Numlock News: July 18, 2022 • Minor League, "Lifetime" Warranty, Chickpeas
By Walt Hickey
Thor: Love and Thunder made $46 million in domestic ticket sales in its second weekend at the domestic box office, a steep 68 percent drop off its opening weekend but one roughly on par with the 67 percent drop seen by Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. Globally, ticket sales for Thor have reached $498 million. In second place was Minions: The Rise of Gru, now in its third weekend with $26 million, with that film now hitting $532.7 million globally. That was considerably more than the $6.25 million opening from new animated release, Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank, which was actually a stealth animated remake of Blazing Saddles despite marketing that set it up to be a Kung-Fu Panda rip-off.
Major League Baseball, America’s favorite anti-trust exemption, has agreed to pay $185 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by minor league players who wanted compensation for alleged violations of minimum wage and overtime laws. Thousands of players current and former will be eligible to get part of the $120,197,300 of that settlement that’s going to players, with the rest going to fees. Furthermore, MLB will now allow teams to pay minor leaguers during spring training.
The world is staring down a worrying shortage of chickpeas, a staple crop that owing to the invasion of Ukraine has seen two major global suppliers taken largely off the market. Russia and Ukraine are both top exporters of chickpeas, and Turkey, the second largest exporter, banned exports in March to ensure its own domestic food security. Since Ukraine has been unable to seed the chickpea crop there’s an estimated 50,000-tonne deficit that otherwise would have ended up in the European market, while Australia, another major grower, is dealing with a drought. All told, crop yields are expected to drop 20 percent this year.
WPS is a word processor first released by Chinese software company Kingsoft, with some 310 million monthly users. On June 25, a Chinese novelist complained that all of a sudden a 1 million-word document she was writing in was locked without her consent, alleging that WPS detected illegal content in what’s since become a major kerfuffle on Chinese social media. The company claims that it doesn’t censor locally-stored files, but has been consistently vague about what it can do to files stored online. A previous customer service advisement said that creating a sharing link triggers a review mechanism.
A Missouri man has launched a proposed class-action lawsuit against Bass Pro Shops alleging they’ve misrepresented the guarantee behind their “Redhead Lifetime Guarantee All-Purpose Wool Socks.” Once, the suit alleges, Bass Pro would replace the socks with a free replacement every time the socks wore out, but sometime in 2021 Bass Pro swapped out that guarantee for a mere 60-day warranty, further adding a stripe to the 60-day socks so that employees will know which socks fall under the lifetime warranty and when to send the sock owner packing. The suit claims the man bought 12 pairs of the socks and attempted to replace four pairs in 2021, which were replaced with striped 60-day versions in violation of the advertised message that they are “the last sock you’ll ever need to buy.”
The WWE has been ensnarled in a series of scandals related to founder Vince McMahon, the latest specifically pertaining to the revelation of NDAs covering sexual relationships with employees and subsequent payoffs. While McMahon has stepped down as chairman and CEO, he remains head of WWE creative, and structurally it’s going to be incredibly difficult to ever truly separate McMahon from the wrestling company. Indeed, not only does Vince McMahon own 38 percent of the shares in the company — with daughter Stephanie owning another 3 percent and wife Linda owning 1 percent — the kind of shares he owns gives him disproportionate voting power, meaning that Vince alone has 81 percent of the voting power when it comes to WWE shareholders, with his wife and daughter enjoying a further 7 percent of the voting power.
The steel industry’s carbon dioxide emissions are responsible for 40 percent of the total industrial emissions for all of Japan, and the country’s laser-focus on integrating hydrogen into its industrial infrastructure is seeing the steel business as its first major target. It’s going to cost an estimated ¥10 trillion ($72 billion) to fully decarbonize the country’s steel business, but the country’s Green Innovation Fund is kicking in just ¥193.5 billion of that through 2030. With the hydrogen technology race with China heating up, the government is facing pressure to up its financial support.
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