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Significant Digits For Tuesday, March 15, 2016

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news. We’re trying out a new approach, with fewer news items but more detail, so please bear with us.


3 charged officers

Brandon Matthew Sontag, Nicole Lynn Quijas and Jorge Arroyo — three Santa Ana police officers who were caught on camera in June apparently eating candy bars and destroying video cameras at a medical pot dispensary they had just raided — were each charged with misdemeanors by the Orange County District Attorney’s office for damaging the video equipment. As for the weed edibles? The DA says there’s no evidence that the officers consumed any marijuana products, and what they were eating on camera was nothing more than “snacks available to staff.” Right. Sontag was also charged for vandalism for allegedly destroying the video cameras. [OC Weekly]


17 seconds

This Friday is huge for soon-to-be graduates of U.S. medical schools, as it’s when they’ll be told their residency hospital match by the National Residency Match Program. It’s been 23 days since they submitted their ranked preferences, but here’s the weird thing: According to one medical student’s replication of the matching algorithm — it’s based on the Gale-Shapley algorithm, and while the NRMP’s specific implementation of the algorithm and its input data isn’t public, it can be spoofed — the actual matching of 34,000 some-odd applicants to 30,000 some-odd hospital sots only takes 17 seconds on some basic hardware. So why the crushing 23 day wait? Well, there’s a lot of credential verification that has to go on. After all, these are doctors we’re talking about here. [Medium]


51 percent

According to the Engaging News Project at the University of Texas at Austin, that’s the percentage of Americans who do not comment on news stories and also do not read the comments on news stories. Only 14 percent of Americans had posted a comment on the stories, while the rest are presumably lurkers. [Nieman Lab]


70 percent

The University of Connecticut is the huge favorite to win the NCAA Women’s Basketball tournament, based on a FiveThirtyEight analysis of the bracket released yesterday. The Huskies have made it to the Final Four the the past eight years. [ESPN, FiveThirtyEight]


99 delegates

Today is pretty huge for this election. On the GOP side, both Florida and Ohio will allocate their respective 99 and 66 delegates to whoever wins a mere plurality, and there’s a solid chance that is Donald Trump in each state. This could be the de facto end of the line for mainstream opposition to the Trump bid. On the GOP side, 367 delegates will be up for grabs; on the Democratic side, there will be 691 pledged delegates. Just like last week, I’ll be on ABC News’ live stream intermittently from like 7 p.m. onwards with more coverage of the primary contests. Check it out! [FiveThirtyEight]


$733 million

Sony will buy out the stake held by Michael Jackson’s estate in Sony/ATV Music Publishing, their joint music business. Sony is paying a $733 million lump sum for the 50 percent stake with future payments to come. This will give Sony control over 4 million songs, which is nice in the era of streaming. [Bloomberg]


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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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