You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.
4,000 years old
In a first for the region, a 4,000-year-old board game, an example of a famous ancient game called Hounds and Jackals, aka 58 Holes, was discovered in a cattle hut in Azerbaijan. The discovery hints that farmers there had contact with traders from the Near East. It is unclear, though, what the specific rules of this game were. [Kotaku]
3 tons of ivory
Cambodian authorities uncovered 3.2 metric tons of ivory hidden among marble in a shipping container at a port in Phnom Penh. That’s 1,026 pieces of tusk. Cambodia has become a hub for illicit ivory trade and another shipment of over three tons bound for the country was seized earlier this year. It’s estimated that some 40,000 elephants are killed every year, or roughly 10 percent of the total elephant population in Africa. [NPR]
Yes, folks, it’s that time already: only 14 months to go until the Iowa caucuses. Blue-chip pollster Ann Selzer is already hard at work. An early poll of Iowa Democratic voters found Joe Biden in the lead with 32 percent, Bernie Sanders with 19 percent and Beto O’Rourke rounding out a top tier with 11 percent. A second tier was home to Elizabeth Warren with 9 percent, Kamala Harris with 5 percent and Cory Booker with 4 percent. [Des Moines Register]
.05 blood-alcohol level
Later this month, Utah will enact a legal blood-alcohol limit of .05 — the lowest in the country, where the nationwide standard is .08. Utah had already had the lowest number of alcohol-related traffic deaths of any state. [NBC News]
117 years later
More than a century ago, during the Philippine-American War, American troops seized bells from a church in the Philippines. The so-called Balangiga bells, seen as a symbol of Philippine independence, have now been returned, 117 years later. [BBC]
$3.9 billion valuation
Niantic, the maker of the augmented-reality game Pokémon Go, which everyone spent a few days playing a year and a half ago, is raising a new round of funding that would value the company at $3.9 billion. [The Wall Street Journal]
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.
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