January Kickstarter Round-Up: The Future of Pants

Once a month we'll be bringing you a look at some of the best local Kickstarter campaigns in order to let you know what's getting ready to be unleashed through the help of small investors.

Lauren Murphy Documentary: Nothing irks me more in the world of sports than the way women have been marginalized in the art of combat. Female professional wrestling has all but died in the mainstream, but there is still some hope that the ladies of mixed martial arts can punch and armbar their way into carving a bigger niche in this area.

Meet Lauren Murphy, an undefeated specialist in boxing and Brazialian Jiu-Jitsu who fights right out of here in Houston. Michael Drake of Katy is looking to make a documentary exploring Murphy's early life in Anchorage, and her rise to being one of the top female fighters in the world. Truly, Murphy is a wonderful example of both the ability of her gender to excel in traditionally masculine arenas, as well as being a master of the science of fighting.

There has probably never been a more basic approach to Kickstarter funding ever than this campaign. There are two levels. $10 gets you an autographed picture of Murphy, and $25 gets you the same plus a DVD of the film. That's fair however you slice it.

Goal: $5,000 by February 10.

Pants That Will Change The World of Pants: Bradley Johnson has a dream. A weird and somewhat incomprehensible dream in my opinion, but there's no arguing his enthusiasm. He wants two things, to fish, and to have pants that will revolutionize the fishing experience.

Behold the future of pants according to Johnson. His zippered trousers will open on each thigh in order to reveal pockets capable of holding every lure, hook, and tool your average fisherman who wants to keep things close could possibly want. Don't like to fish? Johnson assures you that any activity that requires many small accessories to perform with be ten times better with his pants.

Such revolutionary bum and leg covers don't come cheap, of course. Expect to drop $250 for the life-changing britches to be shipped to you. on the other hand, $25 gets you not only Johnson's thanks, but pictures of people enjoying the pants that you've helped fund to the fullest. I'm not even sure if I'm being sarcastic right now.

Goal: $5,000 by January 20.

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An Archive of a Human Rights Movement in the USSR: Part of me is just including this because I get such fascinating and badly-spelled emails whenever I mention Jewish persecutions. Mostly though, I think that the treatment of the Jews in Soviet Russia tends to get forgotten in American minds who can handle only one mass racial oppression per century.

Natan Rodzin looks to change that. His efforts are to collect and publish an online archive of the Soviet Jewry Movement of the 1960's - 1980's.His hope is that once such a collection is readily available, there will be more scholarly access to the time period. Thousands of artifacts have been gathered by the Remember and Save Association over 12 years, but Rodzin aims to transfer their work to an internet accessible form.

There's not much in it for the casual investor. From the $25 to the $845 level your only reward are various access levels to the archive as well as notifications when it's updated. This pretty much limits interested parties to those with a vested interested in the historical narrative. If that's you, get involved.

Goal: $9,000 by January 30.

Jef has a new story, a tale of headless strippers and The Rolling Stones, available now in Broken Mirrors, Fractured Minds. You can also connect with him on Facebook.

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