Thursday, March 23, 2023

VWBPE Starts Today

One of the more noteworthy yearly educational events, the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conference, starts today. From today until Saturday, there will be numerous discussions and other events. The Opening Ceremonies start at 8 AM SL time (11 AM EST) and are scheduled to take place at VWBPE Grasslands Gateway (128/123/23). The Keynote will take place at 9AM at VWBPE Canopy Point (27/243/21).

To check the program schedule, go to .

Bixyl Shuftan

Montecito Bay Whispers

I recently had a few words with MoffettMephit (aka "The Moff") of Montecito Bay. The community's number one resident told me they've been doing well, the twice a week parties and the shopping at the shops and gaming at the arcade going well. But there have been some stories not all is well under the surface. Most notable are tales of some mad scientist.

"I hear there's a lizard scientist working on teleportation technology.," Moff told me, "And this scientist intends to unleash it upon Montecito Bay!" I inquired about him and his plans, and Moff answered, "His name is hard to pronounce because it's all numbers, planting things in places that'll take you to other places. It's all very unsettling." I then asked which places. Moff answered that all he knew was "to the places that people want to go. Sounds pretty sketchy to me. But really, things have been quiet around here. I mean, unless you wanna get really weird." I asked if such weirdness included a time-traveling Delorean. Moff grinned, "There's already one 'round here, really."

So exactly what kind of teleporter will this supposed mad lizard scientist unleash? Time will tell.

Bixyl Shuftan

Press Release: The Bay City Food Truck Festival



Unique event focuses on virtual food truck culture

BAY CITY, SL (9 March, 2023) -  The Bay City Alliance is hosting a brand new event focused on food and food truck culture on the of 26th of March, 2023, at the Bay City Fairgrounds, in North Channel ( ).

After a successful Tree Lighting, Prim Drop, and Mole Day, and ahead of the city’s 15th anniversary in Second Life, this event takes a slightly different tack, featuring food trucks from around Bay City and across the grid, each presented by a different Resident or Residential group.

The Bay City Food Truck Festival is free and open to the public. You do not need to be a Resident of Bay City to participate: just bring an empty stomach and prepare to have some light fun in the city’s fairgrounds.

Providing music for the festival are DJ GoSpeed of KONA Stream, from noon to 200 p.m. SLT. The event will also feature many other fun activities, including horse shoe tossing and other pastimes.

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, please contact Marianne McCann.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Cartoon of the Day: Alien-Made Milkshake

 From Sunweaver Bay. It seems the aliens made a few mistakes about trying to understand Earth again.

By Bixyl Shuftan

The VWBPE Grounds

After weeks of preparation, the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conference is set to start tomorrow. From Thursday to Saturday, there will be numerous discussions and other events, including one with the Lindens. The theme this year is "Uncommon Realities." Gemma Cleanslate, who volunteered to help out again this year, took a good look at the the area the event will be taking place on. And there's quite a lot.
Read Gemma's story in Design

The Yamato Memorial Returns

Battleship fans will know about a number of ships, among them the Yamato. This symbol of Imperial Japanese might served from December 1941 to April 1945, when it was sunk in the Imperial Navy's last major operation in World War Two, the sinking sometimes considered a metaphor for the end of the Japanese Empire.  The ship would live on in poetry, as well as the "Star Blazers" anime.

Second Life has its own version of the Yamato. First appearing around 2008 or 2009, it's vanished and reappeared a few times over the years. The Newser last wrote about the sim-long vessel five years ago in March 2018

The ship would once again vanish some time later. But I was told by a friend recently it's back, alongside the carrier Akagi and the cruser Myoko. While you can't go below decks, it's still one of the most impressive ships in Second Life.

Hat tip: Anne Brightstar
Bixyl Shuftan

Announcement: Love & Harmony Presents Chicago Broadway, March 24, 2023


 Announcement:  Love & Harmony Presents Chicago Broadway, March 24, 2023

Where:  Orchide's Private Club (On the Love & Harmony Sim)

When:  Friday, March 24, 2023

Time: 8:00 PM SLT

Attire:  Formal:  GENTLEMEN: Tuxedos, Suits, Shirts only if accompanied by a vest, tie or sport coat.  LADIES: Gowns or Dresses. Dresses must be mid-thigh or longer. NO minis or any attire that might be considered sexually suggestive.

Location:  secondlife:///app/inventory/bb78f78a-ecbd-8446-e528-cbc2d043c2db/select?name=Orchide%20Private%20Club

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Events This Week at the Sunweaver and Montecito Bay Clubs, The Fallout Shelter, and Furry Fashion Lounge

Here's what's going on at the Sunweaver and Montecito Bay clubs, The Fallout Shelter, and the Furry Fashion Lounge.

Club Cutlass: TBA, Retro70s, Spring Colors, Country Night

Happy Vixen: Fur Patterns, Wild East and Wild West, Anything But Clothing, Sprink, Madkatt Mashup, Best in Shiny, Sexy, Neon

Club Zero Gravity: TBA

Bouncing Bunny Beach Club: Best in Red, Spooky

Xanadu: DJ Jesse

Club Squeaks: DJ Squeaks 
Montecito Bay:  CAYA, After Dark

Furry Fashion Lounge:  Horns and Hooves, Fur vs Scales, CAYA, Rainbow, Wings, Late Night, Pokemon
Deathlands Fallout Shelter:  DJ Bonnie, DJ Wolfy

Read the schedules in SL Clubbin'

Press Release: VWBPE 2023 Conference UNCOMMON REALITIES 23 - 25 March 2023 in Second Life®

 The 16th annual Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference, beginning on Thursday, March 23rd, will be an online distributed conference happening in multiple virtual spaces. This conference focuses on the use of immersive virtual environments for educational purposes including virtual and augmented reality.

This year we are returning from outer space to Earth and completely rebuilding the conference regions. Each region represents a different terrestrial biome, including wetlands, desert, badlands, grasslands, and forests. Conference attendees will be among the first to be able to explore!

VWBPE provides educational and networking opportunities that are relevant to educational curriculum development utilizing virtual environments and “best practices”. These include
- helping to build community through extension of learning best practices to practical application of those ideas and techniques;
- providing networking opportunities for educators and the communities that help support education; and
- providing access to current innovations, trends, ideas, case studies, and other best practices for educators and the communities that help support education.

Primarily, the issue being faced by the educational community is how to make the best use of new immersive technologies in a way that is sustainable and accessible based on limited budgets available to both instructors and students. Platforms that are free or open source, or that can be shared across a broad audience are showcased including methods and research around best practices in their use and applicability.

VWBPE will again be using Linden Lab’s Second Life® environment as our primary conference venue for presentations, exhibits, roundtables, and discussions. Participants are free to submit proposals and immersive experience tours on any environment for education using technologies for virtual or augmented reality. We actively encourage showcasing multiple technology platforms. This includes practical application, researched papers, conceptual, and content creation supporting those technologies.

Our theme for this year is Uncommon Realities and the exploration of areas outside of our expertise that may be potentially opposed to our current outlook or world view. As educators, we are having to adjust to more than just a transition from in-person to online methodologies. We are facing urgent challenges in the areas of remote classroom management, outdated policies or policies not designed to be applied to online environments, child psychology and welfare in online environments, health and safety considerations, and personal privacy, among others. This means embracing the ability to quickly adapt to changing circumstances and innovative technologies to their best effect.

This year's keynote speakers are Dr. Tom Boellstorff, Dr. Stylianos Mystakidis, and Alexandra Humphreys. Invited speakers include the 2018 Thinkerer - Dr. Valerie Hill, and representatives from Linden Lab. A special event “Books and Biomes” will feature Draxtor Despres and author Cat Sparks.

The VWBPE conference keynote speakers and their respective presentations are featured on the conference website (, along with a program of exciting presentations, social activities, and networking events that will set extraordinary discussions in motion.  

The VWBPE Immersive Experiences showcase unique and interesting work being conducted across the metaverse. We invite you to join us as we explore eleven interactive and engaging locations across five virtual environments. The Immersive Experiences are scheduled from 22 March to 15 April (exclusive of the conference dates). Details and access instructions for the experiences are found at

The Rockcliffe Registration Portal is open for people to register new Second Life® avatars and find out more about the VWBPE conference in-world. Go to The instructions are there to get you and your friends started at this educator-friendly newcomers’ region in Second Life®.

The full conference program is online here: You can also view presentations live on YouTube at All of the conference events will be in Second Life® this year, and the locations are included in the listings. When you click on a conference event and click Add to Calendar, you can add the event to your own calendar (Google and more).
For more information: 

Monday, March 20, 2023

More St. Patrick's Shenanigans And An Art Exhibit

St. Patrick's Day has plenty of good clean fun, but there's always some shenanigans going on. So Gemma Cleanslate was on the scene to see a few. From the Relay for Life to Bellisseria, there were green outfits to wear, green drinks to down, and general funnery. She also went to an art exhibit, "The Magical Forest."

Read Gemma's story in Events

EOTB: SL20B Open For Applications For Music Fest And General Performers

The big news about Linden Lab's announcement a few days ago was that they had chosen the theme and logo for this year's Second Life Birthday: "Our Fantastic Future." But there was more. They were also accepting applications for positions at the event as general performers, and applications for positions in the Music Fest. 

... we are opening applications for Music Fest, to be held on June 22nd-24th. Music Fest will kick off the overall SL20B celebration with three days of live music performances featuring some of the most talented live musicians in Second Life! ... We are also opening up applications for the general performance schedule. Why celebrate for one day when we can party for a week?! We are looking for all types of performers to join the week-long festivities from June 25th to July 2nd. Are you a DJ who can spin up a great party set or a live performer who can jam all night? You might be one of the grid’s amazing Dance companies, or perhaps you’re a Particle Performer? One of the things that makes Second Life so vibrant and exciting is the wide range of performers who share their talent with our Residents. Whatever your medium, we would love to hear from you!

To apply for the SLB Music Fest, one needs to fill out this Google doc (link). The doc needs to be filled out by April 9. While musicians were paid by the Lab in past years, it will not be the case this year but they can still rezz a tip jar, and 350 prims (LI) worth of props. It is to be understood that this is a family-friendly event, and song lyrics must be G-rated. Performance times are an hour each, and showing up on time is necessary to take part. Musicians must also be able to use the event's own stream.

To apply to be an SLB general performer, you need to fill out this Google doc (link). Conditions are much the same as Music Fest Musicians. But if the performance is a group one, such as a dance troope, the prim allowance for props will be raised to 1000 prims (LI). Changes of information, such as names, and time are allowed up to 48 hours of the event. 

No applications are available for event volunteer staff yet. Presumably they will be out soon.

The Music Fest itself runs from Thursday June 22 to Sunday June 24. The SL20B goes on from Thursday June 22 to Tuesday July 11. The Music Fest began in 2015 in the days when Second Life Birthdays were run not by the Lab, but by a resident-run volunteer team. It would be the start of Linden Lab's gradual re-involvement in the Second Life Birthday. Eventually, the Lab would take full control of the SLB events, but the Music Fest would remain.

Bixyl Shuftan

Sunbeamer Bid-Me Events: "Bid Me Pink, Fennec, Ruth"

With the Relay season going in full gear, the Sunbeamer team is out to raise some more cash for the American Cancer Society. While there are the weekly Moon Dances and the upcoming Air Show, there is more that can be done. And so a few vict- er, volunteers have stepped forward in some "Bid-Me" events.

The "Bid Me" events started in real-life Relays with "Bid Me Bald" fundraisers in which volunteers would shave all their hair if enough cash was raised. When the Relay came to Second Life, starting with the Relay Rockers, teams would start having their own "Bid Me Bald" events, with people volunteering to stay a "chrome dome" for so many days or weeks, depending on how much was raised. BUT, with furry avatars, there's a slight problem as simply removing the head hair so it's the same as the rest of the body's coat of fur isn't as drastic a change. So furry Relayers found other ways to put their appearance on the line in the name of the fight against cancer. 

Never to put her teammates through what she wouldn't go through, Team Captain Rita Mariner was one of the first two volunteers. In "Bid Me Pink," the white bunny is offering to go pink for every week 5000 Linden dollars are donated into the right kiosk, rounded down. If 9999L gets donated, she only spends one week as "Pinkie Pie." If 10,000 is raised, she spends two weeks having to listen to "Pink Panther" music.

For those wanting to keep her white, a default kiosk is included on the left. Should more be donated into that than the pink one, then no matter how much was donated, Rita avoids getting pinked. 

Snowy HunniBunni Lefavre (Skylark Lefavre), one of the team's DJs, is also putting her looks on the line with her "Bid Me Fennec." For every 4000 Linden dollars donated in the right kiosk, rounded down, she spends a week as a big-eared vulpine. For those who want to keep her a fluffy bun-bun, there's a default kiosk to the left they can donate to.

High Sunbeamer Cynthia Farshore is the third putting her fur on the line with a "Bid Me Ruth" event. In her case, only 2000 Linden dollars, rounded down, is enough to make her sans fur and horns for a week. And this isn't just any human avatar, but the infamous "Ruth," the original Second Life avatar which for years was the default that residents changed to whenever there was a server problem that affected avatars, until it was changed to a cloud. As with the other fundraisers, there's also a default kiosk on the right to donate to.

Rita and Snowy's Bid-Me events go on to Saturday April 1 at 8PM SL time. Cynthia's goes on to Saturday April 8, also at 8PM. The fundraisers all take place at Club Cutlass at Sunweaver Bay (114/117/757).

Go Sunbeamers! Go Relay!
Correction:  Cynthia's event was originally listed as "Bid Me Human." It has since been corrected.

Bixyl Shuftan

Announcement: This Week at the Seanchai Libraries

THIS WEEK: Our 15th Anniversary in SL is here!  Who would have imagined?  Join us as we celebrate, and move ahead.. Join us for a week of storied adventures, live!
  Check out the stories and the storytellers! 

All events at Nowhereville (203/43/26) , unless otherwise noted.

Stories told in open voice unless otherwise noted. All times SL/PT
--------->> COMING THIS WEEK

**MONDAY, March 20th at 7pm:  Phillip Pullman 's THE GOLDEN COMPASS continues with Gyro Muggins
**TUESDAY, March 21st
~ at Noon: RUSSELL EPONYM, Live in The Glen!

 ~ at 7pm: More from THE CRYSTAL CAVE with Caledonia

**WEDNESDAY, March 22nd, 7-8:30 pm: SEANCHAI FLICKS - Join us in our cinema space as we share video adventures and throw popcorn at each other.

**THURSDAY, March 23rd at 9pm: SEANCHAI LATE NIGHT with Finn Zeddmore


Sunday, March 19, 2023

Cartoon of The Day: Tall Hat


 Taken at Furzona. I've seen some tall hats, but this one was taller than the sim was wide. While I suppose such a hat could be worn if full of helium, it might became a small plane hazard.

By Bixyl Shuftan

Saturday, March 18, 2023

St. Patrick's Shenanigans

Saint Patrick's Day had numerous shenanigans across Second Life. One was the Sunbeamer Moon Dance, taking place above Sunweamer Space. This time, the moon was green, and the source of numerous green cheese jokes. A number of teams would raise thousands of Linden dollars. There was no sign of mice 

There would be St. Patrick's Parties at The Happy Vixen and Club Cutlass, the latter getting a larger crowd. Both places had decorations, and people dressed up in green.

Fuzzball Ortega would send the Newser this picture, that of "The Hair" dyed green and making an appearance at a Steelhead Salmons RFL event. Guess it wouldn't really by the Relay without "The Hair."

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Bixyl Shuftan

SL Video: "Azdra Evolution"

From I am R on Feb 20

Friday, March 17, 2023

Happy St. Patrick's Day.

 "Tis th' day o' th' wearin' o' th' green." 
It's Saint Patrick's Day, in which all of us are a little bit Irish. So if you don't want to get pinched, wear some green. You might also want to take a trip to Castle Blarney or The Blarney Stone pub.

Details on March 9 Lab Gab "Roadmap" for 2023


 Last Friday's Lab Gab started with a video. Grumpity Linden, the head of the Product team, talked about the upcoming SL mobile app viewer, showing it off at the Kaleidoscope sim. "Yeah, it's true, it's so early, but we're super excited to share a first peek at something new, Second Life Mobile. Look it's me on my phone." She would say this wasn't the first time they've tried to build a mobile viewer, "because of course we want to have all the glory." But it was "the most exciting result we've seen so far." They were starting with the more difficult details, such as being able to view the "hardest" avatars and most detailed areas. Plus they wanted the app to work on all platforms, "And so it is with joy and trepidation that we share with you the early results of these efforts." They did say things were still very much a work in progress, so "you will see very little functionality or user interface for now." Still, she spoke, "it is a vibrant Second Life on Android and iOS."

Mojo Linden, the VP of Engineering who would later say he's been with Linden Lab for about a year and a half, would say that he was working with the development team "to make sure that the community can experience everything they love about Second Life while on the go with our upcoming mobile viewer," repeating they were starting with some of the more difficult details first such as full rendering of avatars and the full rendering of complex environments. The viewer is built on Unity and can use multiple mobile phone and tablet platforms, including Android and iOS. Mojo described himself as "blown away" by the ammount of detail they can get on it, saying they haven't had to "compromise too much on graphic fidelity." He did admit "there's much work to be done" before the mobile viewer's ready to be launched.

Patch, the VP of Product Operations, was next. "Imagine being able to connect to Second Life from anywhere, chat with your friends, visit your favorite inworld hangout spots, and later do pretty muchanything you do with the desktop Second Life viewer without being tethered to your computer. ... We can't wait to show you more in the coming months as our development progress continues."

The scene then changed to the three seated with Strawberry Linden, and would introduce themselves, Grumpity musing she had no real power but was still responsible for a lot ot things. Mojo joked he felt tlike the "baby" in the group. Later on, Grumpity would say she wasn't in her usual stick figure as it wasn't rezzing properly in the mobile viewer. 

Questions about the mobile started 6:45 into the video. Mojo would state development started in October 2022, saying that using the Unity engine "really helped with quick progress and portability to IOS and Android." He was condident they would be able to make a mobile viewer that could show "Second Life in all it's glory." A beta version "with some limited functuality" should be released sometime in the second half of the year, adding "our play is to layer more features over multiple releases after that." Later in the video, Mojo would call being able to work on the mobile viewer "such an honor."

At nine minutes, Strawberry brought up the price changes. The lower sim prices were talked about first. Grumpity would say since 2017, they've been working to lower the price of land and making it "more accessible for all our residents," saying it wasn't easy as Linden Lab's income had been built on land. So they had to find ways to make up for the income loss there, "We try to find the fairest way to do it ... and, um, we decided that Linden dollar fees were really the way to do it. ... We know your prices are going up, and our prices are going up, and the cost of everything up. ... We took as long as we could before raising fees. But it's happened. ... We're watching very closely to see what happens in the markets so far."

At just before 11 minutes, Strawberry would also bring up the new option to pay for a sim with Linden dollars. Patch called it an exchange being done "on the Lindex basically behind the scenes ... and so yes, the price is a little higher."

At just after 12 minutes, Strawberry brought up the concerns about bot activity. Patch stated the Lab has been working on a new policy, including some talk with lawyers, "We had to take some time and get it reviewed by our legal team ... that took several weeks to get all of the necessary reviews in place for it." Patch would say they were expecting to bring it out the following week (the week of this article). Grumpity would add they're planning on giving extra ability to estate owners to ban bots, "will be able to choose access levels for scripted agents going forward, and those should be rolling out soon." She estimate the time as "weeks."

Just after 13 minutes, the PBR (Physical Based Rendering) development was mentioned, that it will bring "more realistic lighting to Second Life," Mojo saying it brought that particular technology about ten years ahead from where it was, "It allows content creators to define materials based on how they reflect light in the real world." He added there was already a project viewer with the feature currently out and people looking at it and giving feedback, "We want to be sure we are not going to cause content headaches for people as we've been fixing bugs for quite some time." He wasn't giving a definite release date, "it might be another three months." When asked if people would beed higher-end computers to see the feature, Mojo would say no, saying they were working to better enable current computers to see the new featurejust fine. But if people had any kind of performance issues, they could simply "just turn off Reflections" to get lighting back to where it was. There will also be tutorial videos about it later. It was stated that while PBR puts Second Life on the way to having true mirrors, for the moment they're not around just yet, at least the (virtually) real deal, "You can sort of fake it now with PBR." The Lab plans on working on technology to allow mirrors next.

At just after 18 minutes, they talked about inventory updates. Grumpity would say one project they were workiing on was "Inventory Thumbnails." They would also add a single folder inventory view. Of updates to the viewer, they were working on an "emoji viewer" that Grumpity called "a third party contribution from Catnip" amd that they've been "trying to  make sure everything works." A project viewer should be availablt in "weeks."

Just before twenty minutes, Strawberry asked if there were plans to make Second Life "VR ready." Mojo's response was "probably not this year" saying the render rate would have to be at least around 60 frames per second. Of the possibility of a Linux viewer, Mojo did say there were internal tools that benefit from a Linux viewer. But for now what they have can run through Wine and Proton. But an outright official Linix viewer isn't in the Lab's plans for this year.

At 21:30, Strawberry brought up Marketplace saying there's been "a lot of changes." Grumpity would say a week earlier, the Lab released an update to Marketplace search. She would go on to say they were "taking your feedback, we're making changes." The fifty-page cap on search results has been removed. Strawberry asked about inworld office hours. Grumpty's response was, "We have user groups for all sorts of topics ... choose your favorite and come talk to us."

Just before 26 minutes, Strawberry would ask about the upcoming New User Experience (or NUX) avatars, which one was shown off at last year's Second Life Birthday. Patch answered they were "quite a ways along in their development." The avatars themselves are done, he stated, and the work at the moment was getting them a line of clothing and attachments. They will also be "PBR ready." The avatars, he reminded, were to help new users have "better simpler easier fun," and there should be an update about them soon.

Around 27:30, Strawberry brought up Linden Homes. Patch stated there would be some information coming soon. They were working on the homes for Premium Plus resident accounts, which were "nearing completion." They were also working on expansions and additions to current themes, Victorian being named. Of Second Life's upcoming 20th anniversary celebration theme (which was announced Thursday March 16), Patch would only say "It's really, really, really big" and that they would have an announcement soon.

Before the Lab Gab ended, Patch would say they might make a "blooper reel" of errors made during the filming of the movile viewer video.  

Bixyl Shuftan

SL Video: "SL Mobile - First Look"


Also part of the March 10 Lab Gab (more on that later), this video would showcase the Second Life Mobile viewer in action. To sum up what was spoken, it's still very much in development, with an open beta unlikely to be made available until sometime in the second half of 2023. It's built on the Unity engine, and can use multiple mobile phone and tablet platforms, including Android and iOS.

The news is making some technology and gaming news websites. Game Developer predicted the move would help breathe new life into the virtual world, or "give Second Life a second life." Arstechnica wasn't so sure, calling Second Life a niche product, "and a mobile app might not be enough to change that."

For more information, check the article on the Lab Gab video.

Bixyl Shuftan

This Saturday at The Science Circle

Saturday, March 18
    At 10 AM PST   

    Knowledge Creation
    By Prof. Devi Jankowicz
   The Science Circle (72,129,30)
    At 9 PM PST   

    By  Jes Stannard
   The Science Circle (72,129,30)
    NOTE: Non-members required to register once
    IM Jes Cobalt or Nymf Hathaway

╚══════════════════════════════ The Science Circle (72,129,30) ═╝