The Annexation of Cuba

What if in 1854 the United State’s future president, James Buchanan, had been able to annex Cuba into the United States? The New What If page Cuba, the 34th State, brings up the details and possibilities.

Most of the What If’s presented on this blog have had a great deal to do with technology, science and engineering in the 1800’s. This new What If presents an event that could have changed history as we know it, thus changing our present. By itself, or paired with a technical alternative, the Victorian Era could have been very different. 

Of course Spain had no intention of letting Cuba go and the United States and Spain had a war over it in 1898, the Spanish-American War. Spain lost and the United States acquired several territories including Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam. Cuba gained independence which had been the original final trigger of the Spanish-American war in 1898.

So, What if Cuba had become the 34th State between 1854 – 1860?


Update

I’m having quite a few technical issues with either my computer or with WordPress itself. The last few posts and pages I have attempted to publish have come out incomplete.

Please be patient as I find my own patience being tried. I have to rewrite all of them, and that is going to take me some time as I do loathe repeating myself.


Happenings in the Steam

With the end of April fast approaching, I traversed the web to find interesting events happening far and wide. Quite a few caught my attention. Not that catching it is overly difficult, though retaining my attention and interest is. One of my many faults. Or virtues depending on how you look at it.

I degress. The events that I followed through and both hope to attend or wish I could afford to attend are below. If anyone happens to find there way there, a comment would not be unwelcome.

The Steampunk World Fair is happening in Piscataway, NJ. Not that far, especially compared to some of the other events I dream of attending. The Steampunk World Fair boasts being the friendliest event for those that are coggers and coggettes as well as those that are just curious about those who are steampunkers. Personally, this is where I would go, and hopefully shall make time to, as a novice to the possibilities of steam. There are sure to be numerous examples of DIY fashion and gadgets. Performers such as steam-DJ Vourteque, Steam Powered Giraffe, and Barquoe & Hungry will be there entertaining the masses, with invitations to dance, enjoy, and celebrate.

Whiskey Drinker by Vourteque
Brass Goggles by Steam Powered Giraffe
Butterfly by Baroque & Hungry

There are tons of other entertainers attending the Steampunk World Fair as well as workshops to distract and amaze the guests.

South Korea’s Steampunk event, The Art of Victorian Futurism, will be open until the 18th of May. Of course, I can’t read the scroll, but the pictures are fascinating.

And this weekend the 3rd and 4th of May, Das große Steampunk Kunst- und Kulturfestival in Deutschland is happening. The Aethercircus will not only have concerts and workshops, but a fashion show as well for inspiration. This website I can actually read, unlike the one in South Korea, but if you are not one to comprehend the German language, scroll down – there should be English at the bottom of the page.

And so those are the events I most wish I can wonder around and gather ideas and information at. Can you hear my long sighs?


Bollywood Style

While exploring the internet for things of interest, I stumble across this concept, Bollypunk – how Bombay does Steampunk. Looking at the fashions, I was reminded of the Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Vern, the xxxx movie, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. More specific, Captain Nemo, his Nautilus, and all of the scientific advanced technology within both seem to be reflected here.

Diversify your steam seems to have been the theme of the past few days in books and fashion here. And the cross of Bollywood, Bombay and Victorian Era was the post of the third day. Previous and subsequent days have other diverse steampunk ideas including Native American,

This of course peeked my curiosity and allowed me to stumble across another website of interest on this subject. I hope this inspires quite a few ideas. Personally I fell in love with the outfit below. Enjoy!

Bollypunk

 


Gremlins

While reviewing many of my posts both here on this blog as well as on forums, I have come to the realization that I am plagued with gremlins. I also realize that very few people actually know what gremlins are (beyond the 1980s movie that is), where they originated, and what they do. So this post is dedicated to the little beasties.

Gremlins was a term coined by the Royal Air Force during World War II. They were blamed when there was mechanical and technical errors or failures as well as being blamed for sabotage. They apparently especially loved causing trouble for pilots, causing a great amount of mischief in airplanes. German air personnel also complained of unknown issues with airplanes and technical difficulties. The gremlins had gotten into their aircraft as well apparently.

It may derived from the Old English word gremain which means to vex. Oddly enough, the gremlins didn’t show themselves in Europe first despite the RAF having termed the troublesome critters. In the 1920’s, gremlins started to plague those working with or flying aircrafts in Malta, the Middle East and India.

 


Dragon Dream

First and foremost, an apology is needed. Forgive me for the long absence. Life had a grand time distracting me with more than one unfulfilled promise. And then technology became infected with gremlins as they chewed away at my email address, laptop, and whatever other devices and things of mine. Thank goodness for my  forethought in warning you at the beginning of this endeavor that I was indeed a horrible pen pal, never mind whatever it is that I am as a blogger. This only confirms that I do know myself well. Perhaps too well.

Anyway, I thought a modern day dirigible would be uplifting to post about. Below is a photo of the Dragon Dream by the company Aerocraft. 

 

Aerocraft Airship

Dragon Dream Dirigible

Obviously, the world is coming around to what steampunkers have always known: airships like the Dragon Dream make for a glorious means of travel. Unfortunately, these dirigibles will not be carrying people, at least not for quite some time. Also,  the owning company is having trouble putting the concept into production, but I will post a video of the dirigible’s flight at some point as well.

Just the thought of airships and dirigibles flying the skies and making their way into modern aviation practice is exciting enough to get me thinking of all the possibilities. 

 


Steam Related Geek-Out

Good Evening All.

I am indeed still alive.

Though barely, considering the facts that this is my last semester at Pratt Institute and there are two other blogs that I have been trying to manage related to my projects that will be due next week. That being said I have been wandering about the clockwork punk worlds in my head, as well as in others’ who have been so kind as to publish those worlds in some form or another. I have even been able to – subtly, mind you – invoke dieselpunk fashions in my everyday life on occasion. I am more and more drawn to the female pilot style, possibly due to having labeled myself as a pilotress here, although as I wish to be a muse to others, that may have just been myself giving voice and name to the title. I have found two pairs of goggles I had purchased a few years back, and considering I prefer brown, brass, or copper set off with a bright color – the rusted yellow goggles have gone with every diesel outfit I employed.

But enough about that. I have The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling on the sidelines awaiting the moment I no longer have academic obligations to be read. I am indeed a time traveler considering my current diesel wardrobe choices and Regency-Steam reading materials.

I have stumbled upon a Calendar of Steampunk events for the present year. I wish I had found that particular guide early – in December actually. Maybe I would have been able to set time aside with that much forewarning. As it happens, the Steampunk World’s Fair in Piscataway New Jersey may be a possibility for me that planned weekend. Hopefully, I will be able to rustle together an outfit as well as an entourage of friends willing to accompany me on that particular adventure.

Well, I think that’s enough of an update for tonight. Be sure to check out the new What If? subpage – Antecedent Submersives. Inspiration around every corner, for all clockwork steam travelers and adventurers.


My Steampunk Dream Wardrobe …

A slow blogger I may be, but there will be quite a few posts coming this way over the next few days. That being said, I am taking a moment in this post to moon and mourn over a historical period of elegant fashion that I dream and lust over, though I search constantly (which really means whenever I get the chance for leisurely internet research).  I so desire to see and own Regency Era dresses in steampunk fashions and styles. The flowing unrestrictive gowns designed to resemble the ancient greek and roman feminine dresses with emperor waists that to later Victorian woman and more than some men immodestly revealed the shape of the female body, clinging to a woman’s form and curves. I am not much of a sewer, but one day I am going to create a steampunk Regency Era gown for myself … or bribe a friend to do it for me!

PS – For those of you who may be confused, Pride and Prejudice is set during the Regency Era.


Teslar Science Center

With a What IF? Nicola Teslar page on the way, I felt an overwhelming desire to bring attention a foundation working to raise funds for a Teslar Science Center Museum on Long Island. Thus far over a million dollars has been raised to convert the neglected Wardenclyffe laboratory of Nicola Teslar, the father of radio (and many other ideas that may be discussed in the What If? page), into a museum and science center.

Nikola TeslarWhat does this mean for all of us coggers and coggettes? One of the founders of the advancement of science during the Victorian Age is to be honored, finally for his contribution to our society. Steampunk scientist, hero, inspiration, muse – you know what? I’ll lecture about Teslar somewhere else and give the necessary curious tidbits on the soon to come page. But here are a few links to dive deeper into the Wardenclyffe laboratory.

Teslar Science Center
Nicola Teslar Laboratory
Teslar Memorial
Science Museum
Teslar Museum
Teslar’s Laboratory and Green Dreams
Other International Teslar Museum

Make sure to keep your eyes, ears, and cogs peeled for any news about the Wardenclyffe Laboratory in the future.


Steampunk Cruise 03/2013

I am navigating around the web randomly, searching interesting and amusing key words and, of course, I stumble my into this: Steampunk Cruise. So While I am trying to decide where in the Miscellaneous boundaries it belongs, I figured I was obligated to share it as soon as humanly possible without any the grafted abilities of a steampunk heroine.

The worthy vessel, the Royal Carribean’s Navigator of the Seas, will depart from New Orleans on the 16th of March for seven days. This is the first annual Steampunk Cruise and High Seas Ball. Attending will be some of the most reknowned Steampunk writers, speakers, artists, and musicians. Who? It includes Captain Robert Brown of Abney Park, the infamous Mary Robinette Kowal,  GD Falksen, Tasha the Mermaid, and of course more.

Once I figure out where this should go, I will also include the price and itinerary information that I was able to drudge up.