Numlock News: June 13, 2022 • Dinosaurs, Paleotempestology, Chaotic Good
By Walt Hickey
Bidding for the broadcast rights to India’s cricket league sent the bids well past 450 billion rupees ($5.8 billion) this weekend, significantly higher than the 328 billion rupee floor price sought by the cricket board. Walt Disney is the current rightsholder, but faces stiff competition from Sony, a combined venture from Paramount and Reliance, and Zee Entertainment. Amazon pulled out, reportedly. The current price for the slate of games — given a 74-game season — means cricket has now surpassed England’s Premier League to become the second-most lucrative sports product on a per-game basis in the world, behind just the NFL.
Jurassic World Dominion, a story about a nice mathematician and his friends who have some unfortunate interactions with some local wildlife, made $143.4 million in its domestic opening weekend, making $389 million globally so far. That’s only slightly behind the opening weekend for 2018’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, a promising sign for the box office. The film, the third in a reboot and a financial exploitation of a once-dominant behemoth, interrogates the consequences of rebooting and financially exploiting once-dominant behemoths.
Oakland lost the Golden State Warriors to Mission Bay in 2019 and the Raiders to Vegas in 2020, and for now just the A’s remain. The franchise, which is being financially strangled compared to its competition, is in a dire position. They’re averaging 8,283 fans per home game, roughly 3,000 fewer than the second-worst attendance in the league over in Miami. It’s a bit ominous: The last time a team averaged fewer than 10,000 fans a game was the 2004 Montreal Expos, who became the Washington Nationals in 2005.
Some of the planes on the tarmac at U.S. airports are looking a bit shabby, as planes that were stored in the desert over the course of the pandemic slowdown in flights have reentered service without the aesthetic touch-ups that otherwise go unnoticed. United Airlines, for instance, has been gradually pulling its fleet of 777s back into service after 15 months of grounding and inspections. Needing a paint job isn’t exactly mission-critical, and right now because of spiking demand and the usual blah blah blah supply chain labor force yadda yadda yadda the queue for a paint job for a commercial aircraft is now six to eight weeks. Many are sending jets to Europe, where the lead time is a mere month.
A new national survey of 24,000 Americans attempted to determine their Dungeons & Dragons character alignment, and found that 29 percent of Americans consider themselves neutral good, 21 percent lawful good, and 13 percent true neutral. Yes, the country has revealed itself to be a bunch of goody-two-shoes paladin half-elf narcs who definitely cast aspersions at your typical hardworking rogue whenever she is making a simple mistake allocating the loot from a perfectly on-the-level tavern robbery, Rylan. Another 11 percent considered themselves chaotic neutral and 8 percent consider themselves chaotic good. Less than a combined 3 percent of people consider themselves evil alignment, but I bet Strahd himself looking in the mirror doesn’t even see an evil guy, you know? At press time, early returns from the party were coming in strong for “we need a healer.”
This Could Have Been An Email
A new study analyzing the ability of teams to make decisions over long email chains was fairly wanting. Pairs of two workers took an average of six minutes to achieve a consensus when negotiating a sales strategy in person, while pairs of workers took 20 minutes on average to achieve the same consensus over email. It’s a good indication that email as a medium should predominantly be shifted away from the rigors of industry and toward its true format, like alerting people when their order has shipped, silly newsletters about numbers and unsolicited daily marketing campaigns from concert venues you visited one time eight years ago.
Not unlike polar researchers who mine ice cores for history about the weather of Earth over the past several thousand years, blue holes — deep holes in the seafloor that can be hundreds of meters deep and hundreds of meters wide, many of which are in the Bahamas — are an incredible resource for those who study weather from before we had reliable ways of measuring tropical storms. Paleotempestologists, the researchers who study historical cyclone activity, actually have evidence that the world right now is a little weaker on balance. Hine’s Hole in the western Bahamas gets two to three centimeters of new sediment per year, and scientists drilled 18 meters into that sediment to get a core with some 540 years of deposited sand. The team believes they have a record of every Category 2 or higher hurricane that came within 75 kilometers, and they argue that the rate of hurricanes passing near the site — now about five per century — has at times been as many as 30 to 35 per century.
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