Numlock News: June 30, 2021 • Black Holes, Comic Books, Peridotite
By Walt Hickey
Nike, the shoe corporation, has increasingly seen its business move away from the wholesale market — places like Foot Locker or other shoe stores or larger chains — and towards the direct sales market, where they sell their shoes directly to consumers. This is largely thanks to substantial interest in specific types of shoes and subsequent interest in the secondary market for footwear. In fiscal year 2015, Nike made $22 billion from the wholesale market and $6.6 billion from direct sales; in FY 2021, that’s been $25.9 billion in wholesale, but $16.4 billion in direct sales.
Sales of comic books hit a new high in 2021, with total sales of graphic novels and comics hitting $1.28 billion in 2020, 6 percent higher than the $1.21 billion logged in 2019. In North America, graphic novels were $835 million, comic books were $285 million and digital comics hit $160 million. On a related note, if anyone also recently finished the Invincible compendiums, holy crap, what the heck was that, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, like dang, I gotta talk about this.
A new study has found a black hole nine times the mass of the sun at one point encountered a neutron star with two times the mass of the sun. The study also detected another situation in which a black hole six times the mass of the sun contacted a neutron star 1.5 times the mass of the sun. In 2015, Nobel Prize-winning researchers first detected such gravitational waves indicating that kind of collision; since then, researchers have detected over 50 such events. It’s now estimated a black hole eats a neutron star about every 30 seconds in the observable universe, and about once per month within 1 billion light-years of Earth.
A new study of Wikipedia found that the number of biographies on the site of women rose from 16.83 percent in 2017 to 18.25 percent in 2020. However, the percentage of biographies about women nominated for deletion in a given month was reliably above 25 percent. For instance, in April 2017, when 16.93 percent of biographies on Wikipedia were of women, fully 41 percent of the biographies nominated for deletion were of women. While today only 19 percent of biographical articles are about women, still, reliably a quarter of all such biographical articles nominated for deletion are about women.
Companies that manufacture marijuana related products face pressure from retailers to make those products high in THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, and as a result the laboratories that verify the THC content of such products are under pressure to ensure they hit those desired high marks. The percentage of marijuana products sold in California with 14 to 21 percent THC was 39.8 percent, with the high percentage 21 to 28 percent being 44.7 percent and the amount of very high THC products — 28 percent or higher — being 11.1 percent. As a result of the higher-THC products sell for more money — allegations of lab fraud are common and growing.
Aduhelm, a drug sold to fight Alzheimer’s, will sell for a $56,000 per-year list price. Right now, about 6 million adults in the United States suffer from Alzheimer’s. If a quarter of the 2 million Medicare beneficiaries who are currently taking an Alzheimer’s treatment end up taking Aduhelm, it’d cost Medicare $29 billion. For context, Medicare spent $37 billion total on all doctor-administered drugs in 2019. If every one of the 5.8 million Medicare-eligible adults with Alzheimer’s took Aduhelm, it’d cost $334.5 billion a year, or about half the Department of Defense budget annually.
When rain contacts peridotite, the mineral pulls in oxygen and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In the region of Oman, east of Saudi Arabia, where exposed mantle rocks are lousy with the stuff, the rocks are petrifying up to 100,000 metric tons of CO2 per year. Oman has 15,000 cubic kilometers of the rock, and if one were to drill several kilometers down and pump in water saturated with CO2, well, you could potentially sequester a great deal of carbon dioxide in stone. Worldwide, it’s estimated that 60 to 600 trillion tons of CO2, or 25 to 250 times the amount emitted by humans since 1850, could be sequestered in peridotite in Oman, Alaska, Canada, California, New Zealand, Japan and more.
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