Buckley's blog

GO ON A SHARK HUNT with Hit and Run History!

Adventure Travel Show will take you out to find Chatham's Great Whites

When people ask you what you did this summer, how about giving them just two words:  SHARK HUNT!

With less than 3 days before pledging ends on our FALKLANDS HO Kickstarter project, we decided to put out this offer.  Hit and Run History's Host Andrew Buckley will take you out on the waters of Chatham, Mass. this summer to search for Great White Sharks. (http://youtu.be/Avc_YYpGaSo)

For viewing only and sharks will not be harmed. But you're welcome to bring a fishing pole and cast for bluefish and stripers along the way.

No guarantees for a sighting, but we'll film what we find and you could be a star in the next viral shark video!

There are only a few of these trips available and the offer ends this weekend.  So snatch up this great offer while you can!

Our Way to the Falklands: LAN Airlines

Hit and Run History announces new travel partner

It's been a question since we started this campaign:  How could we take a crew of five down to the Falkland Islands for only $2,500?

LAN Airlines partners with Hit and Run History

Well, the simple answer is we can't.  There are only a few ways to get to the islands and our trusty old Rav4 isn't one of them.  Instead, we found a travel partner:  LAN Airlines.

LAN is the only commercial airline to fly to the Falkland Islands, and we are honored to be working with them.

On May 5, our crew will begin our journey from Cape Cod. In the morning we will head down to New York City, and board our first flight on LAN.  The overnight flight will take us to Santiago, Chile.  After a 24 hour layover in Chile's capital, on the morning of Saturday the 7th we will fly off to Mount Pleasant, the large British military base in the East Falklands.

From Mount Pleasant, we will take a shuttle bus to Port Stanley, the capital and remain for the weekend. Weather permitting, on Monday or Tuesday we will take a small inter-island on FIGAS (Falkland Islands Government Air Service) to Saunders Island in the West Falklands.

Here is where Columbia and Lady Washington spent their time in 1788 before 'rounding Cape Horn.  There are but a handful of people here, and even though May in the Southern Hemisphere is like November in New England, we will be able to cover a lot.

On Friday May 13, we will fly back to Port Stanley, and prepare for our departure from the Falklands.  LAN will then reverse our route, with a flight out on Saturday to Santiago, an overnight there, and return to JFK on the morning of May 16.  Our final leg will take us back home to the Cape, hopefully arriving by the middle of the afternoon.

Hit and Run History:  Falklands HO!

Clearly, LAN is playing a big role in making this trip possible.  They've been nothing short of terrific.

But our backers have also played an important role.  After all, we need to pay to get down to JFK.  Then there's the lodging in Santiago, the shuttle from Mount Pleasant to Port Stanley, the hostel in Port Stanley, and the cabin on Saunders Island.  We're going budget all the way.

Add onto that the cost of currency exchange (there are no ATM's in the Falklands) all those Penguin Pennies, the printing costs for t-shirts and then all the regular travel incidentals, and you can see how important our Kickstarter backers are.

With just three days to go -- even though we've raised more than we expected for this campaign -- we still have plenty of expenses ahead of us and plenty of attractive rewards.  Help make this our greatest adventure yet!  Just visit hitandrunhistory.com.

Falklands HO!

Andrew Buckley Jay Sheehan and Jamie Gallant of Hit and Run History

Local Adventure-Travel Show Featured on Kickstarter

The adventure approaches the Antarctic. Hit and Run History is back on the trail of the Columbia Expedition. And headed south. 

We got the news yesterday afternoon.  After a surge of pledges over the weekend, Kickstarter shined the spotlight on Hit and Run History for their "New & Noteworthy" section.

We're headed down to the Falkland Islands soon, following the first American voyage 'round the world -- the Columbia Expedition.  The voyage left Boston in September of 1787, commanded by Cape Cod's Captain John Kendrick.

In our pilot episode, we were all over New England. For our second, we hit New York and then off to Cape Verde during the Dengue fever epidemic.  Next up are the islands in the far South Atlantic.

With nearly 75% funding through the online fundraising site, we're less than $650 away from our goal.  Forty-five backers have pledged for a variety of our rewards.  Anything from a postcard from the crew sent from the Falklands ($5), a ticket to our wrap party this summer ($15) or a photo of your name written in the sand at "The Neck" on Saunders Island ($75).

Most popular, though, are our official T-shirts ($25).  Emblazoned with our Hit and Run History logo, they bear our catch phrase:  "GET OUTTA MY WAY -- I'M A HISTORIAN."

And having just checked on Kickstarter's "Boston Projects" page, you can see Hit and Run History is #1 FILM PROJECT IN BOSTON.  Across the country, we're up at #6.

Give us a look... 

 

Countdown for Cape Cod's Globetrotting Girls

Through My Eyes hosts Ava and Sofie

Cape-based educational travel series within striking distance of fundraising goal

Sofie and Ava are two typical Cape Cod girls. They love swimming in the ocean in the summer, walking trails in the winter, catching a play any time of the year at the Harwich Junior Theater, and their local Easter egg hunts.

This spring, though, they have a major concern:  "Will the Easter Bunny find us in China?"

See, Cape Cod's globetrotting girls will be headed to the Pearl River Delta in just 11 days.  But they have less than 8 days to raise the funds they need for the production and editing of the series.

In March, Through My Eyes announced their educational travel series would be featured on WGBH's Kids site (wgbh.org/kids) this fall.  The news propelled TME's Kickstarter fundraising to within striking distance of their goal of $5,000.  But if they don't make their entire goal of $5,000 by midnight 11:59 PM on Sunday, April 10, TME will receive nothing and the chance of a WGBH series will disappear.

China Through My Eyes on Kickstarter

Currently at 72% of their goal, to launch this home-grown teaching tool reaching classrooms throughout the United States, Through My Eyes needs only another $1,363 in pledges.  Rewards range from a postcard sent by the girls from China ($5) to a DVD of the series ($40) to sponsorship of a live screening and Q&A with the girls at your local elementary school ($300).

The girls will first head to Hong Kong, then up the Pearl River to the city of Guangzhou (known to the West as Canton).  They'll wrap up their trip in the former Portuguese colony of Macau on Easter Weekend.  Probably the best place in Asia for the holiday.

On top of this, it is the Year of the Rabbit in China.  Furry, long-haired herbivores will abound.

Coming at a time of uncertainty for public education and public broadcasting, Through My Eyes will provide valuable content for elementary students in history, social studies and geography, without commercials and at no public expense.  For free.

China: Through My Eyes on WGBH

To help, please make a pledge at avaandsofie.com and share the link with friends who care about elementary education in this country.

And if you know a business looking to become involved in their local schools, let them know about the $300-level pledge reward.  TME would be happy to bring the series and these wonderful girls to your elementary school to share their experiences. 

China: Through My Eyes on WGBH

China: Through My Eyes on WGBH

Cape-based educational travel series coming to PBS powerhouse's site in September

Cape Cod's globetrotting girls will be joining Arthur, Curious George and Oscar the Grouch in a few months.  Thanks to the great track record of Hit and Run History putting out a series of classroom-quality videos on the Columbia Expedition - as the centerpiece of WGBH's History page - Through My Eyes has been given the same chance on the children's site for the largest producer of content for PBS.

This really opens doors for the Cape-based project.  Coming at a time of uncertainty for public education and public broadcasting, Through My Eyes will provide valuable content for elementary students in history, social studies and geography, without commercials and at no public expense.  For free.

TME's feature the encounters of two girls, Ava and Sofie, age 7 & 8, as they travel the world.  The girls will take classrooms along experientially on their voyages of discovery like no grown-up presenter can. Videos will run 3-5 minutes and feature anything from a trip to the market to a visit to a Shaolin temple to visiting penguin nesting grounds to attending an elementary school in another country.

For their premiere series, TME will travel to China's Pearl River Delta, visiting the cities of Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou this April.  The effort is being funded in part by pledges to the online fundraising site Kickstarter.

With a presence on WGBH, teachers will know they can trust the quality of this new educational tool.  When it premieres on the WGBH Kids site in September, China: Through My Eyes could be used by every school in the United States.  Teachers will only need point their browser to wgbh.org/kids.

Through My Eyes hosts Ava and Sofie

Individual support is making this possible.  With over $1,350 pledged as of this weekend, TME has three weeks to go.  But if they don't make their goal of $5,000 by midnight 11:59 PM on Sunday, April 10, they will receive nothing and the chance of the series will disappear.

To help, share this link - avaandsofie.com - with friends who care about elementary education in this country.  And if you know a business looking to become involved in their local schools, let them know about the $300-level pledge reward.  TME would be happy to bring our series and these wonderful girls to your elementary school to share their experiences.

China: Through My Eyes

 Elementary education travel series follows two Cape Cod girls to China

"China Through My Eyes" will be a travel web series for use in elementary classrooms this fall. It will feature the encounters of two Cape Cod girls, Ava and Sofie, age 7 & 8, as they travel to Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Macau.

For centuries, these three cities were China's window to the world, and the world's window into China. Think about the wonder and excitement of visiting the most populous country on Earth, with a totally different culture. Different food. Different animals. Different alphabet. Now imagine it through the eyes of a child.

This will be the first series of travel videos for these two girls. They will take classrooms along experientially on their voyages of discovery like no grown-up presenter can. Videos will run 3-5 minutes and feature anything from a trip to the market to a visit to a Shaolin temple to attending an elementary school.

Using the online fundraising site Kickstarter, the series gives you an exciting opportunity to help launch a new teaching tool that will creatively engage students in social studies, geography, language and history. China is changing and moving ahead at such a rapid pace, and our children need to be engaged right now at the elementary level.

Our plan is to head to China this spring, to be able to catch the area in its full flower and vibrance. Funds raised will go to cover the costs of production and post-production. The series will be available for free online through Cape Cod KidsThe Cape Cod Chronicle, as well as on YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo.

We're passionate about education, and we want to share this story. The girls will also be available to screen the series and participate in live programs in schools and museums in-person in the Northeast or via Skype throughout the country.  For only a $300 pledge, a local business or individual can bring the girls to their local school.

The Crashing of a Wave

And so I'm driving less again. Gas prices having topped $3.50, I was thinking about that trip to Trader Joe's and BJ's in Hyannis. My car gets about 25 miles to the gallon, and the roundtrip for groceries is just under 50 miles. That's $7 every week.

This summer the same calculation was $5 for the same. So we're paying an extra two bucks for our food.

When you look at the price for comparable quality and variety, it still works out. Two dollars for a half-gallon of orange juice from Trader Joe's versus $3 at Stop & Shop or Shaw's. Then there's the whole milk yogurt, which is cheaper than the low-fat whatever-it-is nearby, or any of our family's other staples.

Still worth the drive, for sure. But that's $2 dollars that could have been doing something else.

So I am beginning to wonder about stagflation.

The crash of the fall of 2008 was preceded by the most devastating rise in gas prices, and I believe played a big part in accelerating the decline.

Consumers, already being affected by a slowing economy, were hit by a non-negotiable cost increase: the price of driving to work and school.

Combined with the lack of fuelefficient models out there, and the lack of sensible planning by spreading residences in one area and services and employment in others - with little if any public transportation --- meant that people were tied to their automobiles. Price of gas goes up quickly equals disposable income flows out the door.

And if you were already tightly budgeted, perhaps part of your mortgage payment, too.

This is part of what I found so aggravating about the argument put forth at the time --- that Americans were just scared to spend. If they had any money left to spend, I think they were smart not to spend it unnecessarily. If one of your weekly fixed costs doubles in price, you're smart to readjust your household budget with an eye towards anything else unexpected. A financial planner would counsel similarly.

Certainly this is an analogy put forward by fiscal conservatives these days towards government spending. Well, it works the other way, too.

That this sudden fiscal prudence in consumer behavior may have hastened the collapse of the economy is not the fault of those consumers. They were behaving rationally given the uncertainty of the times.

Now we're faced with another steep rise. Or, rather, this is a resumption of the rise that we were feeling three years ago. Beijing drivers alone are putting 1,000 extra cars on the road every day. India's economy and that of South America are booming, meaning their people want the same conveniences we take for granted. More protein in their diet, employment beyond the farm, and a car for personal mobility. Every drop of oil produced in this country goes on the world market, and increasingly the rest of the world is outbidding us.

Again, this is also completely rational behavior. Just like when an area becomes popular, and real estate shoots up in price. But like land, oil is a finite resource - also finite in its ability to be produced, finite in its ability to be distributed. It is a delicate balance as it is. To screw up the equilibrium, all you need do is have something unexpected happen.

In this case, democratic change. Uncertainty wears many faces.

The upheaval in Libya is not the sole source for the rise in global oil prices. For sure, the North African nation produces only 5 percent of the world's oil, with none of it going to the United States. Although, as pointed out previously, it goes into the global market and thus its withdrawal affects the total supply everywhere.

But Libya was the wake-up call to oil traders that something was going on in the Arab world. Tunisia, which started it all, doesn't even produce enough oil to meet domestic demand. Egypt's production is falling, and will soon match its people's consumption, too.

It was only when things moved to tiny Bahrain, right next to Saudi Arabia's oil fields, that markets truly woke up. Meanwhile, Libya began its own descent into violence. We paid more attention there because the man in charge in Tripoli is someone we know to be worthy of disdain, and colorfully crazy.

To be sure, the longer the conflict in Libya goes on, the longer the level of uncertainty in that sector of the market. But anything happening on the Saudi Arabian peninsula that threatens the existing governments will affect the price we pay to fuel our cars and heat our homes.

Meanwhile, signs point to a slow economic recovery in the United States. But this jolt to people's wallets will have an effect. Disposable income will drop at a time retailers had been hoping for increased consumer spending. This will then be followed by increases in transportation costs, which will drive inflation.

If the rise in energy costs continues at the pace it has been, with $4 gas by mid April, we could see the economy not just stall, but roll backwards just as a next wave of foreclosures hits the real estate market. That's like getting up on a wave just as it reveals the reef it is about to crash on. Afterward we could be floating crippled in the water for some time.

That's a tough outlook, and just as I hope that events come to a speedy and favorable conclusion for the people of Libya, I hope I am wrong about this spring's economy.

In the mean time, the only rational thing to do is cut my weekly grocery fuel costs in half - by only going every other week and buying twice as much.

 

Read this and Andy's other columns online at The Cape Cod Chronicle.    

Cape Fishermen-turned-filmmakers on PBS

Cape Cod's own Hit and Run History received a major acknowledgement last week.  First, series creator Andrew Buckley and his crew of Gumshoe Historians were invited to the venerable Massachusetts Historical Society for a screening and discussion, focusing on the Columbia Expedition led by Cape Cod's John Kendrick.

Then this event was featured on PBS's Forum Network, right alongside Salman Rushdie, Joss Whedon and Justice Stephen Breyer.  As of this morning, "Hit and Run History:  The Columbia Expedition" is the second-most popular piece on Forum Network's site.

 

Description by the Forum Network:  For 16 years Andrew Buckley has been following the story of the Columbia Expedition, the first American voyage around the world.  Buckley and his team investigate this trek in Hit and Run History, an episodic documentary series that is now the centerpiece of WGBH-Boston's History site.  Learn about how their research brought the film crew to the Massachusetts Historical Society in this talk featuring clips from the series.

Forum Network

The Forum Network is a PBS and NPR public media service in collaboration with public stations and community partners across the United StatesThe Forum Network online library features thousands of lectures by some of the world's foremost scholars, authors, artists, scientists, policy makers, and community leaders, available to citizens of the world for free.

Hit and Run History is now in pre-production for their next installment on the Columbia Expedition -- a trip down to the Falkland Islands and South America.  To learn more about the series and how your business can benefit from underwriting exposure to a wide local and global audience, visit them at hitandrunhistory.com.

OMG - the PENGUIN PENNY!

Penguin PennyThat cute little coin to the left is the Falkland Islands Penguin Penny. It features mother and father Gentoo penguins watching over the nest of their little egg.

That's pretty adorable. And you can have one. Easy.

See, we're heading down there to film and we could pick you up one. All you need to do to get yours is go to Hit and Run History on Kickstarter and make ANY pledge. As low as one dollar.

That's right -- you can have a penguin for buck.

Check online and you'll find these going on ebay for three times that. So it definitely has value. But c'mon -- it's a freakin' Penguin Penny! You're not going to sell it. You'll keep in your pocket, pull it out at parties as a conversation piece, or give it to your kids and be a hero.

If you've already made a pledge, surprise! You're going to get one of these in addition to whatever reward you've chosen already. Just another way we say thanks to those who are helping us reach our goal.

We'd even be happy to give you one for every dollar you pledge, up to $50. So five penguins for a $5 pledge, or a roll of 50 for a pledge of $50 and beyond. This is in addition to any rewards currently posted.

Gentoo Penguin photo by Jerzy Strzelecki

If you have kids, or know anyone with kids, this is a really fun idea. Or even for the kid in you.

Just head over to Hit and Run History on Kickstarter and click on "BACK THIS PROJECT." We'd even be happy to give you one penguin for every dollar you pledge, up to $50. So five penguins for a $5 pledge, or a roll of 50 for a pledge of $50 and beyond. This is in addition to any rewards currently posted. Just let us know.

If you have kids, or know anyone with kids, this is a really fun idea. Or even for the kid in you.

 

Photo by Jerzy Strzelecki, and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

HRH Fans out of the Closet

Hit and Run History fans out of the closet

You love us. You're behind us. The scrappy Cape Cod film crew that's taken on the world.

So right now, please go to the Comments section of our Kickstarter Project and post a kind word.

This long weekend has been very good for us. As of Saturday night, we are the top film project in Boston and #21 for all film projects anywhere!

Looks like in 48 hours we doubled the amount pledged (over $1,950) and tripled the number of backers (63) -- we're very excited and grateful. Thank you!

But we still need to spread the word. A very easy way is for people who know and support us to just come out and tell the world. Here's what Director and Producer Karen Borger wrote:

'The Columbia Expedition' is a brilliant and inspiring project documentary project. If ever a team of newbie filmmakers deserved support these are the ones. Head to WGBH to watch Part One to see the inspired genius of their particular style of film making. Just look for the 'most popular' button and you'll find them: http://www.wgbh.org/history/index.cfm 

This team have created a truly engaging take of this remarkable story from American history. I'm hooked and can't wait to see Part Two. And if you don't know what the story of the Columbia is- then that is another very good reason to pledge to support HRH. So pledge what you can and help them get round the Horn indeed!

Please, don't be shy. You don't need to be nearly as articulate as all that. A simple "I'm so excited to see what happens next" or "You guys rock!" would suffice.

The point is, your simple words of support will help us climb even further up this peak. So don't wait -- go to to Kickstarter here http://www.hitandrunhistory.com and share your love!

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