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Convicted fraudster Anna Sorokin is getting an unscripted series, “Delvey’s Dinner Club,” in which she’ll host dinner parties at her NYC apartment… which she can’t leave because she’s on house arrest.

In today’s email:

  • Forever young: Can $2m de-age you?
  • Chart: Big Tech’s lobbying spend.
  • Bluey: Adults are obsessed.
  • Around the web: Scrollbar history, a relaxing game, a decluttering tab, and more cool internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s 10-minute podcast to hear about the de-aging industry, the lobbying dollars behind Big Tech and Big Balloon, legless VR executive training courses, and more.

The big idea
man getting younger

Is it possible to get younger?

Everlasting youth used to require a magic fountain or a friendly vampire.

But 45-year-old tech entrepreneur Bryan Johnson employs a different method called Project Blueprint, per Bloomberg, that, while not seeking immortality, strives to reverse aging.

Johnson’s quest…

… came after the stress and long hours of founding payment processor Braintree Payment Solutions LLC left him out of shape and depressed.

He sold the company for $800m in 2013 and today serves as a de-aging guinea pig with a team of 30+ experts.

His routine includes:

  • Over 20 supplements and medicines
  • Daily exercise and a strict sleep schedule
  • A 1,977-calorie vegan diet

He also undergoes numerous medical procedures, plus tests to measure his progress. He meticulously documents it all here.

Does it work?

Regenerative medicine physician and team lead Oliver Zolman told Bloomberg that results aren’t “remarkable,” but their “small, reasonable results” may prove it’s genetically possible to reduce the medical age of our organs.

  • Johnson does claim the lung capacity, skin, and gums of someone decades younger.

Blueprint will cost Johnson $2m+ in 2023, but the expectation is that science-based de-aging procedures will be more affordable in the future.

It seems weird…

… but so does everything in the longevity sector, which raised $40B+ in investments in 2021 and could become a $600B market by 2025, per TechCrunch.

Examples include:

  • Altos Labs, a biotech company that launched with $3B in funding to explore resetting the epigenome (which tells DNA to turn genes on or off).
  • Unity Biotechnology, which is developing a drug to clear senescent cells (cells that stop dividing, but don’t die).
  • Loyal, a startup that wants to extend your dog’s life.

Even Google parent Alphabet has a longevity startup, called Calico, but no one seems to know what it does. (Is it vampires?!)

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eyeball wearing a hat

Oreo’s Most Oreo Oreo — the creme is spiked with Oreo crumbles — hails its new metaverse, Oreoverse, where players can enjoy cookie-themed games and possible run-ins with… Martha Stewart.


Tesla reported record Q4 earnings of ~$3.7B, up 59% YoY, despite flagging delivery growth.

Meta announced it will allow former President Donald Trump back on Facebook and Instagram, but with “new guardrails… to deter repeat offenses.”

Gemba, a startup that develops executive training courses in VR that you can take as a legless avatar, raised an $18m Series A. Its courses cost ~$7.25k per person, or up to $1.2m for an enterprise subscription.

I recognize you from somewhere… A recent report found Chinese tech companies have secured the most facial recognition export deals at 201, followed by US firms with 128.

Shutterstock’s Creative Flow customers can now create ready-to-license AI images via text prompts thanks to a partnership with OpenAI.

Walt Disney World closed its Splash Mountain ride to make way for a new attraction. Now, eBay sellers are hawking bottles of “genuine” Splash Mountain water for $20-$1k.

Precision Neuroscience, a brain implant startup co-created by a Neuralink co-founder, raised $41m. Some investors may have considered it a no-brainer.

Netflix reportedly plans to launch “paid sharing” by late March, meaning you may soon have to pay to give your password to people outside your household, like that old ex still on your account.

The Washington Post, owned by Jeff Bezos, laid off 20 journalists and shuttered its gaming vertical.

DoNotPay was planning on secretly using its legal assistant AI in an actual courtroom via AirPods. Now, citing potential jail time, it’s decided not to.

Immersive medicine: The future of health care might live inside a VR headset. VR can be used to treat pain, PTSD, anxiety, and more — here’s what’s next.

tech lobbying money
Olivia Heller

What the past year of tech lobbying looked like

Not today, but another time, maybe we’ll do a story on the Balloon Council, which spent $80k lobbying in 2019.

For now, let’s talk tech. In 2022, while Amazon, Meta, Google, Microsoft, and Apple collectively increased lobbying spend 5%, Apple especially hit the gas — growing 44% to ~$9.4m.

Public filings show the company lobbied on antitrust bills, online privacy issues, taxes, semiconductors, climate change, immigration, LGBTQ issues, and more, per CNBC.

Elsewhere, there was increased focus around:

  • Semiconductors: Intel increased its lobbying spend 72% to $7m+. Micron spent $4.2m lobbying, up ~118% YoY, as the government worked on the CHIPS and Science Act.
  • Crypto: Coinbase spent $3.4m lobbying in 2022, and the Blockchain Association expanded its spending 111% YoY.
  • TikTok: Parent company ByteDance’s lobbying spend rose 4% to $4.9m, though it’s unclear how much that’s helped their cause.

For more information on industry and company-specific lobbying spend, check out OpenSecrets.

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Hustle Orignal Video

Why Florida gets $20m a year from Gatorade

Gatorade has been the fuel of the field for almost 60 years. Next time you partake, pour some out for Dr. Robert Cade — the brewing crew’s lead scientist.

The first gallons were specifically made to revitalize University of Florida football players. Today, the school still gets reams of green from the sports drink giant.

So, how did UF outplay Gatorade? And why do they siphon so much funding? Enjoy the latest installment of “Hustlenomics” on YouTube.

The Gatorade story (video):

  • The creation, and the litigation
  • How UF struck liquid gold
  • Breaking down the digits

Remember kids — a patent expires in 20 years, but a trademark can last forever.

Watch Now →
Sacre Bluey
adults watching cartoons

Adults are obsessed with a preschooler cartoon

Oh, to be wearing pajamas and sitting cross-legged in front of the TV on a Sunday morning, housing cereal straight from the box without a care in the world.

That childhood nostalgia is hard to shake, so we shouldn’t be surprised that the newest internet obsession is “Bluey,” a cartoon about a family of dogs that’s made for preschoolers.

The show, which premiered in Australia in 2018 and came to Disney+ in 2020, has the five-and-way-up crowd in a chokehold, according to Wired.

Not just for kids:

  • Its official TikTok account has 1.6m followers.
  • Its subreddit has 78k+ subscribers; its Facebook group has 178k+.
  • Its official YouTube channel has 2m+ subscribers, and this video alone has 10m views.

“Bluey” has been Australia’s No. 1 children’s series since launching and won an International Emmy Award in 2020. Each episode takes 4-5 months and 50-60 people to produce.

Are the adults okay?

Listen — times have been tough. Stressors, from the pandemic to the economy, have pushed people to find new ways to escape. And if your coping mechanism of choice is cartoon dogs, it could be worse.

Plus, many parents feel “Bluey” offers an accurate portrayal of raising kids, and, as a bonus, doesn’t make them want to rip their ears off.

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📗 On this day: In 2006, A Million Little Pieces author James Frey admitted on Oprah Winfrey’s show that he’d embellished his memoir. The lies spiraled into a class-action lawsuit and debate about memoir writing.

📄 Useful: Eesel is a browser extension that combines all your Google Docs, Notion pages, and other work docs in a single tab.

⬆️ That’s cool: The evolution of the humble scrollbar.

👁 Cure boredom: With a relaxing game of “I Spy.”

🤣 Aww: And now, hey, that’s not a cat.

omelettes tweet

Egg-gregious. (Link)

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Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen, Juliet Bennett Rylah, Sara Friedman, and Rob Litterst.
Editing by: Mark “Bluey forever” Dent.

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