Numlock News: October 24, 2018

By Walt Hickey

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

A Billion-Dollar Ferris Wheel Boondoggle

Tuesday a spokesperson announced a plan to construct a 630-foot Ferris wheel on Staten Island has been cancelled. So far, $450 million has already been spent on the project to build the world’s largest Ferris wheel in the city’s fifth-best borough, with an estimated final price tag of $1 billion. The parts of construction already completed — ground pedestals in Staten Island and large parts of the wheel, warehoused in Brooklyn — are to be auctioned off at the end of the month, so congratulations to the tech zillionaire, petrochemical dictatorship or old money heir who wants to buy them. Maybe Hoboken wants it, that’s usually where those that think New York is just too pricey end up.

Rachel Holliday Smith, Gothamist


The parent company of MoviePass saw its stock soar yesterday by 15 percent, based on the news announced that it’s going to spin off MoviePass. MoviePass — a service where users can see a number of movies every month for a flat $10 monthly fee — has been struggling financially due to funding issues, and also because its business model is terrible. When I said the stock soared I would also like to point out it is still less than 2 cents per share, down from over $30 last year. MoviePass has had some difficulty securing loans to fund their business, which I can only assume is related to either the illegality of usury, executives running out of kidneys to offer as collateral, or the Mafia no longer being interested in loaning money to doomed gamblers.

Dade Hayes, Deadline


For employees, having honest conversations about compensation pays off. A study found that 66 percent of people who learned they weren’t making as much money as a colleague found out by talking to a co-worker about money. While a sensitive topic, being honest about money helps, especially when what was once a simple paycheck can be broken up into all sorts of different factors like base salary, bonus, and stock compensation.

Jackie Luo, Medium

Women At Work

A study by McKinsey & Co. and LeanIn.Org found that women and men have different perceptions of how gender factors in the workplace, with 29 percent of women saying their gender makes it harder to get a raise, promotion or career advancement compared to 15 percent of men who say their gender holds them back. Men were more likely than women to say promotions at their company are based on fair and objective criteria (50 percent of men versus 43 percent of women). Moreover, 29 percent of women said they have been addressed in a less-than-professional way compared to 14 percent of men, 32 percent of women said they had been mistaken for someone at a much lower level (10 percent of men) and 40 percent of women said they had experienced having their judgement questioned in their areas of expertise (compared to 23 percent of men).

Vanessa Fuhrmans, The Wall Street Journal

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.

An Old, Old Wooden Ship

A three year mission exploring the Black Sea has turned up roughly 60 shipwrecks, among them what is purported to be the oldest intact shipwreck: a 23-meter vessel that is 2,400 years old, believed to be from ancient Greece. It was found 2,000 meters under the sea. The type of vessel has only previously been seen on ancient Greek pottery depicting Odysseus repeatedly failing to come back to Greece after the Trojan war, a tale that later inspired an affordable Honda minivan model.

Kevin Rawlinson, The Guardian


Should the U.K. fail to successfully negotiate an exit from the European Union with favorable terms, there’s a chance that the nation will have to orchestrate a complicated flotilla of freight from the continent due to drastically reduced tunnel capacity. The tunnel crossing the English Channel between Dover and Calais could run at 12 to 25 percent capacity should the Brexiters fail to get a deal, which sucks for a country that gets 30 percent of its food requirements from the E.U.

George Parker and James Blitz, The Financial Times

Them Next

A New York Times analysis of 201 men who lost their jobs or major roles in a #MeToo-related scandal found that of the 124 individuals who replaced them in their job or position, 54 were women and 70 were men, with 51 men being replaced with at least one woman in an interim or permanent capacity. This effect of women winning the jobs of accused abusers or harassers has been seen in politics (such as Sen. Tina Smith replacing former Sen. Al Franken), media (Tanzina Vega replacing John Hockenberry as host of “The Takeaway”) and business (John Lasseter being replaced by Jennifer Lee as CCO of Walt Disney Animation Studios).

Audrey Carlsen, Maya Salam, Claire Cain Miller, Denice Lu, Ash Ngu, Jugal K Patel and Zach Wichter, The New York Times

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: 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