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Significant Digits For Friday, March 1, 2019

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


4.1 percent

The amount of seafood that we humans can sustainably harvest dropped 4.1 percent — the equivalent of 1.4 million metric tons of seafood — over 80 years from 1930 to 2010, according to a study in the research journal Science. The cause is global warming. The findings are concerning not only because seafood is very delicious but also because fish represent 17 percent of our species’ intake of protein. [The New York Times]


Around 980 nanometers

A team of scientists, who described their work in the journal Cell, have injected nanoparticles into the eyes of mice, giving them the ability to see near-infrared light, which isn’t normally visible. The nanoparticles absorbed light at wavelengths of around 980 nanometers and converted it to around 535 nanometers, i.e., the mice could see the infrared light as the color green. The leader of the study believes the process could work on humans, too, “not only for generating super vision but also for therapeutic solutions in human red color vision deficits.” [Gizmodo]


13 years

Bryce Harper is signing with the Philadelphia Phillies for 13 years and $330 million. Harper is now, one suspects, one of the nation’s leading proponents of anti-inflationary monetary policy. Also, for what it’s worth, Harper has hit more home runs at the Phillies’ Citizens Bank Park than any other road stadium. [FiveThirtyEight, ESPN]


3 corruption investigations

As the result of three different corruption investigations, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be indicted on bribery and breach of trust charges, pending a hearing, according to Israel’s attorney general. Israel holds it general election in April and Netanyahu is seeking his fifth term in office. Netanyahu has denied all wrongdoing. [CNN]


55 points

Pop the champagne for the FiveThirtyEight endorsement tracker has returned! To get one read on the state of the Democratic presidential primary, we’re once again tracking all of the endorsements given to the candidates by members of their party — former presidents and vice presidents are 10 points, governors are 8, senators are 6, and so on down the line to mayors at 3 and members of the Democratic National Committee at one. Cory Booker currently leads in the 2020 cycle with 55 points, followed by Kamala Harris with 42 and Amy Klobuchar with 39. [FiveThirtyEight]


A reward of up to $1 million

The State Department is offering a reward of up to $1 million for “information leading to the identification or location in any country” of Hamza bin Laden, the son of Osama bin Laden. According to the department, he is “emerging as a leader” of al Qaeda and has released recordings, where he asked followers to “launch attacks against the United States and its Western allies.” [Daily Beast, U.S. Department of State]


Love digits? Find even more in FiveThirtyEight’s book of math and logic puzzles, “The Riddler.” I hope you dig it.

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




From ABC News:


Oliver Roeder is a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight.

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