Numlock News: November 16, 2023 • F1, Snooze Button, Knives
By Walt Hickey
Formula 1 is heading to Vegas, and organizers are a little skittish because demand has been soft and they’re worried that the sport may be losing steam or may have grown too quickly in the United States. The sport, in which a number of racers drive highly sophisticated vehicles behind a Dutchman named Max Verstappen to figure out who gets to lose the least to him, had been growing sharply in the U.S. as it moved beyond its traditional base of Europe. The cheapest tickets for Friday’s race are selling for $259, about half the price they were flipping for last month, and the $807 a seat for the Saturday main event is less than half the $1,645 it was a month back. The U.S. television audience is down 8 percent over last year, and viewership of Netflix’s Drive to Survive is down 7 percent year over year.
A new study published in the Journal of Sleep Research reports that people who slammed that snooze button lost six minutes of sleep per night on average, a modest price to pay for a few sweet moments of slumber. The fear is that the snooze button can have ramifications for the sleep cycle, but the disturbance doesn’t actually seem to be that much of an issue. They found that people who delayed the alarms two or more times per week almost always fall back asleep between alarms, which, yeah, sounds like me.
The White House is eyeing 2,786 megahertz of spectrum that may be reallocated, which could be allotted to the next generation of wireless services. There’s a 1,275-megahertz section of spectrum from 7.125-8.4 GHz that is being eyed for wireless broadband, though it’d likely be chopped up a bit as some is currently in use for satellite communications and space research. The hope is to avoid future battles over the finite amount of spectrum that is viable for electronic communications, fights like the one recently waged between aircraft operators and wireless carriers.
Getting Into Knives
A new survey sought to find the commonality of various kitchen implements, and found that a number of the utensils were far more common among different generations and different degrees of cooking skill. The spite-fueled survey — ran because a friend of the pollster had the audacity to not own steak knives, a utensil that 11 percent of respondents also fail to own — found that self-described great cooks were considerably more likely to own a ricer, a mandolin and a zester compared to mere mortals. Only measuring spoons, spatulas, can openers and measuring cups can be found in over 90 percent of kitchens. The youth were considerably more likely to own chopsticks, owned by 60 percent of those 18 to 44, versus 38 percent of those 45 and up.
Wärtsilä, a Finnish engine company that produces marine engines for shipping companies, has announced the first commercially available four-stroke engine that uses ammonia fuel. Ammonia is thought to have solid potential to replace bunker fuel in marine uses. Wärtsilä makes engines that can use diesel, LNG or biofuels. The newest version of the Wärtsilä 25 reduces gas emissions by 70 percent compared to a similar diesel version, which beats the EU and IMO targets.
Pump It Up
About 40 percent of New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions come from heat and hot water in buildings, and New York City’s Housing Authority put up a $263 million investment into a challenge to make innovative and efficient electric heat pumps so they can install them across the system. The two companies that won the challenge were Midea and Gradient, and the Power Authority put up $70 million for the first 30,000 heat pumps to be installed, while the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority put up $13 million for a demonstration phase. Those 30,000 pumps will go into residents of NYCHA’s apartments after a test this winter to ensure the devices work as hoped. Over the next five to 10 years, NYCHA believes it’ll need 156,000 window heat pumps to meet targets.
A new study published in Environmental Research Letters found that areas that had been affected by wildfire were much more likely to see permafrost melting and the release of the methane contained within. Such hotspots were 30 percent more likely to happen in areas that had experienced a wildfire in the past 50 years, and were 90 percent more likely to happen in areas where that fire had touched water. Essentially, the fires served as the microwave’s defrost button, and the warming of the climate serves as the actual cook button.
You Are What You Watch is going to be part of the big holiday promotional push from the publisher! What that means for you is that if you want to buy it as a gift, it’s 25 percent off right now and shipping is free with the code CYBER23 on the Hachette website. That’s a really great deal and probably one of the best we’re going to see to score the book.
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