Numlock News: March 8, 2019

By Walt Hickey

Have a really wonderful weekend!

Disney Vault

As part of the creation of their forthcoming streaming service, Disney will finally be doing away with the vaunted Disney Vault. Once the impenetrable Ft. Knox of arbitrary scarcity, Disney will no longer rotate 34 of its iconic films in and out of circulation to inflate demand. Also, I think this means that The Song of the South is seeing a release which I’m not sure I’m cool with. The Disney Vault will now be locked inside of an even larger metaphorical vault, to be re-introduced when the streaming competition matures, and once again it makes sense to remove things for the purposes of later re-introducing them to great acclaim.

Julia Alexander, The Verge

Mightiest Avenger

Hollywood has wised up to the idea that a bunch of vindictive sexists on the internet can give people who create things a rough go of it. Studios have actually begun to plan countermeasures for when a bunch of misogynist or racist botnets hum into action to make perfectly fine films have the kind of online ratings a Tommy Wiseau, Ed Wood or Kevin Hart movie would otherwise have. The war rooms for tentpole studio pictures that have the temerity to feature an actress in a leading role have expanded in some cases to up to 40 staffers, up from less than a dozen a few years back. Increasingly, studios are also directing their ad spend digitally to fight back on the very platforms that facilitate the denigration of their films, with spending on digital ads hitting $6.64 billion last year, up from $3.45 billion in 2016.

Anousha Sakoui, Bloomberg

Hotel Right Now

AirBnb, the app that makes money renting out houses that belong to other people, will purchase the app Hotel Tonight, an app that makes money renting out hotel rooms. The sale price is reportedly close to the $463 million valuation HotelTonight had under its most recent funding round. It’s pretty unclear what synergies these two disparate and unique startups could possibly share, but all the luck in the world to them, you know?

Kia Kokalitcheva, Axios

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Meghan Markle — who is married to a person who is related to a person who is related to a person who is related to a person who is Queen Elizabeth II — deals with an enormous amount of abuse on the internet. An analysis of 5,000 anti-Markle tweets found that an enormous amount — 70 percent — originated from only 20 accounts. Listen, I get having strong opinions about this kind of thing, but the last time it was anywhere near appropriate to weigh in like this was when Philip, son of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, was married to Joanna of Castile and, as the heir to Burgundy through his own mother, forged a union that changed the face of Europe for an era. Meghan was in Suits on TBS, cool it y’all.

Max Foster and Hilary McGann, CNN

Far From Home

Whether Americans remain in the state they were born in really depends state to state. People born in the Midwest tend to like the Midwest, while people in Nevada are overwhelmingly not from there. Overall, 10 percent of people who live in Nevada originated there, with other major states full of newcomers including Florida (22 percent), Arizona (23 percent), and Alaska (27 percent).

Richard Florida, CityLab


Lots and lots of people eat the same lunch everyday, and more power to them. And while I’m a bit more on the luncheon erratic side, I am literally the last person on earth to knock falling into a reliable routine that gives everyone involved exactly what they’re asking for on a daily basis. Based on the best studies available, something like 17 percent of surveyed British people ate the same thing every day for the past two years.

Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic

Space Rocks

Science has yet again discovered a very far away rock that is important enough to become national news, again. This time it’s a 400 kilometer wide world that exists somewhere between 130 astronomical units to 150 astronomical units from the sun. It’s been nicknamed FarFarAway, because after Pluto we ran out of Lord of the Rings related names and unless George R.R. Martin finishes The Winds of Winter soon, we simply will not have things to name planetary bodies after.

Nola Taylor Redd, Scientific American

Junk In Your Phone

An iPhone contains something like 75 of the 118 elements on the Periodic Table of Elements, and as a result requires an enormous amount of mining operations — lots of which are dirty, exploitative or polluting — to obtain those rare earth elements. As a result, the company has been investigating ways to recycle their products, but the efficacy has been a bit hazy, which is why this started with “something like 75” and not a precise figure for what an iPhone requires hauled out from the terrestrial abyss. Still they’re trying: on one hand Apple is quite good at recycling aluminum, which is like how MLB players are decent at T-Ball, and they recently developed a machine that can shred up to 200 iPhones per minute. On the other hand, they do sell 200 million phones per year, so what happens to those seems like something that should make it to the top of the to-do list.

Maddie Stone, Gizmodo

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Previous 2019 Sunday special editions: Gene Therapy ·  SESTA/FOSTA ·  CAPTCHA ·  New Zealand ·  Good To Go ·  California Football ·  Personality Testing ·  China’s Corruption Crackdown ·  Yosemite

2018 Sunday Editions: 2018  ·  Game of Thrones  ·  Signal Problems · CTE and Football · Facebook · Shark Repellent · Movies · Voting Rights · Goats · Invitation Only · Fat Bear Week · Weinersmith · Airplane Bathrooms ·  NIMBYs ·  Fall 2018 Sports Analytics ·  The Media  ·  Omega-3  ·  Mattress Troubles  ·  Conspiracy Theorists  ·  Beaches  ·  Bubbles  ·  NYC Trash  ·  Fish Wars  ·  Women’s Jeans  ·  Video Stores