Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Sagan Planetarium

by Bixyl Shuftan

Probably the best known astronomy-themed place in Second Life is the International Space Museum. But there are others. One notable place to learn a little more about the planets and stars is the Sagan Planetarium, high above the Aspen sim. The location is named for Carl Sagan, a 20th Century astronomer and author best known for co-writing and narrating the 1980 TV series "Cosmos."

The first room people see is the gift shop. One can grab one of a few t-shirts, a model Hubble Telescope or V-2 rocket, or a small or large orrey (a mechanical model of the Solar System). There's also a donation meter one can chip into to help keep the place going. Upstairs is where things start to get more interesting. There are models of three historical craft, Germany's V-2 rocket, the first man-made object to technically make it into space, Russia's Sputnik, the first artificial satellite, and the Hubble Telescope from the United States. Under each is a panel with some information about the historic objects.

Also on the second floor is a display of the sun and the eight planets, from Mercury to Neptune, and some of their moons. Each has panels of information in front of them. Clicking on one of the planets, one sees a cross-section. Each of the planets is unique in some way from Venus' runaway greenhouse effect to Saturn's large rings to Uranus' odd axial tilt.

There's also a panel explaining how the definition of a planet has changed. For thousands of years, humanity has known five planets other than Earth. Then with better telescopes, two more were discovered. For decades after it's discovery, Pluto was considered a ninth planet. But with the discovery of a larger body beyond it's orbit, astronomers met to agree on an official definition, and Pluto was "demoted" to being one of several "dwarf planets." This was not a definition everyone agreed with, and some still consider Pluto a planet.

The main room of the planetarium shows a model of the solar system, the planets orbiting the Sun. It's not quite to scale so the worlds can be more easily seen. One can also get the room to change from the model and play one of three shows, "Tour of the Planets," "Apollo on the Moon," and "The Moons of the Solar System."

Outside the planetarium, is a small park area. The main feature is a huge outdoor orrey that shows not only the eight planets, but also the dwarf planets Ceres and Pluto and many of the planets' moons. The planetarium is not the only place on this large platform above the sim. Beside the park area it sits in, there's a laser tag arena.

For space fans, a place worth visiting.

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Crystal Ski Resort and Zimminyville

By Gemma Cleanslate

Now that things have settled down after the rush of the holidays and Christmas markets and sims have closed for another year I still have my skates and skies and winter outfits out . I went looking for regions that are still with falling snow and frozen ponds and lakes to use. There are some really nice ones to explore and experience the beauty of winter.

A visit to the Crystal ski resort in the Alps has opportunities for great skiing. I  loved the ski lift that allows an overview of the snow covered sim . At the top there are free skis  and ski balls if you need them. I brought my own but tried the downhill run on the ski ball to take my time and not fall off the mountain. If you prefer, rezz a comfy sled for the run. It is a  nice soft cushioned sled to hang onto. The owner, Rick (Reece Maloney), assured me that it is always winter in the Alps here so skiing is available all the time.

Everywhere there are little corners to relax and share a hot chocolate  or something stronger. By the lovely waterfall there are dance balls for friends or lovers. The lodge is welcoming with a fire to warm you after your skiing. Or drop into the Loft Cinema and enjoy a video of your choice from the lengthy list on the screen.

I am  not too competent on a ski mobile but did pretty well on  the one I rezzed there . Try it. All in all this region offers lots of fun activities and one can rent a lodge and stay for a few days if you like. There is a shop with some really fancy ski outfits for both male and female. I met the designer,  Almut Brunswick, wandering around in one of her suits! I always take my horse for a ride in the snow too. Have fun.

My next trip took me into Zimminyville.  This is another lovely winter sim with roads to roam and an extensive lake for ice skating. The first thing I did there was to hop into the hot air balloon that does a narrated tour of the region from  above and points out the various hot spots not to miss when back on the ground.

There are rentals here also but loads of public places to visit and enjoy. The owner, Curfax Zimminy, told me it would stay in winter garb until about April. I took my horse for a ride on the snowy roads to view the buildings .

Stop in at the barn by the side of the road . It looks like someone is getting ready to host a great picnic.

 I stopped into the drive in  movie theater which is showing "City of Angels" and picked up some popcorn at the refreshment stand. Perhaps when the movie is over they go to the barn for eats. There are many opportunities for photos all around this region. The railroad area is amazing. The hike up to the Ranger Station is a long one but the well worth it. A lovely view overlooking the sim awaits you at the top.

I think I will definitely revisit in spring when the sim comes into bloom.

Gemma Cleanslate

Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Town

By Gemma Cleanslate

Hooray! Finally Laura Liberty opened her region. Another of my favorites is a bit late this year but so good to see it arrive! If you are doing late shopping check out all the stores there  for anything you are missing. So many lovely items .

The skating here is superb and the main reason is you enter the castle on skates. This is such a special Castle ! The ride takes you back in history to the wonderful Christmas movie sounds and sights you loved and still do and then takes you around the large skating pond too when you exit.

I watched FLOPS (Lieutenant Wheatcliffe) and Pinky Cyberstar on their way through the castle having lots of fun and giggles.It is a nostalgic tour .

Santa has a throne for pictures with you so I sat down and asked for another new car. I am on his good list he said... (ha it is  Tina (Tanyja Resident, a wonderful helper to Laura) . I doubt Santa will have room in his sleigh.  Nearby there is a terrific 2019 New Year decor shop filled with balloons, celebration signs, food,in fact a whole delicious buffet and more. Stop in especially if you are planning a party.. everything you need it here .

The sledding is fun but treacherous if you are not a good sledder. I am not , but survived it and would do it again.look the entrance to sledding off the skating pond.

Stop by and make a musical Christmas card of your very own  before you leave. The directions are easy to follow. I recommend joining the group Townies if you want to see more of Laura’s towns during the year.

To all a Happy Holiday and many more!

Gemma Cleanslate

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Calas Christmas Pavilion 2018

By Deaflegacy

“This place is beautiful and it's almost like a home!” I thought to myself when I came to Calas Christmas Pavilion.  It is beautiful and while I can't say for the others, it almost feels like a home.  I came to a  house with a note, asking people to please keep their scripts under 100 so the others can enjoy the events.  I don't have that many scripts so I went into the house.

The house felt like a home at that point.  It's not just big. It's also warm and comfortable.  There is a big fireplace in one room.  I can see a Christmas tree with presents under it.  I can see something on the coffee table, as well.  I continued to check out the house.  The house is amazing, with its own beauty.

I also heard of an ice skating pond so I went outside.  Sure enough, there is an ice skating pond.  I got on the ice skating pond and can see others skating around.  I don't blame them for being happy that there is an ice skating pond.  For all I know, the ice skating can be amazing.  I didn't put on ice skates because I'm a pony so thanks, but no thanks.  But if there is anyone out there who loves to go to skate on a pond covered by ice, I would encourage them to go to Calas Christmas Pavilion.

I'm not going to stop there.  I did go for a walk around the Pavilion.  At one point, I saw a reindeer and a snow man.  I have to stop in amazement when I saw a reindeer at the Pavilion.  It is always amazing to see a reindeer at this time of the year.

Hey, if you're in mood to visit a place that is celebrating Christmas, I would really encourage you to go to Calas Christmas Pavilion. It is a good place to be and according to the scripts notice, there will be events.  Here is the way to get to Calas Christmas :

You could also join the group to keep in touch about the events that will happen at Calas Christmas Pavilion.  I did join the group and would know when the next event would be.  So if you want to know what's going to happen at Calas Christmas Pavilion, I would really encourage you to sign up for the group, too.


Monday, December 17, 2018

3D Republic and Harambee

By Gemma Cleanslate

3D Republic, “This market is for 3D Republic designers. This years market includes Christmas and winter designs for your pleasure. Many vendors come together to bring you a variety of items to choose from to celebrate your holiday season.“ That is the  description of the mission here .

It is a delightful market filled with so many designers and so many varied items not only for your avatar but for you home.   Use the region windlight to add the ambiance of the venue. It was like shopping in the early evening with the sun setting and all the sparkling lighting in the sheds. While you are wandering around look for a snowman and pick up a nice gift! Look under the nearby Christmas trees for more gifts!  Look around also for free gifts by some of the sheds .

Again I found some lovely snow globes I just could not resist and spent more money! Listen to the tinkling of the many objects along the way and enjoy the whole experience even if you don’t shop.

Harambee is long time project in Second Life, “dedicated to fundraising the IKSDP Schools in Kenya (Gwassi region, Lake Victoria) of IKSDP-Harambee Project (real-life non-profit Association).“ They have a presence where one can get loads of interesting freebies and purchase clothing and decorations at all times. Take a look at their website to lean more about their cause.

Right now there is a winter Charity right next door to their site. It is filled with interesting and charming items for you by some of sl’s finest designers. There are lots of gifts around too so look for them.I enjoyed walking around and getting  a flavor of African Christmas surrounded by palm trees and shrubs. There are events planned for the stage there too. Take a walk in Africa.

Gemma Cleanslate

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Calas – The Hot Air Balloon Ride

by DeafLegacy

I went to Calas to check out some of the things that the place had.  One of the things that caught my attention is a sign saying, “Hot Air Balloon.”  I clicked on it.  I found myself in a place with a hot air balloon sitting on a platform.  I clicked on it and got in.  I went for a ride and I thought it was awesome.  

The entire ride covered all seven sims.   At one point, the hot air balloon did go in the water but did the flames go out?  Not at all.  It kept burning as the hot air balloon went through the water. I did get to say hello to some fish.  When we went back out of the water, we went through the air. 

The land was remarkable.  At a few points of the long journey, I took some pictures. I thought I'd take this chance to talk about this remarkable, long but interesting journey with some pictures.  The hot air balloon comes with different poses, including the 'dare' pose, which means that the person would be hanging outside the hot air balloon basket as if she is daring herself to  hang outside the basket.  I didn't fall.  There is one option that I wouldn't try, and that would be the “Opps” part. 

Thanks but no thanks.  But if there is anyone who is interested to give that option a try, go right ahead.  I'm not daring you to click on that part but it's okay to be curious. 

As the hot air balloon goes through seven sims, there are a lot of interesting places to check out while you're on hot air balloon.  That's why I definitely recommend you try the hot air balloon on Calas.  The hot air balloon is at :


Monday, December 10, 2018

Christmas at Creations Park and Botanica

By Gemma Cleanslate

It is always good to shop over at Creations Park because you are not only getting clothing and decor from your favorite designers you are donating to a great cause. All or part of your Lindens go to Team Fox for Parkinson’s disease research and support. Check out their video ( There are many events scheduled at Creation Park as the board at the landing area shows.

While you wander the many levels to visit the shops look down and find the stocking that holds a stuffer that is very inexpensive.

Then get over to the soaring castle and have the fun experience of finding the 12 gifts hidden there . They could be anywhere and watch for hidden rooms but they are not hard to find.Take a picture with Santa in the entry room. Each room is decorated so beautifully . High up on the parapet rezz a Santa Sleigh to soar over the sim . I am missing one gift...Number 11 so I have to go back!

While I was doing that very ride I saw bright lights from a distance and  remembered that next door to Creations Park there is another sim not to miss. After I finished my tour and collecting all the goodies from the Castle I wandered over to Botanica.

It is so beautifully decorated . My first stop was in the Christmas Tree Hall where I found a delightful little band that performs  many choices of Christmas music that you can ask it to play.

Outside grab a pair of skates and take a turn on the pond with the elves. I saw a racing game for which the purchase price goes to the American Cancer Society so again you are donating while you shop. It looked interesting.

If you are into harps and harpsichords or other ancient musical instruments and music boxes do not miss the shop across from the Christmas Tree Hall. I succumbed and bought a new music box.

Gemma Cleanslate

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Khargo Christmas Market and Under The Tree Christmas Shop

By Gemma Cleanslate

Khargo Christmas Market at Yellowstone falls has some diverting table decorations for the Christmas meals and wreathes. I was so tempted! The Polar Bear Island would make a lovely addition to any winter sim. There is an extensive collection of winter plants for you in front of their Christmas furniture shop. Roam through the store for collectable Christmas decor.

Outside I came across a Square Snowman! Next to him stood a wonderful winter well with a visiting racoon and squirrel. Nearby I found another set of shops just outside the Christmas area that is well worth a visit.

 At Under The Tree Christmas Shop I found some marvelous Christmas rugs. They have the cutest elves decor in the window alcove that I really wanted! I will never make it through all these markets and fairs.

 If you like animated figures see the whole wall full in the shop. This shop is full of an eclectic collection of trees, furniture, toys and more. Upstairs there are tree skirts and stained glass art.

Outside take a walk down the hill to Tex’s Tree Farm where there is a free axe so you can cut your own. I found ღ Ϻịɱị Đạṙḷḯṇḡ ღ (Disastrophy Resident) chopping down a big one. If you visit the barn you can get a kiss from a cute puppy. Shop and Farm are located in Larson where it is always winter , right on the road where I like to visit and roam.

 By the way, I finally got the Advent Calendar list. I looked for it all last week so I could post it before Advent began but no luck. Some of the stores require membership, some have hunts, some just have the calendar visible as soon as you get there. Have fun.

Gemma Cleanslate

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

House of Avro and Santa Town

By Gemma Cleanslate

I have started visiting the early Christmas decor and sales sims that are already open and ready for business!

One of the largest busiest Christmas decor regions in Second Life, I think, is the House of Arvo. It is always fun to visit and wish I had  a sim or part of one to decorate. Unfortunately I live on a mainland island that is pretty tropical and only have so many prims to play with. If not, I would be buying so many of the delightful outdoor decorations that I see here . There is a gorgeous little ice pond available that I would have loved to buy. It would make a wonderful scene where I could skate.
Or Santa’s lovely sleigh drawn by two  reindeer, or the little snowman ice fishing. There are so many items here I have not seen anywhere.... yet.

 I am so glad I left my purse at home! Make a stop here even if you are not buying decor. The offerings will make you glad you at least could go window shopping! Inside the House of Avro shed There is a wonderful collection of stockings to hang on the fireplace, along with trees and wreathes and so much more. Little sheds all around hold anything you might need to decorate or wear,men or women.

Be sure to visit Santa and pick up a gift before you leave. He has his own cozy little indoor throne. There is a sign outside to invite you in.

Next!! Santa Town is also just filled with so many delightful indoor and outdoor items to decorate your sim or home.

After you make the rounds of the quaint shops stop over at the Skate Shack and pick up your free skates and take a skate around the frozen pond. There are Christmas songs playing for your enjoy ment. Grab a ride on the tour sleigh that takes you for a  ride  around the sim so you can enjoy it all.Don’t miss the ski lift or the sledding either. Great fun! I found some gifts in some of the shops. There will DJs playing for your entertainment Saturday December 1 . You can get a photo with Santa that day too.

Stop in at the Gingerbread cafe after skating, or check out the Old Bell Pub where you can play games . I had some great turkey kabobs while there withღвєllєღ (Mcshoah Resident)  . If you join the group there are some gifts under the tree for you  and you can visit  until Little Christmas, Epiphany , Jan . 6.

Gemma Cleanslate

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Winter Holiday Village

By Gemma Cleanslate

Did you notice that it is that time again? Although it feels early the Christmas season is already under way. Reminders to start thinking of Christmas gifts, clothing, decor for the home and sim are all around us. I have already started collecting information about bazaars and fairs to help you out. One of my favorite places has already opened and I took a tour to check out the new additions and the old favorite nooks.  One can go shopping, skate, visit Santa, and all in one wonderful place. This is the 10th year that the region has opened for the holiday.

I was so sorry to learn that Mairead Fitzgerald, who started this wonderful Christmas event area has passed on . Her real life husband Preacher (Sutra Kish) and  Rosanadana Kish (Alienorifice Resident) have kept the wonderful sim going.

There are so many venues to visit while you are there. Information is available at the entrance area. Bring your skates,or, purchase some classy ones while you are there . The frozen lake  is extensive and the rivers off the lake wind around. It is a marvelous place to skate. As you glide around the large pond and rivers you get to view the shops with all the decor and outfits . Passing through the crystal caves is fun. On the lake is where the staging for all the marvelous events is set up . There will be fun parties with DJs and singers until the Christmas season is over.

There is a  horse drawn buggy tour that takes you up , up high into the sky. It is a fun thing to do with a friend or your honey and a good chance to chat . At the top there are more delightful shops to check out and winter cabins for rent. There is also a game pavilion to visit there . I saw a ski slope in the distance and there are free skis. You can take the ski lift up as well as the tour buggy. 

My favorite way to get an overview of the beautiful lake and all the shops it to take a ride on Santa’s Magic Snow Owl. Find that ride at the other end of the road from the ski lift past the big shops.It is right next to Santa’s throne room where you will find him and elves.  It is magical to float over the skaters. There is a wonderful wedding venue inside a glistening palace venue.

Be sure to stop in at the Lodge where , of all things, Mrs Claus is serving at the dining table with Mr Claus entertaining guests. There are so many venues to visit and I don’t want to spoil it all for you so .. I recommend you join the group is skating to music is for you and your friends. Event upon event will be taking place. I visit many sites for the Christmas season and I like them all but this one has always been one of my very favorites and I am glad to see it is continuing with the love that Mairead had for doing it for SL residents. I will be skating there as soon as i sharpen my skates! There are great skating pads and balls there if you do not have a skating hud.Don’t miss it.

Gemma Cleanslate