2018 Numlock Sunday Specials Archive

2018 Sunday Editions

I wanted to have a place for all the collected subscriber-only Sunday interviews all in one place. If you’d like to read these and aren’t sure if you want to subscribe, I’ve made it really easy to sign up for a one month free trial to the paid subscription and read whatever you like.

July 2018

Video Stores

The first Numlock Sunday! I spoke to Kate Hagen, the director of community at The Black List, who wrote an illuminating story about the death of the video store, “In Search of the Last Great Video Store.” Kate can be found at @thathagengrrl. I previously worked with Kate at FiveThirtyEight on the story "The Next Bechdel Test" if you'd like to read more.

Women’s Jeans

I spoke to Amanda Shendruk, a visual journalist at Quartz, who published an investigation into the weird way that American jeans retailers size their product called “Women’s Clothing Retailers are Still Ignoring the Reality of Size in the U.S.” Amanda can be found at @AShendruk.

Fish Wars

I spoke to Alex Kaufman, who wrote a wonderful story in HuffPost called “Climate Change Is Already Sparking A New Era Of Fishing Wars, Study Finds.” You can find more from Alex at HuffPost and at his Twitter.

NYC Trash

I spoke to Rebecca Baird-Remba, a Commercial Observer reporter who wrote “Trash Talk: Inside the Fight to Reform NYC’s Commercial Trash Hauling Industry

August 2018


I spoke to Joanna Sampson who a few weeks ago wrote “CO2 supply position in Europe set to improve”. We spoke about how natural gas, ammonia, fertilizer, and bubbles are fundamentally linked, what has to go wrong in that process for the carbonation in Northern Europe to be seriously threatened. Joanna Sampson can be found at gasworld and on Twitter.


I spoke to Brendan Borrell who wrote “Groomed to Death” in Hakai Magazine. It’s about how you can’t bring back endangered birds without tolerating a little rotting kelp. Brendan Borrell’s article can be found at @bborrell on Twitter and at Hakai Magazine.

Conspiracy Theorists

I spoke to Alvin Chang at Vox who wrote “We analyzed every QAnon post on Reddit. Here’s who QAnon supporters actually are.” Alvin used data reporting to find that one of the more robust conspiracy notions of the modern era is actually just a highly motivated handful of people. Alvin can be found at Vox and on Twitter!

Mattress Troubles

I spoke to Nathan Bomey who wrote “There's a fierce battle over your bed: Industry goes to the mattresses.” Nathan can be found at USA Today and on Twitter @NathanBomey.

September 2018


I spoke to Irineo Cabreros who wrote “Fishy Fish Pills: Paul Greenberg’s newest bookexplains why omega-3 supplements may be useless for you and terrible for the environment. Irineo can be found on Twitter

The Media

I spoke to Joanna Piacenza, a senior reporter for Morning Consult, about a study about how people’s understanding of news changes depending on who publishes it. Joanna can be found at Morning Consult and on Twitter.

Fall 2018 Sports Analytics

I spoke to my dear friend Neil Paine of FiveThirtyEight. Neil’s appeared in Numlock a bunch of times, like this story about how Cleveland is cursed. Neil can be found at @Neil_Paine and at a popular math blog called 538.


I spoke to with CityLab’s Sarah Holder, who also co-authors the weekly tech newsletter Meatspace. Sarah wrote “NIMBYs Really Hate Developers When They Turn a Profit," which covered a fascinating nuance in the housing conversation. Sarah can be found on Twitter, at CityLab and on her newsletter.

Airplane Bathrooms

I spoke to Mark Wilson, a Senior Writer at Fast Company, who wrote “Oh-my-porcelain-god: Airline toilets are getting smaller,” all about the design process behind increasingly space-efficient airplane bathrooms.

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October 2018


spoke to Zach Weinersmith, a cartoonist and author behind Saturday Morning Breakfast Cerealthe excellent book Soonish, and Laws and Sausages, where he and his political scientist brother go deep on civics. He published a new selection of comics, Love: Ruining Everything Since 1.2 Billion BC.

Fat Bear Week

I spoke to Outside Magazine’s Erin Berger about her piece “The Glory of Otis, Fattest of the Fat Bears.”Look at it.

Invitation Only

Interview with Bloomberg’s Kim Bhasin, who covers retail and luxury for Bloomberg and launched a show called Invitation Only and once literally wrote a video game about dying malls. He can be found on Twitter here.


Interview with Julie Kendrick who a few weeks ago wrote “Goat Meat Could Save Our Food System, But We're Too Afraid To Eat It” in HuffPost. We spoke about goat meat’s ascendance and how it is popular everywhere on earth, except in the U.S.

November 2018

Voting Rights

Interview with my former colleague Rob Arthur, who wrote “How The Gutting of the Voting Rights Act Led To Hundreds Of Closed Polls” with Allison McCann for Vice News. Rob can be found at @No_Little_Plans.


Interview with CNN’s Frank Pallotta about MoviePass, why box office receipts were on a tear, and what isn’t working for movies these day. Frank can be found at CNN and at @FrankPallotta.

Shark Repellent

Interview with Munyaradzi Makoni who wrote “Many Shark Repellents Don’t Work” in Hakai Magazine. It turns out there’s been all sorts of research on how to repel sharks since the Second World War, but the reality is that many repellents aren’t going to help all that much.


Interview with Sarah Frier, who covers Facebook for Bloomberg. Sarah can be found on Twitter here and she wrote a book about Instagram called No Filter.

December 2018

CTE and Football

Interview with Drs. Kathleen Bachynski and Zachary Binney, the researchers behind a groundbreaking new study about CTE. Zachary is a sports injury epidemiologist at Emory University and writes NFL Injury Analytics. Kathleen is a sports safety researcher at NYU Langone Health. They’re both outstanding Twitterfollows.

Signal Problems

Interview with Aaron Gordon, then-writer of Signal Problems about what we can learn from following huge infrastructure systems like the New York City MTA and what the mismanagement of those services tells us about how government functions — or fails to function — in general.

Game of Thrones

An interview with Reidar Lystad, who along with Benjamin T. Brown published a wonderful study “Death is certain, the time is not: mortality and survival in Game of Thrones” in the journal Injury Epidemiology.


I spoke to longtime Numlock fixture Joanna Piacenza to seal up 2018, one diving into the real nature of holiday movies, one diving deep on summer action movie Die Hard and one looking back on the year. Joanna can be found on Twitter and at Morning Consult.

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