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Significant Digits For Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017

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

3 members

One Direction will join The Beatles as the only bands that can say three of their members have chart-topping solo albums. Thus “Niall Horan, Harry Styles and Zayne Malik are right up there with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison,” is a technically true sentence that has been weaponized to alienate Baby Boomers. More significantly, my personal quest to find out who was the Ringo of 1D has narrowed to two final contenders, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson. I still contend Harry Styles is the McCartney, as he just screams “overrated Bond song in a few years.” [Variety]

16.2 percent

That’s the percentage of visitors to Uluru — the Australian geological formation previously known as Ayer’s Rock — who climb it on a given day. Starting in October 2019, the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Board will ban the practice of climbing the formation, which has spiritual meaning for some Aboriginal Australians. [Business Insider Australia]

30 years

Carles Puigdemont was the president of Catalonia, the region that attempted to break away from Spain. Spain’s Attorney General has called for charges of sedition and rebellion to be filed against Puigdemont and his fellow secessionists. This would carry a maximum penalty of up to 30 years in prison. Puigdemont has since fled to Belgium. [Vox]

63 percent

The Cato Institute is out with a staggering new report on the state of free speech in the United States. One disconcerting trend: 11 percent of Democrats, 38 percent of independents and 63 percent of Republicans said they believed that journalists today are an enemy of the American people. Yeesh. [Cato]

97 out of 25,000 establishments

That’s the number of eating and drinking establishments in New York City that have a cabaret license, which is a city document that allows the establishment to host “musical entertainment, singing, dancing or other form of amusement” without running afoul of the law. This technically means that you probably can’t dance in that bar you thought you could dance in, legally speaking. The law dates back to 1926, back when a couple good-time Charlies and floorflushers couldn’t jitterbug with some flappers in a standard nosebaggery without risking a trip to the hoosegow, you see? But now people in Brooklyn want to dance at bars and the law looks like it will likely get struck down by the City Council. [The New York Times]


Wall Street has dumped billions of dollars into restaurants to fuel growth, and we probably have too many restaurants as a result: restaurants are growing twice as fast as the population, tallying 620,000 establishments as of the last count. But demand does not expand just because supply does̉. When you get down to it, the invisible hand of the market can only shove one burger into the invisible face of the market at a given time. [The New York Times]

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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.