Monday, August 30, 2010

Battle of Britian, 70th Aniversary

On Tuesday August 24th, residents came together to honor those who fought and died that day decades before. The date marked the 70th Anniversary of Day One of The London Blitz, in which 3000 residents of the city were killed. Across three areas in the Grid, got together to participate in the remembrance.

At 12 Noon SL time, there was a memorial vigil at the Biggin Hill Field RAF Station, which was scheduled to last a half hour. At 12:30 PM, there was a ceasefire over the WW2 RP area in the Channel, Normandy, and Bastogne to allow for a memorial flyby flight. At 1:30, there was a memorial flight over the Greyling Field.

Following the event, Gaius Luminos gave a statement, "Today's 70th Anniversary London Blitz Memorial Service was a fitting & moving tribute. Many thanks to You, for attending, & thanks also to:
~Bancos Milestone (Lancaster Pilot)
~Spurs Seattle (Spitfire Escort)
~Toscha Vayander (Spitfire Pilot)
~Zoe Connolly (Videographer)
~Vickster Kuhn (Normany, Bastogne)
~Edgar Buckaneer (Dedication)
~kirtash Bravin (Exec Coordination-RAF)
~Albrecht Firanelli (Exec Coordination-Luftwaffe)
The Staff of RAF Biggin Hill, Normany Bastogne, & Milestone Aircraft Co."

Zoe Connolly made a video of the event, which she put on YouTube"

London would be bombed for 76 nights straight. Other British cities were also bombed. By May 1941, more than 43,000 civilians, over half from London, were killed.

"In remembering those who were lost, it should be noted that though they died, they died undefeated." - Vickster Kuhn

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, August 20, 2010

Breakers Coffeeshop Debate on Political Correctness

Shortly after 7 PM SL time on Thursday August 9, I had a chance to drop in at the Breakers Coffeeshop, in the Beakers sim, for a small debate on the subject of political correctness: had it gone too far? The discussion was small, several men and women showing up, but could get occasionally lively.

I ported into a debate on the issue of some fire departments having quotas to have on the force at least so many women. The big problem, as most women had less upper body strength than most men, the men felt this could be a problem in a rescue situation if an injured person had to be moved in a hurry. The women were reluctant to criticize this, and there were comments in agreement. On jobs that were less physically demanding, comments were somewhat more mixed, one woman admitting, “I earn more than many men.”

Other things brought up included sports teams having to change names away from Indian-sounding ones, and the height requirement by one city’s police force being in question as some ethnic groups might be harder hit by it. Someone also brought up the book “Politically Correct Fairy Tales,” a book of parodies of fairy tales retold with repeated use of redundant language.

One issue that got a bit of conversation was Dr. Laura Schlessinger using the “N-word” repeatedly on her radio program. She later apologized, and announced she would be leaving her show at the close of her contract at the end of the year. People asked, “Is there a difference between discussing the word and using the word?” And why could a black comedian repeatedly use it with impunity when Dr. Laura apparently couldn’t?

About thirty-five minutes into the meeting, the talk was interrupted by a sim restart, a couple people using not so correct language to describe it. And so, I had to take my leave.

Bixyl Shuftan

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Luskwood Skunk Update Party

Until a few weeks ago, it had been some time since yours truly had gone to where he had gotten his real start in Second Life: Luskwood. Well, I came back in time to find out about an event worth going to.

For those unfamiliar, Luskwood is the oldest furred area in Second Life. It also ranks as one of the oldest social spots of any kind on the Grid. The main area of the place is the Big Tree, or more specifically the social platform where people gather. It’s almost always occupied by some people. It’s near a newcomer entry place, so it gets some most every day. Luskwood also has a highly strict PG policy, so it’s a squeaky-clean place for residents to drop by and not worry about the friskier elements in other sims in the Metaverse. Many of the regulars are techies, so on a popular night, one may find help for some electronic problem.

Between the enviromnent’s detail and the other avatars, especially on a big gathering, the lag can be heavy. And occasionally the conversation can be a little flat. So Luskwood isn’t popular among everyone.

Luskwood is also the name of one of the oldest furred avatar companies in Second Life, based at the Big Tree, the vendors nearby. But in more recent times, there haven’t been as many new avies offered as earlier, and more people have been passing them by. When there’s a new avatar, or an update to one, the Luskies celebrate with a party. And on Saturday August 6, they updated one of their more popular avatars: the Skunk. Luskwood Founder Michi Lumin wears a Lusk skunkgirl for her look.

For those whom already had one, we got the new version of the avatar sent to us. It had the same features as before, notably the spray animation (which I seldom see used). But it also had some slightly different shading. Someone told me the males looked slightly more muscular on the chest. It had a tongue that could be stuck out (real fun when giving a bronx cheer). And it had a hinged jaw, so it was able to move it’s mouth while one talked. One slight problem, on my viewer, from a distance it looked like it was baring it's teeth a little.

After getting mine and adjusting the new avie to the height, eye color, and hair color I was used to, I ported to Luskwood to join the fun. As expected, the lag was heavy, and checking the map, I could see why. there were 49 people in the sim. Eventually, most everyone rezzed, and the clear majority had on skunk avatars. Striped, spotted, white, black with strawberry, brown, there were all kinds of Lusk skunks.

Never before had I seen so much black and white in one place.

We all partied on the dance floor, which someone lay a lit floor over, colored lights shining in a black field, which sometimes made the skunk dancers hard to see. As so often at the bigger Lusk parties, the DJ got a little tipsy, and would occasionally play some quirky tunes just to be funny, such as the old late 90's Internet tune "All Your Base." “Put Your Tail in the Air” or “I Like Big Butts” were not among those played while I was there, even though some jokingly requested them. He also offered trivia contests, with winners getting 500L for answering a question. Also offered, a free Luskwood avatar of any kind.

We joked, we laughed, we had a great time.

So just what is it about skunks? Real skunks certainly stand out with their black & white pattern and of course their weapon. In Second Life, skunkfolk lack such a potent musk of course, but still end up drawing attention. On those occasions I’ve worn it, it’s gotten complements from furred folk and normal human alike. Maybe with the smell jokes and their solitary nature, computer geeks relate to them easily.

In any event, whether people wore them every day, occasionally, or rarely, it was a chance for the “stinkers” of Luskwood to shine.

Bixyl Shuftan