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Significant Digits For Monday, Sept. 21, 2015

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

11.5 percent

Rich kids and poor kids get about the same share of their calories from eating fast food: 11.5 percent for children ages 2 to 19 from households with lower incomes and 13 percent for those from households with higher ones. In the end, an affinity for partially hydrogenated soybean oil, mechanically separated chicken, pasteurized cheese product and high fructose corn syrup brings this nation together regardless of our backgrounds. [Bloomberg]

12 Emmys

HBO’s “Game of Thrones” has made Emmy history, with a record 12 wins in one year: eight at the creative technical awards and an additional four at the main show on Sunday night. The previous record-holder was “The West Wing” with nine. The other big winner of the night was miniseries “Olive Kitteridge,” also from HBO. [MTV]

15 percent

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is enjoying a postdebate surge in the polls. In a new CNN/ORC poll that was taken in the three days after the most recent Republican presidential debate, Fiorina received 15 percent, which put her in second place, behind Donald Trump. Earlier this month, she had been polling at 3 percent. [Politico]

More than $100,000

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s presidential campaign may have hit a bump. In the same CNN/ORC poll that had Carly Fiorina at 15 percent, he received less than 1 percent of the vote. This is bad news in light of the revelation last week that the Republican’s campaign owes several vendors “more than $100,000.” [The Associated Press]

87 players

As part of the effort to understand the effects that a career in football can have on the brain, 91 former players, many of whom suspected they had suffered from traumatic head injuries, donated their brains to researchers for testing after their deaths. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University have announced that 87 of those former players had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. [ESPN]


The U.S. will admit up to 100,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017, up 15,000 from a cap of 85,000 in 2016. The cap is 70,000 in the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. The increase is due in part to the commitment from the Obama administration to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees. [The Washington Post]


Average salary of a custodian in the New York City public school system in the 2013-14 school year. [The New York Post]

$4.5 million

The National Zoo has received an additional $4.5 million from philanthropist David Rubenstein for panda conservation. The news comes after the recent birth of a cub at the zoo. Pandas — as far as I can ascertain from reading lots of news reports about them — require a gigantic pile of American currency to mate successfully in captivity. Reminder that pandas had little trouble having sex without humanity’s financial aid and that the only reason we had to turn our National Zoo into an Ailuropoda love shack is rampant deforestation and the systematic annihilation of their natural environment. [Washingtonian]

$3.3 billion

Coca-Cola reported that the IRS is asking the company for $3.3 billion in additional taxes related to its overseas profits. Coke doesn’t think it owes the money. [Bloomberg]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.