You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.
34 percent of Republicans
With the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy and President Trump’s nomination of the conservative Brett Kavanaugh to replace him, discussion of the future of Roe v. Wade and abortion rights has intensified. But the abortion debate isn’t as partisan as politicians can make it seem. For example, just over a third of Republicans (34 percent), according to Pew, believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases. That number is 60 percent for independents and 75 percent for Democrats. [FiveThirtyEight]
1 billion mitochondria
Scientists, bless their hearts, have now saved dying organs by collecting billions of mitochondria — the powerhouses of the cell, per my middle-school memory — and injecting a billion of them back into damaged cells. The mighty mitochondria “moved like magnets to the proper places in the cells and began supplying energy.” [The New York Times]
$100 million tramway
Warner Bros. wants to build an mile-long aerial tramway, estimated to cost $100 million, running up Mount Lee to the Hollywood sign. The tram would be a gift to both selfie-seekers and the rich people who live in the area, who would no longer have to deal with the selfie-seekers tramping through their neighborhoods, and as far as two constituencies that really need a nine-figure piece of infrastructure go, boy, I dunno. [Los Angeles Times]
Millions of pages
On Monday, Trump tapped Kavanaugh as his Supreme Court nominee. Now, the government archivists get to work. Thanks to Kavanaugh’s years as a White House counsel and staff secretary to former President George W. Bush, he and his offices have generated what is thought to be millions of pages of emails and other documents. These must now be sifted through in preparation for the upcoming battle that will be Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings. [Politico]
In, for my money, the best story of the year thus far, a burglar apparently broke into an escape room — a sort of life-size puzzle where the goal is to solve problems that lead to an escape — and couldn’t get out. So he called 911. And he got arrested. His bail was set at $40,000. Hey, kids, it pays to puzzle. [KPTV]
112 million euros
Cristiano Ronaldo, the sculpted Adonis of international football and non-winner of the 2018 World Cup, is crossing the Pyrenees. He has signed a deal, worth 112 million euros, with the Italian club Juventus. He’d spent nine years playing for Real Madrid. [BBC]
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