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Significant Digits For Friday, March 3, 2017

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

4 hours

A mouse was loose on a British Airways flight before it took off, meaning all passengers had to change to an entirely different plane. The flight was delayed for four hours. [AP]

4.3 percent fall

Federal officials searched facilities of Caterpillar Inc. in a criminal probe this week because the IRS believes Caterpillar owes them $2 billion in taxes and penalties. Shares fell 4.3 percent yesterday on the news. [Reuters]

250 percent

Growth in sales of almond milk from 2011 to 2015 in the U.S. Perhaps the spike is because almond milk is delicious, full of nutrients and low in carbohydrates, while regular milk is pointless unless it’s made into cheese. This dichotomy has made the cow-milk people mad, and now they’re claiming that almond milk — which has proven it is the growth commodity — doesn’t deserve to carry the name milk. [Buzzfeed]


Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself yesterday from any investigation the Justice Department carries out regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election. The announcement came a day after the revelation Sessions had met with the Russian ambassador twice in the course of the campaign despite testifying to Congress he hadn’t. Sessions brushed off the concerns, indicating that the two meetings had nothing to do with the campaign and instead pertained to official government business. Which is cool, but then why, when in Cleveland for the RNC, where he met with the ambassador, did Sessions make two payments of $1,395 to a Sheraton hotel from his campaign account and not his Senate account? [The Wall Street Journal]

$2 million

How much of a bonus Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is eligible to receive annually, one that will be withheld this year in addition to a lucrative stock award because of the massive data breaches that occurred on her watch and led to hundreds of millions of dollars slashed from the sales price of the company. [ABC News]

$29.1 billion

Snap Inc. had a wild IPO yesterday, with the company behind Snapchat finishing the day at $24.48 on the New York Stock Exchange, up from an initial price of $17 per share. The company is now worth $29.1 billion. [Reuters]

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

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.