🐤 Play ball!

The MLB might be down, but you shouldn't count it out just yet.

Thursday | May 4th, 2023
Early Chirp
Together With

Happy Thursday, chirpers! It might not be in the best interest of your physical health to raid the fridge, but 38-year-old Michael Copeland found a way to use his icebox for good.

He recently hiked to the top of the tallest mountain peaks in England, Scotland, and Wales with a refrigerator strapped to his back.

According to Copeland, the large appliance represented “the burden that mental health can have on us all.”

The impressive stunt took less than 24 hours and raised money for charity.

-Chris Agee

-$55.18 (-0.46%)
Dow Jones
-$270.29 (-0.80%)
S&P 500
-$28.83 (-0.70%)
$0.00 (0.08%)
$421.48 (1.47%)
-$8.29 (-9.22%)
*Market data for this issue is from May 3rd, 2023 at 7:17pm EST

🏦 Markets: The Federal Reserve announced its 10th straight interest rate hike on Wednesday, increasing it by another 0.25%. That news was enough to extend a losing streak on Wall Street that began on Monday.

Reading between the lines from the latest Fed meeting, however, investors seem to think that this will be the last rate increase for a while as the central bank tries to tackle inflation without creating further instability within the banking sector.


The Breakdown

A quick look around the world.

The Breakdown Robot Chicken/Giphy

🌽 Blocked access: After Utah passed a bill requiring individuals to verify their age before visiting adult websites, Pornhub hit back by preventing residents of the state from accessing the site at all. In a statement that now greets Utahns who visit the site, spokesperson Sharita Bell confirms that “safety and compliance” are important to the company, but “giving your ID card every time you want to visit an adult platform is not the most effective solution for protecting our users.”

🔒 Border security: Experts on both sides of the political aisle are anticipating a spike in illegal border crossings after a pandemic-era immigration policy expires next week. Title 42 allowed immigrants to be more easily deported in the name of public safety and it is slated to end a week from today. In order to stem the tide, the Biden administration is deploying 1,500 more troops to the border and opening processing centers in Central and South America.

🥩 Beefy buyout: Olive Garden’s parent company is moving upscale with its latest acquisition. According to reports, Darden Restaurants has agreed to purchase the Ruth’s Chris Steak House chain for a whopping $715 million. There are currently 154 locations around the world. Just over half are owned by the company and the rest are franchises. Darden owns several other brands, including Yard House and Longhorn Steakhouse.

📱 Logging on: Twitter’s recent changes have sent many users searching for an alternative — and a couple of platforms have touted themselves as the next big social network. Mastodon has been around for a while, but Bluesky (which was launched by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey) has been getting most of the attention lately. In response, Mastodon said it has made it easier to sign up by eliminating a requirement that users find and join a server.

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Inside The MLB’s Ability To Sell More Tickets Than Any Other Sport

The numbers might be declining, but there are a few reasons fans keep coming back.

Inside The MLB’s Ability To Sell More Tickets Than Any Other Sport Rob Carr/Getty Images

If you’ve been reading the sports page in recent years, you’ve probably come across an article or two about how attendance at Major League Baseball games has been plummeting. Some particularly pessimistic columnists have even speculated that it could bring about the end of the sport as we know it.

In terms of ticket sales, however, the MLB still compares favorably to other professional sports leagues.

Digging into the data

Last year, MLB attendance eclipsed the NFL, NBA, and NHL combined! That’s a pretty staggering statistic, but it makes sense when you factor in a few details.

For starters, there are way more baseball games played each year than any other sport. Nevertheless, the MLB still managed to sell more tickets per game than all of the other leagues except for the NFL.

Additionally, tickets are typically a lot less expensive than other sports. You can get a seat in the nosebleed section for less than $10 in many stadiums — and some particularly bad tickets can go for as little as $1.

Finally, MLB stadiums offer a lot of perks: cheap hot dogs, on-field entertainment, free giveaways, and a range of attractions from swimming pools to cinemas to aquariums.

The downturn is real

All of those articles lamenting the reduction in ticket sales are rooted in reality despite the facts listed above. Attendance has been declining steadily over the past decade — but it’s not the first time the MLB has dealt with such a problem.

There was a similar trend in the 1960s, and owners reacted by getting desperate … and then getting creative.

Stadiums began to resemble giant parties, prompting even those who don’t particularly like baseball to buy a ticket. Only time will tell how the league chooses to respond to its current decline.

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Together With RepairSmith

Auto Repair Should Be Affordable And Convenient

With RepairSmith, a trusted pro will come to you for any necessary repair or maintenance.

Auto Repair Should Be Affordable And Convenient

Car prices are skyrocketing, gas is still expensive, and insurance can take a big bite out of your budget. But the service RepairSmith offers means you won’t have to pay too much when your vehicle needs repairs or maintenance.

Why should you choose RepairSmith?

  • Convenience: Technicians arrive at your home with the tools to tackle any job.
  • Reliability: All repairs include a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty.
  • Value: Upfront prices and no hidden fees means you always get the best price.
  • Service: Your mechanic can handle almost any job on all makes and models.

It can be tough to know who you can trust to take care of your vehicle. That’s why so many motorists rely on the professionals at RepairSmith whenever their car needs a diagnosis or repair.

Oh, and you can get 10% off just by using the discount code ROAD10.


Exploring America’s Strange Relationship With Parking Spaces

We have more spots than ever, but the perfect one might still be elusive.

Exploring America’s Strange Relationship With Parking Spaces Giphy

As long as there have been automobiles, there’s been an inherent need for places to park them. But as vehicles became an increasingly integral part of American society over the course of the past century, the preoccupation with parking spots has only become more acute.

Despite massive investments in creating structures and lots specifically for this purpose, you’ve probably felt the disappointment of arriving at a destination and being unable to find a place to park. So, what’s the deal?

Perception vs. reality

Visiting a bustling downtown area or a crowded shopping center can result in the belief among motorists that there just aren’t enough parking spots for all the vehicles. But the facts paint a different story:

  • Estimates indicate there are as many as 2 billion parking spaces in the U.S.
  • The city of Des Moines, Iowa, has a total of 20 spots for every household.
  • Studies show the oversupply of parking spaces in crowded cities is about 65%.
  • More than one-fourth of the property in many downtowns is used for parking.

Taking a look at these facts might lead you to believe that it should be easy to find a spot, but there are many other variables that can make a seemingly simple process feel difficult.

Unreasonable expectations

Henry Grabar researched this subject extensively for his book “Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World.

In the end, he determined that our collective frustrations with parking come down to a common problem — we are just expecting too much.

“We expect it to be very convenient, immediately available, and free,” he wrote in an article for Slate.

And when it doesn’t meet all of those lofty demands, the experience tends to make reinforce our theory that we just don’t have enough parking spots.

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dad joke

Why do horses have low divorce rates?
They have stable relationships.


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Would You Trust TikTok Influencers To Name Your Baby?

It's an important decision and some parents-to-be don't want the responsibility.

Would You Trust TikTok Influencers To Name Your Baby? SNL/Giphy

The ordeal of coming up with a suitable name for babies is nothing new. After all, this is what another human will be called for his or her entire life, so it’s rational to give the decision plenty of consideration.

At the same time, it’s easier than ever to give into trends that may or may not include names with significant staying power. That’s why a growing number of parents are looking for different options.

Parents pay up

Although colleges might not offer a major in “baby naming,” that doesn’t mean that people haven’t figured out a way to make money doing just that. And some of them have set up shop on TikTok.

Many of these social media influencers post videos discussing what the latest trends are as well as which names are becoming a little too played out. Of course, there’s plenty of disagreement between these self-styled experts, so parents-to-be who are considering this option should definitely shop around a bit to find someone who shares their naming philosophy.

What it includes

Since this is a fairly niche industry without any specific regulations, you’ll likely find a lot of people offering different prices and packages for their packages.

Nurse practitioner Colleen Slagen provides packages starting at under $100 while some consultants who work with celebrities charge thousands to find a name that aligns with a particular brand or image.

Slagen acknowledged that the process might sound strange, but noted that some folks might find the baby-naming process “very stressful” and she’s available to help.

Doing it yourself

If you want to bypass TikTok, there are some tricks for picking out a great name on your own. One suggestion involves checking out names that were popular a century or more ago — because they might be due for a comeback.

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Early Chirp

Written by Chris Agee

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