GOOD Reads of 2014

Here are 7 reads you might’ve missed.

In 2015, we will take you to the four corners of the globe to tell stories about improbable individuals shouldering mammoth struggles and about big ideas crystallizing in very small places. In the process, we hope to add rigor to the conversation about what it means to be a “global citizen” in this day and age. Before we march forward, we’d like to take the occasion to re-share some of the most compelling of our reads from 2014 that you might have missed the first time around. All of us at GOOD, wish you a happy and healthy New Year.

Puppy Love

How a crypto-currency spawned an improbable community of giving

Reporter Tracey Lien spends time with a Nascar driver, a would-be prankster, and a lot of Comic Sans font, to show what Dogecoin can teach us about generosity.

A Thread of Hope

Can a family business save Somalia’s economy?

Somalia has struggled to find its economic footing since the collapse of its national bank 25 years ago—and “solutions” from western governments have only made things worse. So how does a mom-and-pop money transfer service serve such a stabilizing force for the Somali economy? Contributing Writer Mark Hay peels back layers of political grandstanding and post-9/11 paranoia to find that a little trust goes a long way.

“You’re Supposed to Be Creating An Army for God”

One woman’s courageous struggle to be more than a “womb man”

Contributing Writer Sarah Stankorb tells the story of Vyckie Garrison’s harrowing escape from a Christian movement that sees women as vessels for relentless procreation, painting a picture of a controlling religious culture hidden in plain sight.

One Former Prostitute in Cape Town, Two NGOs Battling Over How to Help Her

How should society deal with prostitution?

For Asanda, a former sex worker in the “rape capital of the world,” prostitution was one of few alternatives for steady work, despite the risks involved. GOOD Cities editor Rosie Spinks shines a light on the tug-of-war between the organizations trying to help her.

Is Studying Buffy the Vampire Slayer More Important Than Studying Shakespeare?

In the years since it went off the air, Joss Whedon’s tele-feminist romp through vampire lore has inspired a cottage academic specialty. Contributing Writer Mark Hay jumps into the fray to see if academics behind “Buffyology” are grafting theory onto pop culture—or whether a girl who kicks so much undead ass has something to teach us all.

A Chance in Hell

Yaks, America, and The Apocalypse

To find out about the latest grass-fed protein making a stir among conscientious carnivores, reporter Zachary Slobig hits the road with Colorado rancher Bob Hasse—eight yaks in tow—to explore America’s unyielding and unsustainable dependence on beef.

How Powerful Is Your Passport?

In this digital era, there’s at least one printed medium that’s thriving: the passport. In this Infographic by Ricky Linn, you can see that passports are much more than an access passes to new locations, they are geopolitical barometers, reflecting relations between countries and a particluar country’s stature in various parts of the world.

via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

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Childbirth is the number one reason American women visit the hospital, and it ain't cheap. In fact, it's getting more and more expensive. A new study published in Health Affairs found that the cost of having a baby with employer-sponsored health insurance increased by almost 50% in the past seven years.

The study evaluated "trends in cost-sharing for maternity care for women with employer-based health insurance plans, before and after the Affordable Care Act," which was signed into law in 2010. The study looked at over 657,061 women enrolled in large employer-sponsored health insurance plans who delivered babies between 2008 and 2015, as these plans tend to cover more than plans purchased by small businesses or individuals.

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A meteorite crashed into Earth nearly 800,000 years ago. The meteor was 1.2 miles wide, and the impact was so big, it covered 10% of the planet with debris. However, scientists haven't been able to find the impact site for over a century. That is, until now. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal believes the crash site has been located.

Tektites, which are essentially rocks that have been liquefied from the heat of the impact and then cooled to form glass, help scientists spot the original impact site of a meteor. Upon impact, melted material is thrown into the atmosphere, then falls back to the ground. Even if the original crater has disappeared due to erosion or is hidden by a shift in tectonic plates, tektites give the spot away. Tektites between 750,000 to 35.5 million years old have been found in every continent except Antarctica.

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