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67 very spooky days

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The Hustle

The problem with most private islands on the market these days: you’ve gotta build your own luxury resorts on them, and who wants to go to all that trouble? The answer hit the auction block today: SuperShe Island, a property off the Finnish coast with seven cabins, yurts, a sauna, and a heliport. Letting you know in case you’re looking for a li’l multimillion-dollar splurge to start the day.

In today’s email:

  • Yummy mammoth: Cultivated meat seeks exotic, extinct cuts.
  • Friendly reminder: Our YouTube channel is very good.
  • Adobe: Its latest AI reveals made people gasp.
  • Around the web: Funny wildlife photos, a curator of climate change, how to nix imposter syndrome, and more.

👇 Listen: Our apologies, but this one includes more T-Swift/NFL talk.

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The Big Idea
A woolly mammoth inside of a burger bun on a white plate with a gray background.

Lions and tigers and mammoths, oh my! Cultivated meat is getting weird

How would you feel if you looked down at a restaurant menu to see you could order a medium-rare zebra steak? What about a lion burger?

Yeah… We aren’t sure either.

But it isn’t inconceivable, as technology has made cell-cultivated meat possible and startups get — uh — creative with their offerings.

The first cell-cultivated chicken in the US received USDA approval this summer. Now, food startups are trying to mimic some far more exotic meats, per Vox:

  • Vow created a woolly mammoth meatball by inserting a copy of the creature’s DNA sequence, along with elephant genetic data, into sheep cells and cultivating those cells into the final, spherical product.
  • Primeval Foods says it’s working on a “wide range” of wild meats, including lion and zebra.
  • Paleo makes cultivated strains of the protein heme (AKA the stuff that makes meat taste like meat) bioidentical to that of the prehistoric mammoth.

There are 150+ cultivated-meat companies, as of 2022.

For now, most of these startups are in the nascent stages of development, and their products aren’t yet available to curious consumers.

While these meats are cruelty-free…

… some worry it could normalize or promote the consumption of exotic species. (It might be for the best that no one is craving endangered tigers.)

And the jury is out on the environmental impact: One Oxford University study suggests cultured meat could lower greenhouse gas emissions, while another (not yet peer-reviewed) study from UC Davis claims the opposite.

As with any new tech, there’s a lot left to figure out.

Including the fact that for now…

… these meats are too expensive for the average consumer.

Lab-grown meat costs ~$17 per pound, compared to the ~$2 it takes to produce a pound of beef.

The kicker: No one has tasted the mammoth meatball since we have no idea if humans are allergic to it.

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eyeball wearing a hat

Twenty-one US states still inexplicably impose standard “nonessential goods” tax rates on menstrual products, so eight period-care brands are taking matters into their own hands through the Tampon Tax Back Coalition. Customers who buy from coalition members can submit a claim for reimbursement and get their “tampon tax” refunded via Venmo or PayPal within 24 hours.


The Federal Trade Commission proposed a new rule to ban hidden junk fees on purchases like concert tickets and hotel rooms, prohibiting businesses from advertising prices that exclude mandatory fees, which can cost consumers an extra $80B annually.

Birkenstock made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker BIRK at $41 a share, ~11% below its initial listing price of $46, for an $8.6B valuation. Brothers and heirs Alex and Christian Birkenstock are now worth ~$3.5B.

Walgreens Boots Alliance has appointed Tim Wentworth as its new CEO. Wentworth previously served as CEO of Express Scripts and, more recently, Cigna’s health services.

McDonald’s Boo Buckets will return Oct. 17, this time featuring a purple vampire option. The chain debuted its spooky Happy Meal in ’86, but took a break from 2016 until last year.

Google will allow its smart speakers to be grouped in its Google Home app again after a judge threw out a jury’s verdict on a patent lawsuit from Sonos. Sonos intends to appeal.

Dinner and another dinner: Uber Eats now lets customers order from two nearby stores or restaurants in one order at no additional cost. Previously, the app only allowed customers to bundle food orders with convenience stores.

Alaska Airlines and Stumptown partnered on a new coffee that doesn’t taste bitter or weak at high altitudes, which the airline will serve exclusively starting Dec. 1, ending its Starbucks partnership.

Yikes: Father Mark Grenon and his three sons received prison sentences of five and 12+ years for using a fake church to sell a bleaching agent they claimed could cure cancer, Alzheimer’s, covid, and other conditions. Their dangerous operation netted them $1m+.

Don’t miss this…

How the NFL is capitalizing on its prime marketing opportunity: reaching Swifties. The Lead’s latest story asks the big questions, like “Why?”, “Is it too much too soon?”, and once again, “Why?”.

An old television against a red wall has a Hustle logo on screen.

Oh no, we’ve become those people who say ‘please like and subscribe’

As it turns out, this “YouTube” thing just isn’t going away.

So, what’d we do about that? We put our most talented people on the job, spinning up the best-in-class business and tech video channel — inspired by The Hustle’s best-in-class editorial work, of course.

You’ll find original stories you won’t find anywhere else, like:

… and there are literally hundreds more where that came from.

If you love us in email form, you’ll love us even more in full living color — available wherever screens exist. Which is everywhere, so no excuses.

Please like and subscribe →
Everything AI All at Once
A man standing against an orange background wears a red shirt with an AI-generated image of a cat astronaut on it.

Adobe revealed some AI heavy hitters this week

Adobe’s MAX event in LA has been showing off its latest, greatest, and even future AI advancements this week and, well, it’s been pretty impressive.

We were present in a room full of video editors who gasped at a new time-saving AI tool that identifies and removes filler words like “um.”

Here’s what else we learned

Since Firefly — Adobe’s AI-powered text-to-image model trained on its stock imagery — debuted in March, it’s been used to generate 3B+ images, per Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen.

At Adobe MAX, the company revealed Firefly Image 2, plus new and updated tools, including:

  • Firefly Vector Model: Illustrator users can enter text prompts to get editable vector icons, images, and repeatable patterns.
  • Retype: Enables Illustrator users to turn static text into editable text by identifying similar fonts.
  • Generative Match: Allows users to upload a reference prompt and photo that AI can use to generate content with a consistent look.

Adobe also offered sneak peaks at potential future products, including:

  • Project Stardust: An editor that lets users move or remove objects by clicking them. (Check out this video.)
  • Project See Through: A tool to remove glass reflections.
  • Project Fast Fill: Generative fill for video.

What does this mean for creatives?

Adobe repeatedly stressed that its AI tools would save designers, editors, marketers, and other content creators time by removing tedious tasks, and empower non-designers to explore.

The question that remains across industries — and one brought to the forefront of the writers’ and actors’ guild strikes — is whether companies will embrace the time saved for more creativity and productivity, or attempt to cut pay, hours, or even replace their human employees with machines.

A recent Deloitte survey of executives found that 73% worked at organizations where employees’ tasks had shifted due to AI. Among those orgs, 85% retained employees with affected roles, and 67% retrained or upskilled them — so here’s hoping we get more of a Star Trek, less of a Skynet future.

BTW: If you’re not a Photoshop or Illustrator whiz, you can still check out Adobe’s AI tools via Adobe Express, it’s online newbie-friendly editor.

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🏆 On this day: In 2007, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and former US Vice President Al Gore received the Nobel Peace Prize for their work to combat climate change.

☁️ That’s interesting: Speaking of, Soren Brothers is the first curator of climate change at Canada’s Royal Ontario Museum. His job is to bring both awareness of climate change, as well as possible solutions, into the museum’s offerings.

🤣 Haha: The 2023 finalists of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards are here and, of course, they’re great.

🧠 How to: Eliminate imposter syndrome.

🎵 Aww: Car karaoke.

stocks meme

Forget leaf peeping — this is all we need. (Link)

Today’s email was brought to you by Juliet Bennett Rylah and Sara Friedman.
Editing by: Ben “Ugh, mammoth for dinner again?” Berkley.

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