Friday, October 16, 2020

Burn2 Exhibits And Other Builds

 
By Gemma Cleanslate


That is the inside sensor of the Temple where you can leave your messages and thoughts which will be read aloud at the Temple Burn. I remembered my good second life friends that were lost .

As I roam the playa I see so many wonderful installations. Each stage is unique for the various performers and DJs who come daily to perform. You already saw the DJ stage in all its glory .


Here is a spectacular experience by Ilia Sojourner.  Of her build she says, “My build represents some of those other worlds, all very different, spinning through the void. Each has its own orbit, its own pattern, its own story that we may never know. And the glowing-eyed stone heads, silently observing: are they an alien civilization? Are they gods? Are they us? That’s up to you to decide.

At the center is our own little universe, the center of everything we think we know. Step inside the big blue bubble and meditate on it all, walk through one of the stone heads, or click one of the glowing red spheres and spin and dance through the void along with the spinning worlds.”
visit at http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Burn2%20Cosmic%20Bob/56/248/24

Andrea Jones has created  a place to contemplate the religions of the multiverse. Enter each temple and learn about the major religions . They are lovely examples. Make your way all around the plot  for more. There are places to relax and eat too. 

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Burn2%20Quantum/42/45/24



Some of the builds are huge and extravagant but some are small and what you would expect to find in the desert and on the playa in real life as camps.Foot bath at the end of the day!


 



Remember the MAN burns on Saturday twice , 12:00 noon and 6:00 pm SL time and the Temple burns Sunday at 12:00 noon and 6:00 pm SL time. Dancing for 2 hours before the burns. Enjoy!!

Gemma Cleanslate


Monday, October 12, 2020

The 2020 Election Simulator

 
By Bixyl Shuftan

Last week in the official blog, Linden Lab encouraged its US residents to register to vote. " Just as we are free to create and shape the virtual world of Second Life, we can’t forget the power that we also have to shape the physical world. We are all a part of something, and your voice matters. Register to vote today!" Near the end of their reminder, they mentioned something election-related inworld, the "2020 Election Simulator."

Do you need to prepare yourself - mentally, spiritually, physically - for the tension of Election Night 2020? These randomized election simulations between Trump and Biden are based on the best available forecasts and set in a mock TV news studio.

Dropping in on the coastal mainland sim of Eyeharts, I walked into the nearest large building and was greeted by an animesh receptionist.

3NN News HQ Receptionist: Welcome to the 3NN television studio, ... We are currently shooting The Simulation Room with Guy Simpleton. Please feel welcome to enter the studio. This simulation is free for the public, but if you're concerned that its creator is crazy, please feel free to donate to his psychiatric care fund. If this election makes you sick of mankind, feel welcome to donate to the Squid Overlord's Invasion Fund. But most of all, please enjoy your experience here.

Walking in, there was a huge map of the fifty states and DC. in front of me was a table with several animesh figures sitting. Between the table and the map were a few cameras, and an animesh figure that was probably the reporter. To the side was two boards with the fifty states in two groups, red states and blue states, with most a deep color, but some were a shade of purple.

Guy Simpleton: The time is 8:00pm on the East Coast. Polls have now closed in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Washington D.C. and in parts of Florida, Kansas, Michigan, South Dakota and Texas.

Time would quickly pass on the board, "Virginia on the Big Board for Biden. 13 electoral votes there. ... The time is 8:30pm on the East Coast. Polls are now closed in Arkansas. In the state of Arkansas, 3NN is calling a win for Trump. That is 6 electoral votes for Trump. ... We can now put the Hoosier State up on the Big Board. Trump has won Indiana's 11 electoral votes. ... We have a projection. Maine - First District on the Big Board for Biden. 1 electoral votes there." The states didn't fill up completely, but red or blue squares appeared, about one per electoral vote. After about ten minutes, and a bit after midnight into the simulator, the announcer called out, "We have a winner! Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes has put Biden over the top. Biden wins the 2020 election!"

I was greeted by two residents in the building. One was Duncan (ABoysPlaceMall Resident), "Hello and welcome, Bixyl!" He was the one whom had build the place, "I built this for myself mostly. All that talk about trying to run up a lead on Election Night. And you can get all the forecasts and stuff but like... what's the experience going to be like? So I cross-referenced poll closing times with forecast data. And even rewatched the 2016 news coverage. I made a few gentle tweaks to put the swing states out a bit later into the night and add some drama." He did say he was thinking of adding on more information, "I'm wondering if I should try to incorporate this data on returns somehow," mentioning "2020 General Election Early Vote Statistics" of the US Elections Project.

There were a few tip jars around. Duncan explained, "I just put out tip jars but I don't need tips. So many people were asking about them that I put them in." When I asked him about my assumption about the blocks over the states being electoral votes, "That is correct. There's one block for each electoral vote to give a quick idea of the relative scale. My idea was to help with the visualization of what all the numbers people are swimming in mean." Because of this Nebraska and Maine can easily show both red and blue.

I noticed a globe in the front office in which of 1185 simulations done, most had come out in support of Biden. Duncan would say, "One thing I should say is that my simulator runs hot for Biden, not because it's biased to the left, but because it's biased towards the favorite. I use the 538 projection data for each state, but their model treats states as dependent events. So like, if it projects high turnout among Black voters, then states like Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi tip together. I treat each state as a mutually independent event. ... Out in the lobby there's a running tally of all the simulations so far. Trump started out winning about 1 in 40 but now it's like, one every day or two." Duncan then brought my attention to the two boards with red and blue states, "This wall here has them lined up left to right based on how far they lean." He then brought up a website, https://www.270towin.com , "You can draw your own maps there if you want to. And if you click these states."

New Mexico: New Mexico is worth 5 electoral votes. The latest projection gives Trump a 4% chance of winning New Mexico in the 2020 election.

New Mexico: If you live in New Mexico, you can verify your current voter vegistration status on the New Mexico Secretary of State website: https://voterportal.servis.sos.state.nm.us/WhereToVote.aspx

New Mexico: Information on voter registration information has been obtained from Vote.org: https://www.vote.org/am-i-registered-to-vote/


"It tells you the latest forecast chance for the state and how to check your voter registration," Duncan informed, then drew my attention to the nearby smaller buildings to the east, "Also, the voting booth in front of the post office - when it's not broken (I'm not sure what breaks it yet). It will ask you how you want to vote and then give you information about the rules for your state."

The simulator rebooted to run again, and while doing so, we heard the reporter go, "We have received reports of election administration problems in North Carolina. The state's 15 electoral votes will have to be resolved by legislative or judicial processes. Will this prevent the determination of a final winner in the national election?" I asked about it, and Duncan answered, "I threw in a 'cannot resolve' chance, like in this simulation, North Carolina could not resolve. There is a 1% chance per state. So like, let's say Trump wins Texas 64% of the time. If it rolls 64 exactly, the state goes into 'cannot resolve' purple. I don't specifically track hung elections, but if you take the total simulations, subtract the Biden wins and the Trump wins from it, the difference is approximately the number of times the elections have ended without a clear winner. I make no attempt to forecast how those conflicts might play out. Nor do I try to price in the possibility of legislatures actually overturning elections. I mean if Biden wins Pennsylvania and they just decide to nullify the vote... that's too unprecedented to reliably forecast." When I checked, there had been twelve ties, about half the number of Trump wins.

Duncan went on, "There's a great metaphor about forecasting - the turkey and the farmer. Every day, the farmer comes to the turkey with a bucket of grain. And so the turkey, based on past precedent, has reason every day to expect a bucket of grain. But one day, the farmer comes with a hatchet, 'cuz it's Thanksgiving. And while that day is inevitable, nothing in the turkey's experience prepares him for it. It's beyond the realm of causal inference. ... It's told well in a book called Black Swan by, uh, Nassim Taleb. Anyways, yes something like it happened in 2000. You can debate to the end of the day what really happened in Florida that year, but the fact is courts stepped in and terminated the count of the vote according to procedures that had been previously established by law. 1968 has always been dogged by allegations that Illinois and Texas were taken by cheating. ... 2000 was not pretty, but we've never had state legislatures try to overturn election results they didn't like."

"y'know, elections bring down dictators. There are losses that are too crushing to steal. Last poll I saw, Biden was up at 57% territory. If he can convert that to votes..." He then directed my attention to a board near the table, "The white board next to the cable pundits has a democracy pledge." Looking over, it had the following:

We pledge for Democracy:

1) We will vote.

2) We will refuse to accept results until all the votes are counted.

3) We will nonviolently take to the streets if a coup is attempted.

4) If we must, we will shut down this country to protect integrity of the democratic process.


"You can hop on the white board and take your own picture of yourself with the pledge if you want to," he told me as he gave me a picture.

Of the last Presidential election in 2016, Duncan commented, "Talk about the flukiest of flukes. It was decided by less than 1/10 of 1% of the vote in three democratic-leaning states with Republican governments. ... 2016 was so close that it's impossible to be sure it was free and fair. It's impossible to be sure it wasn't. ... We never conducted an audit of the election. So where you come down on it really is more about where you set the needle of your preconceptions."

"We have a long hard road ahead of us as a country," Duncan went on, "no matter how this election turns out. In many ways this whole project here was cathartic for me." He directed my attention to the nearby buildings, "I went to the protests, so I put a protest in front of the courthouse. I've got an urgent care (center) for covid ... all the way down at the other end of the parcel. ... There are anti-maskers yelling at the immigrant running the donut shop."

There was some conversation between Duncan and I with a resident whom had just returned after a seven year absence, whom had some questions for the both of us. Eventually, I told them both farewell, checked out the other buildings some, then went on my way.

The Newser has no plans to endorse a candidate, but does ask that all US citizens who can vote, even if it's for a third party or write-in candidate, and of course for local races and propositions. Due to the tense political climate, discretion is advised when discussing political matters to others.

Although rumors persist about some close elections such as 1960, the only US Presidential election most historians can agree had it's outcome altered by fraud was in 1876, during the Gilded Age, in which the electoral votes of three states were disputed. The losing side only accepted the results after a behind the scenes deal of which the consequences lasted for many decades.

https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Eyharts/65/197/23/


*Update* On October 20, Linden Lab would post about the Election Simulator in it's Destinations Guide, including the above video.
 

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Asadorable Delightful (Asadora Summers) On The Yavascript Pod Cars


By Bixyl Shuftan

With the Pod Car tours on the mainland created by Yavanna Llanfair in the news lately due to the announcement of their closing last Friday due to a miscommunication with Linden Lab, and the announcement a few days later that they would be staying. Unfortunately, Yavanna is not as active in Second Life as she used to be due to a Coronavirus infection having had some lasting effects on her. Fortunately, there was someone whom could answer questions about the pod cars and what's been going on, Asadorable Delightful (Asadora Summers).

When asked how long had she known Yananna, and her pod system, she answered, "Let's see, I first rezzed 2006, Pods started in 10 years ago... I've known Yavanna around five years. The pods I knew when they first began or near around then, experienced them, but haven't regarded them so passionately until I moved back to Mainland."

Of her role with the pod car system, "Currently, I am a moderator for the Pod Riders group, which is a group of people that enjoy exploring Mainland using the YavaPods. I also stay close outside of SL with Yavanna Llanfair who founded the Pod Riders group. If she isn't available, then I pass on what is asked to be passed on to her. I make sure to keep the Pod Riders group notified of new stations/new pod stops and what else regards the Yavapods."

When I asked if there was ever a glitch in the cars, Asadorable answered, "If there is a glitch with the pods, someone reports it to the Pod Riders group and/or will send a message to Yavanna telling her. Yavanna is excellent at sorting any problems out right away. Normally however, it's very rare there is a glitch with the pods, unless it has something to do with out of Yavanna's control."

As it turned out, Asadorable didn't hear about Yavanna's 24 hour ban until just before the announcement, "I first heard of Yavanna's 24 hour ban when she sent a notecard last Friday, explaining all that had happened and as to why she was doing what she had done, making the pods still work but not riding down roads on their own without a passenger." Of her being banned and the lack of a response from the Lab, "I'd chalk it up to it can be easy to have misunderstandings on any platform on the Internet, especially in SL."

Of the numerous comments that Yavanna had gotten in support, "Of course there were! Yavapods are a Mainland institution, actually a SL institution! One resident had a concept and created it, in an effort to bring people together on Mainland, to help people explore and see what they would not normally be able too without the pods."

In the middle of our interview came the announcement that Yananna and Linden Lab had resolved the misunderstanding. "It's exciting!" Asadorable told me, "Yavanna is certainly relived, as we all are in the community!" Of the part about "possible joint projects," she wasn't sure what they could be, "Mmmm, well honestly, Bixyl I can only imagine! It's Second Life after all and SL is what we make it! (smile)"

Might we see pod tours in Bellissaria? She answered yes and no, "Actually, as Patch Linden stated in his reply post on the thread that refers to the pods on the SL community forums, he did mention that they have already used some elements of that nature in Belliseria. You'd have to check out that post yourself, to make sure though."

When asked if she had anything to add, Asadorable answered, "I just want to add that Yavanna has has done Mainland Proud. The Pod Riders, all the support from other Mainland and Pod lovers, we all have done Mainland proud with the support we have shown Yavanna. She created a beautiful thing for us all to enjoy together and explore using the pods. Mainland wouldn't be the same without them."

To join the Pod Riders group (Click here).

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, August 17, 2020

Scraps: Collages at Montara Bridge Works Gallery


By Klaus Bereznyak


Scraps, by Veyot (Resident) is the current collection of art on display at Montara Bridge Works Gallery in Second Life.

The gallery is located in the sky above a tiny beach idyll where visitors are welcome to relax and enjoy the waterside setting, take off for further exploration in a passing Yavascript Pod, select a destination from the posters on display or check out the landmarks from a notecard in the news vendor.


Into this context, Veyot has placed her virtualized collection of hands-on, real-life collage work, made initially not with pixel manipulation but with glue, paper, and scissors. The collages are abstract and freeform with thematic echoes of shape, color, and content, leaving it very much to the observer to take what they will from the detail.

Veyot's summary, provided in a notecard at the exhibit, states: "These abstract collages are made from scraps of junk mail, old calendars, magazines and newspapers. I use them for greeting cards or fold them over to make covers for tiny notebooks. I prefer to tear random shapes instead of carefully cutting around an object. In SecondLife, they seem more useful as textures rather than wall hangings, so I put them all in one box. It's upstairs."


Many of the pieces include tantalizing fragments of text and a mixture of formal and informal composition, figures, faces, textures from nature, fabrics, maps and photographs. There are 12 individual pieces on the wall and several d├ęcor items textured with collages as well as the box of textures, which are on offer as freebies.

However playful and accidental the works may appear at first, they are marked by a coherent style and overall feel that perhaps comes from the fact that Veyot has been making collages for several years, although this is the first time they have been presented in an inworld collection. Veyot explained to me it was the combination of her commitment to making a "collage a day" while stuck at home during the Covid-19 crisis and an invitation by gallery owner, Pearl Grey, that provided the impetus for the project.


The pictures were chosen from dozens of possible options. Choosing the ones that would work together in the space, Veyot tells me, was a challenge that took "some imagination". It is an accessible exhibit in that we are likely to be familiar with printed material and many of our humans had a crack at sticking things together on paper in our early education. I found myself naturally responding to the colorful, kaleidoscopic compositions as they seemed to celebrate nature and topography, everyday life and exotic locations, inviting fresh associations between visual cues.


It's inspiring to look at these pictures, and I found myself wanting to have a go too. I asked Veyot if she had any tips for wannabe collagers. She said, "Calendar pictures are an especially good source because of the size. Tear the page into random shapes and then glue them down in random order for a simple abstract collage. Take care which way you hold the paper when you tear. You can get a white edge either showing or not, whichever you prefer."


Veyot is one of many creative souls making ingenious use of the opportunities in our virtual world to make art and stories and have adventures. You can read what she's up to on her blog or follow her on Tumblr.

SLURL: https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Montara/47/187/702
Veyot's View: https://veyot.tumblr.com/
Virtual Veyot: https://veyot368870036.wordpress.com/
Klaus Bereznyak

Friday, July 17, 2020

Bellisseria Update: Working on The Railroad


By Bixyl Shuftan



While attention was on the Second Life Birthday, work on the Bellisseria region continues. This includes the railroad, and rail bridges, rail lines, and the occasional railroad station are being placed by Linden Lab's moles.


 On the map, one can just barely see the rail lines as brown lines. A little easier to see are the light green lines marking places for track to be placed.


The quickest place to find them are at bridge areas, where a rail bridge is next to a road bridge.


 At some places, the moles placed rail, ties, and other objects to help give the impression of a rail line under construction, which it is.


There are occasional stations along the railroad.


I (or rather my alt in this case), was able to rezz a rail car and move along. At one point though, the car got stuck. So I had to go into edit and push it a distance.


While most of the tracks laid down went by community areas, there were some through some more rocky and wooded places.


 It made for some picturesque scenery.


At one point, I found a zip line that led from the top of a hill next to the tracks.


The areas near the track are being filled with Linden Homes, available to Premium account residents, the ones I saw in Victorian and log cabin styles.


But while much track has been laid down and ready to use, there's still more to lay down. On the ground, one can see the green lines marked for future building.


So one can't ride a train across eastern Bellisseria just yet. But eventually it can be done in the future. For now, the moles will still be workin' on the railroad.

Bixyl Shuftan (and Rezzdammit Resident)

Monday, July 6, 2020

Three More SL17B Exhibits


By Bixyl Shuftan


The events may have been over for a week, but the exhibits are still up. And there are a lot of them. One that got my attention was the "Epic Surf Center" at SL17B Stunning (217/33/23).

Epic Surf Center promotes all information related to surfing in Second Life; from surfing regions, surfboards, and swimsuits/wet-suits. There is a wealth of information on surfing, instruction on surfboards, and up-to-date surf-related events in Second Life.

Unlike some exhibits, this one is interactive. The area has a huge pool in the middle, simulating a wave. To surf around, just touch the rezzable surfboard, and one will rezz. Get on it, and ride around for a while. You can also read information about the main location of the center inworld.


Another exhibit that got my attention was from the "Instituto Espanol SL" group's Aztec pyramid build. On the inside, one gets a lesson about Aztech mythology and it's beliefs on life after death.

Mictlan was the Aztec Underworld, ruled by it's Lord and Lady. It was a gloomy place reached by the dead only after wandering for four years beneath the earth, accompanied by a "soul companion", a dog which was customarily cremated with the corpse. 

The journey from the first level to the ninth was difficult, and took four years. But the dead were aided by the psychopomp Xolatol. The dead had to pass many challenges, such as crossing a mountain range where the mountains crashed into each other, a field of wind that blew flesh-scraping knives, and a river of flood with fearsome jaguars.

Getting through one level of this underworld required going through one jungle in which the chests of the souls were typically slashed open by wild animals, and the hearts torn out and eaten by a jaguar. Talk about "eat your heart out."

You can get to the pyramid at SL17B Captivate (101/88/23). There's also a video one can watch (link).


There was another water-themed exhibit that I thought was noteworthy, "Underwater Wonders" at SL17B Astonish (56/225/21)

As the waves gently rise and fall giving the air of calm, what could possibly like beneath? First, take a moment to learn about a few creatures from the sea and then stroll on down to the climate-controlled observation pod. Be sure to grab your free gift while there. Please watch your step on the way out! Actually, take a deep breath! Brought to you by creators Cynimon Catnap & Diamonique Viper on behalf of Vipera!

As mentioned, at one spot are displays to read up about some of the numerous living things in the ocean. There's also a pipe you can go down and port into a couple picturesque undersea area. One has a dance animation for mermaid avatars. Another has a free gift, a face and snorkel, that depending on your avatar may require some tweaking.

By all means, don't just stop at these exhibits. There are many more fun ones to explore. You have until Sunday July 12 to do so before they fade away into memory.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, June 15, 2020

RFL: Settlers of Hope And Fiona Fei's Ribbon Hunt


By Bixyl Shuftan


The theme of this year's Relay season was "Game On, Cancer." And at the Relay track this year, the camps often had a tribute to a game. Several of the camps had builds inspired by Monopoly, such as the Sunbeamers. And some had actual games such as the Second Life Cheerleading Squad's playable game inspired by Donkey Kong. Two I came across offered prizes for completing games. One was in RFL Encourage: "Settlers of Hope."


Sandie Loxingly told me that the game had been made by her Relay Team "Seekers of Hope." It was based off the board game "Settlers of Catan."


 I would come back later with an alt.  In this SL game, a player had to purchase the HUD for 100L.


 As one goes down the track, one clicks on the people next to the signs to get a resource. You only get one good per station. There's also several games on the track, such as this Bejeweled spinoff.


Usually you get the same kind of good as the station. But sometimes a different one will appear. If you prefer the usual kind, click on the person again once or twice again.


Besides the game, there was a little scenery to explore.


At the end of the course, click on the chest at the end to get a prize. What you get depends on what combination of the six resources you have. For instance, one of each will get you a "Gamer Signs Fatpack." But there are others. Trying a combination not mentioned in the notecard, what I got was a token prize. Oh well, next time.

Oh, and Sandie told me one can get an online version of "The Settlers of Catan" for free on Steam (link).

https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/RFL%20Encourage/194/113/22


Of the sims, RFL Courage was a unique one, as it was designed by an artist.


Fiona Fei (Fionafei Resident) had designed the exhibit.


One place was meant to say "Pencil and paper games," which certainly described the sim.


Much of the place looked like landscape covered in various scribbling and simple games on paper.


But the place wasn't just scenery. There was also the "Black Ribbon Hunt."


 Clicking on the sign, one would get the first clue, and would find the eight others by finding the eight black ribbons in the sim.


 There were several tiny critters in the sim, that when clicked on would say something, occasionally offering a clue to finding a ribbon.


Some of the ribbons were clearly in plain sight, though others took me a while to find.


 A few of the ribbons had little gifts, such as this overhead, "Game on, Cancer!" (those in furry avatars, don't wear but add).



For getting all of the ribbons, the player gets a tiny "Toontoons" avatar. It seems to be one at random from a couple dozen, in my case getting a female panda.


There are of course more games in the rest of the sims, and a lot to explore. While some people have picked up their camps, there's plenty to look over. But not for long. Eventually the sims will be gone, so look around while you can.

Bixyl Shuftan