Thursday, February 28, 2013

Steampunk Hairpins DIY



Not very familiar with hairpins in any sense for personal use, but thought there may be someone who might find this DIY endeavor by Miss Jennings644 useful for ladies attire.  Certainly a nice option if one, well, needs a pin (or just something to poke a masher, I suppose).  Do enjoy!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Steampunk Travelogue: The Victorian Corrective Spa


Over the past few months, I have noticed a small but subtle shift in the Steamlands from residental build environments to a heavier emphasis on role play in virtual environments.  Not that this is a new dynamic in virtual Steampunk - role play has existed since "back in the day", harkening back to when Caledon was smiply known as "Caledon I", and New Babbage was in its conceptual stage.  However, with role-play focused Steampunk sims such as Neo-Victoria (with its expertise in Steampunk Machinima), Goatswood, and a few other, various aspects of Steampunk (and by association the Victorian era) have come to the forefront, including more adult aspects of the era.



Arrival Skybox at the Victorian Corrective Spa

The Victorian Corrective Spa (VCS) is one such entity, with one foot in the Steampunk/Victorian era, and another found in RP.  Sadly, the term Steampunk has been an often abused seachword in Second Life (used for SL limited search function), but the VCS is a unique in its niche, by allowing those who might be intersted in a bit of adult-focused RP, but concentrating on Victorian aspects of a scarely mentioned aspect of the era.



A brief introduciton to "Female Hysteria" (Wikipedia link here)

The Steampunks Guide to Sex review which was published a few weeks ago (and happened to be one of the more visited entries of the past twelve months), is an excellent introduction to many of the real life goings ons of the era, relating to, shall we say, private interaction.  The Victorian Corrective Spa allows those interested individuals to go one step further, and involve themselves in an era-representational style.



The ouside grounds of the Victorian Corrective Spa

While the specifics of the interaction are adult-realted, Ms. P. Faerye, and Mr. J. Spires have built a representation of a turn of the 20th century spa, (akin to what ws representated in the the Road to Wellville, at least for some atmospheric references).  For true to life references, one can view the original Battle Creek Sanitarium, which resided in the state of Michigan (US), and was the inspiration for the original cinematic production, and have done a wondeful job of recreating the evirons.



The interior foyer of the Spa

However, to address additional needs beyond basic health, it was rumored there were speciality facilites for treating specific illnesses, thus, the Victorian Corrective Spa is the virtual equilivant of said facilities.  Describing itself as "being somewhere in upstate New York", it exisits as a faclity to "cure women of female conditions" (as would be stated in 1890s terminology).



One of the many facilites at the spa, including robes for modsty...

As a faclity with an adult-oriented topic, the VCS does have its criterion provided in a notecard at its arrival skybox, and fitting with the era (e.g. era human characters).  In addition to some general guidelines regarding some specific SL issues (e.g. addressing Gor/Carp, av sizes, etc), if one wishes to engage as either a worker or resident, their arrival description explains additional opportunities that exist at the VCS.  Also, the faclity holds a number of events, of which the latest was an era discussion of medial topics, including their latest topic regarding the appreciation of certain body parts.



... and further facitlies for treatment (with RL advertisements for addressing "hysteria")

As a new Victorian sim with an adult focus, from the times I've visited the Victorian Corrective Spa, I have been quite impressed with their friendliness and congenality - thus, if this genre piques your interest, I would most certainly make a point of visiting... the virtual coach will lead you to grounds, located at: http://slurl.com/secondlife/aigle/94/39/3251/



Best be going, lest I awake the Doctor Bellog!...


(Alas, it appears that during my absence, not only had the Victorian Corrective Spa moved to a different location... and is now gone (or at least I'm unable to find it in search...)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Victor Sierra's New Album Effort!...



Received word that Victor Sierra is engaging in an endeavor to fund their new album (as yet untitled) for 2013.  Still quite early in their efforts to raise funding, and a peek at their Indiegogo page reveals a large selection of enticements, so do consider a visit to said Indiegogo spot (located here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/victor-sierra-next-album-in-2013 ), and consider assisting this wonderful group's efforts!  

For more information regarding Victor Sierra, please turn to: 
http://www.reverbnation.com/victorsierra (their Reverbnation locale, with various tracks)
http://www.youtube.com/user/victorsierraband (and their YouTube channel, for even more music - do enjoy!)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Steampunk DIY - How to build a Steampunk Flashdrive


Found this very nice video by Mr. Jacob42 on YouTube regarding a "quick build" for a Steampunk flash drive.  Quite easy per his instrucitons, and I have no dobut that further artistic enhancements can be added to one's one work.  This version is quick, easy (don't let the "list" of needed items deter you - it is actually minimal).  He does state this work was just a segue between his intened build, and shows a nice contraption he 'threatens' to show how to build later...  In the meantime, please do enjoy!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Underway in the Aether, Part I: An introduction and boarding an airship!




Part of a series that I started ages ago on the Steampunk Shipyard was one about the similarities between nautical ships (past and present) versus airships.  Not so much regarding the technical aspects of a Steampunk airship, as the real nautical mechanics are academic when compared to Steampunk airships (e.g. most Steampunk "science" is a "hand wave" when it comes to airship propulsion and power generation, be it a bag of lighter-than-air gas, unexplained "aether", or some alternative means of keeping an airship aloft and moving).  Most individuals are actually more interested in the goings on aboard a ship (at least within a story-telling vein).  For those not familiar with the sea-going world, a ship can be an odd place, full of strange ranks, words, and traditions.  Thus... I'll do my bit to attempt to lend a hand, not only in explaining the nautical world, but how they might logically be applied to Steampunk.

Two brief disclaimers... starting with "why Navy and not 'Air Force'"?  My belief (and bias, which will display in a moment), is airships would have more in common with sea ships, than an organized air force (at least as we've come to know it today).  There is a higher propensity for an airship to be isolated from civilization (as a ship), or take off / be sent onto unknown destinations (and adventure), whereas an "aero-force" exists on a more direct military basis - an aero-force Coronal likely would not simply send a flight out for an extended period of time to "explore".  I would think a stringent timeline would come into play ("go here, do this, come back"), along with a limitation of supplies (most importantly fuel... which then begins to buffer into Dieselpunk).  One could always make the argument for a giant aircraft, as per Sky Captain's giant aircraft ship (and Angelenia Jolie in her tight leather - every soldier and sailor's fantasy superior officer), but... I digress.  I'm of the opinion that airships of the era would mostly likely be associated with naval ships, and thus business aboard one would be treated as such.




The other disclaimer is my own RL experience.  I was in the Navy for about twenty years, so I have had the opportunity to "enjoy" some of the nautical traditions I'll be writing about in the series - both good (e.g. port calls, qualifications, homecomings, etc...), and not so great (e.g. field days, qualifications, watches, etc...).    I have nothing against the other branches of service, aside from a blatant bias towards my own (which serves me well when I bet against the Steampunk Tribune's younger member (who served in the 82nd) during the annual US Army-Navy game - he's worn a plethora of Navy gear the day after)!  Thus, I'll talk from my own experiences and extrapolations....

Nautical traditions have existed from well, since the seas have been plied. There is a lot that goes on that is alien to most - from directions (e.g. port, starboard, fore, aft), meals (all four - breakfast, lunch, dinner, midrats), drills (necessary but hated), sleeping arrangement (e.g. bunks, staterooms, hot-racking) and all the other minute things that make a ship a ship - and unfamiliar to those onland.




I'll begin with a simple but important tradition - boarding a large(er) ship (as opposed to a small craft, which has its own unique actions).  When approaching a larger ship, one walks up/on a "gangplank" (also known as a "brow"), a removable walkway from a pier to a ship.  When one reaches the end (the part attached to the ship - this would be called the quarterdeck), if one is in uniform, one salutes the ensign (the flag), then the OOD (Officer of the Deck, who is an officer, but often times this watches is manned an enlisted watchstander (the case on subs) - it just depends on the size of the ship, and its policies), and request "Permission to come aboard".  The OOD will return the salute, and (usually) respond "Permission granted".  At this point, if one is coming aboard, a person may need to show some identification and if they are brining anything aboard (say in a seabag or suitcase) inspected, especially if the person in question is not a member of the ship's compliment (crew).  If one is not a member of the crew, the OOD may ask the business a non-crew member has with regards to the ship (e.g. conducting maintenance, supplies, etc...).

Essentially, this is the first line of defense for a ship of any notable size.  One would not want shady character or just wandering persons (or as per the story above, an unannounced Admiral) walking onboard a ship for no particular reason, so the OOD (and an armed guard, the sentry), control passage onto a ship.  So entry and access to a ship is a vital aspect to it (although the "Hey, Shipwreck" series does provide a different, albeit more science-fiction-y take on topside watches, especially on a mid-watch).





The watch itself is unique - the daytime is usually busy, but after dinner things slow down and get a bit boring... the topside watch keeps logs, the sentry patrols the area around the ship, and takes draft readings.  For those in the know, I'll address shipboard announcements at a later date - that topic merits its own entry (or two)!




Steampunk correlation: Not much would be different, I would say.  A gang plank would be key to go from pier to ship (unless one can jump very far), but I'm thinking the gangplank would be very nicely done and decorated (as opposed to the current bare industrial metal ones used today... though nice vinyl graphics are displayed on them to identify the ship in question).  Coming aboard is the same - salute the ensign, salute the OOD, state your business, and move along (assuming you are allowed on board to conduct business).
This would even apply to shall we say "independent" ships (e.g. the proverbial "pirate" airships).  Even they would want to maintain control of access to the ship!

A pier usually a kind of dirty/industrial place, so a person's first impression of a ship is usually the quarterdeck and the conduct of the OOD... so bear this in mind!  If it is a formal Navy, and the quarterdeck is polished brass and attentive watches, its probably a tightly run ship... if the quarterdeck is dirty, worn, and ill-cared for, and lack luster watch conduct is displayed, well... problems are likely to abound onboard!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The New Guinness Advert... with a Steampunk-esque flavor!


Yes, I realize it is Valentine's day, but in the name of one of my own true loves (that would be Guinness), I was thrilled to see this wonderful advertisement from Guinness, with a nice Steampunk twits (and a bit of, shall we say, "gear-porn").  Wonderful advert, even more wonderful beverage (as I take a sip), and I hope everyone has had a wonderful St. Valentine's day!

(A tip of the hat to the "Warefare in the Age of Steam" blog - ty!)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Portlandia - Steampunk Convention



I must admit, I"m not quite a fan of the series Portlandia, although many of my compatriots (at work and on the aethersphere) do sing its praises.  Be that as it may, upon coming across this clip of the "Steampunk Convention", I have to admit, it was quite humorous and deserved a post!  Please do enjoy!

Monday, February 11, 2013

City in the Sky Trailer for Bioshcck Inifine



A new (and amazing) trailer for Bioshock Infinite was relased a few days ago, and it just appears more and more spectular!  A reminder: March 26th is the magic date for this certain-to-be Steampunk classic!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Steampunk India, an outstanding new Steampunk blog!


I had the pleasure of being contacted by Ms. S. Dasi regarding a new and innovative website, Steampunk India!  This new endavor is the first that I am aware of taking on the challenging task of actively extrapolating Steampunk into Indian culture, and from its beginings, I would opine a substantial amount of thought and planning has been put forth towards Steampunk India, the adventures of Gita Rohini, and the future of this wonderfully nacent work!  To learn more, the Traveller's Steampunk Blog recently engaged in an interview with Ms. Dasi, and to indulge in said work, please turn to: http://daily-steampunk.com/steampunk-blog/2013/02/08/steampunk-india-the-interview/

... and to visit Steampunk India directly, please visit: http://www.steampunkindia.com/

(also, to be added to the "in process" Facebook Steampunk links, Steampunk India is located at: https://www.facebook.com/SteampunkIndia )

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Kickstarter Production: Cowboys & Engines



Heading back to Kickstarter, Cowboys and Engines sounds like a cross between the classic westerns of the 1960s merged with Steampunk!  Sounds outstanding - and anything with an 1870s San Francisco with submarines, airships, and Mr. Walter Koneig making a showing as a Steampunk professor is a must!  One month is left, so please follow the link to the main Kickstater location for yet more details on a prospectively outstanding work... located at: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1865079920/cowboys-and-engines-a-steampunk-western?ref=live

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Oz, The Great and Powerful!



What one can hope is a throwback to the classic Disney Steampunk movies of an era ago, Oz, the Great and Powerful, certainly at first blush has potential for being an excellent remake of the original production.  This particular trailer doesn't show some of the other minor elements (specifically some additional "marvelous technologies", and of course, goggles), but from what small bits have been shown, one can certainly have some optimsim that it will be a brighter star in this year's Steampunk movie selections.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Steampunk's Guide to Sex!



I do not do many book reviews, as my RL impositions unfortunately tend to intrude on the amount of time available to properly read a published endeavor.  However, when approached with regards to A Steampunk's Guide to Sex, it seemed an intriguing crossroads between Steampunk and a topic not usually associated with the genre, so I accepted the offer.  A good choice, as interestingly enough, it proved to be one of the better Steampunk works I have had the pleasure to read.



After reading the Guide, it put era imagry such as the above in perspective!

As the topic does state, it is about sex and Steampunk, or perhaps more accurately for the majority of the work, sex in the Victorian era.  In a direct and informative manner, the authors (as it is a collaborative work), provide an insightful view into the vices, engagements, and entanglements of the era.  While incisive but taciturn in its narrative(e.g. there are no inappropriately lascivious descriptions with regard to the topic), the first three sections certainly exemplify "fact is stranger than fiction".  I was quite under the impression that I was well informed about this particular topic, but to my surprise after reading The Guide, I was enlightened to the impressive extent over a range of topics, ranging from Victorian slang (with regards to sex) to 19th century pornography (and the amazing efforts to smuggle it into England), from the world of Victorian prostitution, to the unexpected impact effect women migrating to the United States west had on civilizing the frontier, and from bizarrely painful cures for sexually transmitted diseases, to a really nice and informative chapter on how to perform a Can Can - from attire to steps!



The original Kickstarter narrative regarding the work!

The last two sections seemed to be a bit incongruous, with a mix of very informative era information (including details on corsetry and era piercing (yes, including the well known "Prince Albert" modification - which has its own unique history)), other topics that seem a bit shoe-horned, or at the very least I did not see a direct association between the individual chapters and the genre.  Nonetheless, the book itself is very brisk in its layout, readability, and with the aforementioned plethora of topics, and makes one lose track of time as the pages turn!  I would most certainly state the Steampunk's Guide to Sex is an excellent and well presented primer to a basic and essential topic to anyone interested in the Steampunk genre - and I would most definitively recommend it as an indispensable work for any Steampunk library.

To obtain your copy, please look towards...
http://www.combustionbooks.org/products-page/non-fiction/a-steampunks-guide-to-sex/
http://www.amazon.com/Steampunks-Guide-Sex-Guides/dp/193866003X