Wednesday, August 16, 2017

"Hunchback of Notre Dame" at the Royal Opera House

On Sunday August 13, Gemma Cleanslate headed over to the Royal Opera House in the Oceanea sim. The theater was showing a musical, titled "Notre Dame de Paris." But it might be better known by the movie that's based on the same story, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." So what did Gemma think of the performance?

Read Gemma's article in Events.

Patio Plasma Ill With Cancer

Patio Plasma, known as Paul Doherty in real life, has hosted some Science Circle events, as well as being part of Science Funday in May, and the director of two Sci-Lands sims, Sploland and Exploratorium. Unfortunately, some sad news was revealed yesterday by the Science Circle and Relay groups: Patio has cancer, and his condition is very serious.

Fellow Relayers some sad news one of the great second life educators patio plasma is in bad condition right now he has been it appears re diagnosed with cancer and is not doing so hot if you never got to see patio's science lectures I have attached a couple  

If u want to reach out to him too here is his Carebridge page Let show him how much thank him.

I'm Paul Doherty's (Patio Plasma) niece and wanted to pass on the sad news that Paul is at home on end-of-life hospice care.
The Exploratorium has set up this Caringbridge site:
Ellen (Paul's wife) asks that you hold in your hearts your memories of Paul's expansive and positive personality and the joy he finds in sharing adventures with others.
As you may understand, we are devastated by this news but felt it was important enough to share with you.

Jes and Chantal
On behalf of the Science Circle board

The Caringbridge site describes Doherty's cancer as having come back "extremely rapidly and aggressively." It had over a hundred comments from visitors, among them were these:

Every time I see you at the Exploratorium I know I'm going to a) be greeted with a big, beautiful, shining smile, b) see an awesome manicure, and c) learn something new about the world. You wear your humanity and love for life on your sleeve, making all of us who know you better humans in the process.

I remember talking to you in May and other times at the Exploratorium and Everything Matters, and I also remember times years ago in Second Life. Rob just sent me news that you are in hospice now. We are thinking of you and appreciating your contagious enthusiasm for science and life. You've done a lot for both and I thank you.

Paul / Patio -- you have been an inspiration. Your enthusiasm for science, and for public outreach, is endless. It was great meeting with you at the Exploritorium this last May, and talking about vision and perception. Things you have done have made it into some of my physics classes and will continue to do so. I wish you the best.

I am not sure what to say. I know Paul only through his work, but I know Patio fairly well. Patio has always been kind to me, and took interest when I would speak to them.  

I know I speak for many of my colleagues from the SLCS cheerleaders in saying that we loved all the time you spent with us. The world today is a tad darker hearing about the fight you are going thru. We wish you nothing but the best and pray for you. You helped in inspire many members of SL to become more active in science in general.

We at the Newser wish Patio Plasma/Paul Doherty well

Bixyl Shuftan

Press Release: Hot Bay City Nights Returns For 2017

Vintage automobiles featured in Second Life® event.

BAY CITY, SL (14 August 2017) - Bay City's mid-century theme -- and it's large network of roads -- is celebrated annually during its "Hot Bay City Nights" event. This Second Life® bassed event features vehicle makers who create virtual automobiles from the Bay City "theme era," from 1940 to 1965.

The event is held in the the Bay City Fairgrounds, in the North Channel region, from the 19-27th of August to present the best in vintage and retro vehicles. Each designer is hand-picked, and presents great road vehicles for use in Second Life.

Additional events will provide plenty for all to do, including the crowning of 2017s Miss Bay City on the 27th, and a series of virtual car washes in support of Child's Play Charity, an organization that provides toys and games for children in hospitals around the world. Bay City is a silver-level sponsor of Child's Play.

Bay City is a mainland community, developed by Linden Lab™ and home to the Bay City Alliance. The Bay City Alliance was founded in 2008 to promote the Bay City regions of Second Life™ and provide a venue for Bay City Residents and other interested parties to socialize and network. It is now the largest Bay city group, and home to most Residents of Bay City.

For more information, contact: Marianne McCann

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Events This Week at the Sunweaver and Furry Fashion Clubs

It's a week full of events at the Sunweaver and Angel Clubs and the Furry Fashion Lounge. Zero-G adds a day to it's schedule.

Club Cutlass: Best in K and L, Dark Outfits, Trip to Toontown

Happy Vixen: Fairy Tales, Animals, Formal Party, Disco, Black and White, Bare it All

Club Zero Gravity: Candidly Canine, TBA, Amazing Anime, TBA

Furry Fashion Lounge: Grunge, Videogames, Silks, Magic, Formal, Leather and Lace, Ladies' Night, Angels and Demons, Celtic

See the schedules in SL Clubbin'.

Reader Submitted: "My Most Functionless Decoration Ever"

Submitted by Melody Highnote. She had been working on a Monopoly board, but made it a British version, substituting the names of New York City streets for London ones, such as Whitechapel. Contrary to her opinion, if someone could make moving pieces, working dice, added play money, and found a way to make the cards work, the game would be fun.

Monday, August 14, 2017

"Mermaid Funday" Off-Season Relay For Life Benefit Held by SL Cheerleaders, Safe Water Foundation

Mermaids and cheerleaders may seem like an odd mix, but that's what was going on for twelve hours at the bottom of the Union Passage sim. The occasion: the Relay for Life in Second Life's Second Life Cheerleading Squad held a joint event with the mermaids of the Safe Water Foundation for an off-season Relay fundraiser.

It is better down where it is wetter under the sea so the SLCS Cheerleaders decided to check this out. So we are giving the mermaid life a try with out friends from Safe Waters Foundation. We are play to play done here on the ocean floor where all the fish are happy and the seaweed is always greener. Attached below in the notecard are singers performing at this event along with the LM to the event. All funds raised at this event are going to RFL

The event took place at Fanci's Deep Community Center at Union Passage (228/214/1). There were numerous performers such as live singer Harmonia Trefoil, Brix Canning, Hojo Warf, Madmax Huet, Laidback Celt, Lyric Serendipity, Bat Masters, and others.

I was told that the total amount raised "at the time of the last show was around 100 USD collected," which would be close to 25,000 Linden dollars, or "25,000 lindens under the sea" as one mermaid put it. As the event took place after the official Relay for Life fundraising season, it would not be counted as part of the SL Cheerleading Squad's total this year.

Bixyl Shuftan

H.P. Lovecraft "Lovefest" Festival Starts August 17

Fans of the horror author H.P. Lovecraft will be flocking to the Innsmouth sim this week as the area will be the location of the ten day "Lovefest" event.   The sixth annual event of it's kind, it celebrates the writer's birthday, and promises, "something exciting, entertaining, and unique for all. Enjoy shopping at the merchants quarter of our New England Coastal town, try the machines at our Seaside Gacha Shack, or hazard a visit to the local tourist features. You will, if you like, also experience ten days of sim-wide events and entertainment, featuring SL’s best music and stage shows."

Among the activities advertised on the Lovefest blog is "Mysteries of the Deep"

... sign onto the Miskatonic University Oceanic Expedition Team!
Team members will be transported to a remote area of the vast Pacific Ocean that has been charted for research and exploration, equipped to descend into the abyss to explore the wonders of the “Deep Blue” and investigate finds initially reported by an earlier “advance research” team. Should you accept the assignment, you will will be given proper deep sea diving gear on deck of the research vessel S.S. Abigail, board a submersible and be transported to the ocean floor to step forth and venture into the Pacific abyss, collect samples and expand upon what the first team discovered beyond.

Among those taking part is the Seanchai Library, Guerrilla Burlesque, Whymsee, Elysium, and many others.

For more information, check out the Lovefest blog.

 Hat Tip: Ciaran Lival

Bixyl Shuftan

News and Commentary: Will Sansar Be Doomed By It's Unpopularity?

Last Friday August 11, the Newser posed the question "How much do you want to hear about Sansar?" For the majority answering, the answer seems to be "not interested."

Sansar, originally called "the next generation virtual world, has been the target of skepticism, even fear, from the very beginning. Even yours truly was thinking early on that it could very well be the "New Coke of virtual worlds." A few thought this was going to be a tightly-controlled place Linden Lab would try to force everyone into by shutting down Second Life after it's opening. But most felt that the Lab, even with it's past heavy-handed moves, wouldn't pull such a thing, if for no other reason it would mean risking the future of the company by shutting down a sure thing. But still, most had strong doubts this new place was going to be for them. Granted Linden Lab had done a breakthrough by creating Second Life in the first place, but many of it's developments since then, such as it's viewers which after 2010 have reminded in use by only a minority of longtime users in favor of third-party ones, and seeming to favor "bells and whistles" in favor of fixing bugs and flaws, convinced many this place wouldn't be as good as the virtual world they had known. And as a few details came out over time, while some remained open to possibilities, many remained doubtful.

And when Sansar finally came out two weeks ago, well, it was my own observation the best thing about it is it's potential for improvement. Draxtor Despress has been expressing enthusiasm about Sansar, but it's my observation he is one of the few to do so.

There have been some neutral to positive comments, such as Ciran Laval, and Monica Querriren. Lauraina Hawks had a cautious review. Much like me she advised people to wait and see.  In Inara Pey's commentary, she felt the place had a lot of bugs and downsides, but felt it had potential, and suggested Linden Lab wasn't aiming just at Second Life users but "casting Sansar’s net far wider, as has repeatedly been said throughout the development process."

Hamlet Au over time had expressed increasing skepticism about Sansar in the days leading up to it's release, once comparing it to Blue Mars which lasted only a few years. Once it was out, he was more or less observing.  Will Burns in short called Sansar "nothing special," also making a comparison to Blue Mars at one point, "it’s a nice place to visit, but we live elsewhere. When you want a short term experience, SANSAR is a good vacation ..., but when you really want to spend time in a virtual world that is organic and user-generated – you should stick to Second Life. If Linden Lab understood the reasons why we love Second Life, they would have never made SANSAR the way they did ..."

Most of the run of the mill comments I've observed are negative to indifferent. For instance when I asked the question about Sansar on Friday, Xymbers Slade answered he had, "Zero interest. (Linden Lab)'s ineptitude after the first few years makes me bitter and turned off toward any future products." Sakki Salurbia commented, "I personally have zero interest in Sansar. My time and money have been invested in SL for the last 9 years. Why on earth would I change to this?" As I wrote earlier, Marusame Ari felt it wasn't even as good as the simplistic IMVU, of which I've heard a couple people compare Sansar to. And one moderator in the "Second Life Friends" Facebook group commented, "I think Sansar needs to focus on improving what people have been complaining about before they start pushing people from SL. It was fun to test out but it wasn't interesting enough yet. So much more needs to be done before it will draw many SL users, and I'm afraid the tech isn't as available as the Lindens must think. It won't be long, but it's still too soon when it comes to VR for most of us."

Interesting enough, the moderator of the Second Life group on Facebook proceeded to remove the post I had made on the grounds it violated their rule of "This group is for posts related to Second Life only," even though Sansar is made by the same people and it's a big topic of discussion inworld. Someone I talked to about the matter suggested the reason was probably less about a desire to be super-strict with rules, and a desire to avoid drama from people who get angry every time the word "Sansar" is mentioned. That some people feel topics on Sansar need to be deleted because of that suggests something about the level of negativity.

It's doubtful that Linden Lab expected Sansar to be a big hit right away. While it seemed at the beginning they were saying "We're going to make Sansar so good, you'll want to stay," over time they were either getting wind of the constant skepticism, becoming aware that their new world wasn't going to live up to the hype, or something of both. Their press releases in the past few months have stated, "There's been nothing quite like Sansar," even though Linden Lab already has a virtual world, a clear sign they were aiming mainly at people from outside Second Life's userbase. Or to paraphrase Inara Pey, casting a wider net.

But with people marketing their product as the best their is on the market all the time, people can and will do their research before trying. And when people look up Sansar beyond the press releases and official statements, they'll find numerous blog and forum posts calling it a lousy product. That could very well keep usership of the place down.

So how could Linden Lab combat this kind of bad publicity? More press releases and spin artists can only do so much. The best thing it could do is to make Sansar live up to the potential it has. But like many longterm residents, yours truly has come to expect mixed results to overall improvement from the Lab at best. A Sansar that's sort of good probably won't be enough to overcome the weight of the negativity.

Sansar won't be going away anytime soon. And even if it's marginally profitable from it's own sales of virtual content, Linden Lab will keep it around. But if it's userbase remains tiny, about as small or smaller than InWorldz or Kitely, it's likely to be judged a failure. But not unlike the "New Coke" marketing fiasco with Coca-Cola, Linden Lab might end up a winner anyway. A Sansar that turns out to be all but ignored by computer users would likely discourage any major player in the industry from developing their own virtual world. That would leave Linden Lab in it's de-facto monopoly with Second Life. While they didn't set out to discourage competition for Second Life by making an alternative that turned out to be a dud, people could be forgiven for thinking they had.

Bixyl Shuftan

Announcement: This Week at the Senchai Libraries

And in the meantime we have plenty of storied opportunities ready for you.   Join us at Holly Kai Park in #secondlife, and on our properties in #kitely, live in voice.

All times slt, stories in Voice.

**MONDAY, August 7th, at 7 pm: Theodore Sturgeon's MORE THAN HUMAN Begins with Gyro Muggins

**TUESDAY, August 8th, at 7 pm: KEEP IT BRIEF with R. Crap Mariner

**WEDNESDAY, August 9th, at 7 pm: SECRETS OF THE DIVINE YA YA SISTERHOOD Selections with Caledonia

Skytower (also presented in Kitely  hop://

**THURSDAY, August 10th, at 7pm & 9pm: TBA
(also presented in Kitely  hop://

Check out the stories and the storytellers at .

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Cartoon of the Day

Taken at the "Food Fight" party at the Happy Vixen Club. Reminds me of the expression "stick a fork in it, it's done," but someone wanted to be the fork.

By Bixyl Shuftan

Saturday, August 12, 2017

SL Video: "Raglan Shire Artwalk 2017 "

(Click here if the video fails to play)

From July 18 by Nitacket, with clips of a tour of Raglan Shire's Artwalk this year, mixed with a performance by "Nivor the Singing Chicken."

Friday, August 11, 2017

Africa Live Revisited

One of the more interesting things about Second Life is that you can come across people from around the world. Residents from America may expect to see people from Europe or Japan. But what about Africa? With numerous tales of woe in the nightly news, it might take some by surprise that not only are there Africans in this virtual world, there's a whole community of them. In 2013, I wrote about Africa Live. Recently, I dropped by again to see how the place has changed in the past four years.

Read the story in Places.

Wanted: Opinions of Sansar

Marusame Ari, known in Second Life as a member of the Sunweaver community, where the Newser office is located, in real life is very different from the black wah (red panda) girl avatar dressed in pink (s)he is known for. Recently Marusame did this forty-one minute walkthrough of Sansar, on August 8 (some profanity). The video shows Marusame going through a few places, and giving the next generation virtual world a negative review, "It's not even a beta. It feels like an asset flip made from a bunch of unity store assets thrown into a game and slapped with unnecessary VR functions. Honestly, IMVU probably has more to it. If you had to jump ship from Second Life, go to Opensim or something. Skip this."

So what are the opinions of you the readers of Sansar. Also, how often do you want to see reviews and news of developments of the place, such as it's first furry avatar? Or would you prefer that the Newser keep it's coverage of Sansar to a minimum? Please comment below.

Bixyl Shuftan

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Second Life Artist Bryn Oh Making Real-Life Cash From Bronze Statuettes Made From Inworld Build

One question some people in real life often ask me about Second Life is how one can make money. It seems Second Life Bryn Oh has found one way. She has sold almost thirty statues for over six thousand dollars.

In April, Bryn Oh announced in her blog that she would be making bronze statuettes based on "The Dancer," the name given to a figure in her work "The Hand." She stated that while she had crossed over her work from Second Life to real life before, "In the past it has been things like Museum exhibits at the Menage museum in Moscow, the Jewish museum in Berlin, with oil paintings of my avatar or characters ... I have, in the past, created studies for my characters in wire, wood and something called Hyrdrocal but after speaking to my friend Toy, I decided to make the jump into Bronze.  It is a big jump because it is quite expensive to do and you kind of just have to hope someone will want to buy them after you have invested in having them made."

The first model of The Dancer were made through 3D printing. From that, a wax model was created, then used to make the cast for the bronze statues, "We used the lost wax process to create a mold to hold the molten bronze.  Essentially you create a cast around the model then melt it so that the wax runs out leaving a cavity to pour the bronze into." A total of thirty statuettes, each about four inches tall were created. They were then priced in the order they were made. The first five were priced from $400 to $300 USD, the second set of five $275, the third set of five $250, and so on with four of the last five priced at $150. Bryn Oh announced in early June that the statues were complete.

Bronze casting requires some expense, so Bryn Oh was taking a chance. But people were making orders starting in the few days after the announcement. When I met up with Bryn Oh at the Second Life Birthday, she told me a told of 21 of the thirty statues had been sold. Since then, the number has gone up to 27, for a total of $6650 USD. It seems the thirtieth statuette will not be sold after all.

Bryn Oh thought she might make more bronze statuettes in the future, "I am thinking of making a new one in six months ... not sure what to make, though. I was looking at characters I have made over the years, "Rabbicorn" to "Anna's Many Murders" to "Mr. Zippers." She also had one in Sansar she might use.

Considering most of her first release of her work on sale sold, further statues should sell well. Another example of someone in Second Life going on to make real-life money for her work.

Source: Bryn Oh's Blog

Bixyl Shuftan

Crew Meeting

Saturday August 5 was the day of the monthly crew meeting for the SL Newser. Clockwise from left to right, Klaus Bereznyak, myself (Bixyl Shuftan), Deaflegacy, and FoxytheJamie. My friend Velani was also there. We talked about possible stories for the month ahead as this time between the Relay for Life season and mid to late October with Burn2, haunted houses, and the Creepy Crawl meant we had more chances to cover things around the Grid.

Deflegacy had been the first to arrive before the meeting. She spent the few minutes before I dropped by playing with "Chilly" the office cat. Close to four years old, her being a Firekitty from Team Firestorm's (then Team Phoenix) third anniversary party, Chilly has been roaming the office since growing up, keeping the place active even when no one is around.

Bixyl Shuftan