Thursday, June 30, 2016

Join Second Life Newser For a Beach Party

It's been an exciting month for the team of the Second Life Newser. We've covered lots of events across the Grid, notably the Second Life Thirteenth Birthday, and celebrated our own anniversary, our sixth. And now, it's time to relax a little with a little beach party. And you the readers are invited to join us.

Since it's a beach party, the event will be held at the beach club of the Sunweaver/Angel Estates, the Happy Vixen. The party will Be on Saturday, July 2, at 1:05 PM SL time. We're looking forward to seeing you, and we'll have plenty of good music and fun waiting for you.

Purrfection Estates (236, 219, 24)  

SL Video: "Sunweaver Tour"

(Click here if the video fails to play)

From Becky Shamen on June 20, her video tour of the Sunweaver Estates, "This is the final cut of the Sunweaver Tour video. It took 55 days to finish. all the music used is from my royalty free collection, with the exception of the last tune, "Dragon High", which I wrote and produced."

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Cartoon of the Day: Laggy Pants

Taken at "Meet the Lindens" with Ebbe Linden. Jumpman Lane, the writer of "Slut Magazine," prepares to get in line to get his picture with Ebbe Linden. Unfortunately, he seems to have developed a slight case of "butt lagging."

By Bixyl Shuftan

Reader Submitted: The SL13B - An Experience To Remember

by ClarisseJane

Each Birthday,  Second Life of Linden Lab comes with big plan of ideas calling all Second Life creators, performers, coordinators and greeters to join on the weeklong celebration.

I remember last year where I applied as a greeter despite a fact that I was busy as a hostess on one of prestigious and oldest ballrooms in Second Life, I almost did not make it, when I lodged on 2nd to the last greeter training.  This year I prepared myself, I applied once again two months ahead of June, monitored it every day, and went on first training schedule. It was quite a heartfelt happiness for me.

When the opening of Second Life 13th Birthday (SL 13B) hits the date June 19 noon time, it  comes with a blast of parties. I pop on the Pirate Ship - The Welcome Area. I did not have the time to question how the ship looks like at first, when Treacle Darlandes (Greeter Lead) came after a few seconds to monitor us greeters at the welcome area. I was open mouthed when the Greeter Lead asked me if I am doing fine. I said “oh my gosh Treacle chats with me.” I was star-strucked first time. I managed to get back my composure quick and answered her right away said “all is perfectly fine.”

Then on my third day as greeter, I tried to explore the hype SL 13B Celebration. I went to visit first the Left Stage, when I saw there was only one Stage Coordinator, and no hostess.. I decided to postpone my tour and stayed. The party started with quite a few guests around, less than ten with the DJ playing house genre. Then slowly, it started.. a lot came, some are flying over and others just walk all through the long lines of big scattered papers on the ground until they reached the Left Stage. One person said that he tried to take a walk exercising his legs through it all, and all smiled at him.

All of a sudden, more stage coordinators came making it to three, Catboy Qunhua (Welcome Area Builder) came, Clocke52 (Stage Left Lead) rushed in, Sullybaby Gomez (Exhibit Assistant Lead) landed all smiles. I said, “oh oh my gosh Celebrities” as I was star-strucked again.

On the last day, June 26, just a few minutes before the last party ends, I went to the SL 13B Cake Stage. No one can stop me now I said, and believe it or not, all the main staff of SL 13B Celebration are all there except Catboy, were all accounted for. Seeing all the Staff and Sponsors for making SL 13B Celebration amazed me. I may not had experienced this last year but this time I am full of joy, as if my whole day is complete, as it made me aware that all the guests on the Cake Stage, are all present for making SL 13B Celebration a BIG SUCCESS.

I thank Second Life for this experience, a truly worth an experience to remember.. as the theme says it all.. A Shared Adventure to recall a few years from now.

Gently I turned around, the fire works display is still an hour to go, I went back to see the Left Stage to take remembrance photos. When I glance around where snapshots drop by drop went on, I saw the Editor of SLNewser (which is another story) and smiled full of glee.


News and Commentary: Questions Concerning Sansar and Real-Life Names Continue

By Bixyl Shuftan

I may not have erred so much after all.

It was about a week ago in which I wrote an article about Ebbe Altberg / Ebbe Linden's appearance at "Meet the Lindens" at the Second Life Birthday. Not having a recorder, I took handwritten notes the best I could, and from what I had heard, it seemed Ebbe Linden was leaning towards, though not necessarily strongly supporting, Sansar requiring it's users to go by their real life names. As it turned out, I had missed a few lines of dialouge afterwards in which he stated he favored users retain the ability to go about anonymously. And so I retracted that part of the article.

Hamlet Au, whom had put his spotlight on my article over the issue, wasn't yet ready to call the matter settled just yet. He did get in touch with Peter Gray (Peter Linden), who stated no, Sansar would not require users of Sansar to use their Real-Life identities. But his enquiries to Ebbe Linden went unanswered. Going by the line I had missed, "do I want that people in Sansar should be able to walk around anonymously? Absolutely!" That line certainly sounds like a desire to continue to use online pseudonyms.

But what about the line "But I think what would be best for Sansar would be real names, and then the ability to have personas underneath that." And then there was his earlier comparison of Second Life, which he called on "the far spectrum of the anonymity side," and Facebook, which he called "probably the most successful real system on planet Earth," which relied on real names. this was followed by his saying "we're trying to think of ways of potentially mixing these models."

So what he could have been saying is that Linden Lab is thinking of a system for Sansar in which users can go about inside the virtual world using inworld pseudonyms, but requiring the use of real-life identities for signing up for accounts to go on there.

Hamlet Au had five questions he wanted Ebbe Linden to answer:

1. Will Project Sansar only require users' real names to be registered with the company and by default, only be known by the company (in normal circumstances)?

2. Under what circumstances will Linden Lab reveal Project Sansar users' real names to authorities?

3. Under what circumstances will Linden Lab reveal Project Sansar users' real names to other users?

4. In Project Sansar, will displaying real names in a user's publicly viewable account be opt-in, or opt-out?

5. In Project Sansar, will Facebook Connect or other linking with a user's Facebook account be mandatory?

Hamlet Au went on to comment, " At this point, I think the only thing we can be sure of is Sansar will require users to register their real names internally on the system, but still allow some level of anonymous and/or pseudonymous identity and activity -- but how much, and with whom, and in what contexts, are not yet clearly laid out. At the same time, it's also clear Linden Lab's CEO has a personal preference for making real names primary -- but how that will actually be implemented is still unclear."

* * * * *

Of my less than completely accurate statement, I have yet to see where anyone truly slammed me for it. At most, what was stated was, "this isn't exactly what he was saying." And Hamlet Au upon hearing the news found what I thought was being considered hard to believe, but chalked it up to a misunderstanding such as possibly a "telephone error."

Talking about the matter with friends, everyone who had an opinion felt I was overreacting upon realizing the error I had made. Several expressed skepticism with Sansar even after my correction, but for other reasons such as being unable to move anything over there, concerns that Linden Lab might take the opportunity to correct what it saw as "mistakes" it had made with Second Life by not allowing or restricting certain abilities and freedoms. One commented the only thing I did wrong was that it was an accident, thinking it would do the paper good if I did an "National Enquirer" style story once in a while.

No thanks. Aside from obvious fictional stories like the "Tales from Podex" and the April Fool articles, we'll be sticking with the truth. We always have. And considering certain characters over the years such as zFire Xue, Flashdust Lamington, and Monkey Wonder, concerning Linden blunders that helped sink the SS Galaxy and the Steelhead Estates, and more recently the antics of political groups, Second Life journalists don't need to make things up. Eventually controversy appears on it's own somewhere.

In any event, it's a relief to hear that my journalistic instincts really were pointing in the right direction.

Sources: Hamlet Au, Inara Pey

Bixyl Shuftan

Two Exhibits From the SL13B: Dungeons and Knightmares and Mad Monster Mountain

There's a number of great exhibits at the SL13B, but there were a couple I was looking forward to trying out. Loki Elliot, the head of the Second Life Goonies, can always be counted on having something interesting at a Second Life Birthday event. It was on a larger plot than most exhibits, but it has to be to hold all the detail.

Loki's exhibit was a game which was a tribute to the British TV show "Knightmare." In the TV show, a team of four youngsters would try to complete a quest in a computer-generated dungeon, one acting as the dungeoneer, who wore a helmet that covered his eyes, and three "guides" who observed their comrade in the simulated dungeon via a TV screen. The Second Life version was somewhat different in that you could see what your avatar was doing. But otherwise it held the spirit of the show.

The helmet was necessary as it provided a Heads-Up Display whenever entering a new area. The first puzzle was simple enough, but one needed the help of a fellow adventurer to get through it. After that come puzzles that need the player to guess the right answer, and challenges that require the player to do a bit of navigating. At least one more puzzle requires the help of another player. Following the finishing of the last room, the player gets a small prize.

You can see the first episode of the TV show (here). While not necessary to play the game, it does show a little about what it took in the late 80s and early 90s to make a virtual experience.

Loki's exhibit is at SL13 Beguile (150, 126, 24)

Elsewhere at the SL13B was "Mad Monster Mountain," an exhibit by the gaming area and group "Madpea," headed by Kiana Writer. Here, they had a haunted amusement park ride. For it to run properly, one had to give permissions to have your avatar acted upon. Then the car would take you in and take you through many chills and scares, at one point a doll-like voice singing "It's a mad world after all ... "

There's no prize here, other than simple scary fun.

(Click here to see the video)

Mad Monster Mountain is at SL13B Spellbound (171, 138, 21)

Bixyl Shuftan

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Events This Week at the Sunweaver Clubs

It's another week of events at the Sunweaver Clubs. At the Happy Vixen, it's a Relay for Life tribute to the Sunweaver's beloved pink fox, the late Artistic Fimicloud. Next, it's a "birthday bash" as Nydia has her birthday party in Second Life. Finally, it's a case of hospital hilarity as they have their "Doctors and Nurses." At Club Cutlass, things go "Overboard" with "Best in O."

Read the schedule in SL Clubbin'.

"There" is Back, But Few Are Playing

Longtime users of Second Life may remember "There," another virtual world which in the early days was considered it's most noted competition. There was launched by Makena Technologies shortly after Linden Lab's virtual world in October 2003. While it had an early advantage due to having more funding at the start, it soon ran low, and Second Life's gaining the media spotlight put it in the shadow of it's rival. It tried to distinguish itself from it's competitor by marketing itself as family friendly and appealing to teenagers, whom at the time couldn't get on Second Life unless they were 18 or over. But in March 2010, the CEO of There announced the virtual world would be shutting down.

About a year later, Makena took a survey among former users of There to see how many were willing to return, with two stipulations. One was that There would no longer allow teenagers, but be 18 years old and up. Residents would also have to play a $10 monthly fee. CEO Michael Wilson published the results on his blog in April 2011, with 2400 having answered, and 80% willing to return under those conditions.

That would be the last I or anyone else at Second Life Newser would hear about "There," until a few days ago when I ran into Christopher Organiser at the Second Life Birthday. Among the things he talked about was the virtual world there, which he stated he was originally from, "It has since reopened, but is not the same and they charge a monthly fee for everyone and made it 18+. That caused a decrease in active memberships." He brought up Michael Wilson's blog page at , "At the bottom of the page are real-time stats of how many people are online. Daily max is around 80-100 people. That's pretty small, which is really bad. Compare that to Second Life."

According to Wikipedia, There reopened in May 2012, about a year after the results of the survey. It also has a blog at, which has entries going back to Septemeber 2014, the first entries saying, "today, nearly two million people have become members, making There the destination of choice for anyone who wants to experience the power of chat combined with the fun of online games. ... we created a world of continuous fun, over 20,000 different clubs to join, and thousands of cool places to play games, meet someone new, or just go exploring."

But with numbers as low as 30 active in the entire virtual world at once, a number that could easily fit in a single Second Life sim, it's clear that the virtual world that was once Linden Lab's greatest rival has pretty much become a faint shadow of it's former self.

Bixyl Shuftan

Press Release: Burn2's "Conception 2016: All the Fun of the Fair July 2-3, 2016"

A long time ago, a world was conceived to let people stay in touch and interact with each other all year round, rather than just at one wonderful place once year.  The conception of this place went far beyond the original idea and its framework.

In this world we can conceive an idea, carry it out and share it with the most diverse community as can possibly be imagined.

What better way to celebrate our conception, than to show what we can create for the community at large with all the fun of the fair?  Food stands, games, rides, float parades, fireworks, let’s fill the Playa with fun and frivolity!

A Fun Twist for Builders!
This is a country fair themed event, and you get a choice of which type of build you would like to do. You can choose to build one of the following types of things:
  • Large ride or interactive attraction
  • Sideshow game of skill or chance
  • Small food stand
  • Ticket box
  • Parade float
  • Suggested build that fits Fair theme (must be discussed with organisers)

The number of plots is limited - first come, first served. Think about what you’d like to do and then apply for your plot. Be sure and read the guidelines at the top of the application form, select your choice of build type and write a description of what you have in mind.

You can sign up for your plot on the Conception 2016 Builder Application.
We can't wait to see you!

Performer Signup Ready NOW
We are always delighted welcome new and experienced artists, live musicians, DJs and performers all working to an interesting theme.

We have an exciting and diverse stage show in the works and will announce the lineup very soon. Watch for an announcement in the next few days. Some performance slots will be available for self-sign up beginning next week. If you have any questions, contact Cuga Rajal in world

UPDATE: Performance self-signup is now OPEN!
A few performance slots are still available - grab them while you can!
Be careful not to over-write in spaces where another performer is signed up.

We have a diverse lineup of live performances this year!
Fire dancing
Skin Burn fashion show
And of course live music and DJs.

Sing up to be part of the Fun of the Fair! See link "Performance Signup" under Conception 2016 in the menu at left.
Please contact Cuga Rajal in world with any questions.
Greeter Signup Open
BURN2's Greeters are a fun bunch of people who enjoy welcoming visitors to the playa at events. Signup for Greeter duty is now open!  Here is the link: .

Another Something New: Skin Burn Fashion Show
Every year after our October Burn we celebrate one more Burning of The Man, free of Lag. Skin Burn means we converge on the freshly cleared Playa to dance in the fire of the last burning of The Man without laggy clothing or accessories. Yes - NO hair either. Bald is beautiful in our world! Embrace it with open arms!

We are issuing an open call for skin designs as well as models. Come and model your own new skin if you like, as well. Your beautiful skin design may be just the one to make someone feel less self-conscious about being bald.  

All skins exhibited in the show will be gathered and distributed at this year's Skin Burn event, so they must be full permissions. Remember this is a gifting event, full of Color and Design. Go Crazy!

The Skin Burn Fashion show will take place on Sunday July 3rd, 2016 at 4pm - 5pm SLT. More information will be given to those added to the list of models and skin designers for the fashion show. Interested? Please IM Daark Gothly to be added to the list.

Don't be Shy ... Be Happy In Your Skin ... Lag Free doesn't mean dull!
All are welcome to come to the event, July 2-3, 2016.

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Grand Canyon

Britty Bee is back with a new story about her travels across Second Life. Here, she writes about her trip to the Grand Canyon. One could just relax and admire the view. But there's much more to do here such as camping, ballooning, horseback riding, and a few things not available yet at the real life canyon. A great place for an adventure. Just be a little careful where you yodel.

Read Britty's article in Places.

SL13B Celebrations Go Out With a Bang

Sunday June 26 was the last day of the Second Life Thirteenth Birthday, or SL13B, celebrations, and all day there were events, mostly at the music stages, such as "Stage Left" shown here.

Over the weekend, a number of live musicians and DJs performed, including DJ Tantari here at the Tree Stage.

And of course one could see the many exhibits, such as this one set up by the National Space Society.

There was unfortunately a bit of sadness with the celebrating. Bewell Ormega (Todd J. Retzlaff), had passed away at age 50. He had helped with the fireworks at the SLB for five years. So in his honor at Noon SL time, there was a special fireworks show in his honor at the Cake Stage, the pyrotechnical displays of this year being his last.

And as the last hour of the celebration came, only one stage would have a performance, the Cake Stage.

Dozens of avatars gathered at the meeting point of the four sims making up the stage, "Friends do not let friends crash alone."

Byach Littlething was the DJ for this last hour while more fireworks shot off around everyone, with a variety of avatars, and a few noteable personalities among run-of-the-mill residents.

Mikati Slade, the builder of the Cake, was among those partying, as was Golan Elde.

At one point, Marianne McCann shouted, "If I may be so bold but to say, three cheers to our baker, Mikati, for the amazing cake stage!" "Hip-hip HOOOORAAAAAY MIKATI!" "Yep, she really takes the cake." "She's outdone herself this time! I adore cake stage!" "" "LOVE my Cake Hat!" "Everyone is so proud of you Mikati for all of your hard work."

"Happy Birthday, Second Life! 13 years... Simply incredible!" "Come back next year!"

And so, the official events of the SL13B are over, But this isn't quite the end. The exhibits are not scheduled to come down until July 3rd. But some exhibitors take them down a day or two or three before that, so those who were waiting to avoid the lag to see them better not wait. And there will likely be a few unofficial events, including the blowing up of the Cake Stage.

"See you next week when we blow up the cake!!!"

Bixyl Shuftan

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Cartoon of the Day

By Bixyl Shuftan

Announcement: Two Relay for Life Events Today by Sunbeamers, ACTS, Mel's Maniacs

Team Aether Chrononauts Tiny Steps and The Steamlands Pirate Council presents the Swashbucklers For Life 2016 Privateers Ball.  Music by Duchess Magdalena Kamenev .

Dress: Medieval naval, pirate, privateer or civilian dress encouraged but not expected - Come to have fun!

Sunday, June 26th 2-4pm SLT

* * * * *
Mel's Maniacs and Team Sunbeamers are having a Dual Relay event at Club Amarantha. The event is come as you are. Among the DJs will be DJ Dusk and DJ Skye

For more information, IM Violet Solano or Skylark Lefavre

3-5PM SL time

Amarantha (23, 149, 1500)

Correction: Earlier it was stated Team Aether Chrononauts Tiny Steps was with the second event, It turned out to be Mel's Maniacs.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Some Relay Events This Week

It's been a busy week for the Relay for Life, even as the Second Life Thirteenth Birthday celebrations take place. Team Shadow had their Masked Ball, Team Spirit of Sherwood Forest doubled their total at a single event, and other goings on took place. Second Life Newser was there to document these, and others.

See the pictures in Events.

SL Video: "Caledon the Musical"

(Click here if the video fails to play)

From Oolon Sputnik on Sept 2008, "Caledon the Musical, in aid of Relay for Life '08, from the Independent State of Caledon and Caledon Studios, Second Life. Raising over L$100,000 in the fight against cancer, the good people of Caledon donated money to be in this machinima.

"In total, in '08, the fine folks of Caledon raised L$3,000,000 for Relay for Life.

"Hopefully this film showcases some of the amazing sims in Caledon and the amazing variety of smashing people. This is filmed at peoples properties and at assorted locations around the steampunk Victorian sims.

"May I just tip my hat, one more time, to the good peoples of Caledon and the Caledon RFL Team '08, without whom this wouldn't have been possible.

"Yes, apologies, some parts of this are a bit rough and ready, but when shooting so many shots with so many avatars one has to take the frame rate that's available at the time. As this was for charity, from every group of shots at least one of each group made it into the final edit. Also, being machinima, it has suffered somewhat from recompression issues during upload to YouTube. A better rez version is available for download at just pop in the code and there's one on Vimo at"

Friday, June 24, 2016

Update on the Politcal Locations

So with the appearance of a new Hillary Clinton HQ in Second Life, what have the Trump and Sanders supporters been doing, and have the Clinton supporters been doing anything else? As one might expect, the "Trumpers" have not taken the appearance of supporters of another of their candidate's opponents lying down. So just what happened in the latest chapter of the 2016 US Presidential election's reflection in the virtual world?

Read the story in Extra.

Lindens at the Cake Stage

There's been a lot going on at the SL13B, and a little time to write it. One event that stood out was called the "The Roleplay Mashup Meetup," which took place on Monday. But for many residents, the name was a little confusing as it was intended as a costume party and not a roleplay, and to many the costume part got lost in that it was a chance to meet up with a number of Lindens. Some were Lindens whom were familiar faces, such as Xiola and April Linden. But others were less than familiar. There were also a few other notable personalities, and no shortage of avatars.

See the pictures in Events.

Announcement: RFL Harmony of Hope 3rd Annual Halloween Weekend Event

WhenFriday, Jun 24, 2016
Harmony of Hope’s 3rd Annual Halloween Weekend Event  Live Entertainment, DJ’s. Pumpkin and Scarecrow Contests. Haunted Houses, Haunted Rides. Costume Contests, Prizes, Roller Coaster and MORE!”
June 24th 6-10pm SL time
June 25th 10am-10pm SL time
June 26th 10am-10pm SL time
Contact Dianna Wycliffe for information

SL Video: "It's SL13B"

(Click here if the video fails to play)

From Hexapoda on June 23

Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Correction: Sansar Won't Require Users to Use Real-Life Names

By Bixyl Shuftan

A the Tuesday "Meet the Lindens," I showed up and listened as Ebeb Linden, the CEO of Linden Lab,was interviewed by Jo Yardley. The event being held in voice, I took down notes on paper the best I could, and after logging off I wrote about the event. The notes I had taken suggested Ebbe had been leaning toward having residents use their real-life identities in Sansar.

This caused me to scratch my head, but from my point of view this wouldn't be the first time the Lab had made a questionable move. So I went ahead and wrote the story, confident I hadn't missed anything important. Later in the week I saw some transcripts on Inara Pey's newsletter, and it seems I had only written down part of the information (link).

Second Life is on, I would say, the far spectrum of the anonymity side; and on the other side you have what we call real names, real identities, like probably the most successful real system on planet Earth is Facebook. 

And there’s a reason why they’ve been extremely successful with that; and there’s probably a reason why 100% anonymous networks like Twitter and Second Life run into some really interesting challenges. And there are pros and cons; and we’re trying to think of ways of potentially mixing these models, but we have not made final decisions yet.

I have a preference, some other team players have slightly different preferences, so we’ll see where it ends up. But I think what would be best for Sansar would be real names, and then the ability to have personas underneath that.

so I could go into a role-playing, or into an experience as an anonymous user in that context. But to the platform, I am not anonymous. And so, without making that too complicated and confusing, is that the right answer? We’ll see. But I think to, it would certainly help with griefing and other things. And it also supports a lot of interesting use-cases where anonymity is actually just really confusing, and actually gets in the way.

You can think of a lot of professional use-cases where there are teachers and students and professionals having meetings where these anonymous identities makes things really confusing; “I know Bob, I want to talk to Bob. Who the hell is this Jumping Jack guy?”

So we’re still debating this, and I’m pushing in one way, and people are pushing in different ways, and we’ll see where we end up. I mean, unfortunately, to implement real names is also really complicated. Do you hitch a ride with Facebook, or do you have to somehow build your own real name system.

And building a real name system is incredibly difficult. Facebook did it in an extremely clever way, by basically relying on the social graph to ensure real names. Because just having everybody having to put a credit card down, or identification to prove their real identity is super cumbersome. So, interesting topic. 

Taking a look at the transcript, there's room for interpretation. But it seems while pondering briefly how certain parts sounded, he was asked about the question of anonymity, being identifiable to the Lab through Paypal, though anonymous to everyone else.

If we have to reply on like, for some it’s PayPal, for some it’s this, for some it’s that, it gets really complicated for us to do that.

It’s definitely something we’re thinking a lot about. but do I want that people in Sansar should be able to walk around anonymously? Absolutely! You can in the physical world. I don’t have to have a name tag on myself and show my ID to every person I approach on the street. not that I’m trying to hide anything, but I also don’t think everybody should know what the hell I’m doing all the time. It’s none of your business; it’s my business.

So I totally want to have that mix of, we know who you are but you can also be whoever you want to be, and still have a somewhat functional society going on within that. So we’ll see where we end up.

So it seems by brief inattention caused me to miss an important line.

I apologize for the error, to you the readers and to Ebbe Linden, and resolve to be more careful in the future.

 Bixyl Shuftan

Review of "Brain Mechanism Linking Stress and Illness" at Virtual Ability

Gentle Heron started the Virtual Ability's 2016 Mental Health Symposium with a warm welcome and an introduction to nine presentations.  She then turned the podium over to the first introducer, PedroLevy Indigo.  PedroLevy Indigo introduced himself and explained that he was diagnosed in 1999 as a carrier of Bipolar Disorder.  PedroLevy also explained that he is trying to cope with the new drugs as the old ones do not have effect on his brain. 

PedroLevy then introduced us to Dr. Vanja Duric.  Dr. Duric is an Assistant Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology at the Des Moines University in Iowa, USA.  Dr. Duric started the session wtih explaining what stress is.  He explained that there are several different types of stress.  Dr. Duric went into details about the neurological and psychiatric disorders.  He talked about depression and people in chornic pain.  He did add something positive.  "On a positive note, there is some hope in treatment of depression." said Dr. Duric.  He talked about Ketamine, the new antidepressant. 

When the session was over, Dr. Duric did his best in answering some questions.  He did leave the contact information.  That way, if any one of us want further information, he can be contacted.


Veterans Isle Fundraiser Nets Over 121,000 Lindens

Sunday June 19 saw more than just the opening of the Second Life Birthday celebrations. That evening also saw the monthly "Homes Four Our Troops" benefit at Veterans Isle. Frets Nirvana, who helped organize the event, performed for the audience along with three other musicians, Noma Falta, Melinda Yarrowroot (McBride Mikue), and Krysania Kjeller Marville.

Over four hours, the fundraiser would collect Linden dollars from the audience, donated into two house-shaped kiosks on either side of the stage. When the event ended shortly after 9PM SL time (Midnight SL time, they had raised a total of 121,075 Lindens.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Cartoon of the Day

ShadowRene's been "hanging around" again.

By Bixyl Shuftan

More on the Clinton HQ

Earlier this month it was discovered that the Trump HQ and Manor at the Lionheart Ahadi sim had been closed down. It it's place was a Hillary Clinton HQ owned by Candace Larganta. Candace offered to share a few words about what gave her the idea to build the place, and some of the reactions it's been getting.

Read the story in Extra.

Ebbe Linden at the SLB

At 3PM SL time at the SL13B Auditorium all this week, "Meet the Lindens" events have been taking place. On Monday, Brett and the popular Torley Linden were interviewed. On Tuesday, it was the turn of Ebbe Linden, Ebbe Altberg in real life, the CEO of Linden Lab. The interview was carried out by Jo yardley, with help from Zander Green, with Saffia Widdershins taking questions from the audience. Yours truly was also in the audience, taking notes the best he could.

Ebbe at first talked about what he did before coming to Linden Lab, stating he had worked with "technologies that empower people," having worked at Yahoo. He described himself as being involved with Linden Lab since almost the beginning, a man he had known since college whom was working with the Lab had approached him "back in the day" when Second Life had barely started, eventually meeting Philip Linden. He got the overall concept of the virtual world, which was further sharpened by his oldest son becoming a user. He saw it as "an incredible opportunity for someone to go online and create ... do business." When he was approached with the offer to lead the Lab, it was an opportunity he couldn't turn down.

Ebbe Linden stated he wanted the residents of Second Life to be "passionate" about their virtual world. He was impressed with what artists and others were doing, and the "sheer complexity of user creativity," calling the place a "complex ecosystem." He called virtual reality a "huge opportunity," albeit one with a "huge number of problems to be solved." As none of the bigger corporations were involved, in some ways it was "uncharted territory." He gave praise to the builders and roleplayers whom were in "lots of communities" with "lots of reasons for being here." He emphasized the diversity of the virtual world where the residents could "learn from each other, share with each other ... incredible blend of things, awe-inspiring to me."

"I can't take much credit for Second Life. I've tried to do good things in the past couple years ... have had a good team with me."

Ebbe would then answer some questions. On Oculus Rift, Ebbe stated that integrating it with Second Life properly had been a "huge effort" as the virtual world hadn't been designed with it in mind. In contrast, Sansat had been designed with the virtual headset in mind. But he did say that some video cards had just come out that would be of help with using Oculus Rift in Second Life.

Asked about when proper mirrors could be available in Second Life, Ebbe stated he couldn't answer that question as there was no signs of the technical problems involved being solved.

When asked about recent fluctuations in the value of the Linden dollar, Ebbe answered the problem was between the users of Second Life and Linden Lab was staying out of it, at least for now, "we're on the sideline's watching it." He stated the Lab could get involved if it wanted to, such as increasing the supply of Lindens, "but we're trying to be passive and let the market go where it wants to." As to how it started, Ebbe felt as the number of users of Second Life had remained very stable, it was possible the value fluctuations could be related to some decisions made by Linden Lab such as discontinuing third party currency exchangers and the chance for residents to gain grandfathered pricing levels.

Asked about Sansar, Ebbe stated it would have a "different feel" than Second Life. While like Second Life there would be a great deal of freedom on what one could do, it was still under development and until it had been developed more, "we don't know quite hoe it's going to be. ... Sansar is not trying to be the same thing as Second Life. It's supposed to be a different product. ... For some, it will not be as good as Second Life." While there would be some "overlap" with what could be done in Second Life, there would be differences.

Asked about Sansar's avatar controls, Ebbe stated that they were still being worked on, "we can't fly, yet." But there was the option for either a first person or third person point of view. As now now, avatar customization options were very limited, but this too was still being worked on.

Ebbe was then asked if users of Sansar would have the option to chose their own names for their avatars, or would they be having to use real-life identities. Ebbe answered he was leaning to the latter, "I think what's best for Sansar is real names. ... anonymous identities makes things confusing."

After the interview was done, Ebbe got up, and those in the audience were invited to walk up to say hello, or pose for a picture. One girl posed in front of him with a "selfie stick," much to the amusement to a few.

On Wednesday today, Landon and Oz Linden will be interviewed. On Thursday, Pete and Xiola Linden get their turn. Finally on Friday, Patch and Dee Linden will close the "Meet the Lindens" events.

Addition: Inara Pey later put some transcripts of the event on her newsblog (here). Among what the transcripts shown was an important line of dialogue that I had missed.

Bixyl Shuftan

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Singularity Viewer Updates For First Time in Over a Year

By Bixyl Shuftan

Some good news for Second Life residents whom prefer to use the Singularity viewer. For the first time since March 2016, the third-party viewer has finally updated.

While most users of Second Life use the Firestorm Viewer, the official viewers from Linden Lab having fallen out of favor from experienced residents since it gave them an overhaul in 2009 with the less than popular V-2, there one of a number of viewers available to go about the virtual world (some of which can also be used for InWorldz, Opensim, and others). In the past, Singularity was the second most popular viewer. But recent statistics on it's current popularity are unavailable. The viewer was developed with the goal of preserving the general "look and feel" of the classic Linden viewer. Inara Pey classified it as a "V-1 Style Viewer" along with Cool VL on her list of Second Life Viewers.

Singularity was updated every few months up to February 27, 2015 with a "minor patch." But then the team was hit with problems. The big one was the death of one of it's engineers, Latif Khalifa had died, word reaching Second Life's residents in early March 2016. Singularity also stated another developer had left to "pursue other interests." So the team was "hampered in our ability to update and test the viewer by a lack of infrastructure and hardware issues." While they were able to get another engineer, Mika-Pyon, and they managed to solve most of their hardware issues, they had a long list of things to update. They are still in need of someone who can update their Macintosh computer viewer.

After downloading the upgrade and trying it out, the most noticeable improvement to me was that I no longer had problems listening to others over voice. While there were still problems seeing mesh items at a distance, I didn't notice the worst of the problems I had been having. It's fair to say the mesh problem on my viewer could be due to the old graphics card.

More details about Singularity version 1.8.7, and what was updated, can be read (here).

Source: Modem World , Singularity 

Bixyl Shuftan

Events This Week at the Sunweaver Clubs

While the Second Life Birthday is the big event this week, the Sunweaver clubs are still having their events. At Club Cutlass, it's a "Night" for a "Nice" time as the club has it's "Best in N." Then things get a little flighty with "Take Wing," and the club ends the week on a dark note as they have their "Blackest Black." At the Happy Vixen, the beach club starts things off with a night of good and evil with "Angels and Demons." Then things get a little on the skimpy side with "Dare to Bare." And finally it's time for the towels and suntan oil as the club ends things with it's "Beach Party."

Read the schedule in SL Clubbin'.

Announcement: This Week at the Science Circle

Thursday,  June 23th  8 AM PDT
"Thoughts on an Educator Specific Orientation in SL"
Presentation by Greg Perrier    

There is need for an orientation specific for people who wish to conduct educational activities in Second Life (SL). One of the main obstacles to educators becoming active in SL is the steep learning curve needed to feel proficient enough to work with students in world. Making this process easier is one way to increase educator participation in SL.

In addition, through both experience and studies we have greatly improved our understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of education in a virtual world environment.

These lessons need to be gathered and shared so mistakes are not repeated and successes can be further advanced.

Medium: Presentation in Voice, supplemented by text chat. Discussion in text chat.

Greg Perrier, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Biology


The Science Circle (139/206/95)


Saturday, June 25th  10 AM PDT                  

"Nitric oxide: A little goes a long way."
By Dr. Michael J. Shaw – Shawza Tunwarm   

Abstract: The small diatomic molecule NO is a reactive species  In the presence of air, it converts to NO2 and normally does not persist in high concentrations.  It is a key player in processes that generate ground level ozone in smog, may affect the ozone layer, yet plays a vital physiological role as a neurotransmitter and in blood-pressure regulation.  This talk will introduce bonding concepts in NO and in metal-NO species, will explore atmospheric chemistry, and will describe the key enzymatic players in the generation, detection and management of nitric oxide in living systems.

The Science Circle (114/206/30)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Leona Kitty: "My Experience With Cancer"

It's been several months since Leona Kitty Last wrote an article for the Newser, saying she needed to take some time for real life business. She recently contacted the paper again with some bad news: she had cancer. Despite the best efforts of doctors, the cancer has been an especially aggressive one that has progressed to the point curing it is no longer their goal. Leona decided to write about her experiences with the disease.

Read Leona's story in People.

Victorian Clothing For Second Life by Zan

By Grease Coakes

Zantyago Mannonen a badger/goat in Second has an excellent shop with a historic twist. Victorian and steampunk themes are a neat niche here on the grid. And Zanty's place at Port Babbage (77/217/106) is an excellent place to shop if tea parties and brass are your thing in spring.

The owner himself looks very dapper with a cane. Zanty doesn't rely on pre-made textures. For his suits and dresses, he uses a program to create mesh called 3ds Max. He also made the radio in the corner to add more atmosphere to his small shop. The wall itself looks retro as plain bricks. He gave me a free sample of his suit. I must say it looks rather dashing on me. Even in my mutant retro avatar It looks good. Zantyago does do custom work and he's willing to give out discounts if you spread word about his business/shop to others. He's now adding furry boots to those who don't like to hoof it barehooved or pawed.

I asked Zanty what he likes about Victorian clothing and he had this to say, "I love the aesthetics. And Steampunk is Victorian but can be more playful and creative, I don't have to be a carbon copy." He also added, "I still think that for something to be Steampunk, should reference Victorian stuff and (unless given context) not to be too  revealing." He believes strongly in temperance and modesty, "basically not being an all out animal, and the meaning of animal in this context is up to you."

You can also check out his suits and dresses on the SL marketplace here:

I asked him how much he would charge for a custom job as he answered Zantyago Mannonen: custom is much more expensive about 10k and up,  or a big chunk of the earnings if its intended for commercial use. I agreed on a pilot suit for 16k. 10k sounds about $40 worth in US dollars.

Be prepared to save and save ether linden or the real life currency to buy the job.If you ever want a new look or style for your SL avatar by all means visit Zantyago Mannonen at his shop Zan's. He has attire for both sexes. And he does excellent custom work. Just be sure to tell him Grease Coakes sent you

Grease Coakes