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Significant Digits for Monday, Dec. 21, 2015

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

1st runner-up

The unthinkable happened last night at the Miss Universe competition: Host Steve Harvey called the wrong winners, at first claiming that Miss Colombia had won the competition when in fact Miss Philippines had (Miss Colombia had won first runner-up). It was one of the most cringeworthy things I have ever seen. [Digg]

2.5 roles

Hollywood has a disgusting anti-alien bias. An analysis of the careers of actors who appeared in the first six Star Wars films found that performers who portrayed humans went on to have an average of 7.2 roles in non-Star Wars films while people who played non-human characters went on to have only 2.5 roles. [FiveThirtyEight]


According to a new proposal from the FDA, that would be the age requirement to use tanning beds, which in addition to making users look like they enjoy the sun also efficiently dole out skin cancer. [MedPage Today]

20 jets

Amazon is looking to get into the air-delivery business. The Seattle Times reports that the company is negotiating a lease of 20 Boeing 767 jets. [The Seattle Times]

25 years

Sunday was the 25th anniversary of the creation of the very first web page, and my god just look at what you people have done with the place since. [Engadget]

30 percent

That’s the percentage of respondents to a Public Policy Polling survey of 503 GOP primary voters who said they supported bombing Agrabah. That is, for what it’s worth, the country from Disney’s “Aladdin.” Thirty-six percent of Democrats were opposed. [Public Policy Polling]

51 percent

With the meaningful games of Week 15 coming to a close, we’re getting an increasingly clear picture of what the NFL playoffs might look like — at least for most of the divisions. The NFC East remains a catastrophe, with three teams — Philadelphia, the New York Giants and Washington — still in the running. New York has a mere 8 percent chance of making the playoffs, Philly has a 41 percent chance, and Washington has a 51 percent chance. None has a winning record. [FiveThirtyEight]

4,479 feet

A petition circling around Norway would have the nation move a section of its border with Finland 66 feet to the left. Doing so would give the Finns the Halti, a mountain peak that stands at 4,479 feet high. This is paltry in mountainous Norway but would be the highest point in Finland. The mountain gift would commemorate 100 years of Finnish independence, and is probably one of the coolest things one country can give to another. [The Independent]


Number of tickets available to Adele’s upcoming U.S. tour. Approximately 10 million people rushed Ticketmaster to try to get their hands on one of them. [The Verge]

$238 million

Opening weekend domestic box office haul for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the highest domestic debut ever. For some perspective, the runner-up was “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip,” which pulled in $14.4 million. [Variety]

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Heads up: Significant Digits will run through Wednesday this week, then settle down for a long winter’s nap and emerge triumphant on Monday, Jan. 4. Apparently the editors want to enjoy time with their families or some made-up nonsense like that.

If you see a significant digit in the wild in the meantime, send to to me: @WaltHickey.

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.