Vienna Named World's Most Livable City for the Ninth Year in a Row


There are lots of qualities to look for in a home city—climate, housing, and access to healthcare, to name a few. According to the latest Quality of Living City Ranking from the consulting firm Mercer, Vienna excels in all these areas, making it the world’s most livable city for the ninth year in a row, CNBC reports.

Every year, Mercer publishes a city report that companies and organizations can use to calculate compensation and hardship allowances for employees working abroad. The most recent survey ranks 231 cities, judging them on criteria such as political stability, education opportunities, and economic environment. According to Mercer, “Vienna remains the highest ranking city in Europe and globally, providing residents and expatriates with high security, well-structured public transportation, and a variety of cultural and recreation facilities.”

Behind the Austrian capital was Zurich, Switzerland, followed by Auckland, New Zealand and Munich, Germany tying for third. Vancouver, Canada represents the most livable city in North America in the No. 5 slot.

To find the best-rated American city on the list, you have to go all the way down to 30th place. That spot is occupied by San Francisco. The next U.S. city to make the cut is Boston at No. 35, then Honolulu at 36, Seattle at 44, New York at 45, and Los Angeles at 64. There is one category where a city in America came out ahead of the rest: This year, Mercer provided a separate ranking for city sanitation and named Honolulu No. 1.

Mercer’s city survey also named the least livable cities in the world for 2018. Baghdad, Iraq ranked last at No. 231, with Bangui in the Central African Republic and Sana’a in the Yemen Arab Republic ranking just above it.

Mercer only looks at the world’s major cities for their annual ranking. If you’re more interested in locations on the smaller side, here’s a list of the best small cities in America.

[h/t CNBC]

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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More Than 38,000 Pounds of Ground Beef Has Been Recalled

Angele J, Pexels

Your lettuce-based summer salads are safe for the moment, but there are other products you should be careful about using these days: Certain brands of hand sanitizer, for example, have been recalled for containing methanol. And as Real Simple reports, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) recently recalled 38,406 pounds of ground beef.

When JBS Food Canada ULC shipped the beef over the border from its plant in Alberta, Canada, it somehow skirted the import reinspection process, so FSIS never verified that it met U.S. food safety standards. In other words, we don’t know if there’s anything wrong with it—and no reports of illness have been tied to it so far—but eating unapproved beef is simply not worth the risk.

The beef entered the country on July 13 as raw, frozen, boneless head meat products, and Balter Meat Company processed it into 80-pound boxes of ground beef. It was sent to holding locations in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina before heading to retailers that may not be specific to those four states. According to a press release, FSIS will post the list of retailers on its website after it confirms them.

In the meantime, it’s up to consumers to toss any ground beef with labels that match those here [PDF]. Keep an eye out for lot codes 2020A and 2030A, establishment number 11126, and use-or-freeze-by dates August 9 and August 10.

[h/t Real Simple]