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Significant Digits For Tuesday, May 26, 2015

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8 months

Former prime minister of Israel Ehud Olmert received a sentence of eight months in jail Monday after being convicted of fraud. It can be appealed. [The New York Times]

14 years

When commemorating Memorial Day on Monday, President Obama pointed out that it was, for the first time in 14 years, a celebration of the holiday while the U.S. was not involved in a ground war. To put it another way: there are freshmen in high school for whom this Memorial Day is different than any other. [Reuters]

22 schools

The public school system in Chicago completely forgot about 22 of its schools when building a hiring estimate for a janitorial contract. The oversight cost the district an additional $7 million annually on a contract that only cost $64 million in the first year. [Chicago Sun Times]

43-47 dolphins

The Maui dolphin is the smallest marine dolphin in the world, and the estimated population of the creature has dipped below 50. The dolphin is only found off the coast of New Zealand and could be extinct within 15 years. Only 10 of the 43 to 47 estimated dolphins are mature females, which appears to present a logistical problem for, you know, repopulating the species. [BBC]

60 percent of patients

That’s the upper bound of the percentage of patients who looked for a second opinion on a doctor’s diagnosis and received one that was a major change from what they had before. A Gallup Poll from five years ago, however, found 70 percent of Americans hadn’t seen the need for a second opinion. [Los Angeles Times]

62 percent

Huge news out of Ireland, where citizens voted 62 percent to 38 percent to approve a referendum legalizing same-sex marriage. The nation — which only decriminalized homosexuality in 1993! — saw an even faster shift in public opinion than the U.S. did in the past 10 years. [FiveThirtyEight]


That’s about how many people are currently employed by Malaysia Airlines. The company is going to lay off about a third of those employees and restructure itself into a new company, hoping to shed the reputation of its two major air disasters that occurred within a five month period. [Reuters]

69.3 million euros

That’s how much the Vatican bank made in net income last year, about 24 times as much as the bank made the previous year when it was trying to clean up corruption inside the bank. [New York Times Dealbook]

$200 million

That’s how much the company behind “dating service” Ashley Madison is looking to raise by going public. I put “dating service” in scare quotes there mostly because it is a site designed to facilitate affairs. If they pull off the fundraising round it would make Avid Life Media — the company that owns Ashley Madison — a billion dollar company. [BBC]

$55.1 billion

After a bid from Comcast earlier this year was spiked by the feds, Time Warner Cable is making a deal with Charter Communications, which will buy it for $55.1 billion. The acquisition would make Charter the second biggest cable company by subscribers, only topped by Comcast. [Bloomberg]

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Super special thanks to Oliver Roeder for filling in last week while I was on vacation, be sure to follow him @Ollie. If you see a significant digit in the wild, tweet it to me at @WaltHickey.

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.