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Significant Digits For Thursday, April 14, 2016

Welcome to Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news.


2 years

How long Taco Bell spent researching the best cheese-melting technique to ensure that tearing open a Quesalupa leaves the two taco halves connected by a cheesy string. Complaining about your Quesalupa’s cheesiness on social media is met with strict corporate justice. Taco Bell HQ will call an offending location to remind them of the proper technique: Fry the shell for 90 seconds and serve it within 15 minutes, otherwise the cheese will get hard. [Bloomberg]


6 inches

Three months ago, Inky, an octopus being detained at a holding facility in New Zealand calling itself the National Aquarium, mounted a daring escape to freedom that involved breaking free of his enclosure, dragging his body along the floor, and exiting to the ocean through a six-inch drain. The details of how the prisoner of conscience — who was held without trial for two years on evidence of his affiliation with the cephalopod sect of the Mollusca phylum — escaped are only now coming to light. Worth noting is that octopi are vastly intelligent and capable of memory, and I can only assume that Inky is radicalizing his brothers-in-multiple-arms for the coming war. [The Washington Post]


10 days

Theranos Inc., a beleaguered startup in the blood-testing market, is in hot water with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Regulators found major issues at the company’s laboratory in California and last month gave Theranos 10 days to produce evidence demonstrating why the Feds shouldn’t revoke its lab license and ban founder Elizabeth Holmes from the business for two years. [The Wall Street Journal]


73 wins

The Golden State Warriors defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 125-104 Wednesday night, becoming the first team in NBA history to get 73 wins in a regular season. [ESPN]


720 days

Ethan Couch, who killed four people driving drunk when he was a minor and received 10 years probation following a controversial “affluenza” defense, has been sentenced as an adult to nearly two years in jail after violating his probation, 180 days for each of the four deaths. [NPR]


$589 million

The White House will redirect $589 million — predominantly from funds allocated to fight Ebola — toward fighting the Zika virus, with additional funding requested from Congress. [Reuters]


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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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