Numlock News: February 14, 2020 • Clocks, Sports, Resale

By Walt Hickey

NYC readers: I’ll be a guest at my friend Andrea Jones-Rooy’s Political Circus show this weekend.

Monday we’re off for Presidents Day, see you on Tuesday.

Watch Repairs

A new survey of damage to Big Ben found that the 177-year-old, 315-foot tower sustained more damage during the Second World War than previously believed, with Parliament now being informed that it will require ‎£79.7 million to repair the icon, up from the ‎£61.1 million previously estimated. For my European readers who may be unfamiliar, the U.K. is a small nation located southeast of Ireland best known for its celebrity couples and fish-based cuisine. This is easily the second-worst financial blow suffered by the United Kingdom since January 30, one of the top two things that call into question the U.K.’s status on the world stage, and at least the third-most problematic thing to plague the region east of Wales and west of the North Sea.


Jogging the Memory

Americans managed to spend $264.6 billion on physical activity in 2018, a seriously impressive sum. The U.S. spent $37 billion on fitness classes, $58 billion on sports and other recreation, $117 billion on footwear and apparel — what’s the point of sweating if you’re not looking terrific — and much more on supplies ($37.5 billion), mindfulness ($10 billion) and tech ($8.1 billion), altogether far more than any other country on the planet.

Brad Stulberg, Outside Online

Rent the Runway

The resale market has grown 21 times faster than the overall apparel market, and is expected to hit $51 billion by 2023. So far, 64 percent of women have bought, or are willing to buy a secondhand product. In 2018, an estimated 56 million women shopped secondhand, up from 44 million in 2017. Fast fashion is, thus, suffering: secondhand is now expected to grow 1.5 times the rate fast fashion is poised to grow by 2028. As it stands, in 2018, the resale market was $24 billion, compared to the $35 billion of fast fashion.

Maura Brannigan, Fashionista


In a week where exceptional performances were recognized with the Academy Award, a commemoration of a lifetime of work, consideration and campaigning, it’s critical to remember that true greatness — the ways we define competence and excellence — are not decided by no Academy, nor no critics. No: history has been made, as Will Smith notched his 29th nomination at the Kids’ Choice Awards, becoming the most nominated star in the history of the awards show.

Kimberly Nordyke, The Hollywood Reporter

Toss A Coin

Late last year, The Witcher hit Netflix. This had a huge impact on the other products associated with The Witcher franchise. U.S. physical book sales were 562 percent higher in the week following the premiere of the show compared to 2018. The most recent game — from May 2015 — saw physical sales in December increase 554 percent compared to the same month 2018.

Sartori Bernbeck, NPD

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

A new study published in Nature found that air quality related deaths tended to impact those who were not responsible for the pollution. New York was found to suffer the largest number of premature deaths related to air pollution originating outside of the state, according to the research, fully 3,800 deaths in 2018. The largest producer of air pollution that crossed borders was Wyoming, followed by North Dakota and then West Virginia. Overall, air pollution deaths decreased from 111,000 in 2005 to 76,500 in 2018, in large part thanks to drops in power plant emissions.

Leslie Kaufman, Bloomberg


The FCC is supposed to be keeping track of who has access to broadband, but it’s done such an abysmal job that states have to go out of their way to ensure that they get a number nearing the actual extend of good internet. Right now, FCC connectivity data overestimates the reach of broadband. The FCC estimates 21 million Americans, 6.5 percent, lack access to broadband. A new report released by BroadbandNow, which manually checked 11,000 addresses where the FCC claimed one of nine major ISPs offered services, found that 19 percent of addresses did not actually have broadband.

Andrea Noble, Route Fifty

This past week, I spoke to writer Jim Ottaviani and artist Maris Wicks, the creators behind the newly released nonfiction graphic novel Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier.

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.

Now when you tell a friend to sign up for Numlock, you’ll get some free Numlock stickers and magnets if you go to It’s a great way to reach new readers organically.

Thank you so much for subscribing! If you're enjoying the newsletter, forward it to someone you think may enjoy it too! Send links to me on Twitter at @WaltHickey or email me with numbers, tips, or feedback at Send corrections or typos to the copy desk at

The very best way to reach new readers is word of mouth. If you click THIS LINK in your inbox, it’ll create an easy-to-send pre-written email you can just fire off to some friends.

2020 Sunday special editions: Minimalism · Ghost Gear · Tech jobs · Directors

2019 Sunday special editions: 2019 · TI-84 · Heated · Hemp · Kylie Cosmetics · Secondhand · Biometrics · Voting Machines · Open Borders ·  WrestleMania ·  Game of Thrones ·  Concussion Snake Oil ·  Skyglow ·  Juul ·  Chris Ingraham ·  Invasive Species ·  The Rat Spill ·  
The Sterling Affairs ·  Snakebites ·  Bees ·  Deep Fakes ·  Artificial Intelligence ·  Marijuana ·  Mussels · 100% Renewable Grid ·  Drive Thru Dreams ·  Department Stores & Champion ·  Baltimore Crab Shacks ·  Kylie Jenner · Amber Fossils ·  Self-Improvement ·  Box Office Forecasting ·  Crazy/Genius ·  Scrubbers ·  Saving the World ·  Summer Movies ·  No One Man Should Have All That Power ·  Film Incentives ·  Stadiums & Casinos ·  Late Night ·  65 is the new 50 ·  Scooternomics ·  Gene Therapy ·  SESTA/FOSTA ·  CAPTCHA ·  New Zealand ·  Good To Go ·  California Football ·  Personality Testing ·  China’s Corruption Crackdown ·  Yosemite
2018 Sunday Editions:2018  ·  Game of Thrones  ·  Signal Problems · CTE and Football · Facebook · Shark Repellent · Movies · Voting Rights · Goats · Invitation Only · Fat Bear Week · Weinersmith · Airplane Bathrooms ·  NIMBYs ·  Fall 2018 Sports Analytics ·  The Media  ·  Omega-3  ·  Mattress Troubles  ·  Conspiracy Theorists  ·  Beaches  ·  Bubbles  ·  NYC Trash  ·  Fish Wars  ·  Women’s Jeans  ·  Video Stores