Numlock News: April 11, 2023 • Law & Order, Edmonton, Elevators
By Walt Hickey
Constructed by the artists Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues at the cost of $600,000, the “Talus Dome” is a large public artwork in Edmonton, Canada, which has proven divisive among locals for year, like all good art provoking myriad polarized reactions. It’s a massive pile of large polished silver spheres, polished silver balls with a hollow center at the intersection of Quesnell Bridge and Fox Drive. Anyway, this is an international story because a 26-year-old dude got stuck in it and it took three fire crews to get him out of there, one of which was a technical rescue team, which did damage several of the silver balls. The gentleman was charged with a count of mischief over C$5,000. The man’s girlfriend reportedly “never thought scaling the sculpture was a good idea.”
The diet industry is massive, bringing in $76 billion in sales in 2022 from weight loss and medical programs, diet foods, gym memberships and more. It’s a behemoth, and many within it now are genuinely worried as a number of pharmaceuticals come to market that have been effective in treating obesity. Drugs on the market and coming to it — Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro among them — have worked for many, and weight loss companies now must decide whether they want to exist in concert with or in opposition to the new GLP-1s. Several of the titans of the industry have struggled in the past several years — WeightWatchers’ membership is down from 5.03 million in 2020 to 3.5 million as of the end of last year — and potentially see telehealth and the dugs as ways to remain in the game.
The Golden Globes are administered by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which came under scrutiny over the fact that as of early 2021 they did not have a single Black member. The fallout jeopardized the very existence of the award show, which went off the air for a year, forcing the group to distribute their paperweights absent a national television audience. The organization has just announced they they have pulled off a speedy expansion: Last year they added 103 new members, and this year they brought in another 128 new members, bringing the full size of the voting body to 310 people.
There are about 43,000 mobile home communities in the United States, housing approximately 22 million people. While large investors and landlords have been snapping up the mobile home communities in the interest of hiking rents and making a substantial return — a third of them have been bought by investors since 2015 — an emerging trend among some tight-knit communities is to turn them into a homeowners cooperative. That typically involves forming a homeowners group, obtaining financing, and buying the land underneath them, with the rents often going up but in service of the loan rather than an external landlord. Only about 1,000 of those 43,000 communities are resident-owned, but those that do convert to resident-owned have so far had significant success.
A new survey conducted by YouGov America found that 31 percent of respondents said they have ever hit the button in the elevator that closes its doors because they saw someone attempting to get onto the elevator and they wanted to leave without them. A further 8 percent said they were not sure, while 61 percent claimed “no,” but yeah sure definitely. The percentage who said they had pushed the button to move things along was 6 percentage points above the national average in the Northeast, and 4 points below the national average in the Midwest, which tracks. Further investigation found that 25 percent of respondents believed that the button in an elevator that makes the door close faster in fact “does nothing,” potentially illuminating that 61 percent figure.
A survey found that a new California law that caps the amount of profit that an oil and gas company can make at the pump has robust bipartisan support, with 70 percent of voters in favor and just 18 percent opposed. Bipartisan majorities back limits to capping profits — including 79 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of Republicans — which does make sense given that most economic and presidential approval polling is pretty much just a proxy for “yo, how do you feel about the price of gas this week?”
NBC has renewed all six of the currently-running Dick Wolf Television shows for a new season, which includes Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order, L&O: Organized Crime, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD and Chicago Med. This will bring the total number of seasons that the family of shows has run up to 84 seasons. SVU accounts for 25 of those, vanilla Law & Order for 23 of them. I for one am still waiting for them to do a full-on crossover of all six shows, presumably one in which a Chicago emergency medical surgeon turns to arson and evades police in the Windy City, eventually absconding to New York with the help of a cousin involved in organized crime, a cousin who is obviously eventually murdered, a murder which reveals a heretofore hidden licentious underworld that requires the attention of the dedicated detectives of New York City’s Special Victims Unit.
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