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Party City helium shortage Mon, May 13, 2019
This is the one of the weirdest articles I've ever read:  Party City closing 45 stores as helium shortage hurts sales.  It starts off with "the retail chain will close 45 of its 870 stores this year".  Standard economic ups and downs.  But no, this is happening because of a global helium shortage.  The company is "missing its revenue 'in large part due to helium supply pressures'".  That's an unintentional joke if I ever saw one. 
Helium may be the second most plentiful element in the universe, but it's also one of the lightest and doesn't form molecules easily with heavier atoms," Bylund wrote. "Hence, the helium we use ends up floating into space, never to be seen again. There is no economically efficient way to manufacture the gas, so the bulk of the worldwide helium supply is a byproduct of natural gas extraction.
There's a little science lesson for you, and it seems pretty legit.  And the kicker came at the end, which is why "the response really requires someone in another industry to do something first".  Later in the article we learn about "the government-run U.S. Federal Helium Reserve in Amarillo, Texas".  The h-what?  That's a real thing? 

I've never learned so many useless facts about something I care so little about. #business


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