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Significant Digits For Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015

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


The Chicago Cubs saw the league’s biggest leap in ratings for their games this summer, more than doubling the number of viewers for an average rating of 3.6. The Cubs’ solid season has continued well into the playoffs: Chicago sank St. Louis on Tuesday and won its playoff series, meaning the Cubs are headed to the NLCS. [Forbes]

6 percent

That’s the divorce rate in “The Sims 4,” according to the game’s publisher, EA, with 27.5 million marriages resulting in 1.7 million divorces. That’s vastly lower than the actual U.S. divorce rate. It also directly conflicts my understanding of the mechanics of “The Sims,” given that I’ve been working from the belief that all marriages ended either in death by burning appliance or by drowning because a cruel god removed all the ladders to exit the swimming pool. [Motherboard]

8 percent

Twitter will lay off up to 336 employees, or 8 percent of its workforce, to cut costs. [The New York Times]

11 questions

Foreign policy was the biggest topic at last night’s Democratic primary debate, with 11 questions asked. The economy was right behind with eight questions, and immigration and the assorted Clinton scandals accounted for six each. Be sure to check out our whole live coverage of the debate. [FiveThirtyEight]


Cost of “A Glass Case of Emotion,” a cocktail at a Will Ferrell-themed cocktail bar opening in New York. The drink contains rosemary, peach, whiskey, lemon juice and simple syrup, for amateur mixologists looking to take a chance on it. Other Ferrell-themed cocktails include the “Milk Was A Bad Choice,” the “You’re My Boy, Blue,” and “The F*cking Catalina Wine Mixer.” While I’m telling myself now that I intend to studiously avoid this bar, I make terrible decisions when drinking and so will let you know how it is once I inevitably check it out. [Vulture]

28 minutes, 10 seconds

How much time former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got to talk at last night’s Democratic debate, the longest of any candidate. Runner-up Sen. Bernie Sanders talked for 26 minutes, 19 seconds, while rounding errors Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb and that other guy, whatever his name is, all talked for 15 minutes or less. [ABC News]

50 percent

Royal Dutch Shell is pulling out of Arctic drilling as the company struggles with decreasing oil prices across the board: Profits were down 50 percent between 2012 and 2014, whereas competitors Exxon Mobil and Chevron saw respective profit declines of 28 percent and 27 percent in the same period. [Newsweek]


A Manhattan woman sued her 8-year-old nephew for $127,000, claiming the child was negligent when he jumped into her arms for a hug, injuring her. Yesterday a Connecticut jury decided to award the litigious aunt $0, because that is a terrible thing to sue over. [Connecticut Post]

$10 million CAD

Two Canadian executives were charged with illegally selling $10 million CAD worth of railway material to Iran from 2007 to 2012, skirting sanctions against the nation. [CBC]

38 million

The way New Yorkers get around above-ground is shifting with the ascendance of Uber. New Yorkers took 42 million yellow cab rides and 2 million Uber rides from April to June of 2014. In the same period this year, New Yorkers took 38 million cab rides but 8 million Uber rides; pickups were up only slightly overall. [FiveThirtyEight]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.