Numlock News: January 13, 2022 • Folios, Broncos, Crows
By Walt Hickey
A judge has settled a years-long legal dispute where a Canadian holding company claimed they had the right of first refusal on a sale of the Denver Broncos, nullifying their rights to the team and opening up the Broncos to what may be the priciest sale in history. The Broncos have been valued at $3.8 billion, and the owners — the children and sibling of deceased owner Pat Bowlen — are now free to hit the market without fear that a random holding company can pull the rug out from under a buyer at the last moment. Now this goes from an extremely messy sale to merely a very messy sale, as Bowlen died without choosing a successor, and his seven kids each own 11 percent of the Broncos, and they’re reportedly not in agreement over what to do with Denver.
Crows have taken over the town of Sunnyvale in the Bay Area, and now that it’s winter — when flocks are the largest — the suburb is beset by intelligent and collaborative corvids that are forcing businesses to send out employees with laser pointers to dispel enormous murders of crows amassing on their property. As human population grows, so too does the crow count: Before 2001, the Golden Gate Audubon Society counted more than 150 crows during the Christmas Bird Count only once. At the last annual bird count, in 2019, they counted 2,543 crows, an indication of just how robust the bird populations have grown. It’s prompting some homeowners associations to call in falconers to try to spook the birds away with falcons, but the crows are smart and return once the falcon goes away. Anyway, municipal officials are reminding citizens of sensible things they can do to help, like if you recently attempted a demonic summoning in the Bay Area, please make sure you’ve properly extinguished all the quarter candles, all talismans and amulets have been safely latched per manufacturer instruction, and the circle has been fully dispelled upon conclusion of the ritual.
The University of British Columbia managed to obtain a rare copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio, a 400-year-old text whose acquisition was the result of years of effort from two professors. The First Folio was the first printed edition of Shakespeare’s works, a collection of 36 plays printed in 1623. Only about 750 copies were originally printed, and only 235 copies are known to remain. Prior to UBC’s acquisition, there was only one copy in Canada, at the University of Toronto. The specific copy bought by UBC is the Cherry-Garrard copy, once owned by Antarctic explorer Apsley Cherry-Garrard, whose provenance goes back to the 18th century.
The NFL saw regular season viewership up 10 percent this past year, with an average of 17.1 million people tuning in to regular season games on television and streaming. That’s the best audience for the National Football League since 2015. That’s also positive for television as a whole, as NFL games account for 91 of the top 100 telecasts on television this season. Last year, the sport’s broadcasters agreed to spend $105 billion over the next 10 years on NFL broadcast rights, a bet made in a year when viewership was down 7 percent.
Researchers in Ireland, the United Kingdom and Germany have found that a decade of corporate emissions data doesn’t add up, with the data from companies rife with errors, omissions and rounding issues. About 30 percent of companies had mismatched data in at least one category in a given year, and oil and gas companies were among the worst offenders. According to the data they scoured, 39 percent of oil and gas companies reported mismatched emissions data in any given year. For instance, Exxon reported a total of 120 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emitted in 2016, but when the component data was actually added up it came out to 128 million tons. Some years were particularly off: In 2015, more than half of the oil and gas industry’s data contained errors.
Maersk is buying 12 carbon-neutral container ships from Hyundai Heavy Industries, the first of which is due to be delivered in 2024. In order to run the 12 low-carbon ships, Maersk is going to need 450,000 tons of green methanol a year. The issue is that is a not insubstantial chunk of the 100 million metric tons of green methanol produced per year, and lining up consistent and reliable refueling is going to pose a mild logistical challenge up front. That said, this is a company whose entire business model is centered on logistics, and they expect that by 2025 they’ll be able to keep these ships fueled with the green methanol.
On The Bubble
The sun is at the center of a 1,000-light-year-wide large bubble of emptiness called the Local Bubble, an anomaly compared to the typical situation within the Milky Way, which has hot gas filling the gaps between stars. A new paper published in Nature suggests that we’re actually just passing through: Data from the ESA’s Gaia telescope suggests that the bubble is the result of 15 supernovas that took place starting 14 million years ago, and that 5 million years ago the sun’s path entered into the bubble and in 8 million years we’ll be out of it. That’s not a great deal of time for our 4-billion-year-old sun. The bubble is growing at a rate of 14,400 miles an hour, but that’s 15 times slower than peak expansion. It also suggests that the bubble isn’t all that unique in the interstellar medium.
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