Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The League of STEAM new commercial!



Going back to their paranormal roots, the League of STEAM has produced an outstanding gem, based on the original Ghostbuster’s commercial.  Do enjoy the video, and to peek at the original GB work, please visit LA Weekly’s blog at: http://blogs.laweekly.com/stylecouncil/mash-up/steampunk-ghostbusters-remix/

(Just in case YouTube decides to be challenging (and not work), the commercial works on the banner in the screen, and also shows a few more of their works – to take a moment and visit!)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Steampunk Article on the BBC!


The BBC did a small piece on “The Great Exhibition of 2010”, a gathering hosted by the signature endeavor of “White Mischief”, in London’s beautiful La Scala club.  The piece is interesting, but nothing new to those familiar with the genre (though it did have an interview with Mr. B in concert).  Hosted by Mr. Ian Crichton (aka, Herr Doctor) takes one along a tour of the event – make one wish for the opportunity to cross the pond to indulge in the festivities!  Well, enough of my prattling, the link is below, and please do enjoy!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Steampunk Media: San Francisco Streetcar 1905 Ragtime Mix


Experiencing some connection issues today, so I’m posting this little gem by Mr. Pennyfarthing 1893.  He describes it as “the view from a street car from 1905 or 1906”, added Mr. Vernian Process’ Maple Leaf Rag, and one can sit back and see what passed for entertainment in San Fran back in the day – dodging back and forth from the street cars!  Good fun, indeed!
( You’ll be saying “Hey, get that horseless carriage out of the way!  Mister, get of the tracks!”)

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Tonight is the Second Annual Steamfitters Industrial Gold Themed Ball!  Marking the return of the outstanding Piermont Events, the ball is the exclamation point to New Babbage Oiling Festival, marking the beginning of spring, or as described by Mayor Tenk…

“The Oiling Festival is a steampunk answer to spring cleaning, when we halt the factories to clean out the grit and grime of the previous year an perform annual maintenance. All good citizens and visitors are encouraged to roll up their sleeves and participate! The original Oiling Festival was held to add needed items to the city inventory and invite the greater steamlands to experience the Babbage way of life for a week. The drawbridges in Wheatstone Waterways, the city tartans, and the naval jack are all artifacts of last year’s competitions.”

The contest for this event is the “Best Oiling Portrait” (that one is in the act of work, not that the portrait is in oil!)  For more details, please visit the outstanding blog, “Waves of a Seabreeze” – remember it starts at 6pm SLT!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Steampunk MMO: Remnants of Skystone, a dedicated Steampunk MMO


Screen Shot from Remnants of Skystone

Kongregate, a site that has thousands of free play websites has a new dedicated Steampunk MMO titled “Remnants of Skystone”.  It is an “old school” 2D scrolling game, with the option to specialize in a character class, take part in quests, and even team up for multi-player adventures.


The “Friends” screen, for multiplayer adventures

It has been around a bit in Beta, but officially opened on Monday (and of course, I’m a day late – or four days late to announce it).  Took a peek in it earlier and it can be an addictive little, and it is quite a fun diversion – an excellent way to whittle a mite of time, I’d say!  To give it a try, please turn to:
http://www.kongregate.com/games/FliplineStudios/remnants-of-skystone

or to keep up with the developments of the game, read the blog at: http://www.remnantsofskystone.com/blog/

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Steampunk Media: City of Lost Children videos


Stumbled upon a pair of City of Lost Children, one of the Steampunk classics of the 1990’s.  Made by ProfessorPan, the music isn’t exactly Steampunk, but it is an opportunity to look back on the early influences on the physical appearnce of Steampunk design.  Additionally, one gets the opportuntity to see a young, pre-Hellboy Ron Pearlman looked like (though I am preferencial to his later Red Horned look)!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Upcoming interview with Ms. Cherie Priest on Oregon Public Broadcasting


Received word that Ms. Cherie Priest (the author of Boneshaker, for the few readers who may not know), will be interviewed tomorrow on Oregon Public Broadcasting.  Not sure as to the time, but I’m confident it is certainly worth bending an ear towards!  For more information, please follow this like to OPB’s website: http://www.opb.org/thinkoutloud/shows/nw-passages-cherie-priest/
(The “air date” is 25 MAR 10, but no time is listed, unfortunately!)

And of course, do take a moment to visit her own website, at: http://www.cheriepriest.com/

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Victoriana to close at the end of the March


Victoriana Harbor at Sunset

As first reported on the Through the Filter of a Victorian Aesthetic, the stunning Victorian sim of Victoriana will be closed at the end of the March.  The Mayor of Victoriana LittleBlackDuck Lindsey made the announcement after reaching the proverbial “end of his rope” with the poor service from Linden Labs.  As the owner of a stunning and sprawling build, named on LL’s own “Places to Visit”, one would have thought that LL would have provided some competent response to the numerous issues he needed resolved in order to run his sim efficiently.  However, the Concierge service was less than serviceable, and the Mayor was left with no choice.



“The Copper Quill” – my small outpost in the Harbor 
(aside from the larger estate in Carnivale)

Miss Breezy Carver’s Waves of a Seabreeze has the entire circumstance outline in detail; the Mayor’s explanation can be read here: http://seabreezegal.blogspot.com/2010/03/sigh-nation-owners-sad-farewell.html

Sorry to see the good Mayor depart – for simply bureaucratic negligence!  Good luck in your future endeavors, sir!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Steampunk Media: Pocketwatch Transformer


Found this little gem a day ago, a school project for Fachhochschule Kaiserslautern (University of Applied Sciences) by a Mr. VirtualMadden.  An impressive work, and the details are described by himself…

I made this project in the third semester. The primary aim was to create an animation of a new transformer. I thougt it would be interesting to do something new and get it into a little story.”

Most videos are fairly succinct in their presentation, but in addition to making this work, Mr. VirtualMadden also produced a second “making of” video, which is frankly, just as interesting!  (see below)


If this is his school project, I’m certainly looking forward to his professional career!  To see more regarding the gentleman, please visit his website, at:  visual-edge.blogspot.com!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Steampunk Travelogue: Nemo sim to open Tuesday!


Learned today that one of Second Life’s best recognized, but unhearlded Steampunk Builders, Mr. Sextan Shepherd, will be opening his new sim, Nemo, this Tuesday, the 23rd of March.  As on can ascertain, it will be an underwater sim and will contain his outstanding signature textures and attention to detail.


If you are not familar with the gentleman’s name, you might recognize his work – it has been showing up in many corners of the Steamlands since his first ship (pictured above).  The Strato-Moblis series also has a number of larger ships and other build – all using his unique texture and style.  His work is impeccable, so I’m quite sure his sim will be just as stunning!  The sim is closed until Tuesday (yes, I did try to visit), but his works are on display at https://xstreetsl.com/modules.php?name=Marketplace&MerchantID=146654 

More updates as they become available!

**Update**

Located the SLURL for Nemo, at: http://slurl.com/secondlife/FRANCE3D%20Mayotte/55/175/7 , so do take a moment to indulge in his beautiful work!

New Babbage Oiling Festival – March 19 to 27th


This Friday marked the commencement of the Second Annual New Babbage Oiling Festival, described by Mayor Tenk as …

“…a steampunk answer to spring cleaning, when we halt the factories to clean out the grit and grime of the previous year an perform annual maintenance. All good citizens and visitors are encouraged to roll up their sleeves and participate!”

As one can see from the description, there will be numerous building events taking place, during the week, but  the highlights will be anchored on both weekends, with the Aether Salon’s Music Box discussion taking place on the 27th of March at 2pm SLT (today), and next Saturday will she the return of the Piermont’s Steamfitter’s Gold Theme Industrial Ball!  This event, perhaps likely the most popular in the Steamlands, will host a portrait contest, with the theme being the “Best Oiler”.  DJ Bats will provide his excellent musical menu for the event, which is sponsored by some of the biggest commercial names in Second Life’s Steamlands.  More will be happing this week, so to stay informed, please turn to the New Babbage Ning for details!



Saturday, March 20, 2010

Poll Results… Canada’s “Steamy-est” city is….


Parliament Building, Victoria, British Columbia

Victoria, British Columbia!

The results of the poll have been posted for a bit (yes, I am a tad behind the curve, I will admit), but with forty eight votes counted, Victoria came in first with 29% of the vote.  There was a tie for third, between Montreal and Vancouver, but the odd issue was “other”, taking 2nd place.  Posted a thread about this result on the Steampunk Empire’s Steampunk Canada group, and Countess Lenora (the group moderator) theorized

“… that many people in smaller cities and towns voted and not seeing their city/town listed they simply chose “other”. That seems most logical to me. Certainly it is the larger Cities across Canada that have the biggest steampunk groups, and other than one person I have heard from out east, everyone seems to be showing up in Montreal and heading west. The largest City and population on Facebook at present is in Toronto, however, it seems the most active are Ottawa and Vancouver. The fastest group growth definitely is happening far west in Victoria and Vancouver.”



The Fairmont Empress Hotel, located in downtown Victoria

Having had the opportunity to visit Victoria (though not appreciative of things Victorian at the time), I can certainly see why could be chosen as the height of Steampunk in Canada.  Though it lacks some of the signature items other Canadian cities possess (for example, Gas Town’s Steam-clocks {in Vancouver – the You Tube link is here}), the urban density of Victorian architecture and events are outstanding!


The Buchart Gardens, Victoria, BC, by Jeffery Newcomer

From the impressive Parliment Building, to the traditional Edwardian High Tea offered at the Empress Hotel, to the recreation of an English Country Garden at the Buchart Gardens, Victoria has a panoply of offerings for those who enjoy the Steampunk (and Victorian) genres.  


Additionally, this year Victoria will host the Victorian Steam Exposition, from May 22nd to May 25th.  This event will have numerous Steampunk events, workshops, seminars, and the “Whisps of Steam” film festival. The guest of honor for the Victoria Steam Exposition will be none other than Ms. Cherie Priest, the author of the best selling Steampunk classic “Boneshaker”!  For further information on the Victoria Steam Exposition, please visit their webstie, at:  http://victoriasteamexpo.blogspot.com/

For further links to aforementioned sites…
The Parliment Buildings, Victoria BC
The Fairmont Empress, Victoria, BC

Also, the Steampunk Empires’ Steampunk Canada Group is located here… which is also associated with the official Steampunk Canada location as well!

(Ed. Note – the next poll is well on its way.. and it may prove a bit more controversial as well!)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Aether Salon for March: Music Boxes!



Sunday, March 21st at 2pm SLT
Babbage Palisade and Academy of Industry
Woodworker and craftsman extraordinaire Canolli Capalini has a secret: she’s exceptionally good at luring unsuspecting salon proprietresses into her shop with exquisitely crafted music boxes of all shapes and sizes. As a late rez-day present to Viv, Canolli has agreed to talk to us about her music boxes and their history.  For more information, please visit the New Babbage Ning, at: http://newbabbage.ning.com/events/music-boxes-march-aether-salon

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Steampunk Inventor’s Alley at ImagiCon, May 21st to 23rd!



“DC 09 Spider”, an ImagiCon Photo Release


Happened upon an excellent bit of news the other day while visiting the Steampunk Empire.  It appears that at ImaginCon, in Birmingham, Alabama, in addition to the plenitude of events taking place during the festivities, there will be a “Steampunk Inventor’s Alley”!  The most innovative and unique Steampunk crafters will be displaying their designs and devices, or as Miss ExLibris more succinctly states…


“Steampunk Celeste”, an ImagiCon Photo Release

Steampunk makers, builders and modders are invited to display their work at ImagiCon, a full-scale Science Fiction & Fantasy convention in Birmingham, Alabamaon May 21 – 23, 2010.  ImagiCon boasts STRONG Steampunk programming with multiple panels and events each day.  The showcase event at ImagiCon is the Steampunk Inventors’ Alley, where selected Steampunk artisans, crafters and inventors are invited to display and model their work during a two-hour programming section at the convention.  Some of the most brilliant makers in the Southeast have already been approved for the exhibition and there is room for still more!  Inquiries regarding participation at the Steampunk Inventors’ Alley can be sent to alabamaceltic@yahoo.com .  For more details on ImagiCon and all of its Steampunk programming, visit www.ImagiCon.org.  


“Mystery Lady”, an ImagiCon Photo Release

Additionally, there are numerous additional Steampunk events taking place at ImagiCon – Steampunk Costuming, discussion panels, and an (unofficial) Steampunk Party on Saturday evening (so I’ve heard)!  To learn more about this Steampunk-heavy event, please take a gander at the current thread at the Steampunk Empire, at: http://steampunk.ning.com/events/imagicon-scifi-fantasy … or visit ImagiCon’s website, at:  http://imagicon.org/imagine2010/

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The League of STEAM in “Fool’s Gold”


Once again, the intrepid adventurers from the League of STEAM are busy – this time attempting to capture a Leprechaun!  Not everything goes to plan, and a vivid fight ensues, and well… enjoy their excellent production and a happy St. Patrick’s day (or at least evening)!

To see more efforts from the League of STEAM, please visit their website, at: http://www.leagueofsteam.com/

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pride, and Prejudice, and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls Book Trailer just released!


As soon as I saw this bit of artistic work, I simply had to post it immediately!  If one hasn’t already cracked open a copy of Pride, and Prejudice, and Zombies, I certainly hope the new trailer is motivation enough.

Though they are Victorian girls, not Samurai zombie killers (well, at least not until later), I would warn that there is a bit of graphic blood-letting, though that is to be expected with a zombie movie.  That all being said, do enjoy!

For more information on Quirk Classics delightful series, please visit their website, at: http://www.quirkclassics.com/index.php?q=node/222

Steampunk Media: Will the “Wizard of Oz” remake come the screen soon?


The LA Times reports that Warner Brothers is looking to find a franchise to replace the soon-to-end Harry Potter series and they may take a page of cinetomatographic history to do it.  After seeing the huge opening of the remake of Alice (the $210 opening weekend take), the studio is seriously considering taking the classic Wizard of Oz and remaking into a major release (in 3D, of course).


The trailer to the Wizard of Oz – a classic!

There was a re-make (of sorts) of the Wizard of Oz, titled “Return to Oz”.  Unfortunately, its tenor was a bit too frightening for children – I attended one of the pre-screenings of this version, and will confirm that for a children’s movie, it had numerous special effect flaws which would render it much to frightening to children.  Apparently, the movie was toned down after the trial showing, but was still considered to be to much for the “munchnkins” in the audience.


The trailer from the “Return to Oz” – not such a classic.

With a bit of luck, a remake will also include a good dose of Steampunk along with it.  Until more information is released, there is always hope for yet one more modernized classic!

For further information regarding a new Wizard of Oz movie, please turn to the LA times piece, at : http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/movies/2010/03/wizard-of-oz-remake-new-dorothy.html

… and a bit more from Colider.com, at :http://www.collider.com/2010/03/09/is-warner-bros-really-off-to-see-a-new-wizard-of-oz-not-so-fast/

… finally, a quick link to the Wiki on the Wizard of Oz – just to remind yourself about all those crazy movie details! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wizard_of_Oz_(1939_film)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Steampunk Media: Edison’s 1910 Frankenstein coming to DVD (soon)!


Those who know of my disdain for the (evil) Mr. Edison might be surprised not only to see any of his endeavors here, but the sheer fact that he did produce a cinematographic classic!  I will admit I did not believe the nemesis of the Five Fists of Science had an artistic bent, but his 1910 production of Frankenstein was released, and is in the public domain.  No word on the DVD release date, but then again, one can watch it here…



For more information regarding this first ever production of Frankenstein, please visit the IO9 site for further information, at: http://io9.com/5493258/thomas-edisons-1910-frankenstein-movie-coming-to-dvd-at-last

An in-depth article from ABC news is also available, with interesting antectdotes  (such as the actors who made the production hid the studio in the Bronx, so their actor friends would not see them making a production in something so salacious as “moving pictures”), at: http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wirestory?id=10100407&page=1

Finally, as it is public domain, there are plenty of ways to download a copy of it, so do take a peek here…
http://www.archive.org/details/FrankensteinfullMovie

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Steampunk Mods: The Wagner Steampunk Workshop


“Steampunk Raygun” – by Mr. James Wagner

The Wagner Steampunk Workshop is the name of the endeavor of a Mr. James Wagner, a gentleman who specaializes in re-working items into Steampunk accoutriments. He has produced a number of video narratives of his modificaiton of items (mostly replicas of weapons) to reflect a “steampunk-esque” appearance, though the use of paints and physical modifications.


“The Steampunk Maverick Mod”, by Mr. Wagner

The quality of his videos have improved over time (as one can see on his YouTube feed), and it will be intersting to see more of his work in the future!  
To see more of his videos on his crafts, please visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/uglyrhinodotcom.  Additionally, he has a Ning to keep up-to-date on his works, located at: http://www.uglyrhino.com/

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Albion Steampunk Exhibition covered on the Huffington Post!


Just caught wind that the media ante has been “upped”, so to speak, as far as coverage of the Albion Steampunk Exhibition is concerned.  The Huffington Post (and Youth Radio) proclaimed the Expo the “Milan of Steampunk Fashion” (the San Francisco Bay Area, I would postulate).  The piece is aimed at the general readership of the Post, but any good word-of-mouth (so to speak) about Steampunk is can only be a positive!  Enough of my prattling – the article is located at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/youth-radio-youth-media-international/watch-steampunk-should-be_b_497423.html

… and to keep track of events at the Exhibition, their website is at: http://www.steampunkexhibition.com/

Friday, March 12, 2010

The passing of Gatheryn, a Steampunk MMORPG


The last airship leaving Gatheryn…

In late 2008, Mindfuse games announced plans for the first Steampunk-specific MMORPG, which was to include a series of mini-games, adventures, social interaction options, and a variety of other unspecified Steampunk activities.  Alas, after the end of their Beta trials (in the fall of 2009), it appears that Gatheryn (and Mindfuse.com) have passed along into the great beyond.


A view of the seaport, near the edge of the Beta map

I admit to being disappointed in seeing its demise, but having played it, can see that it had a number of huge hurdles to overcome.  The main coin to obtain items in Gatheryn were obtained by completing mini-games – which would require a good amount of time to collect even enough to purchase a “Steampunk” hat (sigh).  Seriously, with limitations of the ability to personalize one’s avatar after the initial av design, a lack of in-world build options (unlike Second Life), and perhaps the most damning of all, the lack of participants (in spite of extensive media coverage in the MMORPG blogs and magazines), it didn’t stand much of a chance against other established Steampunk online communities (again, most notably being SL, but Neo-Steam and a few other sub-communites (e.g. in the now-defunct There.com)).  The last bit of information (via Massively.com) was that the company “ran out of funding”, and sounds like it fell victim to difficult economic times.


A docking bay in Gathryn, which is sparsely occupied, as one can see

So, it was a noble effort, but excellent screen captures cannot make up for the shortcomings that plagued Gatheryn.  A visit to the Mindfuze website produces the dreaded “Link is Broken” display, essentially placing a period at the end of the adventure for Gatheryn.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Classic Jules Verne: The Demon of Cawnpore review by the A.V. Club


As much as I do enjoy reading the newer Steampunk fiction, which is appearing to be growing steadily in recent times, finding a lesser known gem by a classic master is always an enjoyable surprise.  As part of a larger project, a Mr. K. Phipps from the A.V. Club website penned a review of a Jules Verne work from 1880 entitled “The Demon of Cawnpore“.  The work involves Steampunk residences being conveyed by elephants, revenge, massacres, and an era view of India which may not conform with certain segments of Steampunk society.  However, since was written by one classic Steampunk authors, I would argue that making the effort to find and read it is certainly a worthy endeavor (which I’ll commence upon the completion of this small bit)!  To learn more about “The Demon of Cawnpore“, please turn to the review, located at: http://www.avclub.com/articles/the-demon-of-cawnpore-by-jules-verne-1880,39105/

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition takes place this weekend!


For those fortunate enough to be in the vicinity of Emeryville, California, the Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition will be taking place, from the 12th to the 14th of March!  Perhaps the largest such event on the west coast, there will be four full days of events and spectacles for those dedicated travellers to the northern regions of the Golden State!  To learn more about the exceptionally impressive selection of events, please visit their outstanding website for the details of the goings-on, at: http://www.steampunkexhibition.com/

Additionally, its fame has extended to the local press (ok… so its the Bay Guardian, but still), so do visit their preview, at: http://www.sfbg.com/pixel_vision/2010/03/10/steampunk-convention-tinkers-mightily

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Carnival Arcane in New Babbage, from March 12th to the 14th!


Starting with the parade through the streets of New Babbage, the Carnivale Arcane will have amazing acts of worthy of any classic Steampunk entertainment: Heart-Stopping Trapeze Stunts, the Tower of Terror, Knive-Jugglers, Sideshows, and much, much more!  The Grand Opening takes place on the New Babbage Carnival Grounds, starting Friday the 12th, at 4pm SLT, but to learn more about the Greatest Show Not-On-Earth, please visit: http://newbabbage.ning.com/events/carnivale-darcane

Monday, March 8, 2010

Steampunk Reviews – Episode # 15


Miss Yankee999 provides yet another outstanding review – this time of the remake of Treasure Island (aka, Treasure Planet – Do enjoy (and consider subscribing to her feed on YouTube)!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Aethernet Travels: The Steampunk Scholar and Exhibition Hall, Issue 7


There are a multitude of Steampunk websites populating the internet and with the growth of the genre (and said websites), there are some which stand out among the rest for their uniqueness and quality.  One such site is the “Steampunk Scholar”, a blog authored by Mr. Mike Perschon, a doctoral student at the University of Alberta and adjunct academic at King’s University College.  Since 2008, he has been studying and analyzing the Steampunk genre in its many forms – film, printed art, and his specialty, literature.


Image from The Steampunk Scholar’s first entry

Mr. Perschon has taken upon himself the Sisyphusian task of not simply providing a central location to for the old and new of the Steampunk biblography, but also reviewing the works as well.  Abbreviated lists of “Steampunk Literature” abound, but a more in-depth analysis of the works, ranging from deconstrucing modern Steampunk works in analysis and comparison classic literature, to his opinion of the quality and readability of a released Steampunk book.  Additionally, he occasionally takes a side-step and postulates on supplemental Steampunk cultural development.


“Steampunk Rifle”, by ~pakled

In this vein, the latest entry on the Steampunk Scholar, “Steampunk Tribes”, provides a very insightful analysis of different delineations of people who follow the genre.  He touches on a few of them on the entry, but the full article is in the outstanding Steampunk magazine, Exhibition Hall (their seventh issue).  Do take a moment to read the full article, at: http://efanzines.com/ExhibHall/


“HMS Enterprise to go to the Moon”, by ~pakled

For excellent reviews of the growing Steampunk literary genre, do make a point to visit (then bookmark) the Steampunk Scholar, located at: http://steampunkscholar.blogspot.com/  – I would safely state it is one of the best references on the Steampunk genre one can find on the internet!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Gatehouse Gazette, Issue #11, is on the virtual newsstand!


Once again, its time for another issue of the ever outstanding Gatehouse Gazette.  In issue #11, the topic is “Victoriental Steampunk”, focusing on Steampunk beyond Europe and America – how Steampunk could be considered and enacted in the rest of the world.  The specific topics in this issue are…

– The importance of the Meji Era in the development of Steampunk culture,
– An analysis of Richard Burton, legendary Victorian explorer,
– The story of Chung Ling Soo, a renowned Chinese magician of the era,
– The Steampunk Wardrobe (visiting Victoriental fashion)…

… and much, much more!  To read the latest issue, please turn to: http://www.ottens.co.uk/gatehouse/gatehouse-gazette-11
– 

Steampunk Fashion: The “Tim Burton” Look for the Alice in Wonderland opening weekend



While doing a bit of researching, I came upon this particular video by Miss Michelle Phan, who explains in interesting detail how to apply makeup as if on was in a Tim Burton movie (and though the obvious connotation is the new “Alice in Wonderland” movie, it could fit in with other works of his (e.g. Edward Scissorhands, Sweeney Todd, and the like).
  
For the ladies, it provides a detailed account as how to obtain the “look” of “Romantic Gothic”, as Miss Phan describes it.  Honestly, I had no idea the amount of detailed work that was involved with the application of makeup.  This video, as mentioned, does explain many of the lesser known issues of application of products to attain the desired appearance.  Additionally, if one is so inclined, her other videos on YouTube touch on additional topics dealing with “Beauty and Appearance” – most certainly worth a gander!  To see this and her other works, pay a visit to her channel, located at: http://www.youtube.com/user/MichellePhan

For the gents, well… I suppose it does answer the perennial question “What’s taking so long?”, when getting ready for an evening out.  I would say that rebuilding an engine block for a (steam-powered) Beetle would take less time, but so it goes.  Still interesting, nonetheless.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Steampunk Media: Alice in Wonderland opens tonight!


Perhaps one of the more anticipated movies which may fall into the Steampunk genre (all right, a bit of a stretch, but Steampunk can be a strange as Wonderland, I suppose), Alice in Wonderland opens tonight!  There have been a few reviews by grumpy film critics who were fortunate to indulge in pre-screenings, but I one goes to such a movie for sheer enjoyment – not critical analysis.  Found two trailers, and though some of the scenes are similar, the second is interspersed with brief narrative clips from the stars of the production.


I shall certainly endeavor to see the 3D production this weekend, but in the meantime, I shall await the opportunity to hear the classic line “I need a pig here! (enter pig stage left) I love a warm pig belly for my aching feet”!  Feel free to leave your opinions of the film!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Steampunk Travelogue: Legacies 1891


The last few weeks have been a tad hectic in RL, but I finally had an opportunity to do a bit of exploring in SL again, looking for new locales for the Steampunk Travelogue.  I took a proverbial “roll-of-the-dice”, and looked over the “SL recommended” section for RP environments, to see what was brewing.  As I perused the listings, a sim name caught my eye, one titled “Legacies 1891”, describing itself as “A beautiful, dark, universe” I figured I would pay a visit, not quite knowing what to expect upon arrival.  What I discovered was quite exceptional.


The introductory machima for Legacies 1891

Legacies 1891 differs from many of the established Steamlands in Second Life insofar that it is heavily focused on Neo-Victorian Role Play.  There are some limited Steampunk elements, but the basis of its existence is a Gothic-type of role play, with a variety of other influences shading its interactions.  There is some “magic”, but I will save that for a later.


The three information columns are numbered  at the Arrival Point – simply choose them in order (further assistance is provided by the Legacies Greeters, such as Miss D. Blessed)

Entering Legacies requires that one be “age verified” – which can be a relatively rapid process to address (as I needed to complete), and I’ve attached the link to navigate this endeavor.


A shopping area is directly off to the side of the arrival area,
in case one wishes to make a few era-specific purchases

The actual arrival at Legacies 1891 places one in a central landing point, far above the sim itself, and as fair warning, takes a bit of time to complete.  There are a series of stations one needs to attend to (e.g. read the detailed “General Information” note cards) prior to proceeding into the main Legacies sim.  Though most individuals who are familiar with role play in RL or SL will be familiar with the topics presented, they are certainly worth mentioning.  Starting with some basic rules (e.g. Follow the SL TOS, Dealing with “OOC Drama”, What “God-Modding is” and why it is not allowed), it is followed by some specific rules (e.g. RP locations, use of “OOC” communications vs. RP communication).  It can a bit frustrating at first, as you’ll be “chomping at the bit” to start exploring, but there are two more things to address prior to departing.


Atmospheric shot in the Isle of Legacies sim

First, the use of a LaRPS meter.  This device is used to provide a quantative limitation to interaction (e.g. prevents “God-Modding”, where the outcome of a situation always favors one person).  The meter essentially provides the “die roll” function of old-fashion RP games.  (I haven’t used it as of yet, but the description seems fairly straightforward).  There is an in-depth description of its use at: http://legacies1891.com/?p=510


Visiting the Beyond Darkness sim of Legacies 
(Ah, during the day, that is)

Second, the LaRPS HUD provides basic stats on your Legacy 1891 character.  When attached while in one of the Legacies’ sims, you’ll be directed to an associated LaRPS page, where you’ll be asked to enter some “stats” on your “character”.  You will asked a variety of questions, including your character’s name profession, race, and so on.  Depending on your choice of “race”, you’ll have additional points to disperse among a list of stats, which will work in conjunction with your HUD.


The TP leading to the start of your time in Legacies 1891
(simply touch the green emerald to begin!)

This may sound like a good amount of work, but there is almost always a Legacies Greeter on-station, quite friendly and willing to assist with any questions one might have regarding the set-up process.  In reality, after reading and understanding the rules, and attaching the meter, one can proceeding on to the sim.


An excellent place to begin exploring Legacies!

When continuing on to the TP room (which will allow you to proceed onto the sim), there is a “Things to do in Legacies”, which allow you to improve the “character stats” on LaRPS by completing the tasks listed (e.g. “the Spilled Blood”, the “Cab Ride”), which allow one to become better aquatinted with Legacies 1891.


City view overlooking Vamporium and Isle of Legacies

Well, that it for now – the next portion of the Steampunk Travelogue: Legacies 1891 will continue with an over-view of the sims.  For more details on Legacies 1891, please do visit their website, at: http://legacies1891.com/


I could *really* get more reading accomplished, if these damnable books
would stop flying around (and hitting my noggin)!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Steampunk Attire: Steampunk costumes to go main stream this year!


The “Mad Scientist” costume

Received a kind email from Mr. M. Mayor, the editor of Steampunkcostume.com, first brought attention to the story that not only has “Steampunk” been growing as a popular selection in the costume industry, but this year a good number of commercial costume companies (such as Walmart)!  From “Toppers” and Coachmen hats, to goggles (!) and even full Steampunk costumes will be available this year for adults and children.  Some may dislike the “commercialism of costuming” the genre, but personally, I’m quite encouraged by it, as it not only provides a introduction of Steampunk many who may have liked it but didn’t quite know it, and also provides an introduction of the genre to a younger generation (you can’t start early enough to teach your children to love steam)!



The “Victorian Widow Maker” costume
 
Seriously though, having Steampunk costumes and accessories readily available (depending on supply, of course), can potentially be a boon to growing interest in the genre.  I have included the link Mr. Mayor provided, but be aware that the goggles are already sold out at costumecraze.com (more on order, I would imagine).  Do take a gander at what may be coming to a store near you!  Also, do pay Steampunkcostume.com a visit – it is replet with even more Steampunk articles!  (A “Tip of the Bowler” to Mr. Mayor for this lead!)

The Steampunk Costume store is at: http://store.steampunkcostume.com/
The Steampunk section of Costume Craze, is at: http://www.costumecraze.com/celebros.php?searchstring=steampunk

And Steampunkcostume.com is it’s own link!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Steampunk Media: IO9’s article “Why ‘Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland’ is a Steampunk Masterpiece”


“Steamnocchio”, by Fabricio Morales
Winner of the CG Society “Steampunk Myths & Legends” Competition

Discovered to my suprise that IO9 had put forth an excptionally well written article on why the believe the upcoming “Alice in Wonderland” will be considered a standout work.  Starting with nascent neo-Victorian fashions in the 1960’s, the article really goes about explaining its premise in the “dark psuedo-Victorian fun that Steampunk celebrates”.  I’ll keep this portion short, but do take a view of the written word at IO9, at: http://io9.com/5483254/why-alices-adventures-in-wonderland-is-a-steampunk-masterpiece


“Don Quixote, Suppressor of Engines”, by Marek Madej
Winner, Landscape and Matte Painting

The article leads with an impressive bit of artwork that comes the CG Society “Steampunk Myths & Legends” competition a couple of years ago.  Replete with amazing artwork, it is certainly worth seeing again, at: http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/steampunk/