparently caused by a cold front hitting Cuba’s northern coast — touched down in Havana. The Category F3 storm, with winds between 155 and 199 miles per hour, killed at least three people and injured 172. [Associated Press]


41 days

Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders held her first press briefing in 41 days. The gap was the longest in the history of the administration. President Trump had told Sanders “not to bother” with the briefings. [Fox News]


Love digits? Find even more in FiveThirtyEight’s book of math and logic puzzles, “The Riddler.” It’s in stores now! I hope you dig it.

If you see a significant digit in the wild, please send it to @ollie.

Significant Digits For Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.


$84 billion in revenue

Apple forecasted $84 billion in revenue for its most recent fiscal quarter. That’s below analysts’ estimate of $91.5 billion. Apple blamed sluggish iPhone sales and slow sales in China due to economic deceleration there following a trade war with the U.S. Apple stock fell nearly 8 percent on the news. [Reuters]


$2,000 price cut

Tesla announced a $2,000 price cut across all of its car models. It also reported on its deliveries — a report that “disappointed investors” and sent Tesla shares down 9 percent. The stock market — boy, I don’t know. [CNBC]


45 million subscriber accounts

According to Netflix, 45 million of its subscribers’ accounts — or nearly one-third of its total 137 million subscribers — have watched “Bird Box,” a thriller starring Sandra Bullock that Rotten Tomatoes gives 64 percent and describes in part: “Facing the unknown, Malorie finds love, hope and a new beginning only for it to unravel.” Hate when that happens. My friend Leslie watched the first three minutes of the film over the holiday and said it had been OK so far. [Associated Press]


2nd straight day

The Democratic Republic of Congo cut internet and SMS service in the country for the second straight day on Tuesday, following a “chaotic presidential election,” in what an advisor to the president there described as an effort to maintain order after “fictitious results” had begun to circulate on social media. Both the incumbent and challenging parties have maintained that they will secure victory. Complete election results are expected Jan. 6. Internet service in the U.S., unfortunately, continues to be very up and running. [Reuters]


$73 million deal

Christian Pulisic is part of a brand new, nearly $73 million deal with the English soccer club Chelsea, making the 20-year-old Pennsylvanian the most expensive American soccer player ever. He currently plays for the German club Dortmund, where he’s been since he was 16. [NPR]


78 percent chance

Speaking of English soccer, Liverpool are now 78 percent favorites to win the Premier League, followed by Manchester City at 20 percent, with the season only at its halfway point. The two squads have essentially swapped places over the last few weeks — with Liverpool’s chances skyrocketing and Man City’s plummeting — following a nightmarish holiday stretch for City. [FiveThirtyEight]


Love digits? Find even more in FiveThirtyEight’s book of math and logic puzzles, “The Riddler.” It’s in stores now! I hope you dig it.

If you see a significant digit in the wild, please send it to @ollie.

Significant Digits For Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.


109 times

James Bond, the fictional spy with a taste for martinis, had a “severe” and “chronic” drinking problem, according to public health experts at the University of Otago in New Zealand. I don’t know that it required experts to come to that determination, but the facts are as follows: Bond was seen drinking alcohol 109 times in his two dozen movies. Cirrhosis. Liver cirrhosis. [The Washington Post]


$307.60 to $841.64 per hour

A federal judge has ordered Stormy Daniels to pay some $293,000 to President Trump for legal fees and sanctions after the dismissal of her defamation lawsuit against the president. According to the Trump team’s claims in court documents, five lawyers worked on the case, charging between $307.60 to $841.64 an hour. It’s those 64 cents that get you. Also, maybe I should’ve gone to law school … [The New York Times]


Down 38 percent

Shares of Superdry, the British clothing company with a specialty in coats, plummeted 38 percent on Wednesday. The company’s CEO blamed unseasonably mild temperatures and heavy discounting by rivals. [The Guardian]


Magnitude 4.4 temblor

A magnitude 4.4 temblor (fancy name for earthquake) rumbled the American Southeast on Wednesday — centered about 150 miles southeast of Nashville. According to a U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist, it was just the sixth earthquake greater than magnitude 4.0 to strike this particular seismic zone in the past 45 years. [NPR]


3 million copies

In a banner year (is “banner” the right word?) for political books, sales of Michelle Obama’s memoir, “Becoming,” have topped 3 million, according to its publisher, Crown. That makes it one of the best-selling nonfiction books ever. Michelle and Barack Obama reportedly agreed in 2017 to a joint book deal worth $65 million. [USA Today]


16,000 prisoners

Two warring groups in Yemen have agreed to an enormous prisoner swap involving about 16,000 detainees. The Yemeni government submitted 8,576 names, while the Houthis submitted the names of 7,487 others. [Al Jazeera English]


Love digits? Find even more in FiveThirtyEight’s new book of math and logic puzzles, “The Riddler.” It’s in stores now! I hope you dig it.

If you see a significant digit in the wild, please send it to @ollie.

Significant Digits For Friday, Oct. 12, 2018

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.


More than 60 percent of searches

According to new research in the journal Science, more than 60 percent of DNA searches on a relatively small data set of about 1.3 million people would result in finding a person’s third cousin or someone closer. That may not seem too impressive, but it’s the same closeness of match that was used, for example, to identify the Golden State Killer earlier this year. [The Verge]


245 F-35 fighter jets

The Department of Defense temporarily grounded all 245 of its F-35 fighter jets. Late last month, one such jet crashed in South Carolina, and a fuel tube may have been at fault. [CNN]


559 pages and 251 accounts

It’s not only Russians who can troll. Never ones to be outdone, Americans, too, are getting in on the act. For example, an American blogger spread fake stories on Facebook after Christine Blasey Ford’s Senate testimony, including that her lawyers were bribed by Democrats. Yesterday, Facebook said it had identified 559 American-run pages and 251 American-run accounts spreading false and misleading information, and that the company would remove them. [The New York Times]


2.536 million viewers

There are signs that Fox News viewers are tiring of watching President Trump’s rallies, and he’s no longer a “sure bet” to top Fox’s regular programming. For example, a rally in late August received just over 2.5 million viewers, compared to a regular 4 million viewers for rallies in 2017, and a 2.8 million average for Tucker Carlson’s show in that primetime time slot. The network has recently stopped airing Trump’s events in their entirety, not wanting to cede its primetime programming. [Politico]


R+37

West Virginia’s 3rd District is dark red — crimson, garnet, burgundy even. To wit, it’s R+37, meaning it’s 37 points more Republican than the country overall. However, the current House race there is only rated as “Lean Republican” or even “Toss-up,” my colleague Geoffrey Skelley writes. It’s an open seat held by the presidential party, which can make districts vulnerable to flipping. If the district flipped, it’d be the biggest such flip since 1998. [FiveThirtyEight]


20th state

Washington state’s Supreme Court struck down the death penalty, making it the 20th state to do so via legislation or the courts. The court’s chief justice wrote that the state’s capital punishment law lacked “fundamental fairness” and that it was unequally applied when it came to race. [Associated Press]


Love digits? Find even more in FiveThirtyEight’s new book of math and logic puzzles, “The Riddler.” It’s in stores now! I hope you dig it.

If you see a significant digit in the wild, please send it to @ollie.