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Significant Digits For Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019

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


75,000 Amish people

One group that may be a surprise factor in the 2020 election in Pennsylvania: its 75,000 Amish residents. Republican operatives Ben Walters and Ben King have started “Amish PAC” to convince the intensely private, technology-avoiding demographic to vote for Trump in the next election. Amish values are closely aligned with Republican ones, such as opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage, but areas like Lancaster County had extremely low voter turnout from its Amish residents — approximately 1 in 15 eligible voters cast a ballot in 2016. [Washington Post]


2.4 million California residents

At midnight on Wednesday, the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) started to shutdown power in Northern and Central California, with approximately 500,000 customers cut off by the middle of the day. The fear is that faulty power lines will start fires; the company cited “forecasts of dry, hot and windy weather, including potential fire risk” — conditions that are expected to last until at least Thursday morning. The shutdown has led to residents purchasing large amounts of water, gas, food and other emergency supplies. [BuzzFeed News]


$22 billion in fishing subsidies

Despite growing concerns about the decline of global fish stocks, ocean-faring nations spent $22 billion in 2018 on subsidies that promote illegal and overfishing, according to new research published in Marine Policy by scientists at the University of British Columbia. The survey, which covered 152 countries, also found that harmful subsidies accounted for 63 percent of the total spent on supporting the global fishing industry. [National Geographic]


82,000 animal fragments

The Qesem Cave in central Israel was sealed for hundreds of thousands of years, but a new study from archaeologist Ran Barkai and his colleagues suggests it may have been an old meat locker. An analysis of nearly 82,000 animal fragments showed “unusual, heavy chop marks on the ends of some leg bones” made by the Paleolithic people. Researchers found that odd (for complicated reasons), and came to the hypothesis that the cave’s inhabitants saved animal bones filled with marrow as a future food source. Barkai and his team reconstructed similar conditions to test their theory, and found both the chop marks they were looking for and that the marrow inside the deer bones was still nutritious nine weeks later. [New York Times]


49.2 percent support

Two weeks after Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry into President Trump, FiveThirtyEight’s impeachment polling tracker shows support for impeachment has moved from 40.1 percent to a near-majority opinion. It’s up to 49.2 percent, as of early Thursday. And it isn’t just a growing sentiment among Democrats: preliminary polling results also found support for impeachment rising among independents and Republicans, too. [FiveThirtyEight]


$3,499.55 for a claw-shaped Cheeto

You can browse millions of different items for sale on eBay, the global online flea market, including hundreds of Cheetos shaped like stuff. Tove Danovich reports on the high-priced cultural phenomenon, which includes Cheetos shaped like a fluffy baby penguin ($849.99), a ray gun ($607) and Mr. Crab’s claw ($3,499.55). It’s uncertain if any of the winning bidders actually paid the money for their unusual Frito-Lay snacks. [The Outline]


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