The Oxgut Hose Company of Oakland, CA is running a Kickstarter to fund a production run of its doormats woven from old firehoses. They're awfully pretty, and pricey too: $175 minimum for a 2'x3' mat. As with all Kickstarters, be aware that the project may come to naught and you may never get anything for your money.
Fire Hose Mats
NoDeg sez, "Here's a video of children who live in a slum in Paraguay playing instruments made from recycled material." They call themselves the Landfillharmonic Orchestra. Their story is sweet and inspiring, and the instruments -- and the music they make -- are absolutely gorgeous. They successfully funded a Kickstarter to expand this into a full-length documentary, too.
Landfill Harmonic- The world sends us garbage... We send back music.
Gareth Branwyn, my old friend and the senior editor of the bOING bOING zine, has a Kickstarter going for a book of his collected writings, called Borg Like Me. One of the things I love about Gareth is that he has many interests, and is able to write about them in a way that makes them exciting and accessible. I've learned a great deal about writing (and design, and life in general) from Gareth. I can't wait for this book!
Borg Like Me Kickstarter
Enjoy this 25-page sampler from Borg Like Me.
Leszek sez, "The Berkeley-based Center For Investigative Reporting is running a Kickstarter to create the FOIA Machine
, an automated online system to allow easy submission and tracking of FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests by anyone."
(photo by Matt Biddulph)
Alan Moore, mage and comic master, recently talked to Salon's Scott Thill about crowdfunding and other matters. Moore and Mitch Jenkins kickstarted their film project, "His Heavy Heart" and it just ended with £60,788 raised, £20k higher than their goal. Moore:
The Internet is changing everything, but I wouldn’t yet want to say for good or ill. I suspect, as ever, that it will be an admixture of both. But we are all along for the ride, even those people like me who do not have Internet connections, mobile phones or even functioning televisions. I’m slowly disconnecting myself. Basically, it’s a feeling that if we are going to subject our entire culture to what is an unpredictable experiment, then I’d like to try to remain outside the petri dish. [Laughs] It’s only sensible to have somebody as a control.
Alan Moore: The revolution will be crowd-funded
sez, "Artist support agency, SPACE, is using Kickstarter to set up a FabLab
, bringing affordable 3D printing, laser cutting and more to artists and creatives in Hackney, London. With 'Tech City' growing next door to SPACE's East London studios, it wasn't long before they saw the potential of Kickstarter which recently launched in the UK. The campaign's up and running now, gaining momentum and should show the potential of Kickstarter to other arts organisations. Key for many pledgers are the rewards they get and SPACE's campaign is no different. £20 pledgers can get year long memberships of the FabLab with lots of artists already signing up. Top level pledgers will receive 1 of 10 individual, 3D printed sculptures by Hackney based, SPACE artist, Ryan Gander."
The Hy-Rel 3D is a 3D printer with four extruder heads that prints with play-doh, Sugru, plasticine, and other pasty substances. Here's a demo of the printer running four different colors of Sugru -- a great, fast-drying, dishwasher safe fix-everything putty -- to print out a (fairly low-rez) semi-sphere. The Hy-Rel was funded through a successful Kickstarter, and now sports "emulsifying extruders" that are the basis for this demo.
3D printing sugru for the first time!
A few days before the NSA/Snowden fiasco, we released the first English version of Data Dealer, a game to provoke conversation about surveillance, personal data & online privacy in a really new, clever and fun way. It's a browser game about running your own Smoogle & Tracebook, tracking people, collecting millions of personal profiles and selling them to health insurance companies or governmental agencies. Play 'god' with other people's data! Or simply: PRISM, the Game. It's a nonprofit project, based on extensive research and offers a simple but important perspective on the personal data ecosystem of today's digital age.
In the last couple of weeks we have been mentioned in The New Yorker, ProPublica, Fast Company, Guardian, Mashable, Washington Post, Le Monde and many more. Recently we won the prominent "Games for Change Award" in NYC and other awards in the fields of serious gaming and digital literacy in Austria, Germany and France. We've also been featured by leading privacy & consumer rights organizations.
The game is 100% free to play and even licensed under Creative Commons. But a project like this isn't free to create. Two years in the making, and we've been working hard on it. There are several future partnerships in preparation, but to realize them, we'll have to survive the next couple months. That's why we have launched a Kickstarter for a funding injection. Deadline is on Thursday July 11th:
It's a very worthy project, and they've already done the development; they're looking for $50K to keep the doors open while they finish a deluxe, multiplayer version with a wide variety of exciting features (scroll down the Kickstarter page to "Full Featured Multiplayer Version").
Data Dealer - Legal? Illegal? Whatever.
Handibot is a novel design for a CNC device that you can pick up and carry to the job, allowing you to mill materials in situ. The creators, who've blown through their funding goal, have designed a tool that runs off apps on your mobile device that control it, and envision an open-source ecosystem of designs and apps that you can run through your own device.
A $2400-$3000 pledge will get you your own device (assuming that they ship -- this is Kickstarter, but then, the makers have a lot of relevant experience in manufacturing that are a good sign). One of the stretch goals will have them shift production to a national, distributed network, allowing people to make Handibots wherever they are -- Handibots can be used to make more Handibots.
Handibot: A Smart Digital Power Tool
Simon sez, "I'm a 19 year old Computer Science student and increasingly got neck ache from sitting at my computer. I read blog posts on the benefits of standing desks so tried a plank rested on CD drives. My neck felt great but my desk was ugly. So I set about designing the perfect standing desk, combining beauty, functionality, and ergonomics. The result -- which I'm funding on Kickstarter -- is a stunning standing desk precisely laser cut from birch plywood, crystal clear acrylic and soft natural cork with reused glass bottles for legs.
Cork is used to make the entire front edge a soft comfortable palm rest. There is a drawer lined with cork to protect small gadgets. A keyboard shelf slides peripherals away from dust. Backstops with cable slots stop pens or wires dropping behind the desk. The transparent surfaces make finding items in the drawer fast and feeding wires through the cable management hole easy. Finally, reusing bottles for legs means you can select the perfect size to make the desk an ergonomic height for you."
The desks are lovely, but Simon doesn't list any manufacturing experience in his bio. The usual kickstarter caveats apply: even if this is funded, you may never get anything for your money. Simple risers are £50; the desk is £300 and up.
SG Designed Laser Cut Standing Desks
sez, "Fantastic Fiction at KGB is a monthly reading series held on the third Wednesday of every month at the famous KGB Bar in New York City. In the past, generous donations and raffles have helped keep the series going. Now, support from the community can ensure that Fantastic Fiction at KGB continues to allow writers, editors, agents, and fans to meet each month in a friendly and casual atmosphere. We've assembled a wonderful collection of rewards
, including items from Neil Gaiman, Peter Straub, Joe Hill, Ellen Kushner, Carol Emshwiller, Jeffrey Ford, Michael Swanwick, Elizabeth Bear and many others."
LibraryBox is a library-oriented version of the PirateBox project -- a little, self-contained wireless router with on-board storage that you fill up with freely usable library materials and bring with you so that wherever you go, you can share with the people you meet. Jason Griffey, the librarian who created it, is Kickstarting a version 2.0 that is much easier to set up and run. A $150 contribution gets you a fully assembled unit. Jason was kind enough to give me a box this weekend with all my books on it, to bring with me to talks and such.
David Hunter sez, "I'm a public school teacher and last year I created Zombie-Based Learning, a standards-based curriculum that uses a zombie apocalypse to get kids into learning geography. The last Kickstarter was successful and a lot of fun. Now I'm working on the comic that goes with ZBL. This comic will help engage kids, teach real-world geographic concepts, and encourage readers to work on their zombie-survival skills."
I wrote up David's earlier (and just plain wonderful) effort last year; this is a great-looking Kickstarter.
Zombie-Based Learning comic books: Dead Reckon
John sez, "Pirate3D have a Kickstarter project for The Buccaneer. It's a 3D printer, designed to be used as an appliance. Print from an open library of objects on Pirate3D's servers, submit your own designs, or print .stl files from your computer. There is a smartphone app for manipulating and printing the objects from the cloud librabry. The Kickstarter closes in 4 days."
The founders have a mixed set of biographical info, but a couple sound like they have real manufacturing experience. Still, crowdfunding caveats apply: they may never make anything. You may never get anything. They use proprietary cartridges, but it sounds like you can use standard feedstock on spools, as well, which should hedge against gouging on consumables.
The Buccaneer - The 3D Printer that Everyone can use!
Pick-up artists are, sadly, a community. It even has a handy three-letter abbreviation: PUA. It dates back to the 1970s and has been enabled and expanded, like all affinity groups, by the Internet’s network effect.
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