Zack Brown has promised all funders who donate more than $1 that he will say their names during the production of the potato salad. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian
Zack Brown didn't want to fund an investigation, an avant-garde art project, or a tech start-up. He just wanted to make potato salad, of no particular kind, and he was asking for $10 on Kickstarter to do it. That was last Thursday. He has since managed to raise more than $35,000 in donations on the crowdfunding site - and he doesn't even have a recipe in mind.
What else does the internet love enough to fund? Here are some of the most unexpected - and ridiculous - successes that Kickstarter has seen to date.
1) Lionel Richie's head, inflated
Everybody loves Lionel Richie right? Barcelona based artists Hungry Castle certainly thought so and were not prepared to let one failed Kickstarter campaign deter them from creating their dream: a giant inflatable of Lionel Richie's head for public consumption. When DJ Rob da Bank took note, the self-funded artwork landed a place on the official line-up for last year's Bestival on the Isle of Wight. As the campaign grew, so did the head - enough money was raised to make it big enough to climb inside. Festival goers could enjoy a "fully immersive, slightly surreal and very personal" journey into the head itself, with more generous donors promised a VIP experience. With this success under his belt, Lionel Richie's head is now en route to Australia, on the latest leg of his world tour.
2) The world's first pizza museum
With museums created to celebrate mustard, kiwis, chocolate and even burnt food, artist Brian Dwyer decided the time was ripe to create the world's first and biggest pizza museum. So with the help of more than $16,000 in backing from pizza lovers, he curated "the largest collection of pizza related items in the world" and got the Guinness Book of World Records to make it official. Pizza Brain is now home to an art show, museum, arcade and of course, a pizzeria.
3) The Griz Coat
It was Halloween and Hans Reichstetter could not find a suitable grizzly bear jacket anywhere - he wanted it to be realistic, without being real. Hundreds of people shared his dilemma and The Griz Coat was born. Sold with the firm mantra that it is not a costume, but a lifestyle, the first batch of Griz Coats quickly sold out. The second batch promises polar bears. Unfortunately, neither the beer nor the hipster glasses are included.
4) Anti-Zombie soap
Kickstarter has long been the home of zombie-based campaigns - be that computer games, graphic novels or an instruction book for the post-apocalyptic golfer. But zombie megafan Noah Thompson decided that hygiene was the best protection for apopcalypse and has since managed to fundraise enough to create an ever-expanding range of soap products, each complete with a three day guarantee of zombie-free living. As he says, why take the risk?
5) A squirrel census
It was the autumn of 2012 and Jamie Allen was working on a short story, imagining the day the squirrels came down to attack everyone. But he quickly came upon a hurdle: nobody could tell him how many eastern grey squirrels existed in Atlanta. So with the help of a team of researchers, designers, web programmers and one firefighter, he conducted Atlanta's first squirrel census, complete with infographics, lectures and squirrel-related art. He has now set his sights on the mass production of high quality squirrel census poster prints and has raised more than $8,000 to get started.
6) Tea from a 1974 Citroen H Van
In recent years the capital has witnessed the growth of an imported caffeine culture of lattes, frappuccinnos and flat whites. So where was the tea equivalent for a country famously obsessed with a hearty brew? Emilie Holmes decided that a mobile tea truck was the answer and the Brew Bar can now be seen peddling "Good and Proper Tea" around London. But will it take off? We've even got one within walking distance of Guardian HQ.
7) Emoji Dick
Ever wished you could read Moby Dick translated into Japanese emoji icons? If you have, you are not alone - 83 people on had the same desire and were prepared to cough up enough cash to make Fred Benenson's dream a reality. The translation and production of the text has also been crowdsourced, with a workforce from Amazon's Mechanical Turk marketplace. Here, to whet your appetite, is one of the novel's most famous lines in translation.
8) Grilled Cheesus
Your prayers have been answered: you can now get the face of Jesus on your lunchtime toastie. After $25,000 in donations, the electronic sandwich press has become a reality. Cheese lovers around the world have been giving thanks.
6:45 Your Healthy Friends Will Be Into BrusselKale (July 11, 2014)
Thanks to science, we're getting a new hybrid vegetable this fall: BrusselKale. And it doesn't take a genius to guess that the new vegetable was developed by cross-pollinating Kale and Brussels Sprouts.
According to the scientists at a British company called Tozer Seeds -- who incidentally spent 15 years developing the vegetable, BrusselKales have a flavor that is a "fusion of sweet and nutty." Since both Brussels sprouts and kale are members of the cabbage family, no genetic modification was necessary to make this monstrosity.
If the name BrusselKale already has you cringing, you can call them "Kalettes" because they will also be marketed that way.
The official Kalettes website says the new leafy vegetable will be in supermarkets this fall.
7:15 Strap on the old feedbag for Free Food Fridaaaaaayyyyy! Slurpees, and Chicken, and Donuts oh my! --Rona It's called Free Food Friday http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/free-food-friday/story?id=24504119
8:15 There's a Bee in my pants story....just listen. A very funny story as told by one of my colorful co-workers.
8:45 Friday Toy Memory: Sooper Dooper Looper at Hershey Park. It was a round looper roller coaster. I'm sure you remember the t-shirts from those that went to Hersey park and road the ride. I recently saw a guy in a throwback movie called Ping Pong Summer wearing one of those t-shirts. When we went to Hershey, I was too short to get on the roller coaster but I remember wanting to ride that soooo badly. Then, one of the kids that was on the church trip with us ended up throwing up on the ride so I was glad I didn't go. Ha. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SooperDooperLooper
6:15 The other day, I was driving and I noticed that my cellphone was really hot. I pulled over and noticed an icon on the phone telling me that it was cooling itself down. Then I came across this story. Excellent tips to keep your phone cool during the summer.
The summer heat is great for tans, swimming and margaritas, but it's not so good for your iPhone, Android or other smartphone as well as any other portable electronics. Overheating is a serious risk when it's hot outside and can permanently damage or destroy your tech. Luckily, there are some ways you can lower the risk and at least limit the likelihood of having to spend your sunscreen budget on a replacement phone or other electronics. Here are eight cool tips to keeping your phone or other gear...cool.
1. Don't put it in the sun. That may seem obvious, but it's an important point. Even when it's hot out, it's less hot in the shade. Even better is putting it in a bag that is also in the shade. It can really make a difference.
2. Take it out of the case if its in one. The case can act as a sort of insulation, retaining heat and not giving the phone a chance to radiate some of it off. Think of it like wearing a wool glove on your hand in the heat versus letting your hand out to cool off.
3. Turn off extra background features. Bluetooth, location services and Wi-Fi, even if they aren't in active use, will lead to your phone heating up a bit more. That bit can make a difference, so leave them off.
4. Even better is if you put it in airplane mode, which turns off all data and phone access. If you don't need or anticipate using them, this will help keep it cooler.
5. Best of all is if you turn it off entirely. If it's already started to feel a little warm, or if you're concerned enough about the heat damaging the phone, leaving it off is the best way to avoid overheating. It won't save the phone from really extreme situations, but it can make a difference by eliminating internal heat as a possible problem source.
6. Don't play games or use it for directions. Both games and navigation use a lot of processor power, and that means heat. It's a bad idea to tax the processor when it's hot out, so minimal intensity use is a good way to keep the phone cool.
7. Don't leave your electronics in a car. Even if out of the sun, cars can heat up fast, so when you park your car, take your electronics with you.
8. Don't charge your electronics if it's hot. Even when it's in airplane mode or off, the basic nature of battery charging heats up your phone. If it's already hot out, it can be quite dangerous so wait until you're somewhere cooler before plugging in.
6:45 What's up halitosis?
An apple a day keeps garlic breath away.
Or at the very least, it will help to neutralize the odor that comes from eating garlicky foods, according to Ohio State University researchers.
They sought to determine what works best at tamping down dreaded garlic breath, which is created by sulfides contained in garlic.
Participants were first fed raw garlic and then given various foods and liquids. Apples worked well because of oxidating enzymes that cover up the smell of sulfides.
Meanwhile, lemon juice, milk and green tea also proved effective in reducing garlic breath. The researchers added that the best way to reduce the odor is to consume the various neutralizers while eating a dish with garlic.
7:15 I recently met someone who lost everything she owned in a fire. She was very grateful that no one in her family was hurt. She was saying that doing an inventory of her belongings was proving challenging for her. It got me to thinking how difficult that would be in my case. Well, I decided to call my friend State Farm Agent Pam Neely, and she gave me some really good advice on what to do IN ADVANCE of a tragedy.
Pam had some helpful tips:
--keep a list of items that have serial numbers and/or model numbers, ( i.e., electronics, firearms, etc). It will be easier to replace those types of items with something of similar brand or quality with that info on hand.
--She also suggests to photograph or video your stuff. Keep in mind you should separate the house into rooms and make sure to open drawers, cabinets, closets, etc. This serves 2 purposes: provides proof of ownership and will help in making the required list.
--She also says to save the pictures or videos it to the cloud. Or if it's a hard copy give it to someone else (so it doesn't burn with all your possessions), keep it at work, or in a fireproof safe at home.
Finally she says that recovering from a total loss takes a very long time. In order to replace what you had, you need to provide the inventory and proof of ownership. Good stuff to know! Thanks Pam!
6:45 This guy is kinda amazing! Rob Cantor posted a video of his song "Perfect" to promote his new album "NOT A TRAMPOLINE" and in it, he does almost 30 celebrity impressions.
Cantor says it's 29 impressions, but by count it's 28 and he does one of himself that is "spot on."
He does voices like Kermit the Frog, Louis Armstrong, Shakira, Gwen Stefani, and Britney Spears and transitions between them effortlessly. It's pretty fascinating to see how he switches from a guy's voice to a woman's and nails it perfectly. Even though he's already had over 6 million hits, you'll want to check it out. My fave by the way, is Shakira. Here's the story and the video below the link.
6:15 I went to sleep extra early last night, knowing that I had to wake up early today. Unfortunately, I woke up at 2 am and didn't get back to sleep for an hour. When I did sleep, it was hard, deep sleep. So my most annoying alarm was going off for an hour before I woke up (I woke up when I was supposed to be leaving by the way). I had incorporated the song into the dream. I woke up (luckily), said an expletive, and jumped out of bed. Anyway, I was thinking of how much our body does when we are asleep and happened to find this from Sparkpeople.com.
Find a clean public restroom using your cell phone and information that other people have suggested.
Clean public restrooms were hard to find. Until now. We put public restrooms on the map. Literally. So the next time you've got to go on the go, you'll know where to go.
Visit SitOrSquat online to search for clean public restrooms all over the country. Rate and share the restrooms you like (sit) or note if the bathroom could be better (squat) by adding them to the map.
7:15 Would you want to know what your co-workers really think of you? A new iPhone app called Knozen could let you find out, allowing co-workers to rate each other's personalities anonymously. The app works by putting up two co-workers against each other, and then asking the user questions like, "Which person is friendlier?" or "Who is more likely to leave work early for a date?" After making a choice, the user is told how many other colleagues voted the same way, giving an evaluation of each worker's strengths and weaknesses. Users can see how they were rated too. At least seven people from an organization need to sign up for Knozen before they're allowed to start rating each other. Creator Marc Cenedella wants the app to eventually be used by businesses in the hiring process, believing that job candidates should be initially screened based on how well they'll fit into a company's culture, not just on their credentials.
8:15 Considering that today is going to be a typical warm summer day, I came across another app that can help you out if you work outdoors. It's from the US Labor Dept (OSHA). When you download the app, it lets you put in your location and figures out whether the weather and heat index will be dangerous for outdoor workers. They give you tips on keeping hydrated etc. Cool. Check it out: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/heat_index/heat_app.html
6:15 As you know, tomorrow is 4th of July/Independence day. Here are some activities in our region.
Fire on the Mountain Fireworks Display will be held on July 4, 2014 in Deep Creek Lake Area.
The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce presents the annual Fire on the Mountain Fireworks Display. Starting at 9:30 p.m., fireworks will be launched from the top of Bear Claw Tubing Park at Wisp Resort onto the waters of Deep Creek Lake. Viewing spots include the scenic overlook on Rt. 219, McHenry Cove on Deep Creek Lake and businesses in McHenry. Rain date: July 5th. http://garrett.chambermaster.com
Fireworks at Fairgrounds Park. There will be all day activities on July 4, 2014 at Fairgrounds Park in Hagerstown, Maryland 21740.
Opening ceremonies begin at 6:00 p.m., followed by entertainment at 6:30 p.m. and fireworks at 9:30 p.m. With 15,996 shells to be set off in just 30 minutes, this promises to be an action-packed show! For info call: 301-739-8577, ext 116 or go to: http://hagerstownmd.org
MSO Salute to Independence . Keep the Independence Day celebration going on Saturday, July 5, 2014 at Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg, Maryland 21740.
Since 1986, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra has presented a free "Salute to Independence" Concert at Antietam National Battlefield near Sharpsburg, MD. Held on the first Saturday of July, the "Salute" has been billed as "Maryland's Most Patriotic Event" and has also been recognized by the American Bus Association as "One of the Top 100 Events in North America." The evening concert attracts nearly 35,000 people from all over and is capped off by a spectacular fireworks display, one of the largest in the region. This year's special guest, folk singer/songwriter Jennie Avila, will be performing her original songs of the Civil War. 301-797-4000 http://marylandsymphony.org
Frederick's 4th - An Independence Day Celebration takes place in the City of Frederick's Baker Park on July 4, 2014.
Frederick's 4th – An Independence Day Celebration is a premier 4th of July event, both locally and statewide. Regional and national entertainment will begin at noon, and visitors can enjoy a day packed with free rides, activities and entertainment. Taste award winning chili, dunk a Frederick celebrity, or race a bath tub down Culler Lake – there is sure to be something for everyone! For info call 301-600-2844 or go to: http://celebratefrederick.com.
6:45 If you're going to have fireworks, you're going to need music to go with it. USA Today consulted a music critic who put together a playlist for your fireworks watching enjoyment. I like that it has songs from all eras like:
7:15 I interviewed Jennifer Jolly-USA Today Tech Columnist. She talked about some very cool timesavers with technology life hacks like: how to make the most of your technology from finding your lost car in a parking lot to surfing in the net to accumulate points and redeem for gift cards, magazine subscriptions, or even free gasoline for your car ! We talked Summertime Life Hacks. I only played about 5 minutes of the interview on the air. Here's a web exclusive longer version.
the most of your technology from surfing in the net to accumulate points and redeem for gift cards, magazine subscriptions, or even free gasoline for your car to finding your lost car in a parking lot .
You can get even more tech tips and information from Jennifer at her blog: http://jenniferjolly.com/
Here's how you can find her on USA Today Tech Now section: http://www.usatoday.com/search/technow%20jennifer%20jolly/
8:15 4th Of July Facts
Ready for the long weekend? Here are some fun facts about all our favorite things about the holiday (via Mashable)!
According to AAA Travel, about 41 million Americans will travel 50+ miles from their home for the holiday. This number is up about 2% from last year, most likely due to the holiday falling on a Friday.
85% of those travelers will be driving in their cars. Air travel is expected to decrease compared with last year -- despite a 5% decrease in airfares.
The American Pyrotechnics Association reports that 15,000 fireworks displays are planned for the fourth of July, nationwide. The APA also says that 213 million pounds of fireworks are sold annually, and that only 10% of the total fireworks sold every year are used in professional displays.
The National Hot Dog & Sausage Council (yes, it's a real thing) says that more than 155 million hot dogs will be eaten on the 4th.
Americans eat the most beef on Memorial Day, but July 4th ties with Labor Day for second place. (Purdue University)
6:15 Recently, I had my car worked on and I had $1600 worth of work done. Ouch! I was so angry about it because there is NO way that I'd have an idea of what work I really needed to have done. Anyway, I did feel like the mechanic was being straight with me. I'm not saying all Mechanics are shysters, I just wish I knew more in advance of needing car repairs. A few on the list are below Check out the really helpful list here: http://list25.com/25-things-your-car-mechanic-wont-tell-you/
6:45 You won't believe this...First it was the Kentucky Fried Chicken Corsage, now it's the
Kentucky Fried Jewelry (June 27, 2014) (Unfortunately, it's all sold out!!!! :( )
If you love KFC and 14 karat gold jewelry, today (June 27) is your lucky day. Kentucky For Kentucky is launching a collection of gold-plated necklaces made from the real bones of a KFC fried chicken dinner. According to the company's website, the unusual jewelry was made using a complex and time-consuming process of painting the bones with a varnish, covering them in copper and then gold electroplating each one. Small necklaces will be sold for $130 and large ones will be sold for $160. Interested buyers will need to act fast when the sale begins at 10 a.m. as there will only be 20 items up for sale. (Daily Mail) It's all sold out already. :( http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2671221/Would-wear-FAST-FOOD-jewelry-The-14-karat-gold-plated-necklaces-real-Kentucky-Fried-Chicken-bones.html
One of America's worst habits is wasting food. Another is hoarding food well past its expiration date.
The nonprofit public health group NSF International decided to poll 1,000 people to get a better idea of what people are or aren't doing with the food that collects in their refrigerators with frightening regularity.
Among other things, 17 percent of respondents admitted that they don't toss food away until it actually begins emitting an odor. (I'M GUILTY OF THIS)
NSF International also learned that about one in seven people never throw out frozen food despite freezer burn and the fact that it doesn't keep indefinitely, contrary to what some might think. (I'M GUILTY OF THIS)
Those more apt to keep food around well past expiration or best-used by-dates are Americans 55 and older.
The survey also revealed the mistrust people have regarding the food in other homes with 40 percent admitting that they won't eat something served by a relative or friend because they're concerned it may not be safe to eat.
The heaviest rainfall recorded among the cities listed occurred in Washington, D.C., in 2001. While Dallas has only ever had one measurable rainfall on July 4 in the past 15 years, but was hit with 1.31 inches of rain in 2006, making it the third heaviest on record.
6:15 It started with the new Maroon 5 song Maps. I noticed that they don't have a GPS person in the song. Then, I started rambling about how GPS voices get more and more insistent when you get lost or do something different than their suggestion. It's like turn left in ½ mile. You don't do it and the voice starts to first sound concerned, then a little more urgent, then finally you hear "recalculating" meaning it has to change it's direction because you didn't follow the directions of the GPS. It's kinda funny.
But what I was REALLY planning on talking about is this:
Beyonce Tops Forbes' Celebrity 100 List; Bruno, Katy, Taylor & Pharrell Also Included
Who runs the world? Beyonce, of course. Queen Bey tops Forbes' annual Celebrity 100 list of the most powerful celebrities, based on both money and fame. The "fame" part is measured by how many times the star was mentioned in the media in general, and how present and powerful they are on social media specifically.
Beyonce is #1 on the list not just because she earned $115 million over the past year, but because she's among the most talked-about stars in the business. For example, the star who's #3 on the list, rapper and producer Dr. Dre, earned a ridiculous $620 million in the past year because Apple purchased his company, Beats by Dr. Dre. Yet Beyonce outranked him, so obviously, cash alone isn't enough to top the power list.
In addition to Beyonce and Dre, thirteen of the top 25 stars on this year's list are musicians, including Beyonce's husband, Jay Z, as well as Rihanna and Katy Perry, both of whom are in the top 10. Bon Jovi, Bruno Mars, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga,Kanye West and BruceSpringsteen also appear on the list.
Musicians making the list for the first time include Bruno, One Direction, Pharrell Williams and Avicii. Musicians who fell off the list this year include Madonna, Carrie Underwood and Coldplay.
Here are Forbes' top 10 Most Powerful Celebrities. To see the full rankings, go to Forbes.com.
1. Beyoncé Knowles, $115 million
2. LeBron James, $72 million
3. Dr. Dre, $620 million
4. Oprah Winfrey, $82 million
5. Ellen DeGeneres, $70 million
6. Jay Z, $60 million
7. Floyd Mayweather, $105 million
8. Rihanna, $48 million
9. Katy Perry, $40 million
10. Robert Downey Jr., $75 million
6:45 Yikes. I'm not fan of spiders but damn. I don't think I'd be dumb enough to do THIS!!!! Note to self: Don't try to kill spiders by setting them on fire.
A Kansas woman was arrested Friday morning after allegedly setting a fire in her apartment to try to kill a spider. Ginny Griffith, 34, was arrested and charged with aggravated arson after firefighters rushed to her Topeka residence and extinguished the fire she allegedly started when she burned her bathroom towels with a cigarette lighter to try to kill the arachnid.
Instead, the fire quickly spread.
While the damage to the residence was minimal, she was charged with arson because Griffith lives in a duplex, and potentially endangered the other residents of the home.
7:15 If you're NOT watching the World Cup games, maybe this will be a litte more fun for you. It's Animal Planet's World Pup! Unfortunately, were are almost to the end of the voitng and the USA got eliminated in the last round but you can still vote.