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Significant Digits For Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017

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

26 ancient cities

A team of archaeologists was able to analyze 12,000 clay tablets detailing business transactions mentioning 26 ancient cities. Here’s the even cooler part: 11 of those cities are lost. However, using the locations of the 15 known cities and the observed frequencies of transactions, the researchers were able to estimate the potential locations for the lost cities. Imagine future archaeologists taking bus schedules for New York, Cleveland and Atlanta and using math to find the ancient lost city of Philly. [The Washington Post]

75 percent

Kalashnikov Kontsern, the maker of the AK-47, is going private. The Russian state-owned holding company Rostec sold just under half of Kalashnikov in 2013, part to Aleksei Krivoruchko and part to two other investors. But now those two investors as well as Rostec are reportedly selling shares to Krivoruchko, giving him roughly three quarters of the company and taking it into private hands. Until the imposition of sanctions stemming from the crisis in Ukraine, Kalashnikov was selling more rifles to the U.S. civilian market than to the Russian military. [The New York Times]

30 million people

What once was warmly called “pre-hypertension” is now the imposing “stage 1 hypertension,” according to new guidelines. That means 103 million people technically have hypertension, including 30 million people who until this point thought they were good. [Bloomberg]


Based on a report from the Joint Committee on Taxation, in 2019 households making $1 million per year or higher would on average enjoy a tax cut of $58,000 under the GOP tax plan. Households earning $50,000 to $75,000 would see an average tax cut of $688 in the same period. [Bloomberg]

$2.3 billion

That’s the value of a takeover bid from a private equity group for Buffalo Wild Wings. The restaurant business has seen a ton of consolidation lately, and Buffalo Wild Wings’ struggles with the rising price of chicken wings and declining foot traffic make it a compelling target. [The Wall Street Journal]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.