Numlock News: September 4, 2018

By Walt Hickey

Welcome back! I hope you enjoyed the long weekend.


New research about the gender pay gap from the Baltimore Sun found that female crabs at twenty Baltimore area crab houses sold for between 51 cents and 81 cents on the dollar compared to the price of male crabs. The Sun has tracked the price asymmetry since 2016. This disparity is a welcome one for some immigrant communities, which favor the female crabs as they often come with roe and the sweeter meat, even if there’s less of it. Savvy crustacean fans seeking to arbitrage this market should know Captain Dick’s had the most extreme price disparity, with a dozen steamed males going for about $70 and a dozen steamed females going for just north of $35.

Christine Zhang, The Baltimore Sun


Of 4,500 satellites in orbit, only about 1,500 still work. Those 3,000 busted orbiters may one day be used as raw material when recycled for other projects at some time in the future. Still, there’s an inordinate amount of crap traveling in orbit at speeds ten times faster than a bullet: namely about 23,000 detectable objects at least 2 to 4 inches in length. Also these objects have hit each other 290 times since 1961, making even more space debris.

Mark Strauss, Pew Research Center


Beef is cheap again and, thus, Americans are going to eat more of it. The Department of Agriculture said consumption in 2018 will hit 57.7 pounds of beef per capita, up 1.4 percent. This comes only a few years after high beef prices drove consumption down to lowest-since-the-seventies levels.

Lydia Mulvany, Bloomberg


In 2014, a majority of Scots voted to keep Scotland in the U.K. Shortly after that, a majority of the U.K. voted to take the U.K. out of the European Union. This made the majority of Scots who preferred to remain in the E.U. somewhat displeased. A new poll found that should Britain leave the E.U. 47 percent of Scots would vote for Scottish independence at a later referendum while 43 would vote against, with 10 percent unsure.

William James, Reuters

The Bachelor

A Civis Analytics poll of about 3,000 Americans asking who should be the next lead on the Bachelor found 51 percent of respondents would not go with one of the four suggested contestants from Becca’s recent season of the Bachelorette, and would instead prefer a more outside-the-box candidate. These people are wrong, as Blake (28 percent preference) deserves his shot at love, Wills (11 percent) has true leading man potential and Jason (25 percent) is one proactive haircut away from stardom. Colton was not polled, because presumably it would be ridiculous for the producers to make someone so desperately in love with Tia the next contestant. The next lead is announced this morning.

Maura Foley, Civis Analytics


California currently gets 29 percent of its electricity from wind, solar, biomass and geothermal energy. The state legislature approved of a bill that would require the state to get 100 percent of its electricity from such carbon-free sources by 2045. This could have major impacts on electric cars, and one must only look at Norway to see what could happen. It took Norway a decade to reach 6 percent of vehicle sales as electric cars. It then took Norway only five years to go from 6 percent to 47 percent.

Nathan Bullard, Bloomberg

Meanwhile, In Texas:

About $1 million worth of natural gas is burned away every day in Texas’ Permian Basin because it’s not financially advantageous to transport or sell it. Every day 3.3 million barrels of oil are produced in the region along with 11 billion cubic feet of gas. Of those 11 billion cubic feet, about 320 million cubic feet are burned off or vented each day, emissions which are equivalent to two million cars.

Rebecca Elliott, The Wall Street Journal

My Chemical Romance

An analysis of emo bands and rappers found that My Chemical Romance is the most bummed out of them all, with 19 percent of the lyrics to their album The Black Parade comprised of words strongly associated with emotions of sadness and fear. “Welcome to the Black Parade,” which has been a personal karaoke go to for ages, has 22 percent of its lyrics as linked to those emotions. Try and keep up, Lil Xan.

Matt Daniels, The Pudding

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