The New York Metro area has gotten a lot of snow this winter. As much as I enjoy skiing on the snow that winter brings many of us have reached the point where enough is enough. My back is tired of shoveling snow into bigger and bigger piles and I just want it all to melt away right now. For those of us that like data visualization though the New York Times has had a bit of fun this winter. They have put together a time-lapse video that shows the daily amount of snow cover for the entire New York area for every day between January 20 and March 4 and it looks like something straight out of Minecraft. It’s absolutely fascinating to watch the patterns in which snow disappears in a geographic area after a storm hits. I highly recommend checking out the whole thing on their website. Here’s a sample gif:
Churchill has short-term corporate lodging available in New York and Nationwide. For more information please contact us at 866-255-0593 or National@FurnishedHousing.com.
In many ways the traffic on our streets follows many of the basic principles of economics, supply and demand. A road’s demand is determined by how many drivers want to use it at a certain time and supply is determined by how many cars a road can support at any given time. When demand exceeds supply you get heavy traffic and congestion. When you think about then there are two factors that can cause traffic to back up, old and narrow infrastructure, and/or lots and lots of people who want to use the road at the same time. Time and Forbes released an interesting piece where they determined America’s cities with the worst traffic. Los Angeles tops the list with the average commuter spending 64 hours per year stuck in traffic. It’s important to remember though that a big increase in traffic isn’t always bad since that usually means that there are more people living and working in the city’s metro area. Here is their list:
1. Los Angeles, CA: 64 hours
2. Honolulu, HI: 60 hours
3. San Francisco, CA: 56 hours
4. New York, NY: 53 hours
5. Bridgeport, CT: 42 hours
6. Austin, TX: 41 hours
7. Washington, DC: 40 hours
8. Boston, MA: 38 hours
9. San Jose, CA: 37 hours
10. Seattle, WA: 37 hours
An unfortunate consequence of being the economic capital of the world.
Churchill has corporate apartments available in New York and Nationwide. For more information please contact us at 866-255-0593 or National@FurnishedHousing.com.
Humanity has proven itself to be quite good at building incredible things incredibly quickly. Want proof? Here’s a picture of the Chinese city of Shanghai in 1990 and 20 years later in 2011:
I bet you can’t name any other member of the animal kingdom that can build something like that so quickly. However, if you broaden the time horizon or reduce the scale a little, there are some incredible structures in the world that have been built without any human influence. In fact many incredible non-manmade structures have been made by animals no bigger than the tip of your finger.
Today Gizmodo posted an incredible collection of many such structures. It turns out that insects and arachnids like bees, spiders, termites, and moths can create nests that could be considered works of art. Also there are beavers in Canada that have built a dam so large that it can be seen from space. Perhaps the most impressive animal-made structure though is the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of northeastern Australia. Over the course of 60 million years billions of individual corals have built up an enormous coral reef that has the richest biodiversity of marine life in the world. This is considered to be the largest structure built by life on the face of the Earth and as you can see below it is easily visible from outer space. I think that this serves as a great reminder to our species that we’re not the only animals capable of creating incredible things.
Churchill has temporary housing available Nationwide. For more information please contact us at 866-255-0593 or National@FurnishedHousing.com.
Pizza is truly one of mankind’s greatest culinary inventions. What was once a snack invented in the slums of 17th century Naples is now a staple of the diets of many Americans myself included. In the United States pizza has built companies that are worth tens of billions of dollars and thousands of small businesses. We love to eat that wonderful mix of bread, cheese and tomato sauce and no where is it more evident than in the fact that so many restaurants sell it.
While pizzerias can be found all over the country, the price of the pizza they sell actually varies quite a bit from place to place and there are many factors behind that. Pizzerias all have different material and operating costs, tax burdens, and local competitive landscape all of which factors into the price you pay for your pizza. As a result, pizza prices can vary wildly even within the same city. NPR has a great article where they explore just that in several cities across the country. They crunched numbers in different neighborhoods across New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Washington DC and they found that prices vary wildly within the same city. For example, in Manhattan the price of a plain cheese pizza varies between $12 and $23. This is a really cool project that reveals some of the cool economics behind one of the of America’s favorite meals.
Churchill has corporate housing available in New York and Nationwide. For more information please contact us at 866-255-0593 or National@FurnishedHousing.com.
The bigger a state or a country gets the more diverse it becomes and more regional differences emerge. In my neck of the woods, there is a very distinct difference between North and South New Jersey and Upstate and Downstate New York (fun fact: New Jersey was actually governed as two separate colonies for 28 years back when it was a British colony.) At least in America though, these regional differences aren’t divisive enough to merit a breakup of states (well with one exception.) We may bicker and fight like a married couple about things that we consider to be important for our region but things don’t ever get to the point where a divorce is necessary.
All of that made this Forbes article catch my attention. There is currently a drive to get a proposition calling for the breakup of the state of California going on right now and signatures are being gathered as I type this. The intent is to divide the six largest regions of the state into six completely new states complete with new state governments. California is the country’s most populated state with a state economy on par with the country of France so any potential breakup would be huge for the global economy. Furthermore it’s a very revealing sign about the state’s political landscape that there are residents that actually want to do this. Now I don’t think it will pass but it really makes you think about the differences and disputes that occur between regions in our country and how we’re better off united despite them.
Churchill has corporate housing available Nationwide. For more information please contact us at 866-255-0593 or National@FurnishedHousing.com.
Long periods of really hot or really cold temperatures make you wish for the opposite end of the spectrum. I know that is certainly how this winter has made me feel. All of the bitter cold and feet of snow has made me wish for a nice warm summer to come sooner rather than later. Of course if this July we get a triple-digit heat wave that lasts for two weeks, I’ll be begging for a freezing winter again. But I’m going to indulge in that hopeful fantasy today looking forward to summer and the activities that come with it.
Public fountains are a sorry sight in cities that have cold winters when the temperatures drop. Many fountains get drained on a yearly basis to avoid structural damage that the freezing and melting of water can cause. Another things is that fountains public fountains are often off limits to people who want to go in and get wet. For many years the our most common fountain swimmers were drunk college students and toddlers. But there is also a new trend emerging. Urban fountains where swimming is not frowned upon but encouraged. Gizmodo has a great list of five such fountains where taking a dip on a hot day won’t get you any funny looks. Here they are:
1. Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain, Los Angeles, CA
2. Crown Fountain, Chicago, IL
3. Main Fountain, University of Albany, NY
4. Ira Keller (Forecourt) Fountain, Portland, OR
5. Pier 6 Water Lab, Brooklyn, NY
Churchill has short-term lodging available in New York and Nationwide. For more information please contact us at 866-255-0593 or National@FurnishedHousing.com.
We’re incredibly fortunate to live in one of the most peaceful periods of human history. For millennia nations all over the world have been developing more and more efficient weapons of war and defenses against them and it is now quite refreshing that many old defensive fortifications are now historical relics with little to no practical use anymore. Ancient castles have been obsolete for centuries but you would be surprised to find out that there are many modern relics from the twentieth century still around. Many of these bases saw action in World War II and the Cold War and have since been rendered useless by technological advancements since. Gizmodo has put together a really cool list of ten of these most impressive abandoned military bases which you should check out if you want to see the full story behind them:
10. Fort Ord, California
9. Duga-3 Radar System, Ukraine
8. Dunsfold Aerodrome, UK
7. Saint Nazaire Submarine Base, France
6. Johnston Atoll, USA
5. Flak Towers, Berlin, Hamburg, and Vienna
4. Greenbrier Bunker, West Virginia
3. The Maginot Line, France
2. Zeljava Underground Airbase, Croatia
1. Maunsell Sea Forts, UK
They’re like partially submerged AT-ATs.
Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. For more information please contact us at 866-255-0593 or National@FurnishedHousing.com.
Several countries in the world owe their entire livelihood to tourism. In the Caribbean Islands it is both directly and indirectly the source of millions of the region’s jobs and their livelihood depends on them being a tropical paradise that lots of foreigners love to visit. It turns out though that at a national level the world’s most popular tourist destinations are already countries that have it pretty good with France and the US topping the list. To us being a major tourist destination is just a cherry on top of our already robust economies. Movehub recently compiled tourism statistics from all around the world and made a map of the most visited countries in the world per year. The top ten consists of the US and much of Western Europe with China, Turkey, Russia, and Malaysia rounding it out. I highly recommend checking out the entire thing but here is the infographic they put together:
Churchill has short-term corporate lodging available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or National@FurnishedHousing.com for more information.
North Dakota is more interesting than it looks. It has a lot of flat farmland and brutally cold winters. They have a capital named after the guy that re-unified Germany in 1871 (before the Cold War split it up again). They’re also in the midst of a crazy energy boom with the discovery of oil shale there and have the nation’s lowest unemployment rate at 2.6%. Now thanks to Gallup we now know that they’re America’s happiest state as well.
In a survey consisting of more than 170,000 interviews Gallup evaluated factors like personal life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors, and access to basic necessities in all 50 states. Generally speaking the happiest states came from the northern Midwest while the least happy states came from the South. I think ultimately why North Dakota won out was because of simple economics though. They’re a historically poor state that is in the process of getting rich very quickly and despite what some may say, money does buy happiness to a certain extent. It’s really cool to consider things like this if you’re concerned with the emotional well being of the country. Here are the top ten happiest states in America:
Churchill has short-term housing available Nationwide. For more information please contact us at 866-255-0593 or National@FurnishedHousing.com.
The United States has always had an rural-urban divide that has defined our history. It influences where and how people live, how people vote, and how we interact with the rest of the world. I found a particularly interesting map today from Reddit that really drives this point home from an economic standpoint. In this map, half of America’s GDP is generated it the blue area, and half in the orange area. That our metro areas are the biggest drivers of growth in our economy is no secret; it’s been like that for centuries. What is surprising is just how much they power the economy. Our top 21 metro areas contribute exactly as much economic output as the rest of the country and that is a very interesting thing to consider when you think about the future of our economy.
Churchill has corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or National@FurnishedHousing.com for more information.