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Significant Digits For Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news. To receive this as an email newsletter, please subscribe.

10 years

Harry Windsor, a well-known Briton, is leaving the armed forces after 10 years of service. Prince Harry, an Apache helicopter pilot who served 2 tours in Afghanistan, will complete his service in June. [The Guardian]

11 feet

Like lots of ice on Earth, the Totten Glacier in Antarctica is melting. This is not great; the Totten Glacier holds back a lot of ice that could otherwise go into the oceans. If that happens, sea levels could rise by 11 feet. I feel like someone should look into this. [Washington Post]

15 square miles

Region of Brooklyn and the Bronx covered by ShotSpotter, a system of sensors that pickup and locate the sound of gunfire. The NYPD, following the lead of several other cities, announced it was using the program on Monday. [New York Times]

24 years old

Chris Borland, a 24-year-old linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers, said he is retiring due to concerns over the long-term health effects of repeated head traumas. Borland was one of the NFL’s best rookies last season. [ESPN]

25 channels

That’s the reported number of the approximate number of channels Apple’s forthcoming television project will launch with. [The Verge]


Companies are looking to improve employee retention by using data to figure out who is eyeing the exit. Part of the companies’ motivation: The average cost to hire a new employee is $3,341, according to the Society for Human Resource Management, an organization that admittedly sounds somewhat ominous and menacing, but I can assure you is actually a legitimate organization for H.R. professionals. [Wall Street Journal]

$837,000 office pool

A NFL “survivor” pool of epic proportions led the police to raid a New Jersey man’s home. The pool, run by John Bovery, was worth $837,000 in 2009, Bovery said. It had nearly 4,000 participants. []

16.4 million uninsured

About 16.4 million people have gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act, according to the secretary of health and human services. [New York Times]

$338 billion

Profit for the insurance industry last year. The industry thrives on people misunderstanding their own risk and may be threatened by data services that better inform consumers of realistic health risks. [The Economist]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.