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Significant Digits For Friday, Oct. 19, 2018

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


3000 B.C.

The mystery of a ceramic object that dates to 3000 B.C. and was discovered in the suburbs of Rome appears to have been solved. It’s a musical instrument — the oldest ever found in Italy. (It was earlier thought to be a cheese strainer.) It will shed light on prehistoric Rome, which Alessandra Celant of Sapienza University said “has always been oppressed by the grandeur” of classical antiquity. Boy, if I had a quarter for every time I felt oppressed by the grandeur of classical antiquity … [The New York Times]


69.3 percent of owners

Before the midterm elections, there was another election, also a sort of referendum on President Trump. The owners of condos in a building called Trump Place on the Upper West Side of Manhattan voted, by a majority of 69.3 percent, to remove the Trump name from signs on the building’s facades. The building, now just 200 Riverside Blvd., is the latest in a series of buildings to “distance themselves from the Trump brand,” writes The Washington Post. [The Washington Post]


414,195 ads

Democrats have been running heavily on health care ahead of the November election. Democratic candidates for Congress have aired 414,195 health care-related ads, compared with 146,445 such ads aired by Republicans. Those account for about 50 percent of all Democratic ad spending. [Bloomberg Government]


16 percent decrease in beer production

A new Nature Plants study says that global barley yields could drop 17 percent as a result of droughts and heat waves and that global beer production could fall 16 percent. That, of course, is an unacceptable state of affairs. But brewers, God bless them, say they are prepared, citing potential shifts in barley production, changes in planting schedules and, simply, the addition of more water to the crops. Godspeed, brewers, we’re counting on you. [NPR]


2 cents per share

The parent company of MoviePass, a subscription service for moviegoers, is called Helios and Matheson, and it is currently trading for less than 2 cents a share. New York’s attorney general has opened an investigation into the company, looking into whether it misled investors about its financial situation. MoviePass has in general been embattled, I think is the word. [CNBC]


12 years, 10 months, 5 days

Javokhir Sindarov of Uzbekistan — 12 years, 10 months and 5 days old — is poised to become a chess grandmaster, the highest title in the game. He will be the third 12-year-old to do so and the second-youngest of all time to earn the title, after Russia’s Sergey Karjakin. For a little context: Bobby Fischer, the famed American player and one-time prodigy, will then be only the 50th youngest to earn the title. [Chess.com]


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

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

Oliver Roeder is a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight.

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