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Significant Digits For Friday, July 10, 2015

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


Number of ticker-tape parades in New York City that honored only women between 1961 and 2014. On Friday, the U.S. women’s national soccer team — winners of this year’s World Cup — breaks that spell. [FiveThirtyEight]


The number of U.S. presidents who did not have a college degree. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is expected to be the only major candidate in the 2016 contest without one. Among the 2016 candidates, the most common pre-politics occupation is lawyer. There are also a handful of businesspeople and doctors. [National Journal]

17 stars

A Confederate battle flag shown on the U.S. House floor in a debate over its removal from federal property had an incorrect number of stars, 17 rather than 13. What’s the worst that can happen, the South actually rising again? Right, yeah. [The Hill]

70 percent

Bloodstream infections that occur when bacteria get into central lines, the tubes that hospitals insert into patients’ chests to deliver medications, are a disconcerting cause of death in the U.S. health-care system. There’s a five-step procedure to reduce the risk — intensive care units in Michigan that implemented the checklist cut central line infections by 70 percent, according to one study. [Vox]

999 kilobytes

The largest ever bitcoin transaction — a 999 kilobyte file’s worth of the cryptocurrency — was completed Tuesday when a Chinese mining consortium sought to stymie an attack on the process that facilitates bitcoin transactions. [Motherboard]


Tough luck for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker: A meeting with hedge fund billionaire Daniel Loeb reportedly went badly, and Loeb declined to support Walker’s nascent presidential campaign because of the governor’s opposition to same-sex marriage. In 2012, Loeb gave $390,000 to independent expenditure committees, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. [Business Insider and the Center for Responsive Politics]

4 million

That’s the number of Americans currently wearing braces, according to the American Association of Orthodontists. It sucks, kids, but it’s worth it. [The Atlantic]

22.1 million

Hacks of federal Office of Personnel Management databases keep looking worse and worse: The government said Thursday that 22.1 million people were affected. Seriously though, how on Earth do you find a guy who can fence 1.1 million fingerprint records you found when they fell off a truck? Who would possibly buy them? Batman? [The Washington Post]

$114 million

Jeb Bush and his super PAC allies hauled in more than $114 million from donors in the first six months of the year. [Associated Press]

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If you see a significant digit in the wild, tweet it to me, @WaltHickey.

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.