Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Gadgets Galore: Consumer Reports Goes Steampunk

So glad I'm not this kid!
Yes, I'm exaggerating. Consumer Reports isn't going steampunk. But they are celebrating 75 years of testing consumer products, and some of the pictures they have posted on their website right now will have you thinking Wild, Wild West in no time flat.

Hair products are a lot of work...
It is amazing to see some of the old-fashioned products on display on the Consumer Reports website. You have to see them! The vintage photos and timeline are posted on the bottom of their home page. And they just might inspire you to write some steampunk, or at least get some popcorn and rent The Avengers. Come on, who doesn't love Emma Peel?

It's interesting... Fantasy and science fiction are found wherever you look, if you have the right attitude. The 75th anniversary of Consumer Reports is a feast for the imagination. It's a riot of technology, with a love of science and unbridled enthusiasm for improving our experience of life. At its best, steampunk embraces that philosophy too, and the Consumer Reports celebration simply reminds me of the beauty and passion to be found in science and technology.

Steampunk gives a nice balance to the dystopian post-apocalyptic landscapes so prevalent today. The world is filled with bad news, there is no doubt about it. Perhaps it is inevitable that things will go downhill. Things do tend toward chaos. But steampunk is a little reminder that in spite of chaos, in spite of the bad things, there is beauty in man and his mind too. It's not all dark out there. Sometimes, we see some light.

I'm a writer. Of course I included
a picture of coffee makers!
If nothing else, the Consumer Reports spread is fun and fanciful, and it gives you a behind the scenes look at their testing techniques. (You might be surprised at what they do.) So even if you don't love steampunk fiction, you might enjoy 20th century technology history, so stop by the Consumer Reports website and then come by here and tell me what you think.

Oh, and if you like steampunk, give Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris a try. It's a lot of fun. I reviewed it here if you'd like to see my take on it.

Copyright (c) 2011 by Michele Chiappetta. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

  1. Phoenix Rising is on my long list. Sounds so good. Now I need to head over to Consumer Reports.


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