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Significant Digits For Monday, Oct. 7, 2019

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


More than 3 million years ago

Astronomers say that more than three million years ago, a “colossal beam of energy and radiation” emerged from the centre of the Milky Way, ripping it apart in an explosion. New research suggests this gigantic flare went out into deep space before hitting a long trail of gas extending from nearby galaxies. The researchers say their findings, which will be published in the Astrophysics Journal, “dramatically change” the world’s understanding of Earth’s home galaxy. [Yahoo News UK]


34 minutes

Lots of people want to attend the 50th year of the Glastonbury Music Festival. A record number of people, 2.4 million, registered for the sale of 135,000 tickets for the event, scheduled for next June. And those tickets sold out in only 34 minutes. It was the second-fastest sale in the event’s history, after 2014. [The Guardian]


19 alleged terrorists

Police in Rwanda say that security forces killed 19 people allegedly responsible for an attack on Friday that resulted in 14 people being killed. The initial attack took place in the Musanze district near Volcanoes National Park, a tourist destination for its mountain gorilla sanctuary. Reportedly, Hutu rebels went on a rampage with knives, machetes and stones while looking for food. Police said they tracked down some of the perpetrators near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, killing 19 and arresting five. [BBC News]


$93.5 million

“Joker” scored big at the weekend box-office, earning $93.5 million and easily beating the previous record for an October movie launch ($80 million by “Venom” last year). The movie is directed by Todd Phillips and stars Joaquin Phoenix in the title role. Many critics worried it could inspire violence, and some movie theaters put in extra security for the film’s release, as well as banning costumes and face masks. [Variety]


47,000 additional square feet

After three years of construction, a summer shutdown and $450 million in changes, the Museum of Modern Art will reopen in two weeks with about 47,000 additional square feet of space and a new vision of where, and how, to display its collection. Jason Farago, the New York Times’ art critic, explains how the famed institution’s philosophy of curation has changed, including much shorter rotations of exhibited works. Themes like “German Expressionism”, “Dada” or even “Pop” have been removed from galleries, which now highlight ideas like “Design for Modern Life” or “violence and internal exile around the 1970s.” [The New York Times]


1,102 pound pig

The super pigs in the movie “Okja” were the size of hippos. But those were fictional. One farm deep in southern China is getting close to that vision after raising a pig clocking in at 1,102 pounds, or 500 kilograms. That’s four times the normal weight. The extra-large pig is part of a wider effort to breed giant swine. Both small and large farms are trying to increase the size of pigs to raise profits and deal with a supply shortage that has led to record prices. [Bloomberg]


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