Numlock Unlocked: Check out these unlocked Sunday interviews for Labor Day
We’re off today in observation of Labor Day! Here are a few of my favorite Sunday interviews from the summer, unlocked for anyone to read or revisit today. See you tomorrow!
I spoke to Stephanie Apstein who wrote “‘This Should Be the Biggest Scandal in Sports'” for Sports Illustrated, it’s about the scandal that besieged baseball earlier this year where pitchers were making baseballs way stickier than normal. The reason behind this is more than just to get a slight competitive edge, and topically given the date it’s got a whole lot to do with an upcoming labor negotiation. Check it out.
I spoke to John Jackson Miller, author and the mind behind the Comichron database. Sales of comic books hit a new high of $1.28 billion in 2020, and the numbers still keep going up. Our conversation also followed the acquisition of a company that evaluates the quality of comic books and trading cards at a half billion valuation, so I wanted to talk to John about why the business — which seemed to be in serious trouble last year — is exploding. Read it here.
Francesca Tripodi is a senior researcher at the Center for Information Technology and Public Life at UNC Chapel Hill who wrote “Ms. Categorized: Gender, notability, and inequality on Wikipedia” which was published in the journal New Media and Society. She spent years interviewing and researching Wikipedia’s gender gap, exploring how the flagged for deletion systems makes it harder to get more women on the internet’s encyclopedia. It’s a fascinating conversation, read it here.
Ahmed Ali Akbar wrote “Inside the Secretive, Semi-Illicit, High Stakes World of WhatsApp Mango Importing” for Eater. It’s a brilliant look into why a delicious, highly desired fruit — a mango from Pakistan — is nearly impossible to get in the United States. It’s a great story about the global food supply, consumer expectations, and food security. Read the interview here!
It’s a viral medical procedure, Rebecca Jennings wrote “The $5,000 quest for the perfect butt” for Vox’s The Goods. We spoke about what a BBL is, what makes it so controversial and dangerous, and the industry that sprung up to sell targets on a fantasy of a perfect $5,000 butt. Check it out here.
This is the story that, based on many emails I received, got several people to change their shampoo. Julie Kendrick wrote “Shampoo Bars: What they are, how they work, and why we need them” for HuffPost. We spoke about why shampoo is mostly water, the plastic impact of all that waste, and how bottled shampoo may one day be seen as similar to smoking in restaurants, check it out here.
Have a great Labor Day! We resume normally tomorrow.
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2021 Sunday subscriber editions: Jeopardy! · Mangoes · BBLs · Summer Box Office · Time Use · Shampoo Bars · Wikipedia · Thriving · Comic Rebound · Return of Travel · Sticky Stuff · For-profit Med School ·