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Significant Digits For Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019

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

10 candidates

The next Democratic presidential debate — scheduled for Sept. 12 in Houston — will feature just 10 candidates, facing off all together on a single night. Polls released yesterday morning, hours before the qualifying deadline, did not help any of the “struggling” candidates who had yet to make the stage, which required polls showing 2 percent support. Had they, the debate would have been split over two nights. [FiveThirtyEight]

15 days

The 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg has arrived in New York to speak at the United Nations Climate Action Summit next month. And, lucky her, she didn’t even have to deal the living hell of LaGuardia. Thunberg arrived after a 15-day voyage on a “zero-emissions sailboat to reduce the environmental impact of her journey.” [CNN]

$1 billion sale

The owner of the Kansas City Royals, David Glass, is reportedly in talks with a local businessman, John Sherman, to sell the team for $1 billion. Glass bought the team in 2000 for $96 million which — checks calculator — now seems like a pretty good investment. [ESPN]

3.8 million years ago

Until recently, our knowledge of the faces of our ancestor genus Australopithecus — a group made famous by Lucy — was limited to remains of jaws and teeth. But a newly reported, 3.8-million-year-old fossil found in Ethiopia includes more of the skull and face and “shows the beginning of the massive and robust faces found in Australopithecus, built to withstand strains from chewing tough food,” according to scientists. [Los Angeles Times]

No. 24

College football is upon us and, despite finishing the past two seasons at 4-8, the Nebraska Cornhuskers were ranked No. 24 in the AP preseason poll. Only nine other teams had been ranked following two losing seasons, and none of them had records as bad as Nebraska. There may be hope for the Huskers: Of those nine teams, six finished the season top 20, and all of them finished with winning records. [FiveThirtyEight]

Category 1

The storm named Dorian hit the U.S. Virgin Islands yesterday as a Category 1 hurricane, and could strengthen to a Category 3 as it travels toward the U.S. mainland. It is heading “in the general direction of Florida” and could reach the mainland as soon as this weekend. Dorian could land anywhere from South Florida to South Carolina, on either Sunday or Monday, according to a National Hurricane Center meteorologist. [Associated Press]

From ABC News:

SigDigs: Aug. 29, 2019

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Oliver Roeder was a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied game theory and political competition.