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Significant Digits For Wednesday, March 15, 2017

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.


That’s the number of human beings who have had sex in space, which is pathetic. We’ve been going to space going on 60 years now and nobody got it done yet? Name literally any other piece of technology that was not nearly immediately parlayed into sexual intercourse. Cell phones, the internet, film, daguerreotypes — all of them were around for only brief periods before being used for sex. And no two people have pulled it off? We’ve got to figure this out before we send humans to Mars or it could be a legitimate issue. [FiveThirtyEight]

2 ponies

New York was hit with a withering if underwhelming winter storm Tuesday, which enabled the daring escape of two ponies in Staten Island. The beasts were captured by a bold citizen as they roamed Richmond county. [Gothamist]

4 percent

E-book sales in the U.K. were down 4 percent in 2016 even as physical book sales and overall consumer spending on books were on the rise. [The Guardian]

57 percent

Share of Republicans who do not believe gay and lesbian people face a lot of discrimination in the U.S. Interestingly, more Republicans believed that Christians — who make up more than 70 percent of the population — face a lot of discrimination than believed that gays and lesbians, black Americans, immigrants and Muslims do. [Public Religion Research Institute]

78 percent

A report from the research firm eMarketer found that Google and Facebook are solidifying and even expanding their dominance of the digital advertising market. Google will account for 78 percent of search ad revenue in 2017, while Facebook will get 39 percent of display ad revenue. Everyone else — including the newly public parent company of Snapchat — is fighting over the scraps. [Axios]

$100 million

Congratulations to Jordan Peele, whose hit film “Get Out” became the first debut for an African-American writer-director to gross more than $100 million at the box office. [The Wrap]

If you see a significant digit in the wild, send it to @WaltHickey.

CORRECTION (March 15, 2:43 p.m.): An earlier version of this story gave the wrong name for Jordan Peele’s new film. It is “Get Out,” not “The Get Out.”

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.