I bring you eclectic content around the web such as a coronavirus variant tracker, leverage blowup, vaccine cards, IHG Rewards blows even more, travel to Australia and northern Michigan, meet some amazing storks, how to risk less and make more, an update on the unemployment tax refund situation, the amazing mRNA technology, some really odd and amazing stuff today in the Oddz and Endz section and more, enjoy the week!
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I have not stayed in a tru by Hilton brand before and now there is one a drive away: Hilton opens new hotel in Northern Michigan. And another Michigan development, something I was planning to visit Chicago to see but now I may just have to wait for it to get here: Michigan getting Van Gogh floor-to-ceiling multi-sensory experience as seen in Paris.
This is mesmerizing to watch, wow! Dolphin Haze, Esperance Australia.
I almost skipped this…and I am so glad I did not! A Biologist, an Outlandish Stork and the Army of Women Trying to Save It. Amazing birds, wow!
If you are going to click one link today, make it this one: Risk Less Make More. I could excerpt the whole thing but that would take too much space.
Poor IRS, it is just getting pounded on non stop by Congress lately instead of letting it alone to catch up with millions of unprocessed returns from 2019! Unemployment tax adjustments by IRS in the works, with first refunds to go out in May. I hope they do this without screwing things up.
Some people just can not help themselves, they are just addicted to risk taking: The Dumbest Financial Story of 2021.
The swift fall of Archegos Capital Management is one of the most embarrassing financial plotlines in years, not just for a handful of banks but for an entire financial and governance system that really shouldn’t have let any of this happen. It takes a lot of malfeasance for giant banks to do something in 2021 that would make a neutral observer think, Wow, it’s legitimately shocking they did that. But life is full of surprises.
I am getting the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine tomorrow, yeah!
Are you as confused about all the variants out there as I am? This can help: Coronavirus Variant Tracker. Here in Michigan we are having a hell of a third wave, we are talking leading the nation caliber. The governor said she is done with the covid measures. This is affecting younger people as most seniors have now been vaccinated. We are closing in to having 40% of the adults fully vaccinated here…and still. But we should be getting around the bend…soon. Sometimes I feel…what if this virus is not done with us and has more surprises up its sleeve?
This is a must read: How mRNA Technology Could Change the World. mRNA’s story likely will not end with COVID-19: Its potential stretches far beyond this pandemic.
The triumph of mRNA, from backwater research to breakthrough technology, is not a hero’s journey, but a heroes’ journey. Without Katalin Karikó’s grueling efforts to make mRNA technology work, the world would have no Moderna or BioNTech. Without government funding and philanthropy, both companies might have gone bankrupt before their 2020 vaccines. Without the failures in HIV-vaccine research forcing scientists to trailblaze in strange new fields, we might still be in the dark about how to make the technology work. Without an international team of scientists unlocking the secrets of the coronavirus’s spike protein several years ago, we might not have known enough about this pathogen to design a vaccine to defeat it last year. mRNA technology was born of many seeds.
I am not laminating mine by the way. What You Need to Know About Your Vaccine Card. I think we are going to have to come up with a better system than this…and not sure exactly what it is going to be. Other link.
ODDZ & ENDZ
I swear you have never seen anything like this! A herd of reindeer in Russia’s Cola Peninsula, in the Arctic Circle. You won’t believe what will happen next after you click it!
This article is so much fun! The Five Universal Laws of Human Stupidity.
Law 1: Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.
Law 2: The probability that a certain person be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.
Law 3. A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.
Law 4: Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals. In particular non-stupid people constantly forget that at all times and places and under any circumstances to deal and/or associate with stupid people always turns out to be a costly mistake.
Law 5: A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person. And its corollary: A stupid person is more dangerous than a bandit.
This is a really sad tragic story about a dude named Steve Carroll. Death of a (Really Good) Salesman. You know, a lot of heartache is derived when people do stupid things with their money. If this guy had a good financial advisor to put a stop in such dangerous/reckless behavior with his money…he would probably never spread such pain. Okay, I AM biased here as what I do for a living is help people with their money and their…issues.
MILES & POINTS
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This section is about my
hobby addiction of collecting frequent flyer miles and hotel points since the early 1990’s! Feel free to skip this section and parts of the next one if this is not for you.
Newbies: To get started, it is perfectly fine if you choose ONE program to focus on. Bank proprietary programs (the main three are Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points) are preferable than airline or hotel programs. Mainly because they can be more flexible in how you can use these bank points. Unless, for example, you live in a city with a dominant airline and your main GOAL is to amass enough frequent flier miles on that airline. Or you work for a company that exclusively uses one airline. Or one hotel. Again, I will make this point again and again…Maybe the best AND simple thing to do is just use one credit card that earns 2% cash back and you can save yourself all the aggravation and mental bandwidth trying to maximize several programs…
The big news in this hobby was another devaluation. As warned, there are more coming. It is very depressing that these companies can not hold themselves back devaluing their currency when we are not even out of the pandemic yet! This did not affect me, I have stopped caring about this hotel company…I do have close to 200k IHG Rewards points left and they are on burn watch for a while: IHG Rewards Devalues Dynamic Award Pricing By 30%.
I usually use my Amex Hilton Aspire card at restaurants to earn 7 Hilton Honors points per dollar. But I was targeted for a 5x promotion for up to $1,500 of spend on groceries and restaurants on my Hyatt Visa card so I guess I need to change it temporarily to this card. My plan was to hold off crossing the $15k spend on my Hyatt Visa to earn another free night cert so I can have it extended further into the future but it looks like I am going to cross the mark much sooner and still holding out hope that Hyatt will extend the life of these certs for another six months at least. I use son’s Chase Freedom Flex for groceries earning 5x which is good until October 2021 (one year anniversary of the card). Other than that, I am taking a break from new credit cards for a while as I have been focusing on the spend on daughter’s Southwest card trying to earn her the famous Southwest Companion Pass. She should have the 80,000 points in her account soon and we are well on our way to hit that (reduced due to Covid) 100,000 point mark for the Companion Pass sometime in May (I have been paying some estimated taxes with it so it is not all free of course). And these mental gymnastics we all do to maximize our bang so to speak very likely has beneficial impact to keeping our brains sharper…some scientist should research this! Or maybe messing all us in the process lol!
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.
I am anxiously awaiting for The Points Guy and all other credit card sales blogs to adjust the valuation of IHG Rewards points down but I think instead they are preparing more “XX reasons I love the IHG Rewards card”, “Best offer ever hurry!”, “Time Limited Offer, this won’t last!”. If I was doing this I could…never mind.
So, some big blogger wrote about how you can now book one way ANA awards using Virgin Atlantic points and all I can think of is how soon it will be before another devaluation hits….In the meantime, do something more useful which may last a little longer: Why and How: Booking Japan Airlines Award Flights with Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles.
It was a beautiful weekend in Ann Arbor, Michigan…maybe Spring is almost here. Of course, as always, I am pretty sure we have another snowstorm in store for sure, maybe two or three.
And I leave you with this…Lol.
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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.