Numlock News: December 14, 2022 • Cougars, Submarines, Peep Show
By Walt Hickey
I’m hosting a show at Caveat in NYC tomorrow, December 15th. There’s also a livestream option for out of town folks, check it out!
For the discerning rich guy who yearns for the sea, sometimes it’s simply not enough to get a massive yacht to take to the open water. For a specific type of person, they’re the ideal customer for the luxury submarine business, which does in fact exist. Triton Submarines, partly owned by the billionaire Ray Dalio, will sell you a sub for anywhere from $2.5 million to $40 million, vessels that range in overall capacity from one person to 66 people, and with a depth range of anywhere from 100 meters to as deep as you want. Yes, no longer will you have to buy one of El Chapo’s narcosubs from a police auction to get in on the submersible action; you too are just $2.5 million away from the first step in becoming a James Bond villain.
Morocco will play France in a World Cup semifinal match today, and it’s the hot ticket in Qatar. The Moroccan team enjoys substantial local support from expatriates who work in Qatar, who number around 20,000. Add in the massive swell of support from the rest of the African and Muslim world for a team to make the semis, and tickets are in high demand in Doha. It’s a seven-hour flight from Casablanca to Doha, and Royal Air Maroc organized 30 special flights within the 48 hours leading up to the game, with return flights queued up for after the end of the game. The cheapest game ticket’s face value is $150, but prices on the secondary market are going for $600 to $1,600.
Oregon’s drought is one of the most severe on record when looking at the impact it’s had on the state’s fir trees, which had a historic die-off in 2022. The analysis of aerial surveys found that 1.1 million acres of forest have dead firs, which is the worst in a single season since the first survey was conducted 75 years ago, nearly twice as bad as anything documented before, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Oregon’s average temperatures have increased 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit since 1895. This year’s survey became the worst on record after beating out 2021’s survey, which was also the worst on record. The survey is a feat in and of itself: The observation program flew 69 million acres of forest in Washington and Oregon over 246 hours.
Peep Show is a formative U.K. sitcom, known for its first-person camera angles and for launching the careers of David Mitchell, Robert Webb and Academy Award winner Olivia Colman. Tuesday the American network FX announced that they had ordered a pilot to remake the show for an American viewership, an import strategy that in the past has resulted in hit U.S. shows like The Office, House of Cards, and of course Numberwang. The show has been long sought because it’s perfect on paper — beloved by nerds, the longest running comedy in the history of Channel 4, ran for nine seasons which is respectable despite the fact that British television inexplicably thinks six episodes can truly be a season — but this will actually be the fifth attempt to adapt Peep Show stateside, after failed efforts at Fox, Spike TV, Starz and a previous FX attempt.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety updated its frontal crash testing for small SUVs to place increased emphasis on backseat passenger safety as a shift in vehicle design has made SUVs safer for front-seat passengers than backseat passengers. The risk of fatal injury is 46 percent higher for passengers in the back than in the front, and the vehicles on the road didn’t do so hot: Just two small SUVs got top marks, one was acceptable, three “marginal,” and nine got the worst possible rating of “poor.” This is concerning, because small SUVs are the most popular new vehicle in America, with 23.4 percent of all new vehicle sales going to the subcompact SUV category.
The FBI has released the latest data on hate crimes in the United States, but with a massive asterisks because a large number of police departments decided to simply not bother reporting crime last year. The FBI and the Bureau of Justice Statistics have moved to a new comprehensive crime reporting system called NIBRS, which gathers additional information about victims and offenders. The percentage of agencies who actually reported statistics fell from 93 percent in 2020 to 65 percent in 2021, jeopardizing the integrity of the data and our understanding about how crime in the United States actually changed year to year.
The mountain lion that a decade ago crossed two freeways to move to Griffith Park in Los Angeles, the locally beloved cat named P-22, has been captured and sedated by scientists after erratic behavior and exhibiting signs of injury and distress. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife said that he was probably struck by a car, had sustained an eye injury, is seriously underweight and will likely not be released back to the wild. The cat was first captured in 2012 and fitted with a GPS tracking collar, and is believed to be 12 years old. He’s the oldest Southern California cougar that’s been studied, and he’s old; most mountain lions live a decade. P-22 was influential in the community, and information about him was a big part of a campaign to build a 60-meter wildlife crossing to give cats, coyotes and deer a direct path to the Santa Monica Mountains.
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