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Significant Digits For Monday, Feb. 9, 2015

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, subscribe.

4 in 10 North Americans

People aren’t great at getting information from nutritional labels. A Nielsen survey found that 4 in 10 North Americans said they had only partial understanding, at best, of the labels. If you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to getting my daily recommended serving of riboflavin from a sleeve of Oreos. [Fast Company]


48 percent

Percentage of men with college degrees who married women with college degrees in 2005, which is almost double the rate from 1960. This may contribute toward additional educational opportunities for the children of such a couple compared to the children of couples without that level of education. [The Economist]


90 percent decrease

BlackBerry — the Canadian smartphone manufacturer that’s had a steady decrease in smartphone share in recent years — has seen its market value drop more than 90 percent since the heady days of 2008. The company’s home in Waterloo, Ontario, has taken a hit as well. [Fusion]


20,000 videos

Film buff (and late North Korean leader) Kim Jong Il had a collection of 20,000 videos in a private cinema beneath a Pyongyang bunker. He was also reportedly really into “Rambo,” by far the weakest of the Stallone films. I’m more of a “First Blood” guy. [GQ]

30,000 bank accounts

An investigation into HSBC’s Swiss banking arm looked at 30,000 accounts worth a total of $120 billion and found the private bank allegedly conspired with clients to evade taxes, had accounts with international criminals, and had lower standards of compliance than the rest of HSBC. [The Guardian]


$35.6 million

The record for a domain-name sale, for insurance.com, in 2010. That kind of generic domain name fetches a mighty price, and Gary Millin of World Accelerator is sitting on more than 1,000 like it, including email.com, fireman.com and bartender.net. I’m somewhat surprised he still controls toothfairy.com because my understanding is that she is positively loaded. [Motherboard]

$56 million

“The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” took in $56 million at the domestic box office this weekend, according to Paramount. “American Sniper” remained a juggernaut, pulling in $24 million for a total of $282 million over seven weeks. [Deadline]

$300 million

An 1892 piece by Paul Gauguin has set the new record for most expensive painting sold. “When Will You Marry?” was reportedly sold to a museum in Qatar for $300 million. That’ll put that hack Paul Cezanne back in his place. [BBC News]

-$1.2 billion

Eike Batista, a former Brazilian billionaire, is roughly $1.2 billion in the hole. The financier is on trial for insider trading and market manipulation. Becoming a negative billionaire is very hard, but Batista managed it after a series of business failures and alleged financial crimes. [Bloomberg News]

$8 billion

The amount spent annually for New York City residences costing over $5 million. More than half of sales are to shell companies acting on behalf of buyers hoping to avoid scrutiny. [The New York Times]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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