Saturday, October 29, 2016

Luskwood and Trotsdale's Anniversary Events

by Bixyl Shuftan

On the weekend of October 22 and 23, the Luskwood and Trotsdale communities held a double celebration of their anniversaries this month. It was in September 2003, just a few months after Second Life was officially opened, that Luskwood began. But it's anniversary celebrations have been in October for as long as this writer can tell. Trotsdale was one of several pony sims that appeared after the collapse of the original Bronyville, probably in September 2011 as it's fourth anniversary was celebrated in September.

Over time, the communities have helped one another, notably Luskwood founder Michi Lumin helping with the pony sims' financing. But the Trotsdale anniversary celebration had always been a separate one, until this year when it was decided to combine the two, as well as giving both a Halloween theme as the date would be late in the month, Saturday October 22, and Sunday October 24. There would be one event in the pony area, and the rest at Luskwood.

Things started off in a forest at night high above the Trotsdale sim at 2PM.The darkness gave the place a spooky look, though all those ponies around helped give a cartoony kind of spooky feeling. There were all kinds of pony avatars around, including some sporting a costume of some kind such as a cape, or wearing a pumpkin with a space cut out for the nose. Someone showed up as the character "Nightmare Moon." Another showed up in a giant pony avatar that must've been close to 20 feet tall.

Not everyone was a pony as there were a number of furs around, notably Luskwood regulars, a couple four footed ferals, and a couple normal humans. Among the costumes that stood out was a  kind of battleship outfit on Hagalaz Nilsson, which he later called a "Yamato," that was worn like a jetpack, with swiveling turrets all over. Another was a kind of armor or robot that looked like it was from an 80s or 90s video game, and a feral with a "dogecoin" (a digital currency made as an alternative to bitcoin with an Internet meme as it's logo) in it's mouth. A couple of the Luskwood founders were there, including Michi Lumin.

DJ Crayzee was the pony DJ spinning the tunes for the first hour. For the second hour, Luskwood's DC Cyberfoxy took over. There was also a 'sploder, which most experienced residents will recall as a party game in which people put in amounts of cash and it either gives it out randomly with one lucky winner getting a larger share or half ends up in the hands of the last one who chipped in. But after their 'sploder went off the first time, it was obvious it was giving out far less then it was taking in. So it was set to not accept more cash from all but the staff, and would every so often shower the crowd with cash, some getting more amounts than others. Yours truly got totals from 2 Lindens to over 50L that added up to a few hundred over time.

At 4 PM, the celebration moved to Luskwood at the Perry Amphitheater. For two hours, there were live music performances. The first was by singer Keeba Tammas and her band of tiny avatars, the "Tiny Maniacs." The Maniacs were their usual funny selves with their squeaky voices , one holding a sign "I want your body." Following Keeba was Shannon Oherlihy, who sung while playing her guitar. People watched from the stands, or standing in a few boxes above the stands. There were some anniversary shirts available for anyone to take, but these were from last year's anniversary.

At 6 PM, the party moved to a new platform, one that Luskwood dubbed "Heck." Teleporting over, the place was mostly a hellish scene with a molten lava river and rock, with bleached bones and red sky, with only a couple small corners where anything alive grew. In the center was entched a red circle and demonic-looking symbols around it with a yellow dragon and pentagram in the center. Why this place of fire and brimstone was called "Heck" I never asked, though as swearing is discouraged in Luskwood and outright forbidden in Trotsdale, it was most likely a joke about their policy.

Haley Maruti, Lusk's squirrelgirl DJ spun the tunes for three hours as the crowd danced away apparently the ground not too hot for their bare feet (perhaps the rune offered some protection). When she was finally done DJ Apoth took over. The schedule only required him to play until 11PM SL time, but he continued on until close to Midnight, entertaining the group of furs, with a few ponies and a couple normal humans mixed in.

During this time there was much wisecracking and joking, with a few oldtimers such as Beatfox Xevious dropping to to make a once in a blue moon appearance. Besides Michi, founders Liam Roark and Eltee Statosky. The crowd remained thick until about Midnight SL time when Apoth hung up his headphones and got out of heck, "Goodnight everyone, thank you again for letting me help celebrate Luskwood's 13th." This was followed soon by Michi, and others began following soon after. It was indeed a heck of a party in Heck.

The next day, Sunday October 23, the celebrations went on with two performances that day. At 2PM, the dragon guitarist Alazarin Mondrian and his "Invisible Band" performed on stage at the colorful platform that was the setting for most of their performances on their tenth anniversary celebration, still called the "LW10B build." There was less dancing then standing and listening this time as the dragon gave a firey performance for an hour and a half.

Following the rock concert, there was a three hour break in the festivities, then one last event at 6PM when Frogg Marlowe of the popular Jaycatt and Frogg musical duo performed at the Perry Amphitheater. As it turned out, Jaycatt was on vacation, but he was on his way home and managed to get his laptop connected to the Internet in time to watch the show in the audience. It was an hour of relaxing music, a smooth end to a busy two days of celebration. 

There were numerous praises of Luskwood and it's founders and staff during the course of the event, by both regulars and friends who made their home elsewhere but come back once in a while. Among them, "just want to thank you Luskies for some of my happiest and most memorable memories. I know I'm not around much at all anymore but I'll always have a ton of love for this place. Thank you for getting me through a really rough time in my life and for being friends to me. I do appreciate it a lot. Very much."

For me, Luskwood was more or less where I got my real start in Second Life. While I might have moved on, I still come back to say hello. And the red fox avatar I got here in summer 2007 is still my main one over nine years later. One never forgets where they came from, and it's nice to drop by once in a while at the Big Tree to chat with those who still make it their home.

On a final note, the partying isn't over this month. It was announced later on that there would be a separate Halloween party after all on Saturday October 29 at 6PM at the "Perry Graveyard" at Perry (150/139/2016). So they still have plenty of celebrating to "scare up."

For more pictures of the event, check out those on their imgur account (here).

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, October 24, 2016

Burn2 in Second Life

by Grease Coakes

Burn2 in Second Life was an exciting event to participate in. Not only did I DJ a few times at the dj stage which was a large wooden ship I also was in the lamplighter procession traveling from sim to sim. In fact I had to end my dj set at 11am SLT for the procession between the sims to begin.

For those who might not know, Burn2 is the inworld version of the Burning Man festival, an annual event in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. It’s based on a few principles such as "radical" inclusion, self-reliance community cooperation, civic responsibility, gifting, decommodification, participation, immediacy and leaving no trace and self-expression. It’s based on a temporary community of sharing art through music and sculpture all for bringing pleasure to the participants. Burn rangers and other avatars rented the sims every year for this grand event.

Second Life has brought that same atmosphere to inside your computer as I was a DJ to share my music. To adhere to the principles, I wasn’t allowed a tip jar and I was not allowed to ask for tips. I was sharing my music as part of the Burning Man theme.

Timothy S. McTaggart (tsmt01 Resident) said he himself has been to Burning Man and he had this to say as he was one of the builders, “Dusty and crazy but worth the trip.” In addition, he said, “This is the only real-life Burning Man sanctioned regional that burns 'The Man.' ” In other words Second Life is the only other place Burning man is allowed.

The Burning man is exciting even in a virtual universe and was fireballs of fun. If you get the chance come participate in Second Life or if you’re lucky go to the real one in Nevada.

As my DJ set ended, Burning man requested that the limbo sim be cleared for the lamplighters to prepare their parade like procession rangers guided us from one sim to the other. It was fun as they asked me to help carry the lamps Fifi Candyfloss and Franja Russell were lamplighters and firedancers among others. One of the burners Ratatosk Independent wrote this poem as self expression.

 Eye music
Firework is like music for the eye.
Flowers and thunder in the sky.
Magicians send up flowers with ease
Patterns and wonders and buzzing bees!
It's one of humankind's better invention!
Love and laughter its only intention.

Laura loves the Fire Workers of Burning Man 2015

As I carried the lamps I heard drums like native American music with chants and rhythmic beat that was entrancing. Towards the end I was watching the fire dancers do amazing dances with torches. It was a no brainer that Burning Man was a hot event when I was djing and watching the fire dancers

Near the end of the event on Saturday there was an effigy burn as part of Burn2, the "Burning of the Man." There was avatars EVERYWHERE. Everyone and their dog was chanting BURN HIM. Based on "The Man" from this year's Burning Man, the wooden figure was smaller than on most years, but it burned hot and bright just the same.

For those who haven't been to the Burn2 area, or haven't seen the whole thing yet, the art exhibits will still be up for two or three days. You can marvel at the drawings of Leonardo DaVinci's genius come to life, or rezz a mutant vehicle and have some laughs as you drive around in a martini glass or red wagon.

Grease Coakes

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Scenes from Burn2

By Gemma Cleanslate

My second visit to the playa at Burn2 led me to the roadways so I could view some of the many marvelous installations that are there . I stopped off at some of my friends’ builds . First I stopped at Davinci’s Parachute created by the invited artist Cica Ghost and picked up my own parachute . The bust of Davinci is a work" in progress."

Across the way I marveled at the wonder ship by Danger Lytton designed so closely to the original drawing .

 Next I stopped over to view Leondra Larrson’s Transformation by the 5th Element which alchemists believed was concentrated in the spirit or the ‘dust’ and fitting to be celebrated in Second Life on the Playa. 

 Nearby I went through Davinci’s Whymsical  Garden designed by Cordelia Cerise. Here I found tributes to Davinci’s diverse interests planted , anatomy, art, inventions, science, architecture, and aviation all depicted in one place.Be sure to walk through.

 The work of ÐαN™Şίℓνзrşмίtђ Ϯ (GuitarDan Silversmith) I found amazing. Check out the machines displayed on his installation. and don’t miss the ones inside the museum.

 These are just a few of the many builds you will find on the playa at Burn2. There  so many to visit or view from the flying ship . You have until Monday to see it all.
Don’t forget to check out the performances going on during the week. The calendar is here along with all the information to help you understand what Burn2 is.

Gemma Cleanslate

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Press Day At Burn2

By Gemma Cleanslate

 I had a wonderful time at Press Day at the Burn2 sims. I met my friend Leondra Larsson, a Ranger and builder  at the entrance and was greeted also by Molly Nakamori, one of the official greeters. The theme this year is Davinci’s Workshop. 

This event is described, ”BURN2 is an extension of the Burning Man festival and community into the world of Second Life. It is an officially sanctioned Burning Man Regional, the only virtual world Regional out of more than 100 Regional groups worldwide, and the only Regional to burn the Man! This unique virtual Regional spreads the culture and Ten Principles of Burning Man year-round in Second Life, culminating in an annual major festival of community, art and fire in the fall - a virtual echo of Burning Man itself.” Many volunteers work year long to put on this event. 

The area in the center this year is filled with the Center Camp which remains mostly in its usual form but is surrounded by the “Man” by Pygar Bu,’‘ The Temple’ by Toady Nakamura, and a lovely home for the Lamplighters. I visited with the Lamplighters for a while and watched them perform before I joined in. iSkye Silverweb, who is a lead for the event distracted me from my purpose and I spent time there playing instead of working! LOL .I did find out that the Lamplighters will be doing two processions a day after the opening Saturday morning at 10am slt where you will see them perform. They will be at the burning of the Man and the next day, The Temple next weekend.

I was able to take a tour of the sims in a flying machine. As I flew over in a device that is reminiscent of Davinci’s famous drawing I saw so many marvelous plots that made me feel I was back in the day of the artist. You can catch this traveling machine near the Deparment of Mutant Vehicles where you can also find some fun machines to travel along the roadways. I visited the DJ Stage where there will be parties every day during the event. I did see Toady sitting in the temple enjoying her work. She was happy to build the temple but told me that iSkye made the Da Vinci Printing Press/Censer where you can leave messages to be read while the temple burns. iSkye spent many hours preparing it Toady said. 

I also ran into some friends whose parcels I will be visiting during the week and will write about. I stopped to pick up some gifts at the gift area you will see near the entrance so don’t miss those. The greeters have a whole backpack of goodies for you too. Here is the entrance to get you started. Have fun and plan to visit often during the week.

 Gemma Cleanslate

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Scenes From Ladyslipper Constantine's Service

Last Saturday October 1, a memorial service was given for Ladyslipper Constantine, whom had passed away on September 17. Gemma Cleanslate was there, and wrote a short article about the service, but had taken more pictures than the article could accommodate. So here are some more.

Pictures by Gemma Cleanslate

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Furry Fashion Halloween Hunt for 2016

By Bixyl Shuftan

Like may of her customers, Amethyst Crystal, the owner of Furry Fashion, has a great love for Halloween. So for weeks she and her staff have been working on a special Halloween area: The 2016 Furry Fashion Halloween Hunt: The Drageth School of Magic."

"Our take on our own version of a magic school," Amethyst called the place, "I'm a big fan of fantasy and magic. I have the Harry Potter books on audio, I listen to (them) quite often."

Just the look of the place is enough to bring people, the overall spookiness, the erie-looking woods, the creepy creatures, the tentacled horrors, the tombstones, "R.I.P Skyler Glasswing: Lost in Teleport," and the haunted castle where the School of Magic is. The castle has numerous hallways, passages, and rooms. And you never really can know what's behind those spooky-looking doors until you open them.

But of course there's more. This being Furry Fashion, there's a number of stalls and vendors offering a variety of outfits and avatars. There's witch, convict, bat, spider, and more.  The majority are fitting for a Halloween event.  There are also textures for modders and builders.

And of course there is the hunt. Placed throughout the area are thirty magic books. Each contains a prize, such as shorts, dresses, jewelry, and more. To give those looking around an idea what to look for, there's a sample spellbook on the fireplace next to the arrival point. While they have the same shape, they do come in different colors and some are better hidden than others. They are both in and outside the castle.

Besides the Halloween area, Furry Fashion still has it's everyday avatars and outfits at ground level, as well as the Furry Fashion Lounge which has events every day except most Mondays. No doubt many of these parties will give shoppers a chance to wear their outfits before and after Halloween.

As for next year, "I've already got staff giving me suggestions to what to do for next year," Amethyst told me, "One of the staff is obsessed with skeletons so wants a undead ballroom. She loves anything to do with skeletons, bone mods,dancing skeletons, etc. Another suggested Alice in Wonderland."

To get to the Halloween area, those at ground level at Furry Fashion can teleport up there via a fireplace, "on the ground level of the sim between FF Main store and the Gacha Resell Shop. ... people can click the flames and it turns into a teleporter." Furry Fashion is also taking part in the "Quest Fur Cover" shopping hunt, so it's hunters will also receive the landmark to it. Or one can just head to Furry (198/167/2480).

Bixyl Shuftan