I’m a participant in the SciFund Challenge, which is a big experiment to see if scientists can harness the power of crowd funding to cover the expenses of relatively small (that is, a few thousand dollar) research projects. I think this is a hugely important venture, as it accomplishes two crucial goals: 1) Finding a new source of funding for science projects, and 2) Connecting scientists to the general public.

If you have some spare change and are looking to support SCIENCE, go check out the SciFund proposals on RocketHub! You can find my proposal on my parasite research here!

4 Responses to “My SciFund Proposal is LIVE!”

  1. Mr. Tenk

    Stopped by RocketHub, but they don’t take Paypal. Oh noes.

  2. Osama Bongladen

    I don’t have any cash to send your way, but I have had experience with long-running video capture that might help save a couple bucks..

    I bought a few Logitech C310 web cams. They record 720p @ 15fps, they’re about $50 tops even at Best Buy (cheaper elsewhere) and they work out of the box in about every Linux distribution on the planet. If you don’t absolutely need super duper clear hidef video, this might save you a few bucks. I think on sale, I paid $100 for 4 of them. As long as your subject is well lit, your video quality should be average to above average.


    amateur (photographer && computer scientist)

    • weinersmith

      Thanks a bunch!

      • Osama Bongladen

        You’re most welcome!

        Another thing that just occurred to me: if you’re shooting video through glass, reducing glare/reflection is important. Encasing the imaging devices (whichever you decide to use) inside of a matte black enclosure will help and is inexpensive to do (cardboard boxes are free, and matte black paint is a couple bucks from a hardware store).

        If you do end up using those web cams, a piece of electrical tape over the indicator LED is wise. (Learn from my fail.)

        If you have a few bucks more to spare, you can find circular polarizing filters for cameras for around $5/ea if you search carefully. These filters will help reduce the reflections and glare you get shooting through water/glass. Place one in front of each camera, then adjust it by rotating the two disks. A dab of superglue to hold the two rotating disks in position, and you’re all set.

        Lastly, lighting is of course the next most important thing. Diffuse lighting is important for making subjects evenly lit, so some inexpensive white sheets and cardboard reflectors will go a long way to making your subjects appear bright and vivid on camera.

        See the Strobist blog for more on inexpensive DIY lighting theory.

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