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Significant Digits For Friday, July 24, 2015

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


A bill in the House of Representatives would, among other things, cap airline bag fees at $4.50. Will this actually happen? I’m dubious. Is it remarkable trolling of the airlines? Absolutely, and I want Congress to do stuff like this more often. Kudos Rep. John Mica. [MSN]

18-year-old drivers

Congress is also considering legislation, backed by the trucking industry, that would allow 18-year-olds to drive 18-wheelers. Forty-eight states already allow this, but only within state lines. I am weighing my worry about Snapchatting truckers against my desire to have an Amazon Prime package at my doorstep even faster, and I’m not going to lie: I think I’m OK with this. [Bloomberg Politics]

40 minutes

The average YouTube video watching session on mobile phones is up to 40 minutes — just one reason YouTube’s mobile revenue has doubled year-over-year. [Business Insider]

92 percent

In an international survey looking at economic optimism (and pessimism), Nigerians are the most optimistic about their nation’s financial situation, with 92 percent of those surveyed believing their economy will improve. [Bloomberg]

4,175 planets

NASA — basically the MVP of the U.S. government at this point — identified 500 new exoplanets, or planets around other stars. One is Earth-like, but nobody reading this will ever be alive to see it up close; it’s 1,400 light years away. The total number of planets identified by the Kepler telescope is now 4,175. [Wired]

$9 million

Putting butter in your coffee is really tasty, but not ideally a summer thing if you ask me. Still, the folks behind Bulletproof Coffee, a company that sells buttered coffee online, raised $9 million from VCs to start a brick-and-mortar operation. [Fortune]

5 million gamers

That’s the number of people registered in the Electronic Sports League (ESL), a governing body for e-sports that announced Thursday it will begin testing for performance enhancing drugs, specifically Mountain Dew Code Red. I’m joking; the ESL wants to find dopers who are on Adderall. I’m looking forward to pained, handwringing meditations from future moralizing e-sports columnists on the disastrous Adderall era of League of Legends, and how they’re withholding their Hall of Fame vote for that promising Mid-laner who was suspected of doping with his little brother’s Concerta. In the end, all sports — even non-sports — are the same. [Associated Press]

$1.31 billion

Nikkei will buy the Financial Times from Pearson for $1.31 billion. I assume the technology behind pink newspaper was a crucial element of the deal. [MarketWatch]

$4.8 billion

Levi’s revenues are down to about $4.8 billion from about $7 billion two decades ago. The culprit: yoga pants. [Bloomberg]

$30 billion

Amazon announced strong quarterly earning on Thursday, leading to a $30 billion rise in the company’s market value. That makes Amazon more valuable than Wal-Mart, at least for the moment. [Quartz]

I’m taking a few days off early next week, so once again the wonderful Oliver Roeder will be your guide through the significant digits of the world. If you see a digit in the wild, tweet it to him at @Ollie.

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Have a great weekend!

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.