Mike Monteiro has background wallpaper on his Twitter account that's based on artist John Currin's famous topless painting of Bea Arthur. When a Twitter follower asked Monteiro* to preserve the eyes of children by taking down Bea's boobs, Monteiro turned his refusal into a fundraiser for breast cancer research.
It started out, as you can see in the screen cap, with Monteiro offering to donate 10 cents for every person who favorited his defense of naked Bea. Then, more people signed on to match his donation. At the time I'm publishing this blog post, every time you favorite Monteiro's tweet, the American Cancer Society earns $2.10.
Between that per-click rate and the people who've donated lump sums, Bea Arthur's boobs have pulled in more than $10,000 in pledges since this morning. (Of course, half of that came from one donor, Mike Lee.) Clicks still count through midnight Eastern. Or, drop Mike a tweet if you want to add another 10 cents to the pledge.
I'm just happy somebody is doing something more productive with social media than those stupid "where I like to leave my purse" games on Facebook.
Fundraising > Tangential awareness.
*If you follow this link, you will see boobies. Fair warning.
(Thanks to Noah Gray for the tip-off!)
Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. She writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy. You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook.