Transform Your Ashes Into Trees with ‘The Bios Incube’

The Bios Incube

We believe in a well-designed afterlife. Why not? So much effort is put into curating our everyday lives, that it seems silly to let our values and taste die along with our physical bodies, right? Thankfully, the brains behind Bios Urn, a project that converted cemeteries into forests, have returned with a more advanced project, the Bios Incube, that lets you plant your ashes in a personal, minimal vessel for private display.



The process from cremated remains to lush greenery includes a sensor that sits on the soil’s surface to track and water the tree, using the Incube’s internal 3 gallon water tank. A smartphone app then connects with the sensor, allowing you to monitor environmental conditions, as well as what’s happening inside the Incube, from fertilizer to temperature, moisture to light exposure.

“The intent of the Bios Incube is to offer people a sustainable alternative for remembering deceased persons or pets in a natural and contemporary way. Everyone has the right to affordable, sustainable death care,”  according to Kickstarter. “The Bios Incube has been designed for city dwellers with limited access to natural land, those seeking an alternative to traditional burials, and for people who want to meaningfully connect with their loved ones who have passed away.”

We’re on board.


This Kickstarter is the Definition of Fierce Fashion

Images courtesy of Kora Rae

Felines are constantly a source of inspiration in fashion. Leopard print and cat-eye liner seems to come back every year in some form or another, not to mention models and fashionistas are applauded for their feline characteristics (Karlie on the catwalk, anyone?)

It’s not often that fashion designers can name a specific cat that inspires them, but that is exactly what Rachel Turzer, designer and founder of Kora Rae, can do. Turzer adopted and rescued a tiger named Kora, who is now at the National Tiger Sanctuary in Branson, Missouri. Proceeds from sales of the collection are donated to the sanctuary. For Turzer, Kora is a symbol of the balance between a fierce and elegant aesthetic that she strives to incorporate into the pieces of her collection. The tiger was an inspiration from the start of her line, and is a constant muse for Turzer. (That must be one pretty special tiger.)

To propel the line into wider production, a Kickstarter campaign has been started with the goal of reaching $50,000. Donating as little as twenty-five dollars will get you a piece from the Kora Rae collection, not to mention you’ll be supporting a clothing line that truly gives back to its feline inspiration.

The campaign ends November 21st. Check it out here!

Alessandra Ambrosio wearing Kora Rae

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Crepe tailored dress / vest in Ivory

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Shift dress in polycrepe with flap-over contrast panel and sash in navy.


One Week Left To Back ‘Pixies: A Visual History’ On Kickstarter

You know what your coffee table is missing? A book that someone may actually want to flip through. I know that under the bottles and ashtrays and bills there is probably some kind of unsolicited Urban Outfitters catalog, but that doesn’t count. What you need is Pixies: A Visual History, an exclusive limited-edition hardcover containing never-before-published vintage photos and anecdotes about the band’s early days. Problem is, it doesn’t exist. Yet.

Superfan Sean T. Rayburn, whose love of the utterly unique alien-rock quartet blossomed into a job curating the official band website, Facebook page, etc., has already collected nearly $90,000 on Kickstarter to make that book—by helping him hit the $150,000 goal in the next few days, you could land your very own copy, or at least some postcards with these classic, early-years, mostly black-and-white images. This (first) book would focus on the years 1985, before everyone in the group had met, to 1993, when they dissolved and each made a separate name for his or herself. 

It should include lots of grungy U-Mass basement shots and dressing-room candids as well as material from the quickly growing concerts, as Rayburn is not settling for his own ephemera but reaching out to photographers who worked with the Pixies in that era to present an unexpectedly complete picture of some great musicians making their bones. But this probably won’t show up in stores: you’ve got to get in on the ground floor by contributing to the project, so find your mind and start clicking.

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Make ‘Girls’ Star Zosia Mamet’s Dreams Come True for $32K

As if being on a hit HBO series isn’t enough, Zosia Mamet wants your money. Also known as the adorably-dressed Shoshanna on Girls, the NY-based babe has just launched a Kickstarter campaign with her sister to fund the music video for their band’s single called "Bleak Love." They’re asking for $32,000 by June 9th.

According to The Cabin Sister’s Kickstarter page, the video is their "chance to realize through the visual artistry of some very talented people the universal feeling of un-requited love," they explain. "Visually the video will bounce from opulence to sparseness, French Baroque to a simple, timeless heartbroken." 

If this imagery intrigues you in the slightest, back the project for $25 to cop a digital download of the album or $100 for a signed photo of the girls AND a digital download. You’ll win stuff like that until you get up to a $2,000 pledge, where the perks get interesting. 2 Gs get you a Skype session with the sisters, where you’ll share "some tea and songs for 45 minutes." $5,000 backers earn a date with Zosia to a Cinema Society film screening and premiere party, which "is a very classy event that will give you the opportunity to know a little bit about Zosia, mingle with the film industry and see a movie before anyone else."

Finally, some Girls loot: if you pledge a whopping $8,000, you score "Zosia Mamet’s (director styled) set chair, from season 2, signed by the GIRLS! with Shoshanna embroidered in its back you could have a piece of television memorabilia and help the cause!" Worth it? Pledge here.


Support ‘Out In The Night,’ A Documentary About the New Jersey Four

There will be an awful lot of talk about Kickstarter over the next few days, and probably it will be about already comfortable, successful people raising funds for new projects, which tends to be the common theme for talking about crowd-funding now. You’ll probably read a lot of thinkpieces about Zach Braff and Amanda Palmer and the people doing the new Veronica Mars movie and what does it all mean for how we back movies. But for all of Kickstarter’s flaws and all of the things that need to be said about it, there are actually still important projects being made and showcased on it by people with vital stories to tell and without big established followings, and this is one of them. 

Out in the Night is a documentary by filmmaker blair doroshwalther that tells the story of the “New Jersey Four,” a group of young African-American lesbian friends from Newark who, after a night out in the West Village in New York, were harassed and threatened by a man on the street. They defended themselves, with both parties suffering injuries and the man who had provoked the group ended up in the hospital. The women were met with arrest, jail time and a media that demonized them, calling them a “Wolfpack” and “Gang of Killer Lesbians.”  Director doroshwalther says the documentary unpacks a series of complex conversations about race, gender, gender identity and questions like “What does a victim look like? And who is allowed to defend themselves?”

As the Out in the Night team writes on their Kickstarter page:

“This is not an easy story to tell. The women defended themselves, forcefully. But by showing the events of that August night, you will make up your minds about what happened. For four years, our team has filmed important pieces of this story carefully and intimately that will allow you to understand how race, class, gender and sexuality came to bare upon this case. While we unpack the fight itself, we are most interested in revealing what happened after – including the trial that reveals the court’s skepticism around self-defense, and the mainstream media’s biased coverage.”

The film is only a few thousand dollars away from its fundraising goal of $23,700, funds being used to work with an editor, rent an editing space, create key motion graphics and finish some archival research, as well as an original score. To learn more about the project, watch the video below.

Zach Braff Needs You To Help Fund His ‘Garden State’ Follow-Up

If you were fourteen years old and living in New Jersey when Garden State came out, yes, it was probably a pretty life-changing movie for you. Otherwise, I’m still quite sure it was a hit, bringing in $35 million and establishing Zach Braff as more than just the lovable J.D. on Scrubs. And nine years since the indie drama’s release, Braff is now campaigning to get this second feature made via Kickstarter.

After parting with traditional funding in hopes to have total control over the project,  Wish I Was Here is the writer/director’s latest film written with his brother Adam, and he’s looking for a solid $2 in the next 30 days to gain the funds to get this ball rolling after seeing the success of the Veronica Mars Kickstarter campaign. According to Braff and the official website for Wish I Was Here, the film is:
The story of Aidan Bloom (played by me), a struggling actor, father and husband, who at 35 is still trying to find his identity; a purpose for his life. He and his wife are barely getting by financially and Aidan passes his time by fantasizing about being the great futuristic Space-Knight he’d always dreamed he’d be as a little kid.
When his ailing father can no longer afford to pay for private school for his two kids (ages 5 and 12) and the only available public school is on its last legs, Aidan reluctantly agrees to attempt to home-school them.
The result is some funny chaos, until Aidan decides to scrap the traditional academic curriculum and come up with his own. Through teaching them about life his way, Aidan gradually discovers some of the parts of himself he couldn’t find.
Well okay, Zach you have my attention and I am more than sure there will be a slew of fans eager to hop onto the project as well. The only thing left to do is call Frou Frou to see if she’s available to score the crescendo the feature.
Check out the campaign video below and some character designs.


You Can Help Make a ‘Veronica Mars’ Movie Happen (If You Care About That Sort of Thing)

Here’s a little behind-the-scenes look at how things work at BlackBook: I saw online that Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas (not the dude from Matchbox Twenty, as I just learned) and the show’s star Kristen Bell launched a Kickstarter campaign that is hoping to raise two million dollars to make a movie based on the series, which was cancelled after three seasons in 2007. I never watched that show, despite the intentions of many of my friends to get me to watch it, because the concept sounded preposterous. (I say that having willingly watched the entire first season of Smash.) I turned to both of my coworkers and said, "Hey, did either of you watch Veronica Mars?" Both of them stared back, blankly, and said no. "Oh, hm," I replied, thinking, "Perhaps someone with the knowledge of this show should write a post about it." And then I realized that writing blog posts about entertainment news requires very little skill and knowledge! So, basically, here is the Kickstarter campaign for the Veronica Mars movie

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A Flask That Goes In Your Bike Handlebars Might Become A Thing You Can Buy

From the people who brought you Mason Jars Used As Devices For Which They Are Normally Not Used Look At How Delightful and Twee We Are comes Look At These Bike Accessories That No Bike Enthusiast Would Ever Think of Making Or Needing And Probably Don’t. Just a few weeks after the internet brought our attention to Trotify, a gizmo that attaches like a reflector light above the front wheel of your bike and makes it sound like a horse trotting, comes The Handlebar, which are two little vials that go into one’s handlebars and can store cigarettes or cash, but are designed for booze. And on Kickstarter, cherry brandy-loving creator Yannick Read is only asking for £500 (about $800 US), which seems a lot more reasonable than the $5,000 for those Mason Jar Cocktail Shakers (and the dude ended up raising about $75,000 because what). (The makers of The Handlebar do not condone drinking and riding.)

This is actually kind of a cool idea, probably far more practical than the horse-trotting apparatus, and something that may interest bikers, especially if you need a little something extra to stay warm during the January Critical Mass. But there are some little things that leave me unsettled, the least of which is Read’s penchant for cherry brandy, which, cool, if that’s your thing, but it just doesn’t strike me as a bike enthusiast’s drink of choice. Or anyone’s. When’s the last time you met someone who was super, super into cherry brandy? Right? Anyway, you do you, Yannick Read. You drink that cherry brandy.

But the thing about The Handlebar is the same thing that gets me about a lot of stuff you find at big craft fairs and on Kickstarter—yeah, this looks really cool, and I’d maybe consider buying it, but then I’d be giving you a lot of money for something I could probably make myself pretty easily and for less money, even though I know I never will because I’m lazy and it will never look as cool as that. So really, it’s just the defeat complex that’s bothersome. Really the only thing that’s eye-rolling about this is the branding, because yes, it’s called "The Handlebar" and that’s cute, but do we really still need to put mustaches on everything? No. No we don’t. 

Today In Terrible Mason Jar-Related Ideas: The Holdster Mason Jar Mug

I’d like to know who, exactly, decided that the Mason Jar was this year’s bacon, and that every new thing had to be just a reappropriation of Mason Jars. Remember the Mason Shaker, which was a Mason jar with a the top from a cocktail shaker on It? SO MANY PEOPLE thought that was a good idea. They paid people money just to make it. Meanwhile, I was at home using my regular cocktail shaker, which works just as well as something that would shatter if I dropped it on my kitchen floor. ("Great art is always breakable," said no one.) Anyway, now someone has fashioned the Mason jar into a mug with the help of a leather strap. And they want you to give them money to make it.

Yes, it’s the Holdster Mason Jar Mug, which is just a piece of leather with snaps you can affix to any of your grandma’s old glass jars (or, if you’re young and hip and live in Brooklyn, the jars you spent too much money for at a flea market). I mean, sure, why not? This is a thing we needed. But in case you’re not sold, why not let the creators explain why this is a necessary item:

"Like many individuals who are awake, I realized the benefits of using mason jars for…just about everything. The only problem was that I love drinking coffee- and coffee is served HOT. There are plenty of Coozies, Coolies, and Cozies out there to solve this problem but I don’t have a pony tail or a mustache and therefore can’t crochet myself a neon cozie and get away with it. So I designed a sexy alternative: Leather, thread, and copper never looked so good- the Holdster was born."

Look, I love a Mason jar as much as the next guy who misuses an en-dash, but come on people. If you think you are too good for a neon coozie, you just need to step away. Ain’t nobody too good for a neon coozie. Also, have you seen the fashions among the folks who have rediscovered the Mason jar as a thing that one can put liquids into and thus drink said liquids? I bet a lot of them have mustaches. (Also, the people described in the above paragraph are likely living in the coastal states in the Mid-Atlantic region, and they don’t give two shits about what you think of them and their hair patterns because they are warm and drunk all year long.) Also, leather is sexy when it is on people, not glass. 

I would end this with a list of other similarly ridiculous inventions involving Mason jars, but I don’t want to give anyone any more terrible ideas that they can convince other people to buy. Instead, I’ll just thank Katie Notopoulos for bringing this to my attention.

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