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Tag: steampunk

Published by Professor von Explaino

Events, fashion, steampunk

The August Prometheus Bound held something different this year, a cross-over with the event organiser’s 90’s event for goths: the Bloodlust Ball. Combining the two was a lot of fun; especially for those of us who like adjusting their outfits to fit the PB’s many themes. Professor von Explaino was decked out in an anti-vampire chastity belt (neck brace), a celestium H20 ejector (holy water sprayer) and a collection of vampiric samples to go with his revamped Corset Analyzer. Baron von Borg’s latest arm was an arsenal of epic proportions – with a detachable copper cross, ampules of colloidal silver and garlic, and a wooden cross cannon with leg-braced spare ammunition. Fantastic.

The event itself had a collection of fabulous extras. Along with the upstairs band area and the downstairs raver pit, the stalls had expanded to include a gaming stores’ game of skill for prizes, various shops of leather and jewlery goods, but my favourites were the steampunk scents booth and the photo area for professional snaps. There was tea and coffee making facilities and regular snacks to keep your strength up. We managed to snag a long bench for displaying our items of invention – not for sale just for show. People seemed to enjoy it; along with our items I brought along the 1000 Steampunk Creations and Steampunk Bible books. They were well examined by the end of the night, with people promising to hunt them down for their own ownership.

Along with the collection of photos below, you can find professional portraiture photos and the linked URL.

Steampunk scent bar

Steampunk scent bar

Table d' Devicery

Table d

Personages

Personages

Professor von Explaino: Vampire botherer

Professor von Explaino: Vampire botherer

Baron von Fische

Baron von Fische

Baron von Borg and friend

Baron von Borg and friend

Published by Professor von Explaino

Events, steampunk

The Queen’s Birthday weekend was the perfect time to schedule a steampunk picnic in Brisbane. So, ROSEA did.

This one was extra special for me as my wife Jocelyn made an effort to steampunk her attire, and my son Sean came along too. He wore a punk shirt, as he doesn’t fit his waistcoat and long-sleeve shirt yet. The picnic was very well attended, and a good friend went to the effort of baking a Doctor Steel cake. I had set the challenge in the STEAM group for people to bring along steampunk-style street food. Nobody else did, but Jocelyn and I made cornbread (American colony), Felafel (Middle eastern trading partners) and Chinese dumplings (China trading partners). They all went down very nicely; my felafels were a _bit_ watery because it wasn’t until later I saw the 1 cup measurement was American (200mL) rather than Australian (250mL). Curses.

You can access the full gallery at Facebook (no login req.)

Things to see:

The family von Explaino

The family von Explaino

Happy Steampunkers

Happy Steampunkers

Fabulous outfits

Fabulous outfits

 

Published by Professor von Explaino

Events, steampunk

I haven’t posted for a while as my wife and I have been getting ready for a rather large change in our lives.  We now have a son!  Sean is his name, and we’re very proud. Getting used to a lot less sleep is… interesting, but today my wife told me to go out and have fun because Supanova, the premier Australian pop culture expo, was in town.  Time to take the Professor mingling!

Mass steampunk gathering

Mass steampunk gathering

 

Sunday is traditionally “Steampunk Sunday” at Brisnova, and today was no exception.  A stellar array of steampunkers, from those I know well to ones I had never met before. That’s one of the things I love about this convention, even with the three degrees of separation you get in Brisbane I’m meeting new and very talented people every year.  There are a number of pictures up on Facebook, I have an album with my shots.  So… many… cool… outfits!  And oh my the ankles 🙂

ROSEA is planning another event on the Queen’s Birthday weekend in June, a picnic in this case.  Hopefully Sean will be able to join us for this outing; I’ve set the challenge to people to bring Steampunk Street Food as an alternative to High Tea. It’s going to be interesting to see how that pans out.  Also, we’re getting a booth at the Aussiecon miniatures/ boardgames con at the end of the month; unfortunately my plush beating heart has died so I’m going to have to find something else to contribute to the stand.

Published by Professor von Explaino

Events, steampunk

Euchronia was the Steampunk New Years Eve party organised by the Antipodean League of Temporal Voyagers. It last ran in 2008 and was so successful they postponed it for a year to make sure it remained novel. I’m not entirely certain how that works, but boy was this year’s a hum-dinger! Baron von Borg, Lady Alexander, the Cerulean and Gil of ROSEA joined me in attending; the Cerulean also brought along an independent contractor as her offsider for the evening so it was an even numbered affair.

The night was positively epic, with live Tesla coils and Van de Graaff generators in the entrance hall; numerous different entertainment outfits, a maker’s stall hall (where I finally found the cravat I hadn’t known I’d been looking for) and a musical area in the basement where an organ played dirges via keyboard and tuned Jacobs’ Ladders.

Tuned Jacobs’ Ladders

I also finally met the Mad Uncle himself – I have been following his blog for quite some time and getting to introduce myself and have a quick chat was a treat. My device did arrive late into the event due to misadventure, but I did manage to parade around wearing the Thingometer mark V with corset analysing attachment. Lady Aleksander allowed me to use my hypno-ray for the evening as well (I’m… not… quite sure how that permission tree works), so I didn’t feel completely device bereft. The Thingometer’s leg strap does make me walk a little funny but it has the advantage of being completely hands free and a little bit different to everyone else’s equipment.

Some links:

Published by Professor von Explaino

Review, steampunk

A while ago I was contacted by the makers of Steampunk Magazine for the iPhone and asked to check out their application.  I did, and it was fun, and inspired me to look into more Steampunk Books.  A series that I really enjoy is the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger.

The series is a comedy Victorian supernatural affair, with some mad science thrown in for good measure.  It has a European focus, as most of the books in this genre do, but it has a feel for the European areas that seems overlooked by many other Steampunk writers.  Heck, they even have Scotland featured in the first book rather than just London everything; very progressive.  It goes beyond the Vampires, Werewolves and Spirits oh my trope as well, bringing in a new supernatural that fills its own niche very successfully.  Its writing style is such that it really pulls you on from book to book; the series isn’t over yet but the author has announced a definitive End point being book five in the series (three was released in August) so the book has a life and an end point that I find VERY REASSURING *cough*Fantasy authors*/cough*. Each character has its own style and voice, but sarcasm is almost a universal constant in the main characters (which I love). Maybe that’s what powers the supernatural? The world Gail has built is brilliant and very well developed, delving into more of the world in each book.

As part of WorldCon, Gail Carriger came over to Australia and I got to meet her at an impromptu local book signing, and she was an absolute pleasure to talk with even if she had the gathering sprung on her.  I joined her, her publisher friend and the owner of Pulp Fiction and heard some great news about upcoming Parasol Protectorate events that I’m not allowed to talk about.  Suffice to say, it’s very much an ongoing affair and VERY worth your while.

Professor von Explaino discusses Aetherics with Gail Carriger

Professor von Explaino discusses Aetherics with Gail Carriger

Buy online: Soulless, Changeless, Blameless (via Booko, great for Aus purchases, has links to online stores)

Continuing Professor von Explaino’s investigations into every realm of science (due to his expertise in the field of Omniology), and inspired by Cheyenne Wright’s Corset Inspector badge, I have created two new devices that were to be shown off at the next Prometheus Bound.  As that was unfortunately cancelled, we reconvened to the nerd friendly Mana Bar and had an impromtu steam gathering.  Those of you on Facebook can see the results of the outing at the Mana Bar’s Facebook page.

The Corset Inspector Badge

The Corset Inspector Badge is required to prevent misunderstandings.

The Corset Analyser, with the dial face superemposed.

The Corset Analyser, with the dial face superemposed.

The RandOmniscope is a cantankerous, multi purpose analyser

The RandOmniscope is a cantankerous, multi purpose analyser

The Corset Inspector uses a compass that was a gift by some very good friends of mine in Melbourne.  During the flight up the face came off, but that meant that I could replace the dial on the compass with content of my own choosing.  Whipping up a Gauge Generator in PHP, I tinkered with it enough that I could print out a Corset Analyser-esque gauge for telling just how sexy a lady was in her corset.  I bought some EL Wire online, this wire glows when you put a current through it and it’s very hardy and flexible; and by a freak of chance it was perfectly sized to slip into the Needle Lock hole in the compass, and when I put the EL Wire’s cap back on the wire wouldn’t slip out  Perfect!  I cannibalised the Thing-o-Meter’s lamp shade back to hide the Wire’s on-off switch as well as to function as the Corset Collector Contraption that was, in theory, to be placed on the corset for analysis and affixed with a suction cup.  Experimentation proved suction cups unable to stick to corsets, and other methods of affixation would result in corset damage, so it would have to be held on.  Drat.

The RandOmniscope was cannibalised from the device created for an Egyptian Themed Prometheus Bound, where the tube contained a feather that Professor von Explaino had found on a set of scales with a mummified heart on the other end.  Most peculiar.  The feather was replaced with copper wire that had been wound around a pen to make it more fuse shaped; and again the EL wire turned out to fit perfectly into the device and the plastic cap prevented it from being pulled out accidentally.

The Corset Inspector badge contains the afforementioned badge, the ID from Girl Genius’s individual issues way back in 2001/2002, an old picture of PVE (before his homburg even!) sepia toned and a great faux-leather ID case that lest the badge be used as an FBI badge.  A great find by Baron von Borg.

A few weekends ago GenCon came to Brisbane and the Royal Omnitological Society for Electrodyne Adventurers had to make an attendance.  Feeling that the Clue-o-meter lacked the punch required for the latest event, I started work on the next Professor device.

Thinktank construction

Thinktank construction

Interjector powered up

Interjector powered up

It had to be a backpack of some description; while I have a great love for large and bulky devices they do tend to make it tricky spending the day without both hands free.  So I headed to Bunnings and picked up a backpack sprayer that was of a decent size.  The backpack was nice and big, plus it had two screw-off tops that let me access the inside the device to install ‘bits’.  The backpack was painted copper as I pondered how to extend it.  And to determine exactly what the device was supposed to be, the last one was modular thanks to the window of replacable body parts, this one didn’t have a window.

It did have a built in pipe sticking out of the top with a screw-end; it fit some standard copper piping so a regulator valve was attached.  Bonus, one of the Girl Genius(tm) test tubes fit in the end – so that was filled with one of my UV reactive cable stores and a UV LED.  The other end had a tiny hole that a UV LED’s legs would stick through – Baron von Borg helped me attach a lamp bowl filled with more cabling and two tiny brains. So, obviously the device would think.  It was a tank.  Viva – the Professor von Explaino ‘Think tank’.  The two external brains are obviously for thinking outside the box.

A long time ago I impulse-bought a light from the Bunnings lighting section that required a 240V transformer; checking the box showed that it could be powered (for a short time) from a simple 9V battery.  That, plus a brass antique-style light switch, and I had the power indicator.

The sensor-array from the Clue-o-meter was detached, extended with more cabling, then attached to the top of the device for input acquisition – to make it hands free a hook was added to the side and a leather thong to the sensor array.  Voila, the Think tank was made.

On impulse, while digging through my parts box, I pulled out a hypno-disk style top that I got from a Horrible Science pack ages ago.  The Baron and I were both struck with the same idea at the same time; an emergency trip to Bunnings and the acquisition of a cheap cordless screwdriver and I had a hypno-ray.  Two devices for the con was perfect – Baron von Borg and Professor von Explaino got second place in the Group Cosplay contest on the Saturday.  A bit of a vote of approval there.

The interjector component

The interjector component

Brains outside the box

Brains outside the box

Bright ideas

Bright ideas

Assembled hypno ray

Assembled hypno ray

The Think Tank and Hypno Ray, in repose

The Think Tank and Hypno Ray, in repose

Think tank and hypno-ray employed

Think tank and hypno-ray employed