By Walt Hickey
Have a great weekend! The Numlock Sunday edition this week is all about how the carbon dioxide bubbles in your drink get there, and how cheap natural gas or trouble in the fertilizer industry can threaten that fizz. To get it and every Sunday special, become a full subscriber for just $5 per month!
The Empire Strikes Back
In 2016, Disney sold the television and streaming distribution rights for the Star Wars movies through 2024 to Turner for about $275 million. Shortly after that, Disney decided they wanted to set up their very own streaming video service. It’s just dawned on them that gosh it would be swell to have some Star Wars content on that streaming service, wouldn’t it? The Mouse, presumably thinking this deal is getting worse all the time, has made an overture to Turner about altering the deal.
Last week Bird and Lime each dropped 400 electric scooters in the city of Portland, the first in a four month pilot program to determine if it’s really worth cedeing the sole thing Portland is known for — its cool — for mild commute time efficiencies. The real miracle is that according to Lime, only 1 scooter has been hurled into the Willamette River so far. The city is capping scooters out at 2,500 during the pilot program.
The latest trend is parents hiring professional coaches for their kids to help them win at the 100-player free-for-all video game Fortnite. Contracting sites like Sensei and Bidvine — the latter of which said it hired out over 1,400 Fornite coaches — will outfit kids with professional tips to anywhere from $20 per hour to $50 and higher. It’s really encouraging to know that the young gamers are getting professional coaching, as a guy who’s played some Fortnite and was terrible at it, I wondered how those teens were hurling vicious and especially wounding slurs at such a professional level.
Much like a commissar who was edited out of photographs because he displeased Soviet command, so too is Papa John being removed from the Papa John history books. The ex-CEO, removed from the company after saying the N-word on a conference call, is being stripped from the walls of the pizzerias that bear his kind of weird name. Specifically, 10 items — which include a wall poster, signage on pickup trucks, his signature decals, plaques depicting him, a picture of a gold Camero and other gaudy crap associated with the guy — are being removed from 5,212 locations, per corporate order.
Blue Apron, a meal kit delivery service, revealed the total number of individuals who paid for a meal delivery decreased 24 percent last quarter compared to the previous one, and also indicated total orders had slipped by 23 percent. There’s a lot going on here — based on an ad I heard on every podcast ever, they have a gazillion competitors in this space — but a lot of it has to do with supermarkets introducing their own meal prep kits.
A new analysis of Friday Night Lights demonstrates that Coach Taylor may very well be a generational football talent when it comes to close games. His overall record at Dillon and East Dillon was 41-11, or .788. But of the 30 games where we know the score was decided by 7 points or fewer, Taylor won 25 of them, and of the 16 games decided by 3 points or fewer, he won a staggering 15 of them. That estimated .938 career win percentage in close matchups wipes the floor with NFL greats Vince Lombardi (.542 in close games) and Bill Belichick (.563) and college great Nick Saban (.600).
Overwatch League Teams
Guangzhou and Atlanta will gain the 13th and 14th Overwatch League team franchises, Blizzard announced, as the esports league pursues what is expected to be a 6-team expansion for its second season of operation. Currently, there are 9 teams representing places in the U.S. and 3 teams representing international cities (London, Shanghai and Seoul).
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