Skip to main content
ABC News
Significant Digits For Friday, April 13, 2018

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

30 kilograms of trash

A dead, 10-meter long sperm whale was found off the coast of Spain with 30 kilograms of trash in its stomach, and good golly gosh do we really need to get CSI on this? I’m going to level with you: This is a tragedy and a sickening commentary on human disregard for the integrity of the oceans, but … one might think that after the first five or 10 kilograms of trash the whale would get a hint? [The Sydney Morning Herald]

43 follow-ups

In his testimony to Congress, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that his team would “follow up” on a specific issue 43 separate times. This was equally true for complicated questions (whether Facebook is a neutral public forum) and some pretty basic ones (how many fake Facebook accounts the company has removed). [Wired]

55 percent

That is the percentage of Southerners who said they supported the right of people of the same sex to get married, according to a new poll from SurveyMonkey. That’s below the national rate of 64 percent but still a pretty big turnaround for the region, where a majority opposed same-sex marriage as recently as 2014. [NBC News]

766 hours

Amount of new, original programming that will air on HGTV this year. That’s adds up to hundreds of homes renovated for the benefit of a camera crew and a ravenous audience. For comparison, HGTV’s huge amount of original programming even eclipses the Food Networks’, which has 650 hours worth of edible material, and Investigation Discovery, which has 650 hours of likable people being murdered. [Reality Blurred]

1,047,200 points

That was Billy Mitchell’s score on “Donkey Kong” — the official first higher-than-a-million score on the game. Until Thursday, that is. An investigation by Twin Galaxies, a group which decides on the validity of arcade records, concluded that the evidence Mitchell cheated in order to obtain the score was sufficient to strip him of that title. Twin Galaxies will ban the competitive gamer from participating in their leaderboards. Steve Wiebe will now be recognized as the first person to get a million points on Donkey Kong. [Variety]

$2.68 million

Amount spent by 86 rescue and advocacy groups to buy 5,761 dogs from breeders since 2009 at the two government-sanction dog auctions. The rescuers — who are in some cases buying animals from breeders that the Humane Society considers unethical or improper breeders — than offer the animals as rescues. Demand for rescue dogs — which is a good thing, as the number of shelter dogs euthanized in the U.S. has dropped from 20 million in the 1970s to 780,000 today — has fueled this conundrum of supply and demand. [The Washington Post]

Check out Besides the Points, our sports newsletter.

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

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.