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By The Numbers

Counting up votes for NSA reform

Tony Wagner Nov 19, 2014

That was Tuesday’s final vote in the Senate striking down broad reform of the National Security Administration by two votes. The bill would have stopped the bulk data collection exposed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden last year, and it had bipartisan and White House support. Ultimately a divided Republican opposition  – some thought the reforms went to far, others wanted them to go further  – gathered enough votes to strike down the proposal, Politico reported. The bill is unlikely to come up for debate or vote before Republicans take over the Senate.


That’s the number of passengers stricken with a norovirus  – often caused by contaminated food  – just last week on a Carnival cruise. Reacting to the latest in a series of high-profile incidents, some fatal, Carnival Corp. is attempting to repair its image through a social media campaign.

$2 billion

The average cost of lost tuition after sexual assault, per college graduating class nationwide. The Washington Post came up with that figure by estimating that such assaults cause one in 50 victims to miss a semester of school. A blog post explores the many hidden costs to students who were assaulted, including tuition, lost wages, moving costs and counseling. 

$3.3 billion

The amount the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will be paid for the sale of royalty rights to a drug it invested in 15 years ago. The initial investment was met with some skepticism: $150 million given to a biotechnology company to develop drugs to treat the disease. But as the New York Times reports, Wednesday’s sale will bring bring in “20 times the foundation’s budget for last year.”

One-third of a horse’s value

That’s how much it generally costs to lease a horse for a year, no small figure when you consider that at a place like Echo Farm in South Salem, N.Y., horses range in value from $2,500 to $50,000. And that’s just the beginning of the dollars needed to care for a horse as your own.


Technically, it’s not a number, it’s the Unicode designation for the little pile of poo emoji. Special characters and emoticons have a specific designation to keep them consistent across platforms. Companies have to design the icons themselves and  at least in Google’s case with the poo  – hide the emoji behind certain commands. A new oral history from Fast Company explores the story behind the poop symbol as well as emoji’s global appeal and standardization.

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