Numlock News: January 23, 2023 • Flo Rida, Carp, Reactors
By Walt Hickey
Avatar: The Way of Water is on a record-breaking tear, hitting $2.024 billion as of this past weekend, $598 million of which came from North America and $1.426 billion of which came from overseas. It’s its sixth weekend in cinemas, and it pulled in another $19.7 million domestically. It is now the sixth film in history to surpass $2 billion at the box office, and barring something unexpected is poised to overtake Star Wars: The Force Awakens (which made $2.07 billion) and Avengers: Infinity War (which made $2.05 billion) within a few days. From there, it’s a long way to the top — Avatar made $2.9 billion and Avengers: Endgame made $2.79 billion — but it’s entirely possible that Titanic, which made $2.19 billion, is in striking distance.
He Got Them Throwing Their Money Around
Attorneys for musician Flo Rida convinced a Florida jury to award the singer $82.6 million in damages in his suit against Celsius energy drinks. The jury found that Celsius breached an endorsement deal in which the rapper was promised a share of the company that was never actually provided. Celsius contended that the company was only successful after the end of the Flo Rida deal, but Flo Rida’s attorneys argued that didn’t change the fact he was promised 1 percent of the company. Celsius stock fell 12 percent following the verdict.
The government of Canada has agreed to pay C$2.8 billion in a settlement with 325 First Nations to bring an end to a class-action lawsuit that sought reparations for the Indian residential school system that destroyed elements of their languages and cultures. The settlement, if approved by a Federal Court, would go into a new trust fund that would operate for 20 years and would be governed by nine Indigenous directors. There will be an initial payment of C$200,000 to each of the 325 First Nations to develop a 10-year plan to revitalize their language and culture, followed by an allocation of a kick-start fund of C$325 million to begin the projects.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission had certified the seventh nuclear reactor design for use in the United States. The first six are large, traditional reactors, while the newest approved design is the first small modular nuclear reactor, a 50-megawatt advanced light-water version produced by NuScale Power. The approval means that it can’t be legally challenged during the licensing process, removing impediments for the adaptation of the low-carbon power plants. NuScale has already inked 19 agreements in the U.S. and abroad to deploy the small reactors.
Populations of common carp in Australian rivers have exploded, accounting for up to 90 percent of the live fish mass in some rivers and pushing communities to consider extreme measures, such as releasing the carp herpes virus to control the populations. That virus is found in over 30 countries, but not in Australia, where carp themselves are a non-native species that is outcompeting local species. They were first introduced in the 1800s, and since flooding in the 1970s carp are in 92 percent of all rivers and wetlands, with an estimated 357 million fish during flood conditions. Introducing the virus, according to models, could reduce the carp population by 40 percent to 60 percent over the next 10 years.
A new national survey conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the Trevor Project surveyed 716 LGBTQ+ youth aged 13 to 24, who said that ongoing anti-LGBTQ+ efforts on the part of several state governments in the United States are having a detrimental impact on their well-being. Among the respondents, 71 percent said that state laws restricting the rights of LGBTQ+ young people — at school, when it comes to medical care, and in sports — have had a negative impact on their mental health, with 75 percent saying that the increased threats of violence against LGBTQ+ spaces are giving them anxiety.
The prevailing estimate from a satellite instrument known as VIIRS put the annual rate of increase of light pollution at 2 percent. A new study looked at 51,351 observations collected by volunteers from 2011 and 2022 and found that on the ground it’s way worse; skyglow was increasing between 6.5 percent to 10.4 percent per year in Europe and North America, and while the data from the study was too slim from developing countries to draw significant conclusions, based on the satellite experiments it’s suspected to be increasing at a higher rate. The trend is bad: A kid born in a place where they could see 250 stars in the night sky would only see 100 stars by their 18th birthday.
Thanks to the paid subscribers to Numlock News who make this possible. Subscribers guarantee this stays ad-free, and get a special Sunday edition. Consider becoming a full subscriber today.