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Significant Digits For Monday, Sept. 12, 2016

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

58 percent

According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll, that’s President Obama’s approval rating as of early September, his highest since 2009. [ABC News]

82 degrees

Heat index Sunday in New York City. Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton left an event at the Sept. 11 memorial early because she was feeling ill; she needed to be helped into a car. Her campaign initially said she had become “overheated.” Later that day, her doctor confirmed that she had been diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday. [ABC News]

130 decibels

A fire suppression system test at an ING Bank data center in Bucharest, Romania, severely damaged the hardware, throwing the bank’s services offline. In a data center, conventional fire suppression systems — you know, like spraying a bunch of water — are bad ideas given the whole “this will kill everything on the server” properties of water. So instead they have these neat systems that pump in inert gases to snuff out the flame. The issue in Bucharest was that the gases fired out so quickly during the test that they made a really loud noise — more than 130 decibels — which vibrated and shattered a whole lot of hard drives. The future is weird. [Motherboard]


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump uses money raised by his foundation for some rather interesting “charitable” purposes. For instance, he spent $20,000 in foundation money on a 6-foot-tall painting of himself. [The Washington Post]

$650 million

Back in February, the Obama administration requested $1.9 billion in funding to fight Zika, but Congress didn’t deliver. After that, the president shifted $650 million from other sources to cover the costs as a stopgap measure. That money is about to run out. [The Associated Press]

$2.45 billion

A $2.45 billion Department of Transportation loan to Amtrak will allow the passenger rail service to buy new trains for the Acela Express route, improve stations and rail on the Northeast Corridor, and eventually get Acela trains running every half-hour between Washington and New York during the busiest times of day. [The Washington Post]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.