You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.
4 pitch invaders
The 2018 World Cup came to an end yesterday. France won, and it is now unclear how I am going to spend my days. During the 52nd minute of the final game, four people associated with the group Pussy Riot invaded the pitch and briefly stopped the action to protest Russia’s detention of political prisoners and “illegal arrests” of protestors. One of the members shared a double high-five with France’s star striker, Kylian Mbappe, who scored minutes later. [AP]
By 2040, eight states will be home to nearly half (49.5 percent) of the country’s entire population. An implication of that bit of trivia: 30 percent of the American population will control 68 percent of the American Senate. “The House and the Senate will be weighted to two largely different Americas,” the Post writes. [The Washington Post]
40 percent chance we’re alone in the universe
“Where is everybody?” the physicist Enrico Fermi once wondered. The Fermi paradox holds that there are soooo many places in the universe that somewhere must be Earth-like, somewhere must have life, somewhere must have interstellar travel, and basically that somewhere (or someone) should have rung us up by now. But recent work by Oxford scientists suggests that the estimates at the core of this paradox are flawed, and that there’s “at least a 40 percent chance that we’re alone in the visible universe.” I don’t fancy myself a misanthrope, necessarily, but I find that incredibly depressing. [NBC News]
199 hands of poker
After over 10 hours and 199 hands of no-limit Texas hold ’em against his final competitor, John Cynn won the World Series of Poker’s main event and $8.8 million along with it. Cynn bested a field of 7,874 players. His final hand was king-jack of clubs. [The Guardian]
$2,630.52 used paperback
An otherwise unremarkable used 2009 paperback romance novel was listed on Amazon for $2,630.52. This is just one example of many otherwise unremarkable books listed for exorbitant prices by (possibly Russian) third-party sellers on the “bizarre bazaar” that Amazon’s online bookstore has become. [The New York Times]
10 million bottles of rosé
Over the past two years, merchants have passed off the equivalent of 10 million bottles of cheap Spanish wine as French rosé to fuel insatiable American demand. I really can’t decide here between a Spanish joke, a French joke and an American joke. [The Washington Post]
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