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Significant Digits For Monday, Aug. 22, 2016

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


8 percent

Percentage of global energy demand that goes to chemical plants. Right now in order to make plastics — and I’m glossing over the nuances of the process — you have to freeze and heat and freeze and heat hydrocarbons to isolate the needed building blocks. Exxon Mobile and Georgia Tech have developed a new technique that could cut some of that energy-intensive process and save a whole lot of money and prevent a whole lot of carbon dioxide from getting into the atmosphere. [Bloomberg]


27 gold medals

While the U.S. has been on top for the Summer Olympics in Rio, the U.K. has had a massive year as well, taking 27 golds, 23 silvers and 17 bronze medals for second overall in the count. [The Guardian]


$4.6 million

Amount raised by the National Republican Campaign Committee in July, which is a huge drop from fundraising numbers — $9.3 million — in June. The Democratic counterpart raised $12 million in July. [The Wall Street Journal]


$6.8 million

Matt Bissonnette will forfeit $6.8 million in royalties and speaking fees derived from his book, “No Easy Day,” which concerned the raid that killed Osama bin Laden but was not vetted by the Pentagon prior to publication. [The New York Times]


$11.4 million

The “Ben-Hur” remake cost $100 million dollars but crapped the bed at the box office, taking in a mere $11.4 million in its opening weekend at the box office. [Variety]


$20.7 billion

According to the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, that’s the value of the approximately 110,000 homes that may have flooded during the recent disaster in the area. [The Advocate]


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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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