Work From the Beach? Hawaii is Handing Out Free Trips to New Yorkers

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iStock

If the big-city grind is burning you out, perhaps what you need is a change of scenery. Here to help is Hawaii’s tourism department, which is offering a one-week, all-inclusive residency to six hardworking professionals from New York City, as Travel+Leisure spotted.

The new program, called Work From Hawaii, is run by Hawaii Tourism United States (HTUSA), the marketing contractor for the Hawaii Tourism Authority. The package—valued at $10,000—includes round-trip airfare from New York City, an eight-day stay in one of six locations in Hawaii, access to a workspace, and additional activities related to food, culture, and adventure.

Slated for September 2018, each of the residencies is tailored to a different profession. App developers can get inspired at a high-tech lab overlooking Maui, while musicians can record from a sound studio on the Big Island of Hawaii, and writers can take respite in quiet Molokai. There are also opportunities for designers, photographers, and entrepreneurs located on Oahu, Kauai, and Lanai.

In addition to living and working in one of New York City’s five boroughs, qualified applicants must be between the ages of 24 and 36. They also need to have a public Instagram account, as they will be asked to share their experiences on social media. According to the official rules, the six winners will be chosen by a panel of judges based on categories like their social media presence, enthusiasm about the prize, and "suitability for promotional use." The application form asks about your work background, what projects you would work on if chosen, and “why working from Hawaii would help you come back better at your craft.”

A poll by HTUSA of 1000 Americans revealed that 60 percent of millennials have worked while on vacation, and 83 percent say they feel more productive when they work outside of a traditional office setting. The Work From Hawaii program “celebrates the career-minded traveler —especially New Yorkers, who do everything in service of their hustle,” Jay Talwar, Senior Vice President of Hawaii Tourism United States, said in a statement.

While the pilot program is limited to residents of New York City, the tourism agency hopes it could someday be adopted in other cities. Until then, all of the suggested itineraries can be booked by the general public starting in October.

Ready to say aloha to a new office near the beach? You can apply online here. Applications close June 4.

[h/t Travel+Leisure]

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

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How Anoka, Minnesota Became the Halloween Capital of the World

A photo of Main Street in downtown Anoka, Minnesota.
A photo of Main Street in downtown Anoka, Minnesota.
123dieinafire, Public Domain // Wikimedia Commons

On November 1, 1919, the residents of Anoka, Minnesota, a suburb about 20 miles north of Minneapolis, woke up to what Smithsonian calls a “prank of epic proportions.” Outhouses were overturned, wagons were parked on roofs, and cows roamed through the streets.

The prank was part of an epidemic of Halloween-related hijinks that seemed to grow more extreme with each passing year. Civic leaders decided that the time had come for the city to do something to dissuade such mischief—or at least to keep would-be pranksters so busy that they couldn’t dream of causing trouble.

So in 1920 a Halloween committee, fronted by local businessman George Green, planned one of the first—and largest—community-wide Halloween celebrations in the United States. The 1920 celebration, featuring a parade, a bonfire, and free candy for children, and was so successful that the police received no reports of pranks.

The celebration only grew in subsequent years, and Anoka leaders wanted people to know it. In 1937, 12-year-old Anoka local Harold Blair was one of 200 Minneapolis Journal newspaper carriers to receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. Members of the Anoka Commercial Club seized on the opportunity, sending Blair off with a request to Congress that Anoka be formally designated as the “Halloween Capital of the World.” A fire in Anoka destroyed many of the city’s earliest documents about the Halloween celebration, so it’s hard to know whether Congress approved the moniker back in the 1930s. But in 2003, Minnesota state representative Mark Kennedy restated the proclamation, officially cementing Anoka’s title.

“It’s like a pebble being dropped into a pond,” Karen George, a member of the board of directors of Halloween, Inc. (the nonprofit organization that plans Anoka’s yearly festivities), told Smithsonian in 2019. “It’s really the people of Anoka who want to enjoy this hometown festival, and then they bring along relatives and friends who tell others about it.”

Today, Anoka’s Halloween festivities have expanded to three parades instead of one, and includes other community activities such as a house decorating competition, bell ringing, and a group pumpkin smashing. In 2020, Anoka’s Halloween festival is celebrating its 100-year anniversary. By most accounts, the holiday has become a part of Anoka’s identity.

“I would say Halloween is in my bone marrow,” Anoka resident John Jost told CBS Minnesota. “Being an Anokoan, the Halloween experience is tied directly to that.”

This story has been updated for 2020.