French steampunk movie

Avril et le monde truqué is an animated steampunk movie based on the comics by Jacques Tardi. It portrays an alternate-history world in which technology has developed along a different steam-based track since the beginning of the 19th century. Protagonist Avril experiences a hectic Miyazaki-style adventure (e.g. with a talking cat) in places inspired by Jules Verne. That sounds like an appealing combination. Whether the movie will be shown in Swedish cinemas is still not clear, but I will certainly buy the DVD whenever it gets available.

Read more about Avril et le monde truqué here — link >>>

A replica of first steam-car

French inventor Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot built the first functioning steam wagons around 1770 (link >>> ). In 2010, a group of students at the Arts et Métiers ParisTech engineering university built a replica of one of Cugnot’s designs and put it to work with a reasonable success.

A horseless wagon must have been an impressive device in the late 18th century, but I guess that the poor quality of roads in those days prevented the widespread use of such a heavy vehicle. However, in a tarpunk or early-steampunk alternate history, improved versions of this wagon could possible become useful provided that the inventors developed broad low-pressure wheels for contemporary gravel roads.

Xanadu for the Booklover

I have loved books since childhood and therefore libraries have been sanctuaries to me. When I was a kid in the 1960s, my parents took my sisters and me once a week to the nearest public library, where I filled a big bag with fresh loans. My father assisted me in finding the books I wanted; in those days the filing systems were bulky card cabinets that were unwieldy for a short boy.

I just found a web page with photos from some of the most beautiful libraries in the world, unsurprisingly several from France, le pays des belles lettres. Look and rejoice — link >>>

Bibliothèque Sainte Geneviève, Paris