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Significant Digits For Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015

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

4-0

The Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-0 Wednesday night in the National League wild-card game (check out our live blog for a recap), meaning that the boldest forecast in the history of forecasting or boldness is still on the table. [ESPN]


10 years

Artemisinin, a first-line treatment for malaria, just scored its developers a Nobel Prize in medicine. Problem is, malaria is a parasite and parasites are good at evolving, so parasitology experts believe artemisinin will be obsolete within five to 10 years. I am not a doctor, but I advise that if you plan on getting malaria, you should aim to do so within the next five to 10 years. [FiveThirtyEight]


52 weeks

The Gates Foundation is offering its 1,382 employees a year of paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child. [The Huffington Post]


40 members

Approximate strength of the “Freedom Caucus” within Congress, a group of hard-line Republicans who came out Wednesday backing Florida representative Daniel Webster for the speakership over Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Provided that bloc holds, McCarthy would not have enough votes to win the top spot in the House on the first ballot. [The Washington Post]


90 days

FIFA’s ethics committee has voted to hand down a 90-day provisional suspension to the soccer organization’s president, Sepp Blatter. The news here is not the suspension, but the fact that FIFA actually has an ethics committee. Who is on this committee? Snidely Whiplash? Lex Luthor? Resuscitated Richard Nixon? Victor Von Doom? Is it just several bales of hay with crayon-scrawled-on-paper-plate faces stuck on them? Is this the same committee that runs sensitivity training for The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants or OSHA on the Death Star? The concept that anyone within FIFA is tasked with maintaining a sensible degree of ethical behavior is insulting to the intelligence of soccer fans. More to the point, where have they been for the past ever? [BBC]


487 clients

A preliminary deal was struck earlier this week between the U.S. and 11 other pacific nations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. A lot of negotiating on the trade pact was going on domestically, too — a Center for Responsive Politics review of lobbying disclosures over eight years found 487 different clients paid lobbyists to hit up government officials to plead their case on the TPP. [The Center for Responsive Politics]


535 phone numbers

People Magazine, typically regarded as a celebrity gossip magazine, has published the 535 phone numbers corresponding to each senator and member of Congress and has asked readers to call their representatives about how to respond to mass shootings. [The Week]


$700,000

The White House will spend $700,000 on standing desks, presumably due to the craven political pursuit of trends that so plagues our society. People built a civilization sitting down to work, folks — believing anything else is merely ergonomic arrogance. [Mashable]


1,360,747

Number of homeless students in the United States, about twice the number there were in the 2006-2007 school year. Part of this increase is due to improved data reporting: States are getting better at identifying homeless students. [FiveThirtyEight]


$20 million

A state judge rejected a proposed change to the name of Paul Smith’s College to Joan Weill-Paul Smith’s College. The change was proposed after Weill offered $20 million to the upstate New York school in exchange for getting her name on the door, but Smith’s will appears to forbid it. [The New York Times]


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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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