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Yesterday’s Tomorrow: The Steampunk World’s Fair

Back in May, I had the good fortune to attend the 2nd annual Steampunk World’s Fair. I enjoyed it a great deal, and while I was there I got the chance to meet Mo Rocca while he was filming this piece for CBS Sunday Morning. While the tone of the piece is a bit more dismissive and sarcastic than I’d like (it’s Mo Rocca, y’all), it’s nice to see these folks get on national TV for making cool stuff. This was definitely a maker event — pretty much every costume and prop was either made from scratch or re-appropriated from something else.

The Steampunk World’s Fair was held the same weekend as Maker Faire Bay Area, and it seemed that many of the makers who couldn’t make it out to San Mateo were here instead — I saw a lot of people from World Maker Faire as well as HOPE and other East Coast hacker and maker events. And so I am sharing it here.

One of my favorite bits is the interview with Paul Alborough (a/k/a Professor Elemental). When asked to describe Steampunk he sums it up nicely:

I think it’s like live action role playing games, and comic books and movies, it’s that escapism. You can take it in any different direction that you want to – spend a day as an airship captain or a sky pirate or an evil villain or whatever it is you might want to do. And you can change that from day to day as well.


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  1. As a long time listener of NPR’s “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” I’ve always wondered what Mo Rocca looks like. And now I know.

  2. mo rocca used to be on the daily show quite a lot.

    i’m not too crazy about the steam punk, but i do like the short film “The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello” which is pretty good if you ever get to see it (academy award nominated)

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