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Significant Digits For Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017

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


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-0.6 wins

Two excellent analyses of the year-after effect of sacking an NFL head coach dropped Wednesday, one from FiveThirtyEight contributor Michael Lopez and the other from ESPN’s Brian Burke. As one hopes when looking at independent analyses tackling a similar problem, their findings were consistent. Each found that teams that sacked their coach tended to do worse the next season than similar teams that did not fire their coach; Lopez estimated that teams that fired their coach saw their wins drop by about 0.6 the next season, and Burke found that the effect seemed to last, with teams that held on to their coach performing about 6 percent better two years on than those that fired them. Anyway, moral of the story is: best of luck, Rams and Bills. [ESPN, StatsByLopez]


22 percent

A study by researchers at Northeastern University and Harvard School of Public Health interviewed 1,613 adult gun owners in 2015 and found that 22 percent of owners who had gotten their newest firearm within the previous two years obtained it without a background check. [Annals of Internal Medicine]


36 percent

Quarterbacks for the Cleveland Browns made 567 passing attempts this season and suffered 66 sacks and 138 hits for their troubles. This means that on 36 percent of all passing plays, the QB ended up on the ground, the highest “QB abuse rate” in the NFL. [Unconventional Stats]


79 organs

Irish researchers are arguing that a continuous fold of tissue that supports the intestines should be classified as an organ: the mesentery. That would crank up the total number of organs in the body to 79 — by many counts. [Ars Technica]


10,100 workers

Macy’s will cut 10,100 jobs after a dismal holiday sales period; it had already announced plans to close 100 of its 730 stores. [The New York Times]


$175 billion

Total losses resulting from natural disasters in 2016, according to a German insurance company, with insurance companies on the hook for about $50 billion of that. [The Guardian]


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Walt Hickey is FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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