Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Mellowdee’s Art Show at the Panorama Art Gallery

by Grease Coakes

One of the many things that people use second life as a tool for is to show off art. One day Mellowdee or her resident name melody1778 teleported me to an art show at Velequez (234, 76, 23). Mellowdee is a nice lady so I said sure.

With support from Timo Dumpling and Samantha Chester, Mellowdee created art outside the small clear dome. In the center of the dome Yukithepianoplayer Hutchinson played piano music to add positive energy to the event.

Inside the dome though were many pictures of various mediums of art. A lot of the pictures were pretty and professionally done it was hard to pick a favorite. Various artists drew the pictures in the dome. Mellowdee did the scripted artwork in the gallery found easily by walking through a sliding glass door.

Watching the scripted artwork was fun as it constantly changed shape like an ocean wave or a lava lamp. By hitting refresh on my snapshot option in firestorm phoenix I saw many variations of the same artwork as the color lines flowed this and that way on the black background.

Mellow came to her own art gallery after Yuki’s live piano show. She showed me the mandala which place in a space art show by popular vote and 3rd place by jury vote. With only ten prims to work with that must have been a major challenge.

Samantha Chester came up to meet with me and Mellow soon after. She mentioned a Virtual Harlem that is no longer in Second life. She mentioned that LL took away an educator discount on sims. I said that’s too bad an art gallery could be shown to kids and adults online as a school fieldtrip.

Timo Dumpling came to talk to me when the other guests had left and he complimented me on my new avatar, "Incredible avi that a bit of everything (laughter)."

Grease Coakes, "My avatar? Thank you it was rather expensive."

Timo Dumpling, "Had the gallery just on four years now and it is just starting to work."

Grease Coakes, "I've been on SL six years so you had this gallery 2/3 of my lifetime ... That’s a long time."

Timo’s gallery used to be at info island which was a place for newbies to get their bearings in second life. Sadly he said it no longer exists. He now found this new sim which is less restrictive.

Art inspires us whether in second life or if you visit a museum in real life. With all the bad things that are going on in real life it’s a nice escape to look at eye candy around yourself or at an art show. Something to keep in mind when you log into Second Life it’s one of the many things that the grid has to offer. Mellow dee and her art show will be up until July 31st.

Grease Coakes

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Commentary: Scripting and its Corruption

By Theonlyjohnny Resident

    Scripting is the foundation of Second life fun. It's used for simple things, like a title above your head, and it's used for complex things, like a DJ board. However, scripting has opened up a new chapter in history. A chapter of corruption.

    Most people use scripts to better either their sim, products, or to help better others. Some people use scripts to infringe upon rights of others. These people have been corrupted by the power that the knowledge of scripts has bestowed upon them.

    There are many scripts that are used by corrupted people. Of these, a few scripts stand out from the rest. One of these scripts is the one that is in a lot of attack huds. The script is known as the banishment script, and is used for banning someone from a sim, or even a full region. This script is one that should never have been created, since you can use it, even though you do not have admin powers in the sim, or region.

    Another script, believe it or not, is a game script. It is one that many people have simply called an incomplete script. Sometimes, it is, but other times it's that way for a reason. The script has everything that a normal game script has, with the exception of one crucial part, the prize giver part. Unsuspecting people will pay to play the game, and when they win, it will not give them anything. This script hasn't been one that people care about a lot, because most people assume it's just taking a while, but the prize never shows up.

    Another script, surprisingly, is an anti-fly script. However instead of just banning you from the sim or region temporarily, it will permanently ban the person. Not only that, but some of them, that people buy from shops, have a network wide ban. This means, if you're banned from one place that uses that anti-fly script, you will be banned from every single one of them that use that same anti-fly script.

    Most of you probably have not seen these scripts, but believe me, I not only have seen them, I have been a victim of all three. Scripting is a great thing, but there is a line between scripting to help others, and scripting to make a joke for you. The way things are going, it won't be long before people won't even be able to go afk in their own homes, without being banned.

Theonlyjohnny Resident

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pammie Venkman – RFL Designer Builder

By DrFran Babcock

I have known Pammie Venkman for many years, although we have not crossed paths in many years. I was a member of the Elf Circle for several of my years here in Second Life™, running a building school with Rodney and Vanilla Jessop, and loving my time with these peaceful, fun-loving, dedicated and passionate people. I participated in Relay for Life with the Circle of Life team for three or four years.  Pammie was, and is, and elf famous for her purple hair, a feature with which she was associated, and for which I envied her. Purple is my favorite color. I caught up with her this year during the Relay for Life building period when I noticed she had a designer build.

SL Newser: Pammie, how did you find out about Second Life™, and what is that has kept you here for all these years? 

Pammie Venkman: My husband told me about Second Life™.  I have some health problems and cannot get out much.  He was reading an article in Discover magazine about the cornfield time-outs that were once used as a punishment—boy does that date me! I logged in and got hooked. I stay because of my friends, and, of course, because I can live purple:).  The volunteer things I do here give me a sense of purpose that I found missing before I joined.  

SL Newser: You are famous in the Elf Circle for your purple hair.  How did you come to be an elf? What do you love about the Elf Circle? 

Pammie Venkman: Heehee.  I don't always wear purple hair, (well I do most of the time), but I am always purple.  When I first came into SL it was a wild time—kinda like the old west.  A lot of people were quite rude in many different ways.  Then somehow I found out about groups.  I have always been a Science Fiction & Fantasy fan.  Looking through the groups I thought: Elves! YES!  I visited a few elf groups, but knew Elf Circle was home right away. I love Elf Circle because of the people here.  At my first rez at the Elf Circle Drum Circle there were many folk who said hello and welcomed me. I am happy to help keep that tradition alive now seven years later.  I also love the fantasy builds here -- and the fact that I can do my own.  I like to help keep Elf Circle a good place to be by volunteering.   I am a council member, a guardian and a greeter.  I spend most of my SL in Elf Circle sims.   

SL Newser: On to Relay for Life. Please let us into your creative process a bit. How did you go from idea to build this year? What are your favorite tools for content creation? 

The design group held a meeting and we bounced around ideas. We all quickly coalesced around the botanical theme—we are Elves, after all.  One of the ideas was a rainforest; not sure who came up with it. We all liked it. Going on the rainforest theme, I first researched what, if anything, the rainforest had to do with cancer.  When I found out that 25% of the active ingredients in cancer-fighting drugs came from the rainforest I was off.  I visited rainforest sims in SL for ideas, and checked out the marketplace (I am not a great builder, I am more a decorator).  When I saw Luna Bliss’s waterfalls, I knew that was the basis for my rainforest. The members of my design team helped by terraforming, creating and placing many of the items used.  With my own prims I just moved things until I was pleased with the look.  Thankfully the team all gave me rights to their prim so it could be done.  I used Photoshop to create some signs (learning as I went) and did more Google research for information to be used in the hunt items.  I asked everyone I could to help look over the sim to make sure things were not awkward or hanging in the air! My favorite design tool is my camera, or you could also say my eye. I am one who creates organically, not by the numbers so much. My second favorite tool is the delete key.

SL Newser: Why do you Relay? 

Pammie Venkman: The same reason we all do.  Cancer is an insidious disease that takes too many people.  Research has given so many hope and much longer lives. Money is needed for more research—so I relay. My personal story is of my grandfather, aunt and two brother-in-laws that I never even met (one died at age 12), and losing a friend or two.

SL Newser: What would you like the rest of the world to know about Second Life™? 

Pammie Venkman: Second Life™ is what you make it.  There is the fast and sexy hangout we hear about in media, with the headlines about it breaking up marriages. Then there is where I go.  It’s where people stay for years.  All kinds of people of any age meet around some idea to socialize with others and enjoy the company.  You can listen to music (even live music) and dance better than you ever thought you could.  One can be as creative here as one can wish. You can even get involved in things that make a difference in “real” life.

SL Newser: What's next for you? Do you have any plans for new projects?  In the off season (until the 2014 Relay) I plan to learn a whole lot more about Photoshop.  Perhaps even make some cool PURPLE trees! Maybe I’ll become a creator.

Well, in my humble opinion, you don’t have to make “things” to be a creator. Pammie has spent years creating harmony and peace in the Elf Circle, and sharing her open heart with the people of like mind. The Elf Circle is a generous and loving group. At this writing, The Circle of Life’s relay team has reached Sapphire level, and contributed over a million and a half Lindens to the American Cancer Society.

You can visit Pammie’s wonderful rainforest, and, learn about the cancer-curing treasures hidden within. You will have to hurry though, the sims won’t be around much longer. Walk through the dark and lush jungle today.

Pammie Venkman Designer Build:

DrFran Babcock

Monday, July 15, 2013

RFL Camp Reports: Relay Wizards for Spunky Team

By DrFran Babcock

This is a true story about a Relay for Life Camp that came together in through the input, creativity, and hard work of a true team.

When the Status Quo Gets Disrupted

Relay Wizards for Spunky Team Captain Shawna Montgomery planned for her team’s sixth year without a care. She had a solid team, and a builder who was renowned throughout Second Life™ for her skills: Anhayla Lycia. Last year, Anh won the award for the Best Designer Build during 2012’s Relay for Life. So, everything was sweet. That is, until the Relay Committee asked Anhayla if she could do a second build, because they had another parcel available. Shawna did what any competent leader would do, and asked Anh if it would help not to have to build The Relay Wizards campsite this year. That was when she looked at her team roster and decided to ask if I could build the campsite. Oh, and the sims will close to building on July 10th, less than two weeks from the day the request was made! 

Putting Together the Team

This was a situation that called for quick action. Team member, HALEY Salomon, skilled motivator, but not a builder, volunteered team member Thickbrick Sleaford to provide scripting services. I remembered that my friend Catboy Qunhua was running around SL10B volunteering to help people the whole time. I figured I would ask him. 

The hard part was to decide what to do, and I thought about it, until it hit me. I was still thinking about how wonderful SL10B had been, and what wonderful exhibits I had seen. Chaffro Shoomaker had given me a tour of the Raglan Tinies build, and I was struck by the moving platform they had in the air, that Chaffro told me had been scripted by the amazing Panacea Pangea, and used a new function Linden Lab had added to the Linden Scripting Language (LSL)—one that allowed a prim to move an avatar just by standing on it!

Here I Come to Save the Day!

Catboy said yes to my request to build, and quickly demonstrated his Mighty Mouse gesture of rescue: "Here I Come to Save the Day." Thickbrick was excited to try the new scripting function. We decided we wanted to do something that related to history, because it was the 100th anniversary of the creation of the American Cancer Society, and something that used the people mover script. That was how the design for the dioramas throughout history was born. I did a schematic, and we met. Before the meeting was over, Thickbrick had consulted the LSL Wiki, and constructed a large moving walkway. Catboy and I consulted on the history we wanted to highlight, divided up the work, and ran off to build.

 Little by little we constructed the campsite on land set aside on Anhayla’s island, while she, in turn, worked on her two designer builds for the Relay track. Catboy worked secretly in an undisclosed location, and then brought his builds to Anh’s land. Each time he placed another diorama we gaped in wonder, and cheered our growing creation. Thickbrick’s moving sidewalk became a sensation. We started to congregate on it, moving slowly around the growing campsite, chatting, making plans, arguing over decisions about the build, and coming to see the people mover as a kind of Town Square.

 As we neared completion we started to encounter a problem. The center of the build looked very bare, and there were no signs of the mystical and magical landscaping and objects that typified Anhayla’s camps of the past. We put our heads together and Shawna, HALEY, Catboy, Thickbrick, and Anhayla came up with the idea to put all the mystical items in the area that made up the “donut hole” of the people mover. In this way we separated the grim reality o f cancer from the more lighthearted world of dragons and runes—specialties of Anhayla.

Putting It All Together—Telling Stories Camp

I conceptualized the theme of the build on the basis of the way the build turned out, and not the other way around, because our time was so short: Catboy and I on the outside perimeter with our dioramas of history, separated from the mystical world of Anhayla Lycia by the people moving circle made by Thickbrick. Telling the story of the history of cancer and Relay on the outside, and telling stories of magic and mystery on the inside, as a means of escaping from the relentless woe of the cancer. Also, the word telling has a few meanings. Telling means to recount, as in telling a tale or story. Telling, as an adjective means that a telling story is one that is striking or revealing. The stories that we hear on T1 Radio, told by survivors and caregivers, are indeed striking and revealing.

Come visit The Relay Wizards for Spunky campsite at: .

Team photo: Left to Right: Catboy Qunhua, Selina Greene, Shawna Montgomery, HALEY Salomon, katfancy Kiergartan, Brokali, and ρєαяℓч (Pearlygurlee Ducatillon)

Team members missing from photo: Thickbrick Sleaford, Spunky Young, Anhayla Lycia, Amber DeCuir, Arctic Kas, Silverthorn Karu, Explorer Dastardly, Mickey Darkward, Orchid Jameson

By DrFran Babcock

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Sunbeamer's RFL Exhibit

By Bixyl Shuftan

When I first came across the Sunweavers, I soon found out many of them belonged to a Relay for Life team, the "Passionate Redheads." The Redheads relayed for six years, raising over thirty thousand US dollars worth of Lindens for the American Cancer society. They had also come up with some truly great builds, such as the Wild West build in 2009. Sadly, the Redheads came to an end, and the team dissolved. It its place came two much smaller teams. One, was led by Sunweaver leader Rita Mariner, the "Sunbeamers."

"It's a new beginning," Shockwave Yareach, one of the Sunbeamers, told me, "we are a very small team."

I met with Shockwave and Rita at the location of the Sunbeamer build in RFL Research. The exhibit was on the top left former of the sim, just north of Team Lag, and across the road from the Breedables exhibit. Half of the build was of a garden area, which was next to the road. The other half was a building in the back with pink tubes sticking out. The building's purpose was soon revealed by a sign next to the road, "Ride The Mad Wolf 'New Brain Cancer Cure' Ride."

"Basically, this time four of us did the work," Rita told me, Shockwave, herself, Dusk Griswold, and a newcomer to the Relay, Felina Fermi. Felina made the Newser earlier this year when she made a movie theater for her Sunweaver neighbors. "I … put her in charge of landscaping," Rita told me. "She's a very detailed builder," Shockwave commented. "We play all this by ear," Rita added, "and see what works."

Attention went to one bag of coffee beans near one kiosk, "Who wants coffee?" Shockwave asked. Rita commented, "Once Shocky put down the ride, we knew what space we had left for the rest of the build." Shockwave pointed to the coffee, "I transplanted my coffee machine from the bay. Even added a table to sit and relax." Rita felt needed more was needed, and added more bags of coffee.

When asked what the theme of the build was, Rita answered, "Remembrance, remember those we have lost and hope for the future, that we will beat cancer." There wasn't much time left in the Relay season for another event, but they did have some fun times, "We did have the one event at Cutlass … where they tried to bid me human. … I got enough donations to stay a bunny. There were two kiosks, one for human, one for bunny. whichever one had the most donations by the end of the dance, I had to do. The bunny kiosk had the most, but not by much. I think we raised like 30,000L."

She also mentioned the event that was a cooperation with the New Bastogne WW2 RP, "The Bastogne event was fun, everyone was paying 100L to shoot the 88mm guns at the Dunk Tank and drop the victim. Dusk was the best shot, she got a hit with one round. I came in second with two rounds. Either way, folks were having a 'Blast.' … Have to repeat that next year."

Rita showed me around the exhibit a little. The place was bordered by a hedge fence with the front half a garden area with numerous trees and flowering plants, with walkways of stepping stones and a few waterfalls. There were also a number of pony statuettes around, "look atop the flagpole, Rainbow Dash," plus one larger pony statue in the middle of the grounds. There was also the pink fox statuette representing Artistic Fimicloud, the beloved vixen of the Passionate Redheads who passed away several years ago.

The back half of the exhibit was Shockwave's ride. It was a variation of the inner tube water slide ride, but instead of riding inner tubes, one would ride a red blood cell. Residents going in touch the stone to rez one, sit on it, then enjoy the ride. The narration is a bit quiet, and I had to turn up the volume. As the player goes down the tube, it talks about how the blood/brain barrier has historically been a barrier drugs couldn't get through, then the player emerges from the tube to the main room, "Behold, the brain." It then talks about recent developments in brain cancer treatments, and after circling around, the player leaves out the other tube. Upon exiting, the player can get up any time, and the blood cell soon vanishes.

"Still pretty good for a first time team," Rita commented. She then noted there were a few minor details to take care of, notably getting a "Sunbeamer" flag for the exhibition, which at the time was flying the Sunweaver Estates one. Shockwave would later comment on Facebook, "You never know how much it takes to fill a half acre, until it's your job to fill it. Or mow it. Fortunately, I don't have to mow the thing. Constructing a 40 m by 40 m brain mock-up, things you never think you'll get the chance to do, and then one day you do them."

Rita concluded, "Even though the Sunbeamers are a very small team and we can't be involved with RFL 24/7 like most of the others, we will do what we can, as much as we can. Anyone that reads this, stop by our campsite, ride the ride and grab a cup of coffee."

The exhibit is at RFL Research (122, 224, 22), but will not be accessible to the general public until Saturday.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, July 8, 2013

Celebration at the Arcadia Asylum

 By Gemma Cleanslate

It was with great pleasure that I attended a party that celebrated this first anniversary of the Arcadia Asylum Living Library and Freebie Center in Makazi. You may recall that the original library disappeared back in June 2012 and all the network vendors went down. It was a great loss to all fans of Arcadia. Horror spread across the grid because of the sudden closing. Interested people began to collect and form a new library in the same month (Aug 2012 article). 
The Anilis Freebie Center Becomes the New Arcadia Asylum Living Library.  Thanks To generous Sponsor Ship by Mingmanx.  A new group, The Arcadia Asylum Libraries & Exhibits group was formed to aid in collecting all the lost items.   Conrad Evaneir donated his freebie vendors to the library group. Professor Grey added the Mieville Branch Library, thanks to the owner of the region, Perryn Peterson, in August. The Anilis branch was moved to Makazi in November. It was decided to spread the vendors around so they would never be lost again and there are now almost a dozen affiliate libraries around the grid. 
The party was a celebration of the efforts of the group over the past year as they continue to add to the collection as items are recovered and as Aley, as Arcadia is known today, makes new ones they are added to the collection. It was a pleasure to see most of the collection on a plot at SL10B in June. There were many colorful avatars and costumes at the party as there was a contest for the best male and female costumes. Gunner von Phoenix (masterperry) provided the music. 
Prof. Grey (BrienL61 Landar), the curator at Mieville, commented  “And, what can I say, all of this is thanks to ALL of you -- the donations you make, the time you spend talking about the great freebies or Arcadia Asylum, the time you take to share what you have gotten ... and most of all, thanks to you Aley for your creative generosity. With out your support and the donations you toss our way these doors wouldn't be open.So now that we have done the work, it is time to celebrate our successes.” 
Pay a visit to the library and see what treasures you can get all for free thanks to Alley and the group that is preserving them. Make sure to drop over to check out all the treasures. 
Gemma Cleanslate

Thursday, July 4, 2013

SummerTown USA

From the makers of Easter Town, a holiday-themed location has sprung up in the Elizabeth Town sim. For the Fourth of July season, "SummerTown USA" just looks the very definition of Independence Day.

Like earlier holiday towns this year such as Easter Town, the place has a cartoony look. The shops are white with red and blue roofs with bright colors. Overhead, planes fly around leaving red white and blue trails. Overlooking the town is Mount Rushmore with American flags on each side with the sun rising. And there are American flags and red white and blue all over. While one looks around, patriotic music plays in the background, "Coming to America," "God Bless the USA," "Independence Day," "My Hometown," "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue," and others.

And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

The place offers a number of freebies. For instance near the entrance, there are a couple hats available. Most items however one has to pay for, sometimes hundreds of Lindens. For a place where you can find more freebies, check out the Corner of Revolving Time. But there's still plenty of free goodies here. You can get a free band uniform that comes with a few instruments.

Daniel Voyager dropped by about the same time I did, and we ended up taking both of the free hats. Check out Daniel's article on his blog (here).

One corner of the sim is darker than the rest. This is where you can see a fireworks show, right over a copy of the Statue of Liberty.

Besides shop and get freebies, there's a sack race track you can try out with others. There's a pie-eating contest setup. There's also a drive-in theater at one corner of the sim. There are several movies set to play, although the schedule as to what plays when was unavailable.

A cheerful 4rth of July location.

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Tips on Raising Meeroos

By Kitacelia Resident

Meeroos are among the most popular of breedable animals in SL. The Mainstore sells many starter packs, which while convenient offer the least sought after types for a price much higher than they would ever sell for as individual nests.  While it gives you a home and food for so many weeks, I do not recommend this package unless you happen to have a lot more lindens than you do time.  All meeroos start out in nests, which you coax, please make sure the land is set to the same group or it may not find a home.  These homes cost about 250L, and can house up to 8 meeroos.  Meeroos of different kinds coats and sizes will all share the same home.  Homes come in many shapes and designs, just make sure it is a home designed as an official home and not something purely aesthetic.

Meeroos mature in about 7 real-life days, at which point they are able to mate.  To mate their personalities must be compatible for example aggressive will not mate with friendly but will made with shy. They have seasons which differ depending on basic type and region they come from.  all meeroos can interbreed. Meeroos will stop breeding at 60 days of age, but still require food.
You can lengthen the season of a meeroo by purchasing a "battery" at the mainstore or elsewhere.

Meeroos eat four times a day and there are five types of meeroo foods, desert grass which feeds those from arid regions, berries which feed those from temperate areas, and jungle vines which feed those who come from more tropical locales. Florofruit feeds all nocturnal meeroos.  Ambroosia feeds all types of meeroos besides meepets.  Ambroosia costs a little more than the other food types because it is easier.  All food is cheaper in bulk amounts.

Meeroos will run away if they do not have food for 3 real-life days.  A meeroo who runs away or is lost some other way other than being released can be whistled back by a Customer Service Representative for a cost of about 350.  There are also toys, decorations and costumes you can purchase for your meeroos, but they are not required. Meeroos can be made into non-eating, non-breeding meepets that do not run away for a cost of 1000 lindens each.  They will then eat free honey from the mainstore. It is a little cheaper if you buy the honey-dipper in bulk. 

Meeroos come with several distinct traits. Some of the most sought after include rabbit-like or "flitter" ears and vulpine like or fox characteristics.  They come in sizes that include teacup, toy, small, average, large and giant, the sizes tend to be more individul preference than anything.   The ears can be soft, button, notched, long down, short down, flitter, upright, or normal, or fringed only in the case of nocturnals. tails can be feline, curl, long, vulpine, normal,  or in the cases of noctural lantern or brush, which is the standard for nocturnals.  Only nocturnals have bioluminescence which can be shimmer, dew or sparkling.  Nocts have a lure, unlike diuranl roos, the lure can be ancient, classic, sweptback or the much sought after "scarab" which is a double lure which looks like a pair of antennae.  Coats can be striped as in bengal, or masked, solid etc.  Nocts usually have a sort of spotted tribal pattern to their coats.  

There are limited meeroo such as dryad ,which do not pass on their traits but which have a very very slim chance of being produced by almost any breeding pair.   Clover were a beta-testing gift and also do not pass on traits.   In the next version release they are going to have wings and horns as possible traits, which is much eagerly awaited.

Kitacelia Resident