🌞 Shanghai Surprise – April 12 2022




Happy Tuesday. The Met Gala announced this year’s theme. It is “In America: An Anthology of Fashion.” Organizers are asking attendees to dress to embody grandeur, Great Gatsby style. That’s cool but we’re in a war and recession. 

In Case You Missed It. 

🚨 The U.S. State Department has ordered all government employees to leave Shanghai.

❄️ An historic April blizzard is set to hit the U.S. 

πŸ—³ U.S. Democrats announced the “Time Off to Vote Act,” requiring paid time off to vote. 

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ Ukrainian companies are suing Russia in the U.S. in hopes of being awarded the country’s U.S. assets. 

πŸ‡·πŸ‡Ί Russia warned Finland and Sweden to stop the joining-Nato talk. 

πŸ— A 1,428-foot building in New York is ready for habitation. It is being called the “world’s skinniest skyscraper,” and locals call it the Coffee Stirrer. 

πŸ’° Pfizer and Moderna have hired new CFO’s to help with the company’s “windfall” of cash from Covid-related products. 

Coronavirus Update: 😷 

  • new study shows that the Covid vaccine does not increase the risk of heart problems “significantly” more than other vaccines. 
  • Philadelphia will reinstate indoor mask requirements due to rising case numbers. 
  • Covid cases are up 23% in Los Angeles. 
  • More than 26 million people are in strict lockdowns in Shanghai. 















*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 5:00 am ET.


The Lead: Russia Reloads with U.S. Made Weapons

credit: getty

While Western nations rush to supply Ukraine with money and arms, Russia has allies helping them with equipment too. Russia is accepting military equipment from Iranian-backed Iraqi militias. 

This loot has included anti-tank missiles and rocket launchers. Some are calling this an underground smuggling network although Iran stands with Russia in this conflict so how underground is a question. 

According to The Guardian, “Iraq has hosted US and western troops since the 2003 overthrow of Saddam Hussein, and the US has trained and supplied various Iraqi army and special forces units to defend the Baghdad government against insurgencies. After two decades of war, the country is awash with weaponry.” 

So the weapons come from…where exactly? The West’s invasion led to a country “awash with weaponry” and some of them are being smuggled to enemies of the west. This is the world we live in where U.S. made weapons are now flowing to Russia because of America's invasion of Iraq. Stay with us folks!

Meanwhile, the U.S. has deployed a “strike group” in the Korean peninsula to respond to North Korea’s missile tests. North Korea says these drills are a “rehearsal for war.” 

Mute Your Microphone

credit: giphy

This is a warning that your microphone may not be muted when you push mute in conference calls. 

Two data scientists looked into whether or not the microphone on your device is actually turned off when one pushes mute. In most cases, it turns out that the mute button disables fellow attendees from hearing you but it does not disable the application you are using from hearing you. Software programs actually keep access to your microphone even if you push mute. 

According to TechXplore, “They found that all of the apps they tested occasionally gather raw audio data while mute is activated, with one popular app gathering information and delivering data to its server at the same rate regardless of whether the microphone is muted or not.”

This was true in most video conferencing apps on iOS, Android, Windows and Mac. You can turn off your microphone in your device settings but most people don’t do that. They trust the mute button to actually mute. But now you know you shouldn’t so behave yourself when you’re on a call! 

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Coining a New Tax

credit: latimes

Governments are itching to get their hands on all those Cryptocurrency profits. But how will it be regulated?

In the U.S., there are currently no clear regulatory standards for the industry. This makes it hard for investors to know what kind of risk they’re getting into. But that could be about to change.

“I think we’re going to see that regulators become a lot more active in this space,” Hailey Lennon, a lawyer who specializes in regulatory compliance, told the Wall Street Journal.

But the New York Times reports that crypto firms aren’t waiting around for the government. They’re writing their own legislation. States are eager to bring crypto companies in (for the jobs and money), so said legislation is moving easily through the channels. There are currently over 150 cryptocurrency bills making their way through the states, some with language suggested by leaders of the crypto industry. 

This industry-created legislation is not a new thing, but it’s definitely a scary thing. People worried about the bottom line should not be the ones regulating the bottom line.

Get Ready for a Guilt Tip

credit: giphy

While tipping etiquette depends on where you are in the world, many workers rely on tips to live. These pandemic times have encouraged more customers to tip and tip generously. This is an undeniably good instinct, but some companies are capitalizing on this generosity.

How? “Digital payments make tipping SO fast and easy,” a tablet screams at the customer punching in payment, “why wouldn’t you want to do it? Are you a very mean person who no one likes?!?” 

You really want to tip now, right? That’s the power of digital payments. Business owners are increasingly using this new world of digital to their advantage. Guilting someone into tipping by forcing them to say (or select) ‘no’ makes a tip more likely than asking them to say ‘yes.’ That is sometimes good, though it is pretty manipulative. And the digital-ness of this makes it unclear exactly where the money is going.

Tipping is necessary in many parts of the world, and it’s a good habit to get into. But I’ve fallen into the trap of digital-tipping when I wouldn’t have before, for counter service or a pick-up order. Sticking to cold, hard cash for tips might help avoid the power of the guilt tip, but who has cash anymore? 

UGH. I guess we need to use our brains and avoid the traps. Life is so hard.

News By The Numbers

One-quarter of a billion. That is how many people in the world face “extreme poverty,” according to Oxfam. 

Two thirds. That is how many of Ukraine’s children have fled the country, according to the United Nations. 

8,500. That is how many flights have been canceled in the U.S. in April alone due to staffing issues. 

3 a.m. That is when Dolly Parton says she wakes up because she “don’t need a whole lot of sleep.” 

What's Trending? 

giphy.gif credit: global citizen

Julian Lennon is trending. The English singer performed his dad’s (John Lennon’s) ‘Imagine’ for the first time to help raise money for Ukrainian refugees.

David Mamet is trending because the U.S. playwright told Fox News that teachers are pedophiles.

Etsy is trending because 14,000+ Etsy sellers went on strike yesterday to protest increased transaction fees.

Britney is trending because the newly unconservatorshipped U.S. singer Britney Spears is having a baby.

Today's Live Show at our NEW Time






Join us on today's live show.  Today we're looking at how propaganda is flowing freely from the war zone into western television sets. We're also going to track the movement of US weapons into the hands of Russian soldiers. And Elon Musk slams ESG scores. Is he right?  Click here to RSVP and I'll see you at 4 PM Eastern. 

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