Numlock News: June 13, 2018

FIFA Nations

Big day for FIFA, a globally notorious hive of corruption that sometimes organizes international soccer games. Today (around when this email gets delivered, in fact!) the 211 member nations will decide on who gets to host the World Cup in 2026. The winning bid must secure the votes of 104 nations to guarantee victory, and early projections have an estimated 125 are as-yet uncommitted. Morocco's got the explicit or believed support of 28 countries, while a Canada-U.S.-Mexico bid has the implicit or explicit support of 54.
Andrew Das, Wilson Andrews and Joe Ward, The New York Times

High Heels vs. Sneakers

Last year U.S. sales of high heels fell 11 percent, while sales of women's sneakers rose 37 percent. Finally, an end to the civil war described by Taylor Swift — the conflict between those who wear high heels and those who wear sneakers, girls wearing short shorts and girls wearing tee-shirts, and the faction of cheer captains vs. those on the bleachers dreaming of the day when you wake up and find that what you're looking for has been here the whole time.
Mary Hanbury, Business Insider


While many fret about the negative effects of gossip, the scuttlebutt is it's not all that bad. One study showed that only about 3 to 4 percentis actually malicious. Another estimated that about two-thirds of conversations qualify as gossip, where two or more people are chit-chatting about absent others. 
Ben Healy, The Atlantic


The U.S. Commerce Department imposed a tariff of 6.2 percent on Canadian newsprint in January and hiked it 22 percent in March. Canada produces approximately 60 percent of all newsprint, and the extra costs have led to layoffs at domestic newspapers.
Erin Arvedlund, The Philadelphia Inquirer 


Cost of Pre-Colonial History

In a move we'll just call "bold," the College Board plans to change the Advanced Placement World History course to begin in 1450. This has made lots of people extremely mad, because who could have possibly foreseen that eliminating pre-colonial Africa, Asia, Americas and Middle East from "world history" could cause a problem. The College Board wants to break pre-1450 history into a new pre-AP course that would cost schools $600 to $6,500 in fees to teach. 
Benjamin Wermund, POLITICO

Time Warner Inc. 

Congratulations to AT&T Inc., which will be able to spend $85 billionto buy Time Warner Inc. now that a judge has decided the merger doesn't violate anti-trust laws. Congratulations also to Disney, Comcast, 21st Century Fox, Verizon, Cigna, CVS Health Corp. and all the other corporations viewing this as an all-clear for major acquisitions with governmental a-ok. A University of California at Berkeley economist predicted an annual price increase to consumers of about $285 million with the deal.
David McLaughlin, Andrew M Harris, Scott Moritz and Erik Larson, Bloomberg

Federal Horse Money

The Bureau of Land Management spends about $50 million a year on the 45,000 wild horses and burros in holding facilities. The animals are contained in order to protect the health of rangelands, and there are an estimated 82,000 additional animals roaming around 10 western states on top of that. The Feds are thinking about shipping some of the wild horses to Russia and Guyana.
Chris D'Angelo, The Huffington Post 

Laser Eye Surgery Recipients

The first procedures to apply lasers to eyeballs were approved by the FDA in the 1990s. Since then, about 9.5 million Americans have had some ocular work done. Lasik is on the rise, with 700,000 eyes last year getting a tune-up, up from 628,724 in 2016. Still, evidence for negative short- and long-term effects has been building. One study of patients five years post-Lasik saw 20 percent had painful or sore eyes and 40 percent of patients were sensitive to light.
Roni Caryn Rabin, The New York Times