Numlock News: October 20, 2022 • Soapocalypse, Wrecks, Korean
By Walt Hickey
Gatorade, the sports drink company, is diving into the gummy vitamin business, now rolling out packages of Gatorade Gummies for $25.99 each. The global market for gummies as it stands is around $6 billion as of 2020, and through 2025 it’s projected to grow annually by 12.5 percent rising to $10.6 billion. The dietary supplements Gatorade is rolling out are designed to support recovery from exercise in one format and then just a vitamin in another, basically attempting to boil off the water and just give the condensed goods of the sports drink.
Warehouse work has exploded in employment over the past several years, with the acts of loading and unloading trailers, pulling pallets around, and moving goods between pallets causing risks of musculoskeletal injuries on a national level. That said, not all warehouse work is made equally: According to measures from the Washington State Department of Labor, as of 2021 there were 171.2 musculoskeletal disorder worker’s comp claims per 10,000 full-time workers in the state in non-Amazon warehouses. In the same year, the rate was 662.6 musculoskeletal disorder worker’s comp claims per 10,000 full-time workers at Amazon warehouses.
All around the world, the medium of soap operas is struggling and in some cases facing oblivion after decades on the air. In the U.S., there are just three soaps still on terrestrial television — The Bold and the Beautiful, The Young and the Restless and General Hospital — since Days of Our Lives moved to Peacock. But it’s not just in the States: Australian soap Neighbours ended after 37 years, and in the United Kingdom Coronation Street’s audience dropped 19 percent from 2017 and 2019 and EastEnders saw a decline of 37 percent, all while television viewing as a whole dipped 9 percent. This year EastEnders posted a viewership of 447,000 viewers aged 16 to 34 compared to 1.3 million in 2017, and Coronation Street saw the same stats drop from 1 million to 459,000. There are lots of possible culprits for the decline, but given the format I blame the dastardly scion of a wealthy family bent on revenge after a spurned lover left him for his evil twin brother who just woke up from a coma.
This week the U.S. Treasury Department’s Federal Insurance Office said that it plans to collect information from 213 insurance companies — every major national insurer as well as insurance companies in 10 states — to gauge the potential impact of climate change on their balance sheets and the impacts it has on rising premiums. Already Florida, California and Louisiana are in the midst of an insurance crisis, with several insurers staring down bankruptcy after climate-fueled disasters impacted policyholders well beyond expectations. California insurers saw $20 billion in losses owing to wildfires in 2017 and 2018, 11 insurers have gone under in Louisiana since July 2021, and Florida’s in trouble in part due to rampant fraud as well as Hurricane Ian-related claims.
An analysis of four of the largest internet providers in the country found they provide vastly different download speeds for the same price to different customers, and that a key contributor to that pricing fluctuation is the income level in the areas of service. For instance, for CenturyLink customers in Las Vegas, in lower income areas 68 percent of the internet provided is slow and less than 25 megabits per second, 25 percent is medium speed (25 mbps to 99 mbps) and merely 7 percent could be considered fast or blazing. In upper income areas of Vegas, just 41 percent of the internet is slow, 35 percent is medium speed and 24 percent is fast or blazing. In Kansas City, 68 percent of the addresses in redlined areas had only slow speeds, while rich areas had excellent speeds. In New Orleans, 77 percent of the households in the least-white areas had internet speeds of less than 25 mbps, while 45 percent of households in the most-white areas could say the same.
Interest among English speakers in learning Korean has spiked, and people in the language field attribute it to the growing popularity of Korean pop culture such as K-pop and Korean movies and television. College students enrolled in Korean language classes was up 78 percent from 2009 to 2016, a period in which overall enrollment in language classes was flat. The only other language that enjoyed anywhere near that growth rate was American Sign Language, which saw enrollment up 37 percent.
A new study analyzed the wreck of the V-1302 John Mahn, a World War II patrol boat that was sunk in February of 1942 by the British Royal Air Force. Sinking with it was a coal store and ammunition and a bunch of chemicals, and the new analysis suggests that it’s been steadily leaking pollution into the North Sea ever since, leeching chemicals like nickel, copper, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, arsenic and gasoline. The issue in the abstract isn’t necessarily the V-1302 John Mahn, an otherwise unremarkable nautical casualty of the defining conflict of the 20th century; the problem is that there are something like 50,000 such wrecked ships in the North Sea alone.
Thanks to the paid subscribers to Numlock News who make this possible. Subscribers guarantee this stays ad-free, and get a special Sunday edition. Consider becoming a full subscriber today.
The best way to reach new readers is word of mouth. If you click THIS LINK in your inbox, it’ll create an easy-to-send pre-written email you can just fire off to some friends.
2022 Sunday subscriber editions: Mexican Beer · The Chaos Machine · [CENSORED] · Podcast Industrialization · Fantasy Shows · Law Dork · Chinese Box Office · Box Office Recovery · Giant Hornets · Graphic Novels ·