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Significant Digits For Friday, Aug. 19, 2016

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


Kyrgyzstani weightlifter Izzat Artykov was the first Olympian to be stripped of a medal earned at the Rio games. Artykov, who won bronze in 69-kilogram weightlifting, tested positive for the stimulant drug strychnine. The medal now goes to Luis Javier Mosquera Lozano of Colombia. [Yahoo Sports]

2nd consecutive medal

In better news, Ashton Eaton won the Olympic decathlon Thursday night with 8,893 points, earning his second consecutive gold medal. Only two other men have won the gold twice. [The New York Times]

22 percent

Share of U.S. methane emissions that come from livestock, with a further eight percent coming from their poop. This has spurred a lot of funding into “regenerative agriculture,” which will find ways to capture or reduce that methane before it is vented. [Bloomberg]

65 percent

Donald Trump had an average unfavorable rating of 58 percent back in January. That has since risen to 65 percent. This could pose a problem for the nominee, as people typically like to vote for people they think of favorably. [FiveThirtyEight]

223,271 permits

I am endlessly fascinated by New York City’s largely improvised infrastructure system. Seriously, what’s going on a few feet underground is a serpentine, unmapped knot of steam pipes, telecommunications wiring and power-, gas-, sewer- and water-lines — and we haven’t even mentioned the subways. So a piece detailing all the individual reasons every street in the city gets ripped apart is just catnip to me. In 2015, the city gave 223,271 permits to people who wanted to get under the asphalt. [The New York Times]


Approximate amount of money Mother Jones spent on an investigation into America’s private prisons. On Thursday, the Justice Department announced it would no longer contract with private contractors to run prisons. The aggregate financial gain of this story for Mother Jones, though, was about $5,000 in banner ads. [Mother Jones]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.