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Significant Digits For Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015

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

57.3 percent

The percentage of Kansas City homes that tuned in to the first game of the World Series on Tuesday night, compared with 27 percent of New York City homes. The Royals won that game, and Wednesday night’s too. The Mets return home for the third game, so maybe they’ll turn it around. [CNN Money]

80 percent

The percentage of the 100 most conservative Republican members of Congress who have not yet made an endorsement in the GOP presidential primary. For the 100 most moderate Republican members, that figure is 66 percent. [FiveThirtyEight]


A man who strapped a horrifying Halloween children’s doll into the passenger seat of his car to gain access to a high-occupancy vehicle lane in Tacoma, Washington, was slammed with a $136 ticket by a state trooper. I commend this man as our modern society has stripped away the true meaning of Halloween, which is mischief to satiate whatever trickster god may look favorably upon it. [Associated Press]

150 miles

A specialized military communications blimp became untethered from a mooring in Maryland and blew unguided 150 miles into Pennsylvania. The erstwhile dirigible deflated for an unknown reason, which is nice, because if my history is right, an uncontrolled military communications computer system is basically how Skynet happened and I made plans for the weekend so I don’t need that in my life. [Associated Press]


Japan has an aging population, the result of decades of declining birth rates and the inexorable forward motion of time. As a result, the nation has a bunch of empty school buildings and has to find something to do with them. Between 2002 and 2013, Japan closed 5,800 school buildings, about 1,500 of which were still in need of a purpose as of 2014. Others have been demolished or turned into rec centers for seniors, private businesses and in one case a hot springs spa. [Quartz]


William Gay, a cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was fined $5,787 by the NFL for wearing purple shoes to commemorate Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Gay’s mother was killed by his stepfather, so the issue is personal for Gay. [NBC Sports]

1.5 million

The worldwide death toll from tuberculosis last year. The disease now kills more people than HIV/AIDS. [Wall Street Journal]

12.95 million

The number of viewers of the premiere episode of the new CBS show “Supergirl,” which tells the story of Clark Kent’s Kryptonian cousin. The show tied for the biggest premiere for a new show in the young adult demographic this year. [Variety]

$82.6 million

How much “Jurassic World” has made in the home-release portion of its run, by far the biggest seller of the year. [Variety]

$2.6 billion

Halloween is huge for the candy business, with the industry expecting $2.6 billion in sales. [Politico]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.