woohoo, launchtime!on January 31, 2011
Hey friends and supporters, the day you thought would never come -- or, the day that was supposed to come at 10 AM today but got delayed -- is finally here!
After a last-minute tech problem (which I spent the last 19 hours troubleshooting), the first episode of The Baristas has launched!
Thanks for all your kind words, your support, and your initial belief in the idea. It's been an uphill climb at times, but the end result has been worth it. This is a show that I'm happy and excited to share with everyone, and I hope you feel the same way. (In fact, I hope you DO share it with everyone you know, because views are the magic ingredient that help a show like ours get the attention of advertisers. So please, DO spread the word!)
The you can watch the episode on Blip TV (where we currently get a tiny tiny portion of the ad revenue served), or on YouTube, where we don't currently have an ad deal in place, but which, paradoxically, plays much more smoothly than the Blip player does. (Go figure.)
If you like the show (and I hope you do), here are a few ways you can help spread the word:
* "Like" the video on YouTube, Blip, iTunes, or wherever you happen to be watching it. (The more likes a video gets, the more popular it is in search results.)
* Share the videos on Facebook. (Incidentally, the show has a Facebook fan page.)
* Mention the show on Twitter. (Our Twitter handle is @TheBaristasTV)
* Review the show on iTunes. (Search "the baristas" in the iTunes store; our show is currently the top result. You can subscribe to it there, too, and then you can download the full-size episodes every week for free.)
* If you have a blog, embed the video in a post (or just link to it).
* Tell your friends, family, coworkers, lovers and debtors about the show. Word of mouth is what keeps us moving.
Also, feel free to leave comments on the show. Let us know what you like, and what you'd like to see more of. We'll have a new episode every Monday (by 10 AM, barring any *new* tech problems I might encounter this week), and we like knowing that you like what we're doing.
Finally, this should be the last major update I'll be sending out through Kickstarter. I'm well aware that some of you may have only supported the show because you know me, or you know one of our cast members, or you just had a morbid curiosity, and in those cases you might prefer NOT to be inundated with more updates now that the show is live.
However, if you DO want updates, you can opt in to our official The Baristas Email List. You can do this either by using the little "Sign Up for Our Email Newsletter" widget in the righthand column of our website or by using the form on our Facebook fan page.
Once again, thanks for all your help and support. I hope you enjoy the show as much as I enjoy making it. And please, tell everyone you know that it's awesome, because it is.
And now I'll finally have time to send out those swag packages...
1.Diagram for Delinquents News
Lest you think that the story of Dr. Wertham is a simple one, that the man is shallow, one dimensional, and composed of only the reputation that he has been assigned within the world of comic books, you only need to read Bart Beaty's text to learn otherwise.
Beaty's book, Fredric Wertham and the Critique of Mass Culture is as complete a study of Wertham that exists. His intent is obvious. His argument clear. The picture that the comics industry has painted of Wertham is................................................................... wrong. Fortunately we have Beaty to appear in the film to present his argument to you. I just know you can't wait!
Does this mean that Wertham was right?!?! Does it mean he created no strife for the lovers of comics and the industry? Of course not. It only means the contention between Wertham and comics is more complex and nuanced than most of us might have been aware.
For instance, let me throw some information your way that makes it a little harder to simply cast Wertham as a stifling force, a man hellbent on ending creativity, free speech, and ultimately our beloved comics. Please, don't think I am giving him a free pass, but also do not think that I am ignoring his full body of work or that I am not fully investigating his indictment of comics.
Our film, Diagram for Delinquents, is going to present as full a history as we possibly can. The result will hopefully yield just who this Wertham guy really is and how he has made a VERY LONG lasting impact on comic books and the comics industry.
But getting back to what we shall call: The Complications of F.W.........
Let's consider the following details of his life:
a.) Point: Wertham and his work with the underrepresented and disenfranchised. He made REAL progress in the Civil Rights Movement.
- His testimony during desegregation hearings in the state of Delaware were cited in their decision to end "separate-but-equal" in schools. He was then cited in Brown v. Board of Education.
- He created a mental health clinic in Harlem for African-American children when no one else wanted to help that population. The Lafargue Clinic was opened in 1946, with a little help from Ralph Ellison no less. (SEE IT CAME FROM THE ARCHIVES! BELOW)
b.) Point: Wertham and his cautioning of the American public to not become consumed by the "(Second) Red Scare".
- The evidence points to Wertham as a progressive in his thoughts on "commie hunting", a practice we look back on now as Draconian. Of course, in such a time, Wertham had to protect himself from just these types of accusations, so his thoughts were skillfully placed in typically less political contexts.
- During his Senate Subcommittee testimony Wertham was asked about the accusations made by Mad magazine positioning the doctor as a communist.
EXCERPT FROM TESTIMONY OF DR. FREDERIC WERTHAM, PSYCHIATRIST, DIRECTOR, LAFARGUE CLINIC, NEW YORK, N. Y. WEDNESDAY APRIL 21st, 1954, AFTERNOON SESSION.
SENATOR KEFAUVER: While you are on that subject, Dr. Wertham, may I see that thing, anybody who opposes comic books is a red?DR, WERTHAM: Yes; that is part of it. SENATOR KEFAUVER: I have read a number of your writings. I have read your Seduction of the Innocent. You remember a number of years ago I had several visits with you and you told me about the pressure they tried to apply on you in connection with this. But I noticed here this thing, that anyone who opposes comic books are Communists. The group most anxious to destroy comics are the Communists... This seems to be an effort to tie you up in some way as Red or Communist.
Wertham must have had particular disdain for this accusation which is easily evidenced seven years earlier, hidden away in a literary review of a biography written of Leo Tolstoy that Wertham wrote for The New Republic.
Wertham Writes: "We are living in a time when minds are being deliberately poisoned. The people want peace. But when they read the newspapers they are subtly aroused to suspicion by a continuous stream of insinuations against the country of Tolstoy. All information from Russia is carefully sifted and there is a fierce struggle for survival of the news that is "fittest" to print in this campaign."
c.) Wertham argued for the abolishment of the death penalty. He considered it inhumane, immoral, and terroristic.
Oh... and then there's this:
Again, let me clarify, because I consider the above information in a holistic view of Wertham, doesn't mean I am in agreement with all that has transpired in his career. I am still considering all the evidence, still working the history. And through it all, I keep asking myself the same question. Despite all the seemingly good work Wertham has done, why does his impact on comics feel so wrong to me? I guess, or I hope, the answer will come with the end of our picture.2. It Came From the Archives!!!
How can we reconcile the following and Wertham's reputation with the comics public and their claims of suppression of freedom of speech?3. Be a Part of Getting Diagram for Delinquents Made
Getting a film produced is difficult and requires the aid of many. Fortunately, using new and creative fund-raising ventures, the internet has made the process all the more achievable.If you've found the glimpse above intriguing, than help us bring you the rest of the story by visiting our Kickstarter site (See Kickstarter widget and the promotional video below). There, you can pledge a donation to the film and pre-order your own copy today! There are many exciting incentives to donate at various levels. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Until next week,
album release time!on January 31, 2011
Dear ROBOTS>>>> Supporters,
We have finally started sending out the pledge prizes - and want to give a massive apology for how long it has taken us. We have had an incredibly busy four months since the New York project and it has taken us ages to get all the paintings, sketches and comic strips done. We really really appreciate your patience.
We also want to say a huge thank you! The New York projects were a huge success and we couldn’t have done it without you. The workshops at the domestic violence shelter went brilliantly. The kids, who were a challenging group, really took to the robots theme and were very excited about designing their own – especially when they found out their designs would be immortalized in their playspace. The workshops were chaotic, messy and fun! And the staff told us the ROBOTS>>>> activities engaged them in a way that not many of the other activities had managed to achieve. We had three sessions – in the first, we talked about the concept of robots, what they are and how they are all around us in our everyday life – and the kids imagined and drew their own robots. In the second, they made models from their drawings, then painted their models. In the third, they all got to help paint the mural featuring all their robots.
The other project also worked out better than we could have ever hoped. We initially suffered a very serious setback – we were using the roofspace of the building Miriam lives in (which is used by tenants all the time) to build pieces of our sculpture. Unfortunately some graffiti artists happened to trespass onto the roof and do some illegal painting while we were there, and when the landlord arrived with the police to arrest them, he demanded they take us too… We spent 24 hours in jail only to be released with no charges as soon as a judge heard our story. We then had to work extra hard to find a location to build our sculpture – and a place to install it. We struck gold when we came across Jay Leritz, the owner of Yummus Hummus restaurant in Bushwick, and manager of several surrounding buildings. He loved our portfolio and ethos and offered us free use of his workshop to build in, and a rooftop overlooking his restaurant as the sculpture’s final home. Both he and us were thrilled with how the robot turned out – please go and take a look if you are ever in New York! The Brooklyn Griffin perches on a rooftop on the corner of Meserole and Waterbury streets (Google map link below). The publicity we got was fantastic –the project was featured in many newspapers, news sites, and blogs, most notably the New York Times, the L Magazine and Wooster Collective (the premier street art website globally).
We have created a Flickr page with photographs documenting the project so you can see the outcome of your pledges. Below is the link, along with links to articles published, a map of the location, and the ROBOTS>>>> Facebook page and website, should you want to keep up to date with our work. We have a very busy year ahead, including a major commission to build three sculptures in a Northern Irish arts centre, a series of workshops with disadvantaged teenagers in the UK and several street art and music festivals.
One last time, a massive THANK YOU for your support.
All the best,
And the rest of the ROBOTS>>>> team
Flickr page with photos documenting the project:
New York Times article:
Wooster Collective post:
ROBOTS>>>> Facebook page:
Google map showing location of the Brooklyn Griffin:
more mysterious letters!on January 31, 2011
AMAZING.on January 31, 2011
Hello again, Kickstarters!
It's been a big couple of weeks for us here on the SPLIT team and we're excited about all of the incredible progress we've been making. With exactly three weeks to go today from our deadline, we just hit 25% funded and are only picking up steam. Of course, we'll only make it all the way coming up on this final stretch with a lot of help from you – the fans!
We've been getting a ton of press and great videos from people trying to help us reach our goal in time, but none of it means nearly as much without your help spreading the word.
Most recently we got a great little video message from our good pal, the incredibly modest Keith Powell - "Toofer" from 30 ROCK and "Sheldon" from the SPLIT short:
On top of that, we also started the official SPLIT Facebook fan page!
Stop by and "like" us today.
And, of course, for your sharing pleasure, we've gotten a fair amount of ink and airtime in the last few weeks and have a lot more coming up with great people that are into the project and helping us get the word out far and wide. Here are a few of the awesome things out there for your listening, reading and hopefully sharing pleasure:
THIRTEENTH FRAME RADIO SHOW
NKU HOMEPAGE & ALUMNI MAGAZINE
Also, Jamie can be found on the INSIDEBOWLING.COM show tonight around 8:40pm EST, Kegglers Corner tomorrow night on 590 KFNS (The Fan) - St. Louis Sports Radio, and later in the week with the guys over at the LET’S TALK TEN PIN podcast.
Thanks so much again to all of you for your support! With your continued help in spreading the news about our little audience-driven bowling movie, we know we’ll hit that funding goal in no time.
Hope you all had a amazing weekend, now… Rollin’ on!
The SPLIT Production Team
pretty adorable, guys.on January 31, 2011
People -- The album has been recorded and mixed, and, in two weeks, it shall be mastered. We still have a ways to go - we will need design covers and packaging and press the CDs and look into distribution and so much more -- but just know that the 1500+ dollars we raised with this kickstarter has already been used and the album sounds incredible. I can't wait til you all can hear it.
In addition to this news, we wanted to remind those who pledged 100 dollars or more that they need to choose a topic for us to write a song about. We've completed the first two songs, and they sounds awesome. This is a really neat project, and we will likely collect all the songs and post them on our bandcamp when we're done as a special mini-album.
If you have yet to send us the topic youd like us to write a song about, please do so now -- e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with SONG TOPIC in the subject line.
Thanks again everyone
The good news is, we are now onto v0.3 of the Lasersaur system!
There is still some waiting for parts (specifically limit switch mounts, laser tube mounts, paneling etc) until what we hope will be the final testing before we can finalize the alpha kits! The goal is for the kits to be shipped to backers by mid-March and have the community up and running sometime around then as well. The time then, is near!
Now, some details and versions updates:
First and most exciting perhaps is the actual laser has arrived! (oh how we love them):
We decided to do our initial testing with a 40W tube, it will cut enough to tell whats working and not, but isn’t strong enough to burn down to our neighbors below. Surprisingly, it shipped super fast, taking only four days to arrive from mainland China--quite phenomenal... This makes us quite confident that the 100W tubes will be quite painless to source as well.
As you can see, it sort of looks like a transparent missile, so we are going to give China cred for that one:
Also, in order to speed up testing we went ahead and ordered a water chiller. It uses a fan to cool the water as it is pumped through a long helical pipe. This should work well until we design our own water chiller.
We also updated the idler shafts. The older v0.2 idler shaft on the left, new one on the right (using cantilever pin with retaining ring)
Next you can see the new v0.3 drive shaft. They connect the y-axis stepper to the left and right drive belt. There is a step from 8mm to 6mm which makes positioning the ball bearing trivial and hopefully eliminates a possible building error.
Also, SOFTWARE: Finally, the first lines of firmware have been written and the the bare bone gantry is moving sweetly. So we have started writing some code, talking about it and so on and so fourth. Due to overwhelming push from the community we decided to use GCode as the core protocol. Developing different ways of talking to the system will be based off of that and we are very open to more input on this... We also feel the machine should handle dxf and svg files directly (thoughts? discuss.)
And, if you are still with us, we decided to send some schwag along with the kits, so look out for a little extra something something to feed your inner Lasersaur with . . .