Kickstarter hits new crowdfunding milestones

Kickstarter is the most popular crowdfunding platform and they just broke two industry records.  According to the company’s stats page, more than five million backers have successfully funded over 50,000 creative projects on Kickstarter, cementing Kickstarter as the world’s leading crowdfunding platform.

 

 

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July 2011 Heat Records Double Those Of Last Year

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July was REALLY hot in a lot of places.

With July just behind us the National Weather Service confirms what you probably already knew: It was really seriously totally sweatily hot over the majority of the United States. In fact there were 2,676 tied or broken heat records across the nation, doubling last year’s stats. All told about 60 people died from the heat last month…

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Inventor with a ‘taste for music’ creates playable chocolate music records

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Playable chocolate music record

Peter Lardong, a resident of Berlin, Germany and an inventor with a “taste for music”  has become the first man to actually create a “playable” chocolate record which can be heard and eaten up when you get bored of listening to it. (pics and video)

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HOWTO clean LPs, DVDs, and CDs

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REALLY close up of a vinyl groove.

I’ve recently picked up several old vinyl LPs at thrift stores and garage sales. My musical taste is very eclectic, but these discs have one big thing in common: they’re all filthy. Similarly, we have dozens of kids DVDs and CDs in our house coated in toddler goo that would almost certainly beat the adhesive that holds the tiles on the space shuttle. This weekend, I plan to brew up a cauldron of the cleaning solution used by the master preservationists at the Library of Congress. Or maybe I’ll just go with Ivory dish soap, warm water, and an old t-shirt. Anyway, here’s the LoC’s recipe..

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Record Income Gap Between Rich and Poor Americans According to Census

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Income gap in U.S. represents greatest disparity among industrialized nations.

The income gap between rich and poor Americans grew to the widest amount on record and represents the greatest disparity among Western industrialized nations, according to U.S. Census data.

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Your Cremated Ashes Made Into Vinyl Records

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Music lovers can now be immortalised when they die by having their
ashes baked into vinyl records to leave behind for loved ones.

A UK company called And Vinyly is offering people the chance to press their ashes in a vinyl recording of their own voice, their favourite tunes or their last will and testament. Minimalist audiophiles might want to go for the simple option of having no tunes or voiceover, and simply pressing the ashes into the vinyl to result in pops and crackles.

The company was founded by Jason Leach, who co-founded the techno group and record label Subhead in the 1990s and has since founded a number of other labels, including House of Fix, Daftwerk and Death to Vinyl…

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Setting the Record Straight on Telecommuting

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Sylvia Marino, 39, with her son Harry, 7, in Mill Valley, Calif. She telecommutes
at Edmunds.com, which is based in Santa Monica, 350 miles away

I’M executive director of community operations at Edmunds.com, which provides information to car buyers, sellers and drivers. I lead the team that develops systems and policies for anyone submitting comments, reviews and questions to the site. My team also works with engineering to decide how parts of the site should appear to users — the forums, the car and dealership reviews, blogs and the question-and-answer area.
I’ve been telecommuting since I started with this company over 10 years ago. Going from reporting to an office before I joined Edmunds to working at home has been an evolution. I started in the financial services industry and wore a suit and heels every day. When I moved to the software industry, I wore jeans and flip-flops to work and brought my dog along with me. If she barked once in a while, it was no big deal.
I still get up, shower and get dressed in the morning as if I’m going to work. It’s important to have structure and routine. I also don’t like the thought of neighbors or the FedEx person seeing me in pajamas when I get the mail or a delivery. Now, if I’m on a conference call and my dog barks, I apologize, lead her out of my office and shut the door.
My children are 4, 7, and 9. I learned early not to tell anyone at their schools that I work at home, because some people think you can take time off at will. This way, no one can expect I will automatically chaperon field trips or take traffic duty at school in the morning. I do volunteer at the school as my schedule permits — just as other working parents do.
My children know that Mommy is working when they come home from school. They come to the office door to say hello — the way parents get phone calls at the office when their kids get home from school. When I have my headset on, they know I’m on the phone. On the rare occasions when they really need me, they’ll mouth a question or use pantomime to communicate. Sometimes they try so hard to make me understand what they want that it’s hard to keep from laughing.
I couldn’t imagine working in an office again. I joke that I’d be unemployable if I had to show up at the office on a daily basis. I like visiting our office and catching up with colleagues. But when I’m there I have a list of things I need to discuss with people, and I get right to the heart of it. I’m sure that I come across as intense to people who haven’t known me that long, but I typically have a long list of items. My goal is to maximize my in-office time.
I like the peace and quiet at home and the ability to work uninterrupted. I always found the conversations in the office distracting. I multitask well and get more done in several hours at home than I ever did over several days in the office. Sometimes I glance at the clock and four hours have gone by.
Some telecommuters say it gets lonely, but I’d say a bigger problem for most of this group is feeling that they always have to be available. If I call people at the office and the phone goes to voice mail, I figure that they’ve stepped away from their desk for a minute or are in a meeting. But if someone calls me, I feel that I’m expected to pick up the phone within three rings — no matter what time of day or night.
People think that I’m always at my desk. But I have conference calls and meetings, just as my colleagues in the office do, and I get up to get coffee or grab lunch, too. I don’t ever want to be perceived as holding up people’s work because they can’t reach me, so I make sure to get back to everyone as soon as I can.
There was a day when people thought you had all kinds of free time if you worked from home. There’s still some of that stigma, but the remote workers I know have strict accountability. None of us would last long if we weren’t really working when we were supposed to.
Some telecommuters say office workers complain about a communication problem with remote workers. I say that’s an excuse. The real problem for people in the office is that they can’t get up and walk over to your desk. But there’s no reason they can’t pick up the phone or send an instant message.
EDMUNDS has a telecommuting policy. People know what’s required and what to expect, and it helps them figure out if they’re good candidates for a role that lets them work from home. If they need a lot of direction, they probably won’t do well.
Successful telecommuters are self-starters and can manage their time. Many, like me, are list-oriented. If you thrive on working face to face with colleagues, you’ll do better in the office.
It’s hard to believe, but some people still don’t understand telecommuting. For example, I shop online a lot because it saves time, and some of my relatives know that. I’m constantly online for my job, too, and I think one of them is confused. He once said he thought I didn’t really work but spent my days chatting and shopping online.
It would be nice to be paid to shop all day, but I’m not that lucky.

SYLVIA MARINO:  I’M executive director of community operations at Edmunds.com, which provides information to car buyers, sellers and drivers. I’ve been telecommuting since I started with this company over 10 years ago.  I lead the team that develops systems and policies for anyone submitting comments, reviews and questions to the site. My team also works with engineering to decide how parts of the site should appear to users — the forums, the car and dealership reviews, blogs and the question-and-answer area.

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Woman’s Quest To Be Fattest In The World

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Mega Mom on a Mission!

Donna Simpson already weighs 43st (273kg), but she is determined to nearly double her size to become the world’s fattest woman.

The 42-year-old from New Jersey, US, is set on reaching the 1,000lb mark (71st) in just two years. Remarkably she insists she is healthy, despite now needing a mobility scooter when she goes shopping.

Donna, who wears XXXXXXXL dresses, eats mounds of junk food and tries to move as little as possible.

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Run a Total Background Check on Yourself with Free Online Tools

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Consumer-advocate blog Consumerist is always looking to help you keep tabs on Big Brother and any of your personal information He’s tracking. Toward that end, their comprehensive list of online background-checking tools is worth a look.

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Vote For The Strangest Guinness World Records Photo

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American Dennis Avner, aka Cat Man, underwent 14 surgical procedures to transform his face,
ears and teeth into feline features, as verified in Madrid, Spain, February, 2008.
It often seems like every week there is news of someone setting, or breaking, the Guinness World Record for some dubious achievement on which you never even believed people would have thought it fit to bestow commendation.
And so, in honor of the Guinness World Records’ tireless support of novelty achievements, Huffington Post rounded up 13 of the strangest, and occasionally pointless, records (so many to choose from!) for your amusement.
These are our favorites…
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