Friday, February 22, 2019

RFL Team Sunbearmer's "Bid Me Human" and "Bid Me Goat"

With the Relay for Life's season underway, Team Sunbeamers has launched the first of this season's "Bid Me" events. First, the team is running a "Bid Me Human." The volunteer putting his looks on the line: yours truly.

Beamers:  We have our first victim, I mean volunteer, Bixyl.  Hoe offered to go Human for a week, per 5000L+ raised.  The Bid Me will Run thru the middle of MARCH.  So Bid Early and Often.  Kiosks can be found at Club Cutlass..

Based on the "Bid Me Bald" events popularized by Trader Whiplash, in this fundraiser someone known for being in a nonhuman avatar offers to go about in one for a set period of time. For this event, there are two kiosks in the back of Club Cutlass, the one on the left to bid yours truly sans fur, and the other to keep him as is. If 5000 Linden dollars is donated, yours truly will be not so foxy for a week. For every additional 5000L, rounded up, the time period is extended another week. For example, 9999 Linden dollars would mean one week while 10,000L would mean two. If the amount in the "stay foxy" kiosk is higher, then I walk away with my fur intact.

As before, there is one "out." As I'm a journalist in Second Life, I get to go back to my usual looks briefly when going about my duties, such as interviews.

Liska Fuchs' "Bid Me Goat" last year was such a hit, she's doing it again. As with "Bid Me Human," there's two kiosks, one to keep her as is, the other to change her to a goat avatar for a period of time. The rate is 2500 Linden dollars for the first week and 2500L for each additional week. 

As of the writing of this announcement, Team Sunbeamers has gone over the 15,000 Linden mark and into Bronze level. The Linden dollar amounts to reach each rank are a little higher than those of last year in the Jade rank and higher. Plus there are two new ranks, Topaz and Diamond. As before, the highest rank is Purple which takes 3,750,000L, almost four million Linden dollars.

Last year, the team pulled out all the stops and made it to Emerald rank for the first time. How high will the 'beamers reach this year? We'll see. For now, I'm already getting questions as to what I'll do should the team reach Platinum rank.

People have until 8PM on Friday March 15 to donate to the kiosks. At the end of the party that night, the totals are finalized and the time period for the Bid Me (assuming the "Stay Foxy" kiosks doesn't win out) begins.

The kiosks are near the Club Cutlass entry point at Sunweaver Bay (114/117/757).

Bixyl Shuftan

SSP Region Update

The SSP sims, the new mystery continent, remain off-limits to regular residents. But there had been a few visible changes on the map in the past month. On the SSP2 QA Test sim to the northwest, there's an image of a mouse appearing. In the middle of the landmass, a build with orange rectangles has appeared. Then there's the whimsical message on the SSP124 sim. The land was sculpted to say when looked at from the map "OSSM takes time," with a smiley face in the corner.

Presumably, "OSSM" means "awesome," and the moles are saying it's going to be a while before the region is ready to go public.

No date has been given as to when the sims in the region will be ready and opened to the public. It is believed the sims are intended to be residential areas, though Linden Lab isn't saying what the "Super Secret Project," to use the name described what "SSP" stands for at one Town Hall meeting, are for.

Hat tip: Daniel Voyager.

Announcement: Mod Monday at the Avagora

For Feb 25th, Mod Monday is comin' at ya with four modders! They are Top Tier Designs, Elephant Graveyard Inc, ZAD and BrutalHearts!

Live DJ, raffles and all around fun, don't forget to join us next Monday at 6pm SLT?PST for some awesome gifts and great music!

Montecito Bay (132/89/702)

Announcement: This Week At The Science Circle : Cyber Security

"Cyber Security"
Saturday February 23 at 10 AM PST

Moderator: Matthew Burr – Beragon Betts

Anyone who is interested in his security on the internet will soon come across worrying reports about phishing e-mails, cybercrime, industrial espionage, governments stealing each other’s data and cyber-terrorism. Closer to home, data mining affects us via Facebook, Google and Microsoft.

What started as a free sharing of data has gradually turned into an unsafe, lawless space where everyone is a target for malicious parties.

More information Harvard Cybersecurity Wiki

The Science Circle (61/127/32)

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Press Release: HFOT Fundraiser Concert at Veterans Isle, Sunday at 11 AM

Frets Nirvana and US Military Veterans Group announce 2019’s February for Homes For Our Troops in Second Life! 

Frets Nirvana, the premier guitar artist in the virtual world Second Life and the US Military Veterans Group announce the 2019 February benefit in Second Life for the Veterans Support Organization  Home 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).  Since its inception in 2004, over 90 cents of every dollar spent by Homes for Our Troop has gone to directly support Veterans. DURING THAT TIME HFOT HAS BUILT OVER 274 SPECIALLY ADAPTED HOMES NATIONWIDE FOR WOUNDED VETERANS.”

In 2018 the community in Second Life sent over $13,000 to Homes For Our Troops, thanks to may kind hearts and great Second Life performers.  HFOT built 34 homes for extremely wounded veterans in 2018.  We hope to help them exceed that in 2019!

Home for Our Troops benefit concerts feature premier Second Life talent monthly at Veteran’s Isle.  The concert on February 24, 2019 is scheduled from 11 AM to 4 PM PST.  Featured artists will be DJ Waya Snowpaw, Agatha Nowles, Austin Moores, Max Kleene and Singergirl Mode.

Sponsored by Frets Nirvana and the U.S. Military Veteran’s Group of Second Life.  To learn more about Homes for Our Troops visit

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Scenes From The "Hug-A-Linden/Dunk-A-Linden"

Valentines Day had a number of events across Second Life. The One Billion Rising women's rights demonstration was probably the most attended happening. Another big draw was Linden Lab's official event of the holiday, the "Hug-A-Linden/Dunk-A-Linden." At the Isle of View for two hours, residents could interact with a number of Lindens and Moles. They could just chat and take pictures, or they could try out the hugging and dunking booths.

See the pictures in Events.

Cartoon of the Day

Taken at Eternal Desires

By Bixyl Shuftan

Reader Submitted: Game Review - Subnautica Below Zero

A few months ago, Rita Mariner sent the Newser a walkthrough of the underwater survival game Subnautica. Lately, she's been playing a sequel: Subnautica Below Zero. Taking place some time after the events in the original, this time the player has to deal with surviving the cold waters of the polar region of the planet. So what does Rita think of the game?

Read Rita's reader-submitted review in Other Grids, MMOs, and Games.

SLife and Times: Viewer Issues

 Glitches are a part of any detailed computer game or virtual world. And Second Life is certainly no exception. In the early days, we accepted things like the Grid frequently being taken down and our shoes being up our back ends after teleporting. Now, while things are still far from perfect, they're noticeably smoother. So when more goes wrong then usual, we certainly notice, though still wonder if it's just us or the whole Grid. My own experiences in Second Life this week left me wondering.

Read the commentary in Extra.

Tuesday, February 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 "D", Cash In, Goofy Stuff

The Happy Vixen: Rumble in the Jungle, Anime, Bunnies, Silver and Gold, Best in White, Mad Science, Stranger Things, Birds, Cowbows and Cowgirls, TBA

Club Zero Gravity: DJ Candy Corn, DJ Snowbuns, DJ Naughty Nydia, DJ JB, DJ Sexi Lexi, DJ Applebloom           

 Montecito Bay:Cocktail Party, Expeditions, TBA, Pickle Party, Lem n Em, After Dark, Video Games

FF Furscape: CAYA, Magic, Horror, No Pants, Elements, Food, Tails, Anime, Pool Party

Read the schedules in SL Clubbin'

RFL Team Sunbeamers Reaches 10,000 Lindens

Just a few days into the Relay fundraising season, Team Sunbeamers are making progress. Sometime on Monday February 18, they reached the 10,000 Linden dollar amount. This puts them among the bronze level teams.

Talking with team captain Rita mariner, there are a few plans for the season ahead. There will be at least one "Bid Me" event soon. There will also be a fundraising event at the Happy Vixen soon. And despite that two of the team's best builders are taking a break, there will be a Sunbeamer camp for the Relay Weekend.

When will the team hit Silver? Probably sooner than one things.

Go Sunbeamers! Go Relay!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Cica Ghost's Drawn Town

Not long ago in the official Second Life blog, Linden Lab put the spotlight on a place made by an artist: "Drawn Town." Designed and built by Cica Ghost, the exhibit is the latest by the Serbian artist whom has made a number of builds ever year since 2013. Klaus Bereznyak took a look at the place, or rather two looks. The place looks quite different at nighttime.

Read Klaus' article in Design.

Musician Chip Takacs Dies, Was Minutes From Performance on Stage

In Second Life, we often take many things into consideration. But seldom do we think about death. Sometimes when it arrives, we have a little warning such as when someone announces he or she has cancer and has to take a break from the Grid and later on we sadly hear the person has passed away. Other times, the news comes to us as shock and surprise as someone who was doing fine one day is suddenly dead. Last week however, there was a case in which a man died at his computer just minutes after talking to others and with his avatar still around.

Over the weekend, I heard about the passing of a musician named Chip Takacs. Jen Smith had posted the news on Facebook early Wednesday February 13. She would later post something from Lisa Lavoie.

Just to maybe save someone from having to repeat what happened... Chip was in SL Tuesday morning, around 8am SLT to do a show. He was typing to people in local...and joking around with them, like he always did. A couple of minutes before 8am SLT, they put his stream in as he was getting onto the stage. But he never turned the stream on and never started playing.  After awhile, they thought maybe he'd fallen asleep. When it was time for the next performer to go on, they bumped Chip's avi off the stage so the next performer could play.

This afternoon, they found out that Chip had passed away. A RL friend of his, who is also a performer in SL, confirmed it after speaking with Chip's RL wife. Speculation is a massive heart attack, but they are going to do a private autopsy to verify that.

As of the time I write this...which is nearing midnight SLT...Chip is still logged in and standing in front of the stage where he never got to do that final show. His computer is still logged in and no one has shut it down. Once that happens, or the sim restarts....he won't be in SL anymore either.

Around 9pm a small group gathered where Chip stands to try and console each other and deal with the shock of losing another SL musician and friend. It started with a handful of us...and as I logged out at midnight SLT, there were 60+ standing around swapping stories, passing the mic and spreading the word that we lost another one.

 The uniqueness of this loss was that Chip was still with us in SL. He's still there, as we remember him....but he's not really there. He's really gone. It was both eerie and comforting to be able to stand there with honor of what he meant to each of us individually. It was quite a moment in my SL history. When we all just stood there with a fallen friend, not wanting to leave him standing alone....knowing that at some point, he will be logged out for the final time.

There were numerous messages of condolences after Jen Smith's post, "So sad to hear of his passing (sad) He was one of a kind. He will be missed. RIP Chip." "RIP Chip my friend.You will never be forgotten, always in my heart." "Chip was a Great Person." On Second Life, there was a memorial concert for Chip on the night of Friday February 15, scheduled to last until Saturday morning, "it is booked solid until 9:30am SLT on Saturday morning....and that's just from the performers who were standing there with Chip tonight."

Chip, or Michael Taska as he's known there, does have a recording of him singing on Youtube.

For many users, the sudden passing of someone is something they do not know how to react to. To many others, it's a reminder that death can come without warning, even while you're seemingly safe at your computer. In any event, it's a sad time for the friends and family of this musician in real life and Second Life.

Hat Tip: Annie Oh (AnnieBrightstar Resident)

Bixyl Shuftan

Relay for Life Fundraising Season Begins

On Saturday February 16 at 10AM, the Relay for Life in Second Life, the largest charity fundraising group in terms of volunteers and amount of cash raised, had it's Kickoff event. Dozens of people gathered in the Internal Hope and the edge of the Reflections of Life sims.

IshtarAngel Micheline (Ishtarkiss) made a recording of the opening speech, which can be heard (here).

There were a number of builds at the event, including team camps at the Reflection of Life sims.

Team Sunbeamers, the team of the Sunweaver community where the Newser has it's office, had a rocket start, having saved enough over the winter to start off a few ranks ahead. While the team hasn't gotten that far yet, it has raised several thousand Lindens so far.

Lizzy Austen had more pictures of the Kickoff on her pager (here).

Go Relay!

Bixyl Shuftan

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Cartoon of the Day

Taken at Roma

By Bixyl Shuftan

Announcement: This Week at the Senchai Libraries

Just like nature, winter regretfully begin to make its exit as spring comes inexorably forward.  So we have series beginning and ending this week, and others to delight and intrigue. Join us this week in #secondlife, and on our properties in #kitely.

Check out the stories and the storytellers at

All events at Senchai Library at Holly Kai Park, unless otherwise noted

All stories told in open voice unless otherwise noted. All times SL/PT

 ** SUNDAY,  February 17th:
   ~  1:30pm:  TEA TIME with Templar ~ The Saint concludes.  Part 4 of Leslie Charteris' "The Man Who Was Clever" with David Abbot, Corwyn Allen, Kayden Oconnell and Caledonia Skytower, live on stream in the Library's Fireside Room (Downstairs).

   ~  6:30pm:  MAGICLAND STORYTIME ~ The Classic Maidens Caledonia shares selected tales from the Classic

Fairytale past: Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, live on stream at the Golden Horseshoe in Magicland Park.??
The New Golden Horseshoe -

** MONDAY, February 18th at 7pm:  Ruth Beebe Hill's HANTA YO continues with Gyro Muggins

**TUESDAY, February 19th at 7pm:  THE MOUSE OF AMHERST by Elizabeth Spires with Faerie Maven-Pralou.

**WEDNESDAY, February 20th at 7pm: The Actual Conclusion Charles Stross' THE JENNIFER MORGUE with Corwyn Allen (we really mean it this time!).

*THURSDAY, February 21st:

    ~ 7pm: Jack London's THE CALL OF THE WILD - Part 1 with Shandon Loring. (Also in Kitely!  Find teleport from the main Seanchai World

    ~ 9pm: SEANCHAI LATE NIGHT with Finn Zeddmore - contemporary Sci-Fi-Fantasy from such online sources as Escape Pod, Light Speed, and Clarkesworld Magazines.  THIS WEEK  "Given Sufficient Desperation" by Bogi Tak√°cs from the November 30th, 2017 issue of Escape Pod.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

CDS News: Nominies Sought For "Celebrating SL Women 2019"

A year ago, Kyoko (Samara Barzane) honored ten women in Second Life "who have, through their work" made a difference for the virtual world. This year, she'll be doing so again, though is asking for nominations. She made an announcement in the Confederation of Democratic Simulator's group.

Last's year's event was a great success thanks to the work of many citizens, friends and, of course, the nominees. Again we are asking for nominations from our citizens and friends for this year's event on March 23.

We are looking for SL women who have made Second Life a better place for us all. And we are looking for nominees from varied fields. Emilia Avindar and I will make the final choice of 10 from all the nominations we receive.

The women honored in 2018 were Bryn Oh, Nuala Maracus, Strawberry Singh. Caryl Meredith, Kikuyu, Kikutsuru, Marianne McCann, Rosie Gray, Sudane Erato, Robin Sojourner Wood, and Treacle Darlandes

SL/Minecraft Video: "Don't Let 'em In"

(Click here if the video does not play)

From Hojo Warf (Hojocat) on February 2, a video that's a combination of Second Life and Minecraft footage, "A Minecraft and Second Life machinima. This is what always springs into my head when zombies start banging at the door while playing Minecraft. Vocals and violin by me."