Who will be the new World Champion!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 0 comments

Coming soon!

To find out more about this great sport go to:
Madame Saffron Hemlock’s Parasol Duelling League for Steampunk Ladies
Click here for information on the history and development of Parasol Duelling
or click the Parasol Duelling tag.

The Rules for Parasol Duelling are here.

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed, and your water iced.

Join the corp!

Monday, August 24, 2015 0 comments

Her Majesty's Airship Corp Huzzah!

Lots of images of real and movie airships plus a very catchy tune.
Even though in our Roleplay the Airships are part of the Royal Navy I think Max and his crew would approve of this message!

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.

Morcambe Seafront in 1900

Friday, August 14, 2015 0 comments

A panorama of Ghosts!

This delightful film, taken from the footplate of a tram in 1901, shows the harbourside of Morecambe in the UK.

A look at a typical day with ordinary people of all classes and occupations going about their business on a bright sunny day.

Also a little creepy to me because these are all ghosts, nobody in this film is still alive.

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.

"I'm working on it!"

Wednesday, August 12, 2015 0 comments

"Just another minute" she said!

A month from now Calgary will be host to the world famous event called Beakerhead.
This five day extravaganza of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Music takes over much of downtown Calgary.

This is also where we will be having the Second Annual Parasol Duelling World Championships!

That is if we can get there barring a few technical difficulties...

Me and the talented Monica Willard working on the "Tin Fish"
Photo taken by the brilliant Neil Zeller at about 2:00am

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.

Steampunk Negative

Sunday, August 9, 2015 0 comments

A "mirror mirror" version of Steampunk

Recently I posted the following picture on our local Steampunk community's Facebook page.

My comment on it was "At least she is wearing her goggles!" which was meant to be ironic, because it is very rare to see Steampunks actually wearing their goggles!

welder by creativephotoworks

Needless to say it elicited a fair amount of comment!

Some were critiquing her badly adjusted cutting torch, others suggested that perhaps her safety gear was insufficient... One comment attracted my attention for two reasons, first it missed the intended irony entirely and second it said, "Not even sure why it was posted as it is in no way Steampunk related."

For this poster missing the ironic point was not a surprise, however the second point got me thinking.  This picture is not Steampunk in the traditional sense, BUT it illustrates several Steampunk aesthetic elements that are worthy of comment. The elements are displayed in the negative, much like the "Mirror Mirror" episode of Classic Star Trek!  

For starters there is the obvious element of the goggles actually being used as I mentioned. Then the lack of any overt Victorian dress, no corset, no lace, no leather, no brass, not even a hat. 

Being inappropriately dressed for a dangerous activity such as welding or cutting is pretty common in Steampunk imagery so in this sense it is not an opposite, although exposing this much skin when doing so is and would definitely run a foul of the local O.H. and S. inspectors!

The gritty industrial setting is common in Steampunk, but this one has no gears, no gauges, no steam even.

It is an interesting counterpoint to our "standard" Steampunk industrial imagery. So in that sense I think it works as a Steampunk illustration.

After all who didn't think that this version of Spock was a more interesting one.

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.

Threes Years Ago Today!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 0 comments

Time flies when you are having fun!

Three years ago today I started blogging here.

It has been a great ride and I hope you have found it as interesting and fascinating as I have.

Thanks for coming along for the ride, lots more to come!

As always...

Keep your sightglass full your firebox trimmed and your water iced!

Airship Technical Papers from the NACA

Friday, July 17, 2015 0 comments

An Airship Technical Gold Mine

Previously I reviewed one of the only books ever published on real airship design.
The author Charles P. Burgess worked for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, the NACA.

During the heyday of the great rigid airships, in the first third of the 20th century, the NACA commissioned and collected a series of technical studies, papers and technological reviews of airship design. These papers show just how seriously rigid airships were taken as the future of heavy lift and long distance aircraft.

Recently NASA (the direct descendant of the NACA) has made scans of these reports and analyses available through the Internet Archive.

If you are curious check out this simple search:

Airship Technical Gold Mine 

Here you will find yellowed type written reports, with hand drawn graphs, diagrams, plans, and old photographs, documenting in detailed analyses the state of the art in Airship design in 20's and 30's.

The files are available in many formats including plain text, colour PDFs, html, epub and other ebook formats.

The titles alone make this old Flight Engineer drool!

Here are some examples to "wet yer whistle":

By Hans Ebner


By 0. Krell
Part II is here
From Zei'tschrift f'.r FLigteohnik und. Motorluftschiffahrt
September 28, 1928

Forces of Flow on a Moving Airship and the Effect of he Control Surfaces
By H. Naatz

Many of these reports are translations of German reports. The Germans were the acknowledged world leaders in Airship design at the time. The first report listed includes a German paper written in 1933 while the Hindenburg was under construction and before the loss of the Akron, which is noted in a footnote. The full report was not translated and acquired by the NACA till 1938.

Since these reports were typewritten they often contain typos, to me these little errors bring these fairly dry technical reports alive. In a way they show them as being human made. Prepared to record important information not just display elegant formatting.

For anyone interested in the technical details of real airship designs these reports are truly a gold mine of information.

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.

Here are some sample pages of the kinds of details included in these reports:


About Gears, Goggles, and Steam oh My!

Here I collect interesting bits of information related to the world of Steampunk.

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