Numlock News: June 24, 2020 • Olivine, Jurassic Park, Etsy

By Walt Hickey

When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth

After a brief break, Jurassic Park is once again the top draw at the box office, pulling in $517,600 at 230 cinemas this past weekend, narrowly edging out Jaws, which made $516,300 at 187 screens. It’s the first time that Jurassic Park has been number one at the domestic box office since June 1993. Overall drive-ins are responsible for most of the box office. Out of 1,100 open theaters, about 300 are drive-in screens, and 160 of the top 201 grossing cinemas were drive-in movies. Other movies from the catalog that are hitting cinemas again are Back to the Future (which made $131,000 this past weekend), E.T. ($126,000) and The Goonies ($110,850).

Anthony D’Alessandro, Deadline

Global Positioning

China launched the 55th and final satellite in the Beidou Navigation Satellite System on Tuesday, a move that will complete the constellation of orbiters designed to compete with the United States’ Global Positioning System, Russia’s GLONASS and the European Galileo system. The first version of the Beidou system was decommissioned in 2012, and the current system — BDS-3, which is composed of 30 navigational satellites — began in 2018, mostly made of medium earth orbit satellites but with six geosynchronous ones.

The Associated Press

Carbon

Amazon’s carbon emissions were up 15 percent last year, with the conglomerate generating the equivalent of 51.17 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. This is the first time there has been year-over-year data for Amazon’s atmospheric impact. In a separate announcement, Amazon announced a $2 billion fund to invest in technology that will reduce carbon emissions. The companies sales were up 22 percent in 2019 compared to 2018, so its emissions are lagging its growth, but the aim of the firm is to become carbon neutral by 2040 and the number is, nevertheless, still very much going in the wrong direction.

Matt Day, Bloomberg

Double Down

The 2021 summer vacation planning period began earlier than ever, with many people who had planned large global adventures for summer 2020 simply pushing back those reservations to 2021. One South Africa-based travel company, &Beyond, said 89 percent of clients with trips cancelled by pandemic shut-downs rebooked the very same itinerary for 2021, so as a result the docket is filling up faster than ever. Though forecasts currently project the global tourism business will not fully rebound until at least 2023, many are planning for a boomlet next year as people who had to defer trips take them as soon as possible.

Nancy Keates, The Wall Street Journal

Drinking

Though retail sales of alcohol are spiking, the overall picture is a decrease in consumption of alcoholic beverages as the bar and restaurant channel of booze sales dries up. The total U.S. volume of alcohol sales are projected to decrease 1.8 percent in 2020 compared to 2019, with a 5.7 percent decrease in cider, 3.7 percent decrease in beer, and 2.1 percent decrease in wine. Spirits are sort of up but mostly flat on balance, while the ready-to-drink sector is up 21.9 percent by volume, as Americans are not using this time to learn how to mix a drink.

Leslie Patton, Bloomberg

Rocks

Olivine is a volcanic mineral that, when ground down to sand and spread across beaches, gets broken down by waves and kicks off a fascinating series of reactions. The aggregate effect of those reactions is that greenhouse gasses get pulled out of air and, eventually, can get locked up in mollusks and corals. A National Academies report from last year cited this as a plausible way to store hundreds of trillions of tons of carbon dioxide, and now a non-profit called Project Vesta is rolling out a proof of concept on the shore of an undisclosed Caribbean island. The aim is to get the cost to $10 per ton of stored carbon dioxide when rolled out to scale, though the pilot study is trying to remove 3,333 tons at a cost of $75 per ton.

James Temple, MIT Technology Review

Etsy

The company Etsy, which offers a marketplace for often hand-made goods made by independent creators, is booming amid news that people are turning to the service en masse to get their mitts on some masks. In their first quarter earnings report, Etsy said it moved $133 million worth of masks alone in April, some 12 million units. If the units sold were standalone masks that would have made them the second-largest type of product sold on Etsy. The company saw 4 million new buyers in April, and a million of them purchased a fabric mask.

Ari Levy, CNBC

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