We bring you vaccine updates, the exciting AA JetBlue partnership, warn you about day trading, the hilarious origins of the Illuminati conspiracy, the BEST Covid-19 coverage, the BEST photography, all the latest worthy airline and hotel promotions, tough times in the credit card space leading to staff leaving credit card selling sites, meet the company that buys your lost luggage, swap your window views, travel to The Brando resort, we meet Ken and Karen again lol, listen to the ghostly radio station, how the masters of misinformation got started and LOTS more you guys.
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Brought to you by the amazing TBB Amazon link! This blog is published every Thursday. For now…
I’ll see you next Thursday….Comment section always stays open!
I am sticking with posting on Thursdays this month…Where we go in August I don’t know, seriously!
For time-sensitive content that can not wait until next Thursday, I will add it here throughout the next week and add NEW in the front of it.
Size of now weekly posts is way larger than normal. There is a lot to unpack here. Enjoy learning and having fun with these curated links and eclectic commentary 🙂
Appreciate you passing a link to my blog to someone you love if you think they will enjoy it as much as you. Do NOT pass the link to someone you can’t stand, screw them!
Let’s start off with The Best Photos of Comet Neowise to warm you up!
The best read on where we stand on Covid-19 vaccines with a word of caution to make sure we get it right! A COVID-19 vaccine may come soon. Will the blistering pace backfire? I really like the table at the end outlining all the different approaches/methods to get there. We will get there…and then we’ll have to convince the anti-vaxxers smh!
And we just got some news in the vaccine front: Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate appears to be safe and provide some immunity, new data from early trial shows. Something about this company just makes me very cautious about what they are announcing, I hope I am wrong! I feel much better about the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine though: Covid Vaccine Front-Runner Is Months Ahead of Her Competition. To all: I have no idea about this stuff and as sure as hell I am no pandemic thought leader ok? 😉
Never in our scariest nightmares we would ever imagine we will be seeing record number of positive cases in many different states in the US in the middle of the summer! After all our sacrifices and the trillions that have been spent. It is maddening or, maybe, it is the consequence of our actions amid a total lack of any leadership that is so needed in a huge crisis like this. America Is Refusing to Learn How to Fight the Coronavirus. I mean, you know where I stand on this, it has been a repeated theme here. Putting America First? &%#$&!@!
A follow up interview with epidemiologist Larry Brilliant (what a brilliant last name!): Larry Brilliant on How Well We Are Fighting Covid-19. This is a must read! The whole thing. But let me just excerpt just this:
This is a bigfuckingdeal. If I would not be excommunicated from the world of science, I would call this an evil virus, but I can’t do that because I can’t impugn motives to it. But if I could, I would call it that. It’s certainly pernicious. This is the worst pandemic in our lifetime. And it is the first time we have had a pandemic in the United States in which we have had such a total, abysmal failure of our federal government.
We have all seen this Richard Quest dude on TV. I am not a fan, I always thought he speaks so loud…or maybe it is my ear condition. Well, here we go: I got Covid-19 two months ago. I’m still discovering new areas of damage — Richard Quest.
We must open the schools, we all agree on that of course! But we must do so safely you know. This is a good article on how we can go about it: These 8 Basic Steps Will Let Us Reopen Schools. These are all excellent steps but…I am not seeing it and I hope I am wrong.
First, shield the most vulnerable
Second, reduce risk wherever possible
Third, keep the virus out
Fourth, wear a mask
Fifth, reduce mixing among students and staff
Sixth, reduce occupancy, especially indoors
Seventh, implement new health and safety protocols
Eighth, prepare for cases
I have become more mindful of what I eat by seeking out food from local farms, especially fruits and vegetables. But maybe it is time to start cutting down on the meat I buy on sale. A Warning From The Chickens of the World. How our reliance on mass-produced food increases the risk of pandemics.
Between 1961 and 2017, world poultry meat production increased from 9 million to 122 million tons and egg production shot up from 15 million to 87 million tons. Since most of us experience a sort of cognitive dissonance when we see chickens and tons in the same sentence, let me rephrase this. In 1961, there were just over 3 billion people and just under 4 billion chickens in the world. In 2020, as I write this, about 7.7 billion people are jostling and shouting for space here, along with more than 20 billion chickens—and perhaps as many as 50 billion if one considers the short slaughter-and-restock turnover of those populations. [These numbers are stunning, save the chickens like we saved the whales…ok, that does not make sense, no time to assign the imaginary intern to investigate this issue further, sorry dear readers!]
This is a hilarious piece on testing, pure satire. Hey, I am a firm believer that the best medicine is laughter: So You Want a Coronavirus Test?
This one hits home you guys. Saline is a town just outside Ann Arbor, I can bike and be there in less than 20 minutes. WTF is wrong with people and is Michigan becoming Florida? Large Saline-area house party causes coronavirus outbreak in Washtenaw County.
You know, we all thought we had seen it all but nope. How can you criticize the nation’s top public health expert who has worked for six Presidents? Fauci: ‘Bizarre’ White House Behavior Only Hurts the President.
Well, this is very relevant in this blog that happens to have the word “Travel” in its name. It is the latest by Wall Street Journal‘s The Middle Seat column by Scott McCartney: The Greatest Coronavirus Risks When You Fly. I feel a bit better about getting on a plane and breathing all that circulated air…but what happens when we get stuck on the tarmac for hours huh?
What a legacy!
HOT CREDIT CARD OFFERS: For a standard workhorse card I recommend the 60k Chase Sapphire Preferred card. For a standard premium card I recommend the 50k Chase Sapphire Reserve card. For a standard 2% cash back card I recommend the Citi Double Cash card. Available with my links. Lets move on!
This miles and points hobby has been fueled over the years by us getting travel rewards credit cards for the signup bonuses. Yeah, we used to practice credit card churning but those days are mostly gone with all the bank restrictions and of course devaluations. And of course I am the only blogger who has consistently tried to educate readers what a HUGE multi million dollar business it has become to keep selling these credit cards to readers by tricking them to “fly in luxury for free”. Anyway, let me not go on in this section about this, you know where I stand. But the virus has changed everything in this space. Check out this article and some horrific figures to THE multi million dollar The Points Guy Inc business: It’s harder to get a credit card: ‘Issuers have really tightened up’.
Newly opened credit cards fell by 65% from April 15 to May 15 this year versus the same period last year, marking the second consecutive month of significant declines…
“The declines are enormous,” said Matt Schulz, chief industry analyst at CompareCards. “They’re further proof that credit card issuers have really tightened up and really retreated into their shells quite a bit in the wake of the pandemic.”
Consumers have a better chance of getting what is considered a starter credit card with limits of a few hundred dollars, rather than a high-end card typically targeting consumers with an excellent credit score in those times… [the sales commissions on the started credit cards pale in comparison fyi]
Huge news in the airline space: American Becomes Instantly Relevant in New York With JetBlue Strategic Partnership. Whichever way you view this, we passengers will benefit. It covers just Boston and New York City by the way. And we will eventually get this too: American is expecting the benefit to be enough that it will bring back Rio service
this next winter, add Athens service for next summer, and start Tel Aviv year-round. If you wanted to read the AA press release, click HERE!
Good info here: World of Hyatt Complete Guide. Hyatt recently added an online option to book suite awards with points finally!
If you are going to fly on United, check HERE to see if you are targeted to earn extra miles.
If you have a United MileagePlus Explorer card, check HERE to see if you are targeted for a spending bonus.
NEW: Click HERE to register for the latest IHG Rewards promotion, up to 4x bonus points.
Just in case you are a Wyndham Rewards member, register HERE for its new promo: Stay two nights by September 10, 2020 and earn 7,500 points.
Hilton trying to hang on to its members by doing things it would never even think about doing in normal times. What is the latest? It extends rollover nights!
We know your travel continues to be limited, and we’ve got you covered. All nights you earn this year from stays between January 1 through December 31, 2020, will automatically be carried over to the 2021 calendar year and count towards your 2021-2023 Tier Status. Note that this update will be reflected in your account by the end of this year. For more information on other rollover benefit terms, please visit our FAQs page.
Speaking of hotel companies trying to hang on, here goes Marriott Promotional Elite Qualifying Nights Have Posted, Check To See If You Now Have Choice Benefits To Select. And just like that son is just three nights away from Platinum…if only he could go back to his business travel days.
Fun story: Meet the company that sells your lost airplane luggage. Amazing story how the company was started by a guy named Hugo who was bored selling insurance and was looking for a side gig. The company is now led by his son. Wonder if anyone visited the showroom in tiny Scottsboro, Alabama.
Every year, 4.3B bags are checked by airlines around the world. Around 25m of them (5.7 per 1k bags checked) end up lost or misdirected. The 0.03% of bags that are still not reunited with their owners after 90 days are sold by the airline.
Greece has handled the global pandemic really well, just 3,883 cases and 193 dead to date. IN TOTAL! If you ever told me a Greek government will do much better in anything about governance compared to the US government I would laugh at your face. And here we are, unbelievable! Why am I saying this? Because you would think that tourists would be rushing back to a beautiful country but…Air arrivals drop by up to 84%. It’s the virus stupid. And this was one sector of the economy that always bailed out Greece, so many citizens depend on tourism. It is very depressing indeed. Also, in the other side of the world, Quantas stopped selling international flight tickets until the end of, please sit down, March 2021, yikes!
Fun website: WindowSwap. “Open a new window somewhere in the world”.
Marlon Brando owned an island TETIAROA or BRANDO’S ISLAND. Excuse me, he was able to lease it for 99 years that is. Anyone stay at The Brando swanky resort? If you all get thousands of credit cards with my links I promise I will travel there and do a trip report for you for…free! 🙂 I just visited the resort website and learned that it reopened this week and the pictures are so lovely…and so far away, sigh.
This one from Florida, so adorable! This video of baby sea turtles emerging from their nests has officially saved summer.
Well, Erdogan again. Turkey reconverts Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia museum into a mosque. SAD!
Holy crap….literally! This is a story about Beirut’s awfully broken sewage system. YIKES! Waste Away.
Yeah, be careful out there! Who gets to be reckless on Wall Street? Regular investors are piling into the stock market for the rush. Wall Street titans say they’re making a grave mistake, but it’s not so simple. It is a crazy environment out there, it has been like that for a while…I think Robinhood is hurting lots of people and I am just going to leave it there and no I am not going to shove any affiliate links to you so I can make money. You can
play speculate if you want but only play speculate with a very tiny part of your portfolio and be perfectly okay if you lose it all. Good luck, you’ll need it! 🙂
If you are not convinced yet, maybe this will do the trick: Day-trading in the age of coronavirus. If you are still not convinced, you are probably carrying balances in your credit cards too smh.
As I am about to make the first payment to the University of Michigan for our daughter starting college, this makes me shake my head too, yikes!
I see my daughter’s graduating class and I have never seen a more diverse group. I think this has been happening for a long time in this country. And this guy is betting on white all the way, sad! Trump’s Bad Bet on White Christian America. He’s trying to assemble a winning coalition with a dwindling number of sympathetic white voters.
The nonpartisan States of Change project has forecast that non-college-educated white Americans will likely constitute 42 percent of voters in November, slightly more than half their share in 1968. States of Change anticipates that both college-educated white voters and voters of color will represent about 30 percent of voters in 2020. For the former group, that’s about twice their share in 1968; for the latter, that’s somewhere between a three- and fourfold increase.
White Christians comprised fully 85 percent of all American adults in 1968…they now represent only half as much of the population, 42 percent.
In 1968, nonwhite Christians represented only 8 percent of Americans; now that’s tripled to just more than 24 percent.
Only one-fourth of adults younger than 30 now identify as white Christians.
Remember that couple that defended their house with guns lat week? Well, they are just not very nice people. Portland Place couple who confronted protesters have a long history of not backing down. You will shake your head to oblivion reading about some of their deeds.
Well, we said goodbye to the Palace of Auburn Hills Arena outside Detroit, the home of the NBA Detroit Pistons. So many memories there and a great place to watch a concert too. It went BOOM! Ten memorable Pistons moments at The Palace.
ODDZ & ENDZ
What a great story about recently departed comedian Carl Reiner. It involves Beef Stroganoff and it is hilarious!
I love the BBC Lockdown Longreads. Here is another one: The ghostly radio station that no one claims to run. I had never heard of this, wow! Gets into spying, even North Korea joins in…love it!
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for the last three-and-a-half decades, it’s been broadcasting a dull, monotonous tone. Every few seconds it’s joined by a second sound, like some ghostly ship sounding its foghorn. Then the drone continues. Once or twice a week, a man or woman will read out some words in Russian, such as “dinghy” or “farming specialist”. And that’s it. Anyone, anywhere in the world can listen in, simply by tuning a radio to the frequency 4625 kHz.
Fascinating how it all started. In 1952. How surgeons learned to operate on beating hearts.
I am sure you have come across people who believe in ridiculous conspiracy theories, it appears they are growing in numbers! The accidental invention of the Illuminati conspiracy. You can forward them this article but we know it is not going to make a difference. At all. And how it all started is…so fitting!
Look at what you can buy! Dark Web Price Index 2020.
Are you really bored? Like…REALLY bored. Well, click HERE. In this site you can try drawing a circle and analyze how well you did. It can be a little addictive, you have been warned. My highest score is 189,675. If I devoted the time to instead doing some blog marketing/promotion…my pathetic conversion ratio would not be so, well, pathetic. I laugh, you laugh (I hope), we all laugh 🙂
Eye-opening: The Pioneers of the Misinformation. How thwarted Hollywood ambitions, Silicon Valley hubris, and a long war on objectivity gave rise to Drudge, Breitbart, and other right-wing media insurgents. This is how these assholes got started…and it all makes sense now. STOP CLICKING ON THEIRSHIT! Oh man, can you imagine how much more commercially successful this blog would be if I stopped driving away a huge chunk of potential readers hey? 🙂 Nevertheless, reading about how this Drudge dude got started was very interesting indeed.
Best pictures of birds online period! The 2020 Audubon Photography Awards.
More amazing pictures I had not seen before from The Collapse of the Soviet Union. After all that…and they got stuck with Putin, sad!
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.
The Lazy Traveler dissects Iberia Plus: Awesomeness and Dysfunctions of Iberia Plus: How to Use the First and Skirt the Second | Iberia Peak Dates, Award Space and Prices, Fuel Surcharges and More!
Stefan of Rapid Travel Chai just continues to crank these out! Upcoming Video Interviews for the Week of July 12, 2020.
I see Mommy Points went to Disney World on assignment for The Points Guy. Is it just me but…reporting from the current Covid-19 epicenter of the global pandemic is a bit…much? I wonder if she was listening to Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper” while checking out the Disney rides, sad lol!
And is The Points Guy pivoting to personal finance content now that it is so hard to sell travel rewards credit cards? Or is this pivot happening in the miles and points blogs in general? I had to leave a comment in this post at Frequent Miler that I would LOVE to expand on but I am really trying to limit my time spent on this TBB “venture” you guys 🙂 I think I am qualified as personal finance is what I do for a living. This miles and point stuff and now kickass content curation I do for you here is just a little…obsession of mine that I should probably quit it and move on after almost eight years, sigh! NEW: I have been asked to do a blog post to share my thoughts on the subject. Since I am so quality minded…I would spend way too much time on it, something I just do not have right now and with the complete sinking of credit card conversions it will make such use of my time completely idiotic so I am going to pass. Maybe one day…
The sad saga is over. Have bloggers who were pumping this shit ever apologized? The Plastic Merchant Bankruptcy Catastrophe Finally Ends. Be careful out there!
If you do not see the travel rewards credit card you want available with my links, maybe I can refer you to it? Please email me, thanks! Thanks to reader Sam who is #1…as in the only credit card conversion this month. Can you imagine the hunger at TPG and other blogs in this space?
This is amazing! Nirvana Performing Smells Like Teen Spirit in a Music Store a Week Before Its Release. Wow, must click!
You know, I am a big Panera Bread fan. I tried to quit them but I could not. And when they came out with a monthly subscription for unlimited coffee I signed up right away. Then the pandemic hit and they have given me coffee for free all summer long. There is one near my house and I like to get away in the morning (sitting outside) and drink my coffee while catching up on reading. And then I get a refill to go lol. Sometimes I come back later the same day…heck, I could come back and get me another cup of coffee every TWO hours. So, they sent me this promo that I can continue drinking coffee for free until the end of October if five more people sign up with my REFERRAL link. Check it out, my favorite flavor is Hazelnut. They also have Dark, Light and Decaf. It is NOT gourmet coffee by the way but Hazelnut works for me. I only pump stuff I use myself in my site. You would freak out what I turn down every day when other bloggers will sell their newborns for a $ click!
There was a major hack on Twitter earlier this week. Major verified by Twitter accounts (they get a blue check mark) were prevented from tweeting while Twitter engineers worked to resolve the situation. In my non TBB professional life I do have a Twitter verified account. I did not realize it is that big of a deal until one day years ago son told me he learned about it from his high school classmates. In a way like this: “Dude, your dad is verified on Twitter!”. I laughed!
Anybody keeping count how many writers at The Points Guy are leaving for greener pastures? Here is a small list:
Zach Wichter – Going from the aviation beat to mortgages at Bankrate smh
Alberto Riva – Going from aviation to personal finance at “sister” site smh
Samantha Rosen – Same as Alberto
This is what happens when you are not selling many travel rewards credit cards these days…But wait, they are all so excited about their new chapter! Of course, being an expert on what you will be writing about just comes…naturally? Some sites are born to sell…just not mine I guess! My agent is still waiting for that amazing offer to have a personal finance column…but I think I will be pissing off the major banks because I don’t go along for BS!
Last week: 22 miles running, 27 miles biking. Pounds lost: 0 – If I could only stop eating…
And a song recommendation. This song finally gets a video after all these years! Iggy Pop went to the same middle school as my kids by the way 🙂
And I leave you with this…
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Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.