Genius, Pure Genius

July 20, 2008

So, I ran across something the other day that is really quit ingenious. I found it while reading Techpresident. Sean Tavis, a candidate for state house in Kansas’s district 15, came up with a great idea. He needed $26,000 by July 26 to compete against Republican incumbent Arlen Siegfreid. How to raise that much money? It’s simple, a cartoon and a dare.

He challenged readers to help him raise the funds that he needed. An “impossible” task was proposed. If donors chose to take him up on it they’d be a part of history. No more than 644 people have ever donated to a state representative in Kansas and if 3000 people were to give just $8.34 each they’d break a record. It’s really genius. Everyone wants to be part of something bigger than themselves. By donating to his campaign they could. Being picked up by BoingBoing didn’t hurt any either. So far 5,112 donors have come forward.

But wait, there’s more. If you choose to donate more than the $8 and change you can get special gifts. For $60 you get a card signed by all of the volunteers. For $120 you get a limited edition campaign t-shirt. For $250 you get the shirt plus a mug. The ultimate gift though is for $500. You get the shirt, the mug, and a “DVD movie from Tevis’ mom telling you how wonderful you are, because you are.” It sounds kind of like a public television telethon but it’s kitschy and you have to be charmed. I know I am.

You just get the feeling of David taking on Goliath and it makes you want to chip in the help the little guy. Would he have gotten the money going door to door? Maybe or maybe not but on the internet anything is possible. Oh, did I mention that you can use paypal when you chip in? Pure genius.

I Love This Card

April 11, 2008

So, I was reading Boingboing and they had this fabulous post about cards made of recycled paper with seeds embedded into them. How cool is that? When you get a card it’s hard to throw it away because someone took the time to send it to you and hopefully write something nice inside. I end up saving them and cluttering my place. Now you don’t have to feel bad about getting them out of the house. They won’t even fill up your trash bag. Just read and then plant. Yep, dig a hole in your backyard and bury the card. Eventually a flower will grow. Now you can always remember the sender when you smell the lavender.

Will Text for Toilet

February 8, 2008

According to Boingboing Finland will be opening up its toilets for texts. In other words, if you want to use one of the roadside bathrooms you’ll need to know Finnish or at least the word for open in that language to unlock the door. I see a few potential problems with this for foreign visitors. First of all when you check out a Finnish/English dictionary on-line and type in the word open eight different words pop up in Finnish. I hope you gave yourself a little time before it was mission critical to get in the doorway. I always make sure that when visiting a foreign country I know how to say, “where is the bathroom?” I guess I’ll have to expand my vocabulary. The biggest problem will arise if my phone doesn’t work overseas. Will they have special bathroom rental phones? Cellphones are sometimes useless when you travel abroad and when your legs are crossed in a moving vehicle it is not the time to find this out. Heck, even locals could have some problems with this system. I know that I for one have left my phone sitting at home on a charger by mistake. It could end up a fatal error if the need to relieve yourself arises. What if you don’t even own a cell phone? Should only people with phones be allowed to use the bathroom? I also have one more problem with this method. I don’t text. Yes, I know just about everyone else does but I don’t. The feature isn’t even activated on my phone so I can’t text or receive text messages and that’s the way I like it. I just find it impersonal and I hate cycling through three letters to get the one I want while the phone “smartly” puts together a word that isn’t what I was going for. My own little rebellion I guess. You won’t be get a tweet from me anytime soon.