Numlock News: April 7, 2022 • Concerts, The Legend of Zelda, Manure
By Walt Hickey
This year, pretty much every musician still in the game is going on tour as the constraints of the pandemic begin to properly lift, and it’s never been harder to book dates and get the personnel needed to crew a tour. The average price of a ticket to a concert in 2021 was $78, up 14 percent since 2019, but that doesn’t always work its way down the card: According to industry estimates, the sales for medium-sized touring acts are down 20 percent to 30 percent compared to the pre-pandemic era.
The NFL draft is on the horizon, and one interesting thing about this particular group of future rookies is they’re surprisingly old. From 2017 to 2021, the average age of a person up for the draft was between 23.07 to 23.15 years old in a given year, but this class is an average of 24.11 years old. The next several years will see the coterie of college players who declare for the draft skew a bit older, particularly as the pandemic-era seasons may have prompted some students to hang back. There are some people in this draft who are in their seventh, even eighth season at school, which, listen, I get that’s weird but it’s at least a little comforting to know that there will be some millennials remaining in the upcoming draft.
The Felicity Ace cargo ship burned and sunk in the middle of the Atlantic several months ago, destroying all of the vehicles on board. We now have an assessment of Poseidon’s bounty, which includes 5 Volkswagen test vehicles, 83 Volkswagen Golfs, 50 Audi Q3s, 3 Audi A4 Cabrios, 44 A5 Sportbacks, 10 A5 Coupes, 34 E-Trons, 9 E-Tron Sportbacks, 126 Porsche vehicles that are probably Cayennes, 23 probable Porsche 911s, 25 likely Taycans, 21 Lamborghinis, 33 Bentleys and several privately owned vehicles just hitching a doomed ride alongside the imports, including one single 2014 Kia Soul. It also had 220,000 pounds of used tractors.
This week Nintendo announced that the sequel to Breath of the Wild, the hit Legend of Zelda game that sold 25.8 million copies and remains the fourth-bestselling Nintendo Switch game, will be delayed. Breath of the Wild launched with the console in 2017, and the delay to 2023 meant that Nintendo stock slipped 6 percent the day of the announcement. One reason for the delay is that Breath of the Wild was a massive game, and massive games take lots of time to develop. The Legend of Zelda had around 8 hours of playtime, A Link to the Past takes about 15 hours to play, Ocarina of Time takes 26.5 hours and Twilight Princess takes 30 hours; Breath of the Wild has about 50 hours of main story playtime, and about 97.5 hours if you count extra content beyond the main quest.
In late 2020, there was a lot of concern about minks raised on fur farms catching COVID-19 and then spreading it back to humans, and new emails reveal that the CDC was specifically aware of human infections that may have stemmed from an infected mink on a fur farm in Michigan but delayed in sharing that event. A genome analysis of samples from two mink farm workers as well as two people with no connection to the mink farm found their infections came from variants only otherwise found in mink and mink-to-human virus variants. Other than minks, the only other animals that are believed to have caught and passed the virus back to humans are white-tailed deer and hamsters.
The current saviors of the box office are young men. Among the rubes conned into seeing Morbius last weekend, the audience was 60 percent male and 46 percent under the age of 25. That skew isn’t exactly new: Looking at films that have made over $20 million in 2022, men under the age of 30 are responsible for 36 percent of ticket sales, a plurality; women under 30 were 23 percent of tickets, men over 30 were 23 percent and women over 30 were just 18 percent of the box office. That’s impacting what executives are willing to release into cinemas, and what they’re instead shifting to streaming platforms.
Commercial fertilizers are seeing supply constraints the world over, and an ancient fertilizer has emerged as an ideal replacement: manure. It’s a great time to be in possession of a gigantic vat of excrement, as farmers looking to get some nitrogen in their soil are turning to animal waste as the chemical formulations get scarce and expensive. Typically good-quality solid manure was selling for $5 to $8 per ton in Nebraska, a figure that has recently leapt to $11 to $14 per ton, and the machinery firms who produce equipment to transport and spread manure are seeing orders booked for the next six months. Iowa, which uses an average of 14 billion gallons of manure a year to cover 25 percent of its corn acreage, may see an addition billion gallons applied this year to plug the gap left by shortfalls in commercial fertilizers.
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