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Significant Digits For Wednesday, March 11, 2015

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, subscribe.

13 drinks per week

For men in the U.K., consumption of alcohol peaks at age 25 with 13 drinks per week. This is fantastic news, as it means I haven’t peaked yet, and should move to London. [Wonkblog]

28 percent

For the gaudiest version of its new watch, Apple is using 18-karat gold, which must be three-quarters gold by mass. Apple has patented a way to maintain the 18-karat mass ratio while greatly reducing the volume of gold required by developing a new formulation using low-density ceramics. As a result, Apple gold products can be 75 percent gold by mass, but as little as 28 percent gold by volume. [Slate]

50 percent

Percentage by which Canadians overestimate the inheritance they expect, on average. [Maclean’s]

1,700 employees

After an ill-fated Canadian expansion and a major credit-card hack, retailer Target is feeling the heat financially. The company is laying off 1,700 employees, mostly from its headquarters. [The Huffington Post]

3,000 skeletons

London’s Bedlam burial ground — used from 1569 until at least 1738 — was uncovered during construction of a new train line. Archeologists are excavating about 3,000 skeletons, which is — by my extensive calculations — roughly the number of skeletons in a room containing 3,000 people. [CNN]

10,000 copies of “The Interview”

South Korean activists plan to drop up to 10,000 copies of the 2014 film “The Interview” into North Korea by balloon. In the comedy, James Franco and Seth Rogen try to kill North Korea supreme leader Kim Jong-Un, so his government is not exactly taking the airdrop plan well. [New York]


A delightfully trolly monument by artist Maurizio Cattelan listing England’s soccer failures from 1874 to 1998 has sold for £425,000 (about $640,000) at a London auction. [Herald Scotland]

$7.3 million

Amount Robin Thicke and Pharrell owe the estate of Marvin Gaye due to similarities between their song “Blurred Lines” and Gaye’s song “Got to Give It Up.” As we all know, no musician ever before had influenced any other musician in history, which made this case unprecedented. [Variety]

$14 million

Cost for the state of Louisiana since 1999 to prosecute and defend five men for the murder of a correctional officer. Death-penalty trials can be very, very expensive. [The Marshall Project]

$2 billion

How much Condé Nast, one of the first tenants of New York’s 1 World Trade Center, will pay to occupy the 20th through 41st floors for the duration of the magazine publisher’s 25-year lease. [The New York Times]

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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.