Ryan Martinsen

The impact of my charity: water campaign

For my birthday in 2013 I ran a campaign for charity: water. My original goal was to raise $500 to help provide clean, fresh water to a community that desperately needed it. Thanks to the generosity of friends and family, I was able to raise $749.

It typically takes 18 months from the end of a campaign to a completed water project. Well, it’s been just over 18 months since the end of my campaign.

Here are the results:

Campaign details. Sokansir Community in Nepal.

The total project cost was $18,343.81. It took 25 different campaigns to fund. I am grateful to have been able to play a part in bringing clean water to people in Nepal.

I would also like to once again thank all those who were able to donate: My wife, my parents, grandparents, my wife’s parents, my sister Jessica, Ryan Borkenhagen, Skyler & Tara Chase, Nat Harward, Du Hoang, Timothy Kavmark, Igor Lebovic, Brian Matthews, Mike Mullen, Pierce Smith (brother-in-law), and 9 people who donated anonymously.

Although it does take a bit of work to get the word out so people know they can donate, starting a campaign for charity: water is really easy. I recommend starting your own. If you do, please let me know and I’ll do what I can to help out.

Light is Slow (video)

This video is incredible.

In our terrestrial view of things, the speed of light seems incredibly fast. But as soon as you view it against the vast distances of the universe, it’s unfortunately very slow. This animation illustrates, in realtime, the journey of a photon of light emitted from the surface of the sun and traveling across a portion of the solar system, from a human perspective.

It takes light about 8 minutes to reach Earth, 43 to reach Jupiter. Just knowing that though isn’t enough. Watching it makes all the difference.

I don’t expect anyone to watch the whole 45 minutes, but even watching a portion will give you a greater sense of the vastness of our solar system. I clicked through to skip time in between celestial bodies and even that blew my mind.

I’m tempted to put it up on the TV while cooking dinner or something.

Make sure to watch it in full screen mode so you can read the text.

The Great Domain Purge

I used to collect domain names like a wealthy person collects cars. I don’t know the total number of domain names I’ve owned over the years, but the most at one time was 40.

I used to buy a domain every time I thought of a cool or funny idea for a project or website.

“Cool” and “funny” are, of course, entirely subjective. squarebananas.com wasn’t exactly very useful to me in the long run, but perhaps the idea of a square banana is amusing to some. I still think outstandingdonuts.com would be cool, but mostly I just want to eat outstanding donuts and not to make a website about them.

I won’t bore you with all of the domains I have left (18 with 7 set to expire), but here are some of my favorite remaining domains:

  • formyard.com: I’ve started this project a few times. I still want it to exist. Maybe someday I’ll find time for it.
  • toastheaven.com: There is a heaven just for toast. For reals.
  • toastedheaven.com: I love toast so much.
  • whyagency.com: Cool name, but I really have no use for it and must let it go.

Some of my favorite, expired domains:

  • miniongame.com: I had an idea for a game where the protagonist works for a startup. She would drink lots of caffeine, work in 16-hour stretches, and be on-call for the other 8 hours of the day. Bonus points if you accept a low salary for equity. Sidenote: I’ve suffered burnout at startups and wouldn’t ever play this game because stress.
  • miniontools.com: A name for a developer tools business that I clearly never started.
  • perfectfailure.info: The name for a game I may actually build someday. Maybe.
  • 3000books.com: A book blog. Turns out I just like using Goodreads and this blog.
  • icecreamnight.com: Self-explanatory.