Numlock News: June 4, 2018


Vermont is recruiting! In need of new Vermonters, the state is now willing to bribe you to become That Guy From College Who Fell Off The Grid And Went To Vermont Or Something. Besides an ongoing campaign to convince any of the 13 million tourists who pass through The Green Mountain State to stay, last week Gov. Phil Scott signed a bill that will straight-up pay $10,000 to people who move there to work remotely beginning in 2019, on a first-come-first-serve as long as funding remains.
Corinne Purtill, Quartz

Episodes of Television

A groundbreaking and personal jealousy-inducing new study commemorating the 20th anniversary of "Sex and the City" broke down the series based on the length, frequency and duration of the seminal show's many relationships. Miranda spent 44 episodes not dating, while Carrie and Charlotte tied for the most episodes spent dating with 74 episodes. Still, Charlotte took the prize for longest relationship with 26 episodes spent with Trey, her first husband. 
Kyle Kim, Kate Stanhope and Chris Keller, The Los Angeles Times


Massachusetts' 3rd District is as rock-solid Democrat as it can get, and Niki Tsongas' retirement means that a baseball teams' worth of Democrats are vying for the safe seat. While at one point there were 15 Democrats in the race, the primary is proceeding much like a season of "The Bachelorette," and the field has slimmed down to "only" 11 candidatescompeting in the Sept. 4 primary. The only known poll of the field — which at press time is slightly larger than the entire historical membership of the Wu Tang Clan — has the leader taking a mere 11 percent of the vote.
Katharine Q. Seelye, The New York Times

Investment Deals

While the U.S. tech scene is certainly defined by only a few players, the Chinese technology business is a duopoly of two fierce competitors — Tencent and Alibaba — attempting to compete against each other in each and every slice of the consumer technology business. A running count has Tencent conducting 247 investment deals and Alibaba doing 156 in recent years as each firm tries to fight the other in every possible market sector, from education to automobiles to digital payments. 
Raymond Zhong, The New York Times


 Coal Miners

In 2015, 4.8 percent of underground-working coal miners who'd been on the job for 25 years in Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia had Black Lung, compared to 0.6 percent in 2000. Coal companies pay $1.10 per ton in tax to finance the federal Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, but the fund is insufficiently paid for and has had to borrow from the Treasury to finance benefits.
Valerie Volcovici, Reuters


Gigawatt Generation Capacity

About two dozen nuclear plants generating about 33 gigawatts of powerwill either close or not make money through 2021 per projections, and this year coal plants producing about 16.2 gigawatts will be retired or slated for retirement, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. A Trump administration memo obtained by Bloomberg outlines a plan that would force grid operators to buy coal and nuclear power in an attempt to extend the life of those plants.
Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg News

Projected Dollars

"Solo: A Star Wars Story" has reminded Lucasfilm what we longtime fans of the Expanded Universe have always known: Star Wars spinoff stories are going to be fundamentally hit-or-miss, especially if you throw Han Soloin there. The film's box office fell 65 percent between its first and second weekends and the movie is projected to earn less than $450 million which means it may not recoup its production, promotion and distribution costs. Then again, people tend to forget that the fundamental innovation of George Lucas was that the real money is in the merch, so this may not be a total loss yet. 
Frank Pallotta and Jill Disis, CNN Money