Numlock News: June 7, 2018

 Video Stores

By 2017, 86 percent of the 15,300 video stores that were open in 2007 had closed, with the video rental business losing more than 89 percent of its workforce. While digital alternatives and kiosks like Redbox have some advantages, there's truly an intangible loss here. Affordable access to a wide variety of movies is over. The largest Redbox holds up to 600 discs of a mere 200 unique titles. In 2010 there were 6,755 feature films on Netflix; today there are only 3,686. An average Blockbuster in its heyday had 10,000, and none of the chaotic contractual fights that come with digital licensing. 
Kate Hagen, The Black List

Wannabe Spacefarers

A new survey of Americans found that while 42 percent said they personally would be interested in orbiting earth in a space craft, a majority — 58 percent — were not. There were three primary reasons: 28 percent cited price, 28 percent blamed age or health, and 28 percent credited the innate yet unspeakable fear of the frigid vacuum that welcomes an ill-adapted terrestrial who, Icarus-like, desecrates the universal force of gravity through perverse or unnatural means. I mean, Pew reported the group said "it would be too scary," but reading into it, I'm not wrong.  
Cary Funk and Mark Strauss, Pew Research Center

HGTV's EPA Fines

Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV's "Fixer Upper" agreed to pay$40,000 to settling an EPA case regarding improper use of lead paint in renovations that could have set them back $556,000. Chip will also be required to make an educational video about the dangers of lead paint. The EPA became aware of the violations — renovations conducted without proper safety precautions — by watching "Fixer Upper," which I think we can all concede is outstanding television. 
Greg Evans, Deadline

Sports Bets

Delaware offered legal sports betting for the first time on Tuesday and pulled in $322,135 worth of wagers on a day there wasn't even an NBA Finals or Stanley Cup Final game. Gov. John Carney made the first bet — $10 on the Phillies — and ended up winning.
David Purdum, ESPN 

Hurricane Speed

A study published in Nature estimates that tropical cyclones (hurricanes) decreased in forward speed by 20 percent from 1949 to 2016. Slower storms mean more accumulated rainfall — think slow, wet and intense storms like Harvey — and that increases the danger to people.
Andrew Freedman, Axios


Reality Show Contestants

The most exclusive and prestigious institution in England isn't Oxford, isn't Cambridge — it's "Love Island," a reality show where contestants go to Majorca and hook up. ITV said over 85,000 people applied to appear on the show, and the BBC estimated a 1 in 2,656 acceptance rate. This dwarfs Oxford and Cambridge, which respectively had 19,938 and 17,189 undergrad applications in 2017 and acceptance rates between 1-in-5 and 1-in-4.


Comparing the schedules of 15,000 U.S. workers — some of whom commute and some of whom work from home — the median remote worker saved about 50 minutes per workday by not having to commute or groom. The median commuter spent 35 minutes traveling and 45 minutes on personal care, while the median home worker spent 0 minutes and 30 minutes on those tasks. As a dude who became work-from-home rather recently, I'm considering this a wake-up call.
Nathan Yau, Flowing Data