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Significant Digits For Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018

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

2-mile test tunnel

Elon Musk’s digging enterprise, called the Boring Company (har har), is scheduled to open a 2-mile test tunnel underneath the Los Angeles area on Dec. 10. It’s a test for an underground public transportation system in which people and cars will travel on autonomous platforms called “skates.” Alternatively, and hear me out here because this is pretty damn radical, someone could just fix the subway. You know, that system of tunnels underneath New York City in which people travel on enclosed platforms called “trains.” [The Verge]

12 gauge

(Sponsored by Mott & Bow) People tend to wait for temperatures to drop before breaking out the sweaters, but some sweaters don’t have to be reserved exclusively for “sweater season.” As winter approaches, stock up on sweaters that offer looser tension and a seasonless weight, like these incredibly soft 12 gauge crewneck sweaters made of 100% grade A cashmere, which can be layered over a button-down on cooler days or worn on their own when temperatures start climbing again.

2,990 body cameras

A Vievu-brand LE-5 body camera worn by a New York City police officer burst into flames Saturday, and now the department is taking 2,990 of the cameras out of service. The department was planning to outfit its 23,000 patrol officers with the cameras by December under a multimillion-dollar contract with Vievu. [The New York Times]

$12,600 to $18,900

The auction house Christie’s is scheduled to sell 22 items that belonged to the late physicist Stephen Hawking, including his doctoral thesis, a bomber jacket, a script from his appearance on “The Simpsons” and a wheelchair that he used from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s. The wheelchair is estimated to sell for between $12,600 and $18,900. [CNBC]

800,000 pounds of food

Some 800,000 pounds of “ready-to-eat meat and poultry” have been recalled from the stores Trader Joe’s and Harris Teeter (who I presume was Joe’s archrival when it came to, like, trading). “Ready-to-eat” is a fairly big misnomer here because the foodstuffs were potentially contaminated with salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes, which you definitely do not want to ever eat. Relatedly: Do not dress up your chicken for Halloween. [Fortune]

197 million now

My colleague Perry Bacon Jr. has the latest update on the midterms, this one about governors races. The number of people forecast to be governed by Democrats has ticked up a few million, to 197 million, in the latest runs of our model. The biggest news was out of the Last Frontier that is Alaska, where Gov. Bill Walker, an independent, suspended his campaign and endorsed Democratic candidate Mark Begich, a former senator. [FiveThirtyEight]

$2 billion in debt

Netflix plans to turn to the debt market to raise $2 billion to fund more of its original programming. Fantastic news, honestly. Just imagine how many episodes of “VeggieTales in the City” and “VeggieTales in the House” and other types of VeggieTales tales I can’t even think of right now that you could buy with that kind of cash. A lot, is what I’m getting at. [TechCrunch]

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 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.