Mermaid's fact or fiction

7/30/09  at 2:09 PM
The monthly Babbage Ball was a roaring success once again and a hotbed of gossip and rumour. This correspondent noted however that a new theme was developing and it has piqued her curiousity.

There has it seems been a marked increase in reports of Mermaids from sailors arriving in the taverns surrounding the port district. Those who hold themselves above such fantastical speculation dismiss such nonsense and yet there is a growing body of evidence to support these tales. A respected physician, Doctor Katri Kaligawa, has been exhibiting her findings recently and these include a detailed anatomical analysis of the remains of an unknown lifeform washed up near the port and appearing to confirm the reality of the mythical mer-people.

Doctor Kaligawa's exhibition can be found here :

Your correspondent

Beq Janus

Happy Hour at 1920's Berlin

7/27/09  at 3:45 PM
It is 2pm SLT, in the back streets of 1920s Berlin, a door flies open and the small form of Fraulein Jo rushes out into the rain. Pulling on an apron over the top of her washed out drab cotton dress, she clatters across the cobbled streets, nodding to the street walker leant miserably against the lamp post, her old leather trench coat pulled close against the persistent rain. Along the street she runs, down the steps to fling open the doors of Der Kellar, her bar.

“Damen und Herren, its Happy hour in 1920s Berlin”, she shouts.

It is not long before people start to arrive, The Cellar attracts an eclectic mix of people. Flapper girls and their beaus are soon dancing to the 1920s music pumping from the radio, at the bar housewives and travellers alike share their gossip as Fraulein Jo or one of her staff polish glasses and keep the guests supplied with drink. Even the streetwalker takes a break from her lonely post in the rain, warming herself with alcohol.

Every day a scene like this can be found in Berlin, as at 2pm 7 days a week Berlin springs to life for Happy Hour. Dancers and musicians may occasionally be found on stage. The waiter and bar staff along with the other guests will keep you entertained and there are always good, cheap cigarettes available.

I recommend a visit to 1920s Berlin at any time of day, but to capture the unique atmosphere created by Fraulein Jo and her friends, come join us for Happy Hour 2pm SLT daily.

1920s Berlin in SL:

You can also find a flickr photogroup here:

A Year and a Day Ago ...

7/24/09  at 2:19 PM
... a new magazine was launched.

It had a sepia cover, rendered as an old photgraph, and it was intended to bring entertainment and information to the vintage and steampunk sims. It featured the region of Caledon Penzance, with accounts of the varied attractions there - and aimed to bring a new type of reportage to the grid.

The editrix and designer was Miss Alesia Markstein, the advertising and client relations manager was Miss Diva Regina, and the publisher and lead reporter was Miss Saffia Widdershins.

One year later, a great deal has changed. Miss Markstein and Miss Regina have moved on to other things, and The Primgraph is now is the hands of a very capable team of writers and photographers. Miss Elegia Underwood has stepped into Miss Regina's shoes, Miss Wren Carling is currently our wonderfully talented designer, and Miss Saffia Widdershins has taken over as editrix.

Over the last year, there have been six issues, covering the regions of caledon Penzance, the French Baroque Coeurs, the late nineteenth century town of Steelhead, the Western town of Tombstone, the Swedish Baroque court of Drottningholm and the steampunk town of New Babbage. But as well as that, there have been thrilling serials, articles on fashion, history, technology (particularly steam technology), advice of ettiquette and information on the Alexandrian Libraries - as well as, increasingly, news and photographs of exciting events in different sims. And now we have a web comic too!

Our subscribers have grown enormously too over the last year. Direct subscribers now number over 4,000 - and that is not counting those who download the magazine from the web, either as a pdf or as an easy to read Calameo magazine.

And shortly our seventh edition will be appearing, focusing on the Caledon seaside sims.

Truly, it has been an exciting and incredibly successful year for The Primgraph. Here's to the next one!

Story-telling with Saffia at the CocoJava Cafe

7/22/09  at 6:30 PM

Miss Ceejay Writer of the Cocojava Cafe is pleased to announce what it is hoped will be the first Story-telling evening at the CocoJava Cafe in Babbage Palisade, to take place on Friday 24th July at 4pm SLT.

The story-teller will be Miss Saffia Widdershins, who will be telling a story of her own devising - one of her Tales of the Dardoli*.

The cafe (a popular hunt for New Babbage residents, including the Mayor who can often be found there ... resting after a hard day's labour). In addition to other events held there, a recent gathering for silent work proved a great success, and Miss Writer, the proprietress, hopes that other varied events will find an audience.

*To learn who (or what) the Dardoli are, Miss Widdershins idicates that you should come to the reading!

Farewell, RFL, and Yet You Live On

7/21/09  at 8:20 PM
So much of our world is transient. As much as we feel the strength of the stone cobblestones under our heels on the streets of Babbage, and lean against her buildings, always counting on them to hold us up... it is still the grid. It is what it is. Steam may indeed power the grid in a Babbager's mind, but in the blink of an eye it can change, morph, vanish. Do not take it for granted. Preserve your memories, hold them fast in your mind and heart... and if you are Loki Eliot, keep the dream alive in that way that you do best. Behold his film of what was built and will vanish evermore. Here is what New Babbage gave over to Relay For Life this year. What was built was beyond fantastic. I personally hold a special memory of my own in the Galeri, and I am sure we all have our secret favorite corners and niches. Can you find yours? Watch.

H.P. Blavatsky Memorial Branch Library

7/13/09  at 6:20 AM

The Caledon Library is very pleased to introduce its most recent addition, the H.P. Blavatsky Memorial Branch Library, located at Adocentyn Tower, in Caledon Wellsian. The Blavatsky branch, under the very able curation of Miss Aevalle Galicia, houses works on 19th century Spiritualism, along with sundry related materials.

H.P. Blavatsky Memorial Branch Library
Adocentyn Tower, Caledon Wellsian

Currently, the collection rejoices in some two hundred and fifty aetheric texts, including books, articles, and letters, spread over thirty volumes in seven bookcases. Visitors are cordially invite to linger and peruse the stacks, or take copies home with them. Bookcases are organized by theme, and volumes are generally by a single author. Books in each volume are arranged alphabetically to allow for easier scanning and selection.

Herein follows a listing of the works at the Blavatsky branch, by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky:

The Original Programme of The Theosophical Society
H. P. Blavatsky to the American Conventions
Appendix On Dreams
Esoteric Instructions
Gems From The East: A Birthday Book of Precepts and Axioms
The Theosophical Glossary
Nightmare Tales
From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan
Other Writings from Blavatsky's Hand
Articles by H.P. Blavatsky
A Modern Panarion: A Collection Of Fugitive Fragments
The Theosophist A Monthly Journal Devoted to Oriental Philosophy, Art, Literature and Occultism: Embracing Mesmerism, Spiritualism, and Other Secret Sciences
Five Years Of Theosophy
Theosophical Articles and Notes
The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis Of Science, Religion, And Philosophy
Isis Unveiled: A Master-Key to the Mysteries of Ancient and Modern Science and Theology
The Key To Theosophy
The Voice Of The Silence
The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett
Letters of H.P. Blavatsky
Some Unpublished Letters Of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
Letters of H.P. Blavatsky to Her Family in Russia
The Letters Of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett
Some Letters of H.P. Blavatsky to W. Q. Judge
Collected Writings Vol I
Collected Writings Vol II
Collected Writings Vol III
Collected Writings Vol IV
Collected Writings Vol V
Collected Writings Vol VI
Collected Writings Vol VII
Collected Writings Vol VIII
Collected Writings Vol IX
Collected Writings Vol X
Collected Writings Vol XI
Collected Writings Vol XII
Collected Writings Vol XIII
Collected Writings Vol XIV
Collected Writings Vol XV/Index

Happy Birthday, Mister Tesla

7/10/09  at 6:50 AM

Today marks the 153rd birthday of Nikola Tesla. It is ironic that he has become so highly regarded, long after his death. Even Google gives proper homage to his work, and please do read the comments.

On this day we should all pay attention
To Tesla's great gift of invention
In the currency race
He took second place
And died broke and without a pension

The City/State of New Babbage is certainly a place that honors Tesla and his visions - but surely there are other locations in Second Life we should know of! Please share with us, through a reply to this entry, and tell us what you have found. It would be quite fitting to take a journey in his honor, while making fine use of a technology that owes a debt to Nikola Tesla himself.

(also born on this day: Arlo Guthrie, Arthur Ashe, Alice Munro, Eunice Shriver, Carl Orff, Helene Dutrieu, Mary McLeod Bethune, Marcel Proust, Nikola Tesla, Camille Pissaro, and the Primgraph's very own Miss Viv Trafalgar's typist!)

Jubilation as Babbage mayor returns (again)

7/6/09  at 1:41 AM
The city state of New Babbage, last night received the news it had been waiting for as Clockwinder Tenk, the much loved mayor of the city was found alive.

Regular readers will recall that Mr Tenk was cast adrift by Dr. Obolensky after having fallen into a devious trap that exploited has alleged addiction. Later it emerged through unconfirmed reports that General Cadmus Lupindo had destroyed the bottle.

Before this news took hold however signs of the clockwinder began to appear, restoring hope to the resistance and spurring them on to the rebellion that finally ousted the regime, the clockwinder had returned, his red hat had been seen, Tenk was back. However, there was one discrepancy in these events, it was not Tenk but a cunningly placed imposter, used by the secret services to cast doubt upon the tale of General Lupindo and set fear amongst their rank, and boost the morale of the loyaBabbagers, but to those who knew him, it was clearly not the clockwinder.

One brave naval officer, seriously wounded in the early hours of the battle for the Vernian sea, refused to give up hope and she vowed to find the real clockwinder dead or alive.

First reports came in from the ship's telegraph of the NBS Charger. Commander Dagger, true to her word, had taken her ship and using Lupindo's own reports and naval charts found the remains of the bottle, Lupindo had indeed destroyed bottle, but the cork had survived and the clockwinder had strapped himself to it.

A full report of the incident will be found in the naval logs when they are made public.

The clockwinder's return was greeted by a small cheering crowd at the dockside where he was checked over by Doctor Dayafter, and pronounced both well and authentic.

The streets are alive with talk of his return, Babbage is once again aflame this time with jubilant celebrations.

This correspondent salutes the great heroes of New Babbage, the men and women who never gave up hope and have had their loyalty rewarded.

Overthrow!! A Webcomic

  at 12:19 AM
Overthrow is the Webcomic of the recent adventures in New Babbage, featuring the overthrow of the evil tyrant Obolensky, the summoning of the Allied Fleets of Five Nations, the Great Naval Battle and destruction of his forces, and the tyrants eventual demise (?) at the hands of the captains of the Five Fleets.

Breaking News - The battle for Babbage

7/3/09  at 4:15 AM
Last night the city shook as forces clashed at sea and on the streets.  A fierce fight between the oppressive forces of the Obolenskidonian state and the rebels and their allies from the 5 nations raged throughout the evening and though information is still sparse, this correspondent has been able to elicit a few facts from the rumours that are rife.

Much jubilation has followed and this is perhaps the clearest indication that the Obolenskidonian forces were defeated heavily. However, in a press release published late last night. Zebrati Merricks, who some say is the closest and most favoured of Doctor Obolensky's generals announced that the Obolenskidonian forces had been defeated and furthermore that the Doctor himself is missing presumed dead following the destruction of his own "giant clank". Mr Zebrati has seemingly taken control of the remaining forces and withdrawn.

The press release finished with an ominous message "Rest well with the victory you hold over
our heads while you still can. One day we will rain down revenge upon
your heads."

Welcome back New Babbage, long may you prosper.

your faithful correspondent

Beq Janus

The Pride and the Passion: Counter Revolution in the state formerly known as New Babbage

7/2/09  at 8:29 PM
Since the start of the Recent Unpleasantness in New Babbage (now known as Obolenskidonia, our correspondent, Beq Janus, has been sending dispatches from the front line. In addition, Miss Saffia Widdershins has managed to obtain interviews with an individual known only as T, a leading member of the Resistance, and with the de facto ruler, Doctor Obolenski himself. Photographs by PJ Trenton

Part 2: The Overlord
Having spoken with the Resistance, we were eager to speak with the man (or perhaps we should say 'overlord') behind the takeover of Doctor Obolenskki himself. Perhaps it is the reputation of The Primgraph as a journal of record throughout the vintage and steampunk sims, or perhaps it is a taste for self-aggrandisement that the octor shares with other significant overlords, but he agreed to the request with great willingness, and promptly transported me to his lair ... I mean his Observatory.

However, it was clear that his intentions were benign, for he made no objection to my inviting the trusty Primgraph photographer, PJ Trenton, to join us.

Nor did he make any secret of his reasons for seeking power in the city formerly known as New Babbage. He sought amusement - and declared the takeover of the city had afforded him a great deal of amusement although (he said) he rather regretted that no hero worthy to oppose him had arisen from among the citizenry.

Having recently met members of the Resistance who had made every effort to oppose him, I forbore from comment.

"I've found the best way to divide my enemies is to introduce them to each other," he said with a chuckle.

His views on the children who have brought such unexpected terror to the streets of Babbage is one of calm satisifaction. He claimed that his motives in founding the Youth Corps were to keep the ragamuffins occupied - but they embraced the roles of spies and informers with an enthusiasm that surprised even him. He remained undisturbed by the news that they were turning feral and shooting citizens.

"Of course ... you see, their indolence and tomfoolery is, at it's root, due to the fact that they're not working," he said, displaying a perhaps unexpectedly socially progressive view of the situation, "Once they've all been trained in some form of skill, and put to work, I suspect that sort of thing will die down. For instance, next week I'm going to turn the former City Hall into a large training bakery. The shiftless children will be gathered up, given a bed and food, and taught the essential skills."

This will, of course, have the advantage of keeping the children fed and employed at the same time.

"And out of my hair, so to speak," he added.

His closest henchman is Mr Merricks, who. he says, has been with him for years. The Doctor scorns any closer ties.

"I have my work, and my minions," he said. "Frankly, family are nothing but trouble. They tend to be just as dull and uninteresting as the general populace, but for some reason, you're supposed to be nice to them. A man with a workshop and a few loyal henchmen, hardly needs that sort of thing."

It was as I was saying my goodbyes and leaving that a rather startling occurrence took place. As he was speaking to me, the Doctor was startled by seeing what appeared to be a giant mushroom flying around the perimeter of the Observatory. For a momment the urbane mask he had presented slipped - and I had a glimpse of the strain the overlord is under, striving to maintain control over the city - a city that increasing opposes his rule. For just one more it was there - and perhaps a certain alarm. Then the mask slipped back into place.

Bulleted List
"There's some new residents in the boat slips ... I suspect they're fiddling about," he said. "One of our newer residents displaying something he had built, to another one of our newer residents."

For Babbage, that seemed a wholly understandable and acceptable explanation. And yet ... I felt that for a moment I had seen the ovelord glance up ... and above his head seen the sword of Damocles suspended ...

Is the hand that grasps it none other than Mosseveno Tenk?

The Pride and the Passion: Counter Revolution in the state formerly known as New Babbage

7/1/09  at 1:48 PM
Since the start of the Recent Unpleasantness in New Babbage (now known as Obolenskidonia, our correspondent, Beq Janus, has been sending dispatches from the front line. In addition, Miss Saffia Widdershins has managed to obtain interviews with an individual known only as T, a leading member of the Resistance, and with the de facto ruler, Doctor Obolenski himself. Photographs by PJ Trenton

Part 1: The Resistance Fighter
We had communicated for several days through obscure means before our arrangement meeting took place. I wore white pearl ear-rings had we had agreed, and T unerringly made his way through the cafe towards me. A relative newcomer to the former state of New Babbage, T has nevertheless made the city his home, and the cause his own.

It was clear that he had been living hand to mouth. We both ordered coffees - and I added a tray of delicious pastries. While I nibbled delicately at a slice of Battenberg, he fell on the sticky buns and cupcakes like a starving man. His clothes were stained with soot and blood - something that is, perhaps, less worthy of comment in the industrial streets of the region fomerly known as New Babbage than elsewhere, but even by Babbage standards it was apparent that something had Gone Wrong.

There had recently been an encounter, it seemed, with some of the metallic robots in the likeness of Doctor Obolenski in the commercial streets, and popularly (or perhaps notoriously) known as 'smashitrons'. According to T, they had been engaged in an attack on a leading citizen, one which had not only failed, but had led to the destruction of some five or six of the coonstructs who had literally lost their heads.

"I imagine it will be discussed as a malfunction," T told me. "I do not (believe it) ... for they fought with too much intensity ... but I will maintain the ruse ... if nothing more to allow Dr. O to maintain a low level of respect for us citizens."

T went on to speak with some passion of a disrupted and angry citizenry, children enlisted as spies, streets filled with grotesque iron images of the new leader, commerce endangered ... but was concerned that there seemed to be little done to save the city.

"I am new to the city," he explained, "just a couple of weeks under the stewardship of this clockwinder....a fine fellow as I can tell....with an odd taste in drink - frequently seen laying accross that very hearth behind you ... quite lost in his sour milk dreams. Then the announcement ... that he had been spirited away ... and the dark curtain of oppression falling upon the city."

T may be a newcomer to the city, but vehemently denies the charge that he is acting as the agent of a foreign power. He is proud of the democracy that the old New Babbage formerly embraced, for he believes that the people are the state, not the leaders alone (a view that might occasion a raised eyebrow from the Doctor).

He took me to see the devastation in Loner's Lane, where the attack that he had spoken of had happened. There, while T faded unobtrusively into the background lest his secret identity be suspected, I was able to speak with some of the cituzens and see for myself the outrageous assaults on the citzenry that are apparently taking place without restraint, with young (and irresponsible) children being armed with dangerous weapons which they have not hesitated to use.

I was able to speak with one citizen who had, to her great distress, been shot by a young girl. The girl seemed to feel no remorse and - indeed - revelled in her status as one of Doctor Obolensky's Youth Movement.

What will happen in Babbage? Will Doctor Obolenski succeed in his plans for his new city state? Perhaps it was time for find out just what his plans are.

Read Part 2 tomorrow.