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OctopodiCon. Briefly, OctopodiCon is a steampunk convention. At least that's what it started out being - a 3 day weekend whereby friends and others interested in steampunk could immerse themselves, have fun, and show off the stuff we did.
I've always loved the Victorian/Edwardian/Belle Epoque/Art Noveau/Cubist/Boyscouts Era for it's verve and energy and willingness to explore all aspects of life. There were, obviously, a lot of terrible things about that era, but it was also an era that bred a lot of the good things we now enjoy: women's rights, the end to child labor, worker's rights, the exploration of the world, pith helmets (I mean come on, everyone looks dashing and adventurous in a pith helmet!), and so much more. H. G. Wells. Charles Williams. William Thackeray. Lewis Carroll. Robert Louis Stevenson. Alfred Lord Tennyson. Oscar Wilde. Beatrix Potter. George Bernard Shaw. Thomas Malory. Gilbert and Sullivan. Charles Darwin. Harriet Beecher Stowe. Nathanial Hawthorne. Rudyard Kipling. Arthur Conan Doyle. The list could go on for much longer, but these names should be familiar to many of us.
I mean who can't love an era that gave us comic books?
Boy Scouts. Radio. Esperanto. Rotary Club. Kodak cameras. Typewriters. The mimeograph machine. Tesla coils. Basketball. The Nutcracker. Hershey's chocolate bar. Coca Cola. Dr. Pepper. The telephone, rapidly followed by the first pay telephone. The record player. The fountain pen. Submarines. Cattle drives. Canada. The last shogun. Postcards (did you know the Australians invented this? How cool!). Pneumatic mail tubes. Subways (not the sandwich). Wood pulp paper. Hearing aids.
With so much that we know and love and have improved upon still in existence that was created during the Victorian/Edwardian Era, you could say we are all steampunks, riffing off the inventions and enthusiasms of the times.
I can't remember a time when I wasn't fascinated by and interested in the science and technology and literature and art of that era from all around the world.
Then I found these people in 2009:
I found them because they graciously attended a tea I held informally at a hotel by the pool. I didn't expect anyone to show up, so I only set up one table for the tea. But we kept adding people and tables.
Some of them came dressed in steampunk.
We were all hooked.
It led to this picnic:
And then to this convention:
And finally to OctopodiCon, a local convention dedicated entirely to steampunk, not just a steampunk track at another convention, not just a tea at another convention where we all bemoan the need for a full on steampunk convention like the ones we read about happening on the coasts. One right here, in our "neighborhood".
After much discussion, I wound up in charge of organizing this convention - to happen October 5-7, 2012. We have passed all the hurdles so far, just barely making some of the deadlines with the skin of our teeth. We set OctopodiCon up to be an educational, hands-on convention. People will make things, participate in demonstrations, learn skills they can apply to their own endeavors, excite them about science and making, and doing through steampunk. College professors will be coming in to teach things like physics (making quicksand with the children's programming), engineering (making automatons), history (women explorers), fashion (bustles, top hats, pith helmets, and corsets, oh my!), art (Victorian crazy quilting, how to frame and transport your art), egyptology (a "mummy" unwrapping), music (Victorian chap-hop, filking), literature (readings by modern steampunk authors), and more. Lots more.
It's going to be so much fun!
This is my ConCom - the people who are helping me put this all together. Not everyone is in the photo because some of them couldn't make it to the photo shoot and some left before we took the group photo.
Yes, I have children on my ConCom - they are helping us plan the children's activities. The two in aviator gear are Junior Sprockets for the younger children, and the smug young man in the bottom right is part of the Artifact Club for the older children.
We don't take ourselves too seriously
because steampunk is supposed to be fun, and everything rises from fun.
If it's not fun, we're doing it wrong.
And speaking of fun, here are today's Tops, formatted tonite by brillig:
Brillig's ObDisclaimer: The decision to publish each nomination lies with the evening's Diarist and/or Comment Formatter. My evenings at the helm, I try reeeeallllyy hard to publish everything without regard to content. I really do, even when I disagree personally with any given nomination. "TopCommentness" lies in the eyes of the nominator and of you, the reader - I leave the decision to you. I do not publish self-nominations (ie your own comments) and if I ruled the world, we'd all build community, supporting and uplifting instead of tearing our fellow Kossacks down.
From eXtina:jack23 makes an excellent analysis of how Cory Booker's comments about Bain give Republicans ammunition Obama doesn't need them to have, and how it compares with Hillary Rosen's.
From BeninSC:In Laura Clawson's fine diary about Paul Ryan's hypocrisy on higher education, Tamar writes eloquently about prospects her daughter faces in today's political environment, so toxic to students wishing only to get a quality education and to then make a contribution to our world.
From Seneca Doane:In MB's diary on Republican economic sabotage, Liberal Protestant has a must-read point.
From Chrislove:In my diary about a North Carolina pastor who thinks the "lesbians and queers" should be locked up inside an electrified fence, jam nails it in his response to Cedwyn's question.
From Noddy:campionrules contemplates peaceable assembly
Top Mojo for yesterday, May 20th, first comments and tip jars excluded. Thank you mik for the mojo magic!
1) This could be the wedge issue to turns by Lily O Lady — 136
2) There'll be a memorial celebration by Emmet — 131
3) Not 100% correct by dopper0189 — 128
4) I didn't see that original diary by The Pollster — 114
5) Saw a Tweet that put it by Cali Scribe — 111
6) Its a rural/poor thing by Mannie — 109
7) Aw... I'm crying. by Joieau — 103
8) I loved her diaries--as beautiful by virginwoolf — 102
9) good catch! by wilderness voice — 102
10) I don't think he should be banned by bleeding heart — 94
11) Let us know what you think of this edition! by navajo — 94
12) asdf by jds1978 — 93
13) Thanks, on my daughter's behalf. She was raped, by Captain Marty — 92
14) I figured this out in 1999 by anastasia p — 90
15) It's not just rape. by karmsy — 86
16) Nothing funny about rape. by Free Jazz at High Noon — 86
17) Trayvon's dad said voice on tape his son by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse — 84
18) excellent idea by Magorn — 83
19) document dump evidence links by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse — 83
20) Never had your experiences, but I've had PTSD. by allergywoman — 77
21) condolences by a gilas girl — 76
22) Maybe so... by VetGrl — 76
23) Thank you Emmet for sharing this by Cali Scribe — 75
24) For more about Ancient Ireland by Ojibwa — 72
25) They sold by ogre — 71
26) an unarmed black teenager by Laurence Lewis — 70
27) To all of our Moms by Burned — 70
28) She kept that beautiful smile by cotterperson — 70
29) States that filed the brief in support of Montana by MartyM — 68
30) Kos... by doingbusinessas — 68
31) It needed to be said by mapamp — 68
32) Oh noes! If the recall suceeds, by leu2500 — 68
Top Pictures for yesterday, . Click any image to be taken to the full comment. Thank you jotter for the image magic!