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Significant Digits For Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018

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


Category 4

Hurricane Florence has intensified into a Category 4 storm and is currently churning across the Atlantic. Its biggest impact on the U.S. coast is expected to come Thursday and Thursday night, and the area from the Carolinas to Virginia is at greatest risk. A hurricane watch is expected to be issued for the southeastern coast this morning, according to the National Hurricane Center. [The Weather Channel]


4 ways

(Sponsored by Mott & Bow) A typical pair of jeans derives comfort using a 2-way stretch design that works horizontally. One denim brand decided to add an extra dimension to their way of thinking, and introduced these 4-way stretch jeans that work in both vertical and horizontal directions, allowing for maximum mobility and comfort.


$5 footlong

I’m really very sorry to get that godawful jingle stuck in your head so early in the day, but pour out a fountain soda for Subway’s $5 Footlong deal, which is not long for this world. Subway franchisees were reportedly “irate” at the deal’s reintroduction over the winter, citing razor-thin margins on the sandwiches. The franchisees themselves will now get to decide whether or not to offer the deal. Hell hath no fury like a Subway franchisee scorned. [USA Today]


15 EGOT winners

Only 15 people have ever EGOTed — that is, won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. Three new EGOTers were created over the weekend at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards: John Legend, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, all of whom won for a production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” (And there I go sticking more songs in your head.) Legend is the first African-American man to win all four awards. [CNN]


Up 86 percent

Money and politics, my colleague Maggie Koerth-Baker writes, have a complicated love affair. And the money is currently flying. Ad volumes in 2018 are up 86 percent compared to the midterm election in 2014. But the relationship between spending and winning is complicated. The candidate spending more usually wins, but that doesn’t mean the money caused the win. Why? All those ads don’t really work that well. [FiveThirtyEight]


More than 1,100 pardons

As his time in office winds down, California Gov. Jerry Brown recently commuted the sentences of 20 killers serving life sentences. Brown has also pardoned more than 1,100 people. For comparison, his predecessors, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gray Davis, granted 15 and zero pardons, respectively. Brown’s supporters see the pardons and commutations as a small victory in a fight against mass incarceration, while his detractors argue it bolsters California’s image as an “offender-friendly state.” [The Washington Post]


2,825 independent video rental stores

Much of my youth and adolescence (and, who are we kidding, young adulthood) was (mis)spent in or adjacent to video rental stores. The carpet, candy, surly staff and the, shall we say, “socializing” in the parking lot combined to create an experience that I argue cannot adequately be replaced by streaming “A Christmas Prince” on Netflix. Alas, I weep for the young. There were 8,500 independent video stores a decade ago; there were 2,825 last year. (The chain stores have similarly disappeared.) Three of those remaining indie stores are in Seattle, and this is a lovely paean to them. [The Seattle Times]


Love digits? Find even more in FiveThirtyEight’s new book of math and logic puzzles, “The Riddler.” It’s out on Oct. 9.

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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