Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Cartoon of the Day

Taken at the Happy Vixen. While some planes such as ultralights work just fine with the same gas that goes in a car, others require fuel with higher octane and special additives.

By Bixyl Shuftan

Reader Submitted: Subnautica Below Zero, Part Two

Last month, Rita Mariner wrote about the sequel to the popular aquatic survival game Subnautica, "Subnautica: Below Zero." Since then, the early-access game has continued to develop, and Rita's continued to play, noticing both the changes and the deeper sea levels that getting better equipment has allowed her to do. So she decided to write once again about the game.

Read Rita's reader submission in Other Grids, MMOs, and Games.

Interviewing Jasmine Dawn And Nydia Tungsten About The Happy Vixen

The beach club of the community where the Newser office makes it's home has just gotten a new look. It's a shiny look that's gotten complements. But who's the person behind the build? Deaflegacy went out to interview the woman behind the renovation: Jasmine Dawn. She also had a few words with owner Nydia Tungsten.

Read Deaflegacy's interview in Places.

SL Video: "Second Life Destinations - The Blarney Stone"

(Click here if the video does not play)

From Second Life Destinations on Friday March 15. The Blarney Stone is a pub located in the appropriately named Dublin sim at (81/81/25). While the biggest crowd is on St. Patrick's Day, it's open all year and has a few events a weel.

Also mentioned was St. Patrick's Town, and the month-long festival in London City.

Second Friends Social Network Closing Down

With Facebook having a less than friendly policy toward account users whom would prefer to use their online name rather than their legal real-life name, some Second Life users have sought alternatives. Among then was "Second Friends," created by musician Mankind Tracer (real-life name Seth Regan). But last week on March 14, Seth announced he was no longer keeping it running. It's Facebook group however would remain.

My Dear Second Friend,

I have decided after a bunch of years to close down Second Friends. I want to thank you personally for helping create our wonderful SL community on the SF social network.

If you would like to stay in touch with other members, please join the Second Friends group on Facebook:

Seth asked people to download any pictures or videos from the site that they wanted to keep before it went down.  He stated he may open another network in the future.

Be well my dear Second Friend. I hope to see you in Second Life where I plan on starting up my live shows again very soon. ... I sign out for the final time here on Second Friends.

Second Friends boasted about 3800 users.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Events This Week at the Sunweaver, Montecito Bay, and Furry Fashion Clubs

Here's what's going on at the Sunweaver and Montecito Bay clubs and Furry Fashion's Furscape

Club Cutlass: Best in "H", Working Stiffs, Toon Time

The Happy Vixen: Fairy Tales, Videogames, TBA, Raccoons and Wah, Cops and Robbers, TV and Movie Characters, Naughty, TBA

Club Zero Gravity: DJ JB, DJ Snowbuns, DJ Naughty Nydia, DJ JB

Montecito Bay: Under the Sea/Ocean Creatures, Monthly Plushie Night, National Goof-Off Day, After Dark, Ska

FF Furscape: CAYA, Wasteland, Cartoons, Nature, Wet n' Wild, Cute, Animes, Wings, Videogames, Equines

Read the schedules in SL Clubbin'

The Happy Vixen Gets A New Look

It's been almost three years since the Happy Vixen, the beach club of the Sunweavers/Angels community, was last redesigned. But in recent months, there have been some events in which the club's dance floor was quite a bit crowded. So club owner Nydia Tungsten got together with Jasmine Dawn, whom had done the last few renovations, as well as the Halloween builds. So last Friday and Saturday, Jasmine went to work. And on Sunday at 6PM, the club was ready for it's Sunday events.

Besides a larger dance floor, a glowly one that won't cause peoples' tails to look transparent, the club has a hot tub for relaxing in, seating for people, a dragon seating area, and more. There is still a little more work to do. Later on, the games that people played at the old Happy Vixen between events will be placed.

The two events that night were "Angels," made with Nydia's "Angels" group in mind, with DJ Snowbuns, and "Best in Green/St. Patricks Day" with DJ Squeaks. Valerie Casetti (llodea Resident) won the first event. For the St. Patrick's event,  MaliitCoyote Resident and Kragon Vlodovic split the 1500 Linden dollar prize.

The Happy Vixen has events most of the week, the schedule that can be viewed in SL Clubbin'.

Bixyl Shuftan

Urban Furry Club Shuts Down.

There was some sad news late last week. On Friday March 15, the Urban Furry club had it's last events. It had been owned by Whiskey (Thorrin Resident), and was located in Mystic Timberland. The club had been running for over a year, and was a member of the Furry Club Alliance. Probably it's best event was the "Furry Prom" which was attended by over fifty people at one point.

Talking around, it seems the cause of the club's shutdown was real-life schedule changes with the owner and much of the rest of the staff that made running events harder, plus questions if they had the finances to keep it running long term. Thorin did say, "I'll be back. This isn't the end of me," and has plans for something new when things calm down in real life.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, March 18, 2019

Kitacelia and Raising Horses

Before automobiles, people got around either on foot or by horse. Even today when many people go weeks or months without seeing one, horses are still a big part of our culture such as engines measured in "horsepower," expressions such as "never look a gift horse in the mouth," and of course our stories such as cowboys always being near their horses. So it was probably inevitable people would bring horses to Second Life. Several years ago, breedable pet horses came about. And it became possible to raise them here. Deaflegacy, who owns a few horses, recently interviewed one horse breeder, Kitacelia. She had a few questions about raising horses here in the virtual world.

Read Deaflegacy's story in People.

Environmental Art Delivers a Sobering Message at Ecoscape

For most of its history, Mankind was at the mercy of the environment while having little impact on it. While Man could occasionally cause ecological damage, it was on a local level. But in the past century, it's become more obvious more powerful tools made possible by recent technologies in addition to more humans on the planet are having an impact on the global ecology. The question is, how much? Klaus Bereznyak recently went to InterstellART and saw EcoScape, an art exhibition with works from eight different artists about environmental issues. So what did the exhibits show?

Read Klaus' story in Design.

Preview of New Linden Homes at Home and Garden Expo.

The Home and Garden Expo, one of the larger events of the Relay for Life in Second Life, is taking place in several temporary sims south of American Cancer Society. But the one getting the most attention is the Linden Homes Preview sim as like the name suggests, people can check up on what the soon to be available set of Linden Homes look like.

 Not all of the Linden Homes will be on dry land. Some will be houseboats parked at docks.

According to Inara Pey and Daniel Voyager, what was assumed about the SSP continent is true. It will be the location of the new Linden homes. It's opening is described as "weeks" away. The plan is to rename it "Bellisseria" and place it between two other continents to form a larger mass of contiguous sims that one can walk/fly/drive from one end to another without the need for teleports.

As with the other Linden Homes, these are available only to Premium Residents, and obtaining them will be done via a webpage. As the new Linden Homes are occupied, the smaller landmasses where the older ones are will be dismantled once they're empty of residents.

To check out the new Linden Homes yourself, and the rest of the Expo, head to

Sources: Daniel Voyager, Modem World

Bixyl Shuftan

RFL Team Sunbeamers "Bid Me" Results

Last month, Team Sunbeamers, the Relay for Life team for the Sunweaver community, started it's first two events: "Bid Me Human" and "Bid Me Goat," with yours truly Bixyl Shuftan and fellow vulpine Liska Fuchs as the volunteers. On Friday March 15 at 8PM, team captain Rita Mariner calculated the totals at Club Cutlass.

LISKA: Fox      2500L
             Deer  13,600L

 Liska goes Venison, I mean Deer for 5 Weeks,

 BIXYL: Fox:          2550L
              Human:  27,000L

 Bixyl goes Human for 5 weeks.                        

So it looks like Liska will be dealing with a few "buck stops here" jokes and yours truly will be furless, at least for a few weeks. Being a journalist however, I can switch back to my usual self when doing an interview, or something else related to the paper. But other times, I'm without the pointed ears and tail.

And yes, it's not the same human avatar after the first couple "Bid Me Human" events. I figured two rounds of "Blazing Saddles" jokes was enough, so went with an Asian avie instead.

In the meantime, the fundraising by Team Sunbeamers continues. There will soon be another round of "Bid Me" volunteers.  The team itself has climbed to almost 64,000 Lindens, passing the halfway mark to Gold. After that is Platinum, in which I appear as something special for a week. The first couple times, it was a look I hadn't gone about before. What will it be this time? You'll see.

Go Sunbeamers! Go Relay!

Bixyl Shuftan

Announcement: Sunweaver Easter Hunt 2019 - Dungeons and Dragon's Eggs

This Easter, from Mar14 through the week after Easter, the Sunweavers are holding their annual Easter egg hunt.  14 eggs wait for you to  find them.  Just wear the Easter basket you get from the chocolate bunny at the entrance, and touch the eggs as you find them.  Then they appear in the basket.  Simple, right?

oh yes -- simple.  Except this year they are DRAGON eggs, and are hidden in the catacombs of SunWaterTwo. 

But not to worry.  This years' egg hunt doesn't have traps and monsters. This years... next year, who knows.  But what good is a dungeon crawl without treasure? 

There are two prizes.  The first 3 people to find all 14 Easter eggs in the dungeons, win 1000L apeice.  And anyone finding all of them, gets a special prize with a steampunk flair that you can't buy in any store (yet.)

The eggs are cleverly hidden.  But they aren't unfindable.  But of course, there are some rules:

* the eggs will never be underwater
* the eggs will never be outside the dungeons
* the eggs will never be inside something -- you can see it without
opening anything.

Basically they will all be where you can see them just standing there, walking about the catacombs.

Shockwave Yareach

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Cartoon of the Day: Happy St. Patrick's Day

Taken at St. Patrick's Town. Part of St. Patrick's Day is the beer. Some love it. Some don't care too much for it as it's not the best tasting beverage and too much will leave you looking silly. But even if you don't mind looking funny, please stay away from the drivers seat if you've had a few.

Bixyl Shuftan

SLB Sims On The Map

Last Thursday was when Linden Lab gave it's first announcement about the Second Life Birthday celebrations, the SL16B, for this June. Taking a look at the map, it seems there's a number of sims labeled "SLB (number) Build." They're sixteen in number, one for each year the virtual world will have been officially open when The Birthday takes place. For now, the sims are inaccessible.

Stay tuned for more updates on the Second Life Birthday

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Luskwood Goes Medieval

Dropping by Luskwood yesterday, it looked like the place had turned into a Renaissance fair.

There were tends and pennants in Medieval design, stalls with food that looked like they could have come from a town of the era. And even a few whose outfits matched the theme.

How long the "Big Tree" will be "Going Medieval?" Time will tell.

Hat tip: Spooked Dreamscape

SL Video: "Jessica Rabbit Tribute 'Why Don't You Do Right' "

(Click here if the video does not play)

From Nydia Tungsten, with the help of Jessicabelle Dayafter and others on March 10, "This tribute to Jessica Rabbit, it's creators and owners,and in no way are we making any money or infringing on copyrights. this was done for fun and our enjoyment."

Friday, March 15, 2019

SL16B Theme Announced

Yesterday on Thursday March 14, Linden Lab made it's first announcement about the upcoming Second Life Sixteenth Birthday event, or the SL16B as it's called for short. The theme of the anniversary celebration will be "Sweet Sixteen."

It feels like we just packed away all that crystal magic from our 15th anniversary celebration, but our sweet sixteen is just around the corner! This summer, we’re throwing a huge celebration to commemorate 16 years with this incredible community and we wanted to fill you in on just a few of the details.

Sixteen years ago, on June 23rd, 2003, Second Life launched to the public. Though it feels like just yesterday and a lifetime ago at the same time, this year we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go retro and embrace the “Sweet Sixteen” theme for our big party. Sock hops, bowling alleys, and late nights at the diner were a quintessential part of many teenagers lives back in the 1950s, but the 1950s were also a time of political and social change. The world was shocked by the iconic ‘Elvis pelvis,’ and poodle and pencil skirts changed the fashion world forever. Rebellion became the titillating pastime among all that soda shoppe sweetness. It was an era that - like Second Life - rocked and rolled! So, this summer we’re throwing a 1950s themed SL16B with a TON of fun events and happenings. ...

The Lab also stated as in previous recent Second Life Birthdays, there will be a Music Fest and a shopping event. Merchants wanting to take part are asked to fill out a form (link). There will also be a "Come As You Were" party and another "Swaginator" gift hunt "with some updates and changes based on feedback" from last year's.

The event is scheduled to run from June 20 to July 8.

Stay tuned for more information on what's sure to be one of the big events of the year inworld.

For more information, Click Here.

Announcement: Saint Patrick's Day at the Cav,? No, Pub!

Yup it's time to drink green beer and step dance again. This time Duchess Cynthia's party is NOT at the Goblin Cave but at Andrea's Irish Pub! Come on, Irish party in a cave? No way, only one way to do it right and it's in an Irish pub. Sunday 17th 6-8 PM SLT and be sure to thank Andrea for the use of her fine outstanding pub.

Her Grace Cynthia Farshore

SL Video: "Chariot Racing at ROMA - 20 Lap Main Event"

(Click here if the video doesn't play)

From Kim Link on March 11. There are a number of races in Second Life, such as the Giant Snail Races, and the AGRA racetrack. At the Roma community, every week they have their chariot races. Unlike the other two mentioned however, the chariots (and horses) can suffer damage. Bump into the walls and other horses too much, you won't be finishing.

Something appropriate for the Ides of March.

Announcement: This Week At The Science Circle - "Lab Experiments in SL"

"Lab Experiments in SL - Design and Effectiveness of Laboratory Experiments in the Virtual World of Second Life”

March 16 at 10AM SL Time
By Kurt Winkleman

In order to explore the feasibility, challenges, and benefits of replacing real world chemistry lab experiments with a virtual experience, students at a large public university performed experiments in both the real world (RW) and Second Life (SL). Students in either the control group or SL group performed analogous RW and SL versions of two experiments by working in pairs and using the same laboratory manual. The SL group and control group were evaluated the same way as well. Results demonstrate that students learned just as much from the virtual experiments as they do in a real world laboratory based on pre-/post-experiment quizzes and lab report grades. A hands-on lab practicum showed that both groups learned kinesthetic skills to the same extent overall but there were subtle differences in individual skills that each group mastered. Students in the SL group report that the virtual experiments are fun and less stressful than the real world experiments. Teaching assistants provided a useful perspective about implementation and ideas for future virtual lab development plans.

These results are relevant to chemical education in a variety of ways. For on-campus courses, activities in virtual worlds can provide a means to address shortages in budgets and laboratory space. Existing online chemistry courses often lack a high-quality laboratory experience. Virtual worlds enable students to conduct interesting, realistic experiments which may be impractical to perform in a real world setting. Students can work independently or with lab partners, under the supervision of an instructor or autonomously.

For more information, Click Here

The Science Circle (61/127/32)

Thursday, March 14, 2019

FaceBook Hit With 14 Hour Outage

If you tried to get on Facebook yesterday but couldn't, you were far from alone. On Wednesday March 13, the social network was hit with an outage that made it not accessible to most of it's users. The disruption lasted for about fourteen hours, it's worst in over a decade.

Facebook announced the outage through another social network: Twitter, "We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible." The cause of the trouble has not been officially announced, though Facebook denied it was a Distributed Denial of Service attack. One NBC reporter stated the problem came from "overloaded" databases.

The problem was worldwide, and numbers in Europe and Asia are reportedly still having trouble.  Instagram and WhatsApp, which are owned by Facebook, were also down.

Reactions from people varied from people complaining they couldn't message to friends, to people poking fun at themselves that they had no idea what to do, to some wondering if this was a reminder about how many have become dependent on social networks. The last time Facebook was down for this long was in 2008 when it had 150 million users. Today, over two billion use it.

Sources: BBC, NBC, Twitter

Bixyl Shuftan

A Look At The Chibi Noodle Dragon Avatar

If you've been seeing some small and cute Asian-style dragons going about the Grid, you're far from alone. There's a new avatar that's been all the rage in some places: the Chibi Noodle Dragon. Available in the Gacha Guild Spring in Dew Drop, this avie has proven just too irresistible to many. Bixyl Shuftan went to see what the fuss was about.

Read more in Design.

Happy "Pie Day"

It's March 14, which can also be written 3/14 or 3.14, the latter which is also known as "pi." So Happy "Pie Day" everyone.

Picture from Eternal Desires.

Crew Meeting

Last Saturday March 9, the Newser crew held it's monthly meeting. Attending were Klaus Bereznyak, Nydia Tungsten, Gemma Cleanslate, Deaflegacy, and Bixyl Shuftan (myself). Deaflegacy's partner Six String was also there.

Besides the talk about what to write about in the coming month, there was a little time for fun with some pizza from Gemma. At one point, she was showing off a few avatars, including a tiny hedgehog that could do somersaults in the air.

Guess one could call it "living life on the hedge."

Bixyl Shuftan