Kickstarter

Recycle your bottles into glassware with the Kinkajou

Article: Recycle your bottles into glassware with the Kinkajou

Got a lot of empty bottles laying around? Hey, we’re not here to judge; we realize those bottles may well have sentimental value (a bottle of wine shared at a special occasion), or that you may just find them really attractive. Seems a shame to send something beautiful to the recycler (or, if you don’t have recycling service for glass, to the landfill).

How to go off-the-grid (but stay in the cloud)

Article: How to go off-the-grid (but stay in the cloud)

Ever felt the urge to escape? Quit the job, sell the house, and head into the wild to live off of the land? Of course you have: most of us have fantasized about giving civilization the kiss-off, and living in a much more self-sufficient, sustainable manner. For most of us, though, that’s as far as we get.

MIDWAY: Where your plastic ends up

Article: MIDWAY: Where your plastic ends up

MIDWAY : trailer : a film by Chris Jordan from Midway on Vimeo.

If you stayed awake in high school history class, you may remember that the Midway Atoll was a site of perhaps the most important battle in the Pacific during World War II. But if you had to provide any other information about Midway, you’d probably need to do a quick Wikipedia search (I know I did – and I loved high school history). The island group’s central location in the Pacific Ocean means that it’s also in the middle of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and, thus, a great place to take a look at the costs of our wasteful ways.

DO I NEED THIS?: Pursuing happiness at the mall

Article: DO I NEED THIS?: Pursuing happiness at the mall

Photographer and film maker Kate Schermerhorn seems obsessed with the notion of happiness: in addition to her previous documentary AFTER HAPPILY EVER AFTER (which, as you’ll probably guess, focused on marriage), she’s also the author of the photography book America’s Idea of a Good Time (which explores our “pursuit of happiness” broadly). If you’re going to dig into such a topic, and particularly its most American incarnations, you’re going to end up at the mall: we love acquiring stuff so much that we now refer to shopping as “retail therapy.” But how happy do the things we buy make us, and what are the larger costs associated with those moments of pleasure?

Get excited about a virginity doc

Article: Get excited about a virginity doc

Theresa Shecter and the gals at Trixie Films are making a documentary called “How to Lose Your Virginity” — it’s goal is “to undo centuries of myths and contradictions around virginity, and to encourage an honest conversation with people navigating the confusing process of deciding when and why to become sexual.” Its subjects include a rock violinist, an Ivy League blogger, an Ohio engineer, a porn producer — all subverting the virginity narrative.

Eat Chocolate, Pray, Love

Article: Eat Chocolate, Pray, Love

We’re suckers for a good Kickstarter project — all that hope and passion and entrepreneurship, and you can be part of it for less than the cost of a dinner out. The most recent one we heard of is called The Placebo Chocolate Effect (we’re fans based on the name alone). The story reads like the dude version of Eat, Pray, Love: Daniel Jacobs set off on a trip around the world in search of a cure for a deep sadness he felt (hang in there, it gets better). Along the way he met a bunch of people who inspired him, including an old lady in Scotland who gave him a “prescription” for love — actually it was just these words scribbled on a piece of paper: “Take this love I give you, use it as often as you need, and share it when you are ready.” After meditating in Spain, volunteering at an orphanage in Guatemala, building a sustainable farm in Argentina, and writing beside painters in Chile (we’re not kidding), Daniel finally found love (of course he did), and then he discovered that love had been inside him all along (of course it was).

How to park your lawn mower for good: the Meadow Project

Article: How to park your lawn mower for good: the Meadow Project

Got a lawn? Ever stopped to consider the amount of time, money, and natural resources you put into keeping that grass green? The watering, fertilizing (whether through organic or conventional means), mowing, and weeding? No doubt that lawn grass is the most high-maintenance plant on the planet (as the expert in the video above observes)! Even if you’re not a greenie, is that really how you want to spend your time, energy, and money?

Urban beekeeping on two wheels: Bike-a-Bee

Article: Urban beekeeping on two wheels: Bike-a-Bee

Bike·a·Bee from Jana Kinsman on Vimeo.

Start a beekeeping business in the city? Seems like a bit of a pipe dream, doesn’t it? After all, you need space for lots of beehives, and that means you need a big piece of land. Doesn’t it?

Queering Kickstarter

Article: Queering Kickstarter

With the right pitch anything is possible. It’s like Harvey Milk said, you just have to have hope. Thanks to Kickstarter there is an unbelievably wide variety of Queer projects set to take off. From films about Brooklyn’s first African American-owned gay bar, to documentaries about gay porn and gay rights pioneer, the scope is as diverse as the community they stem from. Here’s a sampling:

Best of Kickstarter, 12/5

Article: Best of Kickstarter, 12/5

We scoured the pages of Kickstarter to bring you this week’s best projects. Have a great Kickstarter project of your own or see one you think deserves some extra attention? Let us know about it the comments and we may just feature it in our weekly roundup.

FILM

GIRL WALK//ALL DAY: This Thursday, Kickstarter will premiere its first film, “Girl Walk//All Day,” at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple. Described as a “music video of epic proportions” and set to infectious Girl Talk tunes, the film tells the story of a young ballerina who follows her heart to New York City. Admission is free, but you have to RSVP.

Mountain Dance Trail: For her forthcoming documentary, dancer Gerald Milnes plans to tap-dance her way through West Virginia’s Route 33, hitting every square dance, hoedown and hootenanny she can find along the way.

Freight Farms: Turning used shipping containers into gardens

Article: Freight Farms: Turning used shipping containers into gardens

Is there anything you can’t do with a used shipping container? Designers have intrepidly redesigned these metal boxes that pile up at ports as everything from office buildings to portable commercial space to prison cells. Industrial designer Jon Friedman and environmental scientist Brad McNamara have found yet another potential use for shipping containers: small, self-contained urban farms. Combining hydroponics, solar power and rainwater harvesting, their Freight Farms concept recycles containers into “modular, expandable, portable crop production units.”

Best of Kickstarter, 11/28

Article: Best of Kickstarter, 11/28

We scoured the pages of Kickstarter to bring you this week’s best projects. Have a great Kickstarter project of your own or see one you think deserves some extra attention? Let us know about it the comments and we may just feature it in our weekly roundup.

TECH

Portals:  Sure, we all feel pretty modern and fancy about our touchscreen technology (last week, I played Fruit Ninja for two uninterrupted hours in a turkey stuffing-induced daze), but the future isn’t about what you do on the screen – it’s what you do underneath or inside it. Using green screen technology, grad student Jayne Vidheechar designed a set of “portals” that allow users to interact with different objects in a myriad of environments and settings.

Twine: Feel like everyone is text-addicted? Soon, even your laundry machine will be sending you text messages. If you don’t believe me, check out ”Twine,” a clever new gizmo produced by freaky MIT geniuses that enables you to receive notifications from pretty much any object in your house…

Fucking James Franco

Article: Fucking James Franco

For those who don’t follow our Monday Kickstarter best-of’s, Kickstarter.com is a funding platform for music, film, art, technology, design, food, publishing and other creative projects. If a project doesn’t reach its stated funding goal before time runs out, no money changes hands. One art project that just met its $2,000 goal before its closing date this coming Saturday, thanks to over 100 backers, is “Fucking James Franco,” a collection of erotic fantasies about the art world’s golden boy (read: annoying dude) “that the world desperately needs,” produced by Portland-based Social Malpractice Publishing and Container Corps Art Press.

Best of Kickstarter, 11/21

Article: Best of Kickstarter, 11/21

We scoured the pages of Kickstarter to bring you this week’s best projects. Have a great Kickstarter project of your own or see one you think deserves some extra attention? Let us know about it the comments and we may just feature it in our weekly roundup.

TECH

Desktop 3-D Printer: The 3-D craze continues with the first personal three-dimensional desktop printer. As it turns out, a 3-D printer is not something that makes weird images you can look at with 3-D glasses, but it actually prints out three-dimensional objects.

Capta: I’m a major dropper/smasher of iPhones, so this weird octopus-like contraption, the “Capta,” seems like an excellent solution for clumsy folks like me. Rigged with a magnet at the back, you can mount the suction cups to different surfaces to keep your phone out of the way but still accessible…

Best of Kickstarter, 11/14

Article: Best of Kickstarter, 11/14

We scoured the pages of Kickstarter to bring you this week’s best projects. Have a great Kickstarter project of your own or see one you think deserves some extra attention? Let us know about it the comments and we may just feature it in our weekly roundup.

BOOKS

“Plaster of Paradise”: One of my all-time favorite books, “I’m With the Band,” a groupie memoir authored by the legendary Pamela Desbarres, contains frequent mention of Cynthia Plaster-Caster. Cynthia, a fellow groupie, infamously cast rock stars’ private parts in plaster to be immortalized for all time. Now, she’s taken to Kickstarter to fund her memoir. The only bummer is that book stores will have to close forever after this thing hits shelves, because no book will ever be as awesome…

Best of Kickstarter, 10/31

Article: Best of Kickstarter, 10/31

We scoured the pages of Kickstarter to bring you this week’s best projects. Have a great Kickstarter project of your own or see one you think deserves some extra attention? Let us know about it the comments and we may just feature it in our weekly roundup.

Grilled Cheesus: We could all use a few more miracles, right? Thankfully there’s “Grilled Cheesus,” a new sandwich press from Rob Corso and Meg Sheehan that brings the Lord to your lunch hour with a grill plate made to look like Jesus’ smiling visage. Now all we need is some Christ’s Ketchup and we’ll be set.

Almost-Instant Weather Prediction: I get pretty grumpy when I responsibly check the weather report in the morning only to be caught in an unforeseen downpour later in the day (and inevitably shell out $12 for a cheap umbrella that lasts two avenues). But a nifty new app called “Dark Sky,” could make this sad, soggy scenario a thing of the past – at least for iPad owners – by making super accurate, short-term weather predictions using GPS…

Best of Kickstarter, 10/24

Article: Best of Kickstarter, 10/24

We scoured the pages of Kickstarter to bring you this week’s best projects. Have a great Kickstarter project of your own or see one you think deserves some extra attention? Let us know about it the comments and we may just feature it in our weekly roundup.

DESIGN

Imagined Cities: Architecture collective Hither Yon is calling for images of intimate and inspiring spaces (be it the house where you grew up or the church your parents were married in), which they will then manipulate and re-attach to form a “hybrid” city. From these renderings, the collective plans to create a three-dimensional model of the unusual metropolis for display in a Berlin gallery…

Best of Kickstarter, 10/17

Article: Best of Kickstarter, 10/17

We scoured the pages of Kickstarter to bring you this week’s best projects. Have a great Kickstarter project of your own or see one you think deserves some extra attention? Let us know about it the comments and we may just feature it in our weekly roundup.

FILM

Last Bohemia: Those who saw last year’s documentary on New York Times style photographer Bill Cunningham will remember the artist community living in lofts on top of Carnegie Hall, all of whom were evicted (Cunningham included) by the end of the film. A new documentary, LAST BOHEMIA, directed by Josef Astor – himself a former tenant of the Carnegie lofts – aims to document the community of actors, artists, dancers and musicians that were forced from their homes.

Best of Kickstarter, 10/10

Article: Best of Kickstarter, 10/10

We scoured the pages of Kickstarter to bring you this week’s best projects. Have a great Kickstarter project of your own or see one you think deserves some extra attention? Let us know about it the comments and we may just feature it in our weekly roundup.

ART

Willard Asylum Suitcases: Ten years ago, New York State decided to close the Willard Psychiatric Center in Willard, NY to turn it into a drug rehab clinic. While cleaning a pathology lab building, a dusty old attic was opened, revealing hundreds of suitcases that had belonged to patients. Photographer John Crisipin has embarked on the long process of photographing each case, revealing the peculiar contents contained therein…

THE RHYTHM OF RUTLEDGE: a tiny town attracts big thinkers

Article: THE RHYTHM OF RUTLEDGE: a tiny town attracts big thinkers

You can certainly be forgiven if you’ve never heard of Rutledge, Missouri. The Mennonite town of about a hundred people is miles from anything resembling a major highway, and surrounded by thousands of acres of farmland in Northeastern Missouri (though it’s kind of famous for its flea market, I hear). Despite being tucked away in a pretty conservative part of the state, you might call Rutledge the hub of a (relatively) quiet revolution: three alternative communities, all with an ecological bent, have been founded (and are running just fine) within 1-2 miles of the town in the last 40 years…

Best of Kickstarter, 10/3

Article: Best of Kickstarter, 10/3

We scoured the pages of Kickstarter to bring you this week’s best projects. Have a great Kickstarter project of your own or see one you think deserves some extra attention? Let us know about it the comments and we may just feature it in our weekly roundup…

Best of Kickstarter, 9/26

Article: Best of Kickstarter, 9/26

We scoured the pages of Kickstarter to bring you this week’s best projects. Have a great Kickstarter project of your own or see one you think deserves some extra attention? Let us know about it the comments and we may just feature it in our weekly roundup.

FILM

Herb and Dorothy 50×50: You probably remember the Vogels from the moving 2008 documentary, HERB & DOROTHY, about how one couple with an extremely modest income managed to amass one of the most impressive and expansive art collections in the world. Now the same director, Megumi Sasaki, is trying to raise funds for a new documentary about the Vogels’ latest undertaking, “a historic gift project to give 50 of the Vogels’ works to one museum in each of the 50 states – a total of 2,500 works.” Apparently, their collection, which they donated to the National Gallery, has grown to include some 4,000 worls, more than the Gallery can handle. So they’re giving them away to museums around the country.

Best of Kickstarter, 9/19

Article: Best of Kickstarter, 9/19

We scoured the pages of Kickstarter to bring you this week’s best projects. Have a great Kickstarter project of your own or see one you think deserves some extra attention? Let us know about it the comments and we may just feature it in our weekly roundup.

TECH
Teagueduino: Don’t know how to solder to embed code? Meet Teagueduino, “an open source electronic board and interface” that shows you “the ropes of programming and embedded development (like arduino). Teagueduino is designed to help you discover your inner techno-geek and embrace the awesomeness of making things in realtime – even if you’ve only ever programmed your VCR.”

Best of Kickstarter, 9/12: THE HAPPY FILM

Article: Best of Kickstarter, 9/12: THE HAPPY FILM

We’re starting off the week with a new Kickstarter projects so good we’re not including any others. What am I talking about, you ask? What’s this Best of Kickstarter thing we’ve been blogging about every Monday? Well, it seems like everyone is pitching their idea to Kickstarter. We think that’s great, but with great power comes great responsibility, and while the 23-person Kickstarter team does their best to filter out the winning projects from the thousands and thousands of proposals they receive, there are still hundreds of thousands of new projects that launch each week. That’s a lot of ways to spend your hard-earned five bucks. Too many ways, actually. How can one person sort through it all? Relax, we’ll do it all for you.
Okay, so remember when I told you about Stefan Sagmeister’s latest project, THE HAPPY FILM? Of course you do (just nod politely to validate me)! And remember when I said you should contribute, so you went to the website and looked around all confused because you couldn’t find the ‘donate now’ button? Well, live in confusion no longer, my friend. The happy dudes behind THE HAPPY FILM have now made it really easy for us to help them fund their movie by making it an official Kickstarter project.

Best of Kickstarter: foldable, electric bike, 9/5/11

Article: Best of Kickstarter: foldable, electric bike, 9/5/11

We’re starting off the week with a new Kickstarter projects so good we’re not including any others. What am I talking about, you ask? What’s this Best of Kickstarter thing we’ve been blogging about every Monday? Well, it seems like everyone is pitching their idea to Kickstarter. We think that’s great, but with great power comes great responsibility, and while the 23-person Kickstarter team does their best to filter out the winning projects from the thousands and thousands of proposals they receive, there are still literally tens of thousands of new projects that launch each week. That’s a lot of ways to spend your hard-earned five bucks. Too many ways, actually. How can one person sort through it all? Relax, we’ll do it all for you.