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.

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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)


Wednesday, July 27, 2016


By Gemma Cleanslate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gemma Cleanslate

Monday, July 25, 2016

Mythica Woods

By Becky "Sha" Shamen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Friday, July 15, 2016

Relay Track Peeks: "The Forest" and Team Shadow

By Gemma Cleanslate

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

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

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

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

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

So please stop by!

RFL Overcome (135/202/23)

Gemma Cleanslate

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Amazon River- Eight Regions, One River!

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

Britty Bee