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Significant Digits For Wednesday, March 4, 2015

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2 probes

Thanks to a DARPA research project, a paralyzed woman was able to control a simulated F-35 fighter jet through two probes connected to her brain. [The Washington Post]

9.9 percent

Per capita share of spending on food in 2013, down from 17.5 percent in 1960. [NPR]

21 “Navajo-inspired” objects

Stores that cater explicitly to a hipster sensibility are suffering a decline, in part because you can now get most of their styles at Wal-Mart. So they’re trying to hold onto their market by being edgy with often unfortunate results — see American Apparel’s desperately sexualized advertising, or Urban Outfitter’s 21 unique “Navajo-inspired” items for sale. The latter prompted a cease-and-desist letter from the Navajo Nation. [Racked]

88 percent

In Ferguson, Missouri, 88 percent of documented incidents of police use of force between 2012 and 2014 were against African-Americans, according to a report from the Justice Department. [The New York Times]

100 people

Approximate number of people who knew former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s personal email address. The presumed 2016 Democratic frontrunner is taking heat for not using her federal government email account when she worked at the State Department. In fairness, nothing really says “vestigial form of communication” quite like “federal government email account.” [Associated Press]

271 paintings

Nine people were arrested in Spain after allegedly participating in a forgery ring that produced faux Picassos and more. Some 271 frauds were seized, but the sad clown painting I found in a thrift store is still legit as far as I can tell. [Artnet]

700 koalas

Stop reading this and skip to the next one. Australia killed 700 koalas to deal with overpopulation issues. I’m so sorry. I really didn’t want to be the one who broke this to you. But Elon Musk didn’t give any absurd valuation prediction this week so I am short on news. Are you happy, Elon Musk? You could have stopped this just by saying something ludicrous about the hyperloop. I will never not write about Elon Musk saying something ludicrous about the hyperloop. [Australian Broadcasting Company]


The owner of a revenge-porn website — where intimate photographs were posted without consent and their subjects extorted for money in order to secure their removal — was ordered to pay $450,000 to a plaintiff who is a minor. [Ars Technica]

$1.5 million

Sum of political donations from the Pizza Industrial Complex in the 2012 and 2014 election cycles. The vast majority went to the GOP. Let’s be real, this strategy seems off: If Big Pizza really wants to position itself for growth it’ll start throwing big bucks behind marijuana legalization. [Bloomberg Business]

$94 million

Sweet Briar College, a women’s liberal arts school in Virginia, will stop instruction at the end of the semester due to financial difficulties. It will use the remainder of its $94 million endowment to ease the transition process, getting employees severance and remaining technically open so enrolled students can complete their degrees with credit from other colleges. [Business Insider]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.