Skip to main content
ABC News
Significant Digits For Wednesday, May 8, 2019

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

511 days

Two Reuters reporters, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, have been freed after being held for 511 days in jail in Myanmar. They were convicted in September of breaking the country’s “Official Secrets Act” and initially sentenced to seven years. Before their arrest, the two were working on an investigation into the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim men and boys. [Reuters]

From ABC News:

Freed journalists reunite with family after more than a year behind bars

$1.6 million raised

Mike Cessario, a former creative director for Netflix, announced that he has raised $1.6 million in new seed funding from “tech notables” for his startup, Liquid Death. Cessario drew on his history in punk and heavy metal bands to conceive of Liquid Death. Liquid Death makes, and I’m speaking quite literally here, water in a can. [Business Insider]

1,000-year-old drug paraphernalia

Archaeologists digging in Bolivia have discovered a 1,000-year-old collection of drug paraphernalia — including “snuffing tablets,” “a snuffing tube” and “a pair of llama-bone spatulas” — that still held traces of five psychoactive chemicals. The dig site may have been a funerary enclosure, and the chemicals included cocaine and the active ingredients in ayahuasca. [New Scientist]

Only 3 horses

As of yesterday, only three of the horses that ran in the Kentucky Derby have been announced as running in the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown. Not running are Country House, the Derby’s winner; Code of Honor, the runner-up; and Maximum Security, the horse who ran fastest but was disqualified. Country House is the first Derby winner to skip the Preakness since 1996. [The Washington Post]

+88 PARG

Hark, our Popularity Above Replacement Governor — aka PARG — rankings have returned. They are calculated by taking the difference between a governor’s net approval rating and his state’s partisan lean. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts leads the way with a +88 PARG, while Matt Bevin of Kentucky sits at the bottom with -42. My colleague Nathaniel Rakich writes that such ratings can “help us suss out who is strongly (or weakly) positioned for the gubernatorial elections in 2019 and 2020.” [FiveThirtyEight]

Close to 600 points

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down by close to 600 points yesterday, to its lowest level since January, as worries of a protracted trade war between China and the U.S. increased. Those fears increased because of President Trump’s tweet about tariffs: “The 10% will go up to 25% on Friday,” he wrote. [NBC News]

Love digits? Find even more in FiveThirtyEight’s book of math and logic puzzles, “The Riddler.”

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

Oliver Roeder was a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied game theory and political competition.