Archive for the 'Best of' Category

Some Maps of How Educated America is

Here’s an interesting new interactive map to look through. The US Census Bureau has mapped the United States on a county by county basis based on education level. This is a map of every county in America sorted by high school graduation rate (a darker color indicates a higher percentage):

Here’s one for the percentage of adults with a bachelor’s degree (again, a darker color indicates a higher percentage):

Here’s a better way to look at college graduates per county. in terms of raw numbers:

The message these maps show us is that it’s the Amtrak corridor (Washington DC, New York City, and Boston), the Great Lakes and California that really dominate the battle for the most educated areas of the country. I love it when people take raw boring statistical data and translate into something visually interesting to look at. This is just another interesting way to look at the various regions of America.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or for more information.

A Map of the Rudest and Most Polite States

Some places just have nicer people than others and now we have some hard data to back that up. The data firm Marchex analyzed thousands of recorded phone calls to call centers with customers from all 50 states and recorded the frequency of callers using curse words as well as “please” and “thank you”. The results were interesting too. The states with the filthiest mouths were Ohio, Maryland, New Jersey , Louisiana, and Illinois while Washington, Massachusetts, Arizona, Texas, and Virginia had the people least likely to use profanity. As far as our pleases and thank yous go South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, Louisiana, and Georgia ranked as our most polite states while Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Indiana, Tennessee, and Ohio rank as the least polite.

A few interesting notes about the profanity usage were that men were far more likely to curse than women and that a call was far more likely to contain curse words the longer the call lasted. Also New Jersey, Maryland, and Louisiana were ranked very highly in both cursing frequency and usage of the words “please” and “thank you”. As a New Jersey native, that fits me perfectly. Ohio on the other hand was ranked both as one of the least polite and most profane states in the country. However, I don’t think that is something that the great state of Ohio should be ashamed of. We have a broad language with hundreds of thousands of words all of which are appropriate for certain situations and they should be proud of using the words that they do. Besides, who among us hasn’t been tempted to curse while frustrated on a call with a call center?

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or for more information.

Top 15 Cities Where Millennials are Moving

Two weeks ago I talked about where the best cities are for young professionals based on a whole range of factors. Today we’re going to look at census data and find out where they’re actually moving to. So does our behavior match those standards? Sort of. There are several matches from last week’s list but the metropolitan area that added the most millennials since 2010 has been Washington DC which has had a net gain of about 12,000 people born between 1980 and 2000. That 12,000 figure is very revealing too because it signifies that people are moving much less often than they used to. Part of it is due to the recession but part of it is due to changes in the economy as a whole with more and more jobs available that can be done from anywhere. If you look back to the 1970s about 20 percent of households reported that they have moved recently while today that number is only at 12 percent. But I digress, here is the list of the top fifteen metropolitan areas with the biggest increases in their number of young professionals:

1. Washington, DC
2. Denver, CO
3. Portland, OR
4. Houston, TX
5. Austin, TX
6. San Francisco, CA
7. Seattle, WA
8. Riverside, CA
9. Dallas, TX
10. Charlotte, NC
11. Minneapolis, MN
12. Oklahoma City, OK
13. San Antonio, TX
14. Kansas City, MO
15. New Orleans, LA

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available throughout Washington D.C. and Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 for more information.

Top Cities For People Under 35

How does one measure the attractiveness of a city for young people? Job availability? Cheap rent? a good bar scene? Vocativ just released a pretty exhaustive list to determine exactly that using twenty separate factors including average rent, salary, unemployment rate, cost of living, coffee shops and bars per capita, cost of beer and cigarettes, and cheap take-out restaurants per capita. All of these factors were measured for the 50 most populated cities in America and a list was aggregated. The top ten are below:

1. Portland, OR
2. Austin, TX
3. San Francisco, CA
4. Seattle, WA
5. Minneapolis, MN
6. Las Vegas, NV
7. Atlanta, GA
8. Long Beach, CA
9. Denver, CO
10. Phoenix, AZ


Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or for more information.

America’s Ten Most Energy Efficient Cities

When it comes to going green and adopting alternative energy sources, increasing energy efficiency is incredibly important. After all the cheapest and cleanest unit of energy is one that isn’t used in the first place. The challenge with energy efficiency is more of a financial one. Upgrading buildings and infrastructure to be energy efficient is something that is usually pretty expensive in the short term but pays off over a longer time horizon and that’s a tough call when you have government offices up for election every two years in some cases. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy recently put together a report where they listed the country’s 34 biggest cities in order of energy efficiency. The factors that they considered were local government operations, community-wide initiatives, building policies, utility policies, and transportation policies. What follows is a list of the top ten most energy efficient big cities in the country:

1. Boston, MA
2. Portland, OR
3. New York City, NY
4. San Francisco, CA
5. Seattle, WA
6. Austin, TX
7. Washington, DC
8. Minneapolis, MN
9. Chicago, IL
10. Philadelphia, PA

Red Sox Nation doesn’t waste electricity.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available in Boston and Nationwide. Please call us at 800-587-2640 or email us at for more info.

Ten Essential Things to Keep in Your Car

Last month my car got a flat tire on the highway when I was coming home from work. I was able to safely move to the shoulder and confirm I had a flat, and then I opened up my trunk to get the tools I needed to change the tire. I had a spare tire ready to go but there was no jack to be found in my trunk. My father has a habit of borrowing the jack from my car to use in his own personal projects and it turns out that it was never returned. What could have been a fifteen minute tire change turned into an hour waiting for AAA to arrive just to change a stupid tire. That’s why I was so heartened when I came across this article at Lifehacker that lists several essential things that you need to keep in your car for when things go wrong. Some of what you need is as follows:

Tire Changing Tools – I learned this one the hard way.
Tire Sealant and Inflation Tools – I never considered this but it can be a lifesaver if you have multiple flats.
Your Owners Manual – This should always be in your glove compartment anyway.
Duct Tape and WD-40 – You would be amazed at how much you can fix with these two.
Jumper Cables – Dead batteries can happen to the best of us.
First Aid Kit – For treating minor injuries in the event of an accident.
Flashlight – Because car problems can happen at night too.
Paper Maps – Because your ability to navigate shouldn’t be dependent on the life of a battery.
Ice Brush/Scraper – If you live north of the Mason-Dixon line you need one of these.
Blanket or Sleeping Bag – Extremely bad weather could mean you have to spend a night in your car. This will help keep you comfortable without burning up gas.

Lifehacker has a far more comprehensive list but the ones I listed above are the ones that I feel are most important. And that night I was stuck with a flat tire ended with me setting some very firm ground rules with my father. Namely none of the above things are to ever leave my car unless you happen to be driving it and you’re in a situation where they need to be used.

It happens to the best of us.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or for more information.

America’s Most Expensive Sushi

Japan has contributed a great deal to America since we stopped fighting each other in 1945. Japanese businesses took American inventions like cars and video games, significantly improved them, and then sold them back to us with everyone benefiting. But there’s one great Japanese cultural export in America that was born and raised completely in the Land of the Rising Sun, sushi. Sushi has become more and more popular over the years in America, especially in big cities and areas where is become trendy to eat super-healthy foods. Almost all sushi is just raw fish and/or vegetables wrapped in rice and that means it can be all over the map in terms of quality and price. Most rice and fish are fairly inexpensive but more expensive fish can make the price of your sushi roll skyrocket. Bloomberg has put together a list of the cities with the biggest gaps in price between the basic and premium rolls. If you live in any of these areas, you’re paying the biggest premium for that premium sushi:

1. Greenwich CT
2. Los Angeles, CA
3. Houston, TX
4. Boston, MA
5. Dallas, TX
6. Miami, FL
7. Chicago, IL
8. Atlanta, GA
9. New York, NY
10. Sacramento, CA

すし, 寿司, 鮨, 鮓, 寿斗, 寿し, or 壽司

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or for more information.

Outrageous Hotel Fees and How to Avoid Them

Chances are you’ve probably been slammed by hidden airline fees you can’t avoid often when you’re at the airport an hour before your flight. At that moment it turns out that the airfare you thought you were paying wasn’t as cheap as you thought. Well the same thing is starting to happen in the hotel industry and it isn’t pretty. All told US hotels are expected to collect about $2.1 billion in fees this year. If you’re going to stay at a hotel, Galding has a list of a few charges you could see tacked on to the final bill:

1. Charges for donations to local charities without your consent.
2. Bellhop service charges even if you didn’t use them.
3. Housekeeping charges.
4. Charges for using the business center, fitness center or other amenities.
5. Charging extra for a new set of clean towels or sheets.
6. Adding fees for using the in-room coffeemaker.
7. Sometimes guests are charged for the in-room safe, even if it’s not used.
8. Package delivery fees are applied for receiving mail.
9. Bills at some hotels now include an “energy surcharge.”
10. Paying steep fees to use the internet.
11. Early checkout fees.

There are however some things that you can do about this. First of all, always carefully look though the bill when you’re checking out of a hotel and dispute any fees they’re charging you for things you didn’t use. It is possible to have many of these charges dropped by negotiating with a manager. I think that Joe Sharkey of the New York Times offers a better solution though. Whenever possible try to stay at mid-level hotels that cater primarily to business travelers. Many of these hotels offer a wider range of services and amenities which are built into the nightly rate they advertise. You may be paying a higher nightly rate but you can rest assured that you won’t have any nasty surprises when you look at the bill when it’s time to check out.

Don’t hand over your credit card too quickly.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or for more information.

America’s Top Ten Hardest Working Cities

Have you ever wondered where in the country work the hardest? Central to that question is what exactly defines hard work. Anyone who has worked for long enough will know that everyone has a different personal definition as to what exactly hard work is. Well Forbes recently came out with a list of what they consider to be the hardest working cities in America. among the factors that they considered, were average hours worked per week, the regional unemployment rate, average commute time, average number of workers per residence, volunteer hours, and cost of living. So here is the list:

1. Seattle, WA
2. Arlington, TX
3. Fort Worth, TX
4. Austin, TX
5. San Jose, CA
6. San Francisco, CA
7. Dallas, TX
8. Virginia Beach, VA
9. Washington, D.C.
10. Houston, TX

Seattle takes the top spot again.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or for more information.

America’s Coolest Metro Areas

We as humans have a surprisingly narrow range of temperatures that we find comfortable and we don’t like it when the outside temperature goes well above or below that range. Extreme heat and extreme cold have a tendency to drive us all indoors where we have comfortable heat and air conditioning. Right now we’re in the middle of summer and its hot out in most of the country. But what if you’re like me and can tolerate cold temperatures better than extreme heat? Which major cities in the country have the mildest summers? Bert Spurling put together a list of the ten large metropolitan areas with the coolest summers. You won’t experience many days with triple digit heat in any of these places:

1. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
2. Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA
3. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA
4. Denver-Aurora, CO
5. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
6. Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY
7. Salt Lake City, UT
8. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI
9. Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI
10. Pittsburgh, PA

Not every city can claim to have Mt. Rainier as part of their skyline.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or for more information.