Numlock News: December 5, 2018

By Walt Hickey

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The One Where They Get Paid

Netflix will shell out $100 million next year to hold on to the right to stream Friends. That’s an enormous jump from the $30 million per year that Netflix had been paying WarnerMedia to stream the hit show. Somewhat shockingly, the deal is also non-exclusive, meaning that the show may very well appear on WarnerMedia’s forthcoming streaming network before 2020. Imagine something being so valuable to a company that they’re willing to pay $3.17 per second just to non-exclusively borrow it.

Edmund Lee, The New York Times

Call Me Beep Me If You Wanna Reach Me

Tokyo Telemessage, the final company in Japan still offering a pager service, has announced it will cease offering the product in 2019. For those unfamiliar with how pagers work, they were evidently like a primitive version of the Yo app. Pager service peaked for the company in 1996, when it counted 1.5 million subscribers, but a core base of devotees has kept the product going well into the iMessage era. Despite the devices not being manufactured in the past 20 years, the number has only just now fallen below 1,500 pager users. Don’t worry, I bet that hipsters are gonna bring beepers back in like ten years tops as an alternative to social media. I’ve been feeling pretty burned out on social media lately, so if a random high school acquaintance can’t use a pager to spread a racist Facebook meme into my life, you have my attention.

Joshua Berlinger, CNN

Arms Manufacturers Lobbyists

A lobbyist successfully coerced a small town to authorize the manufacture and local use of a preferred weapon delivery system, an investigation has found. Yes, a 9-year-old boy successfully petitioned the town of Severance, Colorado to legalize throwing snowballs. He specifically told the council — which voted unanimously to overturn the 98-year-old ban on the use of missiles, which legally applied to snowballs — his first target was his four year old brother, which as an oldest child I fundamentally respect.

Sarah Knuth, The Greely Tribune, CBS

The Great Schism

SoulCycle is ceding the valuable market of “cardio fans who respond well to cult-like psychological techniques” to Peloton, a company that sells fitness machines linked to a global-spanning glute-toning propaganda network. The latest market estimate puts the in-home option up 4 percentage points over SoulCycle when it comes to their part of the market. EWTN for quads is beating out The First Reformed Church of Soul Cycle, which has seen a tithing fall 10 percent according to an analysis of debit transactions.

Rani Molla, Recode

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Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Is, Though

The United States is getting too old for this shit, a new national survey found. A mere 25 percent of Americans believe that Die Hard — a movie in which Bruce Willis thwarts a robbery that happens to take place at an office holiday party — is a Christmas movie, compared to the 62 percent who think it is not. That argument is thus settled; the real debate is now whether the 1969 Frosty The Snowman — a shot-for-shot retelling of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, wherein a dashing if amoral professor creates an abomination in an act of spite for his god, arousing societal fury after the modern Prometheus kidnaps a young girl is technically a Halloween movie.

Joanna Piacenza, Morning Consult


Turns out you were afraid of going to the dentist for all the wrong reasons: A new study found that kids who were prescribed opioid painkillers after getting their wisdom teeth popped out had a higher rate of opiate addiction a year later. Looking at the health insurance claims of 16 to 25-year-old patients, 30 percent of opioid prescriptions came from dentists, so they’re an enormous point of exposure to the potent pharmaceuticals. Of the 15,000 people who had received an opiate prescription after their wisdom teeth were pulled, a staggering 5.8 percent were diagnosed with opiate abuse within a year of that prescription. That figure was 0.4 percent among those who did not get pills after the surgery.

Ronnie Cohen, The Washington Post


It's increasingly difficult to balance motherhood and work in television news. The percentage of stories reported by women on the big three networks fell to 25 percent in 2016, down from 32 percent just two years earlier. The lack of effort on behalf of networks to accommodate working mothers has left younger journalists dispirited: a survey of 500 young women working in broadcasting found that when asked if they'd still be in the industry five years on, 69 percent said they would probably leave or were not sure

Julianna Goldman, The Atlantic

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