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Significant Digits For Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015

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

6 months

Bloomberg terminals are vastly powerful and essentially mandatory data sources for the entire global financial industry. They also have a chat feature that is the primary way people in the banking business converse among themselves, a feature that can get so addictive that Bloomberg allows users who lose their jobs access to a terminal at home for free for six months just to keep them hooked. [FiveThirtyEight Podcasts]

12 percent

Wal-Mart stock took a quick dive yesterday after the company predicted profits would drop by as much as 12 percent in the next year. [The Wall Street Journal]

30 feet long, 7 feet wide

The Wolf Science Center in Austria installed a massive treadmill 30 feet in length and 7 feet in width in order to study cooperation among dogs and wolves. The scientists are interested in whether the animals are more likely to share food after going on a run together — like when your stoned friend promises to buy you a Doritos Locos Taco if you walk with him to Taco Bell. [Scientific American]

800 pounds

A court ruled that a former London Zoo meerkat expert must pay a former colleague — a monkey-handler whom she attacked with a wine glass — 800 pounds, which is about $1,235 in Florida, the place where this kind of news story typically happens. Both of the women had dated the same llama-keeper. If this was published anywhere except the Associated Press I would not have believed a single word of it. [Associated Press]

23,005 visits

A new study estimates just over 23,000 annual emergency room visits are due to side effects from the consumption of dietary supplements. As a result of this devastating news, I have decided to stop chasing tequila shots with Omega-3 fatty acid fish oil, or as I like to call the combination, a Moby Dickleback. [The New England Journal of Medicine]


With 83,844 Puerto Rico residents leaving the territory to move to the U.S. mainland and only 19,771 people making the reverse trip, that’s the net migration out of Puerto Rico, a level not seen in over 50 years. The territory is still in a recession that has lasted for almost a decade. [Pew Research Center]

$35 million

That’s how much House Speaker John Boehner raised for Republicans for the 2014 campaign through three PACs. Rep. Paul Ryan, who is being recruited aggressively for the speakership after Boehner’s resignation, doesn’t want the job or its awful fundraising circus. But some of the people encouraging Ryan are suggesting he could skip the fundraising if it means he’ll take the job. [Bloomberg]

$850.2 million

Sales last year processed through payment and point-of-sale service Square, the other company helmed by incoming Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. The company filed to go public Wednesday. [The Wall Street Journal]

$862 million

Apple could owe up to $862 million to the University of Wisconsin-Madison after a jury found the company used technology owned by the university in the processors of several iPhone models without permission. [Reuters]


Estimated number of people who have ever lived, from my colleague Mona Chalabi. A reader asked her about the demographics of heaven. Seems crowded up there — I plan to end up in Valhalla, the enormous Asgardian hall where heroes slain in glorious battle go upon death. If you’d prefer that as well, my laser tag team has decided to hold an open tryout, feel free to contact me @WaltHickey. [FiveThirtyEight]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.