— FEATURED —
— FOLLOW US —
— POLICIES —
Except where indicated, Boing Boing is licensed under a Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution
— FONTS —
The Brony Thank You Fund spun out of a
Reddit forum Indiegogo fundraiser for fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic ("bronies" and "pegasisters"). After raising money to run an ad thanking the show's creators for doing such a great job, the organizers donated the hefty excess balance to Toys for Tots. The project continued to gain momentum and it is now a registered 501(c)3 charitable organization through which fans of My Little Pony can make tax-free donations that will be funneled to worthy causes. They claim that they're the first media-related fandom to register as a charity -- I'm pretty sure that some science fiction conventions are run as 501(c)3s, though.
On Monday, the Boston Marathon was bombed. On Monday night I was feeling blessed and thankful to not know anyone directly affected by the bombs. But on Tuesday morning I woke up to an email from my colleague Chris Peterson at the MIT Center for Civic Media. Chris's family are friends with the family who lost their son Martin in the attack. He sent us photos of he and his brothers playing with their children and the reality was all too close. It is devastating. This family will have a long road of healing in front of them that most of us cannot even begin to imagine.
My friends at MIT and I have spent the past couple of days helping Chris build a site to raise money for the Richard family. We are coordinating with St Marks Area Main Street, a non-profit community organization based in Dorchester, MA, where the family lives. The site is made with the support of the family and their spokesperson. 100% of funds raised goes to the family. Please give what you can. It's the very least we can do to come together in solidarity with these innocent people and help them to rebuild their lives in the wake of senseless violence. In the photo on the site Martin is holding a sign he made in school that says "Peace". Let us spread that peace.
Adam sez, "The Public Domain Review is a not-for-profit project dedicated to showcasing the most interesting and unusual out-of-copyright works available online. We've been featured on Boing Boing before. We have just launched our fundraising campaign to try and keep the project alive."
FREEDOM, a legendary anarchist bookstore in east London, was firebombed on Friday morning. This is the store that Peter Kropotkin helped found in the 19th century, and the home of a monthly newspaper that published Emma Goldman. No one was hurt, and no one seems to know who did it, or why. The store was uninsured.
They're having a community clean-up day today. I wish I could go, but it's my daughter's fifth birthday, so I'll be donating to the repair and rebuilding fund. This is a ghastly, senseless act.
The bookshop has been firebombed. Fortunately nobody was hurt, but there’s quite a lot of damage from both the fire and the water used to douse the flames.
If you’d like to help us sort out some of the mess, please come down to the shop on Saturday 2nd February from 1pm and give us a helping hand. See here for details.
We’re still assessing the damage, so watch this space for further news.
If you’d like help us out financially, cheques or postal orders made payable to Freedom Press can be sent to Freedom Press, 84b Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX.
You can also help by ordering books through our website here and then emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know that your purchase was a donation.
I can't say enough about what a tragedy this is. FREEDOM is an institution and an incredible bookstore.
(Photo: International Times)
Last week, I blogged about the fundraiser to help sf writer Jay Lake with his cancer therapy (he's hoping to have his genome sequenced and to find some new avenues for treatment) and expenses. The fundraiser involves sf writers and friends doing "public acts of whimsy" as progressively higher sums were raised.
The fundraiser is going great guns, and I've thrown in my own "act of whimsy," which was unlocked overnight: because the fundraiser has crossed the $35K mark, I will "release a a CC-BY scan of my head while recreating any funny expression that John 'Rubberface' Scalzi can photograph himself making."
There are still more whimsical acts to be unlocked, all the way up to $100K ("Jay! The Musical!").
Mary Robinette Kowal sez, "Jay Lake is an award-winning American author of ten science fiction novels and over 300 short stories. He is also one of more than a million Americans who have colon cancer. Diagnosed in April, 2008, Jay's cancer has progressed from a single tumor to metastatic disease affecting the lung and liver, recurring after multiple surgeries and chemotherapy courses, and multiplying from single tumor presentations to multiple tumors presentations. Jay is now in his fourth round of chemotherapy, but it's not clear that it's working, and his doctors have little to go on in terms of advising further courses of treatment for him. In short, things are not looking good for Jay. Not at all. A group of science fiction and fantasy authors have joined forces to raise funds for Jay Lake by committing Acts of Whimsy on the internet. These range from Cherie Priest's Steampunk fashion show for pets to Neil Gaiman's cover of a Magnetic Fields song on the ukulele."
The money will go for a whole-genome sequencing for Jay, which may point to more effective treatment avenues. I put in $200. I hope you'll help, too.
Back in November, I blogged the Tsarina of Tsock's wonderful shark socks, noting that they were not yet articles of commerce and hoping that they would become such soon. Now, Tsarina writes and says,
You asked me to let you know when my Shark Week sock was released to the general public, so I thought this might be of interest. I'm not actually doing the full-on release yet, as such, but I've made the pattern available for a limited time as part of a fund-raiser for hurricane Sandy relief. If you're a real glutton for punishment you can read the whole tale of woe on my blog here:
World Without End (Thanks, Tsarina!)
One more for the Charity Guide: Hackers for Charity:
We’re about proving that hackers have amazing skills that can transform charitable organizations. We’re about stepping into the gap to feed and educate the world’s most vulnerable citizens. We are virtual, geographically diverse and different. We are Hackers for Charity.
We employ volunteer hackers (no questions asked) and engage their skills in short “microprojects” designed to help charities that can not afford traditional technical resources. Our industry experts vet all the work to guarantee a high-quality product, and volunteers are rewarded with glowing references from our industry-recognized subject matter experts. With each project, our volunteers move one step closer to that dream job, and a charity is brought one step closer to its technical goals. We’ve designed and built web sites, set up blogs, programmed custom web applications, conducted code reviews, performed security assessments and more, all through our volunteer’s efforts. In addition, thanks to one donor, we provide hosting, bandwidth and support for the final product free of charge.
We’re also working on the ground in Uganda, East Africa to support aid organizations working to help some of the world’s poorest citizens. We provide free computer training in our computer training center, and we provide technical support in the form of computer repair, networking services and more. We have supported many local schools with the addition of computers and training software.
We also provide food to children in East Africa through our food program. All the profits from sales of my No-Tech Hacking book go into this program along with the income from our (now-defunct) Informer subscription program.
Here's a guide to the charities the Boingers support in our own annual giving. As always, please add the causes and charities you give to in the comments below!
Electronic Frontier Foundation
There's never been a time when EFF's mission was more important: everything we do today involves the Internet; everything we do tomorrow will require it. No one stretches a dollar further and gets more done than EFF. They've been at it since 1990, and have been at the forefront of practically every significant online rights battle through the whole era of the Internet's rise to prominence. The world I want my kid to grow up in needs EFF in it. —CD
CC celebrated its tenth birthday (!) this year, a remarkable milestone from a remarkable organization. More than anyone else, CC has reframed the way we talk about creativity and copyright in the Internet era, providing practical, easy-to-use tools to make it possible for creators and audiences to work together in a shared mission of creating and enjoying culture.—CD
Andrew, sez, "Cards Against Humanity (the Kickstarter-funded, adult version of Apples to Apples) made a 'pay what you want' holiday expansion. They published the results of the experiment."
Camille adds, "The results are detailed and interesting...they list out their costs and revenues, with a map showing average price paid by state, and a fun exploration of what they could buy with the profit they made ($70K). And the best part is...they didn't buy any of that stuff, and instead made a generous donation to Wikimedia!"
Cards Against Humanity: Pay-What-You-Want Holiday pack
(Thanks, Andrew and Camille!)
Ever since the UK record labels got a court to order our national ISPs to censor The Pirate Bay, the UK Pirate Party has been offering a proxy that allows Britons to connect to the site and all the material it offers, both infringing and non-infringing.
The record industry has finally struck back. Rather than seeking an injunction against the proxy, or suing the party, it has individually sued the party's executives, seeking to personally bankrupt them and their families. It's an underhanded, unethical, and unprecedented threat to democracy -- essentially a bid to use their financial and legal might to destroy a political party itself.
There's a fundraiser, and I've given more than I can afford to it -- £500 -- because this is plain, old fashioned, corporate bullying. I don't always agree with everything the Pirate Parties do, and I'm not a member of the UKPP, but I'm glad the Pirate Party exists, and I believe that hosting a proxy to the Pirate Bay was a political act, and that the record industry has gone after the personal lives of the executive in order to terrorise people who organise against them. They mustn't be allowed to do this.
Instead of targeting just the Pirate Party, the BPI’s solicitors are now threatening legal action against six individual members. Aside from its leader Loz Kaye, the BPI also sent threats to four other members of the National Executive and the party’s head of IT.
“We had been anticipating legal action ever since I received an email from Geoff Taylor of the BPI. What has taken me aback is that this threat is personally directed. I simply can not see what the music industry think can be positively gained by threatening to bankrupt me and other party officers,” Kaye says.
Making the site’s members personally liable is the ultimate pressure, as they then have all their personal belongings – including their family homes – on the line. Kaye is disappointed with the BPI’s move, not least because the music industry group refused to negotiate the issue.
“Throughout, the party and I have been open to dialogue. Contrary to reports I offered to meet Geoff Taylor for discussion, but this has been rebuffed, at this point we are talking with our legal advisers and will respond to the solicitors in due course. The Pirate Party’s political position remains this – site blocking is disproportionate and ineffective.”