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Significant Digits For Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016

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


0.06 percent

NPR is shutting down its comments, and really you can’t blame them after checking out the actual numbers: Despite nearly 33 million users and 491,000 comments in July, all the comments were from a mere 19,400 users, or 0.06 percent of visitors to NPR.org. What’s more, the top 4,300 users posted 67 percent of the comments in the past two months. Take it to Twitter folks, or just send me a nasty email directly; it is honestly faster. [NPR]


4 pot brownies

An Omaha man ate four brownies that turned out to be pot brownies his kid left in the back of the car. According to a report in the Omaha World-Herald, the police were called after he started freaking out — understandable after Maureen Dowd-ing — and paramedics said he’d be fine. The man is on record as saying incredibly rude things to his cat before taking a nap. This is the greatest news story ever. [Omaha World-Herald]


61 percent

Percentage of people in the U.S. who agree racism against black Americans is widespread, according to a Gallup survey. [Gallup]


80 percent

Sure, all eyes are glued to the slow-motion car accident that is the U.S. presidential election, but there’s a far more consequential election going on too: Eighty percent of state legislative seats are up this cycle, and there could be profound shifts given what is going on at the top of the ticket. [FiveThirtyEight]


239 bouts

Number of amateur boxing bouts at the Rio games so far. The international association “responsible” for the sport said Wednesday that it had sent several judges and referees home after questionable decisions in Olympic matches. The move followed a Tuesday fight in which Irishman Michael Conlan lost on a decision to Russian Vladimir Nikitin despite dominating the match in the eyes of many viewers. After the fight, Conlan called out the governing body for blatant misconduct, alleging the fight had been rigged. [The New York Times]


524 square feet

One way Walmart has managed to increase profits is to cut costs when it comes to employees who walk the floor. The company has an average of one employee per 524 square feet of retail space; the amount of space per employee is up 19 percent from a decade ago. Here’s the issue though: With fewer employees to keep an eye out, there’s more crime going down in Walmart stores, and local police departments can be stretched thin. [Bloomberg]


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Walt Hickey is FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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