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Significant Digits For Thursday, March 30, 2017

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


2 years

Two allies of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie were sentenced to prison over their involvement in politically motivated traffic jams near the George Washington Bridge. Bridget Anne Kelly was sentenced to a year and a half in prison and Bill Baroni was sentenced to two years. Both will have to perform community service and pay thousands of dollars in fines and restitution. [Bloomberg]


3 terms

A three-term member of Congress has stepped forward to be the Democrat who loses the Texas Senate race in 2018. Rep. Beto O’Rourke plans to announce on Friday his candidacy to challenge incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz, continuing the Texas tradition of bold Democrats laying down their careers to pose a moderate speed bump for a Republican’s waltz to victory. [The Houston Chronicle]


4 years

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, and the state’s Republican-controlled legislature may have agreed on a bill that would overturn House Bill 2, the law that barred city-level LGBT discrimination protections and forced transgender people to use the public bathroom of their birth sex. The new bill would put a four-year moratorium on new city ordinances protecting LGBT rights; LGBT advocates say the deal will “continue to actively discriminate against the LGBT community.” [The News & Observer]


35 minutes

SB Nation compared two virtually identical baseball games — 11-2 final score, 27 baserunners, about 270 pitches, about 75 batters — but one took place in 1984 and the other in 2014. The 2014 game, like many baseball games these days, was way too long, a full 35 minutes longer than the 2 hour 31 minute outing of 1984. Most of that extra time came from the time between pitches getting longer. [SB Nation]


68 contenders

To cap off Mars Month here at FiveThirtyEight, we ran Mars Madness, where we pitted 68 Martian missions and planetary features in a head-to-head bracket voted on by readers. My personal favorite — Korabl 11, a satellite that the U.S. government thought was an intercontinental ballistic missile as it crashed into earth — did not do well, but the Curiosity rover did. [FiveThirtyEight]


$150 million

Republican Senators John McCain and Mike Enzi reintroduced legislation that would kill the penny, cut the cost of making nickels and replace the dollar bill with a $1 coin. Just that last one — switching to dollar coins — could save the country $150 million annually. [U.S. Senate]


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

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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