Monday, November 19, 2018

Paradise Fire Benefit Party

By Bixyl Shuftan

Earlier this month the wildfires in California made front page news when they burned the town of Paradise to the ground. Scenes of the devastation were shown in print, television, and Internet media. In Second Life about a week ago on Sunday November 11, there was a benefit party at The Golden Tambourine for Bella  Kross Swordthain (bella1 Abbot), of the Bonanza Country Club and the Captain of Team Bonanza of the Relay for Life. In the Relay group, people were invited to come over and donate to help her get back on her feet.

Join us at Golden Tambourine for Bella Abbot Benefit... Bella lost everything in Paradise CA Fire this week   Coral Sunset (224,208,22)   Captain of Team Bonanza - Cancer Survivor - Join Us as We Take Care Of Our Own!

In group chat, people talked about how bad the situation for the people was, Sara Llewellyn (Sarandel Llewellyn) saying "Here's a glimpse into what used to be Paradise for 27,000 people: . " Sara Llewellyn (Sarandel Llewellyn) told the group about the firefighters combating the blaze, "Picture this: You're on an airplane. You look out and see a wildfire below. Your job is to jump out of your plane into the path of a raging inferno There are no hospitals for a hundred miles, no roads out of the area, and no water to be had. You have to put this monster out with just a shovel and a pickaxe. Just another day in the life of a California Smokejumper: ."

Dropping by, I was greeted with a hello, and saw a number from the Relay there, such as DJ Madonna and Trader Whipladh. "Help us help Bella, donate to the mushroom tip jar," someone spoke, directing attention to a tip jar on stage. Chipmunk Zhong, the owner of the Golden Tambourine, encouraged people to give, "All donations will go to Bella directly. ... She lost everything in real life, she staying with her sister and mom, her real-life hubby jojo and the doggie." She would describe a recent conversation with her, "when I had a chance to talk to her ... she kind of chuckled amongst her tears. She said, 'at least I don't have to worry about the skunks under my house anymore.' But deep down she is devastated." Shawna Love Compton (Shawna LittleBoots) spoke, "Well the fire took her home, But with Jo jo being hospital it saved there lives. I am sure God works in mysterious ways, but then there is other things that happen not so God. But I know he loves us all all the time."

The original goal was to try to get a total of 100,000 Linden dollars donated, Trader Whiplash reminding everyone, "L$100,000 = about $400. That will help in so many ways. Let's make it happen!" People would talk about the wildfires in Paradise and other parts of California, "Just the Paradise fire alone the death toll is 23 people, 20 percent containment. And that isn't a complete count." "Yeah - they won't know the full impact until its over." Sara Llewellyn (Sarandel Llewellyn) talked about another disaster, "I remember watching a live stream last summer of the eruption of Kilauea - this man allowed a local news team to set up 24/7 video on his back porch. Could see lava fountains shooting up some 200 feet.....few days later they were all forced out of the area...he moved to the mainland ...month later his house/farm was wiped out by lava flows."

Shawna would request, "Bella's favorite song when I sang was 'One Day at A Time' by Chirsty Lane, if you could please play this for her because this is how her life will be now." Other songs played included "We Take Care Of Our Own" by Bruce Springsteen, and "I'll Be There For You" by Bon Jovi.

As time went on, the amount donated grew, "Please did deep in your pockets and donate to the mushroom tip jar." Finally at 1:35 PM, Chipmunk announced, "We made 100 thousand Lindens!" "Amazing!!!  L$100,000!" Trader then challenged everyone to reach a new goal, "L$25,000 more makes $500!" Others were up to the challenge, "Let's make this happen!" And the donations continued to come in. And at 1:58, two minutes before the party ended, Trader announced, "WE did it!" There were cheers all around.

After the party, there would be an announcement in the Relay group

"A big thank you to everyone for your love and support. I revived the Lindens raised, and will put them to good use to getting Jojo some toys and the things that wee need. The love and outpouring from my SL family and RFL family is amazing. You guys rock! Thank you again.

Bella and real-life family.

Another example of the generosity and camaraderie of the people in the Relay and Second Life.

Sources: Fox News, The Atlantic 

Bixyl Shuftan 

Monday, November 12, 2018

CDS Election Campaigning: Drewski Northman

By Bixyl Shuftan

Different communities have different ways of how things are run. For the Confederation of Democratic Simulators, the community has elections twice a year in which local citizens (those who own land in the community) chose who will be in the Representative Assembly and who will be their leader: the Chancellor. This election, two people are running for Chancellor. They are Drewski Northman, and 恭子 Kyoko (Samara Barzane).

Sunday November 11 saw two events in which both candidates had a chance to explain themselves to the voters. At 11 AM, Drewski Northman at the Sanctum Sanctorum in Colonia Nova.

For those of you that could not attend today, I will be hosting another event at the Sanctum in Colonia Nova tomorrow at 11AM. Come to my home in the CDS, the Sanctum Sanctorum for a campaign speech and meet and greet. I'll be speaking on building the community, and my plans for outreach. There'll be a short Q/A to follow. Then we can all walk down to the amphitheater to enjoy the Autumn Dances event!

Drewski greeted those dropping in, "Thank you for coming to my first "formal" campaign rally! This building is near and dear to me, as it's been my home in the CDS for over 2 years. Before I say a few words, I'd like to take a moment of silence to commemorate today's 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1. Without the sacrifice of those brave men all those years ago, we would not have a free Europe or America today, or the ability to enjoy this SL world."

Drewski told everyone there would be a transcript made of the event, then, "Now, I'd like to say a few words before opening up to questions and discussion... I've been a citizen of the CDS for just over two years now, so happy to call it home. It was a safe harbor after leaving the turmoil of another community shutting down. That alone would be enough for me to want to give back to this community by serving. But, there's been so much more since then. It's been a place where I could express myself with this Sanctum Sanctorum. Some of my finest friends in all of my Second Life are here (and sitting in the room today), and I love participating in the civics and democracy. And now, I have the privilege of running for chancellor. I do not take that lightly. It's an honor to have the opportunity, and I hope that I can help this community enter a bright future of prosperity, unity...and fun! That is the whole essence of my campaign, 'A New Dawn.'

"Today, I just want to briefly discuss some plans for my first priority: building the community. I believe we can accomplish that in a two-pronged way: outreach and unity. With outreach, I believe there's more to it than just filling vacant plots of land or houses in NFS. We have to sell the ideals of this community, sell the dream. We already have ads playing on Radio Riel. I would continue that practice, and go even farther in promotional efforts. There is also a group that is for advertising events all through the steamlands, called 'Aether Chrononauts.' As far as I know, we do not currently advertise there. I'd seek to put our group's events and activites there. I would also seek to revitalize some events that have gone by the wayside. I've already heard of holiday decorating contests, parades, festivals that have for one reason or another fallen by the wayside. I think those are fantastic draws to our community that prove we are active and fun.

"Also, something that was mentioned to me this last week that really struck me. If elected, I would seek to form an official welcoming committee to engage with new citizens. A resident told me last week that she has been here since June, and has not really been welcomed yet. We should be the most welcoming and inclusive community on the grid. And to piggyback on that idea. I would also seek to set up a monthly "New Citizen Mingle" where community members new and old, and our valued friends can casually get together, meet, and strengthen those community bonds.

"Which brings me to my second prong of building our community: unity. It's no secret that our community has a....rocky reputation in the greater world. Sadly, we have had some issues that have made good, involved, solid citizens pack up and leave. And I believe those events have also caused good, solid, potentially involved people to steer clear of us as well.'s a new day in the CDS, and I propose we need to come together as a community, heal, and move past the drama and contention of the past. I can't change attitudes alone, but I believe that a determined effort of an administration and community can change the attitude and direction that community heads. I think its high time we as a community would take a stand against the childish, dramatic things that have happened in the past, and commit that we aren't going to tolerate those attitudes going forward. That is my pledge if you will allow me to serve as chancellor. I believe that our best days lie ahead. I know I have dreams of seeing this place full of people, seeing folks involved in our democracy, and seeing all of us come together as a tight-knit community focused on enjoying this world together. That is my plan to build our community."

Drewski then offered to take questions, "We have about a half hour or so before the next event, so I'll open the floor for questions, comments, discussion, ideas." Tanoujin Milestone was the first to do so, "First of all I want to thank you for running, this makes this a true election with a real choice, and that is much needed. Thank you Drew for standing! ... Another thing I would like to mention: what ever happens, I like the idea of reviving a welcome committee and I am looking forward to the results you may have with this  no matter if you become the first or the second winner of this election. You will have surely my support with the welcome committee. Thank you, (I'm) done." Drewski responded, "Thank you! I do hope it's something we can work together on reviving, no matter what. Folks need to feel welcomed and involved."

Lyubov (20180414 Resident) was next with two questions, "This room today is full of people who have proven their dedication to CDS.  Most of the 29th RA is sitting here as well as the most recent Dean. If elected, your first term would be a fast six months. First, what, specifically, would you like to focus on?  What one thing, if accomplished, would you define as success? Second, what time committment would you ask of us, members of various committees, to contribute on a monthly/weekly/daily basis?  How much time do you expect the job of Chancellor to require?  What would you ask of all CDS citizens? (I'm) done."

Drewski responded, "Great questions! First, my priority is growing and strengthening our community. The things I discussed today are priority number one for me. I may be imagining, but it seems like the CDS has fallen into a bit of a rut. I'd aim to help us out of it. I would call success seeing these sims full of green (or better yet...yellow) dots, people just 'being' here, using the facilities to enjoy their SL." Lyubov smiled, "It would be nice to not be alone here 90% of the time." Answering the second question, Drewski spoke, "And, as for time commitments, I'd say this. I don't really know the best answer for each individual. I would hope that (real life) comes first for everyone here, but that all those that choose to serve will do their very best to fulfill their duties. If that means 3, 4, 5, 10 all depends. All I ask for is folks do their best. That is my commitment, and I can't ask any more of anyone else."

Lyubov. asked, "What about you personally? Is this an hour a week, hour a day job?  I don't know..." Drewski answered, "Me personally? I plan to do whatever it takes to accomplish my goals for the community, holding regular office hours, meeting with the RA, networking with other community leaders to cross promote our community... I'll be working hard." Lyubov told him, "Thank you.  done (again)."

Tanoujin then asked, "May I ask who will be on your team, as the PIO for example?" Drewski answered, "If I win, I would ask Kyoko to stay on as PIO if she wanted. I think she is doing a great job, and has brought some unique events to the CDS this year. Also, Lyu and I have had many conversations about outreach, getting folks excited, and building the community. I know she would be a great addition to our team as well."

Lyubov smiled, "I would love to help in any way that I can, thank you." Drewski went on, "Yeah, its funny. We've been chatting about these things for a couple months now, long before I even thought of running for chancellor. I think folks have a real hunger to see this place grow and shine."

Drewski checked the clock, "We've got about 10 minutes left. Time for 2-3 more questions if you have 'em." Tanoujin asked, "Hm, I am wondering what measures you would take against drama.... I hope you would stick to the road of de-escalation instead of excluding?" The candidate answered, "I think there's a few steps the Chancellor can take. For one, I would pledge to deal with any issues privately first, one on one. Yes, I agree on the principle of de-escalation and just...talking. We can't shoot first and ask questions later. Though, its not something you can really legislate against. I think that if the attitude of the majority in the community is 'we ain't got time for that,' the drama llamas will catch on real quick and find someplace else to cause trouble. But if trouble arises, I believe the best policy is to deal with it quickly and quietly, less attention the better."

Lyubov then asked, "In your experience as Community Manager for the East River Community, what was the most important thing you learned?  What was your biggest mistake?  Done." Drewski answered, "The most important thing I learned is you cannot do things alone. We had so many opportunities there to make the place thrive. I was regularly running events and bringing in new residents. We even were featured on Designing Worlds. But a year or so later, the place was in danger of shutting down, because the main land owner was pulling out. That was after she put a wet blanket on many attempts to do things to draw people in. takes a committed group to make a difference." Lady Kiki Whatever (InekeB Resident) wondered, "East River Community? Never heard of it?" Drewski answered, "I's a mainland community centered in the Helvellyn sim. It's made a bit of a comeback this year."

Drewski went on, "And, my biggest mistake would probably be my efforts near the end, before having to leave. I pushed hard to find new investors in the land, and for current land owners to take up more. But, it probably was not my place to go that far at the time. I was just one guy. And that really goes back to the biggest lesson. You can't go it alone."

The candidate then noticed the time, "Yes, its 5 till! We have plenty of time to make our way down to the amphitheater and enjoy the show. Thank you all for coming today, for listening, asking fantastic questions, and for your thoughts. Now lets get to the show. And if you haven't sure to vote!" Lilith Ivory smiled, "Thank you Drewski for this very informative meeting."

The group then headed on to the Odori No Aki event. Later in the day at 2:30PM, Kyoko would have her own conference. The Newser will write about it later.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, November 5, 2018

Scenes From The Goblin Cave Halloween Party

By Bixyl Shuftan

Cynthia Farshore did a couple things for Halloween at her sim of Caledon Downs, the first since her getting the sim. One was her making a haunted walk in the northern part of the land. The other was a Halloween party at the Goblin Cave in the middle of the sim, which took place Saturday at 6PM.

The party attracted people from both the surrounding Caledon community and her friends at the Sunweavers. Club Cutlass, which normally has events the same day, was closed that day.

Cynthia played the music for the party. This included some well known tunes such as "Monster Mash" and "Thriller," somewhat well known like "Sitting Up With the Dead" and "The Cockroach that Ate Cincinnati," and not so well ones such as "Transylvania Twist" (which is mentioned in 'Monster Mash').

 And there were all kinds of "spook-tacular" avatars at the party.

Near the end of the party, Cynthia asked the crowd, "Now for the Caledon anthem, Caledonians please stand." She then played one final song before switching the stream back to the radio, "Caledonia," considered the community anthem. She, with her friend Shockwave Yareach by her side, thanked everyone for coming. A few people continued to stick around for a while.

It was a great Halloween Party at the Goblin Cave.

Boxyl Shuftan

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Scenes From The FCA (Creepy) Club Crawl

By Bixyl Shuftan

On Friday October 26, four clubs took part in one event that lasted over ten hours: the FCA First Annual Furry Halloween Club Crawl. To begin with, for a while not much went on with the Furry Club Alliance as an organization. Club Zero Gravity and Happy Vixen were both under White Vixen Enterprises and talked with each other on how to avoid schedule conflicts while Club Cutlass always had it's events on the same days and times. Then Urban Furry joined, the first club outside the Sunweaver/Angels community for quite some time. The four clubs talked about an event for cross promotion. Then came the idea of a club crawl. For those who don't know, a bar crawl is when a group of people go to a number of bars in a day or evening, spending a small amount of time in each. Since Linden Lab was having some luck with it's "Creepy Crawl" events every Halloween, why not one of our own? It was decided that it would be on the last Friday before Halloween.

Come one, come all to the FCA's first Annual
Furry Halloween Club Crawl

Here is the route. All times are SLT.
12 - 2pm Club Zero Gravity
 2 - 4pm The Happy Vixen 2 to 4
 4 - 6pm Urban Furry
 6 - 8pm  Club Cutlass 6 to 8
 8pm back Zero G for a MAJOR event
 Each Venue has the Sign boards with the LM's as well Teleporters to the other clubs

Friday October 26 came, and at 12 Noon SL time, people headed over to space station Club Zero Gravity. The "party among the stars" would be the first stop at Sunweaver Space (129, 249, 3597), with DJ JB spinning the tunes.

We hope you attend the special event of the year, The best ever, And you will see many you never met. We have JB, And his Halloween show! We call today's the Creepy Crawl Event that has been started longer then we been here. Many will come He will have some great Halloween Music! May even have a contest.

And Many will Crawl all over the space station, So come and be creepy to, Even Creepy Cute! Dont miss out!

The "creepy crawl" took on new meaning when took girls took on drider avatars (were-spider), and one unleashed her "minions" in the form of dozens of regular sized spiders. Some reacted by backing away. Others talked about "pest control on eight legs" or how the space station's garden could use them.

We are Halfway Through and in a Half hour The Creepy Crawlers shall come and crawl all over us, Surround us hehe. But I am creepy so I shall be just fine, I have wings^^ Anyway JB Has much more Blues and Halloween Mix of all kinds to come. Contest... " Alll  Things Spooky" just dress up for such if you wish. 

The 1600 Linden dollar prize for the event was split between Hawke213x Resident and Biohazard707 Resident.

At 2PM, the crowd headed to the Happy Vixen's Haunted Manor at Purrfection Estates (126/175/2004), which was a special build for the month described more (here). DJ Applebloom, aks DJ Hakrua, played the music.

The WVE Club Crawl continues with DJ Hakrua as she plays her set only at The Haunted Mansion. Who knows maybe she will throw in some fun Halloween tunes at us. Come party with us 2 - 4  pm SLT. Celebrate Halloween with us today  with the theme Creepy Vs Cute. The spirits are waiting.

The 2000L prize was split between Dusk Griswold and Rain0dash1.

4PM came, and the party moved to Urban Furry's haunted area. The landmark given to Mystic Timberland (164/239/2701) didn't lead directly to the club, but the start of a haunted trail with a few scares. Once inside, we got music from DJ Soundshifter.


It was quite a "monster mash."

At 6PM, the party moved to the Club Cutlass airship at Sunweaver Bay (114/117/757). And the place had been decked out with decorations and mist.

Leg 4 of the Club crawl! $1000 L's to start!
It's the first of 2 Halloween events at Cutlass. Tonights event is part of the Halloween Club Crawl. Get on your Halloween costumes and come party with our scary DJ Crim. The haunting begins at 6 PM.

 DJ Crim, who often DJs for Cutlass on Fridays, played the music for the two hours.

So for two hours, the party went on, the crowd cracking Halloween jokes and puns.

Club Manager Jenni Greenfield won the contest for the ladies. The winner for the guys was a certain fox who went "bats" for the holiday.

And at 8PM, the party moved on to it's final stop, back to Club Zero Gravity. DJ Lexi spun her musical spells for those on the dance floor and lounge area.

 Welcome one and all to the last stop for our First Annual Halloween Club Crawl where ghost ghouls and goblins run amok, Souls of all ages embarking through the journey of sounds now find the, Final, Destination, on tonight's tantalizing tour of terror. 

The lovely sounds of our DJ Sexi Lexi, the Sexy Nezumi dj as she shares her love of lore and lyrics matched with sounds and sin.   Celebrate Halloween of past, present and future.  Nightmare Scare for the theme.   Come, enjoy with us if you dare. and the finally amount for the Crawl is $5000 L's

And what avatar would be really scary in a party of mostly furry avatars?

Mia Launay won the prize for this part of the event: 5000 Linden dollars.

 Club Zero Gravity manager Ranchan told everyone, "Thank you all for coming out,  thank you to our DJ's  Thank you to Our Hosts, and most Important, thank you to , you, our friends, family and new faces as well as old that came out tonight during this First Annual Halloween Club crawl."

And so, the FCA Creepy Club Crawl was over. But it wasn't the end of Halloween events. Goblin Bay would have it's Halloween party the following night, plus at least three of the four clubs will have parties on Halloween. And of course there's Ziola Linden's Creepy Crawl at 10 AM.

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, October 26, 2018

Scenes From Burn2

By Bixyl Shuftan

 Second Life has a number of yearly events, but one of the longest lasting and best known is Burn2. The biggest art and music festival inworld, it's the virtual version of the Burning Man festival which takes place every summer in the Black Rock desert in Nevada. It has a noted place in Second Life's beginnings as some of Linden Lab's staff, including Philip Rosedale's staff attended in the company's early days, and had a partial inspiration on the concept of Second Life. The Lab would subsidize it's counter part event inworld, at first called Burning Life, by providing them the sims free of charge. But after several years, the Lab stopped, and the volunteer group began paying for the sims themselves, renaming the event Burn2.

The entrance to the event is in the Deep Hole sim, where one appears on a road with a few buildings nearby.

 Near the entrance was a memorial sign for Ladyslipper Constantine, whom was one of the more notable members of the Lamplighters group, until her passing in September 2016.

There was also a memorial to Burning Man founder Larry Harvey, whom died on April 28 this year. But the yearly festival he created, and it's virtual reflection, go on.

Burn2, as does Burning Man, has a different theme every year. In one building were posters of previous celebrations.

This year's theme is "I, Robot." The name comes from the science-fiction novel by Issac Asimov that has influenced thoughts about the idea of fully intelligent robots and computers and how humans might interact with them. Would humans treat them as slaves, give them the same rights as they had, or something in between? Would the robots eventually revolt and try to take over, justify their position of service to themselves and continue on, or something else? The artists were asked to make exhibits to express some of their thoughts, and there were a number that ranged from hopeful to cautionary to amusing.

"Welcome home," how Burners greet people dropping in.

It was a little late when I had finally dropped in, so the two greeters were dancing to amuse themselves. They still saw me and greeted me with a welcome.

There were some free gifts available, such as a translator.

The first exhibit I saw was of robots waiting at the repair shop to be fixed.

This artistic build wasn't quite with the robotic theme, but it was pretty. Relaxing music could be heard inside. Inside was a table with seats around it, where one could have some tea or a fruity drink.

 A few other builds didn't quite reflect the main theme either.

 But others did, such as this one showing automations taking items to work.

 This Ranger station had a few robots on guard.

"The Cavern," a DJ place that was empty when I saw it, looking like an abandoned area.

 The theme this place had was one of the cautionary ones.

The story behind this exhibit was of a future in which robots conclude humanity as a whole is a danger to itself and the world, and needs to be changed to become more like it's creation.

One place had dust clouds in the air, which would be at the real-life event.

Are these robots engaging in some kind of devil worship, or are they just fans of "metal" music?

 A robot wrestling match, where the contestants really do have nerves of steel.

This exhibit looked like a scene from a holodeck, or perhaps inside a computer, a digital robot half-sunken into a surface.

One of the club areas in Burn2: Organica.

It was late at night, but people were dancing away.

One girl was dancing with a neon hula-hoop.

DJ Pink Christole was dancing on top of the booth, encouraging the crowd.

"Eye Robot" is a build in which robots with eyeball-like heads are described as living as equals

 A maze with a spiderlike robot looming overhead.

 This build of robots building a "Mother robot" had a couple free robot avatars.

 And where would Burn2 be without it's "Porto-potties?" In the real life Burning Man, the festival simply couldn't be held without them. In Burn2, they're amusing works of art.

 Not a place to be if you have hydrophobia.

Looks like this one sprung a leak.

The Iron Giant's head and hand.

Probably the central exhibit of the festival is"The Man." This is a large man-shaped build that is burned on the day before the festival ends. This will be tomorrow, Saturday October 27.

This year, "The Man" was built smaller than it often is, though is on a very large base.

Second only to "The Man" is The Temple. It is burned on the final day of the event, this year on Sunday October 28.

It's orange glow inside, particularly under a night sky, give the impression of a huge firey furnace. Not a good place to be inside for either human or robot.

A friend ported me to this "interactive dancing" as she called it,"the women who created it put in a lot of work." Dead Kyra (Kyra Msarko) and Dead Cordie (Cordelia Cerise) led the crowd. "Killer moves!" Kyra told them, "I might have to hire you all!"

One of the more amusing exhibits, robots waving in front of a picture of the Paris Arch of Triumph, with someone placing half a toy in front so it resembles a robot's legs.

The "Metropolis Awakening" exhibit, based on the 1927 silent sci-fi movie of the same name and a sculpture made by J. Steward Johnson, Jr., "The Awakening."

"With respect to these artists I mashed their two ideas together to form 'Metropolis Awakening.' A giant robot inspired by the Metropolis original replacing the statue of The Awakening man, emerging from the Playa. The Playa itself bending in resistance to the emerging robot, becomes part of the sculpture. The back wall and 'Metropolis' sign is a stylistic rendition of the Metropolis movie poster.

Sadly, there is not enough time to post all the pictures I took, including some great ones. They will have to wait until the next article.

Bixyl Shuftan