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Significant Digits For Tuesday, March 13, 2018

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

62 co-sponsors

A piece of legislation in the U.S. Senate that would improve data reporting to the national gun background check database has 62 co-sponsors but is still being held up by Republicans. It’s one of the only bills addressing gun deaths that has even a remote chance of becoming a law in the current Congress. On Monday, President Trump walked back his televised declaration that he would push for near-universal background checks and raising the age limit to purchase rifles. [The New York Times]


40 singles

(Sponsored by Mott & Bow) Not all t-shirts are created equal. In fact, the industry has a way of measuring the quality of the cotton thread used in the t-shirt that they’re selling you. Manufacturers go by a unit called a “single,” which is a measurement of the fineness of cotton thread. If it takes only 20 spools of thread to weigh one pound, then the thread is said to be “20 singles.” If it takes 30 spools of thread to weigh one pound, then the thread is said to be “30 singles,” and so on. For a truly soft, fine, comfortable t-shirt that also looks good, look for something around 40 singles, like these.


No. 169

One week after hitting No. 1 on the Billboard album charts, Bon Jovi’s album “This House Is Not For Sale” dropped 168 spots to No. 169, the largest-ever one-week drop in the six-decade history of the chart’s existence. The No. 1 placement was tied to a deal that bundled CD sales with concert tickets. [The New York Times]


700 patients

In a devastating lapse, 2,000 frozen eggs and embryos at a Cleveland fertility clinic may no longer be viable after temperatures rose due to a refrigeration issue. The hospital has informed roughly 700 people that the frozen eggs and embryos may have suffered damage. [The Washington Post]


21 million

That’s the maximum number of bitcoins that can be created, and as of January about 80 percent of that hard cap was already in existence. The final 20 percent will have to be created through complex cryptographic puzzles, and those who want to actually make money mining them are looking for cheap land, cheap power, good Internet and a steady government. The mining towns of the West are once again seeing “miners.” [BuzzFeed]


$213 million

Oklahoma state employees are poised to strike if the state fails to approve $213 million in raises by April 2. In addition, the Oklahoma Education Association is demanding more than $800 million in raises for teachers and school funding, along with the state workers’ pay increases, to avoid a strike. [News OK]


$117 billion

President Trump took the highly unusual move of issuing an executive order to block a $117 billion acquisition of Qualcomm Inc. by rival chipmaker Broadcom Ltd, which is based in Singapore. The pair of chip manufacturers has been in M&A fight over the attempted acquisition for some time. The president cited national security concerns over the business deal. [Bloomberg]


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

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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