The Kickstarter Blog

Featured Creator: Kat Hunt on The World's First Docu-Vengeance

  1. Projects in the News

    Every week, we round up some of the stories about projects that made it into the press. We're happy to see them out there in the real world, and excited to share their progress with you! Read on.

    Nigel Smith of IndieWire published a Q+A with Whoopi Goldberg about her directorial debut: "Goldberg is hoping to make her Kickstarter goal of $65,000 to finish producing her documentary on one of her role models, legendary stand-up comedian Moms Mabley (born Loretta Mary Aiken), who rose to national recognition in the 1960s. Mabley, who passed away at the age of 81 in 1975, has over 20 comedy records to her name and performed everywhere from Harlem's Apollo Theater to Carnegie Hall. As Goldberg says in her Kickstarter pitch, 'Moms was the first and without her there probably would not have been a Totie, a Joan, a Kathy, a Wanda, or any of the others who may follow.'"

    The SparkLab build-mobile.
    The SparkLab build-mobile.

    Tim Bailey of WIRED's GeekDad profiled the SparkLab: Educational Build-Mobile project to outfit a delivery truck with laser cutters, 3D printers and hand tools to bring a maker curriculum to schools: "A couple of design students from the d.school at Stanford University in California had the insight to combine the idea of a mobile food truck with the hacking/DIY/making movement. Their goal was to create a mobile workshop to bring all the tools and equipment needed for hands-on, project-based learning to schools where no such support existed."

    Garrett Snyder of LA Weekly featured a food project out of San Francisco called Nomiku, which sets out help foodies cook inspiring dishes with a simple immersion circulator: "Sous vide cooking using a immersion circulator is essentially like turning on a space-age slow cooker: You vacuum seal whatever you'd like to cook in a plastic bag, then place it in a water bath circulating at a constant temperature for several hours or days at a time until the food item has been slowly poached, without losing any of its essential juices or flavor."

    Joe Coscarelli of New York magazine looked at the Tomorrow Magazine project to create a one-shot publication about creative destruction: "A creative approach to fund-raising also helps. Four people have already put in $250 or more, which gets them not only the magazine, a tote bag, and a party invite, but a "life event of your choosing, illustrated in GIFs" by Friedman, who's behind the media-favorite #realtalk for your editor Tumblr."

    Aspiring technology innovator playing with Roominate.
    Aspiring technology innovator playing with Roominate.

    Amanda Kooser of CNET News spotlighted the recently successful Roominate project to create DIY lasercut miniature room sets with working circuits that children can build themselves into a customizable dollhouses: "Roominate is the brainchild of three women scientists who noticed a distinct dearth of other women in their upper-level science and math classes. Their idea is to expose young girls to the excitement and creativity of science. Those early experiences can turn into careers later in life. The basic Roominate is just a little room, but it's stackable and customizable. The wallpaper can be changed. The furniture can be assembled, disassembled, and turned into something else."

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  2. Now Trending: Watch the Skies

    There must be something in the air these days, because a whole bunch of new Kickstarter projects are looking upwards — to the air, to the sky, and sometimes even as far as outerspace. We've rounded up a handful of our favorites, which you can check out below, but be sure to hit our Browse pages for even more. 

    Smart Air Kites_Float Beijing, by Deren Guler

    Smart Air Kites is a project that is equal parts public art and open-sourcing of citizen technology that aims to provide local residents with a window into the quality of their air. They'll host group workshops and corresponding kite flights where special, pollutant-detecting modules will be attached to their winged contraptions. Detection levels are then displayed through LED lights that change in color according to their readings, creating a "constellation of air quality indicating lights in the night sky." Pretty nifty. 

    Bicycle Astronomy, by Doug Reilly

    Doug Reilly wants to build an ultra-lightweight and compact telescope that ca be carried on a cargo bike for spontaneous and sustainable sidewalk astronomy. In addition to creating the telescope, though, he'll be hosting public astronomy events he calls "Star Parties" once a month, in rotating locations around the city of Geneva, NY. Each will be documented online with time-lapse sequences, comments from participants, and other ways to invite interaction from supporters who couldn't make the trip. Inspiring. 

    Final Frontier Designs 3G Space Suit, by Ted Southern

    Final Frontier Designs are a couple of dudes who are working to build a lightweight, (relatively) inexpensive, and super functional spacesuit for future commercial spaceflight. They've already come a long way together, placing second at the 2009 NASA Astronaut Glove Challenge in Titusville, FL at the Astronaut Hall of Fame, and completing two suit prototypes while working together as residents at Eyebeam in New York City. Phew! 

    Drifting Thoughts: a Poetry Project, by Katie Haaheim

    Poetess Katie Haaheim is about to redefine the term "print distribution." With Kickstarter, she's going to launch a series of tissue-paper balloons loaded with poems folded into tiny paper airplanes. When the balloons reach altitude, they'll tip, sending showers of lovely poetry into the sky and down onto people below. The event will culminate with the publication of a chapbook that contains her airborne poetry, words on the launch event and stories from the people who may get in touch with her afterward (each of her poetry airplanes will also contain her contact information). 

    ArduSat — Your Arduino Experiment in Space, by ppl4world

    The ArduSat will be the first open platform inviting the general public to design and run their own space-based applications, borne from a team of aerospace engineers and one "high-energy physicist." Options for space exploration include the ability to control on-board cameras, broadcast personalized messages back to Earth, and hunt meteors. And for the very brave among us, there's stuff like mapping the Earth's magnetic field and starring down the eye of a hurricane. Space is the place!

    Bakersfield, Earth, by David Quantic

    "Guy" might look like your everyday human, but he's actually an alien. And he lives in Bakersfield, alongside an entire community of other aliens from Jupiter. No, this isn't real life (we think). It's a sci-comedy with "a bump of social commentary," centered around the wanderings of Guy and his son Toby as they navigate Anti-Evolution activist groups and the perils of daily life. For the chuckles, it doesn't hurt that Guy arrived on Earth in the form of a cross-dressing hippie.  

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