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Significant Digits For Thursday, March 19, 2015

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news. To receive this as an email newsletter, please subscribe.

1 acre

Want to grow an acre’s worth of lettuce? Order yourself the CropBox — basically a high-tech farm within a shipping container. This is an exceptional product; my hydroponic equipment and grow lamps have been really heating up my attic lettuce farm. [Fast Company]


5.8 rating

Fox’s “Empire” wrapped up Season 1 last night with a 2-hour finale. The show was one of the big success stories of the midseason, debuting to a 3.8 rating and steadily growing to a 5.8 rating last week. [The Daily Beast]

$9 per hour

Target is raising its minimum wage to $9 per hour, following a similar move by Wal-Mart. [BuzzFeed]


15 years

That’s about how long people have been using cell phones. If there were legitimate deleterious or carcinogenic health effects associated with cell phone use, we probably would be starting to see them. Similarly, epidemiologists observed an increase in lung cancer deaths after the World War II. So chill out, Nick Bilton. [Popular Science]


$921,600

How much did “To Pimp A Butterfly,” the new album from Kendrick Lamar, make? He broke Spotify’s record for streams, and calculations indicate he made somewhere between $921,600 and $1,290,240 in a single day. [Hopes&Fears]

$1 million

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner left an interesting nugget in an article he wrote about the downfall of Rep. Aaron Schock: During Weiner’s own scandal, ethics lawyers told him he’d need to find $1 million in order to defend himself. Scandals can be really expensive, even before the other shoe drops. [Business Insider]

10 million units

The number of Wii U’s sold since 2012. That’s really low — the Wii sold ten times that from 2006 to 2014. In need of a win, Nintendo has announced they’re going to begin developing games for mobile platforms. [TIME]

$11.7 million

“Evolution,” an online blackmarket for drugs, has vanished with $11.7 million in bitcoins. I am not shocked. Repeat after me: If someone sells me drugs on the Internet and steals my money, I should have seen it coming. [Ars Technica]

$6.97 billion

The amount of recorded music sold last year, down from $14.6 billion in 1999. Revenue from streaming services amounted to $1.87 billion, which is more than the $1.85 billion derived from CD sales — the first time streaming has beaten CDs. [New York Times]


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And, as always, if you see a significant digit in the wild, tweet it to me @WaltHickey.

CORRECTION: Wednesday’s Significant Digits incorrectly said Schock is a representative from Indiana. He is from Illinois.

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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