We bring you Black Friday madness, say adios to Diego Maradona, visit the first golden hotel, travel to frozen waterscapes, the best Covid-19 coverage and photography online, visit Morocco, the Everglades, India, Hawaii, Japan and Antarctica, check out the best underappreciated cars of all time, sign up for more promotions, how to choose a Health Savings Account and lots lots more. Thank you for reading my blog.
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This goes out to subscribers via email the day it is posted at 8 am. After that I may add something new in the body of the post and I indicate it like this: Update.
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Top picks are not excerpted at all. I recommend you find time to read every word!
I loved this one. So many geniuses out there telling you what is going to happen. Stop wasting your time listening to them because…
He wrote the book by himself and it is only Volume Uno! Can you guess how many of the books Donald Trump wrote he wrote a single page or two? The previous sentence was meant to be funny, if you did not think so you are probably reading the wrong blog lol. In an exclusive interview, the former president identifies the greatest threats to the American experiment, explains why he’s still hopeful, and opens up about his new book.
Can you please mention another blog that will link to something like this? I am waiting. I guess not. This blog exists for its mission which includes the word “Educate”. And I must admit I had no idea about the variability that exists in animal penises. Seriously! I am just going to leave you here with a few gems so you can read the whole thing. Did you know the echidna has a four-headed penis? The dolphin penis is prehensile. Yeah, I had no idea what that word means so I had to look it up! Flatworms use them to fight…which takes the expression “fight for love” to a higher level hehe. The blue whale one is the biggest, nothing comes close, we are talking eight to ten feet. Male bed bugs use theirs to stab the females while having sex….love kills lol! I don’t suggest you see the video with the leopard slugs mating…you were just warned!
I added this pretty late into the post because I had to sit down and hold myself back from becoming emotional. The pain, the anguish, you feel it with her. For crying out loud, do your part to help us all get through this horrific pandemic wave. Stop traveling, stop contributing to the spread…I guess my blog could be doing much better commercially speaking if I was pushing you all to travel for free if only you could use (preferably abuse) my credit card application links, sigh!
The world lost the greatest football player ever in my humble opinion. Diego Maradona was the GOAT. And this is coming from someone who always disliked Argentina’s teams! After he retired his life was a complete mess due to drug addiction and other problems. But when he played the game, well, it was pure magic. I got to watch him play at the 1994 World Cup in a game against Greece in Boston, he was in the final stretch of his career then. And you can still sense how special he was. I found this link with pictures of him before he became famous.
MILES & POINTS
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Today is Black Friday, my least favorite “holiday” that comes right after my favorite Thanksgiving. Some of you may find this helpful: Credit card spending bonuses to use for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Along with bookmarking this: 2020 Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Please use my Amazon link and that’s all you are going to see from me on this subject.
Greece has a pretty good airline, Aegean Airlines. It is doing its best to survive the pandemic relying on the government for money, a government that was widely admired and recognized for the pandemic response back in the Spring. And then, they started believing how awesome they are and have managed to ruin it all with the country now running out of ICU beds and losing one hundred people a day, a shocking number for a small country. Never ever bet against a Greek government to govern well, sad! Okay, I got carried away. You may be interested in this promotion running now until December 1, 2020: Great Offer! Get 5,000 Award Miles FREE – Just for Signing Up for Aegean Miles+Bonus (Star Alliance Partner). Please note that the miles transfer between accounts has been shut down, hopefully temporarily. Here is the direct link for it to sign up.
If you are going to stay at a Best Western, register for this promotion to get a free night after two stays. Same thing with Choice Hotels, register HERE for its new promo. We should start seeing the promos of the bigger hotel chains, the silence is deafening.
There are a lot of credit cards with spending thresholds, here is how to track them: How Do I Check My Spending Progress?
It has been months since Accor spent any money which is shocking. Of course, they just could not resist and boom, here we go again! Accor buys Gleneagles and The Hoxton. Think “lifestyle” brands. And more…brands, brands, brands #outofcontrol.
There are going to be a lot less blog posts written if ANA All Nippon Airways merges with Japan Airlines, the rumors are deafening.
Let me take you Inside the World’s Most Golden Hotel. If I had a dollar for every blog that posts about this hotel without a back link…
We had our first snow fall in Ann Arbor, Michigan this week. I always enjoy it, it is so beautiful. So, this leads me smoothly into this next link: The most beautiful frozen waterscapes in the US to witness this winter. Which one is your favorite? There is no way in hell I am going to South Dakota this winter!
This is a continuation learning post about “jetports” from last week. I had no idea there was ever an initiative to build “Everglades Jetport”! It was supposed to be five times larger than JFK and have six runways! Actually, the work was started and to this day there is an airport there: Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport. Airport Code: TNT. Mainly used for training these days. Anyone been there? If you crash near it the alligators will have you as a snack lol.
The Cranky Flier wrote about his first flight (to Hawaii) since January.
You know I have expressed many times in my blog how I find the Japanese to be so, how shall I put this, weird. And at the same time incredibly polite…just extreme contrasts. And this post captures it all: Japan—the crazy bits. Oh, some of these videos smh.
If you are interested about traveling to Antarctica and what is going to happen to it, this article is for you. You are welcome: What will happen to the 7th continent?
Let’s escape the alligators and fly over to India to check out something else that is so bigly it will shock you! Statue of Unity. It cost how much???
It is a colossal statue of Indian statesman and independence activist Vallabhbhai Patel (1875–1950), who was the first Deputy Prime Minister and Home minister of independent India and adherent of Mahatma Gandhi during the non-violent Indian Independence movement. Patel was highly respected for his leadership in uniting 562 princely states of India with a major part of the former British Raj to form the single Union of India. The statue is located in the state of Gujarat, India. It is the world’s tallest statue with a height of 182 metres (597 feet). It is located on the Narmada River in the Kevadiya colony, facing the Sardar Sarovar Dam 100 kilometres (62 mi) southeast of the city of Vadodara and 150 kilometres (93 mi) from Surat. The project was first announced in 2010 and the construction of the statue started in October 2013 by Larsen & Toubro, with a total construction cost of ₹2,989 crore (₹29.89 billion; US$437 million). It was designed by Indian sculptor Ram V. Sutar, and was inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 31 October 2018, the 143rd anniversary of Sardar Patel’s birth.
Another cool link with The Oldest Building in Each US State.
The good vaccine news keep coming: Oxford University vaccine is highly effective. This is from BBC basically announcing the news with a few details. Let’s dig a little deeper next: Why the AstraZeneca-Oxford Covid-19 vaccine is different. AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford say their vaccine is up to 90 percent effective. But there’s a lot we still don’t know. If this holds…this one will go to all the poorer countries that would not be able to afford the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines because it is a hell of a lot cheaper. And no need to be stored in super cold temperatures too. But let’s wait a little longer to get our hands into actual data and not just press releases okay? And here is one by Derek Lowe at Science Magazine titled: Oxford/AZ Vaccine Efficacy Data and takes a much deeper look on the subject. I feel I have learned so much to call myself an epidemiologist in the past year!
Pfizer (very effective, tough distribution and storage), Moderna (very effective, easier distribution/storage than Pfizer, but perhaps stronger safety reactions), and now Oxford/AZ (widely varying efficacy depending on dosing, easier distribution/storage, safety details TBD). The next vaccine effort to report efficacy will be J&J, another adenovirus vector, and this time with a one-shot dose. The landscape is starting to fill in a bit!
Update: Maybe AstraZeneca jumped the gun and doubts over the results they announced have come up. So, it appears this vaccine is not going to be coming out as fast as initially hoped. And that’s okay! Britain tries to cool AstraZeneca concerns as its CEO touts a new vaccine trial
To really put the speed of developing these soon to come vaccines in perspective, check to see how fast the others vaccines came along (and some we are still waiting!):
After ten months of this nightmare, one thing is certain: The Pandemic Safety Rule That Really Matters Don’t spend time indoors with people outside your household. Come on people, it is not about YOU! A client just lost her uncle due to Covid-19, his wife attended a small birthday party in her bubble…well, one of them could not stay still and…smh.
The perils of the indoors have been demonstrated scientifically; for example, one study earlier this year found that a sick person was 18.7 times more likely to spread the coronavirus in a “closed environment” (such as a gym, a floating restaurant boat, or a poorly ventilated tent) than in an “open-air environment.” Some indoor spaces are likely riskier than others. Earlier this year, my colleague Derek Thompson advised readers to avoid especially spitty environments like bars, indoor restaurants, and gyms, where people are more likely to be eating, talking, shouting, singing, or breathing heavily than they are at, say, the grocery store. Restaurant dining in particular has been linked to a heightened risk of coronavirus transmission.
You know I am fascinated by politics, add all this vaccine stuff in the worst pandemic in our lifetimes (sometimes I wonder…what if another one breaks out….ok, I stop, I stop!) and this story almost made it to the top as a Top Pick: Politics, Science and the Remarkable Race for a Coronavirus Vaccine. It gets into the timing decisions involved and some personal things of the people responsible to get us out of this!
We are getting there, thanks to science. We are making progress in all areas, not just vaccines. What monoclonal antibodies are – and why we need them as well as a vaccine. This is what Trump got at Walter Reed by the way…
Not sure if you heard how there was a suspected mutation in the virus from minks in Denmark so the government decided to kill them all! I felt sad reading this: “I’m Only a Mink Killer”: How COVID Caused Denmark’s Historic Fur-Industry Disaster.
Meanwhile, Taiwan marks 200 days without domestic Covid-19 infection. Here is the tagline of the article: Authorities thank public for helping to reach milestone as cases surge in many countries. Can you imagine this under Trump? Nope.
While we do shit like this: Millions Of Americans Traveling For Thanksgiving, Ignoring CDC Advice. While in New York City…Party at a Queens Sex Club With 80 People Is Shut Down by Sheriff. And, wait, there is more: Massive Orthodox wedding in Brooklyn ‘disrespectful’.
South Dakota vs Vermont. 2 small states w big differences -SD: heartless/headless— governor & Hosp ceo say masks are just symbols, no actions -VT: heart & head— found hotels for homeless, pay low income ppl to isolate. Leadership and good governance matters!
This is really good on the topic: How to Choose a Health Savings Account. This is the turbo tax free account to have…if you can. One day I am going to show you how I managed to have a six figure HSA account. Key reason: Never take any money out of it lol (pay out of pocket for medical expenses). And of course contribute the maximum allowed. Every year. Maybe you come to my Ted Talk about it 🙂
This is great: Trends That End. If I had a dollar for every time I heard an investing genius who is “watching” a particular stock that “always” prices in a “range” so it becomes a “no brainer” to trade it by buying at 7x and selling it at 10x…rinse and repeat. Yeah, sure dude…and good luck, you ‘ll need it. Let me give you a hot tip: Diversify!
Speaking of diversification: Ranking Asset Classes by Historical Returns from 1985 to October 31, 2020.
I am in awe of the caliber of the people Biden is bringing into his administration. If you have anything bad to say about Janet Yellen running the Treasury Department please leave now. The guy running the Department of Homeland Services had this to say and I am becoming emotional now. As an immigrant myself I think it is time to reverse all the inane hatred of the prior four years. Because this is who we are and together we make stuff happen here that would not happen where we came from okay? And we ALL benefit! Here is another one of us, a little bit more successful than this hapless blogger…just a little LOL: Kansas welcomed my immigrant parents. Then I built Dropbox, an $8 billion company.
Another feel good link about Thanksgiving, which is my favorite US holiday. Sadly, this year we spent it at home with just our daughter. And we picked up a holiday dinner from, wait for it, Whole Foods! Remember when some years ago a grandmother invited a stranger to come over for Thanksgiving thinking she was texting her grandson.They kept this up for five years and in the last one the husband of her was not there because he passed away due to Covid-19. Inspiring story which just turned sad but…still inspiring. Celebrate life everyone!
Pounding the same lies over and over and over…works. Sadly. The Birther Myth Stuck Around For Years. The Election Fraud Myth Might Too.
Amazing way to visualize the election results!
If you want to laugh, best 45 seconds. NSFW, especially for Republicans!
ODDZ & ENDZ
Very inspiring interview by Michael J Fox who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at 29 and just turned 59. #Respect to this guy, wow! And here he is with his beautiful family:
Maybe today’s blog post has an inspiring theme. Maybe it is Thanksgiving or something. Here is another one: Chris Nikic is the First Person with Down Syndrome to Ever Complete a Full Ironman. Dude!!!!
Love this: The 50 Most Underappreciated Cars of All Time. Which one is your favorite?
This is mesmerizing to watch: If Rockets Were Transparent. Launch to orbit in real time Fuel Burn and Staging of the Saturn V, Space Shuttle,Falcon Heavy and the Space Launch System (SLS) rockets Launching from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39.
This is just bonkers, how do they even film this stuff? This Is One of the Most Surreal Wingsuit Videos You Will See.
Amazing photography is a staple of this blog. So, here we go again: Top Shots From the 2020 International Landscape Photographer of the Year.
We are now entering BLOG BUZZ, a section for advanced hobbyists and veterans of this fast imploding hobby and also a section where I go on and on about some stuff that happens in my life because it helps me feel better about myself.
These gift cards were very popular: Bad News for Best Buy Resellers.
We are starting to think about booking trips in late 2021. The responsible people at least. Cheapest Miles to South America in the Post-COVID-19 World. Some gems in this post.
It looks like there are still more writers leaving The Points Guy. I guess some are not okay writing about mortgages, this one is going to Skift which is a quality publication.
Looks like Chase is still being very stingy and just weird in approving business credit card applications. If you get approved…it is taking a long time!
I finally closed my CNB card, it was a good haul. On to the next one I guess.
We are going to miss you Diego!
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