You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news.
Four high-ranking executives at Twitter — the heads of product, media, engineering and Vine — left en masse Sunday night. The company has seen substantial churn in the executive suite recently. [Mashable]
A Texan was sentenced last week to life in prison after his 10th drunk driving conviction since the 1980s. [Fox News]
Snow level in Central Park at midnight Saturday — just shy of the record. Did you enjoy your blizzard? I got reacquainted with the dedicated detectives of the special victims unit with a “Law & Order: SVU” marathon on that weird antenna channel that is entirely “Law & Order: SVU” in syndication. [Reuters]
We have our Super Bowl lineup set: Over the weekend, the Denver Broncos beat the New England Patriots, and the Carolina Panthers thrashed the Arizona Cardinals. So we have a Panthers-Broncos game in two weeks. Carolina has a 59 percent chance of winning, according to FiveThirtyEight’s Elo model. [FiveThirtyEight]
2,200-meter mud volcano
People are still looking for MH370, the plane that disappeared over the Indian Ocean last year. And a deep-sea exploration vehicle involved in the search was lost after it crashed into an underwater volcano on Sunday. So the search could be going better! [The Guardian]
6,240 HIV cases
New cases of HIV in Florida last year, the highest level since 2002, and possibly related to slashed funding for public health under Gov. Rick Scott. [The Miami Herald]
According to the FBI, a massive scam to bilk people out of money over the phone has been going on in Georgia for some time now. But here’s the kicker, much of the scam was allegedly committed from within Georgia state prisons, using contraband cell phones. More than 50 people — some of them Georgia Department of Corrections guards — have been arrested for their role in the ring. Prison officials seized 23,500 cellphones from state prisons in 2014 and 2015, but apparently some of the other prison guards were smuggling those phones in. [Justice.gov]
Anheuser-Busch, which makes Budweiser, will send 51,000 cans of emergency drinking water to Flint, Michigan. Flint’s water has been contaminated by lead, leading to a state of emergency. [WXYZ]
A photograph of a potato has sold for $1.5 million (that’s Australian dollars, or a little over $1 million U.S.). Photographer Kevin Abosch sold it to a guy who works in finance after two glasses of wine. It’s titled “Potato #345,” and I can only imagine potatoes 1 through 344 were absolute garbage worth less than the material they’re printed on. For whatever reason, No. 345 happened to be The One. (For what it’s worth: The photographed potato is organic.) [Sydney Morning Herald]
5 billion tonnes
Estimated amount of plastic produced worldwide since the end of World War II. Humanity hasn’t been great about taking care of that plastic, given that pieces of it cover virtually every surface on the face of the planet. Whoops! [The Guardian]
If you haven’t already, you really need to sign up for the Significant Digits newsletter — be the first to learn about the numbers behind the news.
If you see a significant digit in the wild, send it to me: @WaltHickey.
CORRECTION (Jan 25, 5:19 p.m.): A previous version of this article gave the incorrect sale price for “Potato #345”; the photograph sold for 1.5 million Australian dollars, not U.S. dollars.