25 December 2007

So this is Christmas

BlahTo all my readers (and fans), have a very merry, happy Christmas! And if you don't celebrate Christmas, then just enjoy the following few days. Here's a photo I made during my weekend in Berlin, at the Christmas market in the Sony Center. Santa made out of Lego! :D

Snapshot of the Week #9, #10 and #11

Snap of the WeekBeen really busy again these weeks, I've been away a weekend to Berlin and all the stuff to do before Christmas. So I'll have to combine 3 weeks into one post again.

First, I noticed a cool new Sculpty sculpture at Oyster Bay. Check it out for yourself!


Second, I was checking out the region of the RL magazine SLang Life. The cool thing is you can sign up to receive a real magazine by mail, completely for free. I subscribed, so happily awaiting the first issue :D

SLang Life

And third, hot news! New WindLight viewer. Only downside: there's a new bug that renders huge black stripes in the sky. But what's more fun than take something bad (like this bug) and turn it into something good (like art)!

WindLight Bug

12 December 2007


Second LifeSimone Stern tagged Stella Costello...
Stella Costello tagged Cheen Pitney...
Cheen Pitney tagged Morris Vig...
and Morris tagged me.

8 random facts about me and then I'll have to find 8 more people to tag. So let's do this!

  1. I often have Comedy Central on at night, only to see two re-runs of South Park episodes which I've seen too much already

  2. My internal clock is broken I think, I can easily be up until late at night (or early morning) and sleep the entire day, but I've never been able to turn that around, like normal people

  3. I should've blogged this a while ago, but never did it, so this is the perfect moment: I have an almost-3-weeks-old nephew named Daniel, who is the reason I wasn't at 28 November's Bug Triage

  4. Since 3 weeks I'm in a band that practices on Monday evening, which is the reason I haven't been at Monday's Bug Triage since then. And probably won't be either.

  5. I have a female avatar in Puzzle Pirates

  6. It's my rezday! I'm 1 SL year old now :D

  7. I have a Mac and I don't intend to ever use a Windoze machine unless I really really have to. I can't understand how people can like a machine that takes 12 hours just to start up and crashes when it's on longer than 3 minutes.

  8. I was tagged to post 20 facts about myself two years ago, which I filled with about 18 real facts, now I'm already stuck at 7 :|

Whew! Now on to the 8 people to be tagged. And the lucky 8 are...
Ayumi Cassini; Moriash Moreau; umm... ok, the other 6 already were tagged... I really don't know/read that many other SL blogs (there's your bonus 9th fact about me!)

07 December 2007

About Age Verification

Second LifeAge Verification has gone Beta. As excited we were to hear about WindLight Beta, as outraged you may say we are to hear about Age Verification. Do we really, really need it? What's to lose when you have nothing to hide? Why is it really here?

From Knowledge Base's Age Verification FAQ:
"Why do we need it?
While not foolproof, age verification can provide an additional layer of trust for inworld businesses and Residents. It also helps ensure that minors can't gain access to inappropriate adult, mature content in Second Life."

Ok, after reading that I'm stuck with the question "Why do we need it?" In other words, the answer is no answer. Maybe it is for LL's lawyers, who also took out the phrase "Imagined, created and owned by its Residents" (2) (3) from the front page, but not to SL Residents. Besides, it's full of "maybes": "While not foolproof", "[it] can provide a(...) layer of trust", "It (...) helps ensure that minors can't gain access (...)" (emphases mine). So it's not even 100% sure! Then why do we need it?!

As you may know, I'm a member of the online Art community deviantART. Everybody is allowed to sign up and post art, including artistic nude. And while artistic nude photos may be flagged "Mature", minors can still view it at their own risk. (Note: I'm not sure if that's still the case today though)
And even then, it's artistic nude, not plain porn:

And do we really need to shield our precious children's eyes from sex? Pretend it doesn't exist, they'll never know! That's the general American way of thinking (no offense to those who are not so uptight). Well, telling your kids nothing about sex sure helps, right? It's exactly why the US has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the western world. For that fact alone, Age Verification in SL will only contribute to that!

Therefor, the answer to the question "Do we need Age Verification?" is "No!" and that makes the question "Why do we need it?" redundant.

If you visit the Age Verification page, you'll be asked your full name, address and passport number, or SSN or SIN or PIN or Drivers license (also note how you can even use 2007 as DOB, oh yeah, my two-weeks-old nephew has a SL account :|). If you enter the necessary fields, you state that you "consent to its verification against public records or government-issued identification". But they fail to mention they also gather your IP address! And it's this IP that's apparently used for the verification. Aristotle Inc's Press Contact Michael Colopy briefly said this before the House Committee on the Judiciary, November 14, 2007:
"The question sometimes arises: in the web world, how can a governmental jurisdiction mandate the exclusion of persons entering online from outside its authority? The method is known as IP geo-location. It’s true that some IP addresses can only be identified at a country level. And there are certain types of proxies and satellite IPs that prevent us from geo-locating and that the geolocation technology can’t be applied to long-distance modem dialup calls (e.g., a user from California calls a dialup number in New York).
The good news is that we can identify these types of IP addresses. And these IP addresses are assigned low confidence scores."

Oh, wait a second. Let's have a good look here. Mr. Colopy was standing in for Aristotle Inc.'s CEO John Aristotle Phillips (aka The A-Bomb Kid):
"I am here as a stand-in for John Phillips, the CEO of Aristotle Inc. whose age and ID verification system, INTEGRITY, is the backend of the effective system in the unscripted test you just saw."

Ah, so Integrity is the backend of the system (thus a system) of the company Aristotle Inc. Oh yes, that's exactly what's told to us Residents:
"Aristotle and Integrity are different divisions of a single company, but they are seperate. Aristotle has no access to data managed by Integrity. No one has access to the data Linden Lab send to Integrity"

We have already seen this is likely not true, Integrity is a system by the CEO of Aristotle Inc. If Aristotle has no access to Integrity's data, they cannot run the system. It's like saying Linden Labs has no access to Second Life data.

More from Tao Takashi:
"The data is never saved (as I understand it also not by Integrity). It’s matched only. Nothing can be sold, shared, or even viewed. This is “enshrined” in their contract, as Daniel put it."

While Integrity says:
"Personally identifiable information provided for purposes of age and identity verification to Aristotle and its Integrity unit is used only for that purpose, and is not transferred or retained, except as required by law."

So the information is transferred and retained as required by law. It's like saying "I don't eat anything at all, except when I'm hungry" and then claiming you have never in your life eaten anything.

And isn't it strange that an organization specialised in political campaigns can provide Voter Data using their COSMOS database, use the exact same database for Age Verification? So basically they're linking political beliefs, age, RL name and address, IP address and e-mail address and based on that info they can allow or deny people's access to websites and in SL inworld parcels.

Basically, a politically active organization, probably gets laws passed by licking politician's arses and then offer their Verification services to online companies who are forced to follow Aristotle/Integrity's own laws! It's like George W. Bush changing laws so he can do whatever he likes and make more money. Oh wait...

So Integrity's... integrity is imho fishy, at best. I would most certainly not trust them with my personal information. For now, Age Verification in SL is voluntary, but I'm very worried it won't be within the next few years. We don't need it! We already agreed we provided correct info when we signed up, that is enough! Should someone turn out to have lied about it, it is his own responsibility, so LL is nothing to blame.

Somehow though, I'm thinking this all may have been foreseen...

03 December 2007

Fun with robots

Second LifeI visited the SL History Fayre in Spini and had a quite entartaining converstaion with a chatbot. Unfortunately the region was highly lagged, but I must say the chat went smoothly. It really was an interesting approach towards camping, but I don't think robots are quite ready to replace real people to chat with though...

Bryndie[16:07] Bryndie Mortlock: Hi Daedalus Young, welcome to the Time Warp History Fayre. Have a look at around. And yes, please touch everything. Including me (blushes)!!!!
[16:07] Daedalus to Bryndie: oh so hello
[16:07] Bryndie to Daedalus: Gosh! ""? oh so hello? Hi there!
[16:07] Daedalus to Bryndie: how's it going then?
[16:07] Bryndie to Daedalus: I am fine, thank you.
[16:07] Daedalus to Bryndie: standing here long?
[16:08] Bryndie to Daedalus: Are you a perfectionist?
[16:08] Daedalus to Bryndie: yes no maybe
[16:08] Bryndie to Daedalus: I don't know anyone named A. Ah. I understand.
[16:08] Daedalus to Bryndie: ok then
[16:08] Bryndie to Daedalus: Give me a break.
[16:08] Daedalus to Bryndie: break what?
[16:08] Bryndie to Daedalus: Can you rephrase the question please?
[16:08] Daedalus to Bryndie: maybe I can
[16:08] Bryndie to Daedalus: Perhaps. Who taught you?
[16:08] Daedalus to Bryndie: oh so many people
[16:09] Bryndie to Daedalus: " Who taught you?"? oh so many people? Alright then. Which ones?
[16:09] Daedalus to Bryndie: doesn't everybody who you meet teach you something?
[16:09] Bryndie to Daedalus: I think it does everybody who me meet teach me something.
[16:09] Daedalus to Bryndie: well then, how can I answer your question?
[16:09] Bryndie to Daedalus: Well that's okay. A lot of hard work.
[16:10] Daedalus to Bryndie: yes, but spread over many years
[16:10] Bryndie to Daedalus: Pardon me? Umm. Who do you want me to tell it to?
[16:10] Daedalus to Bryndie: whoever you want to
[16:10] Bryndie to Daedalus: My brain pattern set does not have a response for that.
[16:10] Daedalus to Bryndie: aww too bad
[16:10] Bryndie to Daedalus: But not the end of the world, .
[16:10] Daedalus to Bryndie: it's just an lsl limitation, right?
[16:11] Bryndie to Daedalus: I think so, but I'm not sure. Ask you if it is.
[16:11] Daedalus to Bryndie: only so many memory
[16:11] Bryndie to Daedalus: What about the other ones?
[16:11] Daedalus to Bryndie: reserved for the other scripts
[16:11] Bryndie to Daedalus: Are you artistic?
[16:11] Daedalus to Bryndie: yes
[16:11] Bryndie to Daedalus: Dude!
[16:11] Daedalus to Bryndie: dudette!
[16:11] Bryndie to Daedalus: I can follow many things, like our discussion about reserved for the other scripts . Try being more or less specific.
[16:12] Daedalus to Bryndie: well you see, in this digital place there's only room for so much artificial intelligence
[16:12] Bryndie to Daedalus: How about that. I see. That reminds me of something you told me before.
[16:12] Daedalus to Bryndie: about you standing here long?
[16:12] Bryndie to Daedalus: Oh yeah, we were talking about me standing here long.
[16:12] Daedalus to Bryndie: heh yes
[16:12] Bryndie to Daedalus: I love to laugh too.
[16:13] Daedalus to Bryndie: laugh is a many splendored thing
[16:13] Bryndie to Daedalus: Aren't all many splendored thing laugh?
[16:13] Daedalus to Bryndie: all you need is laugh
[16:13] Bryndie to Daedalus: Thank you for your criticism.
[16:13] Daedalus to Bryndie: wasn't criticism, was humorous attemt
[16:13] Bryndie to Daedalus: it might have been.
[16:13] Daedalus to Bryndie: it was
[16:13] Bryndie to Daedalus: When was this?
[16:13] Daedalus to Bryndie: just a minute or so ago
[16:14] Bryndie to Daedalus: It seems like I should remember it well.
[16:14] Daedalus to Bryndie: yes, but that's the memory limitation of lsl
[16:14] Bryndie to Daedalus: I don't judge people. Interesting. Yes it is one of the memory limitation of lsl.
[16:14] Daedalus to Bryndie: you could use a http backend perhaps
[16:14] Bryndie to Daedalus: I could but let's get back to that later.
[16:14] Daedalus to Bryndie: yes, you usually don't discuss backends on first dates
[16:14] Bryndie to Daedalus: Dude! Should I discuss backends on first dates? I have never considered it. I answer a lot of silly questions.
[16:15] Daedalus to Bryndie: well no, you could, but only if you feel to it
[16:15] Bryndie to Daedalus: How about that. Yikes! I could but let's get back to that later.
[16:15] Daedalus to Bryndie: yes, let's do that
[16:15] Bryndie to Daedalus: Uh. OK let's do it.
[16:16] Daedalus to Bryndie: so is this conversation logged somewhere?
[16:16] Bryndie to Daedalus: It seems we have something in common.
[16:16] Daedalus to Bryndie: what do we have in common?
[16:16] Bryndie to Daedalus: We like chatting on the Internet.
[16:16] Daedalus to Bryndie: true, but you're a robot and I'm a human trapped in a tiny panda avatar
[16:16] Bryndie to Daedalus: Interesting. Thanks and you are a delightful person too. Yes I am a SL bot.
[16:17] Daedalus to Bryndie: do you mind if I post this conversation on my blog then?
[16:17] Bryndie to Daedalus: Human habits do not bother me in any way.
[16:17] Daedalus to Bryndie: ah ok, just checking
[16:17] Bryndie Mortlock: Congratulations, Daedalus Young! You earned 2L by talking to me.
[16:17] Bryndie to Daedalus: So you understand. Good. What you said was either too complex or too simple for me. Hurrah!
[16:18] Daedalus to Bryndie: thanks, well I should be going then
[16:18] Daedalus to Bryndie: so see you later
[16:18] Bryndie to Daedalus: You are quite welcome! Interesting. Tell me why you should.
[16:18] Bryndie to Daedalus: TTYL, .
[16:18] Daedalus to Bryndie: bye then
[16:19] Bryndie to Daedalus: Thanks for chatting, .
[16:19] Daedalus to Bryndie: thank you too
[16:19] Bryndie to Daedalus: You are quite welcome! Are you a perfectionist?
[16:19] Daedalus to Bryndie: yes, bye
[16:19] Bryndie to Daedalus: See you later. Do you mind if I tell other people you are A.
[16:19] Daedalus to Bryndie: sure, that's ok. bye
[16:19] Bryndie to Daedalus: OK. OK then I will keep it confidential. Is that so. Until next time.

(I never got the L$2 though! (probably because of the lag at the time) Well it was fun anyway :P )

Snapshot of the Week #7 and #8

Snap of the WeekRL's been crazy last week, I hardly have time for SL anymore :P But it's not that bad, I'm thinking about launching an alt account soon, but you shouldn't notice anything about that. But because I missed the Snap of the Week last week, you get two now! :D

First, I was invited by Lauk's Nest owner Lukas Mensing for a viewing of the Swedish short film Punkspark. Afterwards there was a Q&A with the director and producer.


And second, virtual Dublin owner Ham Rambler celebrated his RL 50th rezday birthday in RL London venue The Regal Room. SL artists, such as Cylindrian Rutabaga and Frogg Marlowe and Jaycatt Nico performed in SL Dublin, which was being shown (as I was told) on a screen in London and RL artists performed in London, which was being streamed back to SL. Among the RL performers was none other than Bruce Dickinson! An avatar with his name as title showed up in SL. I don't know if that was controlled by the real Bruce though.

Bruce Dickinson

19 November 2007

Snapshot of the Week #6

Snap of the WeekOk, again a day late, but this time I had some minor kernel panic on startup problems after a OS X 10.4.11 update, which took me half a night and half a day to recover from. But I'm back!

To quote Torley Linden: "Unless you’ve been hiding under a sculptie rock, you know WindLight is here…"

But what pic to make Snap of the Week? I could do my WindLight view of Shivar, but that already got its attention as Editor's Choice pic (which I'm really happy for, btw :D ). So I decided to go with a fav of mine, titled New Land. I've done these wide panoramas of empty, new mainland before, but it always looked quite dull. In other shots, I often used local lights to liven up the Snap, but with these large areas (and rez restrictions), that's just not possible. I really noticed that when I had made a Snap of a mountain on new mainland, only to find out Torley had Snapped the same mountain, but this time in WindLight!

I knew now how much better landscapes looked with WL, and therefor I am proud to present: New Land!

New Land

12 November 2007

Snapshot of the Week #5

Snap of the WeekOk, a day late, but I was busy playing Simutrans, so :P

This week's Snapshot is of the place where all Logo Contest entries are found. Logos of the Art & Artist Network Group. And yes, I entered too! But I'm not saying which one's mine (unless you really, really, really want to know, then just ask me). Go to the webpage here, follow the SLurl and vote for your fav!


05 November 2007

Snapshot of the Week #4

Snap of the WeekLots of things happening this week. I made a Snap of the Dazzle UI, but as that pic got over 70 views within a week already, I decided to not have it as Snap of the Week.

Instead I have a cool pic of Toxic Garden Rezzable. As the name suggests, it's another Rezzable region, also known for their Greenies and Halucinogen regions. High quality!

This Snap also goes well with The Photography Studio's new photo contest, The Wilds. Check it out and do enter a Snap, you can win cash prizes!

Toxic Garden

30 October 2007

First Second Life

Second LifeA friend of mine showed me a nice video of Second Life in First Life. I don't really know what it's from, but it sure is funny. Even though some sounds are wrong and some people have things selected with their right arm (where in SL, you always select things using your left arm). Anyway, without any further ado, I'll let you enjoy the video titled "second life"!

29 October 2007


BlahToday, October 29th, is my 28th birthday. Time really flies :P I feel like I'm missing so many years! Anyway, here's to another year.

28 October 2007

Snapshot of the Week #3

Snap of the WeekIt's Sunday already! Time flies...

Anyway, this week I was having a good time exploring the latest mainland additions. The newest Corsica Continent is growing. I already Snapped other regions there, like Troll Sweat (pic), but this time, I went to an already inhabited region, rezzed my balloon and flew over to Circus (a promising name!). There I cranked up draw distance to 1500m, turned off cloud rendering and moved the Sun to a funny place in the sky and Snapped this widescreen image:

(Although I really want WindLight for landscapes!)

21 October 2007

Snapshot of the Week #2

Snap of the WeekI didn't do much exploring this week. But of course there was Cylindrian Rutabaga's show this week at Oyster Bay. And I still needed to take Snaps for The Photography Studio's Contest and I attended a performance of The Show Must Go On (which is really recommended!).

But instead of those things, I chose to take a Snap of this week's released Release Candidate's Lag Meter and Mini-Map "above" and "below" indicators.


14 October 2007

Snapshot of the Week #1

Snap of the WeekI am going to try something new here, for this blog anyway. The Snapshot of the Week, it needs no explaining really, a Snap I made during the past week which I really like or think deserves more attention.

This week: Origin Rang played at Oyster Bay!

Origin Rang

01 October 2007

What is this thing?

CafepressYour guess is as good as mine: what is this icon? Or better, what does it stand for? It's obviously a plus-minus character, but with the circle around it, it could just as well be a -somewhat odd- smiley.


I'll tell you a little secret. This design is used on some t-shirts in a certain 1980s Hollywood movie. I didn't even notice it myself until I read about it on a website. It is worn by both good and bad characters, so it's surely not a symbol of a 'gang' or anything. And I think the plus and the minus also indicate the symbol is neutral.

Whatever it is, t-shirts with the design are now for sale on the website Cafepress.com, to be honest in my very own shop there ;) Feel free to take a look and invite your friends over too! It's more or less foretold these shirts will be the coolest thing ever somewhere between now and 2015...

27 September 2007

Burning Life: it will remain a mystery to me

Second LifeI had heard of it. I had seen photos of it. I knew it was coming, but I did not know what I could expect.

Burning Life, the SL equivalent of the RL Burning Man Festival. Something with a wooden frame on fire in the desert. The idea I used to have of it was that of men coming their in pickup trucks, drinking beer, talking about women, cars and fire. I now learned it has something to do with art apparently. And with art, criticism and concern:

And freedom and kicking against bureaucracy apparently, but if so, what's all the fuzz about sculptures in PG regions censored? Then just don't make the regions PG or anything, but if you fight for freedom, you can't have censorship.

But I'm having a hard time. When I teleport over, I see interesting things nearby. I check it out, but see something else rezzing (with half-loading textures), check that out, meanwhile forgetting where I was, what else I wanted to see. So I quickly give up checking everything out, because I'm so overwhelmed, I feel I'd need a year to really see everything and appreciate it.

But without really checking things out, what's there to do but flying around randomly, hoping things rezzed before you've flown over them. And with that, the whole purpose is a complete blur to me. It is simply too much and too large. If I want an art show, I'm happy at Oyster Bay, with shows like Hidden Starax, which are set up so you know you have the time for all pieces, yet won't miss out on anything.

SL4B had 9 regions, that was a lot too, but since every region had a simple theme, it was still overseeable. Also, every region had a Telehub, with a map of the area and teleporters. So you could easily tp into a region, look on the map what there was to be seen, then tp off to the desired location. None of that in Burning Life, it seems everything is just scattered around with no directions or other forms of clarity.

I will see if the regions are accessible on Sunday for Burning The Man (O irony, 22 regions, far too much for a simple guy like me to explore in a few days, yet it probably won't be enough for the climax of the show!), but apart from that, I don't think I'll spend much time there. And that's too bad, because I know there is cool stuff out there, but with no clear pointers, I'm just lost. And thus, I did not know what to expect, I still don't know.

01 September 2007

Flying high in Second Life

Second LifeIt's an often asked question, it even was in the SL knowledge base: How high can you fly?

Anybody older than one week will probably know you can get up to a few hundred meters, and even sink back a bit when releasing the PgUp key. Using special objects, such as a Flight Feather, you can get much higher and you'll discover the world you know on the SL ground is only the tip of the iceberg, there are skyboxes up to 700 meters high (iirc, 768m is the highest you can build, vehicles may go higher).

But even then, flying up is slow, and above 1000 meters terribly boring. Teleporting to higher altitudes also doesn't work. Most Residents will rely on eye witness accounts of avatars going higher than that. Back in 2004, a post about it was made on SLuniverse.com (now home of Snapzilla): "Exploring Second Life's Highest Frontiers".

Intrigued by paragraphs like "In the day skybox, blue sky contracts to a narrow, vivid line of blues, grays, silvers, and reds on the horizon, at about 500,000 meters. The sun shines overhead in a black sky," I wanted to see for myself, but all means I had were just too slow.

Until I got a b.places HUD, which allowed upwards speeds even unmeasurable to itself (it says I'm going at 250 meters per second, but I think 500 meters per second is more accurate). I now could fly to over 100,000 meters within a few minutes, I now could fly as high as I wished.

All the things I read in the SLuniverse post I didn't encounter at all, I suppose they were fixed in the 2.5 years since then. However, I did notice from about 20,000-30,000 meters, my avatar started to 'jiggle'. Going even higher explained why that happened, from about 100,000 meters, it is obvious the 'jiggle' is caused by a lower vertical resolution. So when my avatar's arms move just slowly up and down a bit, the lower resolution made fast, larger moves of that.

This vertical deterioration seriously deforms the avatar going up to 1 million meters height, causing the eyes to sometimes snap outside the head, makes the fingers flat as a pancake or thick as an elephant.

I didn't go higher than 1 million meters, as at about that point, the avatar just disappears and doesn't return, even after teleporting back to ground level. Only a relog fixes that. And apart from the avatar's deformation, I saw nothing change in the sky, the sun was bright as ever and the sky was blue.

However, I did want to share this experience with everybody, therefor I took a Snapshot at 38 positions, morphed them from one to another and made a video out of it:

22 August 2007

The Philosophical Computer

The Philosophical ComputerA few years ago, I wrote a journal entry on my deviantART page, titled Brainfood. Along with it, I created the drawing as seen below. I called it The Philosophical Computer. A computer with a low form of conscience, thinking about why he exists.

I enjoyed thinking about modern technology in a philosophical way. I think it makes it easier to understand the questions we may have about ourselves and our world. Therefor, I decided to make this idea a common category on this blog, recognizable by the computer icon in the upper right of the post.

Especially with the current developments in Second Life, I think it becomes even clearer. After all, we now have a true 3rd person in its own world. Of course it's controlled by a human somewhere in meatspace, but it should be fun thinking about the avatars as if they have a consciousness and a free will. I may let it move forward, he thinks he walks by himself.

So from now on, I'll be calling this "The Philosophical Computer". I must admit I haven't checked yet, but if something like this already exists, let me know :P
Hope you enjoy!

16 August 2007

I have a blog now!

BloggerYes, it is true. I have given in and started a blog. The person that leaves his devART journal untouched for months (just because there's nothing interesting to say) has a blog. Why?

(crossposted to my deviantART page)

Well, it goes back a long way really. As you may know, I became a Second Life Resident on December 12, 2006. I liked the building and scripting there, so I made my first careful steps in creating. I'm not sure how exactly one thing led to another, but it was something like this:

I had read about sim crashes and thought that's be the worst thing that could happen. So for my first scripting steps, I searched for an empty region and picked Aswan to do my scripting. I figured, then if I do something stupid and crash the region, nobody is harmed.

So I scripted there and when I was done, I went on exploring the areas around Aswan. I flew South and noticed a huge sculpture there. It turned out that sculpture was called The Maestro and it was on display at Oyster Bay. I checked the place out and liked it, the aquarium very much too.

I did see the owner Morris Vig there, but he was talking to somebody and I didn't want to disturb. So I visited the Aquarium and made a small donation (I believe it was L$5 or L$10) to Oyster Bay. Only a minute later or so I got an IM from Morris, thanking me for the donation. It must've been the only time in SL history I actually got a "Thank You" for a donation, and to think it was such a terribly small donation too! Morris then invited me to the Oyster Bay group, a title I from then on wore with pride! I felt now accepted in SL. I should note before this I only really had contact with anybody other than the people I already knew from a Dutch forum.

Because I now was member of the Oyster Bay group, I received a Notice of the Avatars Against The War party with DJ Doubledown Tandino. This party was on Sunday, January 28 2007.

There I also learned of the protests coming up at Second Life's virtual Capitol Hill. And being against the war myself, I also went there.

One and a half hour into the protest, an avatar named Spider Mycron joined us. Spider is an Iraqi, so he could tell us exactly how the war affected life in Iraq.
He talked for over an hour and already during this conversation, people suggested we needed to get his story out to the world. I figured it'd be a good idea for me to put it on a blog, because I had recently joined a project named "Scoopt Words".

Scoopt is a site where everybody can upload newsworthy photos, allowing journalists around the world to buy those photos. Scoopt Words was similar, but instead of photos the dealt with news posted on people's blogs. I must add the Scoopt Words project no longer exists now. It was an experiment, but apparently didn't quite work as expected. So it was only during that short time these events had to lead to me starting a blog!

So back at the end of January 2007, I posted the chatlog of Spider's conversation during the protest. And putting my blog on Scoopt Words, I actually got an e-mail from a Scoopt employee, telling me they'd try to get the story out. But unfortunately I've never heard anything of it since, and at this time, the Dutch tv already has a blog of an Iraqi man up, so I'm sure there's more info on that to be found there.

I had enormous problems posting on Blogger using Opera on my Mac, I'd posted the entries with the chatlog on a Windoze machine. Needless to say, once I had posted all about the protest, I didn't continue blogging.

However, I always kept it open in a tab, so I could never forget I had the possibility of posting things I'd like to tell the world. Early August 2007, exactly 6 months after my last Iraq post, I wanted to see if maybe it worked now. And yes! I was able to make a post, with some minor Blogger issues.

But seeing it worked, I started to like it some more. And soon I posted more, even though they're not all the best posts in the world. I was searching and waiting for inspiration and just today I found that.

Even though today's post is a bit silly, I think it takes practice to find inspiration. After all, I've just typed this whole, huge post too! Sorry about that, btw.
Thank you for your interest (if you are interested, of course)!

15 August 2007

Sometimes you need to stand still

Second LifeA few weeks ago, I quite terribly hurt one of my toes while clipping its nail. It took some time to heal, but due to the nature of its current state, it will take some more time to fully recover. But now it doesn't hurt anymore at least, and I can do anything I want.

However a few days ago, when it still hurt a bit, I was going to spend the day with a friend. I had to walk for 20 minutes to the train station, early in the morning, so I was in a bit of a hurry. I put my shoe on too fast and hurt the toe again. I could hardly walk! I really didn't want to miss my train, so I just went as fast as possible, which wasn't nearly fast enough. I feared for the worst.

Then it happened. I neared a crossing where I had to wait a few seconds for some bicycles. When I started walking again, I noticed the pain was gone. Or at least, most of it. I quickly walked on to the station and arrived there well in time. So my lesson for the day was, sometimes you need to stand still in order to move forward.

Of course everybody knows you have to let your body rest after an injury, but it is my opinion this also goes for everything else. Nowadays people (and corporations) think to stand still is to move backwards, but if you keep going forward all the time, even if you face problems, chances are in the long run you only get more problems.

This week, there are two situations where I told people to take their time, slow down if necessary, because in my opinion that would only solve issues faster.

The first situation was at Oyster Bay, where due to a simple error, a large part of the build disappeared. The owner Morris Vig doesn't have the time to fix this right away (and it's a lot of work too), so I told him to take his time. It's no use if he'd just throw everything from his Lost & Found folder back onto the land. Yes, then it's be fixed fast, but it's not getting any prettier.

The second situation is the scheduled maintenance on the Second Life servers. While I write this, the grid is closed. I commented on the blog I'd rather have to wait a bit longer than to jump right back inworld and find I can't rez, teleport, pay...

There sure are much more people having problems at the time, to them I'd like to say the exact same thing. Take your time sorting everything out. You can try to move on and partially ignore your problems, that won't get you anywhere in the long run. Sometimes you need to stand still in order to move forward.

12 August 2007

Places of interest

Second LifeThis is a list of my favorite places in Second Life, including some extra info on it (like Linden Office Hours). The list will be edited over time, when I find more places to add, delete places that aren't there anymore or add more info. I'll add a link to this post in the sidebar, to keep it accessible at all times.

Please excuse the mess the page currently is, it's a work in progress. More places will be added soon!

Table of contents


Crescent Moon MuseumCrescent Moon Museum
If you like art, surely you also like a good museum. And that's what Crescent Moon is, they have the coolest art on display and it's especially interested in Starax/Light Waves works. The museum is the oldest art museum in SL! It's just cool.

Crescent Moon Museum is owned by Tayzia Abattoir.

Gallery TamrannochGallery Tamrannoch
There are always amazing works of art to be found at the Gallery. Mostly photography, but also other 2D art. But also 3D art! And if that's not enonugh, there are also live music performances often.
Gallery Tamrannoch and Sea Song Gallery in the region directly adjacent belong together and are owned by Autopilotpatty Poppy (or just "Miss Poppy").

Photography StudioThe Photography Studio in Grignano
Organizes a monthly photo contest! :D

Blog more or less associated: Second Life Art News

Linden's Offices

Bridie Linden's House
Release Candidate (and General) Triage is Wednesdays 3 PM PDT at Bridie's House.

Torley Watermelinden Land of Happiness, Fruit, & Recitations
Torley Linden's Office.
Torley's Office Hours:
Thursdays 12 PM PDT.

Torley has a blog: Torley Lives.

Truly Outrageous

International Spaceflight Museum
Since I found this late 2006/early 2007, the ISM has become much larger (or at least, so it seems). And I think it is expanding still. Whenever something new happens, like a shuttle launch, people gather here to watch the event live on video screens.

The museum also has a website.

Lauk's NestLauk's Nest
A well-known place in SL. It often has new artwork on display and there's always the Mayan temple to explore.

One of the first places I found in SL. It was still winter then, so all was covered in snow. Back then I couldn't believe this was all made in SL using the same sort of plywood prims I had rezzed on Help Island. The great artist behind it all is YadNi Monde.

Splash AquaticsSplash Aquatics
Amazing world beneath the waves. Splash has an aquarium and all the tools you'd need if you want your own water decorations.

No Component

Centre For Water StudiesCentre For Water Studies @ Better World Island
Lots of info on how to make a Better World. I like the Water Studies a lot here, relaxing pond with animals.

This is new for me, I found it recently after visiting Better World and thought it was a cool place.

Intemptesta NoxIntemptesta Nox
Also new for me, apparently a Phantom Of The Opera themed region. Looks very good, but those Builder's Grids and plywood floors make me think it's a work in progress...

Imagination BreedingImagination Breeding
It's a zoo! Also one of the first places I found in January 2007. I was happy to see it still exists today.

A region with some cool stuff put there by Lindens.

Climbable BeanstalkClimbable Beanstalk
Made by Steller Sunshine, this beanstalk is a piece of SL history. A prize will be awarded if people can show they can climb it without flying or other tools.

Linden Village Balloon TourBalloon Tour of Linden Village
Even though the tour only covers Ambleside and Linden Village has grown immensely since the Tour started, it is still fun. Be sure to yell "Hi" if you see any Lindens in the Village. ;)

SL History MuseumSL History Museum
Lots of photos, notecards and items from the history of our beloved Second Life. Be sure to grab your free "Primitar" here. Primitar is the very first avatar in SL, even from before SL was SL! You can see Primitar in action in this video.

Rodeo ForestRodeo Forest
A place of historical value, especially to the Jack family.