Archive Page 2

Baltimore’s Unique Crosswalks

Crosswalks are one of those things that don’t get much attention. Other than Abbey Road in London what other famous crosswalks can you even think of? I totally walked across Abbey Road barefoot, in a suit, and holding a cigarette but I can’t think of any other notable time I ever crossed a street before. Well the city of Baltimore is trying to change that. Their Office of Promotion and the Arts is trying to increase the amount of public art in the city and one of the things they’ll be doing is making cool crosswalks like this one:

That zipper crosswalk doesn’t hold a candle to this hopscotch one though:

Yes soon enough in the city of Baltimore you will be seeing people playing hopscotch while doing the simple act of crossing the street. That’s certainly one thing you can do to set your city apart from everyone else.

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

There’s About $1 Billion Worth of Unredeemed Gift Cards in America

I never liked getting store gift cards as a present. The intent is certainly nice. The person giving it to you usually has no idea what you actually want and they’re giving you some money towards something you can get for yourself. This is what annoys me though. Many gift cards have expiration dates and restrict you to buying from a certain store. If that store has what you really want then that’s fine but what if it doesn’t? What do you do then? Gift cards are incredibly easy to re-gift and you could always sell it off on a site like Cardpool for some actual cash.

There are some people who absolutely love gift cards and those are the stores that sell them. Why is that? There is a good chance that a customer with a gift card will either spend more than the entire value of the gift card on their trip or they’ll spend less than the card’s value. Either way the store makes more money than if the customer was paying the total sticker price of their purchases. Also every year about one percent of the total balances on gift cards go unredeemed. Considering that about over $100 billion worth of gift cards are sold each year, that comes out to about $1 billion in pure profit retailers get every year. I’m not against businesses making money but I hate seeing stories of consumers wasting money. If you’re considering buying someone a gift card for Christmas this year, just give them some cold hard cash instead. It may seem a bit more impersonal but the recipient has way more options on what they can do with it and it will be more appreciated.

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

The First Skyscraper to Generate Its Own Energy is Now Under Construction

We’ve been building skyscrapers for more than a century now and for past few decades cities all over the world were engaged in an arms race to try and be home to the world’s tallest building. Ever since the current record holder, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, was completed in 2009, that race seems to have died down. That is one of the many consequences of a global recession caused by a crash in the real estate market. However, it was recently announced that there will be a new skyscraper completed by 2020 that will be the first of it’s kind. Instead of trying build the world’s tallest building, Indonesia’s state-owned energy company Pertamina will be building a skyscraper that is designed to generate it’s own electricity. The tower is designed to open up at the top which will create a wind tunnel. Those winds will power turbines and generators and it is estimated that those generators will satisfy about 25 percent of the building’s energy demand. It’s not entirely self-sufficient but it will significantly reduce the demand it places on the city’s power grid which is far more than any other skyscraper can claim. I think that this skyscraper is going to be the first of its kind and future buildings are only going to emulate and improve upon this model.


Jakarta’s future skyline.

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

A New Record is Set for the Lowest Temperture Recorded on Earth

If you look at a weather forecast across America today it’s freezing cold just about everywhere (except you South Florida). New England and the Mid-Atlantic just got their first bit of snowfall today making the act of commuting quite miserable. If you’re someone in the northeast who hates cold and snow of the winter well I have an article here to remind you that we really don’t have it that bad. Recently revealed satellite data from NASA reveled that they measured the lowest temperature ever measured on the Earth’s surface in August of 2010 in Eastern Antarctica, -135.8 degrees Fahrenheit. This shatters the previous record low record of -128.6 degrees in Antarctica in 1983 and is about 50 degrees colder than the lowest temperature ever recorded in the Northern Hemisphere. The 30 degree temperatures outside suddenly don’t feel so cold now. Remind me never to take a summer vacation on the bottom of our world.


That’s pretty much what you’ll see if you ever decide to go there.

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

Tanzania Has One of the Coolest Hotel Suites Ever

Unusual hotels have always existed in some form or another. Some exist on the tops of trees and mountains, while others reside in the depth of caves and the ocean floor. They all exist to stand out from the competition and give their guests a truly cool and unique experience. Following in that trend is The Manta Resort on islands off the coast of Tanzania. They have just opened a suite that floats on the surface of the Indian Ocean and has an incredible underwater room with a 360 degree view underneath the waves. The views of the marine life are especially incredible at night because many sea creatures are attracted to the light coming from inside the room. Though it would be incredibly cool to check out, there is no way I would ever want to sleep in that underwater room. The sight of an octopus sticking to my bedroom window would most certainly keep me up all night.


That’s one good way to attract tourists to Zanzibar.

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

A Map of Air Travel in 1929

Flying across the country is a whole lot easier than it used to be. Today you can spend a few hundred bucks to get a non-stop flight from New York to San Francisco and you can get there in about 6 hours. Back in the twenties though that whole long-distance air travel thing was a lot more complicated. Even though great advances in aviation were made during that decade like Charles Lindburgh’s first non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean and the advent of in-flight entertainment, flying was still quite new, dangerous, and lacked much of the infrastructure that airlines heavily rely on today.

The David Rumsey map collection has an incredible flight map of America from 1929 and it shows you how difficult it would be to cross our country as quickly as possible back then. A trip from New York to San Francisco back then would require several train rides over hundreds of miles and layovers at fourteen different airports. Even though back then there were planes like The Spirit of St. Louis that were able to fly over 3000 non-stop miles, those planes were only designed to hold one or two people. The earliest passenger planes of that era had to carry far more people and weight and therefore had a much shorter range. It really is amazing how quickly commercial aviation has advanced to the point where almost anyone can hop on a plane and cross a continent or an ocean in the course of a few hours. It is something that our ancestors would be quite envious of.

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