We are two inventors working to revolutionize the world of small-scale solar panels. Follow our story and make awesome solar things! Read more
This project was successfully funded on September 14, 2012.
Isn't she lovely?
There it is, Kickstarter. $77,505 and 1,174 backers. Thirty days of incredible support from YOU! To every one of you who believe in us, who helped us by spreading the word and backing us for spreading the word, you have our heartfelt thanks. You've done your part. Now, it's time for us to make this factory WORK!
We spent two months planning this campaign, writing scripts, discussing concepts and rewards and strategies, and endlessly shooting and re-shooting and editing and re-editing video. In the process, we came up with a lot of neat ideas, and we threw a lot of those ideas out. There's one segment which I like too much to trash completely, and I'd like to mark the end of this campaign with it. This was an alternate ending that we filmed for our kickstarter video. Enjoy!
We're funded, but the updates will continue. We'll keep on posting our progress on SolarPocketPages.com and send out periodic updates to the kickstarter list. Stay tuned, follow the story, let us hear your voices in the comments, and Shine!
Alright, Kickstarter. This has been an amazing month. Thank you all so so much. This is Alex from a rainy midnight in Manila, signing off with the newest post from the Pocket Pages.
Solar Pocket Pages 9.15.12: go go go
It's too damn early in the morning to be run over by a 737. I ponder this thought, then decide it's not poetic enough for a poignant last thought. What I really need is some cute aphorism, something pithy or beautiful. But the jet doesn't care what I want. It's barreling forwards with impossible sound, turbines roaring and scattering airport workers like crows before its wheels. I pinch myself. I slap myself. No luck. I'm staring in abject horror at these massive turbines that are uncomfortably close to my head. Everyone around me is running, running away. It seems like the smart thing to do, and I'm about to run for my life when a long baggage cart bounces up next to me on the tarmac. "Get in, sir! Get in!" the driver yells. I get in, and we burn rubber along the runway, speeding like we're going to take off and scattering unnamed luggage in our wake. All this seems very complicated. I just want to catch a flight to Hong Kong.
Unfortunately, I chose the cheap flight. There are some incredibly cheap flights between the Philippines and Hong Kong, but they're out of this old US Air Force base a couple hours North of Manila. "Ooh!" I thought, looking at a booking website a few days ago, "Look how cheap those flights are!"
Like with everything, you get what you pay for. And I paid for the Flight of Death. I'm flying out of Malacapag International Airport.
"Airport" is a generous term for Malacapag. There is a large cement building with worn, mildewed carpets, crowded with bodies shuffling through fee counters, immigration, security. The natural humidity and unholy air conditioning synergize to form a kind of freezing mist. An endless sea of bodies is milling through senseless lines, looking more like a refugee camp than an airport. It's too early in the morning for emotions, and I've spent a bouncy night taking endless forms of transporture from Manila to this foul pit of existence. I just shuffle along wishing for a meteor, anything, to replace this hell.
I don't think I've ever felt strongly enough about a chair to complain about it before, but these are something special. In the waiting lounge, there are rows and rows of things that might once have been called chairs, but are now twisted and warped forms of metal and plastic, with sharp, jagged edges poking out at improbable angles. They look like scrap metal that Magneto has used for practice. Or maybe it's abstract art. I stare at them for a while, trying to decipher which part of this object is a sitting surface, before settling into a crouch on a safer place on the floor. The entire lounge looks like someone let a tiger loose inside, and it's possibly still lurking somewhere, perhaps behind the popcorn machine or abandoned coconut smoothie stand.
There are a few monitors, but they are flashing symbols that are from another dimension. I'm not astute enough to garner meaning from this. My flight shouldn't board for half an hour, so I crouch and wait. And wait. And wait
Half an hour passes, and there's still no announcement, so I walk up to one of the stewardesses at the gate. I show her my ticket--"Is this flight boarding?"
She looks at me in elated terror. "Sir! You must go immediately! Go Go Go!" Her hand propels me forward, pushing me towards the boarding gate, and I go go go. I go go go right out the gate, and there's a blinding light. I've been deposited directly on the runway, and I stand there, blinking and dumfounded in the hazy miasma of jet fuel and humid air, glasses fogging over in the heat.
The airport is just an enormous concrete apron, maybe a mile by a mile. Distance eludes me. The apron is dotted with giant airlines, but there's no indication of where they're going. People seem to be boarding the first flight, so I go go go across the apron and walk up a staircase into the plane. The stewardess checks my ticket. "Sir! This plane is going to Singapore. You must go to the other plane. Go go go!" She points and shoves me down the stairs.
I go go go. That plane isn't going anywhere. They direct me to another plane about a quarter mile across the runway, and I follow a line of underslept passengers struggling with their bags across the tarmac.
Somewhere in the middle of the pilgrimage, a plane in the middle of the runway fires up its engines without warning. Maintenance workers catching a nap on the wheels are jarred into alertness as the plane jerks into motion. Men are shouting and scattering, and the plane starts to slowly pivot across the ragged line of passengers.
"Steady," I think, "Steady....it just looks like it's coming towards you. It's going to turn. Any minute now..." It doesn't turn. The giant 737 makes an implausible beeline for me, implausible because there is an immovable airport behind me. This plane is not bound by the brittle rationale of physics. Squinting into the sunrise, it's suddenly clear to me that this plane has transcended reality, and it's continuing to transcend reality, right toward me. The time has come to go go go.
Fortunately, my savior arrives in a baggage truck. "Which plane are you in, sir?" the driver shouts. I point uncertainly at the plane across the runway. The driver leans on the horn and speeds ahead, swerving to avoid planes. "You are very lucky, sir, that the plane has not yet departed." I think of breathing exercises. I think of calming movies. I think of anything but a queasy airport strip.
The driver pulls up along the plane, slowing just enough for me to leap out. "Go go go!" He shouts, speeding off without waiting to see if I stick the landing. I sprint up the staircase, stutter-stepping like a quarterback to blow past a baggage handler and two surprised stewardesses, and panting, run into...an empty plane.
The stewardesses come running up, looking like they want to tackle and keelhaul me. "Can we see your ticket, sir?"
I show them my ticket, and they nod, taking it in stride. "It's good that you are early, sir. Have a seat."
I stumble down the aisle, shove a bag full of Pocket Factory parts into the overhead bin and collapse in my seat, dreaming of calmer days and wiser decisions.