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Significant Digits For Monday, Aug. 5, 2019

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

0.049 astronomical units

This coming Saturday, an asteroid known as 2006 QQ23 — which is wider than the Empire State Building is tall and traveling at 10,400 mph– will fly within 0.049 astronomical units of Earth, close enough to be labeled a “near-Earth asteroid” that is “potentially hazardous.” However, that distance is equivalent to 4.6 million miles and, unfortunately, the asteroid will miss our planet. []

3rd tanker

As the Trump administration has “tried to force Iran into submission by choking off its oil sales,” Iran has reported seizing a foreign tanker in the Persian Gulf for the third time in a month. According to the news agency there, this one was an Iraqi ship carrying some 185,000 gallons of fuel, though the Iraqi oil ministry denied any relationship with the ship. [The New York Times]

Down 6 percent

“Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” led the way at the box office this past weekend, taking in $60.8 million. “The Lion King” retread, in second place, crossed the $400 million mark. Despite these tidy sums, American movie ticket sales are down 6 percent from last year. The next blockbuster on the horizon which may shift this trend, “It Chapter Two,” is due out in September. I wonder how much money a brand new movie could make. [Variety]

2 years, $70 million

Tom Brady, 42, has agreed to a two-year, $70 million extension with the New England Patriots, the team with which he has won six Super Bowls. In his career thus far, Brady has already earned more than half the box office take of “The Lion King” retread. [The Guardian]

58 hours

The finals of the FIFA eWorld Cup, contested on Xbox and Playstation since 2004, unfolded over 58 hours of digital soccer action at London’s O2 Arena. Mohammed “Mo Auba” Harkous of Germany won the title and the $250,000 prize. Millions entered the tournament’s early stages and were whittled to a final group of 32 in London. [ESPN]


Late last week, a man in Ashland, Oregon, accidentally threw his life savings — a shoebox containing $23,000 in cash — into the recycling bin. It was dutifully collected and soon on a truck bound for California. The next day, an employee at a Humboldt County recycling facility spotted a shoebox containing some $23,000 in cash. As the news went to press, the man was planning to drive down to collect his savings, all but $320 of which had been recovered. [Santa Rosa Press-Democrat]

From ABC News:

SigDigs: Aug. 5, 2019

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Oliver Roeder was a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied game theory and political competition.