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Significant Digits For Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015

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

7.7 to 10.8 percent

A preliminary study about the impact that Spotify has had on the music business contains an interesting nugget: in a given country, the top 50 tracks accounted for between 7.7 and 10.8 percent of all streams in a given week. [FiveThirtyEight]

9 states

In nine states, the average per-gallon price of regular unleaded gasoline is lower than $2. South Carolina has the cheapest gas of all. [The Post and Courier]

30 percent growth

We may be approaching Peak Avocado. The approximate increase in demand for avocados in the past year was 30 percent, according to food supplier Reynolds. That the fruit has been introduced to Chinese markets to wide acclaim is also going to fuel avocado demand. As someone who considers avocados the mayonnaise of vegetables — I think it’s on too much stuff, too neutral tasting, I never know when it’s gone bad and it’s really only good when a bunch of spices are mixed in — I’m indifferent to this. [The Guardian]

67 degrees

The GOP field has compiled an odd list of demands for future networks hosting primary debates, including forbidding moderators from asking candidates to raise their hands or from directors to include audience reaction shots. Perhaps the weirdest is that they “pledge that the temperature in the hall be kept below 67 degrees,” presumably to mitigate profuse sweating. This is very easy to work around, because they forgot to provide a unit. Networks can and should set the thermostat below 67 degrees Celsius out of spite, and as a way to ensure our next potential president has both attention to detail and the ability to negotiate with Vladimir Putin in his sauna. [The Washington Post]

80 days

Everything is darkness: Monday was the first of many days where I saw the sun set before 5 p.m. In New York, the next day to have a sunset after 5 p.m. will be January 22, which is 80 days from today. [New York 1]

2,250 feet long

A 150-foot wide crack that runs for about 2,250 feet has opened up in the foothills of Wyoming, believed to be the result of a landslide. The pictures are horrifying and and also fantastic but still not a reliable reason to go to Wyoming. [Atlas Obscura]

11,000 applications

The Liberal party dominated last week’s Canadian elections, and that means the new government is looking for people to fill roughly 1,000 open positions. The Liberal party reported receiving upwards of 11,000 applications for jobs in the new government since Friday. [CBC]


China has set up an emergency phone line to report spies. People can now dial 110 for police, 119 for a fire, and 12339 if they want to report espionage. This is a contrast to the United States, where if you speak loudly and clearly into any cellphone you can probably be pretty sure the right people are hearing the news. [The New York Times]

$5.9 billion

In a massive acquisition, games developer Activision bought King Digital, the company behind Candy Crush and Farm Hero and their assorted successor brands, for $5.9 billion. Consider for a hot second that a company just paid more money for a producer of mobile games fueled by in-app purchases than Disney (where I work) paid for Star Wars. [VentureBeat]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.