Last week, I put up a post asking BB readers to tell us (and each other) about their projects. You-all upvoted your favorites, and herewith presented is a list of some of the coolest things you're up to (there's plenty that didn't make the cut but still fascinate -- have a look).

There's so much awesome here that I'm going to split this into a morning and evening post. Here's this morning's bunch (for an unfiltered view, go read the totally awesome thread for yourself).

First in this batch: Matthew Heberger is translating "Where There is No Doctor" (an amazing book I relied on extensively when I was a volunteer school-builder in Central America) into Bambara for use in Mali:

Mali, in West Africa only has about 1,000 physicians for 14 million people, and has among the world's highest rates of infant mortality and lowest life expectancy. So we got together a group of volunteers to help coordinate the translation of the book "Where There is No Doctor" into Bambara, the country's most widely-spoken language. It is an amazing resource that can literally save lives!

Emojk runs a site called FindersKeepers:

I've been managing a website for 6 years now, where I post pictures, letters and other stuff that I and my friends (and whoever wants to forward them) have found on the streets:

The findings are mostly French, as is the website, though there are quite a few letters in English, and photos are international, obviously.I hope to make it into a book quite soon, so if you know anyone interested... Meanwhile, don't hesitate to send your treasures!

avoision's site Spitshake makes it easy to produce formal-looking contracts for stupid bets:

I recently launched a project that helps facilitate silly bets/wagers between friends, via customizable contracts. The site started after a friend of mine attempted to eat six Arby's roast beef sandwiches in an hour (without getting sick). Halfway through, he got into an argument with another friend about the bet logistics. We thought it would have been great to have had a formal-looking contract, with all the details spelled out... and that's basically what this site does. Seems to be pretty ideal for food and eating related challenges.

Bok's running a Kickstarter for a comic-strip documentary:

Our comic strip documentary (featuring Bill Watterson and more) is almost done! We're Kickstarting the licensing fees to help make it awesome :)


  1. I’m confused about the STRIPPED project.

    I mean, it’s a documentary. Wouldn’t using footage from “Charles Schulz’ TV specials, interview clips from Carson, 1930’s newsreels and more” in the scope of critical commentary be considered fair use?

    1. Funny you should ask! I interviewed one of the filmmakers. Here’s the deal. He wrote up about 2,000 words at the Kickstarter site about it. But, in brief, while fair use might cover it, the courts haven’t been clear enough about it — nor do they award fees or penalties to parties with copyrights pursuing those who assert fair-use rights because it’s not trolling under current law.

      The Stripped folks want to release globally, and fair use isn’t a global concept. They want to avoid litigation. To release the film beyond narrow confines, such as to project in theaters, they need “errors and omissions” insurance, and the insurers only provide that if every single clip, music snippet, etc., has clearance. The insurers don’t insure against fair-use lawsuits.

      The good news? The fellow I interviewed said that copyright holders have given them *literally* millions in free rights for the film. So they $38,000 they set out to raise was for the stuff that came from big studios, TV networks, and other sources that they couldn’t convince to license for free or a nominal amount.

      In practice, you have to have patience and deep pockets before you engage on a fair-use journey. It’s unfair, yeah.

  2. I love the spitshake idea. I can think of quite a few of bets/ challenges in my life that would have been better (and far more comical) to have one of those ‘contracts’ to lord over the loser…

  3. I’m the clever one in my group of friends, but around these parts I feel like the kid that can’t stop drooling on himself.

    1. I think the WHEREAS guy should come up with a renewing contract for people on this site that says each year: “In the next 12 months I will improve the world or stretch people’s brains or give something back or improve on the social contract by doing this ___________”

      Then at the end of the contract we get together and celebrate, and maybe also craft plans for world conquest.

  4. Thank you so much for mentioning our website! I’m not sure I mentioned it before, but the idea comes from, an awesome project if you’re into found stuff!

    (though of course you should send your findings to us, and not them)

  5. Thanks for mentioning us too, Cory and Boing Boing! This really made my day, since (1) it came on my birthday! and (2) we’re in the final days of a fundraising campaign and we’ve already received generous donations from Boing Boingers! :)

    Every dollar we raise helps pay our team of professional translators and editors in Bamako, Mali. Everything else (layout, illustration, fundraising) is being done by volunteers. This project is a labor of love for us, but we really think it can make a big difference. So thanks!

  6. Thanks for the mention, Cory! Stripped should be coming out in the next couple months and I can’t wait for everybody to get to see it! :)

  7. Adding my thanks to Cory for the project mention. And thanks everyone for the kind words! SpitShake was a silly, silly idea… and I’m glad folks are getting a kick out of it.

    Next time you bet someone that you can eat the contents of a vending machine in its entirety… you know where to go for the paperwork!

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