Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Scenes From The "Hug-A-Linden/Dunk-A-Linden"

By Bixyl Shuftan

While not a holiday that gets people the day off usually, Valentines Day gets no shortage of attention. For couples, it's a chance to remind themselves of the love they have. For hopeful singles, it's a chance to win someone's heart. For those whom haven't had much luck finding a special someone though, it often sparks feelings of cynicism or is a reminder of sad memories. But there was something for all of them in Second Life

For this time of year, I sometimes wear the skunk avatar. But there's also the old Luskwood "Bunkie" mouse. The avatar was available on sale at Lusk about a decade ago, but when the designer vanished from Second Life, the vendors were all taken down.

Linden Lab had it's Valentines Day event at 10AM SL time, the "Hug a Linden/Dunk a Linden" event. But getting there wasn't so simple. The sim was packed and often there was no room to get in.

But eventually, I found my way in, and started walking to the dome where the event was taking place.

Getting there, the place had a number of people there.

There were both regular residents and Lindens.

RacerX Gullwing, the organizer of the Giant Snail Races, was there.

Kenny Luckless, whom I often run into at Bay City events, was also present.

I wasn't the only one with a Cupid look on.

The popular Xiola Linden had a turn in the hugging booths.

Patch Linden was in one as well

As was the ghostlike Constantine Linden.

Guendoline Linden was in an adorable teddy bear avatar.

Which made me wonder, if the other Lindens give out teddy bears, what would he (or she) give out?

Kona Linden, in an otter avatar, looked cuddly enough for the hugging booth. But instead he trotted about in a robotic suit of some kind.

He did try to hug one of the girls once, but as he forgot to step out of the suit first, it was "otter" chaos.

Steven Linden was in a feral horse avatar. So I guess if you heard anything from Linden Lab from him, it would be straight from the horse's mouth.

Abnor Mole was going about on a chicken.

Alotta and Squeaky Mole in a mouse avatar. From this angle though, Steven Linden looks like a horse's ... you-know-what.

Besides the hugging booths, there was also the dunking ones.

Some Lindens volunteered for the free bath.

Some were hesitant to toss tennis balls at Xiola Linden.

But they weren't "chicken" about giving Abnor Mole a dunking, "Nuuuuuuuuu!"

Lacie Linden up over the water. Xiola mentioned "No rules against Lindens dunking other Lindens," but I never did see her toss a ball at one.

Grumpity Linden at the moment she ends up in the drink.

When this furry was tossing tennis balls, they probably thought what the back of his jacket was saying.

Simon Linden was also up to get his suit wet.

After getting a number of pictures, I decided to head out so others could get to this still crowded place. But before leaving, I took one try at the hugging booth.

Simon Linden, "Thanks for making this such a fun world."

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, February 1, 2019

The Caledon Oxbridge University 10 Year Anniversary Ball

By Bixyl Shuftan

On Saturday January 26, the Caledon community held a celebration. Their Caledon Oxbridge University had turned ten years old, and they were throwing a party in it's honor: The Caledon Oxbridge University 10 Year Anniversary Ball.

The COU Anniversary Ball will be this Saturday 1 PM and 7 PM. DJ Cynthia Farshore providing the music .More information will be coming out Wednesday or sooner.  Not to be confused with Ms Nyree Rains Caledon Anniversary Ball in February.  ... theme to be announced. If you have anything commemorative that we could give out, it would be much appreciated. 

 Linden Lab had ended it's support for newcomer welcome areas in communities, or Community Gateways, in 2010. Despite that, Caledon Oxbridge University, or COU, continued. The value of the program was proven when the Lab restored the program in 2017.

The website of the group ( describes it's purpose as "a place to learn basic skills for the aetherial world of Second Life. Oxbridge provides a complete Second Life tutorial for new residents. We also have live, walk-in classes (free) and a number of other 3rd-party interactive tutorials. In a setting based on the theme of an old English university, the orientation tutorial is spread over six "Colleges", each covering a different area of the Second Life interface and world: Avatar Motion, Camera Control, Communication, Finding (Search and Inventory), Avatar Customization, and Money and Commerce. The tutorial experience includes not only traditional orientation posters, but also interactive exercises, free full avatars, and prizes."

Cynthia Farshore was the DJ for both the 1PM and 7PM events, playing on her "Farshore's Fabulous Fidelity Factory." A number of songs from across the past several decades were played, including Ray Stevens' "Vacation Bible School" and "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl."

There were a number of people over. This included some of the University staff, such as Chancellor Wordsmith Jarvinen and Dean Phrynne Resident.

Carl Metropolitan was the Oxbridge Chancellor from 2009 to 2012, "An anniversary should be about the future more than the past, and for Oxbridge I am the past. So I think I will say goodnight and go offline and read a book. Thank you all for making me irrelevant. I really, truly, non-sarcastically mean that. I love seeing Oxbridge thrive with me gone completely. I do promise to show up more than annually now that my real-life is not so stressful."

There were also a few people from the Sunweavers community who dropped by.

Some wore badges with the University seal as a sign of support.

There were stories from a few about how they came across COU, "I went thru the newbie friendly gate on social island, then hopped around newbie friendly Destinations. But I found Oxbridge before I actually made it to oxbridge, from one of the other newbie areas who recommended y'all. A couple actually. figured if everyone was suggesting it, I should check y'all out." At least one was a newcomer himself, "It's places like this that make newbies like me want to be premium members."

People talked about a number of subjects, such as Second Life in the past, "Linden Lab doesn't understand us or why we are still here despite their best efforts." As well as computers and computing in the days before Internet and the early Internet.

At the end of her two hours, Cynthia told everyone, "Caledonians please stand." Then she played the community's unofficial anthem "Caledonia."

Andrea Jones took a few more pictures of the event, which can be seen on her Flickr page.

And so, Caledon celebrated ten years of it's place for new residents welcoming and educating newcomers about Second Life.

Correction: A few times when I wrote the article, I put "Oxford" instead of "Oxbridge."

Bixyl Shuftan