Sunday, November 11, 2018

The 2018 Veterans Tribute

By Bixyl Shuftan

Every year, the Veterans Tribute comes to Second Life.  This year marks the twelfth it has appeared inworld

It's also the ninth year that the Newser has covered the Tribute since we first reported about in in 2010.

The central part of the Tribute is the memorial wall, made up of numerous bricks. Each contains a name of a veteran, or sometimes a group of veterans, living or deceased. The Newser has written about some of the soldiers in the past, Jacob Borton (or Lohti Aeon as he was known in SL), and a number of Marines from the same unit that were killed in Iraq.

Overlooking the part of the wall leading from the main entrance are flags of the United States, Canada, Great Britian, and a number of other democracies.

In the middle of the memorial wall is a fountain, surrounded by poppy flowers. Around it are flags of the various branches of the US military.

Among these are the flag of the US Coast Guard, which is sometimes forgotten as a branch of the military. The youngest branch of the US military is the Air Force, which was established in 1947.

At some corners in the wall were flowerpots of poppies. Poppies are often associated with Armistice Day, as Veterans Day is called in Europe. This Veterans Day marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War (then called The Great War).

Around the tribute were various displays, this one of the war that took place just before the first Veterans Day.

A stage for concert events. The Newser was not notified of any planned performances.

Signs of previous Veterans Tributes.

Around the memorial wall were smaller memorials. The "Memorial for Women" is a reminder of the trials of military spouses.

"The empty chair," a reminder the death of a veteran often means a family who will never see the return of a husband and father, or in more recent years sometimes a wife and mother.

While the US military is the main focus of the Tribute, by all means it isn't the only one. Canadians are also honored.

This cemetery pays tribute to US and Canadian soldiers whom never made it home.

A memorial for the soldiers murdered in the Fort Hood shooting in 2009, a reminder that death for a soldier isn't always from war overseas.

A reminder that democracies need a few men (and women) to serve so the rest of us can sleep easy. And not all of them come home after their service.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, November 5, 2018

A Look At Linden Realms

By Gemma Cleanslate

I don’t know how many of you have tried the new Linden Realms game yet: .

Bixyl gave it a try, so I decided I would too. I loved the old Realms. I started doing it years ago when it appeared and kept going occasionally over the years when I had time. I knew those hills and hollows and waters like the back of my hand. I had run over every inch of it. I was actually friendly with some of those rumbling grumbling Rock Monsters and used to push them if they got stuck. I liked the cavern and learned to avoid many falling rocks by running along the edges . I tried the glitches game but just left that alone and went back to chasing crystals. Oh, memories.

So , off I went to try it out. Change number one was a shock! Instead of qualifying to play one time by completing Tyrah’s quest in the realms, now she wants you to qualify every week by re-completing the quests! And, let me tell you these quests are infinitely more complex that the old ones. Before you even try the game read all you can in the wiki ( link above). Watch the video at the workshop on arrival. Inspect the rules in the workshop. Practice running. More than that, practice jumping... a lot! Learn to read signs on the run. Learn to stand in a safe place, as the resurrection circles are called now. Never hang out in a bush .Start collecting crystals, just run through them. Then begin your journey on the pathways that guide you to each part of the quests . You are facing many challenges.

The moles did this! Much as I loved the moles and celebrated Mole Day at Bay City every year. I planned on some sort of retribution after I had spent a few days there, especially in the swamp!! I even warned some of them ahead of time.! Abnor, Ancient, Alotta and LR Linden too they were all in trouble!. Oh, I know other Moles were in on this too. I saw pieces that were made by Naughty, Magic, and other Department of Public Works members.

The first part of the quest took a little time but I completed it. I learned on the way that the new Rock Monsters, who look so cute and goofy, are horrible things. After getting to know them intimately I know they need dental work and eye drops! No wonder they chew so long. They grab you from 5 meters away sometimes. Once they set their sights on you they do not give up. The chase is on. They even jump off cliffs to follow you if you try to avoid them by diving over .Then they chew and chew and belch you out . Yuck! Take heed! To me they sound like corn popping . I think a sim line stops them, as well as any safe place.

As I went along into nooks and crannies of the new realms I found remnants of the old Rock Monsters, one in water, one embedded in the cavern walls looking so forlorn. There are few pieces of the infrastructure sticking out of the ground here and there ,just to remind you of the good old days I guess. Regardless, I found my first amulet part in good time as I followed directions and learned where to go and what to look for.

Quest two,the desert with new horrible experiences: getting caught in a whirlwind is the worst and really takes care to get by one if you see it. Wearing the goggles that you must find and use  is not easy but they are so helpful. Mouse look  needed but keep looking around for monsters. Finally I saw the amulet part and grabbed it.

And then, the Swamp. I spent five days in the swamp! If you cannot jump and control your jump you are in deep toxic trouble. I would have quit then and there after the second day if a friendly avatar who shouted “Go Go!“ had not listened to my wails of agony and frustration and given me courage to go on, Mak (Makkie Riegler). Finally I got to that piece after gallons of poisonous water!!

I did leave there with the idea in my head that nothing could be worse than the Swamp, even though Abnor Mole had sort of warned me. Wrong. Ancient Mole has created something even worse. The Mountain is the last part of the quest. All the dire circumstances and experiences of the other quests are surpassed in the journey at the mountain. I tried running along the walls as I made my way into this new Cave Labyrinth to find Magellan and the final amulet piece.  Sometimes it worked and sometimes it did not. Back to the entrance more than once! This is a long road with so many obstacles. It is a dark and foreboding place. Magellan is long gone when I did reach his suspected location. But he left a hint.

There should be blue crystals everywhere on the mountain just to get you into the sim, I was almost glad I had all that jumping trouble in the swamp. It guided me at the end when I needed it most in the burbling lava pits where the last amulet piece was visible as I tried over and over to reach it. I did!

When I was having all these experiences( and many more you will discover ) I was sure I would never do it again and just wanted to finish it one time to say I did. Well, after a day of rest and reflection I realized, hey, I did it once I can do it again.

And I did! I was able to encourage another avatar, Natalina, so she would not quit. It is satisfying to be able to collect crystals and turn them in for lindens.

I still love the Moles. If not for them our second life would be pretty flat  and the oceans and waterways empty. I sat down to apologize and let them know I am still on their side. No rocks in snowballs at the snowball fight.

Portal Park is where you begin your journey to the New Realms.

Do your homework! See you there !

Gemma Cleanslate

Monday, October 22, 2018

Bayou Chat Noir's Cat People Halloween Hunt

By Klaus Bereznyak

There's still time to dive into the sights and sounds of the sweltering delta on the Bayou Chat Noir sims and participate in the Cat People hunt until the end of the month. At any time, these districts are worth wandering, but the hunt is the perfect opportunity to immerse in the swampy atmosphere and see some of the most atmospheric locations.

Bayou Chat Noir, is modeled after French Louisiana in the early 1900s. The personality of one of the notorious sim owners, SL impressario 'Kitty' (Vinje), looms at every turn and it is popular with former residents of the similarly themed St. John sims which closed in December 2017. Kitty's love Shack was a popular venue in the St. John community and has been transplanted here to continue business as usual.

The Cat People hunt is based on the story of the 1942 horror film directed by Jacques Torneur. It tells of a Serbian woman, Irena, who cannot keep the 'cat' part of her true nature hidden for long. Participants begin in the zoo, by the panther cage, to pick up the first clue. Each of the ten clues, obtained by clicking on a found object in the location, unfolds a little more of the story and tells you where to go and what to look for next. Local windlight and volume up is recommended for the best experience. If there's some slow loading, you can drop the draw distance without missing much, because it's fairly gloomy anyway.

I found most of the items relatively easy to find. The locations themselves take a little more exploration but can all be reached on foot and pretty much follow a linear route that doesn't involve any back tracking or teleporting.

The town and swamp is eerily lit for the season and decorated with pumpkins and lanterns and haunted by glowing wraiths. The hunt covers shops, and galleries as well as taking in the residential areas, a church, a graveyard and a hunted house where there is a 'forgotten room' to discover. The final clue unlocks the room full of prizes, five in all plus directions to a bonus prize that can be picked up at Kitty's bar. Not surprisingly, the prizes are cat themed and well worth while for the hour or so it will take to get around.

Bayou Chat Noir:

Klaus Bereznyak

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Studio 33 and Gee's Gallery

By Gemma Cleanslate

I love arriving at Art and Galley at Studio 33. The entry is set up similar to the LEA Welcome area . One can see all the artists that are exhibiting at the time. Studio 33 is a long established gallery, but I have not been here in a while to visit.  The main gallery is a delight to walk through. There are pieces by many artists of many different genres and styles. You will definitely see something to fall in love with.

The exhibit of the month is reached by teleport . Donna Giordano (Ohsoleomio Resident) is an artist in real-life and Second Life. Her lovely splashes of color really pop on the walls. Of her work she says in her bio,” My work is a mix of bright bold opaque strokes full of energy and soft, quiet, watery and translucent hues. Some simple, some complex. Layer upon layer, sometimes up to 20 layers or more of colors, textures and forms.

I love to experiment therefore I don't have one set style. No one ever knows what I might come up with next, including myself!”  I saw some lovely quiet subtle pieces among the vibrant ones.

Outside her gallery area is a large vibrating movement piece by Pol Jarvinen whose pieces I have seen in so many places and events. His picks on his profile is an art gallery in itself!  A visit to Studio 33 is always such a pleasure.

I next dropped in at my friend, Gee (GeeJAnn Blackadder) ‘s Gallery, Active Interiors Garden in Mooter. It is a lovely building filled with art from Gee and also invited artists. The Gallery has been in Second Life since 2009. Gee has a great sense of humor and is very pithy with her sayings. Her greeter I found beautiful pieces both static and moving on the three floors.

 On the upper floor I found a sculpt that Gee had given me several years ago. I have it on my home roof patio. There it is.

The top floor holds the real-life art work of the artist ,Vandug Resident. The paintings of nature works, for the most part, are enchanting.

Outside the Gallery there is the Art Yard also filled with exhibits of invited artists. It is a refreshing place to relax as you view the the pieces on the wall.

I found Gee, Silvia Ametza and Kimble (kimblecoles Resident) working on a new venture... “evocative skits” according to Gee. They have been working on this since July. If you would like to see the skits come to  Thursdays at 6am SL time.

To visit the Gallery and the Art Yard 

Gemma Cleanslate

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Musical Sculpture Gallery

By Gemma Cleanslate

What a wonderful find this gallery is! Musical Sculpture Gallery is small but a place to spend quality time if you enjoy interactive exhibits with no work involved by you. Just walk to the nearest sculpt and listen .

The piece begins tantalizing meditative music ... some call new age. Each sculpture has its own sound or music by Claus Gahrn (Nicolaus Skytower). The pieces are by some of the famous artists of Second Life. I saw several by Ub Yifi and Treacle Darlandes, B1nary (Binary Quandry), White Lebed and others . What a wonderful collaboration!

When I stood next to the “man with a horn" (in my mind) I enjoyed my shadow with the art in the window behind and the haunting call of the horn.. This will put you right next to the first sculpture.

While I was at the Music Sculpture Gallery I im’d Treacle Darlandes to tell her how lovely her pieces there were .

 When she answered she assumed that I was visiting her Walk of Art at the Lawst Paradise Gallery.
I had not been over there yet so took the landmark and off I went. Near the entrance there is a list of credits to those who inspired the work or helped with the installation.  What a spectacular exhibit I experienced. This is a combination of words .. music.. and art.

Move up the stairs to each level where there are exquisite pieces to view.

The stairs in the walk lead to very different words about life and love and enchanting art pieces that express the words . It is mystical experience , making your way to the top level .At each level I thought this one must be the apex... but no there was more..

Treacle had told me , “no camming!” . I promised , only to take a picture . I did the walk the way it should be done, reading, pausing to reflect and admiring it all and listen to the music. Don’t miss this one.!

Gemma Cleanslate

Monday, August 20, 2018

Paula Cloudpainter: New Works at Visions of Beauty

By Klaus Bereznyak

Paula Cloudpainter is an avatar most well known for ... well ... painting clouds. And she does it very well. We covered her last exhibition in January. This month, Paula unveiled a whole new series of works in her space at the Visions of Beauty galleries.

In this inspiring exhibition, Paula continues to demonstrate that there is no end to the fascination and beauty of clouds. While her previous collection was themed around the meeting point of clouds and water, here she takes to the skies with her artists brush and her camera to show "The Meaning of Clouds", with all their moods and charm. The open-air space holds a series of ten art works in various media, and the interior gallery hosts eighteen real-life photographs.

What is the meaning of clouds? Who has not looked up at the sky and seen all kinds of familiar shapes and meanings sculpted in water vapor high above the earth? Being in this exhibition, the same kind of reverie sweeps over us as we are tempted indulge our imagination and seek meaning in the clouds. Paula's own words give a clue to her intentions in presenting this work but leave it open for us to discover something that speaks to us uniquely:

"My new work looks at how clouds can be a guide to our connection with the universe by encouraging us to live in the moment, embrace change and be as unique as each cloud is in the sky."

"The Meaning of Clouds" by Paula Cloudpainter is open over the coming months at Visions of Beauty and is well worth taking the time to visit. The Gallery complex holds rolling exhibitions by SL artists old and new so it's a great place to embark on a virtual art world tour and see what else is on display.


Klaus Bereznyak

Monday, August 13, 2018

The Tarot Garden

By Gemma Cleanslate

The visiting artists are opening their sims at LEA for the season. I took a trip to visit the Tarot Garden installation of Secondhandtutti. What an amazing creation! Working with her team the land has been transformed to echo “  Niki de Saint Phalle’s esoteric sculpture garden based on the Tarot cards, located in Tuscany, Italy. This project started in the late seventies and ended when Niki passed away in 2002. “

 There is a long walk in the region to visit all the figures and structures made in mosaic form. This is very different art, transformative, and lots of fun. If you use or know Tarot this will be of great interest to you . I went to the web to read about the original artist Niki who seems to have had a very tortured life from her earliest childhood years but was very beautiful and very talented.

The Grand Opening of the sim was held on August 11. I missed the opening sorry to say but did get over to talk with tutti at the end. She was thanking Venus Adored for the particle display that brought her to tears with the beauty.

She spoke about her fascination with Niki and her art and her attachment to it all. “As an artist who does original and also transformative art, I found this project to be a walk on the mystical, for you see, I found myself talking to Niki as I made each build. No no not "talking" to her, but communing with her in the sense of, 'Why did you put that there Niki?'   'Why did you use that symbol Niki?'   'What did that mean to you Niki?' Niki said two invaluable things that I have held close to me as an artist.  The first was about her Tarot Garden. She said that it was her 'destiny to make a place where people can come and be happy: a garden of joy.' This motivated me to manifest her garden of joy into our virtual worlds on my own, while acknowledging the source but also putting it into a new dimension. “

 There will be events all month and on into the fall . Join the group to receive notice of events . One can go for a lecture, or a walking guided tour that will be held each Monday at 11:30 am SL time during August. There is a mini hunt going on to find Nomi and take a picture with her. Begin your visit here. 

Gemma Cleanslate