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Significant Digits for Wednesday, June 17, 2015

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29 percent

It takes a lot of energy to pump water from the Colorado River across the Arizona wilderness and to the places where — for some reason — people decided to live, like in the middle of the desert in Phoenix and Tucson. The Navajo Generating Station pumps water 336 miles to those cities, but it’s also powered by 15 tons of coal per minute and singlehandedly accounts for 29 percent of the carbon emissions Arizona creates from generating energy. [ProPublica]

31 percent

A Suffolk University poll suggests that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders may be able to take a solid chunk of support from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Nearly a third of New Hampshire respondents (31 percent) said they’d support Sanders if the election were held that day. [NH 1]


The Golden State Warriors won the NBA Championship on Tuesday night, defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 6 of the finals. Andre Iguodala technically won the NBA Finals MVP, but let’s be real: It was definitely LeBron James who deserved it. [ESPN]

1,340 grenade fuses

In what was functionally a major arms deal, the owner of Whisper Tech, an explosives training company in Alabama, has pleaded guilty to illegally selling 1,340 M228 grenade fuses to an unlicensed individual only described as “J.C.” [The Birmingham News]


Are you an ostentatious rich guy obsessed with the obsolete metonymy of a financial industry that mainly operates in New Jersey, a fiber optic cable and other places besides Wall Street? Well, have I got good news for you! For a starting bid of $12,000, you can buy the New York vanity license plate “WALL ST” on eBay. Nobody appears to have bid $12,000 for it at the time of publication. [The Huffington Post]

167,805 deaths

Smoking kills, study finds. Well, it’s actually a little bigger than that. Researchers at the American Cancer Society — known all around the world for their profound anti-cancer bias — estimated that 167,805 of the 345,962 cancer deaths in 2011 were associated with smoking. That’s a little less than half. [Reuters]

$1.8 million

Helmut Anscheringer was charged by the SEC with allegedly parlaying information from an insider source into $1.8 million. The source supposedly told Anscheringer that Apple was going to buy AuthenTec, so Anscheringer allegedly bought a lot of AuthenTec stock, and then the stock rose 60 percent when Apple bought it. [CNBC]

8.1 million people

That was the audience for HBO’s “Game of Thrones” finale on Sunday, a record for the show. This season may be over, but what is dead will never die and will rise harder and stronger sometime next year. [The New York Times]

$43 million

The main objective of a legislature is, as we all know, looking really good. To that end, Nigeria’s National Assembly will divvy up $43 million to spend specifically on clothes. [Quartz]

$6.2 billion

Estimated cost to the food industry over two decades of a new ban on trans fats, the hydrogenated oils that are pretty much across the board bad in every conceivable way for the human body. The estimated aggregate benefit of the move will be about $140 billion, mostly from reduced health care spending. [Bloomberg]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.