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Significant Digits For Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017

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


Percentage of Stack Overflow questions about the programming language Haskell during the weekend, compared to 0.21 percent during weekdays. In other words, people tend to mess around with Haskell on weekend projects rather than in their 9-to-5 jobs. At the other end of the spectrum is Sharepoint, a Microsoft Office product, which is asked about more frequently from Monday to Friday. [Stack Overflow]

52 votes

In a 52-47 vote, the U.S. Senate confirmed Jeff Sessions on Wednesday night as President Trump’s attorney general. Every Republican senator voted “yes” — save for Sessions himself, who voted “present.” And every Democrat voted “no” — save for Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who voted “yes.” [The New York Times]

91.7 pounds per person

Americans love chicken. This year, each American is projected to eat around 91.7 pounds of chicken, on average. That’s up 9 percent since 2010. But making all that chicken happen is an elaborate and — according to a lawsuit — unfair process. The chicken industry is dominated by a few giant poultry processors that buy birds from smaller farmers. And five former chicken farmers in five states have filed a federal lawsuit accusing the big processors of “treating farmers who raise the chickens like indentured servants and colluding to fix prices paid to them.” [The Associated Press]

878° F

It would be really nice if we had lots of pictures of the surface of Venus. You know, like we do with the surface of Mars. Here’s the issue though: Venus is an unfathomable hellhole. It’s 878° F and the atmospheric pressure is incredible. Add in the boiling sulphuric rain and you get a habitat that not even our most robust robots can handle for long. The record for “time spent on Venus without being rendered inoperable by Venus” by a manmade object is 127 minutes. But have faith, we’re starting to invent and build the tech that can tolerate that ecosystem. [Ars Technica]

211,487 homicides

That’s the number of U.S. homicides between 1980 and 2010 for which no arrest was made, according to Thomas Hargrove, a retired reporter who uses crime data to try to identify serial killers. [Bloomberg]

375,000 works of art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has made more than 375,000 pieces of art — already part of the public domain — available for totally free use. [Fortune]

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

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.