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Significant Digits For Friday, May 29, 2015

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2 winners

It’s a tie! There were two winners of the Scripps National Spelling Bee for the second consecutive year. Congrats to Vanya Shivashankar and Gokul Venkatachalam. “Nunatak” was the winning word. [The Guardian]

Nearly 8 years

Our long national nightmare is over: A judge has ended Lindsay Lohan’s probation, a legal saga that has lasted since 2007. The actress intends to return to working. I, for one, am looking forward to the Lohanaissance. [Associated Press]

9 labs

The Army announced Wednesday it mailed live samples of anthrax to several labs in the U.S. and South Korea. Thursday a spokesperson indicated that the samples may have been alive not because of human error, but instead because of a technical failure in killing all of the anthrax. The government is not saying which lab in which state got the live anthrax, but no one was hurt. [Associated Press]


New research from the National Low Income Housing Coalition figured out how much workers need to earn per hour to rent a 2-bedroom apartment in each state. Hawaii had the highest needed wage, $31.61 per hour to sustain a two-bedder. [CityLab]

69 percent

Generally if you want to be elected President of the United States, you have to be a well-liked person. Donald Trump is not that person. The reality television show performer has scheduled a major announcement for June 16 — potentially that presidential bid — even though polling says he has a 69 percent unfavorable rating nationwide. [Quinnipiac]


How much Washington D.C. will spend to study the effects of building a gondola system between Georgetown and Rosslyn across the Potomac River in Virginia. I have studied the matter and would be glad to tell the nation’s capital that gondolas are silly ways to travel for far less than $35,000. [Washington Post]

200,000 sharks fins

Authorities in Ecuador seized 200,000 shark fins in nine raids throughout the port of Manta. The fins were illegally bound for Asia, reportedly. [BBC]

$1.53 million

Average sale price in the 212 New York City area code for a resale condo or co-op in the first quarter of this year. A New York Times analysis found only 113 sale listings for units in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens or Manhattan with a view of water that were priced lower than $500,000. That’s in a city comprised largely of islands! [The New York Times]

$3.5 million

Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was charged with lying to the FBI. The former speaker allegedly attempted to discreetly pay someone $3.5 million to hush up “past misconduct.” [The New York Times]

$36 million

Canada will no longer charge general sales tax on feminine hygiene products effective July 1. The taxes on tampons, menstrual pads and other such products constituted a cash transfer from women to their government of about $36 million annually. [The Globe and Mail]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.