By Walt Hickey
My dear readers, at the insistence of our accounting department amid the spiraling increase in inflation, the cost of a paid subscription to Numlock is going to change… to be temporarily lower!
Yes, while everyone else is jacking up prices I’m not only going to keep them the same $5 per month indefinitely but also for the next week if you become a paid annual subscriber — already available for $50 a year — you can score 20 percent off the first year. If you want to support something cool and get rid of some dollars that are going to be worth less next month anyway, now’s the perfect time to subscribe.
Painting The Roses Red
In water-parched locales, it’s lately become fashionable and thrifty to guarantee a picture-perfect verdant lawn by just letting it all die and painting it green. For instance, one neighborhood in Arizona sprayed 17 acres of dormant grass a charming, healthy emerald color and in doing so saved $70,000 in water costs. In the Phoenix area, the average cost of just painting a lawn green costs a homeowner $250 to $350, and in addition to significantly reducing time spent on maintenance they’ll also save the steep costs of watering a lawn in a desert. Most of the bugs are worked out — the paint is obviously non-toxic, and early incidents where the yellow pigment burned off in the sun leaving people with a blue lawn have led to appropriate changes in the composition of the paint — and it’s keeping the lawn painters busy.
Eliza Collins, The Wall Street Journal
Last week the London Metal Exchange said that sacks in a warehouse in Rotterdam that were full of 54 metric tons of nickel were, just kidding, full of stones. The would-be nickel was valued at $1.3 million in current prices, but given that it’s just gravel that’s obviously not going to happen. This week the London Metal Exchange revealed the buyer who was bamboozled is JPMorgan, which is technically responsible for checking the metal upon entry and keeping it safe in the shed. It’s definitely like the fourth- or fifth-worst miscalibration of a bank’s assets this month.
Joe Wallace, The Wall Street Journal
Let Me Solo Her
A year since the release of Elden Ring, FromSoftware has announced the body count of the various incredibly powerful bosses of the notoriously intimidating game. The deadliest boss was Malenia, who saw players attempt to fight her 329 million times. Even assuming that the all 20 million people who played Elden Ring reached her — that’s definitely not the case — we’re talking a minimum average of 16.3 attempts per player in their attempts to defeat her. Hilariously, most of the other bosses with remarkable kill counts are of the earliest of the game, with Margit the Fell Omen racking up 281 million fights and the humble Limgrave Tree Sentinel getting into 277 million fights.
Menudo, the Puerto Rican boy band founded in 1977 that is essentially the ship of Theseus of the music business, has announced its latest iteration with five new members ranging in age from 10 to 15. The band has a remarkable roster history, launching the career of Ricky Martin, but also having 38 different members across four decades prior to this latest iteration.
The Thunder Bay Police Service and the Ontario Provincial Police have arrested eight people on a total of 40 charges related to an elaborate scheme to exploit the legacy of deceased Anishinaabe First Nation artist Norval Morrisseau by carrying out an elaborate counterfeiting scheme that flooded the market with an untold number of fakes. The investigation led to the seizure of over 1,000 pieces of forged artwork, some of which were sold to an unsuspecting public for tens of thousands of dollars each. The eight accused people were part of three different interlinking fraud rings, with two people accused of distributing paintings made by all three counterfeiting rings.
Kris Ketonen, CBC News and Hadani Ditmars, The Art Newspaper
Many countries in the world are able to cheaply transport goods over their coastline by ship rather than by truck or rail, but not the United States, thanks to the Jones Act which requires that all domestic traffic between U.S. ports must travel on an American-made ship, which costs five times as much as ships built overseas. As a result, goods that could have travelled by sea between the 360 U.S. ports rarely do, with just 2 percent of U.S. freight traveling by ship. Despite the growth of U.S. coastal cities, coastwise shipping tonnage is down 44 percent since 1960. That traffic has shifted to highways, trucks and trains.
According to analytics from Steam, the open-world RPG game Hogwarts Legacy has seen a collapse in players and viewers on Twitch since its release last month. Since release, the game has seen an 88 percent decline in players and a 98 percent drop in Twitch viewers. The game peaked at 1.26 million concurrent Twitch states last month, but yesterday peaked at 11,700 viewers. It is a little surprising given the specific game format, which is built to ensure days to weeks of exploration of the game.
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Walt, I’m receiving a classical education merely by reading Numlock. For the rest of us who aren’t as bright as you are, here’s what Wikipedia says about the Ship of Theseus: “The Ship of Theseus is a thought experiment about whether an object which has had all of its original components replaced remains the same object.”