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Significant Digits For Friday, Feb. 15, 2019

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


54 to 45

By a vote of 54 to 45, the Senate yesterday confirmed William Barr as attorney general. Barr previously served as attorney general under President George H. W. Bush, and now takes over the Justice Department and oversight of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. One Republican (Rand Paul) voted no and three Democrats (Doug Jones, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema) voted yes. [The New York Times]


More than 1,800 dairy cows

And here you thought there was a limit of one bovine SigDig per week. A “freak” blizzard in Washington state killed more than 1,800 dairy cows. The storm was forecast to bring three to five inches of snow, but brought up to two feet and wind gusts up to 80 mph. A dozen or so farms were affected and the loss is equivalent to millions of dollars. [NBC News]


More than 60 million pieces of research

A trio of researchers writing in the journal Nature combed through more than 60 million papers, patents and pieces of software to determine whether the size of a research team has an effect on the qualities of its research. They found that smaller teams tend to be more disruptive, and “search more deeply into the past.” Larger teams, on the other hand, build “on more-recent and popular developments, and attention to their work comes immediately.” [The New York Times]


13 same-sex couples

Thirteen same-sex couples in Japan are suing the government for the right to marry, the first such case in the country. [NPR]


37.5 million views

An edited video of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez discussing campaign finance in a hearing with ethics experts has become the most viewed political video in the history of Twitter, with 37.5 million views. The video was posted by the left-leaning group NowThis. That’s the record as long as you don’t count the video of President Trump attacking a person with a CNN logo for a head — that video has 39.1 million views. [The Guardian]


1 U.S. dollar

J.P. Morgan Chase will be the first major bank to introduce its own cryptocurrency, called JPM Coin. Each JPM Coin will be redeemable for exactly $1, like a so-called stablecoin. A “tiny fraction” of the $6 trillion the bank shuffles around each day will soon happen using its new crypto. [CNBC]


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From ABC News:


Oliver Roeder was a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight.

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