Monday, March 27, 2017

Sci-fi Convention in Second Life

By Grease Coakes

Most people in second life know that Relay For Life is a huge force in the grid as many teams compete to raise lindens to turn into real money to fight against cancer in the real world. Second in itself is a virtual experience with a sci-fi theme. Log in into a world where anything is possible from creating a fantasy or sci-fi environment. Also you can meet people from around the globe whether in your own country or somewhere else in the globe. So Second Life is an excellent medium to present a sci-fi convention which is subtitled passport to Hope.

The 2017 Sci-Fi Convention is held at Forty Two (103/124/23) and you learn about it here From March 24th until April 2nd this year you can stop by and have a galaxy of fun with vendors, DJs, and events. I was surprised to find a Klingon city that was empty (I guess the Klingons killed everyone and went back to Kronos). And also I was surprised when I found  Jadziyah Resident’s shop which had rockets from Tintin the European comic. I couldn’t help it but to buy the rocket where Tintin flew to the moon in one  of his adventures.

The sim was spilt up into earth,fire,water,air,life, and equilibrium as themes. All throughout the convention I saw lots of exciting things such as a RP area based on Star Trek. Also a theater which had real life photos of actors and a special actress that passed away recently. It showed actors such as Alan Rickman who played Snape in the Harry Potter movies. Also Carrie Fisher who was princess Leia in the Star Wars movies. Inside was a stargate from the Stargate movie and a huge Doctor who display.

At 3pm SLT I found a theater play called “The Lucid Journey.” Where a woman’s husband named Lewis Liddell is presumed dead. His wife still alive to take a journey in a dreamscape and beyond to find him. The character’s dialogue was in green text as the avatars were on stage. It was great to watch. There’s also scheduled events and a dj here and there. I saw lots of vendors selling Star Trek goodies and a few Star Wars vendors selling lite sabers.

I grabbed Ariadne Fall, who was one of the people in charge of the convention, and asked her what her thoughts were about the sci-fi convention and she had this to say, "It's wacky and fun, exhibitors form all over the grid, and events every single day....  it's proof of what pixel people can do when they believe in something. We love sci-fi and we hate cancer.  It's that simple."

I asked her, "What's your fave sci-fi movie, book series, whatever?"

Ariadne told me, "Ooohhhhh, good question!  'Biting The Sun' by Tanith Lee for favorite sci-for book. ...and favorite movie is a choice I cannot possibly make... if 'Earth Girls Are Easy,' 'Evolution,' 'Demolition Man' are on, I watch!"

One of the things people hope for in the future is that the human race destroys cancer. We always look for a future such as star trek where racism and equality for all is what people strive for. The sci-fi convention here in second life is one cosmic leap in that direction.

Grease Coakes

Friday, March 17, 2017

CENT Discussion at Ethnographia

By Deaflegacy

The session at CENT place was in text/voice.  Shyla the Super Gecko (krijon) was the host.  The presentation is about the new organization Shyla helped create, which is for disabled people doing business on Second Life.  Shyla started the presentation off with some words about CENT.

"CENT stands for Capable Entrepreneurs Nurturing Talent. It is an organization for people with a disability of any kind, or who are friendly to us, to come together to network, share ideas, and grow the capabilities within our own community.  It is an idea I was bouncing around for quite a while before I first spoke about it with a friend. I have a lot of ideas, but it generally takes me quite a while to do something with them. I like them to be just right." said Shyla.  "Not sure how long my friend and I talked about this idea amongst ourselves, but we thought about bringing it to one of the Ethnographia chats. In December, at an Ethnographia chat, folks were trying to think of something to do for the holiday. There were lots of suggestions, all of them would require effort, commitment, and time."

"Many of the builders on these islands are also entrepreneurs in Second Life. I play it being an entrepreneur, I’m more an artist. I own a business in Second Life, but I more dedicated to my art, which is poetry. Either way, I know the holidays are a busy time for entrepreneurs as well as artists in Second Life.  I have thought about taking my art to an entrepreneurial level in Second Life, but I’ve not done not yet. I use Second Life’s open mics and opportunities to read my works as motivation to pursue artistic efforts in the real world, so to speak, since I am particularly homebound." said Shyla.  "But I did start a business at some point last year, and it was very eye-opening. It’s not easy. Perhaps, and I think this is true, it gets easier over time, but it gets busier too. What I mean is, running a business in Second Life involves certain skills, and if you don’t have them, knowledge of where to find them, or who can assist with them.  Over time, many entrepreneurs learn a variety of skills in Second Life. Thus, some of the earlier efforts we engaged in as business people would be easier today. But if entrepreneurs in Second Life successful, their business grows, and with it grow the demands of the business for their time, their creativity, their skills. So it is not as if becoming easier means it demands less time."

Shyla continued on with the presentation and said, "So to that conversation last December, it seemed to me most all of us might be very busy time of year, something someone who is not a Second Life entrepreneur might be completely unaware of. I mean, when I was new, everything in this virtual world was kind of like magic. One day it wasn’t here, the next day there something was as if it happened in just a moment.  That aspect of 'magic' is part of what makes what entrepreneurs in Second Life do so valuable. Many have no idea how to do these things or to put together a project or to maintain a sin or to protect the Sim, or to stream music or media, how to place an advertisement in the Second Life directory, who might be best to network with, whose for real and who’s a con, and so on.  But the reality is, and for those of us who have become skilled creators in one or more areas of Second Life, be it in creating prims or providing services, these are skills which we have acquired over time with the help of those who came before us. It took us time to sort out networking."

"Heck, for some of us it took time to believe we had something to contribute to the virtual world at all.  And now, for some of us, we contribute more than we ever imagined. And yet, we wonder what more we could do. If we just knew the right person to work with, the right person to share skills with, who knows the amazing things we could do?  What I know is becoming a creator in Second Life, opening my first business here, which is, again secondary to my art, as I have learned a lot. It is given me a great respect for what everyone does, builders, scripters, textures, customizers, service providers, DJs, organizations, coordinators, and the list goes on.  Second, I feel empowered. I feel better about myself, my relationship with the virtual world, and that I have something to contribute.  And this is what I hope CENT has to offer others in our community. That we may share, grow, flourish, prosper and be more empowered together.  This is probably the more ethereal view of CENT."

Shyla went on to say that at the core, they are entrepreneurs, and to steal from a blog post, which provides a whole lot more information on the vision of CENT (, they work. It is how they earn their living and become self-sufficient.

"Work is not a dirty word, but it does imply a pay-off. And I believe this idea is central to CENT’s success." said Shyla.  "The vision is an organization of Capable Entrepreneurs, who define Capable as they so choose. Business people aligned with the idea that we serve ourselves best if we are as self-sufficient as possible.  With CENT, we can organize ourselves so we can readily identify member scripters, builders, idea generators, marketers, and so on. Not so we can ask each other for favors, but so that we can share ideas and engage each other in business; offering compensation both parties can agree on and benefit from.  Finally, as a group we know others gave their time to use, freely and without question, as they were able. In so doing, they gave us the gift of success. We wish to pass this on, to Nurture Talent of those who wish to give this self-sufficient way of life a try. Some gave time in the way of encouragement, others via online tutorials or manuals and others with one-on-one training. None gave us all their time, but they gave some – and as our skills grow and we become more adept at running our businesses successfully, we wish to emulate those who helped us, as good citizens, offering what we can while still sustaining the businesses we build."

"In this way we can further grow the disabled business community and give, from what I can see, one of the greatest gifts of all – an opportunity to see ourselves in a positive way, a successful way, as self-sufficient individuals participating in the virtual world as a whole, with a viable voice that is worth hearing and a message which demonstrates inclusiveness is good, solid business for everyone. Hopefully, someday, this will be CENTs legacy: We came together, worked together, helped each other and demonstrated how capable we all are." said Shyla.  "For today, CENT is here, it is free to join and wants to hear your voice, help support your goals and offer hope to those who might follow us into business in the virtual worlds. We’d be honored to have you join us."

Tom Bukowski and Tredi Felisimo were the people who gave CENT the space to put the building on.  As Shyla puts it, "Tom and Tredi gave us the space to put this building on. And it will be the membership who determines what goes inside." Shyla said.  "Jayden created these logo options for us."

"It's a lovely building, but we had nothing to do with it - it's all CENT's wonderful creation!" said Tom.  "Great logo indeed - both versions!"

"Truly our honor and pleasure!" said Tredi.


Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Relay For Life Season Kickoff

By Bixyl Shuftan

On Sunday March 5 at 10 AM SL time, the Relay for Life's official fundraising season had it's Kickoff event. The first events had actually been the day before when "Paint Second Life Purple" had started, so this made for a little confusion as too which was the official start. But this being the "Kickoff," this was.

 This year's theme was "Passport to Hope." a reminder that the struggle against cancer is an international one. Yours truly was there representing his community's team: the Sunbeamers.

Speaking to the crowd was the Relay Committee.

Some were a little more relaxed than others.

Gem Sunkiller was a bit "Stilted" from a glitch.

IshtarAngel, Micheline, one of the photographers of the event.

Henning Lionheart aka "The Wolf" of Team Strange Journeys.

Tasha Fairplay

Wildstar Beaumont, Holocluck Henley, and Oldesoul Eldemar. Olde is wearing a "Shady Fox" t-shirt.

Bain Finch and Panza Elde.

Isolte Ember, the captain of the "Ponies for Life" team.

Kalila Mahoney's avatar complexity was a little high, so she wasn't showing on some people's viewers.

This lady was wearing a mask, though it looked a little like the "dirty binoculars" prank from years ago.

RacerX Gullwing of the Giant Snail Racing team and Arizona Ballinger.

Avariel Falcon was a little late to the event, but made it over.

At one point, they were discussing the new "Passport HUD."

The Passport HUD, named after this year's theme, is a new tool one has to use this year to get certain Relay tools, such as the Relay team kiosks. This year, the kiosks cannot simply be passed around freely.

Looks like something broke. I myself ended up crashing several times

At one point, many of us were in a conga dance.

Some other girls were doing their own dancing. Note one nearby avatar that would not fully rezz.

 Some of the "Tiny Chrononauts."

Eventually, the Kickoff was over. But there would be a large number of events that day, as well as the Fashion for Life that had started. Once again, it was time to Relay. Time to once again raise money to help the American Cancer Society in it's effort to find treatments and funds against cancer, and have a little fun while doing so.

Already after less than a week, a few teams have already hit Gold rank in the fundraising totals. My own team, the Sunbeamers, haven't raised much so far as we've already had to raise funds for a friend in need. But we're expected to soon catch up. You can find our kiosks at Club Cutlass in Sunweaver Bay  (114/117/757), the Happy Vixen at Purrfection Estates (236/219/24), and the SL Newser office at HV Community (140/85/25).

On one amusing note, "Stinky the Relay Skunk" is back. Already one team has been "skunked." So this is sure to mean a number of skunk parties, and no doubt a few SL skunks dropping in.

For a recording of the RFL Kickoff, Bain Finch made one available at . Wildstar Beaumont made some pictures available on his Flickr page.

"Go Relay!"

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, March 10, 2017

Paint Second Life Purple

By Bixyl Shuftan

On the weekend of Saturday March 4, and Sunday March 5, the Relay for Life's official fundraising season officially began. Although the Kickoff is usually the first official event in a Relay season, this time the opening event for "Paint Second Life Purple" was the day before. So on Saturday I got my purple otter avatar, which some might remember from an earlier event, and headed over American Cancer Society Island.

I headed to RFL Purple, the temporary sim next door. But at first, the sim was blocked to me and a few others. Probably because there were already a number in.

But after out concerns were aired in group chat, we were able to get in.

There were a couple "one eyed one horned flying purple people eaters" around. Fortunately no one, purple or otherwise got chomped.

"We're gonna need a bigger boat."

Just about the whole place had a purple hue. The bricks were purple. The trees were purple.

And yes, there was "Purple Rain."

Madonna was there, sporting a purple version of one of her rubber suits.

Gemma Cleanslate was there in her purple dress.

Fuzzball Ortega was there, in the purple skin he once wore for a long time after the Relay season as part of an avatar challenge.

ShadowRene Ivanova, one of my Sunweaver neighbors, was there as well. Here she is giving the otter a hug.

"I am Groot."

This little guy look "Paint Second Life Purple" a little literally.

And yes, Fuzzball brought out "The Hair."

The first few hours events were by Team Shadow and Team Strange Journeys. But others would have events throughout the day. Purple Tears would hold the last event at 8:30PM SL time.

Wildstar Beaumont would also take a number of pictures, posted on his Flickr.

Much would happen that weekend. Many teams held events, such as parties, formal dances, paintball matches, and more. There was the Fashion for Life. And of course there was the Relay for Life season Kickoff, which was the following day on Sunday March 5.

"Go Relay!"

Bixyl Shuftan

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Scenes From "Hug A Linden" and "Dunk A Linden"

By Bixyl Shuftan

Valentines Day saw a number of happenings across Second Life. But only two offered a chance to meet up with some of the Lindens, the "Hug A Linden" and "Dunk A Linden" events. They took place at the Isle of View.

And what better look for the holiday than a cupid? For this, I used the old style "Bunkie" mouse that I got from Luskwood years ago, but is no longer available, and a couple wings and a quiver.

 The Isle of View is a heart shaped four sim sized island. With the viewer lighting set to Noon, one from a distance sees yellowish ground and pink trees.

Set to "region default," the place looks set to sunrise, or is it dusk? It looks considerably different, with the yellow hidden and the place taking on a dark red and pink hue.

The effects of the lighting are more noticeable at ground level, the reds and pinks being the most visible.

The place had many walkways for a romantic stroll with a date, and small boats one could drift with a romantic interest for a while. But today people were interested in the Linden events, which were taking place at two domed places on the island.

There would be two sets of events that day, from 10 AM to Noon SL time and 2-4 PM. But getting to the 10 AM event was a problem as everyone was gathered at just one of the domes, resulting in the sim being full. So I had to wait outside for a bit.

But eventually, I got in and made my way to where the events were being held.

There was quite a crowd, and a variety of avatars.

Of the "Hug A Linden," there were a few hugging booths in which two people could sit in. Madori Linden was among those taking part.

 Also there was Simon Linden.

Oz Linden was also taking part in the hugging.

And Governance Linden as well.

One of the most popular Lindens, Torley, was there, though in his non-Linden account in a female avatar with his trademark watermelon colors.

And yes, (s)he got into the hugging booths.

Also there, Bianca Linden.

And Creia Linden in a tiny avatar.

April Linden, the Luskwood bunny among the Lindens, looked like she needed a hug. Seeing my avatar, she told me it was the first time she'd seen a "Bunkie" in many years.

There were some noted Second Life personalities there, such as Strawberry Singh and Caitlin Tobias.

And Kenny Luckless, often seen around Bay City, and the Ivory Tower.

Xiola Linden was also there, and she wasn't afraid of mice.

But there were more than just hugging booths. There were also dunking booths set up by Linden Lab for anyone whom wanted to lob a softball and send a Linden into the tank of water below, "Nuuuuuuuuu!" Tommy Linden was among those volunteering for a soaking.

So was April Linden.

Coyot Linden also offered himself up for a plunge, Torley commenting he needed a few flea dips. Despite his coyote avatar, a four-legged non-anthro one on it's hind legs, he had the tag "Not a furry." When I asked him about that, he answered he didn't consider himself one, but wouldn't go further into details.

Also on the hot seat, or was this the cool seat, Oz Linden.

Many were reluctant to toss a ball at Xiola Linden, but "Molly" was willing to be a pitcher.

"Torley on the dunk tank!" Xiola shouted. Torley mused, "Who will topple the watermelon in the water? ... Nuuuuuuuu... "

At one point, regular residents got on the dunking booth, offering that the Lindens have a try at diving them a dunk.

At the 2-4 timeslot, both centers on the islands were being used, so they were easier to get to. Here Skylark Lefavre enjoys a hug from Dee Linden.

Shamen Linden was also there, and getting wet.

It was quite a Valentines Day at the Isle of View, and a memorable one thanks to Linden Lab's finest.

Bixyl Shuftan