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Significant Digits For Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019

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

12 House Republicans

Dallas-area U.S. Rep. Kenny Marchant announced yesterday that he would not seek reelection, becoming the 12th House Republican to step aside. Only three House Democrats have made similar announcements. Marchant also vacates “a third Texas House seat heavily targeted by Democrats in 2020.” [The Washington Post]

10.6 ounces

(Sponsored by Mott & Bow) Chances are you have no idea how much your jeans weigh, but the weight of your jeans matters more than you think. For summer, lighter is obviously better, but how light is light? These jeans weigh in at just 10.6 ounces, and you’d be hard-pressed to find jeans that weigh much less. They also have a finishing that gives them incredible softness, which adds an additional dimension to the overall comfort level of the jeans. First time customers get 15 percent off, so they’re definitely worth checking out. They come in dark blue and a medium blue wash.

720,000 air purifiers

Last year, in the midst of the Camp wildfire in California, business at one retailer quintupled — Collier Hardware sold almost 60,000 breathing masks in just two weeks. Similarly, as the threat of wildfires continues and temperatures increase, overall demand for portable air purifiers in California is forecast to soar, from 469,000 of them in 2017 to 720,000 in 2023, according to data presented recently before the California Air Resources Board. [Los Angeles Times]

11-year low

China’s currency, the yuan, was dropped to its lowest levels in 11 years, bringing it “past a level that traders saw as an important psychological benchmark” (seven per $1). As a result, stocks dropped sharply on Monday, with investors worried about the economic damage that President Trump’s trade war would continue to wreak. [Associated Press]

22 miles

Following in the enormous footsteps of aviating forebears like Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart and Louis Blériot, a French inventor named Franky Zapata has become the first person to cross the English channel … by hoverboard. He completed the 22-mile journey in 20 minutes atop a custom hoverboard and carrying a backpack full of fuel. [NPR]


Nick Marchington, who made the final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event, went home with $1,525,000 in winnings. Now, he is being sued for $152,500 of it. A group called C Biscuit Poker Staking is arguing that they’d staked 10 percent of Marchington’s Main Event action and is seeking that cut. Marchington says he told them he was canceling the deal, in favor of a better one, and returning the investment before the Main Event began. [Card Player]

30 years

Two hundred million years ago, a dinosaur roamed the Earth. And for the past 30 years, its fossilized bones have been sitting in a museum collection at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. It was thought to have been “a peculiar specimen of Massospondylus, one of the first named dinosaurs.” However, new research suggests that it is not only a brand new species but also in a brand new genus. It is named Ngwevu intloko, Xhosa for “grey skull.” [The Guardian]

From ABC News:

SigDigs: Aug. 06, 2019

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Oliver Roeder was a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied game theory and political competition.