- Canal District Parcels Available Now!
A Journey Underneath Babbage Square
- New Babbage Has New Sister Sim!
- Air Kraken Hunt
- Film Review: Lemony Snickett's A Series of Unfortunate Events
- Notable Personalities
- Literary Corner
- Events & Announcements
- Classified Advertisements
- New Babbage and Steampunk FAQ
- Contact, Circulation, and other Essential Information for the Reader
CANAL DISTRICT PARCELS AVAILABLE NOW!
Mayor Shaunathan Sprocket has announced that the Canal District sim order is imminent, and that parcels are available. All those who have reserved plots or who are seeking to relocate to the New Babbage Canal District are encouraged to contact the Mayor as soon as possible. A map of the Canal District is available beneath the town square. Follow our existing canal Northward, and enter the tunnel beneath the square. Immediately beneath the telehub, descend to the lowest elevation possible under the surface of the water. There you will find the map.
(Ed. note: Please see the story following for Mr. Mondrian's adventure in said waters...)
We sometimes think that bizarre and astounding experiences require a journey into the wildernesses of the Mainland, or the deepest unknown reaches of some remote island. But today I explored a most amazing and unusual place, right under our very feet here in New Babbage! I had recently purchased an amphibious vehicle, the Second Skies SSA-1871 Steamray, and was eager to try it out.
After testing its flying capabilities over the skies of New Babbage, I found myself landed on the surface of our canal, facing the tunnel which ran underneath our former Town Hall. Applying the throttle, I eased through the tunnel archway to find a massive underground chamber filled with water, its stone walls obviously providing the foundations for the world above!
Intrigued, I converted the Steamray to submersible mode and dove beneath the surface. The water here was deep, much deeper than the canal that led me inside. At the bottom I found an unusual series of decorations, consisting of colorful squares and rectangles and what appeared to be markings within each shape. Parking my craft on the sea floor, I donned on an Aethernaut Suit and got out to investigate.On closer inspection it became clear that the colorful grid was no less than a scale map of New Babbage, complete with numbers indicating each area's dimensions and allotted building material.
I had seen this same map months ago during the planning stages of our fair city, in the offices of our now-Mayor Shaunathan Sprocket. Why was it now sunken beneath such deep waters flowing underneath the city square? Exploring the map further, I noticed an adjoining section, that has no current counterpart above ground. This must be the new Canal District I had heard about! So far much of it looks empty... I would suggest any readers with ambitions of owning land here should stake out their claim with Mayor Sprocket post-haste.
And speaking of staking out claims, it was clear I was not the first explorer to reach these watery depths. A small flag emblazoned with the word "GOONIES" was planted next to the map. My air-tanks were almost empty, though, so I could not linger to discover what a "Goony" is, or what it might think of such strange artifacts. This much I do know now, though: that there are wonders to be found everywhere, and that all that is required to discover them is an open mind and an adventurer's heart.
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NEW BABBAGE HAS A SISTER SIM!
A memorial has been erected in
AIR KRAKEN HUNT
Upon reading the excellent reaport about Air Krakens by Miss Eggberta Echegaray I have recalled a similar creature that I stumbled upon during one of my journeys to the Continent. According to Scriptum Mysticorum (octavo size, printed in Krakow around 1560) by Nicolaus Boruta Horostiensis, fairly accurate source of late medieval beasts and magick, the air kraken is nothing more but a mere servant (or even a spawn) to a being known as Cyaghea, a tentacled creature with one gargantuan eye believed to reside somewhere in Hesse (Germany) and worshipped by cultists of that region. Records of human sacrifice and blood orgies, as the scourge of west
That did not slow me down and just after a hearty meal in the local tavern (“onion” seems to be a crown jewel in every Hessian cook’s recipe) I embarked on the crusade with a tip to head towards the caves. Both of my guides got lost (or perished) in the corn fields right after we left the village, therefore I invaded the woods utterly alone. A few hours of walk lead me to the vicinity of the caves. And there I saw a huge squid-like body with ten tentacles “wrestling” with a pine tree. At least that is what I thought- later on I was told it was only scratching itself. Having not been seen I carefully lowered my rifle and sat by the stone in order to study its habits. I swear it was the most boring afternoon I have ever spent. Five hours of “tree wrestling” and about a 5 seconds of action, since the horrid thing had spotted me and I had to shoot it. Unfortunatelly I did not have the chance to properly examine the body because the Pearse Rifle exploding bullets tore it apart- the squid pieces were everywhere (me including) but the ground. Covered in slime, tree bark and other substances I returned to Zwiebelndorf and, strangly, became a hero of the day. The Burgomeister was so amazed seeing me come back alive he offered a reward (in his eyes I presume… an old pistol, broken pocketwatch and two tons of onion is hardly a reward for a civilised hunter) to seek and kill other Luftkalmar specimens. That is how I spent anther two days in Hessian countryside, sitting in various highly uncomfortable places exploding the squids. Due to the actions described in the story you have just read, my dear reader, I advise you- wear a raincoat and shoot the bloody thing in the eye.
LEMONY SNICKET'S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS
Named for the first in what was originally a childrens' book series, "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" was produced in 2004, directed by Brad Silberling, and features well-known actors such as Jim Carrey, Meryl Streep, and Billy Connolly. Following the death of their parents, three siblings are thrust into the care of others who are inept, uncaring, and worse yet, dangerous. Chief among these is an uncle, Count Olaf. So bent on capturing control of the fortune to be inhereted by the eldest of the three, Olaf resorts to wearing disguises to remain close to the trio as they are tossed to and fro between guardians. The children, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny, each have a particular talent. Violet, the eldest, has a peculiar ability to invent and build, and can often create a device that will resolve sticky situations. Her younger brother, Klaus, is the idea man. With an encyclopedic intellect and the ability to perform deep research, his quick thinking is often paired with Violet's handiwork. Finally, there is the toddler, Sunny, whose ordinary power is actually quite extraordinary: her teeth are so strong that she can bite just about anything in two. The film version of this story is delightfully dark without being morbid, and is graced throughout by steampunk elements, inventions, and backdrops. Even the animations at the beginning and end of the film are done so artfully that they inspired me to watch the usually-dreadful end credits. Although my initial interest in the film was due to the aesthetic, I found myself quite engaged in the story by the end, pulling for the children as they encountered one obstacle after another. This is an experience that might have been produced for children, but it was certainly developed with an adult audience in mind as well. Highly recommended!
PROMINENT MEN AND WOMEN OF THE DAY
This noted beauty, Lillie Langtry, is the daughter of a clergyman and a native of the little Isle of Jersey. She made her debut as Lady Clara in "A Fair Encounter," soon afterward appearing at the noted London Haymarket theatre. After a provincial tour, during which she assayed new characters, she again appeared in
She married Mr. Langtry when but nineteen years of age. When asked about him she was silent. And the actress traveled back in memory to a day when she was neither famous nor thought of fame--to a day when she only thought of love, and a Viking came over the seas to win her. "Though only twenty-five, he was a widower," she said, after a pause. "His first wife was a Miss Price. The Prices were Irish people living in
Sir ArthurConan Doyle
In this issue, The New Babbage Cog presents Chapter 6 of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Sign of The Four."
THE SIGN OF FOUR
SHERLOCK HOLMES GIVES A DEMONSTRATION
"Now, Watson," said Holmes, rubbing his hands, "we have half an hour to ourselves. Let us make good use of it. My case is, as I have told you, almost complete; but we must not err on the side of overconfidence. Simple as the case seems now, there may be something deeper underlying it." "Simple!" I ejaculated. "Surely," said he with something of the air of a clinical professor expounding to his class. "Just sit in the corner there, that your footprints may not complicate matters. Now to work! In the first place, how did these folk com
e and how did they go? The door has not been opened since last night. How of the window?" He carried the lamp across to it, muttering his observations aloud the while but addressing them to himself rather than to me. "Window is snibbed on the inner side. Frame-work is solid. No hinges at the side. Let us open it. No water-pipe near. Roof quite out of reach. Yet a man has mounted by the window. It rained a little last night. Here is the print of a foot in mould upon the sill. And here is a circular muddy mark, and here again upon the floor, and here again by the table. See here, Watson! This is really a very pretty demonstration." I looked at the round, well-defined muddy discs. "That is not a foot-mark," said I. "It is something much more valuable to us. It is the impression of a wooden stump. You see here on the sill is the boot-mark, a heavy boot with a broad metal heel, and beside it is the mark of the timber-toe." "It is the wooden-legged man." "Quite so. But there has been someone else--a very able and efficient ally. Could you scale that wall, Doctor?" I looked out of the open window. The moon still shone brightly on that angle of the house. We were a good sixty feet from the ground, and, look where I would, I could see no foothold, nor as much as a crevice in the brickwork. "It is absolutely impossible," I answered. "Without aid it is so. But suppose you had a friend up here who lowered you this good stout rope which I see in the corner, securing one end of it to this great hook in the wall. Then, I think, if you were an active man, you might swarm up, wooden leg and all. You would depart, of course, in the same fashion, and your ally would draw up the rope, untie it from the hook, shut the window, snib it on the inside, and get away in the way that he originally came. As a minor point, it may be noted," he continued, fingering the rope, "that our wooden-legged friend, though a fair climber, was not a professional sailor. His hands were far from horny. My lens discloses more than one blood-mark, especially towards the end of the rope, from which I gather that he slipped down with such velocity that he took the skin off his hands." "This is all very well," said I; "but the thing becomes more unintelligible than ever. How about this mysterious ally? How came he into the room?" "Yes, the ally!" repeated Holmes pensively.
"There are features of interest about this ally. He lifts the case from the regions of the commonplace. I fancy that this ally breaks fresh ground in the annals of crime in this country--though parallel cases suggest themselves from
t the sloping wall. "This is a trapdoor which leads out on to the roof. I can press it back, and here is the roof itself, sloping at a gentle angle. This, then, is the way by which Number One entered. Let us see if we can find some other traces of his individuality?" He held down the lamp to the floor, and as he did so I saw for the second time that night a startled, surprised look come over his face. For myself, as I followed his gaze, my skin was cold under my clothes. The floor was covered thickly with the prints of a naked foot--clear, well-defined, perfectly formed, but scarce half the size of those of an ordinary man.
"Holmes," I said in a whisper, "a child has done this horrid thing." He had recovered his self-possession in an instant. "I was staggered for the moment," he said, "but the thing is quite natural. My memory failed me, or I should have been able to foretell it. There is nothing more to be learned here. Let us go down." "What is your theory, then, as to those footmarks?" I asked eagerly when we had regained the lower room once more. "My dear Watson, try a little analysis yourself," said he with a touch of impatience. "You know my methods. Apply them, and it will be instructive to compare results." "I cannot conceive anything which will cover the facts," I answered. "It will be clear enough to you soon," he said, in an offhand way. "I think that there is nothing else of importance here, but I will look." He whipped out his lens and a tape measure and hurried about the room on his knees, measuring, comparing, examining, with his long thin nose only a few inches from the planks and his beady eyes gleaming and deep-set like those of a bird. So swift, silent, and furtive were his movements, like those of a trained bloodhound picking out a scent, that I could not but think what a terrible criminal he would have made had he turned his energy and sagacity against the law instead of exerting them in its defence. As he hunted about, he kept muttering to himself, and finally he broke out into a loud crowof delight. "We are certainly in luck," said he. "We ought to have very little trouble now. Number One has had the misfortune to tread in the creosote. You can see the outline of the edge of his small foot here at the side of this evil-smelling mess. The carboy has been cracked, you see, and the stuff has leaked out." "What then?" I asked. "Why, we have got him, that's all," said he. "I know a dog that would follow that scent to the world's end. If a pack can track a trailed herring across a shire, how far can a specially trained hound follow so pungent a smell as this? It sounds like a sum in the rule of three.
The answer should give us the-- -- But hallo! here are the accredited representatives of the law." Heavy steps and the clamour of loud voices were audible from below, and the hall door shut with a loud crash. "Before they come," said Holmes, "just put your hand here on this poor fellow's arm, and here on his leg. What do you feel?" "The muscles are as hard as a board," I answered. "Quite so. They are in a state of extreme contraction, far exceeding the usual rigor mortis. Coupled with this distortion of the face, this Hippocratic smile, or 'risus sardonicus,' as the old writers called it, what conclusion would it suggest to your mind?" "Death from some powerful vegetable alkaloid," I answered, "some strychnine-like substance which would produce tetanus." "That was the idea which occurred to me the instant I saw the drawn muscles of the face. On getting into the room I at once looked for the means by which the poison had entered the system. As you saw, I discovered a thorn which had been driven or shot with no great force into the scalp. You observe that the part struck was that which would be turned towards the hole in the ceiling if the man were erect in his chair. Now examine this thorn." I took it up gingerly and held it in the light of the lantern. It was long, sharp, and black, with a glazed look near the point as though some gummy substance had dried upon it. The blunt end had been trimmed and rounded off with a knife. "Is that an English thorn?" he asked. "No, it certainly is not." "With all these data you should be able to draw some just inference. But here are the regulars, so the auxiliary forces may beat a retreat."
As he spoke, the steps which had been coming nearer sounded loudly on the passage, and a very stout, portly man in a gray suit strode heavily into the room. He was red-faced, burly, and plethoric, with a pair of very small twinkling eyes which looked keenly out from between swollen and puffy pouches. He was closely followed by an inspector in uniform and by the still palpitating Thaddeus Sholto. "Here's a business!" he cried in a muffled, husky voice. "Here's a pretty business! But who are all these? Why, the house seems to be as full as a rabbit-warren!" "I think you must recollect me, Mr. Athelney Jones," said Holmes quietly. "Why, of course I do!" he wheezed. "It's Mr. Sherlock Holmes, the theorist. Remember you! I'll never forget how you lectured us all on causes and inferences and effects in the Bishopgate jewel case. It's true you set us on the right track; but you'll own now that it was more by good luck than good guidance." "It was a piece of very simple reasoning." "Oh, come, now, come! Never be ashamed to own up. But what is all this? Bad business! Bad business! Stern facts here--no room for theories. How lucky that I happened to be out at
This Thaddeus Sholto was with his brother; there was a quarrel: so much we know. The brother is dead and the jewels are gone. So much also we know. No one saw the brother from the time Thaddeus left him. His bed had not been slept in. Thaddeus is evidently in a most disturbed state of mind. His appearance is --well, not attractive. You see that I am weaving my web round Thaddeus. The net begins to close upon him." "You are not quite in possession of the facts yet," said Holmes. "This splinter of wood, which I have every reason to believe to be poisoned, was in the man's scalp where you still see the mark; this card, inscribed as you see it, was on the table, and beside it lay this rather curious stone-headed instrument. How does all that fit into your theory?" "Confirms it in every respect," said the fat detective pompously. "House is full of Indian curiosities. Thaddeus brought this up, and if this splinter be poisonous Thaddeus may as well have made murderous use of it as any other man. The card is some hocus-pocus--a blind, as like as not. The only question is, how did he depart? Ah, of course, here is a hole in the roof." With great activity, considering his bulk, he sprang up the steps and squeezed through into the garret, and immediately afterwards we heard his exulting voice proclaiming that he had found the trapdoor. "He can find something," remarked Holmes, shrugging his shoulders; "he has occasional glimmerings of reason. Il n'y a pas des sots si incommodes que ceux qui ont de l'esprit!" "You see!" said Athelney Jones, reappearing down the steps again; "facts are better than theories, after all. My view of the case is confirmed.There is a trapdoor communicating with the roof, and it is partly open." "It was I who opened it." "Oh, indeed! You did notice it, then?" He seemed a little crestfallen at the discovery. "Well, whoever noticed it, it shows how our gentleman got away. Inspector!" "Yes, sir," from the passage. "Ask Mr. Sholto to step this way.--Mr. Sholto, it is my duty to inform you that anything which you may say will be used against you. I arrest you in the Queen's name as being concerned in the death of your brother." "There, now! Didn't I tell you!" cried the poor little man, throwing out his hands and looking from one to the other of us. "Don't trouble yourself about it, Mr. Sholto," said Holmes; "I think that I can engage to clear you of the charge." "Don't promise too much, Mr. Theorist, don't promise too much!" snapped the detective. "You may find it a harder matter than you think." "Not only will I clear him, Mr. Jones, but I will make you a free present of the name and description of one of the two people who were in this room last night. His name, I have every reason to believe, is Jonathan Small. He is a poorly educated man, small, active, with his right leg off, and wearing a wooden stump which is worn away upon the inner side. His left boot has a coarse, square-toed sole, with an iron band round the heel. He is a middle-aged man, much sunburned, and has been a convict. These few indications may be of some assistance to you, coupled with the fact that there is a good deal of skin missing from the palm of his hand. The other man-- --" "Ah! the other man?" asked Athelney Jones in a sneering voice, but impressed none the less, as I could easily see, by the precision of the other's manner. "Is a rather curious person," said Sherlock Holmes, turning upon his heel. "I hope before very long to be able to introduce you to the pair of them. A word with you, Watson."
He led me out to the head of the stair. "This unexpected occurrence," he said, "has caused us rather to lose sight of the original purpose of our journey." "I have just been thinking so," I answered; "it is not right that Miss Morstan should remain in this stricken house." "No. You must escort her home. She lives with Mrs. Cecil Forrester in
EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
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NEW BABBAGE AND STEAMPUNK FAQ
Q. What is New Babbage?
A. New Babbage is a planned group of themed sims designed to promote a steampunk aesthetic.------------------------
Q. What is
A. The first, and to date the only, of the planned New Babbage sims is
Q. What is "steampunk?"
A. Steampunk is a genre of speculative fiction, usually science fiction, that explores the question of how past eras, particularly the Victorian period, would have looked if more modern technology had existed usingonly the tools at theirdisposal. Thus the steampunk aesthetic often makes use of wood, brass, iron, and steam-powered engines to construct fantastic machines that never were.
Please see the steampunk Wikipedia entry:
Q. Is New Babbage for role-players?
A. New Babbage is for anyone interested in steampunk ideas. Although many residents dress and role-play the part, all are welcome to participate in the activities here (period attire not required), and are encouraged to explore the technology made available to us in SL New Babbagers are builders, scripters, and texture artists, curious and experimental by nature, come together to invent, create, and commune.
CONTACT, CIRCULATION, AND OTHER ESSENTIAL
INFORMATION FOR THE READER
THIS IS A COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER, NOT A VEHICLE FOR EXPOSE. All reporters for The New Babbage Cog are obligated to inform potential interviewees when they are gathering data for a report on our behalf, or clearly identify themselves as a TNBC journalist. This is a community paper, not a vehicle for expose; all investigative reporting must be above-the-board. Deception is against the intended spirit of community embraced by this paper and will not be tolerated. If a citizen encounters an aggressive reporter claiming to work on behalf of The New Babbage Cog, they are urged to report same to the Editor.
The New Babbage Cog office is located at
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You may contact Mrs. Junie Ginsburg or Miss Eggberta Echegaray by IM with any newspaper business.
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The New Babbage Cog is circulated in three ways:
1. new issues are sent automatically to subscribers of the New
Babbage Cog group.
2. Issues are available from a paperboxes at the following locations:
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3. A reading copy of the current issue is always available at the newspaper office at
All back issues of The New Babbage Cog will be available free of charge. They can be found in the archive on the first floor of the newspaper office.
Volunteer freelance and column writers are welcome to propose stories. The New Babbage Cog also welcomes news tips, reports, and story ideas from interested parties. Please see our contact information above.
Advertising should be germane to subjects of greatest import to residents of New Babbage. Although our sensibilities are quite modern and liberal, The New Babbage Cog reserves the right to determine an ad's fitness for inclusion based on its pertinence to steampunk, Victoriana, retrotech, industry, anachronism, and other related concepts.
Advertising is L$50 to New Babbage citizens and L$100 for out-of-towners, per listing, per issue. For both residents and non-residents, space is limited to 500 characters per listing. Each ad may include one embedded texture and one landmark. File attachments must be delivered at the time of ad reservation. Please see our contact information above to inquire.
[There are no errors known to be in need of correction at this time. The New Babbage Cog is obliged to anyone who sends notification of a mistake, so that rectifications might be swiftly published.]
Copyright 2007 of the Common Era
The New Babbage Cog