Numlock News: October 18, 2019 • Ghibli, Yahoo, Vodka

By Walt Hickey

Have a great weekend!

Vodka

The best-selling liquor in America is Tito’s, a $190 million juggernaut that prides itself on its handmade, artisanal aesthetic. But being the best-selling booze in America by definition means corners will be cut, and right now exactly how handmade the product of Texas’ oldest distillery is provokes some questions. Briefly, a distillery cannot exceed 100,000 proof-gallons annually before it’s no longer considered “craft,” and thanks to generous laws about bottling — a liquor is “from” where it is bottled, and thus commercially purchased bulk grain neutral spirits can magically become “Texas Vodka” with appropriate bottling — Tito’s is plausibly a little bit more industrial than handcrafted these days.

Tammie Teclemariam, Eater

Ghibli

In easily the most unexpected development of the streaming wars, HBO Max secured the rights to the 21 films of Studio Ghibli, the Japanese Academy Award winning animation powerhouse behind Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and most importantly Porco Rosso, a movie about a pilot pig that I choose to use as my moral north star. To put this in perspective, this is basically the “streaming wars” equivalent of the Pope joining your local intramural softball league. The network will also have several seasons of Friends for when you tire of reading dubs.

Piya Sinha-Roy, The Hollywood Reporter

Animation

This year a record 32 films applied for eligibility for the animated feature film category of the Oscars, which tops the previous record of 27 submitted in 2016 and the 25 submitted last year. Films submitted for consideration include guaranteed juggernaut Frozen II, instructional manual How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Laika’s Missing Link, and The Addams Family, because if Green Book can win an Oscar, you know, why can’t they? Notably missing from the eligibility list is The Lion King, an animated film that will compete instead for the prize for “weirdest entry on Jon Oliver’s IMDB.”

Breanna Bell, Variety

Costs

Sutter Health of Northern California — a health system with 24 hospitals, 34 surgery centers and 5,500 doctors — has agreed to a settlement with self-funded employers and the state. Healthcare costs in Northern California are 20 percent to 30 percent higher than in SoCal, and Sutter was expected to pay up to $2.7 billion in damages had the suit broke against them. Sutter argued that the $13 billion in revenue it made helped it expand access.

Jenny Gold, Kaiser Health News

Swaps

From 2015 to 2016, 4 percent of the U.S. workforce sought to change careers and hop from industry to industry. This leads to the question: who isn’t trying to leave their job? The answer is Java developers, nurse practitioners and registered nurses, with respective career-switch rates of 11 percent, 23 percent, and 23 percent respectively on Indeed, a career development platform. Tech and healthcare dominate when it comes to a reluctance to exit, as five of the top 20 occupations are in nursing alone, and six are some sort of programming-adjacent role. Each of those career tracks are fairly “future-proof” as nobody’s managed to roboticize nursing yet.

Sarah Overmyer, Indeed

Money

A Harvard survey of 4,000 millionaires found that the millionaires worth $1 million were approximately as happy as the millionaires worth $8 million. This finding — that at the end of the day, $7 million is worth basically $0 — backs up an even broader idea, that when people get wealthier, rather than kicking back and relaxing and using that earned opportunity for frivolity, instead rich people spend more time doing things they’re required to do and double down on that which offered opportunity in the first place.

Alex Williams, The New York Times

Groups

Yahoo, a once-great company that defined a solid fraction of the internet, announced it will shut down Yahoo Groups after 18 years of social networking. Launched in 2001, as of 2010 there were 115 million Yahoo Groups users and 10 million groups. Despite pressure from Facebook, then an application for rating the sexual attractiveness of women who went to Harvard, Yahoo groups nevertheless endured, but the Verizon-owned company announced that on October 28 access will be revoked and on December 14 all content will be wiped from the earth. This will allow Yahoo the resources and focus to concentrate on its important contributions to society and value as a firm, such as TK INSERT CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE YAHOO CORPORATION HERE TK.

Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

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