Numlock News: April 10, 2023 • Champagne, Conch, Coal
By Walt Hickey
Super Mario Bros.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie blew expectations out of the water and made $204.6 million at the domestic box office and $173 million overseas for a $377 million opening, the second-best opening for an animated film behind just Incredibles 2. It just goes to show that making a 90-minute animated film for children based on a property beloved by pretty much every generation is still a viable way to make money in the film business. Video game movies have long been a tricky business, but the recent success of the Sonic The Hedgehog franchise as well as the juggernaut that is this new Nintendo franchise means that the curse has been proven wrong.
Champagne shipments to the United States are up big, hitting 33.7 million bottles in 2022, amounting to $997.9 million in economic activity, with the overall amount of Champagne exports hitting $6.6 billion and 325.5 million bottles. The volume of exports to the U.S. are up big, up 31 percent from 2019. Bubbly stuff is one of the bright spots in the wine industry which has otherwise struggled to attract young drinkers, but Champagne is way up and the U.S. is the top export market for Prosecco, as well. Remember, it’s only “Champagne imports” if they’re from the Le Import region of France; otherwise it’s just “Champagne we shipped.”
Scientists exploring the depths of a trench off the coast of Japan found a fish 8,336 meters below the surface, a new record, beating the previous find of a fish at 8,178 meters in the Mariana Trench in 2017. The diver in question is a type of snailfish, and it’s unlikely that a much deeper fish will ever be spotted. The fish able to hit those depths can do so because of osmolytes in their bodies, but the concentrations max out at roughly 8,400 meters so that’s the current theoretical limit.
Conch is a very common meal in the Bahamas, where 9,000 of the 400,000 people are conch fishers, roughly 2 percent of the population. A diver working in waters of 20 or 30 feet could bring home 1,000 conchs in a single day’s work. However, populations of queen conch are plummeting, and it’s a problem. In 2011, the density of conch in Exuma Cays was down 91 percent over the past 20 years. Fishing is a big part of that; in the 1970s, there were 1.7 million pounds of conch harvested a year, which as of 2006 was up to 14 million pounds a year.
While telemedicine among humans is booming, telemedicine between animals and their veterinarians is lagging, but on the rise. A recent survey of 1,200 American cat owners found 72 percent had used telemedicine for their own human needs but just 3 percent had had a telemedicine veterinarian visit for their cats. Vet clinics are gradually adopting the model, as 4 percent of clinics offered remote video appointments before the pandemic but 30 percent do today.
Japan lacks a significant amount of energy resources domestically, so the country has to import fuel. Lots of that came from Russia, but following the invasion of Ukraine, Japan has slashed those imports. The 230,000 tonnes of thermal coal that Japan imported from Russia in February was 73 percent lower than last February, and Russian coal was just 2 percent of total coal imports. The winner was Indonesia, imports of coal up 28 percent there, as well as Canada and South Africa.
The explosion of virtual kitchens pretending to be actual, unique restaurants has prompted a crackdown on the food delivery apps that recognize they’re cannibalizing variety. It varies city to city: An analysis of New York City Uber Eats listings found 21 percent of restaurant listings were virtual restaurants, a lot more than the 11 percent of Cleveland and 14 percent of Boston restaurants that were not real, but still considerably less than the 31 percent of listings in Nashville, Tennessee.
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