Pilsner’s Picks, On The March!

Posted By on March 4, 2015

Okay, so I couldn’t think of a better headline… anyway, it’s March, so here are the March Pilsner’s Picks. If Nat Shilkret’s 1926 “Manhattan Serenade” sounds familiar to you, that’s because it was later adapted as the musical score to one of the best Tom & Jerry cartoons, “Mouse In Manhattan” (1945). So if you’re a classic Hollywood animation fan, you just might have heard it.


Soviet Assault Dart Gun

Posted By on February 25, 2015

Through the history of modern small-arms development the concept of ultra-high velocity ammunition has risen to the top of designers in both East and West. An example of the ultra-high velocity ammunition is the flechette.

A metal dart, the flechette is often sabotted in single rounds to be fired out of individual rifles. More beastly variants are container rounds- hundreds of flechettes packed into tank rounds. But it is in the assault rifle that the flechette has seen periodic development.

One such weapon was the AO-27- a 1961 designed Cold War flechette rifle. A select-fire gas operated assault rifle, the AO-27 was a fairly conventional rifle with removable 30 round magazine. What went into the magazine was something else.

The sabotted round as a dart in a typical brass case. However the dart was wrapped in a two piece sabot which allowed it travel down the barrel of the rifle as a normal round would. When the sabotted flechette reached the muzzle, the sabot would peel away from the flechette allowing the dart to continue forward to its target.

Contemporary American efforts into flechette developments produced similar results in the SPIW which fired steel darts at velocities over 4,600 feet per second. For reference modern small-arms ammunition reach velocities of 3,500 fps. These high velocities and simple hardened construction was also an attribute desirable to soldiers who sought a round that could penetrate barricades or dense foliage, and then continue on towards the target. Another bonus for the infantry carrying the flechette ammunition was it had a reduced weight.

An important footnote to the development of flechette ammunition was its legality on the battlefield. Questions as to whether the flechette would maim have been raised by human rights organizations.

While flechette development has occurred on and off, it has never reached the battlefield in rifle form.

Interview with Anders Blixt: Dieselpunk Pioneer

Posted By on February 21, 2015

Most people know that Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876. However, most don’t know that many credit Antonio Meucci for also inventing it. The origins of dieselpunk follows a similar pattern. In most dieselpunk literature, Lewis Pollack is credited with coining the term ‘dieselpunk’ to promote the RPG Children of the Sun in 2002. It turns out this is only half the picture. In a posting on the excellent Facebook page Dieselpunks HQ I met an gentlemen by the name of Anders Blixt who independently coined the term ‘dieselpunk’ for his RPG the same year as Pollack. What follows is an interview with Mr. Blixt that he kindly granted me.

Anders, tell us a little about yourself.

I am a middle-aged chap who lives with wife and three children in Stockholm, Sweden. Since a few years, I earn my living as a tech writer, and in my spare time I write science fiction and role-playing games.

I grew up in Gothenburg in the 1960s and 1970s. In those days, that city was Sweden’s maritime nexus and its seagulls, ports, wharfs and merchantmen made me fall in love with the sea.

My mother had been an elite Lindy Hop dancer as a teenager in the 1940s and still owned a large collection of big-band records on 78-rpm discs. So she infused the first drops of diesel in my blood through the music of Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, and the Dorsey brothers.

When I was eight, my father gave me Twenty-thousand Leagues under the Sea with the comment: “I liked this book when I was a boy”. I was mesmerized by it and I still remember the sunny afternoon on my uncle’s porch when I read about the Nautilus getting trapped beneath the polar ice. That book opened the gate to the literary universe of science fiction – my everlasting thanks, dad.

AEther Salon: Punishment! (Edited Transcript)

Posted By on February 16, 2015

Bookworm Hienrichs: Welcome, one and all, to this month’s Aether Salon! Today, New Babbage’s own Tepic Harlequin will regale us with tales of Punishment in Victorian times.  Before we get started, a few housekeeping items:

1) To ensure you can hear the speaker, stand or sit on the patterned carpet.

2) If you do not have a wearable chair and wish one, please contact myself or the Baron.

AEther Salon: Punishment! (Unedited Transcript)

Posted By on February 16, 2015

[13:58] Bookworm Hienrichs: We’ll be starting in a few minutes. We always wait for stragglers.

[13:58] Bookworm Hienrichs smiles.

[13:58] Steadman Kondor beams, i cant wait to hear about this criminal topic!

[13:58] Garnet Psaltery: Hello Ceejay

[13:58] Bookworm Hienrichs: Ceejay! Good to see you!

[13:58] Avariel Falcon: No Babbager left behind!

[13:59] Avariel Falcon: Except that strange

Sir Round-a-Sound — Little Heart

Posted By on February 15, 2015

This little beauty plays iPods (with a lightning connector) and also USB sticks!

The shiny buttons on the front are for volume control.  What you can’t see below the grill is the play/pause button.  The button on the top left is for turning on the amp and switching between players.

The USB player with on/off switch to the right.

Why to Keep Humidity Levels Low in your Home

Posted By on February 14, 2015

The impact that humidity poses on your health is of significant importance. Just like clean air is important to your health, the right level of humidity will help you and your home be safe and healthy as well. If the level of humidity in your home is too low, it can result in dry skin, itch in your eyes and there are a lot of chances of you getting flu and cold.

Keeping humidity too high isn’t good either. If the humidity level is too low, then it can result in some serious allergic diseases and can also permit mold to grow in your home. Where there is high humidity, there will be a lot of moisture; which will ultimately lead to fast development of mold.

High Humidity

Screenshot_3In most of the cases, the humidity level is too high. It can be too low sometimes though, so it’s really important that you measure the humidity level in your house. The humidity levels should be around 30-50 percent indoors and the ideal humidity level is around 45 percent.
Most of the times, you are more likely to face high humidity levels inside your homes and you would want to lower it because high humidity levels aren’t good for your health. That’s why in most instances, the right humidity level is low (as the title suggests).

Methods to Reduce Humidity

So, below are the two ways through which you could lower the humidity level in your home.

The first method through which you can lower the humidity level is a bit expensive. It is done by placing exhaust fans wherever you suspect the humidity level to be high, for example, kitchen, laundry room and bathroom.

The second method is less expensive, which is the use of dehumidifiers. A dehumidifier is a household appliance which is able to reduce the humidity level in your home by removing the surplus amount of moisture from air. If you want to obtain the best results from your dehumidifier, then you should regularly empty the water from it.

Dieselpunkette Published!

Posted By on February 5, 2015

I am super excited to announce, my short story (which is a dieselpunk story) is forthcoming in the anthology Athena’s Daughters Volume Two, published by Silence In The Library Publishing.

It’s a science fiction and fantasy anthology of all female authors and all female protagonists. I picked up the first anthology, and I’ve read a few of the stories, and they’re great. There’s a lot of diversity in both anthologies, stories from authors all over and protagonists of all races and ages.

My contribution, The Maelstrom At The End Of The World, is a story about an aging airship captain, evacuating refugees from floating islands being sucked into a raging storm. They’re all starving, so when the encounter a skywhale, one of the most beautiful animals in their world, her first thought is how many mouths it could feed if they can kill it.

The anthology was kickstarted through December and January, and did spectacularly well (to the point of paying me royalties already!) You can still pre-order the paperback or e-book from the publisher, so hop over to the publisher’s store to order a copy! It should be printing in a couple of months.

Let’s Get Romantic – It’s The February (Valentine) Edition Of Pilsner’s Picks!

Posted By on February 1, 2015

I’ve heard a rumor that there’s some kind of big football hoo-hah going on somewhere or other today. But never mind that, I’ve got something better— musical hoo-hah! Yes, it’s the February Pilsner’s Picks!

With Valentine’s Day coming up, I’ve of course chosen some appropriately romantic numbers for the occasion. If you’re not moved to tears by the tender and poignant sentiments expressed so delicately by Bessie Smith, then you must have a heart of stone!


AEther Salon: Inventors! (Edited transcript)

Posted By on January 25, 2015

Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Gräfin, are you ready?Wulfriðe Blitzen nods

Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Welcome, everyone, to January’s Æther Salon. Please remove any lag-enhancing devices you might be wearing; ensure you are inside the maze pattern to be able to hear our excellent speaker; consider joining the group using the convenient signs around the walls.

Please consider showing your appreciation

AEther Salon: Inventors! (Unedited transcript)

Posted By on January 25, 2015

2015-01-18 [13:57:52] Vernden Jervil: Afternoon all2015-01-18 [13:58:03] Lady Sumoku waves2015-01-18 [13:58:19] Wulfriðe Blitzen  (ancasta): Heh, a languid pose for the sofa.2015-01-18 [13:58:27] Lady Sumoku laughs.2015-01-18 [13:58:55] Lady Sumoku: This isn’t that salon!2015-01-18 [13:59:02] Mr. Snow (tehckisnow): Oh!2015-01-18 [13:59:06] Mr. Snow (tehckisnow): uhhh, I gotta go.2015-01-18 [13:59

The Chap issue 79

Posted By on January 19, 2015

The 79th edition of The Chap resurrects the ghost of Oscar Wilde.

We met the great dandy’s grandson Merlin Holland in the Cafe Royal, where Oscar and Bosie used to meet and where Oscar’s downfall began. Mr. Holland explained his lifelong dedication to the works of his grandfather, and provided some fascinating insights about his life, trial and death, as well as a most curious anecdote about pugilism.

Elsewhere, we examine in great detail the Penny Loafer; discover the best British braces; learn the art of Le Sabrage: how to open a bottle of champagne with a sword, and which particular blades to use; find out about the early Glee Clubs and how decadent they were; and discover why Freddie Flintoff said: “I can drink for free in 64 pubs and get a lift home with the police when I become inebriated.”

Our grooming section explained the differences between Beehive, Persian Jar and Milk Churn shaving brushes, while the Bon Vivant showed us how to make our own cocktail bitters. Tom Cutler told us which peculiar clubs to join, while Nathaniel Adams looked in some detail at Oscar Wilde’s dandyism. The results of our umbrella competition proved that some men need some serious help in the wet-weather canopy department.

All this, plus the usual regulars the Butler, the Lip Weasel and Am I Chap?

Purchase the latest edition or subscribe from here