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Significant Digits For Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, subscribe.

0.44 Gronks

That’s how much snow Worcester, Massachusetts, got as measured in units of the 6-foot, 6-inch New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. The record-setting snowfall — which is expressed as “34.5 inches” west of the Connecticut state line — was one of the heaviest from a storm that otherwise disappointed some East Coast residents this week. [MassLive]

17 percent

According to the California Department of Public Health, 17 percent of the state’s high school seniors reported using electronic cigarettes. [Associated Press]

61 tattoos

Anthropologists finally have a handle on each of the 61 tattoos found on the preserved remains of Ötzi the Iceman, who lived around 3,300 BCE. Scientists were at first unable to to see all the tattoos, but now think they’ve mapped them all. Presumably one is a really tasteful tribal band, or perhaps something encouraging like “No Ragrets.” [io9]

66 students

As California continues to battle an outbreak of measles, 66 students of Palm Desert High School, not far from Palm Springs, were told they can’t come to class until Feb. 9 unless they can prove they’ve been immunized against the disease. [Los Angeles Times]


Cab drivers in Seoul, South Korea, have asked passengers to pay a city-approved fine of 150,000 won, or about $138, should they vomit all over the back of a cab. Drivers hope the standard fine will discourage vomiting, which accounts for 42.5 percent of the complaints they file. [Stars and Stripes]

487 bytes

There’s a new record for the smallest fully playable version of computer chess. “BootChess” comes in at a tiny 487 bytes, smashing the previous record, held by “IKZX Chess” of 1983, which used 672 bytes of memory. []

768,000 vehicles

Nissan is recalling 786,000 vehicles — 640,000 of which are in the U.S. — due to problems with electrical shorts in some models and the hood-release cable in others. Those seem like important things, so you should definitely get your Nissan checked. [The Detroit News]

$3.85 billion

Facebook’s earnings are out and they’ve exceeded expectations. The social network’s revenue for the last quarter of 2014 was $3.85 billion, for a grand total of $12.47 billion in revenue last year. The vast majority of that revenue came from advertising, with 70 percent of ad revenue derived from mobile. [Business Insider]

$25 billion

Shareholders of Reynolds American, the company behind Camel cigarettes, approved a deal to take over Lorillard Inc., which sells Newport cigarettes, for $25 billion. Should the deal go through, the subsequent corporation would be the second-largest tobacco company behind Altria Group Inc., which owns Philip Morris. [Associated Press]

One more plea for the newsletter: Sign up for it now and be the first to learn about the numbers behind the news. And, as always, if you see a significant digit in the wild, tweet it to me @WaltHickey.

CLARIFICATION: In the item above about measuring snowfall in Gronkowskis, by Connecticut state line we mean the western border of Connecticut, i.e. the generally agreed up delineation of New England and Patriots’ territory.

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.