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Significant Digits for Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019

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

6 key passing metrics

In 2018, Kirk Cousins was signed as a free agent by the Minnesota Vikings, a deal which, at the time, made him the highest-paid player in NFL history. Facing the media, the newly installed franchise quarterback promised he’d elevate his game and live up to his hefty paycheck. A year and a half later, FiveThirtyEight’s Ty Schalter and Neil Paine note that Cousins has made good on his word this season, ranking fifth or better in six key passing metrics: completion percentage, touchdown percentage, interception rate, yards per attempt, passer rating and defense-adjusted yards above replacement. [FiveThirtyEight]

$4 billion deal

It may be winter in the United States, but Nestle is still bringing in a huge amount of money for its frozen desserts after the company agreed to sell its American ice cream business in a $4 billion deal on Wednesday. Brands including Häagen-Dazs will now belong to Froneri, a massive European joint-venture company composed of Nestle’s European ice cream business and a component of a French private equity firm. Froneri is one of the largest companies in this food segment in the world, and Reuters reports this latest acquisition “is expected to add $1.8 billion to annual sales.” [Reuters]

1,290 square feet of human skin

After a volcano erupted in New Zealand on Monday, eight people have died and at least 22 people are in critical condition with severe burns, according to a senior medical officer. To treat the burn victims, the small country has ordered approximately 1,290 square feet of human skin from the United States, The Washington Post reports. Emergency workers are still looking for at least nine missing people, and there are concerns the volcano on the island of Whakaari could erupt again. [The Washington Post]

$150 million chateau

I feel lucky to have once scored a used Dyson vacuum cleaner for $50, but the new owner of the 10-acre Chartwell estate in Bel-Air received a much bigger discount on their luxury purchase. The Wall Street Journal reports that the former home of the late media billionaire A. Jerrold Perenchio sold for roughly $150 million to an unnamed buyer, much less than the initial asking price of $350 million but still the “second most expensive sale ever recorded in the country, according to data from appraiser Jonathan Miller.” The French Neoclassical-style mansion may have been renovated in the late 1980s, but the new owner should expect their total costs to be even higher — agents said the property would require multiyear renovations. [The Wall Street Journal]

Minus 31 degrees

Residents of the Twin Cities are wearing super-thick parkas and snow pants this week after temperatures with wind chill fell to minus 31 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. These conditions can cause frostbite on exposed skin within 20 minutes. For readers near the Upper Great Lakes who are concerned about snow days and traffic delays, the National Weather Service says you could get 6 to 10 inches of snow over the next few days. [USA Today]

$225,000 “pile of junk”

Headlines may have been dominated by news of a duct-taped banana that sold for $120,000 at Art Basel, a major-name art show in Miami Beach, but another colorful art exhibit also sold for six figures, despite the logistical headache it caused for the New York gallery that set it up. Bloomberg reports on how a 1996 work by artist Portia Munson called “The Garden” required “fireproofing clothes for dolls, hiring a six-person installation team, and spending more than $60,000 in related expenses” to carefully assemble more than 1,500 objects over two weeks in a 15-foot-by-15-foot room. “The Garden” is a collection of plastic flowers, stuffed animals and other ephemera — which, as Bloomberg notes, “is often a polite way of saying ‘junk.'” The piece was listed at $225,000, and approximately six minutes after the opening of the art fair, the founders of the 21c Museum Hotels came by the booth and negotiated the purchase. [Bloomberg]

SigDigs: Dec. 12, 2019