Numlock News: July 30, 2018

By Walt Hickey

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Money To Keep A Ridiculous Business Open

Helios and Matheson, the company behind MoviePass, secured a $6.2 million loan from Hudson Bay in order to survive the weekend and continue to prop up their ridiculous and frankly inspiring business model of basically unlimited movie tickets for $10 per month. MoviePass had a service interruption last week after running out of cash, and lost 70 percent of its stock value on Friday. I shudder to think about the interest rate on a loan to MoviePass and can only imagine that terms absolutely involved at least one human soul.

Dave McNary, Variety

Bounty On A Drug Dog

A dog that is really, really good at sniffing out drugs is the target of a $7,000 price on her head from a Colombian cartel named the Gulf Clan. Sombra is now accompanied by two armed guards when transported as she has been credited with over 245 drug arrests at Colombia’s two largest international airports. Recently, five tons of cocaine was en route to Europe until a Very Good Girl found it, yes she did, yes she did find that cocaine, who’s a good girl, that’s right Sombra is.

Manuel Rueda, The Associated Press

Social Media Posts

Pepsi won a judgment in a Dehli high court that will allow it to ask social media platforms to remove “3,412 Facebook links, 20,244 Facebook posts, 242 YouTube videos, six Instagram links, and 562 tweets” that it believes are defamatory. The posts espouse a rumor that a snack food produced by Pepsi is made out of plastic. No, it’s not Cap’n Crunch. Not Cheetos either, that’s a good guess, but it’s not the snack. I see why you then guessed Fritos, but no not them either. Yes, you would think Doritos, but no, they don’t contain plastic either. Sun Chips, now you’re just reaching. It’s some corn puff called Kurkure — I’ve never heard of it either.

Suneera Tandon, Quartz


A new NBC News poll found that the Trump Administration’s family separation policy is overwhelmingly opposed by a key constituency, moms. All told, 28 percent of mothers with children under 18 approve of the policy while 63 percent disapprove, a 35-point disparity that is unheard of. Dads, on the other hand, are split, with 44 percent approving and 43 percent disapproving.

Carrie Dann, NBC News

For-Profit College

In 2014, the Obama administration rolled out rules that required colleges to prepare students for gainful employment. The rule would cut federal aid if a typical student’s average annual loan payment exceeded 20 percent of discretionary income or 8 percent of total earnings. In January of 2017, about 800 programs — 98 percent of which were for-profit colleges — failed to meet those requirements. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos plans to eliminate the program.

Erica L. Green, The New York Times

Vacant Houses

There’s a spate of home vacancies across the United States, especially in cities in decline. A healthy rental vacancy rate is about 7 to 8 percent and a healthy homeowner vacancy rate is something like 2 percent. In “legacy cities” like Flint, Gary, Cleveland and Detroit, it’s enormous, about 17 percent in small cities and 15 percent in large ones.

Richard Florida, CityLab

Child Births

The United States is the most dangerous place in the developed world to give birth, with more than 50,000 women severely injured while having a baby annually. A USA Today investigation found that many hospitals weren’t taking safety steps such as quantifying blood loss or tracking blood pressure of women in labor. There are 26.4 maternal deaths per 100,000 births in 2015 in the U.S., which is vastly higher than the level in 1990. The levels in Germany, France, Japan, England and Canada are all between 5 and 10.

Alison Young, USA Today

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