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The Hustle

Here’s a wild discovery: mushrooms sweat away water to cool down, much like humans. Researchers didn’t say if fungi have intense shame spirals if they sweat through their caps, so humans still have that all to ourselves — for now.

In today’s email:

  • Honk, honk: Will Manhattan finally get congestion fees?
  • Summer bummer: Even summer camp prices are skyrocketing.
  • Digits: Meta morale, electrifying wages, and more numbers.
  • Around the Web: A century of shipwrecks, wild optical illusions, sand kitten triplets, and more finds.

👇 Listen: We talk about NYC’s maybe-impending traffic tolls and why summer camp’s breaking the bank.

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The Big Idea
New York toll

NYC gets closer to its toll goals

NYC may finally start charging drivers for the hassle of navigating congested lower Manhattan, something it’s been trying to do for years. (We last covered it in 2019!)

The federal government is expected to approve its Central Business District Tolling Program after a public review period ends today, per CNN.

How it works

The program is designed to reduce congestion in the area, where 700k vehicles travel daily.

If implemented, drivers would pay $9-$23 to drive below 60th Street during peak hours starting next spring. Some, such as taxi/ride-share and low-income drivers, may receive discounts or exemptions.

Opponents, including taxi and ride-share drivers and those from the suburbs and outer boroughs, have been fending off congestion pricing for over a decade.

But proponents say it matters, because that much traffic:

  • Costs New Yorkers, on average, 117 hours and ~$2k in lost productivity annually
  • Creates pollution (including noise pollution from all the honking)

Also: New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority would use congestion fees to improve public transit, which residents could use to dine, shop, and work in the area — sans the stress of driving and parking.

This might sound wild for the car-loving USA…

… but similar policies have been implemented elsewhere.

  • London improved congestion by 30% after implementing charges in 2003.
  • One study found that Stockholm, which implemented congestion pricing permanently in 2007, had reduced air pollution by 5%-15%.

But the OG champ? Singapore’s been doing it since 1975.

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eyeball wearing a hat

Krispy Kreme is taking applications for Chief Doughnut Dreamer. The salary and benefits suck — because there are none; it’s not a real job — but the fringe benefits of a year of free doughnuts, a visit to HQ, and input on a new flavor almost make up for it.


TodAI in AI: An avatar performed a mostly AI-generated church service for 300+ people at a Protestant convention in Germany.

Walgreens will pay New Mexico $500m for its role in the opioid crisis, which the state will use to address opioid addiction.

After much uncertainty over if or how it would sell, Adidas sold out of its first Yeezy merch drop in just two days.

Important update: SCOTUS decided that Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey can sue a pet company over poop-themed dog toys that look like its liquor bottles.

Netflix saw ~200k sign-ups between May 26 and 27 due to its password-sharing crackdown, a higher spike than during covid lockdowns.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse lost the weekend’s box office to Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, but still became Sony’s highest-grossing animated film, pulling $390m in 10 days.

Gaslighting at work can be harder to identify than other forms of harassment. Here’s what it is, how to spot it, and how to deal.

Broke Camp
Summer camp
Olivia Heller

This summer, at band camp, we got a reverse mortgage

Last week, we went to Space Camp; this week, we’re back for more out-of-this-world summer camps — unfortunately for parents, it’s the prices that land in outer space.

Camps aren’t all exorbitantly priced, but they’re increasingly packing a financial punch, per Bloomberg Businessweek.

  • The average day camp cost ~$178/day last summer, up from $76 in 2021.
  • Sleepaway camp bills will indeed chase all sleep away: This year, overnight programs will average $450/day, almost 3x 2022’s rates.

Why so expensive?

You know this answer: inflation. Labor and food costs top camp operators’ list of grievances.

Demand’s also way up, as households with two working parents — now 65% of US families — seek child-care support…

… and seek miracles, too: Parents are willing to pay a premium for camps that deliver on the connection and learning kids lost over the pandemic — and do so without screens.

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Free Resource

Stop loafing. Start completing projects

“Let’s get a rundown on this important project you’ve been working on.”

Don’t panic — that was practice.

But the next time we inquire, please don’t be huffing and bluffing. Just pull up this project management doc, where we’ve already tidied up targets and tasks for everyone’s convenience. Wow.

A simple, three-part PM template for:

  • Pre-planning
  • Getting shit done
  • Analyzing afterwards

Another freebie by HubSpot, for increased organization.

Project-pushing template →

Digits: Shockingly good electrician data, and more newsy numbers

1) It’s a bright future ahead for America’s electricians, who now number a record 1.032m. With a 7.4% YoY jolt to earnings in April, US electricians are now earning an average of $37.51 per hour, or $78k per year.

2) The return-to-office shuffle appears to be in full swing, with 600k US workers facing new return mandates last month. As the tech industry comes to grips with the fact that pantslessness and productivity may not actually go hand in hand, the sector accounted for 200k+ workers facing new mandates.

3) Breaking: The Meta morale meter. An internal survey of employees, who are still weathering the aftermath of 21k+ job cuts, found just 26% felt confident in leadership in May, down 5% from October, and 43% said they felt valued, down 15%.

4) With Prime Day expected next month, our thoughts go out to all the wallets and delivery trucks that’ll be working their tuchuses off to satisfy humankind’s insatiable desire for innovative vegetable-chopping gadgets. Last year, Amazon’s 200m+ Prime members bought 300m+ items during the extravaganza.

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🧱 On this day: In 1987, US President Ronald Reagan famously challenged Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down” Germany’s Berlin Wall. Germans tore down the barrier in November 1989.

🤯 Whoa: See the top 10 finalists for Illusion of the Year.

🔍 Useful: A tool to find out if that handmade Etsy product really is one of a kind or, alternatively, to see if anyone is copying your designs.

🚢 That’s interesting: The family that spent 100+ years and five generations photographing English shipwrecks.

🐾 Aww: And now, congrats to the North Carolina Zoo on these three adorable sand kittens.

bees meme

Nicolas Cage voice: “Not the bees!!!” (Link)


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Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen and Juliet Bennett Rylah.
Editing by: Ben “S’mores connoisseur” Berkley.

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