Vol I / Issue viii ~
- April Town Meeting Minutes
- New Babbage's New Town Hall
- What Kind of Music is Steampunk?
- New Babbage Estate Managers
- Literary Corner
- Victorian Trifle Recipe
- Events and Announcements
- Classified Advertisements
- New Babbage and Steampunk FAQ
- Contact, Circulation, and other Essential Information for the Reader
APRIL TOWN MEETING
On Saturday, April 10th, a town meeting took place in the town hall building. Sixteen attended. Taking place over the space of one hour, the agenda covered several topics of import. The full meeting minutes are attached, but included below is a convenient list of the discussion points for reference:
-- The new Town Hall building
-- New Babbage's neutrality in the war
-- New Babbage's participation in SL Relay for Life
-- Canal District
Chair: Mayor Shaunathan Sprocket
Meeting start: SLT
Meeting end: SLT
In attendance: Natacha Chernov, ArthurConan Doyle, Eggberta Echegaray, Intolerable Ginsburg, Junie Ginsburg, Kamilah Hauptmann, Salazar Jack, Ordinal Malaprop, Pers Merlin, Quine Mondrian, Suhpen Paravane, Miguel Pinion, Sigal Rau, Khashai Steinbeck, Pumpkin Tripsa, Moss Weyland
1. The Mayor announced the imminent completion of the new Town Hall.
2. The Mayor announced that in the SL Relay for Life "war" between
red treaties with both
3. There will be one SL Relay for Life donation kiosk placed in the Town Hall, and no others are to be rezzed in New Babbage because they violate our theme. Residents are free to use SLRFL vendors indoors to contribute funds via sales. In addition, anyone caught wearing a
4. The Mayor solicited volunteers to represent New Babbage in the SL Relay for Life. Miss Malaprop volunteered to do any necessary scripting. Mr. Ginsburg volunteered to act as representative if no one else was interested. The Mayor said he would solicit volunteers in the "makeup" Town Meeting to see if anyone who was not in attendance would come forward.
5. The canal district sim order is pending payments from those who are buying parcels. Once the money has been raised, the sim will be purchased. Mr. Paravane inquired about parcel rates. The Mayor responded that like
The Mayor announced that the canal district will have a roundhouse and train station, that our train will provide service to the stockyard here in
6. The Mayor welcomed Miss Kamilah Hauptman to New Babbage.
7. Mr. Ginsburg asked about the patches of uneven ground that have be
en showing up in
hat it possibly is the result of some resurfacing work that occured on the upper level.
8. Mr. Pinion requested light rain and pigeons. Several other residents expressed an interest, and the Mayor said that he would work on it.
-- end --
Compiled by Mrs. Junie Ginsburg
NEW BABBAGE'S NEW TOWN HALL
New Babbage residents and visitors who attended Saturday’s monthly community meeting were surprised and delighted to have had it conducted in the new Town Hall building!
Since the destruction of the old Town Hall, residents and regular visitors to New Babbage have been eagerly anticipating when the new building would be completed, and finally, it is here! Upon asking the Mayor where he got the inspiration for the design for the new building, he commented that it was a mixture of concepts. The great
Although the new building is a lot smaller than the old town hall, its open concept design is most exhilarating. When standing in the center of the building where the speaking podium is hosted, facing north, three open platforms have been erected, which accommodate comfortable seating. Steam hoists will be added later, to transport folks up or down to each level.
Looking South, New Babbage residents will find that the rental payment board has been placed out. Greenish blue hued factory glass is predominantly featured throughout the building from the rooftop to the east and west doorway entrances to --by Jove!-- a glass floor!
Timidly walking across the glass floor, I wanted to brace myself in case I would fall through! Mayor Sprocket assured me that the glass is tempered, thick and very strong. Once getting over my fear from thinking I may fall through, gingerly looking down, I couldn’t help but notice that the city’s underground lair is exposed, and was delighted to see the return of Babbage’s Difference Engine!
Mayor Sprocket mentioned that access to view the engine more up close and personal, can be made through the canal entrance in the Commercial District, which runs directly underneath the Town Hall.
For the time being, the engine is lying dormant, but according to the Mayor, it is just a matter of time before the engine will be roused up and it will then be certain that steam surely does power the grid!
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Tired of checking the newspaper box for a new issue of the Cog? Join the New Babbage Cog group and receive new issues as soon as they come out!
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WHAT KIND OF MUSIC IS "STEAMPUNK?"
"Sometimes progress means turning around when you have been on the wrong path and going back to the point where you made a wrong turn." -- C.S. Lewis
Since setting up my parcels in
The Mayor of New Babbage, Mr. Shaunathan Sprocket, shared his opinion on the subject as well. His perspective was a bit different, emphasizing the musical element of the modern steampunk movement. To him, steampunk music is about a confluence of forms, combining the new with the old. Musical artists and groups such as Emilie Autumn,
NEW BABBAGE ESTATE MANAGERS
A griefer is at your doorstep. There is a pot-hole the size of
Please contact one of these kind folks if there is an urgent need for assistance in New Babbage.
In this issue, The New Babbage Cog presents Chapter 7 of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Sign of The Four."
THE SIGN OF FOUR
by Sir ArthurConan Doyle
THE EPISODE OF THE BARREL
THE police had brought a cab with them, and in this I escorted Miss Morstan back to her home. After the angelic fashion of women, she had borne trouble with a calm face as long as there was someone weaker than herself to support, and I had found her bright and placid by the side of the frightened housekeeper. In the cab, however, she first turned faint and then burst into a passion of weeping--so sorely had she been tried by the adventures of the night. She has told me since that she thought me cold and distant upon that journey. She little guessed the struggle within my breast, or the effort of self-restraint which held me back. My sympathies and my love went out to her, even as my hand had in the garden. I felt that years of the conventionalities of life could not teach me to know her sweet, brave nature as had this one day of strange experiences. Yet there were two thoughts which sealed the words of affection upon my lips. She was weak and helpless, shaken in mind and nerve. It was to take her at a disadvantage to obtrude love upon her at such a time. Worse still, she was rich. If Holmes's researches were successful, she would be an heiress. Was it fair, was it honourable, that a half-pay surgeon should take such advantage of an intimacy which chance had brought about? Might she not look upon me as a mere vulgar fortune-seeker? I could not bear to risk that such a thought should cross her mind. This
I was introduced, and Mrs. Forrester earnestly begged me to step in and tell her our adventures. I explained, however, the importance of my errand and promised faithfully to call and report any progress which we might make with the case. As we drove away I stole a glance back, and I still seem to see that little group on the step--the two graceful, clinging figures, the half-opened door, the hall-light shining through stained glass, the barometer, and the bright stair-rods. It was soothing to catch even that passing glimpse of a tranquil English home in the midst of the wild, dark business which had absorbed us. And the more I thought of what had happened, the wilder and darker it grew. I reviewed the whole extraordinary sequence of events as I rattled on through the silent, gas-lit streets. There was the original problem: that at least was pretty clear now. The death of Captain Morstan, the sending of the pearls, the advertisement, the letter--we had had light upon all those events. They had only led us, however, to a deeper and far more tragic mystery. The Indian treasure, the curious plan found among Morstan's baggage, the strange scene at Major Sholto's death, the rediscovery of the treasure immediately followed by the murder of the discoverer, the very singular accompaniments to the crime, the footsteps, the remarkable weapons, the words upon the card, corresponding with those upon Captain Morstan's chart--here was indeed a labyrinth in which a man less singularly endowed than my fellow-lodger might well despair of ever finding the clue.
Pinchin Lane was a row of shabby, two-storied brick houses in the lower quarter of Lambeth. I had to knock for some time at No. 3 before I could make any impression. At last, however, there was the glint of a candle behind the blind, and a face looked out at the upper window. "Go on, you drunken vagabond," said the face. "If you kick up any more row, I'll open the kennels and let out forty-three dogs upon you." "If you'll let one out, it's just what I have come for," said I. "Go on!" yelled the voice. "So help me gracious, I have a wiper in this bag, and I'll drop it on your 'ead if you don't hook it!" "But I want a dog," I cried. "I won't be argued with!" shouted Mr. Sherman. "Now stand clear; for when I say 'three,' down goes the wiper." "Mr. Sherlock Holmes-- --" I began; but the words had a most magical effect, for the window instantly slammed down, and within a minute the door was unbarred and open. Mr. Sherman was a lanky, lean old man, with stooping shoulders, a stringy neck, and blue-tinted glasses. "A friend of Mr. Sherlock is always welcome," said he. "Step in, sir. Keep clear of the badger, for he bites. Ah, naughty, naughty; would you take a nip at the gentleman?"
This to a stoat which thrust its wicked head and red eyes between the bars of its cage. "Don't mind that, sir; it's only a slowworm. It hain't got no fangs, so I gives it the run o' the room, for it keeps the beetles down. You must not mind my bein' just a little short wi' you at first, for I'm guyed at by the children, and there's many a one just comes down this lane to knock me up. What was it that Mr. Sherlock Holmes wanted, sir?" "He wanted a dog of yours." "Ah! that would be Toby." "Yes, Toby was the name." "Toby lives at No. 7 on the left here." He moved slowly forward with his candle among the queer animal family which he had gathered round him. In the uncertain, shadowy light I could see dimly that there were glancing, glimmering eyes peeping down at us from every cranny and corner. Even the rafters above our heads were lined by solemn fowls, who lazily shifted their weight from one leg to the other as our voices disturbed their slumbers. Toby proved to be an ugly, long-haired, lop-eared creature, half spaniel and half lurcher, brown and white in colour, with a very clumsy, waddling gait. It accepted, after some hesitation, a lump of sugar which the old naturalist handed to me, and, having thus sealed an alliance, it followed me to the cab and made no difficulties about accompanying me. It had just struck three on the Palace clock when I found myself back once more at Pondicherry Lodge. The ex-prize-fighter McMurdo had, I found, been arrested as an accessory, and both he and Mr. Sholto had been marched off to the station. Two constables guarded the narrow gate, but they allowed me to pass with the dog on my mentioning the detective's name. Holmes was standing on the doorstep with his hands in his pockets, smoking his pipe. "Ah, you have him there!" said he. "Good dog, then! Athelney Jones has gone. We have had an immense display of energy since you left. He has arrested not only friend Thaddeus but the gatekeeper, the housekeeper, and the Indian servant. We have the place to ourselves but for a sergeant upstairs. Leave the dog here and come up."
We tied Toby to the hall table and reascended the stairs. The room was as we had left it, save that a sheet had been draped over the central figure. A weary-looking police-sergeant reclined in the corner.
"Lend me your bull's eye, Sergeant," said my companion. "Now tie this bit of card round my neck, so as to hang it in front of me. Thank you. Now I must kick off my boots and stockings. Just you carry them down with you, Watson. I am going to do a little climbing. And dip my handkerchief into the creosote. That will do. Now come up into the garret with me for a moment." We clambered up through the hole. Holmes turned his light once more upon the footsteps in the dust. "I wish you particularly to notice these footmarks," he said. "Do you observe anything noteworthy about them?" "They belong," I said, "to a child or a small woman." "Apart from their size, though. Is there nothing else?" "They appear to be much as other footmarks." "Not at all. Look here! This is the print of a right foot in the dust. Now I make one with my naked foot beside it. What is the chief difference?" "Your toes are all cramped together. The other print has each toe distinctly divided." "Quite so. That is the point. Bear that in mind. Now, would you kindly step over to that flap-window and smell the edge of the woodwork? I shall stay over here, as I have this handkerchief in my hand." I did as he directed and was instantly conscious of a strong tarry smell. "That is where he put his foot in getting out. If you can trace him, I should think that Toby will have no difficulty. Now run downstairs, loose the dog, and look out for Blondin." By the time that I got out into the grounds Sherlock Holmes was on the roof, and I could see him like an enormous glow-worm crawling very slowly along the ridge. I lost sight of him behind a stack of chimneys, but he presently reappeared and then vanished once more upon the opposite side. When I made my way round there I found him seated at one of the corner eaves.
"That you, Watson?" he cried. "Yes." "This is the place. What is that black thing down there?"
"A water-barrel." "Top on it?" "Yes." "No sign of a ladder?" "No." "Confound the fellow! It's a most breakneck place. I ought to be able to come down where he could climb up. The water-pipe feels pretty firm. Here goes, anyhow." There was a scuffling of feet, and the lantern began to come steadily down the side of the wall. Then with a light spring he came on to the barrel, and from there to the earth.
"It was easy to follow him," he said, drawing on his stockings and boots. "Tiles were loosened the whole way along, and in his hurry he had dropped this. It confirms my diagnosis, as you doctors express it." The object which he held up to me was a small pocket or pouch woven out of coloured grasses and with a few tawdry beads strung round it. In shape and size it was not unlike a cigarette-case. Inside were half a dozen spines of dark wood, sharp at one end and rounded at the other, like that which had struck Bartholomew Sholto. "They are hellish things," said he. "Look out that you don't prick yourself. I'm delighted to have them, for the chances are that they are all he has. There is the less fear of you or me finding one in our skin before long. I would sooner face a Martini bullet, myself. Are you game for a six-mile trudge, Watson?" "Certainly," I answered. "Your leg will stand it?" "Oh, yes." "Here you are, doggy! Good old Toby! Smell it, Toby, smell it!" He pushed the creosote handkerchief under the dog's nose, while the creature stood with its fluffy legs separated, and with a most comical cock to its head, like a connoisseur sniffing the bouquet of a famous vintage. Holmes then threw the handkerchief to a distance, fastened a stout cord to the mongrel's collar, and led him to the foot of the water-barrel.
The creature instantly broke into a succession of high, tremulous yelps and, with his nose on the ground and his tail in the air, pattered off upon the trail at a pace which strained his leash and kept us at the top of our speed. The east had been gradually whitening, and we could now see some distance in the cold gray light. The square, massive house, with its black, empty windows and high, bare walls, towered up, sad and forlorn, behind us. Our course led right across the grounds, in and out among the trenches and pits with which they were scarred and intersected. The whole place, with its scattered dirt-heaps and ill-grown shrubs, had a blighted, ill-omened look which harmonized with the black tragedy which hung over it. On reaching the boundary wall Toby ran along, whining eagerly, underneath its shadow, and stopped finally in a corner screened by a young beech. Where the two walls joined, several bricks had been loosened, and the crevices left were worn down and rounded upon the lower side, as though they had frequently been used as a ladder. Holmes clambered up, and taking the dog from me he dropped it over upon the other side. "There's the print of Wooden-leg's hand," he remarked as I mounted up beside him. "You see the slight smudge of blood upon the white plaster. What a lucky thing it is that we have had no very heavy rain since yesterday! The scent will lie upon the road in spite of their eight-and-twenty hours' start." I confess that I had my doubts myself when I reflected upon the great traffic which had passed along the
"Do not imagine," said Holmes, "that I depend for my success in this case upon the mere chance of one of these fellows having put his foot in the chemical. I have knowledge now which would enable me to trace them in many different ways. This, however, is the readiest, and, since fortune has put it into our hands, I should be culpable if I neglected it. It has, however, prevented the case from becoming the pretty little intellectual problem which it at one time promised to be. There might have been some credit to be gained out of it but for this too palpable clue." "There is credit, and to spare," said I. "I assure you, Holmes, that I marvel at the means by which you obtain your results in this case even more than I did in the Jefferson Hope murder. The thing seems to me to be deeper and more inexplicable. How, for example, could you describe with such confidence the wooden-legged man?" "Pshaw, my dear boy! it was simplicity itself. I don't wish to be theatrical. It is all patent and above-board. Two officers who are in command of a convict-guard learn an important secret as to buried treasure. A map is drawn for them by an Englishman named Jonathan Small. You remember that we saw the name upon the chart in Captain Morstan's possession. He had signed it in behalf of himself and his associates--the sign of the four, as he somewhat dramatically called it. Aided by this chart, the officers--or one of them--gets the treasure and brings it to
hich covers the facts. Let us see how it fits in with the sequel. Major Sholto remains at peace for some years, happy in the possession of his treasure. Then he receives a letter from
"A letter to say that the men whom he had wronged had been set free." "Or had escaped. That is much more likely, for he would have known what their term of imprisonment was. It would not have been a surprise to him. What does he do then? He guards himself against a wooden-legged man--a white man, mark you, for he mistakes a white tradesman for him and actually fires a pistol at him. Now, only one white man's name is on the chart. The others are Hindoos or Mohammedans. There is no other white man. Therefore we may say with confidence that the wooden-legged man is identical with Jonathan Small. Does the reasoning strike you as being faulty?" "No: it is clear and concise." "Well, now, let us put ourselves in the place of Jonathan Small. Let us look at it from his point of view. He comes to
He had doubtless planned beforehand that, should he slay the major, he would leave some such record upon the body as a sign that it was not a common murder but, from the point of view of the four associates, something in the nature of an act of justice. Whimsical and bizarre conceits of this kind are common enough in the annals of crime and usually afford valuable indications as to the criminal. Do you follow all this?" "Very clearly." "Now what could Jonathan small do? He could only continue to keep a secret watch upon the efforts made to find the treasure. Possibly he leaves
"The associate?" "Ah, well, there is no great mystery in that. But you will know all about it soon enough. How sweet the morning air is! See how that one little cloud floats like a pink feather from some gigantic flamingo. Now the red rim of the sun pushes itself over the
The men whom we pursued seemed to have taken a curiously zigzag road, with the idea probably of escaping observation. They had never kept to the main road if a parallel side street would serve their turn. At the foot of
otter than before, for he had not even to put his nose on the ground but tugged at his leash and tried to break into a run. I could see by the gleam in Holmes's eyes that he thought we were nearing the end of our journey. Our course now ran down Nine Elms until we came to Broderick and Nelson's large timber-yard just past the White Eagle tavern. Here the dog, frantic with excitement, turned down through the side gate into the enclosure, where the sawyers were already at work. On the dog raced through sawdust and shavings, down an alley, round a passage, between two wood-piles, and finally, with a triumphant yelp, sprang upon a large barrel which still stood upon the hand-trolley on which it had been brought. With lolling tongue and blinking eyes Toby stood upon the cask, looking from one to the other of us for some sign of appreciation. The staves of the barrel and the wheels of the trolley were smeared with a dark liquid, and the whole air was heavy with the smell of creosote. Sherlock Holmes and I looked blankly at each other and then burst simultaneously into an uncontrollable fit of laughter.
VICTORIAN TRIFLE RECIPE
A gastronomical delight!
Ladyfingers or pound cake
Brandy and rum (optional)
Fruit cocktail, drained
Fresh or frozen raspberries
1 tbsp. butter
Line bottom and sides of attractive glass bowl with ladyfingers or thinly sliced pound cake. Drizzle modest amount of brandy and rum over bottom. Slather bottom with raspberry jam. Add drained fruit cocktail over the jam. Add vanilla pudding over the fruit; the more, the tastier. Top with whipped cream, almonds sauteed in butter, and raspberries; chill and refrigerate. Keeps 2 or 3 days only.
A fancy trifle. Looks gorgeous, tastes heavenly.
EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
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Your announcement could be placed here!
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Would like to do add depth to your character? Would like to have interesting ancestors? Would you like to be sure about your family's history? Well then- look no further! "Your Second Genealogy” will CREATE your own genealogy and background history based on your choice.
-An elaborate genealogical tree in different shapes and sizes -A multitude of names, dates and pictures (historically and geographically coherent) -A background story of your family based on your preferences or absolutely phantasmagorical!
For further information please contact Mr. Sigal Rau (via IM).
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PLANETARY GRAVITATOR now available at I.J. Ginsburg Dept. Store. A device which levitates model planets between two powerful magnets, and gives the owner menu-driven control over which heavenly body to display. Accurate planetary surface textures. Copy / mod, the Gravitator can be resized anywhere from a small desktop novelty to a room-sized scientific display. Only 30 prims, for an affordable L$250.
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For anyone interested in exploring some of the steampunk musical references made in this issue of The Cog, please visit the following Aethernet sites:
Antique Phonograph Music Program:
Thomas Edison's Attic:
Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project:
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
-- Drop a notecard:
Notecard communications can be dropped in the postbox outside the Cog office at the address above.
You may contact Mrs. Junie Ginsburg or Miss Eggberta Echegaray by IM with any newspaper business.
-- Aethernet mail:
Messages sent to
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:
-- Babbage Square telehub
-- Willow Tea Room
-- Undershaw Restoration Society
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