Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas at Devon Dream

By Bixyl Shuftan

Safra Nitely, a friend of the Second Life Newser, likes to give her sim of Devon Dream a Christmas look every year for her friends and Second Life family. So I decided to drop over to take a look.

When I first teleported to, I saw a walkway. And going down, it soon led to an elven workshop, where Rudolph was being less then cooperative as the little guys were loading Santa's sleigh. Perhaps out of eyesight, the elves expressed a mischievous streak and the bright-nosed buck got tired of their "reindeer games."

Inside the workshop, some of the elves were busy making toys. One was a lady sewing a doll together. Another of the little guys was working on a train. No sign of any computer games though. Perhaps they were in a place not open to visitors.

The elves had a "to-do" list, and had a "breakfast in bed" tray for Santa, complete with a letter from a kid. St. Nick might have trouble with one of the rascal's wishes, though.

 Outside the workshop, there were some animals and snowmen frolicking, including penguins diving into a swimming hole.

 Going further down the path, there were some amusement park rides and attractions.

 Among them was this "Moon Cannon" that looked like it was straight from a Jules Verne novel.

Getting in would cause it to fire a second later. You might not get to the moon, but you'll certainly end up sky-high.

The walkway went through a forested area, the trees laden with snow.

Next to a party area was this manger area. Notice the Baby Jesus is levitating a bit.

The path would continue on past a few more sights, such as this ice carousel.

I was interrupted at once point, but came back later. I didn't see much more, of the Christmas counds that I hadn't before. But there was an evening scene which seemed a good time to show off my Rudolph avatar, or rather what his red nose could do to the vicinity at night.

That's all for now from Safra's corner of Second Life.

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, December 23, 2016

Calas at Christmas

By Gemma Cleanslate

This year the entrance to the Calas winter sim is very different and made us all look for the portal . It is a craggy stark icy place at the start. I skated across across the ice to the cave entrance, passing dropped toys on the way and down the crystal adorned path into the room with the portal that takes you to the glorious ‘A Christmas Poem’.  The sound of joyous giggling elves  fills the air along with the lovely music. I made my way up the stairs and through the portal where  you will enter into a magnificent land of wonder. 

The Pavilion is there on the hill above the skating pond in all its regal glory, guarded by the giant Nutcrackers.In the great hall there are gifts on the tables for Calas members. Parties take place often in this great hall 

The tree room to the right is packed with wrapped presents under the tree and all around the walls. Santa is in his chair ready to take requests.  .Across from the tree room is the sitting room with a crackling fire where friends gather for food and drinks and talk. I often find at least one of my friends there. Outside the pond usually has skaters gliding around or hanging out by the fires  . 

 I saw Chatty Kathy, A long time member of Calas Galadhon group hanging out by the refreshment stand having coffee. There is a wonderful balloon tour up the hill that gives you an overview of the entire region. A sleigh ride will take you  down the snowy lanes  through the snow laden trees.

 OR ....“Comet: Comfy now? Welcome to this years Flying Reindeer Tour! Santa doesn't call me 'Comet' for nothing.  I've hit 5 balloons so far and counting. Oh, I forgot  .. Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now, Prancer .... um Now Cupid, no Blitzen. Oh Now dash away!Dash away! Dash away all!  Hold on” . ...Take the Reindeer ride! I learned that Comet and the others got their names in 1823. 

 There are wonderful photo opportunities for couples and singles and you can pick up a notecard near the sleigh rides that will guide you to all of them. The owners of Calas Galadhon Ty Tenk and Truck Meredith make this special Christmas region every year for our enjoyment so if you pass a donations box try to put a few lindens in. The events list is on the website

Begin your travels to the wonderous site here . Head for the caves. The music will keep you company on your way and the windlight will  aid you and enhance your experience.( I cheated a bit to get pictures for you )

Gemma Cleanslate 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Rebel Yell Concerts And The Linden Chalet

By Gemma Cleanslate

You must know by now I have more than a few winter season regions ! I love the skating , skiing, sledding , horse back riding in the snow and other fun in these sims. Another favorite region where I like to hang out in this season is Rebel Yell Concerts. It is jam packed with beautiful scenery, activities, and venues to check out. I even found a pizza restaurant this year. At the pond there are couples and single skating balls that will make it easy for you to perform stunts while you skate. You can use your own of course if you prefer. 

  I had pizza and beer with a friend at the pizza restaurant. This is at the top of the mountain and to get there you take a ski tram up and get a wonderful view of the whole place. It is just glistening with ice and snow laden trees all the way down to the skating pond which is generous in size . I took the pink flame skis and went down hill quickly. I switched to cross country skiing at the bottom. 

 The lodge is a comfortable place to sit and warm up after skiing and skating . I wandered up to enjoy the comfort for a while and found that the reindeer had taken over.Then I backtracked up the hill to stop in at the toy workshop and the reindeer barn. The Magi were making their way by ... first time I have seen them leading their camels. Back at the skating pond I checked out the lovely gazebo  on the hill to look over the skaters passing by . Don’t miss this beautiful winter sim.

Later I visited the winter sims where you can find snow all year .Some of the highest peaks in sl are here for your skiing pleasure. Placed by Michael Linden I think with some help with decor from some other Lindens.

The Linden Chalet lies in between two of the longest delightful chairlift rides you can take anywhere in Second Life. One lift I  began in Voss and landed at the top of the mountain in Kamin passing over Bydalin. It is a long steep mountain on the way down also and I landed back by the skilift in Voss. Fortunately I was wearing my skiis from Rebel Yell so I switched over to cross country skiing and made my way back to the lodge for a warming up rest by the fire. There are still some pumpkins around and I hope they don’t freeze. This is a hub so you may meet some interesting people here according to my friend  who has a home nearby.    

Then it was time to go across the road into Wengen and tackle the other mountain riding up that long chairlift. The view is amazing if you put your drawline out to the limit. There are free skis at the top of the mountain and also a great sled ride you can do with friends. After you don the skis you have a choice of going down on your own or taking the ski ball ride which gives you a chance to look around as you go. This marvelous mountain area is here all year long so if you get get really hot during the summer keep an outfit out of your winter clothes and go over to the chalet area and get warmed up.  

Gemma Cleanslate

Friday, December 16, 2016

Winter Comes to Aero Pines And Creations Park

By Gemma Cleanslate

One of my favorite regions to visit during the holidays. or actually at any time of year has always been Aero Park .... It has always been a wonderful place for horse back riding. The roads and hills are now covered snow and there is more falling all the time. The skating pond is roomy with skate balls for partners or singles. Of course you can skate on your own or buy some skates there and I did see a free skate box. The park ranger is around helping you find sites to visit by announcing the venues.  

The brochure will direct you to your favorite sport area. The hills are wonderful for skiing on brightly colored skis that you can pick up for free. I grabbed a saucer to try on the hills too. Down below there is a lovely horse and carriage ride to take along the roads. Just sit in the carriage and your own personal horse will arrive to wear. This year there is a lovely venue where you can have a group or family party.It is a lovely dining room with a dance floor in front of a crackling fireplace. It is behind Santa’s workshop. 

I stopped in there also and he has his elves over here too making toys . Lots of reindeer waiting around for their big night. Take a tour and enjoy the fun in the snow . This will drop you next to the skating pond infront of the Lodge. 

Another place you can depend on having one of the best skating experiences in Second Life all year long is Creations Park. Team Fox has a wonderful winter venue in the season decor that does not disappear after the holidays . It is always open for hanging out. Right now there are gifts in small shops around the lake. 

As you know the region is set up for donations to the Team Fox for Parkinson research. The group has numerous events in all of its venues going on during the year. You can get some very delightful skates there and the payment goes to Team Fox. Nearby you are able to rezz a snowmobile . I whizzed over to the lovely Church and stopped by for a moment to recall the reason for the season. Farther on along the edge of the lake I visited an igloo and warm up by the fire. 

There was a ski lift to the top of the mountain that I hopped on . At the top you have your choice of saucer , skis , or a wonderful sled you can rezz . I tried that! It was quite a ride down the slope and onto the ice and you can control the speed too. It is a wonderful site to visit with friends with so much room to zoom around the lake without accidents. Do not pass the geode that looms on the lake. It is filled with beautiful purple crystals. This will put you in the gazebo on the ice.
Gemma Cleanslate

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Furillen's Battle of Hoth

By Bixyl Shuftan

With the film "Rouge One" set to appear this month, there's been more of an interest in "Star Wars" lately. So it was no real surprise that I heard of a sim getting a makeover by it's owner to replicate the Battle of Hoth in "The Empire Strikes Back." The place is Furillen located at the Love of Life sim. Serene Footman, the owner, described what he did in the sim's blog.

The sim just had its biggest ever make-over for an event – over the weekend I started completely from scratch in order to replicate Hoth, the ice planet that features in one of the strongest movies of the entire franchise, The Empire Strikes Back. It’s Furillen’s way of celebrating this week’s release of Rogue One, which looks like being a classic.

For those of you not Familiar with "Star Wars," Hoth in the stories is a frigid ice planet, in which anyone outside shelter without protective clothing would quickly freeze to death. The two native life forms that could handle the intense cold were tauntans, which could be tamed and ridden around for transportation, and wampas, which were like abominable snowmen and the planet's apex predators. The movie never showed what the tauntans ate, though the wampas probably considered anything they could catch dinner. In "The Empire Strikes Back," Luke Skywalker and the Rebel Alliance have a base on the planet, which is discovered by an Imperial Task Force personally led by Darth vader. The Imperials send an attack force on the base consisting of five massive All-Terrain Armored Transports, or AT-ATs, sometimes called Imperial "walkers," which resembled huge beasts as they plodded across the landscape. The Rebels put up a heroic defense, taking out three of the five Imperial walkers. But the Imperial forces prove too strong, and the Rebels have to evacuate the base.

Dropping in on (, I appeared in an icy cave. Fortunately there were no signs of wampas. But there was an automated message by Serene, "Welcome to Furillen. I hope you like this tribute to Star Wars - the Assault on Hoth! To enjoy the sim to the full, switch on your music, turn up draw distance as high as you can manage, and don't get crushed by an At-At!" The music wasn't from the movies, but it did help set the mood of the place. There were a couple signs pointing out what was ahead.

Stepping out, the rebel base wasn't far away. There was a line of defense consisting of laser turrets and smaller laser guns, with one of the turrets having been blasted open. Across the icy plain was the Imperial attack force, consisting of six imperial walkers and a few scoutwalkers or AT-STs (All-Terrain Scouting Transport), as well as a few speeder bikes. The walkers were well detailed, and built to scale. Standing next to them, they were just as big as in the films. High above the walkers were a couple TIE fighters.

Behind the rebel's guns was the rebel base, built into the side of the mountain. Rebels tending to be short on supplies, the base was a bit spartan with cold steel floors and pipes going around in a few places. There were a few stations with screens, possibly radar and communications, where one could sit at. In one corner were a few bunks one could rest at. Scattered around the base were Chewbacca, Princess Leia Organa, Han Solo (in a dramatic pose with his blaster drawn), the robots C3PO and R2D2. Luke Skywalker was nowhere to be found, possibly out in his snowspeeder fighting the AT-ATs. Curiously, Yoda was there in the display. Perhaps the Jedi Master was using his powers to somehow keep tabs on events.

But at least the Rebels weren't hungry. Near the image of Yoda was a pizza machine with the name "Pizza Butt." Perhaps given the reputation of Jabba the Hutt, anything named "Hut" around here would be avoided. There was also a coffee machine, but the parody of "Starbucks" was a name unmentionable in a family-friendly publication. In one corner there was what looked like a laptop computer with the screen on "Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy."

The display is not all that's going on. In the sim blog, Serene stated he was planning a "gathering of the geeks" for a "Furillen-Hoth Christmas party" on Sunday December 18, 1PM SL time, "Star Wars costume is essential, of course. But given that there are so many great mesh Star Wars avatars and costumes around on marketplace, and that they are so inexpensive, this is as easy as it gets. We’ll stream some party music – good bits from the movies, of course (who can resist Cantina?) – but with a bit of inventiveness we can add some space-themed music from more familiar Furillen names, like Bowie and Radiohead."

Normally Furillen looks like an abandoned industrial island off the coast of northeast Sweden. Serene didn't give a date yet when the place will go back to being a "remote, bleak and beautiful ... photographers haven." But no doubt Star Wars fans will keep on dropping by while it lasts.

Sources: Wookipedia, Furillen 

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, December 12, 2016

To the North Pole

By Gemma Cleanslate

I made a fun visit to to the North Pole, population, 2 humans, 56 elves and 8 reindeer.  You will know you are in the middle of an ice mountain at arrival. Follow the path that leads down and out. Enable sound to hear the song of the crystals and the crunch of snow as you make your way through the mountain, on the path that leads to the massive doors of the North Pole. Once inside  you find a lively group of elves around the Christmas tree .

Turning to the right I followed a path to Santa’s runway where he was testing the Reindeer readiness for his long trip. Inside the nearby barn more reindeer watched
, with envy I think.
Entering the doorway to the workshop where all the gifts are being prepared was almost overwhelming. It was full of boxes of all sizes and shapes ready to load into the sleigh when the time is right. Elves were scurrying around the area feverishly. Some elves in that workshop are using computers to check weather conditions and other information they can glean to help with distribution I guess.

I next entered Mrs. Claus’ bakery, also filled with elves preparing cookies , gingerbread houses , and other goodies. Yum. I was invited to visit the Elf dorm so I headed out to look for it

On the way I passed the Elementary school and stopped in to find it packed with more elves learning  how to be a Christmas elf, with “elfy ways”  while others had lunch. The next stop was at the local paper, The North Pole Times, very actively printing papers . It was a courtesy call to a fellow newspaper. The post office was so busy I could not get in.

.I stopped into Santa’s bedroom and did some jumping on the bed which is a trampoline! As I made my way out to the village square again I thought that my visit to the North Pole this year had been a great deal of fun. The Clauses have done a lot of redecorating this year and it was easier to move from place to place without getting lost. Outside the gates there is a crystal cave you might like to explore but be careful . Hidden way inside there is a monster waiting for you! 

On my way down the path, when I entered I glimpsed a sign that says “Believe" and by the time you leave you will. Have a wonderful visit.  (don’t try to double click tp)  Pick up the notecard guide at the entrance so you will not miss any of the sites.
Gemma Cleanslate

Monday, November 28, 2016

Christmas Shopping Markets

By Gemma Cleanslate

At this time of year it seems a bit early for Christmas however as we know from real life it is the time to get ready. Every place you go there is Christmas decor and gift suggestions. It makes us realize we had better get going! In sl there is are wonderful shopping opportunities from sim fillers to stocking stuffers. I picked out a few shopping venues where I thought you might like to visit . They are not only just for shopping, but for enjoying the sights and the builds . Meander around after you see the shops.

The first delightful market place is Christmas Fair at Harborview. At the landing place you are near the larger indoor stores. Lots of favorite creators have wares here. Kiosks with all kinds of Christmas delights fill the town squares, decor for the home, gifts , outfits for the season and more. Lovely Victorian ladies are shopping too. 
I found an ugly sweater I could not resist! I spied some lucky letters around the walkways. You can shop and also skate if you like. Great place for a photo with Santa!   
My next visit was to Mrs Santa Christmas Market, another charming venue in Kikai. Again large shops line the sidewalks with smaller kiosks and stalls still being filled with goodies. Merchants were working as I toured.  I found some nice personalize-able greeting cards in one shop that I loved. Here too you can shop and skate. Be sure to drop into the little chapel for a rest and a reminder of what the season is about.
http://maps.secondlife com/secondlife/Kikai/176/115/601
My third stop  was Christmas at the North Pole in Checkmate. If you are looking for new Christmas trees do not miss the selection in the tree area. What a selection of diverse trees! You will have to TP to sky lot so watch for the signs. On the main level  be sure you stop in the busy post office where I found Santa next to a huge pile of letter arriving by the second! Stores and outdoor shopping for all sorts of decor for your home inside or out is found here, including choo-choo trains, reindeer and a myriad of decor. I saw a whole forest of snow laden pines if you need that on your sim.
There are so many more places in Second Life to visit for Christmas decor. I am also looking at the wonderful skating and hanging out winter sports regions for your winter fun. I am starting with the markets so you can get your shopping done and then just go enjoy the sims . Some of them will disappear right after Christmas so I want to start with them. After that I will tell you about the ones where sports and skating and events going on before and after Christmas and you can enjoy the winter season in Second Life while through the first months of the new year. If you find anything new and interesting let me know! 
Gemma Cleanslate

Monday, November 21, 2016

Paradise Eiland

By Becky "Sha" Shamen

Ever since I wrote about Creations for Parkinson's, I have been attending their Sunday night angel's dance. Several friends, including some of the other Newser Reporters, also make frequent trips to Creations. I have also made many new friends there. Last Sunday, Maia Antarra asked me if I would be interested in writing about the coming opening of a new healing center which she was involved with. This new center, "Paradise Eiland Retreat and Event Center" uses non-medical, New Age therapies, like Reiki, Tai Chi, meditation and sound to restore balance and health.

I found this topic very interesting, for two reasons. I have been looking into the idea that Second Life can provide real life therapy. Add to this, in the last few months I have developed a problem with poor circulation and pain in my feet and legs. I have very little faith in medical doctors and have been trying to book an appointment in a real-life healing center, like the one Maia was describing in SL. I was given a LM and told to contact the owner, Rod Eiland. When our Sunday event ended, I headed for Paradise. In addition to reporting on it, I was hoping to offer myself as proof that these virtual reality techniques do, in fact, work.

The landing put me right in front of the healing center. While waiting for things to rez, I noticed and enjoyed the soothing music stream. The peace was enhanced as natural scenery and classic Greek architecture came into view.

Entering the healing building, I found a group prayer/invocation animation and some massage tables, with animation balls for the healers to use. The walls were decorated with iconography from various world religions. From experience, I knew that healing requires the patient to believe in the effectiveness of the treatment. I could tell that this environment would be very believable, for most people. I went back outside to explore more of the center and spotted Rod Eiland was on the West end of the sim with another member of the healing staff. I found them dancing on a beautiful glass dance floor. Introducing myself, I learned that they had already been told to expect me. The three of us talked, until Rod's assistant had to log off. Rod then offered to give me a private tour. The center occupies the Southern half of the Sugar Valley sim
Our first stop was the Tai Chi area, on the North side of the dance floor. Rod explained that his specialty was sound healing, using brass bowls and gongs and he offered a free session. He said it would work best if I wore headphones, so I dimmed my lights, lit a candle and put my headset on. I could feel the sound vibrating, all the way down to my solar plexus and, for the first time in weeks, was not having any shooting pains from my left foot.

I made an appointment to return the following night for a full treatment. Our timing was off, so I missed the scheduled time and spent time getting more details of the upcoming grand opening.

The center will open on November 26, with opening ceremony beginning at 1pm SLT, with the release of a flock of eagles. Technically speaking, I can't tell you that these healing techniques will cure anything. I can say that, based on experience in SL and RL, there is great potential for real healing here. These things also take time, so don't expect any instant miracle cures on your first visit. I'm going to keep my walking cane handy, until I've been to a few more sessions.

At this point of the story, I would normally be telling readers to come have a great adventure. What I will say is, if you or a friend have been feeling your light has dimmed, you owe it to yourself to explore Paradise Eiland and see if they can turn up the light and get you in the pink.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Seduction Estates

By Becky "Sha" Shamen

While scanning the World Map for interesting, unusual sim groups, we came across this cluster of 30 sims. The individual sims were laid out in such a way as to allow one to travel to all points in the cluster, while being spread out over a larger area of the grid than a compact grouping would cover. It was also clear that every sim also contained water areas that made it obvious that the preferred mode of transportation is by boat. We have a collection of boats, but thought it best to make a quick visit to determine what the rules are and what kind of craft would fit best in the area. Zooming in on the map, we notice that the sim which is fourth from the top and second from the right is the only one without any water of it's own and has a darker texture at the center. This seemed like a good clue that this sim might be an administration and gathering area, so it was selected as a starting point for our adventure.

 Arriving on a beach, on the West side of the sim, we open "About Land" and read up on what the area is about. The entire cluster is known as "Seduction Estates" and is dedicated to selling or renting residential properties. There are no shops or dance clubs or other public gathering spots. This region is for rich, hedonistic, clothing optional adults to have their mansions in a "Tropical Paradise", kind of like a "Beverly Hills on the sea." The rules say no child avatars are allowed, but there is no mention, for or against, of furries being permitted. We played it safe, by going as a 4' tall adult human female. To keep up with the Jones's, we decided to get an inexpensive motor yacht and found one at the Marketplace, for only $75.

We rezzed our yacht at Sunny Beach, to get a feel for how it handles. Satisfied that it would be a good craft for the adventure, we dressed in a yellow polka-dot bikini and a modesty top, to give us the rich girl, playing with "Daddy's Money" look.

We plotted a course that would begin at the Northeast sim and would take us through all thirty sims, using the public waterways. Since most of the properties have security orbs, we wanted to avoid getting sent home, so most of our exploring would be done by zooming and panning our camera.  

To aid navigation, we made good use of both the World Map and the Mini Map. Unlike most of the places that we have visited, the world map, at this location, showed all the properties that are for sale or rent in yellow. This would help us locate and price the available properties.

Although we never found any offices for administration and land sales, we did discover the only gathering spot on a hill in the center of the sim we did our first research on, Seduction Isle. This "club" has a stage, with piano, and three dance floors, we assumed for couples dances, but there was nobody there during our adventure.

 Each of the many individual properties is a small island, surrounded by rocks, waterfalls and trees, for privacy. Most have a large mansion in the center. I was impressed by several that even had the nautical equivalent of a drive way, to moor boats off the main water ways. Few of the mansions had a lived in look, so we began to think, if you've seen one cookie cutter mansion, you've seen them all.

That is, until we spotted an old, derelict sailing ship. The ship and nearby building are probably not a residence. It seemed more like a local park, the sort of place that young adults might gather, to be away from the eyes of elders, while enjoying forbidden fruits.

Speaking of being unseen, we noticed that the number of people, on all of the sims, was highest after 9p.m., but even then was only a few individuals and couples and they were mostly up in skyboxes. We had hoped to find some residents that could be zoomed in on, to check out what the natives were wearing, but they seemed to vanish, each time we were near.
Following the World Map, we tracked down the three property sizes that are offered at Seduction. All of the properties require a one time payment of L$500 plus a weekly tier payment, based on size. They each come with a house, which can be replaced with your own. Houses provided count against the prims allowed for each property. A 1/16th sim is $1550 per week, with 460 prims. 1/8th sim is $2500, 900 prims. 1/4 sims are $2900, 930 prims.
Personally, as an efficient shopper, I enjoy a higher quality home and community, for half the price, so I'm not planning on moving. In SL, we can become anything we desire. If you feel seduced by Seduction Estates, I wish you all the pleasure desired. Live there or not, we found it to be a fun adventure. We navigated through 30 sims, in a shiny new mega motor yacht and it was like a Hollywood bus tour of the homes of movie stars. Come, enjoy a tropical vacation and let your inner, petite, cuter than dimples on a bunny, rich white girl come out to play, Queen For A Day.
We already know what all the guys want,