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Significant Digits For Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015

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

0.8 percent

Tonight CNN is broadcasting the second debate of the GOP primary, and there will be 11 candidates on one stage. But prior to that debate, we get another undercard! Rick Santorum, Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sen. Lindsay Graham, Jim Gilmore and George Pataki will have a smaller debate broadcast beforehand. Rick Santorum is dominating that pack with a staggering 0.8 percent support, according to CNN’s average. [The Washington Post]

4th lowest

The arctic sea ice situation is not great. The National Snow and Ice Data Center reported that there were 1.7 million square miles of ice up north last week, the lowest this summer. That’s down 240,000 square miles from last year, and the fourth-lowest level on record. The all-time low occurred in 2012, when Earth had only 1.3 million square miles of ice. I have some ideas on how to fix this, but all of them are from that documentary “Frozen” (2013) so I may not actually be super helpful on this one. [Associated Press]

74 percent

Kim Davis’s hasn’t done many favors for “religious liberty.” After the Supreme Court ruling that made same-sex marriage legal all over the country, 49 percent of respondents to an AP poll said officials with religious objections shouldn’t be forced to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Now, after Kim Davis picked her hill to jail on, an ABC News poll found that 74 percent of respondents said that equality should win out. [Slate]

85 percent

Percentage of parents of high-school aged kids who said that computer science courses were just as, or more, important than classes like math, science, history and English, according to a new survey from Gallup and Google. [Quartz]

400 percent

That’s the nationwide increase in calls to poison control hotlines about kids younger than 12 drinking alcoholic hand sanitizer. [CNN]

690 people

A new case of Ebola claimed a life in Sierra Leone, leading the Ebola Response Centre to put the 690 people who lived in the same village as the victim into isolation for three weeks. Sierra Leone was one of the nations to suffer most from the disease’s outbreak in December 2013, and was considered Ebola-free last month. [Thomson Reuters]


That’s how many CNN reports have focused on Donald Trump since he announced his intention to run for president, roughly double that of Jeb Bush and more than 5 times as many as Ted Cruz. Give the people what they want, you know? [The Wall Street Journal]

30,000 jobs

Hewlett-Packard is splitting up, and up to 30,000 layoffs were announced at HP Enterprise, one of the forthcoming sibling companies. Prior to the layoffs, there were about 252,000 workers moving to the new company. [Associated Press]

91,000 cans

Do you like Metallica, Budweiser, and Canada? Well buckle up for the greatest promotion of your lifetime. The Metallica logo will appear on roughly 91,000 cans of Budweiser that have been canned after feeling the vibrations of Metallica themselves. A tanker truck of the swill will be parked outside a Canadian arena where Metallica is playing, and the beer will be canned only after it soaks up all that metal. [The AV Club]

$374 billion

Prescription drug spending in the U.S. in 2014, a 13 percent increase over the previous year. That is the highest increase since 2001. [Marketwatch]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.