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Significant Digits For Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018

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


921 miles

Two men, Colin O’Brady of the U.S. and Louis Rudd of Britain, are simultaneously attempting to become the first person to cross the continent of Antarctica “alone, unsupported and without harnessing the wind.” As of yesterday, their 47th day in temperatures as cold as minus 80 degrees, O’Brady had traveled 719 miles and Rudd 684 miles of the 921-mile journey. [The New York Times]


30 miles away

A Missouri woman’s tiny house was stolen. The tiny house was later found about 30 miles away. “TINY HOUSE FOUND,” the owner wrote on Facebook. The end. [NBC News]


3 percent of news coverage

The special counsel Robert Mueller mostly investigates behind closed doors, but he’s talked about on TV a lot. In 2018, the cable news networks CNN, MSNBC and Fox News devoted an average of 3 percent of their news coverage every day to Mueller. (For comparison, they devoted 13 percent to President Trump.) CNN hovered around that average, devoting 3.1 percent of its coverage to Mueller, while MSNBC spent 4.2 percent and Fox News 1.7 percent. [FiveThirtyEight]


More than $1,000

A recently published academic study based on the results of actual auctions found that, on average, a Facebook user would demand more than $1,000 in compensation to shut down their Facebook account for one year. (The auction was conducted in 2015-16, before Facebook’s recent, um, struggles.) That result is markedly different than the number you get when you divide Facebook’s market value by the number of users, which works out to about $175 a profile. The Outline says that gap suggests “users value, or at least used to value, the service much more than investors.” For me, and I’m trying hard to be honest here, I think the number is around $40 — $39 or so of which is the cuteness of my friends’ new babies. [The Outline]


1,303 miles

Speaking of lengthy travels on foot, an “ultrarunner” named Rickey Gates recently ran nearly every single stretch of every single street in San Francisco — 1,303 miles worth. Nearly. He concedes that there may have been two or three miles “of little blocks” that he missed. I admire all the running, sure, but that fact makes my obsessive, completist skin crawl. [KQED, h/t @SamSonOfRobin]


32 of 63 seats

Two women were sworn into vacant seats in the Nevada state assembly on Tuesday, making that state the first in the U.S. with a female majority in its legislature. Women hold nine of the 21 seats in the Nevada Senate, and 23 of the 42 seats in the Nevada Assembly. [Associated Press]


Love digits? Find even more in FiveThirtyEight’s new book of math and logic puzzles, “The Riddler.” It’s in stores now! I hope you dig it.

If you see a significant digit in the wild, please send it to @ollie.

Oliver Roeder was a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight.

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