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Significant Digits For Tuesday, June 26, 2018

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


1 marijuana-derived medicine

Yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first drug derived from marijuana. It’s called Epidiolex, and is used to treat “two rare and devastating forms of epilepsy.” [Stat]


45 years old

In an otherwise meaningless World Cup game between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Essam El-Hadary made history. When the 45-year-old Egyptian goalkeeper took the field yesterday, he became the oldest player in the tournament’s history. He even went on to save a penalty kick, but Saudi Arabia won, 2-1. [ESPN]


118 Republican women

Lots of Democratic women have been running for election to the U.S. House of Representatives — 350, to be exact, have filed this cycle. That’s not so on the other side of the aisle, where only 118 Republican women have done so. The disparity is even wider when you look at who gets elected. The number of Democratic women in Congress has been steadily increasing, while the number of Republican women in Congress hasn’t substantially increased in nearly 20 years. [FiveThirtyEight]


180 years of gaming a day

After conquering humanity’s interesting strategic board and card games — checkers, chess, poker, Go — artificial intelligence’s next challenge is humanity’s video games. The bots are quickly making strides. A new system called OpenAI Five, developed by a research company backed by Elon Musk and Peter Thiel, has beaten five teams of human players in Dota 2, a popular multiplayer battle arena game. To prep for its conquests, the system plays and learns from 180 years’ worth of games a day — 80 percent against itself and 20 percent against its past selves. [VentureBeat]


$601,500 for a pound of moon rock

There’s apparently big money in rocks from space. Steve Curry, an obsessive, self-taught meteorite hunter, listed some of his own rocks on eBay for huge amounts: a pound of moon rock for $601,500 and a hunk of Mars for $1.4 million. But the rocks weren’t all that they seemed, and Curry’s schemes eventually landed him in jail. [The Verge]


$109 million in cash

In 86 all-cash sales, buyers connected to Russia or former Soviet republics made purchases at Trump-branded properties totaling nearly $109 million. There’s nothing illegal about cash sales, but they can raise red flags and eyebrows. Adam Schiff, a Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said that “the size and scope of these cash purchases are deeply troubling as they can often signal money laundering activity.” [McClatchy]


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

Oliver Roeder is a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight.

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