Monday, February 29, 2016

Bryn Oh's "Music And Art Event For ALS"

By Bixyl Shuftan

A year and a half ago was quite a time for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis aka Lou Gehrig's Disease) charities with the "Ice Bucket Challenge," which made it's way into Second Life. Since then, attention to ALS has cooled down some. But the quest for funds for research continues.

On Sunday February 21 at 2PM SL time, a fundraiser event began at the Sandstorm sim, with proceeds going to an Italian ALS charity,  AISLA Onlus. There were a few art items up for auction, but the one getting the most attention was an exhibit by noted Second Life artist Bryn Oh. Later that day, I would drop in to check on how things were progressing.

"I was here for the opening," spoke resident Mona Eberhardt, "There were 97 or so people in here. ... Biggest crowd I've ever seen in a single sim, Bixyl. I nearly burned my laptop just standing here."

Bryn Oh happened to be around when I was there, "Sorry I could not be here for the opening." She told me the sim's lasting theme was art, not just for events, and this event took place every year. She thought while there were about 100 people here at the same time during parts, she thought about 400 people in total attended.

Attention soon went to her exhibit, a songbird caught in a string to the point it had been immobilized in a string, which she felt symbolized what ALS does to the body. It gets more and more trapped until eventually all is taken from it.

 Sniper Siemens, the head of the group, had a few things to say, "The ALS Awareness Music Festival is a special event ... important for the spread and awareness  of ALS." She told me the event was "for our dear friend Harvey. He always had a rabbit avatar. For this reason in our logo is a rabbit. Harvey was in this way until the last day in Second Life, and always smiling. ... Harvey died in October 2014, (our) group (was) founded in November 2014, (and) February 2015 the first Memorial Festival. And now the second. This has become an annual project, fundraising continues every day in our land." Of Bryn Oh's work, "Wonderful artwork and very significant for her. "

Checking back a few days later, the kiosks collecting donations had raised a total of 286,000 Lindens. This included a top bid of 25,000 Lindens for Bryn Oh's exhibit.

While not quite generating the buzz of the Ice Bucket Challenge, Sniper and Bryn's event gets ALS research closer to a cure.

Bixyl Shuftan.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Lupercalia at Roma

By Deaflegacy Darkbloom

On Saturday last weekend, the Roma community held it's Lupercalia festival, starting it with a ceremony. Isa of Chaeronea and Zelda Horatia Valpolia were the ones who started the rite. "The rite will begin in a moment, but before we start, we'd like to explain a bit about the Lupercalia and the rite. The Lupercalia festival was in honor of the She-Wolf (Lupa) who suckled the infant orphans, Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome." Isa of Chaeronea said. "The name of the festival, Lupercalia, translates into "Wolf Festival." The festival was celebrated near the Cave of Lupercal on the Palatine (one of the seven  hills of Rome), to expiate and purify new life in the Spring. The religious ceremonies were directed by the Luperci, the "brothers of the wolf (lupus)", a corporation of priests of Faunus." said Isa of Chaeronea

"In today's rite, we will invoke Faunus Lupercus (otherwise known as Pan in Greece), as He is the God that presides over Lupercalia." said Zelda Horatia Valpolia. "Lupercalia is primarily a festival of fertility, and Faunus was seen by Romans as the epitome of the lusty passion from which fertility is born."

Isa of Chaeronea explained what the rite is all about and how it works.  "The ancient festival began with the sacrifice by the Luperci of two male goats and a dog. Next, two young patrician Luperci were led to the altar, to be anointed on their foreheads with the sacrificial blood, which was wiped off the bloody knife with wool soaked in milk, after which they were expected to smile and laugh; the smearing of the forehead with blood probably refers to human sacrifice originally practised at the festival." said Isla of Chaeronea.

Zelda Horatia Valpolia also explained. "The sacrificial feast followed, after which the Luperci cut thongs from the skins of the sacrifice, dressed themselves in the remainder of the goat skins, in imitation of 
Faunus Lupercus." said Zelda Horatia Valpolia. "They then ran round the walls of the old Palatine city with the thongs in their hands in two bands, striking the people who crowded near."

 "Girls and young women would line up on their route to receive lashes from these whips. This was supposed to ensure fertility, prevent sterility in women and ease the pains of childbirth." said Isa of Chaeronea. "Today, the blessing we ask is for the fertility of body and of mind, a blessing on the creative process in all it's forms."

Zelda Horatia Valpolia said, "Here in our Roma, we do not practice blood sacrifice, but we will be 
celebrating the latter half of the festival, much as the Romans would have. After today's rite, we will lead you in the Running of The Luperci - as you race behind us, the other Luperci will follow behind you to bless you with their lashes as they pass."

With that, Isa of Chaeronea announced that "The Rite will now begin." While most of the rite was spoken in Latin, we came to understand what this was all about. The rite was with blessings and offerings.  When it was over, it was then announced "that the Luperci will now lead you from the cave for the Running of the Luperci. This year we race to the Gardens of Maecenas for our post-ritual celebration! Zelda and I will lead you, and the other Luperci will follow behind the crowd, snapping their whips to bless you. (And hurry you along, perhaps!)"

At the end, there was a race. The race had Kim Link, Aquadoc, T. Iulius Sabinus, and Alba Horatia Taura.  The race was full of cheers and encouragements as it went on.  In the long run, it was Kim Link who's the first place winner, Aquadoc second place, Alba Horatia Taura third place and T. Iulius Sabinus fourth place.

I can't say for the others, but I did learn something new from the rite and the race.  After all, there is always something new to learn about every day.
Deafleagacy Darkbloom

Friday, February 19, 2016

Kushi Vyper's Fundraiser For The Tibetan Education Fund

By Deaflegacy Darkbloom

It happened last year. Kushi Vyper hired Andy to develop a website for Kushi Textures. Once completed she set her sights on something more ambitious.  A Network HUD to support the creators in her group.  A Virtual Shopping HUD to link shoppers to stores that registered within the network. But days before the HUD was to be released and most of it was paid for, Andy disappeared, taking the website and HUD with him. Andy said he was in the accident in real-life and would return.  Kushi waited, but Andy never came back.

A newly designed is soon to be released, created by a new independent contractor. After paying for seventy percent of the cost by Kushi herself, a fundraisier is being held to meet the last thirty percent cost of the Kushi Texture Network HUD, the last missing piece Andy took with him. But there's something more going on here. Kushi Textures doesn't want to make profits from generousity. In her real life, Kushi is the former Secretary for a non-profit charity for Tibetan children.  It is only natural to give the money over and above their needed target of 65K to that charity.Though the fund raiser didn't start for charity, they hope that the Tibetan children will benefit from their success.You can access the website at:

Kushi Textures fundraising will climax in a Creator's Festival on March 5th through the 12th.  Mitch Silverfang, Kushi's Partner, believes they will reach their fund raising goal before the opening of the festival, so all proceeds from the Festival will go to the Tibetan Education Fund itself. The events will include auctions, vendors, DJ events, and live music.

Right now, they are trying to cover as many time zones they can for the live events and are hoping to find enough designers to have fashion shows twice on 5 of the days.  More DJ's and live singers would always be welcomed. After all, they have the land, why not use it to the full potential?

Not only would the texture creators be coming to the events, the furniture builders will be as well.  It's an event for everything and everyone.


Monday, February 15, 2016

Valentines Day At The Isle of View

By Deaflegacy Darkbloom,

The air was light.  It was full of laughter.  There were a lot of people.

What is that all about? It's simple.

It's Valentines Day and as the special event unfolded, more people are coming to Second Life to be a part of it.

At the Isle of View, there were joy in the air.  They were having fun.  There were hugging booths and Dunk the Linden booths.  It was meant to be fun and it was fun!

At one point, the sim at the Isle of Viewing was so full no one can get in unless someone leaves.  I considered myself lucky to get in and wow, there was a lot of fun.

I took one look around the Isle of Viewing and I have had to take a deep breath.  There was so much love that I won't be surprised if there were more on the Valentine's Day.

There was a fountain at the Isle of Viewing that I really liked.  I did take some pictures of it and hope you like it too.

Same can be said about the dance at the Virtual Ability dance room.  Not only were there lovers, there were friends.

They were there for one reason only.


There is no ending to the love as it poured out on that day and it won't be any end to it on February 14 as love pours out on Second Life.

Virtual Abilty had their own stories.  The dance was awesome.  Friends and lovers came in.  

Now this is exactly the type of love I was just talking about.

Fun, love, friendship, romance, list goes on.

I believe that I did learn something new while at the Isle of Viewing and Virtual Ability.  That is that love is what it counts the most.  All it really matter is love.  On this special day, that's when it comes in the most.  I can't speak for anyone else, but I can say that love is something to look forward to, especially on a special day like Valentine Day's.
Deaflegacy Darkbloom

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Mardi Gras in Second Life

By Gemma Cleanslate

"Laissez les bon temps roulez !"
Mardi Gras is fun in Second Life. I took at tour to see what was going on in various sites to celebrate. "Mardi Gras Town" at Townies was the most lively and colorful venue I could find on Monday. There was a band playing fun music and dancers in various costumes made special for the day danced in the streets with confetti falling from the air. Inside the shops you could find any possible costumes and d├ęcor for the celebration. 
I stayed for a while to enjoy the sounds and watch the dancers. Lots of the colors of Mardi Gras visible: purple representing justice, green for faith and gold for power.This tradition began at the first Mari Gras.  Rex, the King of Mardi Grass selected the official Mardi Gras colors in 1872 to honor the visiting Russian Grand Duke Alexis Alexis Alexandrovich Romanoff, whose house colors were purple, green and gold. The 1892 Rex Parade theme "Symbolism of Colors" affirmed the colors' meaning. And it continues today.
I moved on to the Santorini Club which has been celebrating for days with great djs playing for numerous parties daily. The club was decorated for the occasion. I took a walk around to gaze at the finery and the view of the City of New Orleans in the distance.  
Where to better experience the Mardi Gras than in New Orleans. I visited the section of New Orleans that is modeled on a real section called St John Bayou. At the corner of Audubon Street There is a stage that was filled with St John residents dancing in Mardi Gras regalia. Down the streets came floats. I watched the parade for a while but then wandered down the streets to look at the structures. All along the street there were buntings hanging from the windows in the purple and gold colors. Looked great.
Another sim I went to but was too early for the party was in Piano Beach at Cay’s at Woodland Lake. I admired the buntings there too and picked up some nice beads to wear. There are replicas of buildings in the French Quarter of New Orleans that I loved when I was there. There were some street musicians and artists waiting for customers.
I stopped off at Bourbon Street in Bluesville Station New Orleans and, wow, they had quite a party going on! The street was littered with confetti and other trash from the parade. I arrived near the end since it had started about two hours earlier, but there were still people dancing and chatting.  Dj Nadzuko was playing the blues.
Tuesday at Creations Park I attended a very lively outdoor party where Josie Atherton was performing live for the benefit of Team Fox, Parkinson Disease Support. There were some great costumes there good music.
 I finished off my day back at St Johns at a great street party with grand outfits and dancing to Cajun music and some blues. It was a festive Mardi Gras in Second Life again. 

Gemma Cleanslate

Friday, February 5, 2016

Bay City's Mole Day 2016

By Bixyl Shuftan

On Saturday January 30th at 11AM, Bay City held it's "Mole Day" party. Every year, Bay City takes a day to honor the moles of the Department of Public Works, the workers of Linden Lab whom built Bay City and various other projects over the years.

In the past, the event was held on February 2, Groundhog Day, every year. But this time the date was set on the weekend a few days before. People were invited to the North Channel Fairgrounds and grab a Mole Day T-shirt, or just come as they were.

For the first hour, the music was provided live by singer Maximillion Kleene. Those wishing to send money his way had to send it to his cow-shaped tip jar, or "tip his cow."

And a number of the moles showed up. Some such as Frost Mole hardly looked the part of the short furry avatars with helmets moles often are shown as.

Dyna Mole was looking dynamite on the dance floor.

We had an "Ancient Mole," though I didn't look to see how old he was.

And yes, there was a "Garden Mole."

Leading Bay City resident, Marianne McCann, was also there.

At 12 Noon, DJ GoSpeed Racer took over the stage, playing various tunes. This included "I Am A Mole" by "The Southlanders." GoSpeed commented, "I play it once a year just for this occasion." Garden Mole mused, "My mum used to sing it to me when I were a little kid, ohhh way back in the day."

When GoSpeed was playing "Jump in the Line" by Harry Belafonte, Marianne shouted "Conga time!" And begining with the DJ, they began jumping in the line, with Kenny Luckless just behind her. "Kenny is so soft an fluffy!" she commented.

Frost Mole provided this animated picture of the conga, "Cha-cha!"

One Linden showed up briefly, Shaman Linden. But as soon as some of us noticed her, she had to leave, "I'm going to get going. Thanks for the fun afternoon!"

There were a couple people whom attempted some minor trolling, but the crowd just laughed them off.

After the event, Marianne would tell me, "Pretty successful, I would say. We maxed out at 51 avatars, including one Linden and several Moles. Things went pretty smoothly throughout, aside from a couple minor trolling incidents. ... On the plus side, the crowd knows how to handle 'em."

And so another Mole Day came and went in Bay City. But there will be other big events there later in the year, such as their anniversary parade in May.

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Cyber Nice Carnival 2016

By Deaflegacy Darkbloom

It is a party that the artist, Moya Patrick, had been throwing once a year for artists and Internet users. It's also a costume party so people can have a chance to get together in costumes. The theme this year is “Media” and people who have been invited are the part of the group, Virtual Ability. I'm a part of the Virtual Ability and as I arrived at the party, it was in full swing.

Cheeky Baby was the DJ, rocking the party on with the tunes. Gentle Heron was there as well, enjoying the party as I can see. Practically everyone were there and when asked if the party was awesome, they said yes. The artist, Moya Patrick, was there, filming the party as it went on. Moya Patrick had built a reproduction of the Place Messenger, where the Cyber Nice Carnival is, and he would ask a group to join with the avatars. This year, it's Virtual Ability, a group for people with disabilities.

As people came out in their costumes, we cannot help but to stand back and admire their costumes. Gentle Heron came as a vulture, and Moya Patrick came in a full-bodied red costume that hid his face with little white wings on his back. One woman decorated the wheels of her wheelchair with British flag emblems.

When Moya Patrick invited members of Virtual Ability to join the party, he did something wonderful. He gave the members a chance to come on out and have fun at the costume party. That's what they did. They came out, in costumes, and with big smiles. From what I can see, they actually ended up having a really good time. So good, when the party ended, some people stayed behind. That should describe how much fun we have had during the party.

When I came to the party, I wasn't expecting much. Sure, I did come in a costume. Sure, I did come happy because I got a chance to wear a costume. Sure, I did come, not sure what's going to happen. But all that were forgotten as I started to dance at the party. It's not just a regular party anymore. It's not just a costume party either. It's a party so amazing that even the lag could not diminish it. As people dance at the party, it would become the unforgettable as Mayo Patrick filmed us dancing. The film would be shown on the big screens during the carnival. But it's not just film that's going on. Photos are being taken at the party and Mayo Patrick does plan on keeping the pictures.

Moya Patrick made something come to life, something out of Second Life, something that thrills people beyond words, something that people would come in costumes and still be who they are. This goes beyond wonder. It even goes beyond the word 'fantastic'. There is simply no possible word to describe the awe of the party itself. It is enough for people to come and dance for two hours, and manage to leave happy. For that, I have Moya Patrick to thank. Here are the links:

The party's website:

Moya's website:

Link to the film:

 Addition: We were later sent by Moya a link to a youtube of a film he'd taken of the event.

(Click here if the video fails to play