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Significant Digits For Thursday, July 11, 2019

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


Thee S&P 500 broke 3,000 for the first time on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell hinted that the Fed would cut interest rates later this month for the first time in a decade. The NASDAQ and Dow Jones Industrial Average also touched all-time highs. [CNBC]

$20,000 prize

Alex Jacob, a former pro poker player and “Jeopardy!” champion, said in a tweet that he won $20,000 on the trivia app HQ, but that the company wouldn’t cash him out. “Sadly, I don’t think they’re going to pay,” he wrote. HQ has been beleaguered by the death of its cofounder, staff layoffs, cheaters and the exit of its “beloved host.” My own HQ account contains $13.64, of which I am very proud. [Kotaku]

16 hours

The former British spy and author of the infamous dossier about President Trump’s alleged connections to Russia, Christopher Steele, was interviewed by the Justice Department for 16 hours last month, according to “two people familiar with the matter.” The grilling was part of a year-long investigation by the department’s inspector general into “the FBI’s efforts to surveil a one-time Trump campaign adviser based in part on information from Steele.” [Politico]

210,000 years ago

In the 1970s, a fragment of a skull was found in a cave in Greece and then stuck in a museum. Now, however, per new research in Nature, that fragment could upend our understanding of how “how and when Homo sapiens dispersed from Africa.” The researchers say that the person who once belonged to the skull lived 210,000 years ago — 160,000 years before any other H. sapiens fossil found in Europe. [The Washington Post]

196 ticker-tape parades

On the occasion of the triumphant American women’s World Cup team’s victory parade, my colleague Neil Paine examined data on 196 New York City ticker-tape parades, dating back to the dedication of the Statue of Liberty in 1886. A few patterns emerged: These days, the parades are all about sports; they really loved parades in the 1950s and ’60s; and in the 1920s and ’30s, they tended to fête adventurers. [FiveThirtyEight]

From ABC News:

Megan Rapinoe gives passionate speech at World Cup parade in New York City

18 inches of rain

Potential Tropical Cyclone Two is forecast to make landfall in Louisiana on Saturday as Hurricane Barry. The storm is expected to drop 6 to 12 inches of rain on the central Gulf Coast through early next week, with maximum rain totals of 18 inches in places, according to the National Hurricane Center. []

From ABC News:

SigDigs: July 11, 2019

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

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.