Thursday, March 14, 2013

An Atlantean Submersible? FATHOM the possibilities!

Greetings, greetings!  Tis I, the Good Captain called out of retirement with a message of great importance.  Ahem...GREAT IMPORTANCE, so please do listen up!

You, in the back there, yes yes with the goggles and spanner.  Listen up dear cog, would you.

A very close and dear personal friend of mine, Nathaniel Lockhart, is in desperate need of your help.  He, like yours truly, is quite the adventurer and he's stumbled onto to something rather extraordinary down in the West Indies.

You see, dear Nathaniel was in a terrible wreck.  No fault of his own I assure you.  His recollections of the incident are hazy at best but the poor boy is now plagued with horrible dreams and visions of the wreck, or perhaps it should more appropriately be called...the attack!  For in his dreams the ship is set upon by mechanical monstrosities.

Where you all come in, is in additional to these nightmarish episodes it seems Lockhart also has in his mind the schematics to a submersible vehicle, but the design and engineering are far too revolutionary in design, efficiency, aesthetic beauty, power conversion ratios, rate of change of angular momentum, and...well you get the idea.

He did share these schematics with me and well, to put it in the vulgar colloquialisms of the underclasses - Lockhart is not the sharpest tool in the shed.  I hope you understand that.  I for one have no idea what a, shed, is but apparently is where those dirt covered sots store tools.

Here's part of the schematics he sent me.  It truly is a magnificent looking craft.  He has dubbed it the Bathysphere!

Anyway, Nathaniel Lockhart is becoming obsessed with creating this submersible and getting to the bottom of these visions he's plagued with.  He has had some issues with funding however.  This machine requires some very exotic components.  He is asking for aid in completing the Bathysphere and in exchange is offering a great many returns on the investment.

Normally the Good Captain shudders at the thought of soliciting, especially on behalf of others, but I have the aching suspicion that these events have something to do with the famed Atlantis.  You see, when I was a younger man traipsing about the West Indies I did encounter a Vodoun priestess in the isles of... What's that?  Oh right, Lockhart.

Please, for the good of scientific discovery and the safety of water-borne travels through the West Indies, contribute what you can so dear Nathaniel Lockhart can explore the region and uncover the mysteries that sunk his ship and implanted the schematics of the Bathysphere in his spacious head.

Please visit his Kickstarter page for full details of his investment sche...I mean opportunity.

Here is full documentation on his incident and planned course of action once funding is complete

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dorian's Parlor, Brimsteam, and The Good Captain's Creations!

Welcome once again friends and crew! You must forgive me my dalliances in sharing news of the æthyr but suddenly the Good Captain's services have been in rather high demand.

I was contacted by the proprietor of Brimsteam to create many a steampunk machine and monstrosity for his group of adventurers on a monthly basis! What a splendid idea, to capitalize on the the Good Captain's loyal army of admirers and well-wishers to draw people to his Adventurers Club...Steampunk Adventurers Club...Adventures in Steampunk! Haha, I bet you did not see that connection before!

To be a bit more clear, Brimsteam is a group of people who gather monthly to live out adventures in a steampunk world of mad machines, merciless monsters, and mischievous mechanics. It is great fun using latex swords and nerf style weapons as well as sharp wits and cunning intelligences to be the heroes of the day! And if I didn't mention, the Good Captain will be creating a continuous stream of devilishly clever contraptions to challenge, reward, and intrigue those daring adventurers who join us. It truly is exciting and exhilarating, and also a wonderful opportunity to get out and do something fun with other steampunks!

You can join the fun that is Brimsteam at Dorian's Parlor, in Philadelphia, PA. Dorian's Parlor is a monthly gathering of steampunk ladies, gentleman, and villains who assemble to share common interests in music, fashion, poetry and storytelling, and other refined and most civilized interests. Soon they will be hunting down clues to lost technology amongst scraps of ancient texts...but I fear I may have said too much!

If you are in the Philadelphia area, or even if you're not but have access to a reliable airship, do try to attend Dorian's Parlor and Brimsteam. It will expand your horizons and you'll have the opportunity to meet the Good Captain as well as see him amazing inventions and contraptions!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Steampunk Medals of Honor

Well my stalwart little cogs, I'm sure you won't believe this but without all of you the good captain would never be able to live this gentlemanly life of leisure to which he's become so inclined.  I know, hard to believe all your toiling in the boiler rooms and gear boxes is truly necessary to the finer workings of the Anomaly Obscura Engine but it's true.  I need you, and more than that I wish to honor you.

Come now, chin up and dry those tears of joy. The ceremony is about to begin!

First, to my most loyal crew of mechanics, mech boys, boiler monkeys, and gear heads.  To you I present the brass asterisk, symbolic of the special mark I have to place next to your achievements for that little "you-know-what" installed on the "you-know-what."  If you know what I mean.  If not, clearly you don't work in the engine rooms and should really know better than to pry into a gentleman's business.  Really now.

Next up, for all my crew who keep the Anomaly Obscura Engine flying high and proud, the navigators, communicators, cogitators, and explicators I present to you the highest honor I can bestow (mainly because the lower shelves were all too full to store them) - the Obscura Medal of Honor!  Behold the word Veneratio emblazoned on the ribbon beneath the skull.  That's Latin for Honor, what you bring my ship by your loyal service!

Finally, to the fearless marines, the pilots, and the spanner wielding wild man still lurking in the lower decks somewhere I award you with the Golden Prop Medal.  This represents your bravery in rushing to the front lines of any engagement so that your dashing captain can retreat without being noticed by the enemy!  Also, for that incident in Constantinople last month.  Yes, yes, that's the one.  Cheers!

Congratulations my dear crew.  Keep up the good work.  Right oh, for King and Country!

Incidentally, should anyone else wish to be presented with one (or all) of these medals of honor they merely need visit the Steamtech store where they are all available in 3 different finishes.

Now, take the rest of the night off and celebrate!  You've earned it.  Remember, bright and early we set off for Bombay and it's a rough trip with a hangover so don't overdue it.  Hah, like anyone working for me, the good captain, would ever overdo it!

*whistles innocently on his way back to the captain's quarters*

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Top 10 Steampunk Movies - Updated!

Hello and Cheers to my beloved crew and friends!  I thought today we would do something a bit different.  As you all may know, I am a man constantly striving to move forward.  To take it to the next level, as the guttersnipes would say.  But today we'll be moving backwards!  I know, you didn't even know the Anomaly Obscura Engine could go backwards.  See, already it's becoming a remarkable day, no?

It was in the way back of April of 2009 when I posted the first Top 10 Steampunk Movies list and it turned into the most commented on article here (Link to original post).  Furthermore, that post is still very popular receiving hundreds of views each week.  Well, it has always been my most humble opinion that a gentleman should be well versed in current events and topical subjects, and for that reason I have created the Top 10 Steampunk Movies - 2011 Update!

Looking at the list two years later I found it quite shocking how many movies had fallen off the list.  I do love a good brawl and it seems there has been quite a ferocious one raging amongst the voters at the Internet Movie Database, where this list was gathered.  Let's get to it then!

Top 10 Steampunk Movies - Updated!

1. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) This swash-buckling tale follows the quest of Captain Jack Sparrow, a savvy pirate, and Will Turner, a resourceful blacksmith, as they search for Elizabeth Swann. Elizabeth, the daughter of the governor and the love of Will's life, has been kidnapped by the feared Captain Barbossa. Little do they know, but the fierce and clever Barbossa has been cursed. He, along with his large crew, are under an ancient curse, doomed for eternity to neither live, nor die. That is, unless a blood sacrifice is made.

2. The Prestige (2006)

The PrestigeIn the end of the Nineteenth Century, in London, Robert Angier, his beloved wife Julia McCullough and Alfred Borden are friends and assistants of a magician. When Julia accidentally dies during a performance, Robert blames Alfred for her death and they become enemies. Both become famous and rival magicians, sabotaging the performance of the other on the stage. When Alfred performs a successful trick, Robert becomes obsessed trying to disclose the secret of his competitor with tragic consequences.  

Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest (Widescreen Edition)Once again we're plunged into the world of sword fights and "savvy" pirates. Captain Jack Sparrow is reminded he owes a debt to Davy Jones, who captains the flying Dutchman, a ghostly ship, with a crew from hell. Facing the "locker" Jack must find the heart of Davy Jones but to save himself he must get the help of quick-witted Will Turner and Elizabeth Swan. If that's not complicated enough, Will and Elizabeth are sentenced to hang, unless will can get Lord Cutler Beckett Jack's compass, Will is forced to join another crazy adventure with Jack.

Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
After Elizabeth, Will, and Captain Barbossa rescue Captain Jack Sparrow from the the land of the dead, they must face their foes, Davy Jones and Lord Cutler Beckett. Beckett, now with control of Jones' heart, forms a dark alliance with him in order to rule the seas and wipe out the last of the Pirates. Now, Jack, Barbossa, Will, Elizabeth, Tia Dalma, and crew must call the Pirate Lords from the four corners of the globe to gathering. The Pirate Lords want to release the goddess Calypso, Davy Jones's damned lover, from the trap they sent her to out of fear, in which the Pirate Lords must combine the 9 pieces that bound her by ritual to undo it and release her in hopes that she will help them fight. With this, all pirates will stand together and will make their final stand for freedom against Beckett, Jones, Norrington, the Flying Dutchman, and the entire East India Trading Company. 

5. Spirited Away (2001)

Spirited AwayChihiro and her family are on their way to their new house in the suburbs when her father decides to take a shortcut along a lonely-looking dirt road. After getting out of the car and walking along a path for a while, they discover an open-air restaurant filled with food but with no workers or customers present. Mom and Dad don't hesitate to sit down and dig in, but Chihiro senses danger and refuses. As night falls, she is terrified to see the area fill with faceless spirits, but when she runs to find her parents, she discovers that they have been turned into pigs. She is found by a mysterious boy named Haku, who promises to help her. He gets her a job working in a nearby building, which turns out to be a bathhouse for the thousands of Japan's gods and spirits. Though the work is hard and the people strange, she does as well as she can. Her parents, however, are still waiting in the hotel's stockyard...

6. Sleepy Hollow (1999)

Sleepy HollowAfter the head of a Hessian horseman is stolen, the horseman returns from hell to take the heads of the people of Sleepy Hallow until its own is returned. Constable Ichabod Crane is called in to investigate three murders. Through his investigation he learns of the legend of the Headless Horseman, but he doesn't believe that the stories are true - until the horseman takes off the head of one of the elders right in front of his very eyes. Now he must race to find out the origins of the horseman in order to send him back to his grave for good. But the question remains...if the head was stolen once, how safe is it?

7. Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Sherlock Holmes After finally catching serial killer and occult "sorcerer" Lord Blackwood, legendary sleuth Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Dr. Watson can close yet another successful case. But when Blackwood mysteriously returns from the grave and resumes his killing spree, Holmes must take up the hunt once again. Contending with his partner's new fiancée and the dimwitted head of Scotland Yard, the dauntless detective must unravel the clues that will lead him into a twisted web of murder, deceit, and black magic - and the deadly embrace of temptress Irene Adler.

8. The Illusionist (2006)

The Illusionist (Widescreen Edition) A young boy falls in love with a girl that is way above his social standards along with the art of magic. Although the parents forbid them of seeing each other they cannot be split apart. Until one day they were found together and the boy was sent off. He became a magician and traveled the world. She fell in love with another man, the Crown Prince. The two got engaged but the boy, Eisenheim, finally meets back up with the girl and uses his powers to free her from the royal house in Vienna.

9. Brazil (1985)

BrazilSam Lowry is a harried technocrat in a futuristic society that is needlessly convoluted and inefficient. He dreams of a life where he can fly away from technology and overpowering bureaucracy, and spend eternity with the woman of his dreams. While trying to rectify the wrongful arrest of one Harry Buttle, Lowry meets the woman he is always chasing in his dreams, Jill Layton. Meanwhile, the bureaucracy has fingered him responsible for a rash of terrorist bombings, and both Sam and Jill's lives are put in danger.

10. Van Helsing (2004)

Van Helsing (Widescreen Edition)Van Helsing is in the world to rid all evil, even if not everyone agrees with him. The Vatican send the monster hunter and his ally, Carl to Transylvania. They have been sent to this land to stop the powerful Count Dracula. Whilst, here they join forces with a Gypsy Princess called Anna Valerious, who is determined to end an ancient curse on her family, by destroying the vampire. They just don't know how!

Once again I feel compelled to reissue my disclaimer regarding this above information:  Please do remember that the good captain did not create this list. The list is based on voting at IMDB. With this in mind, please vent your frustrations in the confabulations where it can be easily ignored.

Now back to the gears you trundling coggies!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Steam Engines of Epic Proportions

Greetings once again my friends and loyal crew!  So the other day I was visiting the fine Ladies and Chaps at Brass Goggles, when I stumbled upon a wonderful video offered up by Akumabito.  It showed off a mighty 140 ton antique engine used for compressing natural gas.  See for yourself, and when you're finished take note of the size of the smile stretched across your mug.  That will be important later.

Some wonderful information from the procurer of this fine video:
This 600 hp Gas Engine at the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion show in Rollag, MN runs every Labor Day Weekend.  Built in 1914-15 by the Snow Holly Works Schenectady NY, it ran continuously for over fifty years compressing natural gas at National Fuel Gas Corporation's Roystone Station near Titusville, PA.  This engine ran at full power 24/7 for over fifty years without a single mechanical failure. The engine still runs as good as new and not a single part has ever needed replacement.

The engine is 65 feet long and weighs 140 tons. It's foundation is up to 10 feet thick.  It has four combustion chambers with a bore and stroke of 24" x 48" giving it a displacement of 86,856 cubic inches (1,423 Liters), produces 600 HP at 80 RPM.  The flywheel is 18 feet in diameter and weighs 24 tons, and the crankshaft is 16 inches in diameter and weighs 12 tons.

Not to be outdone by those bloody yanks, Great Britain offered this engine up.  The steam engine at Kempton!

This alleges to be the largest steam engine in England and from the looks of it, I'd take their word for it.  This behemoth stands 62 feet tall from base to top and consumed up to 13 tons of coal a day.  For a world more information on this do visit Kempton Steam, and now is a good time to take quick stock of the size of your smile if you forgot to pay attention to that.

Finally, be amused by the smallest steam engine!  After viewing two of the largest I thought what a whimsical way to affect that smile even more, so behold:

Isn't it adorable.  Imagine a tiny airship powered by this miniature motor lofting lazily by in your living room or workshop.  It warms the heart.  Now please take final note of the smile on your face, incredible how such engines can not only serve as the power plant for a small town but also make your cheeks hurt, isn't it.  I know I can't help but smile broadly and think back to steamier days when I see engines such as these in action.

While you think back to steamier days enjoying the images of these engines roaring like they were meant to...go have a great weekend!