You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news. To receive this as an email newsletter, please subscribe.
Shonda Rhimes, creator of the TV shows “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal,” has a book coming out in the fall called “Year of Yes” that is all about her taking on a yearlong challenge to say “yes” to experiences. That’s great. The issue? Well, for one thing, Maria Dahvana Headley’s book titled “The Year of Yes” about the author taking on a yearlong challenge to say “yes” to experiences was published in 2006. So that makes two “Year of Yes” books, I suppose. [Time, @MARIADAHVANA, via John Scalzi]
Former New York Gov. George Pataki has exploded in popularity, at least compared with his negligible rounding error of a performance before the most recent round of polling. A CNN poll has him at 3 percent — which in fairness is the survey’s sampling error. [CNN(PDF)]
$13 per hour
Wal-Mart will raise the baseline starting wage for some managers, the retailer said Tuesday, several months after announcing increases in the minimum wages of some general employees. The pay range for managers of some departments will rise from $10.30-$20.09 per hour to $13-$24.70 in August; the minimum will then rise to $15 per hour in February. [The New York Times]
13.5 percent reduction
Residents of California, the dry state on everyone’s mind, reduced consumption of water by 13.5 percent in April, compared with the same month two years earlier. Gov. Jerry Brown has mandated that cities and towns cut water use by 25 percent. [Associated Press]
That’s the percentage of people who believe money has too much influence in politics, according to a new poll. And Republicans and Democrats aren’t very far apart on this issue. So this means we solved it, right? We’re all on the same page? Not quite. See, while a lot of people think it, less than 1 percent care about it enough to make it a top priority. [The Washington Post]
SanDisk released a thumb drive smaller than a dime with a 128 gigabyte capacity, a substantial breakthrough for portable consumer storage. [Wired]
That’s the median monthly rent in San Francisco. Median! Monthly! Rents in the area are up 16 percent year over year as of April. I sent this to several friends who are hardened New Yorkers, and even they were freaked out. We are worried about you, San Francisco. Please let us know if you need help. [SFGate]
Annual album sales of contemporary Christian music in 2014, down from a peak of 50 million in the late 1990s. And while the story “album sales in genre decline” is not breaking news in the wondrous year of 2015, the way the genre’s transformation from mainstream music into a niche act gutted listenership is really interesting. [The Week]
Quarterback Cam Newton has signed a $103.8 million, five-year extension with the Carolina Panthers. [ESPN]
Fitbit — the company behind the wearable fitness tracker that I once lost in an inebriated Fitbit throwing contest yet still feel odd nostalgia for — is planning for its initial public offering; it hopes to raise $478 million for a $3.3 billion valuation. Good for them. How I miss you, Fitty. [Bloomberg]
If you haven’t already, you really need to sign up for the Significant Digits newsletter — be the first to learn about the numbers behind the news.
If you see a significant digit in the wild, tweet it to me at @WaltHickey.
Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer. @WaltHickey