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Not your average Halloween Costume
October 29, 2008 12:31 PM   Subscribe

Building a Steampunk Cane. Inspired by GirlGenius and involving breadboard electronics, molten acrylic, and a little light metalwork. Parts 2, 3 and 4 plus the whole Flickr photoset.
posted by jacquilynne (57 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow, I haven't checked out Girl Genius in a while. So it's pretty much just porn now?
posted by Wolfdog at 12:45 PM on October 29, 2008


So it's pretty much just porn now?

The name Phil Foglio means nothing to you? Xxxenophile?
posted by GuyZero at 1:04 PM on October 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


BoingBoingFilter?
posted by Thorzdad at 1:05 PM on October 29, 2008


Uh, if it's got electronics, it's not steampunk. Sorry.
posted by delmoi at 1:12 PM on October 29, 2008


that's not a cane, it's an inadvisably fragile dildo you can lean on.
posted by shmegegge at 1:12 PM on October 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


I'm rapidly realizing everything that begins or ends in "punk" is horrible.
posted by smackwich at 1:12 PM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Steampunk
posted by photoslob at 1:18 PM on October 29, 2008


Is any of it NSFW? 'Cause if not, I'm not makin' no clicky on the linky...
posted by From Bklyn at 1:19 PM on October 29, 2008


It seems less cane and more scepter. Personally, I would think that a really proper gaslight/ steam-punk cane would be just a nice length of highly polished cherry with a classy brass handle and tip.

If you have to gadget it up, have it conceal a thin rapier blade.

Still, I'll give credit for a solid DIY effort, it's just not one that I would have gone for.
posted by quin at 1:26 PM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


My god.

What a terrible waste of time.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 1:27 PM on October 29, 2008


I love stuff like this. Not so much for the theme.
I wish I knew more about electronics.

Buddy of mine was an elecrton pusher. He built a box that all it would do is vibrate and hum very very loudly and cyclically, like it was building up to something. He could use a very small remote on his keychain to control it.
Jeezus that was fun when we got pulled over. “It’s nothing. Honest. It’s just a toy.” vvvmvvmvvvmvvvmVVVM VVVM VVVVMMM!!! VVVVVMMM!!! “Nothing to worry about. It’s supposed to do that, really. It’s a present for my little cousin.” VVMM!!! VVVVVMM!!! ...Beepbeepbeepbeepbeep! Warning! Leave the area around this box immediately! 10 seconds! 9 seconds!...
“Seriously, it’s just an electronic gizmo”

...this was before 9/11 of course.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:31 PM on October 29, 2008 [6 favorites]


If it's supposed to zap people from a distance, I'd have rather seen a Van de Graff sceptre. Maybe with a removable hand crank that's disguised as a pocket watch.

"Prithee, 'Graff me not, brother!"
posted by CKmtl at 1:40 PM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Steepmonk
posted by milkrate at 1:51 PM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Drank Too Much Steampunk Haterade Filter:

I love everything Steampunk! But I do understand why people hate it... well not really but it's just one of those things that people love or hate and the people who hate it seem to really hate it for some reason...any ways the cane is amazing. Good post!

(some what random) Pic from a local Steampunk VS. Cyberpunk club night! I wish I could dress like this every day!
posted by SheMulp AKA Plus 1 at 1:56 PM on October 29, 2008


Uh, if it's got electronics, it's not steampunk. Sorry.

Tsk. That's old, non-cosplay Steampunk.
posted by Artw at 2:01 PM on October 29, 2008


The name Phil Foglio means nothing to you? Xxxenophile?
Well, up until now it mostly meant some fondly remembered and tame cartoons from Dragon Magazine.
posted by Wolfdog at 2:07 PM on October 29, 2008


well not really but it's just one of those things that people love or hate and the people who hate it seem to really hate it for some reason

I am one of the haters of whom you speak, but I have no more insight than you do as to why I feel the way I do. Maybe I'm a steampunk bigot of some kind? Maybe I'm a deeply closeted steampunker? Me no know.
posted by dontoine at 2:10 PM on October 29, 2008


Uh, if it's got electronics, it's not steampunk. Sorry.

If steampunk enthusiasts actually cared about authenticity they would not wear 16th century pirate coats with early 20th century bomber caps. Or brass goggles on the brim of their top hats. Or little clock gears sewn to tartan waistcoats. Or talk about how they are Commodore Josephas Sissywizzle, leader of a roving band of airship pirates that operate out of the steam powered dirigible HMS Eh What Old Chap.

In short: they don't care.
posted by oneirodynia at 2:17 PM on October 29, 2008 [12 favorites]


I'm also in the 'can't understand steampunk hate' crowd. On the other hand I have a deep abiding hate for unicorns and a dislike for Harry Potter, so who am I to talk?
posted by Phalene at 2:26 PM on October 29, 2008


honestly, i love steampunk in my comics, movies, video games, etc...

I kinda hate weak ass "any excuse to wear goggles" cosplay, though. to each their own I suppose. the big thing, though, is that I'm a big supporter of discouraging steampunk nonsense on metafilter because cosplayers will post any old thing they come across when they think they've got free reign. this is almost literally a stick with a vacuum tube on top, inspired by a furry comic that can't quite decide if it wants to be full blown mary sue eroticism or just a regular old mary sue story. also it's from livejournal. if you like it, really that's fine, but man does it hit all my red flags in one go. my personal rule of thumb is that if it's made by people who say "aye" instead of "yes," and/or who have personalized comic book versions of themselves that they use for their profile pictures on every one of their social networking sites, it should never be linked anywhere. that's just my take, though. i really don't hate steampunk as much as i hate the fact that it feels like every damn thing some guy fitted with brass screws gets linked across the whole blogosphere as though no one had ever seen anything like it before. that's just my take, though. if you like it, enjoy it in good health.
posted by shmegegge at 2:29 PM on October 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


If you don't instictively get an ick reaction to cosplayers there's something wrong with you. And never forget, these people are cosplayers. I'm not syaing they're all one step away from being furries, but let's face it: They are.

That and the namespace collisions with a vaguely interesting but basically played out vein of alt-history SF pretty much covers it.
posted by Artw at 2:31 PM on October 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Or talk about how they are Commodore Josephas Sissywizzle, leader of a roving band of airship pirates that operate out of the steam powered dirigible HMS Eh What Old Chap.

In short: they don't care.


This I can understand.

If I had the time and the money to research and immerse myself completely into an authentic steampunk fantasy world of my own OH hells yes I would but for most people who admire the style we have to work with what we have.
posted by SheMulp AKA Plus 1 at 2:44 PM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Let's put the punk back in steampunk. I see that cane and want grab it, then begin brutally tolchocking everyone within reach of its shinyness, preferably with the big brass end. Including goggle-wearing Doctorow. "Videe well, author of Little Brother, videe well!"
posted by adipocere at 2:52 PM on October 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


I take back what I said er...Typed about steampunk haters. I see this is far to touchy of a subject for making jokes.

I do not have enough knowledge of what steampunk is nor do I have any desire to piss any one off by making uneducated comments about something I only found out about just last year.

Honestly I just think it looks cool.
posted by SheMulp AKA Plus 1 at 3:22 PM on October 29, 2008


If you go through these threads and read the "hater" comments to yourself in Andy Rooney's voice it's totally redemptive.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:24 PM on October 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


I don't get the GirlGenius hate here. I look forward to every new episode. (Although it does tend to move slowly at times...) And I'm not sure a few well endowed cartoon characters who occasionally gets caught in their underwear is exactly pron...
posted by DesbaratsDays at 3:24 PM on October 29, 2008


I neither love nor hate steampunk. You don't see people like me posting in these threads because what would we write?

Your favorite cosplay is kind of cool but can sometimes be over the top!
posted by Solon and Thanks at 3:25 PM on October 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


I can only stomach this stuff when I'm steamdrunk.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:25 PM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


If steampunk enthusiasts actually cared about authenticity

If steampunk enthusiasts actually cared about authenticity

If steampunk enthusiasts actually cared about authenticity

I cannot look at this enough times for it to start making sense.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:43 PM on October 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


It's not a hate-circuit, it's a hate-valve!
posted by Artw at 3:43 PM on October 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


I can only stomach this stuff when I'm steamdrunk.

So you stumble around in a haze, only to get sober with a good gust of wind? Sounds like a rather ephemeral effect. Or maybe you're referring to nitrous cracking, which is altogether a different kind of buzz.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:44 PM on October 29, 2008


Metafilter: it's an inadvisably fragile dildo you can lean on.
posted by CynicalKnight at 3:59 PM on October 29, 2008


Steampunk is not history class. It's an aesthetic. Like "greek" architecture we use for banks that Socrates wouldn't recognize.

GET OVER IT

(PS: Except for the transistor, all modern electronics was more or less in place by the end of the nineteenth century. Certainly by the end of the 1920s, which is more or less near the end of the "steampunk timeline".)
posted by DU at 4:21 PM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Faux-greek architecture is shit.
posted by Artw at 4:24 PM on October 29, 2008


Design fail, especially the toggle switch.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:34 PM on October 29, 2008


Except for the transistor, all modern electronics was more or less in place by the end of the nineteenth century. Certainly by the end of the 1920s, which is more or less near the end of the "steampunk timeline".

So the whole 'steam' thing is really just to throw us off the aesthetic trail then? What it should really be called is 20thCenturyElectronicsPunk?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:46 PM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Modern bathrooms? In a Greek building?!

Posers.
posted by DU at 4:48 PM on October 29, 2008


Fuck it, why not go up to the 40s, that way you can have nazis, quantum mechanics and nukes.
posted by Artw at 4:49 PM on October 29, 2008


MetaFilter: nazis, quantum mechanics and nukes
posted by DU at 5:02 PM on October 29, 2008


Fuck it, why not go up to the 40s, that way you can have nazis, quantum mechanics and nukes.

Yeah, throw in some aliens or weird religions shit and make a movie out of it. Though I am a little surprised that the Indiana Jones aesthetic hasn't taken off more. It's at least as awesome as steampunk. I suppose steampunk's appeal is the DIY/not-mainstream element of it.
posted by GuyZero at 5:45 PM on October 29, 2008


Well, up until now it mostly meant some fondly remembered and tame cartoons from Dragon Magazine.

Did you ever look at Dixie? Back when I was 11, I sure did. though perhaps that's too much information
posted by GuyZero at 5:49 PM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


goth Vs. goth
steampunk vs. steampunk
metal vs. metal
retro vs. retro
punk vs. punk

just like with all aesthetic trends, by the time you label it people will have found their own way of expressing what it means to them.

I still think it's awesome. Nice Cane! Way to go on the DIY effort!
posted by SheMulp AKA Plus 1 at 5:59 PM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Would a steampunk cane basically be, er, a cane?

I mean, it isn't as if they didn't have canes back in the 19th century.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:00 PM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Would a steampunk cane basically be, er, a cane?

I mean, it isn't as if they didn't have canes back in the 19th century.


I thought the exact same thing. It's not as if "it's cool looking!" is even a totally great justification, because there are a lot of awesome looking Victorian-era canes out there.

If this was a steam powered leg brace or something, then, well, maybe I'd understand it better.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:06 PM on October 29, 2008


If this was a steam powered leg brace or something, then, well, maybe I'd understand it better.

now that would be cool! A bit clunky but cool!
posted by SheMulp AKA Plus 1 at 8:23 PM on October 29, 2008


John Henry is not born into the world big and strong. He grows to become the greatest "steel-driver" in the mid-century push to erect the railroads across the mountains to the West. When the owner of the railroad buys a steam-powered hammer to do the work of his mostly black driving crew, to save his job and the jobs of his men, John Henry challenges the owner to a contest: himself alone versus the steam hammer. John Henry beats the machine, but exhausted, collapses, and dies.

So you see...steampunk is also racist.
posted by billyfleetwood at 8:37 PM on October 29, 2008


So you see...steampunk is also racist.

???
posted by SheMulp AKA Plus 1 at 8:42 PM on October 29, 2008


Steampunk computer

If this was a steam powered leg brace or something, then, well, maybe I'd understand it better.

Well, Ellis would probably buy it.
posted by Artw at 8:52 PM on October 29, 2008


Wow, I haven't checked out Girl Genius in a while. So it's pretty much just porn now?

Honeypie, if that's your definition of pornography, what have you been doing on this internet?
posted by Jilder at 10:10 PM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


If steampunk enthusiasts actually cared about authenticity

I cannot look at this enough times for it to start making sense.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:43 PM on October 29 [2 favorites +] [!]


Think of it as verisimilitude rather than authenticity. Steampunk has the speculative fiction given that there was the same logarithmic "Moore's Law" of technological advancement between the '80's and the '00s as was in the Victorian (?) era.

It's a "what's if" Victorian barbarians who only knew about steam engines got logical.

I wonder if there is good fiction depicting ancient Greek society that rejected slavery and pursued the mechanical era? I've heard of speculation about Chinese culture that didn't end up rejecting technology, but it never really fit together; nor did the Greek rejection.
posted by porpoise at 10:31 PM on October 29, 2008


Dude, Victorians invented a shit-ton of stuff without fictional help from Dr. Flogiston. Is a vague knowledge of that before you start adding on random vacuum tubes too much to ask?
posted by Artw at 11:51 PM on October 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


I guess I'm not drunk enough yet, but why couldn't they use a brass pipe to begin with, instead of painting a steel one to look like brass? And did they actually brag about drilling a 1/16 hole in it? Seriously?
posted by c13 at 12:06 AM on October 30, 2008


Faux-greek architecture is shit.

faux real.
posted by atrazine at 2:09 AM on October 30, 2008


I'll endorse this if it used for beating whores and other sundry members of the lower orders.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:45 AM on October 30, 2008


PS: Except for the transistor, all modern electronics was more or less in place by the end of the nineteenth century. Certainly by the end of the 1920s, which is more or less near the end of the "steampunk timeline".)

that's a pretty fucking HUGE exception. And wikipedia tells me that it wasn't until 1915 that the first "true vacuum tubes" were invented. And vacuum tubes were key in getting telephones (another pre-1920's invention) to really work right. Telegraphs, I'll give you. A useful lightbulb was around in 1880, but electricity distribution was the ineffecient DC systems of Edison until the Niagra Falls hydro electric plant openned in late 1896. LEDs -- not so available. Batteries (and flashlights) surprisingly available.
posted by garlic at 7:56 AM on October 30, 2008


And did they actually brag about drilling a 1/16 hole in it?

To be fair, I don't think they bragged about it so much as documented it as a step in the process. I happened to call it out because I needed a third thing in my list of things. Because 2 things just isn't a list.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:02 AM on October 30, 2008


You know who else was a steampunk? Thomas Crapper.

I'd really like to see some steampunk modded toilets, with the shit whirring around in vortexes (vortices?), illuminated by glowing green neon and visible through complex hand-blown glass pipes before being shredded into fertilizer for my steampunk Sea-of-Green-Genes organic hydroponic marijuana growing cupboard.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:32 PM on October 30, 2008


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