Requesting information through the Freedom of Information Act isn't always simple, but a group of investigative journalists are making the process more accessible than ever. And one fellow is looking to share his German great-grandfather's WWI photos with the world.
Dean Putney has an amazing trove of photographs from World War I, a collection thousands of pictures taken by his great-grandfather Walter Koessler and stereograms from the war. Hoping to share these unique images, Putney is putting together a book of the photographs. For an $8 pledge, backers receive a PDF of the book. For a $25 pledge, they'll receive high resolution downloads of each page of the album. For an $89 pledge, they'll receive a hardcover copy of the book, plus a print from the album, a PDF of the book, and the digital downloads.
Want to make Freedom of Information Act requests easier? Berkeley's Center for Investigative Reporting is developing the FOIA Machine, an online platform designed to streamline the FOIA request process and create a community of journalists working through the process themselves. This is really a back-it-because-you-believe-in-it project, but there are various rewards at various levels.
We're big fans of Jed Henry's Ukiyo-e Heroes illustration series, which portrays video game characters in the style of Japanese woodblocks. Now he's making a Ukiyo-e inspired fighting game for iOS, Android, PC, and Mac. For a $10 pledge, backers receive a digital artbook plus a download of the game, but personally, I'm eyeing the t-shirts at the $30 pledge level.
What if, instead of perishing in space, cosmonaut canine Laika returned to Earth and fought against the Soviets who betrayed her? That's the premise of the alternate universe 2D action-platformer Laika Believes:
The tide of Soviet power rolling across the face of the Earth was strong, but not inexorable - until novel, strange energy sources were discovered. The impunity granted by these new engines of destruction lit a fire under the Russian war machine. So when Stalin rolled into Paris, the resulting flare-up of global conflict left little more than smoking ash heaps where America and Great Britain had been, and left the less developed countries of the world in the shadow of a newly unipolar, unabashedly imperial USSR. Now, Stalin is dead. Though resistance movements have emerged, the Soviets still stand supreme as rulers of the globe. Only a force from beyond the earth could possibly tip the balance. Abram Krupin, who leads one of many resistance cells alonsgide his wife, Amulya Diggavi, knows this. When he sees a dog fall from the stars, then, he takes it as an omen. This dog speaks, wears silver armor, and has an arsenal of mysterious weapons. Abram calls her Laika.
For a $15 pledge, backers receive a digital copy of the game for PC/Mac/Linux, and Steam codes if the game's greenlit on Steam.