Reinventing the Flashlight

Crowdfunding is all the rage. It has grown by leaps and bounds Who hasn’t jumped on board of a project that hits them over the head with amazement. “Wow,” you say to yourself. “Now that is a good idea.” There are all kinds of minds at work out there devising new inventions, ideas, and causes. Let’s give them ample space. When word gets out, some things take off like rockets into outer space. The new way of gathering support is sweeping the world, taking it by complete storm. You won’t want to support just anything that is on the Internet so it pays to pick and choose where you want your money to go. You may even have your own project that is begging for backing. Inventors gain recognition and funding, investors have opportunities galore. There is something in it for everyone.

I have a friend who needed help with a Kickstarter project involving a new design for an LED flashlight he invented called Flashlight Pro. You may think, a flashlight is just a flashlight, but not so. There is always room for a cool new design and this is his forte. He takes something mundane and functional and turns it into a coveted aesthetic object. That’s how fads are born—when everyone wants one just because it is novel and interesting. My job is to help him with publicity and announce the new invention. His job is harder: it is the creative side of things. You can’t just copy something in existence. It has to have more than a few twists. I know he told me he had many prototypes before settling on the final design. He tested it out with random people in groups to get an assessment of their feelings about owning another flashlight. They all agreed it would be an acceptable outlay of funds if there was something unique about it. It could have a one-of-a kind color palette or an artistic wholly unique design. Here we are talking about surface decoration but it can also apply to the shape. There is always a need for a flashlight that is easy to grip and store. If it can fold up like a telescope so much the better, especially if it is on the larger size.

You have to give people reasons to buy something. We don’t need new possessions just for the heck of it. Since a flashlight is so utilitarian, it gets lost in the crowd of practical tools in our garage. One is just like the other, so who cares. If you make something so attractive and utile that you want to keep it near you at all times, then it is going to be a new purchase. If you can spice up the design and also add better illumination, then you are sure to have a winner indeed. I helped my friend with the description of his object so it would have instant appeal the first time out. It does take a little time to build interest, but if you lay the groundwork, it will come.

Why is Weight Bad?

There is a crisis of obesity around the world. Diabetes and heart disease are rampant. People are not living healthy lives that will extend the human life span. The situation is dire. This is what the media tells us. We know that weight looks bad and feels bad. There is science behind it. It has been proven to affect the body in many ways, not the least of which is diabetes. Just what happens to the fat in our system on a cellular level?

We ingest calories from a variety of foods. Some are nutritious, some are converted to fat. You can’t make muscle of it so it is pretty useless unless you need to burn it with your carb intake for a strenuous exercise and fitness program like the ones provided on this web site. Muscle and fat are completely alien types of tissue but usually the goal of a gym session is to gain one and lose the other. From that point of view, there is a parallel.

When you build muscle you eventually burn more energy than fat. So it all works out in the long run. In the short run, the fat may win the battle of the bulge. Now it is important to some extent in small doses as a backup energy source if carbohydrates are short in supply. Fat also absorbs and stores vitamins. Furthermore it insulates the body providing stability to the core temperature. Heart healthy fats you eat sustain cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease. But that’s it. We don’t went fats accumulating in the belly, upper thighs, etc.

When things get out of balance, the body gains weight in the wrong way. That goes for both carbs and fats. Carbs are converted into glycogen for cellular storage but the metabolic pathway that is normal can become saturated. Then fat is produced. It is called lipogenesis and you want to pay attention to it. The rate is higher in the obese. If you are starting to panic just thinking about this, the time is right for some gym time and muscle toning.

You can lower the daily fat production by many grams if you follow a serious regimen. Exercise is important and vital to cut carbohydrate conversion. If the body is storing fuel and not using it, the burning ability shuts down. If you want to get more technical, a diet rich in fat activates lipoytic or fat burning enzymes and decreases the fat producing enzymes. The body has specific energy sources: free fatty acids and triglycerides. The latter are broken down into the former which are them metabolized into ketones. These are used by body cells for energy. Thus both glycogen and ketones are sources of it.

This is getting deeper and deeper so take my word for it, there is a consequence physiologically speaking to increased weight. You need, in short, to burn energy to maintain your best ideal weight utilizing exercise as the means. There is the whole issue of insulin secretion and much more is involved in any discussion of metabolism. For the moment, think about where you stand and how you plan to remedy your situation.

Creepy Crawlers

Who hasn’t seen a creepy crawler or two march across their laptop, especially during hot summer months? It’s something that can be quite off-putting, but easily fixed with some DIY pest control. But there are other times when they are inside the device plying their evil trade. I notice for example that when I have made a purchase online, say a jacket at Eddie Bauer, I get ads for similar items while I am checking my email. Someone was paying attention! They do some invisibly until you put two and two together. These spying crawlers that glean marketing statistics are harmless enough as they track my web activity, although they are annoying, but others are not so nice. They try to steal private information and thus put user identities in jeopardy. Payment software is at great risk for breaches of security. Your social security number and credit card data are there for the picking. Virus software to the rescue.

Infected software has malware, or malicious or malevolent activity. Attackers invent subterfuge programs to disrupt computer operations and to gain sensitive information without your permission or knowledge. People adept at coding and scripts are at fault. You definitely want to fight such hostile intrusions that come in the form of viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware, adware, and more. Such malware is not the same as a computer bug or defect in a program that can be remedied in subsequent versions. That is par for the course with new software and is not in the same category.

I wish these perpetrators could find better things to do with their free time. With some it is a full-time job. It’s a big business to find out consumer habits so, for them, it is not a total waste of talent. I wish they would use voluntary polls instead.

How do you get infected? Usually by sharing files or through false file names that trick users into installing malware. It can also come from free software that you download, hidden bugs and all. They may contain adware, spyware, or malware. Finally, a likely source are infected or bogus websites. Surfing only trusted sites is therefore a good plan of avoidance. It only takes a second to double check when going into unknown waters, or links.

No one likes the idea of being spied upon surreptitiously, even if it is by a non-human creepy crawler. It is an invasion of privacy and some types are actually illegal. In any case, if they don’t wreak havoc and require a technician’s attention, they will provoke your frustration and dismay. After a while, you just don’t want any more ads for the same jacket you bought a year ago! So consider buying anti-malware software with an easy user interface. They work wonders. You can also get programs that will help speed up your computer, optimize memory usage, clean your registry, and attain faster boot times. As many attackers and hackers as are out there, we also have do good programmers waiting in the wings to counterattack.

Crowdfunding: How Far Has it Come and Where Will it Go From Here?

crowdfunding

Crowdfunding has been the source of many projects that would otherwise never come to be.  Some of the projects are humanitarian in nature.  Some are virtues of research.  Still others are creative or downright strange.  But the one thing they share in common is that they came into play through the concept of crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding is when a group of people band together to give to a cause for a monetary or emotional pay-off.  It is a way of getting a project done that very well might not happen if not for the efforts of many.

Right up at the top of the list in the most successful crowdfunding projects was the Coolest Cooler.  The extreme cooler is quite large and is pulled behind a vehicle.  It boasts a blender, plenty of storage room, led lighting, ausb charging unit and even Bluetooth speakers.  While the first project launch failed, it was remarketed for crowdfunding using better strategies and was a whopping poster child for the collaborative way of funding a product into existence.

Not all crowdfunding projects are about a product that the participating contributing public will ever personally see.  Another successful endeavor was the Reading Rainbow project which was the goal to make reading material available to all children.  The project would provide books to underfunded classrooms and other such feats.  With the initial goal of $1,000,000, it topped out at $5,408,916.

There are crowdfunding projects for research too.  When the Australian government did away with funding for the Climate Council, a crowd of concerned people stepped in to help refund the project.  One million dollars was raised.

Music and movies have had their share of success in the crowdfunding realm as well.  Pono was a proposed project where music artists would not only share their music, but special editions, live versions and other such touches which would make music listening more soul-felt and spiritual.  It was to be the ultimate listening experience.  The project was a smash and proudly came to be.

On April 12, 2013 the Veronica Mars Movie Project completed their funding with $5,702,153  successfully raised out of a goal of $2,000,000.  Not only was the movie funded, Kickstart backers received a T-shirt that was exclusively given to the supporters.  They also received a special digital version of the movie and other rewards as well.

Waypoint 2 Space is a recent project that took place to fund walking in space.  Kickstarters, many of whom are students,  will be among the first to experience the commercial spaceflight training.

Crowdfunding is growing more and more popular.  Where once seen as suspicious, host sites of good reputation and the success of many projects done by crowdfunding are helping to conquer the fears and to plug the new way of raising money on to greater heights.  Where will crowdfunding go from here?  It seems that the sky may be the limit, literally.

The Science & History of S.C.U.B.A

I am thinking about next year’s summer vacation and am looking for something out of the ordinary. I like watersports over all but haven’t yet tried SCUBA. We have all seen those gorgeous underwater photos that are unsurpassed in their colorful beauty. I wouldn’t mind spying around in some island underwater realm to explore the many hidden treasures of nature.

While you may be with a group, SCUBA seems like a solitary endeavor to me. It must be intensely quiet down there in the deep. You can share experiences later of course, but while you are at it, you are a solitary fin-clad hybrid being. So what can I expect? I can give Jacques Cousteau a lot of credit for popularizing the activity, but it apparently goes way back to ancient divers who used hollow reeds for air. In the 14th century, the Persians devised some kind of precursor to goggles made from tortoise shells, and the sport was now in its infancy. From these rudiments, the basics were later perfected to the equipment we know and use today. For example, a regulator is required to control the flow of air from gas tanks. It’s all about the right air pressure.

In the 16th century, they actually had primitive diving bells made from wooden barrels. We have come a long way to the air pump (invented by John Smeaton in 1771) and modern breathing attachments. Throw in diving suits, and you have SCUBA history in a nutshell. Here’s where Cousteau comes in. He updated the suit’s compressible material and created the marvelous aqua-lung with fellow Frenchman Emile Gagnan.

Diving principles are roughly the same (how to breathe longer under water), and perhaps the purposes, but SCUBA soon entered the fast-paced technological era. The “self-contained underwater breathing apparatus” was born. The system can be open circuit, like the aqua-lung, allowing for air to escape to the water’s surface, or closed involving a rebreather, a kind of recycling that eliminates of carbon dioxide. Science has had its practical hand in there every step of the way.

What diver would go down without a set of scuba fins or some kind of propulsion device? Fins go with my image of a diver. They have a large blade area and require some swift leg muscle action for maximum mobility and control. So whether you are in for a round of fabulous photography, a taste of marine biology, or some old fashioned water fun, SCUBA will provide all your needs. Depth ranges will vary accordingly as will gas mixtures. Experts will guide you regarding decompression risk. Furthermore, recreational devotees may elect a half mask which covers the eyes and nose or the full face scuba mask preferred by commercial divers.

There can be a lot to learn what with buoyancy control and weight systems, not to mention optional diving helmets and refraction issues related to underwater vision. It is a vast territory that also requires navigation (pilotage) and air monitoring. You can get as technical as you want, but if recreational dividing is to be your forte, you can leave the advanced details to the pros.

Crowdfunding: Is it a Win-Win?

Doctor Joseph Mercola is a well-knownosteopathic physician who is notorious for his alternative viewpoints on health and wellness and his promotions against mainstream medicine.  On his website, he markets non-traditional supplements, alternative medical devices and promotes the research and development of causes he feels are worthy.

As a recipient of his daily emails, I have come to notice that each one of them give a grave announcement.  GMO is going to kill the human race.  Flu shots are a government hoax.  Of course I am compelled to click the link and read on.  Information on the topic is concise and convincing so I read on.  The problem is detailed and then, the solution.  Most every problem is followed by a solution from his treasury of supplements or devices but that’s not all.  He generally ends each report with a link you can follow to support the further research of the topic or, where you can contribute directly to the cure.

Crowdfunding is big in the alternative medicine realm as well as for those whose passion is to “save the earth”.  It is a noble feat but a huge one indeed.  Although I may have made Mercola sound like a nut job, I actually “get” most of his findings and agree with many of them.  Some do make their way to my heart string.  No, I don’t want my children and grandchildren to ear Roundup Ready crops and would love to intervene before that is the only option available.  Right there on my screen is a link I can click on to support the cause.  I can join the fight against GMO.

I have to wonder, just how much of my monies would go to actually support the cause.  Of course, that answer would vary with each “cause” and would depend on the group, where the group is sponsored and so on.

If a cause has pulled on your heartstring and you are ready to support it, do yourself a favor and do a little homework first.  There are many crowdfunding campaigns that are completely legit and where all or most of your contribution will go directly to the cause.  And then, there are rip-offs.

Check out the specific sponsor or sponsors that are hosting the crowdfunding as well as the site that it is running on.  If a website has an upstanding reputation for crowdfunding, chances are that those who are allowed on the site are legitimate.  But, that is not a given so check into both thoroughly.  Please note that even though the company and what is promised may be on the up-and-up, if the business owner has been convicted of fraud in the past 10 years, he or she is not legally allowed to host a crowdfunded project so therefore it is an illegal venture.

Be sure to read the fine print.  Some events are “all or nothing” meaning if the goal is not reached, those who have contributed get nothing.  In some of those, those who have contributed owe nothing as well, but, in other events they are still bound to pay but get nothing in return.  The recourse of action for crowdfunding gone wrong is next to zilch so it is better to be safe than sorry.

Crowd funding is the wave of the future.  It is a way that the masses can bind together and get things done like medical research, banding against an action that is taking place (such as GMO) and other causes that you may personally feel strongly about.  There is a promised payoff and that’s why it has become so popular.  Maybe you will own a share in the product or company or perhaps you will part in the production or protest of a specific thing.  Be sure, though, that the cause or product you are supporting is worthy of your hard earned cash and that it is really a win-win for all.

Crowdfunding Research: Is Your Cause Worthy?

Do you have a cause or a subject of research that you are passionate about?  Do you think it is worthy enough that you could promote funds to back the further study of it?  If so, you will be delighted to learn that you can do exactly that.

There are websites now that are available for researchers to solicit funding for their project.  One such site is experiment.com but there are a number of other spots as well.  By properly following the guidelines and providing informative and persuasive data, you may be able to drum up a following that totally supports the research you would like to accomplish.

Maybe you are really adamant about saving the Helmeted Hornbillsin the tropical rainforest in Asia.  You have presented the problem.  The bird is in grave danger of extinction.  You have the solution as well.  Through research and documentation, the situation can be addressed and hopefully remedied.  Through crowdfunding, your aspirations can be accomplished…maybe.

On experiment.com as well as most other crowdfunding research sights, the projects are only put through if enough support is reached.  If it is not, those who contributed are not charged and the project does not come into play.

If you are the originator of a project, you are obviously quite passionate about it.  You will want to do all you can for it to succeed.  To do so, you will need enticing articles, superb photos and videos and creative attention-grabbing titles for both.  You will need to plead your case and also build trust with your audience and prospective supporters.  These are not easy quests but are often far more feasible than getting any funding from the government or any related source of funds so it may be worth a good try.

You will be asked to set your goal.  There are usually guidelines as well as suggestions that are available so you know how to do so realistically.

Be sure to read the fine print that goes along with your application.  Check to see if you will be charged for anything even if your project does not reach the set goal and does not come to pass.  Sometimes a small fee is billed and sometimes, it is quite large or nothing at all so do your homework.

If your research project does reach the goal and is pushed forward, congratulations.  That is what crowdfunding is all about.  It is reaching a goal through the involvement and commitment of a number of people who believe in the same cause.

Realize and take to heart that your reputation is at stake.  You will want to use the utmost integrity in all of your endeavors.  Deliver what you promised.  If you said your funding would be used to travel to the Asian rainforest, do exactly that and take plenty of photos and videos to prove it.  Document each step of the way.  If you are indeed passionate about your research, this should be a pleasure rather than a burden.

A growing number of projects are being made possible by way of crowdfunding.  Research is one of the first things to be cut from the government budget when times are tight but the masses have found that they can still get the job done by pulling together.  If you feel that your research cause is worthy, why not put it out there and see if enough others feel the same way too?

The Science of Machines

Machines are a pretty vast subject covering everything in world history from its inception with prehistoric man to the present day. They cover anything mechanical that has more than one part and involves some type of inherent movement to produce a useful result. The Industrial Revolution begins the modern story as one after the other, a new invention changed the course of history.

It is a fascinating parade of imaginative yet practical concoctions: the locomotive, the automobile, the airplane, the cotton gin, the industrial robot, electronics and telephones, kitchen appliances, escalators and elevators, lawn mowers, sewing machines, motorboats, hairdryers, and more. This endless litany of essential “machines” populates the world so easily now that they seem to have always been there. We can’t do anything without them from brushing our teeth and cooking meals to sending an email or posting online. Machines transport us and organize our environment. They make our furniture, our homes, our clothing, and our daily supplies. We take them terribly for granted while they are the core of our lives.

What machine has impacted you the most? Perhaps there are several. Give it some thought as it may open your eyes. Meanwhile, if we turn to science for an explanation, we get down to basic physics to understand mechanics and electrical and thermal power. We can analyze the nature of energy, requiring a bit of chemistry thrown in. The definition of a machine is too loose to be valuable. We are better off looking at categories and their functions. Concepts like friction, force, and dynamics pop up for our inquisitive exploration. There are simple devices like wheels and pulleys, compressors and pumps, turbines, heat engines, riveting and weighing machines, and a whole lot more. Each has its own science behind its operation that dictates its utility.

While some machines have changed less in principle over the years than in appearance, electric devices seem fresh and new. The digital era is unlike any other in producing small communication and processing instruments that employ software and apps. While our homes and cars are more or less as they were one hundred years ago with a few cosmetic differences, laptops and tablets are not. The history of the machine would takes volumes, but in this blog I hope just to give an indication of the role of science in absolutely everything. The development of the vacuum tube, the transistor, the semiconductor, the integrated circuit, and the like are beyond miraculous. It is all more internal than external nowadays. Small things like lasers and solenoids are less visual than steam engines, but equally powerful in their own way.

In sum, hats off to the machine. We should sing its praises. As a caveat, however, let me offer a timely quote:

One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man. Elbert Hubbard

I think this speaks for itself and we should never lose sight of who invented the machine in the first place!

Crowdfunding: The Risks and Rewards

crowdfundingriskandreward

Wouldn’t it be cool to own a cooler that was so big, you had to actually hitch it on to your vehicle to get it to your party destination?  And wouldn’t it be something if that super-sized cooler had a built-in blender, led lights inside of it and bungee cables on the sides for attaching “whatever”?  And wouldn’t it be nice if that state-of-the-art cooler also had a usb charger and Bluetooth speakers (waterproof, of course)?

There were a total of 62,642 people who thought the Coolest Cooler would be so cool, they raised a grand total of $13,285,226 in order to get one.  The interesting part was that when the multitude of people were flinging out their money, the product didn’t even exist yet.  That’s right.  And this project is by far not the only one of its type.  It falls under the category of crowdfunding and has become a quite popular way of getting a product on the market.

Crowdfunding is a term given to raising money or contributions to promote a product, project, service, investment or even an experiment.  Or, it can be funds raised for a cause such as to fight a disease or hunger.  Generally it is done over the internet and involves a large number of participants.

There are different kinds of crowdfunding, each done for different reasons.  One type is reward-based which is when those who invest in the project get something out of the deal like those who contribute to a free software endeavor will be able to use the software so that is their motivation.  Others might pitch in for scientific research that involves something that affects their own life or that of a loved one such as a disease.

Then there is equity-based crowdfunding.  Equity-based crowdfunding is when a group of small investors rally money together to promote something they will be given an interest in.  It is a collective effort for a cause or product that would likely never come to be if not for the group coming together in one accord.

Crowdfunding can be credit-based as well.  That happens when a prospective borrower basically applies for a loan by laying their requirements on the line and then being matched up with investors who are receptive to the given terms.  This is done to secure a loan through a source or sources that are not associated with a bank.

Sometimes a crowdfunding project is done in order to bring about a product that a good number of people would like to see materialize, like the Coolest Cooler.  Because those enthusiasts realized the only way to see this product into existence was to take part in the funding of it, they did so and in return, they got the product once it did come to be.

The marketing of crowdfunding is not as easy as you may think.  Not just everyone wants to give up money or anything else of value, even their skills or time, to a product or cause they read about on the web.  It takes persuasion and trust building in order to create a following.  This is often times done through a well-known person who has a trustworthy reputation such as a movie or music star.  Crowdfunding efforts that have a front and center spokesperson tend to fare better than most.

Crowdfunding is the new wave way of getting things done.  It’s the rallying together of people who believe in a product or a cause enough to personally get involved in it.  Like everything done online, there are risks but successful crowdfunding is when the risks are overweighed by the desire to contribute in order to see something happen overweighs the odds.

The Science of Composting

Aren’t we a bit retro to talk about composting? This is a pretty old concept that eco-minded people (and subsistence farmers) still like to bandy about from time to time. There is nothing wrong with it as a means of recycling and saving energy, but it seems a bit anti-scientific at first. In actually, there is some pretty basic science going on. It might be nature’s way, but you can help it along with your human touch if you understand the dynamics involved.

To provide super soil for healthy plants and great harvests, you start with yard waste and kitchen scraps, for example. Everyone has them. (Some people buy organic compost but it seems more hands-on to make your own.) Besides, once you begin, the whole things builds on itself and requires very little maintenance. You need to make a holder bin to contain all that beneficial bacteria that breaks everything down into the desired compost. You will need to turn the mixture once in a while with a pitchfork or other utensil to provide oxygen. Make sure there are air pockets. That’s the science part. Heat (from the sun) and moisture will quicken the results. It depends on quantity and the ratio of brown (shredded newspapers, wood chips, and dry leaves) to green matter (kitchen waste and grass clippings). Watch what you use so you don’t attract animals. Forget meat and fish and similar pungent foods.

These are the basics, plain and simple. If you want to get fancy and see the same science at work, you can study up on composting toilets that involve an aerobic process of decomposition. If you have a cabin in the woods or the mountains, or a shed in your back forty, this is for you. Sawdust, coconut coir, and peat moss are used to mix with excrement to absorb liquids. It is known to be a faster system than a septic tank. No water is needed, or of course traditional plumbing fixtures.

Thus, science as a forward-looking enterprise produces backward-seeming devices. But there are reasons and uses for them in this modern world, even for something invented in the 1850s. I hear there are roadside facilities of this nature in Sweden and Australia, maybe the US and UK. Apparently an option is a waterless adjacent urinal since the typical composting toilet is not the same as a urine-diverting dry toilet. It is rather about ventilation (aeration) and oxidation of waste to prevent or eliminate harmful pathogens (not accomplished with “pit latrines”).

While it can take up to years to achieve cold composting, under better and more ideal conditions it can take weeks (with active hot composting). There are various horticultural applications when local regulations allow it, but they are outside the limits of this blog. For now, we are revealing the marvels of natural science in a very basic way. Going from the simple to the extreme (for later writings) is part of appreciating human knowledge and the way it can solve every day to more complex problems.

The Science of Cooking

Cooking with physics and chemistry is what molecular gastronomy is all about. Through the marvels of modern science, food will never again be the same. What hasn’t science touched? From medicine to meditation, the world has undergone a revolution in methodology producing results heretofore unforeseen. Pretty exciting times we are in! Tastes and textures of food are now manmade. There is a new cuisine with a unique style behind it taking its cue from the technology of various scientific disciplines. To put it in clear and simple terms, you can digest protein better with pineapple juice or enjoy a cocktail in an ice sphere.

While some kitchen appliances used may look the same for the new food preparation, the rest is quite different. As an offshoot of science, molecular cooking is advanced and advantageous. Early practitioners made merengue in a vacuum chamber and injected pies with syringes filled with brandy. There are certainly no home bread machines like these ones in these food labs. Things have gotten more interesting as knowledge has grown. What was once an art is now a science in every sense of the word. Experimentation reigns supreme as do technological innovations. Lab denizens with a bent for the culinary are at the top of the heap. Chemical reactions engender gustatory reactions; so if you are a chef on the move, take that night course now! I hear in France you can get a PhD in molecular gastronomy.

The practice involves the physiology of flavor and an analysis of food structure. Cutting edge tools are borrowed from the science lab like Ph meters, evaporators, and distilleries and as such have become updated appliances, giving the concept a whole new twist. It is not dehumanizing, but mind-expanding, and it all has a biological origin. It is easier now to maintain temperature and extract flavors. Give me more of those transparent ravioli and liquid pea spheres. Faux caviar anyone. Yes, it is perfectly safe and very edible. The experience of eating involves new brain stimuli on taste sensors you never knew existed.

We are way beyond explaining why a soufflé rises and falls. You now literally known the exact nature of baking, chilling, curing, and more in detail. It is all meant to improve cooking, not burst your bubble with new knowledge. Throw rules and dicta to the wind as you embrace the biology of food.

If you are a logical, analytical type who likes a bit of intrigue on the side, you will be the first to jump on board where other more timid souls fear to tread. You can get both sides of your brain involved. You can use your intuition, creativity, and artistry all at the same time to explore ingredients and techniques under the light of scientific inquiry about temperature and pressure. Did you know that spherification bursts in your mouth? Or that you can have tastes in sequence in a given dish? They say the potential of molecular gastronomy or cuisine is wide open and up for grabs to daring takers. It remains to be seen how much it will catch on, but we predict a great future ahead.

The Power of Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding isthe collective cooperation, attention and trust by people who network and pool their money together. This strategy has been applied in several fields.

Here are some examples of initiatives that trying to leverage the potential of crowdfunding to support scientific research.

Cancer Research UK – MyProjects

http://myprojects.cancerresearchuk.org/projects

Launched in October 2008, MyProjects allows Cancer Research UK donors to search projects by type of cancer and location to find a specific research project to donate money.

Sciflies

www.sciflies.org

SciFlies is a new model for funding scientific research that allows the general public to get involved in scientific research by making small donations resulting in financing research for projects just waiting to prove new ideas that work, but just lack the funding to get started. SciFlies is a qualified non-profit and all donations are tax-deductible.

The Open Source Science Project

http://www.theopensourcescienceproject.com/

The Open Source Science Project is an organization wholly dedicated to rendering transparent the ‘black-box’ of contemporary scientific research and increasing its accessibility by affording all individuals – irrespective of geographic, cultural, socio-economic, academic, or personal background; the opportunity to participate directly in the scientific research process.

FundScience

FundScience is an online charitable organization, which aims to create an open platform for funding the research of promising young scientists. Its mission is to generate start-up funding for pilot projects while raising public awareness of basic research. 

Other crowdfunding examples

Sell a Band

https://www.sellaband.com/

On SellaBand you can support your favorite artists by buying a part and helping them to raise the funds for a new music project (a new album, tour or the promotion of their music).

Launched in August 2006, SellaBand has managed record recordings for 42 acts, whose records were funded by fans.

Kiva

www.kiva.org

Kiva helps fund entrepreneurs across the globe via “Field Partners”. Ordinary people can lend money to a specific entrepreneur on kiva.org, which is then distributed out by the field partner and repaid over time back to the partner and the lenders. When the loan is repaid, lenders can relend again and again (or withdraw their funds).

Crowdrise

https://www.crowdrise.com/ 

Crowdrise is using crowdfundingto fund charitable projects. Edward Norton, Shauna Robertson, and the founders of Moosejaw, Robert and Jeffrey Wolfe founded Crowdrise.

Crowdrise users can create a profile and project pages, which link to their favorite charities& not-for-profit organizations. Users can share their pages to get friends to donate as well. Volunteers and non-profit organizations themselves can make a page for specific projects that need fundraising.

Spot.us

www.spot.us

Spot.Us is a non-profit organization designed to bring citizens, journalists, and news publishers together in an online marketplace based on crowdsourcing and crowdfunding methods and principles. It was founded by David Cohn, who received a $340,000 grant from the Knight Foundation to pursue his idea.

Spot.Us currently focuses primarily on projects in and near the San Francisco Bay area, where it is headquartered. It plans to expand its scope to a national or international level.

Stories begin as either tips or pitches. A tip is an idea from a citizen – often a sentence or two describing an issue they would like to see covered. A pitch is an offer by a journalist to write a story, including the amount of money he or she needs. Visitors to the website can then donate to fund the pitch. Smaller stories cost a couple hundred dollars to fund, while the largest cost about one thousand dollars. Completed stories are available under a Creative Commons license. They can be viewed for free on the website and used free of charge by news organizations. News organizations that wish to gain temporary copyright of articles may do so by contributing over 50 percent of the funding.

President Obama used crowdfunding to finance his political campaign in 2008.