Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cartoon of the Day

Taken at Le Bistro
By Bixyl Shuftan

Art Deco Clock Build-Off

Grey Lupindo thought it was time to head Virtual Museum of Architecture to look at their latest Art Deco building contest. This one is around clocks. From large to small, a number of timepeices were entered and are on display for those having a few minutes to look.

Read more on the contest in Events.

Feathers Fly at Podex Bank

The workers at the Podex Exchange were having another typical November day. They talked some about the Veterans Day celebrations earlier that month. They talked a little about upcoming Winter activities that would soon arrive across the Grid. But more immediate were Thanksgiving activities. Some of the tellers expressed they seemed hard to find. Others told them about the “Turkey Day” festivities at Areo Pines.

During the talk, a figure approached the bank entrance. A teller glanced his way before turning to the others, “Looks like someone from a Thanksgiving party is stopping by for a little business.” They took care of some paperwork as the resident entered, then one turned his way, “Hello, how can we hel-” his words were cut short when he recognized the visitor.

The resident was wearing an American Indian costume. Not an authentic one, but one that looked like it was made for a low-budget movie. the most prominent feature were the feathers worn in places around the arms and legs, as well as a single feather on a headband, with the largest piece being a bow and quiver. The guy wearing it was instantly recognizable, “Clumsy Cooper,” the petty thief whom kept trying to rob the Podex exchange. But his attempts had never succeeded, sometimes failing epically.

“I bring greetings from Procyon Tribe,” Clumsy bluffed, talking like a movie character, “Here for terms of Treaty. Your Chief Shuftan get Moonberry land in exchange for fifty thousand Lindens every autumn at the time of the turkey. Will take now.”

The tellers looked at him, then chuckled. One joked, “Procyon Tribe had weak claim on land. Deal to trade for Lindens never made. Deal made to trade for two skins.” He then reached under hsi table, and tossed a couple moth-eaten rabbit pelts in Clumsy’s direction.

It was then Clumsy dropped his fake Indian act, “Okay, this is a stick-up!" He then drew his bow and arrow, "Hand over your Lindens!”

The tellers stared back, and one retorted, “Oh pul-lease. I’ve seen real Indians, or rather Native Americans, and I’ve seen real bows and arrows. That thing’s a cheap imitation from a freebie store that couldn’t scratch a target.”

“Oh yeah?!” Clumsy then pulled back on the string, aiming at a piece of equipment. But the result was a “crick” sound, followed by the bow breaking in two. Surprised, Clumsy let it drop to the ground. For a moment, no one spoke a word. Then one teller yelled, “Get ‘im!”

Clumsy promptly turned and ran out of the building. He sprited down to the shore, and jumped into the water. He then swam away, once again having nothing to show for his efforts but humiliation. He is currently wanted by the SLPD for attempted griefing.

But even if Clumsy Cooper had a working bow and arrow, there was no way he could have gotten away with any ill-gotten gains. “All our exchanges are done through electronic transfer,” a teller later explained, “He wouldn’t have walked away with a single Linden.”

The Podex Exchange has a record of being one of the safest Linden exchange services in Second Life, the data processing done outside the exchange, and has a record of thousands of satisfied customers. Transactions can be done at their website, or their location inworld at Moonberry (26, 223, 34).

Bixyl Shuftan

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Events this Week in Second Life from Nov 29th to Dec 5th

It's a week full of happenings across the Grid as November changes to December, and autumn gives way to winter and it's events. Visit places like Artfest 2, and "Winter Scenes" by Incendia. And of course there are the usual events from clubs such as the Queen of Hearts and Club Zero Gravity, to talk and game shows such as "The 1st Question," and more.

Read more in Events this Week

Monday, November 28, 2011

The “Happy Vixen’s” Grand Re-Opening

As far as clubs in the FCA club alliance go, "The Happy Vixen" beach club tends to be overshadowed by Club Zero Gravity, often seen as a extenstion of the space club. Following the closing of another beach club, owner Nydia Tungsten decided it was time for the little place to expand.

Read more in Places.

Wendy’s Dream - Hummanoid

There is the most imaginative , beautiful art creation that you must not miss. If you recall I loved the part of The Path by Bryn oh that had to do with doors. This build, by Wendy Xeno is called Humanoid. It has many doors which you enter to explore after you have toured the landing area and have seen all the tiny islands. Set your windlight to the recommended setting as you arrive, by the way. It gives an aura of autumn to everything.

Qwark played a tune on the piano for me at one isle. We sat and relaxed by the fire on another, with the sounds of the Moonlight Serenade to lull us and I almost took a nap in the tent there. Sit on the “winged chairs” along the way. But, you must go back to the entry area and enter the doors one by one to see the elegant, ethereal and fun creations waiting for you. Each has its own ambiance.

Inside one of the doors you will find Cherry Mango’s circus display set in a field of flowers. You can interact there by riding on the carousel, walking the tight rope or soaring on the trapeze. All the other doors lead to diverse creations with a variety of themes for you to explore. I wondered about her dreams as I visited each one.

Wendy Xeno has given us a wonderful place to explore and savor, with the music and sounds surrounding you. I am late in finding this treasure but it is still there for you to enjoy.

Gemma Cleanslate

Saturday, November 26, 2011

M&M Creations Winter Wonderland

Remember 10 Gooson's M&M Creations? Lately they've set up shop in Spot-3D. Here's their "Winter Wonderland" machinima.

"Thanks, Tessa, was a great pleasure seeing you drink a hot chocolate at the meeting point of M&M Creations Winter Landscape."

SL Machinima: "Happy Thanksmeshing!"

From Draxtor Despres and Pooky Amsterdam, Flufee and his mesh friends share dinner and jokes, "In the United States one holiday is more important than anything else [except for perhaps the shopping frenzy right after said day] so it is a natural for our fluffy mesh heroes to meet up and spend some time together. Behold: Thanksgiving Second Life style - complete OF COURSE with a turkey so meshi-licious you would want one too!"

Friday, November 25, 2011

Meanwhie, Back in Azeroth: "The Mists of Pandaria"

Last month, Blizzard announced their plans for their next expansion of the still highly popular World of Warcraft Massive Multiplayer Online game: "Mists of Pandaria." It features changes to the game, such as a pet combat system, new player level caps, a new continent, and a new race, the panda-like Pandaren. And with the game making news again with it's latest TV commercial and reaching it's seventh anniversary, it's time to take a look at what's coming for Azeroth.

Read about the expansion in Extra.

Benefit for Jaclyn

If you're a venue owner, manager or a musician, you know about Live Musicians & Singers Org. Founded by Veronica Weksler, it is 1027 members strong. Veronica has performed in bands and church choirs the majority of her life and in she's well known here.

On Saturday, Oct. 29, her daughter Jaclyn Gallardy (Artamisse Denzo, a singer/DJ and hostess on SL) was injured during the Ohio State University Football Game. The injury didn't occur on the football field, but it no doubt reached every student after it happened.

For many university students bonfires are a tradition, but they are extremely dangerous. In this case, someone poured gasoline on the bonfire as an accelerant and Jaclyn, who was standing close to it, caught on fire and suffered first and second degree burns. Her several layers of clothing protected her body. But by protecting her face, her hands were burned. She will be treated as an outpatient at OSU Medical Burn Trauma Center for the next few months.

In an effort to help defray her medical expenses, Veronica organized a benefit for her daughter on Second Life. The event was held on Saturday, Nov. 19th, from 5 AM to 12 AM at Hawkside Stadium.

When I arrived at Sanctuary Key's sim, Gina Gracemount was singing "Cry Me A River." The group cheered her on, familiar with her music and loving it. Many were contributing to Jaclyn's photo tip jar. In the audience were a number of Flash Dancers (Trace Huet and Infinitely Sweet Muircastle and I saw musician Pmann Sands, too. Ugh Yeu took the stage at 8 AM SL time, singing John Melenkamp’s "Hurts So Good."

Slated to perform were Veronica, Steveeolio, Gina Gracemount, Ugh Yeu, Denny Mac, Bones Writer, Kasper Robespear, OneSummer Oh, Kaycee & Wanna, Lightnin Lowtide, Ichie Kamachi, Leo Voorhees, NormReynolds Genisis, Premium Composer, Bo Hoyes, Rhuff Rhode, Ande Foggarty, Kris & The Bloody Pirates and Alex Mays.

Netera Landar

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from Second Life Newser

Let’s Go on a Hunt

Recently, Netera Landar took a look at the "Home and Garden Hunt." Co-sponsored by both a builder of four years in Second Life and one of the teachers at the noted Builders Brewery group, the place the event takes place offers a number of furnishings, in addition to the carefully placed hunt items. Can you find all of them?

Read more in Events.

Linden Lab Offering 50% Discount on Premium Account Signups

It seems Linden Lab is resorting to a sale in order to get more Premium accounts.

Become a Second Life Premium Member. Save 50% on your membership when you sign up for a Premium account. This is a limited-time offer!

The details are Here, though there is nothing listed on how long this "limited time offer" lasts.

*Addition* Tateru Nino had a comment about the discount as well, suggesting it was a sign the Lab plans no new perks for Premium accounts in the near future.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cartoon of the Day

Picture taken at the Veterans Tribute
by Bixyl Shuftan

Sock Hop at Steelhead

A few days ago, Steelhead had a seemingly unlikely event for a Steampunk-themed region: a "Sock Hop."

The event took place at Club Gearz. The place was hardly a typical club, looking much like a steel foundry. The dance floor was not wood, but cast iron. The walls, made out of masonary brick. And next to the dancers was the glow of molten steel as it poured from containers into holes in the ground: the ultimate "lava lamp."

Sheriff Fuzzball Ortega took part as the DJ, "DJ Fuzzball," with various residents showing up. Someone must have cracked a "sock monkey" joke, and it soon took hold. Residents were sporting sock monkeys on their shoulders, or wearing sock monkey costumes. And Fuzzball got into the act by playing monkey themed songs, such as "Donkey Kong" themes and "Code Monkey."

Code Monkey like Fritos,
Code Monkey like Tab and Mountain Dew,
Code Monkey very simple man,
with big warm fuzzy secret heart,
Code Monkey like you,
Code Monkey like you.

Baron Klaus Wulfenback was among those attending the Sock Hop, but after a while he excused himself, "I seem not to have an ear for these modern songs." But the monkeyshines continued on into the night.

Club Gearz is in Steelhead Boomtown, (50, 220, 24)

"Steelhead, where business is monkey business."

Bixyl Shuftan

Three-Ring Flea Circus

"A flea circus created by Miso Susanowa & Wizard Gynoid in Second Life, using dolls made by Bryn Oh. Filmed on location in the LEA5 sandbox. Popcorn not included."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Events this Week in Second Life from Nov 22nd to Nov 28th

This week, it's Thanksgiving, and one can find holiday themed events like the "Turkey Day Bash & Pow Wow" at Aero Pines Park, in addition to artistic displays like the UWA's "The Walkthrough." And of course we have a sample listing of several music clubs with events across the week.

See the happenings in Events this Week.

Kim Salzer Departs Linden Lab, Was Marketing VP

New World Notes reports Kim Salzer, whom was hired a little more than a year ago by Linden Lab, has recently left and is now working for another company.

Salzer had joined Linden Lab from Activision/Blizzard, her hiring announced Sept. 2, 2010. “Kim brings a deep background in gaming (including experience at Electronic Arts working on massively multiplayer online games and hit sports franchises), and in online learning,” the Linden blog stated at the time. Hired as Marketing Vice-President, her goal was to figure out “a single idea to focus on and bring out, an X Factor” to get more people to want to get into Second Life.

Hamlet Au at the time of her hiring considered her arrival a welcome note of optimism after months of bad news. He thought she was behind Linden Lab’s push to market virtual pets. He also wrote that he had been told by insiders that she brought about changes in company communication policies, making it more tightly controlled between the Linden Lab staff and Second Life’s community, as well as between different departments, “under Kim Salzer's direction, company communication has shifted from the looser, open-ended structure associated with founders Philip Rosedale and Cory Ondrejka, and become more hierarchical and regimented -- not unlike the major game publisher where she began her career in interactive entertainment.”

Salzar gave the reason of her leaving as getting weary of the regular commute to Linden Lab’s San Francisco office from her home in Los Angeles. Hamlet felt her leaving “probably represents the most prominent change in the company this year.”

Image from iliveisl.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, November 21, 2011

Chuck Norris Appears in WoW Commercial

When I started out in World of Warcraft as a Horde player, I soon became familiar with the "Barrens chat," the chatter of new players in the game. And one common feature were the Chuck Norris jokes, "Chuck Norris is so tough ..." While obviously some never got bored of them, others found them annoying. Still, they became part of how we remembered the Barrens.

It was probably just a matter of time Chuck Norris would be approached to do a commercial for Blizzard.

Chuck Norris didn't break a sweat filming the newest World of Warcraft television spot. Instead, he made the director cry and then cooled himself with the tears.

This World of Warcraft television commercial debuted on CBS during the first half of the Chargers-Bears NFL game Sunday, November 20, 2011.

It's funny on one hand after all those hours listening to Barrens chat. On the other, Chuck Norris seems not like a hunter as the commercial calls him, but like the new "monk" character class in the next expansion as he fights with his hands (more on that later). Plus, there's just something about this commercial that makes me want to get my Bloodelf hunter, and shoot his character in the ...

Naturally, this has become the talk of WoWers. Their forum thread as of today has 27 pages, and no doubt more are to come as players continue to comment on this in-game joke turning into a commercial.

Welcome to Warcraft, Chuck Norris.

Bixyl Shuftan

Eye on the Blog: November Update

A little over a week ago, Linden Lab released their November Update. While talking some about imbox messaging when off the Grid, the blog entry was mainly about the new viewer: Viewer 3.2. They described it as offering a “customizable user interface for a more flexible workspace.” In it, the “Basic” and “Advanced” modes are gone. Instead, you have what is a single modifiable viewer, at least that’s what’s advertised.

The new viewer was advertised as offering “drag and drop” buttons on the toolbar to change ordering, an option for one to three toolbars, and a choice of either icons or labels. “The new Viewer also makes it easy for new Residents to find the essential basic functions, as well as access more advanced functionality as they grow in Second Life.” The “new user functionality” included a “How to Window” for “step by step instructions for common tasks,” A Destinations button, An avatars button to chose from various appearances, an inventory button, and a shop button to take residents to Second Life Marketplace. “By merging the Basic and Advanced modes, users no longer need to switch between modes, which improves usability – and ultimately enhances the Second Life inworld experience.”

A number of people seem to be impressed with the changes. In the official forums, a number of people called it a real improvement, though not a perfect one. “I have to say that V3.2 finally fixed enough of the V2 problems to allow me to uninstall V 1.23.5. With the death of the mandatory sidebar and the reintroduction of a text entry field that moves with the nearby chat floater, I can manage to work around most of the other flaws in V3.2 ...” Not everyone was impressed though. One problem mentioned repeatedly, a slower frame rate than previous viewers.

Among those not satisfied were blogger Tateru Nino. Among the problems she cited were getting booted off Second Life “pretty much every single time a teleport fails,” having to shut off basic graphics settings, and when “Click-to-Move” was enabled, steering by mouse becomes reversed. She had forty people commenting on her posts. There were a few complements, but the majority had complaints. Among those, “Those are your only complaints ...? My God, (Viewer 2.3) is like built to hate users who do stuff other than walk around.”

Inara Pey also had a review of Viewer 3.2, as a developmental viewer release in late October. Her review was, “for all the positives around it in terms of customization and button placement and cleaner look, I have to say there is not enough here to entice me away from Firestorm. I’m happy to remain with that Viewer and see how the team adapt to, and adopt, this new interface.”

And yours truly can’t use it, as Viewer 2 and Viewer 3 won’t work on my computer.

Sources: Linden Blog, Linden forums, Dwell on It, Living in a Modem World

Pictures from Linden forums

Bixyl Shuftan

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cartoon of the Day

By Bixyl Shuftan

Happy Rezzday Gemma

On Friday, Gemma Cleanslate had a small rezzday party thrown for her by friends, with her partner Qwark Allen DJing the tunes.

Happy Rezzday, Gemma.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Images of Imagine Peacefest

During Veteran's Day Weekend from Nov 11-13th, a number of peace activists, members of the "Occupy" movement on the Grid, and a number of artists gathered at the "Imagine Peacefest." Any1 Gynoid, taking on the role of "activist-reporter" was there, and took a number of screenshots.

See Any1's pictures in Extra.

MachnExpo 2011 this Weekend

SL Youtube: "God of Wrock" - "Flufee on a Meshion - Episode6":

From Pooky Amsterdam and Draxtor Despres, "Flufee and his gang are checking in on a gamified Second Life plus indulge in speculation about the contributions of a newly added member to the Linden Lab Board of Directors. Sound boring? Well, it ain't - matter of fact we will get DEEP insights this episode! Enjoy."

Friday, November 18, 2011

More on the "1000 Avatar Project"

Gracie Kendal recently completed her latest "1000 Avatar Project," celebrating with a release party last Sunday. She talked with Netera Landar, going into detail about her project, what it means to her, and what she learned from it.

Read the story in Design.

Anya Ibor of “Fearless Nation” and the “Fearless Festival”

During the events of Veterans Day week was the "Fearless Festival," organized by Anya Ibor, the head of the "Fearless Nations" group. Second Life Newser met up with her, and she had a few things to mention, such as the helping her group does for those with post-tramatic stress.

Read more in Events.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Protest at the CDS

Noted Second Life blogger Gwyneth Llewelyn leads a protest march through the streets of the Confederation Of Democratic Simulators, a region of residential sims with an emphasis on democratic participation. It seems there was a delay in the setting up of voting booths for an election, and in response Gwyneth called for a peaceful protest at 2PM SL time on November 17th today.

More pictures can be seen on Gwyneth's Flickr.

Fall Fishing Festival

It is that time of year. Everything happens on the same weekend and you wish you had bilocation. With everything else going on it is also time to sit and fish!

7Seas Fishing sponsors a wonderful three sim fishing event twice a year. Fishiversery in the spring and Fall Fishing Festival in November. All the builders of anything related to fishing, or not, created catches that draws fishers who just sit around and catch, filling up their inventories with goodies that may not get sorted by spring. It was great fun.

Many builders had little islands or shacks or quaint builds in the three sims and there was constant fishing going on. It was fun to park yourself in the middle of a group of servers and catch from many builders at the same time. There was comfortable lounging areas on their builds, or one could rezz a boat and move around the sims.

There were parties and contests going on. On Saturday from 4:00-10:00 PM SL time, 7Seas donated any money for purchase of bait to the “Child's Play“ charity. This charity supplies toys and games to children's hospitals. There was also an auction to benefit the Child's Play. At last look they had collected over $1000+ for the charity.

Seven Shikami and Meissa Thorne, the creators and owners of 7Seas Fishing are to be congratulated for hosting this event. They have the support of all the fishers in SL. Cudos also to the builders on the sims who created wonderful fishing places and really great catches. The last picture shows some of the booty I was able to catch. Thanks!! Can't wait til spring!

Gemma Cleanslate

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cartoon of the Day

By Bixyl Shuftan

Four Years of Reporting

It was four years ago this month that Bixyl Shuftan officially began writing about Second Life as an online reporter. Today, he shares a few thoughts about his experiences.

Read more in Extra.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Events this Week in Second Life from Nov 15th to Nov 21st.

The Grid offers a number of events this week. There are art exhibitions from Tyrehl Byk's LEA Art to the MetaLES. And of course there are the regularly featured club music events, book and poetry readings, and talk shows.

Read more in Events this Week.

Remembering Lohti Aeon/Specialist Jacob D. Borton

Among the names at the Memorial Wall at the Second Life Veterans Tribute last week, there was one of a Second Life resident Lothi Aeon, whom in real life was Army Specialist Jacob D. Borton.

Lothi was mentioned in Second Life Newspaper on Memorial Day Weekend 2009:

Lohti Aeon’s profile description didn’t have much. A few groups, a picture of his virtual self, a single location. A man of few words, his 1st life tab simply stated, “I'm a 19-year-old soldier who spends his spare time on his computer, after balancing out school, family crises, work, and other mumbo-jumbo.”

In real life, he was Specialist Jacob D. Borton of the US Army. Described as a “shy video gamer” in his high school years, he joined the Army and was sent to Iraq. He was described as reserved, but not afraid to come to the aid of someone he felt was being pushed around, “He wouldn’t say much unless there was some injustice being done, and then he would speak up.”

Borton met his end not at the hands of Islamofacist terrorists or their booby traps, but by one of his own comrades. He was one of the five soldiers killed at the combat stress clinic at Camp Liberty on May 11, 2009 by a sergeant sent there whom left the building and returned with a gun. Borton is described as putting himself between the shooter and another man, trying to talk the assailant into putting his gun down. He was 20 years old.

Then, he was placed on another Memorial Wall on the Grid. Later on, he would be placed here as well to be remembered.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Marine's Story

Behind the big story of the Second Life Veterans Tribute last week, there were smaller, more personal stories. Among them was that of Laken Titanium, a US Marine in real-life, whom a number of his platoon met their end in Iraq. Second Life Newser had the fortune to meet up with him, and he had a story to share.

Read Laken's story in People.

Podex Website Gets an Update

The Podex Exchange website has gotten itself an updated look. A display on the website's front page shows the exchange rate of Lindens to international currencies Podex deals in. Plus, it now has a blog for the latest news, such as any changes to the exchange rate or their restoring the option to pay for Lindens by credit card (or the advert stories written by SL Newser).

Here Be Pirates

Remember when Netera wrote on the Morgan Straits Community/RP sims? Well, this Saturday at 11 AM, representatives of the pirates repaid the visit by dropping in at her Coffee Lounge, talking about goings-on in the sim, and what events took place. Once in a while, things would get a little crazy when someone in a fifty foot King Kong avatar would drop in, occasionally tossing a few rocks at the sips.

And in the audience, there was a "pie rat."

Nettera's Coffee Lounge is at Terric (43, 137, 28)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cartoon of the Day

By Bixyl Shuftan

Foxworth Reunion Party

A few days ago when logging on, I got a message from a longtime friend from my days when the Foxworth sim was my home on the Grid, whom I hadn't seen in-avatar in over a year. She and other friends were with Foxyfurman Kumaki, whom was acting as DJ, so I headed over.

It was a great reunion party with many of my onetime virtual neighbors of the old Foxworth sim, which sadly was closed about a year and a half ago. But we still keep in touch with each other, and a few have gotten in touch with some friends of mine at Sunweaver & Purfection.

It was like old times, and we made a promise to ourselves to get together like this more often.

Bixyl Shuftan

SL Machinima: "Soul Chambers"

Filmed by Chantal Harvey, Ultraviolet Alter's exhibition and music in Burn2

Saturday, November 12, 2011

What Happened to "The Wall?"

"The Wall" is missing from the map, nor does landmarks and SURLs to it work. It's website at is also gone, replaced by something in Japanese kanji.

A faithful reproduction of the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial, "The Wall" in Second Life was constructed by the Meme Science group ( doesn't work either) with Corwin Chevalier and Evian Argus designing the build, with Bleys Chevalier leading the building effort. It was opened to all residents on Veterans day 2007.

A moving tribute, The Wall listed all 58,000 names of US Veterans whom gave their lives in the Vietnam War, including a few that didn't quite make the list to the real-life one in time for it's construction. Each of the names could be looked up and found, allowing visitors to find them. Also at the wall was a virtual Three Servicemen Statue, by artist Melini Fairymeadow.

"The Wall" was one of the first places I wrote about in Second Life, and to me one of the best examples as to what one could create on the Grid. I last visited it in May, and there was no sign then there was a problem. It is unclear when the decision to take the place down was made, and SL Newser heard of no call for help to raise donations for upkeep.

It's vanishing would truly be a loss for the Grid.

Bixyl Shuftan