Numlock News: November 13, 2018

By Walt Hickey

Liking Numlock? Forward today’s email to a friend you think may enjoy it and might subscribe.

Pink Tax

Women in New York spend $26 to $50 more on transportation per month than men do for safety reasons, a figure that jumps to $100 each month if they are primary caregivers. According to a survey, 75 percent of women reported harassment or theft on public transportation compared to 47 percent of men, a reality that prompted 29 percent of women to avoid late night usage of public transportation compared to just 8 percent of men.

Aarian Marshall, Wired

Pay To Play

Every year, cities and states spend up to $90 billion in tax breaks and grants trying to get companies to leave other cities and states and move to their city or state. That’s more money than the federal government spends on housing, education or infrastructure. Amazon was reportedly offered $7 billion to move their second headquarters to New Jersey or Maryland; Wisconsin could end up paying $500,000 per net new job at a Foxconn plant; and Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas have been fighting to get companies to post up on their side of the river for years — all of which is ridiculous. If only there were some sort of management structure that existed higher than the state level that could step in and make it so states don’t bribe their ways into bankruptcy.

Derek Thompson, The Atlantic

Doggies Who Need A Home

Florida is home to 11 of the 17 active dog racing tracks in the U.S., because of course it is. This past election cycle, Amendment 13 was passed, which will phase out gambling on dog races by the conclusion of 2020. One track closed before the vote, four decided to never race again, and the remaining seven tracks have about 3,700 dogs. Sure, over 2,000 of the pups are likely named Bortles, but they’re good dogs! If you ever wanted your own Santa’s Little Helper, hundreds of adoption groups are getting ready to accommodate the surge. Revenue for dog racing is down 82 percent since 2001.

Elise Hu, WBUR


Between 2006 and 2017, 91,980 square miles of forest cover in Brazil’s portion of the Amazon rainforest was removed. A new president keen on accelerating deforestation and industrial activity in the area has deforestation opponents very worried, but it’s Brazil’s indigenous peoples who are confronting the miners, loggers, and farmers. Indigenous peoples make up 0.5 percent of the population of Brazil, about 896,000 people representing 300 tribes and 270 languages.

Ernesto Londoño, The New York Times

Software Update

If the most pleasant sounding words in the English language are “cellar door,” the least pleasant are “Do you want to restart to install these updates now or try tonight?” All told, 14 percent of people never update their phone’s operating system and 42 percent wait until it’s convenient to install the updates. Another survey found that people have all sorts of valid reasons to not update their software, including update risks like data loss or malicious code (7.5 percent), update costs like time wasted or storage space gone forever (40.5 percent) and waiting until it was important or needed to update (29 percent). I just hate how I’m at the point in the Mac update cycle where every single installation actively makes my computer worse, by eliminating finite space, threatening to render perfectly operational software obsolete and slowing down the computer with bloatware.

Angela Lashbrook, Medium

Hidden Missile Bases

New commercial satellite images indicate North Korea is moving ahead with its ballistic missile program despite executive branch claims that the threat has been neutralized. While offering to dismantle (but not actually dismantling) one launch site, North Korea has also improved at least 16 hidden bases and launch sites. The nation is believed to have 40 to 50 nuclear warheads, and one of the newly profiled missile bases is 80 miles from Seoul.

David E. Sanger and William J. Broad, The New York Times


By the end of the year, U.S. inventories of soybeans are expected to double to about 955 million bushels. An escalating trade war with China has prompted American farmers to take an unprecedented step of warehousing their oilseed crop, but it’s a risky gamble. If they’re not kept dry, the soybeans will rot. Space for the surplus soy is tight. Many producers are stuffing them into enormous bags, the length of football fields, while they wait for the Chinese market to open again. Soybean stocks are up 124 percent in Illinois, but North Dakota — where 70 percent of the crop typically is exported to Asia — is likely being hit the hardest.

Shruti Singh, Isis Almeida, and Mario Parker, Bloomberg

Thanks to the paid subscribers to Numlock News who make this possible. Subscribers guarantee this stays ad-free, and get a special Sunday edition. Consider becoming a full subscriber today.

Thank you so much for subscribing! If you're enjoying the newsletter, forward it to someone you think may enjoy it too! 

Previous Sunday special editions: 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

Send links to me on Twitter at @WaltHickey or email me with numbers, tips, or feedback at Send corrections or typos to the copy desk at