Numlock News: January 9, 2019

By Walt Hickey

Battlestar Iguanaca

In 1835, Charles Darwin saw a land iguana on Santiago Island in the Galapagos. Things then went sideways and all the iguanas were killed by invasive predators, down to the last lizard. But on January 3 and 4, they’re back: over 1,400 land iguanas have been taken from nearby North Seymour Island and released back on their ancestral home. In what is effectively the iguana version of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, the iguanas of North Seymour were running out of food as cacti were depleted, and in a last ditch hope authorities sought an amenable new home for a portion of the species.

Emily Dixon, CNN

Selling Drugs

Spending on medical marketing hit an estimated $30 billion in 2016, up from $18 billion in 1997. Only the U.S. and New Zealand allow prescription drug ads. Since easing requirements in 1997, the annual number of pharma ads rose from 79,000 worth $1 billion to 5 million ads worth $6 billion in 2016. Numlock will always remain ad-free, but I realize that I’ve been remiss in listing possible side effects of consuming doctor-recommended Numlock™️ AM, which can include: train sweat; thumb crick; scuttlebutt; alert-induced AM insomnia; Fat Bear Syndrome; Gotham myopia; moviepassiosis; contact high; typo twitch; charming anecdosis; the giggles; and in some rare cases, fatal exhaling air out your nose fast but not like actually laughing but I guess it was funnyitis.

Lindsey Tanner, The Associated Press

Full Citizenship

Following through on the passage of Amendment 4 in Florida, yesterday an estimated 9.2 percent of the voting-age population regained their right to vote. The amendment allows citizens to gain back their ability to vote after completing their sentence for a felony, excluding some convicted of murder or felony sex offenses. Many states have voting restrictions for people convicted of felonies, some prohibiting voting for those on parole or on probation. Only Florida, Kentucky and Virginia barred people from voting even after they paid their debt to society.

German Lopez, Vox

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The nationwide cancer death rate climbed through the 20th century to peak in 1991, with 215.1 deaths for every 100,000 people. Since then — by in many ways eradicating the pervasive presence of smoking in everyday life — the cancer death rate dropped steadily about 1.5 percent per year, and stands at 156 per 100,000 people in 2016. That’s an overall decline of 27 percent, which translates to 2.6 million fewer cancer deaths than would have been expected if rates remained unchanged.

Jacqueline Howard, CNN


In a reversal of a three-year trend where the U.S. reduced its carbon dioxide emissions, emissions instead increased by 3.4 percent in 2018, the second-largest increased in over two decades. While the power sector had been leading the way in reducing emissions, the natural gas boom overcame the record coal plant closures to prompt an increase in emissions. In 2017, emissions were 14 percent below the 2005 peak, but now they are only 11.2 percent lower.

Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic

Mini Me

A new report about executive mentorship found that 71 percent of the time the mentee was the same gender and race as the mentor. The poll of 3,200 men and women in white collar jobs also found that 77 percent of the time they had the same management style or skills. So hey, if you were worried about the grumblings that the #MeToo movement was going to make men not want to mentor women in the workplace, don’t buy that cop out, overall they weren’t really going out of their way mentor them all that much to begin with.

Jeff Green, Bloomberg


At least one company serves as a broker for real-time phone geolocation services reselling data they purchase from T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint. For rock-bottom prices, property managers and bail bondsmen and bounty hunters can gain valuable data about an individual’s location based on their cell’s location. The supply chain is complex, but for as little as $4.95 a buyer can get the location of a cell phone given only its number, and for $12.95 they can score real-time updates.

Joseph Cox, Motherboard

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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