Friday, June 29, 2018

Scenes From The Sunbeamer Air Show

By Bixyl Shuftan

On Saturday June 16, Farshore Field in the Sunlight Bay sim was the setting of a key event for the Sunbeamer Relay for Life team. It was the day of the "Fifth Annual Farshore Field Steampunk Air Show Fly-In."

The event started at 8AM, and lasted until 4PM, with activities taking place all day.

Cynthia Farshore, the owner of Farshore Field, had a number of replicas of WW2 aircraft on display.

There was some information on each of the planes.

The Superfortress heavy bomber would continue to serve long after the war, not being taken completely out of service until the 1960s (photo by Wildstar Beaumont).

 Not all of the planes were from the Second World War. There were others such as this B-2 bomber, made for a different kind of fighting. While the bombers of WW2 weren't cheap, the stealth technology made this plane cost about three times as much as a B-1.

Skylark "Snowy" LeFavre was offering balloon rides. She would later tell me she raised several hundred Lindens for the team this way.

 Another attraction was the "Take a Trip to The Moon" cannon. The idea was the cannon would shoot you up to a platform resembling the lunar surface. But one could easily bounce off of it and come back down.

It was highly recommended that you grab a parachute before going up, one provided free of charge (guaranteed your money back if it failed to work).

There was also the water dunking, where someone would fire a German 88 at a target on a dunk tank to try and knock off the vic-er, volunteer.

To make it more of a challenge, you couldn't go into mouselook while on it. So aiming it was tricky.

And being an air show, people could take off planes from the airfield.

Cynthia Farshore, whom was looking foxy after the results of the "Bid Me" event she was in, tries her hand at a Corsair.

Going up ...

 And away.

 Shockwave Yareach, whom looked like someone had "gotten his goat" thanks to the "Bid Me" that ran next to Cynthia's.

 Real-life called me away at one point, and I was gone for a while, missing part of the action, such as when Wildstar Beaumont appeared.

More pictures by Wildstar can be seen on his Flickr page (here).

 I arrived to some big news. Team Sunbeamers had finally hit 500,000 Lindens raised, which this year was Sapphire rank. I had promised to go purple for a week (under most circumstances), and so I did.

I wasn't the only one who went purple, though.

Among those there was Astra Noctura (Silverskyranch, the maker of the "RFL Rabbit V2." which Deaflegacy wrote about.

Following the air show, from 4-6PM there was a party in the Goblin Cave, inside the hill near the airport.

Once again, the Sunbeamer's air show was a big success. "The little team that could" had done so once again, thanks to the efforts of Cynthia Farshore.

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, June 22, 2018

Scenes From the SL15B

The Second Life Birthday celebration is the virtual world's biggest annual event. Only the Relay Weekend compares to the number of people involved. There are so many music events, discussions, and exhibits, there's not enough room to write about them all. But I can mention a few.

To begin with, the Newser has it's own exhibit, courtesy of the highly talented Silvia Ametza and her helper Aimee Louise Destiny (Aimeelou Destiny). The SL Newser SL15B tower is fifteen stories tall, one for every year Second Life has been around. It's at SL15B Spectacular (173/20/23).

 The crew is listed up front, where you can click on the pictures to learn a little more about them.

As always, we have a fedora on the build somewhere.

Behind the small tower, there's a small park area one can relax and listen to Farshore Radio. There's a few pigeons to keep you company, as well as a water scorpion (don't worry, he just eats fish).

You can take an elevator to the top and get a wide view of the SLB grounds (if your computer can handle turning your draw distance up in your viewer preferences). There's also a parachute giver. Just touch, go to recent items in your inventory, and add. It will automatically deploy a couple seconds after you jump, and you float down. You can steer yourself as you descend, though landing on a dime can be tricky.

Going about the place, most of it wasn't in my usual "fox reporter" look, but one that came about as a result of a "Bid Me" event my Relay team did, as well as what a number of us did following raising half a million Lindens.

Not far south of the Newser exhibit was that of Gianfar Peaks, at SL15B Dazzle (118/251/23)

Going inside, one finds part of the Crystal Mines. One picture will port you to an entrance of the roleplay region.

Also not far from the Newser tower was this Gift Parcel area at Spectacular (21/05/23). There are a number of items people can pick up for free there, including pet bunnies and dogs, and something from M and M Creations.

Holocluck Henley had an amusing take on Second Life's history with his "The Ascent of Av" at SL15B Dazzle (29/249/23). One part included a noob that went afk for so long, he turned into a fossil.

The SL15B Cornfield sim, which had a slightly spooky and erie feel. Apparently one can go hunting for glytches in the Magical Glytches game here.

A look at Stage Left, also known as "The Serpent," from a distance.

For the past few years, Stage Left has been built by Faust Steamer, whom was interviewed last year about his build then.

Stage Left is at SL15BMesmerize (128/227/25)

The Confederation of Democratic Simulators has an exhibit at SL15B Dazzle (59/5/23)

Talking with Chancellor Hannah Marie Tempestwolf (Han Held), who was there, about it, she told me, "One of the places that attracted me to the CDS was the Kendra Bancroft memorial -I loved the piece, the living reminder of history. So when I took on the job of designing our exhibit this year, I wanted to try to share that. Hopefully that same peace, same connection, with the larger SL community. In hopes that they'll enjoy it like I did, and come see the 'real thing' in Neufreistadt. Adopting it to the 'crystal' theme was a challenge -an enjoyable one."

"This is also a nod to the fact that we're almost the same age as SL," Hannah added, "We started a bit more than a year after SL opened; in 2004. Some of our founders are still with us, Sudane Erato, Gwyneth Llwellyn (spelling?), sadly others such as Kendra Bancroft no longer are. In a roundabout way this exhibit both gives folks a quiet spot to chill in, and is a subtle reminder that we're almost as old as SL itself (smile)."

In SL15B Astonish is the "Tapestry of Time."

Inside are fifteen exhibits, one for each of the years of Second Life's history.

Although some notable events such as the gambling ban in 2007, the Opensim price rise protests in 2009, and the dismissal of a third of the staff in 2010 were unmentioned, it was still very informative and very much worth a look.

Some places had activities, besides being something to see. In previous years recently, the Central Stage had been the "Cake Stage." But this year "The Cake" was moved to Stage South. at SL15B Magnificent (21/9/24).

I dropped by on Sunday June 17 just after the SLB opened, and already things were filling up, with lots of people.

Grease Coakes, whom would later DJ that week, was there, along with Mikati Slade, the builder of the Cake Stage. She has been interviewed by the Newser a few times, most recently in 2016.

On Monday at 11AM was the "Come As You Were" party, also known as the "Noob Party," at the four-sim central stage, also known as the Crystal Rotunda.

Holocluck Henley was the DJ for the event, playing songs like the wonderfully bad "Bananaphone."

 Constantine Linden partied like the rest of the residents.

So did Xiola Linden. She admitted she had her newbie mistakes when first coming here, "I thought you had to walk everywhere for about my first week here. I was so excited when I discovered tps." Others told her it was much the same with them, "I saw someone doing it and had to ask, like they were some magician." "Yeah, I accidentally got naked on a 1st date trying to change into a swimsuit. I chose 'wear' instead of 'add'."

There were quite a number of residents there, many in theme with newbie or at least recent starter avatar looks. "I remember standing in a Store wearing a box and nothing else because I replaced my outfit with a box." "Getting naked inappropriately in SL is a right of passage!"

Eventually Xiola Linden pronounced a winner to the noob contest, "The winner is Tindallia Soothsayer!!! ... Peanut hair, check. bling, check, clothing layers, check, base skin, check!" There were cheers for her, then one resident went *looks at the retro clothes Ima wearing -  starts screaming * "GET IT OFF ME!  GET IT OFF ME!"

The Auditorium was the scene of the "Meet the Lindens" events, such as the one of Keira and Patch Linden. But there were other events, such as when Catboy Qunhua hosted an SL version of the Match Game, or on Wednesday night, when she held an inworld version of the "Hollywood Squares," "The Second Life Squares."

There were lots of chuckles as people struggled to think of answers to somewhat obscure questions, and sometimes questions in which the true answer wasn't what most of us thought.

Wednesday June 20 at 7PM at the central stage was the Crystal Ball costume contest.

People were asked to reflect theme by dressing well, and try to have crystal as part of their outfits.

Yours truly crashed a few times due to the lag, and my viewer began to conserve processing power by limiting the number of sims nearby that would rez.

 Xiola Linden, whom dressed quite extravagantly compared to her usual urban appearance, eventually had to pick a winner for the contest. It was Metalia Ursula-Jezebel Lillix who won.

At one point, someone tried to grief the event by urging the "masses" to revolt against the "bourgeoisie" and the Lindens. At first everyone just laughed, but as it went on and on, it was less funny. Eventually the person was asked to stop, and when he didn't he was given the boot.

Instead of one present, Linden Lab decided to make a game out of it with their Gift Grab. To start, head to SL15B Fascinate (164/138/24) to pick up the HUD. After attaching it, head to the location provided by the clue in the Featured News page on the Linden blog.

The first clue led me to a location in a place that I won't reveal, but I can show you what the gift package looks like. What is it? Well, part of the fun is finding out on your own. Check the Featured News every Monday for more clues to more gifts. You need all of the first fourteen to get the final gift.

That's all for now. Have fun at the SLB.

Bixyl huftan