Oh ye Great Old Ones! My most venerable friend Matthias (who is also one of the pillars of Austrian Steampunk) just submitted a project to Lego Ideas that deserves a big Iäh!
The Call of Cthulhu as a Lego Set!
Yes, you heard that correctly! If this project takes off, it will be even easier to corrupt your spawn and turn them into loyal followers of Great Cthulhu. It would also look magnificent on your mantelpiece, I can imagine.
Here are some images to convince you to lend your support (more are on the project’s page):
Also: Supporting this will not cost you a penny! All you have to do is vote! Come on, what are you waiting for? You can sign up and lend your support straight away!
The good news on Star Wars in the real world does not cease. After one of the Mars rovers clearly spotted the Mos Eisley Cantina Band, it now also seems like a planet like Tatooine might actually exist.
Tatooine famously orbits a binary star (see header image) and it was thought that binary stars could not have planets because the gravity of the binary star would prevent planets in the habitable zone from forming. But now it seems that our telescopes have actually spotted evidence which hints at the existance of rocky planets around binary stars in their habitable zone.
Yes, Tatooine might be out there, but so far, things are not as great as they sound. but the gentleman here can explain this much better than I can:
In today’s episode of the Non-Euclidean Æthercast I have the great pleasure of chatting with one of my oldest international contacts in the Steampunk scene: Jo Lima from Portugal. Since we have known each other for quite a while, a lot has happened and Jo is no longer active in the Portuguese Steampunk scene.
Real life has „forced“ her to become a planetary scientist (to my everlasting envy) and she is currently working on her PhD thesis in Madrid.
Our chat mainly concerns astronomy and planetary science, please enjoy!
Let’s face it, most if not all of us have at one point or another searched our own names on the internet, just to see if and how we are represented there.
As a matter of fact, I recently updated several online profiles and websites of mine and wanted to check if any of these changes have been indexed already and if that had had any other effects (i.e. ranking fluctuations, updated images already being shown etc.) and when I checked out Bing for a search of my name, my legal name, that is, I got this result on the first page:
As a dedicated Lovecraft fanboy and Cthulhu cultist, I am obviously extatic about this result, even more so since it was produced without me being logged in to Bing (i.e. Bing knowing it is me). I am fairly certain this image of Lovecraft next to mine is transient and will vanish ver time, but in the meantime, I revel mindlessly to the piping of insane flutists in this moment of digital glory. Iäh!
Coding skills, even basic ones, are essential in this day and age. Alas, schools around here have not really caught on to this and IT lessons are not even mandatory in many schools around here. As far as I have been able to find out, the IT curriculum of the type of school where I will be teaching, consists entirely of getting pupils to use the MS Office suite correctly. This of course does not include any coding skills, only the formulas and macros in Excel, and I am not even sure if macros are part of the curriculum.
So, I have decided to offer extra lessons in coding, if time and facilities at the school I will be teaching at, allows.
Specifically, I will offer Python, because it is an easy language to learn, can be used for scripting and OOP and because you can have something interactive with just a few lines of code (it is theree in this example, but two would suffice to see results):
print "This is a test program for console input."
the_input = raw_input("Please give some input here: ")
And seeing results quickly is essential for catching the puils‘ attention.
I have enough material and knowledge to go into at least some depth of Python and let the pupils tackle a number of smaller projects which can be extended and built upon. I am thinking of things like a calculator, a Battleship type game and similar things, nothing too involved since time will most likely not allow for more. It is also likely that some pupils who are interested in learning to code will leave the course again once I tell them that they will not be learning any hacking skills at all.
I guess I should also warn them not to attempt any hacking and/or go to websites where software for dubious purposes is peddled unless they can run a dual-boot or pure Linux computer with Kali Linux running on a virtual machine within the actual Linux OS (and not even think of hacking if they have no clue what I am talking about).
So, let’s see how this develops and wether or not I will have the opportunity to teach Python, I hope I will.
The motto of this year’s Steampunk Hands Around The World is „Steampunk – Making Life better“. Later this week, I will be recording a podcast concerning the topic. In preparation for the podcast, I went through the history of this blog, visited websites I used to visit more frequently when I was newer and/or more active in the Steampunk scene, just collecting positive aspects of the scene.
The one thing I want to talk about today, is just the general sense of lighthearted happiness in the scene. Yes, I know, Steampunk also has its share of (bizarrely) Guardians of Purity™(yes, for a made-up thing), Fashion Junkies, and Scene Nazis (i.e. „I get to decide what Steampunk is).
But, when I look around at the vast majority of people I have had the pleasure to meet, from the scene in Barcelona to the Amt for Ætherangelegenheiten to BB Black Dog and other bands, to just the regular event goers:
Most of them are just genuinely happy people or at least manage to generate a genuinely happy atmosphere at the places they congregate. The quality of that happiness is also in keeping with the (for lack of a better term) gentlemanliness of the scene, i.e. it is a very calm and pleasant happiness that makes Steampunk events nice places to just be at. It is vastly different from the more energetic happiness you get at Rock or Metal concerts.
Also, and this is a very personal thing: Steampunk has brought additional happiness to my life. I will touch on that in more detail in the upcoming podcast, but I have to say that through the people I met, the opportunities I got and where those opportunities have led me, the base-happiness of my live has increased.
Several of my most awesome friends are Steampunks or connected to the scene (Anja Bagus and the Amt, Victor Sierra,Alex Jahnke, Admira Ravensdale, basically everyone from Barcelona, Mr and Mrs Vogt, everybody involved in #SteampunkHands and by extension Steampunk Writers around the World just to name a few) and friends make you happy
The books I wrote/participated in writing and the two awards that came from it
The opportunity to talk about Steampunk at Dortmund University
The Steampunk and cosplay people from Vienna (and what came from there, but I will talk about it, when I have the equipment complete)
And I could go on and on
So, Steampunk is in itself and in the context of my life a source of happiness.
So much for this happy rant. I hope Steampunk has or is making you happy, too.
Sir John Vincent Hurt (CBE), who will be remembered by so many fondly and with great respect, has passed on aged 77. He was one of the greatest actors of his generation, as his BAFTA awards and nominations clearly show, and his work spanned six decades.
To the readers of this blog, he will most likely be known for his performaces in at least one of the following films or TV series:
Doctor Who (his War Doctor is a close second only to the Tenth Doctor
And it is to the War Doctor, that this tribute is dedicated:
Well, well, 2017… You are hardly four weeks old and from a very personal perspective, you have already had a major impact on my life. In a good way.
Let me take a few steps back in time to a time before I started this blog, before I had heard of Steampunk but was already a Cthulhu cultist, as this thesis paper (German) clearely shows.
Back in those days, I worked as a teacher but had to leave teaching for a reason that was beyond my controle. I went into the more tech-related side of online marketing, first more focused on newsletters, then SEO. I have been doing SEO for nine years now but not anymore.
I have come full circle and will be a teacher again, which I have been wanting to do for the past four years but only now got the opportunity.
The subject matters I will teach will be different, I will no longer be requiered to teach accounting (which I hate) but will instead teach sociology and politics. I will still be teaching English (yay!) and will also be teaching IT (even more yay!).
Now, this of course means the whole STEAM vs STEM debate I contributed my own thoughts to is going to haunt me, since IT is part of the STEM cluster. Obviously, I will do my best to teach not only the skill but also the art of coding (or at least try to). My time to do this will be limited, since IT is not a big topic in the schools here, but I can always offer extra lessons after classes ended, do something like a coding club or maybe I can come up with something really creative.
This also means that I will have to do some teacher training again, also afeter school which means in the near future, the update frequency of the blog will decrease (at least for the next 1 1/2 – 2 years) but it will hopefully not go dormant entirely.
At least you know I am engaged otherwise doing something I love.
Steampunk Hands Around the World is returning for another installment in February 2017 and this year, the participants will be tackling the subject:
Steampunk: Making Life Better
This is the Press Release, as released by the head organizer and benelovent dictator, the Airship Ambassador:
Steampunk Hands Around the World returns for it’s fourth year, continuing the celebration of the best that the global steampunk community has to offer.
The 2017 theme of the annual month long blogathon is “Making Life Better”. Each day from Wednesday, February 1st through Tuesday the 28th, contributors will share some of their favorite experiences of how steampunk made a difference.
Everyone, steampunks and non-steampunks alike, will be able to share in the information about who and what inspires us to keep exploring, expanding, and enhancing our community every day.
Tying all of these experiences together are people. People who share their ideas, who teach their skills, who step forward to make a difference in large ways and small. Each and every one of us has probably already made life better for someone and some time, and we may not even know it. Together, we create our community, and we bring steampunk to life, in all of its many variations. WE make a difference.
Steampunk Hands Around the World is just one of many opportunities during the year which brings people together, creating new connections and friendships. It is one of those events where we see into the whole of the community, and bring home those things and people who inspire us to do more and be more.
As many different languages are spoken around the world, it will be helpful to use a translation service to read each post in your own native language, such as Google. Language will not be a barrier in communication among us.
If you would like to participate directly, or would like more information, please contact Kevin Steil at Kevin@AirshipAmbassador.com
So, if you like to join, you are obviously very welcome! The more, the merrier!
I have to thank my friend Stefan Kramperth for this one, he shared it in his stream. I was not aware of this modern parody of Edgar Allen Poe’s classic before, and I almost died laughing. As a heavy internet user and bibliophile who loves Poe almost as much as Lovecraft, I had to share this jewel:
QUOTH THE SERVER „404“ (Author unknown, if you know, let me know…)
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I porn-surfed, weak and weary,
Over many a strange and spurious porn-site of „hot chicks galore“,
While I clicked my fav’rite bookmark, suddenly there came a warning,
And my heart was filled with mourning, mourning for my dear amour,
„Tis not possible,“ I muttered, „give me back my free hardcore!“
Quoth the server, „404.“
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I porn-surfed, weak and weary,
For many a quaint and curious website of X-rated lore,
Found the server nearly napping, http replies a-slacking,
Though my loins were filled with burning, yearning for a teenage whore,
And as I paused awhile in hope that service be restored –
Quoth the server, „404.“
Once upon a night-time dreary, as I web-surfed, red-eyed, weary,
I resisted strange and lurid websites of hot sex galore,
But my curiosity grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
I gave in and clicked the link to see what waited there in store.
And with the clicking, came the ticking, of the page that was no more
Quoth the server, „404“
Once upon a porn-site dreary, where I lingered, red-eyed, bleary,
O’er many a strangely grammared page of Russian girls galore,
Closing popups then cascading, spyware programs now pervading,
Came a sight that set me thinking, linking to hot chicks galore.
„‚Fetch the URL,“ I muttered, but browser stuttered as before –
Quoth the server, „404“