Numlock News: June 14, 2019 • X-Day, Spider-Man, Sharks
By Walt Hickey
After five years of legalization, Colorado’s Department of Revenue said it’s collected $1.02 billion in taxes, licenses, and fees on the state’s marijuana business, which in that period sold $6.5 billion worth of product, or for my international friends, a metric 6.5 gigaPhishes of ganja. All told, the 2,917 licensed marijuana businesses in the state and 41,076 authorized individual workers have directed a billion dollars into state coffers, funding mental health programs, literacy initiatives, and anti-bullying programs.
As of Wednesday, 1,779 sea turtle nests were counted by researchers along the Georgia coastline, a figure that’s given inordinate hope to conservationists who worked to bring the loggerhead sea turtle back from the brink. Last year, 1,742 nest were counted for the entire season, and the record year was 2016 when 3,300 nests were counted in Georgia. Should this year pan out and keep pace with 2016, it’s a credit to the work that advocates have done to protect the nesting grounds and regulate the use of nets that have claimed the turtles’ lives in the past.
THREAT OR MENACE?
Spider-Man: Far From Home is poised for a stellar opening, with expectations of a $154 million opening in its first six days of release over Independence Day weekend. Those numbers will shift around, but it’s great news for local Queens resident Spider-Man, who most recently appeared in Avengers: Endgame. The film tells the story of a child soldier who is recruited by a government operative to contend with threats on international soil. It’s been a rough summer for sequels — Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Dark Phoenix have both had a bad time — but those movies didn’t have Spider-Man or even Jake Gyllenhaal in them, so that could be all the difference. Forecasters project that audiences will likely be banging on the table and demanding more pictures of Spider-Man when all is said and done.
The last time Tokyo was rocked by a truly large earthquake was in 1923, when a quake killed over 100,000 people in a much smaller Tokyo. The city — and Japan as a whole — stands prepared for the seismological inevitability to come, with daily tests of speaker alert systems and nationwide infrastructure investments in earthquake mitigation tech. The next big one is anticipated to come roughly in a century, with a 70 percent estimated chance of a magnitude-7 earthquake hitting Tokyo by 2050. A 7.3 magnitude quake hitting northern Tokyo bay would kill an estimated 9,700 people, injure 150,000, cause the evacuation of 3.39 million, and destroy 300,000 buildings. The Tokyo government has distributed a 338-page manual to 7 million households to prepare for X-Day, the ominous term for when the inevitable quake will strike.
Whole Foods has enjoyed a pricing revolution since Amazon purchased the luxury grocer, easily shedding its storied “Whole Paycheck” reputation and now moving very clearly forward to a “97.6 Percent of your Paycheck” future. Prices have held fairly steady, actually, and beyond a mild expansion in home delivery and interconnecting several brands, it’s not exactly clear what Amazon has managed to pull off with regards to exploiting efficiencies at the grocer: a cart of 106 items that cost $404.08 right before Amazon purchased the grocer in August of 2017 would today cost $394.45, indicating a 2.4 percent price cut.
Random Shark Do Do Do Do Do Do Do
Researchers in the Mediterranean are attempting to improve the quality of stats regarding what fishers actually haul in when it comes to hauled-in sharks and rays. In reality, despite the historical diversity of sharks and rays that exist in the Med, record keeping about by-catch data (in layman’s terms, accidental catches) of the fish is really rough. Only a third of the global shark and ray catch is identified at the species level. From 1950 to 2014, when an angler reported a catch, 97 percent of the time that report was just the general category of “sharks or rays” and not an actual specific species, meaning the creature was anywhere on the spectrum from Jaws to a small stingray. That detail is really important for researchers, who are now investing in guides on how to identify different kinds of rays for small fishers.
Despite myths, seniors actually feel great and are bullish on their health. According to the 2017 National Health Interview Survey, 82 percent of adults aged 65 to 74 said their health was excellent, very good, or good. That positivity doesn’t stop, either: 73 percent of those aged 75 and up said their health was good or better. While statistically many of them likely do have some sort of chronic illness, medical advances make it easier to manage once dreadful afflictions as more controllable annoyances. It’s great to hear that people north of 65 feel so great, I’ll pass that silver lining on to all my fellow millennials south of 35 who try to split the narrow difference between burnout and awful employer-sponsored health plans.
Thanks to the paid subscribers to Numlock News who make this possible. This past Sunday, I spoke to Laura Stampler, an author and journalist who dove deep on the savvy moves that Kylie Jenner has made in building a bona fide massive business by leveraging her fame, and why the next logical step is in the baby sector. It’s a cool conversation about a topic that gets a lot of contempt from some places but is nonetheless a very real and fascinating industry.
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