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Significant Digits For Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018

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


$5 million in cash

Theranos, the blood-testing “company” that was “accused of perpetrating Silicon Valley’s biggest fraud,” is closing. Among other reasons to go out of business — like, you know, that massive and years-long fraud — the company has just about $5 million in cash. At its peak, it was valued at more than $9 billion. Nice work, free market. [The Wall Street Journal]


20,000 Mercedes-Benz vans

Amazon, a newly minted $1 trillion company, is ordering some sweet rides. Well, sweet-ish. They’re Mercedes-Benz … vans. They’re meant to help the company rely less on the postal service and FedEx to deliver packages, and to encourage the creation of small businesses that want to deliver items for the company. I’m sure the new Amazon delivery workers will be very happy in their luxe vans. [The Wall Street Journal]


180 miles, into the stratosphere

Saturn has a weird hexagon that is even weirder than we knew before. It’s an atmospheric phenomenon 20,000 miles wide that swirls as a jet stream at 200 mph around the planet’s north pole. That is already a cool and amazing thing for a hexagon to do. But now, according to a new study, scientists think that the hexagon also extends 180 miles above the Saturnian cloud tops into the planet’s stratosphere. For my money, this is best hexagonal news since the release of Settlers of Catan. [NBC News]


2-millimeter hole

Elsewhere in outer space, there is a two-millimeter hole in the International Space Station, and it is leaking. No one seems to know who did it, save for the fact that Russian officials say it was likely caused by a human hand. No one on the station is in “significant danger” because of the leak, but if you have any information on the tiny outer space hole-maker, or if you’ve just misplaced an awl, please let us know. [NPR]


$95 million lawsuit

Roy Moore, a Republican who ran in and lost a Senate election in Alabama, is suing Sacha Baron Cohen — aka Ali G aka Borat aka Brüno et al. — and Showtime for nearly $100 million. Moore appeared on Baron Cohen’s Showtime show “Who Is America?” and was scanned with a “pedophile detector.” It beeped, causing Moore to end the interview. [Variety]


$43 million “in buzz”

As you’ve probably heard by now, Nike employed Colin Kaepernick for its latest “Just Do It” campaign. The company’s shares fell as much as 3.9 percent on Tuesday. But the move also generated more than $43 million in media exposure in less than one day, according to a marketing group. [Money]


If you see a significant digit in the wild, please send it to @ollie.

Oliver Roeder is a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight.

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