Numlock News: October 12, 2021 • Crawfish, Hockey, F-150 Lightning
By Walt Hickey
Welcome back, hope you enjoyed the long weekend if you had one.
No Time To Die made $56 million over the weekend, which was fine. It would be stellar for a typical movie, less so for a flick that cost $250 million to make and $100 million to produce, but it did lead the overall box office to just the fourth $100 million weekend of the year. Still, the Bond release is considered pretty good news: Imax, Dolby, 4DX and RealD were 36 percent of overall ticket sales, which is good news for cinemas eager to get their high-end projectors in action, and this October has seen $269 million in box office receipts so far, beating the entire month of May and putting June, July and August in contention if Dune makes that spice flow and Halloween Kills slays.
A 17-year-old soccer phenom smashed the single-game national record in a September 29 game in Michigan, with Kevin Hubbell breaking both the 10-goal state record set in 2003 and the 14-goal national record set 41 years ago in South Carolina to put away 16 goals in what would be a 17-0 win. The other team is, somewhat understandably, a little ticked off, and allegations of poor sportsmanship are flying. Their coach is throwing around statements like “Soccer is a gentleman’s sport,” which, as someone who watched Germany defeat Brazil 7-1 at home in the 2014 World Cup Semifinal in an event broadcasted to the entire Earth, man I don’t actually know if it is!
A slew of ransomware attacks are making the cybersecurity insurance business an imperiled one. AIG said that its rates are up 40 percent for its cyber insurance clients, and even premium hikes may not be enough to keep the business going. Ransomware jumped from 55 percent of cyber insurance claims in 2016 to 75 percent of claims today, and Fitch said in April that the ratio of losses to premiums was 73 percent last year, which is around when things start looking unprofitable. There’s high demand, too, with the Government Accountability Office saying the percentage of clients opting for cyber coverage is up 43 percent, meaning the cyber insurance business is an unprofitable thing in extremely high demand that insurers may not be able to stably provide at some point, so good news all around.
Hockey’s back, and the biggest change to the league beyond the incursion of a sea monster on the coast of the Pacific is that new broadcasting partners in ESPN and Turner have taken the reins from NBC. Those two distributors had significant success building out player-centric coverage of the NBA, which is a league where fans tend to tune in for favorite players as much as favorite teams. A new Morning Consult survey found that while 60 percent of self-described NHL fans had a favorite team, just 27 percent had a favorite player. Contrast that with the NBA, where 67 percent of fans have a favorite team and 50 percent have a favorite player, or the NFL, where 79 percent have a favorite team and 54 percent a favorite player.
Electric trucks are coming, and while that’s poised to have significant environmental gains, that’s only likely to worsen risks to pedestrians, cyclists and drivers on the road that have been accelerating because vehicles are getting significantly larger. The simple Newtonian reality is larger vehicles do more damage than smaller vehicles traveling at the same speed, which is one reason the average weight of vehicles involved in fatal crashes is up 11 percent from 2000 to 2019. SUVs and light trucks are 72 percent of new car sales in the U.S. and that’s projected to rise to 78 percent by 2025. The Ford F-150 Lightning is 35 percent heavier than the gas-powered version, and while it’s nicer that the trucks will be less deadly for humans long-term, they’re still a pretty acute risk in the short term.
Invasive species have been found mating with native species and creating hybrids that have reduced reproductive success, according to a new study of crawfish in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways in Missouri. All crawfish are not the same — there’s over 600 crawfish species globally — and when fishers or people who release crawfish for other reasons dump out-of-state crawfish in local rivers, they can cause serious problems for the native population. The invasive crawfish in Missouri, F. virilis, is native to the Hudson Bay and down to the Midwest, but has been in the Ozarks since the ’80s.
A new study estimated the impact that fish poop has on sequestering carbon out of the atmosphere and down to the bottom of the ocean, and the number is surprisingly great. Before industrial fishing, commercial fish like tuna and cod alone took up 940 million metric tons of carbon annually, an estimate that rises to 1.9 billion metric tons of carbon annually when you factor in all the other fish. By comparison, the U.K. emitted 326 million metric tons last year. About a fifth of what fish eat is excreted, and that sinks to the bottom of the ocean, sequestering the carbon on the order of 600 years. Harvesting those fish, though — the 320 million metric tons of large fish from 1950 to 2014 — prevented the sequestration of 22 million tons of carbon.
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