Numlock News: August 22, 2022 • Dragon Ball, CW, Shortest Day
By Walt Hickey
A prototype of an Apple-1 Computer used by Steve Jobs in 1976 to demonstrate the capabilities of the then-nascent company has sold at auction for $677,196 to an anonymous collector from the Bay Area. The device was verified a number of different ways, comparing it to Polaroid photographs of the time and authenticated by an expert in the early Apple tech. Which, joke’s on them, who cares if it’s practically a fossil at this point; you bought an Apple computer, they’re still gonna charge you $9.99 a month for iCloud.
Leading the box office this weekend was Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, with $20.1 million at the North American box office for what is shaping up to be the largest global opening for an anime film ever. It’s the 21st film in the Dragon Ball franchise, and tells the timeless story of Gohan and his former teacher Piccolo attempting to save the world from an army while Goku and Vegeta train somewhere else for a while. Anyway, now I understand the utter confusion of how people who don’t watch Marvel movies regard the rest of us.
A day is 24 hours long, sort of. There are tiny variations in the speed of Earth’s rotation that actually mean some days are longer or shorter, more or less. One extreme example was June 29, 2022, which was 1.6 milliseconds shorter than 24 hours and is now the shortest day on record. The rotation rate of Earth changes as the planet redistributes mass through geological movement, or strong winds, or the climate. Anyway, if you’re feeling pretty slammed lately and not really sure where the time is going, congratulations, you are scientifically speaking completely correct.
The CW, the 16-year-old network that was sold to Nexstar, has long had the reputation of having the youngest audience of the broadcast networks, particularly given its young adult-targeted programming blocks. Well, the average primetime viewer of the television network is in fact 57.4 years old, which was a bit of a shock. Indeed, the network with the youngest primetime audience is actually now Fox, which had a median primetime viewer aged a comparatively spry 56.6 years old. ABC and NBC are older than Fox and CW, and CBS is the oldest, with a primetime median of 64.3 years old.
The United Kingdom gets a surprisingly high fraction of its energy from burning wood. About 6.5 percent of Britain’s electricity last quarter came from biomass, which was mostly wood, and mostly from the Drax power station. Wood burning is technically the U.K.’s largest source of renewable energy, accounting for 40 percent of the renewable power in the country. The U.K. has a voracious appetite for wood, demand accounting in 2018 for 21 percent of the global supply of wood pellets, some 8.3 million tonnes. It’s not even British wood: 80 percent of the wood burned at the Drax power station is imported from the United States.
With swathes of the United States in the midst of a housing crisis, it’s become harder for potential home buyers to compete with the oceans of capital vying for the very same properties. In 2021, a third of house sales in the United States were to buyers who did not actually plan to live in them. Over 5 percent of houses sold in the United States were straight-up flips, where a buyer gets a property and installs upgrades and improvements with the intention of selling the property again at a significant premium. A quarter of single-family home sales were to investors and landlords who want to rent out the property and not actually live in them. In the first quarter of this year, the flip rate was about 10 percent.
The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, a component of which is a colossal climate package, will actually result in a spike in the need for pipeline technology that so far has mostly been linked to fossil fuel distribution. The bill contains a bunch of incentives and financing for carbon capture projects, which is a technology in development that will take carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases and sequester them in a manner where they will no longer contribute to climate change. The simple reality is that if you’re going to have that kind of project, you’ve got to have a way to pipe that carbon dioxide where you want it to go; hence, the U.S. will need something like 30,000 miles of new pipeline to carry carbon dioxide from industrial and refinery producers to the carbon capture sites.
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