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Significant Digits For Monday, Dec. 3, 2018

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


$0.006 object

You know how when you get a container of sushi and it has that thin green plastic thing in it that sort of looks like grass? It’s a modern continuation of a centuries-old tradition. People used to use orchid or lily leaves in bento boxes to separate the foods’ flavors and smells. The modern versions come in boxes of 1,000 that cost up to $6 — a useful, $0.006 object! [The New York Times]


14 prototypes

(Sponsored by Mott & Bow) Quality shirts aren’t built in a day. From shirt length to button placement, every detail needs to be taken into consideration. It took 14 prototypes to create these shirts, which eliminate constraint via a well-placed bottom button and can be worn tucked or untucked thanks to carefully thought-out shirt lengths.


412 arrests

Thousands of demonstrators known as “Yellow Jackets,” protesting “rising gas taxes and the high cost of living,” took to the streets of Paris over the weekend. French officials were considering a state of emergency as the protests turned violent — rioters smashed windows, torched cars and tagged the Arc de Triomphe with graffiti. Some 130 people were injured and 412 were arrested. [NBC News]


$4.1 billion acquisition

Something called Nexstar Media Group has reached a deal to buy Tribune MediaCo for $4.1 billion, sources told Reuters. The deal would make the company the largest regional American television station operator. “Television” … I haven’t heard that name in years. [Reuters]


10 teams in 5 seasons

The College Football Playoff quartet was announced yesterday — Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Oklahoma will play for the title. (Not all at once, though that would be cool.) The four-team playoff system is five years old now. Alabama has appeared in every one, Clemson in four, Oklahoma in three and Notre Dame now in one. Ten teams in total have now been selected for the playoffs. [ESPN]


76 million miles from Earth

At around noon Eastern today, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is scheduled to arrive at an asteroid called Bennu, a week after its InSight craft landed on Mars. OSIRIS-REx (very cool name) launched more than two years ago; Bennu is some 76 million miles from Earth. The plan is for OSIRIS-REx to spend a year surveying and mapping the asteroid, then suck up some asteroid pebbles and dust with a robotic arm, and then return to Earth with that bounty in the fall of 2023. Godspeed, you eight-foot metal cube. [NBC News]


19 out of 20 world leaders agree

World leaders have been assembled in Buenos Aires for the G20 meeting. Nineteen of those leaders reaffirmed their support for the Paris agreement and their commitment to fighting climate change. One — President Trump — did not. “The United States reiterates its decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, and affirms its strong commitment to economic growth and energy access and security, utilizing all energy sources and technologies, while protecting the environment,” reads the G20 leaders’ declaration. [Mother Jones]


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.

If you see a significant digit in the wild, please send it to @ollie.

Oliver Roeder is a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight.

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