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Significant Digits For Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news. Heads up: Per tradition, we’re taking off the week between Christmas and New Years. Happy Holidays!

0 votes

Remember that decisive statehouse election in Virginia that had been decided by a single vote? More intrigue has happened! A court ruled an additional vote in favor of Republican David Yancey, making the race a 11,608 to 11,608 tie. The winner will be selected by lot (a game of chance). [The Washington Post]


1 percent

All of the world’s Gulf corvinas, a fish, gather in a small area — less than 1 percent of their normal range — to mate for several weeks a year. The fish, while mating, make a noise akin to a machine gun, and gather in groups of millions. So, the sound of their fish sex can temporarily deafen other marine life, according to researchers. [The Scientist, The Guardian]


4 minutes

Bitcoin Cash, a spinoff of the cryptocurrency bitcoin, has caused a whole lot of problems for Coinbase, a site that exchanges the digital currency for more common denominations, such as U.S. dollars. Coinbase is carrying out an insider trading investigation of its own workers, after a suspicious price jump when the company added Bitcoin Cash to its offerings. Trading of Bitcoin Cash was frozen four minutes after it began. [BBC]


24 years

An embryo that was frozen on Oct. 14, 1992, by anonymous parents attempting in-vitro fertilization was born a healthy baby girl to a happy couple on Nov. 25, 2017. The embryo spent 24 years on ice, which may be a record. At least, nobody’s yet claimed to have spent longer in liquid nitrogen prior to birth. [CNN, Gizmodo]


40 years and older

In the U.S., it’s illegal for employers to discriminate against people aged 40 or older in hiring. But Facebook may be enabling exactly that, as some companies posting jobs to the social network are targeting the advertised position only to users 25 to 36 (as one Verizon job was) or 18 to 24 (a UPS job) or 19 to 35 (a State Farm job). The Communications Workers of America filed a class action complaint alleging age discrimination on Wednesday. [ProPublica]


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

Walt Hickey is FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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