Sunday, 29 March 2015

She's back!

An update on the blog post about AnneMarie Otoole's suspension from Second Life: she's back!

After an almost three-week hiatus, her vehicles were spotted rezzing on Melanthia Station on Heterocera earlier today.


It's more than likely this is not the only location where she's managed to reinstall her rezzers, as some of her vehicles are also running on other public roads on the continent as we speak.

And so the saga continues...

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Museum of Sacred Art closes

Museum of Sacred Art has been a wonderful resource for history of religion buffs in SL. Its exhibition covers the world's main religions, including general information on their geographical distribution, sacred art and architecture.


Now the announcement came that the Museum is about to close, with the exact time set for Sunday, April 5 at 12 noon SLT.


The museum may reopen later in the year, but just in case, do visit while it's still there: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Bieup/185/50/107


Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Cica Ghost's "Ruins"

I was much excited about Cica Ghost's latest art installation, "Ruins". Her previous works have appealed to me a great deal and I was very happy to hear about the recent opening of this one.


In a nutshell, it's an apocalyptic vision of a post-human urban setting. The place is deserted and whatever remains of the natural world takes over. This is very different from some of Cica's previous installations, where the landscape was dominated by rusty, mechanical flowers and all of nature seemed either man-made or mimicking the industrial products of human culture.




Strangely, "Ruins" presents a comforting vision. Although signs of civilization lay scattered around, in various stages of decay and collapse, life is still there - and it's thriving. Wild flowers break through wooden panels and brick walls; black birds fly around. The abandoned city feels ominous, yet alive and animated at the same time.


Make sure you don't miss a visit to "Ruins." When it comes to inworld artwork, the opening of this installation is one of the highlights of the season.

To visit, follow this SLurl.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Nørgaard Village commemorative stamps

The second week of March marks the anniversary of my move to Heterocera and the purchase of my first parcel on its east coast. What used to be a narrow strip of barren land, eventually evolved into several times larger Nørgaard Village.

To mark the occasion, I'm issuing special commemorative postage stamps. They illustrate the main thing about living in the Village - enjoying the quiet life of simple folksy ways while being open to the wider world.


The fifty cent stamp is all about farming. Before Nørgaard Village, the place's original name was Nørgaard Farm and it's the part of the land that has changed the least, remaining the steady core of the place.


One L$ stamp shows the Village train station - the Village's transport artery. It's been a relatively recent addition to the land, but it feels like it's been there from the beginning.


The two linden stamp shows the heart of the Village - St Hildegard's. The chapel's original location was the other land I owned in now abandoned Pine Cliffs on the continent of Sansara. The interior has been left intact.


For air mail, you'll likely to need the 5L$ stamp. It shows the original parcel by the ocean, unrecognizable when compared to the land's humble beginnings. Some of the features have been replaced since the snapshot was taken, but most of them are there at the moment of writing. Although I personally tend to like dark and foggy weather, this one captures the ocean side of the Village on a crisp and sunny spring morning.

If you'd like some of this mainland memorabilia, I will soon make the stamps available as posters on my MP (I'll amend the blog later, with the link to that).

Friday, 6 March 2015

AnneMarie Otoole gone - for now

As recently reported on Echt Virtuell and other blogs, Linden Lab (LL) has suspended AnneMarie Otoole's account. If the name doesn't mean anything to you, you've really missed on one of mainland's legendary figures. People usually use the word "notorious" when referring to her, which is probably well deserved. What AnneMarie was doing for years, was to create all kinds of automated vehicles that would run on mainland public roads and railway tracks: from ice cream vans to different cars and trains, tanks firing shells, even giant rideable spiders!

Ms Otoole, spotted at Melanthia Station a few weeks back
Most of the time people would complain of the crazy vehicles, clogging the roads, getting stuck all over the place and contributing to lag. Her basic response was that she wanted to make SL more fun for everyone. Many of my friends told me about filing abuse reports and complaining to LL, to no effect whatsoever. I never went that far, but on one occasion I sent her IMs to complain, to which she promptly responded. For some reason I expected her either to ignore my messages or be rude about them, but she turned out to be kind and friendly. Not that she actually did much to improve the situation I was complaining about.

I'm not sure if she did it on purpose, but several months ago, the vehicles began to multiply everywhere, rezzing automatically from a number of locations on the continent  in a quantity that clearly went out of control (I'm referring to Heterocera, not knowing what she did elsewhere). Using the roads became a struggle, always having to be on the lookout for the next erratically moving obstacle. Many of them were lying around, stuck in ditches, by the side of the road or flying up in the air. Not a pretty sight. Eventually, some rezz zones, such as Melanthia Station, disabled rezzing permissions, probably mainly to preempt AnneMarie's activities. Other parcel owners came up with different solutions, managing to divert the vehicles or take them back.


It was roughly a week ago that I realized the vehicles were gone. Living next to the SLRR tracks, they used to pass by my home all the time. The silly tune emitted by her ice cream vans was one of the first sounds I heard when I bought my parcel a year ago. I didn't think I would feel nostalgic about it all, but now that they're gone I must admit I miss them a bit. Annoying as they were, they were also entertaining, and they gave the neighbourhood something to chat about. And it seems I'm not alone: when I first posted about AnneMarie's suspension on social networks, the initial responses were actually in support of her. One of my friends posted the following: "NOOO!!! I loved the drunken car. Recently I had some contact with her alt [...] and she was just lovely to talk to. She was responsive to the issue and contacted me after she fixed the issue to make sure all was ok. I will miss those cars if this is the case. They are a very old part of SL."

I'm wondering how long it will take before she's back. Love her or hate her, it's difficult to think she's history. Even when she's already the stuff of SL legend.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Anteater invasion

Fun fact about Refugium: Center for Contemplation. It seems to be the place with the highest anteater-to-human ratio in Second Life: it's one to one!



Earlier today, all of us showed up for the 11pm session with an anteater pet. Although they can make hissing sounds, they were very quiet while we were meditating.


They got more playful when we went outside for coffee. Very sweet animals, and great pets!

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Tuesday restarts

I've always found sim restarts interesting. First off, they always take me by surprise; the viewer notification always shows up when I'm in the middle of something. Murphy's law, I guess.


 Restarts got more interesting once I bought a neighbouring parcel which is in another region. Just before one place shuts down, I can evacuate to the other and observe things from a safe distance. Not that there is much to see, but I still stop whatever I'm doing and just gaze at the big gaping hole surrounded by contours of the adjacent sims.


 Complete emptiness replacing a location I think of as home gives me a pause for thought. What makes this inworld location, now doubly non-existing in its virtuality, a home? What stories and memories are contained in this nirvana?


Today I poured myself a glass of RL wine and played me some country music waiting for the sim to get back. Here's to restarts, RL and SL. Cheers!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Refugium Monthly Newsletter #3

[repost from the Refugium blog]

Dear friends,

With the shortest month of the year just behind us, it’s time to report on Refugium news and updates.

Our 30-minute meditation sessions continued to take place daily, at 11pm SLT. We’ve had some new visitors, mostly people who have read about Refugium on the social networks or in the Second Pilgrims inworld group. One day we had the unfortunate visit of a group of pranksters who caused some commotion, after which new security settings were introduced. Refugium has been hassle free since.


Speaking of social networks, I’ve recently changed the url for the Tumblr blog, which is now http://refugium-meditation.tumblr.com. There I’ve been posting a selection of quotes used at the beginning and the end of our sessions, snapshots from Refugium, but also links to articles about meditation and mindfulness. One such recent link directs you to a small collection of guided audio meditations which might be useful for beginners.

Only several days ago I added a small lecture hall to Refugium, with the idea of having monthly cultural events there, namely lectures and presentations on a variety of subjects. While the exact date for the March event has yet to be set, it will be a presentation by Zippedy Zabelin, who will be presenting electronic musical instruments from the 1920s and ’30s, such as theremin.


Since the Tumblr blog is focused on the meditation group only, I’ve started a community page on Facebook for all Refugium events. Please consider ‘liking’ it to keep in touch. You will find it at this address: https://www.facebook.com/inworldrefugium.


With all best wishes,

Abinoam