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Significant Digits For Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018

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


16 “dissidents”

Sixteen “dissident Democrats” announced in a letter to their colleagues Monday that they will oppose Nancy Pelosi’s candidacy for Speaker of the House. Pelosi is currently the only candidate for the position, with a vote scheduled for Nov. 28. Her opponents, however, “believe that an alternative will emerge.” [The Washington Post]


2 storms

Two rain storms — one expected Wednesday morning and the other Friday and Saturday — are forecasted to hit Northern California. These could both help and hurt the efforts to battle wildfire there. The rains could help by moistening the ground and slowing the fire’s spread. They could hurt if rivers flood and the ground becomes so muddy that it traps firetrucks. [NBC News]


Hundreds of emails

Ivanka Trump, President Trump’s daughter and an advisor to the president, sent “hundreds of emails” last year to other White House aides and Cabinet officials using a personal email account. Many of these were “in violation of federal records rules,” according to The Washington Post. The personal account is on a domain that she shares with her husband, Jared Kushner. To quote The Smiths, stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before. [The Washington Post]


20 new candidates

Baseball’s Hall of Fame ballot was released yesterday and it includes 20 candidates making their first appearance. Among them are locks such as Mariano Rivera, strong candidates such as Roy Halladay, and longer shots such as Ryan Dempster and Ted Lilly. You know you’re old when the pitchers you rooted for as a Cubs fan in grad school wind up as long-shots on Hall of Fame ballots. [ESPN]


7-9 (or 9-7)

The Detroit Lions are stuck in a strange football purgatory: They tend to finish seasons with a record of 7-9 or 9-7. They’ve done that each of the past three years and in 2013, and they are due, according to our projections, to finish 7-9 this year. But 8-8 just has such a nice ring to it! [FiveThirtyEight]


Nearly 100 stars

And to send you off merrily on your holiday: The Earth is “directly in the crosshairs” of a dark matter hurricane. Dark. Matter. Hurricane. Nearly 100 stars and even more dark matter are aimed right at us. (Somehow, this is said not to be dangerous.)

Speaking of, happy Thanksgiving! SigDig will be back next week, assuming the dark matter hasn’t swallowed the internet by then. [CNN]


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

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

Oliver Roeder is a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight.

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