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Significant Digits For Thursday, June 13, 2019

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

24 art installations

Twenty-four pop-up art installations appeared around New York City yesterday, including in front of the offices of major news organizations and Google. They consist of a small enclosure of chainlink fence with what appears to be a child inside beneath a blanket, and they play audio captured from a detained child in a border holding facility. “No kids in cages,” read signs on the installations’ fences. Police removed several installations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. [The Washington Post]

60 percent of “meat”

By the year 2040, according to a report from the consultancy AT Kearney, 60 percent of the “meat” we eat will come not from dead animals but rather “will be either grown in vats or replaced by plant-based products that look and taste like meat.” The report, based on interviews with experts, traces this potential shift to both the environmental impact of conventional meat and to animal rights concerns in industrial farming regimes. [The Guardian]

8th woman

The Cleveland Cavaliers hired Lindsay Gottlieb, previously Cal’s women’s team coach, as an assistant coach. Gottlieb is the first women’s collegiate head coach recruited to an NBA staff and is believed to be the eighth woman to have either an assistant coaching or player development role on an NBA team. [ESPN]

At least 900 years

Wine growers are a conservative lot, in the sense that they stick with what’s worked. A new archaeological study, comparing the DNA of grape seeds found in dig sites in France to a database of contemporary grapes, found that the fruit in many cases was biologically unchanged for centuries. Take savagnin blanc, for example: “If you visit and sip the region’s white wines today, you’ll be tasting the exact same grape, down to the genetic level, that has gone into its wines for at least 900 years.” [The New York Times]


What do Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have in common? About 1.5 million Twitter followers. We scraped every follower of 20 Democratic presidential candidates, and looked for patters in the overlaps (or lack thereof) in these followerships, with an eye toward what it might mean for the primary campaign. For example, there are “relatively large intersections between followers of Sanders and Warren, who share progressive policy platforms; between followers of Pete Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke, who are both young, male and white; and between [Kamala] Harris and other major female candidates such as Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand and Amy Klobuchar.” [FiveThirtyEight]

100 mph in 6.29 seconds

It’s important, I think, to stay abreast of updates to the Guinness Book of World Records. It’s inspiring and invigorating to learn about the frontiers of human achievement, and dream about what we may, as a species, do next. The last such addition to the book and piece of inspiration: Honda’s Mean Mower V2 lawnmower can both cut grass and go from 0 to 100 mph in just over 6 seconds. [CNN]

Love digits? Find even more in FiveThirtyEight’s book of math and logic puzzles, “The Riddler.”

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.