iStock
iStock

'Hotel Influenza' Will Pay You $3500 to Come Get the Flu

iStock
iStock

Miami Beach. The Caribbean. Cabo. All of these vacation spots may sound appealing, but they can cost thousands. Why not plan a getaway where your hotel not only pays your travel expenses but also gives you a little extra just for coming?

Thanks to St. Louis University’s Center for Vaccine Development, now you can. The only catch? You’ll be purposely exposed to influenza. And most sightseeing is out, since you’ll be quarantined.

As Forbes reports, the university just announced that it has converted part of its on-campus hotel into a research hub for flu. “Guests” of “Hotel Influenza” will be paid volunteers in a human challenge study that aims to evaluate the efficacy of vaccines. Rather than follow subjects in the real world who may or may not contract the virus, the center will make sure of it, exposing occupants to germs and then evaluating their response. Researchers are offering $3500 to cover each volunteer's travel expenses, leaving the rest as compensation for marinating in their own snot.

That exposure doesn’t necessarily guarantee they’ll experience flu symptoms. If a guest happens to have been treated with a working vaccine rather than a placebo, they might not get sick, and can pass away the time in the center’s modest quarters, which include catered meals and a common room with a television. If they do fall ill, 24-hour medical care will keep their discomfort to a minimum. Owing to the risk of transmission, they won’t be allowed to leave until they stop shedding the virus. The typical duration of stay is about 10 days.

The center is hoping this kind of targeted research will help improve seasonal flu vaccines with a long-term goal of developing a universal vaccination that can cover multiple strains of flu. Organizers expect a pilot study will be up and running within the next six months.

There will only be 24 slots available, so be sure to book early.

[h/t Forbes]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Brian Lawless, WPA Pool/Getty Images
arrow
Odd Jobs
The Queen Needs Someone to Write Letters for Her
Brian Lawless, WPA Pool/Getty Images
Brian Lawless, WPA Pool/Getty Images

Between hosting world leaders, supporting charities, and adding to her colorful hat collection, Queen Elizabeth II is a busy woman. She receives thousands of letters each year—about 200 to 300 a day, according to some estimates—and could use a little help answering all of them.

That’s where the royal letter writer comes in. Buckingham Palace is looking for a “correspondence officer” who will be tasked with “drafting a letter that someone will never forget,” according to the job listing. The officer would be responsible for answering each and every letter and answering the public’s queries, whether they be political or social in nature, or something altogether “unique.”

This individual would work out of the Private Secretary’s Office, which also handles the Queen’s speeches, receives official presents, and arranges domestic and overseas programs. The salary is £24,000 (about $32,100), making it an ideal job for someone early in their career. Applicants must have some administrative experience, excellent writing skills, and must be a British citizen or have the right to work legally in the UK.

Although the Queen’s Ladies-in-Waiting respond to most letters from the public, the Queen occasionally answers some personally. In 2012, she wrote a letter to Andrew Simes, the grandson of a man who had sent her a Christmas card every year from 1952 up until his death in 2011. She wrote, "When I received a letter from a different Simes this Christmas, I instructed my office to research your grandfather's whereabouts. Therefore it is with much sadness, I have learned of his passing and extend my condolences to you and your family."

If penning letters on behalf of the Queen sounds like your dream job, you’d better act fast—the deadline for submissions is June 13. Online applications can be submitted here, and other openings (including pastry chef, housekeeping assistant, and administrator of “royal bindery,” or bookbinding operations at Windsor Castle) can be viewed here.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
News
Work From Home? Vermont Will Pay You Up to $10,000 to Move There
iStock
iStock

Do you work remotely, like cold winters, and have the freedom to pack your bags and move whenever you’d like? If you answered yes to all three questions, Vermont wants to claim you as one of its own.

On May 30, Governor Phil Scott of Vermont signed a bill into law that will award up to $10,000 to remote workers who move to Vermont beginning in 2019, Quartz reports. To be considered for a grant, you must be a full-time employee of a business based outside of Vermont and primarily work from home or out of a co-working space. The unorthodox measure is aimed at countering the state’s aging population and giving the tax base a much-needed boost.

The grants, intended to offset the cost of relocation and work expenses, will be awarded to 100 new workers each year from 2019 to 2021, and 20 new workers will be supported each subsequent year, according to The Hill. The grants are available on a first-come, first-served basis to those who move to Vermont on or after January 1, 2019.

Grant recipients will receive up to $5000 per year, based on their individual expenses, and up to $10,000 total throughout the course of the program.

Not quite ready to book that one-way ticket to the Green Mountain State? You can try another one of Vermont’s programs called “Stay to Stay Weekends,” which connects visitors with local employers and realtors to give them a feel for the neighborhood. June 1-4, August 10-13, and October 19-22 are the next upcoming weekends, and three communities—Brattleboro, Manchester, and Rutland—are participating.

[h/t Quartz]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios