Monday, January 21, 2019

Arcadia Asylum Living Library

By Gemma Cleanslate

One of the most fascinating sites to visit in Second Life , in my opinion, is Arcadia Asylum Living Library.  Prof. Grey (BrianL61 Landar) built and owns this place . Originally it held the works of Arcadia, Aley (the same). . Prof . Grey has been updating it to add all the Yadni Junkyard vendors to it along with items made by Moard Ling , some of his own creations  and a few others early  creators.. Yadni’s Junkyard was such a fun place to visit in Second Life for years. He has closed it and has retreated to real-life to further his art projects. However he left all his junk behind with love.

Arcadia Asylum built so many fascinating installations during her many lives in Second Life. She is gone now and sorely missed. I met her several times at her builds underwater, at her pirate town and in LEA . She was lots of fun to visit. So many of her pieces I see every where in SL to this day. Her many avatars are great to play with too.

I call this library a museum because it holds so much of the early days of  Second Life. Prims that made everything before mesh was even thought of. Every item you see in the vendors there is free! Not only is it free it is full permission. One can take anything there apart and create a  new item from the parts. The only thing one cannot do is sell any item. I have seen many of the items used as decorations in regions, clubs, homes across the grid. Some of Yadni’s buildings are the basis of some shops or decor outside in town centers.

Prof. Grey says,”My goal is to help preserve the works of SL's Great Creators and Collectors like, Aley.Resident,  Arcadia Asylum,  YadNi Monde, Moard Lin and help to distribute them for all to enjoy.I ask nothing in return, if you'd like to help Please let me know.If you would like to have/start a library of your own, Please drop Me a notecard.”

I asked Prof Grey how many items he thought he had there and his answer was, “we are at least 8000+ items now i started taking a count but it will be a while til i can have a total, i figure safely between 8 & 10 thousand items total.” He is also looking at gathering more Greenies items. Go enjoy looking through the vendors for anything you may want.

There are other libraries across the grid helping him make the items available and you can pick up a list of them at the library. Some of the actual exhibits are still available to visit in Second Life and you can find out about them there too.

Gemma Cleanslate

Monday, January 14, 2019

Windlight Gallery

by Gemma Cleanslate

I have been outside so much in the cold and wintery air exploring winter and holiday places I felt the need to take a break and go relish some art inside a gallery. I had not been over to the Windlight Gallery for a while and there was revamping going on so I decided to check it out.

The Gallery just reopened on Jan 6 with artists for the month.

I really like the look of the new gallery. Each artist has a wall space with a lovely name placard and a picture of the artist below that give a notecard about the artist. This is so helpful to people viewing the pieces who might like to contact the artist for more information. I always like to find one when I visit galleries around the grid. There are an eclectic selection on the two floors of the gallery of rl and sl art . It is a good place to view the many genres artists have in their  creative passions.  It is also a wonderful place to purchase works that you like for your homes. There is always something here for anyone’s taste. Outside the gallery on the road you will find small galleries of artists that are mostly permanent to visit.

 I always take a walk around and then stop off at the  Ristorante Ivanna. This is a charming dining site where anyone can visit and enjoy your choice off an extensive menu. It makes for a great dining place for friends or lovers. I believe it can be booked for parties . The bar tender is always there to help and listen if you need to talk.

I ran into the owner , John Brianna (johannes1977 Resident), working on the revamp of the Black and White Gallery, The Edge, while I was there . The Edge  will be reopening  Sunday the 20th of January. There will be a big reopening party as usual. I am sorry to say I missed the last weekend one for the Windlight.  I always look forward to the new art that appears here every month. A list of the currant artists can be found on the Kultivate Magazine website :  

 This is the entrance to the gallery.

Gemma Cleanslate

Friday, January 11, 2019

Feral Furry Theater Returns to Sunweaver Space

By Bixyl Shuftan

In the past, one of the weekly events in the Sunweaver community was the showing of movies by Shockwave Yareach at the Feral Furry Theater. Originally a screen on a skybox with a few chairs, it was later made into a place that resembled a real-life movie theater, thanks to Felina Fermi. But over a year ago, a viewer update "broke" this and presumably other movie screens. So the theater was closed.

But on Sunday January 6, Shockwave had an announcement in Sunweaver chat, "As it is now a new year, it's time for the return of an old tradition.... We *now have movies again!*" The Feral Theater was now open again. Dropping over, I asked him if the theater was truly back in business. "Yes indeed!" he answered, "New servers, new streaming solution, took a while to solve."

"What's the max number that can see?" Shockwave went on, "I have NO idea. 100M to the backbone.  Dual 3Ghz server. I can probably host a *lot.* So now we have movies again! And can kiss my left one!" The wolf growled, "They cancelled me when they saw I had videos on board. Didn't bother to see they were 1/4 size, etc. So I have a new host. It's deliberate.  Can't pump the raw data here -- nobody would have the bandwidth.  So it's transcoded to 300kbps video, 96kbps audio. Fine for SL ... of course, everyone still has to have their media turned on in the viewers."

"I should update the movie posters out there," commented Felina Fermi, who was there. Someone else asked, "So Life Of Brian for Easter again?" "Yep!" Shockwave grinned, "Gotta get those traditions going again!" It was observed Rita Mariner wasn't there yet. Shockwave responded, "I've messaged Rita's phone to tell her." Of the theater entrance, someone had rezzed a number of chairs in front of the concession stand. Shockwave joked that was just one of the problems, " I know the popcorn is stale.  The theater's been closed over a year."

The movie shown was a recent release that was not a particularly big box-office draw. Shockwave commented he originally thought it would be mediocre, but he liked it.

The videogames in the front lobby no longer work, at least for my viewer. But the theater does have points of interest besides the main event. The projection room is accessible, and has a good amount of detail. The bathrooms however were always occupied. Of the seating in the theater, people have the choice of sitting in theater seats to watch the movie, or mats for couples.

The Feral Furry Theater will have events every Sunday at 6 PM SL time, baring complications. Upon hearing of the theater's opening, the Sunweaver venue that had been doing Sunday evening events, the Happy Vixen, rescheduled to 3 to 6 PM SL time.

Sunweaver Space (243,192,451)

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, December 10, 2018

North Pole And The "Christmas Express" at Caledon Downs

By Bixyl Shuftan

As the community of Caledon turns white with snow, the Caledon Downs sim is getting into the Christmas spirit. While some places are putting up lights and decorations on their trees, Cynthia Farshore's sim is taking Xmas to a whole new level, with trips to the North Pole.

I recently met with Cynthia at her new exhibit. "Hiya Bix, welcome to the North Pole," she greeted me, "as it is right now. Still in work, but can be opened now." She pointed out the buildings at the place where the reindeer were housed and the elves made the gifts. They were decorated with candy canes, holy, and lights, some still being put up by a couple of Santa's helpers. Cynthia's friend Shockwave Yareach cautioned, "All the elves are in bad temper though." I asked if that was because it was crunch time for making presents. Shocker responded, grinning, "they're 'elf'-absorbed." Cynthia chuckled, "Well, their elf-bred."

One building was the reindeer barn in which a number of the sleigh-pullers hung around at. In one shop, there was an elf working on toys at one table with red sacks of toys next to another, "Everyone there is elf-employed too." There was also a tool bench in which one could touch to get a tool, and help out a little him or herself, "supposed to be interactive." One building was the kitchen area, where one could pick up some sweet treats such as pudding, cake, or hot chocolate.

Cynthia told me while the place was basically ready and open, it wasn't truly complete as she would be adding a few more things, "Hope I can get together some gifts to grab around here, here in the shop and under the trees. ... it will be a work (in progress) a bit, as this is the first year to do this, just like Halloween was.  I had to hunt a lot to find just the right things so they work with each other. Really, I would put something in crate but later take it out as I found a better one, and so on."

But the most active part of Cynthia's build, and the one that required the most work, was the train that like the reindeer could fly, "Now to get up here there will be a Christmas Express train running from the ground to up here and back down. ... You know the movie 'Polar Express?' It's a bit of a knock off, 'Polar Express,' 'Christmas Express.' There will be a stop down on the ground in front of the airplane hangar. It will run up to where you see the Sunbeamer engine, then run back down. Here's the change: no tracks. It will fly."

Cynthia would later have the train ready, sitting at a small station in front of her airport hangar. Candy canes would display when the next several trains would be available. She took me on a run. Sitting on the seats could be slightly tricky. As Cynthia stated, the train lifted up from it's position and went into the air. It would go up to the North Pole platform. On the way back down, it would make a stop at a Nativity scene, then Cynthia's Goblin Cave, then head on to the small station on the ground.

Other things I noticed at her sim, there was a large Christmas tree next to the fishing dock. There was also a skating pond next to the water. There was a skate giver that one could touch to get a pair. Once putting them on, one could skate around on the ice.

Besides a little more at Caledon Downs as time goes on, Cynthia told me to expect some decorating by her neighbors, "There will be more on other areas around here, like over on Star's land right next to me and Andrea's on my south side." She also mentioned Caledon was taking part in the "International Christmas Tree" contest.

All this time, Cynthia's Farshore Radio was playing a number of Christmas tunes from classics old and new to parodies, and others. Speaking of music, Cynthia let me know about a few Christmas parties at Caledon. Two would be at Oxbridge Village on Saturday the 15th, "I was told by Andrea she wants 1PM and 7PM, I will DJ both." The third event would be at Cynthia's Goblin Cave itself on Thursday December 13 from 6 to 8 PM.

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, December 7, 2018

The Tarot Garden Offers 22 Days of Winter Gifts

by Klaus Bereznyak

During December, avatars have the opportunity to grab some unique souvenirs of the fascinating Tarot Garden on LEA17 before it closes.

The Tarot Garden on LEA17 is a virtual analog of Niki de Saint Phalle’s sculpture garden in real-life Tuscany, created by SecondHand Tutti. Since its opening back in August 2018 (covered by Newser reporter Gemma Cleanslate), a full program of events has been offered on the sim, from concerts to lectures and competitions.

Finally, starting on the 1st of December, gifts can be collected from each of the 22 sculptures, representing the Major Arcana of the Tarot. Each gift is available for 24 hours, and it is a final opportunity to discover and explore the wonderful details of the garden. It's a hunt, if you will. All the gifts are wrapped and tied up with a bow, and relatively easy to find if you can locate the sculpture. There is also a Christmas gift from Tutti available throughout the event.

A map and visual guide is on display at the landing point but you will need to go on foot to find the location. Even having visited the sim a few times, it has shown me parts I had not noticed before and a little challenge is presented by the fact that some of the sculptures are hidden by others; for instance, the Chariot is inside the Empress.

The gifts are original pieces by Tutti, each having some relation to the archetype they represent. Some are sculptures to rez on your land and others are avatars to wear. In sequence, the gift for each day in December is as follows:

1st    The Fool
2nd    The Magician
3rd    The High Priestess
4th    The Empress
5th    The Emperor
6th    The Hierophant
7th    The Choice
8th    The Chariot
9th    Justice
10th    The Hermit
11th    The Wheel of Fortune
12th    Strength
13th    The Hanged Man
14th    Death
15th    Temperance
16th    The Devil
17th    The Tower
18th    The Star
19th    The Moon
20th    The Sun
21st    Judgement
22nd    The World

I have been delighted with the chance to have some beautiful things to keep so that the memory of this remarkable project can keep on giving.


Klaus Bereznyak

Friday, November 30, 2018

Urban Furry's Winter Area

By Bixyl Shuftan

Some clubs just set up a Christmas tree or wreath for the holidays (or perhaps a perverted snowman). Urban Furry did more than that. The club's staff created a winter wonderland area emcompassing a quarter sim. The center of the area consists of a frozen pond one can skate on, with the club's logo under the ice. At the edge of the pond is a DJ booth. Around the place are winter trails and paths, leading to cabins, campfires, a Christmas tree, a crystal cave, an outhouse, and more. Next to the pond is a skate-giver, which provides a pair of skates just by touching it.

I recently met up with Urban Furry owner Whiskey (Thorrin Resident) and some of his staff at the club's new Winter area. Most of the conversations were in voice, so I didn't get quite every word down. The normally canine club owner was in a decorated reindeer avatar. Whiskey told me that the idea for the place came just as they were taking down their Halloween area, "Everyone I spoke to loved the Halloween build." He stated the place had a "decent turnout" that did best during the FCA (Furry Club Alliance) Club Crawl. Once the spooky build was down, "we had the platform available." So they began working on something for the Xmas season.

Whiskey told me he left building the holiday area open to his staff, two of whom stepped forward: Soundshift (Fel Serpente) and Toxicum (ToxTheFox Resident). The snakegirl responded with a bow while the canid humbly commented, "Sound did 80% of the work, I just looked cute." Soundshift chuckled, "She's good at that." "Much better at that than any sort of decorating, heee." "I stepped up to take care of things ... I wanted to do something different." She went on to say they already had a beach area, in addition to their main club area with it's city feel, so they wanted something with a different feel altogether.

When asked what their favorite part of the build was, Sound pointed out the crystal cave, "I like the cave, it's pretty." Whiskey pointed out the circular lines on the ice, looking like they had been made by ice skates, "lines, so people know where to go, like a roller skating ring."

When I asked what events were planned here, Whiskey told me they planned a Christmas party in the winter area on Sunday December 16 from 4 to 8 PM SL time, with a contest for the best Xmas outfit. I heard that they planned to have their partied there between then and Christmas, though if the DJ wanted he or she could have the event in another part of the club. Manager Rayron VR (UNIDJShieldonLLL Resident), who was in an ice dragon avatar, joked, "I apologize to the Australians who aren't used to the snow in December." Rayon went on to say they wouldn't be having events on Christmas Day or New Year's as he wanted the staff to have "real-life time."

There were a few chuckles in the interview as Itzy Mistpaws (TatianaMistpaws Resident) was overheard in Voice talking to her kid in a higher-pitched tone that she needed to use the computer. Whiskey told me, "Itzy here is our designer. She'll be creating our (avatar) mods for Urban Furry." Itzy then resumed work on a Christmas mod, saying she was trying to get the snowflake patterns on the red and white surface just right. I heard from Rayon that they planned a mod release party in January, one that would be sold only at their place, "an avatar mod exclusive to Urban Furry."

Rayron went on to say that the winter area "represents a place people can get away from drama ... a place to have fun 'cause that's what we're all about here. We have some of the best staff to offer, not just to the furry community, but all of Second Life. I'm damn proud of each and every one of them." Whiskey added, "I couldn't ask for a better staff."

Talking more to the staff, they were proud of the "Furry Prom" that they did in September, which Whisky stated averaged fourty-five people at any one time during the four hour event, and maxed out at "fifty-one people of the fifty-three in the sim were on this parcel." They were also talking about doing a "Spring Fling" event in 2019 after winter was over.

To get to Urban Furry's Winter Area, head to the club's main entrance at Mystic Timberland (168,158,2713). From there, walk to the teleporter a few feet to the northwest, click it, select "Christmas Place," and hop on.

Urban Furry is a member of the FCA, which also has Club Cutlass, the Happy Vixen, Club Zero Gravity, and Xanadu as members.

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, November 23, 2018

The "Mystery Science Theater 3000" Theater

By Bixyl Shuftan

One of my favorite places that I wrote about in my first year of reporting about Second Life was the "Mystery Science Theater 3000" Theater. Over a decade later, the place is still standing. It's gone through some changes, and a change of owners, but it's still showing movies so bad, the real fun is either watching Joel, Tom, and Crow poke fun at or "riff" them, or doing some of the riffing themselves.

For those who don't know, "Mystery Science Theater 3000" was a comedy show on television in which the "plot" is of a man, sent out into space by a mad scientist and made to watch B-rated movies as part of an experiment to see just how terrible movies have to be and see in how much of a quantity before watchers go insane. But their subject keeps his sanity by poking fun at the flicks, or "riffing," alongside robots that he built, the two shown most in the movie being Tom Servo and Crow. The show ran on the Comedy Central channel from 1991 to 1997, and the Sci-Fi Channel from 1997 to 1999. After it's cancellation, the show continued in reruns for years, and eventually in Second Life. More recently, there has been interest in reviving the show for a run on Netflix.

The theater was originally at BlaksleeWorld and owned by Squeebee Wakawaka. But it was moved to This Island Earth, the sim not the movie, and has apparently been there since. When the Newser looked at the place again in 2014, it looked more like a conventional movie theater than the "Satellite of Love." But it's current look is closer to the original, only it's broken in three pieces with the action in the front section.  Besides the theater is a freebie stand with a number of items up for grabs. These include t-shirts, gestures, and a "free steaming pile of sampo." What "sampo" is, I have no idea. The back end of the ship has a store.

The theater room has seating for a number of people. You can see the movies only if your media button is pressed *and* you touch the screen. Otherwise you see a picture of a cheesy black and white sci-fi movie with the caption "People of Earth, Click here." Among the people in the audience was Peril Klaxon, the new owner of MST3K.

Peril told me the theater plays movies every day, "If one isn't playing, you can pick one and start it yourself." As to how she ended up in charge, "I've more or less ended up with the place by accident.... I hung out here enough to be one of the Mads, the regular hosts....and then the original owner sort of disappeared, and didn't want to deal with updating the screen we used back then. The old screen used Quicktime, and when SL nixed Quicktime, it broke the old screen. I just happened to be the only one of the remaining hosts that new enough about scripting to build a new screen. (grin)" This was about two years ago.

Rebuilding the whole place wasn't an easy task for Peril, " was bits and pieces.   The screen was the most work, but I redid the whole build about a a year ago, that took about a month. Of course, it's never done, I'm still adding stuff now and then (grin). And I've rebuilt the screen at least three times, as I learned things. All because I couldn't give up the social aspects you get from watching the show with other people. (smile).

So what are her favorite movies to poke fun of? "I prefer the episodes with giant monsters or luchadors.(grin). ...We usually get 6-8 people here for event nights.  It's been growing a bit since I started putting notices int he SL event listings.  And since Archie put his stargate link next door. (grin) Oddly enough, our most popular events are Tuesdays and Thursdays.   We did weekend events for awhile, but they were usually empty."

And which movies were the most fun to poke fun at? "They love the ones that are particularly cheesy.   Bad Sci Fi movies, in particular. Everybody loves 'Space Mutiny.' And we like to talk about ;MANOS;, as it's probably the most famous MST3K episode....but that one  actually can be pretty dull. The other big ones are Hercules and Gamera movies."

"The reason I've managed to hang out here for ten years and not get sick of it, even though we have hundreds of episodes available, is because the people who hang out here are great. MST people are my people, so rather than having to find friends, they all just turn up here and introduce themselves. (smile)."

So if you want to laugh at a turkey, head to the MST3K Theater.

Bixyl Shuftan