13 hours ago
Monday, June 26, 2017
It was a day Artistic Fimicloud would have been proud of.
When the Steampunk Land and Sky Races event for Team Sunbeamers, in cooperation with Mel's Maniacs, started yesterday, the "beamers" had raised a total of 412,500 Linden dollars. We were well into Gold and 150,000 Linden dollars away from Platinum rank. We had achieved this seemingly impossible dream last year. And once again, it was within sight.
And once again, the little team that could pulled it off once again. Near the end of the day, thanks to several people who reached a little deeper into their pockets, and of course the hard work and cleverness of Cynthia Farshore and Shockwave Yareach, our shooting for the moon had once again resulted in the Eagle landing.
For those of us lucky enough to be at Cynthia's Road Rally/Air Race today. We made PLATINUM! We cracked the level at the dance down in the Goblin Cave, while listening to great music, DJ'd by Cynthia. Oldesoul and several members of other teams showed. We even helped Meli's Maniacs make SILVER. All in all a very successful event.
Team Captain Rita Mariner's only complaint was that not everyone could be at the race and party. And some people contacted me, saying events in real life had kept them away and were sorry they missed the event.
Some teams manage to make it big once, then for whatever reason are unable to make an effort the following year. While the Sunbeamers are not the most successful Relay team, they, and their predecessor team the Passionate Redheads, have made good showings year after year after year. The Relay has been a source of community pride, and we were happy to share that pride with Mel's Maniacs who took part in this and other events this year.
But our work isn't quite over. We still have our campsite for the Relay Weekend to work on. But this time, the little team that could will be taking part in the walk around the track a little prouder, flying it's flag a little higher. Many from the Sunbeamer community and outside contributed in some way with time, money, or both, some people in large ways. And once again, our effort has paid off.
Go Sunbeamers! Go Relay!
Bixyl Shuftan, member of the RFL Sunbeamer Team
Sunday June 25 was the last day of official events at the Second Life Fourteenth Birthday celebrations. And there were a number of performances at the stages.
The energetic DJ Tantari Kim, who performs every Tuesday night at the Happy Vixen, made an appearance at the DJ stage.
Among those in the audience were Golan Eilde and Catboy Qunhua (pictured).
Later on, I went to "Stage Left" where Jaycatt and Frogg were performing.
While Frogg Marlowe rezzed, my viewer refused to render more than small parts of Jaycatt Nico during the performance.
I had to wait until after the show for a good picture of the pianist.
Xiola Linden and April Linden were also there. Of Xiola's shirt, does "We are the weirdos, Mister" refer to Linden Lab?
As Midnight neared, people gathered at the Cake Stage. The last DJ there was Laz Dressler
Among those there was Cake Stage builder Mikati Slade.
"This is the Birthday!"
"That's why you're in a cake..."
As Midnight neared, Laz ended her set with "Goodbye To You." "Thank you all so much for staying with me tonight," she told the crowd, "Good night everybody. Have a blessed Second Life."
In previous years, Midnight would mean the end. But I noticed a gathering at Stage Left, and going over, I saw fireworks.
Among those there was Walton F. Wainwright (Faust Steamer), the builder of Stage Left.
"Happy 14th Birthday Second Life. See you next year."
And so, the official events for "The Birthday" are done. But that does not mean the end of the SL14B just yet. The sims will remain up for several more days, and most exhibitors leave their builds up, allowing those who couldn't attend earlier due to real life events or older computers to see them. One unofficial event that's become a tradition, the "Cake Explosion" has been given a date: Sunday July 2 at 4PM SL time. But on Monday July 3, the sad part begins with "the breakdown." And on July 6 the sims go offline, leaving nothing but memories, recordings, and articles such as this one.
Astral Sector Alpha is holding an art fair June 25th to July 3rd.
Astral Sector Alpha, also known as ASA or the Astrids, is a community of artists of different stripes that originated in Second Life, although not all of the members are within Second Life. They also have a Discord presence and do live readings every other Saturday over Discord (as not everyone can successfully use SL voice reliably) starting at 6 PM SLT and gather in world for camaraderie during the reads. ASA's goal is to nurture each other's creativity and to provide a good grounding for artists, writers, and other creators to grow within and draw encouragement from. Members are encouraged to start their own projects.
ASA has worked with several small libraries in the past to provide reading exchanges and art/writing contests, including with the Trotsdale library. Amehana Ishtari's past writing workshops and a Haiku anthology between cooperating Second Life libraries, available for free on Smashwords at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/542449 are examples of the sort of projects that members launch.
Art of several types is on display at the current art fair, things represented are visual art in the form of drawings and photograpy, jewelery, images created in blender, textual offering to be read either by the author or by volunteers, and "glitch photography" which is a new art form developed by Danielderv Resident, which has even had an article published about it in a university level publication. The building itself was created for the art fair.
For inworld readings of the content in the fair, readings will happen from the 30th to the 3rd at 5 PM SLT to ensure that all that was submitted has a chance to be shared.
This art fair is also intended to kick off a weekly magazine format. For more details about that particular endeavor talk to Danielderv Resident.
Calm Ocean (69, 196, 3821)
Sunday, June 25, 2017
One of the best known clubs in the history of the Sunweaver/Angel community has been Club Zero Gravity. Originally a cubelike structure constructed by Shockwave Yareach, it took on the form of the space station it's been known for when rebuilt by Ranchan Weidman around 2009. The club would run for about four years from summer 2010 to August 2014. In it's last year, it was modified again, But it's "steel ball" form wasn't quite as well liked as the one it reopened under.
The sci-fi themed venue was so popular, there was interest in reviving it as soon as it's closing was announced. But where to put the club so it didn't "lag anyone out" and when would it play so it wouldn't interfere with the hours of other neighborhood clubs, it would take three years before solutions were found. Ranchan would work on a new design, one based on the one from seven years ago, but with some differences. Instead of a small private room above the dance floor and DJ booth, there would be an open lounge area for people to socialize and relax. The dance floor had an image of a galaxy, with a spinning spiral disk over the center. A blue terrestrial world would appear to circle the station, visible through it's windows. Since the original Zero Gravity got it's name from upside-down dance poles, there was one where a girl could dance from a spiral-pattern half ball from the ceiling. The old Zero Gravity logo was above the contest board. When someone tips the DJ, a laser light announces it.
Rather than just reopen the club, it was decided to rekindle interest by doing a screenshot sci-fi miniserial comic (parts 1 and 2, 3 and 4, 5 and 6, 7 and 8, 9 and 10, final), with owner Nydia Tungsten, Ranchan, and Matoazma "Mato" Kazyanenko doing the work on the story, directing, and editing. The comic shows a crew in space finding an object that turns out to be a derelict space station. The second to final scene shows a ceremony in which Nydia is handed the keys, and the last announcing the space station club's reopening. The strips appeared in the Second Life Newser and posted on Facebook, the last one appearing on the morning of June 22. Later in the day, the reopening time was announced, 6PM SL time.
For now, the club will have a morning, or "Euro-friendly," schedule, with events on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10AM to Noon SL time. DJ Lexi will perform on Tuesday and Thursday. On Friday DJ Brandi will play the tunes. But there will be impromptu events, such as a poker game that was held over the weekend, and occasionally Nydia herself switching on the DJ booth and inviting people over.
After three years adrift, the "party among the stars" is back and better than ever. Beam on over for some space-themed fun.
Sunweaver Space (179, 69, 3599)
Saturday, June 24, 2017
See the pictures in Places.
I noticed by accident Draxtor Despres was streaming live from the Second Life 14th Birthday celebration grounds. So I dropped over to say hello. I appear (in my human avatar due to the "Bid Me Human" earlier) at about 27:30 , along with Mikati Slade, the Cake Stage builder. The first fifteen minutes of the recording is of Draxtor watching Strawberry Singh's own stream.
I would follow for a little while with a couple friends, Velani and Silvia Ametza, the latter the girl who did almost all the work on the SL Newser exhibit. We would eventually check out Loki Eliot's claymation exhibit. (Note: some adult language, possible nudity from rezzing avatars).
Friday, June 23, 2017
See Gemma's article in Extra.
In a Sansar chat on Reddit, Peter Gray (known in Second Life as Peter Linden) brought up the issue of whether of not adult content will be allowed on Sansar. It won't be, at least not for some time after it opens.
Adult content won't be allowed at the opening of Sansar's creator beta this summer. Ultimately, we want Sansar to be an open platform that enables creators to make all kinds of experiences, but early on we also want to be careful that a single genre of content doesn't come to define the platform and potentially limit its appeal to other creators.
Gray's exact words were "at the opening of Sansar's creator beta this summer." But it's a safe bet that the Lab will keep this policy for at least a few years.
It's an issue that's been brought up by the Newser before, as well as New World Notes. With many longtime Second Life residents expressing skepticism about the upcoming virtual world, Linden Lab is taking the opportunity to correct what it sees as "mistakes" in it's development of Second Life. The lack of rules and restrictions on what could be made allowed for a great deal of creativity. Unfortunately, it also led to griefers harassing people with such adult content, notably the infamous "flying penis attack" when virtual real estate mogul Anshe Chung was being interviewed. While these incidents didn't stop companies and people with big pockets from coming to Second Life at the beginning, there's no real argument that it gave some pause.
As the residents of places that are adult-themed will tell you, the freedom to make adult content can be a very good thing, at least when everyone follows the rules. Besides allowing consenting adults an outlet for their more hormonal sides, it allows real-life couples a chance to express intimacy when separated by long distances or when they want to try something they're nervous of on the other side of the computer. While there have been attempts at virtual worlds aimed purely at adult activity, namely "Red Light Center," they have done poorly. One man who told me who's been to both saying it utterly pales compared to the options available in Second Life. And of course there's the Libertarian concept of "let the individual decide" rather than decisions made from above by higher-ups who may or may not understand the concerns of "little people."
But companies tend to be wary of controversy and "bad press" that might go viral and define their product in ways they fear. And with many young adults in colleges and universities demanding "safe spaces," perhaps Linden Lab is getting the impression the current generation of new computer users isn't as tolerant of adult material as the one that came to Second Life in it's early days. And of course, there are the griefers, the anonymity of the Internet encouraging a few jerks to harass and bully others, sexual-themed harassment being a favorite tool of some of them.
In a sense, it brings up an old issue in both real life and virtual life and the Internet. Do you try to protect people from the damage a single deranged or malicious individual can do by installing a great deal of rules and restrictions many will find annoying aggrivating, some finding them smothering to the point they cannot be themselves. Or or do you allow the public a great deal of freedom with only a few rules and allow individuals to better express themselves in works and speech, with the fact a few wicked-minded individuals will take advantage of this freedom for their own ill ends?
In 2009, Linden Lab began an adult continent policy that established an adult-themed continent, Zindra, established an "adult" rating for explicit content outside people's private homes, and residents had to adult-verify themselves with real-life identification such as a drivers license to be allowed access to adult-themed areas. Many residents reacted with worry and fear, seeing this as the beginning of Linden Lab "ghettoizing" adult content to one corner of Second Life or perhaps eliminating it altogether. And the Lab never did add to these policies and the adult verification was eventually relaxed.
One resident, "Zebragrrl," had this to say further on the thread (a few sentences trimmed):
As for the experience, I can only say that experiencing it made it clear to me why it's still not an open public beta yet. There's still a lot of user interaction missing. An example I can give, is of a strange island I visited. The lighting was beautiful, the rendering was beautiful, but all I could do is walk around. I couldn't interact with anything. I could get on a elevator that was constantly moving up and down, but I had to time my exit precisely to avoid getting squished as the elevator took off back upwards again. The UI is pretty. The whole experience really is very pretty.. but all I could do was walk around. And I do mean that. No running, no flying, no driving.... just walking. ...
Was it beautiful? yes. Was it fun? not particularly. Kind of like walking around in GTA V, with all the NPCs turned off. And I think this is where Sansar and SL may be drastically different for a lot of people. This was a VERY curated experience. The whole environment was like a museum, or a singular creation of 3d artwork. I felt like a guest, or a viewer, of someone's creation... not like a participant, not like someone bringing something unique to the experience for others.
In SL, our world has been built up kind of from scratch, first using rudimentary building blocks, and later with more and more detailled builds, but it's the users, the avatars, that are the real attraction in SL. Seeing each other's individual forms of expression, seeing the cool new things people built, or bought.
Sansar seems to be going the other way.. focusing itself as an engine for artistically crafted 3D VR experiences.. rather than as a meeting place for avatars. I'm not saying that the latter won't come in time.. just that for the moment, it's a little more like visiting the Louvre by yourself, rather than meeting your friends at the pub. More Myst than World of Warcraft.
Is there a place and a purpose for a VR engine like this? I'm sure there is. Is it something that artists can monetize to help cover their RL bills? We'll have to see.
Linden Lab's latest move is moving Sansar further away from the early perception that it would be "Second Life 2.0," and towards something quite different from Linden Lab's existing virtual world. While people can build content, it has to be done using software tools rather than through inworld prims. I've been hearing it's areas can't be connected like Second Life sims often are into continents and larger islands, but each is an isolated place onto itself that can only be portaled into. Ideal use will require high end home computers and be hard to use or unavailable to people with laptops and older machines. An article in Koatu magazine is saying, "Users may pay a small subscription fee for access." And now adult content, perhaps adult language, will not be allowed.
Most middle and working class people like going to theme parks and museums on occasion. But eventually they have to return back to their neighborhoods where they actually do things. This is probably how most Second Life residents will see Sansar, a great place to visit, but not necessarily one to make their virtual home in. Sansar may become Linden Lab's Disneyland, but for most Second Life residents, the grid they've known will continue to be their virtual home.
Hat Tip: Hamlet Au
On Saturday June 17 at 8PM, Marianne McCann resumed what has become a summertime tradition of the Bay City community: the weekly firework show at the Livingtree schoolhouse. She sent a message to everyone on her friend list about a half hour earlier, and over time a small crowd showed up. And on the hour, the pyrotechnics began.
Bay City's most noted child avatar fired off the rockets, sparklers, and other fireworks from the roof of the building while GoSpeed Racer spun the tunes for the event from the ground. The light show was in reds, blues, greens, and other colors. and got many positive remarks from the crows.
Marianne ended her show with a rainbow over the school. The crowd cheered, thanking her, and eventually went their separate ways, some looking forward to the SL14B the following day.
Should the fireworks show be like previous years, it will place almost every Saturday at 8PM until after Labor Day.
Frets Nirvana, the premier guitar artist in the virtual world Second Life and the US Military Veterans Group announce the 2017 June benefit on June 25, 2017 in Second Life for the Veterans Support Organization Homes For Our Troops .
Frets Nirvana states: “HFOT is a privately funded 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization building specially adapted, mortgage-free homes nationwide for the most severely injured Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Most of these Veterans are multiple amputees, paraplegic, quadriplegic or suffered severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). As of January 2017 they have built 229 homes for severly wounded Veterans and have another 85 projects underway. Since its inception in 2004, over 90 cents of every dollar spent by Homes for Our Troop has gone to directly support Veterans. ”
Home for Our Troops benefit concerts feature premier Second Life talent monthly at Veteran’s Isle. The concert on June, 2017 is scheduled from 4-9 PM PST. Featured artists will be DJ Waya Snowpaw, FunkyFreddy Republic, Ganjo Mokeev, SRV4U (Da Bluez Preacher), and Gina Stella .
ABOUT HOMES FOR OUR TROOPS - HFOT builds homes as a departure point for Veterans to rebuild their lives, and once again become highly productive members of society. Despite their life-altering injuries, many Veterans have embarked on new careers, completed their college degrees, or started families. Empowered by the freedom a mortgage-free and specially adapted home brings, these Veterans can now focus on their recovery and return to their life’s work of serving others. Many have embraced their roles as motivational speakers, sharing their messages of persevering through tragedy with groups and classrooms around the country; others take to a national platform to promote awareness of veteran suicide, homelessness and PTSD. Their incredible stories are the driving force for the work for HFOT. To learn more about the Homes For Our Troops visit https://www.hfotusa.org
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Join the Sunbeamers , Swashbucklers For Life and Mel's Maniacs for dual races of both land and sky on Sunday June 25th from 8AM to 4PM SLT. Then enjoy an after races steam punk dance in the Goblin Cave next to the air field from 4PM to 6PM SLT.
Even though the theme is steam punk the land races will not be limited to such as we want everyone to come and enjoy the challenge of the track. There will be three classes Car/trucks; Motorcycles; What is THAT?s. In case not clear What is THATs are the oddball things like mechanical horse or bagel car.
The airship races are not just airships but turn of the century planes including WWI biplanes making the two classes. This is also a fly-in so display your craft and enjoy the clear bright Sunweaver skies.
To enter the races you must make a contribution of any amount to a kiosk provided which then allows you 5 laps on the ground or 3 laps in the air. The fastest time by the close of the races at 4PM SLT wins and you need not be present your prize will be sent to you.
The prizes? For the fastest time in each class you will receive L$1000 , BUT remember this is for the American Cancer Society they should get the biggest prize, your donation!
Pacific Waters (89/140/31)
Club Zero Gravity, the sci-fi themed space station club of the Sunweaver/Angels community is back and better than ever. Tonight is it's grand-reopening event, with DJ "Sexy Lexi" spinning the tunes.
The time of the party has not yet been announced. Stay tuned for details.
Part eleven of a cartoon mini-series strip from Ranchan Weidman, Nydia Tungsten, and friends, edited by Matoazma Kazyanenko, "Guardian Angels Inc." presents, in association with White Vixen Enterprises, An anthropomorphic tale: 'Relic the Memories'. "
On the night of June 20 from 9 to 10PM SL time, Catboy Qunhua held an inworld version of "Match Game" inside the SL14B Cake Stage. Two contestants had to fill in the blanks to phrases given by one of a panel with Tindallia Soothsayer and five others. It was an hour of game show style entertainment that used to be better known in Second Life in the days of "The 1st Question," though one can still find it in places, such as Luskwood's "Primonary."
CALLING ALL RELAYERS!
How would you like to be part of the next cancer breakthrough? How would you feel knowing that you had a part in saving 1,000s of lives from cancer?
That's exactly what we plan to do! From June 15th to July 6! Take Part in the Relay Research Challenge!
The Goal of the challenge is to raise enough donations to fund 3,600 hours of research. if we all work together. We CAN!
“Research is the way to find a cure,” said Relay For Life of Second Life 2017 Chair Nuala Maracas. “By raising one hour at a time, we can turn those single hours of research into a fully-funded grant. Won’t you join with me in this challenge? Together we can do it!”
Imagine your Relay fundraising going to support a new researcher. Just L$5,560 will pay for one hour of research time.
From June 15 through July 6, let’s put our efforts toward raising one hour of research at a time!
Talk About It!
Let’s Really Make A Difference and Help Finish The Fight!
You can even track our progress!
Visit ACS Island and see how we are doing.. Check The Research Hour Tracker at:: http://maps.secondlife.com/
There’ll be a DJ party at the end of the challenge period to celebrate our achievement and award a trophy for the most hours raised and paid for.
Look for more Relay For Life fun events across the grid leading up to Relay Weekend
on July 15 and 16.
About Relay For Life of Second Life
Relay For Life is the signature fundraising event of the American Cancer Society and has been active, and continually growing in Second Life for 13 years. In 2005, the first Relay For Life of Second Life (RFL of SL) was attended by a few hundred avatars and raised almost $5,000 US dollars for the American Cancer Society. As of July 2014 RFL of SL ranked number 17th in donations received among more than 5,600 relay events held worldwide. As of January, 2017 RFL of SL celebrated raising 3 million US dollars to support the mission of the Society to 'Save Lives, Celebrate Lives and Lead The Fight for A World Without Cancer!
About the American Cancer Society
For more than 100 years, the American Cancer Society has been working to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays and is the world leader in the fight to end cancer. Together with our global partners and millions of supporters, the American Cancer Society carries out its mission to Save Lives, Celebrate Lives, and Lead the Fight for a World Without Cancer.
For More Information:
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
See the pictures in Places.
Read what the Duchess had to say in Events.
Parts nine and ten of a cartoon mini-series strip from Ranchan Weidman, Nydia Tungsten, and friends, edited by Matoazma Kazyanenko, "Guardian Angels Inc." presents, in association with White Vixen Enterprises, An anthropomorphic tale: 'Relic the Memories'. "
You'll come across many hundreds, perhaps thousands, of different people going about the SL14B. One I came across was a newcomer here on day one, whom I talked to some and gave her a landmark to "The Shelter." And among those there were some Lindens. One I found skipping down the path: April Linden. She stopped to chat with me and a couple friends at the Second Life Coast Guard exhibit.
The "Gridbun" as she called herself was happy to pose for a picture with Skylark Lefavre, the manager of the Happy Vixen club. Skylark is a big bunny fan and happy to see the furry Linden going about as one.
A chance to meet more Lindens was at the Masquerade Ball on Monday June 19, which ran from 11AM to 1PM at the Cake Stage. Yours truly showed up as an avatar with it's own built-in mask.
Unfortunately for me, and presumably a number of others, the large number of avatars present (and perhaps some of what they were wearing) kept causing my viewer to overload and crash. The pictures I managed to take were mostly of crowds half-rezzed, half-naked, or both. This was the best picture I could get of Xiola Linden, who organized the event, before my Firestorm quit on me again. There was at least one other Linden at the event, Simon Linden, but I never did see him with my crashy viewer.
There was a 5000 Linden dollar prize, which was won by Polly Ellsmere.
There will be one other event in which you can expect Lindens to show up, the "Come As You Were" party, also at the Cake Stage, today from 6-8PM SL time.
Night falls across the bayou. The moon rises above a thin layer of clouds, illuminating the stage at the old blues joint. The Junkyard is ready, for 2 hours of amazing slow blues, presented by DJ Bard Wasp. Come hear him as he pours his heart and soul into the stream, presenting some of the best blues you've ever heard- everyone is welcome. Junkyard Blues (195,21,22)
And for every 1000 linden donation you get your choice of a home built by Bard himself.
The event put Team ACTS into Sapphire status among the Relay teams. Only the Relay Rockers and Unmasking a Cure have higher totals. Following then are five Jade level teams: Team Shadow, Cure Chasers, Goreans in Relay for Life, Inspired Dreamwalkers, and Go the Distance. Then there are two Platinum ranked teams, Touched by Angels and TwoMoon Paradise Dreamers. And following those are the ten Gold level teams, of which in the middle is the Sunbeamer team, the team representing the community where the Newser office is.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
The two "Bid Me" events being run by the Relay for Life's Team Sunbeamers have now been finalized and the totals made official. 7,050 Lindens were raised in both events combined. Rita announced the results in the Sunbeamer group.
Beamers: The BID MES are over and here are the totals.
RITA: 3000L on PINK, so I go PINK for a WEEK
BIWYL - 4050L on HUMAN, so Bixyl goes HUMAN for 2 WEEKS.
I'd volunteered for one several years ago, so here I go again. Unlike last time, it's for a couple weeks instead of a month. There are a few exceptions for the time period, such as interviews. But for most of the time period stuck as a 6' 7" "baldie." So far, the reactions have mostly been surprise, although one girl thought it reminded her of the "John Henry" American West fable.
Right now, the Sunbeamers have started work on their build for their camp on the Relay Weekend track, which takes place about a month from now on July 15 and 16. There's also some planning behind the scenes for one big event involving at least one other Relay team. It's all on the table, so we'll announce it when things are official.
As for me and what the next two weeks will bring, we'll see. I don't know for sure. After all, I'm only human.
Club Cutlass: Best in 'B,' Red and White, Pirates
The Happy Vixen: Gods and Goddesses, Birthday Party, Disney, Red and Purple, Video Games, Latex
Furry Fashion Lounge: Video Games, Barely There, Japanese, Retro Avatars, Books, Cyber, 90s, Horns, Disney
Read the schedules in SL Clubbin'.