Numlock News: June 2, 2022 • Elvis, Egyptian Artifacts, Lightning
By Walt Hickey
Five Egyptian artifacts worth over €3 million have been confiscated from the Metropolitan Museum of Art by the New York District Attorney’s office amid allegations that the artifacts are evidence of criminal possession of stolen property. Four of them originated from a dealer that is suspected to be at the center of a global trafficking ring that provoked a number of indictments in Paris last week, indictments that also were against the former director of the Louvre. A Met spokesperson said that museum employees were deceived by a criminal conspiracy and the museum plans to cooperate with the investigators.
Harry Styles’ new album Harry’s House made an estimated $7.26 million in sales in the United States in its first week of release, but the really fascinating thing is how it made it. According to Billboard, most of that — $4.49 million — was from 182,000 vinyl record sales, which is the highest volume of vinyl records sold since modern-era sales tracking began in 1991. By comparison, the estimated revenue from streaming over the same period was $1.32 million from 253.3 million streams. That means that vinyl, of all things, was responsible for 61.9 percent of U.S. revenue for the album, the musical equivalent of if most of Top Gun: Maverick ticket sales came from nickelodeons and vaudeville shows.
A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Legal Action
The wedding industry in Nevada brings in $2 billion per year, and Clark County — the home of Las Vegas — has long been home to any number of Elvis Presley-themed ministrations. That may be in jeopardy, though, as Authentic Brands Group, which owns the likeness rights of Elvis for licensing in merch, advertisements and so on, has sent cease-and-desist letters to multiple Las Vegas chapels that were offering Elvis-themed nuptials, including the Elvis Chapel, Elvis Weddings, Las Vegas Elvis Chapel and Viva Las Vegas/Vegas Weddings. I for one am looking forward to the chapels doing to Elvis what Halloween costumes did to evade paying the owners of licensed characters, so look forward to Non-Specific Pompadour Crooner Wedding Chapel.
According to a new study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the largest known plant on the planet has been identified off the coast of Western Australia, an underwater meadow that is in fact a single organism originating from a single seed some 4,500 years ago, covering 200 square kilometers. Researchers wanted to measure the genetic diversity of the meadow, collecting 18,000 genetic markers, and were rather shocked to discover that there was not any genetic diversity because it was all one plant. Presumably the next goal is to find the largest unknown plant on the planet, which I assume lurks in the deep waiting for a moment to strike and unveil its non-Euclidian maw as it begins to devour all that breathes in this puny dimension.
The F-150 Lightning from Ford is in high demand, with the all-electric pickup already seeing a backlog of 200,000 orders. There is one feature it’s got that should be putting competitors on edge, and may very well give it a huge advantage in rural areas: The truck’s battery doesn’t just take in power, it can also output power. Specifically, in a blackout, the 131 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack can serve as a power plant for a home, a feature that has piqued the interest of buyers in areas where weather-related blackouts can cause problems. The Lightning can power an average home for about three days.
In the United States, 70 percent of donated livers are not used. One reason is that livers can be stored on ice for a maximum of 12 hours, meaning that if there’s a possible issue that needs to be investigated — a lesion that might need to be biopsied, for instance — oftentimes the liver won’t be able to be transplanted in time. A new machine can store a liver for up to three days, according to a new study published in Nature Biotechnology, with one patient who got a liver that had been stored in transit for three days healthy a full year on. Rather than keeping the organ on ice, the machine recreates some conditions of the human body like pressure and temperature as well as giving the organ antibiotics and anti-fungals.
The median annual salary for a woman in America is about $49,000. Given one record of breastfeeding that found it took an aggregate of 486 hours of feeding or pumping for one new mother who breastfed for six months, at that salary the cost of breastfeeding in time alone is $11,460, which in addition to the $1,339 incurred in supply costs makes the childcare an expensive sacrifice. As the formula shortage revealed, infant care is an expensive proposition, and even breastfeeding comes with substantial costs.
Only two days remain! We are celebrating the fourth anniversary of the launch of Numlock News with the annual sale. If you like the newsletter, this is really the best way to support it. If you subscribe now you get 25 percent off your first year.
You get access to some really excellent interviews every Sunday and you get to support the newsletter and ensure it’s sustainable and ad-free. I’m so grateful for all the subscribers; this newsletter wouldn’t be possible without you, and now’s a great time to upgrade.
The best way to reach new readers is word of mouth. If you click THIS LINK in your inbox, it’ll create an easy-to-send pre-written email you can just fire off to some friends.