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Reading Rainbow Kickstarter Earns One Million Dollars In Less Than a Day

samzenpus posted about 5 months ago | from the bucks-for-books dept.

Education 164

An anonymous reader writes "LeVar Burton and the rest of the Reading Rainbow crew opened a Kickstarter campaign to bring back Reading Rainbow yesterday, with the ambitious goal of collecting a million dollars for their cause. They are now at almost two million dollars, with over a month left to go. 'This Kickstarter campaign is about reaching every web-connected child. Universal access. Thousands of more books than what we have now. And hundreds of more video field trips,' Burton said."

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Well done, sir (4)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 months ago | (#47124769)

Well done.

Re:Well done, sir (2)

Spudboy2003 (717547) | about 5 months ago | (#47126197)

I just donated. LeVar seems like a cool dude to me.

Two Problems (3, Interesting)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 5 months ago | (#47124799)

As much as I loved Reading Rainbow growing up, I have two problems with this:

1. If you go to their website, nothing indicates this is a non-profit corporation.
2. None of the people involved has a background in education, child development, psychology, etc.

Re: Two Problems (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47124847)

But LeVar has a really cool visor.

Re: Two Problems (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 5 months ago | (#47125535)

And if you donate $10,000 he will let you wear the visor briefly.

Re: Two Problems (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 5 months ago | (#47125557)

You do know that Brent Spiner [freshhellseries.com] and Patrick Stewart used to rub their balls with the visor before every episode?

Re: Two Problems (4, Funny)

Wescotte (732385) | about 5 months ago | (#47126207)

They should probably bump it up to a $20,000 donation then.

Re: Two Problems (1)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | about 5 months ago | (#47126405)

LOL +1 funny

Re: Two Problems (1)

William-Ely (875237) | about 5 months ago | (#47125579)

I would wash it first. It's been on Patrick Stewart's balls. http://www.freshhellseries.com... [freshhellseries.com]

Re: Two Problems (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#47126087)

Wow, where should I send those 10 gran... I mean, that's disgusting!

Re:Two Problems (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47124879)

1. In my experience non-profits rarely are. Does not being a non-profit corporation make it difficult for them to deliver on their goals?
2. Was a background in education, child development, and psychology critical to the original's success?

Are they actual problems, or just your preferences?

Re:Two Problems (1, Informative)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 5 months ago | (#47125299)

1. No, but if you want to make a commercial enterprise, don't come looking to me for a free hand out to get it started.
2. Yes, the original Reading Rainbow was created and produced by Dr. Twila Liggett who had a PhD in education and was supported by the college of education at the University of Nebraska.

Re:Two Problems (2)

compro01 (777531) | about 5 months ago | (#47125679)

2. Yes, the original Reading Rainbow was created and produced by Dr. Twila Liggett who had a PhD in education and was supported by the college of education at the University of Nebraska.

There seem to be more people than names. There are 6 more people in the team picture on KS than are named in the team bios on the site.

Could be one or more of them is the educator behind the scenes.

Re:Two Problems (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125769)

If even the crappiest military-inspired movies or tv shows can afford a military adviser I'm sure these guys could hire at least one person with a degree in child development or education.

Re:Two Problems (4, Informative)

bberens (965711) | about 5 months ago | (#47125815)

1. No, but if you want to make a commercial enterprise, don't come looking to me for a free hand out to get it started.

I thought that was the whole point of kickstarter. I don't think many of them are non-profits. This is just seed money for an educational semi-startup.

Re:Two Problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125733)

1. In my experience non-profits rarely are. Does not being a non-profit corporation make it difficult for them to deliver on their goals?
2. Was a background in education, child development, and psychology critical to the original's success?

Are they actual problems, or just your preferences?

I think the person to whom you replied is Bill Cosby, PhD.

Re:Two Problems (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 5 months ago | (#47126137)

> I think the person to whom you replied is Bill Cosby, PhD.

The question still holds. Throwing around a credential or a famous name doesn't alter that.

Is this a real problem or just nonsense from idiots?

Re:Two Problems (4, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | about 5 months ago | (#47124885)

Beyond that, it's following the typical blockbuster kickstarter pattern of asking for some palatable/marketable amount $X, with no real plan on how to use / why they need $X specifically. Then they hit $X and start asking for $Y more for "stretch goals" before they even figure out what to do with $X.

People who have to use their own money / satisfy investors / secure a loan tend to plan ahead and think about how much they need and why.
People who have their hand out tend to ask for whatever they can get and think about how to spend it later.

Re:Two Problems (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 5 months ago | (#47125265)

It's not that I don't hope all is well and on the up and up with this seemingly charitable fundraiser.

I certainly do.

But, there is a reason Madison Avenue uses celebrity spokespersons to sell you cheerios and adult diapers.

Re:Two Problems (1)

Strange Ranger (454494) | about 5 months ago | (#47125713)

> People who have to use their own money / satisfy investors / secure a loan tend to plan ahead and think about how much they need and why.
People who have their hand out tend to ask for whatever they can get and think about how to spend it later.

Sure. Clever phrasing. The first group is satisfying self interests. The second is hoping to do something charitable or somehow beneficial to others, and still be able to buy groceries. We have different spreadsheets. For instance everyone who's not Levar Burton of TV fame.

Re:Two Problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125771)

What happens when IPOs go for more than expected? The investors go crazy and the company fails?

Re:Two Problems (1)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | about 5 months ago | (#47126409)

Except with a kick starter campaign you actually get something.

You're not an investor. You're a customer doing a preorder. Sure there's usually a $1 feel good about yourself donation, but the vast majority of the cash on successful kickstarter campaigns come from people BUYING something.

Your Problems are my solutions (1, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 5 months ago | (#47124897)

1. If you go to their website, nothing indicates this is a non-profit corporation.

And so what??? Were you hoping for a tax break? The only question at hand is, will they do what they promise to do. If so, good enough.

2. None of the people involved has a background in education, child development, psychology, etc.

You know, the same was true when he was on Reading Rainbow the TV show. Do you think that show (a) helped kids of (b) destroyed lives.

In fact I would place his being on Reading Rainbow as having more of a background in education than most people.

Re:Your Problems are my solutions (5, Informative)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 5 months ago | (#47125277)

It wasn't true when he was on the TV Show. The original Reading Rainbow was created and produced by Dr. Twila Liggett who had a PhD in education and was supported by the college of education at the University of Nebraska.

Re:Your Problems are my solutions (0)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 5 months ago | (#47125407)

In fact I would place his being on Reading Rainbow as having more of a background in education than most people.

By that logic, Hugh Laurie would be a great doctor because of all those years on House.

Re:Your Problems are my solutions (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 5 months ago | (#47125491)

Hugh Laurie would be a great doctor because of all those years on House.

Wouldn't he if part of the show had him been doing real surgery at times?

Re:Your Problems are my solutions (3, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | about 5 months ago | (#47125897)

By that logic, Hugh Laurie would be a great doctor because of all those years on House.

Lose the elitism dude. You don't need a bloody PhD to encourage kids to read. You must be a real hit at parties.....

Re:Two Problems (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47124905)

>> 2. None of the people involved has a background in education, child development, psychology, etc.

Maybe that's a good thing? Maybe our education systems are broken due to the type of people educating our children. I'm optimistic these people have their heart in the right place and are going to be committed to their cause.

Re:Two Problems (1)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 5 months ago | (#47125369)

If I'm building a bridge, I better hire some engineers, because it's not going to stay up just because my heart is in the right place.

Re: Two Problems (4, Insightful)

gnu-sucks (561404) | about 5 months ago | (#47126043)

Unless, of course, all the bridges built by engineers have fallen way below specification.

You don't need a PhD to raise children, even though there are plenty of schools with developmental psychology PhD programs...

You don't have to be a chef to cook great food, not an ASE certified mechanic to change your own transmission. Been there, done that.

In my view, there couldn't be any worse qualification to teach children than a degree, of all things. If you think a wall of diplomas or a long list of publications qualifies you to teach, you're out of your mind and clearly do not understand what this and similar efforts are really about.

Re:Two Problems (1)

joemck (809949) | about 5 months ago | (#47126057)

Well, the '90s iteration of it *worked*. It taught kids to read, and got them to read. It obviously isn't a comprehensive literacy education, but it doesn't have to be. If it can get kids interested enough to pick up a book and read, it'll be a success. Unless there's reason to believe the current go-around isn't going to be done as well, I say let them have a go at it.

Re:Two Problems (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47124943)

What you see as problem #2, I see as feature #1.

Look at the crap being peddled in schools today. Think any of that makes kids want to read? Maybe it takes people outside the broken system to accomplish a goal the system cannot.

Re:Two Problems (4, Funny)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 5 months ago | (#47125545)

"Common Core Rainbow" just doesn't make for a good theme song.

Re:Two Problems (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125087)

If I had mod points I would mod you up.

Because some famous dim-wit supports your cause is no reason to believe it is worthwhile. Critical thinking, people (or should I say "sheep morons").

Re:Two Problems (5, Interesting)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 5 months ago | (#47125141)

Yeah, except this guy is not a dim wit and my Star Trek fanboy nonsense aside, go take a look at his record [wikipedia.org] . LeVar Burton has been involved in encouraging kids to read and generally expand their knowledge since the 80's. He's not doing this for himself, he genuinely cares about this. He's by no means a a multi-bajillionaire from working in Hollywood but he certainly doesn't need the money (is he even getting anything out of this other than some facetime on the interwebs?).

If he can use some of his geek cache to help kids get an education outside of our broken school system than more power to him. This isn't Madonna or Angelina adopting a kid from Somali because it's suddenly fashionable to do so, this is a guy who has been passionate about kids education since he was young lending his semi-famous name to a good and worthy cause.

Re:Two Problems (5, Insightful)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 5 months ago | (#47125223)

Yeah, except this guy is not a dim wit and my Star Trek fanboy nonsense aside, go take a look at his record [wikipedia.org] . LeVar Burton has been involved in encouraging kids to read and generally expand their knowledge since the 80's. He's not doing this for himself, he genuinely cares about this. He's by no means a a multi-bajillionaire from working in Hollywood but he certainly doesn't need the money (is he even getting anything out of this other than some facetime on the interwebs?).

If he can use some of his geek cache to help kids get an education outside of our broken school system than more power to him. This isn't Madonna or Angelina adopting a kid from Somali because it's suddenly fashionable to do so, this is a guy who has been passionate about kids education since he was young lending his semi-famous name to a good and worthy cause.

I have to agree with you on damn near everything you stated. But I do take exception to your statement regarding Angelina Jolie. She started adopting kids before it was fashionable. Much to her chagrin, she's probably part of the reason that doing so has become fashionable.

Re:Two Problems (5, Informative)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 5 months ago | (#47125261)

Fair enough, I really don't have enough information to make that statement so it was probably unfair. I think what I was remembering (not big on E-News!) is people comparing Madonna to her as if Madonna was trying to one up her and just kind of mashed the two of them into one single "thing". Mad props to Angelina if I'm that misinformed. Hell, whatever her intentions, if Madonna helped even one kid live a better life than more power to her too. My bad for using them to make my point about LeVar.

Re:Two Problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125089)

>1. If you go to their website, nothing indicates this is a non-profit corporation.

Non-sequitur

>2. None of the people involved has a background in education, child development, psychology, etc.

Arguing from authority.

Any other terrible reasons you don't like the show?

I wish there was a reading rainbow specific to logic. Perhaps we could get Brent Spiner to host it...

Re:Two Problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125993)

I wish there was a reading rainbow specific to logic.
Perhaps we could get Brent Spiner to host it.

Great. Another nobody without a background in the subject at hand.

Re:Two Problems (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 5 months ago | (#47126155)

I dunno? Maybe we put it in the hands of the guy that hosted it during it's entire original run?

To sum up the man's own words: "This is about passion, not mechanics'.

Your elitism is unconvincing. The "permissions society" you seem to pine for is unwanted.

Re:Two Problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47126533)

I was making a bad joke. (Watch the Kickstarter video all the way to the end.)

Re:Two Problems (1)

troll -1 (956834) | about 5 months ago | (#47125163)

why so many problems, my friend? what's wrong with making a profit? somebody told me pyschology is a psuedo science. what do you think of that?

Re:Two Problems (1)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 5 months ago | (#47125321)

Nothing wrong with making a profit. There is something wrong with asking me for a handout to do so. So kickstarters accept all the risk if it fails, but Levar Burton gets all the money if it succeeds?

Re:Two Problems (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 5 months ago | (#47125479)

What's Kickstarter's risk? It seems to me it's our risk to take as contributors and if you can get hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of people to contribute than the risk is spread pretty thin. I donated, if it fails than I will certainly be disappointed, but I won't be that upset over losing a few bucks.

Re:Two Problems (3, Insightful)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 5 months ago | (#47125499)

Sorry, misunderstood your comment. After re-reading I guess you meant kickstarters as referring to the contributors, not the site. But, my point about low risk by spreading it thin still stands. After all, this isn't being funded by tax payers, no one is forcing anyone to jump on board.

Re:Two Problems (1)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 5 months ago | (#47125577)

Considering their business plan appears to be based around getting schools to pay for access to this new online version of Reading Rainbow, it may very well end up being funded by tax payers.

Re:Two Problems (3, Funny)

Flozzin (626330) | about 5 months ago | (#47125853)

How dare they charge for learning material they create. Hopefully it won't catch on, and the rest of the materials and curriculum's schools use will remain free, as it always has been.

Re:Two Problems (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#47125177)

As much as I loved Reading Rainbow growing up, I have two problems with this:

1. If you go to their website, nothing indicates this is a non-profit corporation.
2. None of the people involved has a background in education, child development, psychology, etc.

You also have no reason to believe that being non-profit or having a background in education will in any way further their goals.

So what (1)

dtmancom (925636) | about 5 months ago | (#47125189)

I don't have a background in education, child development, or psychology, yet I read to my son every night.

Re:So what (1, Troll)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 5 months ago | (#47125361)

Yeah, and I'm not donating money to you either.

Re:So what (1)

danbuter (2019760) | about 5 months ago | (#47125901)

We all know you have no intention of donating money to this either. You just want to bitch about someone doing something good to make yourself feel better, because you are likely a loser in real life.

Re:Two Problems (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about 5 months ago | (#47125227)

2. None of the people involved has a background in education, child development, psychology, etc.

Like the jackasses who have been steadily ruining education for decades? Children have been learning to read from non-education-specialists for hundreds (if not thousands) of years.

Re:Two Problems (1)

Rhywden (1940872) | about 5 months ago | (#47125515)

And yet, as soon as you go beyond the two-maybe-three-children-in-a-kitchen-setting, you'll find that even way back at the Roman empire, you'd find professional teacher and schools.

It's easy to bash things if you don't know anything about what it actually involves. And, no, attending school doesn't count as experience. Just because you've used a bridge doesn't mean that you know how to actually build one. Yes, you know the basics and what a bridge should look like. But the devil is in the details.

Re:Two Problems (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 5 months ago | (#47126177)

I don't need to know how to build a bridge to know when one has been built badly.

It's like your piss poor argument. Probably a product of the teacher indoctrination apparatus.

Your elitism is hardly convincing.

The Washington Post asks this too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125611)

It's not just you. The Washington Post [washingtonpost.com] kind of had the same questions in a longer essay format.

Re:Two Problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125615)

So you need special credentials to read to kids? Get off your high horse.

Re:Two Problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125657)

Uh, reading books to kids... since when do you need to be an expert for that? They just want their parents to read to their kids... not exactly difficult...

Re:Two Problems (1)

Flozzin (626330) | about 5 months ago | (#47125721)

I agree.
If you don't have some sort of degree in education, child development, psychology, ect, you are incapable of teaching anyone anything, ever. Only those with the proper certificates, and have spent thousands of dollars towards their education in said areas, have any possible hope of someone learning something from them. I never learned anything from my parents, who didn't have degrees in any field, or my grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, friend's parents, ect. Anyone that has taught me anything has had the proper certificates, plaques, degrees to prove that they themselves can teach and be learned from. So it has been since the beginning of time. Since God, who himself had all of the proper degrees, graduated Adam, the first person, and, the first person ever to earn a doctorate.

Re:Two Problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125799)

"2. None of the people involved has a background in education, child development, psychology, etc."

These days, that's probably for the better.

Where does the money go?? (1)

clockwise_music (594832) | about 5 months ago | (#47126613)

> When we meet our initial goal of $1,000,000, we will launch a new version of Reading Rainbow on the single most-used digital platform: the web.

A million dollars for an "interactive" website? Clearly this man is a marketing genius.

Please backstory Reading Rainbow (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 5 months ago | (#47124867)

... for those of us who didn't grow up with it, what is it? I presume it has something to do with reading, and that it was around a while ago, but not TOO long ago (as the same people who were part of it are part of it again). Google helps, but this is the stuff that should be in TFS -- not just a link to the kickstarter.

IOW, there's not enough material in TFS to comment on the topic without first doing actual research. Is this a trick?

Re:Please backstory Reading Rainbow (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 5 months ago | (#47125057)

Really not trolling. I grew up with Reading Rainbow but I had no idea what it was until I figured out that Geordi LaForge was the Reading Rainbow guy. Like I said, not trying to be snobby or dickish about this but did you not watch Star Trek TNG? Before he was Geordi he was the Reading Rainbow Guy!

Oh, and he was in Roots too, which is probably a bigger cultural accomplishment for him than the rest, but again, Geordi LaForge [wordpress.com] !

Re:Please backstory Reading Rainbow (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 5 months ago | (#47126241)

I had no idea what it was even though I knew he was in TNG and Roots; I never knew about the Reading Rainbow thing.

Re:Please backstory Reading Rainbow (2)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about 5 months ago | (#47125549)

Reading Rainbow was a children's show hosted by LeVar Burton, starting in 1983 and running for 23 years. Each episode was themed (e.g. "construction"), and different segments that fit that theme would be included. That might be something like LeVar going to a construction site and talking to the foreman about how he helps build a building. There was usually a section where a minor celebrity would read a children's book aloud, and the show ends with shots of children, one at a time, doing a couple-line review of a book that they liked.

A couple of years ago, Burton's company produced a Reading Rainbow app with free books and some of his "field trip" segments (apparently. I haven't used it.)

Re:Please backstory Reading Rainbow (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 5 months ago | (#47126251)

Thank you! That gives me way better idea of what it was than the info on the kickstarter page.

Reading what now? (4, Informative)

Lost Race (681080) | about 5 months ago | (#47124875)

Would it kill you to put a short explanation or link in the summary for those of us who never heard of it before?

Reading Rainbow is an American children's television series that aired on PBS from June 6, 1983, until November 10, 2006, that encouraged reading by children. As of 2012, it is an iPad and Kindle Fire educational interactive book reading and video field trip app.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Reading what now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47124915)

It would need the Slashdot editors to actually edit.

Re:Reading what now? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125017)

What the fuck is a television? Would it kill you to put a short explanation?

television: A system for reproducing an actual or recorded scene at a distance on a screen by radio transmission, usually with appropriate sounds; the vision of distant objects obtained thus.

Re:Reading what now? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125029)

What the fuck is radio transmission? Would it kill you to put in a short explanation?

Radio waves are a type of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum longer than infrared light. Information, such as sound, is carried by systematically changing (modulating) some property of the radiated waves, such as their amplitude, frequency, phase, or pulse width.

Re:Reading what now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125243)

a type of electromagnetic radiation

Fucking magnets! How do they work?

Re:Reading what now? (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 5 months ago | (#47125553)

That one's easy. Magnets suck.

Re:Reading what now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125829)

a type of electromagnetic radiation

Radiation? Please think of the children and ban the evil electromagnetic radiation.

Re:Reading what now? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125281)

What the fuck is fuck? Would it kill you to put in a short explanation?

Brown chicken brown cow!

Re:Reading what now? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125697)

You're on Slashdot.

A technology site.

About technology.

And you can't figure out how a web browser, search engine, or bookmark to Wikipedia works.

Good job, that. I'm sure you won't be outsourced to an H-1B.

Awesome (4, Interesting)

m.dillon (147925) | about 5 months ago | (#47124977)

Reading Rainbow was a wonderful show on PBS that ran for a long long time, and LeVar Burton has been involved with it and with kids education for decades (even before playing his role in Star Trek TNG). Even though it has reached its goal, I'm throwing in a hundred or two myself. My opinion: Anything donated will be well spent, LeVar Burton is just that type of person, who you know you can depend on.

-Matt

Re:Awesome (1)

Krishnoid (984597) | about 5 months ago | (#47125393)

My opinion: Anything donated will be well spent, LeVar Burton is just that type of person, who you know you can depend on.

Word up.

Re:Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125607)

My opinion: Anything donated will be well spent, LeVar Burton is just that type of person, who you know you can depend on.

Word up.

How big of a codpiece does $200 buy these days?

Re:Awesome (1)

bberens (965711) | about 5 months ago | (#47125843)

He said in his Reddit AMA that for each $1 Million extra they make it will allow them to give the RR materials away for free to 1500 classrooms.

I can fly anywhere! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125001)

So, is "reading rainbow" a new strain of chronic? My doctor gave me a prescription for some dank when I asked him about the weird lump in my nutsack. I'm not convinced he's actually a doctor, but he's the only one available with my obamacare plan.

Re:I can fly anywhere! (0)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 5 months ago | (#47125077)

Republican much?

This is great and all, but (2, Funny)

Beck_Neard (3612467) | about 5 months ago | (#47125065)

it kind of makes me sad that DPF fusion energy hasn't even be able to reach half its measly $200,000 goal on indiegogo: https://www.indiegogo.com/proj... [indiegogo.com]

Why are our priorities so back-asswards.

Re:This is great and all, but (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125097)

Yeah, kids reading vs some pseudo-science fantasy. Idiot.

Re:This is great and all, but (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125159)

it kind of makes me sad that DPF fusion energy hasn't even be able to reach half its measly $200,000 goal on indiegogo: https://www.indiegogo.com/proj... [indiegogo.com]

Why are our priorities so back-asswards.

If our children cannot read, do you want them operating fusion reactors?

Re:This is great and all, but (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 5 months ago | (#47125173)

Who knows? Maybe given enough encouragement these kids will make the breakthroughs you're talking about. I don't see these two projects as being mutually exclusive...

Re:This is great and all, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125179)

The problem with their approach is that there's little science behind it. If it worked they'd have investors lining up at the door to give them checks...

Reading rainbow on the other hand does work. In fact I probably wouldn't be where I am today without it's influence growing up. My parents didn't care if I knew my right from my left growing up and it's due in part to shows like this and sesame street that I walked into school knowing how to read (which *gasp* is something you're supposed to know how to do...). Programs like this encouraged my love of learning and I'd venture to say they helped thousands of others. Heck programs like this might have even educated the people who will be responsible for the next major breakthroughs in medicine and technology.

Re:This is great and all, but (1)

Beck_Neard (3612467) | about 5 months ago | (#47125709)

> The problem with their approach is that there's little science behind it.

Then it's time to produce some science behind it. That's what this project is about. Most everyone I've talked to agreed that we simply don't know if DPF will work or not.

Re:This is great and all, but (1)

master_kaos (1027308) | about 5 months ago | (#47125463)

possibly, and while i haven't read much into that project is 200k even going to come close to making fusion a reality? Seems like 200k would be a drop in a 10000 litre bucket.

Re:This is great and all, but (2)

Beck_Neard (3612467) | about 5 months ago | (#47125685)

Actually, it would. This isn't intended to be a power generator, just a physics demonstrator. People have been really hesitant to fund DPF because it uses plasma instabilities and there hasn't been much research on the detailed dynamics of these instabilities. They are really hard to model and hard to simulate on the computer. We know very little about them. This project aims to fix that.

The idea hinges around the creation of a 'plasmoid' and its rapid implosion. Critics agree that the plasmoid can be produced; they disagree that the plasmoid is really being compressed to the densities and energies that the DPF proponents claim. So the DPF people need this $200k to fund a proof-of-concept that would (hopefully) prove the naysayers wrong. And if it doesn't, we haven't lost much, it's useful science that is literally going where no one has gone before. Previous DPF experiments managed to produce some really tantalizing data (demonstrating something like 100x better confinement than other technologies) but the results were contentious and not everyone agrees with them, so further experimentation is needed.

feel the love (3, Interesting)

troll -1 (956834) | about 5 months ago | (#47125083)

I wonder what implications being able to raise money for a common cause like this will have on the future of business. Will the top corporations of tomorrow be crowdfunded by people commonly wanting a particular good or service? What happens if you add virtual currency and 3D printers into the mix? Is this what Alan Watts was talking about when he referred to money as being an illusion? It's all in your head, man. Da future.

Re:feel the love (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about 5 months ago | (#47125161)

Will the top corporations of tomorrow be crowdfunded by people commonly wanting a particular good or service?

I hope so, at least optionally.

I know people claim that something just being open source would solve this problem, but there are various features/bug fixes (sometimes there are differing opinions on whether something is one or the other) I'd pay a relatively small one time amount for, e.g. on a Tivo. I already expect the basic guide data and recording functionality to be included in the (lifetime) service I already paid for. But having a crowdfunded way of gauging interest in a new feature. Yes, this adds fragmentation, so possibly popular enough features would then be put into the mainstream version and IMHO the funders' money would mostly be refunded.

BTW, I love open source software, though admittedly for me, it's as much the "free as in beer" part.

Let's see why... (5, Insightful)

Above (100351) | about 5 months ago | (#47125085)

  1. Well known Celebrity, check.
  2. Celebrity actually cares about, and is involved in the cause, check.
  3. The cause is to help children, puppies, or other small cute things everyone likes, check.
  4. The cause promises to make the future a better place, check.
  5. Makes a large group of people sentimental for the past, check.
  6. Rewards appeal to people with money, check. [Come on, geeks like Star Trek, geeks make good money.]
  7. Kick off carefully coordinated to multiple popular internet web sites, check.
  8. Asked for a modest amount of money compared to what they actually want to accomplish, check.

It was a kick-starter wet dream. When I saw the initial post I said "He'll have the money in 48 hours tops". Apparently I overestimated by about 4x!

Quite the opposite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125511)

If you think the kickstarter appealed to motherhood and apple pie and to everything warm and cuddly, I'm not sure that you absorbed what it actually said.

The message was almost the exact opposite of welcoming. It presented the picture of an epic national calamity, a whole country losing its grip on a cornerstone of civilization, the ability to read, and delivering the nation's youngsters into a life of limited horizons and to third world status at a time when the rest of the world is in strong ascendency.

To call the message merely bleak is a colossal understatement. Far from appealing to cuteness, it appealed directly to severe guilt and intense worry among all those who understand that the last generation put the gears of civilization in reverse.

None of this is news of course. The kickstarter succeeded so well because this very high profile problem has been worrying millions of people for many years.

You are right though that LeVar Burton's role here was very important. People want effective leaders working strongly for society and LeVar fits the bill perfectly, unlike virtually everyone wearing an official badge in the institutionally corrupt system of politics. As a figurehead for his group of workers, he's an important ray of hope.

I personally loved the series as a kid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125169)

But you don't have to take my word for it!

Re:I personally loved the series as a kid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125263)

Butterflies in the sky
I can go twice as high
Take a look
It's in a book
Reading Rainbow
Reading Rainbow!

Re:I personally loved the series as a kid. (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 5 months ago | (#47125453)

But don't take his word for it! [youtube.com]

Re:I personally loved the series as a kid. (1)

hubie (108345) | about 5 months ago | (#47125779)

I bet you didn't know Jim Morrison [youtube.com] was a fan as well.

Next up (1)

c4tp (526292) | about 5 months ago | (#47125687)

Where in the world is the Carmen Sandiego [wikipedia.org] kickstarter?

That's strange, I thought Levar hated the show ... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125845)

My Living Nightmare Of Encouraging Kids To Read Is Over

By LeVar Burton

Thank god.

After 26 long years, I can finally rest easy. Twenty-six years I spent standing in front of a camera, gritting my teeth, and shilling the latest works of every hack children's book author imaginable. For 26 years, I've told kids they could open a magical door to another world just by reading a book, when the only door it ever opened for me led to a soul-sucking career in the horrifying abyss of public television.

But now, at last, it is over. I don't have to lie anymore. I don't have to live that nightmare.

When the news came that Reading Rainbow would be canceled due to a lack of funding, I felt—well, to use a cliché like you'd find in one of the hundreds of books I pimped endlessly—like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Every day I went to work hoping that maybe the studio had burned down, that maybe the program had been cut, that maybe PBS would finally stop squeezing the life from me drop by drop. Now that it's over, I feel the relief a bruised and broken soldier must feel when he is rescued after rotting away for decades in some dank, forgotten POW camp.

May that godforsaken show burn in hell.

At long last, I can pick up a book and read for pleasure! Haven't read one in ages. You know what I was reading during those 26 insufferable years? Scripts. Scripts for roles that went to actors who weren't stigmatized by their association with a TV show occupying the time slot right after Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

I happen to be an accomplished actor. I starred in Roots, which was the most-watched show in American television history. My stirring portrayal of Kunta Kinte got me an Emmy nomination. But you know what? At 25 years old, when the opportunity to earn a regular paycheck working on a children's show came along, it seemed like a pretty damn good idea.

I was dead, dead wrong.

Little did I know the next quarter century of my life would be an unrelenting blur of excruciating trips to some of the most boring places on earth. Apiaries, steam trains, old mills—every week they sent me to a fresh hellhole, and every week I had to interview the dullest people imaginable.

And those humiliating books. Maebelle's Suitcase and The Jolly Postman. These were not the classics. Anyone who could glue paper between two pieces of cardboard and hire a publicist could get a book on that show. And there I was, in sheer agony, trying to keep a smile on my face while talking up Germs Make Me Sick!

Before long, people began recognizing me on the street, and inevitably they'd come over and start singing this awful, cloying tune. When I finally asked somebody what the hell it was, I was sickened to learn that it was the show's theme. I'd never heard it. They didn't play it on the set, and Lord knows I never saw one episode of that garbage when it aired.

Hoping to escape Reading Rainbow's clutches, I started taking any role I could get. I'm proud of some of them: I played Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Martin Luther King in Ali. But you know what the most challenging role of my career was? Hosting Reading Rainbow and acting like I gave a shit about getting kids interested in books.

Fact is, I couldn't care less whether kids learn to read. There, I said it.

Look, Reading Rainbow was a television program. That should tell you something right there. What I should have done is hosted a show that taught children how to watch more television. I bet they would have come up with the funding to renew that show.

All I've done for 26 years is drive to work, clock in, read my lines, clock out, go home, and cry myself to sleep. Now I'm much older, a broken man, but I've reached the end of my terrifying journey. And do you know what's at the end? Do you what's at the end of the "Reading Rainbow"? A giant crock of shit, that's what.

But you don't have to take my word for it.

http://www.theonion.com/articles/my-living-nightmare-of-encouraging-kids-to-read-is,11495/

That's strange, I thought Levar hated the show ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47126503)

The Onion, America's Finest News Source

Its a news site, it must be true!

Somebody is too dumb to know ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47126509)

... what The Onion is.

Are you seriously this ignorant??

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