The Smallest Town in America

Talk about getting away from the rat race. Elsie Eiler, 84, is the only resident of her hometown in Monowi, Nebraska. There used to be two of them, but that was before her husband passed away in 2004. She is the town’s mayor, village clerk, treasurer and librarian. The only business in town is the Monowi Tavern, which she owns and operates. She runs the town’s library as well. The town is technically the smallest town in the entire country; many shrinking areas have decided to unincorporate – but not Elsei, who files the required paperwork to keep Monowi designated as a village.

She actually completes a road plan for the municipality each year to secure funding from the state. She applies for her liquor and tobacco license each year for the restaurant and sends the paperwork to the secretary of the village for approval – who is Elsie. As she explained to the BBC,

“So, I get them as the secretary, sign them as the clerk and give them to myself as the bar owner.”

 

Oldest Message in a Bottle Discovered

So this is a really cool story. A Woman in Australia has found the oldest known message in a bottle in the world. Tonya Illman was on a beach in Western Australia, just north of Wedge Island when she discovered something sticking out of the sand. She picked up what looked like a “lovely old bottle” and then when a friend went to tip the sand out of the bottle, they discovered the note.
The message was dated June 12, 1886 and was thrown into the Indian Ocean from a German sailing boat which was going to Cardiff, Wales. There were thousands of such bottles thrown into oceans as part of a German experiment on global currents to help them find faster shipping routes, according to the Western Australia Museum. The Illmans brought the bottle to the museum and the finding was compared to the ship captain’s journal notes indicating they had thrown a bottle overboard. So far, 663 message slips have been recovered from that experiment but only one bottle – the one the Illmans brought in.

Serena Williams Helping Pregnant Women

It is inspiring to see how Serena Williams is working to help moms-to-be around the world. After giving birth to her daughter, Williams experienced a great deal of medical trauma and she wants to prevent other women from having a similar experience. Williams had a c-section after her daughter’s heart rate plummeted. Soon after giving birth, Williams had trouble breathing and a scan revealed that she had blood clots in her lungs. After many complications, doctors saved her life and had to be on bed rest for six weeks.

As Williams recently wrote in an op-ed for CNN, “If it weren’t for their professional care, I wouldn’t be here today. Every mother, everywhere, regardless of race or background deserves to have a healthy pregnancy and birth. And you can help make this a reality.”  She urges readers to donate to UNICEF or to write to governments. It’s certainly inspiring to see someone as well known as Williams putting her energy towards helping others.

 

 

 

Become Straw Free and Help the World

Most people don’t realize this but American throw away as many as 500 million plastic straws a day. As Adrian Grenier of the non-profit Lonely Whale points out, “Conservatively, you can guess that Americans will use on average two plastic straws a day, so 500 million is an accurate estimate. But I challenge you to start paying attention to the straws you get in your iced coffee, smoothies, soda, and cocktails. When I’m in New York or LA the number of plastic straws I receive is often closer to 10 a day.”

A number of people and organizations are starting to care, and they are making a difference. Milo Cress started a movement in 2011 called Be Straw Free that encourages restaurants and hotels to only offer straws when people ask for them. Grenier has a Strawless in Seattle campaign which has, so far, helped Seattle to save 2.3 million plastic straws in only three months. They are asking restaurants and businesses to change to biodegradable straws and it’s making all the difference.

It’s certainly a cause worth thinking about and a change that could make all the difference.

Kevin M. Killoren Explains: Make Your Business Travel More Comfortable

Being on the road for work can really become a drag, as you pine away for your New York loft and wonder how you’re going to do another week in Atlanta. There are certainly some ways to make it more enjoyable and comfortable, however, and a location like VIP Corporate Housing with Owner Partner Kevin M. Killoren can definitely make the difference. Their idea is a brilliant one; rather than staying in a hotel or trying to find another option when you’re away on business, you can stay in a beautiful, fully equipped apartment and pay by the day or month.

How does it work? Kevin M. Killoren and VIP Corporate Housing explain that they have fully furnished apartments set up in an array of locations around the United States. The apartments come with everything including a fully equipped kitchen. The apartments are located in regular apartment communities, so they include fitness centers, swimming pools, sports courts and even the ability to bring your pet along.

For the busy executive who still wants to feel at home when he’s away on the road, The VIP Corporation Housing with Kevin M. Killoren is the perfect way to have it all without breaking the bank. They offer one, two and three bedroom options across the Midwest and throughout the country and many of these locations include concierge services, VIP Events and even golfer clubs. It’s nice to know that you have a home away from home, even if you need to go to five different locations in the course of six months (or less) and to know you can curl up with a good book or watch some great TV in the comfort of a fully furnished apartment.