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Significant Digits For Friday, May 12, 2017

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


A meme-inspired internet cryptocurrency, Dogecoin — as of early Thursday afternoon, worth just over a tenth of a cent per coin — may be on the verge of collapse after a prominent Reddit bot specializing in Dogecoin tipping was looted by its creator. Man, and I was so close to saving up enough Dogecoin to buy a seasteading cabin with my online libertarian buds. This joke of a currency sponsored a NASCAR car. Two times. In real life. [Gizmodo]

44 percent

A plurality of Americans, 48 percent, support the goals of the science marches and protests held in April (26 percent are opposed). But the public is even more split on whether those demonstrations will make any difference: 44 percent believe they’ll help public support for science, and 44 percent believe they won’t. Seven percent of the country agrees with me and thinks the demonstrations will hurt science. [Pew Research Center]

46 minutes and 38 seconds

How long Afrobeat musician Femi Kuti held a single note, breaking the record held by saxophone god Kenny G (45 minutes, 47 seconds). The issue? Apparently Kenny G’s record had already been broken 17 years ago by fellow saxophonist Vann Burchfield, who held a note for 47 minutes and 6 seconds. Kuti is retrying the attempt this Sunday, but why did no one know about Burchfield’s achievement? As he told NPR, “I knew that I had broke the record. I contacted a few local radio stations here in Birmingham, Alabama. But just out of respect, I guess, for him [G], I just let the record stand as it was.” [NPR]

300 percent

One side effect of having a devastating opiate crisis is also having a horrifying Hepatitis C outbreak. A new report from the CDC says Hepatitis C cases increased nearly 300 percent from 2010 through 2015. [NPR]

£453 million

A court in the U.K. awarded the estranged wife of an oil and gas trader £453 million (about $582 million) in one of the nation’s largest divorces settlements ever. (The court did not identify the couple.) Looks like London is now the anti-Vegas, the place you go as a tourist to get split. [The Guardian]

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

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.