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Get More With Execulink

Posted by cirvine on September 23, 2015

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This week we began a new marketing campaign at Execulink that focuses on the idea of More. Like any successful company, we want to give our clients more: more savings, more service, more quality. Now these are grand, arching ideals that we have always strived for, but we also want to focus on the everyday qualities that you need more of. By using Execulink as your service provider you will be getting MORE of the things that are essential to your daily life. So when we talk about an elderly couple needing “More Connection—and catching up with the grandkids”, or “More Boom—and less bad guys” for gamers, we are reaching out to everyday people like yourself that use our services to enhance their lives and get that little extra richness out of it.

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Alongside this campaign you will find significant changes to the presence of Execulink both online and in print. We have already begun updating the imagery we use on our website and in our online ad campaigns throughout the web and on social media.

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You will also see updates on our billboards, product sellsheets, and other print media. We feel they add a dash of colour and vibrancy to our business and we hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

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As the great Canadian intellectual Marshall McLuhan once said, “The medium is the message” and that rings even truer for us as a provider of telecom services. The message of our mediums (Internet, TV, Phone and Mobility) is that they enhance our lives and our connection to one another. In a word, they give us More.

Get More with Execulink.  

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Karen Chalmers, Marketing & Public Relations Manager


With 2 decades in the film, design, and marketing industries, I love all things creative – especially a beautiful, well-crafted font. I’m a classic triple threat, complete with talents in acting, singing, and sewing.


Sports To Watch This Fall

Posted by amustard on September 21, 2015

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As the days become shorter and the weather becomes colder – we arrive at one of the most exciting times of the year for sports fans; summer sports wind down, playoffs begin, and winter sports start their regular seasons.

MLB Playoffs/World Series

Let’s go Blue Jays! The 2015 Major League Baseball season has been an exciting one for Canadian baseball fans as the Toronto Blue Jays, led by third baseman Josh Donaldson and pitcher David Price, have been making a playoff push for the first time in over 20 years.

Although a playoff spot seems probable, a World Series win is not guaranteed. Toronto will have its hands full in October with American-League rivals, the New York Yankees, and National-League favourites St Louis Cardinals. Will the Blue Jays be able to re-capture that 92/93 magic? Stay tuned this fall.

Source: THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP Photo, Julie Jacobson

Execulink Channels to watch MLB Playoffs/World Series

  • Sportsnet  (ch 44) & Sportsnet HD (ch 244)   (A full schedule can be found HERE)
  • Sportsnet One (ch 132) & Sportsnet One HD (ch 232)   (A full schedule can be found HERE)
  • FOX (ch 16) & FOX HD (ch 216)   (A full schedule can be found HERE)

Important Dates

  • Playoffs begin on October 6th  
  • World Series begins on October 27th

CFL 2015 Season

Canadian Football teams are currently competing in the 14th week of the CFL season and things are heating up.

Source: Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

The Calgary Stampeders currently sit on top of the CFL standings with a 9-3 record. However the Edmonton Eskimos and Hamilton Tiger Cats are having great years as well, making the three teams favourites to win this year’s Grey Cup.

Execulink Channels to watch CFL games

  • TSN (ch 28), TSN2 (ch 128), TSN HD (ch 228) & TSN2 HD (ch 229)   (A full schedule can be found HERE)

Important Dates

  • 2015 Grey Cup (in Winnipeg) – November 29th


NFL 2015/2016 Season

The NFL Season is currently finishing up Week 2, and there is no shortage of story lines.

Injuries have been a big story so far, claiming superstars Tony Romo, Aaron Williams, Jay Cutler and more.

Source: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

After narrowly escaping a controversial suspension of QB Tom Brady, the New England Patriots have already been accused of cheating in their first game against the Pittsburgh Steelers . Will the Pats luck continue, or will karma catch up to last year’s Super Bowl champs?

Don’t expect too much housework or chores to be done on Sundays in the upcoming months.

Execulink Channels to watch the 2015/2016 NFL Season

  • CBS (ch 25) & CBS HD (ch 225)   (A full schedule can be found HERE)
  • FOX (ch 16) & FOX HD (ch 216)   (A full schedule can be found HERE)
  • NBC (ch 24) & NBC HD (ch 224)   (A full schedule can be found HERE)

Important Dates

  • Super Bowl  – February 7th


NHL 2015/2016 Season

All the NHL off-season excitement leaves many questions for the 2015/2016 season…

Will the Chicago Blackhawks be able to avoid off-ice distractions and defend their Stanley Cup title?   

Source: AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Can 1st overall draft pick Connor McDavid help the struggling Edmonton Oilers make the playoffs?

Will the addition of (former Leaf) Phil Kessel re-ignite Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguin’s success in previous years?

Can a new coach (former Red Wing Mike Babcock) inspire the Toronto Maple Leafs to deliver a winning season? 

As a long-time Leafs fan, I am not holding my breath on that last question, but I am definitely looking forward to an exciting NHL season.

Execulink Channels to watch the 2015/2016 NHL Season

  • CBC (ch 05) and CBC HD (ch 205)   (A full schedule can be found HERE)
  • Sportsnet  (ch 44) & Sportsnet HD (ch 244)  (A full schedule can be found HERE)

Important Dates

  • NHL Season begins October 7th  (A full schedule can be found HERE)
  • Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic (Montreal vs Boston) – January 1st
  • NHL All-Star Game (in Nashville) – January 31st
  • Playoffs begin April 13th


NBA 2015/2016 Season

After a thrilling NBA championship last year, expect a competitive season in 2015/2016.

Source: AP Photo/Ben Margot

Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers will try to avenge their NBA Championship loss to Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors. Both teams are favourites to win again this year, but don’t count out the San Antonia Spurs, Dallas Mavericks or the Los Angeles Clippers who all made interesting moves this off-season.

This NBA season is also an important one for Canadian basketball fans as the Toronto Raptors will host this year’s always-anticipated NBA all-star game.

Execulink Channels to watch 2015/2016 NBA Season

  • TSN (ch 28), TSN2 (ch 128), TSN HD (ch 228) & TSN2 HD (ch 229)   (A full schedule can be found HERE)
  • Sportsnet (ch 44), Sportsnet HD (ch 244)    (A full schedule can be found HERE)
  • Sportnset One (ch 132) & Sportnet One HD (ch 232)    (A full schedule can be found HERE)
  • NBA TV (ch 420) & NBA TV HD (ch 243)   (A full schedule can be found HERE)

Important Dates

  • NBA Season begins October 27th  (A full schedule can be found HERE)
  • NBA All-Star Game (in Toronto) – February 13th
  • Playoffs begin April 16th


We hope you enjoy the Fall sports schedule. If you are an Execulink TV customer and would like some more information on the channels these sports are featured on, please give our office a call at 1-877-393-2854.

Sources:
http://globalnews.ca/news/2154800/prices-pitching-smoaks-slam-lead-jays-over-yanks-for-7th-straight-win/
http://www.cbc.ca/sports/football/cfl/stampeders-face-tough-task-of-repeating-as-cfl-champs-1.3092039
http://www.tsn.ca/statistically-speaking-brady-gronk-bury-bills-1.364051
http://news.nationalpost.com/sports/nhl/stanley-cup-late-arriving-to-chicago-blackhawks-party-thanks-to-rainstorm
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/lebron-james-miami-reunion_56001efee4b0fde8b0cef5ab 

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Andrew Mustard, Marketing Coordinator


Devoted Leafs fan through the good and the bad - mostly bad. Born and raised in Stratford, Ontario - with more swag than Bieber. Success isn’t a maybe - it’s a must.


The Most Interesting Super Mario Fan Theories

Posted by cirvine on September 16, 2015

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Did you know we've been playing Mario games for over 30 years!? In that time, there has been a lot of speculation about what exactly is going on in these games. Who are Mario's parents? Is Mario actually evil? Did any of the events in the Mario games actually ever happen? These are the questions that will be asked today. So sit back, relax, and prepare to have your whole Mushroom Kingdom turned upside down. Let's get started with some outrageous and interesting fan theories!

1a. Mario and His Friends are Merely Actors in a Stage Play

Apparently this is a rather old theory but it blew my mind when I first read about it. The first two games stand outside this theory (I’ll get to that later), but starting with the third game, everything is just a theatrical performance in which they are reenacting the previous games’ events.

Check out the evidence from Super Mario 3 and make up your own mind:

Source: http://i.imgur.com/MCQB1.jpg

A few more facts that back up this theory:

  • There is little to no continuity in the games. Sometimes players are good and work together and sometimes they are evil and work against each other and there is no explanation.
  • Each of the levels in Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine are called episodes.
  • You can see a camera crew in several Mario games.

Mind blown, right? Well, that’s only the beginning.



1b. Super Mario Bros. (1) is the Only Time Bowser Truly Kidnapped Princess Peach.

So let’s say they are just plays, or episodes. That means that the original game is the only actual time Bowser kidnapped Peach. But what about Super Mario Bros 2, you ask? Well, think back to that game. It was completely different from the other Mario games. You plucked vegetables from the ground, killed enemies like “Birdo” (who we never see again), and your goal was not to save Princess, but to kill a bad-guy named “Wart”. Why?!

Well, I looked into it, and apparently Super Mario Bros. 2 was actually based on the game Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic (translated as "Dream Factory: Heart-Pounding Panic"), which was a Japan-only video game developed by Nintendo in 1987. The idea behind the game is that it’s all just a crazy dream, which is exactly what Super Mario Bros. 2 is. Now, if you’re like me, you don’t remember anything about it being a dream. But check out the storyline that came in the instruction booklet:

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Source: http://www.mariomayhem.com/bowsers_blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/the_story_of_smb2.jpg

So, Mario 2 stands outside the “play” theory, because it stands outside reality in general! Phew, it was all a dream. Ok, on to more theories.



2. Mario is the Real Bad Guy

In all the Mario games, it's implied that Mario is the good guy, and that Bowser and his “minions” are evil. But when you think about it, what kind of evil actions do we actually see being committed by them? They’re just hanging out, practicing their hammer-throws and fireball skills. Then we have Mario, who rampages from world to world killing hundreds of goombas and koopas, jumping on their heads and kicking their shells at each other. Not only that, but Mario destroys their homes (castles), steals their money (coins), and kills their King (Bowser).

Some might point to the Mushroom people as Mario's allies. However, this reddit user claims it’s clear that if you look closely at the games, the Mushroom people are slaves and Mario is their overlord. Mario literally eats the heads off Mushroom people to gain strength and more power. Mario is such a destructive force that the Mushroom people constantly move the Princess to different castles to throw Mario off.



3. They’re All Puppets and Peach is the Puppeteer

But what about Peach getting captured all the time and Mario trying to be the hero and save her?  Well, some say that she is actually the puppeteer behind it all! She has made a pact with Bowser to make it seem like she is captured, so that Mario will be lured to Bowser and killed by him. Meanwhile, Mario will kill most of Bowser’s minions (and Bowser too, in the end) so Peach can regain peace in the kingdom!  Not just a pretty face after all.



4. Donkey Kong killed Mario and Luigi's Father

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Above: The original at left, sequel Donkey Kong Jr. at right
Source: http://www.gamesradar.com/top-7-greatest-gaming-rebirths/

Are the Donkey Kong arcade games a separate series, or are they actually the prologue to Super Mario Bros? Many people have assumed that the hero Jumpman from Donkey Kong is actually Mario, because of their obvious resemblance. But this reddit user explains that the reason for the resemblance is not because Jumpman is Mario, but because Jumpman is actually Mario’s father! Not only that, but he was in fact killed by DK Jr.!

A breakdown of the facts:

  • Mario loves Princess Peach in the Mushroom Kingdom, whereas Jumpman loves Pauline and lives in New York City. If they’re the same person, that means Mario left his wife in NYC, and somehow ended up in the Mushroom Kingdom.  That’s one big mid-life crisis.
  • This one’s complicated. Remember Cranky Kong from the Donkey Kong Country games? He outright says that he was the original Donkey Kong, which means his son, DK (the hero), is actually DK Jr. from the 80’s arcade game Donkey Kong Junior. Now, follow me here: in Yoshi’s Island DS, the Yoshi’s get help from many different babies including Mario and DK (Jr.), making Mario and DK Jr. the same age.  But in the Donkey Kong Junior arcade game, DK Jr. is featured as very young, while Mario (Jumpman) looks the same age as he was in the first Donkey Kong game, meaning that he must be older than Mario, meaning Jumpman and Mario are two different people!
  • Also in Donkey Kong Junior, DK Jr. is actually the hero, who is trying to save Donkey Kong from Jumpman, who captured him as revenge for stealing Pauline. This does not sound like the Mario we know and love.
  • Furthermore, Jumpman actually dies at the end of Donkey Kong Junior. He hits the ground with a splat and then you see a halo over his head. THE END. That can’t be our Mario!

What bothers me about this theory is that Mario doesn’t seem to care that DK killed his dad. They still go-kart together and hang out like buddies. It seems Mario has redirected all his inner demons towards Bowser, poor guy.


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http://oyster.ignimgs.com/mediawiki/apis.ign.com/smash-bros-project-m/thumb/f/f8/Doc.png/228px-Doc.png

5. Dr. Mario is the Third Mario Brother

Mario has had plenty of professions over the years: plumber, carpenter, boxing official, hero… but where would he find the time to become a doctor?

The reddit user who introduced this theory wrote of his Super Smash Bros character, "He has a similar move set to Mario and Luigi, and while Luigi is a lighter and floatier comparison to Mario, Dr. Mario is a heavier, harder hitting alternative. Dr. Mario's hair is also lighter than Mario's, taking an almost blonder or more auburn tint to the plumber's dark brown hair. Mario also seems to be more athletic than Dr. Mario as he is faster and can wall jump, whereas the doctor cannot."

Reading the comments section I found another alternative to this theory: Dr. Mario is the Mario Bros. father returned! Age accounts for him being heavier and slower, and age also accounts for his lighter hair colour, because it has greyed!


 

via GIPHY

6. The Coins are Souls

 This one’s a little dark, but it’s one of my favourites. You know how you get a coin every time you hit, smash, burn or generally destroy an object or enemy? What you're actually getting is that thing's soul.

 A user on reddit notes, “The instruction manual for [Super Mario Bros. 1] states that the inhabitants of [Mushroom Kingdom] were turned into bricks (yes, the exact same ones that [Mario] smashed on his journey). If the bricks are [Mushroom Kingdom] residents, then how are there coins inside them? What if Mario was actually harvesting the souls of innocent toads?”

 When you think of the coins as their souls, it gives a little more credence to the earlier theory that Mario is in fact the bad guy in the series of games! Evil soul harvester Mario! Eeek! Let’s not think about that.


wario_by_warioandwaluigiclub.jpg

http://orig11.deviantart.net/acf0/f/2007/016/c/4/wario_by_warioandwaluigiclub.jpg

7.  Wario is a crazed Mario fan.

Like Eminem’s Stan, Wario isn’t inherently a bad guy; he’s just a superfan who’s not sure how to process his feelings of admiration for Mario! Check it out:

  • Mario is often established as being incredibly famous. When he meets characters, they always say how glad they are to meet a celebrity like him.
  • You know those over-the-top dressed superfans as hockey games? Wario's outfit is the superfan equivalent of Mario's: overalls, white gloves, mustache and a cap with an upside down "M".
  • Wario has starred in his own Mario-like games. He's practically copying him.
  • In Super Mario Land 2, Wario lives in a castle with a statue of Mario in front. Of course, it's revealed that this place used to be Mario's own castle, but still, Wario could have had the statue demolished, right?

 

Well, those are my favourite fan theories about Mario. Hopefully they got you thinking. They certainly got me questioning my entire childhood!

If you’re looking for more answers, check out this video interview of the creator of Mario, Shigeru Miyamoto. He answers a lot of questions, including the one about it all being a theatrical performance!

 

Sources:
http://mashable.com/2015/09/13/mario-fan-theories/#C4lWW19YXgkQ

https://marionewsandcheats.wordpress.com/2013/04/27/five-facts-super-mario-bros-2/

http://www.gamesradar.com/top-7-greatest-gaming-rebirths/

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Candice Irvine, Blogger, Marketing Specialist, Graphic Designer


I'm addicted to games of all kinds: boardgames, video games, card games, mind games... nah, just kidding about that last one. Or am I?


Cinderella: A “Charming” Remake

Posted by cfeehan on September 14, 2015

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Like most kids, I grew up on Disney movies. I watched Fox and the Hound practically every day, I pretended to be Princess Ariel every time I set foot (or fin) into a swimming pool, and I dressed up as a particular breed of black and white-spotted dog for Halloween eight years in a row as a result of my devotion to the movie 101 Dalmatians. I was a Disney kid, and my imagination blossomed because of it. So I have to say, I was excited to watch the live-action remake of Cinderella, one of my childhood classics. I was expecting an exact duplication, but I was pleasantly surprised to get more than that.

The movie starts off earlier than the animated version, providing insight into Cinderella’s warm upbringing. The viewer gets to see her close relationship with her parents before she is orphaned and left to live with her cruel stepmother and stepsisters. They force her to be a servant in her own home, treat her with no respect, and eventually forbid her from attending the all-important ball that the Prince throws in order to find his bride. But all hope is not lost – the courageous Cinderella won’t simply sit around and accept her fate.

This movie was magical right from the first scene. The scenery and set design were just amazing – the colours and patterns were beautiful and vibrant, the castles were ornate, the lighting was just right – everything about it was really well done. It looked and felt exactly like a fairy tale should.

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I really enjoyed how the movie showed Cinderella’s relationship with her parents before they died. It added a level of emotion that the animated movie didn’t have, so I felt much more connected to her as the movie went on. The way she interacted with her mother really set up the kind of girl she was and reinforced what she believed in, which made her character likable from the very start.

Another aspect of this movie that was improved from the animated version was the relationship between Cinderella and Prince Charming, who was played by Game of Thrones’ handsome Richard Madden. I don’t recall the original Prince having any sort of personality so it was nice to see him given one, so that the two characters had a chance to actually develop chemistry.

I also thoroughly enjoyed how the characters of the evil stepmother (played perfectly by Cate Blanchett) and stepsisters came across. They made my blood boil in a way that the animated movie didn’t, because seeing actual actors behaving so cruelly to this innocent, kind girl that you’ve grown up loving made their brutality much harsher.

And of course, Lily James did a fantastic job in the role of Cinderella. She was sweet but not overly so, genuine in her innocence, and full of optimism and light. I think it was to her advantage that I didn’t know her from anything else (although she does play Lady Rose MacClare on Downton Abbey), so I had no preconceived notions about her or the way she would play the character. Regardless, she was a perfect Cinderella.

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The only casting choice I wasn’t keen on was Helena Bonham Carter in the role of the fairy godmother. Primarily known for her dark roles like the psychotic Bellatrix Lestrange in Harry Potter, it was off-putting to see her in a puffy white ball gown and blonde hair granting wishes to poor orphan girls. It just didn’t quite strike the right chord with me. Although her scene was quirky and fun, I miss the plump grandmother-ish figure singing Bibbity-Bobbity-Boo, and part of me wishes they had cast someone who resembled the original portrayal more closely so I could feel warm and fuzzy inside while all of the magic was happening. 

This may be the Disney princess in me speaking, but I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It was nostalgic, romantic, and visually stunning all at once. The casting and writing were very well done, and the emotional undertones were added gracefully without straying too far from the original storyline. I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone looking to lose themselves in a little bit of magic.

You can find Cinderella on Execulink’s VOD channel (ch.100) from Sept. 15th to Dec. 15th, 2015.

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Caitlin Feehan, Blogger & Editor


Converse have been my footwear of choice for the past 9 years, I’m convinced that all doors and sidewalks are conspiring against me, and I enjoy sticking my head out of the passenger window on long car rides.


Kickstarter: A Supportive Community for Creatives

Posted by cfeehan on September 11, 2015

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Have you ever had an idea or started a project, but you weren’t sure that people would think it was cool, or even worth pursuing? Sure, the notion that people might not like it shouldn’t shut you down, but it’s always nice to know that people are on your side. Kickstarter saw an opportunity in this idea, and started an online platform where anyone on the internet, known as backers, can pledge money to make the dreams of project creators come true.  

How does it work?

First off, project creators have to actually come up with an idea, outline it on the site, and set a funding goal and deadline. Then, potential backers can browse these ideas online and pledge money to the ones they like. There’s a catch, though – Kickstarter is all-or-nothing. That means that if the project doesn’t reach their set funding goal by their deadline, they don’t receive any money. Impressively, though, 44% of projects to date have reached their funding goals. So don’t be too discouraged by this rule.

Why would someone pledge?

This is something I originally asked myself. Well for one, you get to see a creative project you really believe in brought to life, and that’s pretty cool. Some backers are supporting their friends' projects, while some are inspired by new, cool ideas. Also, sometimes, backers get rewards for pledging. This is the fun part. Backers who pledge to make a book or film, for example, often get a copy of the finished work, or an invitation to a private screening or more, depending on how much they pledge. And backers of innovative tech gadgets sometimes even receive one of what they’re supporting if the project meets their goal! So not only are you bringing this cool product into the world for others to buy, but you get one to try out first-hand.  It’s a win-win.

Cool Kickstarter projects:

The Pebble Watch

This is Kickstarter’s most-funded project to date, and it even has local roots. The inventor, Eric Migicovsky, began developing the Pebble watch in his garage as a student at the University of Waterloo! The Pebble watch raised – wait for it – over TWENTY MILLION dollars in pledges. People really wanted to see this project come to life, and they really wanted one for themselves. The Pebble campaign offered backers a watch of their own if they pledged over a certain amount (which was still under retail value), so it was totally worth it if they believed in the project. This smart watch is water resistant, provides activity tracking and sleep tracking, organizes your events, lets you listen to music, has a built-in microphone for recording voice notes, is compatible with thousands of other applications, and has many other features. It pretty much does it all! Check out our blog about other fitness trackers here.

The Coolest

Another highly-funded project on Kickstarter was the “Coolest”, a cooler with a million features built in. This thing has a blender, a Bluetooth speaker, a USB charger, a compartment for plates, a knife, and a cutting board, and more. It raised an astonishing $13,285,226 in pledges! Check out this video to see more.

The Art of Loish: A Look Behind the Scenes

As mentioned before, Kickstarter isn’t only for tech gadgets. It’s also a place where artists can share their work, which is exactly what digital artist and animator from the Netherlands Lois van Baarle set out to do. She has done work for Coca-Cola and Lego in the past and her work is very popular online so she was already known by many backers, but her Kickstarter project is to create a book that showcases her art as well as gives a detailed behind-the-scenes look at how she creates her work. She has generated even more interest than she thought she would; £170,423 has been pledged of her original £20,000 goal! You can even still go online and pledge, as the deadline doesn’t close until September 24th.

Some more “quirky” projects:

The Ostrich Pillow

Okay, I want one. This one-of-a-kind pillow allows you to nap comfortably anywhere, anytime, in your own private space. And let me say, that sounds like a real blessing. Yes, you may look a bit odd while doing so, but it’s totally worth it. The Ostrich Pillow raised a whopping $195,094 in pledges in 30 days, so I’m clearly not the only one who thinks it’s fantastic. Check out the video here.

5 O'clock Shadow

I’m going to paint a sad picture for you. Imagine wanting a beard desperately, and not being able to grow one. Oh, the despair that would cause! Thanks to this project, buying a beard is now a real alternative to growing one! That’s right; these project creators knitted beards that you strap to your face. They are meant to be worn while doing outdoor activities such as snowmobiling, skiing, etc, but I think they’d be rather fashionable worn to work or a PTA meeting. Learn more about their campaign here!

Graphing the Deliciousness of a Chicken Burrito

This has got to be the most absurd KickStarter project I stumbled upon. The creator literally created a project stating that he wanted to raise $8.10 for a chicken burrito from Chipotle so that he could “graph its deliciousness” and share the data with his backers. AND THE GUY ENDED UP RAISING $1,050! Sometimes I don’t understand the internet. Check out his campaign on Kickstarter.

More about Kickstarter:

Kickstarter houses projects in a ton of categories like film, games, music, design, and technology. Since their launch in 2009, 9.4 million people have pledged more than $1.9 billion, funding 92,000 creative projects.

If you feel like funding an innovative project you believe in and making someone’s dream come true, head over to Kickstarter and discover a project worth backing!

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Caitlin Feehan, Blogger & Editor


Converse have been my footwear of choice for the past 9 years, I’m convinced that all doors and sidewalks are conspiring against me, and I enjoy sticking my head out of the passenger window on long car rides.