Numlock News: July 9, 2018

By Walt Hickey

Gallons of Juice

The average American adult drinks 6.6 gallons of juice per year, a figure I find entirely baffling and honestly only makes sense if the average American adult drinks 2.2 gallons of vodka per year, which I surmise they do not. While everyone is pretty much in on the fact that sugary sodas aren’t great for the body, somehow equally sugary juice never got its moment in the anti-obesity spotlight. A 12-ounce glass of juice contains 10 teaspoons of sugar.

Erika R. Cheng, Lauren G. Fiechtner and Aaron E. Carroll, The New York Times

Weeks Left To Finalize An Extremely Complicated Geopolitical Negotiation

Sunday evening saw Brexit Secretary David Davis and his deputy resign from the government of U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May. The pair both favor a more significant separation from the E.U. than the one supported by May, whose plan would adopt E.U. regulations for agricultural products and goods. The Brexitexit — which this pair of resignations will almost inevitably be called — could cause disarray in May’s government at the least ideal time for her. An agreement is due in 15 weeks.

Tim Ross, Bloomberg

Box Office

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” made $76 million at the box office this past weekend, considerably more than the $57 million that “Ant-Man” opened to in 2015. This notched the 20th consecutive No. 1 opening weekend for Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. Still, there was some extremely successful counter-programming at the movies this weekend with “The First Purge,” which is technically the fourth Purge movie in the franchise. It’s made $31 million in five days and cost a mere $13 million to make. The franchise in total has made $360 million on four films that cost $37 million.

Rebecca Rubin, Variety

Reckless Driving

A new study from WalletHub found that there’s an enormous difference between getting a speeding ticket in Oregon and getting a speeding ticket in, say, New Mexico. A ticket for reckless driving in Oregon can cost a maximum of $6,250 while one in the latter state maxes out at $100. Overall, the national average for a ticket for reckless driving is $845. Still, the definition of reckless driving is fuzzy in 52 percent of states where there isn’t actually a specific speed threshold over the limit that provokes that charge.

Alina Comoreanu, WalletHub

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Pre-Tournament Odds

Croatia knocked host nation and serial-state-sponsor-of-doping Russia out of the World Cup, securing its place in the final four. Croatia had pre-tournament odds of 16 percent of making it this far, lower than remaining contenders England (27 percent), Belgium (27 percent) and France (31 percent) pre-tournament. The Croatian team will face England in the semi-finals, but the underdog Croats are banged-up and exhausted having played four hours of soccer in six days, which is absolutely more soccer than I have played in my entire life.

Associated Press, FiveThirtyEight

Alleged Valuation But Let’s Just See How This One Goes

Xiaomi Corp. goes public in Hong Kong today and will become the third-largest publicly traded mobile device maker in the world. The exact figure will depend on how the IPO goes, but Xiaomi will be worth about $50 billion. Still, there are potentially pitfalls ahead for the Chinese company, as early bids on the gray market were about 11 percent below the IPO price, and estimated its price-to-earnings ratio is quite high compared to that of Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu, Facebook, Apple and Samsung.


False Positives

The U.K. Metropolitan Police is trying out an automated facial recognition techonology that is not actually all that good at recognizing faces in an automated fashion. New data released under Freedom of Information laws indicate that the tech has a 98 percent false positive rate, which means that 98 percent of the identifications it makes by comparing mugshots to the output from legions of CCTV cameras are of random people who did nothing wrong. At least we can rest a little easier knowing that even the digital panopticon will be constructed by the lowest bidder.

James Vincent, The Verge

American Women

A new Washington Post-Schar School poll finds a significant gender gap between men and women when it comes to their evaluations of the president’s job performance, even comparing members of the same party. Among Republicans, 91 percent of men and 82 percent of women approve of the job the president is doing. There’s a significant intensity gap there, though: while 68 percent of Republican men strongly approve of the president’s handling of his job, only 31 percent of Republican women do. In the country overall, the president’s approval rating is 52 percent positive among men and 32 percent positive among women.

Dan Balz, The Washington Post

Yesterday was the first paid subscriber exclusive edition of Numlock News! I spoke to Kate Hagen, the director of community at The Black List, who a few weeks ago wrote an illuminating story about the death of the video store.

Kate's story included numbers that showed the depth of the devastation and the subtle, difficult-to-quantify cultural loss associated with the death of that industry. In our conversation, we spoke about what we lost when video stores evaporated, how music licensing rights make it difficult if not impossible to get a hold of some classic movies, and the risks that streaming services present to movie fans. To read it and to receive the Sunday edition every week, become a paid subscriber today:

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