28 February 2007

Vol I / Issue iii ~ 28 February 2007

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  1. Letter from the Editor
  2. New Babbage Rallies Against Invaders!
  3. L$10,000 Award For Best Elevator!
  4. Featured Invention: Kahruvel Steamworks
  5. The New Babbage Flag & Motto
  6. Literary Musings
  7. New Babbage Register
  8. Events & Announcements
  9. Classified Advertisements
  10. Resources
  11. Postcards!
  12. Contact, Circulation, and Other Essential Information for the Reader



During the last three weeks, New Babbage has seen a great deal of parcel turnover.While it seems unfortunate that some of the original supporters of a steampunk sim have sold their stakes, the influx of new residents appears to be an invigorating and diversifying influence.Second Life moves quickly. When I first stepped onto the mainland, the common lament was that creativity was waning in the world.Although a newcomer, I was convinced that what was needed was merely an infusion of fresh ideas. And so it is with a sim devoted to the principles of invention and ingenuity, that the spirit of progress is kept alive by the continual introduction of dissimilar but compatible views.As the excitement of an empty slate wears off, the emergence of a robust community bears the promise of magnificent tomorrows. I, for one, look forward to experiencing the unplanned, un-orchestrated, and thoroughly unique that New Babbage has to offer.

In your service,

Mrs. Junie Ginsburg



On the evening of Sunday, February the 25th, a great company of New Babbagers filled the street on the West side of the canal to confront an otherworldly visitor. The metallic tripod, bearing a single gold, glowing eye and a similar orb hanging from an appendage upon its top, scrambled up the thoroughfare between the Old Imperial Steampunk Theatre and The Factory of Questionable Steampunkery (Steinbeck & Co.). Confronted by such a mob of New Babbagers bearing arms, the machine, driven by a hitherto unknown occupant, shuddered and circled, shooting randomly its death-ray in apparent confusion.

New Babbage Cog reporters were on the scene, making a photographic records of the event. The gentlemen of New Babbage mustered a stunning arsenal at a moment's notice, launching assorted missiles ranging in deadliness from the explosive to the simply annoying. Should our dear island ever come under attack, we may depend on these brave men and gnomes to repel danger. After suffering through a barrage of fire, the alien at some point put off his metal exoskeleton and appeared before the mob in his natural form; a hideously mis-figured chimera of man and alien. Upon seeing the creature thus humbled, the crowd of New Babbagers detected no further threat and allowed the creature to mount his retreat to places unknown.

Junie Ginsburg



In our last issue we conveyed the Mayor's announcement of an elevator contest. This week, we have learned more details, which follow. The object of the contest is to create a working Victorian steampunk elevator that will go to three floors and be suitable for outdoor use. Entrants may construct their builds at the elevator areas at the ends of the steel walkways, but must clean up after themselves or be automatically disqualified.The deadline for entering a build is March 15th,2007 which is also the date when the winner will be announced. The winner will be paid a sum of L$10,000. Please contact Mayor Shaunathan Sprocket with any questions about the contest.

Eggberta Echegaray



Upon hearing the phrase "well-oiled machine," it is difficult to imagine anything different was intended than Mr. Salazar Jack's magnificent Kahruvel Steamworks. A multipurpose facility, the steamworks marries several grand ideas with the intent of improving the New Babbage community.First and foremost, the factory generates steam, the necessary commodity by which New Babbage operates, and for which the facility is named. Although the steamworks is not yet finished, Mr. Jack says that one of his primary intentions is to pipe steam out to New Babbage residents not able to produce enough to power their parcels.

Given the amount of water necessary to generate such quantities of vapor, the steamworks is uniquely suited to perform another important function, namely, the desalination of seawater to produce fresh water. A gigantic tank in the facility is already filled almost to capacity. In addition to these public services, Mr.Jack hopes to eventually offer an array of products for purchase at the steamworks, including pre-fab steampunk structures and assorted gadgetry. He explained during the New Babbage Cog interview that his family has a long heritage of developing gadget technology, and he hopes to refine some devices long in use by his people.

Mr. Jack himself is a talented builder. He is responsible not only for numerous builds elsewhere in the world and the Kahruvel Steamworks in New Babbage, but served also as the engineer for Sir ArthurConan Doyle's Undershaw Restoration Society building. Mr. Jack and Sir Doyle have recently purchased adjoining parcels in the industrial district where he says they hope to construct a community stockyard. The yard will be a place where various building projects may be undertaken by residents. To learn more about Mr. Salazar Jack and his many projects, please visit his log on the Aethernet at:


Junie Ginsburg



Because education in the Latin language has fallen out of favor, the New Babbage motto might be a bit of a mystery for visitors and residents alike. For any curious reader, the motto, "Industria Profisicor In" means "Industry Marches On."

The New Babbage flag, designed by Miss Eggberta Echegaray and finalized by Mr. Solivar Scarborough, is layered with symbolism. The factory emitting flames and steam represents the idea of "steampunk," while the hammer and wrench symbolize "industry." The cog rising above all is colored in black and white to indicate that the period of time and society from which we draw our inspiration on this island was one of extremes; the cog represents the positive and negative influence of the industrial revolution.

Anyone wishing to fly the New Babbage colors may obtain a flag by right-clicking on one and selecting More, Take a copy. For Miss Echegaray's personal thoughts on the creation of the flag, please visit her blog at:


Junie Ginsburg



In this issue, The New Babbage Cog is proud to present Chapter 2 of Sir ArthurConan Doyle's "The Sign of The Four."


MISS MORSTAN entered the room with a firm step and an outward composure of manner. She was a blonde young lady, small, dainty, well gloved, and dressed in the most perfect taste. There was, however, a plainness and simplicity about her costume which bore with it a suggestion of limited means. The dress was a sombre grayish beige, untrimmed and unbraided, and she wore a small turban of the same dull hue, relieved only by a suspicion of white feather in the side. Her face had neither regularity of feature nor beauty of complexion, but her expression was sweet and amiable, and her large blue eyes were singularly spiritual and sympathetic. In an experience of women which extends over many nations and three separate continents, I have never looked upon a face which gave a clearer promise of a refined and sensitive nature. I could not but observe that as she took the seat which Sherlock Holmes placed for her, her lip trembled, her hand quivered, and she showed every sign of intense inward agitation. "I have come to you, Mr. Holmes," she said, "because you once enabled my employer, Mrs. Cecil Forrester, to unravel a little domestic complication. She was much impressed by your kindness and skill." "Mrs. Cecil Forrester," he repeated thoughtfully. "I believe that I was of some slight service to her. The case, however, as I remember it, was a very simple one." "She did not think so. But at least you cannot say the same of mine. I can hardly imagine anything more strange, more utterly inexplicable, than the situation in which I find myself." Holmes rubbed his hands, and his eyes glistened. He leaned forward in his chair with an expression of extraordinary concentration upon his clear-cut, hawk like features. "State your case," said he in brisk business tones. I felt that my position was an embarrassing one. "You will, I am sure, excuse me," I said, rising from my chair. To my surprise, the young lady held up her gloved hand to detain me.

"If your friend," she said, "would be good enough to stop, he might be of inestimable service to me." I relapsed into my chair. "Briefly," she continued, "the facts are these. My father was an officer in an Indian regiment, who sent me home when I was quite a child. My mother was dead, and I had no relative in England. I was placed, however, in a comfortable boarding establishment at Edinburgh, and there I remained until I was seventeen years of age. In the year 1878 my father, who was senior captain of his regiment, obtained twelve months' leave and came home. He telegraphed to me from London that he had arrived all safe and directed me to come down at once, giving the Langham Hotel as his address. His message, as I remember, was full of kindness and love. On reaching London I drove to the Langham and was informed that Captain Morstan was staying there, but that he had gone out the night before and had not returned. I waited all day without news of him. That night, on the advice of the manager of the hotel, I communicated with the police, and next morning we advertised in all the papers. Our inquiries led to no result; and from that day to this no word has ever been heard of my unfortunate father. He came home with his heart full of hope to find some peace, some comfort, and instead" She put her hand to her throat, and a choking sob cut short the sentence. "The date?" asked Holmes, opening his notebook. "He disappeared upon the third of December, 1878--nearly ten years ago." "His luggage?" "Remained at the hotel. There was nothing in it to suggest a clue--some clothes, some books, and a considerable number of curiosities from the Andaman Islands. He had been one of the officers in charge of the convict-guard there.""Had he any friends in town?"

"Only one that we know of--Major Sholto, of his own regiment, the Thirty-fourth Bombay Infantry. The major had retired some little time before and lived at Upper Norwood. We communicated with him, of course, but he did not even know that his brother officer was in England." "A singular case," remarked Holmes. "I have not yet described to you the most singular part. About six years ago--to be exact, upon the fourth of May, 1882--an advertisement appeared in the Times asking for the address of Miss Mary Morstan, and stating that it would be to her advantage to come forward. There was no name or address appended. I had at that time just entered the family of Mrs. Cecil Forrester in the capacity of governess. By her advice I published my address in the advertisement column. The same day there arrived through the post a small cardboard box addressed to me, which I found to contain a very large and lustrous pearl. No word of writing was enclosed. Since then every year upon the same date there has always appeared a similar box, containing a similar pearl, without any clue as to the sender. They have been pronounced by an expert to be of a rare variety and of considerable value. You can see for yourself that they are very handsome." She opened a flat box as she spoke and showed me six of the finest pearls that I had ever seen."Your statement is most interesting," said Sherlock Holmes. "Has anything else occurred to you?" "Yes, and no later than to-day. That is why I have come to you. This morning I received this letter, which you will perhaps read for yourself." "Thank you," said Holmes.

"The envelope, too, please. Post-mark, London, S. W. Date, July 7. Hum! Man's thumb-mark on corner--probably postman. Best quality paper. Envelopes at sixpence a packet. Particular man in his stationery. No address. "Be at the third pillar from the left outside the Lyceum Theater to-night at seven o'clock. If you are distrustful bring two friends. You are a wronged woman and shall have justice. Do not bring police. If you do, all will be in vain. Your unknown friend." Well, really, this is a very pretty little mystery! What do you intend to do, Miss Morstan?" "That is exactly what I want to ask you." "Then we shall most certainly go--you and I and--yes, why Dr. Watson is the very man. Your correspondent says two friends. He and I have worked together before." "But would he come?" she asked with something appealing in her voice and expression. "I shall be proud and happy," said I fervently, "if I can be of any service.""You are both very kind," she answered. "I have led a retired life and have no friends whom I could appeal to. If I am here at six it will do, I suppose?" "You must not be later," said Holmes. "There is one other point, however. Is this handwriting the same as that upon the pearl-box addresses?" "I have them here," she answered, producing half a dozen pieces of paper. "You are certainly a model client. You have the correct intuition. Let us see, now." He spread out the papers upon the table and gave little darting glances from one to the other.

"They are disguised hands, except the letter," he said presently; "but there can be no question as to the authorship. See how the irrepressible Greek e will break out, and see the twirl of the final s. They are undoubtedly by the same person. I should not like to suggest false hopes, Miss Morstan, but is there any resemblance between this hand and that of your father?" "Nothing could be more unlike." "I expected to hear you say so. We shall look out for you, then, at six. Pray allow me to keep the papers. I may look into the matter before then. It is only half-past three. Au revoir, then." "Au revoir," said our visitor; and with a bright, kindly glance from one to the other of us, she replaced her pearl-box in her bosom and hurried away. Standing at the window, I watched her walking briskly down the street until the gray turban and white feather were but a speck in the somber crowd. "What a very attractive woman!" I exclaimed, turning to my companion. He had lit his pipe again and was leaning back with drooping eyelids. "Is she?" he said languidly; "I did not observe." "You really are an automaton--a calculating machine," I cried. "There is something positively inhuman in you at times."He smiled gently."It is of the first importance," he cried, "not to allow your judgment to be biased by personal qualities. A client is to me a mere unit, a factor in a problem. The emotional qualities are antagonistic to clear reasoning. I assure you that the most winning woman I ever knew was hanged for poisoning three little children for their insurance-money, and the most repellent man of my acquaintance is a philanthropist who has spent nearly a quarter of a million upon the London poor." "In this case, however-- --" "I never make exceptions. An exception disproves the rule. Have you ever had occasion to study character in handwriting? What do you make of this fellow's scribble?" "It is legible and regular," I answered. "A man of business habits and some force of character." Holmes shook his head. "Look at his long letters," he said. "They hardly rise above the common herd. That d might be an a, and that l an e. Men of character always differentiate their long letters, however illegibly they may write. There is vacillation in his k's and self-esteem in his capitals. I am going out now. I have some few references to make. Let me recommend this book--one of the most remarkable ever penned. It is Winwood Reade's Martyrdom of Man. I shall be back in an hour."

I sat in the window with the volume in my hand, but my thoughts were far from the daring speculations of the writer. My mind ran upon our late visitor --her smiles, the deep rich tones of her voice, the strange mystery which overhung her life. If she were seventeen at the time of her father's disappearance she must be seven-and-twenty now--a sweet age, when youth has lost its self-consciousness and become a little sobered by experience. So I sat and mused until such dangerous thoughts came into my head that I hurried away to my desk and plunged furiously into the latest treatise upon pathology. What was I, an army surgeon with a weak leg and a weaker banking account, that I should dare to think of such things? She was a unit, a factor--nothing more. If my future were black, it was better surely to face it like a man than to attempt to brighten it by mere will-o'-the-wisps of the imagination.



The following plots have changed hands since our last issue was distributed:

Parcel No. New Owner/Business

#2 - Gonzo's Gadgets



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Your announcement here!

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Your advertisement can be placed here!

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The following groups have been created under the name of New Babbage:

New Babbage Adventurers' Society

Founded by: Miss Sparks Keynes

Public: No

Description: All Members of the Society shall endeavor, with courage and bravery, to add to the Scientific Knowledge of the Known World, to Shed Light on the Darkest Mysteries, and to Make Known the Secret Corners of the Earth. The Society's gathering place is the Rusty Cog, in the town of Babbage Square. Upon Completing an Invention, Returning from unknown lands or Making a Death-Defying Escape from Danger, a member is entitled -- and indeed, encouraged -- to come and Speak of their Gallant Exploits to all.

New Babbage Conservatoire

Founded by: Mr. Quine Mondrian

Public: Yes

Description: Actively promoting the musical arts of New Babbage.

New Babbage Medical League

Founded by: Mr. Jules Whittlesea

Public: Yes

Description: We are the most gifted, most skilled doctors and nurses is all of New Babbage, come to think of it, we are the only doctors and nurses in New Babbage. We hold our sketchy reputations of being creative surgeons with pride Any member found giving real medical advice under the title of office he/she holds in the New Babbage Medical League will be shot out of a cannon.

The New Babbage Cog

Founded by: Mrs. Junie Ginsburg

Public: Yes

Description: Members of this group will automatically receive the newest issues of The New Babbage Cog, a newspaper serving the New Babbage steampunk sims.



Send them to your friends, colleagues, and sweethearts!




Editor in Chief: Mrs. Junie Ginsburg

Asst Editor: Miss Eggberta Echegaray


Ethics Statement:

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 the end of the block in Sanger Park, #5 Babbage Square. Note card communications can be dropped in the postbox there, or sent directly to the editor, Mrs. Junie Ginsburg.


The New Babbage Cog is circulated in two ways. Firstly, new issues are sent automatically to subscribers of the free New Babbage Cog group. Second, issues are available from a paper box in Sanger Park, #5 Babbage Square, outside of I.J. Ginsburg Dept. Store. A reading copy of the current issue is always available at the newspaper office.

Back Issues:

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. A volunteer archivist position is available.


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 germaine 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 free to New Babbage citizens. Out-of-towners may advertise at a rate of L$100 per ad placement per issue. For both residents and non-residents, space is limited to 500 characters per advertisement. 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 that are 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 Disclaimer:

The Second Life in world note card publication date, of this issue of The New Babbage Cog, and it's intellectual property, are owned by the contributors to the newspaper.

Copyright 2007 of the Common Era

The New Babbage Cog

~~ Relata Refero ~~