Sunday Summary – July 5th, 2015

So what did you miss this week? This week was in large part was a tribute to the late British actor Patrick Macnee, we made more masks, we celebrated Gay Pride and marriage equality, we examined the trustworthiness of Artificial Intelligence in the film EX MACHINA, and a whole bunch of other fascinating topics!

Cincinnati Steampunk Salon – July Report

For years now the Cincinnati Steampunk Salon has been held on the first Saturday of each month and this year it fell upon July 4th, a busy day for everyone, a day in which we anticipated a low turn out for the Salon, but we were pleasantly surprised.

July 5th, 1937 – Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam!

Spam was introduced by Hormel Foods Corporation on July 5th, 1937. Ken Daigneau, brother of a company executive, won a $100 prize that year in a competition to name the new item. Hormel claims that the meaning of the name “is known by only a small circle of former Hormel Foods executives”, but popular beliefs are that the […]

Alice’s Adventures into Silent Cinema

The first edition of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was released on July 4th, 1865 and since then there has been, and continues to be, numerous film adaptations of this fantastical story. The first was in 1903, directed by Cecil Hepworth and Percy Stow. The film is memorable for its use of special effects, including Alice’s shrinking […]

The Passing of Quiet Hero Sir Nicholas Winton

Sir Nicholas Winton, a quiet civilian hero of World War II, has died at the age of 106.  In a time of considerable disinterest in the Jewish plight, Winton rescued 669 Czech Jewish children, most of whom would have otherwise perished.

July 4th, 1862 & 1865 – Alice Falls Down the Rabbit Hole

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland) is the much loved novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. It tells the tale of Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures. The tale plays with logic, giving the story lasting popularity with […]

Finding the Midsummer Masquerade Royal Court

A couple of weeks ago we announced the Fairy Courts of the Midsummer Masquerade in which we will now have a King and Queen of the Masquerade as well as the Bottom of the Dance. The 2016 Court will be chosen from the winners of our costume contests and their prizes will be two tickets […]

EX MACHINA, & Can We Trust AI?

If you asked me to recall one of my favorite moments from our beloved 2004 adaptation of I, Robot starring Will Smith, I’d instantly think of the moment when Sonny, the bot of that movie, pounds his fists into the table during interrogation. He looks surprised at his own strength when he sees that he’s […]

July 3rd, 1886 – Karl Benz Unveils the First Automobile

The Benz Patent-Motorwagen (or motorcar), built in 1886, is widely regarded as the first automobile; that is, a vehicle designed to be propelled by an internal combustion engine. The original cost of the vehicle in 1885 was $1,000 (equivalent to $26,248 in 2015). The vehicle was awarded the German patent, number 37435, for which Karl […]

From John Steed to Sherlock Holmes

The lives and careers of Patrick Macnee and Christopher Lee possess some remarkable parallels. Both were born in 1922, both were contemporaries at Summerfields preparatory school where they first performed on stage together, they both fought in World War II, they died 18 days apart, and they both played Sherlock Holmes.

Midsummer Mask-Making Part 5

Some masks make a statement. Some are downright sexy. Some protect superheroes’ identities. And some are barely there at all. If you want to create an ethereal appearance, or you want to get some really funny double takes, try making an invisible mask. It’s a very easy bit of wizardry.

July 2nd, 1900 – The First Flight of the Zeppelin!

Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin‘s serious interest in airship development began in 1874, when he took inspiration from a lecture given by Heinrich von Stephan on the subject of “World Postal Services and Air Travel” to outline the basic principle of his later craft in a diary entry dated March 25th, 1874. This describes a large rigidly-framed […]