Numlock News: October 5, 2021 • Clint Eastwood, Human Skull, Winnie The Pooh

By Walt Hickey

Feeling Lucky

Famous actor, director and prop comic Clint Eastwood was awarded $6.1 million in a lawsuit against three CBD manufacturers in Lithuania who were promoting their wares with his image and falsely claiming he had endorsed them. The California judge entered a default judgement in favor of Eastwood after Mediatonas UAB, which published a faked interview with Eastwood, failed to respond to a March summons. The saga will presumably be adapted into a forthcoming Clint Eastwood film, in which a virile 91-year-old defeats a pasty group of Lithuanians with help from The Troops.

Sarah Bahr, The New York Times

Box Office

While Venom: Let There Be Carnage and No Time To Die were cleaning up around the world, the highest-grossing film of last weekend was China’s The Battle at Lake Changjin, a patriotic historical drama that made $234 million over its four-day release. Needless to say, the film — which centers on a group of Chinese soldiers who fight American and United Nations forces during the early Korean War to aid Kim Il-Sung — is not exactly anticipated to have a whole lot of legs outside of China.

Patrick Frater and Rebecca Davis, Variety

Offline

Yesterday saw a major outage at services controlled by Facebook Inc., and evidence from Cloudfare shows reverberations were felt outside of their little walled garden. When Facebook’s DNS servers were no longer being announced to the internet as a whole through a system called BGP, all of a sudden, all the small little intermediary DNS resolvers that serve as the unheralded middlemen of the internet got hit with a “tsunami of additional DNS traffic” thanks to people refreshing pages and apps reloading automatically. Around the world, DNS resolvers handled 30 times more queries than typical, and it caused timeout issues for some other websites. The outage affected critical internet services such as messenger service WhatsApp, the former TikTok rival Instagram, as well as a plethora of the company’s minor, obsolete or more niche services, such as Oculus, Messenger and Facebook.

Tom Strickx and Celso Martinho, CloudFlare

The Debt

In 1988, the first of Russia’s Buran space shuttles went to orbit, but the project was cancelled in 1993, and in addition to the sole completed shuttle — later destroyed in a hanger collapse — there was another 95 percent complete shuttle that was canned. This second vessel, Burya, has ended up in the hands of a Kazakhstani businessman by the name of Dauren Musa. The Russians want their space shuttle back, but Musa isn’t interested in money. Instead, he’s proposed a trade: he’ll give them the shuttle back if Moscow returns the skull of Kenesary Kasymov, the last Kazakh Khan and a modern folk hero after leading a resistance to Russian colonization in the 1840s. He was beheaded for his troubles and the skull sent to Russia, and well, now there’s a space shuttle involved — I really don’t know what to tell you here.

Eric Berger, Ars Technica

IATSE

With a staggering degree of unanimity, 98 percent of eligible members from 36 International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees union Locals voted to authorize an industry-wide strike, a move that escalates a significant conflict between studios and the laborers who work on movies and television. It’s the first such authorization in the history of the union, and the 60,000 workers involved want better quality of life in an industry that is grueling for the behind-the-camera artisans and laborers who have been pushed into 60 hour or more workweeks. The largest Locals in the union include the International Cinematographers Guild, the Motion Picture Editors Guild, and the Art Directors Guild. The strike authorization — which only needed 75 percent to pass in a given Local — will give negotiators a potent bit of bargaining power.

Katie Kilkenny and Carolyn Giardina, The Hollywood Reporter

Heat Is On

A new study from Arizona State University and the city of Phoenix found that painting their streets gray over the black asphalt has had a remarkable cooling effect, with sunrise temperatures dropping an average of 2.4 degrees and on average, overall road surface temperatures dropping 10.5- to 12-degree-Fahrenheit. Phoenix, which was originally designed by city fathers as an affront to the natural environment and a municipal testament to man’s hubris in regard to the fundamental laws of thermodynamics, can see its road temperatures hit 180 degrees on a particularly hot day.

Daniel Cusick, E&E News

Bridge

Posingford Bridge, where A. A. Milne played with his son Christopher Robin and set many of the stories of Winnie the Pooh, is for sale and will hit auction soon. The bridge itself was built in 1907, but taken down in 1999 owing to wear and tear from visitors. A new replacement structure was built, paid for largely by Disney, and the original was removed but stored and restored. The 29-foot bridge is 15 feet wide and is estimated to sell for £40,000 to £60,000. Congratulations to whichever petrostate princeling or mining oligarch manages to win this timeless artifact of children’s literature at auction.

Khadija Kothia, The Associated Press

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