Thursday, April 26, 2012

Give Me LIBERTY or Give Me...

Fossilized remains believed to be those of Velocitaurus Atillae

STEELHENGE Studios, in association with MODVIC, are pleased to announce that 'Mobilis in Mobili: An Exhibition of Steampunk Art & Appliance' is to be presented at the The
LIBERTY HOTEL  on Tuesday, 1 May 2012 during the hours of 6:00-8:30 PM as part of its 'Gallery Night Tuesdays' series.
Six artists are expected to participate and will be available to discuss their work.
FiveSpeedJaak will discuss some of the recent developments of
'The Theoretical Reconstruction of Velocitaurus Atillae'
(Model No. 438).

Portions of 'Atilla' docking structure.

For more information go to:

Monday, April 23, 2012



Les Gestes et Opinions du Docteur Faustroll, Pataphysicien
Written by Alfred Jarry, this book which defies classification and in which Jarry elaborates his Science of Pataphysics (the 'science of imaginary solutions' which 'will examine the laws governing exceptions, and will explain the universe supplementary to this one...')
This extraordinary, Rabelaisian 'neo-scienfic novel' completely baffled even his closest friends in the literary world, and only a few chapters were published.

Rear stem mount attached to stock and bow positioned
over axle. Design and fabrication of front
stabilizer is next step.


Suppose for a moment that you've
just discovered that there is no 
cellular service available.
You hurry over to your computer
only to discover that you are no
longer connected your internet
provider's server as well.
With cell phones knocked out, there
will undoubtedly be no WIFI.
A howling and screaming panic
crashes in on you as you become
aware that you are

Mr. Elswick Tradesman and I were cycling along a delightful and very rural secondary road when we suddenly came into a blindingly dense haze. With some reservation we continued into the haze and were relieved to discover that it was very brief. As we emerged back into the sunlight, we instantly saw that there were large fields on either side of the road which were completely blanketed with an astoninshing conglomeration of what could only be called old junk.
Elswick could not resist and exclaimed that he intended to halt and investigate the scene which lay before us. I followed my companion on an angular dirt path which passed endless rows of 900 square foot corrals filled with strange and mysterious objects.
As we ventured into the fields I spotted a small item that I recognized. In my past I had possessed an article that had been constructed in the same manner and fashion as the example before me.
Recalling the pleasant circumstances which had surrounded me at that time as a young boy, I arranged, for a small price, to obtain this wonderful momento to bring back to my rooms.
This behavior was to be repeated many times during that day.

I don't know, I just got here myself.

Monday, April 16, 2012


25mm x 10mm notch cut into center of old wood rim.

Following Round No.3 of the "What Would You do?" finals, I bravely chose door No.3 which was to cut a 563mm section from a discarded 28" wooden rim long overdue for retirement. Once the shock had subscided, a 25mm x 10mm notch was cut into the center of the to accept the nose of the bowstock.

Zen and The Art of Reverse Engineering?

I have come to realize that I only know enough about engineering
[life] to know that I do not know enough.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Reconstructing Velocitaurs


While watching an armadillo digging in our lawn for food we were reminded of the hypothetical thought-experiment (Russell 1987, Russell & Seguin 1982): what if non-avian dinosaurs (specifically, troodontid maniraptorans) had not cashed in their chips at the end of the Cretaceous but, instead, had continued to evolve? We then wondered: what if in addition to their survival, so intense and dramatic was the catastrophic climatic influence on the dinosaurs that their DNA structures underwent a rapid and complete overhaul? The only survivors would be those who were able to adapt to these new conditions which might have included, let's say, the infusion of huge amounts of base elements such as iron, copper, gold, and silver and in some cases, even vegetation into their scrambled DNA structures, within a period of no more than two or three generations!
Inspired by new data on troodontid brain size, Carl Sagan speculated about intelligent dinosaurs in The Dragons of Eden (1977) and posed the question: If Cretaceous forms were already so ‘smart’, what would have happened given another 60-odd million years of evolution?
His question inspired us to speculate on troodontid anatomy and functional morphology. In 2006 we completed our first model study, ‘Reconstruction of the Cretaceous theropod Velocitaurus Crankensteineus'. This was our first hypothetical ‘evolved’ troodontid that had reached an encephalisation quotient similar to that of humans, over 50 million years ago!


Since then we have continued with these explorations incorporating a variety of conditional variations and we invite our colleagues to "imagine the possibilities".

Velocitaurs are a diverse group of animals of the clan Velocitauria.
They first appeared during the Triassic period, approximately 230 million years ago, and became the dominant terrestrial vertibrates for 135 million years, from the beginning of the Jurassic (about 200 million years ago) until the end of the Cretaceous (65.5 million years ago), when the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event led to the extinction of most dinosaur groups at the close of the Mesozoic era. The fossil record indicates that velocitaurs evolved from the teropod dinosaurs during the Jurassic, and consequently they are considered a type of dinosaur in modern classification systems. Some Velocitaurs survived the extinction event that occurred 65 million years ago, and continue the dinosaur lineage to the present day.