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Significant Digits For Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015

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

9 percent

De Beers, the worldwide diamond empire, cut the price of diamonds by 9 percent this year, Bloomberg is reporting. So if you’re going to make a stupid decision in the next year or so, at least you can get a small discount on the ring. [Bloomberg]

30 countries

Twitter has chosen sides in the battle between privileged political elites and nonprofit government watchdogs, shutting down a service that monitored the Twitter accounts of politicians in 30 countries for deleted tweets. An example of how this was useful: Recently, Politwoops found several U.S. government officials deleting tweets supporting Bowe Bergdahl shortly before going on to criticize him as a traitor (and President Obama for negotiating his release). Could this have to do with Twitter’s own interests in lobbying the federal government? Who can say. [TechCrunch]

-51 percentage points

Shocking political news: Businessman Donald Trump is not super popular among Hispanics. His net favorability rating with the group is -51 percentage points. The next lowest GOP contender, Sen. Ted Cruz, has a net favorability rating of just -8 points. [Gallup]

200 miles

Estimated distance covered by New York’s sidewalk construction sheds, the scaffolding and plywood eyesores that protect pedestrians from falling debris whenever a luxury condo needs building. Efforts are underway to make the sheds more aesthetically pleasing, presumably for the people living in nearby luxury condos. [The New York Times]


The prize for catching the most snakes in the official Florida python hunt, which has attracted over 1,500 people to participate, including a U.S. senator. This is literally a Simpsons episode, right? [Tampa Bay Times]

4,000 Chipotle workers

Chipotle Mexican Grill wants to hire 4,000 people on a single day, Sept. 9. Why so many? Over the next year, Chipotle will add anywhere from 195 to 205 new stores. Perhaps one will be located in the Heights district of Jersey City, New Jersey, near that abandoned trophy store by the BP, and ideally open late night. Please. It’s just the delivery guy from Domino’s knows my name now, and somehow that’s what finally made it weird. [The Huffington Post]


The stock market is having some issues. Still, chill out people. If you look at the historical performance of two investors who put $1,000 in the S&P 500 in 1980 — one skittish and one who never sells — the skittish investor would have $10,613 last week and the stalwart one would have $18,635. I’ve already forgotten my password. [FiveThirtyEight]

$1.7 million

How much money Ashley Madison, a site for people seeking affairs, made in 2014 from its “full delete” service, which would ostensibly wipe out all the information the company had on a customer. [Motherboard]

10.1 million viewers

Number of people who tuned in to watch AMC’s “Fear The Walking Dead” on Sunday, a new cable record for most-watched premiere. The show is a spin-off of the hit series “Walking Dead.” [CNN Money]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.