Numlock News: August 1, 2023 • Blink-182, Angels, Crunchwrap Supreme
By Walt Hickey
Hot off a lawsuit that sought to cancel the trademark for Taco Tuesday, fast food restaurant Taco Bell is the subject of a proposed class-action lawsuit over alleged deception where the servings for Mexican Pizza and the Crunchwrap Supreme and several related products are at least doubled in advertisements compared to the reality. The suit is in Brooklyn federal court and seeks at least $5 million for Taco Bell customers who bought any of five items in the past three years in New York, meaning that many of my drunkest friends could be looking for a real payday down the line. It’s the biggest liability that Taco Bell may face since the infamous 1923 Baja Blast.
A useful way that AI technology can be applied to creative work in a manner already being embraced by creators is in aiding localization, with over 500 YouTubers already contracting with Dubverse.ai to translate and re-dub videos into other languages to broaden out their audiences. The company charges $30 per 10 minutes of dubbed content, and with hundreds of thousands of other users the company claims to have generated 25,000 hours of dubbed content. For many of us, though, this will reopen an old wound and bring a devastating new technology to an ancient war; I know not the weapons with which Subs vs Dubs War Three will be fought, but Subs vs. Dubs War Four will be fought with sticks and stones.
The hottest thing in music touring right now is selling affluent 30-somethings their old eye shadow and tight pants back for a considerable markup, with alt-rock bands making a killing on the road. The forthcoming When We Were Young festival in Vegas has sold 160,000 tickets, Blink-182’s North American tour just wrapped with $85.3 million gross on 564,000 tickets, which follows a 2021 outing by Weezer, Green Day and Fall Out Boy that grossed $67.3 million on 659,062 and an $88 million My Chemical Romance tour. Anyway, if any bookers want to take a look at my high school iPod Mini, I have absolutely categorically figured out exactly what the next three years of successful concert tours are going to be.
The REPLANT Act gives the Forest Service money to plant a billion trees in the next nine years, but bad news, there is nowhere near that capacity at American nurseries to actually pull that off, according to a new study published in Bioscience. They found that of the 605 plant nurseries in 20 northern states, just 56 can produce seedlings at that kind of industrial volume and merely 14 are directly operated by the government. Looking closer, it’s nowhere near possible to hit goals for some specific trees under current production; in that 20-state survey, they found only two nurseries with any red spruce, and only 800 seedlings available, enough for a single hectare.
One Must Imagine Sisyphus with Kale
Sweetgreen, which cranks out salads for people who only have around 15 minutes to grab lunch and are trying to eat vaguely right so yeah sure I guess we’re getting Sweetgreen, has implemented an automated restaurant in Illinois where it can test out new ways to factory produce salad. The margins at the restaurant were 26 percent in June, higher than the 20.4 percent margin in Q2 across the vegetable-monger. The automated facility is a conveyer-belt system that takes in fresh ingredients as precursors and then generates acceptable agglomerations of flora, protein and dressings through dispensers. They can apparently crank out 400 to 500 sad desk salad bowls, plates and sides per hour, which is 50 percent higher than the typical restaurant.
Angels & Demons
A new AP/NORC poll tracked beliefs in various things, finding that 69 percent of Americans believe in heaven, 58 percent in hell, 69 percent in angels and 56 percent in the devil, a real field day for the Gnostics if you ask me. The survey found that 72 percent believed in the power of prayer, and 63 percent believed in karma, while 50 percent think that the spirits of the dead can interact with the living. Moving down the spiritual buffet, 42 percent think that energy can be rooted in things like crystals, plants or rivers, 34 percent buy into astrology, and 34 percent are down with reincarnation. Kit and caboodle, 83 percent think that some things can’t be explained by science or natural causes, but for everything else, there’s Numlock™️.
YouTube phenom MrBeast launched a sprawling, national burger chain on the back of his own massive 170 million subscriber brand and some 1,700 restaurants that served as ghost kitchens to sell and deliver his burgers. In the first three months, 1 million such burgers were sold, prepared in the kitchens of other restaurants or independent kitchens and sold through storefronts on delivery apps. Yesterday MrBeast sued his partner, arguing that the obvious quality control issues that would emerge from entrusting the preparation of ground beef slabs to hundreds of independent distributors led to a shocking sacrifice in consistency and quality. The creator is suing for breach of contract, and is trying to end the relationship with Virtual Dining Concepts.
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