Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"Relay Rap" Begins for 2013

By Bixyl Shuftan

On January 27 at 3:30 PM, the "Relay Rap" weekly radio talk show aimed at promoting and discussing developments of the Relay For Life in Second Life began its new season. Trader Whiplash, whom was broadcasting on his T1 Radio program, hosted the show from the Arinultra Cay sim, interacting with an audience of about thirty present.

 On stage with Trader were the Relay's Planning Committee, Event Co-Chairs Dwen Dooley and Serina Juran, Event Chair Nikki Mathieson, and Director Stingray Raymaker. Over two dozen sat in the audience. Among the people there were Holocluck Henely and Fuzzball Ortega.

A number of topics were brought up. There had been some technical developments over time, such as people able to donate on the Grid through their real-life credit cards, "If you have money, we will find a way for you to give it to us." They talked about high points of the previous season such as "Bronzing," or donating money to a smaller and less successful team until it reached Bronze rank. Someone brought up a moment at 3AM (6AM EST) when he saw a "Winnie the Pooh" avatar walking down the track, then turning around, seeing a monster, then running at full speed down the track.

It was noted that the lag issue seemed worse in the 2012 Relay walk than it had been for a few years. This was despite the efforts people had made to reduce lag, "I lost count of how many bald avatars I'd seen." But they remained undaunted, "We have the Relay spirit!"

The total amount of money raised for the Relay For Life had passed a million and a half. About $396,000 US dollars remained until two million was reached, or about one hundred million Lindens. Trader offered to go bald once that mark was reached, a statement many of the audience was sure to hold him to. It was noted that the 100 year anniversary of the founding of the American Cancer Society was in May.  Most likely, there would be some kind of special event to commemorate the occasion.

One in the audience identified herself as with the Tombstone RP area. She announced they would be forming a new team. She requested if a special wooden kiosk could be made for her Wild West sim, "Something a little less modern that we can put out?" Fuzzball told her New Babbage usually put something over their kiosks to make them blend in, "Unfortunately for those of us in themed sims, specially made vendors aren't an option, so we have to do a little finagling."

One amusing new detail for this season was brought up: "Stinky the Skunk." For a donation of 3600 Lindens, or more, you could "skunk" another team for five days or so. Someone half-seriously asked if the news would be announced by someone in a furry skunk avatar dropping in the target's next event, "You have been skunked!" With attachments that could emit a green cloud a couple dozen feet across mentioned, some amusing possibilities were hinted at.

There were also a few jokes and wisecracks, "We're defiantly calling the TV channel 'DwenTV.' " And there were jokes about "MEEEESSSSHHHH…" items, a reference to how it was sometimes pronounced on PookyMedia's "Flufee" videos.

Eventually, the broadcast came to a close, "And that's a 'rap!' Great show Everyone!" And there were cheers and handclaps from the crowd, "GO RELAY!!!" "GOOOOOOO RELAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" "Yay Nikki, Sting, Dwen and Serina.. Thank you! And, thank you, Trader." "Good night all and Thanks Committee. Have a great week!" "Great way to kick off Relay Rap's 2013 season."

While the Kickoff for the Relay for Life season isn't until March, already the people behind Second Life's biggest fundraiser are busy planning ahead.

"Relay Rap" will broadcast every Sunday at 3:30PM at T1Radio .

*Note* Due to the lag that day, there was a lot of grey around for the photographer.

Bixyl Shuftan

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Happy Australia Day at "The Pocket"

By Bixyl Shuftan

"Happy S'Traya Day!" That was the greeting people dropping by "The Pocket" got when they dropped by Friday night on January 25th. January 26 is "Australia Day," and with the time difference, the club's Aussie staff, singers, and regulars were already celebrating in real life and ready to take the fun to Second Life.

When I first got there, there were a few dozen people around, and the place was grey with lag to me. I took a club-wide picture later in the night after some people had left, presumably to real life holiday events.

 Several live singers performed for the night of the national holiday. Among them were OhMy Kidd, who performed on stage with "percussionist" Saraine Sands. Also on stage was Lexi Luan, whom sung while strumming her guitar strings.

As the day went on, so did the greetings of "Happy Australia Day," "Happy S'Traya Day," "Ozzie Day," "Oz Day," and more. There was a little joking around, one pretending to be confused, "So STraya day is Australia Day, right?" Someone also joked, "When *** has finished having my child she'll be right back, honest." Another quipped in response, "Hope it's a SL pregnancy, I can't keep this up for 8 more months! 8 weeks maybe (grin)."

 For a couple people coming by the Pocket, it happened to be the anniversarries of when they came to the Grid, one saying, "Today is my Rez Day. OK, so it's not. It's A-DAY." "That means it's your UnRezz day" hostess Cellandra Zon joked in response.

A few unusual avatars showed up, including a tiny hedgehog, a steampunk "spider" avatar, and a kangaroo that hopped around for a bit before stopping to dance. It was a fun night for all.

"The Pocket" is at the eastern edge of the Fendahl sim, with a small part extending onto the Cassandra sim for busier nights. The sims are on the southern tip of the triangular-shaped mainland continent of Satori (also known as Malebaia or the Japanese continent). There are several live musicians, usually some or all of them Australian, performing every night at 8PM.

Fendahl, (242, 82, 31)

Bixyl Shuftan

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Ceremony at New Bastogne

By Bixyl Shuftan

 On Monday January 14th, the Luftwaffe JG-52 group in New Bastogne held a small ceremony for awards and promotions. The pilots were judged by the ranking officers as showing good teamwork and combat skills. The ceremony itself was conducted mainly by JessicaBelle Dayafter, whom was recently promoted to Commander, second only to Vickster Khun who owns the sim. Jessica promised to perform her job well, and stated she would continue to help build up the air group.

With "big band" music from the 1940s in the background, the ceremony was not all seriousness. There were a few jokes about an opposing aircraft buzzing overhead, "We'll kick their (tail) later." Of one pilot's long display name Adjutant-Gonzalo de Montalvo y Montignac, Jessica lightheartedly quiped, "I am so not writing out his full name all the time. Hee-hee." And of one pilot's preference for the Me 262 jet fighter, there were wisecracks about her being a "speed freak."

JessicaBelle was the pilot who told SL Newser about New Bastogne's WW2 Combat RP over two years ago. Since then, she developed a reputation for being a crack dive bomber and quality aircraft builder, helping to train pilots and help organize details. Vickster Khun got her start in the old RCAF air group, eventually creating the New Bastogne sim as part of the WW2 area that's become to be identified by it.

Earlier, there was some friction between the Luftwaffe and SS groups, when one of the stormtroopers abused his authority and ignored the orders of an officer from JG-52 to back down. The offender was later disciplined, and a reminder given to everyone they were supposed to be fighting as a team and have fun while doing so. Since then, the troubles have been largely forgotten, and the band of pilots flying on as before.

Lately there have been some special events with other combat groups which normally fight in other areas. On Thursday January 17th, the US Navy group set up an aircraft carrier in Bay Area next to New Bastogne and launched an arieal assault. Despite being outnumbered, JG-52 continued to fly into the furball. The Navy group claimed victory after a couple hours, though smaller skirmishes continued to be reported in group chatter.

Bixyl Shuftan

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Together for Sway

A few months ago, Sway Dench, one of SL’s most creative and nicest residents, learned that she had a serious medical problem.    Sway owns Swayland, located at SwayLand (157, 168, 21).    She is known for her Cookie Bears and designs that celebrate home, love, family, and friends.
In November, Sway sent her friends and supporters a notecard that told them she had been diagnosed with a brain tumor.   The good news is that there is a high probability that the tumor is benign.   She is scheduled to have surgery in RL on January 28, 2013.   
“Until then,” Sway wrote, “I'm gonna try to be online as often as possible but unfortunately I won't be able to work as much as I used to.”  She also stated that she will be out of SL for a few months after the surgery while she is recovering.   Naturally Sway was concerned about losing Swayland and her design shop during her absence.    When her friends found out about the problem, they got together to create “Together for Sway,” an event designed to help her and her sim.   
In her note Sway stated, “Not only have you been listening to me, giving me strength thereby and encouraging me, you also have thought of something exceptional.... I am overwhelmed and practically speechless about the level of support I have experienced so far.  Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”
“Together for Sway” was a huge market that was set up at The Nest (214, 57, 2000) during December.  According to the “Together for Sway” blog, over 80 stores and designers participated in the market.  On the first day, 500,000 Lindens were raised!  
 I didn’t make it to the opening day, but I stopped by later in the month.    Every type of item could be bought there:  lots of fancy and casual outfits, jewelry, animations, furniture, buildings, little cat hats, food, games—even a ringing telephone.    There were so many neat items that it was hard to decide what to get.  Many of them were at special prices, too.    By the time the event ended, a total of 1,551,825 Lindens had been raised.
A few days ago, Sway sent her friends and supporters another note and a special gift, a unique Thank-You Cookie Bear.   In her note Sway wrote, “I'd like to thank all of you!  The talented designers who donated time to build lovely and wonderful items...customers for your shopping stamina, bloggers for spreading the word through great pictures and posts, DJs and bands for the fun times and great music.   You have given me a lot more than Lindens.  You gave me a boost, strength, a reason to laugh, a shoulder to cry on, and a huge hug!   Thank you all very much for your help, your support, friendship and love.”
Although the market is gone, donations can still be made on Swayland.    The “Together for Sway” blog plans to provide updates on Sway until she is able to return to SL.   The link is   All of us at SL Newser join in wishing Sway a speedy recovery!

Grey Lupindo

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Wounded Warrior Event Raises 275,000 Lindens

By Bixyl Shuftan

Last Sunday on December 30th, Patriot Island held it's final Wounded Warrior fundraiser for the year. Four musicians performed live that night in the hangar in the eastern part of the sim, including Frets Nirvana, who helped organize the event. The event took place from about 5PM to 9PM SL time, and was attended by dozens of residents.

Hi folks, it is time for the last of this year's Wounded Warriors benefits … a great night. Come and help us reach our goal! Time to give to those who sacrifice so much ...

The sim itself had been winterized with a layer of snow. And a Christmas tree set up in the hangar. Pondman Haalan was the first of the musicians. When he got off the stage at 6 SL time, over thirty-seven thousand Lindens had been deposited into the two upturned helmets on both sides of the stage. Next was Shannon Oherlihy, and in another hour the amount was close to doubled, with 72,500 Lindens at a few minutes before 7PM.

Then Frets himself took the stage, and the crowd went wild, once again close to doubling the number to 134,000 Lindens when he left the stage. Frets helped encourage the flow of donations by occasionally offering to match the next person who deposited a thousand Lindens into the two helmets. The final musician was Ganjo Mokeev, who took to the stage dancing away with his guitar, with a lady on one side and a Tiny koala in uniform and his own guitar in hand on the other. "Ganjo has a wonderful set," announcer GJackie Winkler told, "glad you're not missing a minute of it."

Those attending the event included Sabine McGettin of the Passionate Redheads Relay for Life team, and Dahlea Milena who helps manage Patriot Island. To some, the lag on the Grid was worse than usual that night, and Dahlea tried to help, "I nudged the donation helmets on stage a little since with the lag it was getting difficult to get to them through the people in front! If you still have trouble clicking to them to donate, IM me & I'll reposition them some more!"

The Lindens continued to come in. By 8:12PM, 206,000 Lindens had been raised. "Get those helmets to light up folks," Frets told the crowd, "think of the vets .... " As the cash came in, so did a few wisecracks among the crowd, "Our dinner consists of eating whats left of the Candy Canes." "I had no idea your hips moved like that." "Usually when **** says 'give till it hurts,' she's using her stiletto heels to speed the process along." One lady offered to wear a thong if someone donated 5,000 Lindens. But there was also talk about their closeness to vets, "My Dad was a vet, Korean War." "My son-in-law is a vet." "my ex-son-in-law was a Marine, three tours in Iraq." "I have a Great-Uncle I never met who died in the Korean War."

By 8:48, the amount was up to 240,000 "Ten minutes to get to another 35K, can we do this?" "We gonna get there!" More chipped in last minute donations, and at 8:53, "275K folks!!" Frets announced, "Excellent, we done it!" The words were followed by numerous "Woot!"s and howls from the audience, "You all are awesome!" One lady pointed to the Tiny, "I'd give another 3500 if I had if just cuz ***'s so cute!" "Someone got 5K, you get a thong on ***!"

Getting off the stage, Ganjo told everyone over the stream, "Thank you very much everybody! We just reached our goal! Thank you so much!" The praise went around, "God bless the USA, our allies, and the people that serve in the armed forces!" "Happy New Year! May it be filled with amazing moments." Dahlea told the crowd, "Congrats to all the Wounded Warrior Project team for all the hard work and fundraising throughout the year. Thank you from the bottom of this disabled Veteran's heart."

And so, the Wounded Warrior fundraiser, for the month and year, came to a successful close. The next event takes place on Sunday, January 27th.

Bixyl Shuftan