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Kickstarting an artist-in-residence for Philly hackspace

Georgia sez, "We've launched Kickstarter campaign to fund a residency just for artists who want to learn to code and hack hardware. The residency was created by The Hacktory, a makerspace in Philly that is proud to be friendly and inclusive. The project has already been awarded a Knight Arts Challenge grant that needs to be matched, so all pledges count twice towards our overall goal!"

This sounds like a good cause, and they've got some sweet donor rewards.

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Kickstarting Kudzilla: a kudzu-covered monster roadside attraction

Chris Lindland (who founded the awesome Betabrand writes, "I went to college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with my partner in kudzu crime, Anthony Jaffe, who now lives in Atlanta. For years, we've talked about building a giant monument to Godzilla out of the famed Vine That Ate The South. While everyone knows what Godzilla is, for the most part only Southerners are truly familiar with kudzu. It's an invasive vine that grows up to a foot a day and fully envelopes trees, telephone poles, and buildings -- making them look like giant, leafy monsters.

"So we naturally thought, "Why not crowdfund an enormous, Godzilla-like structure and allow it to be covered in Kudzu." The result: Kudzilla.

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10 days left to rescue out-of-print adventure stories from copyright limbo

[I really want Save the Adventure to be a success! For just $25, you'll get a year-long (12-book) subscription -- Mark]

Only 10 days left, before it's too late!

Singularity & Co., the Brooklyn-based science fiction bookstore that a year ago launched the digital book club Save the Sci-Fi, is kickstarting a brand-new digital book club, Save the Adventure.

Because they like what I've done with HiLoBooks's Radium Age Science Fiction Series (paperback reissues of forgotten sci-fi novels from 1904–33), the folks at Singularity & Co. have asked me to be Save the Adventure's founding editor.

The goal of Save the Adventure is to rescue out-of-print adventure stories from copyright limbo. Each month (assuming we raise sufficient funding), I'll choose an out-of-print but amazing adventure novel — at which point Singularity & Co. will track down the rights-holder, clear the electronic publishing rights, scan and proof the text, and make the novel available as an e-book.

The campaign deadline is November 9th. Rewards ship in December — a subscription to the Save the Adventure book club will make a perfect holiday gift.

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Kickstarting Atheist Baby Shoes

David from Berlin's Atheist Shoe Company sends us, "a Kickstarter for Atheist Baby Shoes - super snuggly handmade shoes, the soles of which are screenprinted with homages to the only higher powers babies know... Our slightly peculiar video explains all - highlights are the 'Atheist Baby Experiment' at the 1:40 mark and the 'Booby' power-ballad at 5:37."

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Cheapass Games's Kickstarter for a new "Dr Lucky" game

Cheapass Games is one of my favorite games publishers -- they stripped games down to their smallest, indivisible units (rules) and assume that you had enough dice and pawns and stuff to play. They've made great use of Kickstarter to launch some new games, and they've got a new one coming

Carol from Cheapass Games writes, "We've just launched our Kickstarter for Get Lucky! This is Cheapass Games' third Kickstarter campaign. Get Lucky is a brand new card game, based on our classic board game, Kill Doctor Lucky. Get Lucky will be smaller, faster, cheaper, and even more awesome than the original. You should check out the Kickstarter campaign just to watch the video. If you've ever wondered what it looks like when six people try to kill Doctor Lucky in a sweet Victorian mansion, it looks exactly like this."

They're already funded. $20 gets you a set of cards.

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Kickstarting a "Sugar skull spoon"

The Sugar Skull Spoon finally provides a good reason to dip your wet spoon into the sugar-bowl (yuck). Their kickstarter is fully funded, but there's still time to get one for £8. It comes from London's Hundred Million, who have a good track record for successfully shipping, so there's probably a good chance you'll get what you pay for here.

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Documentary about Quidditch

BB contributor Ben Marks tells us of a new documentary film in production about UCLA's Quidditch team that Ben's son founded in 2009:

In May of 2011, when filmmaker Farzad Nikbakht Sangari was relatively early in his career as an M.F.A. candidate at UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television, he noticed a co-ed group of students on the university’s Intramural field, running around with short brooms between their legs. Hurling underinflated volley balls and dodge balls at each other, as well as through hula hoops on opposite ends of the field, it turned out they were playing Quidditch, the fictional game made famous in the Harry Potter books and movies.

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MultiMod Consoles -- modular, modifiable workstation kits

Cody Wilmer has created a workstation-making kit out of sturdy metal parts. I got an early kit and am going to make a standing desk. He's got the project up on Kickstarter now.

MultiMod Consoles: Hack Your Workspace

Kickstarting laser-cut RPG terrain

Infinite Crypt, a Kickstarter project aiming to raise £6,000, is a system for building relatively cheap tabletop RPG terrain in quantity, using snap-together, laser-cut materials.

The pieces are architecturally ambitious and the accompanying photos show how great they look when painted. I don't buy a lot of RPG terrain stuff, so I can't really tell if £59 is a cheap price for the materials to build "a large room, a colonnade or a key intersection." But what's immediately obvious is that these pieces are gorgeous and well-designed, and that the project itself has pretty modest and sensible goals -- give us money to buy a laser. More money? We'll buy another laser. More money? We'll make more stuff.

As with all crowdfunded projects, you should be prepared for the eventuality that nothing will come of it, and you'll lose your money. That said, project founder James Wallbank runs a successful hackspace in Sheffield, and seems to be a together sort of dude. So caveat emptor, but also, FWOAR.

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Bamboo bluetooth speakers

Bongo is a nice-looking wireless speaker with a bamboo case. It's on Kickstarter. It reminds me just a little of Steve Lodefink's fantastic cocopunk guitar amplifier.

Astounding game-tokens from Cthulhu Wars, the $1.4M kickstarted board-game


I'm the guest of honor this weekend at Fencon in Dallas, which is just getting started. One of the exhibitors is Cthulhu Wars, the Lovecraftian boardgame that raised over $1.4M on Kickstarter (they were looking for $40K). They've brought along the prototype for the game, and the tokens are amazing. They were kind enough to let me photograph them, and I've uploaded the hi-rezes to my Flickr; there's a gallery of some of the best after the jump.

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Ultimate fidget-pen, made from rare-earth magnets

Polar is a pen made of 12 rare-earth magnets, which has blown way, way past its modest Kickstarter goal. It's the ultimate in fidget-gadgets, wildly reconfigurable, with the power to levitate magnetized rings along its axis. Wired's Kyle VanHemert calls it the Sistine Chapel of time wasting.

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Public Resource kickstarting free, open publication of the world's safety standards

We've written often about Carl Malamud, the rogue archivist who has devoted his life to making the world's laws, standards, and publicly owned information into free, accessible, beautiful online documents. Now, I'm pleased to help him launch an ambitious, vital Kickstarter project aimed at raising at least $100,000 to turn the world's public safety codes into thoroughly linked, high-quality HTML documents (presently, many of the 28,040 public safety codes that Carl and public.resource.org have put online exist as scanned bitmaps that can't be searched or linked). The project involves a careful re-typing of all that scanned material and re-tracing of images and formatting them as vector-based SVG files.

Carl and his colleagues have fought in the courts for their right to publish the law that we, the people, are expected to follow. They have passed on lucrative careers in the private sector to devote themselves to public interest, public spirited work that makes the sourcecode for the world's governments available at our fingertips. The work they are doing unlocks untold billions in value -- from being able to ensure that your weekend DIY rewiring project meets code and won't burn down your house, all the way up to giving workers in deadly factories in Bangladesh access to the laws that are supposed to be honored in their workplaces.

$115 gets you a copy of their giant, amazing book of global safety standards, but there are interesting and awesome premiums at price-ranges from $10 (public acknowledgement on the Wall of Safety) to $475 (the Big Box of Propaganda!). I've put in my $115 -- not for the book, but as a way to thank Carl and co for the amazing work they do, and as a means of funding more of it. I hope you'll give, too.

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Kickstarting a $100 open-source hardware 3D printer

The PeachyPrinter is a well-funded Kickstarter project that aims to produce a $100 kit-based 3D printer that outputs photo-cured resin. The kits are meant to be assembled in an hour, and fully assembled units start at $400. The plans are all open-source hardware licensed and the project includes a great ethical statement about safety, privacy, and freedom. The team looks like it has some good domain-experience, though, of course, as with all crowdfunded projects, you need to be prepared for the possibility that you'll get nothing for your money.

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Brewbot: Kickstarting an Arduino-based automated brewing system

Jonny sez, "I'm Jonny, from Belfast in Ireland. I was just at XOXO and I've spent over a year working on a project to make brewing simple, accessible, and beautiful. The appliance can be monitored and controlled with your smartphone; it's called Brewbot."

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