Numlock News: September 6, 2018

By Walt Hickey

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Bigfoot

A judge has thrown out a lawsuit against the British Columbia government that claimed the Canadian province was in dereliction of duty for not acknowledging the existence of the Sasquatch. The man also claimed the government was discriminating against him for his beliefs, namely the belief that Bigfoot is real. Justice Kenneth Ball, having heard the guy out, found Todd Standing had no reasonable cause to sue and has to pay B.C.’s legal costs. Standing has reportedly been accused by some in the Bigfoot community of faking video, and offers a $4,800weeklong Sasquatch-seeking expedition.” In return-on-investment terms, that money is somewhere between “beanie babies pyramid scheme” and “degree from real estate guy’s for-profit college.”

Rhianna Schmunk, CBC News

Crypto

Yesterday it was reported that Goldman Sachs is pushing back plans to introduce a cryptocurrency trading desk. Immediately, the price of Bitcoin and Ether — two popular digital currencies — fell as much as 7 percent and 15 percent, respectively. The overall market for cryptocurrencies is now at around $203 billion according last night’s CoinMarketCap data, down from over $800 billion in January.

Todd White and Lily Katz, Bloomberg

No Liquor At Frats

By September 2019, the 6,100 fraternity chapter on 800 campuses who are members of the North-American Interfraternity Conference must prohibit drinks with alcohol content of 15 percent or above at fraternity chapters and events. Huge win for that guy who sells weed to the frats.

Associated Press

Chinese Programs

China’s government sponsors the Confucius Institute’s 525 chapters in 146 countries enrolling over 9 million college students. These provide funding to U.S. universities and offer instruction in China’s language and culture. This is one way that China is able to use soft power to influence professors’ instruction, prompting some to avoid complicated topics for the Chinese government, like Tibet, Taiwan and Tienanmen.

Isaac Stone Fish, The New Republic

Sternly Worded Letters

Doctors who received a letter from the county medical examiner informing them that a patient they once prescribed an opioid medication to had died of a drug overdose subsequently reduced their prescriptions of opioids by 9.7 percent, a new study has found. Another study found that primary care doctors reduced prescriptions of opioids by 15 percent over two years when informed they had been flagged as prescribing too many anti-psychotic medications. One study that I did found that sternly worded emails about times I was too mean to The Eagles in print definitely provoke self-reflection.

Margot Sanger-Katz, The Upshot

Flight

Air passenger growth is expected to rise approximately 4.7 percent every year over the next 20 years. On one hand, that’s an excellent reason to be bullish on companies that operate airports and other flight-related services. On the other hand, recent typhoon-related flooding at Kansai Aiport in Japan should give operators a little pause. Because low-lying, undeveloped, municipal-adjacent marshlands are historically awesome places to drop an airport on the map, those same airports are uniquely susceptible to weather-related problems that could become more severe thanks to increasing frequency of severe storms.

David Fickling, Bloomberg

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Facebook

In the last 12 months, 54 percent of Americans have adjusted their Facebook privacy settings, 42 percent reported taking a break from the website for several weeks or more, and 26 percent deleted their app from their phone. Younger users were most likely to take a step back from the service, with 44 percent of 18 to 28 year olds deleting the app from their phone and 47 percent taking a weeks-long break.

Andrew Perrin, Pew Research Center


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