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Significant Digits For Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016

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

1 percent

Share of worldwide olive oil exports the U.S. is responsible for, with most of it going to Canada and Mexico. The world’s largest producers are Italy, Spain and Tunisia, but U.S. olive producers are making a go at competing with the established players. [Bloomberg]

5 percent

Sales at McDonald’s were up 5 percent last quarter compared to a year before, buoyed by the implementation of all-day breakfast, me hearing about all-day breakfast, and me eating all-day breakfast. I take full responsibility for McDonald’s Q4 sales is what I’m saying. [Bloomberg]

4 Russians

The Russian Olympic Committee banned two athletes for two years and suspended two others for four years after discovering evidence of doping. Russia itself was banned by the IAAF in November from international athletic competitions after allegations of state-sponsored doping. [BBC]

16 years

Hassan Rouhani, the president of Iran, will make the first trip to Europe by an Iranian president in 16 years. Thanks to the removal of sanctions, Europe and Iran are apparently cool again. Top priority: Rouhani wants to hang out with the pope. [The Guardian]

60 days

New executive actions from President Obama will limit the maximum amount of time a prisoner can be sent to solitary confinement for a first offense from the current 365 days to 60 days. The executive actions will also ban solitary confinement for minors in the federal system. [The Washington Post]

68 percent

Percentage of words in “The Little Mermaid” that are said by men. Sure, that might have to do with the whole “Ariel loses her voice” plot line, but Ariel marked the start of a whole era of Disney movies ostensibly about princesses but kind of about the dudes they hang out with. [The Washington Post]


A local genius built an igloo in Brooklyn following Saturday’s blizzard and listed it for $200 per night on AirBnB. I would say the company took down the ad because of safety concerns, but AirBnB historically doesn’t really care about those. Or, maybe it was an illegal hotel? That doesn’t come up as a concern for AirBNB much either. So absent additional information, presumably the company just took the ad down because they hate fun. [Metro]

$10 million

After Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters broke his leg on tour, the band incurred nearly $10 million in fees and expenses for cancelling the rest of its European tour. The risk of injury is just one reason that artists are wary of relying on touring, one for the few remaining lucrative parts of the increasingly broke music business. [The New York Times]

45.7 million viewers

Number of people who watched the Carolina Massacre on Sunday, when Cam Newton’s Carolina Panthers wrecked the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship game, 49-15. On the other hand, the AFC championship — which featured Tom Brady and Peyton Manning— pulled in 53.3 million viewers. [ESPN]

6.6 trillion cubic feet of snow

Ballpark estimate for how much snow was dumped on the U.S. by last week’s blizzard. [Ryan Maue]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.