Thursday, September 30, 2010

Great Poses! Gesticulate Opens in Second Life

I received a lovely surprise when I logged in this morning - sample poses from my friend Elusyve's new store Gesticulate! Elusyve Jewell and Gidge Uriza have been working very hard to make cool poses and set up the store which opens tomorrow - October 1. Who could resist a store that packages its product in gnomes?

I'm not a model or a great photographer but I've been wanting some poses to make what I do look a little less amateurish and I've been tapping my foot waiting for the new store to open. :) I used a few of the great samples to show off some more alpha.tribe skins/outfits. Any less than satisfactory results are the fault of the person clicking the picture - not the pose or outfit designers. :)


Pose: Lug Std. 7 by Gesticulate

Skin&Outfit: Copper Celt by alpha.tribe


Pose: Jef Std. 3 by Gesticulate

Skin&Outfit: Chintz by alpha.tribe
Location: Curious Prim

Pose: Ima Std. 9 by Gesticulate

Skin&Outfit: Green Chaos by alpha.tribe

Models and photographers are going to love these poses! Smooth transitions for models and a lot of variety for photographers. The great news for all of us, in addition to dollarbies and a low single pose price, fat packs of 5 poses are only L$100! Do yourself a favour and go visit Gesticulate as soon as it opens! :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

No - This is Bullying

The word "bully" has been thrown around a lot in the metaversal blogosphere lately. I think it's time we were a little more cautious in our terminology.

This is what can happen as a result of bullying. The real thing.

If you or somebody you know is really being bullied then do something about it. Get information and support resources at sites such as the Workplace Bullying Institute, and

If you're interested in the fight against bullying check out those sites as well as Pink Shirt Day and how it started.

If you're just using the word because it makes it seem that your encounters with people who might not like you or agree with you sound more important than they actually are..... well then I think you owe those who really do have to deal with bullying a sincere apology.

"Von the Revelator" Launch Party in Second Life

It was fun! It was epic! It was one of those nights in Second Life we'll remember for always!

I've been a fan of Von Johin since the day I first heard him at the opening gig for Gibson Island. He's one of the real good guys in any life and pure magic with that guitar of his. Yesterday Von's CD Von the Revelator was released and his regular tuesday night gig at the Music Park at Prim Economy was a celebration of this event.

I saw somebody wonder in Plurk why they hadn't received a TP to the event - well it just wasn't possible. The sim filled up before Von even began. At its height there were also 18 people in the next Prim Economy parcel "attending" and crowds listening on the stream at two overflow clubs - Johin's Blues Note Club and Utopian Dream. For reasons of sleep deprivation some in the audience occasionally had to leave, at which point those in the overflow clubs were invited to tp in. We never did manage, however, to fit everybody onto the sim.

Those who didn't make it to the main venue missed something special staged for Von by his Vonettes. We rehearsed for weeks but the bandaged toes were worth it - he was not only surprised but also pleased. :)

Ellion Melodie, Oura Scribe, Alexi Mizin, Honour McMillan, Harlee Johin, Whirligig Rutabaga, DZ Questi, Ahuva Heliosense (photo by Lampoon Destiny)

Even if you missed last night's concert you can share the joy of Von's music on his CD. He worked hard to make the album sound like you and his friends are sitting in his home enjoying an evening of music. And yes, that's Noma Falta you'll hear playing bass on one track. Von the Revelator is available (in either mono or stereo) at and downloads are available through Amazon, iTunes and all the other usual sites. Then come inworld and join his friends at future concerts - his schedule is always posted on his site.

There will be more albums coming (yay!) which is a good thing for two reasons. First, we can listen to Von anytime we want and, more importantly, the Vonettes have insisted that we appear on future covers. All that hard work deserves some recognition. :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

I Haz Second Life Shadows!

I upgraded my video card driver and decided to see if I could finally get some shadows working in Second Life. Hamlet had posted a link to a wonderful description of the steps to take in V2 so I tried it. Above is before...........below is after.

I second Banana's word of caution.....make sure you are all set up for the photo before you turn on the shadows. You won't be moving around much once they're enabled.

V2 Beta has different settings but I haven't figured out if they're operational yet. :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Second Life Sculptures by Nessuno Myoo

Deep Red Loop a Tribute to Zoe Keating


There is a darling little hillside medieval village in Second Life called SaliMar. I love the design...all stairs and narrow alleys with small courtyards surprising you around the corner. But the best part - for me at least, was encountering the work of the sculpter Nessuno Myoo. The pieces are clever, whimsical, attractive and thought provoking.

The Secret Escape of the Puppets

The Mechanical Knight

The Tale of Angels

I also went to visit his Gallery (for some reason I'm assuming the sculpter is a "he", I apologize if I'm mistaken) which I enjoyed but honestly the pieces have a much better setting in this little village.

I really need to get shadows working to do these sculptures justice - go see them in person and then see the show in November at The Aho Museum. It's well worth the effort and you will thank me. :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

RIP Adric Antfarm

There is a crack in the mosaic that is my life and it hurts. A lot. Adric Antfarm has died.

My "Life" is an accumulation of everything I do and all the people, places and loved ones who have touched it (including all of my 4-legged children). Those who see SL as something which is "not real" lead very narrow lives. For the rest of us, we understand that the brain recognizes and values the emotions and relationships in the virtual world the same way it does in atomic space.

My "Life" would be paler and less rich if I discounted the importance of the lives who have touched mine in that portion which is lived in the metaverse.

Adric had a strong and vibrant voice and presence. Somewhere a blog is being born that will drive the various invisible friends and deities crazy.

I'd much rather he'd stayed here with us.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Naming Your Second Life Photos - A Cautionary Tale

I've been thinking about this topic for some weeks now... ever since I found out about the recently added Stats page in BlogSpot. Oh I've used Google Analytics for a long time and it gave me a fair amount of information, but the BlogSpot Stats allow me to do more. This is all relevant to the topic of naming your photos, as I shall explain. :)

For the longest time Google Analytics has let me see the countries where my blog hits are originating. My country list seemed very odd though and, having compared lists with other SL Bloggers, there were a few anomalies that my colleagues didn't share. I have nothing against the places in Asia and the Middle East which provided all those visitors, I just couldn't figure out why they were coming to this blog. These countries are not well represented in the general Second Life population so something specific was bringing them.

Google Analytics would not let me (or if it does, it's not easy) to link specific hits to specific posts by country. BlogSpot Stats does if only because it lets me see the google search which was used to find the post and it lets me view the data in a very narrow time window so I can link them to country of origin (many of the google searches also show the country through the google address). The solution to my country of origin dilemma was interesting but a little creepy.

More than a year ago I did a post about finding two avatars exercising bed pose balls on my island. I posted a photo of them (which was almost safe for work) and it is this photo which has been generating up to 40 hits a day from countries such as Iran, China and South Korea. The reason? I named the photo, as I usually do, something which would allow me to find it again. I have way too many unorganized photos on my hard drive so I would try and name them something I would remember. I named this particular photo "Sexin Store". It was a typo of course - I should have called it "Sex In Store" but it was late at night and I could still find it. I didn't realize (having never needed to know) that "sexin" is an extremely popular image search term.

Now I'm not a complete prude, but I feel really uncomfortable with the thought that my blog would be "known for" something found in a search for "pron". It's just not me. I've deleted the post and started thinking seriously about how we should name photos we put up on our blogs. Not just to avoid hits but also (if that's your objective) how to potentially generate them. I've tried to think about the titles of my blog posts (not too seriously mind you) but it had never occurred to me that the photos should be considered as well.

The choice of photo name should, therefore, reflect the type of search you want to result in a visit to your blog (I know, it sounds pretty obvious.). The top photo of Omega Point is fairly simple (Omega Point in Second Life). It is descriptive, accurate and easy enough for me to find if I need it. However I have adopted a new discipline....when I start taking pictures for a blog post I create a new folder and name it with the post name and store all the photos there. Much easier to find things. :)

The second photo is not as straight forward. Typically I'd name it for the reason I had done the photograph. If I'm showing off a skin I'd give it the name used by the designer. If I was showing my new kilt I'd give it the name on the outfit folder. If it was for a profile pic, I'd call it a head shot with the date. For the purposes of this blog post it was named "Omega Point in Second Life - Honour".

I'm not going to spend a lot of time naming things to troll for blog hits. But I will be more careful with my naming conventions and at least try to be accurate if still bland. :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Second Life Talented, Spooky and a Musical Postscript

OK Ahuva decided I'm a "nudge" but she's a nag. She is right though, I did need to share some photos of The Curious Prim - a fantastic build/store on Mythopoeia. The buildings are quirky and gorgeous and the main store has some fabulous pieces.

Since I was already declared a "nudge" I dragged her over to Innsmouth, the 30's era New England town you've heard so much about. The details and design are both outstanding.

If you love Lovecraft and spooky stuff (or even if you just enjoy a great build) you must visit. Be careful though. Monsters lurk!

Finally, allow me to share this musical treasure! I found this through Ches via Ahuva and I watch it everyday lately for both the talent they display and to imagine sharing the fun they're having. Meet "On The Rocks", the acapella group from the University of Oregon.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Indulging in Second Life alpha.tribe Skins

I've been very self indulgent recently. I went back to alpha.tribe because I just can't get enough of their skins and, although I don't usually wear the clothing that comes with them, I thought I'd give you a glimpse of the wonderful pieces that are included.

I'm in love with the Moth skin but this mohawk above deserved special mention (and yes I left off the tail and the wings just to keep the prominence of the headpiece).

The next head shot shows you just part of the cool cyborg-type limbs and pieces that are boxed with Natural Things v4.

Someday I'll invest in poses for these photos (maybe once Elusyve gets her store opened) but in the meantime I think you can get a feel for the Musha-e skin and its terrific mohawk.

Eventually I'll find myself at one of those occasions which will demand the full avatar design. In the meantime I'll just drive my friends crazy trying to guess which skin I'll be wearing. :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Kicking Puppies in Second Life

Sparky, Sparky, Sparky. sigh

I swear there are times I'm ready to give up on you! Really! The only reason I keep trying to help you is that I recognize that you truly love Second Life. That may, however, be your only redeeming quality.

I keep telling you that to be taken seriously you have to start actually exercising some of those teensy little grey cells every now and then.

We all know you come from the Rush Limbaugh school of debating (the whole trash the person who disagrees with you rather than actually debating the ideas approach, preferably using self-constructed epithets and insults to sound clever) but you really need to choose your targets with more care.

Picking on somebody who has never done anything to you is typical. But kicking a puppy, no matter how bright and articulate that puppy might be, is low even for somebody as mean spirited as you often are.

It's time to evolve. Either that or get better drugs!

At least try to move up the evolutionary ladder a bit - I realize this would be a big leap but it's an appropriate time of year to at least aim for something with sentience (however warped).

If you keep this up you will visit the SL Halls of Justice. I've been there and it's no fun. Fair warning - there's a very large pool of interested and enthusiastic potential jurors just waiting for the chance to pass judgement.




Thank you to Daniel Voyager for participating in the photo shoot!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Nemo in Second Life - Alnitak

One of the reasons I love Second Life is that I get to fall in love with something different every day. I'm sure you've all heard of the Nemo build by Sextan Shepherd - that astounding SteamPunk sim he has created. I made it to Alnitak this morning - the flying city. I'm in awe!

The Space-O-Rama is impossible to describe coherently - it's beautiful, complex, entertaining and really really cool.

The build includes some commercial space which is all in keeping with the theme - I saw no naked/bondage/skanky/tacky/ stuff you can find almost everywhere. Very nicely done!

The highlight for me is the SteamPunk Air Museum. It includes the most amazing and amazingly detailed machines that would make Jules Verne moan in envy.

You can sit on the flying machines to see them operate (you're inside the museum so they don't actually take you into the sky - you really wish they would though).

I'm so glad there are people like Sextan inworld sharing their talents with us.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Nothing is Easy in Any Life

It's been one of those days. Allow me to lead you through a few of the highlights.

  • All of my active items on XStreet have been migrated over to the new Marketplace. I've edited them and added a bunch more (there's a way, just add them to your magic box and then use the sync function) and taken new photos which are uploaded and done the linking to other items. This is all good - I think they're better listings now. However, the translations for all of the Drama Doll Listings on XStreet are not there. So I've waited. And waited.
  • Today I went to find out when (and yes, if) they would be migrated. I searched the Wiki and found no mention of translations or translated versions.
  • I posted the question to the Commerce Group inworld asking if anybody knew anything. I received no responses.
  • I posted the question in the Commerce Forum. I received no replies.
  • I posted the question on Plurk. Apparently nobody knows.
  • I posted the question on Twitter. Apparently nobody knows there either.
  • I then decided to go to Jack Linden's Office Hour because he would know the answer. Right? Except he got delayed and wouldn't make it to the OH. Grant Linden arrived to tell us that and he's in charge of Marketplace (I think) so I tried asking him. But I was more than 30m away and neither of us could see the other's chat.

I have reached three conclusions.
  1. Very few people have translated their listings in XStreet. Otherwise this topic would have appeared before and somebody would have known the answer.
  2. My items have been migrated and no further incremental migrations will occur. So the translations apparently aren't coming over automatically and at this point, if they did, it would probably mean I'd have to rework the english version anyway.
  3. While XStreet still exists I'd better open two windows and start copying and pasting.

So 60 some odd listings times 4 languages - I have a lot of work to do. sigh

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hollow Earth Barony in Second Life

I'm going to stop telling people that my ruling planet is Inertia and start saying it's Serendipity. I had a serious face palm moment this morning!

I went to the hair fair (cause, yes, I'm an idiot and I keep thinking I'll find a pixie cut I like) and didn't stay too long. In spite of the fact that most people should be back at work, or in school, the crowd was still huge (and so was the pregnant woman with the 8,000 prim hair but I won't mention that). I didn't stay long but I did see a selection of fantasy hair I liked so I went to visit the store - Tekeli-li. It has some really cool stuff in it - including a group of underwater avatars that are truly spectacular.

However, back to the face palm moment. The area around the entrance to the store looked surprisingly familiar. I finally realized it was Hollow Earth Underdark, something I blogged about in July. Now I don't know if the build wasn't finished back then but I do know I didn't go above ground. OMG I should have and so should you!

Above ground is the Hollow Earth Barony. A gorgeous city with the most beautiful design. One of the things you'll notice immediately is that any change in sky colour (use windlight rather than waiting for the sl day to move on) changes the city character dramatically. The designer has taken that into consideration and although the character changes it is still remarkably striking and attractive.

Everywhere you look you see beautiful lines and textures. Inside the buildings you might find an elevator or a set of stairs that take you to another wonderful discovery.

This is a work of art built by Tekelili Tantalus, an artist in both lives. Yes I'm gushing, but you really need to go wander about this place to understand and then you will share my appreciation for what he's done.

Finding this city was a true I Love Second Life! moment. :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Second Life Art Gallery at The Retreat

Phasmatis Ex Machina by Feathers Boa


I'm getting nowhere fast on the trail of solving the Fortune Quest but I honestly don't care. I'm finding some fabulous "not to be missed" locations that I have apparently, to this point, missed.

The Art Gallery at The Retreat "An ever-changing display of art from the collection of Messalina Lavendel" is one of my favourite all time finds. I had to force myself to stop taking photos but here are a few of the pieces on display. Note that many of them are moving/changing so a picture really doesn't do them justice.

Flame of Creativity by Gleman Jun


Amatorious Arborescens Ink & Pencil by Jessica Tehan


Alive in Wild Paint - Beauty by Feathers Boa


Rain Beads small by Glyph Graves


humans4 - ieko 06 2010 by ieko catnap


26 Tines by Bryn Oh


I'm impressed at the depth of the collection on view and the generousity of the owner to share it with us. I'm also blown away by the talent inworld. Please go visit the gallery, you'll be very very glad you did. (PS Don't cam around the gallery, walk up to the exhibits. It does make a difference!)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The SPCDH in Second Life

I'm creating a new group, The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Dead Horses. Enough with beating on these poor animals! Isn't it enough that they're dead and starting to decay? Abuse will not bring them back and it's time to stop trying. Seriously.

I'd like to see bright minds work together in a positive way to build something wonderful for the future.

Of course I'd also like to see a magic wand and millions of dollars appear in my mailbox. :)

I'm hoping for better luck with those bright minds.

Update: Raul Crimson posted this link - follow it and remember how much fun we're really having when we're not so busy whining.

Treasure Hunting in Second Life

I mentioned a while back that a new Treasure Hunt called Fortune Quest was starting up - and it has. Beginning today you can buy both the HUD and the daily hints for a minimal fee and start searching Second Life for the Treasure.

It turns out that I'm really bad at treasure hunting - not because of an inability to do it, my problem is more that I'm easily distracted (it seems). I was using search to try and find things that might apply to the words in the first clue and I kept seeing sites listed that looked cool. So I went to visit them instead of focusing on the task at hand.

The results to me look like the type of treasures we take for granted inworld - I really need to spend more time exploring great builds like StoneHenge in Space above. Or the next one I saw, Eturnal Night.

I don't know if this is what the designers had in mind, but it's a really neat way to force you out and about and make you experience sites such as Isolla Della Collina, a mediterranean town being built as I write this.

Second Life is way too big for any of us to say that we've seen it all. Anything that gets us on the tourist trail - even accidentally, is a good thing. I would never have visited Jaded Wings if I was just working on that stupid todo list that's mocking me on my desk.

So I thank the Fortune Quest people - and I will get back to actually trying to follow the clues. Right after I spend some more time hanging around the Lost Lighthouse.

I certainly won't win the prize in this Fortune Quest - but I'm having fun pretending to try. :)