Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Steampunk MMORG: Gatheryn



A demonstration avatar in front of an airship in Gatheryn

It appears that those who are waiting for Gatheryn... will have to wait a bit longer. Though it was supposed to reach Beta testing last December, it has yet to arrive at that point. However, at the recent Game Developer's Conference (GDC), it seems to have garnered a respectable buzz about it.



A number of games and quests have been shown as part of the MMORG

The system has been touted as "developed for the casual player", with free game play, but additional subscriptions and micro-transactions are in the works (not quite sure what the player will obtain from this, but hopefully the Beta will reveal all - or at least some of its secrets). One interesting item that was quoted was that Gatheryn will use the Hero games' engine for avatar interaction - purported to be quite a good system.



A bit hard to see from this resolution, but there are some similarities to Second Life with regards to the avatars, at least superficially.

Projected for "2009", ideally it will open sooner than later, and allow a better view of this unique Steampunk MMORG. For more information, please visit the main site (which has a nice music sound track and more stills), or some of the more recent reviews, at:

http://www.mindfusegames.com/

http://news.gotgame.com/gdc-09-gatheryn-impressions/30509/
http://www.massively.com/2009/03/25/gdc09-gather-round-for-gatheryn/

Monday, March 30, 2009

Steampunk Art: Mr. Alex Broeckel



"Steam Octopus", by Mr. Alex Broeckel

Upon my wanderings, I had the good fortune to stumble upon a stunningly talented artist, a Mr. Alex Broeckel, also known as "Raybender". Aside from his obvioulsy outstanding skills, he includes a good number of Steampunk imagry in his portfolio.



"Captain Nemo's Office", by Mr. Alex Broeckel

His ability to capture the essence of Steampunk is his art in profound, infusing a multitude of colors into the genre, yet adding to the mysterious and unique flavor of the genre.



Last Century NYC, by Mr. Alex Broeckel

To see more of his endeavors, and the inspirations behind his works, please visit either his Deviant Art site or his own sites, located at:

http://raybender.deviantart.com/
http://www.alexbroeckel.com/menalto/main.php

Friday, March 27, 2009

Steampunk Events: 28 March - 29 March, 2009



A goood number of events are taking place this weekend, and I though I would touch on a few...

Saturday, the 28th

Miskatonic Valley Authority - Grand Opening Ball (4-8 pm SLT, @ the Miskatonic University)

New Babbage - Steamfitters Industrial Gold Themed Ball (6-9 pm SLT @ the Piermont Landing, Wheatstone Waterways)

Armada - Call of the Sirens (2-3 pm SLT, @ the Siren's Kiss Burlesque)



Official advert for the MVA Grand Opening Ball

Sunday, the 29th

New Babbage - Kite Festival (1-3 pm SLT, @ Palisades Green Space)

Armada - The Scarlet Chamber (6-7 pm SLT, @ the Siren's Kiss Burlesque)



An overview of Armada - apparently a popular photo!

Two more items of note...

Rivet Town: The last weekend to visit the Rivet Town sim, as it will be gone after this weekend. One of the most photographic Steampunk venues, its loss will be felt, to the misfortune of the SL Steampunk circles.

Mieville: Had the opportunity to speak with one of the managers of Mieville. Though its opening was planned for November of last year, its main builder took severely ill in RL, and was not up to the task until recently. However, its construction is back on track, and they are currently having a sim-wide sale, with the proceeds going to RFL.



{Personally, I think I shall simply relax this weekend!}

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Steampunk Travelogue: Miskatonic Valley Authority



An overview of the Miskatonic Valley Authority, facing north

The Steampunk sims of late have undergone some dramatic changes, some going, some expanding, and some emerging. One of the newer sims to arrive on the SL grid is the Miskatonic Valley Authority (aka, the MVA), a combination residential and commercial district with a distinct Cthulhu influence.


The swirling depths of Kingsport, just below its lighthouse

For those who may unfamiliar with the Cthulhu mythos, I have provided a few links at the end of the article to websites which provide extensive introductions and extrapolations upon this genre. Simplistically described, it is a “Dark Victorian” atmosphere, but more in depth than many era fictional genres. (The author of the original books, Mr. Lovecraft, was from the pre-WW2 era (the “Great Depression” of the 1930), and set the bulk of the mythos stories during this time.


The urban city of Arkahm, early in the morning

Its’ Steampunk ties derive from the purveyor of the original “paper and pencil” RPG, known as “Call of Cthulhu”, by Chaosium. They produced a number of supplemental rule books covering different time eras, and one of the most popular was “Cthulhu by Gaslight”, essentially Cthulhu in the Victorian era.


A photo of the city plaza at daybreak

There was talk of other Cthulhu sims, as mentioned by Captain O’Toole and Duke Pearse (both provided an early preview of the MVA a bit ago), but those efforts fell a bit short, and never materialized. Upon learning that the MVA was taking shape, I spoke with my contact on the management team, a Miss Ceres Eilde, had had the opportunity to garner a bit of insight into the sim construction.


A further view of Kingsport's cove

Building a sim seems to be a fairly straight forward endeavor, but having a successful business model to ensure the future success of the sim, on the other hand, is a different issue. The MVA was designed to emanate a distinct uneasiness to the uninitiated with the Cthulhu mythos, with two residential districts, and one commercial district.


An altar of some sort... the kind where sacrifices used to take place...

The rental of the commercial properties (Arkham) is similar to many sims – a rental of “x” number of prims for “x” lindens per week/month. The residential sims, however, caught my attention. Dunwich and Kingsport differ in two major ways. Dunwich follows the traditional form for land in themed areas in SL – with the exception of no “down-payment” for acquiring a plot. Essentially a rental without an “upfront” charge, which was quite surprising to see this break-away from traditional rental equation .


Fog billowing into Kingsport from the ocean

When one moves in, one does acquire a blank spot of land surrounded by mountain ridges (or part of the sea, if one acquires a lower level plot), requiring acquisition of an appropriate domicile, of which there are a good number easily found in world or SL Exchange (no, I refuse to us the new “politically correct” title). Kingsport is also a rental with established abodes, so all that is required is to furnish the it and continue on smartly, so to speak.


The available spaces in Kingsport, near Arkham

The atmosphere is well done, and the build does carry an appropriate atmosphere required of the genre. I was quite impressed with the lighthouse over looking a cove of billowing water… (wonder what will come out of it in the future!) The Kingsport sim has a more cohesive connection (as the buildings were built as straight rentals), and have a more cohesive (feel) than Dunwich. One irksome issue is the bright red rental boxes, which would be effective in displaying available vacancies, does detract from the atmosphere being presented.


A view of Dunwich, looking westward

This weekend (Saturday, the 28th) will see the official Grand Opening Ball of the MVA, with the event being held at Miskatonic University, from 4 to 7 pm, SLT. I don’t exactly know what other events are projected for the near future of the Miskatonic Valley Authority, but I do wish them the best of luck in their endeavor.

To keep up-to-date with the MVA's events, please visit...
http://miskatonicvalley.blogspot.com/

Previous reviews of the MVA...

Cthulhu Mythos Links...
http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/cthulhu.htm

And the current source of a profound number of Cthulhu mythos works...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

RL Steampunk: The Great White Fleet



The Flagship of the Great White Fleet, the USS Connecitcut (notice the ornate decorative design on its bow, along with its four 12" guns)!

Imagine giant death dealing behemoths, bellowing smoke and drawing attention from around the world... I am quite confident that most readers of this blog would probably think of a giant steampowered tripod or an armored sky ship, but in our reality, it was known as the "Great White Fleet", the first major excursion of the US Navy in a "Blue Water" capacity.

Unfortunatly, I had failed to remember that the 22nd of February was the 100th year anniversary of its accomplishment, but nonetheless, I found a very good site on the US Navy's website that has an extensive history about the GWF, accompanied with photos and video... (a warning, the video is a bit loud)!



The USS California steaming off the coast of San Diego, prior to setting off to Hawaii

In a Steampunk sense, the Great White Fleet merged cutting-edge era technology with style and panache, and accomplishing a feat that had never been previously accomplished (the coordinated circumnavigation of a major naval force). Gears, steam, smoke, adventure, foreign destinations (to Americans, at least) all make this voyage legendary. For more information on the Great White Fleet, please turn to the US Navy's website, at:

http://www.navy.mil/gwf/index.htm

For further background, please do visit:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_White_Fleet
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/navy/great-white-fleet.htm
http://www.greatwhitefleet.org/
http://www.greatwhitefleet.info/

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

RL Steampunk: Steampunk Inspiration



A cacophony of items for RL Steampunk interior decor...

As I learned from the Steampunk Home, a longitudinal blog titled "More Ways to Waste Time" wrote an extensive piece on Steampunk interior design, titled "Inspiration: Steampunk Style". Beyond the traditional review of typical sources, Miss Hennen extrapolates many of the inspirational characteristics intristic to Steampunk design, beyond simple items.

Written mostly as an introductory piece, the only fault I can see with the work is the "jaw-dropping" prices of some of the items. True, the examples displyed do represent idealistic replicas of the genre, but were I "brand new" to Steampunk, I would rather think that one would have to be a proto-typical millionaire to afford the accouterments and furniture. However, finding alternatives that fit within the style (ideally at a lower price) are key to the true Steampunk Designer (imo).

Regardless, her article is excellent, full of photos representing the style of Steampunk, and I do laud her work as an outstanding example of RL examples of Steampunk - kudos, madam! To read this bit of... inspiration, please turn to:

http://morewaystowastetime.blogspot.com/2009/03/inspiration-steampunk-style.html

Sunday, March 22, 2009

New Babbage Celebration - The Oiling Festival



When ideas came forth for Holidays in New Babbage, a spring celebration was proposed, which later expanded into a week-long event. Though it nothing came of it last year, this year has seen the minting of the Oiling Festival - its concept being that "...it would be a rejuvination, an oiling to the hard-working cogs and gears that maintained the city over the winter season..." (to the best of my recolleciton, anyways!)

New changes have arrived after the cold winter events, and with new changes come the celebration of Spring. That being said, a slate of events will be taking place this week in the city-state, specifially...

March 22: R.F. Burton Library opening: Past Futures
March 26: Games Night at Cocoa Java Cafe
March 28: Steamfitter's Ball, Piermont Landing
March 29: Kite Festival, Palisades Greenspace

Additionally, a series of contests will be sponsored by Mayor Tenk and Mr. Cleanslate, including...

BRIDGES: there are 3 types of bridges needed in Wheatstone Waterways: high-to-high, high-to-low, and low-to-low. All bridges must allow boats to pass with at least a 5 meter clearance. Starting March 21, you may start building bridges, and they will be linked in such a manner that the prims stay to the center of the designated canals. Prizes: $3000/$2000/$1000 and a chance at a bridge contract in a difficult building spot.

URBAN CLUTTER: we need some new clutter. Crates of export products, barrels, pallettes, dock fittings, soup cans, construction debris, scrap iron, let your imagination run wild. Items will be added to city inventory and made available to builders. Low prim and full perm please. Prizes $2000/$500/$250.

TACKY TOURIST SOUVENIERS: Babbage gets tourists, lets give them something. Wearable items should be displayed in a photo. Items will ultimately end up on a freebie cart. Staging area: Babbage Square post office at extreme southeast corner of Babbage Square, next to the Instrument Shop. Prizes $1000/$500/$250.

BEST OILER: I want to see our citizens at work. Take a photo of avatars out working on their machines and getting dirty. Reallly dirty. Staging area: inside Tomanha Hall in Number Seven. Prizes $1000/$500/$250

TARTAN: There has been a request for a city tartan. Staging area: Pearse'd and Cut in Babbage Square. Contact Edward Pearse to stage your entry. Prizes $1000/$500/$250

NEWSTAND - to act as a information booth at the central train station

HONKING BIG MACHINE - is just what you think it is. Entry is via lottery as space is limited, get notecard to me by Tuesday, and those that will be allowed to build for this one will be announced at office hours. The machines will be set out on Friday 3/27.You may start staging your items for competition on March 21 through Friday march 27. Judging to take place Saturday March 28.

For more specific details on events and contests (and there are a few more rule, so if intersted in competing)... please turn to:

http://newbabbage.ning.com/forum/topics/oiling-festival-activities

Saturday, March 21, 2009

SL Steampunk Weekend Events - Armada, Miskatonic Valley Authority, and New Babbage



From 3 to 4 pm on Saturday the 21st, Armada's Onerioi reading room will host a discussion on literature inspiration in regards to the genre - for further details, please visit: http://celtgrrl.blogspot.com/2009/03/elusive-muse-sharing-of-poetry-and.html



Though I am still working on the larger piece for the Miskatonic Valley Authority, I did want to relay that their Grand Opening Dance will take place at 4 to 7 pm SLT, March 21st, in the Atrium of Miskatonic University. Music will be provided by Miss Srendi Eel, and there will be door prizes provided at the festivities. For more information on the MVA, please visit their off-world locale, at: http://miskatonicvalley.blogspot.com/



New Babbage's Oiling Festival kicks off this weekend, with an exhibit at the R.F. Burton Library Opening, featuring "Past Futures". For a full account of the Oiling Festival events, please visit the NB Ning, at: http://newbabbage.ning.com/forum/topics/oiling-festival-activities

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Steampunk Travelogue: Ten Fathom Resort and Spa


The arrival location for the Ten Fathom Resort and Spa

The closing of Rivet Town later this month has created a diaspora of Steampunk denizens – who have begun their migration to other part of Second Life. Some returned to their original sims (including a few to New Babbage), and other wander SL seeking new homes, but there are a few who have struck out on their own to create their own Steampunk corner of Second Life. Ten Fathom Spa and Resort is the result of one such endeavor.


The first place one see after leaving the lift from the surface

Ten Fathom is an interesting build, as it is a destination location (hence the spa and resort aspect) with an extensive underwater presence (including rentals for long term residents), a dedicated location for entertainment (the Fathom Princess), and is integrating a dedicated role playing aspect to its character.


Inside one of Ten Fathoms Chinese/Victorian influenced rental apartments

Upon arrival at its landing point, there is a unique Chinoiserie flavor, one which is conveyed throughout the build. Taking the lift down to the main resort area, the first place one arrives at is the central meeting area, complete with a dining options , a multi-selection bar, and ubiquitous throughout the build, a map of where one is in relation to the layout.


The Spa while empty - a fairly rare event!

The main section is a spa area, for rest and relaxation, the main focus of the Ten Fathom. As it was occupied during my photo-excursion, I only have a single photo of it, but it does appear to be quite unique – especially for Steampunk and Neo-Victorian sims.


Navigating the tubes of Ten Fathom - made easier with its unique lighting

The byways of Ten Fathom uses a blue-ish tint to provide the necessary lighting to manage through its hallways, though one can see the Victorian decorative features underlying it, along with the brass grating.


Shopping opportunities abound in Ten Fathom's mercantile section

There are a number of store in Ten Fathom, including Largo’s Workshop (a variety of Steampunk selections), Fathom’s Fashions (ladies’ attire), and Mr. Ven Carendow’s, Ten Fathom’s “Artist in Residence”, who is currently hosting a showing of Western art that was originally painted on glass, using a technique originally devised in France during the late 1800s.


Topside - a view of the Fathom Princess

Returning topside, the Fathom Princess is a era-designed paddle boat, used for parties and gatherings. Its three decks provide ample space, and its second deck is a dedicated dance area, with plenty of options for entertainment. Currently, the events include:

A gathering at the Bath House on Saturday the 21st (7-9 pm, SLT)
A Ribs and Julep Social on Thursday the 26th (4-6 pm, SLT), and
An OOC dance next Saturday, the 28th (4-6 pm SLT) on the Fathom Princess.



A second view of the Princess' deck

If one desires further information on Ten Fathom, to see its upcoming events or read its own periodical, the Fathom Free Press, at is arrival point is its periodical delivery device, dispensing its latest issue upon command.



The easiest place to obtain updates of Ten Fathoms' events - The Fathom Free Press!

CG Society Steampunk Animation Winner: "EMET"


"EMET" - Winner: Team Entry Video / Master Award

CG Society Steampunk Animation competition

Alas, I have been a bit behind in a few articles I had hoped to have done by now, but in the mean time, I have posted "EMET", the top award winner for the CG Society Steampunk Animation competition. Quite an impressive bit of work, and certainly worth a view! Please enjoy!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Animated Steampunk Advertisements: The Autoscribe Deadline Extension Excuse Expulsionator, and more!...



Ran across a series of adverts for a gaggle of advertising products, well done, and so intriguing, one wishes they were real. The You-Tube commentary is as follows...

8fish, an award-winning creative production studio in Sandy, Utah, was a prominent sponsor at the 2009 Utah Advertising Federation ADDY Awards. To showcase the winners, 8fish produced an hour-long video presentation interspersed with animated commercials featuring imaginary, steampunk-themed inventions designed to help those in the advertising industry.




I did not post all nine adverts they produced, but it one would like to see the other seven works, please turn to:

http://www.youtube.com/user/8fishproductions

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Steampunk Movies: LA Weekly croises, the Heliograph riposts



Did a bit of research, and discovered that the LA Weekly news-magazine had written a piece on Steampunk, titled "Steampunk Starter Guide: Top 5 film and TV series". The introduction is fairly upbeat, written in a manner to "introduce" Steampunk to the masses, through commentary by individuals attending "Gothla US 2009" on their interpretations of Steampunk, which is all well and good.

{The article is located here:
http://blogs.laweekly.com/style_council/film/steampunk-starter-guide/
for further analysis.}

However, the body of the article, which consists of clips from various mediums, seems a bit askew, as though it includes a number of Steampunk movies/TV shows, but a few of choices really seem to miss the mark (imo)! My analysis...

1) Full Metal Alchemist - The word "No" is the same in about twenty languages, but they all apply here, when describing FMA as Steampunk. There may be some longitudinal connections to Steampunk through alternate science (e.g. one of the main characters has a type of prosthetic limbs attached after an accident), but it seems to be more of an "Alternate Victorian Fantasy" anime, vice Steampunk. The description of a "Philosopher's Stone" (traditionally using "magic"to transmute lead to gold), the insertion of fantasy items (e.g. homunculi), insertion of the "Thule Society", and even the title all lead it to a non-Steampunk category. Entertaining? Certainly. Steampunk. No.

2) The Black Day of Jasper Morello - A definite "yes" to this suggestion. An intriguing story, unique artwork/animation, and of course Skyships, make this an extraordinary example of Steampunk cinematography.

3) Steamboy - Produced by the legendary Katsuhiro Otomo, Steamboy is iconic of Steampunk - from the era setting (late 19th century), technology (steam), and social issues, it is a beautiful work to watch. Perhaps one of the best adaptations of Steampunk in any medium, if one wants to garner a better understanding for the genre, this is a "must see" work. Period.

4) City of Lost Children - I have been working hard at obtaining a copy of "City of Lost Children", but from what I have been able to cobble together, this 1995 production is one of the Steampunk cinematographic milestones of the genre. I am looking forward to seeing, the sooner the better! So, an anticipatory "yes" on this movie.

5) Brisco County, Junior - Again, I need to order this, if only to see the most overlooked actor of our time, Mr. Bruce Campbell! From the few episodes I have seen, it follows the trail left by the classic "Wild, Wild West" (the television show more than the movie). I would say yes, but still, though each one of these shows has its own charm.

An alternate list was proposed in the commentary, and though a seemingly yeoman effort of a Mr. D. Davis, I still had contentions with his suggestions, along with the article author's. Though there is the throwaway commentary note that "... like that Steampunk is a creative and rather "open" genre; It isn't so easily defined by one narrow/perfect example.", I would argue that an adherence to an alternate technological setting, driven by pseudo-scientific sources (e.g. steam, mysterious power sources - such as "Cavorite"), within a Neo-Victorian setting (e.g. Victorian norms, but shall we say, with a more idealized philosophy on social relations).

Surprised that more modern works were not mentioned, such as the Golden Compass, Stardust, Van Helsing, the Prestige, or even the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, as the medium (LA Weekly) seems oriented towards a 20-to-30 year old set. I mention this, as there are also many other classic Steampunk movies from the 50s and 60s (e.g. 20,000 Leagues, the Time Machine, ect...) Perhaps a comprehensive list is in order?....

Saturday, March 14, 2009

RL Steampunk Fashion: Exquisite Restraint and Clockwork Couture



Miss Donna-Ricci modeling one of Miss Simone's exquisite corsets
(From the Heliograph, Aug 2008)

At times, it is odd how kismet works - I had been wondering how to expand upon tomorrow's Aether Salon topic of Shimmy! in the New Babbage Palisaide, when I received an email from a Miss Simone, the proprietress of Exquisiterestraint.com, providing a bit more information regarding a previous post I had made regarding RL Steampunk Fashion locales.



It appears that the stunning corset in the top photo was designed and constructed by her. The attention to detail is apparent, merging both Victorian Style with a Steampunk twinge (I'd ascribe the twinge to the impressive material in the construciton - an outstanding choice!) She has an abounding selection of corsets, a necessity for any lady's Steampunk travel trunk, some of which are of a limited-edition nature, and she also does custom work - in case a specific look is desired. To read more about this piece of art (I believe it is called the "Kortni" in her catalogue), see more of her endevors, or learn about Miss Simone's enterprise, please turn to:

http://www.exquisiterestraint.com/blog/




Additionally, she provided a lead on quite intriguing Steampunk clothier, named "Clockwork Couture". Visited the site, and was very pleasantly surprised, as not only the the have a number of essentials (e.g. vests, jewelery), but era-unique items that I hadn't seen elsewhere (e.g. underbusts, and full ladies Steampunk ensembles), along with a good selection of non-attire items (e.g. a Captain's Telescope, a "Ship in a Bottle", and more, at a more-than-reasonable price). If one is seeking to begin or add to an Steampunk appearance, by all means, visit Clockwork Coutre, at:

http://www.clockworkcouture.com/

Friday, March 13, 2009

New Babbage Relay For Life officially begins!



The charming and adroit Miss Breezy Carver is the chairperson for New Babbage's Relay For Life (RFL), and will be the mastermind behind numerous events to assist the American Cancer Society in its never-ending effort to find a cure for cancer.

Be on the lookout for further updates regarding New Babbage's RFL on the Heliograph. For further information on NB's RFL, please visit Miss Carver's personal website, at:
http://seabreezegal.blogspot.com/2009/03/change-world.html

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Aether Salon: Shimmy!



The Aether Salon will host its next topic: Shimmy! To quote the lovely Miss Serafina Puchkina, a hostess of the salon, this topic is about

... a buttoned-up, straight-laced world, where the seamy side is hidden from view by layer upon layer of ... well ... layers, Burlesque is all about peeling away the sham with humor and music. While society goes to great lengths to cover itself, the burlesque stage features the ankles, knees... and gasp! wit of some of the finest (and yes, most scandalous) female performers of the age, dancing, acting, and singing parodies of popular shows.

Please stow your assumptions and join us at the Aether Salon on March 15 for Shimmy! a tasteful tease into the art of burlesque.

Miss Ahnyanka Delphin, owner of The New Champagne Rooms, and Miss Ceejay Writer, dancer/manager at The New Champagne Rooms will join us to discuss the history and art of burlesque. We are very excited to have them with us, and look forward to a lively discussion afterwards.

For further information, or past transcripts, please turn to:

http://aethersalon.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Steampunk CGI Winner: "Old Man and the Sea"

The winner of the CGI Steampunk Modeling award was posted, and certainly puts an interesting twist on the classic "Old Man and the Sea" myth. Produced by Alexandra Ciolac, Andreas Normand Grontved, Sasha Ciolac, Esben Toft (from Denmark), the video has a short "how it was made" section in its middle, but runs the main video twice, the second time with a more appropriate soundtrack, I would say. Please enjoy!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Steampunk Websites to start the week...



Been trying to catch up on some posts and thought I begin with Issue 5 of the Gatehouse Gazette. It actually came out last week, but in case one has not had the opportunity to read it, by all means do so, as it maintains the outstanding quality of material relating to all things Steampunk. To visit it, please turn to:

http://www.ottens.co.uk/gatehouse/gazette/Gazette%20-%205.pdf



The Steampunk Lab is a relatively new site, which seeks to catalogue the vast workings and endeavors that have emerged in the past few years. While one may have seen a few of the items there, inspiration does reside with the graphic items index at the website. To visit the Steampunk Lab, please turn to:

http://www.steampunklab.com/




I was unable to acquire a better graphic to represent it, but one Steampunk site that has captured my attention is "The Mark of Ashen Wings". Listed as a frequent contributor on the RL Steampunk Links, Mr. D. Pagliassotti is an astute writer on a comprehensive body of Steampunk topics, ranging from the difference between "Steampunk and Gaslamp" genres (less of a fine line than you might think, as he argues), to Steampunk Ideology and Politics, to quite good Steampunk ficiton reviews, once you begin reading his entries, I am quite confident you will be a regular visitor! To visit "The Mark of Ashen Wings", please turn to:

http://ashenwings.com/marks/

Finally, though I do attempt to stay "on topic" (specifically Steampunk, as you might have guessed), I stumbled across this video at "Blue Tea", a video art website. The item has no Steampunk connection, but to anyone who has built anything in SL, I would say you will be amazed at about the one minute mark into the video (I practically fell off my seat)! Perhaps the next generation of Second Life?



World Builder from Bruce Branit on Vimeo.

To visit Blue Tea, and see the plethoria of videos there, please turn to:

http://bluewyverntea.blogspot.com/

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Remember to adjust your clocks (if you happen to reside in the US time zones)...



"Safety Last", (1923), with Harold Lloyd

If you happen to be a "fortunate" resident of the United States involved with the "brilliant" concept of "daylight savings", ensure you "spring forward" and move your clocks and watches ahead an hour (aka, lose an hour of SL time) this weekend!

To salute this debacle, I have posted a famous "Silent Short" by the legendary Mr. Harold Lloyd, one of the great silent film stars of the turn of the century (along with Chaplin and Keaton). For more information on the gentleman, please turn to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Lloyd

Saturday, March 7, 2009

SL Steampunk Events this weekend...



A number of events are taking place this weekend, beginning with Venetian Masquerade, celebrating Miss Kembri's RL birthday. An early event, semi-formal (masks and ballgowns are preferred), so if one does have the opportunity to do so, do pay a visit, at:

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Isola%20Gavia/84/65/22/



Saturday afternoon, rumor has it, New Babbage will be visited by Sky Pirates (as part of an RP storyline). Details are a bit sketchy, but to learn more, please visit the NB Ning, at:

http://newbabbage.ning.com/forum/topics/the-upcoming-aerial-event-you



Next on Saturday's agenda is Pearse'd and Cut grand opening in New Babbage's New New Babbage sim. His magnificent new store, from early photos, is an amazing work, and looks to be one of the new icons of SL Steampunk's premier sim! For further information (along with photos of its construction), please turn to:

http://victorianaesthetic.blogspot.com/2009/03/new-building-for-new-babbage.html



Finally, Sunday will see the election of City Advisory Groups, with voting booths near the rental boards of each sim, so if you are a resident and/or registered voter, ensure your voice is heard! For more details, please visit:

http://newbabbage.ning.com/events/city-advisory-group-elections

And with that, I do wish you a good day!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

CG Society: Steampunk "Myths & Legends" Winners



A bit ago, I stumbled across a unique small movie, whose name eluded me for quite a bit of time. Fortunately, not only did I locate its name ("Hemlock", by Mr. Tyson Ibele), but also found that the CG Society had announced its winners for its Steampunk "Myths & Legends" competition. This global competition consisted of extremely talented artists and animators remaking classic legends and stories in a Steampunk theme.



"Odyssesus' Departure", by Mr. Aleksander Novak-Kemplinski (USA)
Winner of the "Lighting" category

Not only are a wide variety of Steampunk styles represented here, but the majority of them were animations, infusing Steampunk art and style with CG animation. The Team Entry winner, "EMET", by the Bonsaininja Studio team, is a fascinating short to behold, along with the winner for Team Excellence, the short "Atlantis - An Inconvient Truth".



"Steamnocchio" by Mr. Fabricio Moraes (Brazil)
Winner of the Image (Individual) Master Award

Though the majority of the shorts are, well, short, I am certain there is plenty of inspiration to be garnered from viewing not only the winners, but also by watching the cacophony of entrants. Each entry also contains background on the inspiration of the work and other assorted details about the piece in question.



"Alice's Adventure in Steamland", by Mssr Guillaume Dubois
Best Character Award

Do take a moment to pay it a visit, but keep an eye on the clock - it is quite easy to lose track of time watching these amazing works! To see the rest of the competition, please turn to:
http://features.cgsociety.org/story_custom.php?story_id=4936