That’s it, that is all I wanted to say.
Today in 1847 the most famous and iconic inventor of the industrial age was born, Thomas Alva Edison:
Although not the invenor of the light-bulb (a common misconception), he greatly improved its design. He is rightly credited with the invention of the phonograph and the carbon microphone amongst many other things. He is also one of the most beloved inventors ofthe Steampunk genre, possibly only eclipsed by Nikola Tesla.
Edison also features prominently in the backstory of the steampunk role playing game Space 1889 as the inventor of the Ætherflyer which made space exploration in this setting possible.
Today is a day of celebration for all Steampunks and Dieselpunks out there. Let us raise our glasses and give three cheers to his Excellency, Ferdinand Graf Zeppelin:
For today in 1909, exactly 109 years ago the first Zeppelin took to the air and this is the first time since the beginning of this blog that I can mark this occasion, because last time I missed it.
So here is an image of the Zeppelin LZ-1, taken from a contemporary postcard (I guess):
If only those marvelous sky-cruisers were still around today. I am talking of the classic versions. Obviously, today there are Blimps and the modern Zeppelins, but they have little of the style and majesty the original Zeppelins had.
The video below is not Steampunk but than again it is. Granted, there is no brass in it, no cogs and no gears. However, the people in it turn science, advanced technology and scientific achievement into something which is tremendous fun. And turning science and technological development into something fun is temendously Steampunk. Granted, the humor in it will not be understandable and accessable to everyone, but neither is the humor within Steampunk.
So, without further ado, please enjoy:
This entry is bordering slightly on transhumanism but only slightly. Slightly because transhumanism can only ever be made reality if there is a base of educated people large enough to support its ideals. It has to be turned into a popular movement. In order to achieve this state of affairs, we need to bring science closer to the people. Recently science education has been subverted by religion in the USA, thanks, once again to the moronic ex-president G.W. Bush who led an evangelist crusade against science in certain areas. Western society is also struggling with returning superstituons, pseudo-science, Magick and similar esoteric nonsense. So I am really grateful for people like Neil deGrasse Tyson who does so much for science education.
Please, just enjoy these videos:
and another one:
And to bring steampunk back into the issue:
I guess I said it before:Science in steampunk is weird and wonderful, it’s more about what it does (often in bright colours and with loud noises) than how it works. Perhaps we should teach science in school with a more hands-on approach, the steampunk approach. Tell the kids what they can do with the knowledge they are about to acquire. Show them possible results and future goals and than let them learn the theory behind it. They will be far more motivated to do so, I am certain of it.