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Significant Digits For Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news. Today also marks the second edition of the Significant Digits newsletter! If you’d rather not click on a website to read this, sign up here.

11 footballs

The NFL has found that 11 of 12 game balls used by the New England Patriots during Sunday’s AFC championship game were under-inflated, leading some to allege unfair play since doctoring footballs can provide a competitive advantage. [ESPN]

14 percent

Only 14 percent of legislative proposals pitched during President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address have been enacted, up from a mere 5 percent in 2013 but far lower than in 2010. [FiveThirtyEight]

$24.99

Cost of the “Invisible Boyfriend” or “Invisible Girlfriend” service, an app designed to send you texts, calls and voicemails that help convince friends and family you’ve found love. Just under $25 gets you 100 texts, 10 voicemails and a handwritten note. [Business Insider]


64 percent

Percent of people who trust information from online search engines, a value that has for the first time eclipsed trust in traditional media sources, which is at 62 percent. [Quartz]


150 percent

The collapse of the Soviet Union may have led to a 150 percent increase in Russia’s gray wolf population in the following decade. Given his record with tigers, who knows how many wolves Putin’s taken down. [BBC]


350 miners

In Kosovo, 350 miners refused to return to the surface from their shift almost half a mile below ground, effectively beginning a subterranean strike. They’re protesting the government’s decision to back out of a plan that would have taken control of the bankrupt Trebka mining complex, [The New York Times]

6,000 feet per minute

The rate at which AirAsia Flight 8501 was climbing before it eventually crashed for unknown reasons, killing 162 people in December. Only fighter jets, according to Indonesia’s transport minister, normally climb at that rate. [Los Angeles Times]

39.11 million subscribers

Netflix earnings came out Tuesday, and the company exceeded Wall Street expectations, presumably because I elected to take a staycation in Q4 rather than go outside. The company announced that it ended the quarter with 39.11 million domestic and 18.28 international subscribers. That’s a whole lot of people thinking about finally getting into “Freaks and Geeks.” [Re/code]


$40 million

Amount “The Interview” has made from on-demand rentals. The film hits Netflix on Saturday. [CNN]

$100 million

FIFA, an organization that occasionally finds the time to plan some soccer games in between scandals, has set up a $100 million World Cup Legacy Fund for Brazil in an attempt to limit the negative impacts that hosting the event might have had on the nation. Brazil spent $15 billion on the 2014 FIFA World Cup. [Associated Press]


One more plea for the newsletter: Sign up for it now and be the first to learn about the numbers behind the news. And, as always, if you see a significant digit in the wild, tweet it to me @WaltHickey.

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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