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Significant Digits For Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016

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

2 dropouts

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina each dropped out of the GOP presidential primary Wednesday after poor performances in early contests. [FiveThirtyEight, FiveThirtyEight]

10 tracks

Kanye West will release “The Life of Pablo,” a new album with a 10-song tracklist, today. There will be a listening party at Madison Square Garden that will stream on Tidal, the music streaming service in part owned by a consortium of artists. [Yahoo]

15th denial

For the 15th time Sirhan Sirhan, who killed Sen. Bobby Kennedy in 1968, was denied parole. [The Associated Press]

22 percent

Percentage of mattresses sold in 1987 that were water beds, the high point for water bed and water bed accessories sales in the United States. It’s been all downhill from there, but the tale of how they managed to briefly rise to the top of the mattress heap is absurd in retrospect. [Mental Floss]


Crazy story out of the English Premier League: Liverpool FC announced plans to crank up the price of tickets to £77 from £59, which as and NFL fan I just assumed was par for the course. Not in the U.K.! A fan campaign against the price hike actually worked, with the team’s owners penning what appears to be a sincere apology for the price rise, and a walk-back that means the current season pricing (at the £59) remains in effect for next year, and pricing will be “readjusted to result in zero revenue growth from GA ticketing.” (For some perspective, one pound (£) is about a buck fifty these days.) Mostly I’m shocked that (A) a fan campaign worked and (B) a sports team owner willingly gave up revenue that had already been penciled in. In the U.S., Liverpool FC would just threaten to move to Los Angeles. [@DanRoan]

300 millirem per year

The most radioactive place in New York is an auto repair shop in Queens that sits on the site of a chemical factory that used to produce a byproduct thorium pyrophosphate, which is toxic radioactive waste that was dumped into the sewers for several decades. Despite two inches of lead and four inches of steel under the entire block, workers at Los Primos Auto Repair and Sale at Irving & Moffat in Ridgewood, Queens, get hit with about 300 millirems annually. An X-ray is about 10 millirems; 100 per year is the upper limit of “safe.” [This Hidden City]


Cleveland wants the family of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy who was killed by police officers in 2014 because he had a toy gun, to pay a $500 bill for the ambulance to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. [Buzzfeed]


Approximate value of swag in a notorious gift bag assembled by Distinctive Assets annually for Academy Award nominees. It’s got everything from vouchers for trips to Israel and Japan to a vape. [Business Insider]

48 million

Number of academic papers obtained by Sci-Hub, a legally gray operation that systematically liberates scientific research from behind paywalls using volunteered credentials from academics. Yes, they’re definitely being sued by publishers. But on the other hand, lots of people in academia hate the publishers and are rooting for the Robin Hood site. [Big Think]

68 million

As of Thursday morning, the number of views on a video of late night host James Corden and singer Adele singing karaoke in a car, as yet the highest-ever view count for a late-night show video on YouTube. God, they’re going to pull a Fallon and spin this off into a television show, aren’t they? [CBS News]

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

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.