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Significant Digits For Friday, Aug. 17, 2018

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


74.7 percent chance

FiveThirtyEight launched its 2018 House forecast yesterday. According to our “Classic” model (there’s also “Lite” and “Deluxe”), as I write, Democrats are projected to pick up an average of 35 seats, giving them a roughly 3-in-4 chance to win control of the United States House of Representatives in November. [FiveThirtyEight]


$98,000 of ramen noodles

In Georgia, a 53-foot tractor trailer filled with $98,000 worth of ramen noodles was stolen from a gas station. The brand of ramen was not specified, but if we’re talking Maruchan here, that’s like 29 cents a pack in bulk or about 340,000 packs of ramen, which would keep me happily sated for at least like a year, I’d guess. There are no suspects at this time. Local Georgia distributors of chopsticks and soup spoons remain on high alert, one assumes. [ABC News]


More than 300 news publications

Last week, The Boston Globe’s editorial page proposed a coordinated response by newspapers to President Trump’s attacks on the news media. By Thursday, more than 300 outlets had signed on, running editorials “promoting the freedom of the press.” These papers ranged in readership from The New York Times to the Griggs County Courier in Cooperstown, North Dakota. [The Boston Globe]


20 No. 1 R&B hits

Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul and widely regarded as the greatest postwar pop singer, died Thursday at age 76. Her talent and career generated any number of significant digits: 100 Billboard-charting singles, 20 No. 1 R&B hits, 17 top 10 pop singles, 18 Grammys, three presidential inauguration concerts and the best-selling gospel record of all time. Rest in peace. [The New York Times]


59 strokes

In the first round of the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina, pro golfer Brandt Snedeker shot a 59, which is like a good score for me in mini golf. Snedeker is only the ninth player to shoot a 59 on the PGA Tour. [ESPN]


9 months in Earth’s orbit

The moon, it turns out, is not our only moon, as we, meaning Earth, are likely orbited by multiple “mini-moons.” These are small asteroids, just a few meters long, that were sucked into our gravity from an asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. They are thought to orbit our planet for about nine months before falling to the surface (yikes) or shooting back out into space. Only one has been officially observed, but a new telescope, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope in Chile, is going to try to hunt some more down. [Astronomy]


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

Oliver Roeder is a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight.

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