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Significant Digits For Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016

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

1 emu

Prince William County police captured an escaped emu Tuesday at about 9 a.m. in Haymarket, Virginia, and thank God for that. Australia lost a war against those gnarly birds once, and they aren’t to be underestimated. [The Washington Post]

10 weeks

President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, with a mere 10 weeks to form a government, had another batch of staff changes. The team dropped lobbyists and shed some help brought on by Chris Christie, the former transition chairman. [The Wall Street Journal]

47.9 percent conversion rate

Percentage of 2-point conversion attempts in the NFL since 2001 that were successful. That means the expected value of going for 2 is 0.96 points, which is slightly better than the expected value of just going for the point-after-touchdown kick from the 15-yard line. That expected value since the NFL moved the kick back is 0.94 to 0.95 points, but in fairness, Blair Walsh and Roberto Aguayo are in this data set and could be putting a toe on the scale. [FiveThirtyEight]


Are you an Apple fanatic who needs a new and pointless way to throw money at the company? Oh, you already have an Apple Watch? Well, have I got good news for you, then: Apple is out with a new book with 450 glossy photos of Apple products through the years. Flip rectangular page with rectangular product to the next rectangular page with the next rectangular product for the cool price of $300, presumably plus Apple Care. Sheep.

Sent from my iPhone. [Wired]


U.S. highway deaths in the first six months of the year, a jump from 2015. Some experts are blaming distracted driving (apps and smartphones). [The New York Times]

$25 billion to $35 billion

Snap, Inc. — the firm behind Snapchat — filed confidentially for an initial public offering, Bloomberg reports. Expected post-IPO valuations for the company range from $25 billion to $35 billion, with some estimates going up to $40 billion. Gonna take a wild guess and assume that last estimate comes from a guy with some skin in the game here. [Bloomberg]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.