You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.
Three teams are trying to break the two-hour marathon barrier. The current record is 2:02:57, so the winner would have to shave off about 2.5 percent of that time. For perspective, Usain Bolt has improved the 100-meter record by 1.6 percent. [FiveThirtyEight]
The Cassini probe will be hurled into Saturn in September, so right now we’re in the “drive it like you stole it” part of the satellite life cycle. Next up is a 22-orbit run through the rings of Saturn, which might damage the satellite, but, hey, it’s on borrowed time anyway and we might learn cool things so why the heck not. [The New York Times]
Canada is considering legislation that would let people have up to 30 grams of marijuana and grow up to four plants themselves. Illegally selling it or involving minors in a transaction would carry substantial penalties. [Business Insider]
The blood of horseshoe crabs is essential for the development of a number of crucial medical tests. To get it, the biomedical industry harvests blood from 610,000 crabs a year (as of 2012), and the number is rising. They pull about a third of the animals’ blood and put them back in the ocean, but that doesn’t mean the crabs are perfectly healthy. So determining the death rate of returned horseshoe crabs — assumed to be 15 percent but possibly closer to 29 percent — is a necessary avenue of research for the future of health care. [Popular Mechanics]
“The Fate of the Furious,” the latest installment of the Fast and Furious franchise, is out, and one element of the films related to neither alacrity nor ferocity is an unabashed love of Corona beer. Indeed, there’s so much Corona in the series that it may look like product placement. Surprisingly, it is not: Corona hasn’t paid them a dime; the makers of the movies just like Corona, and over the previous seven films the beverage has accumulated some $15.3 million worth of free product placement just by being the beer of choice for Vin Diesel’s friends. [The Ringer]
Dish Network dropped a stunning $6.2 billion on wireless airwaves at the latest government auction of spectrum. The move — they were beat out by only T-Mobile — has puzzled analysts. [Bloomberg]
If you see a significant digit in the wild, send it to @WaltHickey.