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Significant Digits For Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017

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

32 inches

Imagine a person on an airplane bracing for impact and assuming the position where their head is between their legs. Department of Transportation documentation indicates there has to be a 35 inch axis from the bottom of the seat back in order to have a clear head strike zone. According to a court briefing, the most generous axis in coach seats right now is 32 inches after years of cramming more seats on to planes, meaning no seat meets the standard in coach. [The Daily Beast]

44 minutes

Time spent on advertisements during the Raiders-Titans game on Sunday, a low for the weekend. Looking at the NFL opening weekend games in the aggregate, games had about 10 fewer minutes of commercials compared to last year. [Sports Facts]

46 percent

Percentage of NFL offenses that gained fewer than 300 yards in week one, up from 22 percent of offenses in the previous three season openers. This may underscore a league-wide problem developing offensive line talent. [The Washington Post]


Martin Shkreli, the widely reviled pharmaceutical representative convinced of fraud, has had his $5 million bail revoked after he used his pre-sentencing time as a free man to put up a $5,000 bounty for one of his fans to grab former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s hair. This was considered bad behavior by the judge. [CNBC]

$25,000 per hour

Hourly cost of the U.S. Air Force jet that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, independently wealthy from his time at Goldman Sachs, asked the government to use to fly him to his honeymoon in Scotland, France and Italy. The request to have the taxpayers fund the vacation was declined. [ABC News]


Minimum amount that Equifax spent on lobbying Congress and regulators in the first half of 2017, including pursuing legislation that would limit the liability of credit reporting companies in the courts. Given that Equifax oversaw the personal financial data of 143 million Americans that was hacked in a cyberattack, that sure would be a useful law to have on the books so they wouldn’t have to pay victims all that much. [The Wall Street Journal]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.