Friday, June 28, 2013

Sumo Wrestling at Steelhead

By Bixyl Shuftan

Recently at Steelhead, the steampunk community held their Sakura Festival over several days. Most of the events took place at the Steelhead Shanghai sim. There was a hunt, and some folklore and poetry readings. And for a little action, there was a sumo wrestling event, dubbed "Sumo Sunday."

Come one come all to Sumo!
Part of the Sakura Festival in Steelhead. Come join the festivities and beat each other up while having fun doing so. Starts at 5pm SLT in Steelhead Shanghai.

Sumo wrestling is an old sport, it's beginnings going back centuries in Japan. The rules are simple. The two wrestlers start from crouched positions in the center of the ring, then when the match starts each tries to force the other from the ring without a body part other than the feet touching the floor. Matches are typically quite short, sometimes lasting just a few seconds. But they can go on for over a minute.

For Steelhead's sumo matches, a scripted ring was placed in Steelhead Shanghai, complete with a 'bot referee, with stands set up to the side for the audience. Of the seats, Tensai Hilra joked, "custom is to throw seat cushions after a match, but that broke, so throw whatever you got (grin)." There was a "dead parrot launcher" that got used a time or two.

Those taking part had to touch the board for a "pusher" attachment, which was worn. Then they would touch the two white lines in the ring to crouch. When the ring gave the signal, the participants would charge at one another. As in real matches, some ended in seconds. But some went on for a while. There was also a technical glitch. If a larger avatar was up against a smaller avatar, sometimes the bigger one would go flying up into the air. Landing outside the ring in this matter was not considered a defeat, so after flying up in the air a wrestler could get back in. As the matches went on, the wrestlers began to use smaller avatars.

One of the more talked about bouts was held early in the event. Steelhead owner TotalLunar Eclipse went up against street urchin Jimmy Branagh. Lunar boasted, "If I lose the sumo match, Jimmy Branagh gets to be mayor for a week." As it turned out, Jimmy turned out to be a more skilled fighter than expected, "He's small, but he's scrappy." Eventually, he won the majority of the bouts, and the match. Fuzzball Ortega's reaction was to groan, "I'm moving to Caledon." Jimmy took the key to the city with a grin, though made no boasts about what he would do with his newfound position.

Yours truly got into the act with a freebie sumo wrestling avatar up against local Willow Leafstorm. But with her smaller fairy avatar, the result was the bulkier avatar ending up flying into the ring. So I switched to a small mouse avatar (Luskwood Bunkie), one not much taller than a "tiny." I won a single bout, but Willow got two and the victory. Tensai then challenged me in a small avatar of her own, "Cat versus mouse." While the mouse beat the cat once, in the end the rodent left the ring bested.

The matches went on for about a couple hours. In the Steelhead community meeting a few days later, they were declared a hit and a success, with lots of fun and laughs held around. There was no word on what Jimmy Branagh was doing as "mayor."

The Festival goes on until Saturday June 29.

In real life, professional sumo wrestlers live highly regimented lives, with matches having much tradition and ceremony. For instance the leg-stomping actions wrestlers do on entering the ring is actually a ritual to drive out evil spirits. But there is also amateur sumo, which is more worldwide and lacks most of the old rituals. Professional sumo wrestlers are not divided into weight classes, though a skilled wrestler can still beat a much larger opponent. Amateur sumo is divided into three weight classes plus Open Weight (Wikipedia entry).

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, June 24, 2013

SL10B – Ego-Tripping with DrFran

By DrFran Babcock

You know how when you see a group picture, the only thing you really look at is yourself? If you are being honest with yourself, you know this is so. That’s why I did a double take as I walked by one of the builds at The Second Life™ Tenth Birthday (SL10B) and ran right into a very old picture of me! In fact, there are three times I show up at the event, and I will tell you about them

Giant Snail Racing Throughout History

I imagine that most readers don’t know that I was an announcer for the Snail Races long ago. I was probably the grid’s worst snail racer, but I found a niche adding color commentary to the races. My favorite memory of that time was when I shared about the true fact that snails had both male and female reproductive organs, and could make their own babies without any help. It was the first time that Treet TV lost the focus on the race. I still smile whenever I think about it.

RacerX Gullwing is the founding rabbit of the Snail Races. He has been running these races continuously almost since he was rezzed in 2004. I know of no other Second Life™ event that has run as long as the Snail Races. They have been on various sims. When I first starting to attend, they were on the old sim of Montmartre. They are now housed on Devon Dreams, where RacerX lives with his darling bride, Safra Nitely. With Safra and Tindallia Soothsayer, Racer pretty much creates a new theme for the races, and holds the races every week. At the build here at SL10B you can learn a lot about the history of the races, and get many freebie snail avatars. I recommend trying to race if you have a pretty fast computer, and you have never tried it before.

By the way, while at the build, be sure you check out my Snail Race Trading Card, displayed prominently on the wall surrounding the display.

Visit Giant Snail Racing Through History:

SL Newser Building at SL10B

This tall and majestic building, created by Qwark Allen, is the home of SL Newser for the duration of the celebration. You can take an elevator up to the observatory on top, where you will get a 360 degree view of SL10B. You can also see a recreation of the table around which we meet monthly to plan out story ideas and leads. It should not surprise you that this month we focused a lot of energy on SL10B.

SL Newser is one of the few remaining Second Life™ tabloids on the grid, and the reporters, my pals, are committed to bringing always the most recent, interesting, and informative news about ten-year-old SL.

While you are in the lobby, be sure to find the picture of me. That’s number two out of three.

SL Newser Building at SL10B:

Now & Then – Avatar Portrait Project by Kristine Kristan

The final place you will find DrFran is at the photography build of Kristine Kristan—a display worth visiting for the build alone—not just to see the photos there. Kristine had the genius idea of doing photo-montages of residents with their old avatars and their current avatars. This was a stunning use of the theme: Looking Forward, Looking Back.

I caught up with Kristine and asked her how she got led to this project:

Kristine: It just seemed like the obvious choice. I’ve been having fun with SL photography and digital editing for a few months, and I did a series of staged portraits of myself for a project.  I never had others pose for me. Once I knew I was accepted I started planning the build and the sets, and getting  the word out that I needed willing models. I was lucky to have both very good friends and some artists themselves pose for me. I was shooting portraits right up until the morning of opening day. I’m really happy with how it has all turned out. I think people are having fun with the “Do-it-Yourself” section, digging out those old avatars. It was just for SL10B though, so once its over I think I will put all the portraits in The Time Capsule and find something else to do!

What you will see at the Now & Then exhibit is a series of creative photographs of avatars that shows what they looked like when they were newbies, and what they look like now. Kristane’s photography skills really shine, because each individual photo is a gem. There are pictures of residents that might be well-known such as Crap Mariner (who looked like Toulouse Lautrec when he was new), Marianne McCann, and many others. If you look at these and think that you wish you had one, too, despair not. Just go upstairs and make your own.

Avatar Portrait Project Then & Now:

Oh, and before I go, please go see my exhibit. You will find dozens of free souvenirs from the history of this great virtual world.

Second Life™ Classy Souvenirs:

Happy Birthday, Second Life™

DrFran Babcock

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

SL10B Opening Day

On June 16, 2013, The Second Life Tenth Birthday officially began. Months of planning and weeks of building had gone into the celebration, and finally it was time to begin. The sims had been closed to the exhibitors and performers at Midnight the evening before, and they were reopened to them just in time to get ready for the influx of residents at 12 Noon.

The opening event was a party at the cake stage (the cake itself is hidden in the foliage on the top). The big crowd was divided among the four sims, with nearly 70 packed into one, and the others about as many combined.

 Those attending whooped it up with plenty of gestures and effects.

Avatars of all types showed up

And of various fashions of dress.

CharlesDe Beaumont was the DJ for the event. "I am getting dizzy in this revolving DJ booth," he called out, "make it worthwile and dance all around me....reduces your lag at the same time (laughter)." When some girl he was chatting with crashed, "Someone help her...the poor girl fainted."

At 1PM was the flag raising Ceremony. There were actually a number of separate ceremonies across the Grid. This one took place in Astonish down the street from the Newser exhibit.

After the flag rasing, T-shirts for the staff, performers, and exhibitors were then made available. Different roles had different colors, with olive being for exhibitors. Security had red shirts, which resulted in a few jokes about avatars getting killed over chat.

At 1:15 was a discussion in the Auditorium. Saffia Widdershins hosted a talk from the "masters of mesh" Cain Maven and Froukje Hoorenbeeke. The chat was held in Voice.

At 4PM SL time, Saffia hosted a talk with Flea Bussy and Toady Nakamura from Grendles, whom had built the Turtle Stage for the SL10B, as well as doing the ignoble duty as the events "janitors." Grendles is known for it's bargain avatars, such as the humanoid jellyfish Saffia sported. A number of subjects were discussed, such as inventory. Toady's other recent project, "I built the April Fool's House at Raglan Shire with Clover Dezno." Flea called it, "a wacky fun build."

There were more than just talks at the Auditorium. There were a number of musicians performing at the various stages, such as singer Maxamillian Kleene and DJ Grease Coakes.

Besides the events at the SL10B sims, there were other events that day. The Burn2 group had a SL10B celebration of their own with Debi Latte singing. Among those attending was artist Bryn Oh.

And Relay events went on that day SL10B or no. At Arinultra Beach, members of a few teams danced away. This included Gem Sunkiller, whom a few days before had been in a "Bid Me Chocolate" event.

It was a great start to the SLB, with plenty of exhibits to see, and more events to come. Check the Auditorium Schedule to see (Click Here).

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, June 17, 2013

Arton Tripsa’s Party at Book Island

 By Grease Coakes

Arton Tripsa stepped down as manager at Book Island after 4 years. There was a party in her honor at 4pm SLT at Book Island on Saturday June 15. I left my avatar at the beach of Dance Island while I went to grab some food beforehand. Selina Greene was there herself at the owner of Book Island. Brokail the blue alien showed up along with Perri Prinz the author of Spectral Shadows who is also the owner of the Green Meadows land club. Danger Dave and Jackson Arthur showed up a little later.

 Arton Tripsa wants to leave Second Life to start work on her second book. Hence Selina Greene set up a party in her honor. Izzy Upsilion came after a while and started djing for the crowd. He played a lot of pop and popular music. Arton Tripsa who is Jane Watson in real life is the author of Hindustan Contessa as she lives in Austrailla.

Lots of avatars were dancing and having a good time being silly. Barabara Blackcinder accused Brokali of being sick due to his skin being blue. In defense I said Brokali is a blue alien who will take over the earth and paint everyone blue. For a short time Selina Green spoke on voice and announced that the winners of the laureate awards were Arton Tripsa and Alexander M Zoltai as Alex is the events manager.

 I asked Arton about her book and here’s what she had to say, " It is a novel about a couple who travel to India to see the guy’s grandmother and get kidnapped." She adds this sentence as well, "not exactly, more analysis of dual cultures and cultural differences."

Grease Coakes, "Sounds interesting, like 'Dances With Wolves,' how the American solider gets integrated into Native American culture?"

Arton Tripsa, "Yeah something like that. The girl is Anglo-Australian, the guy is Indian-Australian: - ie born in India living in Australia (grin)."

The story idea was inspired a rare photo she had in real life.Well it was a metaphor, the photo showed an Indian child seated on a dining chair balancing on a giant Amazonian lily. It was about balance.

Grease Coakes, "About balancing different cultures together?"

Arton Tripsa, "You got it!"

Arton says her second book is about literary theft. I said that would be horrible if someone plagiarized my Children’s book. She said in real life someone took the idea of her first book. And the second book is about revenge for that. Her second book does not have a title yet.

Brokali, "The door prize winner will receive Cookie Monster Avi, Zebra Avi, Lighthouse, Vases, and garden lamps!"

Grease Coakes, "You mean the prize isn't a door?" (Giggles)

Arton Tripsa, "Lawl Grease!" the guest of honor laughed at my dumb joke.

Barbara Blackcinder won the door prize and no it wasn’t a door. The next question I thought of at random.

Grease Coakes, "If you could be a furry what animal would you choose?"

Arton Tripsa, "I have a tiny avi who is a calico kitten. (Laughter)"

Before tonight I didn’t know Arton Tripsa from Eyll Tripsa. Her friends at Book Island will greatly miss her. As she leaves Second Life to write her second book but Perri Prinz had this to say, "She'll be back, Grease. They always come back."

Perri could be right there’s always the allure of Second Life. But if Perri was wrong at least Arton got a hell of a farewell party in her honor for her pixel avatar.

For more information, check out the following links:

Grease Coakes

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

SL Newser Party at the Corner

Last week was the Third Anniversary of Second Life Newser. To celebrate, a few events were held in it's honor. One was a beach party at Cova's Cove on Sunday the 2nd. The next was a party on Sunday evening at Club Zero Gravity with a 2000 prize donated by Nydia Tungsten up for grabs. Finally on Saturday June 8 was the third and final of these parties. It was held over the Corner of Revolving Time in Ophelia.

 DJ Qwark spun the tunes for the event, with some scenes in the background

Qwark, who's also been hard at work on the Newser's SL10B exhibit, had a picture of it up for the party.

  There was a dinner table for those hungry

 Theonlyjohnny Resident showed up in a micro-husky avatar, just inches high.

 Oops, looks like someone's teleport didn't go quite right.

 The editor dances with his partner, sporting a unique unicorn avatar.

 There were some interesting looks, such as Treminari Huet's outfit with handles on it.

And this lady's costume was pretty colorful too.

For those who missed the party, don't worry. There will be at least one party at our SL10B exhibit during The Birthday, with more chances for staff and friends to have fun together

Bixyl Shuftan (top two pictures from Gemma Cleanslate)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

SL Woodstock - 12 Hours of Peace, Love and Music

By Grey Lupindo

 The SL Yasgur’s Farm was the site of a SL Woodstock festival of peace, love and music this past Saturday.  While its RL historic counterpart was held over 3 days in August, 1969, the SL version was held for 12 hours on June 1.     Although both events were filled with music, fun, and good times, the SL version also helped raise money for the American Cancer Society.    At one point I saw that $612,570L had been raised, and the amount was still growing.  
       I stopped by a couple of times during the day long festival, and it was always crowded.  Late in the evening I saw there were 74 avi’s on the site, although there may have been more at other times during the day.  SL’s Jimi Hendrix (Charlz Price) was thrilling the crowd with his music and good vibes.     Many folks were dancing while others sat on the grass and listened to the tunes.      A decorated VW was being auctioned off to the highest bidder while other smaller items were available for a donation.      

       The site had been carefully constructed to pay homage to RL Max Yasgur’s farm.   A barn, an old farm truck, and some animals were located on one side of the site.   There was even a cow that could be milked, which was a nice touch since the RL site was a dairy farm.   On another part of the site was a hippie camp, complete with tents, old VW’s, and a drum circle.   There was even a mud slide for those who wanted to re-live all the memories of that rainy weekend in New York.    

     A notecard sent out earlier by the Woodstock Production team stated that they would be playing “...every artist that played at the original event. Included are several full performances including Janis Joplin, Santana, The Who and Jimi Hendrix. All music is presented in the historical order in which it was played at the 1969 festival.”   They did, of course, edit some performances for time. 

       The festival was produced by BennyTunes Woodstock.   The team included  Benny The Boozehound,  Audio;  Charlz Price,  Build;  Fiona Harworth , Scripting; and Runa McMillan, Multi Media Textures.    
Grey Lupindo

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Scenes from Burn2 "Color Outside of the Lines"

Last weekend, the Burn2 group held a spinoff springtime event of the noted major art event in the fall. At "The Playa," they held an event called, "Color Outside of the Lines."

Color Outside Of The Lines brings a May explosion of creation and celebration of mother to the Virtual Playa! In remembrance of the time of our early beginnings: Paper, empty as our abilities, was given to us along with crayons. So we created art.  As paint boxes and coloring books appeared, we still created art, now of structure and less of our first faltering attempts.  As we grew in our art, “She” (our mother figure) was always at our sides, guiding us, praising us, swift with tape and magnets to post our results upon fridges. She was always there to encourage us and to push us further to use chalk, clay, and anything that came to hand. She was our muse and sponsor, and always gave us permission to COLOR OUTSIDE OF THE LINES.

 The event took place on May 24th and 25th at Deep Hole. I dropped by on the 25th, and some examples of how people "celebrate the act of art creation" seemed to be a bit random.

The main tent.

 "The Man," with someone sitting on top.

 I was soon joined by one of the Burners, Mia Wallace (Mia Quinote). She wanted to show me around a little.

A DJ party in one corner of Deep Hole

 This bit of art, Mia wasn't sure why one childhood toy had a name change, and the other didn't, suggesting maybe it could have been called, "Playa-Doh."

Join us May 24th and 25th for a two-day event with music and collaborative creative art building. Celebrate the act of art creation and the role of Her (our mother figure). 
The Playa will OPEN to the public at NOON on FRIDAY, May 24th until MIDNIGHT May 25th at Burning Man- Deep Hole.
Drum, Play, Celebrate: Come join the Lamplighters each day to drum and perform. There are no bystanders.
Create, Share, Keep: Small creative areas are setup for participants to "color outside of the lines" by moving the different shaped objects supplied or adding their own to a group art piece that will only last four hours (take a copy! quick!). 
Join us, free your inner Burner, and once again explore art and honor the mother muse we all have.