Oct 172014
 

Oh hell yes. In this bloody gorgeous 2004 animated movie, we get to see the British ancestor of Macgyver  fight off a powerful mercantile syndicate and a shady division of the government that all want to use this (magical) steam generator ball thing to do stuff.  And a crazy old man. This movie has a very different feel than the others we’ve watched so far, being very much a ‘coming of age’ story combined with some ‘resisting corruption’ (of like three different flavors no less).  This is certainly the group favorite, though personally I would probably say AB is a very close second. The only real regret I have is that there’s no sequel (watch the ending credits- Marvel has clearly taken a pointer from this movie).

 

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

 Posted by at 10:37 pm
Sep 122014
 

So wow. Been a bit. But we’re coming back strong with a podcast about a movie suggested by a fan (thanks Fire Drake!).  Thankfully, we were not lied to this time, as AB was not only more steampunk than Mutant but also an enjoyable viewing experience. It’s clearly an older movie, so if you went into it expecting awesome CG action scenes or the like, you’ll be disappointed but that just means you’re a silly person. AB is darn well written (saving only the somewhat forced feel of the two main characters getting involved with each other), with an interesting if far-fetched plot, good characters and a lot of funny moments that are clearly spoofs of more serious spy thrillers.  All in all, a rather pleasant way to spend a few hours.

 

And the links! (this is a long one, folks)

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Good Lord We Talk a Lot

 Posted by at 8:32 am
Mar 142014
 

Alright then! We have this month’s steampunk (sorta kinda, Amazon lied to me but you’ll have to listen the podcast to hear the details) for your listening… well, pleasure might be a bit much. Vague feeling of amusement perhaps? Anyway.  We, gods help us, watch Mutant Chronicles. We’re going to skip next month as Yami and Chaos will be out of town (and country, continent and hemisphere for that matter) but we’ll resume after that with Firedrake’s suggested viewing of The Assassination Bureau.

 

Firedrake, if you lied to us and it’s a terrible, horrid movie, I will cry.  If’s okay, or just not our taste, that’s cool. But if it’s as badly made as MC… I will actually weep.

 

Right. Links!

Pre-gaming!

Part One.

Part Two.

Deleted Scenes and other Chatter.

 

 

 Posted by at 5:05 pm
Feb 152014
 
Well, the first podcast is done and posted. The first four parts are the movie itself- the last (and biggest) chunk is our After-Hour Bonus Ramblings. In order to make it so anyone that has subscribed via iTunes can auto-download the podcasts, Yami has created five separate ‘podcast’ type posts that won’t be pushed to the front page. So here are the links for your convenience.Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

After-Hours Bonus Ramblings

And, as a teaser/accompaniment, here are some links and trivia that really only make sense if you listen to us ramble.

Dogs and gramophones!

Caffeine at room temperature!

Fish house punch! (not bowl, like I think we called it more than once)

Umm, a non-drunken list of the movies!

That should just about do it for this- go and listen to the podcast.

 Posted by at 12:32 am
Sep 032013
 

Hello and welcome to Chaos Theory. It’s a little segment I’ll be doing from time to time about steam punk and the interesting things behind it. Today I’ll be talking about the Steam Engine. I’ll also be as scientifically accurate as I can be…hopefully. At least I’ll try to stay on topic. So let’s start this how all good scientific talks start….with slides!

*click*

*click*

This is a steam engine. It uses the princi- …What, that isn’t the first one? But I thought that I sho- Fine, hold on. Sorry about that. Apparently there’s a discrepency.

*click*

*click*

Alright, THIS is-

Oh what is it NOW! I put up the-

…it’s HOW old?!

From WHERE?! Huh.

Ok, I’ll start there.  Sorry, folks. Looks like I’ll have to go back a bit further.

*click*

*click*

(looks around expectantly)

Alright, I think we’re good now. This is an aeolipile. It’s said to be the earliest model of a steam ‘engine’ in so much that it uses steam to do mechanical work. It was designed in 1st century Roman Egypt by the Hero of Alexandria. He’s pretty famous for some of his other designs, like a wind-powered organ and the first vending machine.  “But Chaos, wasn’t the steam engine not widely used until many centuries later?” you say. Well…yes. You see, the aeolipile might be the first steam engine, but it wasn’t really able to do much work. I don’t mean that it didn’t move, but that the amount of force it was able to generate wasn’t really able to do much. Basically it was a proof of concept and a cool looking toy. It wouldn’t be until 1680 before cylinders were even added.

*click*

*click*

The next design they had were more steam pumps than engines. They used boiling water with release valves to move a pump down and the resulting vacuum from the cooling steam to pull the pump back up. It was actually a very ingenious design that used techniques from earlier models to improve the efficiency of the engine. This was the design used until the 18th century, where the need for smaller, high pressure engines for factories become higher.

Now, why did I bore you with all those facts about steam engines? Well, where do you think Steampunk started? It was the idea that, after the industrial revolution, these sorts of engines remained the standard and were improved far beyond what they normally were. In fact, Steampunk didn’t really ‘happen’ until the 1980’s. I realize that movies like Metropolis and early tv shows like Wild, Wild West helped pave the way, but the term didn’t appear until after their creation.

Original version. Personally, I like the later version done in the Astro Boy style, but that's for another time.

Original version. Personally, I like the later version done in the Astro Boy style, but that’s for another time.

Now, the big question I had when I first started looking into Steampunk was ‘Why?’ Why would someone imagine a world where the steam engine was the dominate technology instead of petrol? Why have a world of glass tubes and electricity rather than the world of gravity wells, teleporters, and all the trappings of science fiction as I had grown to know it. Well, my theory is…that some people just thought it would be interesting. I mean, that’s the reason far future science fiction is what it is now. People looked at what we had and said “Wow, I wonder what they’ll do in the future?” People like Jules Vern and William Gibson looked at the past and said “I wonder what would have happened if THAT stuck around?” It’s really just a different way of looking at things. It’s a creativity that I respect and only wish I had a fraction of. Well…that and I like seeing how people bend and stretch current figures and technology to fit with the aesthetic.

Well, I hope I didn’t bore anyone to tears with my information. I hope even more that some of you found it entertaining. Now, if you think I glossed over anything important, want to add your own theory, or just wanna discuss a bit with others just comment below. Now that we’ve done the steam engine, hopefully you come back next time for another major inspiration for Steampunk. We’ll be seeing how all of this ‘ticks’ inside with Clockwork.