🏓 What is pickleball?

The cream cheese shortage has gone from bad to worse, and Kraft — the country’s premier supplier — is making the best of a bad situation. In an attempt to boost supply, the brand announced a new promotion where it will pay select customers $20 to not make cheesecake for Christmas.

Today’s rundown:

  • Pickleball: The niche paddle sport is growing like crazy.
  • Chart: Salaries are on the rise, but so is inflation.
  • Smishing: The newest phishing trend, explained.
  • Around the web: A museum for lost memories, a ferret that loves snow, and more wild internet finds.

Let’s do it.


Pickleball is sweeping the nation, and creating a full-blown gold rush

Once upon a time, pickleball was reserved for high school gym class.

These days, the tennis/ping-pong/badminton hybrid is experiencing a renaissance that has catapulted the sport to the big leagues, per Bloomberg.

A number of factors have led to the pickleball explosion

For the unfamiliar, pickleball is played with a square paddle that’s slightly larger than a ping-pong paddle on a court ~⅓ the size of a tennis court. The balls are plastic with scattered holes, similar to a wiffle ball.

The game’s simple rules and slower pace make it easier to master than tennis, offering players a solid workout with lower injury risk. This helped the sport build steam among retirees in the Sunbelt — but it’s quickly grown beyond them.

In 2020, ~4.2m people played pickleball, a 21% increase YoY.

Business is booming

This influx of interest has the pickleball economy hitting on all angles, including:

  • Events: The Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) held 16 tournaments in 2021, 2x the 2019 total — and grew prize money from $500k to $2.5m.
  • Media: Fox Sports signed an agreement with the PPA to air pickleball tournaments nationally, while other tournaments have been featured on CBS Sports Network, Tennis Channel, and ESPN3.
  • Sponsorships: The PPA has signed on Hyundai and Guaranteed Rate, among other corporate sponsors.

Adam Franklin, president of Franklin Sports, maker of a popular ball called the X-40, calls the sport “a bit of a unicorn business.”

Looking to join the pickleverse?

New courts are popping up at public parks and schools across the country — and if you want to study up, you can choose from a wide selection of podcasts, books, and even magazines.

The best thing about it? There’s no such thing as being too old for pickleball.


Trees, please: Houston aims to plant 1m native trees by 2030. The trees will absorb CO2, clean the air, and reduce flood risk. #CLEAN-ENERGY

Whoa: Korean engineers have built a robotic hand so dextrous that it can use tweezers and scissors. It can crush cans, too. #EMERGING-TECH

Sniff, sniff: Amazon Ring patents go beyond facial recognition, suggesting “suspicious” people can be identified by voice, gait, skin texture, and… smell? #PRIVACY

Klarna’s new browser extension for Chrome and Microsoft Edge lets shoppers use its installment payments service, even if the retailer isn’t a Klarna partner. #FINTECH-CRYPTO

YouTube TV subscribers may lose access to 18 Disney-owned channels if the 2 entertainment giants can’t reach a new deal by Friday. #BIG-TECH

MFM: Check out Shaan Puri’s interview with comedian Hasan Minhaj. They talk about prepping for shows, dealing with Twitter trolls, and creating instead of consuming. #MFM


Salary increases are coming… with a big ‘but’

We’ve got good news and we’ve got bad news.

The good news: Base pay could increase 3.9% on average in 2022, according to The Conference Board’s survey of 240 companies (a majority of which have 10k+ employees).

Why the increase?

  • 46% of employers say it’ll help attract and retain workers in today’s tight labor market
  • 39% say inflation is also a factor

And that’s the bad news. Inflation is up 6.8% this year in its fastest surge since 1982. So while many may be thrilled their wages are rising, they shouldn’t inflate their hopes too much.


Thanks, Apple: How to email after iOS 15

The reign of open rates is over. Oh no.

Along with Apple’s iOS 15 software update came the infamous Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) feature, which hides users’ IP addresses.

MPP is magic for the masses and a pain in the ass for inbox experts.

New email marketing problem points:

  • Automations based on open metrics, like group segmentation, subject line A/B testing, automated trigger sends, and countdown timers
  • Interactive content based on location, like local weather, regional offers and recommendations, maps, and nearest stores

And so we must adapt. Read about HubSpot’s new 5-step approach to email here. Thanks, ma.

Email’s new look →

What the heck is smishing?

Recent reports have warned of smishing, but what exactly is it? And how do you know if you’re being smished?

Smishing is 1 of the “ishing” scams:

  • Phishing: scammers send you an email asking for personal info
  • Smishing (or SMiShing): the scam comes via a text or messaging app, like WhatsApp
  • Vishing: the scam comes via a call or voicemail

These messages may seem like they’re from a familiar company or organization — a bank, your internet provider, the IRS — but they’re not.

They’ll try to fool you into revealing personal info, such as bank details or login credentials.

In the case of smishing…

… the text usually contains a link that, if clicked, will download malware to the victim’s device or direct to a bogus site requesting personal info.

These kinds of scams were hot in 2020, resulting in 241.3k complaints and adjusted losses of $54m+, per a report from the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

How to spot it

Red flags include messages that:

  • Have grammar or spelling errors
  • Try to scare you (e.g., “your account is suspended”)
  • Offer prizes or rewards

But the biggest red flag? Asking for data at all. Per Bryan Ogelsby of the Better Business Bureau, “​No legitimate company, government agency, or organization is going to ask for that data even if they sent you a text message or email.”

So, what to do?

  • Don’t click the link.
  • Report the text.
  • If you’re unsure, contact the supposed sender of the message directly and ask them if they tried to reach you.

 On this day: In 1773, American colonists dumped 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor in protest of the British Parliament’s Tea Act of 1773.

🌄 Chill out: This yearlong time-lapse of Ireland’s Mourne Mountains showcases the natural beauty of the 4 seasons.

📘 Useful: Use your local library card with Hoopla, an app that lets you check out e-books, audiobooks, comics, and more, right to your device.

👀 Cure boredom: Browse the Museum of Lost Memories. It’s an Instagram account of old photos, but also an attempt to reunite them with their owners.

😀 How to: Earlier this year, LinkedIn rolled out a feature that lets users make 30-second intro videos. Here’s how to use it to attract recruiters.

❄️ Aww: And now, a ferret who really loves snow.

pickleball meme

Source: Amazinaces.com

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