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Significant Digits For Friday, Oct. 9, 2015

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


Just like he wanted, college professor and Democratic presidential candidate Lawrence Lessig finally made his way into a live-interview poll. A Fairleigh Dickinson poll found that support for Lessig is less than 1 percent, a mere asterisk in the the Democratic primary. For context, former Maryland governor and rounding error Martin O’Malley is polling at 1 percent. [Fairleigh Dickinson University]

2 weeks

You know all those ludicrous “sexy” Halloween costumes? Sexy Donald Trump (the wig covers the most of the costume), Sexy Pizza Rat (a rat costume with pizza on it), Sexy Hurricane Joaquin (I made this one up; you just skip out on the party in Brooklyn everyone said you’d show up to) and Sexy Cecil the Lion (a lion with some leg)? Well, someone is making a dime off them, and that someone is Chad Horstman, CEO of, the headline-generating site that’s able to turn around a sexy, news-pegged costume in a mere two weeks. [Maxim]


In the 2014-15 season, hockey teams pulled their goalies — a last-ditch effort to increase offensive manpower at the expense of defense — with roughly 2 minutes and 10 seconds left on the clock, on average, 30 seconds earlier than in the 2013-14 season. [FiveThirtyEight]


$12.2 million has been spent on TV advertising for candidates and their associated groups in the 2015 Kentucky election, which breaks down to about $3 per eligible voter. [Center for Public Integrity]

6 emoji

Remember that story about a “dislike” button for Facebook? Yeah, it’s way dumber than that: Facebook is testing out six new emoji to add nuance to the classic “I acknowledge this post with this thumb” interaction. [Refinery 29]


Netflix is cranking up its monthly subscription price from $8.99 to $9.99, with people who joined before May 2014 seeing the hike take place in May and those who joined later seeing the hike next October. [Mashable]

48 hours

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy pulled out of his doomed race for the Speaker of the House yesterday, leaving a huge vacuum in the GOP House leadership. Republicans are turning to Rep. Paul Ryan, the former vice presidential nominee who apparently does not want the thankless gig. Say what you will about the guy, but Ryan is a smart man who likely does not want to have the worst job on Earth. Still, following a call from outgoing Speaker John Boehner Thursday, Ryan cancelled all fundraising and political events for the next 48 hours. My god, they’re gonna eat him alive. [The Washington Post]


Beef is pretty expensive these days, but pork is very cheap. As a result, a lot of restaurants have been offering deals on pork dishes: In the first eight months of the year, there were 57 limited-time-only pulled pork dishes at the top 500 restaurants in the U.S. I have very little shame and I have extremely low standards, so the moral of this story is that I think I need a McRib. [Bloomberg]


The former California home of an armored-truck driver who admitted to stealing upwards of $1 million was raided by the feds, who found $600,000 buried in the backyard. Man, can you imagine how the current residents feel? Like 600 Gs were just sitting in their backyard, and anyone with a shovel was able to score the loot? The moral of this story is that gardening is a worthwhile hobby and all should pursue it given the opportunity. [Yahoo News]

$15 billion

Meituan, a Chinese startup that deals in a Groupon-esque model, and Dianping, another Chinese startup that delivers meals and restaurant deals, are merging in a $15 billion deal, the largest tech merger in China. [Quartz]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.