Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Victorian Oddities: Molasses Flood!

Havoc wrecked by rampant molasses!

I realize that the The Molasses Disaster of January 15, 1919 is a *bit* outside the traditional Victorian/Steampunk timeline (nor as refreshing), but the previous listing made numerous comparisons to this disaster, so felt it was only appropriate to add it along side…

For further details, please go to:


Monday, July 30, 2007

Victorian Culture: Beer Flood!

Have disovered a fantastic new blog, which I find amazing entertaining and unique… the webblog of “Cap’n Dyke, Lesbian Pirate Queen & Rogue Blogger”… once I saw this amazing Victorian article, I simply had to post it (especially after the academic diatribe of the previous two entries!). Her site, and more on this tradgey (*grins*) is at:


More information is located at:


The Cap’n front page is at:

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Steampunk Science: The Luminiferous Ether, part II

Original diagram of Ether measureing device

There are two different kinds of waves: longitudinal and transverse. Sound is a longitudinal wave: air molecules move forward, bunching up and forming small volume at high pressure, and recoil backward, while the new molecules they pushed moved forward in turn. Each bit of air moves backwards and forward along the direction the sound wave is moving. On the other hand, if a guitar string is plucked, each section of the guitar string moves up and down, at right angles to the length of the string down which the wave travels; that is, the motion of the string is a transverse wave.

Engine room of a Ether-based flyer (ok – another excuse to use a Space 1889 pic – last one, I promise!)

A fluid such as air or water can only carry longitudinal waves. A solid such as steel or diamond can carry both longitudinal and transverse waves. But light is a purely transverse with no longitudinal aspect. So the ether cant be a gas, or even an ordinary solid, but it is much more rigid than diamond, as diamond is more rigid than water. The high speed of light indicates that the ether has very high stiffness, very low density, or both.

Finally, the ether does not interact with ordinary matter through any sort of mechanical impact; the two pass right through each other. Only electricity charged matter can influence the ether.

Stoddard, W.H. (2000) – Gurps Steampunk, pg. 95, SJG:Austin
[edited for removal of game specific content]

Steampunk Science: The Luminiferous Ether

Device used to measure Ether

In the 19th century, light was shown to be a form of wave, like sound or mechanical vibration. But fi there was a wave, physicists reasoned, something had to be waving. For sound, it was air. For mechanical vibrations, it might be any solid material. What was it for light? Light could travel between planets and even between stars, where no matter could be detected, not even air. This led physicists to believe it was carried by some peculiarly tenuous form of matter, so thing that solid planets could pass right through it unhindered. They named this substance the luminiferous ether (“luminiferous” means “carrying light”).

USS Eagle cruising the Northwest Territories (ok – I needed another airship photo, and couldn’t resist the Space 1889 photo… (lol)!)

Michael Faradays experiments and James Clerk Maxwells theories showed that electric and magnetic fields could interact to produce a wave. Its speed could be calculated and turned out to be the same as the speed of light. Maxwell modeled electric and magnetic fields as strains in the ether. Heinrich Hertzz spark gap transmitter seemed to prove that Maxwell was right. Albert Michaelson and Edward Morleys 1887 experiment cast doubt on the ethers existence, but scientists only fully rejected it with the advent of the relativity and quantum mechanics in the 20th century. But what if the ether was real? A universe where light and radio were carried by the ether would have some interesting difference from ours.

Stoddard, W.H. (2000) – Gurps Steampunk, pg. 95, SJG:Austin
[edited for removal of game specific content]


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Update: The Antiquity Gazette

The Ivory Rotunda, upon arrival in Antiquity Township

I have begun editing a new blog/news source, named “The Antiquity Gazette”, for a new Victorian sim which opens next month. I intend to keep the two separate, but feel for the sake of full journalistic disclosure, I should make it known I edit both. The link to the Gazette is:

Visitor’s Center in Antiquity Township

The sim is projected to open on the 11th of August, and a good number of events are planned. However, in preparation, building is coming along furiously, as Great Duke Barrymore subsists off of Red Bull & German coffee to ensure the opening goes as planned (shades of the White City)!

The Antiquity Clock Tower in the Township (residence of this journalist)

Nonetheless, it is open for.. “previewing”, and visitors are always welcome to the sim. Any concerns, comments, or questions about the sim, please leave a comment below, or contact Grand Duke Barrymore (or his partner, Miss Angel Magellan) in-world.

Official colors of Antiquity

Further details about Antiquity are in the Gazette, including an extensive interview with the Grand Duke and his lady about the focus and purpose of the sim – however, please feel free to visit (step gingerly – we are a work in progress!)

(Dated) Overview of Antiquity Township (Antiquity Cove is still undergoing construction)

Steampunk Culture: Space 1889

Cover to Space 1889

While researching some future postings, I came across a site that reminded me of fond memories, concerning a paper & pencil rpg game named Space 1889. Produced by Mr. Frank Chadwick, it provided a detailed alternate universe for a Victorian/Steampunk background. I desperately wanted to play it, but unfortunately no one I knew (at the time) could comprehend the concept of Steampunk!

Stormfront Class Cruising Ship

The British Empire reigns supreme, Mars is beginning to be colonized, ether ships are commonplace, “savages” on Mars challenge new residents to the planet, well… read for yourself!

Cargo Hauler landing for replinishment

Additionally, a British company, Noise Monsters, has produced radio-adventures of this universe on CD. I have not obtained them yet, but they look quite good (their website is located at…)


Front view of the Ahpid Class cruiser

Port side of an Aphid Class cruiser

Aft view of an Aphid

A few parting photographs…

“Hydrogen Flyer” (Fore port view)

“Hydrogen Flyer” cockpit

Commandeered native craft, the “Swiftwood” class

The “Rutledge” class cruiser

And Baroness Palowaski, your Martians wouldn’t happen to look like this…?

Martians from Space: 1889

Friday, July 27, 2007

Steampunk Media: Opheila Sightings III

HMS Opheila uber dem Totentempel
(Sorry, I don’t speak German!)

Well, these are the last of the Ophelia mods I shall be posting – there are remaining photos at their webpage, but not quite in the Steampunk genre, I’d say. If you wish to see the remaining photos, please visit their sight – it is a wonderous Steampunk experience!

HMS Ophelia by the Ryhope Pumping Station

HMS Ophelia cruising over uncharted territory

HMS Opheila at dusk

Original graphic used for the modification

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Victorian Culture: Virtual Europe

Idealized view of Ruritania

Europe has some of the world’s smallest countries – Luxembourg, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, Monaco, and the Vatican City – and before German and Italian unification, it had many more. These little kingdoms appeal to romantic story tellers, who often invent their own, such as Ruritania in the Prisoner of Zenda. Such countries offer setting for swashbuckling with steampunk technology.

Swashbuckling in Virtual Europe

In general, the best sites for virtual countries are Italy before 1861, Germany before 1871, or the Balkans through 1914; there are enough real small countries there to make it easy to suspend disbelief in one more. Another option is to set virtual countriess on boundaries between major real countries. Imaginary islands are also worth consideration, so long as their presence would not have substantially changed the course of Atlantic exploration.
What impact will virtual European countries have on history? Often, very little; novelists tend to to imagine them as archaic and picturesque, or as too small to be effective. But advanced technology and efficient organization can make a small country disproportionately effective, as they did Portugal, and later the Netherlands. With steam technology, a seemingly unpromising nation might emerge as a leading European power.

Stoddard, W.H. (2000) – Gurps Steampunk, pg. 118, SJG:Austin
[edited for removal of game specific content]


On an associated note – during my search for graphics, I ran across this site called “City Creator”, and enjoyable little game, which will help you dispose of plenty of hours at work…


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Steampunk Culture: New Babbage sim & New Submersibles!

Steampunk ship on surface [by Mr. Avalos]

As reported by Miss Zoe Connolly, Mr. S. Sprocket has announced the opening of a new Babbage (the name hitherto unknown to this reporter…) in the following press release:

Starting next month we’ll be taking reservations for the underwater sim (residential) and the Babbage Port (commercial) The port will have NO TELEHUB, letting business owners set teleports DIRECTLY to their store. The underwater sim not only has a telehub but is also UNDERWATER. This design should provide private living, although privacy is never promised in new babbage, it should be a quiet place to relax and have a chat, or just watch the fish (and krakken) swim by.. please spread the word….


Surfaced ship crusing at sunset [by Mr. Staylor]

In celebration to the expansion of New Babbage and its Steampunks, I have located a number of images from conceptart.com (again! – lol!), showing some interesting Steampunk-esque submersables. [Apparently in SL, there are no need for ballast tanks on a boat! Not like my RL experience with sub fleet (lol)! As with the previous post, the name of the artist is listed, so if you like his/her work, simply perform a search on the name…]

Steampunk ship diving [by Mr. Idiot Apathy]

ADDITIONALLY…. combat Steampunk era (mid-late 1800s to early 1900s) are available on SL. Mr. Bunwah Murakami has constructed eight era specific subs, including the USS Holland, USS Fiskdale, USS Sturbridge, USS Onondaga, USS Monitor, CSS Richmond, the CSS Virginia, and the H.L. Hunley. I have personally purchased two, and find them to be incredably enjoyable to sail and fire from (at appropriate targets, of course!….hehehe). You can see what is available at his shipyard at:


Mr. O’toole has a more indepth review (and description of an ironclad battle – including pictures! (The specific entry is on the 18th of July)


Pencil sketch of a steampunk sub [by Mr. josephrey]

I shall have to update my nautical combat skills, to ensure I’m worthy of seagoing combat…..

Cruising of the Antiquity Cove coast

Small Steampunk sub [by Mr. Wystro]

Visiting Antiquity Cove at Dusk

Steampunk Culture: Point Defences

Modern point defence [by Mr. cgfuller_64]

Much ado has been made about airship by fans of this particular medium (including your dedicated journalist), but they are not a force unto themselves. Cities and nations have defences to combat these aero-combatants, of varied sizes and means. The below is a small sampling of the point defences that are used in the realm of Steampunk militaries.

Pirate-controlled harpoons, including construction narrative [by Mr. cgfuller_64]

[These works were copied from conceptart.com, and the name of the artists are listed below the image. If you wish to see more of the individual’s work, simply go to conceptart.com, and peform a search – you’ll simply be amazed at the wealth of potential!]

Brass anti-airship defence [by Mr. Zeitwolf]

Shipboard mounted defence point [by Mr. JakkaS]

Urban anti-pirate defence [by Mr. Smot]

Mobile Harpoon Unit [by Mr. Saise]

Monday, July 23, 2007

Steampunk Culture: Fashion

A Miss Bazil, relaxing infront of a piano

A bit behind the curve, but I am borrowing Miss Tinkergirl’s entry on a young lady, a Miss Kat Bret, who has a collection of Steampunk-influenced fashion photos. Some of the pictures on her website are a bit… different, but nonetheless, the garments worn by the young ladies are certainly steampunk-ish.

Miss Bret with a compass

A Miss Teala with a spyglass

If you wish to see the entire photoset, along with additional works of her, please go to:

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Steampunk Media: Ophelia Sightings II

Unfortunately, today my presence is demanded in rl, so I shall only be able to leave a few photos of the Opheila, the flagship of Abney Park…

Ophelia at the Great Exhibition (of Works of Industry of all Nations) of 1851 (also known as the Crystal Palace Exhibition, in London)

Ophelia outside Mayan ruins

An undated post card of the HMS Ophelia

Deep in the city of Metropolis

Escaping the city of Metropolis