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Season of Giving

2012 Kickstarter Highlights Included Top-Funded Journalism Project Yet

Kickstarter has put together an awe-inspiring look at the people, projects and places that kept the crowd-sourcing platform humming last year to the tune of $606.76 donated per minute.

As far as journalism was concerned, 2012 highlights included Kickstarter’s “most funded” such project to date – design and architecture focused podcast 99% Invisible, produced out of San Francisco’s East Bay. The program asked for $42,000 and wound up receiving $170,477. From creator Roman Mars‘ summer update #6:

Before this campaign began, I was feeling pretty confident that we’d make the goal and the show would have a successful Season 3. I had no idea the level of support and excitement that each of you would bring to this effort and turn it into the most funded journalism Kickstarter ever. Thank you so much for being a part of it.

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Posthumously, Billy Wilder Authors a Much More Joyous Sunset Blvd. Tale

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is located at 4650 Sunset Boulevard, eight and a half miles east of Norma Desmond‘s fictitious, haunted lair. Billy Wilder‘s timeless Tinseltown tale was made for around $1.75 million and now, all these years later, the filmmaker together with his late wife Audrey has reached out from beyond the grave. Six-fold.

From the hospital announcement:

Stars of the silver screen have had a huge impact on our hearts and minds for decades and at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles we are grateful when Hollywood stars partner with us to benefit the health of our patients.

This year, our hospital received a very special Christmas gift when the trust of Billy and Audrey Wilder sent an $11 million gift to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles that will support the work of our division of Neurosurgery, the Neuro-oncology program and the division of Rheumatology while still leaving money left over to provide for the under and unreimbursed care for children we provide each year.

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Larry David Recalls the Day Mom Crushed His Journalistic Aspirations

Per a hilarious teaser clip for Current TV’s Friday evening broadcast premiere of Joy Behar’s Comics with Benefits, a Hurricane Sandy fundraiser held on Monday at the 92nd Street YMCA in New York City, Larry David‘s mom did more than curb her enthusiasm when the comedian expressed his young-age professional aspirations.

David recalled on stage with Behar how his journalistic aspirations were ridiculed by his no-nonsense mom. “I said, ‘Ma, I think I want to be a sports announcer when I grow up,’” David remembered. “She said, ‘What makes you think you… you?…. you!!! You’re going to be a sports announcer? Are you kidding? You’re not special.’”

Had mom not been so harsh, David probably would have wound up more on the color commentary side than play-by-play. In a perfect world, he would have found his way to the sad sack New York Mets.

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Stevie Wonder Forgets the Words to His Own Christmas Song

Ha ha. It doesn’t get much more fun than this.

At the top of an appearance today on Good Day LA to promote the 17th annual edition of his “House Full Of Toys” fundraising concert at the Nokia Theatre, Stevie Wonder picked up on a Justin Bieber duet clip from last year’s edition and started performing “Someday at Christmas.” At one point, he forgot how the lyrics go but kept right on going:

“… And I’m messing up my own words. That’s OK because I’m with Steve [Edwards]. So he’ll forgive me on this show…”

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Orange County Register Says Thanks with Highly Innovative Non-Profit Fundraising Campaign

As if dozens of anachronistic full-time newspaper jobs and a renewed commitment to the print side of the Orange County Register isn’t enough, the paper’s new publisher Aaron Kushner is giving OC residents yet another reason to feel thankful that he is their local paper’s owner.

A special gift cheque program rolling into driveways and mailboxes this weekend is set to earmark up to $12.4 million in “ad dollars” for OC non-profits. Here’s how the program works:

The Register’s 124,000-plus seven-day subscribers are receiving receiving gold envelopes in the mail during the next few weeks immediately after the Thanksgiving Day holiday. Each envelope contains a $100 gift cheque, which they may designate to an Orange County-based 501c3 charitable organization they care about most passionately.

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Watch: KROQ’s Bean Featured on CBS This Morning

We all know what KROQ employee Scott Mason is thankful for this Thanksgiving.

By now, you’ve probably heard about the story about how Gene “Bean” Baxter from the Kevin and Bean show donated his kidney to his friend and colleague.

Well, CBS This Morning has been tracking this story and aired a piece on Wednesday that will choke you up if you aren’t stuffed with food yet.

Happy Thanksgiving!

KROQ’s Bean Recovering After Kidney Donation

KROQ’s Gene “Bean” Baxter is recovering at Cedars-Sinai hospital after successfully donating his kidney to co-worker Scott Mason.

Baxter made the announcement earlier this month that he had decided to help his friend and KROQ’s director of engineering after learning of his health woes during a recent trip to his home in Seattle.

(And yes, that’s really Bean’s sock monkey in the photo.)

“We are happy to say that both Bean & Scott are done with their surgeries & everything went as expected!,” the Kevin & Bean Twitter account tweeted on Tuesday.

Bean is expected to make a full recovery and return to the airwaves on Nov. 26.

KROQ’s Bean Reveals His Decision to Donate Kidney to Co-Worker

A number of KROQ-FM staffers have known about this for a few months, ever since Gene “Bean” Baxter (pictured) first made the announcement at an internal meeting. But it was on this morning’s Kevin & Bean show that he shared with the rest of the world his stunning personal news. On November 13, Bean will be at Cedars-Sinai donating one of his kidneys to the station’s director of engineering Scott Mason. This is actually Mason’s second such transplant.

Be sure to click, bookmark and listen to the audio link at some point. It’s our coast’s latest equivalent to the many selfless acts being performed on the east coast in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. From Baxter’s KROQ show blog post:

Scott has had medical issues for much of his adult life, including his kidneys failing, and that led him to have a transplant from a cadaver back in 1999. Well, now that one has failed too and Scott is back on dialysis for many hours a week. The kidney processes waste out of the blood and without one your body is being poisoned all the time. The dialysis helps but is a temporary solution. You only get off the machine if you get a new kidney or you die.

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Pornhub to Donate Ad Revenue to Breast Cancer Research

Online porn provider Pornhub has decided to get its philanthropy on in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The site recently announced that it will donate 1 percent of revenue earned for every 30 clicks of boob-related content on its site to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

More from the LA Times:

The campaign is Pornhub.com’s second effort to combat breast cancer, said company vice president Corey Price: In April, the website’s Boob Bus traveled through New York City providing breast exams (with a board-certified, licensed medical practitioner). Twenty-two women and four men received exams, Price said.

To honor the site’s efforts, your humble Fishie is going to sign off for the rest of the day, light some candles, draw a bubble bath, and support the fundraising campaign the best way he knows how. Have a great weekend everyone!

Chris Hardwick Set for Epic Star Wars Lightsaber Relay

This Saturday, July 7, something called Course of the Force will kick off at the Santa Monica Pier. For charity, various participants will walk or jog a specially made Hasbro lightsaber all the way down to San Diego in time for Comic-Con 2012, passing it from one participant to another Olympics torch-style in quarter-mile increments.

The event is a collaboration between Lucasfilm, Chris Hardwick’s Nerdist empire and Octagon. Hardwick and various co-hosts will broadcast the southbound progress at nerdist.com, and to frame the Make-a-Wish Foundation benefit trek, there’s also this cute short filmed at Industrial Light & Magic:

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