Monday, September 29, 2014

What's New at the LEA

By Gemma Cleanslate

The  Linden Endowment of the Arts  have granted their regions to the artists for the next three months. Most builds are almost ready and you can actually get to visit some now. Bixyl did write about  Pinwheels LEA 26 a few weeks back (link). I took a look at several and recommend visiting them all.  

One that I loved was the region called Black Elk. It is a tribute to the lovely prophetic words of Black Elk, a native American medicine man or shamen. It is a beautiful display on LEA1. You will see his words in the air amid horses and other symbols of the spirit of nature.  Livio Oak Korobase (Livio Korobase) is the creator in this region. Above in the air is a stunning collection of symbols in a hovering tiny planet like build overseen by flying doves. Sit and enjoy.

On LEA16 Dave Searby Mason had created a three level interactive experience you don’t want to miss. Use the notecard you will find there to help you enjoy each level to the fullest. The ground level is restful. The tp at the entrance will take you up to the sound spheres where headphones will enhance the visit. Wander and listen. Another tp will take you to the third level of which David says, "is also designed to walk through like the spheres but here the visual aim is different.  I wanted to create a ghostly feel to add another dimension to the sounds."  It is an experience not to be missed. 

Another that I enjoyed very much is LEA 10, La Palma Sculpture Garden by Peli Dieterle, still a work in progress. There are lovely sculpts in the area near the water now. However the setting is so restful I brought out my horse and took a long ride up the winding road to the top and back down again. The build around the interesting sculptures is delightful. Take a tp over there. While you are at the welcome area cam out and take a look at the pieces of art that are in the sky.

This is just a sample of the regions you can visit. There are other TPs from the welcome area to take and you can save the LM to come back many times over. Some of the regions will be holding events at various times during their stay and there is a calendar on the website .I will do another article on more of the exhibits. There are many! You can start at the Welcome area . Here you will find posters for the various regions with their teleport slurl by clicking on the poster. This will take you to the sim.  Connect to the blog or website from the welcome area poster that lists it. 

Gemma Cleanslate

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Prehistorica: The Dawn Kingdoms

By Xymbers Slade

While wandering about the other day, I managed to spot someone in a tiny velociraptor avatar that looked incredibly well done. I got a landmark from them and immediately headed over to a place known as "Prehistorica, The Dawn Kingdoms."

I'm glad I did. I haven't been impressed by what goes on in SL in a long long long time, which is why I haven't written much for the Newser. However, here at The Dawn Kingdoms, I can honestly say I'm impressed by what I have found. You begin in front of the store, where there are tons of avatars to choose from, both sculpt and mesh. All of the classic favorites, from the triceratops, tyrannosaurus rex, stegosaurus, Pteranadon, and the ankylosaurus (my personal favorite) are available at about $2000L each. I did not look at the sculpts, but I only assume they're cheaper and are earlier versions of the meshes.

Behind you there's a portal to a few prehistoric-themed areas (jungle, beach, pond and some petrasaur cliffs, which I did not go exploring to on account of heavy lag). It might be slower on older machines because there's a LOT of stuff to load (it was very laggy for me, but it can't be avoided with the amount of detail that's down there, plus I have my settings on high, which adds to the problem). Deciding to splurge on myself I picked up an Ankylosaur and a Tyrannosaur.

Both avs I picked up come with three separate folders, and you -have- to put the folders on in order or there will be errors (according to the notecard)... you can't just throw everything into one folder and put it on all at once. The AO that comes with the avatar is very detailed and colorful, and best of all it seems to be -intuitive-, meaning that for those of us who never bother reading the notecard (such as myself) it's easy to figure out. There are about 16 different default skins, with room for four more custom, and 20 eye colors/four claw/four tooth skins. There are about 24 different gestures (six sounds, six combat, six poses, six "life" gestures, such as eating and drinking).

The "Extras" folder they come with adds some decorations (like a watering hole or some eggs) though I don't know why the folder would include some "gift vendors" scripted to ask you for permission to your $L account. That's my only bone to pick with the whole thing.

I'm giving the place five Dragon Hoards out of five without hesitation (even in the face of the "gift vendors", even though the T-Rex sounds make me think of the old movie "Jurassic Park" (what would I know, we don't know what they sounded like, after all). The avatars are well done for the price, the animation is great and they're cheaper than some of the other meshes I have seen. Having an intuitive HUD really helps.

The Dawn Kingdoms can be found at Fort Nowhere (130,127,1101).

Xymbers Slade

(For Becky Shamen's article on Prehistoria, Click Here

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Vinyl Museum: The Club for Lovers of Classic Rock

By Wesley Regenbogen

The Vinyl Museum is a place in the Sunweavers Estates area and it’s the place where music lovers will find what they are looking for. The place is beautifully designed and it has a central fountain is really in the main area. It was built about five years ago in 2009. RECoyote Mindes created the location and his SL wife Perri Prinz created the club, known at the time as "Perri's Xanadu." Since then, it was renamed the "Green Meadows Club," after a club in Perri's stories, and then given it's current name last year.
In the center of the main area there is a large water fountain. There are also a few shops nearby. "Who will you be today?" is the message one reads before going into a place offering a selection of outfits.  One corner is the meeting place of the FCA (Furry Club Alliance). There's also a teleporter which can take you to a few other locations. To teleport to another area within the sim, you need to click the colored area on the ground just in front of the club's entrance. Once you right-click on it, you need to choose “Touch” and then a chair appears. A menu appears with the locations you can teleport to. Choose one of the areas. You need to right-click it and choose ‘Sit here” on the chair to start the teleporter. You will be teleported to the area you choose within minutes. The teleporter will teleport you “Star Trek”-wise towards your new location, which looks very cool. When I gave it a try, there was a problem with the teleporter, but I’m sure that the owner fixed it already.
There is a radio station playing music when you enter the place, 70s music. Perri's personal stream is called "Rockin' Rabbit Radio," but there is often another classic rock station playing between events.  If you feel the need to rest a bit, there are chairs to sit on in the main area. The place has a very colorful dance floor, with  lights shinning down, and  the center looking like a huge slow-spinning vinyl record. The walls are well decorated with rock music artwork. Very cool.
There is a group called “The Vinyl Museum” where you can get more information about the place and also where you can get notified when there are events taking place.
In my personal opinion, this place is the place to be when you are into music, especially 70s music. Since we mostly use CDs and DVDs, vinyls are a bit old-fashioned,but every medium has it’s charm, right ?
Wesley Regenbogen 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Club Cutlass: The Pirate Club of the Sunweaver Community

By Wesley Regenbogen

Club Cutlass is the club where the residents of the Sunweaver Estates, and everyone else, can have fun and dance. 
Club Cutlass and Club Zero G were created by Rita Mariner an her group “The Sunweavers” when she owned almost the whole sim of Pockwock, on the Mainland., back in 2007. She might have owned the clubs, "but we all kicked in our talents, from building to textures, to scripting, to create them. They were a labor of love and fun. Really cool places to just hang out."
The club is decorated like a pirate scene. How she came up with the idea of creating this club, she says, “Don't really remember, might be a group thing. Thought it would be fun to have a group hangout, play music dance, etc. And since the sim was partly pirate themed, what better than a pirate club?”
They hold a dance event every now and then and they also hold a dance contest as well. The club manager is Jenni Greenfield. They specialize in 'LIVE' Music from our DJ's It makes for a more fun evening when the DJ's try to out do each other with what songs they can find. While the Club is normally only open 3 days a week for a couple hours, "we do allow members to use the space for special events, parties, etc. That is what the club is there for."

The club is nicely decorated, making use of both pirate and steampunk elements. It's not how it first looked, but is the latest of a few design changes in it's history. The creator of the current version, up since Feb 2012, is Indio Quinnell.
The DJs decide which music they play. The music genre ranges from : Rock n Roll, My Little Pony, Steampunk, Heavy Metal, Weird Al, Humor, Country, Religious, whatever crosses the DJ's mind to drop on us. Plus they do take requests.
The radio stations that are streamed within the club are : 181.FM (a commercial radio station),  Farshore Radio, and also Nydia Tungsten's KVXN. So they have a large choice.
Rita Mariner owns both clubs in name, but they really belong to “The Sunweavers." They built them, they attend them, as long as they keep supporting them, they will exist!
You can find the club at :

By Wesley Regenbogen

Monday, September 8, 2014

Pinwheels at LEA 26

By Bixyl Shuftan

Recently at the Linden Endowment of the Arts sim LEA 26, there's an interesting new exhibit called "Pinwheels." A display of fractal art, it takes up most of the length and width of the sim in three dimensions, and every few moments parts of the display will shift position at random. It's made up of triangular-shaped prims high over the sim, going from the starting position in a walkable twisting path consisting of steep cliffs and twisting bends.

While giving the place a visit, in mid-August, I ran into the artist, Mac Kanashimi. He had a few things to say about the place.

"So this is your exhibit?" I asked him.

"It is," Mac answered.

I looked around, "Looks pretty big. Just how much of the sim does it cover?"

"All of it," Mac answered.

"We're just shy of 3000 in the air," I observed, "Does it go all the way to the bottom?"

"Oh no," he answered, "the path (of fractals) goes 256 meters deep."

"What gave you the idea for this build?" I asked.

Mac's answer was, "After my Mandelbrot fractal art in round 4, I skipped round 5 to build fractal prototypes. This is one of the fractals for which I built a prototype. There is a list of fractals on Wikipedia for inspiration."

"Was it hard for you to create it here?" I asked.

"When I deployed it on August 2," he answered, "it was just push the button and wait. It is all scripted."

"How long was the wait?" I asked.

"Somewhere between one and two hours," Mac answered.

"To those not in the know," I asked, "could you explain a little what fractal art is?"

The artist answered, "a fractal is a pattern which is repeated on a different scale. I use 2D fractals and the third dimension is used for the art."

"About how long will this be running in Second Life?" I asked.

Mac answered, " 'till end of December,"

"So far, about how many have been coming here?" I requested.

"1743 different visitors," he responded, "including me and my alt." (the interview was done August 17)

"That's quite a number," I told him, then asked, "About how many a day drop in?"

Mac answered, "between 200-250 since this exhibition appeared in the Editors' Picks category of the Destination Guide."

"So what else have you worked on in Second Life?" I then asked him.

Mac thought for a moment, "Round 6 was Dragon Curves, Round 4 was 3D Mandelbrot Fractal Art. SL8B - SL11B, and an exhibit of small 3D fractals. (The) SL birthday exhibit was a 3-ring gyro with a seat, 88 polyhedron skeletons, a 3D maze and a small dragon curve."

"Sounds like you've been busy," I told the artist.

"Since my SL birthday," he answered.

I had noticed Mac's headwear was done in a style I recognized. So I then asked, "By the way, whom did your hat?"

Mac answered, "the hat was designed my Mikati Slade-san. The hat was a gift during her 'Pico Pico Life' exhibit. I am her scripting advisor."

"Interesting, so you both work together at times?" I asked.

Mac told me, "I assisted behind the scenes with her SL9B Cake Stage."

We were temporarily distracted by a naked visitor dropping in. I commented to the artist, "Heh heh, looks like you get no shortage of interesting visitors Mac."

The streaker then vanished, Mac saying, "I put him on the ban list for indecent exposure."

 I chuckled, "Heh heh, so who have been your most interesting vistors here?"

"Reporters and artists are interesting," he answered, "SaveMe Oh was interesting."

I recalled SaveMe as having gotten the boot from a few places, including Burn2. "What did she do here?" I asked.

"She specializes in wearable exhibitions," the artist told me, saying this time she wore, "dressing cabins with wait-in-line cords and a queue of waiting NPCs, also a complete house and a herd of zebras."

I chuckled, "Heh, sounds funny."

"Oh yes," Mac commented, "but I did move the landing point, otherwise visitors landed inside the house. If someone is hogging the landing point, I always move it to a different spot."

"Sounds like you've been busy here," I told him, "I take it you're already at work on future plans?"

"I am," he answered, "but I have not chosen the definite subject yet."

Before leaving, I asked, "Anything else you'd like to mention about Pinwheels or any other project?"

the artist answered, "for every project, something interesting pops up. For the Mandelbrot fractals, it was the link limit. For Pinwheels it was letting each object know what the direct neighbours are. For Dragon Curves, how to fit 10 curves together like a jigsaw puzzle."

"Okay, well, thank you for your time, Mac."

"You're welcome."

I tipped my hat, and we parted ways.

Pinwheels can be visited at LEA26 (118/5/2969).

Bixyl Shuftan