Tag: professor von explaino

I’m getting started on one of my long-dormant projects. Writing a tongue-in-check resource book, using a slice of von Explaino’s “Look At Things Through The Lens Of Something Else.” Participating in the Tech Misfits group on Facebook has helped me keep focus (thank you) and I’ve finished a first-ish draft of 13,823 words.

I’m very happy with this progress. Fingers cross momentum can keep up.

Forums. Tumblr. Twitter.

They’re devolving into shouting matches where some people just go to agitate and throw stones. Listening/ reading is optional. They’re not discussions or debates, they’re debacles. Approaching this from a Steampunk perspective there was a method of solving disagreements / preserving honour. The duel. Can we bring that approach to online mudslinging?

I think there’s a web application possibility here. Comments/ arguments go on long enough and one party challenges another to a Duel. Duels have Weapons, Rules, a Judge, an Arena and occasionally an Audience.


Two that spring to mind are Words and Combat. Words could be debates or sources. Combat is more visceral and twitchy. It works as long as the Arena is public.


Where the duel takes place depends on weapons. Words can’t just be a continuation of the comment thread slanging match, something more rigid. This I think would benefit from a custom build debate-style application. Combat, well, there’s a tonne of online shooters/ battlefields/ fighters that would work splendidly for this. There would have to be a registration system that links the accounts of the participants from the original comments to the participants in the Arena. The Arena should also allow for an Audience and Judge.


Online games come with their own rules, but they may need to be extended for the Duel (e.g. Specific levels, specific weapons, etc.). Rules of Debate would be useful auto-enforced by the debate-application.


Some Arenas come with their own judges, such as shooters with health bars. Others require more nuance, or if the online arena has a specific Rule then a judge might be required to interpret. The judge needs to be impartial and trusted.


A public disagreement might benefit from a public duel. Or people might just want satisfaction amongst themselves.

I think this could be useful and interesting as a project/ tool for handling unruly comment forums. Thoughts?

I like the Clockwork Cabaret. Great music selection and fun + funny DJs. Their current backstory is Lady Attercop is running for president, so Professor von Explaino is throwing his support behind her campaign.

Threw together a quick “studio” in the lab/office and it worked surprisingly well. The old 3 bulb “operating lamp” from Ikea, relabelling some of the drawers, and just an old camera on a stand. I definitely need more practice talking to camera though.

Quick studio

Quick studio

drip Abbott buys everyone a beer, it’s his round.

Commonwealth departments, including universities, complain theirs is 3/4 full1. Abbott explains that they will be so efficient at drinking the alcohol that he’s bought them a full pint equivalent by giving them a 3/4 pint. Abbott points out that Defence has to do the same; but the departments point out that Abbot’s bought Defence this round, plus the next two rounds right now2; plus the extra 1/4 point is served as a chaser3.

Foreign aid pipes up that it’s only got a half pint4, and that one of Defence’s extra pints has “Foreign Aid” written on them. Abbott points out that Defence promised to show him how to drink a “Joint Strike Fighter” shot, but needed the extra pints for it5.

Family points out that not only are they getting cut off after 1 standard drink, rather than 26, Abbot’s no longer contributing petrol money for them to drive everyone home7 – as the designated driver. Abbot’s also stopped helping out to pay the GP Toll on the way home8, so they are going to have to take the long way through Emergency – but there’s a risk that Emergency will be closed off and they’ll be sent back through the GP Toll anyway9. Plus they have to drop the kids off. The 25 year old kids off, who Abbott says can’t look after themselves so won’t allow them to go their own way home10. Pensioners say “here here”, and then are confused as there used to be more of them but now it’s an over 70’s club11.

Low income earners nod along to Family’s woes and stare at their beers. Which they can’t currently drink, as they came out of the freezer and are yet to thaw12. Abbott says they’ll last longer this way.

Higher income earners start to pipe up about how they’ve been given the wrong drink, as it’s 2% less alcohol than what they want, but they decide to keep their traps shut. Abbott has promised they’ll be back to full strength in a three rounds time13.

SBS and ABC have also been served the wrong beers, these are 1% less alcohol than they asked for14. Also, the ABC had negotiated access to the foreign beers menu last time but Abbott has said imports are too fancy and has limited them to domestic15.

The unemployed just scowl into their tonic waters, as Abbott says they don’t get a beer until his next round16. After they wash his car17. Disability notes their seat has been edged to be butt-to-butt with unemployed18. Neither are pleased.

Infrastructure is being quiet and needs a tray to carry their drinks19, but they are careful to sit next to the recycling bin to put their empties in as they get a 5c deposit returned this way20. Which is given to Abbott to share as he wants. Mining also has a tray, but sits a distance from Infrastructure so they don’t attract attention21. They also have been told next round they don’t have to buy Abbott that chaser he usually wants, so this is nice22.

Indigenous affairs looks at their place. While they used to get a XXXX Lite, and were told to be grateful for that, they now have a home brewery kit and a “Best of Luck” card23. This kit is, however, locked, and the beer mat contains a scavenger hunt map through police stations at Jobs, Land and Economy, Children and Schooling, Safety and Wellbeing, Culture and Capability, and Remote Australia – if they don’t visit all locations they don’t get the keys to open it24.

The Public Service complains, as they have been given a new barstool that is much, much smaller than before25, and they don’t have the drink they ordered. Abbott says he got them a yard glass. The National Gallery points out the yard glass has mixed Lager, Stout, Red Wine and G&T in it. Abbott says they’re sharing the yard glass with some other departments as a merger. The National Archives, National Portrait Gallery and National Library don’t mind, insists Abbot. It’s a cocktail! The Public Service asks where the garnish was, Abbott says he sold it to another table26. It’s still a cocktail!

Students: *mutters* “Molotov”.
Abbot: “Pardon?”
Students: “Mazel Tov!”
Abbot: “Same to you!”
Abbot: *aside, to Liberal Party* “Can we move these foreign students to the Manus Island table? Get some ANU campuses over there, the rates will be cheaper”
Abbot: *aloud* “Remember, students, I’ve got you a XXXX Gold now; but as soon as you’re working you owe me three Harvey Wallbangers, right? Unless you take a long time to get a job, then it’s four.”Abbott then burps loudly, doesn’t excuse himself, and steps outside to urinate on a tree.


  1. Efficiency Dividend []
  2. $1.5 billion in spending from 2017-18 to earlier years []
  3. Any efficiencies found in Defence costs will be reinvested back into Defence, unlike the majority of other Commonwealth departments []
  4. The Government is stripping $7.6 billion out of the foreign aid budget over five years []
  5. []
  6. reduced the cut-off for Family Tax Benefit B to $100,000 from $150,000 []
  7. petrol excise, which will now be indexed to inflation every six months []
  8. GP co-payment of $7 ($5 of which the Government will take), for the first 10 visits to the GP per year ($70). After 10 visits, patients with concession cards and children under 16 will be exempt from the fee. []
  9. Hospitals will also be allowed to charge for visits to emergency rooms by patients with ailments that only require a visit to a GP. []
  10. age of eligibility for Newstart to be raised from 22 to 25, and school leavers being forced to waits six months to be eligible for Youth Allowance []
  11. The pension age will rise to 70, in 2035 []
  12. frozen thresholds of eligibility for welfare payments as well as the payments themselves []
  13. 2 per cent Debt Levy, kicking in for those on incomes greater than $180,000 per year; however, this levy will only affect them for three years []
  14. lose 1 per cent of their annual funding over the next four years []
  15. The ABC has lost the contract for Australia Network, saving the Government $196 million over nine years []
  16. age of eligibility for Newstart from 22 to 25, people under 30 who become unemployed will have to wait six months to be eligible for Newstart, and will only be able to claim it for six months before the benefit is cut for another six months []
  17. Job seekers under 30 will also have to do 25 hours per week []
  18. Disability pension recipients who are under 35 will also face tougher criteria to remain on the pension, with the focus on those who can work to any capacity being reintegrated into the workforce. []
  19. $11.6 billion in funding for new projects []
  20. Part of this funding takes the form of an asset recycling scheme, where the Federal Government would contribute up to 15 per cent of the value of any State assets that are invested in new infrastructure projects. []
  21. The Government will provide $100 million over four years for minerals exploration, spared mining an increase in the diesel fuel excise []
  22. $3.4 billion over the next three years from the abolition of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax []
  23. $534 million to be cut from Indigenous programs []
  24. more than 150 programs, grants and activities to be replaced with five broad-based programs, new funding announcements include $54 million allocated to police stations to be built []
  25. scrap the jobs of 16,500 Commonwealth public servants, seventy federal agencies are set to be scrapped, and the Government has put the remaining agencies on notice []
  26. investigate the sale of Defence Housing Australia and the National Mint []

With invited guest Baron von Borg, we explore different flavours of steampunk. Video cuts out before the discussion devolves into an additional 30 minutes of pure, steampunk rambling (but there’s now a link at the end of the video if you’re keen). You do get a nicer look at the lab at least.

I haven’t felt really inspired for a while, no matter how I tried to force it. This weekend, in amongst birthday parties and the like, I just loaded up a metal tray with equipment I’d been wanting to tinker with and brought it upstairs to keep it close. At the same time I’d been trying to tidy up the PHP code on this site and, in a round about way, it all came together.

There’s a streamlined Gauge generator with more colour options in the works (once the host updates the PHP library to be able to cope with some new bits). Meant I could do a few more things with the Gauge generator.
I took apart a cheap thermometer for the fiftieth time and finally measured what I needed to measure.

So now I’ve finally got the gauge I’ve wanted to wear, inspired by one of Gilgamesh Wulfenbach’s outfits. Hopefully I can incorporate it into a vest the way I want to do it. Still, I think I need to get more circular thermometers to ridicuboost.

Steam-o-meter Mk I

Steam-o-meter Mk I

Professor von Explaino talks about a few steampunk groups and events happening in and around Brisbane.
SEQ Steampunk social group:
Prometheus Bound:‚Äé
Steampunk Ghostbusters charity ball: