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Significant Digits For Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019

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

5,111 Martian days

More than 5,000 Martian days ago — or in 2004 back here on Earth — NASA’s Opportunity rover landed on Mars. It drove over 28 miles in that time, visiting Cape Tribulation, Marathon Valley, Lightning Crater, and Purgatory Dune. Its death was confirmed yesterday after a massive dust storm circled the red planet last summer. Rest in peace. [The New York Times]

$64 million worth of livestock

There is an app called Tudder which is Tinder but for cows. Well, for farmers really, I guess (must be hard to swipe with hooves). The app lets livestock owners find matches for their cattle. Rather than selfies, a person’s interests and alma mater, Tudder includes data on milk yield, protein content and calving potential. A match leads a user to SellMyLivestock, which has listed some $64 million worth of livestock, feed and bedding in the last year. [Reuters]


That’s the average household income in Atherton, California, the wealthiest town in the United States for three years in a row now. It’s in Silicon Valley and home to Google’s Eric Schmidt and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg among others, who presumably bring the gaudy average down. [Bloomberg]

$50,000 golf simulator

President Trump, reportedly at his own expense, has installed a $50,000 room-sized golf simulator in his private residence in the White House, replacing an “older, less sophisticated” simulator installed by President Barack Obama. Such a system allows a player to simulate a round by swinging a golf club in front of a large video screen. [The Washington Post]

More than 100 years ago

For the first time in more than a century, a photograph has been taken of a wild African black leopard, this one by a camera trap in Kenya. Black leopards are very rare and their “sooty” coats are the result of melanism, the opposite of albinism. A conservationist with the San Diego Zoo wrote that the only existing photographic documentation of the animal had been from 1909 in Ethiopia. As an added bonus, the new photos are fantastic and terrifying. [The Guardian]

991 percent more likely

According to an analysis by sociologists of 20 years of Federal Reserve data, married women are 991 percent more likely than single women to be in a household that is in the top 1 percent of earners. However, that same number for married men versus single men is just 70 percent. Or, as the Post put it: “The glass ceiling is even higher in the penthouse.” [The Washington Post]

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

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

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News headlines today: Feb. 14, 2019

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.