Numlock News: August 17, 2018
By Walt Hickey
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Tomorrow — which eagle-eyed readers may note is the aesthetically palindromic 8-18-18 — is the most popular day for 2018 weddings. According to the latest report from the Knot, a wedding services company, there are 28,633 weddings tomorrow on its network, with an estimated 3.9 million guests attending. Thanks to the registries, I assume the nation’s strategic swoon carafe reserve is at an all-time low. All I’m saying is that now, right now, is the time to post that cute pic to Insta. The next few days, social media will be a minefield of tastefully designed archways, cute couple shots and —most of all — pictures of Polaroids or of those fun group photobooth shots, the ones where the first image everyone is just smiling, the second image is the crew being silly, the third image doesn’t have a cohesive mood because nobody decisively announced one before the countdown clock finished, and the fourth one everyone tries to get one with their good angle. Mazel tov to the 57,266 newlyweds.
An analysis of the front pockets in 80 pairs of blue jeans found that the pockets in women’s jeans are 48 percent shorter and 6.5 percent narrower than men’s jeans pockets. The average women’s jean pocket is 5.6 inches deep and 6 inches across, which on a temperate day could conceivably hold a pen that has a little flexibility, while the average men’s jean pocket is 9.1 inches down and 6.4 inches wide, which is literally large enough to comfortably hold an iPad mini.
In what is probably my favorite survey design in quite some time, Morning Consult asked readers to estimate the accuracy of a number of articles based on the headline. The brilliant move, though, was that they put those generic headlines under totally different mastheads, essentially figuring out how much people trusted, say, an article called “Number of jobs growing, June report shows” when it’s published on a generic site, when it’s published on CNN, and when it’s published on Fox News. Generally, Democtats trusted neutral sites (60 percent perceived accuracy) and CNN (63 percent perceived accuracy) more than Fox (52 percent), and Republicans trusted Fox News (62 percent) more than both neutral site (53 percent) and CNN (48 percent).
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If a livestock animal dies in America, there’s a pretty solid chance Tyson was holding the knife. The company produces one out of every five pounds of meat consumed domestically, kills about 1.8 billion animals a year, producing $15 billion in beef, $11 billion in chicken, $5 billion in pork and $8 billion in various prepared food products. But the company is eyeing what comes after the abattoir, investing in a number of startups and companies that seek to develop protein cuisine that doesn’t require a death. Tyson’s fund for sustainable tech is $150 million, admittedly a slim chunk of the meat biz, but even the strongest critics of the company — I assume people who recently saw Okja — are pleased to see the industry back alternatives.
A Nice Part of New Jersey
Liberty State Park is 1,212 acres of public land directly across from downtown Manhattan and currently contains a lovely park for public use visited by an estimated 5 million people annually. Naturally, developers want to turn it into a racetrack or some other obscenity, and the government of New Jersey is hearing them out because this is the government of New Jersey we are talking about. It’s in Hudson County, as well, which as a former resident I swear has the most cinematic dirty politics on earth.
The Roof Is No Longer On Fire
Dark colored asphalt absorbs about 95 percent of the sun’s rays and if L.A.’s streets were, instead, white, they would be 10 to 15 degrees cooler. This way of painting away the heat has been a work in progress in New York, with the city painting 6.7 million square feet of rooftop white for non-profits, affordable housing buildings and hospitals for free since 2009.
Facebook made $15.9 billion in 2017, but doesn’t seem to be interested in devoting those resources to interfering with hate speech fueling violence against ethnic minorities in Myanmar. In 2015, there were only 2 people at the company who could speak Burmese and review posts. The country has 50 million people. Since Facebook outsourced hate speech monitoring to Accenture, that effort has only about 60 people reviewing reports of hate speech for all of 18 million active users in Myanmar.
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