Numlock News: May 17, 2022 • McDonald’s, Coldplay, Algae
By Walt Hickey
I Was Just Guessing At Numbers And Figures
The band Coldplay is running the cheapest tour operating right now, with an average ticket price of $77.80 per ticket, over 25 percent less than all of the other acts in the top 10 tours. It’s a deliberate attempt by the band to keep ticket prices down for fans, and a bit of a rare one, but it’s working out great for them. Coldplay sold more tickets than any other artist in March and April, and grossed $40 million. It’s also great for merch sales, as sold-out stadiums are pretty good places for hawking tees.
Palm Beach International had over 100 delays and flight cancellations on April 15 alone, and Jacksonville International Airport had 9,000 delays in all of March. Something’s afoot in Florida airspace, and last week federal regulators met to figure out what was happening here. One problem for air traffic control in the Sunshine State is the number of rocket launches it’s host to, as space launches shut down massive swathes of airspace. One SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch in 2018 added 4,645 minutes of delays to 563 flights, forcing planes to fly 34,841 extra nautical miles.
University of Cambridge researchers sealed a colony of blue-green algae into a battery-sized enclosure and left it on a windowsill where they could photosynthesize, and the scientists reported that they were able to use the current generated to power an ARM Cortex-M0+ chip with 0.3 microwatts per hour. This is a tiny bit of electricity, but the potential is that other capsules of algae can be used to power remote devices with continuous power. After all, think of the potential; the last time we got a computer to run off of pond scum alone that server eventually was able to host 4chan.
The number of Americans opting out of cable accelerated in the first quarter of 2022 substantially. In 2019 and 2020, a net of 1.1 million subscribers cancelled their cable or over-the-top streaming television, a figure that rose to 1.4 million in the first quarter of 2021 and has now hit 2.5 million cable cancellers in Q1 of this year. Comparing subscriptions in 2022 versus 2018, the only winners are Hulu + Live TV, up 3.1 million subscribers, and FuboTV, up 925,000 subscribers. The rest of the cable landscape is a bloodbath: Comcast’s down 4.2 million, Dish is down 2.9 million, Charter 1.3 million and Verizon down a million.
They Will Turn This Car Around
McDonald’s announced they’re pulling out of the Russian market altogether, and will sell its 850 restaurants in the country. The company is losing $55 million a month over the closures, and losing $100 million in inventory. While McDonald’s only owns 5 percent of its 39,000 locations across the world, with the rest owned by franchisees, the corporate side was pretty heavily in charge of the Russian operations, owning 84 percent of its restaurants.
Europe is home to an enormous amount of African artifacts and art, far more than the United States, and many African countries want the art back. In the U.S., the total number of African objects in museums is only about 50,000 objects. Multiple individual European museums have more African artifacts than the entire U.S.: The Royal Museum for Central Africa in Belgium has 180,000 objects, the Ethnological Museum in Germany has 75,000 objects, the British Museum has 73,000 objects, the Quai Branly Museum in France has almost 70,000, and the National Museum of World Cultures in the Netherlands has 66,000. For decades, curators have resisted arguments they should return items, many of which were obtained at the height of European colonialism in Africa.
This is the longest continuous dry streak the Western part of the United States has had since 800 A.D., and odds are it will continue to stay incredibly dry. A recent study in Nature Climate Change projected that there was a 94 percent chance the drought continues through the end of 2023, and that there was a 75 percent chance that it persists through 2030. As of this week, 98 percent of the Southwest United States is in drought.
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