Numlock News: January 10, 2023 • Ozone, Quidditch, Ever Given
By Walt Hickey
The Evergreen Marine Corporation had an exceptional year, with the Taiwanese shipping company’s revenue in 2022 expected to be NT$634.6 billion ($20.7 billion), significantly higher than the NT$489 billion made in 2021 and vastly higher than the more typical NT$191 billion made in 2019. The company benefitted from a banner year in the industry, notably one in which they successfully avoided jamming another ship in the Suez Canal. To their credit, the company will be spreading some of that wealth; year-end bonuses are equal to 50 months’ salary, or roughly four years’ pay, at least for those with Taiwan-based contracts.
Experian, the credit report company, makes $2.6 billion a quarter collecting and hawking personal financial information. A new analysis of the credit bureau’s system for preventing unauthorized access into important personal financial data has revealed some serious and blatant flaws, though. Until the end of 2022, Experian’s cruddy website would allow anyone to bypass several security questions about any person’s financial history to access their credit report. According to security researchers, upon furnishing a name, address, social security number and birthday, a user could bypass a failed security check by changing the last bit of a URL from “/acr/oow” to “/acr/report” to change the page from an error to a full report, lousy with errors they may be.
The numbers are in, and author Colleen Hoover has positively dominated the 2022 bestselling books list, selling 14.3 million print copies of her books and accounting for eight out of the top 25 selling books of 2022. The only other author with more than one title on the top 25 list was Emily Henry, who got the 21st and 25th spot. In the top 10 alone, Hoover managed to get the first, second, and third bestselling book of the year, as well as the fifth, eighth and ninth bestseller. There are a few perennials on the list, including The Very Hungry Caterpillar at number 11 with 738,840 copies sold and Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss at number 14 with 627,750 copies sold.
Quidditch Canada, which governs the Harry Potter-inspired sport in the country, has moved to bring its game in line with the broader world and change the name of the sport to “Quadball” coming February. This is part of a broader move by aficionados of the game to move away from “Quidditch” in part because the copyright is owned by Warner Brothers and in part because they no longer wish to play on avid Twitter user J.K. Rowling’s turf. Quidditch Canada has 304 registered adult players and is one of more than 30 countries with some organized version of the game. The transition will begin in 2023 and by the nationals in spring 2024 will come to a completion.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is weighing action on the indoor air pollution caused by gas-powered stoves. Such appliances are in use in 40 percent of homes in the U.S. and emit nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and fine particulate matter at levels that the EPA has linked to respiratory illness. The data is particularly worrisome when it comes to kids and air pollutants from stoves: A new study published last month in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that over 12 percent of childhood asthma cases in the United States could be attributed to the usage of gas stoves.
A new report from the United Nations found that the ozone layer is fixing itself thanks to significant global action taken to mitigate the use of ozone-depleting chemicals 35 years ago. The report, presented at the American Meteorology Society convention, found that the global amount of ozone 18 miles up will return to 1980 levels sometime around 2040, or just 17 years from now. In the Arctic, it’ll get back to normal around 2045, and in 2066, 43 years from now, the hole over Antarctica will be fully mended. Chlorine levels in the atmosphere are down 11.5 percent since a peak in 1993 and bromine levels are down 14.5 percent since their 1999 peak, a credit to how human-made climactic degradation is reversible with collaborative global action.
Avatar: The Way of Water made $16.5 million in its fourth weekend at the Chinese box office, bringing its total in China up to $189.4 million. The current projections have Avatar 2 finishing at around $222 million, which is both the best performance of a Hollywood film in China during the pandemic era in addition to a beat of the $202 million Avatar grossed in China in 2009. The movie has another weekend in China with little to no competition, with the January 22 weekend — the Lunar New Year — seeing a number of big domestic blockbusters hit screens, particularly The Wandering Earth 2.
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