Kickstarting new Aquabats albums and TV shows!

The wonderful Aquabats, nearly killed when the network they'd signed with went out of business, are back, and they want to produce a new TV special episode of Super Show! with a new album to go with it. Read the rest

Kickstarting the Mexicanx Initiative Anthology, spotlighting Mexicanx creators who won scholarships to this year's Worldcon

Pablo Defendini (previously) writes, "Fireside Magazine’s editor, Julia Rios, is part of The Mexicanx Initiative, a scholarship fund John Picacio put together for sending Mexicanx and Mexican-American sf/f authors to Worldcon. A few of the Mexicanx Initiative authors decided to create an anthology to commemorate the occasion, and had been planning on subsidizing the cost of printing and shipping themselves. When Fireside got word of this last week, we decided to pitch in, and we put together a Kickstarter campaign to raise the $1500 they needed.

"Well, we blew past our funding goal, and we decided that any money left over would be split evenly among all the participants (Fireside isn't making a cent off this). So now we're trying to reach a stretch goal of $7500 by the end of the campaign this Friday, so that we can not only cover their production costs, but pay every author, artist, designer, translator, and editor who donated their work a SFWA-qualifying pro rate."

Mexicanx Initiative Anthology [Fireside/Kickstarter] Read the rest

Kickstarting another chapter in "Space Command"

Marc Zicree (writer on Star Trek:TNG, DS9 and more) and friends are kickstarting another volume in their enormously successful fan-funded, "retro and stylish" Space Command science fiction show. Read the rest

There's something very odd about the video showing off "Be", a prototype battery-less motorized toothbrush

Be is presented as an "electric-free" toothbrush powered by a wind-up mechanism. A couple of twists of the handle yields two minutes of brushing, according to its Kickstarter campaign, which raised nearly half a million dollars on boasts of its simple usefulness and eco-friendliness. A similar tally is listed at a follow-up Indiegogo page.

Unlike electric toothbrushes, Be. is more than just a vibrating head. Built as a kinetic storage device, Be. harnesses and amplifies the power of 2 simple twists into over 80,000 tartar fighting brush strokes using its patented multiplier transmission system.

But there's a problem with the Be, which is yet to ship. Or, at least, with a recently-posted video, since removed, depicting a prototype.

Spoiler: leaves in the video's background loop uncannily, like an animated GIF, as the brush appears to run for a minute or so: "The plant skips in perfect sync with the prototype," says Marek Baczynski, who spotted the crudely-looped section of video and posted it to YouTube with commentary. "It happens 18 times, every 49 frames."

Here's the demo video's audio waveform, which also gives the game away:

Here's the portion of Baczynski's expose that shows the original demo "defaked" to remove all the loops. Jump to 2:40 if it doesn't automatically.

One million American dollars crowdfunded. Fifteen seconds of action, brushing the air. Read the rest

The future will be feminist and pedal-powered: kickstarting a fifth "Bikes Not Rockets" sf anthology

Elly Blue (previously) writes, "Will toilet paper be a valuable commodity after society collapses? Who will help you with your reproductive rights in the coming patriarchal dystopia? Why are humans so obsessed with gender? Are bots human? These questions and many more are answered with bicycles (and feminism!) in the eleven stories found in Bikes Not Rockets, the fifth volume in the Bikes in Space series. More relevant than ever, stories in this genre inspire visions of a future beyond the narrow status quo." Read the rest

Strong Female Protagonist, Book Two: the hard philosophical questions of superheroism and compassion

It's been nearly four years since the first crowdfunded collection of Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag's webcomic Strong Female Protagonist was published; the second volume, published this week, traces not just the evolution of its protagonist, the superhero Alison "Mega Girl" Green, but of its creators, who have found new and amazing depths to plumb and heights to soar to.

Kickstarting a gorgeous, thoughtfully designed hardcover notebooks for RPG campaigns

The Game Master's Tome & Player's Compendium are a pair of A5-sized, Moleskine-like notebook with custom interiors designed for RPG gamemasters and players, with 480 pages' worth of hex maps, worldbuilding note sections, character sheets, quest-notes, etc; the stretch-goals include more pages, paper edging, endpaper art, and larger sizes. Read the rest

Ugears: beautiful, steampunkular geared wooden puzzle-toys

Ugears makes gorgeous wooden puzzle toys made from laser-cut plywood that snap-fits to create beautiful, retro machines and sculptures with meshing, working geared mechanisms. Read the rest

Dogs model costumes inspired by Met Gala's 2018 theme: Heavenly Bodies

Anthony Rubio dressed up his chihuahuas Bogie and Kimba in costumes inspired by this year's Met Gala theme: Heavenly Bodies. The result is, well, heavenly. Now he's compiling a book and needs your help. Read the rest

Kickstarting a science fiction anthology that puts Trump policies on blast

Colin writes, "Parvus Press is funding IF THIS GOES ON, an anthology of political science fiction on Kickstarter. The anthology is edited by Cat Rambo, author and president of the Science Fiction Writers of America. It features thirty original stories dealing with the long-term impact of the policies and politics of our current elected leaders. Contributors range from long-time authors of SF like Nisi Shawl and Andy Duncan to award-season favorites Sarah Pinsker and E. Lily Yu and relative newcomers like former NFL Kicker Chris Kluwe." Read the rest

Kickstarting Dream Askew and Dream Apart, no-dice, no-GM RPGs about radical justice, queers and Jewish shtetl life

Dream Askew and Dream Apart are "no-dice, no masters" RPGs where players collaborate to tell stories together without dice or dungeon masters: Dream Askew uses the system to create campaigns in "a queer enclave enduring the collapse of civilization" and Dream Apart is set in "a Jewish shtetl in a fantastical-historical Eastern Europe." Read the rest

The UK's Data Protection Bill doesn't protect immigrants; help the Open Rights Group raise £30,000 for a court challenge

The UK's Data Protection Bill is far-reaching and long overdue, extending vital privacy protection to Britons -- unless they're immigrants. Read the rest

Kickstarting "Drawn to Sex": Oh Joy Sex Toy's sex-ed book

A couple months back, I was delighted to learn that the good, good people at Oh Joy Sex Toy were launching a sex-ed book aimed at explaining the basics, ins, outs, whats and wherefores of sex "for those looking to learn about sex and wince at our bad dad jokes." Read the rest

Kickstarting a metal, reusable, self-extracting straw

The "Final Straw" is a cleverly named, cleverly engineered reusable drinking straw that folds down into a package small enough to use as a keyfob (including a little squeegee for cleaning the straw after use). Read the rest

Kickstarting a playable version of the CIA's previously secret training card-game

When Freedom of Information Act enthusiast Douglas Palmer used public records requests to explore the games that the CIA uses to train its analysts, he laid the groundwork for republishing these games for general use. Read the rest

Hazmat Modine's new album is killer but they need your help to finish it

It's hard to sort Hazmat Modine into a neat musical category. They play the blues, but it's not like anything you've likely heard anywhere else. A lot of folks consider the tunes that the New York City musical collective churn out to be "world music." I think that's just a lazy way of saying that they do a little bit of everything. If you've heard the band's music in person or on any their albums, you'll know that they handle their kitchen sink of influences amazingly well: their work incorporates the best elements of African, Eastern European, Caribbean and American musical traditions: blues, reggae, jazz and Mongolian throat singing, they do it all. The result is a wash of emotional, often joyous sound that's hard not to like.

The band's finished work on their fourth album, Box of Breathe. Well, it's mostly finished. The tracks have been recorded (I've heard them and they're fabulous!) but they still need to be mixed. Musicians and production personnel need to be paid. The album, in its physical form, still needs to be pressed. All this is expensive and, as good as Hazmat Modine is, their music isn't the sort of thing that you're likely to hear on top 10 radio these days. As such, the band has turned to crowdfunding in an effort to offset some of the expenses of getting their latest work out to where folks can hear it.

Of course, there are fabulous prizes to be had. You know the game: depending on how much you're willing to throw at the project, you'll be able to enjoy perks like historic post cards picturing old New York City, a copy of their new album, the band's complete catalog, or even a private house concert. Read the rest

Kickstarting a public radio-backed revival of Gothamist, a beloved site killed by an evil, union-hating Trumpist billionaire

Gothamist voted to unionize in late 2017; immediately thereafter, its new owner, the evil, Trump-supporting billionaire Joe Ricketts killed it and all its sister publications in a fit of petty revenge against the uppity laborers in word-mines; but then, in February, a consortium of public radio stations announced plans to revive the beloved site, backed by an anonymous donor and the sites' original founders. Read the rest

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