Numlock News: May 19, 2023 • Galactic Starcruiser, Furious, Eels
By Walt Hickey
Kashyyyk No More
Disney announced they will close the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel, a two-night experience that sent guests on an immersive two night space adventure. The final venture for the vessel — a hotel in Florida, to be completely clear — will be September 28-30. One issue was the experience was a significant number of credits: the sample standard cabin rates for two guests was $4,809 for the two nights, and across its 100 cabins the hotel had difficulty sustaining viable occupancy.
Hyundai and Kia agreed to pay $200 million to settle a class-action lawsuit related to the sting of thefts of their vehicles in the United States. The vehicles’ security systems were sufficiently simple to bypass that doing so went viral, and as a result 9 million Hyundais and Kias that lack push-button ignitions and anti-theft immobilizers from 2015-19 have been easy prey. That settlement also includes $145 million for losses for customers whose Hyundais and Kias were in fact jacked.
In 2022, 19 million pounds of the seven most prevalent food dyes entered the U.S. food supply, and because it’s “food” and “additives” some people are unhappy about the whole situation. The three most common dyes in America — Red No. 40, Yellow No. 5, and Yellow No. 6 — necessitate a warning in Europe, where on that continent they are thought to have an impact on activity and attention. Stateside, no such impact is observed, but the Red No. 2 that Europe still deigns to allow is delisted over here.
A service offered by some college prep companies is to get a high school kid published in an academic journal. One such publication is the Journal of Student Research, founded 2012 and which in 2017 began accepting papers from high school students. Today, 85 percent of the papers published in it are from high school students, and it relies on purportedly over 90 reviewers at colleges, several of whom told ProPublica they have not yet been asked to review a paper. Authors pay $50 at submission, $200 at acceptance, and $300 to expedite, and the “journal” is considered to be a “safety” option that accepts submissions 65 percent of the time from Lumiere, one such consultancy.
I Am Genuinely Furious About This
A new survey of the net favorability of the films in the Fast & Furious franchise found that America is wrong, they screwed up, I genuinely don’t know what to tell you. According to fans of the franchise, with 86 percent the 2001 film The Fast and the Furious had the highest favorability rating in the franchise, followed by 2 Fast 2 Furious (81 percent) and the fourth film Fast & Furious (77 percent). This is obviously ridiculous, as any true student of the franchise will concede that films one through four are, functionally, just a bunch of backstory to the most important film in the franchise, Fast Five (76 percent net favorability), and that the four prelude films exist only to define the backgrounds of the best heist film of the past two decades. Anyone who disagrees can meet me out front of the Regal in Astoria, I’ll be the guy blaring “Danza Kuduro.”
Researchers have found a new species of moray eel, Uropterygius cyamommatus, that has the unique adaptation that many of its species — which live in underwater caves — have their left eyes covered by skin. They live in inland caves that connect to the ocean in islands of the Philippines and Australia. There are nearly 300 species of cave-dwelling fish that have lost their eyes entirely, and what makes U. cyamommatus compelling is that it’s possible the researchers have caught evolution in action.
In Mexico City, when an earthquake of a given magnitude is detected, a system of sensors sets off a loudspeaker alarm system that spans the city. The issue is that the system is not perfect — since 2017 the Seismic Alert System has had false alarms, fails to work in places, and has missed earthquakes — and in after many previous earthquakes lots of people turn to apps like SkyAlert that alerts people on their phones, though those apps have issues as well. SkyAlert’s got about 7 million users, and legally is the only earthquake app allowed to operate in Mexico. The Seismic Alert System (SAS) is a significant innovation in its own right, with 97 sensors, designed to trigger a radio alert once two sensors measure a tremor over 5.5 on the Richter.
It has been several great weeks in the Numlock Sunday edition! If you want to upgrade, don’t, because I’m doing the anniversary sale next week.
Still, do check out some of the past few weeks: Pat Garofalo, we spoke about the bipartisan push to stop handouts to large corporations. Kate Bernot, who wrote Change Up — Baseball Shrugs Off Pitch Clock’s Possible Blow to Beer Sales, we spoke about the beer brands that are scrapping their product and in some cases starting from scratch in order to find new fans. And of course I spoke to Alexander Kaufman, who wrote Germany Shuts Down Its Last Nuclear Power Reactors for HuffPost, we had an outstanding conversation about the future of nuclear in island and developing nations.
Previous Sunday subscriber editions: Working · Cable · Ringmaster · Hard Seltzer · Enhanced Geothermal · Hoop Muses · Subsea Cables · Wrestling · Tabletop Renaissance · BTS · Baby Boom · Levees · Misdirection · Public Domain