Monday, July 29, 2019

Update on Bellisserria

By Gemma Cleanslate

Now that the SL16B is a pleasant memory and things have quieted down for the summer doldrums there is still a hot place in sl and that is the new continent of Bellisserria. The moles are back at work feverishly trying to fulfill the dreams of those who want to move there .

I got a chance to watch Abnor Mole as he rolled out some new homes on streets in a sim to be released soon.

I roamed the Raccoon Run just after it opened and met and greeted some new residents as they claimed their homes and started decorating immediately. It is fun to watch them  choose their home then change it to a different model. Some start with the yard and some start inside .

Some residents have decided to use their property differently by creating an office , art gallery, or other use. The waters of some of the houseboats have been transformed completely . I visited the Buddhist Center in back of one. It is very lovely.

I stopped at a tea house with a gazebo overlooking the water .

Here I am in Giulio Marchetti coffee shop waiting in line for my expresso .

There are several houseboats that contain mer hang out places in their water area and also inside the houseboat!

There are several active groups already , so active I hardly ever arrive in sl without an immediate ding from one or more of them. There is alway conversation going on about the camaraderie that is so evident among all the new residents and even many who are still waiting to get their homes or houseboat.

In one conversation I learned that Razarstone  has been camped out in Guppy waiting for a houseboat. I went over to check out the sim and the camp and there he was resting in his tent on top one of the empty houseboats. Razor shared a video he had made of his wait that you can see here : .

RazarStone Resident had a motto “Never give up...never surrender (laugh)” 

 He is one of many people waiting for either homes or houseboats , or holding off for a camp trailer displayed at the SL16B. Many commiserate in the groups and are consoled and urged to be patient by those who have successfully settled on the new continent after their wait.

They should see the moles working so hard to get them in soon.

Gemma Cleanslate

Saturday, July 27, 2019

The International Spaceflight Museum

By Bisyl Shuftan

 In Spaceport Alpha is one of the better-known science-themed places in Second Life: the International Spaceflight Museum. According to the notecard provided, the place was founded sometime in late 2005 and has been ad Spaceport Alpha since "early 2006," with the Spaceport Bravo sim added in 2007. Kat Lemieux is the co-founder and chairman of the group that maintains the location.

Near the entrance are a number of flags, Each is from a nation that launched something into space. The music stream has a number of space-related songs, such as "The Eagle has landed."

The Spaceflight Museum is full of rockets. But not far from the entrance, there are two you can take up: a Gemini rocket and a Space Shuttle.

Gemini is the smaller of the two, and can seat up to two people.

Just click, select "board," and type "+blastoff."

And it's a rocket ride into space!

It isn't long before the sky goes black and you seeing stars. Your destination, the space station. But there's another way to get there.

 You can board the Shuttle Atlantis for a ride to the Space Station as well.

And we have liftoff!

The Shuttle docks directly with the Space Station.

 But you can also board the Shuttle, undock, and return to the surface.

 But reentry can be a little hot. Good thing the shuttle is covered with heat-insulating tiles.

And the Shuttle comes in for a landing, though far away from where you boarded it.

There is a ride back to the launch site.

And you can resume your looking around from where you were.

The Spaceflight Museum is best known for it's ring of rockets.

The V-2 rocket was technically the first rocket to make it into space in 1944. When the Americans used it as a "bumper" or first stage of a combination with their WAC, the US finally got into space as well.

The Soviet space program achieved a number of firsts with it's rockets. Their R-7 Semyorka was the one that got Sputnik, the first satellite into space, in 1957. The Vostok-K would launch Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, in 1961.

China got a later start in it's space program than the US and Soviets/Russians. But their rockets have been getting bigger and better, as well as their goals.

There are others, such as SpaceX and India.

In the middle of the circle of rockets is the theater area, which is often used for live events. When the shuttle was flying, people would gather here for launches and landings.

Underneath the ring are a number of exhibits such as the Apollo Moon lander, Mars landers, and more.

Spaceport Bravo has fewer exhibits than Spaceport Alpha. But some are bigger.

 The Vehicle Assembly Building in the Kennedy Space Center is one of the largest buildings in the world. It takes a building like that to make a rocket like the Saturn V used in the Apollo launches.

There isn't much about the Saturn V that isn't small. From the launch tower ...

To the mobile launcher platform, this thing is simply massive.

Nearby, the capsule that held the three astronauts on Apollo launches.

Spaceport Bravo has one of the two gift shops.

There are globes of the Sun, the Moon, and each of the planets except Uranus, due to it's weird axis of rotation.

As we mentioned earlier, way above the ground and accessible by rocket (and teleporter) is the space station.

But there's more up there to see.

You can also see exhibits of the various planets, such as Saturn and it's massive rings.

 Uranus never seems to get much respect due to the juvenile jokes about it's name, but it's unique due to it's extreme axial tilt that places it sideways.

When the Spaceflight Museum was first built, Pluto was considered the ninth planet. But when Eris, a Kepler Belt object far beyond it's orbit, was discovered to be slightly larger, astronomers decided there had to be a change. So Pluto ended up being "demoted" to the newly created status of dwarf planet, which includes Ceres which had once been considered the largest asteroid.

The Mars exhibits included a look on the surface.

South of Spaceport Alpha is Explorer Island. It is not part of the Spaceflight Museum, but is it's own science education area. It has a number of exhibits. But this is for another story.

On a final note, the Spaceflight Museum is supported by donations, "operated by a US 501(c)(3) tax exempt non-profit charity, incorporated in Texas as ISMuseum." Besides buying things at the gift shops, you can also donate to help keep it afloat.

After all these years, the place continues to educate, and fascinate, and used as an example to newcomers as what great places are in Second Life.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, July 15, 2019

Cats Museum

By Gemma Cleanslate

I am a lover of cats. I have had many in real life  but never more than two at a time. When I met the owner of the Cats Museum in second life , Selena Alexandre, she  told me she has eight! In second life I have two cats, one in my home in Thorstar, Puffin,  and one on my houseboat, Houseboat Hannah. Hannah likes to go swimming once in a while and I have to look for her under the Houseboat.

This is what drew me to visit the Cats Museum. What a charming place. The garden where the building is has many beautiful plants and statuary. The garden itself is worth a visit, great place to relax . I expected to find some live cats but Selena reminded me that plants can be dangerous to kitties and kitties can be dangerous to flowers.

Inside the door it is everything cat! Anything you want to learn about these independent creatures  you can. The walls are covered with information about different species of cat. One wall is dedicated to famous cats. There are notecards in both Spanish and English to help you . In one room is a list of all the good and toxic plants for cats.

 The  upper floor has a gift shop with  decorative paintings of cats for sale. One can watch a video about cats and their ancestors too up there.  The other room has photographs of real life pets and  is ready for more photographs of real life cats from those who would like to contribute to the museum.

Make sure before you leave you sign the guest book and you can read all the cute submissions so far too if you like....”I LOVE your museum. The thought that went into it and what you chose to display is puurfect ;) Thank you so much for creating it! ‘.....” never knew something like this even existed online, or in real life until a friend of mine told me about it.. “ and so many more.

Selena is looking forward to the one year anniversary of the Museum in August . About the submission of real life cats for the wall she said,    “yes, the museum is dedicated to real cats , so i thought that maybe some people would like to have their  real-life cat represented here, for the ones who love cats that room upstairs is kind of a relaxation one” . So if you want your kitty on the museum wall send her the darling’s picture. Selena is a well known DJ and  fashionista in sl and you can find out more about her at her website blog, 

Go take a look even if you are not a cat fan it is enticing and a lovely place to visit.

Found this cutie shivering on the window sill upstairs.

Gemma Cleanslate