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Virgin Management, part of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group conglomerate, announced it will allow up to one year of paid leave for new parents. [Business Insider]
1 in 109
Percentage of Americans with a unisex name, according to a recent FiveThirtyEight analysis. The most common unisex name is Casey, as in the lesser Affleck. [FiveThirtyEight]
Energy consumption in China grew a mere 2.6 percent in 2014. That slowing growth has had major impacts on the energy market this year. [Bloomberg]
21.5 inches by 13.5 inches by 7.5 inches
The new recommended optimal size for a carry-on bag, according to the International Air Transport Association, a global airline group. That’s smaller than the maximum bag allowed on Delta or American, and the recommendation could compel some airlines to lower their carry-on size limits. Luckily, I am broke and have very little shame, so I fly Spirit, and look forward to another opportunity to make my flying experience just a little bit worse. [Chicago Tribune]
38 percent more
Birchbox is a service that sends out samples of beauty products to subscribers to try before they commit to full-size products. The strategy seems to work: Consumers spend 38 percent more on the Birchbox site after subscribing. But two of the company’s competitors, Sephora and Ulta, have also seen increased sales among Birchbox subscribers — to the tune of 5 percent and 6 percent, respectively. [Bloomberg]
The U.S. wants to host the Olympics in 2024. Why, I have absolutely no idea. But the U.S. Olympic Committee is into it, so why not let them have their fun before they lose the bid to Qatar or something. The committee selected Boston as the candidate for host city. They apparently did not inquire whether the great state of Massachusetts was in fact interested in such a tourist trap: 49 percent of the commonwealth’s residents oppose having the Olympics in Boston, and just 39 percent support the idea. [The Boston Globe]
Percentage of Americans who think the U.S. should use military action if another member of NATO is attacked by Russia. I thought that guarantee was the main point of bothering to join NATO? [Pew Research Center]
How much Cleveland Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova, who had a breakout performance in Tuesday night’s game against the Golden State Warriors, is being paid this season. Dellavedova has the lowest salary of any player in the NBA Finals. [ESPN]
Earlier this week, Apple formally entered the streaming music market, banking on its consistent connection to consumers and strong connection to the music industry. In response to the shot across its bow, the streaming music service Spotify announced Wednesday that it had accumulated 20 million paid subscribers — up from 10 million a year ago — and had wrapped up a funding round valuing the company at $8.5 billion. [Re/code]
Tranquilizers previously were not covered by Medicare’s prescription drug program, but in 2013 they were — and Medicare spent $377 million on benzodiazepines. That’s roughly 40 million prescriptions for benzos. [ProPublica]
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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer. @WaltHickey