A Mobile Karaoke Unit Is Community-Generated "Transportainment"

The RVIP Lounge provides free, safe public transportation for partygoers, plus the party itself: It's a moving karaoke stage.

It's probably safe to stay you can get just about anything from a truck in Los Angeles these days. Korean fusion tacos. Thai fusion tacos. Frozen yogurt. Frozen dog treats (not kidding). But do you know of a truck where you can get a rousing version of Kelly Clarkson's "Since You've Been Gone"?

The RVIP Lounge is not a truck, strictly speaking. Rather, it's a fully-functioning RV that provides free, safe public transportation while riders belt out karaoke standards at the top of their lungs.

On a recent night in Austin, Texas, where the RVIP had a week-long engagement during SXSW, a dozen revelers passed three microphones around while lyrics danced across a monitor just behind the driver's seat. As passengers covered songs by everyone from Fleetwood Mac to Ace of Base to Cee-Lo, the RV traversed the landscape of tech-sponsored parties, parking outside for a quick set, or picking up and dropping off passengers as they requested stops via Twitter.

The RVIP Lounge was born in Los Angeles. When actress and musician Kestrin Pantera and product manager Jonathan Grubb found themselves in possession of an RV, they realized it could bridge their loves for entertainment and startup culture—and also fulfill their dream to travel to the SXSW festival on a budget. The RV provided viable accommodations for the couple, and a mobile performance venue for festival attendees. Partnering with Walt Disney Imagineering CTO Scott Watson this year opened up more opportunities: They were able to outfit the RV with more features, including a light array on the outside of the vehicle that looks like a giant interactive equalizer.

After a debut at SXSW three years ago, the RVIP Lounge has become a favorite at progressive gatherings, where it can serve as an impromptu community-builder. The transient cabaret had a starring role at TED Active in Palm Springs earlier this month where it shuttled participants around town and served as a kind of transient campfire singalong. As part of its partnerships with Foursquare and Wired at this year's SXSW, the RVIP hosted American Idol-type competitions, pitting east coast against west coast and investors against press. The results aren't official yet, but many agree that Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley's Kelly Clarkson impression may have tipped the sing-off in favor of the east coast.

After a farewell performance in Austin tonight, the RVIP Lounge will be headed back to L.A., ready to accept its next booking. While the truck is available for private events, Pantera and Grubb are also committed to providing free rides across town and popping up at random parties. Follow them at @RVIPLounge, or maybe just listen for the sound of 20 people crooning "Since You've Been Gone" while soaring down Sunset Boulevard.

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Tonight's Democratic debate is a must-watch for followers of the 2020 election. And it's a nice distraction from the impeachment inquiry currently enveloping all of the political oxygen in America right now.

For most people, the main draw will be newly anointed frontrunner Pete Buttigieg, who has surprisingly surged to first place in Iowa and suddenly competing in New Hampshire. Will the other Democrats attack him? How will Elizabeth Warren react now that she's no longer sitting alone atop the primary field? After all, part of Buttigieg's rise has been his criticisms of Warren and her refusal to get into budgetary specifics over how she'd pay for her healthcare plan.

The good news is that Joe Biden apparently counts time travel amongst his other resume-building experience.

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Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert

This election cycle, six women threw their hat in the ring for president, but is their gender holding them back? Would Americans feel comfortable with a woman leading the free world? Based on the last election, the answer is a swift no. And a new study backs this up. The study found that only 49% of American men would feel very comfortable with a woman serving as the head of the government. By comparison, 59% of women said they would feel comfortable with a woman in charge.

The Reykjavik Index for Leadership, which measures attitude towards women leaders, evaluated the attitudes of those living in the G7 countries as well as Brazil, China, India, and Russia. 22,000 adults in those 11 countries were surveyed on their attitudes about female leadership in 22 different sectors, including government, fashion, technology, media, banking and finance, education, and childcare.

Only two countries, Canada and the U.K., had a majority of respondents say they would be more comfortable with a female head of state. Germany (which currently has a female Chancellor), Japan, and Russia were the countries least comfortable with a female head of state.

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via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

If you are totally ready to move on from Donald Trump, you're not alone. According to a report last April from the Wason Center National Survey of 2020 Voters, "President Trump will be the least popular president to run for reelection in the history of polling."

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via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

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"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

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Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.