Numlock News: July 13, 2022 • Terminals, Mines, Criminal Minds
By Walt Hickey
With food prices increasing, many are turning to the old ways: Instead of buying pre-cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts, people are buying whole chickens and doing the dirty work themselves. Yes, it’s a great time to be a millennial with a Jacques Pepin deboning video in front of them and a chef’s knife in their right hand, as the per-pound difference between a whole chicken and chicken breasts is getting significant. Last year, the average per-pound price for boneless, skinless chicken breasts were $2.46 per pound and a whole chicken was $1.09 per pound, according to the Agriculture Department, a difference of $1.37. As of last week, the pre-cut breasts are averaging $4.26 per pound, while whole chickens are just an average $1.56 per pound, a $2.70 per-pound difference that even the least adventurous chef has to notice.
The 780-mile Grain Belt Express line is a planned high-voltage transmission line that will connect the ample wind energy production in southwest Kansas into Indiana, where it will plug into the largest electricity market in the country, PJM Interconnection. This will link up the Midwest to an excellent source of clean energy, and the developer announced they will expand the project in response to growing demand, increasing the line’s capacity by 25 percent to 5,000 megawatts. The $7 billion project is projected to lead to $7.5 billion in energy and capacity cost savings for customers in Missouri and Illinois and will see $1 billion in savings for Kansans.
Package volume in New York City has not subsided since the onset of the pandemic drove a spike in parcel deliveries. Pre-pandemic, about 1.8 million e-commerce packages were delivered daily in New York City, a figure that shot up to 2.3 million within several months of the beginning of the pandemic. When you add in the grocery and food deliveries on top of that, it was more like 3.7 million, and as of March 2022 the number of such packages delivered on a daily basis is still 3.6 million, just a hair shy of the pandemic peak. That’s led to a significant increase in the city’s space handed over to couriers, as delivering over 2 million e-commerce packages a day requires 7,800 freight vehicles, and their rounds are adding to the wear and tear on municipal infrastructure.
In 2021, the most-streamed show on Netflix according to Nielsen was “Criminal Minds,” a crime procedural that the streaming service licensed from CBS, clocking in at 33.9 billion minutes streamed. Last week, “Criminal Minds” left Netflix, brought home to Paramount+, the latest in a long line of licensed shows that have been taken off the streaming service. This was to some extent expected; Netflix knew the licensing deals would continue to expire, and their solution has been to invest in a ton of original content. In 2017 Netflix had 5,348 items in its catalog compared to 5,868 in 2022, but in 2017 just 268 of those titles were Netflix originals while in 2022 fully 2,163 titles are Netflix’s. Still, the shows they’re losing are some of the most watched: “Schitt’s Creek” (18.1 billion minutes streamed) is moving to Hulu in October.
Japan’s upper house election results ended with 28 percent of winners being women, a record high in a country where the halls of power are still overwhelmingly dominated by men. Out of 125 contested seats, 35 women won, which means 64 members out of the 248 in the upper house are women, or 26 percent of representatives. While certainly progress, Japan lags other peer countries in the G7, such as Canada, where 49 percent of Parliament is women, and France and Italy, where 35 percent of Parliament is women. Japan doesn’t have a ton of inter-party competition — the LDP has been in power in the country almost continuously since 1955, with just two spells from 1993 to 1994 and 2009 to 2012 where it did not have a governing majority — which can make it difficult to knock incumbents out. Women made up just 21 percent of LDP winners, while they were 53 percent of the 17 CDP winners.
A new study published in Science found that noise from a single deep-sea mining operation can travel over 300 miles (500 kilometers) in ideal weather conditions, in what they describe as a “cylinder of sound” that will be potentially disruptive to marine life. Right now 17 contractors are looking at the Clarion-Clipperton Zone, a 4.5 million-square-kilometer area between Mexico and Hawaii which has lots of polymetallic nodules on the seafloor that are potentially a sign of lots and lots of minerals. At issue is that the Clarion-Clipperton Zone is also home to lots of mammals and endangered species, and if all of the contractors get a mine they’ll elevate noise levels across 5.5 million square kilometers.
Heathrow Airport in London is taking the unconventional step of just straight up giving up, announcing they will cap the daily number of passengers at 100,000 per day for the rest of the summer. Heathrow was the second-busiest airport in the world pre-pandemic when it came to international travelers, handling 110,000 to 125,000 departing passengers a day in the summer as a trans-Atlantic hub and gateway to the continent of Europe. Well, times change, and the airport’s seen a dip in the ability to correctly manage resources and function. On average, airlines are flying 104,000 seats a day for the rest of the summer, and of the 4,000 extra seats between that and the cap, 1,500 have been sold already, so those folks are in for a hell of a lot of airline agony. Since June, airlines flying out of Heathrow have cancelled 559 flights within seven days of departure, up 299 percent from the same period of 2019.
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