Wednesday, January 21, 2015

ArtFest 4

By Gemma Cleanslate

I went over to Eclectic Diversity to visit my friend Huntress Catteneo, one of the sponsors of ArtFest 4. Attica Bekkers is the other who opens this event to the artists of Second Life.  The installation of art exhibits has begun and the artists are working on their pieces. 

For those that don't know and those that need a reminder, ArtFest is a CHARITY art competition to raise funds for disaster relief.  100% of the $L raised with ArtFest is converted to real-life money, and donated to the Red Cross/Crescent (Via their Everyday Heroes program).  The Red Cross was chosen, as it is an organization that helps around the globe without discrimination (” according to Huntress.
I roamed around and took a bunny ride so I could see the land from above. Catch the bunny ride near the water at the entrance if you like. I saw that the  little carnival area is all set up with some fun games and rides  already. 
I cant wait to see the finished products. Last year there were some  very lovely pieces there. When the pieces are all finished you are invited to vote for your favorites. There is a great diversity, from 2D art, 3D art, sculpture, performance, poetry and more. There is still room for applicants . If you wish to participate you can contact Huntress. She told me that there will be an underwater art exhibit too. You are invited to visit at any time now while the building is going on. Later there will be parties and shows.  
Huntress says to those interested in applying for a spot,  “Artists/builders may enter as many different categories as you like.  This event is designed to attract people back to the Sim again and again. And to this end, you are asked to please build on the sim, if you can rather than elsewhere, and to build slowly in stages.  The constant change provides more interest for people to keep returning.  This event is not set up as a gallery, it is a landscape you walk around to explore what new thing is around each bend, in each new environment (plains, mounts, cave, under water, little isle).”  There will be a bazaar also so the artists may offer their wares and part of the sale will go to the Red Cross / Crescent also.  The entrance is here . Enjoy!
Gemma Cleanslate

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Trixie's Magic Show

By Bixyl Shuftan

I was recently informed that a magic show in the pony sim of Thessalia would soon be having it's last one for a while. So wondering what the show was about, I headed over to the LM provided in the announcement. The location was a clearing in some woods with a number of pillows for seating with a cartoony-looking wagon in front. On the cushions were an audience of about a dozen and a half, mostly ponies but there were a few others. Over the next few minutes, a few more arrived, bringing the number to about two dozen.

Finally the wagon snapped open into a stage, a few pyrotechnics went off, and a blue pony in a purple star-speckled cape appeared. "Come one, come all!" she called out, "It's time once again to witness, the AMAZING show-stopping ability,  of the Mare of Magic! Presenting the most magical unicorn in Equestria! The one! The only! The Great and Powerful TRIXIE!!" There was applause from the ponies, "Yay Trixie!" The magician continued, "That's right, ponies, The Great and Powerful Trixie is finally back to astound and amaze you all! Trixie will ask for volunteers later, to come on stage with Trixie, like a true fan! Decide now if you will help and be ready! Prepare for an experience never before experienced by pony eyes! It's time to get started!"

Trixie started things off with a card trick, showing a set of cards inviting the audience to make a mental note of one, then with a flash, there was one less card in the set, "And ... your card is gone!" After another illusion trick, she called out, "Trixie now wants to present the most dramatic stunt, discovered in another land! Trixie presents the amazing..." and a large wooden crate appeared on stage, "...SCARY BOX 5000!!" There were a couple gasps from the audience, "Oh my." The magician continued, "Trixie will need a volunteer from the audience... some pony brave. Who will help Trixie?" One of the ponies trotted onto the stage. The magician had her hop on top of the crate, "Now, stay there no matter what. Trixie will now lower you into the box... Good, now just stay very still. Trixie now presents the SCARY part!! Give Trixie a little room here..." 

Then a number of saw blades appeared, and there were more gasps from the audience, "ooooohh!" "Yikes!" Trixie continued, "Trixie will just step out of the way now.. excuse Trixie... Nopony spoil the surprise for our friend in the box, now! Now, Trixie learned a story to go along with this trick.... It goes like this: In a world before time, 10 saws faced one crate in eternal battle! And the great Queen Neighfertiti decreed... Oh, ponyfeathers. Trixie isn't going to tell the whole silly story. Let's just give our friend a push, shall we? Keep your eyes on the box!" And the box was moved into the spinning sawblades, cutting through it right in front of the audience of ponies, "Holy celestia!" Then the walls of the box collapsed, and there was nothing inside. The voulenteer then trotted out from behind the stage and the audience cheered and claps, "Best yet!" The magician took a bow, "Another amazing trick by the Great and Powerful Trixie!"

The show continued with the next act involving a tale of pony lore, Trixie acting with her usual boastful bravado. Then came the stage transforming into a castle for a few minutes, until the crystal shattered into a thousand sparkles, leaving behind just the stage. Not having watched the cartoon, yours truly wondered if this was part of a roleplay in the spirit of the show. Those donating into the tip jar got an autographed picture of the magician.

Eventually, the show came to a close, the magician saying. "Thank you all! Trixie hopes you have enjoyed the last show of her comeback tour!" And the audience cheered, "That was incredible." "This made my new year a lot better. (grin)" One lady broke the proverbial fourth wall with her comment, "(My) daughter watched on my screen, she says thank you too Trixie." "You did spectacular, and Im happy I saw the whole show." The pony took a bow, "Trixie wishes you all a fantastic 2015, and hopes all the best for you in the new year. May it be as Magical as I am!"

The magician thanked the following people for technical help, "Trixie would like to thank Marjan Tomba for technical and pyrotechnical assistance! Trixie would also like to thank Wandy and Lady Silvermane for mixing advice and support, and Sheruka for animation support! Thank you also to Rina-Chan for giving Trixie voice, and to Kiteless Dragon for the introduction voice over! Most of all, Trixie thanks all of you for still being loyal fans after so much time! Trixie hopes to meet each and every one of you at her next show!"

But her next show might not be for a while. I later met up with Crim Nip, who told me that most likely there wouldn't be another of Trixie's performances for a year and a half due to the person behind the avatar's increasingly busy real-life. It might actually be the last show.

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Crhistmas Truce Exhibit

By Bixyl Shuftan

Over the Holidays, there was an exhibit in the WW2 Combat RP area that covered an event not of the Second World War, but of the first. It was a hundred years ago in which Europe was locked in what was then called "The Great War." After the initial German march into France was stopped, both sides dug in and the Western Front was locked in the stalemate of trench warfare, with no end in sight.

Although there were truces in the fighting so both sides could tend to their dead and wounded, in December 1914, something very different took place. The "Christmas Truce" was unique in that so many soldiers took part and that there was not only a lack of fighting but soldiers from opposing sides often meeting up to chat or even exchange items. Although there had been calls from the Pope for a truce, and some officers and generals wanted at least a break in the fighting, what happened came about through the spontaneous combined actions of the infantrymen. For a short time in this war marked by so much death destruction and misery, there was peace.

A hundred years later in Second Life, the New Bastogne region had an exhibit about the Christmas Truce, "(Many visitors have) already seen the Christmas Truce Exhibit on Ardennes sim. On the exhibit you will find period time photos, press and the most important, the individual histories of who lived it. Don't miss this great exhibit."

At Homely Isle,there were a number of photographs and descriptions up for display, describing scenes of how the Christmas Truce came to be.

We were in the front line, we were about 300 yards from the Germans. And we had, I think on Christmas Eve, we'd been singing carols and this that and the other, and the Germans had been doing the same. And we'd been shouting to each other, sometimes rude remarks more often just joking remarks.

Anyway, eventually a German said, "Tomorrow you no shoot, we no shoot." And the morning came and we didn't shoot and they didn't shoot. So then we began to pop our heads over the side and jump down quickly in case they shot but they didn't shoot. And then we saw a German standing up, waving his arms and we didn't shoot and so on, and so it gradually grew.

More than a hundred thousand soldiers would take part in the truce. While it was often just simply leaving one another alone, there were numerous examples of the soldiers getting out into No-Mans-Land and chatting with one another, exchanging items such as tobacco with one another, even exchanging Christmas gifts, often alcoholic drinks. There were even soccer matches set up between the two sides.

A Scottish soldier appeared with a football, which seemed to come from nowhere, and a few minutes later a real football match got underway. The Scots marked their goal with their strange caps, and we did the same with ours. It was far from easy to play on the frozen ground, but we continued, keeping rigorously to the rules, despite that it only lasted an hour, and that we had no referee. A great many of the passes went wide, but all the amateaur footballers, although they must have been very tired, played with huge enthusiasm.

One might think after weeks of stalemate someone among the leadership might have suggested making the truce official and give the governments a chance to negotiate, especially with the Germans whom were fighting a two front war. But it was not to be. Eventually the generals on both sides grew more irritated with the truce, and began ordering the fighting to resume under threat of punishment. The following year, soldiers were warned they faced court-martial, even execution, if they fraternized with the enemy. Some smaller truces still came about in that year and the next, but there would never again be another Christmas Truce like 1914 had seen.

The Christmas Truce Exhibit remained up after New Years, and will be taken down tomorrow on January 10.

Homely Isle (98/135/31)

Bixyl Shuftan

Sunday, January 4, 2015

"Twisted Christmas"

By Bixyl Shuftan

The holiday season in Second Life saw it's share of events of all kinds. Most were more or less traditional, involving plenty of familiar Christmas songs. Others were more comedic, out to give the residents a few chuckles. And some were a bit on the offbeat side. One that was comedic and offbeat was Nydia Tungsten's "Twisted Christmas" event.

A favorite kind of event that she performs most years, it almost got called off this season due to her computer breaking down. Fortunately thanks to the help of others, notably her partner Brandi Strussel, most of her music files were recovered, and the show went on, scheduled to take place at the Primal Passions lounge and castle.

Are you already tired of the sickeningly sweet Christmas ad's and songs playing on TV and radio? would you like to take a break from all that merry (Commercial) Christmas? Well have I got a deal for YOU! It's that time of year again ... time for my "Twisted Christmas" special in Second Life. Modern-day Christmas classics like "Rudolf the Deep Throat Reindeer," "Frosty the Pervert," and many MANY more! See you then!

And so at Saturday December 20 as 7 PM SL time approached, people began heading over to the Primal. Nydia, who used to be a regular performing DJ, "DJ Naughty Nydia," lived up to her old handle, dressing her skunk avatar up in a Christmas Santa outfit and dancing on stage as she played songs like "Grandma Got Knocked-Up By a Reindeer," "Chipmunks Roasting on an Open Fire,""I Came Upon a Roadkilled Deer," and a number of others.

Everyone had such a good time, that a few days later on the 23rd Nydia was at it again. The "Twisted Christmas Encore" was at the "Teasers and Pleasers" club.

Please join us at T&P for DJ Naughty Nydia and her pervy twist on Christmas songs. If you have ever wondered what your favorite Christmas Carols ever sounded like in a more adult manner, now is your chance to find out. Only here at T&P at 3:00 PM SLT.

And once again, it was time for the wacky tunes. Not all of them were riskee. Some were modern classics done with a twist that was safe for sensitive ears such as "The Twelve Pains of Christmas," and "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer." But others such as "Grandma Got Molested at the Airport" were not. Some songs such as South Park's "Merry F***ing Christmas" we can't show the whole title. The demented tunes went on for about three hours, Nydia grinning and whooping it up all the while.

Lots of fun was had by all. What sort of revelry the next holiday season will bring, we'll see next year.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year

Bixyl Shuftan

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year Second Life

 As the end of 2014 approached, various places in Second Life would mark and celebrate the event in various ways. Lauren Live, the weekly stand-up comedy show at 5PM SL time on Tuesday Dec 30 had their event in a New Years theme, cracking jokes about various events, in both SL and real life.

After a while, Lauren offered the stage to anyone else with a few wisecracks. Catboy Qunhua took up the challenge and got up on stage for a few moments.

Later that night at 6PM SL time, The Vinyl would hold it's "New Years Eve Eve" event. The DJ planned for the event was unable to come, so Cynthia Farshore stepped in. The prize was a whopping 2000L on both the mens' and women's boards, most of each donated by a generous friend of the club.

Tonight at the Vinyl, it's our "New Years Eve" Eve Party. We say goodbye to 2014 with a series of rockin' tunes. Come dressed formally, in something that you think represents the year, or just come as you are. However you come over, be sure to come for a great time.

The event was won by Lewis Oanomochi, and Jenni Greenfield.

On New Years Eve, Dec 31st, one place would hold two events that day. In the Roma sim, they would celebrate as the New Year came to various time zones across Europe.

 As always, ROMA will be celebrating the new year across European and American time zones!  The party starts at 2pm SL time as we celebrate the new year with dancing and fireworks at 3 and 4,  and then resume at 8pm for fireworks at 9, 10, 11, and 12.  Come join us at the ROMA basilica!

Every hour, a ball there would drop, and when reaching the ground lights and fireworks go off. To the side were a few goodies to sample. After the last time zone in the Old World hit 2015, they took a break for a few hours, then began partying once again when it was the Americas' turn to celebrate.

At 6PM SL time, Club Cutlass would began it's New Years Eve Party. Like the Vinyl, they had a larger than normal prize, starting at 1000L on each board.

It's been a long 2014, and time to begin a new year. Come out at 6 PM for an extended party with music by DJ Cynthia. The contest will run the usual 2 hours, but the party continues well into the next year, so dress up for the big party, grab your party horns and other noisemakers along with your 2015 hats, and come celebrate.

DJ Cynthia spun the tunes for the party, appearing in a robe with an hourglass with the number 2014, representing the old year. This would not be a normal music session for her, but a marathon lasting more than six hours. This would be the third time she had done so in Second Life.

 There was some confusion as to the theme of the costume that night. Was it formal, first avatars one had as newcomers, or just something special for the occasion. Miyuki Naidoo decided on the later with her Felicia.

The contest, boosted to 1500 for each board, would be won later by Dusk Griswold for the girls, and yours truly Bixyl Shuftan for the guys (don't worry, I gave the DJ a generous tip). At 9PM SL time, or Midnight on the US East Coast, Cynthia changed out of the robe for a smaller two piece cloth outfit, with the top having the number 2015, with a rattle, representing the new year.

Cynthia would play for a little past Midnight, ending the event with "Old Scottish Waltz" and the New Year's classic "Auld Lang Syne," both by Andy Stewart, "Happy New Year's to all."

At Bay City, they would celebrate with their version of the ball drop: the Prim Drop. Here's the tower a few hours before the event.

Second Life Newser was not able to attend the actual event itself, but Marianne McCann sent a couple pictures. As the minutes to Midnight SL time ticked, the crowd there waited in anticipation.

And at 12 Midnight SL time, fireworks were launched as the New Year officially was rung in on the Grid.

Happy New Year Second Life.

Bixyl Shuftan