Numlock News: August 30, 2018

By Walt Hickey

Liking Numlock? Forward today’s email to a friend you think may enjoy it and might subscribe.

Credit Card Bonuses

Chase has spent $5.5 billion on credit card rewards so far in 2018. For context, Chase spent $3.8 billion total for the entirety of 2016. This is largely due to cards like their Sapphire Reserve, which has all sorts of bonuses for savvy users to exploit. Spending by users of Chase cards rose from $496 billion to $622 billion from 2015 to 2017, while Chase’s income from those cards declined from $5.9 billion to $4.4 billion in the same period. Listen, I’m not saying this is the banking equivalent of MoviePass, but companies attempting to assuage investors over an excessively advantageous card certainly sounds familiar.

Alex Morrell, Business Insider


Nevada has collected some $69.8 million in its first fiscal year of marijuana taxes, which is 140 percent of what was anticipated. Who could have ever thought that Nevada would see serious financial benefit from residents and tourists spending money indulging vices?

Caroline Bleakley, Las Vegas NOW

States Who Would Prefer It Was Legal To Fire People For Being Gay

Louisiana became the 16th state to file an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to rule that it is legal to fire someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Louisiana joins Nebraska, Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming, Kentucky, Maine, and Mississippi in seeking to make it legal to fire gay people. An LSU poll found 76 percent of Louisianans think gay, lesbian and bisexual people should have protections from workplace discrimination.

Chris Brown, KNOE News

Wile E. Coyote

Finally, some much-needed closure: Warner Bros. is developing a “Coyote Vs. Acme” movie starring Wile E. Coyote, who starred against a roadrunner in 49 iconic cartoons. This is WB we’re talking about, so there’s plenty of reason to worry that they’ll give it the grimdark DC Comics treatment and make it the gritty, dark story of a vigilante coyote fighting an evil corporation that bums audiences out. At press time, it is unclear if the mothers of Wile E. and Roadrunner share a first name.

Dave McNary, Variety

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 latest projection for this summer’s box office is $4.39 billion from May to August, up 14 percent from last year. While Labor Day weekend is projected to be low — no new major releases means Crazy Rich Asians will almost certainly continue on its tear — this summer will still put last year’s disappointing season to shame. A moment of silence for Helios and Matheson Analytics, which bravely gave its life by subsidizing MoviePass and thus making this all possible, lest we forget.

Rebecca Rubin, Variety


Under Armour is the Lebron of the sports apparel world: the company’s decision to take its talent elsewhere beyond long-running partner Dick’s Sporting Goods has led to a bit of a calamity at its former sole home. After adjusting for a calendar shift, sales at Dick’s were down 4 percent as Under Armour became available at Kohl’s and other retailers.

Sarah Halzack, Bloomberg

Working Out a Major

While the humanities have taken a hit when it comes to the preferred major of America’s college students since the recession, science is booming. From 2008 to 2017, the most significantly expanded major (of those with more than 25,000 grads in 2017) was exercise science. The share of U.S. college majors in exercise science grew 131 percent in that period, followed by nursing (up 78 percent), health and medical (up 57 percent) and computer science (up 50 percent). Those who took the hardest hits were English (down 40 percent), political science and education (both down 32 percent).

Dan Kopf, Quartz

Thank you so much for subscribing! If you're enjoying the newsletter, forward it to someone you think may enjoy it too! 

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

Send links to me on Twitter at @WaltHickey or email me with numbers, tips, or feedback at