Numlock News: November 28, 2022 • Nightclubs, Quiet, Staten Island
By Walt Hickey
As the fallout from the crypto crash continues, many ancillary businesses are seeing huge drops in revenue. Not anything that actually matters — cryptocurrency’s failure to integrate with the housing market, commerce, and industry at any meaningful level means that the actual parts of the economy that keep society moving along are pretty much fine — but the Miami nightclub industry has been absolutely devastated by the crash, reportedly. The city had a large cohort of crypto companies and reports of those Lambo drivers flashing their cash was the talk of South Beach, with many nightclubs accepting crypto to try to get an in with the crypto types. When E11even started accepting payments in crypto in April of 2021, they processed $6 million worth of transactions in the final nine months of the year. Following the new crypto winter, in the past three months, they’ve handled less than $10,000.
The anechoic chamber at Orfield Laboratories in Minneapolis is designed cut down on sound reverberation, and is one of the so-called quietest places on Earth. Those who spend time in there report hearing their own blood pumping in their head and in some cases mild hallucinations. It’s gone viral often enough that the owner said screw it, let’s charge $600 an hour if these TikTok freaks really want to have a go of it. In 2004, Guinness World Records measured ambient sound levels at -9.4 decibels A-weighted and called it the quietest place on Earth, a record that was secured again after another sealing at -13 decibels A-weighted. Guinness has since initiated a thriving side business as a consultant for would-be record setters, and in 2015 it threw the record to an anechoic chamber at Microsoft, which logged a -20.35 decibels A-weighted. Orfield continues to contend they’re the quietest, having recently logged a -24.9 decibels A-weighted, but the Guinness people are working through it. For what it’s worth, to a person’s ears this all means absolutely nothing.
Staten Island Turkeys
New York City borough Staten Island has roving bands of turkeys that have eluded capture from dozens of city and state officials that have sworn to rid their island of the bird. Last year’s Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count tallied 143 turkeys, but the best estimates put the turkey population of Staten Island well into the hundreds. In 2013, the USDA rounded up 50 of them and in 2018 about 180 of them were shipped to a farm upstate, but nevertheless the turkeys endure. Many hate the birds and their poop everywhere, while others want officials to give up on the attempt to cull the birds and just accept that they’re here to stay. Either way, I give it a 20 percent chance Pete Davidson briefly dates a Staten Island Feral Turkey on a rebound sometime in 2023.
About 37 percent of homes in Poland are heated by coal, with the country accounting for 77 percent of all households in the European Union using coal for heat. Sanctions against Russia have choked off the supply of that coal to Poland, and concerns about energy security in the upcoming winter have some Poles turning to an unlikely source of coal: their own backyards. In parts of the country, coal is as little as a meter underground, and mining was still a viable career in parts of the country until the turn of the century. A four-man team can dig out a ton of coal in an hour and clear 1,000 zloty ($220) for a half-day of work, about 60 percent of the average weekly wage.
The possibility of a national rail strike could pose a unique issue for the city of New York. Every day, the populace produces 2.4 million pounds of human waste, and after the Department of Sanitation reduces that to dehydrated “biosolids,” about 70 percent of it is shipped to landfills by freight rail. Up until the 1990s it was chucked into the ocean, but now it’s sent elsewhere. Besides the whole poop issue, Sanitation is also working on the 20 million pounds of residential trash produced every day, 87 percent of which is shipped out by rail as well.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery was released in cinemas this past weekend for a one-week theatrical run ahead of hitting Netflix at the end of December. Netflix isn’t sharing exact numbers for the box office haul, but estimates put it as having a pretty decent weekend. Rival studios estimated the movie made $12 million over the five-day weekend, a more bullish estimate has it earning $15 million, but the middle-of-the-road estimate put it at $13 million, with a remarkable $19,000 per-theater average, which would have made it the third-highest grossing film of the weekend all on just 600 cinemas.
Netflix still operates a mail-order DVD business, but it’s a shadow of its former self. Right now there are an estimated 1.5 million subscribers in the U.S., down from 16 million subscribers when Netflix tried to spin off its DVD-by-mail offering in 2011. It’s a library that lets subscribers access plenty of titles that are unavailable on not just Netflix but any streaming or digital service, titles that may be bogged down in rights disputes and are otherwise inaccessible. The business is deteriorating, though, and some are concerned about its future. Last year the DVD division produced over $1 billion in revenue, a figure that this year is likely to fall below $200 million.
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