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Significant Digits For Thursday, June 23, 2016

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


$10.75 per hour after expenses

Based on internal Uber documents BuzzFeed obtained, that’s the effective hourly wage for an Uber driver in the Houston area. [BuzzFeed]


44 percent

Percentage of Republicans and Democrats who said they almost never agree with the positions espoused by the other party, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center. The polarization is pretty grim: 55 percent of Democrats said the GOP makes them feel afraid and 57 percent of Republicans said the Democrats make them feel frustrated. [Pew Research Center]


16,000 a day

Average number of people who signed up for TSA PreCheck, a service that claims to get passengers through airport security faster than the main lines, in the month of May. That rate has been climbing steadily, and lo and behold would you believe there’s now a long line for PreCheck as a result? There’s no winning with this agency. [The New York Times]


$500,000 per episode

The “Game of Thrones” leads are negotiating with producers for their salary in the show’s final two seasons, and reports indicate Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau are looking at $500,000 per episode paychecks, up from the reported $300,000 per episode they made in season six. [Vulture]


$8.2 million

Annual NSF funding to the Arecibo Observatory, the largest radio telescope on earth. Due to budget problems, the NSF may have to cut some of that funding. How does a large telescope in Puerto Rico make the cut for Significant Digits? Well for starters it’s totally that telescope from “Goldeneye,” the best Bond movie ever and the one where James Bond drops a superstructure on Sean Bean. And as the spokesman of the small, yet vocal fan community surrounding Alan Cumming’s widely beloved performance as Boris Grishenko in the 1995 film, I say in one resounding voice: Save. This. Telescope. [National Geographic]


187 billion pounds

Expected weight of electronic waste that will be produced globally this year. Grinding up those circuit boards and extracting the valuable elements in them is a fluctuating business, but a necessary one given that just dumping non-renewable metals into a dump isn’t sustainable. [The Verge]


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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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