Help Support “Universe Story Car Decal”

Help Create Car Decal to Share the History of the Universe and Build a Sustainable Future!

The Universe Story on Your Car!

I’m Jon Cleland Host – an educator, scientist, and father.  I’ve been active in helping build a better world for future generations, marching in the Great Climate March, contributing future focused blog posts, and helping kids learn about our world.  My wife Heather and I authored the book “Elemental Birthdays” to empower all parents to hold science related birthday parties, and much of my work can be found online.   I realized how much an understanding of our deep time history energized me to work for a better future, and that one way to share this knowledge would be to create a car decal depicting the history of the Universe and pointing toward the future.

Imagine seeing the history of the Universe as you drive down the road on the car next to you – I’ll be bringing that experience to hundreds of people here in Michigan, and to thousands more as we make this artwork available to everyone.

The decal will consist of a DNA strand winding from the front of a car to the back with 18 events from the Big Bang into the future, depicted along its length.  The decal will show the first stars, the formation of the Earth and Moon, the extinction of the dinosaurs, the history of humanity, the possible sustainable future, and more.  I’ll make the decal available online, so anyone can download it, take the file to an auto detailer, and have it put on their car as well.  Vinyl, other decal material, or maybe removable magnet sheet could be chosen.

Our future depends on building a sustainable world, which we can only do if more people see the larger picture.  This project could result in thousands more people realizing the incredible history that got us here and the choices we face today to make a just, healthy, sustainable world for the future.

Get the Decal, Elemental Birthdays Book, or even your own Cosmala!

I’ve got lots of thank-you gifts lined up for those who help me out!
  • The downloaded decal itself, which can be printed for educational or artistic display, as well as being used for a car decal.
  • Elemental Birthdays Book – easy instructions for throwing fun, science based birthday parties – in hard copy or pdf download (depending on gift chosen).
  • A download of a fancier version of the decal.
  • Your own Cosmala, a wearable, portable depiction of our history, in beads.  More info on Cosmalas here.
  • Special mention of your help on the website for the car decal.
 Don’t forget that you can claim multiple perks by making bigger and/or multiple contributions.

Here’s where your contributions will go:

Raising the full $2,900 will allow me to have both full-color and single color decals designed and available by the Winter Solstice this year. 

If I raise just $1,400 (after fees) I will be able to arrange the artwork, plans, and computer work to make a very basic, single-color vinyl type decal available for download.

If I raise $1,800, after fees I’ll be able to make an additional 6 event images, making a more flexible and customizable decal available for download.

If I raise $2,400, after fees I’ll be able to get full color images for the decal, also  available for download.

My primary goal of $2,900, after fees,will allow me to promote the decal, greatly increasing its reach and impact. It will also help me to fund other costs for this project, ranging from computer fees, other costs related to the thank-you gifts, postage, and cover unexpected cost overruns.   Overall, it will allow this project to have the greatest success in raising awareness of the choices we are making today.

The Timeline, & Risks:

The Elemental Birthdays book and all the other projects I’ve done in support of our future world, as well as my day job as a scientist in the semiconductor field have shown me the importance of having a timeline planned and sticking to it.  So here is a timeline for The Universe Story Car Decal:

July 2015 – Complete this Indiegogo campaign and asses the scope made possible by it.  Begin artist reviews and interviews.

August 2015 – Begin iterative process with artist, planning the details and ensuring they work with the car and auto detail shop.

October 2015 – Have proofs of the design ready to send to the auto detail for test application on the car.

November 2016 – Have resolved any last minute alterations/problems and have finished prototype on car, demonstrating full feasibility, in time for the 2015 Winter Solstice shopping season.

Time is the scarcest commodity. In addition to working on the Universe Story Car Decal, I am a full time scientist, a father of four young children, active in RE at my UU Fellowship, run a fully inclusive, coed scout program, write blog posts, am completing a home solar power system, and other activities.

This is a flexible-funding campaign, which means that if I do not meet my goal, I still get the money raised (but IndieGoGo gets to keep a much larger percentage of it, 9% as opposed to 4%, not including Paypal’s fees on top of that).  Any money raised will still go toward one day making this dream a reality.

Why Is This Important?

Those of us involved in future-oriented activism know that very little can be done if only a few people in our population care about our future world.  People don’t care about the future world if they never think of it, nor if every time they do, it’s in the form of a guilt trip.  This car decal is just one way that I hope to share the joy and wonder I feel when I think about our story to get here, and thus it is one more way to encourage everyone to take pride in and ownership of our future.  In one small way, this decal helps move us toward a sustainable culture.  Seeing this decal on the road will help people think beyond their immediate daily lives, connect to something greater than themselves, see our whole interconnected web of Life on Earth, and allow their minds to connect their daily actions with their love for future generations.   I’m investing in our future with this project too – contributing $400 of my own money.   Join me in making this a reality!

Finally, whether you’re able to financially back this campaign or not, please help spread the word! Use the share tools that IndieGoGo provides. Post a link on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and elsewhere. Email people you think would be interested. Contact professors, teachers, parents and others who may be interested in covering what I’m working on here. The more people who know about this campaign, the more likely we are to succeed!

Click here to support the Universe Story Car Decal

Thanks for your help-


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