By The Numbers

Relatively speaking, this is a big deal

Tobin Low Feb 11, 2016

It doesn’t take an Einstein to know that big things happened today — here are some need-to-know numbers as you head into the evening.

Scientists announced a major breakthrough on Thursday: the detection of gravitational waves. A thousand researchers from 15 different countries worked together to discover what are essentially ripples in the universe caused by the clashing of two black holes about a 1.3 billion light years away. As the Wall Street Journal writes, it also proves part of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity published in 1916, when he theorized about the existence of such waves. 


Speaking of perplexing questions that seem unanswerable: how does junk mail find you even when you move? One answer lies with the U.S. Postal Service. Through a service called Every Door Direct Mail, businesses can pay to have their materials sent to entire neighborhoods. And even if most people toss the some 11 billion catalogs mailed out each year in the U.S. directly into recycling, the incentive to mail is still there — Paul Miller of the American Catalog Mailers Association says even two orders out of a hundred catalogs is considered a worthwhile yield.

Heading into Friday, Mexico is preparing for a visit from the pope. The country is preparing itself, too, with some 10,000 police, soldiers and agents of the presidential guard staffed to provide security. But when the pope pays a visit, you might be asking yourself: who picks up the tab? The answer: a whole lot of people besides the pope, namely the country he is visiting. But what a country covers in costs, it could make up for in money coming in from tourists.

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