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Significant Digits For Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018

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


$2.1 billion industry

Coca-Cola, noted maker of carbonated sugar water that used to contain cocaine, is reportedly in “serious talks” to create a line of cannabis-infused drinks. The drinks would contain cannabidiol, or CBD, the non-psychoactive chemical in marijuana. The drinks would likely be meant to “ease inflammation, pain and cramping.” The consumer CBD market is expected to be worth $2.1 billion by 2020. [BNN Bloomberg]


$75,000 in compensation

Vernon Unsworth, a British cave diver who helped rescue a group of Thai teenagers from a flooded cave in July, has filed a defamation lawsuit against Elon Musk for $75,000 in compensation, plus punitive damages. Musk, without evidence, called Unsworth a pedophile and child rapist. Unsworth had said that Musk’s mini-submarine, ostensibly meant to aid in the rescue, was “just a PR stunt [that] had absolutely no chance of working.” [BBC]


80,000 years old

Gold miners in the Yukon discovered a mummified wolf pup and caribou, with their fur and tissue intact. The caribou was found in an 80,000-year-old volcanic ash bed. And while the gold miners were probably disappointed that it wasn’t you know, gold, scientists do believe that it’s “among the oldest mummified mammal tissue in the world.” [USA Today]


27 percent of Americans

In 1991, law professor Anita Hill accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment in the midst of his confirmation process. After Hill testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, 54 percent of Americans said they thought her charges were untrue, while only 27 percent thought they were true, according to a CBS News/New York Times poll at the time. “It’s difficult to imagine the Thomas confirmation hearings playing out the same way now,” FiveThirtyEight contributor Janie Velencia wrote. [FiveThirtyEight]


15 European gambling regulators

A group of 15 European gambling regulators have agreed to investigate loot boxes and other “gambling themed content” in children’s video games. Loot boxes are more or less what they sound like — buyable virtual items that contain some other, random virtual item (like maybe a sweet skin!). They have been criticized as being anti-consumer and encouraging gambling addiction among young players. [Motherboard]


62-mile stretch

On Monday, two hydrogen-powered trains, the world’s first, began operating on a 62-mile stretch between four towns in northern Germany. The trains were built by the French firm Alstom, and their only emissions are steam and water. Their route was previously run by diesel-powered trains. [Agence France-Presse]


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