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Significant Digits For Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016

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


1.5 inches wide

Have you bought bacon in America recently? All right, so have you noticed how from the front the shingle-style packed bacon looks like it doesn’t have a ton of fat, but when you look at the little window in the back of the package you can scope out the real deal? Fun fact, that window is federally mandated by U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations from the early ’70s. The window is required to be at least 1.5 inches wide and to show 70 percent of the length of the bacon. Neat! [Bloomberg]


40 percent

A former San Diego resident saved a species by having sex with six tortoises hundreds of times. That’s right, Diego (a giant tortoise) was sent from the San Diego Zoo back to the Galapagos Islands about 50 years ago to kick-start a breeding program when there were only two males of his species left on one of the islands. In the intervening period, 2,000 tortoises — 40 percent of which were fathered by Diego — have been released into the wild on the island, and the species is not on the brink of extinction anymore. [Metro]


44.5 percent

Percentage of complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that cited retaliation in 2015, up from 22.6 percent in 1997. While factors including race, sex and age discrimination have remained generally flat as a percentage of claims over the same period, “retaliation” — as in firing or demoting someone because they complained or filed for discrimination — is steadily growing. [NPR]


400 kiosks

New York City is replacing its vestigial phone booths with Wi-Fi kiosks. Still, after a number of incidents, web browsing will be disabled on 400 LinkNYC kiosks because — gasps — people were using them to watch pornography. This raises a series of questions: Have the people who envisioned this system been to New York City? Are they, as I am now imagining, all Helen Lovejoy from “The Simpsons”? Did they peek inside the Port Authority Bus Terminal one day and conclude, “Yes,” scratching their chins, “a free Wi-Fi portal here will encourage people to engage more with city events and local night life?” [The Guardian]


$1.6 billion

Ford announced that it will move production of all of its small cars to Mexico, where it’s building a $1.6 billion assembly plant. This means that, given the current national political conversation, we can now confirm for a fact that The Ford Motor Company is not even remotely able to read the room. [The Associated Press via Sahil Kapur]


$66 billion

Bayer will buy Monsanto for $66 billion. It was the third time the German company upped its offer and will be the largest corporate takeover of the year so far. [CNN Money]


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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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