You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news. I’m Oliver Roeder, a staff writer here and your humble new Significant Digits host. I also live on the internet here.
According to the Amazon-owned analytics site Alexa, Reddit has surpassed Facebook and is now the No. 3 top-visited website in the United States. Google and Google-owned YouTube are Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. Amazon itself rounds out the Top 5. My head hurts. [Digital Trends]
Less than 24 hours dead
On Tuesday, Arkady Babchenko, a Russian journalist living in Ukraine, was murdered in his home, reportedly because of his work, which was sharply critical of the Kremlin. On Wednesday, at a press conference to discuss the investigation into his murder, Babchenko himself appeared (very much alive). According to Ukrainian security forces, the murder was staged in order to “foil an alleged Kremlin hit plot.” “I want to apologize to my wife for all the hell she had to go through,” Babchenko said. [Associated Press]
Kevin Durant’s shoes fall off more than any other player in NBA history. My colleague Chris Herring watched hours of tape and identified 31 such shoeless instances in the past three seasons. Why is this happening? “I’m already skinny as it is, and I don’t need anything else weighing me down,” Durant told Chris. “I want to be aerodynamic out there, and I guess that’s how I think of my shoes as well.” [FiveThirtyEight]
Up 10,700 percent
Dictionary searches for the word “racist” spiked 10,700 percent over 24 hours earlier this week, according to Dictionary.com. This was apparently thanks to a racist rant on Twitter by Roseanne Barr, star of the recently rebooted sitcom “Roseanne.” There will also be 100 percent fewer new weekly episodes of “Roseanne” — the sitcom was canceled on Tuesday. [Daily Beast]
A marketing firm called Didit has struck a deal to buy the website Gawker.com from liquidators for $1.13 million. Gawker was a journalism website that was torpedoed, bankrupted and destroyed in an initially secret campaign in 2016 by the billionaire Peter Thiel, because he did not like it. Didit plans to disfigure its digital real estate into something that the cool and vicious Gawker never was — happy news. It plans to publish “positive news stories” and “good gossip,” whatever that means. [The Wall Street Journal]
3.7 million files
The legal team of Michael Cohen, President Trump’s longtime lawyer and fixer, has about two weeks to complete a review of documents seized from Cohen’s offices and homes in an F.B.I. raid. The team said it had received 3.7 million files and turned 1.3 million of those over to a court-appointed special master. These files “came from 13 mobile devices and 19 other digital-media devices.” One of Cohen’s attorneys said “we are moving heaven and earth” to complete the review of what material might be protected by attorney-client privilege. [The Washington Post]
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