Portlandia & Norway: Desired by the Poor, Educated, and Criminals?

Curated by CLAI

“Young people are increasingly telling themselves, ‘I’m going to move somewhere and pursue my career,’ rather than, ‘I’m going to pursue my career and go wherever it takes me.’” That line stuck with me as many of my friends and colleagues move to other cities and even countries to live. Many young Americans now have the liberty and flexibility to pick up and move wherever our heart desires because we are not worrying about just food, water, and shelter, but are in search of meaning and passion.

With that, countries like Norway have such high standards of living – their prison cells look better than a lot of dorm rooms and apartments I’ve ever lived in. Our needs are all relative to our surroundings.

Portland, Oregon: Where Work is Optional (Kelsey Dake, NYTIMES)

Portland, Oregon: Where Work is Optional (Kelsey Dake, NYTIMES)

PORTLAND: People move to New York to be in media or finance; they move to L.A. to be in show business. People move to Portland to move to Portland.

  • Portland has taken hold of the cultural imagination as, to borrow the tag line from “Portlandia,” the place where young people go to retire.
  • The city has nearly all the perks that economists suggest lead to a high quality of life — coastlines, mountains, mild winters and summers, restaurants, cultural institutions and clean air.
  • According to the sacrifice measure metric, which essentially charts how poor a person is willing to be in order to live in a particular city: Portland is near the top of the list. Even when college-educated residents get jobs there, they earn 84 cents for the average dollar earned in other cities.
  • We’re not the hungry immigrant nation we used to be. We’re more into meaning, into jobs that find fulfillment. And at least some people are willing to accept lower pay to go somewhere they care about.
  • Portland’s paradox is that it attracts so many of “the young and the restless”, that it has become a city of the overeducated and underemployed — a place where young people are, in many cases, forced into their semiretirement.
Norwegian prison art (Trond Isaksen/ Statsbygg, WAPO)

Norwegian prison art (Trond Isaksen/ Statsbygg, WAPO)

NORWEGIAN PRISONS OR HOTELS? Norway’s prisons are overcrowded, but the Scandinavian country has found a simple solution: sending some of its prisoners abroad. Up to 300 prisoners could be sent to the Netherlands, which has so few criminals that it’s about to close 19 penal facilities.

The reality of Norwegian overcrowding belies the longstanding reputation the country has had for prisons that looked more like modern art museums than penal facilities. Some Norwegian cells look even more luxurious than student dorms.


New Instant Pop-Up Shops and No Tofu

Curated by CLAI

POP-UP SHOPS: Need a real live shop for your startup business for one day to do market testing, promotional event, or sell merchandise? Welcome to the next stage of evolution after mobile food trucks. The “Clicks to Bricks” business model is innovative in a way, and that’s because you can now start a company on the Internet, and there’s this intermediate step between a brick-and-mortar where you pop up and have this tactile, real experience

  • Pop-up shops are temporary retail spaces that spring up in unused premises. Leases can last as short as a single day, when brands use the spaces for a promotional event instead of testing out a market.
  • The pop-up concept is proliferating in trendy, high-foot-traffic neighborhoods like SoHo. As long as you can change it back, you can do whatever you want with the space, says OpenHouse, a company that owns storefronts in the always fashion-forward SoHo neighborhood in New York.
  • Today, an old subway stop in SoHo is a place to get designer pants at 40% off. On other days, it’s a test kitchen and bar. Next week, it might host a press event. The one thing this place doesn’t do is anything permanent.
Pop Up Shop in NYC

Customers can get a tactile experience trying on glasses at Warby Parker’s shop in New York City. (NPR)

NOTO LANGUAGE: Google is working on a font that aims to include “all the world’s languages” — every written language on Earth. “Tofu” is what the pros call those tiny, empty rectangles that show up when a script isn’t supported. This is where Google’s new font family, “Noto,” gets its name: “No Tofu.”

  • Right now, Noto includes a wide breadth of language scripts from all around the world — specifically, 100 scripts with 100,000 characters. That includes over 600 written languages.
  • This month, Google & Adobe has released a new set of Chinese-Japanese-Korean fonts — the latest in their effort to make the Internet more inclusive.
  • Even when more widely-spoken languages are supported, their scripts may not accurately reflect the culture within which they’re used. Urdu is one example. Nastaliq Urdu — ornate and calligraphic with distinctive hanging characters — is not supported
Noto font by Google

Google’s Noto font as it displays for Devanagari script, used to write Hindi. (Google)


32 Graphics of Your Every Day Life & Risque Names

Curated by CLAI


The woes of using toothpaste

The woes of using toothpaste (Truth Facts)

The last of toilet paper

The last of toilet paper (Truth Facts)

The evolution of cold beverages

The evolution of cold beverages (Truth Facts)

RISQUE NAMES: Hapi Food Cereals or Holy Crap? Have we gotten to the point where pretty much anything goes? And are provocative, cheeky, even crude company and product names good for business?

  • You can now sip wines called Sassy Bitch and Fat Bastard, bite into a Kickass Cupcake, and order a breakfast sandwich at a Los Angeles restaurant called Eggslut.
  • HVLS (High Volume Low Speed) Fans changed it’s name to Big Ass Fans.
  • How about a hotel in Toronto called Mammoth Erection?


SELF-PROMOTION: 4 Rules for Negotiating a Job Offer & Backdating Your Resume

Curated by CLAI

AMERICAN SELF-PROMOTION: The United States is the most overtly self-promotional country in the world. Overall, American professionals are often quite comfortable promoting themselves, especially in a business environment — and that behavior is actively encouraged as a sign of competence and self-confidence. That’s simply not true in most other countries and cultures, from East Asia to Latin America to most of Europe. Even in the United Kingdom, where we share a language, has revealed that overt, American-style self-promotion is taboo.


Self-promotion (Jodie Llewellyn)

15 Rules for Negotiating a Job Offer: (1) Don’t underestimate the importance of likability. (2) Negotiate multiple issues simultaneously, not serially.” If there are four things you want, mention them all at once, and let the employer know the relative importance of each one. (3) Consider the whole deal, not just salary. And avoid ultimatums. (4) Don’t negotiate just to negotiate.

BACKDATE YOUR RESUME: Much of our thinking about our careers and our purpose in the world is about looking forward, thinking about how to make progress toward our ultimate goals. The beauty of uncovering your past is that you are afforded the chance to create a sturdier, truer road map for where you want to be. Backdating your resume lets you look forward and back so you can tap into your full story to inform your career choices.

Have More Sex! Be More Attractive (Men)! It’s Good for the Economy and your Business

Curated by CLAI

DO IT FOR DENMARK: Denmark has a sex problem. (Re-evaluating that happiness ranking already?) Well, it’s not exactly a sex problem, per se. It’s more like a baby problem. Denmark posted a birth rate of 10 per 1,000 residents in 2013 — its lowest in decades. A Danish travel company started an ad campaign with an “ovulation contest” to boost Danish population.

  • Studies show that Danes have 46% more sex on vacation. Because more sex increases the chances for more children, we call for a romantic break to save the future of Denmark
  • The fewer Danes means fewer people to support the aging population — but sadly, also fewer people to spend money.
  • Spies Travel travel urges Danish women to “use your cycle to identify the most likely time to conceive. Avoid stress. Get a massage. Try yoga. Take advantage of gravity. Lie down for at least 15 minutes after sex. And men, avoid tight pants. Even if you think it looks good.”

<a href="&quot;”">’Do it for Denmark!’ video advertisement</a>

ATTRACTIVE-MAN EFFECTIf you’re pitching to investors, find an attractive male to do it for you – unless you’re one already. Surprisingly, attractive females fare the worst.

  • People are most likely to find a pitch with a male voice with an image of an attractive man more appealing, more investable than a pitch by a less attractive man or woman. The group that fares most poorly are actually the attractive women
  • Investors chose the businesses presented by males 68% of the time. Both males and female respond much more positively to pitches with male voices than a pitch with a female voice.
  • Women-led businesses probably only receive 5%-10% of all the venture capital that’s allocated to startups in their very earliest in their growth phases.