Numlock News: February 16, 2023 • Cadbury Eggs, Twitch, French Film
By Walt Hickey
On paper, it’s simple: If you make it so less solar energy hits the Earth, you’ll reduce the amount of heat that gets trapped in the atmosphere and thus mitigate warming. The reality is obviously considerably more complicated, as we do need the sun to stay alive and actual attempts at solar geoengineering — like releasing a bunch of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere to create reflective sulfate particles — is an ethically controversial decision. The U.S. federal government has steered away from doing that due to the unforeseen risks, despite a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine that recommended a $200 million program researching it. In 2020, Congress directly ordered NOAA to develop the Earth’s Radiation Budget program, which has a $10 million annual budget. Next week, the National Center for Atmospheric Research will kick off stratospheric flights out of Houston up to 20 kilometers up to measure sulfur dioxide and other chemistry of the upper atmosphere. They’ll then head up to Fairbanks and continue the flights until the end of March.
A man who attempted to steal 200,000 chocolate Easter eggs from a U.K. industrial park has pleaded guilty to theft and criminal damage. The man attempted to use a stolen semitruck to steal a trailer full of Cadbury Creme eggs worth $38,000, or as the locals put it, the man attempted to motor a pinched artic to nick a lorry of Cadbury Creme eggs worth £31,000.
Expert advisors to the FDA voted unanimously 19-0 to advise the agency to approve a version of naloxone for nonprescription use. Naloxone is an antidote to opioid overdoses, and making it a nonprescription drug would take it out from behind the pharmacy counter and put it in convenience stores, groceries and more. The agency usually follows the recommendations, and has until March 29 to do so. All forms of naloxone require a prescription, but every state has made it available in some capacity from pharmacists or syringe programs.
Amazon launched Crown Channel on its video game streaming platform Twitch in 2019 with the goal of airing ad-supported original programming, and the company says it’s in the top 10 entertainment channels on the network. According to a pitch deck from last January, Crown reached 43 million viewers and had a very engaged audience. This may be a bit inflated, a Bloomberg analysis argues, as Amazon pays to put the channel on the digital carousel that users must peruse, and as a result the 19,000 average live viewers Crown registered in late October only has 22 of them commenting in the Twitch chat per minute, only 6 percent of the comment traffic of peer channels with similar viewership, and it lost dozens of followers per hour when it was streaming compared to the 514 followers gained per hour amongst eight similar Twitch streams.
Domestic Box Office
The European box office hit €6.6 billion ($7.08 billion) last year, up from €4.4 billion ($4.7 billion) in 2021 but still down 34.4 percent compared to the levels seen in 2019, according to UNIC. What’s particularly interesting about the report is the relative strengths of the European domestic box offices, and what percentage local films made up of their total box office. For instance, French movies made up 40.9 percent of admission in France, Turkish films were 46 percent of the market in Turkey, and Russian films made up 52.1 percent of the box office in Russia, likely due to the collapse in imports. Other markets were less robust: Italian movies were 19.7 percent of Italy’s box office, Spanish movies 22 percent of Spain’s, German films 19.9 percent of Germany’s market, and U.K. films a mere 15 percent of the U.K. box office.
The train that derailed in Ohio — 32N — had 150 cars, 141 loaded and nine empty, was almost two miles long, and weighted 18,000 tons. The route had a reputation for being unpleasant for crews, and was nicknamed “32 Nasty.” According to the train’s load profile, 40 percent of the train’s weight was in the back third of the length, and the back half of the train was the heavier half, which is counter to the longstanding best practices that front-loads the heaviest cars. Longer trains can be harder to control, and while the load profile might not have contributed to the derailment, it may have made it worse.
About 260 million worldwide have asthma, and lots of researchers are trying to find out specifically what causes some people to have smaller airways and increased mucus production that causes the ailment. There are a half-million deaths annually from asthma, and an issue with addressing severe asthma is that there are several facets to it that are hard to solve all at once. Clearing mucus from airways is difficult — mucolytics are drugs that break down mucins, and N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) is the only one available — and dissolving crystals that can form in mucus in tiny airways is even harder. New research is trying to find other angles to attack that.
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