Saturday, July 28, 2012

Poll Question: Steampunk Olympic Events!





As I endured NBC's horribly managed (and tape delayed) Olympic opening ceremony coverage, two thoughts did occur during the ceremony.  First, while watching the introductory section of the presentation, I was quite envious of the stunning costumes (especially the hats and goggles), along with the balance of the presentation.  (Not so enthusiastic about the remainder of the presentation, though I did find the Queen's lack of interest intriguing).  Nonetheless, a very good presentation to start the London Olympics.

The individual games themselves are a mix, however.  I enjoy the cycling, equestrian, soccer, and archery events, whist my other half really only cares about the swim events (as she almost qualified for her national team, "back in the day" - another story entirely).  Since the Olympics started in what one might call the "latter half" of the Steampunk era, I was wonder, what marvelous sports were ended too soon… and might have been enjoyable to watch, either then or now?  Well, I do have a few suggestions, from the kind people from Top End Sports…. and the choices for a new poll question!



Polo!
Mostly for the "upper crust", I'd imagine it would still be a popular draw…


"Polo was on the Olympic program five times, in 1900, 1908, 1920, 1924 and 1936. In the final game played at the Olympic level in 1936, Argentina won gold in front of a crowd of 45,000 people."

Now, with a few technological tweaks (say, steam-powered mechanical horses), it would be a real sight to behold!
http://www.topendsports.com/events/discontinued/polo.htm


The Dueling Pistol Shooting event!
What is more genre representative than two persons in a duel?  Well, it was an event, at least in 1912, if I read correctly…


"The dueling pistol event was held twice, in 1906 (at the Intercallated Games - not officially recognized by the IOC) and 1912. This event required competitors to shoot at mannequins dressed in frock coats. There was a Bull's eye were on the dummy's throat. The event was held over 20 meters and 30 meters."

Sounds outstanding!  One can only imaging the unique Steampunk twists the dueling pistols might have…
http://www.topendsports.com/events/discontinued/shooting-duelling-pistol.htm


Lacrosse!
An endeavor I once called "the sport of the future" (easy to market and violent), lacrosse was entertained as a sport poised for a return in the near future.  Unfortunately, alternate options were chose, but I still hope it will see the light of day, with teams from around the world competing in this demanding sport.

"Lacrosse has been on the official Olympic program twice, in 1904 and 1908. In 1904, two Canadian teams challenged a local team from St. Louis, with the Shamrock Lacrosse Team of Winnipeg winning the gold medal. Players on the bronze medal-winning Canadian lacrosse team consisted of Mohawk Indians, and included players named Rain In Face, Snake Eater and Man Afraid Soap. In 1908, only two teams competed, from Canada and Great Britain."

http://www.topendsports.com/events/discontinued/lacrosse.htm


Cricket!
Well… quite popular in Commonwealth countries, but as a Yank, I'm still befuddled with its rules.  Still, it is a sport with a huge following, and frankly, I'd hate to be hit with that wooden ball (or have to catch it barehanded)!

"Cricket is currently a very popular sport in many parts of the world, though it has only made one appearance at the Olympic Games, in Paris 1900. There was only a single twelve-a-side match, with a team from England beating a French team (which was made up mostly of Englishmen: British Embassy staff who secured a few days off from the office!). The lack of competing nations and the one-sided affair did not bode well for further inclusion in the Olympic Games.


Other Olympic cricket trivia is that on June 29 1948, the day the London Olympic games began at Wembley Stadium in London, the famed Australian 'Invincibles' cricket side was finishing off England in a test at nearby Lord's, winning by 409 runs."

Era appropriate, I'd say it would a popular ticket!
http://www.topendsports.com/events/discontinued/cricket.htm


The Tug of War!
My personal favorite choice, or what I might imagine would be a top choice with the fellows!  It was…

"… (an) event was held at the Olympics from 1900 to 1920. Tug-of-war was always contested as a part of the track & field athletics program, although it is now considered a separate sport. This may seem like an unusual Olympic sport, but in fact it was part of the Ancient Olympics, first being held in 500BC.
n the modern Olympics, the tug-of-war contest was between two teams of eight. One team had to pull the other six feet along in order to win. If after 5 minutes no team had done this, the team which had pulled the most was declared the winner."

Certainly any group of men would certainly be chanting and rooting for this!  Simple rules, easily decided, and most endearing, brute force is key, and there is always possibility of injury!  What is not to like?  Alas, I don't see it returning, but one can hope…
http://www.topendsports.com/events/discontinued/tugofwar.htm


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Steampunk-inspired Makeup and Hair...



Happened upon a pair of Steampunk tutorials regarding makeup and hair work from the lovely Miss Taboolios.  As always, I make a point of clarifying that I remain happily ignorant of topic in which the ladies have more expertise than I would, but I do hope these "how-to" do provide some insights - do enjoy!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Steampunk Connections, at the SteampunkStore.net


As those who have been following this blog have noticed over its existence, I have attempted to work on a centralized site to consolidated the many strands of Steampunk in one semi-central area.  The Steampunk Empire does an excellent job to a point, but the focus of the Empire is as a forum for those involved in the genre, as opposed to a locale for merchants to display their wares.  Thus, I was quite happy when I came across Steampunk Connections, which is part of SteampunkStores.net.  It is a very nicely formatted location, with plenty of potential to be an excellent location to find that special something for one's eye!  To take a gander, please do visit their site, located at: http://steampunkstore.net/ (and do scroll down a bit - the splash page is a bit... well, the good information is just below "ad choices" box).

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Invention of Love - an animated short film



Whilst I'm batting the unflagging challenges of the work-a-day world, I did want to post this small animated gem, which was inspired by the classic Steampunk work of Jasper Morello.  I am in the process of locating a web-link to the talented artists behind this work (it appears that it was a part of a graduation project - the outstanding grade for it is a given, I assume), but the listed individuals are: Andrey Shushkov (as the writer/director/animator), original music by Polina Sizova & Anton Melnikov, and violin by Anna Gudkova.  Please do enjoy!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Bruce Boxleitner's Lantern City


Although word on the street about Lantern City has been meandering about, and there have been some longitudinal hints at Steampunk in the mainstream media, from the write-up of Lantern City, it may have the potential of becoming one of the leverages that brings Steampunk to the general masses (ideally beyond the "generic human interest" stories, that is - ideally a more deserved respectable presentation).  There is plenty to explore at the website for the endeavor, which as far as I can ascertain, is currently in development, but there is a forum, pre-production photos, and a number of other items to see.  As to not belabor the narrative, I would certainly recommend a visit, which can be accommodated by following this handy link: http://lanterncitytv.com/

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Quicksilver, the Airship Board game, needs your help!


Doing a bit of sauntering around when I came across Wired's article on Quicksilver, the Great Airship Race board game.  Its has been quite a while since I've indulged in a board game, but frankly, as I read (and later watched the piece above), I must concur with Wired's complimentary review, that the game is quite impressive.  I would most certainly recommend one take a moment, watch the above narration, take a peek at the Wired article (located here: http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2012/07/quicksilver/), then proceed over to the Kickstarter site for more information (and perhaps a donation)... only one week left on the project!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

How to build a Steampunk Rifle...



The next in a series of DIY Steampunk props (no, its not a functioning rifle - those would be a bit challenging to get into a convention), Mr. Nigel Clegg delves into the details regarding a quite nice replica of a Steampunk armament!  For more details, please consider visiting his website, located at: http://armsracemovie.com/

Friday, July 6, 2012

Instructionals on Corsets, from Lucy's Corsetry!




While researching the previous article, I came across a small video on corsetry.  As there are a number of ladies in the Steampunk genre who either actively wear, or at the very least are considering the use of a corset (I'd imagine), finding Lucy's Corsetry YouTube channel was an amazing bit of luck!



The endeavor (both her blog/store (she is very exclusive regarding making corsets due to numerous reasons) and the video archive) is run by Miss Lucy, a very enterprising lady, with an extensive background in a number of disciplines, including corsetry (of course)!  Her extensive knowledge and obvious affection for corsets are evident in the vast detail she displays on her videos, with over 160 videos at last count - though not all address corsets (some are about hair, as one can see her extensively long locks), the vast majority of her videos are about said topic.





I've posted a few samples of her videos here, but if *anything* about corsets catches your attention, I would most certinaly grab a drink, a chair, and get comfortable whilst you watch any of the large selection of her works on her channel, located at: http://www.youtube.com/user/bishonenrancher?feature=watch

After which, do consider a visit to her very interesting website, located at: http://lucycorsetry.com/ !

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Steampunk Fetish #01 - Hat Goggling, by Griffin Leather


To see the term "Steampunk" and "Fetish" in the same phrase tends to catch one's eye, as they usually don't meet in common parlance, but took a flyer, and was quite amused at the small production provided by Griffin Leather.  Not only do they produce unique videos, but they are also purveyors of a series of interesting leather products.






I'm not one for leather accouterments, but their Deviant Art page (located at: http://griffinleather.deviantart.com/) has photos of their works, so if you see something unique, you can possibly visit the Etsy store at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/GriffinLeather?ref=seller_info (though the only object listed was a very nice "Plague Doctor" mask).  Still, if intrigued, one could certainly leave a message (at BGandAssoc@yahoo.com)... but for now, do consider viewing the work in the DA catalogue!