Saturday, February 28, 2009

New Babbage Expansion… and more!



A view of the “New Sim” of New Babbage (I’ll be quite glad when it has a name!)

As first mentioned in the New Babbage Ning (and A Stroll Through Caledon), New Babbage is expanding with its 7th sim, which is as yet unnamed. I popped in to see the current state of land acquisition, and not only was I surprised with the new “footprint” of the sim, but at another details regarding the overall map.



New Industry and Rails are a pervasive them in the new sim’s expansion

From the image above, all but three locations on the “East side” of the sim are rented, and with the “bonus 20%” of prims added to each plot, I’m certain that they will be “gobbled up” soon. The northern part of the sim appears to by purchased by Mr. T. Zanzibar, apparently with a major project in mind. The other two “new” residents are Miss Riel, who has acquired three spots on the west side of the sim, and center-southern portion of the sim was acquired by Mr. M. Pinion, who has returned from his stay in Rivet Town. This leaves only three lots left – quite a good run for only a few days on the market!



The projected layout of the “Old Quarter”

One aspect that had previously taxed me with previous versions of the map was the lack of information regarding future expansion. Fortunately, current management has filled some of those voids, and laid out (abet very tentatively) what may be in store for the future of New Babbage. The above image would be the “Old Quarter”, being north of Port Babbage, and west of the Palisades. Additionally, due east of the Palisades would be the long awaited “Brunel Heights”, and “upscale residential” area, long the lines of Nob Hill (in San Francisco).



All this being said, the future of New Babbage is being engineered quite smartly, and the first “100 days’ of Mayor Tenk seem to be progressing along quite nicely! For further details, please turn to:

http://newbabbage.ning.com/forum/topics/presale-open-sim-7-new

and
http://caledonstroll.blogspot.com/2009/02/new-babbage-to-expand.html

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Steampunk Weekend Events: A begining and an ending…



Two major events are planned this weekend (both on Sunday, oddly enougth, vice Friday or Saturday) – a begining and and an ending.

The Begining…

The new sim of Armada will open its door (officially) this weekend, and has a cacophony of events on slate, including:

12:30 pm (SLT): Black Barnicle Grand Opening Toast
1-2 pm: Ironclad Battles
2-2:30 pm: Oeneroi Reading Room Toast
2:30 – 3 pm: “Fire for Thought” performance
3 – 4 pm: Market Square Opening “Hoo-Ha”
4 – 5 pm: Mer-Ball in the Underseas Square
5 – 7 pm: Big Old Dance in the Wheelship
7 – 8 pm: Fireworks!

For more details, please turn to:
http://armada.ning.com/events/event/show?id=2724255%3AEvent%3A951




The Ending….

Port Novem’s “Alt Masquerade” will take place as the final “Hurrah!” for MissLily Nighfire’s Steampunk endeavor. Relive the adventures and mis-adventures of the Novem franchiese, and celebreate its culumination with the all of the individuals who have made it memorable! For further details, please turn to:
http://musesplaybill.blogspot.com/

Clockwork Couture – a web endevor



“Lady Cardinal”, by Miss Annie Stegg

While reading the New Babbage Ning, I came across Pinkfeather Huron’s link to a unique webgame called “Dress Me Up: Clockwork Couture”, by a talented young Miss Annie Stegg. Quite a simple game, where one dresses up a Steampunk-eque lady in “daring” attire – no guns or mutates, so I was easily distracted elsewhere, but I think that many ladies will find this site entertaining. To visit it, please turn to:

http://pinkparasol.deviantart.com/art/Dress-Me-Up-Clockwork-Couture-112801585



The header for the “webgame” (largest version I could obtain)

Additionally, Miss Stegg is an extremely talented artist, so do pay her deviant art and brand new website a visit, by visiting…

Her Deviant Art website (via her “nom de plume” of “Pink Parasol”), at:
http://pinkparasol.deviantart.com/

or her dedicated website, at:
http://www.anniestegg.com/

{**And, of course, my thanks to Pinkfeather Huron for the heads-up to this location – ty!}

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Rivet Town to Close!



As the story was first reported at Patent Pending, Rivet Town will cease its operation at the end of March. Perhaps one of the most picturesque and photographic sites in Second Life, much less among Steampunk and Neo-Victorian sims, Rivet Town was known for its adherence to genre role play, and ongoing story lines involving a good number of individuals…



… but unfortunately not enough individuals and traffic to support its endeavor. In spite of her tireless efforts, Miss Grace Loundon had to face the monthly piper, in the guise of the Linden Labs. Try as she might, she reached her limit, and had to make what was certain to be a difficult choice, the closing of Rivet Town.



An impressive builder, she not only carried numerous Stemapunk story lines, but ingeniously merged the Steampunk genre with Neo-Victorian atmosphere (to the chagrin to those who said such a thing is not possible).



As unfortunate as this news is, by all means take an opportunity to visit Rivet Town before the end of March, and enjoy its amazing atmosphere before it departs…

To read the statement by Miss Loundon, please turn to Patent Pending’s site, at:
http://steampatent.blogspot.com/

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mayor Tenk is inaugurated as Mayor of New Babbage, and an update on Grand Duke Barrymore



Not exactly the Bible, but… then again, it must be the source of all knowledge in New Babbage

As luck would have it, I was unable to attend the inauguration of Mayor Tenk this past weekend, but was fortunate to have friendly photographer take a few snapshots of the event. I do understand that it was quite laggy (over 50 individuals attended, as goes the unofficial account), and it was good to see a new page turned in New Babbage’s history!

On a related note, Grand Duke Barrymore was able to convey his sincerest gratitude for the kind wishes in regards to his circumstances, and with good fortune, will return to full health, so he can return to putting his traditional 28 hour days building and tweaking Antiquity!



A (large) crowd gathers for the ceremony….


… and preparations for the swearing in are under way (as opposed to the “other” swearing)


The guests are a bit restless for the events to begin…


… as is the prospective mayor!


However, the swearing in takes place like “clockwork”, with out a single “flub” of a phrase (wouldn’t want to have to redo the dialogue again)….


… and after a few minutes, a new tomorrow begins in New Babbage!
For more update for those who were able to attend, please turn to:



(*my thanks to my good friend and associate for taking the photos at the event)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Grand Duke Barrymore hospitalized



The Grand Duke and Dutchess, circa June, 2007

Word has spread that the Grand Duke of Antiquity, Gregg Barrymore, has suffered complications from a serious heart ailment (rl), and is currently being treated for his condition. As the “Rock of Gibraltar” of the Antiquity sims, he has always shown himself to be a true gentleman and a dedicated builder, laying the foundation of the most successful Victorian Nautical sims in SL.

His circumstances certainly demand reflection on the friendships that emanate from our time in SL, and the good people behind the avatars that make Second Life memorable. I do extend my wishes for a successful recovery and quick recuperation.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Savage World of Dr. Grordbort



A postcard from Dr. Grordbort, from his trip to Venus!

Unhappy with my previous little post, I found this article, and interview with Mr. Greg Broadmore, the gentleman behind the Dr. Grordbort, intrepid explorer. Starting as a lark during the while creating the dinosaurs for “King Kong”, he put together a few items, presented them to his employer (Weka Workshop), and realizing the collectable potential, the produced the brief Dr. Grordbort advert (seen below).



To read more about the story behind Dr. Grordbort, the upcoming graphic novels, and the upcoming web-shorts (which will obviously be shown on the Heliograph upon release), please turn to the IO9 article, at:

http://io9.com/5157637/the-savage-world-of-doctor-grordbort



A small advert from the Dr. Grordbort graphic novel – quite nice!

Steampunk Events this weekend…



Game Night @ the CocoaJava!

{Saturday the 21st, from 3 pm to 5 pm, SLT, in the New Babbage Palisades}

A get together to play games of all kinds. Try out demos of Mason Barne’s games and bring your own.



Mayoral Inauguration Ceremony

{Sunday the 22nd, from 1 to 1:30 pm, SLT, @ the City Hall, New Babbage Square}

Yes, we got Tenk to agree to be inaugurated. We only have about twenty minutes, so we’ll have to make it quick.A quick oath administered by Mr O’Toole, an (even quicker) speech), and then we repair to Pennyfeather park or the Rusty Cog for drinks.

For additional information on these events, please turn to: http://newbabbage.ning.com/


Last Dance At Port Novem

{Sunday the 22nd, 7pm SLT, Winterfell Laudanum}

Port Novem will be having its last event prior to its retiring, so do stop by for its last round…

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Steampunk Animation: Mr. Tyson Ibele

An impresive Steampunk-esque work by a Mr. Tyson Ibele, a very talented animator. Well scripted, his CGI work lends an very Aesop-like quality to his narration. To read more about the gentleman’s outstanding works, please turn to:

http://www.tysonibele.com/Main/main.htm

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Steampunk History: Ladies’ Links



Not only did Prince Albert become the official consort to Queen Victoria in 1839, but has a well-known tobacco “in a can” – quite popular, indeed! (from “NineTeen” Blog)

I had originally interned to post this small article on Valentine’s day, but circumstances forced me to move it to a later date, hence today’s topic. I wanted to focus ladies – but most of those who are associated with Steampunk seem to have a bit of a “wild side” to them! That being the case, I have found a couple of blog that provide historical background to the RL ladies of the time… who were probably more saucy than the current media portray them! Well, off you go, with the first being…




Scandalous Women

Quite an apropos title, Scandalous Women is a long running and popular blog about ladies of the previous century (the 19th Century, so I’m technically incorrect, but “feh“), who chose to live beyond the established norms of the society of the time. Many circumstances are touched upon, some well known (e.g. Emma Hamilton and Horatio Nelson) and others, perhaps not so much (e.g. Rose O’Neal Greenhow, the “Confederate Rose”, an infamous spy during the Civil War). An absolute worthwhile visit, at…

http://scandalouswoman.blogspot.com/




Miss Ninon de Lenclos, an infamous lady who enjoyed the “joie de vivre

Bad Girls Blog

A work of a writer who studied “Bad Girls”, I mention this particular blog for two reasons. First, the “Top Ten” list of historical Bad Girls, the bulk of which are from the later Victorian period (e.g. Steampunk era), which provide insight to some of the views of said ladies of the period.
Secondly, the quasi-historical narrative of “Skittles”, or Miss Catherine “Skittles” Walters, is presented here in a ten-part series. A very good piece of fiction, and the site is well worth the visit. Unfortunately, the author has taken a leave, and started a new blog, called “Good Girls”, which I’m afraid won’t be nearly the same – I believe it is the “Bad Girls” that have all the fun? Nonetheless, to read more, please turn to:

http://mybadgirlblog.blogspot.com/

And for a bit of historical background on “Skittles”, please turn to her Wiki, at:

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




Nine Teen – “Being a Teen in the Nineteenth Century”

I had my trepidations at first, but after reading the depth of this blog (and currently reading), I remain impressed at the depth presented by Misses Doyle and Scott, as they delve into the nuances of the era, from dancing, to eating, courting, amusements, ect… I cannot do a description of this blog justice, but only recommend that a visit here is in order! To do so, please go to:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Steampunk Games: Damnation

A bit pressed for time this evening, so I leave this small video clip of an upcoming PS3/Xbox game, “Damnation”, set for release “this Spring”. Having more Steampunk themes rather than being Steampunk, there area number aspects that are quite interesting, such as the weaponry and airships that are displayed in this movie. It looks good, and its been awhile since any decent 1st person shoots with any kind of genre aspects have been released. Well, enough of my prattling, on to the video!

If one happens to seek a bit more regarding this game, please turn to:

http://www.codemasters.com/games/index.php?gameid=2655

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Steampunk Travelogue: Armada



A view of Armada, facing southward

A few weeks ago, I had the good fortune to acquire a new computer, meaning an upgrade in graphics performance, and an opportunity to toy with SLs environmental settings. Visited a number of places, which unfortunately failed to impress for my photographic endeavors, but then remembered a new Steampunk locale had been under development. Though I promised to maintain my silence about it as its construction and last details are added to it, I finally received the go-ahead to publish a small bit on it so I present Armada!



The Merchant’s Square, in view of the center portion of the town’s Oak tree

Armada is not a Stemapunk or Victorian sim in a literal sense, but is perhaps better described as a mixture of Steampunk and Neo-Victorian-ism, with a peppering of piracy, airships, and other nautical aspects. As such, a bit more leeway is provided from the stricter adherence to genre appearance (e.g. a more rough and tumble, and of course, nautical, demeanor).



One of the older abodes aboard Armada

As one can see, Armada isnt the traditional land mass with streets and houses it is quite the opposite. Floating on the Bones of Boats (hence the website address), it is an entity constructed from the hulls of boats drafted into new and unique duties, with a littering of seaworthy vessels and airships surrounding it.



Enjoying the peace and quiet before the onrush of merchants, sailors, and visitors

Ive only included a few snippets of this impressive structure, but be assured, there are plenty of nooks and crannies to explore at Armada. Additionally, it will have an RP aspect which is currently in development.



A few ships are huddled around the main mercantile area – some inhabited, some abandoned

Another aspect of Armada will be an active mer contingent – including abodes for the nautical denizens who inhabit the the aqueous region below the airbreathers.



Yes, there is even a converted pasture for equine visitors!

Though it is slated to open on March 1st, to garner a more extensive view of this new sim, please visit:

http://www.onthebonesofboats.com/

or its associated Ning site, at:

http://armada.ning.com/


.

There is an extensive system of hidden passageways the traverse the entire city!



Armada – city of mystery and adventure, and only a TP away!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The entire Grand Tour… and a little bit of Passionate Tango!



While I was busy twisting prims to perfect my abode in New Babbage, I received a ticket to perhaps the most outstanding event this Winter season in Victorian & Steampunk Second Life – a 1st Class ticket to the Grand Tour!



Taking a moment to sit and read its itinerary a bit, I was quite impressed at the extensiveness of its breadth. Since its early days, I had hoped to see the wide variety of Neo-Victorian sims work together and form at lease a somewhat cohesive psudo-entity. Through the endeavors of a tireless core of dedicated individuals, the Grand Tour appears to be growing exponentially.

Starting Saturday morning and ending Sunday evening, the Grand Tour will visit…

Saturday, 14 Feb…

0830 am – Alpine Meadow Ski Party (Neufreistadt)
1000 am – Wind in the Willows Party (Caledon Tanglewood)
1100 am – Tiny Day Ball (Caledon Tanglewood)
1200 pm – Offering to Aphrodite / Inaugral Ball (Confederation of Democratic Sims)
1330 pm – Sweetheart’s Ball @ the Grand Pavalion (Oneiros)
1430 pm – Equestrian Trek (Artis Natur)
1530 pm – Love’s Blossom Ball (Fatima)
1700 pm – Giverny Grand Opening (Giverny)
1830 pm – A Valentine to Remember Ball (New Babbage / Wheatstone Waterways)
2100 pm – “Jazz for Lovers” Dance (New Toulouse)
2200 pm – Cold Fusion (Steeltopia Power Plant)

Sunday

1000 am – Alpine Meadow Monastery Tour (Alpine Meadow)
1100 am – Grand Ball, dedicated to Venus (Roma)
1200 pm – Raglanshire Valentines (Raglan Shire)
1330 pm – Valentine Blues with Clair Drival (Nantucket)
1500 pm – “Welcome to Edison” Dance (Edison)
1600 pm – Dance in Penzance (Caledon Penzance)
1730 pm – Gaslight Elegance Formal Ball (Steelhead City)
1900 pm – Love Stinks Party: A Post-Valentines Day Party (Port Harbor)

(all times SLT)

At the risk of rehashing the entire listing of the events, I will kindly direct yourself (the reader) to Prim Perfect’s extensive listing of the event, found at:

http://primperfectblog.wordpress.com/2009/02/13/the-grand-tour-redux/

One event, which isn’t on the list, is at Metaversal’s main local, which is the grand presentation of the most passionate dance of all, the Tango! Miss Maar Auer’s latest creation is an impressive work, and will be presented to the public today, at 12PM SLT. For more details on the “Tango Pasion” release, please turn to:

http://metaversalarts.blogspot.com/

Friday, February 13, 2009

Events in New Babbage this weekend…



Saturday, from 6:30 to 9:30 PM (SLT)

A number of events are slated for this weekend, starting with the Piermont Landing’s “A Valentine to Remember”, the next in the outstanding social gatherings by Miss Breezy Carver. With music provided by DJ Bats, this event will be reminiscent of Valentines of old, from the Victorian Era.



Sunday, starting at 2 PM (SLT)

Miss Viv Trafalgar will host the latest Aether Salon, on the topic of, well.. Amour! In light of the holiday, an auction will take place, involving numerous individuals (including myself) offering unique themed events to engage the fortunate winning bidder. I’m quite certain that this salon will prove as raucous as the last one (with the exception of explosions, I hope)!



Tuesday, (throughout the day)

Grand Opening of the New Babbage Aethernatucical Society

To quote the official line… “The New Babbage Aethernautical Society is pleased to announce the Grand Opening of our new headquarters! Come visit with us and see our wonderful new building, complete with shopping and 2 amazing loft apartments! We have a full airship workshop(still in progress) and many other amenities for the aethernaut!”

For further information regarding these events, please turn to the New Babbage Ning, at:
http://newbabbage.ning.com/

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

RL Steampunk: The Steampunk Guide



During my expidition along the aethernet, I found a nice site that focuses on consolidating a good number of RL Steampunk items in one location. From Victorian and Steampunk clothes, goggles (not just brass), Steampunk jewlery, books on the genre, and a few saucy corsets, the site connects stores, Ebay sites, and other locales into one easy to access location.

The prices seem fairly competetive, but as with everything, an astute shopper always finds the best deals! To visit the site, please turn to…

http://www.steampunkguide.com/

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

RL Steampunk – Clockwork Hearts… and more!



Doing a bit of looking about (whilst I can), I happened upon a crafts site that has a few interesting Steampunk projects, including the a Steampunk fish, and the aforementioned Clockwork heart. Using a polymer clay, and with a bit of imagination (and gears, which she is unfortunately sold out of at the moment), one can devise a clever RL Clockwork heart, the proverbial object of one’s desire!



The plans for the sporty fish run about $6.00 (no, not lindens, but USD), but the heart’s plans are free. Most certainly worth a visit it one wishes to personalize a small something before Valentine’s day (that would be Saturday, gentleman – woe be to the fellow who forgets)! The link to the “CF Projects” site is at:

http://www.cforiginals.net/downloads.html

Monday, February 9, 2009

Piermont Landing Presents “A Valentine to Remember”



Among the variety of events this Valentine’s Day will be the standard bearer of New Babbage’s social scene, the Piermont Landing’s monthly events. This month’s theme will be “A Valentine to Remember”, which is certain to be an event to attend!

It will take place on Saturday, at 6:30 pm SLT, and run until 9:30 SLT! Mark your calenders!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

RL Steampunk – The last diving helmet maker in the United States



Mr. Toth displaying the helmet he crafted in his Grandfather’s honor

I saw this article, and was surprised for a number of reasons, as Mr. Toth, the artisan displayed the beautiful diving helmet. Not only are these stunning helmets in the iconography of Steampunk (just watch “20,000 Leagues”, and you’ll understand), but hadn’t realized that making these helmets was considered “folk art”! Go figure! Nonetheless, the writeup from the NY Times is below…

TARPON SPRINGS – The family clad in Pittsburgh Steelers jerseys watched Nicholas Toth walk by. In his calloused hands, he held a diving helmet he had made from scratch, a 38-pound brass and copper tribute to his grandfather.

In a place populated by the descendants of Greek immigrants, Toth, 54, carries on the tradition of a family and a town. He is a master maker of diver’s helmets. And here, he is the only one left.

“I’m probably the last person in the world who makes these helmets, one person, beginning to end,” Toth said. “I make them the old-fashioned way that has been handed down from generation to generation.”

Greek divers arrived here in the 1890s, recruited by an entrepreneur intent on harvesting the sponge beds off the coast. Anthony Lerios arrived in 1913. He found dirt roads and mud streets, pigs and chickens running loose. He considered moving back to Greece.

There he had built steam engines, but here he found his calling. An older man taught him to make helmets for sponge divers, and when that man died, Lerios took over. The helmets have not changed since the mid-1800s. They are built with brass, copper, leather and quarter-inch plate glass. Lerios’ grandson, Toth, was born in 1955. He often followed his grandfather to the sponge exchange, where boat captains held auctions in the town courtyard.

After graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in political science, Toth found himself drawn toward home.

Together, Toth and his grandfather built a booming business. Ten years passed. Lerios died in 1992. He was almost 101. For five years, Toth could not look at helmets, much less make one.

“As soon as I started doing it again, I felt him there,” Toth said. “Everything was flowing. I was an artist again.”

Down by the docks, Toth pointed to restaurants named after Greek islands such as Santorini and Mykonos, restaurants that border the old exchange, which was converted into shops nearly 30 years ago. Some still carry sponges – wool, yellow, and grass sponges from the nearby waters.

Divers remain, but in smaller numbers. None of them use Toth’s helmets. Toth still sells the occasional helmet, but mostly he makes his living doing odd jobs.

As the population grew and artificial sponges elbowed their way into the market, the town changed from the sponge-diving capital of Florida to a tourist destination.

As the town changed, starting in the 1960s, it clung, like Toth, to its history.

“There aren’t too many places like this, in Florida or in the country,” Toth said. “The historical value is tremendous. And that’s the charm of it.”

In 2000, the Library of Congress inducted Toth and his grandfather into the American Folk Life Center. In 2003, he received the National Heritage Fellowship, the highest honor in the folk and traditional arts field.

The links is below – if you wish to read it at the Times…

Saturday, February 7, 2009

More Victorian / Steampunk websites



“Victorian Spaceship” – via Strange Dreams website

Keeping up with the Steampunk genre comes in fits and spurts… sometimes there seems to be nothing happening, and other times there seems to be a plethora of happenings taking place. I’m going to say that its between those above timeframes, but regardless, I’ve listed a few sites that have caught my attention recently….



The Victorian Era

I’ve heard on occasions from those who proclaim themselves as “hardcore Steampunk” individuals their disdain for the common sensabilities of the Victorian era. This could be consided a bit odd, as it is really the basis for the entire genre – without the social construct of the era, one would have nothing to contrast/rebel against.

Passing this minute rant, the Victorian Era website provides an in-depth overview of the Victorian society, from common items, such as gardening, clothes, and men’s wear, to more divergent items, such as tatoos (more common than one might think during the time), and the role of married women in Victorian society (a tad more expansive than might be thought).

Certainly worth a visit, regardless of your background knoweldge, or self-proclaimed level of rebellion!





Lady Frances Drake, (unattributed), from the Strange Dream website
Strange Dreams – Steampunk Art and Fiction

A new site, promoting Steampunk art (and a bit of fiction, it says). The author is able to locate items that are intersting and unique, so do pay it a visit, at…


Jane Austen’s World

If one *loves* Jane Austen’s works (much to girly for me, but my other half has forced me to watch it on occasion), this is an invaluable website! Commentary, Podcasts, Reviews, Interviews, Fansites, Teacher/Student resources, and many more resoruces concerning the Victorian ere (and her works, of course) are available on this locale. Even if one doesn’t find Miss Austen’s works to be the apex of Victorian writing, it is worth a visit, at…





Grandma’s Graphics Webstore

Finally, a graphics website with a good number of era-appropriate images for use with any image software. Grandma’s Graphics has a good number on her site, a grand number of links, and… a store in a place called “Second Life” (lol)! To vist the site, please turn to…