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Significant Digits For Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018

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


2,400 passengers and 900 crew

The ship Titanic II will set sail on its maiden voyage in 2022 — from Dubai to Southampton, England — with 2,400 passengers and 900 crew members. It’s unfortunate that every single other ship name in the entire world was already taken, but that’s just how it goes, I guess. [People]


9,000 ‘opportunity zones’

Thanks to last year’s Republican tax overhaul, tens of thousands of property owners could be in for lucrative paydays. Owners of land in nearly 9,000 “opportunity zones,” a designation intended to boost low-income areas, are eligible for deferred taxes on capital gains on completely unrelated investments. With increased demand for land in the zones comes higher prices. For example, the asking price of development sites in Portland has increased 50 percent from two years ago. The Wall Street Journal reports that the zones have become the talk of the real estate town. [The Wall Street Journal]


0 polls

With less than two weeks until the midterms, a few of the most competitive House races — the Colorado 3rd, the Indiana 9th, the New York 2nd and the Wisconsin 6th — have been polled exactly zero times, my colleague Nathaniel Rakich writes. Excuse me while I go call some strangers in Huerfano County. [FiveThirtyEight]


5 fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls

There is a private, $500 million museum in Washington, D.C. — the Museum of the Bible — owned by the billionaire Green family, which also owns the Hobby Lobby stores. In that museum were five prized pieces purportedly from the Dead Sea Scrolls. But German scientists have tested the pieces and found that they were not from the Dead Sea Scrolls at all, and the fragments will no longer be displayed. And with that, the ol’ scroll troll takes a whole toll from the bankroll. Or something, I’m tired. [CNN]


100 million gallons a day

The water treatment plants in Austin, Texas, can usually produce about 300 million gallons of water a day, and the city’s residents usually consume about 120 million gallons, but production has barely topped 100 million gallons for the past couple of days. Historic flooding prompted the city to shut down parts of its water treatment plants for cleaning, and residents are being instructed to boil their water before drinking it to avoid the risk of bacteria and viruses. The flooding washed contaminants into the river and lakes that supply the city. [CBS News]


34.2-mile bridge

The world’s longest sea-crossing bridge opened in China on Tuesday. It’s 34.2 miles long and took nine years to build. It connects Hong Kong and Macau (aka “the Vegas of Asia”) to mainland China. However, all vehicles on the bridge will require special permits, passengers will have to clear immigration and customs, and there will be strict quotas on the number of private cars. [ABC News]


Love digits? Find even more in FiveThirtyEight’s new book of math and logic puzzles, “The Riddler.” It’s in stores now! I hope you dig it.

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

Oliver Roeder is a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight.

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