Thursday, 29 September 2016

The Last Unicorn at LEA 26

Here's a nice Second Life destination to visit: "The Last Unicorn" at LEA 26 region. The place is a wonderfully made immersive experience, where you get to explore, follow a story and search for the elusive unicorn.

The story itself consists of extracts from Peter Beagle's novel The Last Unicorn. It appears in local chat in about a hundred "storylets", it's rather elaborate, and I must confess I gave up on reading it in detail after a while, but that did not diminish the experience. Lindy Hopper did a great job of making a wonderfully detailed and enjoyable setting.

Also, it isn't one of those complicated games that makes it difficult to complete the task - all you have to do is follow the trails and enjoy the scenery. Just don't forget to take the HUD at the landing point, or you'll be missing out on much.

"The Last Unicorn" will be at LEA 26 until the end of December 2016. To access it, follow this SLurl.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Fourth rezzday

Another year in SL has passed - it went by so quickly! It was a good year, I must say, and somehow my rezzday yesterday felt like a nice recap.

It began, as every morning (local time), with a meditation session at Refugium. Duncan surprised me with lovely cakes and balloons. I couldn't wait for the session to end to grab a bite!

After I got back from RL work, there was a barbecue party at my place, with country music blasting from the loudspeakers.

As we were getting ready to TP to Odie, Nautilus, for the regular Friday silent movie night, Pierri - an experienced pilot - offered to first take us by boat to the Second Norway airport, where we would catch a plane to Nautilus.

The boat was quite something - a huge yacht almost as big as my entire island!

After some technical difficulties, most of us managed to get on the plane.

The flight was very comfortable... Until the moment when we all ended up on the bottom of the ocean!

Once on Nautilus, we had to catch a bus to Odie. Poor Gustav had to spend the entire time on the toilet, which I blamed on the plane food. Even in SL you have to be careful about what you eat...

Almost an hour late, we eventually did get to Odie for the screening of "The Cabinet of Dr Caligari", a 1920 classic silent movie horror.

Even that ended with a mini-party with funny songs and gestures. :D

It was a wonderful rezzday for me, and I wish to thank everyone who joined me in celebrating!

Friday, 2 September 2016

Philosophy Class in SL

You've always liked philosophy but never got to read up on it much? Philosophy Class might be just perfect for you, and the free classes in the new semester have just started.

Led by Herman Bergson, the group meets twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1pm SLT, in the virtual world of Second Life. Meetings consist of a brief and concise lecture (usually about 20 minutes long) followed by discussion and any additional questions. Transcripts of the previous classes are available on the Philosophy Class blog.

This semester is dedicated to the Dutch Jewish philosopher Baruch Spinoza and his influential ideas that have left a deep mark on the subsequent philosophy in the West. To learn more about his thought, have a look at the entry in the Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Mr Bergson's school is located in Wainscot on the east coast of Heterocera. If you like to travel by car or train, the place is accessible by SLRR. You can reach it by following this SLurl. For news and updates about classes, you can also join the inworld Philosophy Class group.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Silent movie nights in new venue

Silent movie nights that I've been hosting Fridays at 1pm SLT, now have a permanent home. After some reshuffling on my parcels, I've decided to use the mainland 512 sqm parcel for a small cinema.

Over the previous few months, the parcel in Odie along Route 12 (on the Nautilus continent) served as a petrol station, largely unused. I don't have many snapshots of it, but luckily, Pearl Grey blogged about it recently, and included several photos of the old place. You can find her post here.

Last night I replaced the station with a small build there, equipped it with the screen and the projector, while Duncan added excellent new movie theatre curtains. Since we'll be watching silent movies there, I've also added a nice piano, designed by Herr von Rosenheim of the 1920s Berlin community.

The month of September will be dedicated to German expressionist films, and we're starting on Friday, 2nd September at 1pm SLT with Karlheinz Martin's masterpiece "From Morn till Midnight" (1920). To learn more about it, click here.

If you'd like to join us, please follow this SLurl. Hope to see you there!

Refugium meditation sessions in September 2016

After a one-month summer break, we're resuming daily meditation sessions at Refugium, starting from this Thursday, 1st September. There will be some changes as of this season, though.

Sessions will begin at 11:30 pm SLT (unless announced otherwise), in the old chapel on the north side of Norgaard Island. Additionally, I've changed the music stream to play baroque music 24/7 (unless there are other events on the island, but not during the time scheduled for meditation sessions).

If you're not familiar with our meditation group, here's brief info: our small group has been meeting daily over the past two years. Sessions last 30 minutes and close with a brief inspirational quote. People of all faith backgrounds (or none) are welcome to attend. The bell sounds the beginning and the end of our meetings. People are welcome to spend time at Refugium whenever they feel like, all of the island is public.

You can reach Refugium and the Island by following this SLurl. To keep in touch with occasional news and announcements, like the Facebook page, or follow our Tumbler account.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Visiting Belarus in Second Life

Where I live in RL, Belarus is usually mentioned only in the context of its long-ruling President Lukashenko (in power since 1994!), dubbed as "Europe's last dictator." I'll be the first to admit that I know very little about the country and its history, and so I couldn't pass on the opportunity to visit Belorussian capital Minsk - in Second Life.

Landing point is a large square in front of the city's iconic social-realist government building - Independence Palace - with a large map of Belarus on the ground.

Walking down the street towards east gets you to the escalators which you can take to go inside the underground train station.

The station needs some improvement, as you can easily fall off the wall and end up on the neighbouring parcel...

...or among the dancing sirens on the level below!

Back on the ground level, I spent some time clicking on the links available on the kiosk. They all take you to various Belorussian newspapers. As a native speaker of Croatian, I was surprised by how much I could understand.

Not far from the train station is a large church with a rather colourful interior.

Back on the central square, I went to check out the Independence Palace. To be honest, it was a pleasant surprise. There's a number of galleries depicting the history of Belarus, from the medieval times until the 1990s, also showing the country's notable scientists, writers and historical figures. Interestingly, not a word of Lukashenko.

You can flick through the books and, even though everything is in Belorussian, the illustrations are quite nice.

On the other side of the city there's a monument dedicated to victory in WW2...

...and a small store where you can pick up a few Belarus-themed freebies, such as these T-shirts.

Also available there are displays of the country's postage stamps and RL clothes featuring typical Belorussian folk ornaments.

Just when I was about to TP back home, I realized there was another underground train station not far from there. Or that's what it looked like at first... When you walk down, there's actually a relatively large underground area turned into a lake. Who knew there were crocodiles in the lakes of Belarus! :D

Giving the limited size of the parcel, it's probably a good use of space, although I guess a bit different textures on the side walls would have been more effective....

All in all, Belarus in SL may not be the most visually appealing sim out there, but it is interesting and worth a visit. One thing I would definitely suggest adding are the signs and translations in English, which would make the place much more informative for those who don't understand a word of Belorussian and can't read the Cyrillic letters.

Overview of Belarus in Second Life
To visit Belarus, follow this SLurl.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Silent Movie Night: The Abyss

After last week's Hitchcock thriller The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog, the next movie we'll be watching at Refugium is the Danish film The Abyss (Afgrunden), made in 1910. 

Directed by Urban Gad, The Abyss launched Asta Nielsen into international stardom. It was considered so scandalous that it was censored in several countries, including Norway and Sweden. 

Until the beginning of World War 1, Danish cinema was the Hollywood of Europe, and thanks to the success of The Abyss, erotic melodrama continued to be its preferred genre throughout the 1910s.

Come join us for this gem of early movie history, this Friday, 1st July at 1pm SLT. To reach Refugium, follow this SLurl.