Special Relativity
Special Relativity Week 5: A Tale of Self Pity

A metaphorToday marks the end of the fifth week of fundraising for my radio series Special Relativity, and the time has come for honesty. Things aren’t looking good. The project’s received only three donations in the last two weeks. It’s now so off track that I’ll need to raise over $140 a day for the next seven weeks to meet the campaign’s $8000 goal.

Yesterday I was thinking about the whole thing, and I realized how easy it might be to misunderstand why I’ve undertaken this uphill boulder roll. I can imagine someone looking at me and thinking, “This guy’s a writer who can’t get someone to pay for his work, so he figures he’ll take the easy road and just beg people for cash.” One could, very understandably, interpret what I’m doing with the same disdain one directs toward an obviously able-bodied guy panhandling on the subway.

So I want to clarify here that asking people for money — especially asking my friends for money — is not something I want to be doing. It’s not easy. I don’t enjoy it. It’s difficult and humiliating. Imagine turning to folks who you respect and care about and who are successful and saying to them, “I haven’t been successful lately. Can you give me a handout, just out of faith that I’ll do something good with it?” It hurts.

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For Gawdsake Listen to This Great Radio Comedy

If you’re a supporter of my series Special Relativity, then you either enjoy radio comedy or are something of a sucker. I’ll assume it’s the former and thus you’ll like the best example of radio comedy I’ve heard in a long time: the first episode of Mike Henry’s new podcast, The Songs We Sing. It features blues legend Lester “Polecat” Brown and is positively — dare I say? — Frebergian.

You can listen to it right here in the player below. Then go subscribe to new episodes via Tumblr or iTunes. And if you like it, Mike would probably appreciate you telling him so.

Special Relativity: The Digestion Has Begun

A couple of weeks ago, I predicted that as people became absorbed by the holidays, fundraising for my radio series Special Relativity would dwindle to such a point that the project would fall into a deep pit in which it would slowly be digested over 1000 years. Dear reader, I spoke the truth. Gastric juices have already eaten a third of my seventh toe. The fourth week of fundraising ends today, and we are now a full 50% off track. By now I’d hoped to raise $2800, and we’re just shy of $1400.

I don’t like to resort to negative reinforcement, but I feel like I have no choice. I’m forcing you to look at this image, which will now be burned into your mind for eternity:

It's better if you don't ask

Please, if you’ve been meaning to support the project, do it today. All donations make a difference. You can get a Fundamental Force Manipulator or a shirt for your dog or even have your name officially declared the cutest in the Universe. And remember that if you’re unable to donate, simply sharing a link to Special Relativity’s IndieGoGo page helps immensely by increasing the project’s secret and enigmatic “GoGo factor,” which fell for the first time last week. Simply use these links to share the campaign by email, Twitter, Facebook, or your web site.

Many donors have said they gave not out of charity, obligation, or the crushing guilt I bestow on those who don’t, but simply because they want to hear the show. I’d like to give them that chance. Please donate now.

Week 2 of Special Relativity was Not as Good as Week 1

It was a disappointing week for Special Relativity. We fell $250 short of our fundraising goal. So as punishment, I’m making you look at this sad, humanoid deer holding a large, dead fish:

Fish with Deer

Nevertheless, the project received a few very generous donations, for which I’m extremely and genuinely grateful.

I know that most of you will be spending the next several days in a desperate bid to fend of elvish home invasion, but please take a moment from your nog intake to donate to or share the campaign, so we don’t find ourselves starting 2012 in a deep, deep hole in which we’ll slowly be digested over a thousand year. Thanks.

The First Week of Special Relativity

Emperor of the Basset HoundsI’ve set a fundraising goal for my radio series Special Relativity of $100 a day, which means to be on track for the first week we needed to raise $700 by 1:30pm yesterday. Thanks to the extreme generosity of 11 people, we met that goal right at the wire. As a thank you, I’m giving you this portrait of the Emperor of the Basset Hounds, photographed by me in Stockholm, Sweden.

We still have 73 more $100 days to go in this project, so if you haven’t donated yet please give what you can. If you can’t/won’t/shan’t contribute, you can help almost as much by sharing the project via Facebook, Twitter, email, or your web site. Every time someone shares the campaign, it increases something horrifyingly called its “GoGoFactor.” A high GoGoFactor increases the chances of IndieGoGo featuring the project on its home page or in its newsletters, not to mention building the project’s confidence in the locker room.

Your support means a lot to me. Thanks.

Support Special Relativity with the Power of Science!

It was a very poor fundraising weekend for Special Relativity, with only $5 raised, putting us two hundred dollars behind the target amount for today. That’s led me to take extreme measures. I’m now attempting to increase the pace of donations by harnessing the power of the very fabric of the Universe!

Special Relativity Fundamental Force Manipulator

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Allow me to present a new campaign perk: the Special Relativity Fundamental Force Manipulator. For a ridiculously small donation of $15, you’ll receive this remarkable science-powered device which, though it sits comfortably in the palm of your hand, allows you to wield one of the four fundamental interactive forces of the Universe. Relish your dominance over the very sub-atomic particles that make up all matter in creation as you use the Special Relativity Fundamental Force Manipulator to control the electromagnetic force, allowing you to permanently attach it to the front of your refrigerator without the aid of adhesives or fasteners.

Donate $15 to get yours now. Please, use it wisely.

New Special Relativity Perks!

I’ve added two new PBS-pledge-drive-quality contribution perks to the Special Relativity IndieGoGo campaign:

Universe's Cutest Pet Shirt

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Universe’s Cutest Animal Pet Shirt

For the discerning pet lover, a contribution of $100 lets you label your pet as the Universe’s Cutest Animal with the Universe’s cutest pet shirt. 100% ribbed cotton, reading “Universe’s Cutest Animal” in Special Relativity style. Available in XS-3XL, because cuteness is not size-relative.

Get yours now!

Special Relativity Tie

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Special Relativity Necktie

For the not-so-discerning businessman, $150 will snag you this exclusive piece of fashionable neckwear with a pattern custom designed from the Special Relativity symbol. Made of 100% silky not-silk.

Get yours now!