Friday, September 16, 2016

"My Father's Place" at Aero Pines

By Bixyl Shuftan

"My Father's Place" was a music venue in Long Island New York which ran for sixteen years, from 1971 to 1987, with about 3000 musicians performing close to 6000 shows, some broadcasted over radio, some recorded. In Aero Pines park, the music club has been recreated, where visitors can listen to music and dance, read up about the real club's history, and more.

My Father’s Place (MFP) presents a live video webcast series from Long Island, NY. Featuring original musicians and songwriters, as well as famous recording artists. At the Virtual MFP venue, you can experience live mixed-reality shows, explore interactive photos from the book, listen to archived shows, watch the WLIR documentary, play rock trivia, dance, and mingle at the bar.

Dropping by recently, even though this was a time of day fewer people are in Second Life, there were several people inside. Most were dancing away, playing the trivia game, "Question 35 of 50: The band White Snake was rumored to be named after the lead singer, David Coverdale's….?", or both. There were also a few people outside nearby doing some fishing. Near the front door was a display of the website, showing the times of broadcasts from Glen Cove, New York. On the inside, the place was done much like a real life club, with a bar area separate from the dance floor, with stools, a few booths, even a couple 80's video games. On the wall were a number of pictures of the real life location, and a little history.

"There was a time in Long Island's cultured history when the whole world looked here for the next big trend in Rock n' Roll. This was between 1974 and 1980, the heyday of My Father's Place, a cabaret in Roslyn and Michael Epstein, known as Eppy, ran the whole shebang. Along with My Father's Place, which opened on Memorial Day in 1971 with a concert by Richie Havens, a confluence of entities created a scene that would influence music for decades to come." The New York Times, August 27, 2001.

Cindy Bolero, the owner and manager of Aero Pines, was also there. "It's kind of (a) live venue and museum," she told me, "a 3D version of the legacy rock club's book and documentary." She went on to say of their broadcasts from Glen Cove, "Every couple of weeks we have someone famous. So far this summer we had the real China Crisis from Liverpool, Denny Laine from Wings/moody blues last week, coming up Mike Peters of the Alarm." She mentioned the Facebook group so far had close to 10,000 fans.

Cindy's big challenge was getting fans of the venue who hadn't been in Second Life before to the place, "Been working hard at getting it easy for noobs. ... The 3D venue is still experimental. The hardest thing to do is get new users to Second Life, but these guys have a lot of enthusiasm. ... Secondlife viewers are the deal killer. Too complex and overwhelming, frustrates new users, they don't come back. Things need to be simple, simple, simple. Linden Lab wont do anything about it. ... and they wonder why its still less than ten percent stay and play. ... the complex interface keeps it from being more popular with the masses."

She went on about the club, "I feel its not just another club either. We stream bands, which is rare in Second Life because it takes a crew to live mix and shoot. We also stream famous artists, but its a challenge getting them to understand the virtual bar and get them to talk to the avatars. And its hosted by famous music promoters and radio station DJs that have a name in the industry. They are based in New York and I had much history to learn, but it is parallel to what I was doing in the 70s and 80s here in the San Francisco market. Basically when we were all in our 20s and 30s working in the music industry, We dealt with the same artists, and same music industry ecosystem of  'Band plays club, Newspaper does reviews, their record in the stores, and their record on the radio.' Now I'm trying to bring them up to speed with social media, live video webcasting, online label, activities to promote that, and that wacky virtual bar they wanted to try. Many many challenges on this journey. We've had an artist deny the video webcast at the last minute because their agent was paranoid about something or other. Meanwhile a whole crew just set up everything. We don't make music. We showcase new and famous talent. We meaning the MFP productions team.

"The history is the My Fathers Place rock club (300 seats)  from 1971-1987 featured pretty much any band or artist you can think of in that era. Just search a band with My Father's Place. Like 'Police My Father's Place' or The Ramones 'My Fathers Place.' Or Billy Joel, who got his start there as well as Bruce Springsteen. And even through the disco years they stayed a rock venue. Doing a historical build in SL is a lot like doing a documentary. So this is basically a reboot of how things were done and how entertainment companies are trying to survive today.

"What I was getting to, is back then the club got too famous for its size. So the famous underground rock radio station started bringing a truck and did live broadcasts. And since then much of the recordings have been released or bootlegged all over the web. You can say they were the first 'sharing' social media by broadcasting the shows live so more could listen."

Cindy eventually had to head out, "I'm excited to be a part of something that may actually give virtual venues a boost outside of Second Life."

For more information, check out the website, , or the Facebook group:

Equus (50/129/29)

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, September 12, 2016

Wild West RoleplayLands

By Becky "Sha" Shamen

I have been writing for SL Newser, for several years now. With all this practice, we gain skills in finding and writing about ever greater adventures. This also enables us to observe and teach those elements that make any life, real or virtual, better for all. Life can be difficult, but the rules are very simple. To have a better life, always obey these two little rules. One, life is fun. If you're not having fun, you aren't playing by the rules. Two, life is for learning new things. Everything in life is a fun lesson and even an old god can learn a new trick. If you are not learning fun new things, you are stuck in a rut. Being stuck is not fun. Go back and read rule one. In addition to writing about a fun life here, we also give one-on-one guidance, to those that seek it. They are like students or Padawans. We will be including one of these padawans in this adventure. Let us begin to set the stage, for his entry.

On an intuitive hunch, I opened the World Map, of the SL Grid and began scanning for interesting sim clusters. Finding a good candidate, we zoom down for a closer look at the terrain. Like a good spy satellite, we get a detailed picture of what is going on down there. In this case, we located a tight collective of 24 sims. Each sim is named after an area in the western part of the USA and you could see it in the landscaping. This area had all the elements of a great place to explore.

I had copied the SLURL for one of the sims and went, briefly, to set a LM and get a "first impression". The landing is a skybox, with a painted interior. There is a shack, a horse and a few signs. The 24 sim area is called "Wild West Roleplay Lands" and, as we guessed it, there will be rules. As kids, we called "Roleplay" by the name "Let's pretend". You did your best to look and sound your part, in order to free the imagination to act out the role. It has been many moons, since we last played "Cowboys and Indians" and my imagination has many other ways of getting around. I decided that when I come back I would take in the whole experience, by joining the group and wearing the HUD and health meter. After the regularly scheduled evening's event, I returned home to dress western, horse included, and returned to those wild days of yore.

Back at the skybox, I gathered and read all the notecards about the ground rules and notice that they are in English and German. That seemed unusual, at the time, but I would eventually learn the reason. I joined the local Buffalo Wyoming Group and wore the WW meter HUD and health meter. Now I was ready to descend to ground level and begin the adventure. 
Turning towards the TP, I spot something at my feet that wasn't there before. It was my tiny neighbor, friend, Erik Mouse. He had located us on his world map. Not long ago, I had invited him to join me, during my explorations of Creations for Parkinson's and he had figured out, if I was far from home, I was probably researching another fun adventure. I could tell, he was hoping to get invited to join the fun. I have to admit, my first thoughts were, this is like getting a hot first date and your mom says to have to watch your little brother and let him tag along on your movie date. Then, my mind steps in, telling me this is exactly the thing we are trying to teach others to do. It wouldn't be a change in our plans, because we were making it up as we go along. Besides, I reasoned that roleplay was a bit like sex, being more fun to play with friends, than to play with self. I told him that I wouldn't mind if he joined me, but he would have to do it as a human cowboy. He said he had never played a human, in SL, but would do what it takes. I informed him that he could find a human avatar in the library section of his inventory and that they provide free period clothing at the near by shed. Our location seemed to be preventing us from making any changes to our avatars, so we returned home to make a man of him. At the Surf's Up club, I located a complete cowboy avatar, on Marketplace, for only L$25. The cowboy avatar even came with a coiled lasso, so Erik was now fully prepared to rope him some fun.

So, now we have Erik, on his first day as a human, but he's not the only cherry. I quickly discover that I am no longer the author of this play and the actors are working without a script. Our first location, on the ground, was the town of Buffalo, Wyoming. Sha, from experience, takes up the lead position and her faithful companion follows a few paces behind. Being in a Wild West town, our first interest was finding the local Bank. We found it, but it was locked so we went across the street, to the Saloon. The barkeep and patrons are all cardboard cut-outs. If we wanted adventure, we needed to head on down the road. A quick check of the radar showed that we were the only ones on this sim, but there are a handful of others on the next sim, so we head in that direction. As we entered the next town, there only seems to be one resident and he is taking a nap, in front of the Pub. I spot the local jail and head over to check the accommodations. I entered a jail cell and invited Erik to come in and pose for a souvenir photo of our adventure.

 We broke out of jail and returned outside where I spotted a gallows. I think this might be a good place to demonstrate the virtue of Courage, so I clicked the gallows and selected the hang by the neck animation.

 Well, I was having some fun, but my companion was probably wondering when the adventure would begin, so we headed towards the blips on the radar. This ain't no big city. There are no paved roads or direction signs to follow. As we walk, I spot three buffalo, grazing in a field and say, "Oh look at the cute critters. Let's go pet them". BIG MISTAKE! One of the buffalo turns in my direction and prepares to charge. I take off for the hills, double time, and see on the radar that Erik is right behind me. I run into a stone canyon and find a Medicine man's tee-pee and campfire. Thinking this is a safe place, I sit down at the fire. Turning my cam around, I see Erik lying face down on the ground, with a rattle snake biting his leg. I asked him about the snake. He said that he didn't know about the snake, but his HUD just informed him that the buffalo had killed him. I'm like, OMG, they killed Kenny! I brought my little buddy here and got him killed. Then, the unexpected happened. Laying face down in a pool of blood, Erik begins to comfort me. "Don't worry, I'm just dead. I'll be better in about 30 minutes". WOW! Who is this guy and what did he do with the timid little mouse? I said, " no worries pal. I'll sit here and wait for you, while I smoke this peace pipe that I found by the fire." As I sat there thinking, I realized something else about this man named Erik, that was different from the mouse I had known for years. From the time he found me in the skybox, until now, he had not been AFK, even one time, throughout our adventure.

At about this time, a stranger approached the campfire, carrying a rifle. I could only hope that he was one of the good guys, because we were in a defenseless posision. As he began to talk to us, or should I say, er begann, mit uns reden, I realized this cowboy was speaking German and it was being translated to English. I learned, later, that Wild West Roleplay is very popular in Germany. The cowboy told us that Erik would soon live again, although his full strength would take a bit longer. When Erik rose from the ground, the cowboy pointed to the ground and said, here marks the spot where you were dead. The blood was gone and the cowboy bid us well on our journey. I told him, "Danke shon", and Erik and I continued on the trail. We soon found ourselves in another small town and it had a church. I have always been interested in the architecture of places of worship, so we went inside for a look. Erik's first comment was that we could have used some of this guy's healing skills, back on the trail. WOW! He understands religion. I was seeing inside the RL Erik in a new light. I wanted to get to know him even better, so I steered the conversation to our RL selves. "Do you go to church", I asked.  "No", was his reply. I told him my age and birthday and he told me his. Erik is in the same age range as my three daughters. Our sun signs are also very compatable. I asked him if he used Facebook, so we could friend there. He did and we set it up, then and there.

    The hour was getting late and I had a staff meeting the next day. I told Erik to feel free to explore some more, but I was going to bed and would probably come back a few more times, to explore more of the Wild West Roleplay Lands. He wanted to know if he could come again, with me. I told him, "Si, mi casa, su casa".

   I must point out here that Erik and I only covered about 1/6 of the Wild West Roleplay Lands. If you come here, there is enough adventure to keep you going for months or even years. Besides that, I am scratching my head, wondering what this story is really about. A fairy mouse king becomes a mortal man, to descend to earth, is killed and comes back to life. It all begins to sound like a symbolic initiation into some secret brotherhood of knights or an ancient Greek passion play or the labors of Hercules.

   I don't know where the story came from, but I'm signing it,


Monday, September 5, 2016

Faerie Crossing's Terra Firma Up For Sale

By MajikVixen (bluevioletvixen.lorefield)

“Harness Your Creative Majik With Terra Firma”

Named after Delerium's entrancing song, this parcel went up for sale/lease this week, in the moderate Wildefleur sim of the Faerie Crossing community.  Faerie Crossing is a community of 10 fantasy sims, and is listed in the Destination Guide under Newcomer Friendly places.  Traditionally, Wildefleur is a homestead sim that caters to giving one the feel that they are an actual tiny fairy in a big, wonderful, magical place (adorned with oversized flower pots, watering cans, and beehives that decorate gardens).

Those interested in Terra Firma, should contact MajikVixen (BlueVioletVixen Lorefield) to purchase or lease.  The sale terms are L$41,300 for initial purchase, and then L$8,400 per month (tier payable from date of purchase) for 900 prims.  The lease terms are for no initial purchase price, and L$9,750 per month tier, for 850 prims.  Example housing has been provided, currently it is an oversized nightstand house.  The top drawer acts as a balcony overlooking the lake, and the moving bottom drawer acts as an entry door.  The main component is phantom, so there are a few secret compartments, complete with staircase and functional furniture.  A private skybox can be built above 512 meters, with all the conveniences one would like.

One must adhere to the Guidelines and Covenant while living in Faerie Crossing.  It basically boils down to three rules (the 3 "Ps"): 1) Private homes at ground level can only be entered if the door is open (there is no exploring above 512 meters, those are for private skyboxes), 2) Prim litter should be looked after properly (be considerate of our atmosphere we try to preserve), & 3) PG rating (although we're rated moderate, we want our lands friendly for those child avis too).  If you can respect those rules, no matter who you are (human, fae, or creature), you are welcome in Faerie Crossing! 

Faerie Crossing is also a great community of events and helpers.  Almost daily events (please see the first link in the Additional Information section of this article) include dances, building classes, scripting advice, quizzes with prizes, and story sharing.  Special events include lectures, guided meditations, and the Magic Messenger (the Faerie Crossing newsletter).  The helpers range from Brownies (who help clean up prim litter), Merry Meeters (actively involved members who help join people to the main Faery Crossing group), Gateway Guides (who help newborns become more accustom to Second Life), to Protectors (who help handle griefers and any potential drama).  Faerie Crossing is run by Queen Gypsy (currently on hiatus) and members of the High Faerie Court (who meet once a month to discuss future events and other such occurrences). 

We do take pride in our community and homes, and decorate accordingly to the seasons and fantasy theme of each sim.  Be you ready to answer this call for talent and share your imagination with everyone?  Then come visit this place, let your inner child play, and take root in this community of dreams!

Additional Information:
Faerie Crossing Events Calendar:
An Old History of Faerie Crossing:
Gateway to the Faery Crossing (Group Key: 4a20e96d-6571-f974-a8fc-0024d14be066)
The Faery Crossing (Group Key: 06881a03-e85e-d9be-f63a-be9015119c94) (join the first group, and then joining this group is by request/invitation only)
Preferred contact: MajikVixen (bluevioletvixen.lorefield) Faerie Crossing Steward and Gateway Guide


Friday, September 2, 2016


By Becky "Sha" Shamen

 Among the LMs that Bixyl sent me recently, there is one for a sim called Tableau. I stopped here long enough to set our own LM and then headed to Creation's for Parkinson's, to write about it first. My first impression of Tableau was that although it was in ways ugly to me, it was also, somehow, very interesting and might even be a fun adventure.

Before we begin our adventure, our readers must understand the language being spoken. Mediators know that disputes often arise between two parties that both want essentially the same thing, because of not knowing the other party's definition of the principles in question. If we tell readers that Tableau is a fun adventure, they are probably going to disagree. To get on the same page, let's sit in on the first lecture given at Clown College.

The Professor wears a silly looking cap, called a mortarboard, and a bulbous red nose and is explaining why people laugh.   Laughter is a release of tension. If you are struggling to figure out something, when you finally get it, you say "Aha". Other jokes are funny, because the teller uses a different meaning (double entendre), which is known about but not expected in the story. Another useful way to make us laugh is called "Slapstick." When we see a one ton weight, thrown off a cliff and heading down towards our position on the ground, we laugh with the relief of seeing it flatten the coyote, instead of us. OK, we can now go to Tableau and have a better idea of why we think this is a fun adventure.

Arriving on the sim, we are in a desolate town, in the middle of a desert. We wonder if there are any people that live here, if so, why. A sim surround adds to the impression that we are in the middle of freakin' nowhere. If I was a child, growing up in this place and was asked, what would I like to be, when I grow up, the answer would be, "I'd like to BE.......any place but here."

 It seems that, to save a dwindling economy, the town created a tourist attraction, called "Dinosaur Park". The three dinosaurs are impressive in size, but lacking in realistic detail. Perhaps they were made from sheet metal, salvaged from the many vehicles found dead in the desert. The town budget couldn't afford a sign painter, but some old weathered boards and a black crayon let us know which way to go.

Down the road, we spot an earlier attempt to draw tourists. It is called Fun Time Park, but something evil has destroyed this place. At the mouth entry to the park, outside authorities have blocked entry, with signs saying Closed, Condemned, Quarantined and Infectious Virus Area. 

Sha is here for a story, not the rides, so, pulling out her Press Pass, walks boldly through the gate to the middle of the park. There is a black hole and signs of toxic waste. A Newser Press Pass will also shield you from harmful radiation. Sha marches straight into the black pit and drops into a glow in the dark, day-glo chamber.

Naturally, Sha loved the pretty lights, but wouldn't stay long, not having her Geiger counter or a sonic screwdriver in her pockets. One can't help but begin to think that this poor town is ripe for a take over by some crazy gang of hippies, ha, ha, he, he, ho, ho. Is there a secret gang, calling itself "SLUG," that is responsible for the tagging on the local walls?

Passing by a news stand, the headlines show that the residents are very concerned about the identity of SLUG and a dead lady, found inside one of the dinosaurs. Perhaps they should be more concerned with finding a way to remove the two giant, rusted atom bombs from their town, but maybe they are saving them to make some new dinosaurs.

So now, as we wrap up this tour, we count the hands of the readers that got their eyes poked, hair pulled out and pianos dropped on their heads. None? I guess you all had a fun adventure. We send it off to print and close the light for a rest. Hmmm, are bunnies supposed to glow in the dark?


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."
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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.


Friday, August 12, 2016


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
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,

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
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.

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

* * * * *

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)