Friday, June 19, 2015

Get Ready For The SL12B

By Gemma Cleanslate

It is only a matter of hours now . The SL12B celebration will open to the public on Sunday,June 21 at noon SL time! Be ready ! I have been busy on the sims for several weeks now helping the builders get settled on their parcels,  helping make adjustments to the areas, answering questions and roaming in general.. The process has been amazing , watching the flat sims fill with wondrous creations rising into the sky.

The theme, What Dreams May Come , is visible everywhere .  Many of the parcels are full of dreams, some subtle, some inviting to relaxation and dreaming there now. In the center is the Cake Stage, by Mikati Slade. It fills your mind and soul as you look at it. The other fantastic stages too are awaiting the parties that will go on most of the day and night. There is an events page on the website.
I urge you to make time during that week to visit and revisit the sims to see all the builds that are there . There is a BIG HUNT going on and the parcels where you see the sign has a gift you can look for and take. To get around there is a pod ride you can hop onto that will give you descriptions of some of the parcels. Hop off anytime you want to visit those that entice you . The Dreamatorium is hosting many presenters , including some important people so keep an eye on that too. The sims will stay open until July 4 for viewing so you will have plenty of time to come and go. Many artists have put their parcels in the destination guide so you can go right to their installation. 

Take a look here to get a sneak preview and wet your appetite!  Most of all ,I mean this,  come dressed to prevent lag and save time for all the sims!

See you there ! 

Gemma Cleanslate

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Feed a Smile at The Lavender Field

By BloodyKitty

An event is going on today in The Lavender Field for Feed a Smile this Sunday June 14 at 1:00PM. The residents in this particular sim are holding an event with live music. Upon first arriving there, there is a whole load of people there giving donations and supporting the event just by being there too. If your like me with a computer that isn't for gaming or the best in the world it will lag, but it's worth it. There's everything from a stage to a dance floor, to lots of pretty scenery like flowers, trees, as well as little details like a river and bridge. As I was walking around and discovering everything out, I could hear the faint sound of ducks quacking in the background. Of course no one is forcing anyone to donate, but it'd be nice to help out.

Basically from what I could understand from the description of the sim and what was going on, the event is basically to help  poor children in need on the Live and Learn in Kenya Int'l program. If you donate $100 Lindens than a child will receive a warm meal. Besides that to have a more enjoyable experience then just donating money to those in need, there is also a DJ, music, events, and art shows there too. What put a smile on my face was the amount of people there, which at least had to be possibly ten or even twenty at the least. The place is group owned when I checked, the founder being someone named Brique Topaz. The points that I have to point out about the group is that it is free, free, free! Although you may like to pay to be in groups, this one is not one of those, which is nice for the less fortunate of residents who don't have much cash to flaunt out like myself. 

For the parcel information which is another thing to point out quick the rating is moderate. This basically means that the content may be a bit above being kid friendly whether it's some vulgar words as well as "sexy" clothing. This one doesn't seem to have such things from my viewing of it and more of people having friendly conversations, supporting the event, as well as using gestures to have loads of fun. As for the other points there is no voice chat, building, or scripts allowed, but flying is. Some of these things may be a tiny negative to those who enjoy those things listed, but I'm personally cool with anything really. After awhile of being in the virtual world you enjoy the choices land owners make on what options to enable and disable. 

I suggest you really check it out and try to donate a bit, whether if it's of your time or $100L at least. If your the kind of person that's crazy about events or helping charities in some way it's a good place to go to. While I didn't stick around long myself because of the lag I was experiencing from so many residents being on the land, from walking around and seeing the interaction it's worth a look.

The event took place at Feed A Smile (62/132/23). Among the performers was Rosedrop Rust.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Demonstration in Second Life Supporting Iranian Protesters (2009)

By Bixyl Shuftan

Most Americans are well aware that Iran's government is undemocratic, Islamist and punishing of dissent. But what not everyone knows is that not every Iranian blindly follows it, but a number question it, sometimes openly. Following the results of the June 2009 elections in which it was announced only two hours after the polls closed that the hardliners had won, the results were protests by both the supporters of the opposition candidates and spontaneous demonstrations by others in the public. The response from the regime was brutal, arresting thousands, whom often were tortured while in captivity, and killed many, including Neda Agha Soltan whose death was widely broadcast on social media, making her a symbol of the protests. In Second Life, it was announced there was a demonstration of support for the protestors.

*  *  *  *  *

On Thursday June 25th, a number of people in Second Life in support of the protesters in Iran, whom have been speaking out against rigged elections despite the violent crackdown resulting in arrests and deaths. At 2 PM and 7 PM SL time, people gathered at the Palais Orleans Art Studio in the Roissy sim, many from the “Support Iran” group. A few held signs with raised fists on one side, and a picture of Neda, whom has become a symbol of the protests, on the other. The signs could be picked up in the Studio, along with memorial candles. The studio displayed pictured of Neda and the protests, and the people also passed around a green armband with a broken heart symbol. There were also “I am Neda” shirts.

One person at the first demonstration thought thirty to forty people showed up, some arriving a little late and some needing to go early, “We had a good turnout.” The second was smaller in number, but no less determined to make a point. There was also a security guard from the Justice League to keep any possible griefers away.

People were invited to make comments and give news they might have heard. Rene Grigorovich used voice instead of typing to make his point, “All these people are asking is for a free and honest election as is guaranteed by the constitution. .. the regime is absolutely bestial in how they treat the opposition. ... I would ask you all to keep these people in your prayers. ... thank you.”

There was one Iranian among the people in the second gathering, “I’m Iranian,” Melody Rosca told everyone. She was living outside the country. When asked how well Iranians could use the net, she answered, “I know that Internet connections have been next to nothing for the past day. I know that cell phones are shut off after 5 PM.” When asked if any SL resident in Iran could still get on, she answered, “All I know is that those I know are having lots of difficulty getting online and transferring information.” At another point, she spoke, “... it is extremely important for us, all of us, to remain aware. Knowledge is always power, and it’s no different in this turmoil.”

Thursday 25th was also the day singer Michael Jackson passed away, leaving some to wonder if the media coverage might distract the attention of the American public. Melody commented, “I’m afraid that just because there wasn’t as much news today, or perhaps tomorrow, or even a week from now, everyone will forget and just assume it’s over.“

The group talked about the role of Internet blogs and Twitter in helping the protesters get images and information outside the country. However, some described the theocracy as making it harder for the people to communicate with the outside world. Melody told, “... information is being filtered much more drastically than a week ago.” Someone else mentioned satellite dishes were being confiscated.

One man had a story to tell, “I have a personal stake in the protests. I’m in love with an Iranian woman. I don’t know if she’s alive or dead. ... I have not spoken to her since last October, when she told me she asked her father for permission to marry me. ... She and I had many low-level arguments concerning her government. At first, she thought I believed all Iranians were fanatics. Then when she realized I made the distinction between her government and the people, she still insisted that I was wrong, that is was not like that in Iran. She honestly believed Iran was a free country, and that her government would not actively harm her. It took her several years to begin seeing the truth.”

“When she told her father that we wanted to marry, he confirmed all that I had said to her and more. She broke off contact after one final conversation. We talked on the phone for hours that last night. ... If a pro-government militia ever found out she was in love with me, the girl whom got ******ed to death with a baseball bat would have been luckier. ... They’re chopping down protesters with axes and shooting them in the streets. What do you think they’ll do to a woman who’s in love with Iran’s proclaimed ‘Great Satan.’ ... My desert rose is much stronger than she thought she was. My greatest fear is she took to the streets. I decided within a few days of the election that if she called me, I’d be forced to say things I did not mean in order to convince any officials tapping her phone line that she no longer had any ties to America.”

Some were concerned, wondering at one point the possibility Iranian government agents were conducting searches in SL. Still, there was optimism, “It might take a generation ... but the Iranian people are seeing what their government is capable of now. The Iranian people overthrew the Shah and they will eventually overthrow the current butchers.”

Eventually, the vigil came to an end. People wished each other well, some vowing to continue. We were told the Art studio would keep the pictures of demonstrations and candles and signs, “for the foreseeable future.” Palais Orleans Art Studio and Designs is at the Roissy sim at (31, 58. 24).

“Freedom is worth dying for but dying is easy ask your selves is it worth losing everything for and possibly being tortured to death for? this is the question the brave freedom fighters of Iran have asked themselves. They said yes, and for that courage I stand with them.”

*  *  *  *  *

Sadly but not unexpectedly, the protests failed to change the result of the election. The response by the hardliners to the "Twitter Revolution" as it was called was to effectively shut down the Internet, bringing it back only after heavy censorship software was installed, and the shutting down of pro-opposition traditional media, in addition to brutally cracking down on dissent. In American politics, the Iranian protests became an issue when Republicans complained the Democrat President was refusing to act sufficiently in support of the dissidents. Within months, protests against the election results had been effectively quelled.

Bixy Shuftan

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Second Life Newser's Fifth Anniversary Weekend

On the weekend of Saturday June 6 and Sunday June 7, Second Life Newser celebrated it's turning five years old. It was  June 5, 2010 when it's predecessor paper, Second Life Newspaper, folded, and the new paper began. The celebrations actually began on Thursday June 4 at "The Vinyl." But when the weekend came, it was time for the celebrations to happen elsewhere.

Originally, we were going to have the party for Saturday at Noon at Thorstar. But there was a last minute problem: ban lines. We didn't see who now owned the stretch of beach, so the only thing we could do was move the party.

 And so we moved it to the Happy Vixen, with Grease Coakes spinning the tunes as the DJ.

 Lomgren Smalls, who has been easing back into Second life after a hiatus, was among those there.

Besides Grease, Gemma Cleanslate and Wesley Regenbogen were there, along with some friends such as Anne Brightstar.

 At 6PM, it was time for the party at Cutlass. As June 6 was also D-Day, Cynthia Farshore, whom was DJing for the party, wore a naval uniform and played a recording of the announcement of the landings in Normandy.

 Lots of fun was had with various news songs being played.

Zorro Wuramunga, normally with a fishing rod, sported the traditional news reporter's hat and overcoat that night. He and Carolzilla Lionheart won 500 Lindens each.

On Sunday at Noon, it was time to once again take the party to the Happy Vixen for the last of the celebration events.

Nydia Tungsten, who runs the Happy Vixen, would be the DJ for this events. She would play songs like "We Are the Champions" and several renditions of "Happy Birthday.

Today we are hosting the birthday party for the SL newser, yours truly is DJ'ing and putting out the tunes to help them make it another year, come by because you are all invited!

At one poiny, Nydia and Jenni Greenfield did a a hula dance routine.

 Ozymandius was among those showing up at the party.

The 500L prize, which had been boosted to 1500 by a supporter, went to Skylark Lefavre.

The Newser's celebration was also noted by Daniel Voyager, who mentioned it on his blog. There were also various well wishers on Facebook.

It was a Happy Anniversary to the Second Life Newser, and hopefully there will be many more to come.

Bixyl Shuftan

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Kat2 Kit's Memorial Service

On Thursday May 21, Kat2 Kit, known as Matt Shapoff in real life, passed away. About a week later on Wednesday May 27, a memorial service was held for him at his art studio. "The little panda," as his friends in Second Life called him with his avatar of choice was that of a tiny panda, had been involved with many activities here on the Grid, and over time had come to know a number of people. This included yours truly, whom had written about him twice a few years ago.

 Dropping in early at Kat2's studio at Montauk New York (128/157/24), which in addition to his cyanotype blue artwork now had a picture of him as a memorial, Petlove Petshop, whom he had worked with as part of Pooky Amsterdam's crew at "The 1st Question" game show, was already there. She described herself as "just mainly working on films" lately, and was interested in hearing how the Newser and I were doing.

It wasn't too long before others arrived. Alexa Steuart, upon seeing Kat's studio and picture, emoted *sighs and wishes Kat was ....* Jillian Skinstad commented, "Me too. I still haven't accepted it. Does anyone know what happened?" Petlove told, "I heard he was doing some chore around the house and just... went. (I) haven't heard exactly what, don't know."

RJ Kikuchiyo told the group he would be streaming a video of the memorial service live over Livestream,  "Cynthia, Matt' s beloved, will be able to watch from out there. ... Matt was fond of it being used as a tool inworld, too." He asked the group if anyone else had done a memorial service in Second Life. Alexa nodded, "I have been to way too many wakes in Second Life." It was mentioned Linden Lab used to have a memorial sim, and the Sunweaver's remembrance of Artistic Fimicloud just days before. RJ told, "years ago now, I started a monument to our fallen avatar friends on mainland Linden land - they've allowed me to continue updating it."

It was about this time Pooky Amsterdam showed up. She greeted the group, followed by, "It's a sad thing to have lost Kat." "Gone but never forgotten..." Petlove commented, "I have one of his cyanotypes on cloth of a snap from a 'Fritos' commercial we made under the glass on my desk." A few minutes later, RacerX Gullwing of the Giant Snail Races showed up. Then came a surprise, "Look who's here! It's Hydra." Hydra Shaftoe, Pooky's cohost on the game show, appeared. I hadn't heard from him since he left. Pooky commented, "Hydra said that everyone needs a little panda in their life."

Pooky Amsterdam then read aloud a poem, which she also texted, "Epitaph on a Friend"

An honest man here lies at rest,
The friend of man, the friend of truth,
The friend of age, and guide of youth:
Few hearts like his, with virtue warm'd,
Few heads with knowledge so inform'd;
If there's another world, he lives in bliss;
If there is none, he made the best of this.

Robert Burns

 After that, people began telling stories about Kat, both in voice and in chat. Jillian commented, "I met Matt when I first came to SL to teach." Blitzckreed Levenque remarked, "Nobody else could get the mood up like him."

Panacea Luminos gave the following story, " 'I'm at requesting access to LISound New York to phototgraph the Montak Lighthouse RJ has built. I am a long island artist and have been collborating with RJ on real life 19th century prints I create using cynaotype and dyan dyke process non-silver processes.' Yes..RJ was our connector (smile). Attached was his artists statement, and that was interesting. But back in 2009 what really caught my fancy was this: 'I will be having a real life art exhibition in East Hampton this July, I would like to have a computer logged into Second Life during the Opening, with the avatar restricted to just investigating the Montauk Lighthouse.' And so it began. He opened my mind to some amazing possibilties in SL. He will be missed."

Alexa brought up, "I remember him from his dome on novi and building the train around his property. and being involved in tossing buses at him and pet and emmo on novi." Petshop responded, "That's right (giggle). He was truly an original." "Bus tossing at Kat good times," Alexa mused. Petlove looked to RJ, "RJ, you built the garage from 'Ferris Bheuler's Day Off' that time. If it hadn't been for Matt, I never would have seen that in SL." Jillian commented, "Matt was always dragging me some place. He always had a way of making things fun, interesting and inventive." "Kat was a FUN panda!" RJ reminisced. Pooky spoke, "He was a fun person & so full of life, it's too much, he is gone." RacerX Gullwing added, "Yeah, he was a great guy."

At this point, Pooky Amsterdam rezzed a ball with a panda picture, "The round panda ball is full of stuff of Kat and please take a copy too." To someone, she commented, "Oh emm gee, the alligators! He fought you as Mr Potato Head with light sabers to turn you into french fries." "Too funny." Petlove remarked. RJ added, "I can say that he would be very happy that you all  came today." Drusilla Poliatevska spoke, "It's clear he will be running around in our heads until we go."

At one point, Alexa commented, "Time for a river dance." RJ agreed, "Let's do something silly!!" And then everyone was dancing away, "I know this message of RANDOM is brought to you by one starry eyed panda!" Someone tried to wear an attachment, and ended up dancing while wearing a schooner, "wearing a sailboat (laughter)." A copy of the boat was placed in the water nearby, which had red Asian style sails, one with an image of a panda. A huge picture of Kat on his bicycle was also placed on the ground. On a nearby house, there were numerous pictures of him set up .

RJ told the group, "I should also mention that Kat2 Kitt's last prims are held on (the) mainland prim preserve near the lighthouse memorial, a link to the workshop where the 2015 booth was being worked on is on the gallery at the top of the montauk lights." RJ gave the link as Slapdoogle (170/35/3001), "RJ Kikuchiyo: and of course there is a memorial rock - in Linden's Blake Sea - Crow's Nest, where his name will be held (permanently)."

Then they got out a trampoline, and the bulk of the people started jumping up and down on it,  "Avatar tossed salad!" "Weeeee!" "Serious air!" "Woo hoo!" "How many can get on the trampoline?" Petlove, whom was still on the ground, chuckled "That's really funny to see you all doing that." Drusilla commented, "This is a fitting thing to be doing something very bizarre." Alexa mused, "Kat would love this. .. Take a movie, HOOOOOOOO!!!" Petlove did just that, "had to film a little bit of that (giggle)." A short clip of it would be placed at the end of an episode of "Happy Hunting" (link), "That thing was a perfect ending."

It was about this time that everyone began to say their goodbyes. Petlove had taken pictures of her own and posted on her Flickr (link). Pooky Amsterdam's message was the most poetic, "I'm going to go too, but say not good bye, say fare thee well. And we are faring always with Kat in our hearts."

And so Kat's friends went their separate ways. Second Life would go on. We would go on. But the fellow known in real life for his artistic blues and in Second Life for his panda antics would not be forgotten.

"Thank you Matt Kat2 wherever you are."

(Click here if the video fails to play - need to subscribe)

 Petlove's Flickr

SL Newser "Remembering Kat2 Kit"

Bixyl Shuftan