By The Numbers - Most Recent

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The Numbers for Thursday, October 24: Just a matter of time

6

The number of weeks that the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate will be delayed as announced the White House last night. The decision comes after executives of twelve major health insurers — including Aetna, Humana, WellPoint, and Kaiser Permanente — met with officials at the White House to urge for the delay of Obamacare's key provision until the problems with Healthcare.gov are fixed. (Forbes)

37%

The percentage of Americans who say they expect to keep working until they die or are too sick, according to Wells Fargo's annual retirement study of middle-income Americans. The survey question was added to follow the larger trend of American's saying they will delay retirement until age 80, which rose from 25 percent in 2011 to 34 percent this year. (CNBC)

$670 million

The amount Starbucks paid to acquire specialty tea-maker Teavana last November, a move that gave the coffee company a foothold in the $90 billion global tea market. Starbucks will open the first of its new Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bars in Brooklyn today. (Christian Science Monitor)


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Oct 24, 2013

The Numbers for Wednesday, October 23: Black market green

58%

The percentage of Americans who support marijuana legalization, the first time a clear majority of the U.S. supports the reform, according to a new Gallup poll. Experts estimate that annual marijuana sales (including illegal sales) add up to about $20 billion, with $1.5 billion a year coming from the growing medical pot industry. (Gallup)

30%

The percent of the world's timber that Interpol estimates is illegally poached. According to reporters who have researched the topic, illegal logging has had a devastating impact on forests around the world, like in Russia, as workers desperate to feed their families cut down more trees than are sustainable. (Marketplace)

$55,000

The rough amount of assets Japan’s Financial Services Agency froze in a move to separate the Yakuza (Japan's organized crime syndicate) from their money. The frozen assets include two Japan-issued American Express cards and according to an article from Bloomberg, "adds to pressure from Yakuza-exclusion ordinances enacted nationwide in 2011 making it illegal to do business with gang members, as well as a U.S. executive order that year requiring financial institutions to freeze Yakuza assets." The strategy is working, too, as Yakuza membership dropped 11 percent in 2011. (Bloomberg)


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Oct 23, 2013

The Numbers for Tuesday, October 22: Small numbers

1

The number of weeks the Slate legal reporter Dahlia Lithwick wore Axe body fragrance to see why all teen boys obsess over the product. At the end of the week, Lithwick’s two sons stopped using it altogether. (Slate)

0

The number of sports pundits who successfully predicted which teams would make it to the world series. The blog PunditTracker tracked 63 experts from all across the multi-million dollar sports punditry industry to see who would pick both the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals to make it to the Fall Classic. Maybe getting both teams right was too hard -- who got at least one of them? Oh yes ... again ... zero. (PunditTracker)

$0
The cost of Apple's newest version of their desktop operating system, OS X Mavericks. It used to be that selling operating systems was the most profitable part of the PC business for software companies like Microsoft, but these days it's hardware and advertising that is becoming more important. Mavericks is available for download today. (CNET)


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Oct 22, 2013

The Numbers for Monday, October 21: Big numbers

$13 billion

JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s biggest bank by assets, is reportedly in final negotiations to settle multiple civil cases with the U.S. Justice Department involving mortgage lending. The company would pay $13 billion to clear many of its legal liabilities. (Marketplace)

$429.89

The full price that writer Catherine Price paid for a Vitamix blender. The blender has a 1,380 watt motor and curved-bottom jar that helps pull food through the blades. In the end, Price believes the blender is worth it. (Slate)

800-318-2596
The phone number President Obama gave out, letting people know that they can call the phone number to sign up for the federal health insurance exchanges, because of the trouble with the web site. (NYT)


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Oct 21, 2013

The Numbers for Friday, October 18: Taxing Mealtime

5%

The tax rate the Mexican government might implement on packaged food that contains 275 or more calories per 100 gram serving. Mexico hopes to curb the country's growing obesity and diabetes rates. The proposed tax could be the broadest move to control diets in the world, but might ruffle feathers with big food companies in the country. Earlier this year, Mexico surpassed the United States for the title of fattest country in the world according to health research organizations. (The Wall Street Journal)

$1.3 million

The amount of lost revenue in payroll taxes the state of Connecticut estimates it lost, due to businesses classifying their employees as independent contractors to avoid insurance, taxes, fair wages and overtime. States across the country are cracking down on companies mislabeling workers to cut costs. Employees are sometimes forced with layoffs if they don't file as independent contractors, and lose out on benefits like unemployment insurance. (Bloomberg)

$30

The cost of a day pass for work space at Oficio, a co-working company in Boston. Shared spaces offer workers an office remote from their actual employers, saving the inconvenience of a long commute. Within the next three years, it’s estimated that almost 40 percent of the global workforce will work remotely. (Marketplace)


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Oct 18, 2013

'It's like the city came back to life': D.C., a day later

Oct 18, 2013
What the city sounds like with its workers back to work.
Posted In: government shutdown 2013

6 New Year's resolutions the next shutdown could break

Oct 17, 2013
The government shutdown reminded us that there are some federal programs that we'll miss if they go away again.
Posted In: debt ceiling, government shutdown 2013

5 other things reopening now

Oct 17, 2013
The government shutdown is finally over, but it wasn't the only thing reopening today.
Posted In: reopening

The Numbers for Thursday, October 17: Big, big data

27 %

The percentage of financial institutions that a Carnegie Mellon University study found were appearing to blatantly violate regulations on sharing consumer's personal data. According to the study, banks like Bank of America, Citibank, Capitol One, Chase, Discover and HSBC are sharing banking and credit card customer's data with unaffiliated outside companies, without explaining to customers how to opt out. Some smaller institutions are even breaking the law by having no opt out at all. (Forbes)

60,000

The number of traffic circles or "roundabouts" that grace streets around the world, double the number that existed 15 years ago. Transport research agencies say the growing popularity is due to the traffic system's safety and traffic flow advantages. More are popping up in the U.S. as well, and New York's own Columbus Circle just won "Best Roundabout in the World, 2013." (Marketplace)

$1 million

The most conservative estimates of mobile game maker King's daily revenues. The company behind the popular game "Candy Crush" is the latest European tech firm to strike it rich in the mobile gaming scene. Analysts say King succeeded where others have failed because the company gets its millions to spend cash on their games as well as play them. Players addicted to King's games will often pay for extra lives and will take to social media to talk about the game. (Reuters)


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Oct 17, 2013

Debt deal means D.C. residents can start collecting lottery winnings again

Oct 16, 2013
Washington's lottery has stopped making payments because of the government shutdown.
Posted In: government shutdown 2013, lottery

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About this collection

It's good to have a laugh or chuckle amid all the news about this troubled economic time. So, we're posting some of the best humor we can find from the Web and your suggestions. We hope the jokes and items below lighten your load. Keep smiling!