Pearl Harbor Day

Posted in InterWebs, News on December 7th, 2010 by Dr. Warthan
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On the morning of 7 December, 1941, the Japanese attacked the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, prompting the United States to declare war the next day. The Marine Corps honors Pearl Harbor Day with words from the USS Arizona Memorial, which commemorates the attack: “To the memory of the gallant men here entombed and their shipmates who gave their lives in action on December 7, 1941…”

Via: USMC on Facebook

Subterranean Drill Vehicle Project

Posted in Art, SteamPunk on December 7th, 2010 by Dr. Warthan
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UPDATE:  Project completed.  Giant drill penetrates man’s driveway.  Community shocked amused.  Halloween saved.  Dentists everywhere rejoice!  Good job Peter, we’re looking forward to next year.

11/1/2010 – We did it. It was probably the hardest project I’ve done yet, but with the help of a lot of very talented people, we pulled off an amazingly huge prop for Halloween last night. Here’s a shot from this morning to show what we built:  Amazingly, we built a bigger prop than the concept art showed. It’s massive. The drillbit alone is 11 1/2 feet long. From the tip of the drill to the base of the cylinder is about 25 feet. The tip reached very near the top of my two story house. There will be more photos and video over the next few weeks, but I just wanted to put this up to let everyone know we got the project done.

Most Halloweens are spent supervising young children as they muck about in their $5 plastic Darth Vader / Hannah Montana costumes collecting chocolate-coated razor blades balls of caffeinated sugar.  But not Peter Montgomery; oh Hell no.  The man has a serious Halloween hobby that makes your paltry 2-million Christmas light display dim by comparison.  This year’s theme is a Jules Verne-inspired Steampunk drill bursting out of his driveway.

“I’m calling the display “Journey from the Center of the Earth.”  It’s a giant, 18 foot tall, steampunk inspired earth drilling machine.”

If you watch the video below, you’ll see the man is a Halloween god.  And like any god, he needs money.  Pete needs to raise a mere $2,200.  At the time of this writing, he’s got $1,684 from 67 backers and 14-days to go (Oct. 14 deadline).  He’s using KickStarter (which uses Amazon payments) to fund his project.

I’ll be following up to see the real deal after Halloween.  While the animatronics Peter will no doubt provide is really cool, I fully expect a ride down the Well to Hell so that I can relish in the screams of all those Soviet Union souls condemned to burn in the lake of fire.

Riese: Kingdom Falling

Posted in FailPunk, SteamPunk on December 1st, 2010 by Dr. Warthan
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The SciFi SyFy channel decided to put out short webisodes [is “webisode” a real word?] for a new Steampunk series called “Riese: Kingdom Falling”.  Welcome to the mediocre broad commercialization of Steampunk.

Riese: Kingdom Falling takes place in Eleysia, a dying kingdom where distrust and anxiety have clouded people’s minds, causing a regression into primitive ways of thinking. Rituals and mythology have resurged, and the darker side of mankind has begun to reveal itself. Riese, a wanderer, travels across the decaying land with her wolf, Fenrir. Marked as a heretic by religious group The Sect and the new Empress, Riese must evade their assassins and discover their true intentions for Eleysia.

Ok, it’s not bad, it’s just not good.  It strikes me as a low-budget half-hearted attempt to test the waters of Steampunk.  It’s not unimaginative, it’s just that the plot has almost nothing to do with Steampunk.  It’s like it was written by someone with a superficial understanding of Steampunk; someone who looked it up on Google but isn’t actually part of the community.  If you watch the episodes, you’ll see the hap-hazard use of goggles and gears slapped about.  I’m surprised the dog isn’t wearing goggles [sarcasm].

Read more »

Babbage Analytical Engine to be built

Posted in SteamPunk, Technology on December 1st, 2010 by Dr. Warthan
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More accurately, IF blogger John Graham-Cumming can raise a mere $640,000 then the Charles Babbage Analytical Engine will be built in its entirety.  The Analytical Engine is superior to the Difference Engine (it can calculate Pi), and no one has ever fully built one before.

You got to love these crazy mad scientist types.  The engine itself is in effect a real computer complete with the mechanical equivalents of a CPU, memory, microcode, printer, and program cards.  If it actually works, it’ll be a triumph in engineering, and a testament to the genius of Charles Babbage.  So, if you want to help then visit Plan 28 and donate.

Iron Man Cosplay

Posted in Art, SteamPunk on December 1st, 2010 by Dr. Warthan
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Apparently, this won the Marvel Costume Contest at New York Comic Con 2010.  Good job, high-5!

Lady Mechanika

Posted in Art, Book, SteamPunk on December 1st, 2010 by Dr. Warthan
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New and upcoming Steampunk comic book by Joe Benitez with fantastic art and story.  I’m a harsh critic, especially when it comes to comics; but this one is a winner.

I used to collect comics back in the ’90s.  X-Men, Spawn, Lobo, Crow, and a few others.  My collection is now limited to a handful of favorites.  So naturally, I am very critical of comics.  I feel they have to have great stories, fantastic characters, and beautiful art.  I’m looking forward to following Lady Mechanika.

With no memory of her captivity or her former life, Mechanika eventually built a new life for herself as a private detective, using her unique abilities to solve cases the police couldn’t or wouldn’t handle. But she never stopped searching for the answers to her own past.

Set in turn of the century England, a time when magic and superstition clashed with new scientific discoveries and inventions, Lady Mechanika is about a young woman’s search for her own identity as she solves other mysteries involving science and the supernatural.

Via: Official Joe Benitez Site