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Significant Digits For Friday, June 5, 2015

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9 downgrades

We’re going to hear a lot about fiscal conservatism from the crowd vying for the GOP nomination — the governors alone could field a baseball team — so one thing worth looking at is the fiscal health of states while the candidates were leading them. NPR examined one proxy for a state’s financial and economic health, credit ratings, and found that all but one governor in the field saw their states’ ratings remain the same or improve. On the other hand, New Jersey’s credit rating has been downgraded three times by each of the three major credit rating agencies under Gov. Chris Christie. [NPR]

4 million

The personal data of 4 million current and former federal employees may have been stolen in a cybersecurity incident, U.S. officials said Thursday. Officials believe Chinese hackers were behind the breach. [CNN]

27.6 point difference

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry formally entered the GOP nomination race Thursday. His previous presidential campaign experience makes him a bit of an outlier — he holds the record for the largest disparity between monthly national polling average (in the months before primary voting began) and actual vote share achieved during a primary. [FiveThirtyEight]

80 votes

Editorial employees of Gawker Media voted 80-27 to unionize under the Writers Guild of America, East. [Gawker]

133 Greek organizations

An analysis of fraternity and sorority suspensions, disbandments and punishments found that 133 chapters at 55 U.S. colleges were hit with penalties during the spring semester alone. [Bloomberg]

3.1 million

The number of viewers that Megyn Kelly’s Fox News interview with the Duggar family — of TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting” — had Wednesday night. It was the first time the Duggars had spoken to the media since details emerged about the sexual misconduct of their eldest son. [Associated Press]

5 million euros

The CEO of the Football Association of Ireland said FIFA paid the soccer organization 5 million euros to avoid a lawsuit over a French handball that kept Ireland out of the 2010 World Cup. FIFA, for what it’s word is worth, says the amount was $5 million, for a construction project. But in for a penny in for a pound, you know? [The Guardian]

$15.5 million

Brooklyn has a new record for the most expensive home sale: $15.5 million for a townhouse at 177 Pacific St. The previous record was $12.5 million for Truman Capote’s old haunt. [NY1]

$7 billion

Fun fact: The primary type of banana consumed by humans was eradicated from Earth in the 1950s because of a blight. The type of bananas that people eat today — Cavendish bananas — are a totally different type than the Gros Michel bananas that people noshed down in the 1940s. The issue is that all our eggs are once again in the same botanical basket, and if another banana plague were to sweep the world — like, say, the new banana fungus that has spread to Australia from Africa and Asia — we’d be reduced to plantains or some other alternative. The international banana market is worth more than $7 billion. [Bloomberg]


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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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