Monday, October 24, 2016

Burn2 in Second Life

by Grease Coakes

Burn2 in Second Life was an exciting event to participate in. Not only did I DJ a few times at the dj stage which was a large wooden ship I also was in the lamplighter procession traveling from sim to sim. In fact I had to end my dj set at 11am SLT for the procession between the sims to begin.

For those who might not know, Burn2 is the inworld version of the Burning Man festival, an annual event in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. It’s based on a few principles such as "radical" inclusion, self-reliance community cooperation, civic responsibility, gifting, decommodification, participation, immediacy and leaving no trace and self-expression. It’s based on a temporary community of sharing art through music and sculpture all for bringing pleasure to the participants. Burn rangers and other avatars rented the sims every year for this grand event.

Second Life has brought that same atmosphere to inside your computer as I was a DJ to share my music. To adhere to the principles, I wasn’t allowed a tip jar and I was not allowed to ask for tips. I was sharing my music as part of the Burning Man theme.

Timothy S. McTaggart (tsmt01 Resident) said he himself has been to Burning Man and he had this to say as he was one of the builders, “Dusty and crazy but worth the trip.” In addition, he said, “This is the only real-life Burning Man sanctioned regional that burns 'The Man.' ” In other words Second Life is the only other place Burning man is allowed.

The Burning man is exciting even in a virtual universe and was fireballs of fun. If you get the chance come participate in Second Life or if you’re lucky go to the real one in Nevada.

As my DJ set ended, Burning man requested that the limbo sim be cleared for the lamplighters to prepare their parade like procession rangers guided us from one sim to the other. It was fun as they asked me to help carry the lamps Fifi Candyfloss and Franja Russell were lamplighters and firedancers among others. One of the burners Ratatosk Independent wrote this poem as self expression.

 Eye music
Firework is like music for the eye.
Flowers and thunder in the sky.
Magicians send up flowers with ease
Patterns and wonders and buzzing bees!
It's one of humankind's better invention!
Love and laughter its only intention.

Laura loves the Fire Workers of Burning Man 2015

As I carried the lamps I heard drums like native American music with chants and rhythmic beat that was entrancing. Towards the end I was watching the fire dancers do amazing dances with torches. It was a no brainer that Burning Man was a hot event when I was djing and watching the fire dancers

Near the end of the event on Saturday there was an effigy burn as part of Burn2, the "Burning of the Man." There was avatars EVERYWHERE. Everyone and their dog was chanting BURN HIM. Based on "The Man" from this year's Burning Man, the wooden figure was smaller than on most years, but it burned hot and bright just the same.

For those who haven't been to the Burn2 area, or haven't seen the whole thing yet, the art exhibits will still be up for two or three days. You can marvel at the drawings of Leonardo DaVinci's genius come to life, or rezz a mutant vehicle and have some laughs as you drive around in a martini glass or red wagon.

Grease Coakes

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Scenes from Burn2

By Gemma Cleanslate

My second visit to the playa at Burn2 led me to the roadways so I could view some of the many marvelous installations that are there . I stopped off at some of my friends’ builds . First I stopped at Davinci’s Parachute created by the invited artist Cica Ghost and picked up my own parachute . The bust of Davinci is a work" in progress."

Across the way I marveled at the wonder ship by Danger Lytton designed so closely to the original drawing .

 Next I stopped over to view Leondra Larrson’s Transformation by the 5th Element which alchemists believed was concentrated in the spirit or the ‘dust’ and fitting to be celebrated in Second Life on the Playa. 

 Nearby I went through Davinci’s Whymsical  Garden designed by Cordelia Cerise. Here I found tributes to Davinci’s diverse interests planted , anatomy, art, inventions, science, architecture, and aviation all depicted in one place.Be sure to walk through.

 The work of ÐαN™Şίℓνзrşмίtђ Ϯ (GuitarDan Silversmith) I found amazing. Check out the machines displayed on his installation. and don’t miss the ones inside the museum.

 These are just a few of the many builds you will find on the playa at Burn2. There  so many to visit or view from the flying ship . You have until Monday to see it all.
Don’t forget to check out the performances going on during the week. The calendar is here along with all the information to help you understand what Burn2 is.

Gemma Cleanslate

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Press Day At Burn2

By Gemma Cleanslate

 I had a wonderful time at Press Day at the Burn2 sims. I met my friend Leondra Larsson, a Ranger and builder  at the entrance and was greeted also by Molly Nakamori, one of the official greeters. The theme this year is Davinci’s Workshop. 

This event is described, ”BURN2 is an extension of the Burning Man festival and community into the world of Second Life. It is an officially sanctioned Burning Man Regional, the only virtual world Regional out of more than 100 Regional groups worldwide, and the only Regional to burn the Man! This unique virtual Regional spreads the culture and Ten Principles of Burning Man year-round in Second Life, culminating in an annual major festival of community, art and fire in the fall - a virtual echo of Burning Man itself.” Many volunteers work year long to put on this event. 

The area in the center this year is filled with the Center Camp which remains mostly in its usual form but is surrounded by the “Man” by Pygar Bu,’‘ The Temple’ by Toady Nakamura, and a lovely home for the Lamplighters. I visited with the Lamplighters for a while and watched them perform before I joined in. iSkye Silverweb, who is a lead for the event distracted me from my purpose and I spent time there playing instead of working! LOL .I did find out that the Lamplighters will be doing two processions a day after the opening Saturday morning at 10am slt where you will see them perform. They will be at the burning of the Man and the next day, The Temple next weekend.

I was able to take a tour of the sims in a flying machine. As I flew over in a device that is reminiscent of Davinci’s famous drawing I saw so many marvelous plots that made me feel I was back in the day of the artist. You can catch this traveling machine near the Deparment of Mutant Vehicles where you can also find some fun machines to travel along the roadways. I visited the DJ Stage where there will be parties every day during the event. I did see Toady sitting in the temple enjoying her work. She was happy to build the temple but told me that iSkye made the Da Vinci Printing Press/Censer where you can leave messages to be read while the temple burns. iSkye spent many hours preparing it Toady said. 

I also ran into some friends whose parcels I will be visiting during the week and will write about. I stopped to pick up some gifts at the gift area you will see near the entrance so don’t miss those. The greeters have a whole backpack of goodies for you too. Here is the entrance to get you started. Have fun and plan to visit often during the week.

 Gemma Cleanslate

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Scenes From Ladyslipper Constantine's Service

Last Saturday October 1, a memorial service was given for Ladyslipper Constantine, whom had passed away on September 17. Gemma Cleanslate was there, and wrote a short article about the service, but had taken more pictures than the article could accommodate. So here are some more.

Pictures by Gemma Cleanslate

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Furry Fashion Halloween Hunt for 2016

By Bixyl Shuftan

Like may of her customers, Amethyst Crystal, the owner of Furry Fashion, has a great love for Halloween. So for weeks she and her staff have been working on a special Halloween area: The 2016 Furry Fashion Halloween Hunt: The Drageth School of Magic."

"Our take on our own version of a magic school," Amethyst called the place, "I'm a big fan of fantasy and magic. I have the Harry Potter books on audio, I listen to (them) quite often."

Just the look of the place is enough to bring people, the overall spookiness, the erie-looking woods, the creepy creatures, the tentacled horrors, the tombstones, "R.I.P Skyler Glasswing: Lost in Teleport," and the haunted castle where the School of Magic is. The castle has numerous hallways, passages, and rooms. And you never really can know what's behind those spooky-looking doors until you open them.

But of course there's more. This being Furry Fashion, there's a number of stalls and vendors offering a variety of outfits and avatars. There's witch, convict, bat, spider, and more.  The majority are fitting for a Halloween event.  There are also textures for modders and builders.

And of course there is the hunt. Placed throughout the area are thirty magic books. Each contains a prize, such as shorts, dresses, jewelry, and more. To give those looking around an idea what to look for, there's a sample spellbook on the fireplace next to the arrival point. While they have the same shape, they do come in different colors and some are better hidden than others. They are both in and outside the castle.

Besides the Halloween area, Furry Fashion still has it's everyday avatars and outfits at ground level, as well as the Furry Fashion Lounge which has events every day except most Mondays. No doubt many of these parties will give shoppers a chance to wear their outfits before and after Halloween.

As for next year, "I've already got staff giving me suggestions to what to do for next year," Amethyst told me, "One of the staff is obsessed with skeletons so wants a undead ballroom. She loves anything to do with skeletons, bone mods,dancing skeletons, etc. Another suggested Alice in Wonderland."

To get to the Halloween area, those at ground level at Furry Fashion can teleport up there via a fireplace, "on the ground level of the sim between FF Main store and the Gacha Resell Shop. ... people can click the flames and it turns into a teleporter." Furry Fashion is also taking part in the "Quest Fur Cover" shopping hunt, so it's hunters will also receive the landmark to it. Or one can just head to Furry (198/167/2480).

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Presidential Debate From the Clinton HQ at Bay City

By Bixyl Shuftan

On Monday September 26 at just after 6PM SL time, the first Presidential debate took place between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump. Besides television, one could also see the debate online, including in Second Life where it was streamed in places. Among them, the Clinton HQ in Bay City.

The location has been in Bay City since July, a two-story tall brick building decorated with flowers and red, white, and blue. Inside were posters championing their nominee and ridiculing Trump, as well as the previous Republican President, Bush. In the middle back was a stage with two podiums, each with a cardboard cutout of one of the candidates. There were about a dozen chairs in front of the stage, and a couple stools. Some sat in them. Others stood. Attendance varied a little as some left early and a few arrived late, but it's safe to assume a few dozen attended. A few were in clothes with political themes, "I'm With Her," "America Was Already Great." The crowd was mostly female, which probably explained someone saying when I stepped in, "Oh good, another male!"

Not all came to simply watch. A few griefers showed up, including one, strangely enough, in a chicken avatar with a Trump flag, "I guess we now know why the chicken crossed the road." Another yelled, "Vote trump you furry luving coomie scum!" Someone joked that the griefer was no fan of "Fox news." Another mused, "A coomie is a large present." One would later comment, "(I) was a little disappointed with the griefers. I expected something clever."

The screen behind the podium when clicked on would show a live feed of the debate, at least for those whose viewers were enabled with the right streaming software. During the course of the debate, it was no surprise as this was a pro-Democratic party location that the crowd was clearly rooting for Clinton, "His hair is just so awful." "He looks all squinty-eyed and constipated." "Is it just me or does he sniff up snot every other sentence?" (a reference to "sniffing" noises Trump seemed to make on occasion) "Nothing he does is presidential." "Trump is so annoying." "Oh-em-gee, he is soooo delusional!"

There were a few comments that weren't so pro-Clinton, "I don't think she looks so well either." "The moderator is biased, and I don't like her playing the race card." And there was a joke aimed at the moderator, "Lester Holt's glasses are, in fact, x-ray specs. he can see them naked." The more noted SL personalities there were more reserved or neutral in their comments. One person slumped forward in her chair, away from keyboard. Someone joked she'd fallen asleep from the debate.

When the debate ended, everyone who expressed an opinion was confident that Clinton had one. A couple people expressed their appreciation for me being there, "Thank you Bixyl for being here as (a) reporter." Some were looking forward to round two, "Hope to see ya again at 2nd debate." One person stated they had already voted via an absentee ballot, due to a vacation planned for election time.

I did do a "Search" for Trump locations, but only one had people around, and only a couple at that. As I've heard some people continue to express political opinions critical of the Democratic candidate since Linden Lab banned the leader and several others of the controversial Trump Organization group a few months ago, it may be that the serious Trump supporters (as opposed to griefers pretending to be them) are keeping a low profile.

As heated as the political banter was tonight, with the charges of Trump being "dangerous," it's notable that four years ago the vitriol was pretty high as well, despite that since then Democrats have calmed down over the Republican nominee Romney. So once this battle is over, will the Democrats forget what they spoke about Trump? Time will tell.

For those wishing to visit the Clinton HQ, it is located at (Argos 36, 253, 25).

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, September 23, 2016

Memorial Service For Catt Gable

By Bixyl Shuftan

It was Saturday September 3 in which news reached Second Life of the passing of a member of the Relay: Catt "Kala" Gable. She had been a member of the Relay Rockers. Two weeks later on September 17, there was a memorial service to her. As 5PM approached, people began gathering under a large tent at the Relay dAlliez sim. There was plenty of seating available, and more than forty people were present. Some had the title "Relaying for Catt." There was music playing, including, "These Are The Times We Will Remember."

Did you know that before you came into my life
It was some kind of miracle that I survived
Some day we will both look back
And have to laugh
We lived through a lifetime
And the aftermath

This is the time to remember
Cause it will not last forever
These are the days
To hold on to
Cause we won't
Although we want to
This is the time
But time is gonna change
I know we've got to move somehow
But I don't want to lose you know

A number of people had a some words to say. Among them was Nuala Maracas, "I first met Catt, she will always be Catt to me, even though she changed her name to Kala, … I first met Catt back in 2006.....almost 10 years ago....40 years ago if you go by Second Life  comparison.   When you have known a person, face to face, for that length of time, you get to know their nuisances,  you can see their face when they speak, but most importantly you can see their eyes... their windows to their soul.    In the virtual world, we rely on our emotional gut feelings.  We hear the inflections in their voices.  We hear the caring, the trust, the honesty, the empathy, and the playfulness within their words.  And these traits are amplified 100 times when words are not spoken often.

"Catt Gable was one of those people.   A caring, honest, empathetic  soul, whose words, when spoken, spoke volumes.  When Catt spoke, she let you see into the windows of her soul through her voice.

"In November 2014,Catt had been through a serious medical emergency. She had had respiratory failure followed by cardiac arrest several times and kidney failure. She was missing from Second Life for a couple months until she was able to get access to a computer and get in touch with us.She remained in the hospital for several more months, but, with her laptop in her hospital bed she walked the Relay Track with her team once again in July 2015.   She got to go home in August.  While she was in the hospital more tests were done and reviewed and only 1 week after returning home, she was called back to her  doctor's office….. she had cancer.

"Now, I had never met  Catt in person, but  I knew she was a proud person, a private person.So when she shared her diagnosis  with me last year, I knew it not only must have been difficult for her to share something so private, but that is also must be  serious.  I recall her saying, a few months back, “ I want to share my story sometime. It might help others.”  To hear that coming from Catt was like someone took a mega phone and stood next to me and yelled in it.  It was serious….. It was Stage 4  uterine cancer with some metastasis.

"Never once did Catt stop taking care of others.  She tended to the Memorial Garden on ACS Island, she comforted those who needed comfort, never letting her situation overshadow that of someone else's.   Few even knew of her diagnosis until almost 7 months later when she shared her story at the Relay For Life kick off.  Cat became the curator of the Memorial Gardens at The American Cancer Society and helped many find the special place for a photo of their loved one.  She spent countless hours in the gardens talking to whomever happened by, whether for just a peaceful place to be or to pay respects to a loved one.  There is no better way to express what the gardens meant to Catt….than in her own word from her speech at the Relay For Life Kick Off last March.

"Catt had a fantastic sense of humour and loved finding the good and fun in everyone and everything.  To this day, I still haul out these bagpipes she had me playing at her wedding many years ago.  I sounded awful...just as if she had given me them in the non virtual world.  But I played those pipes every chance I had over the next couple years and laughed hard each time. 

"We has a lot of good laughs when we organized It’s Raining Men Date Auction for the Relay Rockers.  I think she had more fun auditioning the men than actually running the event. And The Chip N Dale Dancers, she had a wicked sense of humour when helping to organize that event.

"Her sense of style was to be envied.  She was not a model in Second Life but she could have outlasted and outplayed any top model in here …..why?  Because she had grace.

"I learned something about Catt, after she had passed, that shocked me.  She LOVED heavy metal music...she was a metal head!  Never in my wildest imagination would I have put Catt Gable and Heavy Metal Music in the same sentence.   But apparently she did do just that as she was wrote music reviews for a magazine in Los Angeles in the 80’s.     I wonder if she had the leather jackets and spikes and that wild hair that was the style of the day back then.

"I will forever miss our chats.  We talked about nothing and everything at the same time.  We had catch up time every so often . She had always found a new area to explore, new people she met, or just reminisce about some fun time from the past 10 years.

"I am so glad Catt was able to make Relay weekend this year.   She walked the opening Survivor Lap, and she walked the final lap of relay to the closing ceremonies. She logged off for the last time at the end of Relay.   I can’t think of a more fitting way for Catt Gable to leave this wonderful Virtual World ...doing what she loved… Relaying."

Christina Georgina Rossetti offered a poem: "Miss Me, But Let Me Go......"

When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in a gloom filled room
Why cry for a soul set free!
Miss me a little, but not for long,
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love we once shared,
Miss me, but let me go!
For this a journey we all must take,
And each must go alone;
It’s all a part of the master’s plan
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart
Go to the friends we know,
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds,

Chipnonk Zhong offered another after a few words, "Hi I'd like to share a memory of Catt. she was such a wonderful person and when I first came into SL, she is the one that found me and we got talking about Relay for Life. She is the one who got me on the Rockers team and helped out Diamond and Denimas do events. And she was such a great friend to me. I will miss her dearly and here is a little something for all of you that was written to bring us comfort on such a great friend."

I took a stroll down Memory Lane,
A journey that should have been fun.
What I found was hurt and pain,
Over things that couldn't be undone.

Thoughts - Slide back to the beginning,
Each memory - A vacation in yesterday.
No way to change the ending,
The happiness has gone away.

The Moon has lost its silvery glow,
The Sky has lost its comforting hue.
No magic left in the Rainbow,
To make the wishes come true.

The death of a heart happens so slow,
Shedding off the hopes and dreams.
Like a million flakes of winters snow,
and evaporating like a cloud of steam.

Doubts and fears invade my mind,
The obvious no longer apparent.
Happiness and Joy so hard to find,
When you lose a child,spouse or parent. 

Another poem was from Peachy Sassoon, "Life."

                      I sit here watching as
                      friends and family pour
                     I look into those deep
                     beautiful eyes of yours
                     and start to ask why oh
                    Wiping my tears I listen
                     to my heart and hear
                     silent words spoken
                    I come here not to mourn
                    your death but to
                    celebrate your
                    You take with you on
                    your journey a part
                    of each and everyone of
                    In return we keep a
                    part of you within our

Trader Whiplash had a message from Panza Elide, "When the thought of where I wanted to wed Bain hit me, I knew it had to be on ACS Island.  We had been to the memorial garden many times, visiting and remembering lost friends.  I wanted those friends at my wedding also.  Catt was our resource to contact, and she was so instrumental in contacting Sting and making sure our having a marriage ceremony there would be okay.

"That is my most precious memory of Catt.....her part in making my dream come true.  A beautiful, gracious soul who was always there to help others.When the thought of where I wanted to wed Bain hit me, I knew it had to be on ACS Island.  We had been to the memorial garden many times, visiting and remembering lost friends.  I wanted those friends at my wedding also.  Catt was our resource to contact, and she was so instrumental in contacting Sting and making sure our having a marriage ceremony there would be okay.

"That is my most precious memory of Catt.....her part in making my dream come true.  A beautiful, gracious soul who was always  there to help others."

With the statements and poems over, people began to talk freely, "I look up and smile, knowing that Catt is watching us." "She was a beautiful soul."  "Here is love for Catt from all of us." "May she rest in peace with Alliez." "She's probably already Relaying with Dr Klatt and crew." "There's not a doubt in my mind on that." "Fitting that the Lighthouse we all landed in so many times is outside the tent.""Alliez was her first friend in SL. I am sure she was there to greet her and show her how to use her wings." "Can hear Catt say I know how to wear those wings." "Catt earned her wings along time ago." "We are all that much better for having known Catt."

A number of people expressed their condolences to Catt's friend, Woodstock Burleigh, "Woody, we're here for you and share your loss, brother." "She smiling at ya Woody" "We love you Woody."

"Thanks for this memorial." "Thank you, Trader and Rockers, for sharing Catt with us." "Thank you for having this for us.  Catt will never be gone from us as long we hold her in our hearts."

People were then invited to, "Please feel free to wander out back and see the memorial. You won't fall in the water." Many of the people walked down a series of stone steps, which concluded with a cross standing over a circle of flowers, with a stone in the middle, with her name, time in Second Life, and a quote from the Bible, "My heart and flesh may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever: Psalm 73:26." The stone's last words were "Relayer, Guardian, Friend."

"We will leave it here for awhile until we have the permanent home and will let everyone know," we were told about the memorial. Someone dropped a pink pony, "Rosa Pony! I still have mine somewhere in inventory." "The pink pony that you so laughed at Morgan and us." "I will ride my Pony Rosa once around the track at the next Relay for Catt." When it was brought up there were pony avatars that could be made pink, some responded they just might get one and do a lap around the Relay track next year in Catt's honor.

Eventually, people began going their separate ways. But they would keep on remembering their friend.

This is the time to remember
Cause it will not last forever
These are the days
To hold on to
Cause we won't
Although we want to
This is the time
But time is gonna change
I know we've got to move somehow
But I don't want to lose you know

Bixyl Shuftan