Sunday, May 31, 2009

Steampunk Cinema: Why Steampunk movies fail at the box office



One of my favorite scenes from the Wild Wild West remake (1999), where the "last thing the fellow saw was projected... through his own eyes".

Of all places, AMC has an interesting opinion on the travails that Steampunk has had making a successful transition to the big screen. To read the "op-ed" piece, please turn to:
http://blogs.amctv.com/scifi-scanner/2009/05/scifi-movie-questions-part-2.php

(Don't forget to read the commentaries below the main article!)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Steampunk Events: 30 - 31 May, 2009



A pair of unique early events this weekend in Steampunk circles, starting with...

What: Mayor Tenk's Rezday Party
When: Saturday the 30th of May, from 8 to 10 AM SLT
Where: Boylai Plaza, Babbage Square, New Babbage

Music: Saturday morning cartoons for the ears! Edward Pearse of Radio Riel will be spinning from his infamous collection of novelty music.

One's second rezday is widely held to be when one comes of age. For my rezday I want read a book to rest from my studies. I need a reading chair.

Category 1: Practical17 prim limit to fit the household budget
Prize: L$1500/1000/500

Category 2: Primmy70 prim limitPrize: L$1500/1000/500

Best in Show: L$1500

Additionally, a Mayor's Prize will be offered for pose or animation. Eligible chairs will be of normal adult size but allow a shortie to sit comfortably without swallowing body parts or leaving them hanging in air.

Guest Judge: a prominent librarian has been invited to judge, as Mr. Tenk has probably forgotten how to properly settle down to read for pleasure.

Entries may be placed designated areas inside Bolyai Plaza starting May 25th. You may mark for sale. Please check "Allow anyone to move" so I can move them around as needed. One entry per category (that means 2 max).



"The Mermaid and the Moon Turtle", by Mr. Mako Kungfu

Later that morning, it will be followed by the...

What: The Remade Masquared Ball
When: Saturday, the 30th of May, from 12 to 2 pm SLT
Where: The Wheel House, Armada

A chance to show off all of your... accessories.Groove and strut to the smokin sounds of DJ Thursday, the Mechanical Man!

Come check out the winners of the Builders comp in all their altered finery!



Finally, there is an entertainment venue associated with New Babbbage, thought it isn't exactly in New Babbage...

What: Shimmy for a Cure
When: Sunday, the 31st of May, starting at 1 pm SLT
Where: The New Champagne Rooms, Jersey Island

As a special fundraiser for Relay For Llife, the Champagne Ladies will be onstage May 31st at 1pm SLT to tease and tantalize with class and just a touch of sass! And as a special treat, the vivacious Miss Vivienne Dufaux from the Original Moulin Rouge will be there to spin music as well!

All proceeds will go to support Relay for Life as we aim to find a cure for cancer and support the lives and families affected by the disease.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Steampunk Video: A discussion of the influence of Steampunk in Damnation

Damnation is a Steampunk / Western video game which focuses a bit further beyond the classic Wild Wild West television series (and please, lets not mention the dreadful later movie)! Though it has a few clips of the game itself, the interview with the art director, a Mr. Adam Diller is an intriguing insight into how it was meshed into the production.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Steampunk Video: Steampunk Anime - Scientific Romances in the Land of the Rising Sun



Happened upon a presentation by Mr. Cory Gross, the author of "Voyages Extraoridnaires", which was presented during OtaFest2009. His presentation, titled "Steampunk Anime: Scientific Romances in the Land of the Rising Sun", provides a unique insight beyond the best known fusion of Steampunk and Japanese pop culture by delving deeper into Japan's historical past to present an in-depth analysis of the genre as it merged with Japan's culture.

It is a five part series, so it might take a bit longer to watch than the standard fare, but it is certainly worth the time. Please follow the links below for parts two through five of the series.

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHi4tV6oH68

Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pgv35DKwvo

Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CUEUjUK4u8

Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pq3rf7A-YTM

Friday, May 22, 2009

Steampunk Events: 23 May - 24 May, 2009



What: The Robber Baron's Ball
Where: The Piermont Landing, Wheatstone Waterways, New Babbage
When: Saturday the 23rd of May, starting at 6pm SLT

Time again for one of the featured and most attended Steampunk events in SL - Miss Carver's Piermont Landing Ball! This month is the Robber Baron's Ball, with a smoke stack competition (two types - one a low prim version {15 prims}, and one the fancy "high prim" version {70 prims max}).

As always, the Piermont's ball is an extremely popular event, and with the fine selection of sponsors, prizes for the best dressed Robber Baron and Baroness, and the musical entertainment provided by superlative Mr. DJ Bats. Be seeing you there!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

RL Steampunk: Steampunk in Myspace



Emperor Norton's Stationary Marching Band, one of the many Steampunk musical stylings in the genre's corner of Myspace

Bit of a busy time in RL, but aside from the usual circumstances, I had an odd encounter last week, which led me down the proverbial rabbit hole to a different Steampunk realm. As I was viewing emails, I received a request via Myspace from a “French Steampunk Metal” band (?)! Wasn't quite sure what to make of it, so I followed it, and after listening to a bit of the musical offerings by the musicians, decided that it wasn't quite my choice in musical stylings.

On a whim, however, I entered “Steampunk” on the general Myspace search, and was surprised at how much the genre has grown on Myspace. Seems to be about a 40/30/30 divide, between Steampunk enthusiasts, musical groups, and Esty crafters.

The individuals who follow the genre tend to be quite civil, and focused upon perpetuating the genre, including writing their own backgrounds regarding their online “nom-de-plume”. Interestingly, many backstories tend to be related to “famous individuals” - understandable to frame a genre, but working on a more original history seems to demonstrate more effort in creativity (e.g. see Dr. Mason – I believe by now he needs his own Wikipedea for his adventures)! A few other examples that I found entertaining are...

On the musical front, there are a good number of smaller bands on the scene, though the “big” names in Steampunk music (e.g. Abney Park, Dr. Steel, and of course, Mr. Vernian Process) are also present. Nonetheless, one can easily find groups that are the proverbial “gems” with a bit of effort. Their websites tend to be better designed than individual's sites (personal sites can range from “very impressive” to “ouch, your page is making me squint in pain, madam or sir”! Personally, I located a few that have caught my ear, so to speak, including:



Waves Under Water – A Swedish Steampunk New Wave/Electro/Goth band
http://www.myspace.com/wavesunderwater



Sidestreet Reny – A Pacific Northwest Blues/Roots/Folk duo
http://www.myspace.com/sidestreetreny



Voltaire – A soloist who specializes in Acoustic and Alternative music
http://www.myspace.com/voltairenyc

Finally, Myspace is a popular means for Steampunk Crafters to display their commercial (and personal) endeavors for the general Steampunk public. I was surprised at how many were there were, and of course, how many were associated with Esty (a small online business center, with a number of merchants). There is quite a variety of goods to see (and purchase, if the fancy strikes), and a few sites I do particularly like are:



Empire Steamworks - an emporium which make RL Steampunk accessories
http://www.myspace.com/empiresteamworks


Steamgear Labs - RL creations and designs
http://www.myspace.com/steamgearlab


and the aforementioned Esty Steam Team - a plethora of Steampunk merchants at one one locale

Well, this is a simple introduction to what I have found in the Myspace Steampunk circles. Do be aware of the scams and lavacious corners of Myspace (I have already been “propositioned” to “watch” a young lady via her web-cam …), but do take a moment and look – you never know what you might find!

Also, if you are at a loss where to start, a simple search for “Steampunk” is a start, at:

or do feel free to try my own locale, as I have added a few personages from the Steampunk corners, at:

http://www.myspace.com/rafael_fabre
(yes, I know I need a new photo, but the old one will do for now)!

Good luck and good exploring!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Steampunk Cinema: Sherlock Holmes



Still working on last week's "large" article, but in the meantime, the lovely Miss Softpaw (at the New Babbage Ning and a neighbor of mine in Wheatstone Waterways) located this very intriguing trailer for the new Sherlock Holmes movie.

Most certainly not the traditional Holmes, but I must admit that though a few liberties have been taken in the genre, it looks more humorous and action-oriented that the older cinematographic works from the genres. Do enjoy!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

More information regarding the New Babbage Harbor sim...



Miss Breezy Carver eyes the new development to be adjacent to Port Babbage
(photo c. of Miss Carver)

Well, to get my "ducks in a row", the presale will commence on Tuesaday, the 19th of May. The sizes of the plots in the Harbor are in orange, varying from 263 prims (576 sqm) to 936 prims (2o48 sqm).

For more details as the come to light, please turn to the New Babbage Ning thread on this topic, at: http://newbabbage.ning.com/forum/topics/what-was-lost-the-map-of-8

Breaking News: Eighth Sim to be added to New Babbage! (UPDATED)



Mayor Tenk made an announcement at midnight regarding New Babbage's expansion - the eight sim is open to pre-sale... for details, contact the Mayor (*ed note - not asap... but on Monday, as he'll be busy attending details until then).

More information will be posted as it becomes available!

(Updated information...)



An overview of how the new sim will fit into the City-State.

A view of the expanded sim from the east side of Port Babbage shows a further expansion East of New Babbage. The new sim (as yet un-named - hopefully not New Babbage II), will have an extension of the Steampunk nautical flair - more edifices, a pier, aparently a docking area, an expansion of the New Babbage defensive wall, and... more water. Looks like the NB Navy will have operating waters in the future!



A close-up view of Port Babbage and her sister-sim.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Steampunk Events: 16 - 17 May, 2009



What: Innocence, an artistic display
When: From May the 16th to June the 6th
Where: Steam Funk, Loner Lane, Port Babbage

An exhibit of photographic oddities, created by Mare Brown, will be open to the general view from Saturday, May 16th, above the Steam Funk Shop of Miss Elleon Bergamasco in Port Babbage.The works are of a mature nature and can cause offense to those who do not wish to know the darkness in our hearts.

The artist will be present from 5 AM SLT.

~~~~~~~~~~




What: The New Babbage Ladies Fire Brigade
When: Saturday the 16th, @ 11 am - 12 pm SLT
Where: New Babbage Fire House, New Babbage Canals

Join the ladies of the fire brigade for tea and good conversation. Get caught up on the latest gossip and show off your newest outfit.

~~~~~~~~~~




What: Remade Builder's Challenge
When: Saturday the 16th, from 12 - 2 pm, SLT
Where: Armada Open Sea

Inspired by Mieville's 'Remade' and Gibson's Cyberpunk genre,The Armada Council hereby issues the following challenge to all builders:Create a Steampunk/Cyberbunk Wearable

To be judged in two competitions:
Timed Challenge - May 16, 2009
Builders will compete in a designated arena to create a custom wearablewith prizes in the following categories:
Animalia - Addition or alteration of animal human parts to augment the wearer
Steam/Mech – Use of steam or similarly powered machinery to augment the wearer

Prizes:Best-In-Show – 1000L and Custom Trophy
Best Animalia – 500L and RibbonBest Steam/Mech – 500L and Ribbon
Last Place/Goofiest Entry - Special Surprise of Awesomeness!

To be judged by the Armada Council or their designees. Winning entries may not use pre-existing sculpts or prims, but may use custom textures. Competitors will have 60 minutes to complete their entry, at which time all entries will be judged in their current stage of completion.

Entries are limited to 10 participants or May 10, whichever comes first, so sign up quick!

Vote Challenge – May 16-30, 2009Builders will submit a pre-built custom wearable to be displayed on the Armada sim for open voting with prizes in the following categories:

Animalia - Addition or alteration of animal human parts to augment the wearer
Steam/Mech – Use of steam or similarly powered machinery to augment the wearer

Prizes:
Best-In-Show – 1000L and Custom Trophy
Best Animalia – 500L and Ribbon
Best Steam/Mech – 500L and Ribbon

To be judged by a SL wide public vote via a notecard system. Each voter may cast one vote per category. All entries must be submitted by May 16, 2009 to be eligible for prizes. All work must be original to the builder and may be displayed for sale by the owner in the designated area for the duration of the competition.

Winners will be announced at the Remade Masquerade Ball to be held at 'The Wheel House' dance hall.

~~~~~~~~~~




What: The eighth edition of the Aether Salon - Engines!
When: Sunday the 17th, @ 2pm SLT
Where: New Babbage Palisaides

Spinning cogs
and grinding gears
pistons loud
assault the ears, as
Industry grows
and cities rise
on the power
our engines
synthesize.

Please gear up to learn about the workhorse of industry, the engine, the inventors who made them faster and better, and their secret inner workings. Should you desire, there will also be tea. Join your fellow gearheads on May 17 at 2pm slt at Aether Salon.

See you there!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

SL Gentlemen's Accoutriments: Moustaches, Part 2



Discord Designs has quite a comprehensive selection of moustaches and beards

Well, it has been a busy RL week, but nonetheless, I wanted to ensure that I finished something of substance in the Heliograph, so I am going forth with a short piece on moustaches (and beards) for the Victorian & Steampunk Gentleman (and Lady, as a disguise or as part of a travelling show, I suppose)...



Discord carries both moustaches and beards, in a plethora of colors.

I start with Discord Designs, where I have obtained a good number of said items. The selection is located on the second floor, past the multitude of hairstyles (though there are some unique gentleman's hairstyles on the ground floor).



Many era items (e.g. the "Bandito" moustaches) are clever finds at this emporium.
I must concede the selection at Discord has almost every moustache/beard style one can imagine (I have a Lenin, and I believe they have a version of a Dali moustache there). The color selection is also very good, with a wide selection of hair colors to match just about every shade one can think of. The prices are within the norm, from what I have seen from other vendors, so do expect to pay about L$200/a selection (if memory serves me correctly). So, if one is looking for that unique moustache / beard / muttonchops, ect..., do pay Discord Designs a visit.

** A clarification... Miss Kallisti Burns, a partner at the emporium, stated that the pricing for...

The mustaches and goatee type beards retail from 30L for a two color pack, 90L for 12 and 245L for all 72 shades... while the full beards are 60L a double, 180L for 12 and 490L for all 72.

Aparently my eye for thier selection is a bit larger than I realized! Nonethless, do visit Discord Designs and view the impressive selection of Gentleman's additions there! ***

To learn more about Discord Designs, and or to visit Miss Burns's website, please visit:
http://discorddesigns.blogspot.com/
http://kallistiburns.blogspot.com/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



The entrance to "2 Bits", a fantastic store!

I laud Duke Pearse for bringing "2 Bits" to my attention, as it has quickly become my favorite store for facial hair styles, for two simple reasons. First, the styles are very apropos for the Steampunk and Victorian era.



Yes, the advert is correct ... only L$25, and Copy/Mod!

Secondly, all moustaches are not only copy/mod, but only L$25/each.... that is correct - only twenty five lindens per moustache. The selection is varied within colors, and though the styles are similar (or identical in some cases), for the price one simply cannot go wrong.



A wide selection awaits the connoisseur

In fact, make certain one "holds onto one's wallet", because, to paraphrase the popular snack commercial, one you try one, you can't stop! I went with the intent on purchasing one or two, and left with eleven. So be warned, but do indulge in a visit to 2 bits, at:

http://slurl.com/secondlife/caledon%20cape%20wraith/146/47/39/
http://victoriansecondlife.ning.com/forum/topics/2-bits-moustaches-of




Finally, I found this unique little build, with rides, in shape of moustaches, and they are free... oh never mind... If one wishes to visit it, please turn to:

http://slurl.com/secondlife/floyd/79/78/24/

On that note, good day, and until next time!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Steampunk Cinema: Nikola Tesla in The Prestige

My apologies for the lack of updates, as issues in RL has once again conspired to be difficult. In the meantime, I leave a small bit of video, a condensed series from The Prestige, with David Bowie in arguable his best role as the legendary Mr. Nikola Tesla.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Steampunk Events: 09-10 May, 2009 (updated)

This Saturday has quite a bit of activity going on in Steampunk and Neo-Victorian realms, including...



What: Synchronized Water Ballet Troup, Belly Up!
Where: The New Champagne Rooms, New Babbage Square
When: Saturday the 9th @ 11 am SLT

The New Champagne Rooms in Babbage Square is proud to announce the spectacular synchronized water ballet troupe, Belly Up! These lovely merfolk put on an amazing show and I hope you all enjoy their outstanding performance! There will be seating on the balcony for folks who want to stay dry while watching the show, but if you care to wear something that can get a bit damp there are still seats around the stage... perhaps floating a bit high above them by that time... but they will be there!



What: Phun Stuph Marketplace Grand Opening
Where: The New Phun Stuph store in the Wallaby Sim
When: Saturday the 9th, starting @ 1pm SLT

The new Phun Stuph will mark its grand opening with a series of competitive speed builds, including a "Random Theme" (@ 1pm SLT), a "Grab Bag" (@ 3pm SLT), and a "Steam Trek" competition (@5pm SLT), with up to L$2000 in each category. Additionally, there will be many hidden freebees and prizes, so make it a point of visit the newest store!




What: Sirens of SK Burlesque
Where: The Siren's Kiss, Armada
When: Saturday, the 9th @ 2pm SLT

The Sirens of SK Burlesque and their captivating shimmies and shakes will captivate you, Sat 9th @ 2 pm SLT.All proceeds benefiting the SL RFL team, the Cure Chaser's

Until there is a cure, we dance!! More about the American Cancer Society and their annual fundraiser, Relay for Life can be found @ www.cancer.orgThis event is PG, Bring the family!





What: Victoriana Springtime in Paris Ball
Where: in Victoriana Forest (arrival via Victoriana Hedgemaze Station)
When: Saturday the 9th, @ 2pm SLT


The most spectacular setting designed to imbue with the sense of a flower scented evening in period times…. Paris dancing under the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower.

Meet your friends and loved ones beneath the Eiffel Tower in Victoriana, and join us as we dance to a hand picked selection of French Baroque and popular music on Saturday, May 9 2pm SLT at the Springtime in Paris Ball in Victoriana Forest. In addition to dancing and fantastic music we’ve created some surprises for our guests, so this is one ball in Victoriana you will not want to miss.




What: Trial of the Year (Burton v. Obolensky)
Where: Steelhead Meeting Chambers, Steelhead
When: Saturday the 9th, from 3 to 6 pm, SLT

The case of Eugenia Burton v. Doctor Obolensky will be heard in the Steelhead Meeting Chambers with the Honorable Venerable Broome presiding. The trial is expected to last approximately 3 hours. If you do attend, please remove all HUDs, AO's, anything that emits pouffers, facelights etc. All weapons are to be left outside of the courtroom. Tensai and Fuzz will be in charge of maintaining civil order. Offending parties will be teleported home.

Babbagés are cautioned that clean air and excess oxygen produced by redwood forests may cause euphoria, overall sense of well-being, and other psychological effects.Visas and soot rebreathers may or may not be available from the Consolate of Europa Wulfenbach offices in Babbage Palisades

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

RL Steampunk: Curious Expeditions



When one looks for unique sites, it is odd where the voyage might lead. During one of my excursions for new topics led me to a site which currently visit on a regular basis, titled "Curious Expeditions".



Astronomical Clock Gears from the Clock Museum in Vienna, Austria

This site boasts plenty of unique entries from the realm of science past - from the origins of Phrenology to weaponry in the Grand Armory of Transylvania, from the "Magic Hairball" of Staten Island to the anatomical presentations for the betterment of science, Curious Expeditions catalogues them in detail.



"Mr. Snouter" on display

So if at some point you wish to learn more about the "Snouter" (as pictured above), do take a moment and visit Curious Expeditions, for a glimpse of what science used to be, at:
http://curiousexpeditions.org/



The German Emerald Polyphon, from the Musical Wonder House, Wiscasset, Maine, USA

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Steampunk Cinema: La Main des Maitres


La Main des Maîtres
Uploaded by -CaYuS-

As I was searching for a player to see a newly released online movie, I happened to find La Main des Maitres, a stunningly beautiful Steampunk animation produced in Ile-de-France, last September. Though it is subtitled, their addition is, frankly, not needed. The atmosphere, artwork, technology, and storyline are perhaps some of the most dedicated to the genre I have seen since Steamboy. An award winner at the Skyfest 2008, it is an amazing work - please enjoy.

Also, the website with its current status is located at:
http://www.lamaindesmaitres.com/en/

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Steampunk Events: 02 May - 03 May, 2009



The highlight of the Steampunk festivities at the City-State this weekend revolve around Captain Red Llewellyn's May Day Country Dance and Party, celebrating the arrival of spring. As the good Captain puts it...

Please join us for dancing amid the spring flowers, cavorting around the maypole (complete with silly walks), and the sipping of rum-spiked lemonade. Best of all, the esteemed Mister Wiggy Undertone is providing his carnivale games! This event will feature a dunk tank for hilarious humiliation, and a big hammer strength test to show off those muscles - play along, win a prize! Take aim at the shooting gallery, and laugh at the Punch & Judy show. You'll enjoy all this and more at our May Day Country Dance & Party!

Leading the festivities will be Miss Addie Tharnaby as our May Day Queen and Master Finley Twine as our our Robin Goodfellor & Lord of Misrule. All New Babbage urchins & citizens are urged to embrace the spirit of the day - hooliganism is encouraged! No remonstrations or recriminations will be made for any prank or high-jinks!

Early Event for our European friends.Cash prizes will be given to the creators of the most outlandish & fanciful steampunk topiaries or garden ornaments under 25 prims


First Prize: $3000L
Second Prize: $2000L
Third Prize: $1000L

The winning builder must be willing to allow a copy of the winning topiary to be auctioned off to benefit RFLThe Shooting Gallery has been put out early so come on by, sharpen your skills, and enjoy the challenge of shooting at bunnies and ducks!

Sharp Shooting Prize: High Score of the Event - $2000L & Engraved Trophy


Sounds like a fantasic time - Be sure to stop by!