Monday, August 22, 2016

Creations for Parkinson's


By Becky "Sha" Shamen

Touching bases with our Editor, Bixyl, he gave us some locations, to consider for our next story. He was especially interested in one called "Creations for Parkinson's". Here, we will find shops and exhibits to raise donations to Team Fox for Parkinson's research, a fundraising program at The Michael J. Fox Foundation. As an active supporter and member of the Sunbeamer RFL team, we are always happy to promote the work of all such team events.

From personal experience, there are "tricks of the trade" that can improve your success at asking people, "Got any spare change, man?". We often explained to our panhandling friends that if they provide their benefactors with some entertainment, even if it's just a silly little song and dance (that actually is VERY good at getting tips).  So, in the back of our mind, as we approach the Creations Park sim, we're anticipating finding out if Team Fox has a song and dance for our entertainment. One of our extra-favorite types of entertainment is to see, hear and do things that I have never done before. On this adventure, our fun meter went off the scale. We kept thinking, this story is going to have us looking in the Thesaurus, to brush up on our list of superlatives.

On the first trip to Creations Park, thoughts of Disneyland come to mind. How did they fit so many attractions on one sim? It is also covered in vegetation. Navigating the paths sometimes requires using Mouselook and checking your locations on the map. But wait, there's more!!! Creations Park is flanked on the West by Merlin Gardens sim and on the East by Frantastica sim. Each of these has it's own ton of fun attractions to explore.

Creations Park is the fund raising center and the Southwest quarter of the sim has many boutiques that share profits with Team Fox. This area brings to mind Rodeo Drive and Beverly Hills, in their selections of clothing, furniture and landscaping plants. Come buy something glamorous, while helping out a good cause. You can also donate directly to Team Fox.  There are paths that lead to all the attractions on the sim, like the castle, Aladdin's palace, a pirate ship, a beach and gardens. There are also TPs, to take you to locations in the sky and we'll cover one of our favorites, shortly.

There's nothing we like better than stepping off the beaten trail and blazing our own path. At this location, this could lead to an unplanned visit to Atlantis, in the waters below, but it could also lead to finding a secret attraction. In an unmarked tunnel, that takes a short-cut through a hill, we spotted large rainbow colored gems and a ball of lightning, that one can meditate in. We had never seen one of these and had to try it out.

Every area on the three sims that we explored had beautiful scenery and music streams that reduce stress and energize the soul. While visiting Merlin Gardens, Sha found  a bench and sat down to read a book and sent us AFK for an ice cream break. After a good half hour, we were ready to check out the amusement park, on the Frantastica sim. The rides there were better than any we had ever tried. We made a note, saying that, with all this smiling and jaw dropping, we might need a sling to rest our mouth. 
Our first visit here must have been fun, because 3:30 AM came in a flash. We decided to head home and continue exploring the next night. Before logging out for the night, an IM came in from our friend Erik Mouse, asking our help in solving a mystery. There was a '57 Chevy Belair on the seafloor by his island. We recognized the owner and returned the car, but Erik was still agitated, by how it could of gotten there in the first place. To calm him down, we changed the subject and told him about the fun we were having, while researching this article. We told Erik, if he came there and tried the amusement park, we would include a picture of him in the article.

After getting him to try the water slide, space needle and bungee jump, we took a ride together on the Ferris wheel. Unlike the other rides, the Ferris wheel has no time limit, so we rode for a long time, before asking him if he would recommend this place to my readers. After a short pause, his reply came, "Um....YES, I would." By this time, the sun was beginning to come up in real-life, so we parted company for the night.


One of the LMs that Bixyl had provided was for the Chapel of Eternal Love, located 4001 meters above Creation Park, so we went there on our next visit. This elevated area is the icing on the Creations cake. I found this to be an awesome, inspirational adventure. As I put the pictures and words together for this article, I found they can't begin to show how great the joy is when you visit. To enhance our story, we have made a video of scenes taken in the Chapel of Eternal Love. We hope you will go see  for yourself . Team Fox has brought us a piece of heaven to inspire a helping hand. Let's show them that they have earned our "spare change."
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZRh6fnZE7ko" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Namaste,
Sha

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Trade Winds


By Becky Shamen

 Long before becoming a SL Newser Reporter, we had already developed the skill of finding new areas to explore, by scanning the World Map. Our previous article, about Antiquity, turned out so well, we decided to test it again, this time a bit closer to our home in Sunweaver Bay. Zooming out, we located an area of interest, about 7.16 miles West from home. The first thing we notice about the area is that there are over 20 small islands, scattered around the 12 sims, which are arranged in the shape of a cross. It was a safe bet that some type of boat would be needed to explore this area. Zooming in closer on the map, we find the centrally located Trade Winds sim has docks for large ships, all along it's West side. Starting our adventure here will tell us what kinds of ships are used by the local residents and there will probably be merchants of ships. This is also a good place to learn the local rules that must be followed.

 We set a target on the dock and TP, landing, you guessed it, right in front of a shop that sells ships. Before we can get our "land legs" working, several notecards are given, stating the rules and which ships are allowed. The rules inform us that these 12 sims are dedicated to 18th century sailing and warfare RP. While here, your clothing, speech and means of transportation must fit the 18th century. Of important note, your avatar cannot fly here. If your boat sinks, you will either walk out or TP to a dryer location. Since this area is dedicated to 18th century RP, your appearance must fit the period. Gorean and Fury is not appropriate here.


 If you are going to get involved in sea battles here, you must use one of the ships that has the latest SPD damage meters. A list is provided giving all the approved ships.

> SPD Corsair III (on SPD2 mode only) > SSS Sloop > SSS Polacre > SSS Goelette > SSS Junk
> SSS Norfolk > SSS Gunboat > SSS Frigate > SSS Grand Galleon > SSS Sampan > SSS Hercules > AT Colossus > AT Xebec > AT East Indiaman > AT Shu'ai > AT Wicked Wench > AT Gunboat > AT Revenge > BRS Avventura > BRS Fortuna > BRS Dorey > BRS Pinace > RSS Alert > RSS Requin > RSS Lorcha > RSS Philadelphia > RSS Mystique > RSS Mercury > Terrada > MTM Xebec > MTM Statenjacht
 
Non approved ships can be used, but not in battles, as long as they are 18th century wooden ships. If you are thinking of buying one of the approved ships, there are some rezzers, on the dock, that let you see the full ship. We found an open slip and rezzed our own, non approved Armed Merchant ship and headed out to sea to see where the winds will take us. Keep in mind, ships used here actually use SL winds to sail. Often, the shortest distance between two points is not a straight line. It can only be done by tacking a zig-zag route. We enjoyed getting in some sailing practice and will likely return for more. On the other side, it was hard to pilot and sight-see at the same time and we had to kedge our way out of a few tight spots. At the North end of the docks, you can find a rowboat rezzer. This is a fun way to get from island to island and it stays rezzed as long as you stay on it. Hint: you can also get around by using the World Map to TP to other islands, but good luck on where you land.

 The islands are dotted with towering rock spires and, by now, we all know that Sha loves getting into higher perspectives [double entendre]. If zooming the cam to the peaks reveals man made structures, we would find a way to blaze a trail to the top. 

 Oddly enough, 18th century churches also seem to like these lofty locations. Our favorite was the Goth church on Cayo Hueso. The long and winding road to the top is very enjoyable and best done in "mouselook". We have a passion for architectural wonders and climbed every stair and opened any doors that were not locked. 

Below the goth church, we find an older, simpler fortified church. Wishing for a view from the watch tower, we find a rope that lets the user do an animated climb to the roof top. After taking in the view, we set course for the interior of the church. Belay them plans, matey. All the church doors inform us that we don't have a key to this sacred place. A parting zoom look through the upper Celtic cross window reveals that this be a secret hang out of a pirate gang.

 While it is true that the pirates are friendly, keep in mind their interpretations may vary widely from yours. In one pirate pub there is a metal grating in the floor, where the gang can drop you down to cages below, where they keep the guest that they will be extra-friendly with. Sha managed to get herself in a cage, in a room full of BDSM furniture. The cage door won't open, unless we enter a code that picks the lock. That would take too long to guess and, there were no guards, seeking x-rated entertainment, so she takes out her notebook, for clues on how to escape. Remembering having already made LMs in other islands, she becomes enlightened that "the Poof will set you free."

Free again, Sha heads for the nearest church, to increase her share of good luck. Spotting a confessional box, she goes in to get a clean slate.
Sha: Bless me Father for I have sinned. I have plundered a fortune by shaking my booty around a pole, at club Cutlass.
Priest: The church forgives you my child. Now, for your penitence say three OMGs and put a sack of 10% of your booty in the door by your knees.
 
We begin to sense a mystery to unravel here. Pirates and priests, how are they connected? Is it even possible to imagine a congregation made up of pirates and wenches? If they're into the 10 commandments, do they have their own interpretation of the rules to a good life?  

In an open book, we spotted "The Pirate Code".  It seems they have done the 10 commandments one better. The Code has 11 articles. Remind you of the rock band that had custom amplifiers, with volume knobs that go all the way up to 11? In fact, article 11 states that all musicians have the Sabbath off, by right and any other days, by favre only.

  During our adventures at Trade Winds, we talked with and befriended a high ranking region manager, called Matisse. Learning that we were there preparing a story for the Newser, we were invited to join the local group, with the title of "Rogue Photographer". That would protect me from those that would hinder my progress. Hopefully, that would also stop stray cannon balls from taking seat in my row boat.

   Now, pay no attention to the 15 port side cannons, pointed in your direction. Just be takin' our word on it, there be plenty of adventure here. Come set yer keel in the water and thrust the sails to the skies. There's magic in the air and the Pirates Code entitles you to a fair share.

 "Sha"

Friday, August 12, 2016

Antiquity


By Becky "Sha" Shamen

 During our time as a Newser Reporter, we have explored many areas of the Second Life Grid. Our writing style was strongly influenced by a movie seen in childhood. Bambi's friend, Thumper, was told, by his mom, "If you can't find anything nice to say about somebody, don't say anything at all." When we hear of a possible location to write about, our first trip there is a short visit, to get an intuitive feeling of the land and it's residents. Intuition is hard to put into words, but within a half hour one of two thoughts will enter our mind. It's either, "I can't wait to tell readers about this adventure," or "there's no story here."

   If you were to put all of the sims in the grid together, it would form a square of 610 square miles. By comparison, a single sim is only about .39 sq.mi. and there are currently 24229 active sims on the grid. So, how does this reporter find these small areas that are fun adventures, in such a big world? Newser staff meets once a month and the Editor, Bixyl Shuften, usually provides leads to potential sims. Another source is the Destination Guide, but this can be hit or miss when looking for a fun place, and Sha has frequently wondered how much the sim owner had to pay to get a mention in the guide. One of our favorite search techniques is to open the World Map and pan and zoom around the grid. We look for sim clusters which suggest community minded residents. The layout of the terrain, streets and buildings will give us an idea of the level of the ideal and practical skills that have developed in these communities.

   Studying the map, we found a 13 sim cluster. Each of the sim names began with "Antiquity" and there were massive buildings on many of them. We knew, before ever setting foot there, this would be a Great Adventure.

We select an open field on the North Western sim. The landing puts us at the foot of Mount St. Bruno, so we climb to the top for a better view of the country to be explored. There is a gathering spot on the top of the mountain; a clue that the natives might be friendly. From up here, it is clear that it will require several visits just to get a look at everything, so we start walking South, with plans of zig-zagging through all 13 sims. 
 
As our exploration began, we notice there is another person about 2000 meters up, showing up on radar. Minutes later, this same individual sent an instant-message, which was very unusual. She said that she had seen our name on her radar and it seemed to be a name that she was familiar with. After thinking a bit, she recalled that it was the name of her favorite Newser Reporter, who had inspired her to go on many new adventures of her own. We continued chatting, while taking notes in the buildings that Sha was inspecting. Then the message sender informed us that she was a local resident, named Cosette Rouages, who's job was to write scripts, used in the builds. She was very excited that her favorite reporter was there to do an article about Antiquity. After a bit more chat, she invited us for a look at "the other half" of Antiquity. 
 
It turns out, at the 2000m altitude, the sky platforms cover the entire 13 sims. A TP up and we spent hours talking and becoming friends. She also wanted to arrange for a private tour, with the owner of all the sims, Jacon Cortes de Bexar. Both of us live in the same real-life time zone and as 4:30 am rolled around, we agreed to meet again, soon. It would be necessary to return several more times, to take in all there is to see and do.
 
   There hadn't been many notes or pictures taken, on the first visit, but that is par for the course.  The plan now was to attend an event at Cutlass and head back to Antiquity after. As we came on line to prepare for the evening's events, there was already an IM waiting to be read. This time, it was from the owner, Jacon Bexar. Cosette had told him all about our meeting and he wanted me to come for a private tour. As soon as my event was over, we headed back to our original LM  in Antiquity. After landing, Cosette appeared on radar, at ground level, standing in a small group.  The welcome committee was made up of Jacon, Cosette and two other Ladies. 
 
After introductions and other pleasantries, Jacon would TP the group to his latest master build, a scale replica of Buckingham Palace. To date, this build has taken three and a half years and even every texture is from the real palace. Through out the tour, there are easels set up, with photos of the original. Jacon says, be sure to look up at the ceilings in each room. Each is a unique work of art. We told Jacon that the most difficult part about writing an article on Antiquity would be to avoid starting every sentence with OMG or WOW. When our readers visit Antiquity for themselves, they can wear out their own list of expletives.
 
   Back at ground level, I traveled to all the sims and took lots of pictures. Since this is an article and not a book, it will include some photos and brief comments. If space is limited for the article, the full length original and all the photos can be found at shaadventures.blogspot.com
 
The Antiquity Cathedral made me a bit nervous, because there is an autobot (the sim's name for bots that respond to you, not the cartoon robots) cardinal at the altar and he kept turning in her direction. I eventually got the courage to stand in front of him and explain, to the empty pews, her theory that god is a cyclops.
 
In the Royal Antiquity Theater, I took a seat in the balcony. I wonder if it would be giving my age away, if I said, as kids we went to movies in theaters as fancy as this one.
 
One shop sold a collection of "autobots," in period clothing. Many have a menu. I was tempted to go back and buy a maid that offers a glass of wine and a list of other services.
 
A harbor in the Argyle sim could be your next SL job, if ye be Pirate Friendly. Arrrrr!
 
Standing under the dome of the Texas State capital building, I recalled seeing a movie with Burt Reynolds standing in the same spot.
 
I paused in a Texas one room school house, brushing up on Texas history and spitball making.
 
There are groups to join, like for Export Import Co., a pirate group and an Equine group. On the Marie Galante sim, there is even a large area for Merfolk.
 
I rode my own horse on the trails that cover several of the Eastern sims. I have an AKK horse and now have a great place to take him on walks.
 
They have monthly horse events, like cross-country, fox hunt and chariot racing. 

   Having made videos in Second Life, I couldn't help but notice, everywhere I went, the beautiful scenery all looked like perfect backgrounds for new SL videos. I loved the various music streams that are encountered. They were soothing and energizing. The few highlight given above are less than half of the list of noteworthy places. By all means, Antiquity goes on my list of "Must See" locations.
We bid ye to have a Great Adventure in Antiquity,
Sha

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

King Kong's Skull Island at LEA9


By Gemma Cleanslate

I was sorry to miss the big opening event at Lea9 where King Kong reigns anew and a few after that. Skull Island is the home of the mighty ape where he was discovered over a century ago. For those who don’t know King Kong and his history, “King Kong is a giant movie monster, resembling a colossal ape, that has appeared in various media since 1933. The character first appeared in the 1933 film King Kong, which received universal acclaim upon its initial release and re-releases. The film was remade in 1976 and once again in 2005. The character has become one of the world's most famous movie icons, having inspired countless sequels, remakes, spin-offs, imitators, parodies, cartoons, books, comics, video games, theme park rides, and even a stage play. His role in the different narratives varies, ranging from a rampaging monster to a tragic antihero.
 
The Skull Island in Second Life is described as lush and it is. It is the ultimate tropical land in SL. I walked the trails and paths and saw more flora and fauna and insect life than I have seen in one location in Second Life in my nine plus years. It is really gorgeous.  It is very easy to move around. One has options , teleports are located in main sites , or walking is a great option. I took the teleport on my first visit just to orient myself and make sure I did not miss any of the sites mentioned. On my second visit I decided to walk all of the winding paths and watch the signs leading to the sites .
The first creatures I met were  from the dark ancient Mesozoic age. On Skull Island they have survived and mixed with more modern animals (including human). I knew the mighty gorilla was somewhere here. 
 
On my walk as I left the visitor center I encountered an old friend that I had not seen since my camping days almost nine years ago. It was nice to see her as she sat surrounded by little friendly creatures that approached from the surrounding jungle. After our reunion and conversation I started to roam. The vibrant flora is striking and deserves a second look. In the recommended windlight it is almost ethereal against the sky that warns of volcanic activity somewhere in the far distance. I stopped at the well protected native village which was deserted at the time and checked out the huts. 
 
Outside the walls of the village  I visited a friendly Orangutan group and played some drums which they seemed to like. My next stop was at the Crocodile Lake where I watched as a croc came out of the water, grabbed a monkey and headed back to his rock....hard to watch but all a part of nature. I did not stay very long after that. I passed by a waterfall cave where a whole family of dinosaurs lived. 
 
Next I took a tour of the Caves that extended in different branches , each with its own surprise . Take care! There is one with no exit . Running in the other direction  I emerged to meet a Komodo Dragon! I ran on by and did a circle to the other side and found the entrance to an open glass tunnel that gives one a lovely view of the underwater river. At the end there is a surprise .

There are more nooks and crannies to view if you leave the paths and I will let you find them. On my teleport journey my first visit was to the bird viewing platform . There I found not only pterodactyls but parrots and other colorful and interesting birds . By the way while you are wandering you can do a hunt for lost eggs. 
 
I ran through a  tunnel and found myself facing the king in his home! I was able to jump a raptor that was protecting him and get close to him. It was an amazing sight! I sat in his hand knowing I could get away. Don’t miss that opportunity!

My last teleport visit was to the final downfall of the mighty King Kong. New York city is the last place poor Kong lived and died. It is a fitting ending to the installation. At least I was able to go back to see him in his home again in  Lea 9. 

This whole installation is the work of Mrs MistyRose Lex (MistyRose Poindexter) and Mr.Lex (oldlex Resident). I applaud their work. 

There are activities going on at Skull Island and you can see them at http://lindenarts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/lea9-king-kong-experience-new-schedule.html
 
Begin your journey to the past here before the end of the month. I do know Mr. Lex already has a new project in mind.   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA9/113/103/30

Friday, July 29, 2016

Titanic – The Night To Remember


By Deaflegacy

I have been wanting to write an article about the Titanic for a long time now. When editor Bixyl Shuftan gave me a chance to write about the majestic ship, I jumped at the chance. I visited the location of the ship rebuilt in Second Life, as well as a museum exhibit that recently opened. Each time was a remarkable visit.

* * * * *

Teleporting into the sim, one arrives at the dock. It's a few steps to the entry ramp to the ship, the start having an overhead sign "RMS Titanic, White Star Line." Besides walking up at one's own pace, there's a couple's walk animation that a pair can use to go about the ship.

Heading to the right once you get up to the ship, one can go to the bow and with a friend re-create the "I'm King of the World" Scene. Or one can go about exploring the ship, whether on the outside, inside and both. There is much attention to detail, notably in places like the stairways with crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. Going about, some of the cabins seen also had fine details. The sim's website stated here, "you can be a passenger and experience the romance and luxury of a bygone era." That the ship succeeds in doing. There is also a Titanic Museum, "A Second Night to Remember," on the port side of the top deck.

Second Life being what it is, there have been some compromises made. To help with expenses, a shopping area has been set up where one can get a selection of dresses and jewelry, and some tuxedos. The very bottom of the ship is the engine room. But only on rare occasions can one see the engine up and running. Most of the time it's packed up to cut down on lag. There is also a pool, and a wedding area. At the bow of the ship is the ballroom, where live musicians perform for dace parties. One can dance in the ballroom, or on the deck outside.

The ship is owned by Mara Menges, who bought the ship from it's builder, with Guus Menges as co-owner. The dress code is formal, with the crew reserving the right to bump off the ship those who won't answer requests to change. Animal avatars (also known as ferals to some) are also banned. This does not mean nonhuman characters are always disallowed as neko and furry avatars dressed in formal wear are welcome.

The Second Life Titanic was built by Reborn Wingtips, or Morphius Barbose as he was known at the time of it's construction. A sign on the bridge stated the ship is 254 meters long, slightly shorter than the real-life Titanic's length of 269 meters, and 60 meters high. It consists of roughly 4,500 prims, not counting the furniture.

Reborn stated on the sign, "Titanic has been a build of passion. I studied it in school years ago. Claude Kirshner made land available free of charge for me to build it here in Second Life. Obviously I couldn't create the ship to detail as prims don't allow it. Plus Second Life has tier fees, etc."

"It has taken six months (for the ship) to reach its current condition. This is the fourth or fifth build. I needed to take a few steps back to make one step forward a few times. Later on as the Titanic was nearing completion, the build was discovered by Kallisto Estates, who have generously jumped at the opportunity to provide a sim to sheer Titanic with the world."

" … I think I was in college when we did a big study on the Titanic in Social Studies, covering every aspect, even some things that weren't commonly known. There was a rumor that there was actually a cursed mummy onboard. Even now if I try to imagine being on the ship that night, I get a chill, the humble men, the fear, the desperation. What was God's involvement that night? That's my biggest question."


At the time the article was written, "this particular week marks the 100 year anniversary of the sinking of the real Titanic. Over 2100 visitors came to the ship on April 12th, which was also the day of the "Last 1st Class Dinner on the Titanic" event for European visitors. On Friday the 13th, there will be another such event for American hours at 5:30PM (reservations required). Saturday the 14th has the Steerage Party, from Noon to 2:30PM SL time, 2:30 PM being when the ship hit the iceberg (reservations required)."

Bixyl Shuftan went on to explain that on Sunday at 1PM April 15 would be the memorial service. This event was planned to take place outside the ship at the Titanic memorial on the sim's land, and was is open to all with no dress or avatar code on this occasion. In an article on the Metaverse Tribune, Mara was described as creating the memorial after having met the great-grandson of Captain James Smith, "she discovered that many of those who were lingering at the memorial were relatives of witnesses or survivors."

There is also a souvenir shop where one can get a memento of their visit to the ship. Considering the history of the ship and how its memory is kept alive by numerous books and movies, such as the one by James Cameron a few years ago, this is one build that is unlikely to be forgotten, and a place one may end up returning to again and again."

The entry point to the Titanic sim is at Titanic (128, 191, 134). For more information, one can check the Second Life Titanic's website at http://www.titanicsecondlife.nl/.

* * * * *

Since the 2012 article was written, there have been a few changes. The shopping area at the docks is larger than it was then, more clothes and a few cars. But it remains a location where parties can be found in the back of the ship at scheduled times in the day. 

While I was not able to find anyone to talk to, searching around I did find out about an art museum exhibit in "The Vordun" art gallery called "A Night to Remember." Those entering are handed a HUD that has the name of one of the passengers. Mine was second class passenger Mrs. Irene Corbett. The exhibit described the construction of the ship and the excitement among the public whom saw the ship as an engineering marvel. It would show the contrast of the conditions of those of those traveling first class and those third, "The Edwardian culture was one of great class separation, and nowhere was it more apparent than the Titanic." And it would describe the danger of ice at the time, show pictures of the wreckage discovered in 1985.

At the end, the exhibit would reveal the fate of the passengers and crew. There, I would find that the name on my HUD, Mrs. Corbett, was among those whom had not survived, among those who met their end in the icy sea, deceased at age 30.

The exhibit is at Fancy Decor sim (78/98/32). This is a new exhibit, and it should be around until October. Emery Milneaux is the curator of the building, in real life a freelance artist specializing in graphic design.

Bixyl did very well in writing about the Titanic in his 2012 article. I do not wish to draw attention away from the ship. It is the last thing I'd do. What I want to do is remember. Titanic and that fateful night when it sank, taking over 1,000 passengers with it. All because there were not enough lifeboats. It was a terrible night back then, and still is today, regardless of how much has happened in the past century. To this day, the ship has proven to be unforgettable. We will always remember the ship.

Titanic (128/191/34)

Reference: “The Titanic in Second Life” (April 2012)

Deaflegacy

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Yosemite


By Gemma Cleanslate

After the hustle of the SL13B and the frenzy of the Relay for Life weekend I really needed some peace and quiet and went off to visit Yosemite, a place I had not been before. I met the owner and creator, Jadyn Firehawk, at the SL3B where she was working on the build for the Ethnographia project .
 
I was glad to see open spaces with trees and meadows brimming with flowers and jumped on my horse to take a look around the Yosemite Valley, Forever Wild.  The mountains reached to the sky as they do in the real Yosemite National Park in the USA. Tall pines and rocks dot the area and next to passed by  the home of Jadyn who dearly loves the real Yosemite.

Nearby I arrived at the Bluefield Wildflower Meadows , a delight to the eye and a nice place to relax or dance. Further along I came to the Shinzen Japanese garden. "Shinzen" means goodwill or friendship. A peaceful place for solitude and relaxation. Cuddles, Intan dance balls, hidden lovers' areas. A gorgeous romantic park. Experience the beauties of nature, and in doing so learn about yourself." This is a very lovely area with bridges over the small streams along paths that pass a variety of cherry tress of different colors and stands of bamboo and Japanese open home to visit. I stopped in at one and found a wonderful laughing Buddha.  Wind chimes songs filled the air around the house and across the way I found a charming tea house where one can enjoy sushi. Past that on my ride I found a meditation Pavilion.  At the corner of the gardens there is a Japanese Village that has Maganda houses for rent.

I returned to the main entrance in Forever Wild. Here there is a teleport station that will take you to all the places I visited on horseback if you want to take that way, but there are many more places to visit. A lovely place to hang out with a friend is Little Yosemite Valley and the teleport will take you there. Take a hike up the mountains to Tolumne Meadows or to Glacier Point or ride your horse up the incline. It is a place for hiking or again there are nooks and crannies with resting or picnic places.

My next stop took me to The Glass House. Be sure to see this because it is a house that you can pick up for free when you land at the Maganda homes. I wish I had a place to put it!! It is lovely. Wander that area in case you are in the market for a new house. I saw some very nice ones there for sale, including the tea house.

The Maganda Arts is located at this level. The name comes from Jadyn’s birthplace, the Phillippines.  On the second floor there are boxes of tips for building from the Builders Brewery that you can pick up for free in case you would like to build your own home. Also on the second floor you will find the Maganda cafĂ© to sit and have more sushi or a Filipino dessert. I saw some lovely art pieces on the wall as well as furniture and gorgeous room dividers.

 From the store I wandered into the Little Yosemite Art Forest. Here, Jadyn has installed several of her marvelous art pieces, some of which are interactive so don’t miss them. There are pieces made for various exhibits and competitions on display. I loved wandering around that area. and there are some gifts hidden in one of the interactive pieces. Have fun finding them.

I happily ran intoJadyn  and she told me she has had three parks on the sim since November and she said, “When I first came to Yosemite sim, it was just on one 4096 parcel that came available my dream has always been a Yosemite National Park in SL . Little by little I acquired more parcels as they became available. I added Little Yosemite Valley, as a skybox surround, as soon as i had four 4096's.” 
The National Park has been in place since July 2 when she acquired the entire region and she is thrilled to finally have brought it into the sim. While we were talking Jadyn was busily working on a new area called John Muir’s Camp Ground. It is now open and  will be a lovely addition to the region as she adds to it. Go for a picnic and you can rezz for limited time and enjoy it all. All you need is 1 L.  Check the guide you can pick up at the entrance that will keep you up to date with all the sites to see. This is still a work in progress so watch for more. Jadyn says to all, “Bring your friends, and happy exploring!” 

Gemma Cleanslate

Monday, July 25, 2016

Mythica Woods


By Becky "Sha" Shamen

Last February 20, 2016, we published an article on the Sunny Beach sim, which this reporter played a major role in remodeling, for it's new residents, Erik, Lilly and Edwyn Mouse. We met and became friends with Erik years ago, when he lived in a one room burrow on the North side of Sunweaver Bay. For years, Erik was just another name on Sha's large list of friends, until something sparked his interest in improving the quality of his virtual life. As a SL Newser reader, he knew that Sha was very interested in improving life for the community and it's residents, so he began to seek her help to find ways of improving his life. As a teacher of Ancient Wisdom, Sha recognized this as a sign that Erik was taking the first steps in becoming a "Seeker of Knowledge."

Every new step is always preceded by a point of tension, but the pressures can be a bit easier to handle if you have a good guide, helping with good directions to your upward evolution. We assured him that he could always find peace and help at our home and even provided a private room in the castle, which would be a safe home away from home, should the pressure become too much and slow his search for joy. Sha is always quick to point out that a Teacher/Student  relationship does not imply a higher or lower step on the evolutionary ladder. In fact, the teacher and student will often switch roles and learn from each other. For years, Sha has been developing a list of virtues or qualities that lead to greater Oneness within one's community. As we began preparing this article, it dawned on us that we had been given such a list of virtues in our childhood, having been a member of Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Sea Scouts. It was called "The Boy scout's Motto".

   A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent. It seems that we have created SL Scout Troop 101. Let's see what our scouts have been up to, this year.

During the recent RFL walk, Erik had tracked Sha down and came to the Sunbeamer's camp, to stand on the sidewalk and cheer for the runners. While we stood there, he panned his camera to  the camp on the other side of the street. He loved the dense woods there and asked if we could make the woods on Sunny Beach look more like that. We both inspected the area, to find out the maker of the mesh woods. Sha told him, if he got the kit, she would help him to fit more trees and landscape the ground to fit them. The result was the East side of the sim is now heavily wooded and fitting of the title, "Mythica Woods". Now, even more than before, the best way to navigate your way around the sim is to first enter Mouselook. The local animated critters now enjoy an endless game of Hide and Seek in the dense woods.

Inspired by his own creation, Erik  now wanted to attract more visitors to Mythica Woods and connect it better with the local community. Part of our initial remodeling was to make the sim a good place for people to enjoy sailing around it. To accommodate the tall masts, Rita raised the inter-sim highway bridge to 32m. To allow visitors to walk or drive from bridge to ground, we provided a spiral ramp. Since Sunny Beach was now too wooded and hilly, for wheeled vehicles, Erik decided to replace the ramp with a staircase with railings, to promote "walk-ins". Sha let him do most of the design and work, himself, helping only with fine tuning the position and textures. We are very pleased with our little friend's developing skills as a builder.

   As Erik was building the stairs, one trial position  pointed the lower section North, towards the proposed new dance floor, but Sha pointed out that visitors  would be blocked by one of the hobbit homes. Changing it to point West would cause visitors to see more of the sim, on their way to the gathering areas. When the stairway was finished, we arranged the welcome signs and build an arched gate, which, without words, invites visitors to enter the woods here.

 As you meander through the sim, when you get to the twin waterfalls, head East and you will arrive at the area that I called "the local watering hole". This is the central gathering area of the island. Here, you'll find a spring fed fresh water pond, a bonfire for telling stories around, a star gate portal to places around the grid, a fairy ring teleport for group members to local favorite spots and our new Cuddle basket, with seating for regular and tiny avatars. 

If that's not enough to get gatherings started, we have also just added a dance club, with a working DJ booth and a contest board. The view, behind the DJ, includes the Sunny Beach surfing wave. To help promote the wave attraction, I named the club, "Surf City". Unlike many SL clubs, Surf City will not have a regular weekly schedule or a paid staff. Instead, it will be available for private events, like group celebrations, weddings, and other small gatherings. Contact Erik, if you would like to book an event. Sha has the DJ board set up with a pre-programmed set of music stream channels. We have already added our first DJ's stream, with a channel for Skylark Lefavre. If you are a DJ and would like to have your stream added, contact Sha with your URL and she will add you to the board. Djs will be paid for each event that they work. For those that just want to dance and socialize, we have provided a dance ball and will soon add ones for tinies and ponies.

Ready, set, go, Sunny Beach, a.k.a. Mythica Woods, has fully upgraded to become a great new place to gather in Oneness. We hope you will join us in our joyful celebrations of life in the virtual world.

"Sha"

Friday, July 15, 2016

Relay Track Peeks: "The Forest" and Team Shadow


By Gemma Cleanslate



I am running the Honor lap on Saturday the 16th of July but decided to take a practice lap around the sims on Friday just to check out the route and get a look at all the fantastic team sites along the way. It is hard to see them all in such a short time during the lap. Last year I crashed at least 20 times on my way around for the Honor Lap. This year I hope to do better.


On my way around the sims I was attracted to a designer sim, of which there are several. And I stopped off to rest and relax a bit in "The Forest," which is the instillation by Pluto Fairey. 


Be sure to visit and climb the steps to see what you can find to take with you.


After my tour of the sims, I stopped back at the Team Shadow site. I am a member of Team Shadow, and they are hosting the characters of "Where the Wild Things Are." Here I am standing quietly with no worries at the pond.

And here I am in my avatar of Duckfoot, ready to have my picture taken with visitors.

So please stop by!

RFL Overcome (135/202/23)

Gemma Cleanslate

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Amazon River- Eight Regions, One River!


By Britty Bee
 
Deep in the heart of the Amazon rainforest lies the Amazon River. This River is the largest by discharge in the world and is also the longest. The Amazon River sim transports you back to a primitive time where working with nature is essential for survival.
The Amazon River is home to a large role play community which includes several tribes, groups such as Bandits and Raiders, and several individuals that keep to themselves in the wild. KellyLee123 states, “We have natives of many tribes that all live together, working together to survive the wild Jungle.” After joining the group, the HUD paired with this sim provides an immersive experience. This provides transportation to various locations in the sim, change your appearance, your health stats, and food to keep your energy up. Threats lie all throughout the jungle, with fierce wildlife that will attack! There are crocodiles lurking at the edge of the river, and snakes hiding in the tall grass. Danger can find you at any given moment! Survival in the Amazon is very realistic, giving you the full Amazon experience.
The jungle is filled with treehouses, teepees, and huts to seek shelter on those warm nights. Row down the river or hike through the trails to take in the stunning scenery. Head over to the wisdom caves to test your skill; few make it out! According to legend, the Mouthpiece of the Gods, in the temple near the Wisdom Cave, gives you a way to communicate with The Creators! Climb the top of the tower for stunning views of the sim, relax in a hammock, face an active volcano, or explore the creaky bridges and hidden trails.
Will you brave the Amazon?

Britty Bee