Monowi is a village in Nebraska, United States, whose only remaining resident is a 77-year old woman named Elsie Eiler. Eiler lives in a mobile home a half-block from the only business left in Monowi, a dark, wood-paneled tavern, thick with smoke which Eiler runs. She also runs the town library, a tiny building jammed with 5,000 books left behind by her late husband who was a devoted reader. Elise is also the mayor of Monowi.
Monowi's peak years were in the 1930s, when it had a population of 130. Monowi, like many other small communities in the Great Plains, lost its younger residents to cities that were experiencing growth and offering better jobs. During the 2000 census, the village had a total population of 2 - only one married couple, Rudy and Elsie Eiler. Mr. Eiler died in 2004, leaving his wife Elsie Eiler as the only remaining resident.
Eiler's life as its mayor and sole resident is surreal. Once a year she raises taxes from herself to keep the four street lights on and a few other basic amenities going. She runs the town's only business, the Monowi Tavern, and lives in the only remaining habitable building. She grants her own liquor licence and elects herself mayor. Her customers come off the highway that runs through Monowi or from nearby towns.
This town is an extreme example of what has happened across America's heartland. The depopulation of the countryside over the last 50 years has been called the largest migration in American history. Nowhere is that more starkly illustrated than on the Great Plains, which includes Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.
This cup of coffee looks so much like an owl. At first glance we would think it was photoshopped, but upon further investigating we would find it’s the real deal. This owl hiding out in a coffee cup made a big splash when British conceptual artist Stuart Rutherford let him fly all over Twitter with the message "Who'd a thunk dunking a couple of Hula Hoops in your coffee would be so beautiful."
This wise old bird is actually the result of two yummy Hula Hoops (a cylindrical potato snack beloved by British kids for their ability to fit on little fingers like tasty, salty rings) plunked into a cup of joe.