Numlock News: March 1, 2022 • Tom Brady, Romance Scams, The SAT
By Walt Hickey
The California Film Commission announced on Monday the millions in state tax credits it would be doling out with the goal of keeping filmmakers in California. All told, the state shelled out $149.2 million in credits for 30 films, including $60.3 million for Netflix alone. Netflix got $16.1 million to make Beverly Hills Cop 4 in the state of California, which to some notoriety is in fact the actual location of Beverly Hills. Also scooping up money from the state is Tom Brady’s forthcoming film 80 for Brady, which got $2.5 million, the most that California’s given up to Tom Brady since the 262 passing yards he managed in the 2018 Super Bowl agains the Rams.
The art collective MSCHF has announced a massively multiplayer version of the SAT exam. For $52, you can enter to take the multiple-choice college admissions test on Saturday, March 5, and play against everyone else who chooses to participate. Cheating is explicitly encouraged, and the last surviving entrant will take home all the entrance fees. The test lasts for 3 hours and 40 minutes, and if two people have the same score, the one with the fastest time will win. The exam is drawn from modified practice versions of the SAT, and listen I know for a fact that a lot of you are viewing this as your personal Squid Game and I encourage it; the best score submitted from Numlock readers will get a comped subscription for a year.
Many people are leaving jobs not because they’re overworked but because they’re underworked, and not actually getting enough hours to justify working somewhere full-time. The average tenure of hourly workers at fast food restaurants is just 1.8 months, which is down 55 percent compared to the pre-pandemic era, a level of turnover that has pushed restaurants to just remain in a constant state of hiring rather than actually hire the correct amount of workers to ensure that everyone gets sufficient shifts. A Harvard University research study conducted in the autumn found 24 percent of hourly workers said their employer isn’t giving them as many hours as they want.
Many romance scams — grifts designed to exploit people out of money by pretending a person is interested in them romantically — use images of military service members in order to execute their scam. The thinking goes that since civilians don’t often understand the logistics of military life, the scammer can throw out words like “deployment” to justify their absences and pretend service members don’t have access to American dollars overseas (they do) to justify the scams, so they are routinely used as alter-egos. The Army Criminal Investigation Division, which investigates felony-level crime, received 30,000 notifications of imposter accounts impersonating soldiers in the past year. With Facebook lousy with fake accounts — they removed 2.2 billion in one quarter of 2019 — it’s a game of whack-a-mole.
Unsafe At Many Speeds
One out of every six new vehicles sold in America are full- or midsized trucks, and that’s one thing fueling increased traffic deaths. The cause has been known since the days of Newton: Big things going fast do vastly more damage than small things going the same speed, and with new pickups weighing 24 percent more than they did in 2000, with grilles that are 50 inches off the ground, with worse performances in handling and braking tests, the math’s all going in the wrong direction for the survivability of getting hit by one of these behemoths. A pickup truck is 159 percent more likely than other kinds of vehicles to kill the other driver in a collision, according to the IIHS. By comparison, SUVs are just 28 percent more likely to kill people in the other car. The tradeoff in safety isn’t always merited; according to the automotive research firm Strategic Vision, 35 percent of truck owners never put anything in the bed of the truck.
The Denver Broncos are for sale, and some of the circumstances surrounding the team’s transfer of ownership will make this extremely interesting for the NFL. According to league guidelines, a control owner has to own 30 percent of the team and ownership groups are limited to 25 people with no investment funds, so no, no Broncos DAO is going to happen here. Sales require approval from three-quarters of NFL ownership. Here’s where things get interesting: The team is currently owned by the trust of the deceased Pat Bowlen, and the trustees have a fiduciary responsibility to accept the highest possible offer. In previous deals, the league could broker a deal to, say, a local fixture of the business scene, or someone with connections to the community, or someone the NFL wanted to deal into the fold, or some other thing that’s possible in a private sale. Not so here: Whoever brings the biggest check to the table is probably going to get the Broncos, unless the league is willing to seriously pull strings. So what I’m saying is Hank Scorpio is still in the game here.
In 2019, coral reefs around the island of Moorea in French Polynesia saw a massive bleaching event which impacted 80 percent of the coral in some areas. Several months after that, scientists revisited the region and reported that parts of the coral had mounted a comeback and appeared to be healthy, having repopulated the algae symbionts that produce their colors by October. A new study walks back some of that optimism, reporting that the colonies that had bleaches and appeared to recover had done so only superficially, that their energy supplies were lower and that they were producing fewer eggs, an indication that they were less able to produce as much food as they had before the bleaching event.
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