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Significant Digits For Friday, Nov. 20, 2015

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

15 years old

Ahaan Rungta, a 15-year-old who obtained the entirety of his elementary and secondary education from online courses provided by MIT, has been accepted to college at MIT. [MIT News]

28 percent

Percentage of white New Yorkers who approve of the job Mayor Bill de Blasio is doing, an all-time low, according to a poll from The New York Times and Sienna College published this week. [WNYC]

30 years

On Nov. 20, 1985 — 30 years ago today — Microsoft launched the first version of Windows. Happy anniversary, and here’s to many more, Microsoft!

Sent from my iPhone. [The Verge]

93 percent

A study at an all-you-can-eat pizzeria found that men who dined with women ate 93 percent more pizza than men who dined with other men — roughly one and a half more slices. This research, out of Cornell University, has inspired a brilliant television show pitch: I host a total and complete reshoot of every episode of “Man vs. Food,” except the entire rest of the cast and crew consists of women, propelling me to victory. Come at me, Food Network, you know this is gold. [Slate, Springer]


The House voted 289-137 Thursday to require FBI background checks and sign-offs from at least three U.S. officials before allowing Syrian and Iraqi refugees — you know, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free — into the country with refugee status. That vote margin is enough to override a threatened presidential veto. [Yahoo News]


LAX is set to open up a VIP terminal that will cost users $1,500 to $1,800 per trip. That fee will allow the patrons of the Los Angeles Suite to drastically cut the walk to the plane, enjoy its lounges, and identify themselves as enemies in the forthcoming class war. [The Guardian]

52,000 people

Wiretaps that may very well have been illegal have intercepted the text messages and calls of more than 52,000 people in the Riverside County area of California since mid-2013. Courts there were responsible for approving about a fifth of U.S. wiretaps in 2014. [USA Today]


Joe Campbell, a trader, shorted a stock on E-Trade and got completely wiped out to the tune of $106,445.56. This led to one of the most craven but interesting GoFundMe pages seen in a very long time. Hey, at least he’s not some bigoted restaurateur. [MarketWatch]

130,000 people

From 2009 through 2014, about 870,000 Mexicans came to the United States. On the other hand, 1 million migrated from the U.S. to Mexico in the same period, meaning that over the course of five years the net shift was 130,000 people to Mexico, according to a Pew Research Center report. [USA Today]

$73 million

Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals was named the National League MVP Thursday after leading the league in wins above replacement. Relative to his salary, the Nats may have gotten one of the best deals in history: Based on the approximate dollar value of WAR, Harper’s wins would be worth $75.4 million on the open market, compared to the $2.5 million he is in fact paid. [FiveThirtyEight]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.