Numlock News: July 26, 2023 • Incandescent, Lorcana, Cricket
By Walt Hickey
New York City’s mayor wants to close 20 acres of the public Van Cortlandt park in order to construct a temporary 34,000-seat cricket stadium in a bid to host six games of the 2024 T20 World Cup, because obviously a city as tiny and provincial as New York simply lacks any viable stadiums or arenas that can host a niche sporting event. The International Cricket Council — which has paid $100,000 to a lobbying firm to shill the games to the Adams administration — produced a report which claimed that hosting six games in the Bronx would somehow generate $163 million in economic activity which, no it won’t, that’s completely nuts, you’re completely out of your gourd if you think that several cricket games are going to produce, as they claim, another $72 million in tourist spending, that’s fanfiction.
Dinner time in America peaks at 6:19 p.m., according to a new analysis of the American Time Use Survey, with most households eating dinner between 5:07 p.m. and 8:19 p.m. According to the data from 2018 to 2022, the states that ate the earliest were Pennsylvania (5:37 p.m. peak) and Maine (5:40 p.m. peak) while the states that ate the latest were Texas and Mississippi (both a 7:02 p.m. peak) and Washington, D.C., which ate at 7:10 p.m. peak.
Soil from a forest in Massachusetts has turned up a collection of very, very large viruses, which can be the size of bacteria or larger than 2 micrometers in diameter. They also can have a massive genome, with some having 2.5 megabases. Sediments and soil is home to 97 percent of all viral particles, and the find from a 16-square-kilometer patch of forest outside Boston has turned up all kinds of cool little guys: viruses with long tubular appendages, various tails, and the classic 20-sided icosahedral-shaped viruses that presumably allow bacteria to play Dungeons & Dragons when they get bored.
Google voluntarily suspended Street View photography in Germany in 2011 amid privacy complaints, and as a result Google Maps has a very rough and highly dated footprint in the country. Over a decade later, Google has announced it’s back in Germany, though, and is starting to update its on-the-ground imagery of the country starting in the 20 largest cities and then working outward from there. The kerfuffle a decade ago was one of the inciting events for the EU General Data Protection Regulations, and now that there’s law on the books regarding privacy, Google said that there’s still demand for a street view product in Germany after clearing it with regulators in March.
The Walt Disney Company will try to do with boxes of trading cards what it has been completely unable to do in 2023 at the box office: get a clean win. Disney is releasing the first batch of cards from Disney Lorcana, a much-anticipated collectible trading card game, on August 18. Produced by Ravensburger, the tabletop game is what happens after the Mouse learned that Magic: The Gathering essentially prints money for Hasbro and that they also happen to have their own rabid fandom that would devour a deck-building collectible card game. The initial wave is composed of 204 unique cards called The First Chapter, distributed through three different 60-card starter decks as well as 12-card booster decks.
The percentage of Netflix originals that were produced in the United States has been declining, from 59.3 percent of original titles in the first quarter of 2017 down to just 40.3 percent of titles in the same quarter of 2023. That’s a deliberate strategy, as the streamer believes that not only can it shore up audiences in different countries by making local content, but that content can also perform internationally, basically arguing that reproducing the Squid Game phenomenon can be its whole business model. That said, it hasn’t really panned out; local originals produced by Netflix are only really hitting in two countries, the United States (where local titles are 61.4 percent of titles watched) and South Korea (where they’re 67.8 percent of titles watched), while the rest of the world mostly uses Netflix to watch American television. Japanese Netflix originals are just 19.4 percent of original hours watched in Japan, and most countries are lower: Spain’s originals are 14.9 percent of their pie, German originals just 2.7 percent, the figure is 9.9 percent in the U.K. and 5.9 percent in Brazil.
This month the Department of Energy is beginning to fully enforce rules that prohibit the manufacture, import and retail sales of most kinds of incandescent lightbulbs as the market for light in the United States shifts to more efficient LED bulbs. The new lightbulb rules will impose the efficiency standard of 45 lumens per watt, and most incandescent bulbs get nowhere close to that. Last year a $542 per violation penalty was authorized, which could mean massive fines for big deliveries of incandescent lights. Over the course of the next 30 years the moves will cut $570 billion from utility bills and avert 2.4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
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