🐤 Season's greetings

College football is here again, but will it be enough to keep the interest of fans?

Monday | September 4th, 2023
Early Chirp

Happy Labor Day, chirpers! Whether you’re off today or heading into work, here’s hoping you find time to enjoy yourself.

That might be hard to do if you’re traveling by air this holiday week, but one airline is hoping to provide a little stress relief to passengers traveling with or without kids. Corendon Dutch Airlines is ready to test out a kid-free zone on its jets where 102 seats will be reserved for adults only (for a premium price).

Sounds good, but as with non-smoking sections of previous generations, one wonders how separate these sections will actually end up being.

-Chris Agee

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*Market data for this issue is from September 3rd, 2023 at 6:46pm EST

🏦 Markets: Last week ended up being a relatively positive one on Wall Street, and there are several factors at play that will help determine whether this week will follow suit.

The stock market is closed for Labor Day, but purchasing managers’ index surveys from the Institute for Supply Management and S&P Global will help highlight the broader economic situation.

Earning reports are also expected this week from companies including Kroger, American Eagle Outfitters, and Gamestop.


The Breakdown

A quick look around the world.

The Breakdown Shutterstock

🫡 Sleeping beauty: India’s space agency made history last month by successfully landing the first ever craft on the moon’s south pole. Two weeks later, officials say the Chanrayaan-3 rover has completed its initial assignment and has been placed into “sleep mode.” But the craft’s batteries are still charged and it’s able to receive communication from Earth, so the agency expressed confidence about “a successful awakening for another set of assignments” in the future.

🏀 Upset victory: The U.S. team was widely expected to dominate the International Basketball Federation’s World Cup. But then came Sunday’s matchup against Lithuania, which ended in a surprising 110-104 defeat for the Americans. Coach Steve Kerr gave credit to the opposing team, asserting: “They deserved to win.” Fortunately for him and his team, the loss won’t prevent an appearance at next year’s Olympic games, where the U.S. will be pursuing gold.

🗨️ Burning questions: The annual desert gathering known as Burning Man has long been associated with harsh conditions and the self-reliance of attendees, but circumstances this week made it more daunting than usual. Inclement weather left tens of thousands of individuals stranded in a muddy mess as roads and airports out of the Nevada campground were closed. Authorities confirmed they were investigating a death that occurred at the site.

⚠️ Warning signs: As the Hawaiian island of Maui continues to calculate the toll of last month’s devastating wildfire, there’s increasing scrutiny of the alert system that failed to reach many locals in the blaze’s path. While a mobile evacuation warning was sent out, it failed to reach many cellphones — apparently due to a glitch in the federal wireless alert system. Survivors say they would’ve left sooner or grabbed their pets if they had received the message as intended.

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College Football Is Back … And It Could Shape Up To Be An Interesting Season

Conference shakeups have gotten a lot of attention, but there's more to the story.

College Football Is Back … And It Could Shape Up To Be An Interesting Season Shutterstock

Say what you will about college football, but it hasn’t exactly been setting any records of action and engagement in recent years. Part of that, according to many experts, is due to the chasm between schools with a huge athletic budget and rivals that struggle to make ends meet.

Bridging the funding gap

As with major-league teams (remember when it was fashionable in some circles to accuse the Yankees of essentially buying pennants?), it’s pretty easy to determine a college team’s overall success by taking a look at how much money it has to spend.

Resources alone can’t make up for talent, but offering a robust athletic program is a reliable way to attract some of the best players.

And it’s true that of the seven teams in the top 10 played that day, all of them won … by a lot. The average score of these games was 45.3 to 9.7.

Critics will say that the conference realignment that’s been going on recently is only serving to make games less exciting and more predictable. While there’s some evidence to support this pessimistic view, it’s important for fans of the sport to maintain an open mind.

Welcome to the boneyard

It’s often fun to root for the underdog, and college football has historically offered plenty of opportunities to do just that. In the modern era, there might be more chances than ever before. And when one of those comparatively disadvantaged teams scores a “boneyard win” over a heavily favored foe, it’s enough to spark some renewed interest in the sport — like victories by Fresno State, Northern Illinois, and Texas State on Saturday.

It’s impossible to tell what the future of college football holds, but if fans look for excitement, chances are they’ll be able to find it.

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How ‘Emotional Labor’ Makes Modern Parenting Even More Stressful

Raising kids in the digital age comes with a new set of challenges.

How ‘Emotional Labor’ Makes Modern Parenting Even More Stressful Giphy

While raising children has never been an easy task, the burden seems to be growing even heavier with each new generation in the information age.

A new study focuses on the impact of “emotional labor” on moms, but as any engaged dads out there already understand, this is an issue that doesn’t discriminate based on gender.

What is it?

Most parents are probably already quite familiar with the concept of emotional labor, even if they haven’t heard the term. And even those without kids can likely understand how our high-tech culture sets the stage for this trend.

An Australian researcher took a look at 17 moms with kids between the ages of 9 and 16 and found that they all struggled with effectively overseeing their children’s digital lives

This “intense, constant and unyielding” work results in a clear “physical and emotional toll on mothers,” the study determined, through:

  • Increased stress when thinking about how much time their kids spend online.
  • Attempting to teach their children how to be aware of possible scams and predators.
  • Finding a healthy balance when dictating rules and limits about device use.

Furthermore, some of the mothers expressed frustration about “negotiating the terms of children’s media access with skeptical partners” who were not on the same page.

What’s the answer?

It’s clear that our culture is growing even more reliant on technology, so experts say it’s more important than ever to give children the resources needed to become “responsible digital citizens.”

At the same time, some parents rely too heavily on technology to stay connected to their kids, which some researchers refer to as a “digital umbilical cord” that needs to be severed.

It will take lots of time and patience … but if you’re going through that right now, just remember you’re not alone.

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This Abandoned Hatchling Grew Up To Be A Record-Breaking Chicken

Peanut has already lived more than twice as long as her life expectancy.

This Abandoned Hatchling Grew Up To Be A Record-Breaking Chicken Instagram/Guinness World Records

When her life started, she didn’t seem to be on a particularly auspicious path. The baby chick was abandoned by her mother after all the other eggs in the nest hatched.

That’s when Michigan resident Marsi Parker Darwin happened to find the cold egg, which she assumed contained a dead chick, and attempted to dispose of it. But on her way to a nearby pond, Darwin heard a noise from inside the shell.

Peanut makes her debut

After noticing some telltale chirps from the egg, Darwin said she peeled it and found a living bird inside. She then set out to name the chick “Peanut” and help it grow strong with the help of a nearby farmer. Although she takes care of a wide range of birds, she acknowledged that this one got some preferential treatment.

“Peanut was definitely a favorite, partly because she didn’t think she was a chicken,” Darwin said. “She would jump into my arms every chance she got. She liked to ride in my pocket if possible.”

Living the good life

This all happened more than two decades ago, meaning that Peanut has far exceeded the 5- to 10-year average lifespan of chickens. Of course, the hen didn’t come with a birth certificate, so Darwin relied on a series of photos taken throughout the bird’s life to help establish a reliable age.

"I took pictures from day one, through the years, and I photographed her with my nieces [and] nephews that loved to hold her, and she loves to be held,” she said. “So she's just really an attention monger. So I had a lot of pictures of a lot of people holding her."

That was good enough for the folks at the Guinness Book of World Records, who declared Peanut the world’s oldest living chicken.

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Early Chirp

Written by Chris Agee

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