Skip to main content
ABC News
Significant Digits For Tuesday, March 5, 2019

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news. For even more facts, figures and discussion, check out our live FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast in New York City on March 20.

16 million pages of documents

The Vatican plans to open its archives on Pius XII, who was the pope during World War II, in a move that Jewish groups have been advocating for a long time. It includes an estimated 16 million pages of documents, including official correspondence. The archive will give researchers a fuller understanding of the role of the Catholic Church during the war. Pius XII has been “accused of tolerating the rise of Nazi Germany and of not doing enough to protect Jews during the Holocaust.” [BBC]

Roughly 2,000 lawsuits

Purdue Pharma, the company that makes OxyContin and is owned by the Sackler family, is reportedly “exploring filing for bankruptcy.” The company could face huge liabilities resulting from the roughly 2,000 lawsuits against it that claim it contributed to the opioid crisis. Purdue denies the allegations. In 2017, there were 47,600 overdose deaths involving prescription pain killers such as OxyContin or other opioids such as heroin or fentanyl. [Reuters]

112 mph

Starting with the 2021 model year, Volvo will limit its cars’ top speed to 112 mph, the goal being that no one is killed or seriously injured in a Volvo by 2020. I didn’t even know station wagons could go that fast in the first place. [The Verge]

11 weeks of night shoots

The eighth and final season of “Game of Thrones” is coming soon to HBO. The production of one of its episodes reportedly involved up to 750 people and 11 weeks of night shoots. It will apparently feature the “longest consecutive battle sequence ever committed to film,” eclipsing even this epic battle sequence. [Entertainment Weekly]

73,000 scouting reports

The Ringer obtained the Cincinnati Reds’ player scouting database from 1991 to 2003, including more than 73,000 scouting reports of all kinds of baseball players, from stars to scrubs. It provides a fascinating window into the differences between modern metrics and old-school analysis, as well as “the perils and potential of projecting player performance.” [The Ringer]

1,529 live turtles

A traveler tried to smuggle 1,529 live turtles into the Philippines. The reptiles were worth about $87,000, or nearly $60 a turtle. The passenger abandoned the bags at an airport before passing through security, and the animals were turned over to something called the DENR Wildlife Traffic Monitoring Unit, which also in the past year took possession of seized iguanas, chameleons and bearded dragons. [USA Today]

From ABC News:

News headlines today: Mar. 5, 2019

Love digits? Find even more in FiveThirtyEight’s book of math and logic puzzles, “The Riddler.” I hope you dig it.

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

Oliver Roeder was a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied game theory and political competition.