Thursday, January 29, 2015

Interview With Pyrie Catoria (Catalina Staheli)

"Why do you Relay?" It's a question that comes up as those taking part in the Relay for Life fundraiser explain why they're on the team. For Pyrie Catoria, she's turned the question into a photography project for the Relay, one that has dozens of portraits of various Relayers. Second Life Newser had a chance to interview her about how she got into the Relay and her latest project.

Read the interview in People.

Press Release, Debate on Vaccinations

In 2000, measles, once a childhood scourge, was declared "eradicated" in the United States. Earlier this week, an outbreak of measles started at Disneyland in California. Most of the victims (though not all) had not been vaccinated. We will discuss what kinds of vaccines there are, how they work, and what they have accomplished. We will also talk about the anti-vaccination movement. Are their arguments sensible?

7PM tonight, Thursday January 29, at the Meridian Cafe

Prism Lila (140, 27, 350)

Press Release: Space Remembrance Day Observance

Saturday 31 January, 3-5pm SL time

We’ll begin with a discussion of NASA’s Astronaut Remembrance Day and the tragedies that brought it about (Apollo 1, Challenger, Columbia). Then we’ll broadening our perspective to include others who have lost their lives to our dreams of space, such as ground crew, test pilots, commercial ventures and such.  The recent space failures like Virgin Galactic and what that means for commercial space will be discussed, and how all of the risks vs. rewards affect our human ventures into space moving forward.

National Space Society (105, 141, 3004)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cartoon of the Day

Taken at Furry Fashion

By Bixyl Shuftan

Club Transation

In his latest club review, Wesley Regenbogen looks at "Club Transation." Run by Fin Silversmith, the club is different from most in that it's beneath a clothing store, run by Hardrain Tigerpaw. Once one is done partying they can go upstairs to shop.

Read Wesley's review in Places.

Grand Galloping Gala in Ponyvale

From Friday January 23 to Saturday January 24, the Pony community's big event for the month, the "Grand Galloping Gala" took place. The event took place high above the Ponyvale sim. Friday was the fashion show, in which outfits made for the four-footed avatars were judged. Saturday was the dance. Starting at 5PM numerous avatars, mostly ponies but there were others, danced away to the music. The party went well beyond the two hours planned, going late into the night.

I had a chat with the head organizer, Bri (Xjennifer29x Resident). She told me it had taken about a week to organize the Gala. Of the fashion show, "we had 100 people here, unfortunately before the last four contestants were able to go down we got griefed. But when we were able to come back and get them going and get the winners announced, the sim had about 60+ back up here." Three of the outfits featured were up on display. Of the dance on Saturday night, they hadn't expected it to go for more than two hours, "idn't expect to still be going and luckily my best friend Pixel Prism offered to continue to dj. We capped out tonight at 92 ponies and even at 10:26pm slt we are at 45."

Among those there was Aasha Kohime, whom had been part of the Aria Clash combat sim's team until it's closing in October 2013. Afterwards, she had focused on making pony-themed items, and was making more money than before.

There will be another two day event in February, "Hearts and Hooves," on February 20 and 21 for Ponyvale's second anniversary.

Bixyl Shuftan

Press Release: Mole Day Coming, February 2

Annual Event Honors Members of Linden Department of Public Works

BAY CITY, SL - It’s nearly that time of year again when we look for furry little shadows. You do have your shadows enabled, no? It's not about groundhogs -- it's about the Moles of the Linden Department of Public Works!

Initially honored in 2010 by Residents of Bay City, Mole Day is set aside to show appreciation for The Moles and their many contributions to Bay City and the rest of the Second Life™ Grid.

This year’s annual Mole Day will again take place at the Bay City Fairgrounds February 2nd commencing at 5:00 p.m. SLT. The event will feature DJ GoSpeed Racer of KONA stream followed by Marky Helstein performing live at 6:00 p.m. SLT.

"Moles" are members of The Linden Department of Public Works (LDPW). The LDPW is a program focused on improvements related to the experience of living on, or visiting the Linden Mainland. The LDPW organizes teams of Resident builders, artists, and scripters (the Moles!) to create new content on Linden Lab's behalf and to the benefit of all. These Residents have the last name “Mole.”

Moles essentially build all of the grid’s infrastructure: the public roads and railways, items in our coastal waterways and protected lands, and even larger scale projects like the Linden Homes regions, premium content and experiences, and much more.

Bay City is a mainland community, developed by Linden Lab® and home to the Bay City Alliance. The Bay City Alliance was founded in 2008 to promote the Bay City regions of Second Life and provide a venue for Bay City Residents and other interested parties to socialize and network. It is now the largest group for Residents of Bay City.

For more information, or to participate in the event, please contact Marianne McCann.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Events This Week at the Sunweaver Clubs

It's a new week of events at the Sunweaver clubs. Here's a list of the themes. Come on over for some music and fun.

Read more in Events this Week.

SL Video: "Why Do You Relay for Life? 2015"

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From Pyrie Catoria (Catalina Staheli), who does portraits of various Relayers with various answers to the question "Why I Relay?" (yours truly appears early on), "A collaborative video put together of the 2015 Why Do You Relay portraits done in Second Life by photographer Catalina Staheli and the Relay for Life Committee, Volunteers, and Friends. "

Pyrie's Flickr page is on  , which includes one of a certain fox reporter.

Monday, January 26, 2015

JasX Games

Some readers might have heard of BARE, the cheeky card-based fight game in which the loser ends up without their clothes. It's one of several games by JasX Games, by Jasdac Stockholm. Locke had a few words with the man behind the games. In the first part of the interview, Jasdac describes his start into gamemaking with "Fable of the Unknown."

Read Locke's article in Design.

Over 110,000 Lindens Raised at Veterans Benefit

On Sunday at 5PM SL time, Veterans isle began hosting a benefit for the Homes For Our Troops charity. Frets Nirvana helped to organize the event, as well as being one of the musicians for it.

Tonight, Sunday January 25 we will be kicking off our 2015 benefit efforts for Homes for Our Troops. And once again we have a great lineup of artists who continue to help with this effort. It all starts at 5 PM SLT and you will surely enjoy the music!

Max Kleene started things off at the event's beginning. He had a small group of tinies listening to him right next to the stage away from the group on the dance floor. It's unclear whether or not they just happened to come by or were a tiny fan club of his. Shannon Oherlihy was next to perform on stage at 6PM, strumming her guitar. Twinghost Ronas, originally scheduled to be last, performed at 7PM for the crowd. Last was Frets Nirvana himself, capping the event at 8PM SL time to about 9PM, about Midnight EST.

By the time Frets came on stage, the total donated had reached about 90,000 Linden dollars. Frets encouraged the crowd to give still more. By 8:30 PM, the total had risen to 95,000 Lindens. The Lindens kept coming in, and by the end, 113,000 Lindens had been raised for the Homes For Our Troops charity.

Homes For Our Troops describes themselves as, "a privately funded, nonprofit organization building specially adapted, mortgage-free homes nationwide for the most severely injured Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Most of these Veterans have sustained life-altering  injuries including multiple amputations, partial or full paralysis, or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).  These homes restore some of the freedom and independence our Veterans sacrificed defending ours, and enable them to focus on their family, recovery, and rebuilding their lives. Since its inception in 2004, over 90 percent of donations to Homes for Our Troops has gone to directly support Veterans. " More can be read on their official website: .

Bixyl Shuftan

Press Release: Official 2015 Relay For Life Second Life Event Dates

Relay For Life of Second Life, an official charity of the American Cancer Society, is pleased to announce event dates for the upcoming 2015 season! 2015 marks the 11th season of Relay For Life of Second Life and this year’s theme is “The Future is Now”. Below is a list of the special and mega events planned for 2015 in support of Relay For Life of Second Life:

Kick-Off Celebration -March 7-8, 2015
Join us as we launch the 2015 Fundraising season. Much is being planned for this awesome event that opens the official season of Relay fundraising.

Paint SL Purple-Feb. 21 – March 7, 2015
SPREAD the Relay message. Get ready for the new RFL season. It’s time to re-energize the fight... We’re BACK. Let’s PAINT SL PURPLE! We will celebrate the power of purple but turning the grid into the signature color of Relay For Life as we launch a new season.  Save the date Feb 21st for the Paint SL Purple launch party! CELEBRATE RELAY!!

Halfway There Celebration Week-May 15 – 17, 2015
As we celebrate our half way there point, we will take a few days to celebrate our achievements. Stay tuned for more information about our half way there journey.

Relay Weekend-July 18-19, 2015
It’s the largest fundraising event in the virtual worlds. This is the 40+ sim event that features all of our teams, as we walk together for 24 hours around the track. Cancer never sleeps…and so for one night each year, we refuse to sleep, to show our commitment to the fight against cancer.

Wrap-Up Party-August 2015
After everyone gets some much deserved rest, we come together one last time to recognize each other for a job well done. Here, we celebrate our success for the year, hand out various awards to teams and participants, and reveal some early news about the next Relay season.

Fantasy Faire ~ April 23 to May 3rd
Coordinator: Elizabeth Tinsley
From fae to mermaids to sci-fi – this mega shopping event features some of the best avatars and accessories designed by the most talented creators in Second Life. Get your geek on! This RFL mega event opened for the first time in 2008. For more information, visit the website at

The Sci-Fi Convention ~ February 20th to March 1st
Coordinators: Kirk Wingtips, Ariadne Fall
Returning for its 8th year, this event brings together a wide range of RPG communities and merchants to raise funds for RFL and to celebrate the creativity, innovation and spirit of community within the genre of Science Fiction. Past guest speakers have included actors, Richard Hatch, Johnathan Frakes and Peter Jurasik. Check out the website at for more information.

Fashion For Life ~  March 21st to May 29th
Coordinator: Frolic Mills
Featuring everything Fashion in SL, another HUGE shopping event to fight cancer. Multiple sims and fabulous builds along with some of SLs best designers, who come together each year to bring fun, fashion and entertainment to the grid! This Relay For Life mega event had its beginning in 2007 when it was called, ‘the Clothing Fair.’ Please contact Frolic Mills in Second Life for more information.

It’s SummerTime! Breedables Fair ~
Coordinator: TBA
This annual Fair, in its 3rd year, brings together the creators of the top breedables in Second Life who create a spectacular display for fans and residents! Special and limited edition creations built especially for Relay are sold during this two week event and all proceeds generated by the LE creations, are donated to ACS.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer-TBA
Chair: Jessii2009 Warrhol
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is the official breast cancer charity of the American Cancer Society. Join us for the fight against breast cancer! For more info visit:

The Home & Garden Expo ~ Sept 13 to Sept 26th
Coordinator: BOSL Reign Congrejo
The largest Home & Garden Event of its kind benefiting Relay For Life, this Expo features the great creators of Second Life’s Home & Garden products. The first Expo was held in the summer of 2008. Please contact Reign Congrejo in Second Life for more information.

The Xmas Expo & Breedables Fair ~ TBA
Coordinators: TBA
The holiday-themed, offseason, mega shopping event that brings the magic of the holidays to SL and to Relay is returning for its 4th year! Entertainment, raffles, auctions, the Holiday Ball and more awaits guests, young and old, to the splendor of the Xmas Expo. Come enjoy the Naughty or Nice gifts, a surprise visit from Santa, a race for the Bells Hunt, the OOAK Breedables auction, the annual Holidays of Hope Ball and much more.

About Relay For Life of Second Life:
Relay For Life of Second Life is an annual activity that takes place in Second Life in July each year.  Volunteers form or join teams to have fun while fundraising and raising awareness from mid-March through mid-July. In July teams build campsites and walk a track, just like a Real World Relay.  Since 2005, Relay For Life of Second Life has raised over $2.25 million USD for the American Cancer Society. In 2013, Relay For Life of Second Life has raised over $390,000 for the American Cancer Society.  Relay For Life has become an international movement in RL and SL.  In 2011 participants from over 80 countries took part in Relay For Life of Second Life.

About the American Cancer Society:
For more than 100 years, the American Cancer Society (ACS) has worked relentlessly to save lives and create a world with less cancer and more birthdays. Together with millions of our supporters worldwide, we help people stay well, help people get well, find cures, and fight back against cancer.

For More Information:

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Cartoon of the Day

Taken at Club Cutlass. Sometimes when you use "cloud computing," you end up in a storm.

By Bixyl Shuftan

World of Warcraft News: Ten Year Statue Gift and "Veteran" Accounts

There's been a couple recent news stories about World of Warcraft recently. One was a slight change to how currently inactive accounts are handled. While there has been a kind of Free-to-Play version of the game for a while, such players operate under a number of restrictions, such as not being able to go beyond level 20. And once a player has ever had a paid subscription, they can't so much as log in.

In the upcoming patch of the game, expired subscriptions will be changed to a "Veteran Edition" in which characters up to Level 20 can still be logged in. Such characters will still be under some restrictions, but will be able to join guilds. Characters beyond Level 20 will not be accessible under Veteran. Just how useful this small change is has been a matter of opinion among those responding to the post in the forums. But considering ten million people at last count had paid accounts, it's unlikely that the game will be nudging much closer to free to play.

What's gotten more attention is the present that Blizzard entertainment is giving it's most devoted customers. On January 21, Blizzard announced "As a way to thank our most loyal World of Warcraft players, we are sending a physical gift to players that have stuck with us since the very beginning." These players would have to have had started playing within 60 days of when they game was released in 2004, and kept up their subscriptions without interruption.

That the announcement had the keyword "statue" was a clue as to what it was, and as it turns out, it's a small bronze statue of an orc riding a wolf. It's gotten no shortage of comments. Some have commented considering the cash such players have sent Blizzard over time, $15 a month for 120 months is about $1800, Blizzard clearly got the far better of the bargain. Supporters counter that Blizzard didn't have to send anything, and it's better than a simple "thank you" card. It's also notable that a number of these statues have popped up on eBay, sometimes with prices in the hundreds of dollars or even over a thousand, one being offered for 2,500.

On another note, the Newser will not be doing a review of "Warlords of Draenor," at least not anytime soon.

Sources: Cnet, PC Gammer,

Bixyl Shuftan

Press Release: Bennefit at Veterans Isle Tonight

Tonight, Sunday January 25 we will be kicking off our 2015 benefit efforts for Homes for Our Troops. And once again we have a great lineup of artists who continue to help with this effort. It all starts at 5 PM SLT and you will surely enjoy the music!
5 PM SLT Max Kleene
6 PM SLT Shannon Oherlihy
7 PM SLT Frets Nirvana
8 PM SLT Twinghost Ronas

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Mary Wickentower at Netera's Coffee Shop Today

If you have an interest in Second Life Machinima you might want to check out Netera's Coffee Shop this afternoon. Today, she has machinima maker Mary Wickentower as her guest speaker, "Imagine the possibilities of this creative format: musicians having videos created of their performances, authors’ trailers luring the reader into the storyline or mini movies that allow the producer to map out and actually present various settings without costing millions of dollars or taking two years to produce." Mary was among the contestants in Machinima 3.

The chat is at 3PM SL time.

Snug Harbor (112, 110, 22)

SL Video: "Come Back" at the Rift

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From Nydia Tungsten, uploaded on January 20, "Filmed at 'The Rift-The Best Sci-Fi Club on the Grid!' and in the Orionite Sim at Enzyion. Thanks to Fawkes & Ravin Winter for allowing us to tape at the club. and Thank you Kishfox for the music you can find more of his stuff here: "

Friday, January 23, 2015

Game Review: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

Nydia Tungsten is back with another game review. Today she writes about the third game in the "Borderlands" series, "Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel." Taking place between the first and second games, it covers the events that result in the character Handsome Jack becoming the villain he is in Borderlands 2. So what did Nydia think of the game?

Read Nydia's review in Other Grids, MMOs, and Games.

"Massive Griefer Attack" Reported in Caledon

Jo Yardley reported yesterday of a "massive griefer attack" on the Caledon steampunk community sims, and other spots on the Grid. The above picture was taken with an SL Go viewer, "With my regular viewer I doubt I would have been able to even take a single step." The picture shows a mass of what one commentator called, "tortured torus prims," whose physics added to the lag.

One of the administrators of the Purrfection sims was called to deal with a reported case of griefing, but it was delt with in minutes.

Jo Yardley suggested the following responses to a griefer attack
  1. Alert Linden Lab (if live chat support happens to be online…)
  2. Go to a place in your sim that is HIGH up, most attacks don’t reach very high and with your draw distance set to very low, lag might be a lot less at high altitude, from here you can take further steps without drowning in lag porridge.
  3. It is a good idea to create a landmark for this spot so you can teleport here from outside the sim.
  4. In the region/estate window turn off ‘Allow Public Access’, this will remove all visitors and keep new people from arriving, giving you some peace but also keeps the griefers from returning.
  5. In the debug tab disable everything, this may bring down lag as well and may stop the griefers toys from working.
  6. Return the griefers objects.
  7. Restart the region(s).
In most cases this will help, but of course it depends on the situation and the type of attack.

Judging from the comments, the attacks seem to be over, at least for now.

SL Video: "A Difference of Perception"

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Kaya Angel, the "big brother" Kylie Sabra mentioned in her interview earlier this month, has produced a video that's been turning a few heads. In response to some of the simplistic videos done of Second Life, he made one that took advantage of a computer able to process the scenery at it's finest and most beautiful.

"What is your perception of Second Life? ... Allow me to share my perception. It's a place to explore and create, to build your dreams and share them. and to explore who you really are when boundaries are removed. Welcome to the dream I created: Angel Manor Estates."

In the video's comments, there were many words of praise: "It's stunningly beautiful work, and a wonderful way to showcase what SL can be." "WOW! Fantastic!!!! Just beautiful." But there were a handful of critics. Hamlet Au commented that those few criticisms suggest that some gamers have pretty much written off Second Life and will not be impressed no matter what new videos or developments come, While some might see the criticisms as a reason for Linden Lab to pin it's hopes on SL 2.0, it seems most users of Second Life, prefer to see the video as an example of what the virtual experience can be.