Numlock News: June 16, 2021 • Imported Dogs, Domestic Beer, Olympic Games
By Walt Hickey
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The city of Brooksville in Florida accidentally sold their water tower as part of an otherwise routine real estate transaction. Last year, a buyer approached the city about purchasing a small municipal storage building with a garage located at the base of a water tower that he intended to repurpose as a gym, and in late April the city council unanimously approved the sale of that part of the property for $55,000. Days after the sale, the Hernando County Property Appraiser informed the buyer that they also got the water tower as part of the sale, an error on the part of the city that was corrected when the buyer transferred the city’s water supply back to the city. All of us tell ourselves that if presented the opportunity, we probably wouldn’t go full Lex Luthor and wouldn’t hold the city’s water supply hostage, but so rarely are we put in a position to test that belief.
There’s an entire genre of science news stories that usually goes something like, “coffee found to cause X” or “sugar linked to preventing Y,” headlines that neglect to mention that the actual study determined the relationship not in human beings but rather in mice. This is still useful — model organisms are critical for determining things about human biology — but needless to say the headlines aren’t as good. A new study finds that when studies related to Alzheimer disease on mice mention that they were conducted on mice in the title of the paper, they actually get less media traction. Looking at 405 papers that mentioned the mice in the title and 218 papers that didn’t, the papers that brought up the rodents up front were written about 77.2 percent of the time, getting an average of three stories per paper, while those that didn’t mention the mice in the title were written up 81.6 percent of the time with 3.9 stories per paper.
Right now, Tennessee’s Jobs4TN portal lists 257,000 jobs available in every part of the state. Still, in the week of June 5, there remained 50,054 claiming unemployment in the state, multiple times the pre-pandemic levels. Sure seems like a jobs crisis, yeah? Not so fast: as it happens, just 3 percent of the jobs posted, or around 8,500 jobs, pay more than $20,000, which is below the $22,000 poverty line for a family of three.
Beer consumption in the U.S. fell 7.5 percent from 2015 to 2020, which has made beer see a 3.5 percentage point decline in the overall market share of U.S. alcohol sales. Since 2000, that decline is 11.5 percentage points. Molson Coors, a brewer, has itself seen its market share decline within the declining beer space, falling 8 percentage points to 21.1 percent of beer sales as of last year, with sales of Coors Light and Miller Light in decline. This is pushing Molson Coors to diversify beyond beer, taking a 49 percent stake in L.A. Libations, rolling out plant-based diet sodas, deals with Top Chico Hard Seltzer and Zoa, and a number of ready-to-drink products.
The percentage of sports fans who say they are interested in women’s professional sports is 42 percent, which lags the percentage interested in men’s sports (77 percent) by 35 percentage points. The gap is a little smaller for college sports — 37 percent are interested in women’s college sports versus 58 percent for the men’s game — but it’s virtually eliminated whenever it comes to the Olympic Games. According to a new survey, 67 percent of sports fans are interested in women’s Olympic sports and 69 percent are interested in men’s, a difference that is less than the margin of error. Stoking hope for the future, the survey found women’s sports are way more popular among young people than they are among the general adult population by double-digit margins.
An analysis of 4,060 executives from 119 companies and labels across the music industry found that just 19.8 percent of those studied were from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group. That’s substantial underrepresentation in a country where 40 percent of the overall population is from such a group, where 44.4 percent of U.S. music degrees go to someone from an underrepresented group and 46.7 percent of popular artists are people of color. The disparity is most distinct in radio (where 12.3 percent of execs are from an underrepresented group), in live music (16.8 percent) and publishing (17.8 percent).
No Dogs Allowed
The United States imports around 1 million dogs per year, but starting on July 14 the CDC will ban the importation of dogs from 113 countries. The reason is that the United States eliminated rabies in dogs in 2007, and requires that puppies imported into the country have a valid rabies vaccination certificate. Last year, the number of fraudulent certificates spiked 52 percent according to the CDC, and in a move praised by veterinarians will stop the imports from countries where rabies in dogs is a high risk for a year. The banned countries only account for about 6 percent of all dogs imported annually.
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