Why it matters: If you're one of the millions of people who have seen their flights canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, you should know that getting a refund is an option. Many airlines are trying to hang onto cash, so they are steering displaced passengers into credits for future flights. US airlines have now been ordered to issue full refunds to passengers who request them.
Why it matters: Last month, WYWW featured a story about NASA accepting applications for the role of astronaut. No experience was required. It turns out 12,000 people thought the job sounded like a stellar idea for a career change. I hope at least a few of the have The Right Stuff!
Why it matters: It turns out some of the antioxidants a cup of coffee can offer can vary depending on if the cup o' joe is cold-brewed or hot-brewed.
Speaking of coffee, java drinkers who got caught up in the whole nitro coffee craze gotta be suffering these days. It must be hard for them to get their hands on a cup of nitro coffee without leaving their house.
Why it matters:One of my wife's favorite mottos that she always implores me and the kids to follow is: "Have an attitude of gratitude." Her message is that we should always remember to be grateful for the good things we have in life. Not only is she right, but researchers from THE Ohio State University say gratitude can be contagious. Now that is the kind of contagion we could all probably use right now.
Why it matters: Whether it's "The Chanukah Song,""A Song About Elmo" or a touching tribute to his dearly departed friend Chris Farley, Adam Sandler always seems to hit it out of the park when he starts singing. "Quarantine Song" says thank you to doctors and nurses in a way that is quintessential Sandler. One line of the song to which I can very much relate is when Sandler croons, "I'm teaching math to my kids and that can't be good for America!"
Why it matters:One of the many questions about nature you've probably never pondered is whether city fish get more or less sleep than country fish. Well, researchers have concluded a fishy study and they determined city slicker fish aren't as rested as their schools of friends in less-lit areas.
Why it matters:The program to provide financial aid to millions of Main Street businesses is going to be messy. Expecting $350 billion to be dispersed quickly and flawlessly is foolish and ignores the history of other recent rescue plans. If you are the owner of such a business, contact your current lender ASAP to submit an application. If your current lender is not participating in the program, find a lender that is (and strongly consider leaving your current lender as soon as possible!). A speedy application doesn't guarantee speedy help, but it can't hurt.
The overall success of the program will depend on the motives of the policymakers and bankers guiding it. During the last financial crisis, programs to assist homeowners ended up being used to "foam the runway" for banks -- spacing out the timing of mortgage defaults so the banks weren't swamped with all the defaults at once. The result was 10,000,000 Americans losing their homes.
This time around, the airplanes trying to land in this metaphor are businesses, not homeowners. Rather than foaming the runway, the focus of all involved must be to "fix the landing gear." Do whatever it takes to help those planes land safely so they can re-fuel and the economy can take off again.
Oh ... and if policymakers and banks again decide to "foam the runway" instead of focusing on avoiding business loan defaults, they might as well get ready for yet another sky full of homeowners desperately struggling to prevent their home loans from crash landing. Fix the landing gear!
Why it matters:Last week, WYWW steered you on a mental vacation with "Long Way Down." This time join Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman for another road trip as they go the "Long Way Round."
From London to New York, this journey is a fun one and a rough one. Some of the "roads" the guys traverse on their motorcycles do not look too comfy and some of the food is ... ahem ... adventurous.
People Do Cool Things
Blank cassette tapes created a smile
Why it matters:Last week, WYWW featured a story about how certain kinds of old tech are making a comeback. One such tech is cassette tapes, which my son embraced wholeheartedly a few months ago. I made a wise crack about how it isn't exactly easy these days to acquire blank cassette tapes. Lo and behold, WYWW reader Nancy Novak had some old blank cassette tapes and decided to pay them forward (via the dedicated workers at the US Postal Service). Thank you, Nancy. Your kindness put a big smile on the face of a 7-year-old boy.