While the 3D printing revolution has made it possible for anyone to design and print their own objects, if it's your first time delving into the physical computing world, it can still be incredibly intimidating to try and build your own printer from available prefab kits. Enter Printrbot, a compact 3D printer designed to be simple enough for beginners to put together in just a few hours or less. By eliminating soldering and simplifying the build process, PrintrBot removes the remaining barriers to entry for anyone interested in 3D printing. Pretty nifty. — Cindy A.
I was raised in a few different suburbs in the Bible belt and while we're known for a lot of great things (food! weather! hilarious accents!), being open-minded and accepting is not one of them. Brit Blalock is an editor and poet originally from the Alabama Gulf Coast, and when she went looking for personal stories from queer people about living in the South, she didn't find any. Like any good editor, Brit sprung into action and is now raising money for an anthology of essays by LGBT southerners. She knows the 20-year old version of herself would have really appreciated it. — Meaghan O.
Loomi was inspired by an expired Danish patent from the '70s, but reimagined for the needs of our environmentally hip, DIY design culture. It is a modular, makeable, recyclable light, composed of 30 different pieces, and constructed from high quality card stock. It can be painted, dyed, swirled, doodled, colored, and hung just about anywhere — effectively creating an illuminated work of personal art. With the approach of winter inevitable and just-around-the-corner, there's nothing more I want right now than reliable sources of lovely light. (On a side note: I am pretty sure that both "Danish" and "the '70s" are shorthand for "amazing looking.") — Cassie M.
"A feature documentary about The Teddy McArdle Free School, where classes are optional and rules are made by democratic vote," Approaching The Elephant is an intimate portrait of several students in the midst of a renegade education, following their journeys as they navigate through a free school over the course of two years. According to filmmaker Amanda Wilde — who has been filming the Little Falls, New Jersey, school since opening day — there are over 200 of these institutions worldwide. Whether the system is one of complicated consensus, total anarchy, radical creativity, or some combination of all, this documentary is a ground-level view of freedom and equality in practice. One immediate question that comes to mind: What Would Zack Morris Do? — Elisabeth H.
What is it about puppets that makes them so creepy? To be clear, by "creepy" I mean "enrapturing." You'll see what I mean when you watch the Fjords project video — they combine live shadow puppetry, a string quartet, manipulated slide project, and poetry to create a performance that is slightly unsettling and entirely intriguing. Pledge $50 and you get a custom shadow puppet of yourself, which you should probably just hang above your bed so you can just sinisterly watch yourself sleep. — Nicole H.
Way back in the day, Windowfarms ran a project for their DIY windowfarm kits; made from recycled household goods, they let you grow vegetables in your home (or, more likely, your cramped, ittybitty little apartment). After a few years of growth (no pun intended), they're back with the significantly spiffier looking Classic One-Column Windowfarm. It's a single, vertical tube that can hang in your window or rest on your desk, and it lets you grow fresh vegetables right in your home all year round. Pretty hard to beat! — Cassie M.