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Significant Digits For Wednesday, March 7, 2018

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

5 percent

A teachers strike, which began on Feb. 22, in West Virginia has come to an end, with the educators holding strong and getting the state to give a 5 percent pay raise to all state employees. West Virginia ranks 48th in the nation when it comes to how much it pays teachers. [CNN]


+56.9 points

It appears that the Democratic swing is real, but that swing isn’t experienced the same way in every state so far in the special elections that have taken places since Jan. 20, 2017. Kentucky saw the largest swing, where the average Democratic margin in its two special elections was +1.7 compared to the average district partisan lean of 55.2 in favor of Republicans. [FiveThirtyEight]


84 percent

Percentage of Catholics who have a favorable opinion of Pope Francis compared to the 9 percent who have an unfavorable opinion. That unfavorable rating is up from 4 percent in 2014. [Pew Research Center]


90 percent

Light exposure has huge biological effects, so if you’re reading this in bed just before you go to sleep, shut off your phone right now and just read the rest in the morning. A study has found that exposure to light messed with the circadian rhythms of several children who were shown a light table prior to going to sleep. Normally, with an average bed time of around 8:30 pm, the kids began secreting melatonin on average at 7:47 p.m. Looking at that bright light, however, suppressed melatonin by almost 90 percent, and close to an hour after the exposure to light the meltatonin level was still not yet at 50 percent of where it usually was. [The New York Times]


90 percent

That’s the percentage of movies with more than 25,000 ratings on IMDb that have more ratings from men than women by a 2-to-1 margin. In just over half of cases, or 51 percent, men outnumbered women in the rating by more than 5 to 1. Be skeptical of numbers you see on the internet. [FiveThirtyEight]


1,200 to 1,300 diners

A rogue employee at OpenTable used a rival booking service, Reserve, to make 300 fake reservations at 45 restaurants, an equivalent of 1,200 to 1,300 diners not showing up to eat. The fraud was an attempt to make Reserve look bad in the competitive booking market. [BuzzFeed]


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

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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