Friday, December 20, 2013

Philosophical Landmark: Professor Bergson's 500th Philosophy Class

 By Gemma Cleanslate

It is amazing to me to realize that I have been attending The Philosophy Class in Second Life so long! Not that I made it to every class, but I must say I did attend quite a few! I know I was present for Class Number 1 back in September 2007.  Now I am sitting at class 500 on Thursday, the 19th of December 2013.
I do know someone who did attend every class and that is the professor, Herman Bergson, every Tuesday and Thursday, every year, every week, except for vacation breaks, since the first month. He has been dedicated to continuing the study of philosophers and their ideas for all this time,  and presenting us with the material. Often our classes have had heated discussions that wander off topic, but we are drawn back to the present issue quickly by the Professor.

This lecture, number 499, should have taken place back in October. However the professor was stricken with a heart attack and underwent surgery. Fortunately he has recovered well and is ready to go on. Class 500 is a landmark but it is not the end. It is the beginning . He is already aiming for the next 500. You are all invited to join us for the next part of the journey. Winter break began after class, and will resume in week three of January. You are able to access any past classes at this blog site . Right now we are in the midst of the study of non-western philosophies.

There have been several past articles about the class over the years in the SL Newser. If you would like to learn more, and you can visit the classroom at this location in Wainscot.
Gemma Cleanslate  

Monday, December 16, 2013

Remembering Osprey Therian

Longtime residents in Second Life may remember a lady by the name of Osprey Therian, known in real life as Vivian Kendel. She was a creative resident known for being on the whimsical side of things. Her accomplishments include her "duck on a bike" avatar that became a feature at Bay City parades and other impromptu fun events and a youtube video , her role in a variety SL TV program "The Show Must Go On," was one of the creators behind the "combat cards" inworld dueling game, is described as having "designed, built, and maintained the Ambat Infohub," designed clothes for a roleplaying group and area, organized photography contests, and more.

Sadly, in real life Osprey suffered from Multiple Sclerosis and more recently was diagnosed with cancer as well. "The great thing about Second Life is I never have to leave my brain," she wrote on her profile. Eventually, her conditioned worsened and she had to move to a hospice center. On December 9, she passed away. Her profile feed was soon filled with condolences from friends, admirers, and other residents. CNN iReporter Janey Bracken wrote in an article about her, "Somehow I think Osprey’s vivaciousness inhabited us all whilst in her company, she was a truly remarkable lady. "

Her friends Justin Esparza and Enja Mysterio announced there would be a tribute to Ospery at her virtual home in Bodego Bay (Bodega /225/112/23 ). It was scheduled to begin at 10AM SL time. There were already a number of people when I arrived fifteen minutes early. There would be close to forty people here, many of whom were notables in Second Life past and present, Holocluck Henly, RacerX Gullwing, Marianne McCann, Kennylex Luckless, Stroker Serpentine (the inventor of the adult animation beds), and Prokofy Neva. Torley Linden was also there. "It is like a creative oldbie convention," someone commented. If there was bad feelings between anyone, they were not displayed here. All had come together to pay their respects.

At the location there was a picture of Osprey, a combination of her real life self, her avatar, and a picture of her as a child. Justin and Enja were on a lilly pad in the bay, just in front of a curled giant tentacle. Under the surface what looked like a shark was swimming around. Clicking on the picture gave one a folder, Justin saying, "That folder contains a memorial notecard, moth wings, a landmark to the Iris infohub and this photo of Viian/Osprey." The moth wings were another creation Osprey was noted for.

There was some chat before the official start, some of it mudane talk about SL glitches and ajusting preferences. Other times it was reminiscing, Enjah recalling the fun she had with Osprey, "Remember that wild boat parade in 2004 when we crashed every sim it went through? Or was it 2005." "Think Osprey will crash the sim?" Justin mused. Some of the people dropping by showed up in the Osprey duck avatars, "Good to see those ducks on bikes again." One girl commented, "I watched a video an hour ago, and one of the first thinks I thought of was 'I need to send this to Osprey, she'll really enjoy it.' "

Torley's arrival was greeted with cheers, the Linden known for his "Friendly Greetings" tutorials years ago still popular despite Linden Labs often jeered by residents, "Been ages since I've seen you in the pixel Torley.""Aah! So this *is* Torley?" "Cultural references!" the Linden blurted. "Heheh - long time since I heard that." "I have old pictures of many of you," Torley told the group, "in my archives."

One resident commented about Osprey's activity in another virtual world, "There," of which after it closed, many of it's users coming to Second Life adopted the surname "Therian," "I remember when There closed. Osprey felt very badly that her avatar could no longer exist."

At 10AM, Justin officially began the service, "Thank you all for coming together today to honor one of our friends, Osprey Therian, (whom) in the physical world was known as Vivian Kendall. You probably don't know me from Adam, but I am the creator behind the avatar Salazar Jack and the Forest of Kahruvel. My real name is Justin Esparza and I live in Washington State in the USA." "He's exposing himself!" Enjah joked. Justin made a joke about flashing for the cameras, then continued, "I did not know her really well in the physical world. But I have visited her in real life on three occasions, and she was just the same there as she was here. Behind me is a photo of Vivian with her Osprey Avatar, and a photo of her as a little girl. Even at that age she was 100% Osprey."

 Of the fate of Osprey's Bodega Bay, Justin told everyone, "I met with her about a month ago in real life and she wanted to know if I was interested in taking over her Art Westerburg account. Art's account is a lifetime account and controls almost all of the land here. So I said I would and keep her land here as long as I could. We also talked about the legacy of the Osprey Therian avatar. And she was excited about having her avatar continue on as part of the world after she was gone. So we decided to try and do that and pattern her activity a bit after Magellan Linden's. It is my understanding that she has formally included these things in her will and I will be meeting with her executor later this month to begin that process. As I want to work with Linden Lab, if possible, to accomplish that." One resident commented, "It'll be a new situation for Linden Lab." Another added, "There has been some passing on of assets/land before, certainly when The Sojourner passed on.. at the time Pathfinder who was still a Linden helped in that process."

Justin continued, "My first memory of Osprey was a photo she posted online in the Second Life forums. She was exploring a cave in the Stinson region that my avatar, Salazar Jack, and another friend, Champie Jack, has discovered. She posted a photo of herself waving from the entrance to the cave and said that she was wearing steel-toed boots to protect her feet. It was a running joke with us after that." Another commented, "Her sailing photos always mesmerized me." "I loved her sailing expeditions," Justin responded. A third spoke, "Yes she went on these epic sailing journeys and documented her travels of the Linden waterways." Someone commented, "I always enjoyed the photo contests at the gallery." Holocluck remarked, "I was a noob when I found out about the photo contests and that's how I knew her." Marianne added, "That was when I first got to know Osprey. That and attending TSMGO."

Torley spoke, "I was often inspired by Os' photos of eclectic and bizarre attractions in SL, pieces of our unique culture here. Does anyone else remember her Roadside Attractions exhibit? ... I thought about road trips and the kinds of unexpected landmarks you might see across the territory, and that kept me coming back for exploration inworld, so O's was a very positive influence on my early days inworld."

Justin announced, "I will be keeping a permanent page for Vivian/Osprey at . At some point I will make it so one can add a comment to it directly." Enjah brought up the question about the future of Osprey's blog at ( Justin told the group he would look into it, saying her computer was willed to him, "She has given me access to Osprey, Art both verbally and in emails," though could guarentee nothing, "I will have to wait to talk with her executor to get the details."

As for Osprey's avatar, Justin announced, "Tommorrow (Sunday Dec 15) at 10:00 am SLT. The Osprey Therian character will be going through the unstable portal in the Rodeo region to search for Salazar Jack. So yes, her adventures will be continuing in a tangible way as well." This got approval from the crowd, "Oh Em Gee, Os is really going to live on." Torley commented, "That's so beautiful and fitting. The voyage continues." A third spoke,"Yes she loved searching for people." Prokofy asked, "Did you get the Lindens to allow you to continue her avatar? ... Surely they will understand." Justin answered, "I will have to contact them to find out." Torley offered, "Let me know if I can do anything to help with that communication." Others offered to help in any way they could. Later on, Uccello Poultry would meet up with Osprey's reanimated avatar on Sunday at ten AM as planned.

"I'd just like to say what an amazing woman to have gathered such a divergent bunch of people," a lady commented. Torley then asked, "Justin, if you happen to find Os' Foot B Gone spray in her bequeathed inventory, can you please send me a copy? I was looking for it in my inventories but didn't find it." Justin told him he would. Torley explained, "In 2005, long before any of this fancy Advanced Lighting Model stuff, I griped about the ugly avatar foot shadows and Os manifested a cure." Prokofy showed off a cane, "I must put up a photo display of our early Moth Swarms that was fun, Osprey made this Moth Staff for me, look at the level of detail, even little moth feathers." One resident talked about, "I have the lantern she made, with the moths that come out at night." Prokofy told her, "She especially made those lamps for the Iris Moth Temple when the Lindens' lanterns disappeared mysteriously." Rhiannon Chatnoir invited everyone to light a candle to Osprey at her cathedral in Darkwood.

Eventually came the final event of the service. Justin donned his set of Osprey moth wings, and invited others to do the same, "Let's go ahead and don our moth wings for those that are flying up to the Iris Moth Temple." Many did, although others had events elsewhere in real life or virtual to attend to, "have a safe flight everyone, and thank you Justin for doing all this." And those with the wings flew up, and then took flight away.

No doubt Osprey will continue to be remembered in ways large and small in Second Life.

Bixyl Shuftan

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Scenes From The Relay For Life Christmas Expo

From December 5 to today December 15th, the Christmas Expo has taken place. Sponsored by the Relay For Life, the event has raised funds for The American Cancer Society through both donations in kiosks, and goods offered for sale with the proceeds going to the charity. But the expo was more than just shopping. The scenery was picturesque, and there were a number of music events.

A few maps were around to show people where to go in the four sim shopping area.  There were also a few sims to the east.

 More than seventy merchants provided goods of all kinds, especially Christmas-themed ones.

 And there were a few places to stop and warm oneself when just looking around.

The snow-covered cobblestone streets made for a scene out of an old-time Christmas story.

 The inside of the shops involved much scenery too.

 But there was more to do than just shop. One could just walk around and enjoy the scenery.

 The Gazebo, where a number of music events took place, the tunes broadcasted over T-1 Radio.

 One could walk, or one could ski.

 The online newsletter Prim Perfect, by Saffia Widdershins, was also there.

 At 2PM Dec 10th, I came across a discussion.

Saffia's subject was the "Urchins of Babbage," talking to Jimmy Branagh, and Myrtil Igaly. Jimmy is also a member of the Steelhead community. They talked quite a bit about their adventures.

Relayer Dwen Dooley pranced around in a deer avatar, or sat down. The dark unicorn Avariel Falcon was also walking around.

Another look at the Gazebo, from a musical bash on Thursday Dec 12 by DJ Mandy.

Mandy the Elf has taken over the airwaves here at the Expo. She's got a backpack full of gifts, and a playlist full of terrific Christmas songs for all of you. Come in your holiday best and join the fun!

And boys and girls could also sit on Santa's lap to let him know what one wanted for Christmas. But the girls didn't necessarily have to be little.


On Saturday Dec 14th, the "Holidays of Hope Ball" took place from 4 to 8 PM.

Trader Whiplash and Nula Maracas provided the music for the event, of which Victorian Age wear was encouraged as to give the look of the "Dickens Fantasy" theme.

There was a raffle at the Ball, which was won by Chevelly SilentGhost and Kerri Imari Criss.

It was an event enjoyed by all.

Today December 15th marks the last day of the event. So there is one more day to enjoy the scenery and the music. And events such as the Avi Choice awards.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Bay City Tree Lighting

by DrFran Babcock 

On Sunday December 8th Bay City celebrated three hours of music, dancing, ice skating and fun to mark the lighting of the Bay City Christmas Tree. The festivities were also for a cause: Child's Play whose charitable aim is to help children in hospitals with money raised by the gaming industry. Their slogan is: When gamers give back, it makes a difference. To help raise funds many content creators had donated items to Bay City, and these were placed in an area where residents could 


GoSpeed Racer was the deejay for the beginning hour, and she spun holiday tunes that were well-known and esoteric. The crowd made a conga line and cheered on the music choices. All of the revelers decided to load test the conga pose balls, and managed to crash the parcel. This is just the kind of fun Second Life™ residents expect at an event.. 

Christov Kohnke was up next. He might have been short in stature, but  this kid rock pounded out blues on his assorted classical and rock guitars, that he used to accompany his folksy, bluesy voice. By the time he finished his set, the crowd had grown to one frame per second slowness, and Marianne McCann was screaming holiday wishes to all: "Laggy Christmas!" 

The last performer was Grace McDunnough, adored by many for her sultry voice, and her ability to connect with her audience. She told use that we would be tortured for the next hour with holiday songs, but, alas, she was wrong. The crowd was appreciative of her talent, and the day closed out with most of the crowd wishing for more. 


If you weren't in the mood for dancing you could go ice skating, or wander the Linden-created lands of Bay City. In addition, the tree is located right in the center of the skating rink. The tree had a number of decorations, including ornaments by BlueGin Yifu and Hyper Mole, whom have passed away.

The event was a great one for people watching, and the paparazzi from the press (cough, cough) snapped pictures with abandon.  


 Here are the auction totals hot off the press, thanks to Marianne McCann: The event raised a stunning L$50,207. Here are the individual silent auction winners: 

The Secret Store - Rag Dolls Collection - Lily RARE is... Salome Strangelove, with a final bid of L$400! 
The winner of Dark Wicker and Floral Outdoor Seating Set #2 is... Galileo Moleno, with a final bid of L$400 
The winner of Dreamscape Life & Alts Insurance Policy is... Vick Forcella, with a final bid of L$2001! 
The winner of 2Zm Bread Truck Proof of Purchase Prim is... SeanMcPherson Senior, with a final bid of L$3860! (Ed note: Sean later gave the truck to Marianne McCann  
The winner of Bay City Tree Lightning 2012 is... Alx Zeiler, with a final bid of L$200! 
The winner of [ContraptioN] Music Box GACHA: Isvandt's Waltz No. 1 is... HomeownerOrCurrent Resident, with a final bid of L$4610! 
Trompe L'oeil Gift Card shouts: SOLD! The winner of Trompe L'oeil Gift Card $L500 v2.08 [packaged] transfer only is... Cali Souther, with a final bid of L$1300! 
Bay City Scenes #2 Photos shoutThe winner of Bay City Scenes #2 [boxed] is... Uccello Poultry, with a final bid of L$200! 
~FCD~ Tree of the Bay Decor BOXED is... Evola Courtois, with a final bid of L$350! 
The winner of bop! Thousand Miles is... Pygar Bu, with a final bid of L$850! 
The winner of Dark Wicker and Floral Outdoor Seating Set #3 is... Linsey Carter, with a final bid of L$500! 
The winner of African Wax Print Dress Voucher is... Ever Dreamscape, with a final bid of L$200! 
The winner of ER L$2000 Store Credit Voucher is... Vick Forcella, with a final bid of L$1500! 
The winner of R(S)W Nutcracker - Bay City King is... Galileo Moleno, with a final bid of L$5000! 
The winner of Dark Wicker and Floral Outdoor Seating Set #1 is... zombiegal Resident, with a final bid of L$400! 
The winner of Army of Saint Pygarmas! is... Rachel Seelowe, with a final bid of L$2000! 
The winner of Bay City Scenes #1 [boxed] is... Sylvia Tamalyn, with a final bid of L$500! 
The winner of Shopping in the City is... Sylvia Tamalyn, with a final bid of L$500! 
The winner of Brazier with chairs, poses, sound and smoke is... Dakota Schwade, with a final bid of L$300! 
The winner of Carrie's Lingerie Giftcard Box(OPEN) 1000L is... Linsey Carter, with a final bid of L$500! 
The winner of <: span="">BoOgErS*:> 5000L Gift Card Prize Bay City Boxed is... XSerenaVonCureX Resident, with a final bid of L$1500! 
The winner of Escapades Treehouse - folktales is... Uccello Poultry, with a final bid of L$600!

Near the end, Ever Dreamscape gave her thanks, "On behalf of the Bay City Alliance I would like to thank the many people who came out today and who helped organize and donated to this event. 

"We would like to thank our wonderful performers: GoSpeed Racer, Christov Kohnke and Grace McDunnough! 

"We would like to thank the many talented artisans who donated such fabulous items to the silent auction:Ever Dreamscape, hey thats me ;P  Pygar Bu, Cory Edo of Trompe L'oeil, Loki Eliot, ADudeNamed Anthony of 2Zoetic Motors, Robin (Sojourner) Wood, Laetizia "Tish" Coronet, Marianne McCann, Pamela Galli of La Galleria, Zen Zarco of <: oogers="">, Wildstar Beaumont, Zak from Bop!, Winter Ventura of Eclectic Randomness, Isley Oodles of Fraidy Cat Designs, Eden Malik and Hendrix Portal for donating the Contraption music box.

"A BIG thank you to the the many generous persons who bid and also donated to the kiosks!

"We would like to thank Marianne McCann, Pygar Bu, and The Linden Department of Public Works, esp. Michael Linden for decorating this beautiful sim!

"We would like to thank the Bay City Alliance for organizing this wonderful event, in particular Marianne McCann our (unofficial) Mayor! (yay)

"And a very special thanks to ALL of the people who came out and made this such a success today! We LOVE having you here in Bay City!! Please come back again SOON!!!"

DrFran Babcock