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Significant Digits For Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017

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


4 teams

The NFL’s divisional playoff games are in the books, including the Green Bay Packers defeating the Universally Reviled Dallas Cowboys in the best game of the playoffs so far, (Congrats, Blythe.) And we’ve got our conference championship week probabilities all figured out. The New England Patriots have a 70 percent chance of beating the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Atlanta Falcons are 61-percent favorites against the Packers. The favorites to win the Super Bowl, in order: Patriots (43 percent), Falcons (25 percent), Packers (16 percent) and Steelers (15 percent). [FiveThirtyEight]


6 percent

After several years of rising revenue, a launch accident in June 2015 helped push Elon Musk’s SpaceX into the red in the last fiscal year. The company is reportedly fine, and space is hard, but a 6 percent drop in revenue doesn’t feel good. [The Wall Street Journal]


45 minutes

The federal government and Amtrak could cut the travel time between New York and Boston by 45 minutes, down to two hours and 45 minutes. While high speed rail is common in many developed nations, the plan — which would add tracks and trains in some small towns in Rhode Island and Connecticut — isn’t sitting well with some residents living along the route. [The Wall Street Journal]


146 years

After 146 years of operation, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will hold its final circus later this year. It turns out that “check out these animals doing awesome tricks” was made a bit superfluous as a live roadshow once we had ubiquitous cameras, the means to spread video far and wide and a rudimentary understanding of the capacity of mammals to experience pain. [The Atlantic]


3,391 guns

You cannot bring guns onto an airplane in a carry-on bag. That line in the airborne social contract was apparently news to the flyers responsible for the 3,391 guns confiscated by the Transportation Security Administration in 2016. That’s a record and up 30 percent from 2015. Eighty-three percent of them were loaded. [USA Today]


$26 million

Oscar contender “Hidden Figures” won the holiday weekend box office. “Sing” and “La La Land” continued to roll on. But it’s the wide releases where the numbers are rough; three high-profile studio films tanked: Ben Affleck’s “Live By Night,” Martin Scorsese’s “Silence” and “Monster Trucks.” [The Hollywood Reporter]


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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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