New Projects are Sailing Robots

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It’s raining in New York. We’re kind of bummed about it. Things we’re not bummed out about, though, include all of this week’s awesome, recently launched projects. Check ‘em out, below, and let a little metaphorical sunshine into your life. And don’t forget to find even more via our Discover Projects page.

Blimpus, An Inflatable Character Canvas by Blimpus

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Ohhhhh myyyy god these are two-foot-tall-inflatable-alien-things made out of vinyl that you can customize to your hearts desire with pencils, paints, silkscreens, stickers, and really, honestly, anything else you feel like. And they are called “Blimpus” — amazing! Even better than being able to DIY it, though, is the fact that creators Mike and Tony are offering awesome, Kickstarter-exlusive editions of these feisty little guys. Their charming variations include Yeti, Cyclops, and Ninja, and even ones that come with with sticker packs, so you can mix ‘n’ match noses, eyes, and funny mustaches (it’s like a semi-grown up Mr. Potato Head). Seriously … I kind of just wanna squeeze one. Is that weird? — Cassie M.

The Moby-Dick Variations: Theatre of Multiplicity by John Zibell

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Watching this project video makes me think this guy is either crazy or just crazy enough. John Zibell is a theater and film veteran with an apparent affection for Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. He is making an experimental production inspired by the text, investigating the disappearance of the human animal from the natural landscape. Okay. He promises us larger-than-life light projections of whales and non-linear, poly-everything, non-sensical wonderment the whole way through. I support anyone that is inspired by a missing whale. — Meaghan O.

Janka Nabay and the Bubu Gang by Wills Glasspiegel

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The King of Bubu music, Janka Nabay, has been bringing the heat stateside since his arrival in New York sometime last year. As a fan, it’s been a pleasure to watch him grow from playing feet-happy shows by himself to wrangling up a massive Bubu gang. I had the pleasure of seeing Janka & the Bubu Gang this past summer on a rooftop in Brooklyn, and it’s safe to say, if you’ve yet to experience the joyous rapture of live bubo, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Check out this project. — Mike M.

Music World Greece by Oresti Tsonopoulos

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Videographer and documentarian Oresti Tsonopoulos creates an addictive web travel series called “Music World” that introduces viewers to an eclectic variety of music from around the globe. He’s already received accolades for season one, which took audiences into the heart of the current tango renaissance in Buenos Aires — from street fairs to loft apartments — all captured in Oresti’s intimate, minimalist style. For his second season, he’s heading to Greece to capture the underground Rebetiko scene, and he’s offering music compilations, photo books, his grandma’s secret recipe, and even a bouzouki! (Not sure what that is? Peep the project.) Give his website a look to get a feel for his style, and support the project here. — Daniella J.

Protei, Open Hardware Oil Spill Cleaning Sailing Robot by Cesar Harada

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Last year’s BP oil spill may have faded from the headlines, but the need for more effective, efficient, and inexpensive oil cleanup technology remains. A global team of researchers have been working long and hard on coming up with a creative solution, and after five iterations, they’re getting close to deploying Protei, a low cost open-source oil collecting robot that can sail autonomously and upwind. It’s unique, water snake-like design allows it to self-right even in the most inhospitable of weather conditions. Best of all, if you’re a tinkerer, you can collaborate by hacking on one yourself and contributing to the ongoing improvements on design and materials. — Cindy A.

In the Hearts of Men: A Theatrical and Film Documentary by Cory Braudt

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In November 2010, a Catholic high school newspaper in Minnesota published an article entitled “My Life as a Gay Teenager.” Around the same time, the Minnesota Archbishop of the Archdiocese mailed out 400,000 anti-gay marriage DVDs. The school paper’s editorial staff responded with “Staff Finds DVD Unsubstantiated,” and both articles were pulled offline within 36 hours for provoking debate deemed too unsafe for the school’s environment, and too confusing to reconcile with scripture. Inspired by these microcosmic events, CalArts theater students Cody Braudt, Connor Farr, and Zan Headley are traveling cross-country, interviewing Americans about how religion, homosexuality, and same-sex marriage actually affect the lives they lead. The trio will adapt their documentary into a stage play called “The Hearts of Men.” It’s tough to tell if the historic radio broadcast in their video is real or scripted for the play, but it’s sending chills down my spine either way, which is, perhaps, the whole point. — Elisabeth H.

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