By The Numbers

I’m dreaming of a wi-fi Christmas

Marketplace Staff Dec 1, 2015
$193 quintillion

That’s the estimated cost of building the Death Star in the first Star Wars film, according to a new report by Washington University assistant professor Zach Feinstein. And when he crunched the numbers, Feinstein concluded that the second Death Star (also destroyed) probably cost double to build. Meaning the next Star Wars film may very well be about an intergalactic bailout.


That’s about how much a single leg of Ibérico ham costs in Spain. It costs about twice as much in the U.S., and even more in China. Even so, the Chinese markets have proven hungry for the specialty product, with pork imports from Spain ever increasing. But as the New York Times reports, makers of the ham are wary of sharing trade secrets, should the Chinese decide to try entering the market.

18.11 billion

That’s how many gallons of renewable biofuel must be mixed into the nation’s gas supply in 2016, according to a new rule from the EPA. And the new requirement has been met with frustration from multiple sides of the debate. That number is less than Congress had intended based on goals set in 2007. On the other hand, the American Petroleum Institute argues that consumers have rejected higher ethanol fuels.


That’s the percentage of homes in the UK that now have super-fast broadband, up from last year’s 21 percent. The BBC has coverage of the Ofcom report that looks at UK wireless networks. Also included in the report: as many as six million homes are slowing down their own wi-fi with items like Christmas lights.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.