Numlock News: May 22, 2018
By Walt Hickey
Welcome to the very first Numlock News! I'm ecstatic that so many of you signed up for this daily morning newsletter. For folks who like SigDig, I'm still surfacing the numbers that get dumped in paragraph eight of news stories. But Numlock will shy a little further away from the loudest stories of the day, and will be even more interested in the context of what these numbers describe.
There are 779,000 known asteroids, the overwhelming majority of which orbit the sun counter-clockwise. Still, some rocks beat to a different drum, specifically the at least 95 asteroids that orbit clockwise. What's their deal? Two researchers propose one of them, 2015 BZ509, joined our young solar system from outside of it and — unlike the interstellar asteroid from last year that was just passing through — stuck around. There are issues with this theory, and more study is needed, but I'm deeply unsettled by those 95 asteroids so someone get on this please.
Michael Greshko for National Geographic
Video teleconference allows detained immigrants access to legal aid and expedited court proceedings. There were 114,000 VTC deportation hearings in the U.S. in 2017, a 185 percent increase in 10 years. This means speedier trials but a study found litigants who had their case heard over VTC were more likely to be deported than their in-person counterparts.
Lauren Markham for Mother Jones
Two companies, Google and Facebook, are dominating the digital side of the marketing business. Six out of every ten dollars spent on digital ads is spent with one of them, and thats accelerating: the pair claim nine out of every ten new digital ad dollars.
Ken Auletta for The New Yorker
Authorities in North Carolina arrested two men for driving a truck that had 120 gallons of liquid meth in a fuel tank, which law enforcement calculated could be converted into 424 kilograms of crystal meth with an approximate street value of $90.8 million.
The Washington Capitals beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the NHL Eastern Conference finals 3-0, meaning that we get one of the greatest things in all of sports, a Game 7. The event will be played in Tampa to determine who advances to face the Vegas Golden Knights, and because it is a Game 7 it is going to be awesome. Historically, the Caps have not had a ton of good fortune in this situation; the team is 4-11 all-time in Game 7s.
Scott Allen,The Washington Post
The wife of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak is under scrutiny after police seized 284 boxes of luxury handbags from properties linked to the couple. The Hermès Birkin start in the high five figures but can fetch six figures at auction. Those bags have serious investment value; the annualized returns of a Hermès Birkin bag since its inception in 1981 is 14.3 percent, which beats both the S&P 500 (5.3 percent) and gold (2.1 percent).
Joon Ian Wong, Quartz
Yesterday THR reported that Fox will pay over $1 billion over five years to broadcast "SmackDown Live," a WWE broadcast that has pulled in 2.59 million viewers per week in 2018. The stock of the WWE shot up 19.1 percent in the hours following the report. Strictly as a media business the WWE is fascinating; they have the eleventh-largest streaming video service in the U.S. and manage to still consistently score eyeballs for televised programming despite industry struggles.
Darren Rovell, ESPN