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Significant Digits for Friday, Dec. 18, 2015

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

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Most U.S. state prison systems don’t arm the guards with shotguns, but Nevada does. As a result, lots of people get shot with shotguns in Nevada prisons. In 2015, 22 inmates were injured by shotgun blasts so far in three facilities. On average, a guard fired a shotgun round once every 10 days from January 2012 through June 2015, not counting warning shots. [The Huffington Post]

10 times declined

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced five new members Thursday, which is boring because there’s nothing less rock and roll than getting invited to be in a museum. Telling people about your fantasy football season is more rock and roll than getting into a museum in Cleveland. If you lived long enough to be invited to the ceremony commemorating your inclusion, I really believe you should not be eligible. Chic, a disco funk band, was nominated but denied entrance for the 10th time, a Hall record. I can’t even imagine how Chic and their 57 current and past members feel about their situation, which is at least 40 times as bad. [The New York Times]

13 percent

Thirteen percent of department heads at top-50 NIH funded medical schools who are women, compared to 19 percent of whom are men who have mustaches. [British Medical Journal]

31 percent

Percentage of stories in the U.S. print media about campus sexual assault that were authored by women. Men wrote 55 percent and the remainders did not have a byline. When the story was in the sports section it got even worse, where only 7 percent of the stories were by women. [Think Progress]


If you cut down a tree less than eight centimeters wide in Vancouver, the city wants you to give it $500. If it’s wider than eight centimeters: $750. That money won’t be refunded until you plant a new tree and care for it for a year. That is a huge commitment that I could in no way handle. [Digital Journal]


The online forum LetsRun has repeatedly busted cheaters who skip legs of marathons and other running events. Thanks to new systems that digitally track runners throughout races, the crowd is able to suss out cheaters. In one case, LetsRun offered $100,000 to an alleged cheater — for whom there was no photographic evidence on the course at all — if he could repeat his 3:11:45 marathon performance within a year. [Outside Online]

2 million donations

Number of contributions collected by the Sanders campaign as of Thursday, which the senator’s supporters are touting as a testament to his popularity among small donors. In other Bernie news, it looks like his staffers got an unauthorized peek into the Hillary Clinton campaign’s voter data. [POLITICO]

$5 million

Martin Shkreli, a pharmaceutical executive who infuriated seemingly everyone by raising the price of a lifesaving drug from $13.50 per pill to $750 earlier this year, was arrested early Thursday morning by the FBI on securities fraud charges. He posted bail and was freed on a $5 million bond later in the day, but no, we don’t know what it means for that Wu-Tang Clan album yet. [Bloomberg]

$8 million

How much the State of New Jersey has paid to Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, a law firm hired by Gov. Chris Christie to investigate his role in the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal. The law firm did not make any notes or recording of the many interviews the firm did in the course of its investigation, which cleared Chris Christie of wrongdoing. [The New York Times]

764 million TVs

Number of televisions worldwide that tuned in for a minute or more of the final 2015 Women’s World Cup game last summer, which the U.S. totally liberated. It is also the most watched soccer broadcast ever in the United States. On another note, never have I seen a TV ratings number come out this many months after an event took place. FIFA is much better at collecting bribes than TV numbers. [The Associated Press]

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

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.