Numlock News: January 18, 2022 • Philadelphia, Eagles, Horror
By Walt Hickey
Scream made $34 million last weekend, which beat the $26 million made by Spider-Man: No Way Home in its fifth weekend of release. Scream made a global total of $52 million, which given its $25 million production budget means that despite Monday’s estimates coming in slightly lower than expectations, it was still a success. The movie particularly killed among 18 to 34 year olds, who have not been particularly reluctant to return to the cinema. They made up 67 percent of all ticket buyers, though given the gory and well-trodden subject matter that lacks novelty while still delivering cheap kills, it is unclear how many of those 18 to 34 year olds were actually just two 13 year olds standing on each other’s shoulders and trying to buy a ticket.
The amount of money that car brands are spending advertising their electric models quadrupled last year. In 2021, major automakers spent $248 million on 33,000 ad spots for electric vehicles. While that was still a small fraction of the $3.3 billion automakers spent on national television ads last year, the vehicle manufacturers are plotting an accelerated roll-out as more and more of their models become electrified. As recently as 2019, they aired just 8,000 commercials for electric cars for just $83 million. The responses to the shift has been positive, one reason that Audi straight-up inverted their spend: in 2020, Audi spent $18 million on electric vehicle television ads and $53 million on non-electrics. In 2021, Audi spent $54 million on EVs, and just $13 million on non-EVs.
Philadelphia’s Hahnemann hospital closed to bankruptcy in 2019, but one thing on their books was particularly difficult to sort out: a nuclear-powered pacemaker in the heart of a patient. Hahnemann was responsible for the pacemaker, which is powered by plutonium-238, but with no more Hahnemann, someone will have to keep tabs on the device to dispose of it properly when the time comes. Needless to say the government has some pretty tightly-held beliefs about where plutonium-238 can and cannot go, and the brief trend of nuclear pacemakers pre-lithium ion pacemakers is now causing headaches. Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Off-Site Source Recovery Program, which tries to gather radioactive material that could pose a risk to health and national security, has dealt with over 1,600 pacemakers, most of them around 20 years ago, but they still get calls about a nuclear ticker once or twice a year at this point.
Last week, the Department of the Interior announced that a half-million acres between Montauk in Long Island and Cape May in New Jersey would be up for auction for wind power development. The six lease areas will be slated to produce 5.6 to 7 gigawatts of wind energy, enough to power 2 million homes and a figure that would go a long way toward fulfilling the government’s goal of 30 gigawatts of wind power by 2030. The original goal was for close to 2 million acres, but that was cut to a half-million acres to avoid conflicts with commercial fishing operations and local tribes. Another nine such projects are under review, and the government plans to have six more auctions by 2025.
When a Japanese arcade closes, one of three things happen: their video games are sent to a landfill, they’re gutted and sold for parts and then sent to a landfill, or a distributor will buy up all of an arcade’s machines. From there, they’ll either sell them to smaller arcades around Japan, or they’ll discreetly load up a shipping container and send them to the U.S., where an avid collector base is ravenous for off-the-books arcade cabinets, even if the manufacturers hate it. It’s a brisk business thanks to home gaming consoles and a tax that raised the cost of playing arcade games: from 2006 to 2016, the number of arcades declined from 24,000 to 14,000. With a connection to the right grey-market distributor, a cabinet can be had for $1,000 to $6,000.
Satellite broadcaster DirecTV announced Friday it will drop One America News, a far-right channel, at the conclusion of its contract in April. When DirecTV was an AT&T subsidiary in 2017, they entered into a deal to broadcast OAN, and have been their most important distributor since. According to sworn testimony from an OAN accountant, AT&T-owned platforms like DirecTV were responsible for 90 percent of the network’s revenues.
A new study published in the Journal of Wildlife Management found that from 2009 to 2021 the use of lead ammunition in bald eagle habitats reduced their population growth by 4 percent to 6 percent annually in the Northeast. Nearly driven to extinction several decades ago, wildlife management practices such as the banning of the pesticide DDT brought the birds back from the brink, leading to their removal from the endangered species list in 2007. The lead ammunition gets into the eagles’ systems when hunters shoot a deer, and field dress the animal by removing its internal organs. Those organs can have lead fragments in them, fragments that can poison the eagles that scavenge the remains left behind. Hunters can ensure lead doesn’t poison eagles by burying the remains of the carcass or using copper bullets.
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