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Our Top 9 Most Portlandia Headlines of 2014

A round-up of the 2014 headlines we swear we didn’t write with the People’s Republic of Portlandia in mind.

Portlandia, which holds a funhouse mirror up to a certain set of (ahem) earnestly progressive urbanites, begins its fifth season on IFC starting January 8. From farm-to-table extremists to fixed gear cyclists and the dour owners of a proudly unprofitable feminist bookstore, we here at GOOD are well aware that when we laugh at these characters, we’re also laughing at ourselves. We’ve rounded up a few of last year's headlines from GOOD which, when taken on their own, might seem to have been written with the citizens of the People’s Republic of Portlandia in mind.

1. How I Tried to Turn Prison Into a Colorful Experience


Okay, we get it—a few neon paintstrokes might not seem like much when you’re serving a life sentence. But at a humane prison in Germany, this vibrant alternative to the typically ominous visitor’s tunnel encourages outsiders to visit their incarcerated loved ones a lot more often, contributing to lower recidivism rates down the road.

2. These Name Tags Will Make You Reconsider Gender Pronouns

A casual party full of strangers isn’t anyone’s favorite time to bring up fraught issues like gender politics. But that’s what makes these nostalgic stickers so ingenious. Make it easy for potential new friends to say hello by letting them know up front how you prefer to be addressed—and boost awareness of the wealth of pronoun options beyond he and she without having to say a word.

3. How a Trek in Nepal Inspired My Juice Business (Recipe Included)

Stop us if you’ve heard this one: Tourists spend a little time in a foreign country and by the end of the trip, their whole worldview has changed. This time, Canadian globe-trotters turned a newfound fondness for Himalayan berry juice sold streetside into Vancouver’s first cold-pressed juice truck. When a traveler’s new obsession leads to more delicious (and healthy) food options for pedestrians, we say more power to ‘em.

4. Rent a Dog to Stave Off Holiday Loneliness

Sure, bringing a dog home for a few hours won’t change the fact that you’re single on Valentine’s Day. But even a day of companionship has been shown to reduce stress and improve activity levels for humans and canines alike. That’s why many animal shelters have started to offer special programs for short-term dog fostering—and if your foster period happens to fall on your birthday, no one other than Fido has to know.

5. Missing from Presidents’ Day: The People They Enslaved

We’re pretty sure you’re aware that many of our most beloved founding fathers also owned slaves. But you’ve had a lot of years to cultivate that skepticism. In this ongoing project from its comparative and regional studies department, American University highlights the inadequacies of widely used history textbooks (like mentioning a president’s pets and childhood escapades, but never his plantation)—encouraging even the youngest among us to think more critically.

6. Where Have All the Parisian Farmers Gone?

Despite all appearances to the contrary, Paris has seen its fair share of farmers—and you’re most likely to encounter them at one of the city’s famous open-air markets. This guidebook to independent farmers’ markets in the City of Lights makes it easy to track down fresh, local produce direct from those who grew it, even in one of the world’s most bustling urban environments.

7. Free Wheel: An Oral History of Bicycle Design

What you’ve heard is true: By and large, even the most innovative bicycles have two wheels. Though this mode of transportation’s general criteria for construction has remained largely unchanged for more than a century, high-tech features like parachutes for military use or ice-friendly wheels inspired by skate blades have pushed the boundaries of what a bike can do.

8. These Jeans Are Made of Recycled Plastic Bottles

No, this company isn’t asking you to don a Pepsi bottle in lieu of pants. Instead, they aim to make casual fashion more sustainable by constructing denim out of an innovative blend of cotton and recycled plastic bottles.

9. How I’m Using Rock Climbing to Save Youth From Gangs

Troubled youth are likely to benefit from any activity that fosters discipline, focus, trust, and camaraderie. But this non-profit organization goes above and beyond, offering safe outdoor spaces that are open late, when most violence tends to occur. And by its very nature, rock climbing presents a variety of challenges and opportunities that help improve self-esteem, reduce stress, and nurture close relationships.

Articles
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."

Yes, you read that right, "history of polling."

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Politics
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.

RELATED: Joe Namath Says Colin Kaepernick And Eric Reid Should Be Playing In The NFL

"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.

RELATED: Video of an Oakland train employee saving a man's life is so insane, it looks like CGI

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.

Culture

In the category of "claims to fame nobody wants," the United States can now add "exporter of white supremacist ideology" to its repertoire. Super.

Russell Travers, acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, made this claim in a briefing at The Washington Institute in Washington, D.C. "For almost two decades, the United States has pointed abroad at countries who are exporters of extreme Islamist ideology," Travers said. "We are now being seen as the exporter of white supremacist ideology. That's a reality with which we are going to have to deal."

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Between Alexa, Siri, and Google, artificial intelligence is quickly changing us and the way we live. We no longer have to get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat, we can find the fastest route to work with a click, and, most importantly, tag our friends in pictures. But interacting with the world isn't the only thing AI is making easier – now we can use it save the world, too.

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