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Significant Digits for Monday, Dec. 2, 2019

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news. Today’s number is 18 percent, which is the decline in box office receipts compared to last year, even with Disney’s Frozen II scoring $85.3 million in theaters during the post-Thanksgiving weekend.


3 times as many black passengers stopped

When Steve Foster was handcuffed by BART police officers in San Francisco in early November for eating on the platform, he said it was because of his race. And new data released by BART does show that nearly three times as many black transit riders as white passengers were warned for eating and drinking on the transport system. Data going back to October 2014 shows that of the 55 citations or warnings BART police officers issued, 33 were to black riders, nine to white riders and seven to Latino riders. [San Francisco Chronicle]


100 preventable deaths

Five years ago, Mia St. John’s son Julian died after being admitted to a psychiatric facility in California. The cause was suicide, but Julian’s death wasn’t the only suicide at the facility. Two years prior there had been another suicide at the facility, and a state investigation found the hospital had been negligent. No single agency tracks the number of deaths at psychiatric facilities, and a Los Angeles Times investigation found that there were nearly 100 preventable deaths over the last 10 years at psychiatric facilities across California. [Los Angeles Times]


113,877 miles across North Dakota

Jim Puppe spent 11 of his retirement years doing something truly big and ambitious: traveling to every town in North Dakota to chat with older Americans like himself. The 74-year-old racked up 113,877 miles in his Dodge van on the journey, which focused on the personal histories of residents and former residents from all 617 towns in the state. Puppe’s writing and photography resulted in the book “Dakota Attitude: Interviews from Every Town in North Dakota.” [The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead]


240-year-old family farm

In the upper Catskills of New York State, 71-year-old Frank Hull and his wife Sherry have been running one of the oldest farms in the country, founded by his family 240 years ago. But the Hulls are now selling their 260-acre farm because they can no longer handle the deeply physical daily work involved, along with an assortment of financial costs. According to the USDA, there are nearly 175,000 fewer farms than there were 20 years ago. “We don’t want to leave the land,” Ms. Hull told the New York Times. “But we’re running out of options.” [New York Times]


18,000-year-old frozen puppy

Usually, scientists and researchers have to make educated guesses about what creatures from 18,000 years ago looked like. But thanks to permafrost, the puppy “Dogor” has been almost perfectly preserved. They’re still try to suss out whether the little animal is a dog or wolf specimen, which could provide a critical link in understanding how dogs evolved from wolves. “It’s an amazing feeling, to see, touch and feel the history of earth,” Sergey Fedorov of the Mammoth Museum at Russia’s North-Eastern Federal University told The Washington Post. [Washington Post]


1,300 delayed flights

If you struggled to get back to your home or into the office today due to delays and cancellations from winter weather, you’re far from alone. CNN reports that thousands of other people are in a similar predicament after 1,300 flights in and out of the United States were delayed and an additional 700 flights were cancelled. FlightAware.com said travel delays could last through Monday, too. [CNN]


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