Hullabaloo! — A Steampunk Animated Film!

A group of animators is running an Indiegogo campaign to fund a Steampunk-themed animated film.

HullabalooAs their Indiegogo page states, “Hullabaloo is a 2D (hand-drawn) animated steampunk film that hopes to help preserve the dying art of 2D animation; and by supporting this project, you get to help save 2D animation from an untimely demise.”  The creator is James Lopez, who has 25 years of experience in animation, including working at Disney and Dreamworks.  He has a talented lineup of animators working with him.  I am a big fan of animation and 2-D animation is a real art form in itself.  I’m happy to have helped them create something that could be awesome.

The heroine of the story is Veronica Daring, a young inventor who returns from boarding school to find her father missing.  She must thwart a cabal of villains who are bent on using her father’s technology for evil deeds.

Hullabaloo! has blown past its initial $80,000 goal (they’re at $219,410 as I type this) with 24 days left in their campaign.  They have a number of stretch goals lined up including making additional episodes and a full-orchestral sound track.

I’m happy to lend my modest voice to their campaign, and look forward to seeing Hullaballoo! when it’s finished.  See a “work in progress” trailer below.

507 Mechanical Movements for all kinds of Steampunk Goodness

If you are a mechanical sort, and have an hour or two to while away, may I suggest spending it at 507movements.com, a website that contains an enhanced version of the book of the same name by Henry Brown, which was originally published in 1868. 

“Multiple gearing”—a recent invention. The smaller triangular wheel drives the larger one by the movement of its attached friction-rollers in the radial grooves.

“Multiple gearing”—a recent invention. The smaller triangular wheel drives the larger one by the movement of its attached friction-rollers in the radial grooves.

The website features the 21st edition of this long-popular technical book which was published in 1908.  (The satisfyingly wordy and descriptive frontispiece of which is roughly reproduced below: Continue reading

Luminosity and Electricity in the Sky

An article by Phil Plait, the “Bad Astronomer” on Slate.com reminded me that today (September 1) is the 155th anniversary of the observation of the solar flare that within a day would cause the Great Auroral Storm of 1859.

This interesting astronomical event is of special interest to me as it is recounted in my upcoming novel “To Rule the Skies”.

Richard Carrington, an English gentleman-scientist and amateur astronomer, was sketching sunspots at the observatory he built at his estate at Redhill, Surrey, part of a survey of sunspots that went back almost a decade. He noted two bright flares emanating from one particular group of sunspots.  As he watched, the flares moved across the surface of the spot, then disappeared.

Carrington's sketch of the sunspot observed on Sept 1., 1859.  Solar flares observed at points A & C moved to points B & D in 5 minutes.

Carrington’s sketch of the sunspot observed on Sept 1., 1859. Solar flares observed at points A & C moved to points B & D in 5 minutes.

It was later noted that Carrington’s observation coincided with a deviation in the Earth’s magnetic field measured at Kew Observatory. But more importantly, in the next few days, all hell broke loose in the sky. Continue reading