Numlock News: May 16, 2022 • Deinonychus, Juicy Couture, Lake Tahoe
By Walt Hickey
Doctor Is Out
Box office receipts for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness dropped 67 percent in its second week, a larger-than-typical dip but still a good ton of money given how much the movie pulled in during week one. It made $61 million in week two, for a domestic gross of $291 million and a global gross of $688.1 million, already more than the $677 million the first Doctor Strange made globally. News is pretty great up and down the box office: A24’s Everything Everywhere All at Once has been holding strong, earning $47.1 million so far and on track to be the highest-grossing A24 movie in North America, and The Lost City is a romantic comedy that looks poised to break $100 million sometime in the next few weeks, an achievement for the genre many had come to doubt was possible.
A skeleton of a Deinonychus antirrhopus sold for $12.4 million at Christie’s to an undisclosed buyer, more than double the estimated take of $6 million. The 110-million-year-old fossil is composed of 126 actual bones, with the rest of the skeleton filled in with reconstructions, and was found in Montana. The creatures called velociraptors in Jurassic Park were actually modeled on Deinonychus, which doesn’t sound as cool as the word “velociraptor.” The sale also stokes an ongoing debate about the ethics of auctioning off specimens at values that are not attainable by museums, taking the scientific discoveries out of the public trust and into private hands. At press time, it was not known if the specimen sold could open doors.
The Hamptons on Long Island have long been a wealthy enclave, where the clashes are often between the rich New Yorkers and the super-rich New Yorkers. One example is the airport in East Hampton, which has a runway long enough for the private and corporate jets favored by the top one percent of the top one percent. This kind of traffic really annoys the neighbors: In busy season the airport can see 400 flights a day, and from June 2019 to September 2019 it alone provoked 46,730 noise complaints. The town of East Hampton’s solution is to close the airport on May 17, and then two days later open it as a private airport, with a curfew, and a cap of one landing and takeoff per day per aircraft, something that would rein in the operators that exist to shuttle people from the city to the Hamptons. That said, that might just move the noise: One operator is moving to seaplanes, and others might just move the flights to the airport in Montauk.
Tracksuits are back in style, with velour once again becoming trendy. The desire to dress like early aughts J. Lo has put Juicy Couture back into the conversation, with demand jumping for both new tracksuits from the company — whose intellectual property was sold to Authentic Brands for $195 million in 2013 — and the vintage tracksuits that flew off shelves 20 years ago on secondary markets. Poshmark saw a 117 percent increase in sales of Juicy Couture in March of 2021 compared to March of 2020, and the pre-owned stuff is selling in the ballpark of what they did in 2001, proving that the most effective inflation hedge you can possibly possess is a purple velour track suit with “JUICY” in rhinestones on the butt.
Over $39 billion was invested in food tech companies last year, twice the amount invested in food tech in 2020, and while half of it went to digital grocery stores there’s significant interest in the aquaculture space. The fish farming industry, which tries to sustainably farm seafood rather than hunting wild populations of fish, grew 527 percent from 1990 to 2018. The idea inverts the concept of commercial net fishing: Instead of driving around the ocean trawling a net to catch fish, you build a stationary net in the ocean and just raise a bunch of fish in it so the net work is done from the get-go.
The delivery landscape in the United States has changed significantly over the past two years, with DoorDash claiming a 57 percent market share, up from the high 30s pre-pandemic. The two other serious contenders are Uber, which has a 31 percent share, and Grubhub, which has an 11 percent share as of this March. Takeout order volume is still growing overall, with DoorDash pulling in over 400 million orders in the first quarter of 2022, up from around 100 million orders in the same quarter of 2020.
Divers have removed 25,000 pounds of trash from Lake Tahoe as part of a project to clean up the lake’s 72 miles of shorelines. The dives began last May and concluded this week, and also carried with them a scientific purpose. The tons of trash have all been logged with GPS locations, and the hope is to analyze the locations and age of the trash to figure out where it comes from, how it gets in the lake, and how they pollute it. The project consisted of 189 different dives, and hit the areas of the lake with depths up to 25 feet.
Thanks to the paid subscribers to Numlock News who make this possible. Subscribers guarantee this stays ad-free, and get a special Sunday edition. Consider becoming a full subscriber today.
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.