Numlock News: July 17, 2018

By Walt Hickey

Box Office Bomb Status

Asura is a Chinese epic fantasy film that cost 755 million yuan ($113 million) to produce. In its opening weekend it made a mere 49 million yuan, or about $7 million. That’s on the “catastrophic flop” tier of box office, and the reception was so bad that the backers are pulling it from cinemas and will make changes to the film. Should it fail to hit cinemas again, its current box office would put it at roughly the fifth biggest flop ever, lagging right behind these other movies that tried and failed to kickstart ill-thought out fantasy franchises: Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, John Carter, and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

Adam Epstein, Quartz

Compensation for 27 Days of Labor

Despite resigning 27 days into the 2017 fiscal year, former University of Louisville President James R. Ramsey still bagged $4.3 million in compensation, making him the highest-paid public college president in America last year. The university is suing Ramsey and other officials, alleging that he and his aides breached a fiduciary responsibility to not, as they claim, spend the university endowment on speculative investments. There were 12 public college chief executives who made more than $1 million in the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

Dan Bauman, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Pot of Greed

One casualty of the ongoing trade war between the United States and Canada is a recent tariff on playing cards imported from the States. This is having an immediate effect among fans of the game “Magic: The Gathering,” who are facing a 10 percent price hike on card packs. Other games affected by Ottawa’s trap card include Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh. Prescient trading card shops have decided to sacrifice a creature and play Hidden Stockpile, having purchased plenty of card packs in advance to prepare for the bruising campaign to come.

Liz Lanier, Variety

Pills

A new study argues that urgent care clinics may be an under-recognized fuel behind the over prescription of antibiotics. The study looked at a number of respiratory conditions that are not in any way helped by antibiotics, like asthma, allergies, the flu, bronchitis or viral pneumonia. Then they looked at how often different types of medical providers prescribed antibiotics in those cases. Emergency departments gave antibiotics to people who didn’t need them in those cases 24.6 percent of the time, while standard medical offices prescribed them 17 percent of the time. Urgent care centers, evidently confusing antibiotics with cough drops, gave them out in 45.7 percent of such inappropriate cases.

Lena H. Sun, The Washington Post

People Who Were Projected To But Did Not In Fact Subscribe To Netflix

Netflix stock — which has otherwise more than doubled this year — fell as much as 15 percent yesterday on the news that the company only added around 5.2 million new users in the second quarter, about a million shy of the company’s projections. Moving forward, the company expects slower growth and next quarter expects to add 5 million customers.

Lucas Shaw, Bloomberg

Marijuana Money

In what may come as a surprise to the person who is constantly walking in front of me on the sidewalk, marijuana is not yet legal in the state of New York. A new report from the state Department of Health seemed to give the go-ahead towards legalizing the commercial sale of cannabis in the state. Such a move would be highly profitable: a 7 percent tax was projected to generate $248 million and a 15 percent tax was projected to generate $340 million, potentially letting New Yorkers effectively smoke their way into a well-financed subway system.

Nick Reisman, New York State of Politics

Square Feet Added Per Year

An analysis of data from the U.S. Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics found the average floor area of an American home has been steadily rising over the past one hundred year, with an estimated 18.5 square foot increase in the average floor area per year. In 1920, the average floor area was 1,048 square feet, which rose to 1,500 by 1970 and today sits at around 2,657 square feet.

Wayne Chen, Supply Chen Management

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