Numlock News: August 27, 2018

By Walt Hickey

Good morning! In case you missed it, this weekend’s Sunday edition was a conversation with Nathan Bomey about the massive fight in the mattress business and how the trouble brewing may have major ramifications in commercial real estate.

Box Office

Crazy Rich Asians pulled off a frankly staggering hold at the box office, making $25 million in its second weekend. That’s only 6 percent lower than their first weekend’s revenue. Box offices can drop by half in their second week. For instance, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again had a fairly normal 56.8 percent fall in its second weekend. Crazy Rich Asians had a rare 0 percent drop in Saturday revenue. The movie has been boosted by strong word-of-mouth, solid reviews, and has a pretty clear lane at the cinema for the next several weeks.

Rebecca Rubin, Variety

Red Delcious

The Red Delicious apple is no longer the No. 1 apple in the U.S. after a five decade run. It cedes that title to the Gala apple. Growers in 2018 produced 52.8 million 42-pound boxes of Gala apples (up 5.8 percent) and 51.7 million boxes of Red Delicious, down 11 percent. The Granny Smith, Fuji, Honeycrisp and Golden Delicious apples all each come in at about half the production of the top two.

Alan Bjerga, Bloomberg


Skincare is serious business in South Korea regardless of gender, with the average South Korean man using 13.3 cosmetics products per month according to government stats. Intricate skincare regimes are now popular among men serving in the military as well — a period of public service in mandatory in South Korea — with soldiers using hydrating facial masks, cleansers and sunscreens to maintain skin health during a tour of service which can be detrimental to it.

Yun-hwan Chae and Jonathan Cheng, The Wall Street Journal

Queens Democratic Committee

There are over 1,100 members of the Queens Democratic County Committee, a group of people that have the ability to choose candidates and set party policy. That’s a lot of seats to fill, and sometimes the party leadership’s push to ensure that every seat is held by, well, if not a loyalist than at least not a rival can go overboard. Indeed, 21 people running for a seat on the Queens Democratic committee were unaware they were on the ballot, had been placed there without their consent and were often elderly.

Andy Newman and Tyler Page, The New York Times

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Price Per Prison Phone Call

The Texas prison system voted to cut the cost for prisoners to phone their families. The inmates had been charged a gouging 26 cents per minute on average, a price that will on Sept. 1 be 6 cents per minute, with the maximum length of a call also increased from 20 minutes to 30 minutes. The change, potentially unrelated, comes amid a nationwide inmate strike pushing for better living conditions.

Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle


PM2.5 is the name for the type of air pollution released from vehicle tailpipes, coal plants and some industrial plants. Right now, 95 percent of Earth’s population is exposed to PM2.5 levels above World Health Organization recommendations. New research suggests that the adverse health effects resulting from exposure to these particulates cut the average global lifespan by a year, and in 2015 caused an estimated 4.2 million deaths. Were we to reduce global PM2.5 pollution to WHO recommended levels, the public health impact would be on par with eradicating breast and lung cancer.

Zoë Schlanger, Quartz

The Lesser Of Two Evils

People who quit smoking often gain weight, but a new study found that even that weight gain and linked heightened risk of diabetes is still, from a health prospective, better than smoking. People who quit had a 22 percent increased risk of getting type 2 diabetes, but that risk peaked 5 to 7 years after quitting. Moreover, even among the people who gained 20 pounds or more following a quit, despite the extra weight their risk of cardiovascular disease still decreased up to 67 percent.

Mike Barna, Discover Magazine

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Previous Sunday special editions: Mattress Troubles  ·  Conspiracy Theorists  ·  Beaches  ·  Bubbles  ·  NYC Trash  ·  Fish Wars  ·  Women’s Jeans  ·  Video Stores

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