🐤 Move over, OnlyFans

Playboy has made its return with a digital-only platform --- but these aren't your grandfather's bunnies.

Thursday | March 16th, 2023
Early Chirp
Together With Paramount+

Happy Thursday, chirpers … and thanks for checking out today’s newsletter!

If you’ve been reading Early Chirp for a while, I’m honored that you keep coming back. And if it’s your first time here, I hope we’ll become a part of your morning routine — along with a healthy breakfast, of course.

On that note, you might find that your omelet is a little more affordable these days. After months of rising prices due to inflation and avian flu, the price of eggs is starting to come down, dropping more than 60 cents a dozen since January.

-Chris Agee

-$28.12 (-0.25%)
Dow Jones
-$402.92 (-1.25%)
S&P 500
-$40.70 (-1.04%)
-$0.02 (-1.46%)
-$505.96 (-2.04%)
Marathon Oil
-$2.20 (-9.47%)
*Market data for this issue is from March 15th, 2023 at 3:54pm EST

🏦 Markets: All eyes are on the banking industry after two institutions collapsed last week and a number of regional banks in general are facing some serious financial pressure. The crisis is now reached a global scale as investors reacted to concerns about the liquidity of the influential Swiss bank Credit Suisse.

Both the Dow Jones and S&P 500 closed lower on Wednesday after recovering some of the even bigger losses they experienced throughout the day. The Nasdaq Composite managed to avoid too much volatility.


The Breakdown

A quick look around the world.

Ryan Reynolds in Mint Mobile television ad Mint Mobile/Giphy

📱 Mint condition: You’ve probably seen at least a few ads featuring actor Ryan Reynolds talking about his wireless company Mint Mobile. He recently filmed a new one alongside T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert, whose company is acquiring Mint’s parent company in a deal worth an estimated $1.35 billion. Don’t worry, Sievert promises that Mint’s $15/month plan (and funny marketing campaign) will remain untouched.

👩‍🚀 Suiting up: Space travel has come a long way in recent years, but the suit astronauts wear hasn’t changed all that much — until now. NASA unveiled “a spacesuit for a new generation,” as announced by its associate administrator Robert D. Cabana. The colorful suits are created by a private company, Axiom Space, and promise more mobility and better visibility for crews preparing to explore the moon.

🏈 The Buc stops here: Tom Brady’s long career came to an end with an encore season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Many team fans aren’t too excited about who will be replacing him as QB. Baker Mayfield signed a one-year, $8.5 million contract. The Heisman Trophy winner was a rising star with the Cleveland Browns in 2018, but his stats and status have steadily declined since then.

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Playboy Plots Comeback … But Can It Survive In The Digital Age?

The once-ubiquitous skin mag is going head-to-head against OnlyFans.

Playboy Plots Comeback … But Can It Survive In The Digital Age? Robert Mora/Getty Images

In its heyday, Playboy magazine was a cultural powerhouse. Beyond the pinup models that populated its pages, there were interesting interviews and articles that tackled many of the hot-button issues of the day.

As the internet began delivering all of that and more directly to our computers, however, the empire that Hugh Hefner built slowly started to crumble. By 2015, nude women were no longer featured on the cover of the magazine — and within five years, the print version was completely gone.

It’s time for a reboot

Hoping to trade on its world-famous name once again, Playboy is now in the process of staging a comeback that will retain its adult-themed focus while catering to a modern audience.

The magazine is back, but you won’t be able to pick up a copy at the convenience store. It’s going to be exclusively online and, while some of the content will be available for free, users can pay extra for some features that rival other sites like OnlyFans.

What you can expect

In keeping with its arguably more tasteful approach to nudity (at least compared to seedier publications like Hustler and Penthouse), the new Playboy aims to offer a little something for everyone.

One company spokesperson explained: “While we allow nudity, we do not allow explicit content/pornography.”

In fact, a number of the creators Playboy is working with “do not have nudity on their pages,” the source revealed.

It’s not an OnlyFans clone

While the general business model might sound like various other sites that allow content creators to charge for videos, images, and other perks, Playboy takes it one step further.

Instead of allowing amateurs to upload content directly to the site, the company will vet all prospective models and only allow approved individuals to participate.

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Together With Paramount+

Unleash the Ultimate Entertainment Experience with Paramount+

Stream your favorite movies, shows, sports, and exclusive content all in one place

Unleash the Ultimate Entertainment Experience with Paramount+

Introducing Paramount+, the ultimate streaming destination for all your entertainment needs! With a vast library of movies, TV shows, and exclusive content, Paramount+ is the perfect platform for anyone looking for an immersive entertainment experience.

Whether you're a fan of classic movies, binge-worthy TV shows, or crave exclusive content, Paramount+ has got you covered. With a vast selection of content from the world's biggest studios, including CBS, Showtime, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, Comedy Central, and many more, there's something for everyone on Paramount+.

With Paramount+, you can enjoy exclusive access to original series, such as The Good Fight, Star Trek: Discovery, and The Stand. Plus, you can catch up on your favorite shows, including NCIS, Survivor, and 60 Minutes. And with new content added all the time, you'll never run out of things to watch!

But that's not all! With Paramount+, you can also watch live sports, news, and events from around the world. Stream live NFL games, including the Super Bowl, UEFA Champions League, PGA Tour, and more. And with up-to-the-minute news coverage from CBS News, you'll always be in the know.

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Here’s What To Know Before Placing Your March Madness Bets

Let the pros help give your bracket the best chance of success this year.

Here’s What To Know Before Placing Your March Madness Bets SNL/Giphy

The 2023 NCAA tournament is kicking off and the long road to the Final Four is about to be underway.

That means hoops fans will be rooting for their favorite teams … and betting a lot of cash along the way.

If you’re hoping your bracket will come out on top this year, here are some odds that might help you make more informed decisions. But don’t take my word for it.

I’m no expert, so these tips are coming from the odds makers at Caesars Sportsbook with some analysis by the pros at ESPN.

Intriguing underdogs

Although Alabama is a common favorite to go all the way, its +700 odds could still net some pretty healthy winnings if the Crimson Tide comes through. Another popular choice is Houston, which comes with a more modest +600 value for bettors. If you want a chance to rake in even more, though, you might want to consider the Texas Longhorns (+1,200) or even Marquette (+2,000), both of which are coming into the tourney with a record that could take them all the way.

Prepare for an upset

There’s always a chance the lower seeds will come out on top, and experts see a few likely possibilities this year. Here are a few to watch out for:

  • 13-seed Furman against Virginia
  • 13-seed Kent State against Indiana
  • 12-seed VCU against St. Mary’s

No game is a sure thing and even the best teams can have an off night, but it’s helpful to look at recent trends to determine how two schools might square off.

In its game against Montana State, for example, Kansas State is a single-digit underdog — but big losses in its three most recent matchups against stiff competition have led some insiders to label Kansas State the runaway favorite.

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Solve today's crossword and win a prize!

Highest score wins an Amazon gift card!


*Prizes are sent out via email the next day by 11am EST.


Could Floating Solar Panels Soon Be Powering Cities Worldwide?

They have are many potential benefits over land-based solar farms.

Could Floating Solar Panels Soon Be Powering Cities Worldwide? Bloomberg/Getty Images

Vast swaths of sparsely populated areas across the U.S. and many other countries are dedicated to collecting solar energy. These panels are far more efficient and effective than in years gone by, but there just aren’t enough of them to really put a dent in the global need for energy.

Nevertheless, proponents of solar power are always looking for ways to replace fossil fuel with the practically infinite source of energy that comes from our sun — and floating panels might just be the biggest step yet in achieving that goal.

Local water for local needs

The key behind the success of these floating panels — called floatovoltaics — is that communities would be able to install them in nearby water reservoirs, thereby collecting enough energy to meet local demands. Well, that’s the hypothesis, at least.

So far, there aren’t many floatovoltaics in operation and, as of 2020, they hadn’t even produced 1% as much power as land-based solar panels. That isn’t stopping advocates from pushing for more investment around the world, though.

A promising new study

Researchers behind a new report published in the Nature Sustainability journal say that the theoretical output of floating solar panels is enough to power 6,256 cities in 124 nations just by covering roughly 30% of the water surface in local reservoirs.

Aside from simply producing a massive amount of energy, there are other possible benefits to investing in floatovoltaics, including:

  • Covering a portion of the water would reduce evaporation, thereby helping to preserve a precious resource and minimize the impact of droughts.
  • Water is cooler than land, and since heat waves reduce a solar panel’s efficiency, floatovoltaics would be more effective at converting sunlight to power.
  • Floating panels would clear up more land for agriculture, nature preserves, and other important uses.
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Early Chirp

Written by Chris Agee

90 N Church St, The Strathvale House
Grand Cayman KY1, 9006, Cayman Islands

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