Monday, December 31, 2012

GoodLife Brewing's "Descender IPA"

GoodLife Brewing's "Descender IPA" Label
I recently discovered GoodLife Brewing's "Descender IPA" at our local supermarket. In the Portland area, you can find it at the Thriftway market in Hillsboro and at the New Seasons Markets. This brew won the "People's Choice" second place award in KLCC radio's Microbrew Festival in Eugene, OR this year, where fifty-five craft brewers served up over 120 brews.

The GoodLife Brewery and Bier Hall are located in beautiful Bend, OR. There is an attached, spacious Beirgarten where you can enjoy a brew outdoors. Brewery tours are held on Fridays and Saturdays.

Right now, this is my favorite IPA. I am no beer tasting expert, so I don't know how to put the taste, the finish, and what-not into technical terms, but I can just say, If you are an IPA fan, try it, I think you'll like it. If you're not an IPA fan, give it a try anyway, you might change your mind.

"Oblivion" Sci-Fi Movie Trailer

Oblivion Movie Poster
Oblivion is an upcoming sci-fi film based on the as-yet unreleased Joseph Kosinski and Arvid Nelson graphic novel of the same title, (illustrated by Swedish digital artist Andree Wallin). It stars Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko, and Morgan Freeman. The general release date is currently set for April 19, 2013. A limited IMAX release is scheduled one week earlier.

The first trailer and the movie poster were released this month. We've embedded the trailer video below.

The story is set centuries from now after the Earth has been devastated by a decades-long war with some dire threat called "the Scavs." For safety, the surviving humans live in orbit and in floating installations thousands of feet above ground. Tom Cruise stars as drone repairman Jack Harper, who descends to rescue a woman from a spaceship that's crash-landed on the surface. Her arrival kicks off the action that overturns everything that Harper thinks he knows about the war and its aftermath.

A gallery of concept art, Wallin's drawings from the graphic novel, and publicity stills is available here at I do not know if that site is officially affiliated with Universal Studios or not (I don't think it is)... the official studio site is here. Nonetheless, it's got a lot of material and a movie news blog, so check it out, too.

"Ender's Game" Coming to the Big Screen

Harrison Ford & Asa Butterfield, Entertainment Weekly
I just saw this Entertainment Weekly publicity still from the film adaptation of Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game at The film stars Asa Butterfield as Ender, Harrison Ford as Col. Hyrum Graff, and Sir Ben Kingsley as Mazer Rackham.

Entertainment Weekly has previously reported that the film's release date has been pushed from March 15, 2013 to November 1, 2013.

Entertainment Weekly has posted a gallery of the cast members.


Nanotechnology: A Single Molecule Motor

ARS Technica reports that a team of international researchers has built a single-molecule rotating motor that is powered by electrons from a scanning-tunneling microscope. The molecule spins atop a single ruthenium atom that acts like a ball bearing.

The Raveonettes: "She Owns the Streets"

From The Raveonettes... "She Owns the Streets."


Christmas Rocketree: The XMS Missiletoe

Looking to do something different and perhaps a bit more creative with the old Christmas tree this year? Here's a bit of inspiration for you.

Tip of the hat to VA Viper, aka Debby the Odd Links Gal.

Bamboo Bikes from Panda Bicycles

"The One" Bicycle from Panda
A friend of mine just sent me a link to the website of Panda Bicycles of Fort Collins, CO. The designer-builders at Panda use bamboo frame sections joined by steel lugs. The bamboo is claimed to provide a more "supple and responsive ride" than that provided by an all-metal frame:

Using bamboo as the primary building material results in a super strong, ultra durable frame that provides style and comfort unlike any other frame material.

The founding team opened shop in picturesque downtown Fort Collins in 2009. The model you see to the left, "The One," a single-speed "fixie" commuter, was the first model out the door. It has currently been joined by three more models, including "The Action," a nine-speed city bike with vintage English styling.

For those who want to choose their own components, Panda also sells the frames alone. They also sell their own line of bicycle-centric apparel for men, women, and children.

Check out the Panda blog here.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Stratasys Mojo 3D Printer Leases for $185/month

Stratasys Mojo 3D Printer Kit
Stratasys still has its Mojo 3D printer lease program going here in the US. This is an industrial grade, professional printer of the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) type that you can lease for as little as $185/month. It prints with the Stratasys ABSplus material.

You can find a YouTube video of the Mojo in action here at a post we did about it earlier this year.

You can get a free printed sample by registering with Stratasys here.

Please note again that the lease program is available only in the United States.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Jake Von Slatt's Steampunk Workshop Blog

Jake Von Slatt Guitar Tube Amp
Check out master steampunk-craftsman Jake Von Slatt's Steampunk Workshop for all sorts of cool steampunk events, music, crafts, and more.

The steampunk-themed guitar amp you see here was designed and built by Jake Von Slatt for Nathaniel Johnstone when he was with the Seattle steampunk band, Abney Park.


Classic AJS Scrambler

AJS Scrambler
Just because it's beautiful...

I don't even remember where I found this pic. Stumbled across it today while going through some files and thought I'd post it here for your enjoyment, just because...


Friday, December 21, 2012

Walt Seigel Motorcycles Cafe Racers

Walt Siegel Motorcycles Ducati 900 Cafe Racer
BIKEEXIF is far and way one of our favorite motorcycle blogs. We found this beautiful Ducati cafe racer built by Walt Siegel there today, then jumped in to the Walt Siegel Motorcycles website.   Check out his bobbers and cafe racers. We especially like the H-D Ironhead Speed Glide.

Dues Ex Machina Builders and the Kawi WS650

Deus Ex Machina WS650 Custom
Thanks to the crew at Deus Ex Machina, I am falling in love with the Kawasaki WS650... at least as the basis for all kinds of cool customs. For example, the bobber they call Le Gicleur Noir that you see pictured here.

Also check out their Moto Grigio WS650 cafe racer.

"Return of the Cafe Racers" Readers Rides on Pinterest

ROTCR Reader Donny's CL350 Cafe Racer
While preparing our previous post on the Roland Sands Technics Sportster cafe racer, we found that the folks at Return of the Cafe Racers blog have put up a Pinterest page that features pics of their readers' cafe racers. Check it out here.

Roland Sands Technics Sportster Cafe Racer

Rolands Sands Technics Sportster Cafe Racer
Hat tip to one of our favorite blogs, Return of the Cafe Racers, for a story about this Sportster cafe racer built by former roadracer turned bike builder, Roland Sands. It was commissioned by Panasonic to publicize their Technics audio products. Note the details of the front wheel, which is designed to resemble a Technics analog turntable for vinyl records.

This custom started life as a stock Sportster 883.

If you've got a Sporty and are considering remaking into a cafe racer, check out the Roland Sands Design line of cafe racer accessories for the Sportster.

Also check out the Technics Sportster video here at Return of the Cafe Racers.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Connecticut & Oregon Shootings and the Deinstitutionalization of the Mentally Ill

After the Aurora, CO shootings last summer, we did a post here about a book, My Brother Ron, that had just been published by our old friend, Clayton Cramer. My Brother Ron tells the story of the movement to deinnstitutionalize the mentally ill in this country. This disastrous social experiment has brought turmoil and violence to our communities as thousands who should be institutionalized were turned loose on the streets of our cities.

There is also a deeply moving personal context to this book: Clayton's older brother, the "Ron" of the title, is schizophrenic and has been living on the streets for decades.

Through My Brother Ron, Clayton Cramer has made an important contribution to the debate about the treatment and housing of the mentally ill, and the prevention of violence in our communities, for which gun control is not the answer. In the light of these two new shootings, I recommend this book to you.

Update: Here's a link to an article on this general subject by Clayton published last May by the Federalist Society.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Blade Runner Sequel Site

Sean Young as Rachel
I found this site, Blade Runner 2, dedicated to news about the upcoming Blade Runner sequel. It is an independent site, not affiliated with Ridley Scott or the production company.  Pretty, cool, check it out.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Kickstarter Handbook: Real-Life Crowdfunding Success Stories

I highly recommend this new guide to Kickstarter to anyone who is contemplating or planning a Kickstarter fundraiser.... Read this book before you launch. It is a small volume filled with good practical advice and real-life examples of both successful and less-than-successful Kickstarter projects.

Author Don Steinberg begins with the basics of a Kickstarter campaign, such as what kinds of projects do and do not qualify, then segues into strategies for setting funding levels and reward structures, ideas for publicizing a campaign, and tips on how to plan ahead for the fulfillment stage. And as the title says, he provides real-life stories of successful Kickstarter campaigns and the people and ideas behind them.

Chapter 11 is one that the would-be, first-time Kickstarter will definitely want to study carefully: "Learning from Failure: Kickstarter misfires, redemptions, and second acts." Steinberg interviews several Kickstarters who initially failed, then retooled their ideas and eventually succeeded. In the chapter opening, he points out that the 2011 success rate on Kickstarter was 46%... that's truly phenomenal, but on the flip side, the majority of campaigns failed that year. Steinberg would be remiss if he didn't present the downside of the story... Experience is the best teacher, as Benjamin Franklin famously pointed out, so Steinberg has included Chapter 11 because it's best to learn from the experience of others.

Kickstarter is an amazing phenomena of the Internet age, a powerful tool with global reach, but it is not a magic money machine. Again, read this book before you launch a campaign, learn from it, and your odds of success will improve I believe.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Royal Enfield Musket V-Twin Update

Musket V-Twin Engine
We did a post some months back about Aniket Vardhan and his Musket V-Twin custom. Aniket has created a Royal Enfield V-twin engine by mating the top ends of two Bullet engines to a custom crankcase and flywheel assembly. He's made 700cc and 1000cc versions.

We just popped in at his website to see the latest news and found this pic of a fully-assembled engine, a beautiful piece of work.

Note that the link that we give to his website in our January blog post is no longer working... You can get to his website here.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Coker Tire Company for Bobbers & Old Skool Bikes

Coker's Beck Diamond Tread
If you're building an old skool bike, like a bobber, a vintage reproduction, or a boardtracker, be sure to check out the vintage reproduction tires from Coker Tire Company. My favorites are the Beck Diamond Tread pictured here, and the classic Firestone Deluxe Champion.

'40 Ford Coupe Reproduction Body, Licensed by Ford

Ford has licensed Dennis Carpenter Ford Restoration Parts to build a steel body shell reproduction of the iconic, classic 1940 Ford coupe. Body packages are available in several degrees of completeness, with prices ranging from $11,900 to $15,000. Two firewall options are available for order, one configured for the original flathead V-8, the other for a modern V-8.

The Forty Ford, what a gorgeous classic. Click the link to Dennis Carpenter above to get the details.

Tip of the Hat to the MotorAuthority blog for this story.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Katee Sackhoff's Classified Moto KT600 Custom

Katee Sackhoff's KT600 from Classified Moto
This bike is yet another sterling example of why I love the work of John Ryland and his crew at Classified Moto in Richmond, Virginia. This Honda XL600-based bruiser was commissioned by actress and motorcycle enthusiast, Katee Sackhoff. Katee first came to wide public attention, of course, in the role of Starbuck in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica SyFy Channel show in 2004.

Indulging in a bit of wordplay, Classified Moto has dubbed this bike the "KT600."

Once again Ryland has displayed his talent for transforming a plain vanilla bike into a unique and awesome work of two-wheeled art... with performance, to boot.

Starbuck and Bike

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Portland Mini Maker Faire, Pt. 3: Steampunk Creations of Chuck Dolence

Chuck Dolence at his Portland Mini Maker Faire Booth
Chuck Dolence displayed his a collection of his "Musanical" artworks at the Portland Mini Maker Faire. Chuck builds these intricately detailed metal sculptures from found mechanical objects and discarded musical instruments.

The "Cymbolic Explorer" 
Chuck is a devout Christian who sees his work as a "redemptive" activity that he likens to God's redemptive work on behalf of abused and discarded individuals. By analogy, Chuck takes these discarded things and makes something new and beautiful with them just as God can do with a broken human being.

See Chuck's website for his other works that he calls Cosmicanicals and Floranicals.

Arrinera Automotive's Hussarya, Polish Supercar

The Hussarya, a Polish Supercar
A team of visionary Polish automotive designers is making history in the former Communist country: For four years Poland has been home to a supercar company, Arrinera Automotive. Their first car, the Hussarya, is scheduled for production next year in Poland.

The Hussarya will be powered by a 6.2liter 8-cylinder engine pumping out a claimed 650HP. The steel chassis has been designed by legendary British car designer, Lee Noble. The body is carbon fiber. The high-power mill and lightweight chassis and body make for one quick machine:  60mph in 3.2seconds, with a claimed top speed of 210mph.

In an interesting safety twist, the Hussarya can be equipped with thermal imagers from Oregon's premiere IR imaging company, FLIR.

Autoblog has a nice post on the Hussarya. Check it out.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Looper, the Movie

Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Bruce Willis in Looper
I posted about the coming sci-fi flick Looper when the first teaser-trailer was released back in April. It opened last Friday, so I went to see it over the weekend and really liked it. The basic plot concept is that a man is sent back thirty years to the past in order to be executed by his younger self (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt), but that goes awry when he recognizes his future self (played by Bruce Willis) and hesitates before pulling the trigger... his future self makes a run for it then, and havoc subsequently ensues.

The use of time travel in film and television plots usually rubs me the wrong way because I feel it tends to be a gimmick or deus ex machina sort-of copout that papers over the screenplay writer's lack of imagination. It seems that you inevitably end up with a plot that makes no sense. But in the case of Looper, writer-director Rian Johnson handled the time travel aspects beautifully. Indeed, they are central to the plot's premise.

If you are a sci-fi fan, definitely go see it. However, be forewarned that it is pretty violent, has some female nudity, and some truly horrifying moments.

I thought Gordon-Levitt was excellent in the lead role... I think this is really his movie, not Bruce Willis's. Watching the play of expressions over Gordon-Levitt's face, and his mannerisms, I got the impression that he went into the archives of the Eighties hit TV show, Moonlighting, to study the young Bruce Willis.

And by the way, if you are a film noir fan and have never seen the 2006 Rian Johnson film, Brick, definitely do rectify that. It's a very classic kind of noir story set in a SoCal high school, and also starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a type of teen-aged Philip Marlowe trying to solve the mystery of his former girlfriend's murder.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Portland Mini Maker Faire, Pt. 2: Josh Tannenbaum

Josh Tannenbaum, Steampunk Fabricator
I have been a bit busy this past week and haven't done as much blogging about the Portland Mini Maker Faire as I was planning to do. So, here's a quick post with a pic from Steampunk artisan Josh Tannenbaum's booth. Josh and Karen Tannenbaum's Etsy store is here at Tannenbaum Fabrications.

Also check out their Tannenbaum Fabrications website. I like their tagline: "Fantastic Artifacts from the Future Past."

I will be following up with some more pics from his displays in another post. He had some very nicely designed and crafted work on display. More to come...

Friday, September 21, 2012

Buildatron 2 3D Printer from Buildatron Systems

Buildatron 2 3D Printer
Buildatron Systems in New York City designs and builds open source 3D printers. The basic design is apparently adapted from the RepRap printer, but is much more robust.

I believe the price for a fully assembled system is $2500, and a DIY unassembled kit is $1599. However, I went to the Buildatron online store page and could not see how to put a unit on order online. A contact number and email address is given there, so if you are interested in a printer you can give those a try.

Buildatron has several galleries of printer pics and parts pics here. Their blog is here.

If you would like to get into the research and design of 3D printers, Buildatron wants you to know that the company is looking for engineers and interns. You can contact the research and design department here.

I have embedded one of their YouTube videos here.

William Gibson's Neuromancer Headed for the Big Screen

Neuromancer Concept Art from BlueSunCorp Website
Popular sci-fi website io9 is reporting that William Gibson's cyberpunk classic, Neuromancer, is indeed headed for the big screen after many fits and false starts over the years. They link to the GFM Films Neuromancer page with concept art and some minimal information about the production and direction personnel, and a synopsis.

Liam Neeson and Mark Wahlberg have reportedly been offered lead roles in the movie. The budget is claimed to be $60M.

There is a further link to a recent io9 interview with William Gibson in which he discusses the novel and the film.

I haven't yet found any info concerning a timeline for the film's release, thought it still seems to be early days in the production cycle.

I also found a page of cool Neuromancer concept art at the website of BlueSunCorp, though I have no idea if they have any connection to the film or not.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sportster Bobber Seen at the Portland Maker Faire

Ballsy Sportster Bobber in Portland Today
I saw this cool, ballsy-looking Sportster Bobber at the Portland Mini Maker Faire today. Had to take some snaps to share it with you here. Thought this one showed it to best advantage.

The custom pipes are wrapped with high-heat ceramic tape.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Portland, OR Mini Maker Faire, Sept. 15-16

The Portland Mini Maker Faire is coming up fast. It will be setup in the North parking lot of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), this coming Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 15-16. The Faire is open both days from 10am to 6pm.

Admission is $12 for adults, and $8 for kids 3 to 13 and seniors (63+). Two-day passes are available for a discount, $20 for adults and $15 for the kids. Seniors can get a two-day pass for the same price as daily admission, just $8. Admission for children under three is free. You can buy tickets online here.

A map and driving directions to OMSI are here.

OMSI is looking for volunteers to support the Faire. To volunteer your help, contact OMSI at

Check out MAKE magazine online while you're at it. See MAKE's online schedule of upcoming Maker Faire's all around the globe to find the date and time of a Faire near you.

UPDATE 9/15: Getting out the door now, heading for OMSI.

UPDATE 9/15pm: Just got back... took lots of pics. Had a great time. Will be blogging up a storm about it.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

"Beast from the Sea," A Supernatural Noir Thriller

Beast from the Sea is an unusual novel of speculative fiction written by a very talented author, a young woman who is a relative of ours writing under the pen name R.B. Kannon. It is a tale of the supernatural and the metaphysical, a murder mystery with a noir flavor, a political thriller and a horror story all rolled into one... The disparate strands of this subtle, sophisticated novel are artfully woven together into a seamless whole.

This tale is set in the (fictional) desert city of Babylon (not the actual city in Iraq!). Here is my short teaser introduction to the story with no spoilers:

Babylon, "a city both ancient and new," sprawls on the edge of an evaporating sea, and burns beneath a desert sun. Five years ago a popular uprising against her ruling Ministry and its allied religious establishment, the Unity, was put down with extreme violence. The city, now embargoed by the outside world, simmers with suppressed rage and teeters on the edge of chaos.

The brutal murder of Ministry Undersecretary Aaron Crowley has Detective Maxwell Summers caught in a dangerous bind. A powerful and feared Apostle of the Unity, Lucrecia Grey, was present at the scene when Crowley was murdered. Summers knows that the Apostle is essentially untouchable, even if guilty. Yet despite the dangers to his career, and perhaps to his life, Summers is driven to a relentless pursuit of the truth of Crowley's murder. Unfortunately for him, truth is a rare and unwelcome commodity in treacherous Babylon. 

Meanwhile, on the city's outskirts a controversial paleontology dig has uncovered mysterious artifacts of Babylon's ancient past. Some find it troubling that the Apostles of the Unity seem to have more than a merely scientific interest in these strange findings. Summers, as he wonders at the presence of the Apostle at the murder scene, finds it troubling that the murdered Undersecretary was the Ministry's sponsor of the dig. 

Crowley's handpicked dig site supervisor, Elijah Carver, may be the wild card in the deck. An outsider to Babylon, a man with an unknown past, the scientists on the dig team respect him but are puzzled by Crowley's choice, for Carver has no scientific credentials from Babylon's University, or any other, for that matter. Yet his apparent knowledge of the site and its ancient past is uncanny. 

As unwelcome as truth of any kind is to Babylon's rulers, truth will ultimately out when the paths of the Apostle, the detective, and the enigmatic Carver cross. Each of these three characters is in relentless, obsessive pursuit of his own conflicting objectives, and when they collide with one another the truth of Babylon's ancient past and troubled present cannot help but be revealed. The only question is, can Babylon survive the revelation of truth, or can it subsist only on lies?

The prose is beautiful and poetic, the settings are evocative and atmospheric. The characters are finely drawn, and the dialog is noir-detective-story snappy. One reader told me the world of Beast from the Sea is so vividly realized that from the first page he felt like he'd walked into a real world with a real history behind it. Another reader, a former professional photographer, called it "cinematic," like "a sequence of storyboards." I found it to be a compelling story, filled with gorgeous textures of light and color and sound. In some places it is horrifying, though never gratuitously so; in others it is heart-breaking, but throughout you sense that it is informed by a humane and compassionate sensibility.

Check it out, and especially see the reader reviews at the Amazon Kindle listing. And note that although author R.B. Kannon is young --- in her twenties --- this is not to be classified as young adult or teenage fiction, this is a book written for grownups, though it certainly can be enjoyed by intelligent young readers, also.

It's available now on Nook and Kindle... see our Kindle listing link below. If you don't have a Kindle e-reader, you can download a free reader for PC from Amazon, or one for the  iPad. If you prefer Barnes & Noble, they have free downloads of a reader application for Android mobile devices and also the iPhone and iPad.

The cover artwork was created by web and graphics designer Jason Sikes of Village Green Studios.

Update: Blogger Clayton Cramer has his capsule review here: Clayton Cramer's Blog: Beast From The Sea

Update 10/6/12: Hmmmmmm... a mysterious fossil find, the sea beast of Cincinnati...

Steampunk Corsets from Corset-Story

Brown Steampunk Corset w. Chain Details
Corset-Story is a UK-based company that designs and makes artsy, very high quality corsets. Their corsets are constructed in a modern, 15,000 square foot factory in India.

They've got several design lines... I am featuring their Steampunk line here.

If you are looking for something to wear to a Steampunk gathering, such as next year's Steampunk World's Fair, check out Corset-Story.

(Corset-Story also has an amazing line of "Vintage Goth" corsets.)


State Bicycle Company

State Bicycle "Midas" Model
I've seen a lot of Web ads for State Bicycle Co. lately. They focus on the design and manufacturing of their own line of elegantly styled fixed-gear bikes for sale at low prices. I love their clean and colorful good looks.

State Bicycle is located in Tempe, AZ. You can look for your nearest dealer here. Of, you can be online from Amazon services, see our product links below.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Devon Works Tread1 Steampunk Watch

Devon Works Steampunk Watch
The watch designers at Devon Works in Los Angeles have created this unique, limited-edition Steampunk timepiece, which is based on their innovative Tread1 model. The Tread1 and the Steampunk employ a patented system of four micromotors driving timing belts to control the hours-minutes-seconds display numbers.

The design team members at Devon Works say they were inspired by the conveyor belt driven machinery of the Industrial Revolution. Check its design out in more detail at the Devon Works picture gallery. I also recommend that you see this excellent article describing the history and technical features of the Tread1 development.

Only 150 Steampunk watches will be issued, and at a price of $25,000 each... definitely an item for the serious collector, only! It will be available to buyers this fall.

About the emotive power of the steampunk aesthetic, Devon Works founder and Creative Director, Scott Devon quotes Robert Brown, leader of the steampunk band, Abney Park:

Steampunk is a sort of dream, the way we used to daydream. It's like part of your childhood is just bursting forward again.

Acceptance of the Steampunk among timepiece aficionados has been outstanding. In fact, Devon Works Managing Director, Ehren Bragg, said that conceptual artwork was shown to select timepiece collectors in the early design stages, and their response was so enthusiastic that the Steampunk was moved up ahead of several other scheduled projects at Devon Works. 

The success of the Steampunk is a testament to the cultural resonance of the steampunk sensibility. You can see another great gallery of pics here at the Watch Anish tumblr site.   

A sidenote here: Devon Works is also known for supercar design. Check out the Devon GTX supercar video below.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Copper Mike's Steampunk Shovelhead

Gravesend Cycles Steampunk Harley-Davidson
I just saw this steampunk-themed Harley-Davidson Shovelhead on the cover of the latest issue of American Iron magazine. I liked the article's tagline: "What the past would have looked like if the future had started sooner." That pretty much sums up the retro-futurist perspective of steampunk.

This machine is a product of the fertile imagination and talented hands of custom bike builder and master metalsmith Michael Cole, aka "Copper Mike" because he loves to work with that metal. The level of handcrafted detail in this bike's design is astonishing... with the small pics I provide here you can only get a hint of that, so go to the Gravesend Cycles Steampunk gallery to get a better look at and appreciation of Mike's work. Especially cool was the intricate engraving on the engine, which can actually best be seen in photos at the Kustom King blog.

Copper Mike is the proprietor of Gravesend Cycles in Lindenhurst, NY, where he builds the bikes and creates jewelry, copper art objects, and t-shirts.

A Closer Look at the Design Details
The Steampunk made its debut earlier this year at Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show held at The International Motorcycle Show in the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

Tip of the hat to the Kustom King Blog where I found more info about this retro-futuristic machine. Check it out.

Also check out the Copper Mike video feature below.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Cthulhu Boots & Pumps by Pleaser, Funtasma Lineup

Cthulu Knee-High Boots
Steampunk footwear with an H.P. Lovecraft flair from Pleaser USA's "Funtasma" lineup.

Over the top...


Friday, August 24, 2012

The Steampunk World's Fair, May 17-19, 2013

Steampunk World's Fair Logo
Now is a good time to start getting ready for the fourth annual Steampunk World's Fair, which is scheduled for May 17-19, 2013 in Piscataway, NJ. Events will be held at two hotels, the Radisson and Embassy Suites. Both are already sold out! Overflow accommodations are available at the Hotel Somerset-Bridgewater in Somerset. A free shuttle between the  Hotel Somerset-Bridgewater and the two venues will be available. Might be a good idea to book travel and accommodations now.

Update: There is a big portfolio of photos from the 2012 fair here that were shot on assignment by Jim Kiernan for the article here.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Tony Scott, RIP

Very sad news this morning: Famed producer-director Tony Scott, brother of Ridley Scott, leapt to his death from the Vincent Thomas Bridge in LA County yesterday. He reportedly left a note behind in his car, which he apparently drove to the site, though at this time no motive has been reported.

Tony Scott produced many action films, such as Top Gun, Days of Thunder, Beverly Hills Cop II, and the Denzel Washington/ Chris Pine film, Unstoppable. He was also credited as a producer of his brother's latest film, Prometheus. He reportedly was most recently working on a Top Gun sequel with Tom Cruise.

May he rest in peace.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

KScan3D Software Turns Kinect into 3D Color Scanner

KScan3D Human Model
The KScan3D software package from 3D3 Solutions lets you redeploy your Kinect for Windows or Kinect for Xbox 360 as a 3D color scanner. The 3D3 people claim that their software can seamlessly stitch together shots taken from multiple angles to capture a complete 360degree model of an object or person.   The software creatures a 3D mesh model that is automatically combined and aligned. The package also incorporates editing features for smoothing and editing the data.

The resulting model is available for output in four industry-standard file formats: .stl, .obj, .ply and .asc. The model can be used for CAD/CAM work, game design, visual effects, and 3D printing.

The package price is $299... You have to sign-up for an account with 3D3 Solutions to get pricing, by the way, providing your email address and street address, so I did that to save you the hassle. You can purchase  with a credit card or PayPal and download the software immediately.

If you own a Kinect, you can download and test drive KScan3D by taking advantage of the free fourteen-day trial.

You can see a gallery of scans here, and can download them in .ply, .obj, and .stl for examination in your CAD viewer.

If you give KScan3D a try, or are already a user, we'd like to hear what you think of the package... by all means, please leave your comments here at this post.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Steampunk Accessories from Brute Force Studios

Brute Force Studios Leather Corset
While googling around for pictures of brass steampunk goggles this morning I discovered Brute Force Studios, a purveyor of high-quality steampunk accessories, jewelry, and costumes. The product lineup is made-up of really top-drawer, professionally designed and artfully made stuff.

Thomas Willeford, the proprietor of Brute Force Studios, has been a prominent figure in the steampunk subculture and movement for two decades. His work has been featured in numerous magazines, websites, books, and television shows. I first saw Willeford's work in Art Donovan's excellent book, The Art of Steampunk, which has an entire chapter dedicated to Willeford's creations.
      Willeford's Ornithopter Backpack

Last fall, Willeford became a published author himself with the McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics title, Steampunk Gear, Gadgets, and Gizmos: A Maker's Guide to Creating Modern Artifacts... see our link to his book at Amazon below. 

Willeford has also designed jewelry for Alchemy Gothic's "Empire Collection," a series of original steampunk-themed jewelry.

Willeford participates in steampunk events in the persona of "Lord Archibald Featherstone."

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