The Chicago Journal

Bad Bears Roars Its Way Into the NFT Scene

A year after they hit mainstream and captured the attention of even those who are not well-versed in the comings and goings of the digital asset industry, non-fungible tokens continue to hog the spotlight. Hand in hand with their growing prominence is the widespread acknowledgment of the value these blockchain-hosted non-fungible units of data bring to the table. So, it’s not surprising why the scene remains inundated by collections launched by artists and companies hoping to celebrate art and provide another means of generating wealth. Given this saturation, though, it has proven challenging for new entrants to stand out, a problem that Bad Bears is confidently overcoming.

Composed of 5,555 digitized tokens, the Bad Bears is a promising project set on taking over the Metaverse. Its one-of-a-kind ERC-721 ecosystem built on the Ethereum blockchain offers a host of benefits to every holder and plans to deliver a premium experience to every member of its growing community. 

So far, 100% of the Bad Bears have been minted, an achievement that few collections can claim, especially in light of the high degree of competition in the NFT scene. Its success in piquing the interest of crypto lovers and NFT enthusiasts can be credited to numerous factors, one of which is the intriguing universe attached to the project. The Beartopia boasts not only the Genesis Bears. In the months to come, the team is set to release Bad Cubs and VX. Both of these anticipated drops are exclusive for Bad Bear holders and are projected to explode into the scene in the first and second quarter, respectively. 

The buzz around Bad Bears can also be attributed to the long list of perks that come hand in hand with every mint. Apart from a meticulously designed must-have character, they can look forward to exclusive access to VIP sections of A-list parties, full commercial rights and usage of their minted token, as well as the opportunity to earn passive yield with every bear they own.

Currently, the team behind the Bad Bears is religiously adhering to a roadmap that includes four phases. Among the plans for the first quarter that have already seen fruition is the release of the 5,555 Genesis Bears and the launch of the $MSK, a token that stands at the center of the collection’s universe.

“It is a fixed supply NFT utility token designed to fuel innovation and raise the value of every Bad Bear,” explained the founders. “Unlike most projects, $MSK is distributed to holders through a fixed supply and is replenished by users purchasing items in the Metaverse.”

Right now, Bad Bears is gaining momentum in the NFT space and gearing up to secure a coveted position in the forefront of the digital asset industry. In the following quarters, NFT enthusiasts can expect a flood of events and updates, from the drop of the Bad Cub serum and a FOMO wallet private release to DAO treasury distributions and community-driven developments. 

Secret World – Enabling the Masses to Fulfill Their Traveling Goals

Life, although sometimes being fulfilling, can at many times become mundane and tiring. Any average person has their daily lives dictated by a strict schedule. A big majority of today’s society has the same periodic timetable on which their day continues. Waking up each day to work for 8 hours, coming back to perform the necessary chores, watching television, and going to sleep. This repeated routine can become tiring and sometimes cause a person to become dull mentally and physically. A big reason for this is the lack of nourishment for the mind and the soul for the people. Although being a functional part of society is imperative for society to progress, it is also important to take some time to rejuvenate one’s mind to operate at full capacity. One revolutionary company making it easier to indulge in the liberating activity of traveling more comfortably is Secret World.

Travelling has been referred to as nourishment for one’s spirit or soul on many accounts. A person can let out all the stress accumulated over time while being a responsible part of society through traveling. It is necessary to have a periodic getaway that could be anything from a two-day mini-vacation to a week-long tour. It is necessary for a person to get away from the mundane schedule of their daily lives in order to keep productivity at high levels. Research shows that after accumulating huge amounts of stress, either from the workplace or household matters. A person’s productivity is impacted negatively when having to keep carrying this for a long time. By traveling a person can witness all the beauty, the World has to offer not from the screen of their TV’s but their own eyes. However, traveling is easier said than done.

Besides confirming whether a travel destination is known to be safe for travelers or not. Many other factors can greatly impact how a person’s travel experience turns out to be. Traveling to an unknown place where English is not the dominant language can be extremely difficult to plan for on many occasions. Making lodging arrangements alone can be difficult as it can be hard for a non-native to research an ideal location that stays within their budget and can enhance their experience.

Knowing the customs of the place a person is traveling to is imperative not to offend someone unintentionally. For example, tipping the waiters or handing a store clerk money in their hands is a commonly known practice. However, doing such acts in Japan can be considered rude and greatly offends them. Japanese locals are paid adequately for their jobs and will surely take offense if offered a tip for their services. These small unknown facts can transform a relaxing getaway into a nightmare depending on the intensity of actions performed unintentionally. Secret World is an online platform that helps travelers avoid such mistakes and helps substantially increases the success of people’s trips.

Secret World is an online platform that Antonio Kim Ciccarelli founded in 2014. It was founded to enable travel for the masses by giving them access to all relevant information and traveling hacks learned by more veteran travelers. It is an online platform where travelers can share their traveling stories, tips on what to do and not do, traveler’s guide to a specific destination, and much other helpful knowledge. This knowledge can be accessed by anyone online. This platform also hosts discussion forums where any aspiring traveler can ask questions related to their next adventure. These questions are then answered by the active traveler’s community present on Secret World promptly. Secret World, on many occasions, has been called the ‘eBay for travelers’ as they allow people to offer their guide services on the platform. Natives can sell guide services; Travelers can offer to sell any unused airlines tickets; travelers can also sell a guide filled with a detailed description of must-visit locations and locations that travelers should not visit. People can also buy authentic souvenirs from this platform.

This foundation for this company was set during an adventure getaway of Antonio Kim Ciccarelli and his friends. During this vacation, Ciccarelli discovered all the benefits traveling could have for a person. Experiencing the different cultures of the places he had visited instilled a lust for travel and adventure within him. However, his adventure also taught him about the different troubles that a novice traveler could encounter. Ciccarelli decided to develop a platform where all the questions that haunt a new traveler and become a hurdle in their decision of traveling could be easily solved. Partnered by Markus Hofmeier, Ciccarelli started the Secret World in 2014, and their company immediately experienced a surge of visitors and admirers.

Because their platform was based on an innovational idea, success was streamlined for Secret World, with a present 100 million visitors per year. Their vast range of free resources has awarded them a ranking amongst the top three global travel and tourism platforms on Amazon. Secret World is currently far more popular than platforms like National Geographic, Lonely Planet, and Trivago.

 Secret World’s philosophy of having travelers help other travelers for free has garnished them with much success over the years. They have now become a notable name in the tourism industry globally. The founders of Secret World are determined not to rest until the whole World feels comfortable traveling to any location of their choice without any stress.

Suave Xavier Pegues on Hailing From Humble Beginnings and Carving a Path Toward the Forefront of the Entertainment Industry

The advent of digital technology and the rise of online-based platforms have opened a world of opportunities for people from all walks of life. Today, success is no longer exclusive to people born to a silver platter or those who grew up with a wealth of privileges and supported by an extensive network of connections. Suave Xavier Pegues, a Youtuber and social media personality known for his celebrity impersonations, short comedy skits, and prank videos, is among the rising figures in the entertainment industry whose story demonstrates that go-getters now have a shot at translating their dreams into reality despite coming from humble beginnings. 

The pride of a small town in North Carolina, Suave Xavier Pegues knows the realities that hundreds of millions of individuals from across the globe share. But highly fueled by the vision of a future where he could take care of his family and friends, he is currently going all-out in establishing his name in an industry known for its cutthroat and saturated nature and making the most of every opportunity given his way.

This criminology graduate from the University of North Carolina Wilmington managed to reach great heights and capture the interest of countless users when he made the strategic decision to harness the power and reach of social media during the outbreak of COVID-19.

“During the pandemic, I joined TikTok and started producing content that, little did I know, would change my life,” shared Suave Xavier Pegues. His standing as one of the platform’s most impressive impersonators solidified even further when he began making voice impressions of Kevin Hart. 

“The story of how I began to talk like Kevin Hart came from choking on a Taki chip,” Suave Xavier Pegues amusedly recalled. “I was watching TV and choked on the chip, so I ran to the bathroom to cough it out and sounded exactly like Kevin. Ever since that moment, I’ve been able to impersonate his voice and entertain my online audience.”

While Suave Xavier Pegues had been rapidly racking up followers by then, it was when one of his prank calls went viral that he rose to more considerable prominence. Not only did he break the Internet and pique the interest of Dwayne Johnson, who posted his video on his social media accounts, but the TikTok star also caught the attention of the producers of The Ellen Show. 

Suave Xavier Pegues boasts a whopping 11.5 million followers right now on TikTok, with his videos garnering an accumulated 224 million likes. Just recently, he graced Fox News NYC and had people in fits and giggles over a trending video of his dog that has been viewed over 106 million times. 

In the years to come, Suave Xavier Pegues hopes to secure a coveted spot in the limelight and emerge as a big-time movie actor, TV host, and comedian. On top of having the chance to do what he’s most passionate about, he aims to gain a more impactful platform where he could make people laugh and educate them at the same time. 

BigMeta: Keeping the Humor Alive in Crypto Communities

NFTs are the next big thing in investment circles. A combination of art and cryptocurrency, NFTs allow you to invest in fun and creative ways while being part of an online community. BigMeta takes NFTs a step further by adding an exciting and adventurous storyline to their tokens.

Everyone has heard tales of heroes fighting against evil, taking down big corrupt entities, and saving the world. Many have wanted to live out their superhero or secret agent dreams. BigMeta makes that hero’s life possible with the compelling storytelling narratives that shape their NFT collection. A member of the BigMeta team said, “We believe that storytelling is a lost art, but not a lost cause. Exploring our imaginations and creating fiction with our NFTs as a community is a powerful way to bring creators and audiences together.”

Creating a fun-loving and supportive community is at the heart of the BigMeta project. The creators behind this line of NFTs wanted to create a space for individuals who want to inject a bit of humor and fun into their investing journey, so they created an online community on Discord. And because NFTs are new and the creators have the freedom to shape their projects however they want, BigMeta chose to pair their tokens with a storyline, in effect giving their audience a mission to accomplish using their NFTs.

In Operation BigMeta, there is an evil group called the BigShots, a shadow organization comprised of the world’s biggest celebrities and most powerful leaders. These BigShots have been secretly pulling the strings of society for centuries for their own gain. They meet once every six years, six months and six hours to plot their next scheme. And in keeping up with the times, the BigShots decide to target crypto communities, intending to punish them for their penchant for trolling online.

The BigShots plan to release a new crypto token called DAObolical. But they won’t be releasing an ordinary token. Once purchased, the DAObolical will remove the sense of humor of its holder. With their humor gone forever, these crypto enthusiasts will lose interest in trolling or doing other fun things. 

Holders of BigMeta NFTs can use their tokens to stop the BigShots. In order to succeed and save the world, holders must use their NFTs to infiltrate the BigShots headquarters and Mt. Doxx. Their mission is to take these corrupt leaders down one by one to keep the crypto community funny and engaging. 

Each BigMeta token is designed with a character, a speech bubble, and an animal companion. In addition, each character will have their own unique characteristics and sense of humor which will be determined by the speech bubble and animal companion the character is paired with. Not only that, but each character also comes with a descriptive story, which further enhances the storytelling in the Operation BigMeta world. 

The BigMeta NFT collection already comes with a fun story. But the creators behind this project have more in store for their supporters, all involving storytelling, of course. Their team’s vision is to have multiple stories for their NFT characters, which will evolve into comics and games. Their online community will play a big part in shaping these narratives, which helps bring the crypto fans closer to one another. According to the BigMeta team, all crypto enthusiasts are welcome to join them, especially those who want to keep humor alive in the NFT world.

Funky Bunnies, a Promising New Entrant into the NFT Scene

Amid the doubts over their value, non-fungible tokens continue to capture the interest of not only those who are well-versed in the comings and goings of the digital asset industry. A year after they hit the mainstream, NFTs are proving naysayers wrong by becoming a staple in the financial realm. No longer a fad, they keep growing in prominence, inspiring a roster of creators and companies to launch their own collections. Funky Bunnies is one among the new entrants into the space, one that is bound to stand out even in the face of the countless projects that are now vying for a coveted spot in the limelight.

Funky Bunnies is a collection of 3,333 randomly generated tokenized bunnies whose story is set a thousand years into the future. While exploring the Metaverse, these must-have characters entered a town of punks, a move that would lead to their evolution. Currently, the project, which features a new kind of art designed and styled by the Asia-based studio AllenxRoot, is making a buzz and promises to emerge as one of the power players in the NFT scene this year. 

To be hosted on the Ethereum blockchain, Funky Bunnies offers tokens that are more than just the usual PFP. Evident in its characters is the creator’s expertise in marrying cuteness with punky appearances. Painstakingly made from scratch and 3D-rendered, every bunny boasts a highly distinctive styling not found on any other tokenized character.

Minting any of the Funky Bunnies will provide holders a chance to see the collection develop into a WEB3 Innovation brand. Additionally, owning the rabbits will give them access to a long list of perks, from merchandise drops and a play-to-earn game to WEB3 coaching sessions.

Although much of the anticipation revolving around Funky Bunnies can be credited to the quality of its art and host of benefits, its rise through the ranks is also thanks to what the project has stood for from the get-go.

“When the creator was in his teenage years, he was unable to buy any crypto as he wasn’t born to a wealth of privileges,” shared the team at the helm of the collection. “Like millions of people across the globe, he struggled his way to the top. But, he proves a testament to the fact that talent can supersede all kinds of obstacles. Now, he wants to create a better world with his art.”

Ultimately, Funky Bunnies seeks to offer the NFT community something more than art and utility. More than anything else, it intends to deliver a sense of completeness to every token holder, sparking emotions that other projects haven’t succeeded in inducing. Their Twitter is gaining a good amount of traction.

In the months to come, the digital asset industry expects a flood of more collections birthed by artists and ventures that have recognized the value NFTs bring to the table. This inundation is a daunting challenge for those hoping to hog the spotlight, but the strategic minds behind Funky Bunnies are confident that they will manage to propel this purpose-driven initiative to great heights.

A strong community of prospective holders has formed on Discord while the project continues to ramp up supporters on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook. Their Instagram has just gained above 40k following recently.

Become Legendary on Creating an Avenue for the Business Community to Thrive in the NFT Space

In the light of the high degree of competition saturating the NFT space, standing out can prove challenging. However, this is a feat that Become Legendary NFT has no trouble achieving, as it continues to gain a lot of traction for bringing utilities vital to the growth and success of the community. An exclusive multiverse entrepreneur and business community, one mission stands at the core of the project: to unite tomorrow’s legends from all around the world by connecting, learning, growing, and giving back to one another.

Become Legendary is a collection of 11,999 unique NFTs stored as ERC-721 on the Ethereum blockchain and hosted on an interplanetary file system (IPFS). Each non-fungible token is unique and is generated from hundreds of elements and categorized into levels of a respective rarity: Heroes, Demigods, Titans, and Gods.

Holders of the Become Legendary NFT will be treated to a plethora of benefits categorized into four pillars: education, networking, digital incubator, and passive income. Holders are sure to be updated on the project through Discord, Twitter, and Instagram. As shared by the creators and developers behind the project, “Beside unique designs that stand out from all the rest, we offer real added value focused on business content.”

Following this, investors will gain lifetime access to international events hosted by the venture. Mastermind businesspeople and entrepreneurs from many different fields and industries will be present in these gatherings to share their expertise and unrivaled knowledge with the other members of the community. The creators hope to organize three to four of these functions per year, following the grand opening in Dubai from June 1 to 2 and the second event in South Africa in the first week of October.

But this is just touching the surface of the benefits awaiting the token holders. Become Legendary is committed to providing the community with additional utilities like earning a passive income in the form of Olymp Coins, which can be converted into tokens or exchanged for FIAT currencies. Additionally, the coin can be used to purchase digital services from other participants in the community.

Entrepreneurial token holders also have the opportunity to pitch their own startup project and earn a reward of up to $60,000 through the project’s Digital Incubator, where 10% of the project royalties go to. Holders fortunate enough to be picked will be given a chance to invest together with the founder team in upcoming projects and build their own portfolios in the digital world.

The project is currently adhering to a comprehensive roadmap divided into different phases. The minting phase consists of three parts to avoid gas wars and so everyone can be adequately accommodated. Whitelisted users will be able to participate in the first and second minting periods, which will last for 12 hours each. The first mint will have a supply of 1,500 NFTs at 0.17 ETH each, while the second mint will have 3,500 NFTs at 0.185 ETH each. The third mint will be the public sale lasting for 24 hours with 6,999 NFTs priced at 0.2 ETH each. Interested investors can only purchase a maximum of 10 tokens.

Right now, Become Legendary continues to gain momentum in the NFT space and is preparing to secure a prominent place at the forefront of the industry. In the following months, NFT enthusiasts can look forward to more updates, which will be revealed as the project progresses.

Crypto Enthusiast Khalid Ahmed Shares How to Overcome a Difficult Journey

Khalid Ahmed is a crypto enthusiast who is already achieving milestones at the age of twenty-four. After going through the most difficult challenges in his life, he experienced success in the industry. Today, he’s driven to inspire people through his journey, showing them that anyone can bounce back from impossible odds.

Khalid’s medical bills due to his Crohn’s Disease at the age of nine were one of his driving forces to become successful early. The young crypto enthusiast is also known as ISELLCOIN online and was compelled to reach financial freedom early. If not, he and his family would not be able to live the comfortable life they are living now. After his diagnosis, he experienced a septic shock. But Ahmed saw this experience as a blessing instead of a curse. Fortunately, when he was in his sophomore year in high school, he experienced complete remission from his Crohn’s disease. 

Khalid’s success started when he met a guy who was a little bit older than him and was willing to pay a high price for the AMD Radeon Graphics cards he possessed. So naturally, the young man became curious and asked him why he needed to have four of the same cards and what game he was playing to possibly need that much power. He told Khalid that he would use it to grow his Bitcoin. Ever since that day, his life has changed forever. 

“This affected me differently because the house was taken from my parents from the bank after they couldn’t pay the mortgage while paying my medical bills,” recounts the young Crypto enthusiast. “I ended up getting a second job at a movie theater to put extra money into Bitcoin,” With the small amount of money he placed into Bitcoin and experiencing the exponential growth he received, his thousands amounted to six figures. He sold a significant portion of his bitcoins and gave all the money to care for his parents. Finally, Khalid Ahmed was able to buy a house in West Covina for his beloved parents. He was then able to pool in some money and started expanding his business into selling video game rigs with graphics cards included. 

Thankfully the business did well, and so he started building connections with the Chinese suppliers. That gave a chance for rising e-commerce-based businesses such as Marvel and DC-inspired pocket knife online stores, hiking and outdoor niche-based online stores, and weighted blanket stores to scale their businesses even more. 

All of his online stores became steady and consistent. He began to lease multiple warehouses in the United States to keep up with increasing demand. Still, then he eventually began to produce and sell exclusively in the United States. That boosted his reputation and allowed him to be identified as a fellow businessman. Ahmed then successfully sold his two companies for seven figures. 

Today, he is still hands-on with his two expanding companies, the weighted blanket company and his computer part company full time, and is an angel investor. He invests in Bitcoin and Ethereum and has started investing in NFTs. His most recent angel investment is a company called DOGPOUND, the most exclusive gym in the United States. Other famous investors in the startup include Tom Holland. Ahmed hopes that his story will inspire others to keep fighting even when things get tough.

Executives Need to Mandate an End to Vaccine Mandates: Adrian Russo

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, like many executives around the country, is mandating that all city employees must be vaccinated on order to work.  This is leading to some very interesting, and quite absurd, situations in the Big Apple.  Kyrie Irving, Point Guard for the Brooklyn Nets, is not able to play games in New York City however he is able to attend games in New York City.  Irving did as much during a game against the Knicks.  Irving was not able to play, so he purchased a ticket and attended courtside.  He even greeted teammates and was seen on the floor.  Unvaccinated players from the New York Yankees and the Mets face similar circumstances once MLB resumes in the coming weeks. 

Vaccine mandate policies such as these are hardly limited to cities or sports.  They can be observed in countless ways in organizations throughout the United States.  Set aside the fact that all current COVID vaccines available operate under the Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA), many policies make little sense from a workplace safety perspective. 

Some workers who are exclusively remote employees are forced to choose between “jab or job.”  These employees are fully remote and do not encounter other employees.  There is no risk to the health or well-being of others, as there is no exposure to unvaccinated employees.  Additionally, even fully vaccinated employees are susceptible to COVID variants such as Omicron, as we have seen in recent months.  Employees can easily transmit these variants inside an office even while fully vaccinated.  Why then, should HR or other executives mandate a vaccine that operates under EUA?  As we’re now learning through the Pfizer disclosures, vaccine efficacy decreases significantly after as little as one month.  A Lund University study also suggests that mRNA vaccines enter human liver cells and trigger the cells DNA in the nucleus to increase the production of the LINE-1 gene expression to make mRNA; a fact that Pfizer said was “not possible.”  One thing is clear; we simply do not have enough facts to include COVID vaccines in routinely mandated employer inoculations.

Cover for businesses was largely provided by Joe Biden’s Executive Order on vaccine mandates for businesses with 100 or more employees.  This cover, however, was brief.  The Supreme Court struck down the mandate as unconstitutional, reversing the EO. 

It’s long past time for HR leaders to follow the science and allow for individual choice in the workplace. Far too many employees face discrimination under Title VII.  They should not be subjected to proving why they do not need to comply with mandates for vaccines issued under EUA that violate religious or civil liberties.  Trust your employees to make their own medical decisions and keep their teammates safe.  This is not only a matter of choice but, in many cases, a matter of civil rights.

New Posthumous Selena Album in the Works

Photo: Getty Images

Singer Selena’s family announced plans to release a new album this spring, commemorating 27 years since the 23-year-old Tejano icon Selena Quintanilla Perez was shot and killed by her former employee, Yolanda Saldivar — an event that inspired both an acclaimed biopic and a Netflix miniseries.

Selena’s father, Abraham Quintanilla, told Latin Groove News that the yet-unnamed project would be distributed through Warner Music and contain 13 ballads and cumbias, composed of ten unreleased songs and three new arrangements of old songs.

Selena’s brother, A.B. Quintanilla, also spoke to Tino Cochino Radio about the project. 

“It’s a crazy concept album. I remixed all her vinyls and just, with this album, with an EDM world, with arpeggiators and with keyboards, I made her flow to cumbia. Normal songs that were not normally recorded in cumbia,” the producer said.

Quintanilla explained that they digitally altered her voice to make her sound older as several tracks were recorded when she was a teen.

“We were also able to de-tune her voice to make her sound older than what she was. So, she was 14 or 15, we were able to make her sound like she just stepped out of the booth at 23 years old.” 

He added that “by de-tuning her voice a little bit, it actually made her sound deeper, like she sounded before she passed.”

Family patriarch Abraham says he is amazed at how “26 years later the public still remembers Selena. They haven’t let go of her. They’re waiting for a project like this to come out, and I know it will be well received by the public.” 

He adds, “I said right after she passed away that I was going to try to keep her memory alive through her music, and we have done that.”

Russian ETF Skyrockets as a Few Spot Bargains in ‘Uninvestable’ Market

Photo by Kanchanara

As the Ukraine-Russia crisis continues, many industries have been affected by the sanctions set by the United States and its allies. As a result, the Russian market is at a distressed level. 

On Thursday, a Russian-exposed ETF momentarily soared by over 100% in London, indicating that a few investors spotted the latest turmoil levels as a prospectively non-expensive approach for Russian assets. However, the Ukraine-Russia conflict continues to escalate. 

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are among a few ways left to obtain exposure to Russia amid Western sanctions against Moscow for its attack on Ukraine, as they carry on with trading even if liquidity in the underlying asset plummets. However, this makes it hard to determine the exact value. 

According to Schroder CEO Peter Harrison, the Russian exchange has been shut down for four days, and stocks and bonds are currently “in the realms of utterly uninvestable.”

Schroders has unsettled sell orders on the Russian market, among other asset handlers. 

Although several investors have not nudged Moscow securities, shares in BlackRock’s iShares MSCI Russia ADR/GDR ETF, which records depositary receipts of Russian companies such as Sberbank and Gazprom, concluded with a profit of 21%, following an all-time low on Wednesday. Previously, they had gained more than 100%. 

Nonetheless, the ETF’s price remains to drop by over 80% this year, and volatility is expected to stay high until a potential solution to the conflict is indicated. A new attempt for peace negotiations on Thursday brings hope to some. 

A Securequity sales trader, Jawaid Afsar, said, “The bounce reflects both bargain hunting and also potential belief that some resolution may be in sight.” 

The iShare ETF has momentarily halted the making of new shares, which aligns with a similar move other exchange-traded funds exposed to Russia did; the London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Boerse, on the other hand, have held trading in numerous depositary receipts.