Monday, June 29, 2020

Exhibits at the SL17B, "Conversations With A Stranger" And One Billion Rising


By Gemma Cleanslate


I have been so busy greeting I have not been out to the exhibits much yet. Today I took some time to go exploring a bit in regions  I have not been before but looked at from afar and wondered what is that I almost see?  I made it an objective to visit the big white parcel on the map that has been catching my eye in Electrify from a distance  and I am so glad I did.


This exhibit is exactly what we need in these days of real life stress that most of us are experiencing. When I arrived on the road beside the white blob on the map I found so much to interact with. The description states, “This is an interactive installation where viewers are compelled to reflect on the life of a stranger before judging them. The inspiration comes from current events, where the lack of empathy for others divides us. “

There are anonymous figures seated all over the parcel , spaced of course, surrounded by their thoughts. I sat across from one and quietly considered the words on the ground and floating up into the air to see what who this figure was... is ... Reflection on the words is right. There is so much for thought about those we know and those we don’t know. They are all different , or the same, depending on me and my reaction  . So much for thought there .  Go see. It is an amazing example of the creativity of  Fionafei,  the artist in second life,  and deep empathy.   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SL17B%20Electrify/97/151/23


I decided to walk after my sitting in various chairs and found an exhibit from one of my favorite
events in second life in which I participate every year, One Billion Rising. OBR is held on the day of the event that takes place in almost every country to bring attention to Women. “One Billion Rising is the biggest mass action to end violence against women (cisgender, transgender, and those who hold fluid identities that are subject to gender-based violence) in human history. “

“Our installation recreates in part an exhibition at One Billion Rising in Second Life 2020 - our Hall for Heroes which celebrates just some of the women around the world who have supported and fought for women's rights in various areas.” Pick up a notecard and perhaps you will get involved in this inworld activity that is open to all.  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SL17B%20Electrify/102/221/23


Among the many fun installations at the SL17B there are meaningful thoughtful exhibits to explore. Take a pod ride and hop off at any exhibit you want to walk through .You have two more weeks. Look for gifts on these sites  too.  Near these exhibits I found a few more I want to explore not only at the event but after and perhaps introduce to you in a future article. More on exhibits when I can get to them! Get your gifts at the gift area!!!

Gemma Cleanslate

Thursday, June 18, 2020

The Sumbeamer Camp For RFL 2020


By Bixyl Shuftan


Relay Weekend 2020 was quite an event. And the fifty sim track it took place on had many places. This included the campsites of a number of teams. Some teams were making their first or second appearance. Others had appeared year after year. Among the latter were Team Sunbeamers.


Since it's founding in 2013, the Sunbeamers have been a top-performing team, and have always had a campsite. The one from 2016 got the first place Cancer Education Awareness Award. The one from last year was a train station and train track that took people around information boards describing the medical treatment of cancer across history.


After having clawed it's way to Sapphire-level fundraising, past 750,000 Linden dollars, the team was a bit tired. But it still wanted to do a good job with the camp. The idea was a visually attractive place that both informed and allowed those stopping by to relax. Cynthia Farshore, Shockwave Yareach, Skylark "Snowbuns" Lefavre, and team captain Rita Mariner took part in the building.


Near the team sign was the pink fox statue, representing Artistic Fimicloud, or "Fimi" as she was affectionately known. Fimi was a resident of the Sunweaver Estates, where most of the Sunbeamer team make their homes in Second Life, whom passed away in 2008.


 The most visible part of the campsite from the road was the "Gameonopoly Hotel Souvenir and Coffee Shop," which looked like a giant Monopoly game red hotel piece.


 Inside, one could order a cup of coffee, from Shockwave Yareach's steampunkish coffee machine.


Or one could get a bottle of moonshine hand sanitizer. As Rita would say, putting it on your hands would kill your germs, swallowing it would kill your worries for a little while (though give you a hangover in the morning).


Just beside the red building was the rest and relaxation area.


It had lounge chairs, campfire, and barbecue (with real meat for the carnivores and soy for the herbivores).


Me trying out the lounge chairs. At the time this and many other pictures were taken, I was blue for a week to honor a pledge if the team hit Sapphire rank, which it did.


The main part of the campsite was the game board.


It was an obvious knock-off of the Monopoly game. But it was tweaked to reflect the Relay, such as "Go to X-Ray" instead of "Go to jail," "Mammogram Avenue," and more. Instead of "Boardwalk," there was "Cancer Free."




Another major part was the Memorial Garden, featuring a number of notable personalities whom have passed away from cancer over the years.


Cancer is not a simple disease, but can take many forms. While lung and breast cancer get the most attention, it can appear most anywhere on the body: skin, stomach, esophagus, brain, colon, bladder, ovaries, male organs, and other places.



Not everyone honored at the campsite had died from cancer. Two people close to the team, John White and ComCat Fenstalker had passed away in the past year due to heart disease.


Not far from the entrance was a glowing tesseract, made by Shockwave.


Around the game board were more signs with more information on cancer.


By these signs were some flowers arranged to spell key words.






In the back of the camp was a garden area, with a couple smaller lounge chair areas.




On the Relay Weekend of Saturday June 6 and Sunday June 7, the camp was among many the Relayers walked by.


One of a few pictures taken at the group photo showup on Tuesday June 9. Unfortunately Kylee Gracemount and Matt Carlton couldn't make it over.


Because many of the items in the build were "no-copy," as the camp takedown was originally going to take place after the Flood Party on Wednesday June 10, the Sunbeamer camp was taken down on in the late afternoon. Just as the last pieces were being taken up, word began going around that the time the Relay sims would remain up for a while longer. So there would be a green space to mark where the camp used to be.

It was a great camp by a great team in a great season for the Relay for Life in Second Life.

"Go Sunbeamers! Go Relay!"

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

The CDS Catacombs


By Bixyl Shuftan

The Confederation of Democratic Simulators is perhaps best known for it's elections in which it's landowning residents chose it's Chancellor and Representative Assembly. But there's more to the place than that. There's plenty of unique places to see. One place with some history behind it is The Monastery. In early May, Lilith Ivory told me about another: the Catacombs.

We met at a spot in the Colonia Nova sim near a spot where a set of stone stairs led from a paved area to a trail of stone steps in the grass (for those wondering about my appearance, I was in the period of a Relay "Bid Me" event). Underneath a raised road next to a wall with a number of posters with comments and political cartoons, there was a canal or river that led to an opening in the wall with what looked like a few alligators chewing on something. There were some red footsteps leading from the gators to inside, suggesting someone got a little too close to one of the reptiles.

Lilith told me, "We use to talk about this as the catacombes but in fact it was meant to be the sewer system of Colonia Nova. Colonia Nova is our second oldest sim and the citizens had the brave plan to have an underground sewer system under all the buildings of the city. Sadly we ran out of prims and it got never finished. So we just used the part of the sewers we had already to store anything and anyone we didn't need any longer. (smile) I think the oldest part of the 'catacombes' as we call the now was build in 2008 by Moon Adamant who is still around here."

Curious, I asked about the 'and anyone we didn't need any longer,' wondering if that was a reference to those who passed away. Lilith answered, "Some citizens just disappeared without telling anyone and without paying the tier they owed us and there are rumors they are trapped down here." She smiled and started walking to it, "When we enter it is best you set your windlight to midnight and grab a torch. And please be careful not to step on a gator as they are sensitive (grin). We try to keep them calm and feed them with griefers." I complied, not wanting a trip to the clinic. Just inside the entrance, there was an old statue and a torch on the wall. Clicking on the latter I got a light of my own.

We went inside, the red footsteps going in and past cobwebs and what looked uncomfortably like a body. I also noticed a rat began following Lilith, but seemed more curious than anything so i spoke nothing. Pointing to the interior, she told me, "That´s the oldest part of the catacombes, build 2008 as I said before. And I somehow got (to be) 'keeper' of them since nearly the beginning. I got asked to decorate for Halloween 2008, and while decorating I got ghosted here myself for One Week! I crashed and couldn't log in again as my avie was stuck here. No restart and nothing could free me again. So after a week of trying I had to call the Lindens for help," she giggled, "I could log in fine with my alt and he saw my avie standing here."

We walked past a mass of spider webs into another stretch of tunnels, the red footprints continuing. "Now we need to move quickly," Lilith told me, "as this is the section where we have trapped the ones who tried to create civil unrest in (the) CDS. All you can do to escape is, RUN as fast as you can." I asked what she meant as we rushed forward, and she answered, "We banished them down here, but if you are not careful they still try to get you." After getting past a step, she stopped, I looked back, and saw a few lumbering forms looking like something out of a zombie sim stumbling our way. Lilith grinned, "Fortunately they can´t climb stairs."

 Moving on, there was the occasional skeleton on the wall, and a pile of bones mixed with dirt. There was also what looked like an occasional ghost, or perhaps it was the light playing tricks on me. And there were a statue or two of creatures, although there was that creepy feeling in my spine that was feeling that was no statue. Soon, Lilith told me, "Now we are about to enter a newer part of the catacombes. We sometimes renew them or add pieces." She asked me to follow close behind, commenting, "It´s often a good idea not to trust what you see in CDS, especially solid walls." We then went through an area with what looked like bodies on the floor, then through a secret passage. "That's the chamber of citizens who have gone missing. They didn't find the exit."

Going through the chamber, which had a few statues of creatures, Lilith told me, "This part is actially under a private building like it was planes in the beginning. We store the founding documents and some laws here, especially the ones that should be forgotten." We moved a little further to a room with stairs leading up, "Here I tried to continue with the original idea and connect the basement of a private building with the sewer system."

We went still further. After a little longer through the dim, dusty tunnels, Lilith told me, "And here is the exit of the catacombes, or another hidden entrance." Getting past the secret door, we went up some stairs, "This building is made by Sudane Lately." And we found ourselves inside a temple. "Temple of Diana," Lilith told me, "We had an older temple here before but there was always this hidden entrance to the catacombes."

Bringing up her mishap there one Halloween, I asked Lilith if there were events held at the catacombs every year that holiday. She told me, "I would say it is more than just Halloween deco but we always send people here during Halloween. Sadly we never got to celebrate a real event down here. I guess most of our citizens are too scared to spend much time in the catacombes. We here in CDS are proud of hidden spots like this," Lilith went on, "We have something like this in the Schloss too, hidden doors and ghost ... and a secret entry."

I brought up those whom were trapped here, and asked if one in particular stood out. Lilith thought for a moment, "There are rumours of course that one of our founding members, Ulrika Zugzwang, haunts this place," she smiled, "but I have not seen her ghost lately. ... s far as I have learned she helped building our community, but felt betrayed and left. ... And of course there are stories of  others too but," she threw a little salt over her shoulder, "it´s better not to wake them by mentioning their names."

That was about the end of our conversation, Lilith wanting to wash the dirt and spiderwebs off. She offered to show me a tour through the Schloss and it's secret area sometime. Perhaps that can be done later this year.

The start of the Catacombs is near Colonia Nova (78/108/22).


Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, June 1, 2020

Giant House at Oxygen


By Gemma Cleanslate


“A place to forget all your worries and simply have fun ! Enjoy! “- Justice. So says Justice, and so I went to see if I would.

I heard this site was reminiscent of the old Greenies home. I loved that old place and had a lot of fun there exploring, hiding,  searching out all the interactive fun, shopping in the store and fishing in the kitchen sink. I have still Greenie avatars  I won in that sink and those I bought in the store too. I put myself in more than the usual pictures so you can see the size of the house decor.


Getting there was a trip into the olden days probably of the 30‘s . The entrance takes one in through a sewer track ( go with the flow) into a back lane and then into a rat hole and lands one in the kitchen to be greeted by a cat. This kitchen is really older than the kitchen of the Greenies, I think, and a little tighter. But has more rooms and there is a lot of fun to be had exploring the house, finding the oddities  and listening to the music there. Walk or fly around to explore for interactive activities in all the rooms.


In the kitchen I  checked out the refrigerator and the stove and took a float across the kitchen sink on a sponge. No fishing in this sink... too bad. Eduardo Minghuang and  Romie Vella  were enjoying the whipped cream bowl on the table while I was there .


This house not only had a greeting cat but also a hyperactive doggy protecting the house.. Naughty dog has made a mess so be careful in the laundry room.


There are several interesting playful sites to have fun with in the deteriorating bathroom. Don’t miss them . The living room also has sites to visit and leaves one wondering how did the computer setup get into this era. Be careful around that table though. There is more than one way to get around in this room other than flying. I took a ride in the pick convertible I found in the kid's room.


Strange anomalies await one in the kid’s room too. I recommend taking a second look at everything in the house. On my second visit I discovered many items to play with that I had missed before. The TV in the kid’s room is playing scenes from the old Greenies home if you have never seen the greenies before take a good look. Though quite different from the Greenies home of the past , this house brings back many memories and I hope it stays around for a long time. It looks like the family that lives here will be back any minute for breakfast or lunch!


 This whole installation is the creation of Justice Vought, owner of Oxygen . I asked him how long it would be here and he told me,”well it was a simple project i worked on ..thinking just for fun but its a huge success... if i took it down now SL might kill me....a few months maybe more”  Thanks Justice!
Do not miss it!  

 http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/River/164/110/1534

Gemma Cleanslate

Friday, May 8, 2020

Mental Health Month at Health Island


By Gemma Cleanslate


Gentle Heron took a group on a tour of the latest Health Island offerings. Health Island changes its exhibit every month and this month of May has a very apropos to all of us who are going through the Corvid-19 saga. It takes a toll  on all of our minds. 


The whole island is dedicated to mental health issues in all its many forms and this is Mental Health Month.  There is an “un-conference”  Gentle told us, “The Virtual Ability community often holds its Mental Health Symposium in May... but this year we have to do things a bit differently. In 2020 we are going to hold a Mental Health Un-Conference.


"You may be unfamiliar with the concept of an Un-Conference. It is a series of presentations, field trips and discussions spread throughout the month. It may include art talks or read-alouds or movie viewings or other forms of expression. These will all relate to the broad general theme of Mental Health.


"The sessions tend to be less formal than regular professional conference sessions, too. One of the ways Virtual Ability promotes its conferences, and this Un-Conference, is through the monthly theme on Healthinfo Island. “


Gentle took us through the island to the various sites that offer so much information on a variety of mental health issues . At each site there is a poster that gives information about that  exhibit . Just click it for the notecard.

Each part of the exhibit may be interactive so click and each one begins with a definitions and proceeds with descriptions. facts and ends with resources. Each will give you more info when you click it.

Some of the topics are depression, how to deal with depression, borderline personality disorder , dementia, Minority Mental Health Equity and more. Some information is from clinicians view, some from the individual dealing with the issue and some from a caretaker view. The Island is rich with links to outside help not only in the USA but in many other countries too. For information about events during the month check the Virtual ability website. http://blog.virtualability.org/ Health Island is located next to the Virtual Ability region. Gentle and a wonderful crew or helpers maintain the island each month.


Gentle also reminded us that there are also many support groups here in second life that one can join. Information about these groups is located on the island on the Path of Support. That is also located on the island so be sure to look for it if you are looking for inworld support .The exhibit will be here until the end of May. 

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Healthinfo%20Island/104/84/24

Gemma Cleanslate