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Significant Digits For Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018

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

2 candidates

Republicans in New York appear to be in a moderately dire position. In one week, they’ve lost two gubernatorial candidates to run against Andrew Cuomo and are searching for an answer. Some free advice to the local GOP: If you tape “FIX THE SUBWAY” to a Furby you’d pull at least 10 percent in this town. [POLITICO]

59 percent plastic

A scientific study analyzed the stomach contents of 41 seagulls captured at a landfill in Canada, for some reason, and it found that the seagulls ingested an aggregate 284 pieces of junk, of which 59 percent were plastic. These creatures used to be dinosaurs. [Popular Science]

98 percent

Somehow, against all odds, the supremely dorky AirPods are a bona fide hit. Customer satisfaction is at 98 percent, for some reason, because apparently most Americans aren’t mutants like myself with structurally misshapen ears and who also have $159. [The Ringer]


Barring legislation changing current copyright law, on January 1, 2019, everything published in 1923 currently protected by copyright law will enter the public domain. [Ars Techinica]

DL 9771

The final flight of a Boeing 747 by a U.S. airline occurred last week when Delta 9771 made its last flight to a boneyard in Arizona. The aircraft entered service in 1970 for Pan American. [Ars Technica]


Amount paid to a pair of law firms — Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels PC and Willey & Chamberlain PLLC — by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services by the state of Michigan to defend two officials linked to the Flint Water Crisis. [MLive]

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

CORRECTION (Jan.10, 9:09 a.m.): A previous version of this article mistakenly said that all works published in 1929 could soon lose copyright protection. The year affected would be 1923.

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.