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Significant Digits For Monday, March 21, 2016

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news. We’re trying out a new approach, with fewer news items but more detail, so please bear with us.


16 percent

That’s the current “diversion rate” in New York — the weight of recyclables picked up by the city’s sanitation department divided by the overall weight of refuse hauled out. It’s much lower than the national rate of 34.4 percent. What gives? First, some businesses use private sanitation companies and aren’t part of the municipal system. Second — and this is, according to the Department of Sanitation, a bigger deal than one might think — recycling scavengers take recyclables off the curb and cash them in on their own. [The New York Times]


33 games

According to ESPN’s Stats & Info Department, the Golden State Warriors’ loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday was the 33rd consecutive regular season game played at San Antonio that the Warriors have lost. [ESPN S&I]


42 percentage points

Ted Cruz’s lead over Donald Trump in Utah, according to a new poll from The Salt Lake Tribune. Mormons appear to dislike Trump … a lot. He’s doing poorly in Utah counties with higher mormon populations. Given the Mormon church’s experience with state-sponsored antagonism, Trump’s proposal to ban all Muslim immigration, specifically targeting a minority religion, is not likely to go over well among Utahans. Sad! [Salt Lake Tribune, Buzzfeed]


Georgia House Bill 757

The Georgia General Assembly passed a bill that would forbid the government from applying penalties to an organization that denies services to people that are gay as long as the organization feels such services would violate its religious beliefs. The Georgia law, which Gov. Nathan Deal may not sign, is a lot like that Indiana “religious freedom law” that sparked a backlash about a year ago. The NFL is not happy with Georgia and has dropped the hammer, basically saying — and I’m paraphrasing here — “gosh, that’s a nice looking stadium y’all are building in Atlanta. It would be awful if you enacted a law like this one because we would have to think really hard about not having a Super Bowl there, especially in 2019.” [Deadspin]


3.3 million miles

Congratulations, everybody! In all likelihood we will have, as a planet, successfully dodge two comets in as many days this week. Comet 252P/LINEAR passes us on Monday and comet P/2016 BA14 will blow by the earth on Tuesday, at distances of 3.3 and 2.2 million miles respectively. All I’m saying is if you’re having a tough day just remind yourself, “hey, we dodged a bullet today,” or whatever the Oort cloud could fashion as a rudimentary bullet. [Quartz]


$29.1 million

Domestic haul for “The Divergent Series: Allegiant,” which left it in second place at the box office during its debut weekend. We saw some early signs of this last year, but 2016 could be brutal for adaptations of young adult novels, previously a stalwart genre in Hollywood. [Bloomberg]


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Walt Hickey is FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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