Monday, March 31, 2014

Dirk Talamasca, Noted Second Life Mentor, Dies

It was reported on his Facebook page by his real life brother that Dirk Talamasca, an early land baron whom came to be a noted mentor, had passed away in real life. Saffia Widdershins described Dirk as "one of the strongest proponents Second Life had. He was an early Land Baron, a Second Life Mentor, a supporter of artists in the virtual realm, and a wise and witty friend to so many." He passed away on Sunday March 30, 2014. Numerous people posted on the Facebook page and other places their condolences. Stoker Serpentine commented, "For anyone who has ever had the honor of meeting Dirk in person or SL, you are instantly swept up in his razor-sharp wit and gregarious humor. He radiates charm with a tempered humility that makes you immediately gravitate to him as if you have known him your entire life. He can be the life of the party or a concerned listener. He has been a neighbor of mine in SL for many years and has always..ALWAYS..been one of Second Life's biggest cheerleaders."

Dirk Talamasca's SL Wiki Page

Dirk Talamasca's Facebook Page

SL Universe thread on Dirk Talamasca's declining health and end.

Scenes From The InWorldz Fifth Anniversary

While the Relay events, the Burnal Equinox, and other happenings have been going on in Second Life, InWorldz has been having what is likely to be it's biggest event for the year: the InWorldz Fifth Anniversary. Numerous sims with many builds were set up. There's just a few more days to see the event. For those whom want to see what the event has to offer, Bixyl Shuftan took some time from his reporting in Second Life to cover a little of the milestone event of this virtual world.

See the pictures in Other Grids and MMOs.

Press Release: Le Cirque de Nuit

Idle Rogue Productions Presents  : Le Cirque de Nuit

Le Cirque de Nuit is a dance entertainment spectacular unlike anything you have seen before in Second Life. A collaboration between some of SLs best-known dancers, builders, scripters and communicators, Le Cirque de Nuit is a black-and-white steampunk dance circus which loosely references Erin Morgenstern's novel "The Night Circus".

The show is a tightly-produced set of 13 circus-based acts interleaved with "interstitial" art installations, which we use to distract you while we change sets. The soundtrack is steampunk, and the effects are dazzling, as we attempt to lure you into a completely immersive environment. We want to take you on a journey into a lavish hour of entertainment!

Produced by chryblnd Scribe of Idle Rogue Productions, Le Cirque de Nuit features performances by some of SL's best-loved dance stars, including Cellandra Zon, Shadow Tarber, BabyPea von Phoenix, and Setsuna Hirano. The Cirque build, by Gloriana Maertens, is managed by Arrehn Oberlander of Metaharpers and Firestorm fame.

The show will run at 4pm and 7pm on April 6th, on Idle Rogue, with the possibility of a limited run of touring and home performances throughout 2014. SL media are invited to a special preview session on Wednesday April 2 at 4pm or 7pm, which will feature a mini-performance and a Q&A session with some of the cast and crew.

Please look through the materials we have provided and contact Aubreya Joszpe if you have any enquiries or would like to RSVP for April 2.

Do You Have a Story?

On occasion, Second Life Newspaper will print an article or picture submitted to us by one of you, the readers. And at the moment, we could use some as some of the staff are currently having some real life difficulties that are cutting into their schedules.

Have you seen a particularly well-detailed sim? Went to a great event? Found yourself in a hilarious "only in SL" predicament? We're very interested in what you the readers have to say. Send us a story or funny picture, and if we like it, we'll post it as a Reader Submitted. For pictures, jpg format is preferred.

Mail submissions to bixylshuftan(at)

PLEASE include your SL user name and tell us if you wish it to appear with your story.

SL-Newser reserves the right to post in the appropriate section and to investigate any names used in submitted stories (please ask permission before using anyones name or picture or use an alias for them).

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cartoon of the Day

Taken at Roma

By Bixyl Shuftan

SL Video: "Indian Dance Party in Second Life "

(Click Here if the video fails to work)

From March 6 by DeceptionsDigital, "Indian dance party at Shekhawati in SecondLife by Quan Lavender and szavanna."

Saturday, March 29, 2014

SL Video: Dolly Parton's "Romeo"

(Click Here if the video fails to load)

By Nydia Tungsten, "We were feeling country, a big thanks to my Angel Lewis for stepping in as Romeo, I have always loved Dolly and I think she would get a kick out of this furry rendition of her song.
Feel free to let me know what you think of it.
( okay yes I got part of the UI in the last shot but it STILL looks good!)"

Friday, March 28, 2014

Tuna Oddfellow to Resume Performances in Second Life

For most of Second Life's history, Tuna Oddfellow has been performing his unique "Odd Ball" performance. Last September, he and his close friend Shava Suntzu closed down their act in Second Life citing Linden Lab's new Terms of Service in regards to content creators. For several months, one had to travel to the InWorldz grid to see their events. Earlier this week, Tuna announced his artistic exile would soon end, and the Odd Ball would be resuming in Second Life.

Read more in Extra.

Tales From Podex: Roman Raccoon Robbery

 By Bixyl Shuftan

It was turning out to be a fairly ordinary day in mid-March for the Podex Exchange. Clients came in to exchange their various currencies for Lindens. St. Patricks Day would be in a couple days, and people were buying up green outfits and holiday decorations. Between customers, the tellers talked among themselves about events inworld. They talked about the Relay for Life starting up it's season of fundraising and events, and perhaps they themselves would visit a winter area while there was still time.

While they were chatting, all of a sudden they heard,  "Friends, Romans, countrymen ..."

Confused, the tellers drew their attention to the door.

What they saw was a figure dressed up in of all things a toga, an outfit from ancient Roman times. It was held in place by a cord around the waist. The figure however, was a familiar-looking gray-furred character.

"Tis be the Ides of March," the figure spoke, "an' the Theater be in need of funds from it's account to play 'Ceasar.' So I'm here to collect a sum."

"You'll be collecting nothing but a call from the cops," a teller grinned, "Clumsy Cooper, we know it's you."

"Who be Clumsy? I be but a simple bard."

"I'll have to hand it to you," another teller spoke, "I was expecting you to pull a leprechaun gag. But even with you hiding your tail, we know it's you. Now just walk away and we'll pretend this never happened."

"All right, be that way!" the pantsless purloiner then pulled a dagger, "Hand over the Lindens and no one gets hurt!"

The tellers then laughed again, one saying, "You expect us to be scared by a knife? Besides, knowing you it's another cheap freebie. It won't cut a thing!"

"I'll show you!" the robber then took the blade, and ran  it into a magazine rack.


To his shock, the blade didn't do a thing to the rack. In fact, it had broken, the smaller piece falling onto the floor. "Um, I'll be on my way."

"Get 'im!"

Now in a panic, the thief bolted out the door and ran off. Heading to a pier, he spied a couple of boats. He quickly scampered up the walkway of one.

"So, we have ourselves a stowaway?"

"Huh?" the would-be bandit turned, and saw a bunch of sailors in 18th century wear, looking much like they had stepped from a pirate movie. "Um, I must be on the wrong ship."

"Ye be right about that," one dressed like an officer with a sword by his side growled, "This ain't no luxury vessel, every bloke be workin' fer his daily hardtack. Now go grab a brush n' bucket. Ye be swabbin' the deck!"

The robber looked back where he had climbed up, and he saw a couple sailors pulling up the gangplank already. "Batten down th' hatches," the officer yelled, "We be sailin' off this instant!"

Cooper then looked down, dispirited. It was going to be a hard trip.

Back at the Podex Exchange, the Second Life Police Department was called, and they did an investigation. Not finding Clumsy Cooper, they issued a warrant for his arrest for attempted greifing.

But even if Cooper's scheme had worked, there was no way he could have gotten away with any ill-gotten gains. “All our exchanges are done through electronic transfer,” a teller later explained to the SLPD, “He wouldn’t have walked away with a single Linden.”

The Podex Exchange has a record of being one of the safest Linden exchange services in Second Life, the data processing done outside the exchange, and has a record of thousands of satisfied customers. Transactions can be done at their website, or their location inworld at the Coda sim at (45, 218, 61).

Note: The preceding is a fictional story, written for the dual purpose of advertisement and entertainment.

By Bixyl Shuftan

Press Release: Wounded Warriors Concert at Veterans Isle This Sunday

Frets Nirvana and US Military Veterans Group announces the third of 2014 Wounded Warriors benefits!  The fourth year running!

Frets Nirvana, the premier guitar artist in the virtual world Second Life and the US Military Veterans Group announce the third of the monthly series of Wounded Warriors benefits in Second Life for 2014.  This effort is now entering it’s fourth year!

Frets Nirvana states:  “As a result of the support of many in Second Life this effort raised over $13000 in 2013 for WWP and prior to that $12000 in 2012.  2014 will be the fourth year that we are maintaining this effort and hopefully with all the great support of the artists and others in Second Life we will once again do well.  What a great thing it is to help the wounded veterans whose sacrifices allow us the freedom to enjoy things like Second Life.”

More than 50,000 troops have been injured in recent conflicts, many of them suffering traumatic brain injuries, amputations, and severe burns.  Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) provides services and programs to ease their burdens and aid in the transition back to civilian life.

Wounded Warriors concerts feature premier Second Life talent monthly at Vetrean’s Isle.  The concert on March 30, 2014 is scheduled from 5-9 PM PST.  Featured artists will be PonDman Haalan, Max Kleene, Frets Nirvana and Franklee Anatra.  This benefit will be held at Veteran’s Isle in Second Life.

ABOUT WOUNDED WARRIORS  - Wounded Warrior Project began when several individuals took small, inspired actions to help others in need. The resulting objective was to provide tangible support for the severely wounded and help them on the road to healing, both physically and mentally. What had been initially viewed as a small contribution (compared with what the warriors had sacrificed while serving our country) has become WWP's signature program:"WWP backpacks delivered bedside to wounded warriors."  Wounded Warriors program has developed significantly over the last several years to include advocacy, benefits counseling, caregivers retreats, coping/family services, peer mentoring, warriors to work and many other programs for the benefit of United States wounded veterans.  To learn more about the Wounded Warriors Project visit

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Facebook Buys Oculus Rift for Two Billion Dollars (Main Article)

By Bixyl Shuftan

On Tuesday, it was announced that Facebook had purchased Oculus Rift for two billion US dollars. “Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow,” stated Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's founder and CEO, “Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate.”

The announcement from Facebook stated the deal was for about $400 million in cash and about 23.1 million shares of Facebook stock valued at 1.6 billion US dollars. It was also stated "The agreement also provides for an additional $300 million earn-out in cash and stock based on the achievement of certain milestones."

The news of Facebook's latest acquisition, a month after they had bought the messenger platform WhatsApp for $19 Billion, came just after it was announced that 60,000 Oculus Rift units had been sold in it's first year. Hamlet Au of New World Notes thought this news, while impressive on it's own, also suggested a greater potential demand for virtual reality headsets. As the units had sold for $350 US dollars, "it's a very solid data point suggesting there is a mass market for a cheaper consumer model." Facebook's announcement claimed the figures were more than 75,000 units.

Early on, Linden Lab showed interest in the virtual reality headset, enough to start working on integrating it with Second Life in an "unofficial capacity." Hamlet Au then called the move then an "enormous gamble," but one it should take. Now, with Oculus Rift's future being a mass market one, Hamlet felt the Lab should invest more than ever.

Facebook also has some former Lindens on it's staff.  Cory Ondrejka. Linden Lab's co-founder is the head of Facebook's mobile division. Jim Purbrick, another Facebook worker who once worked at the Lab, posted, "Apparently I work at a virtual worlds company again."

Reaction appears to be mainly positive, people anticipating Facebook's large coffers able to generously fund research and development. But there have been some complaints, notably about concerns about privacy and datamining. On Oculus Rift's Kickstarter page, many posted complaints about the move: "I hate to see Oculus join facebook. Facebook is something I hate from the bottom of my heart (never joined it) .. the news totally ruined my day and I'm thinking of canceling my pre-order." The BBC reported that the creator of Minecraft, Markus  Persson, creator of popular online game Minecraft, had cancelled a deal with Oculusafter hearing the news, "We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus. ... I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out."

So why did Facebook buy up Oculus Rift? The social media  giant has been buying up a number of acquisitions. So perhaps it's mainly for another source of revenue. But there may be other reasons. Perhaps Mark Zuckerburg is looking to catch the next tech wave. Perhaps Facebook is trying to appeal to younger users, which have been leaving as more older people sign up. Or perhaps it is, as one man in a CNN article put it, "to hedge against the day that the era of the social network as we know it becomes totally played out?"

This is clearly big news for virtual reality and virtual worlds. The money behind the multi-billion dollar company means promises for more and faster developments. But what will be the catch?

Sources: BBC, CNN Money, CNN, Facebook , New World Notes,
Image Credit: Robyn Beck/CNN 

Bixyl Shuftan

Press Release: UH Astronomy Presents "Gold Rush in Space" This Friday

By Dr. Mark Willman
Friday, Mar 28th at 9:30 PDT
Astronomy Ampitheater:

The space age started in 1959, and commercial exploitation of Earth's orbital space is now well advanced.  However, business has just begun to target space beyond Earth's orbit.  Last year, two companies formed to mine asteroids for minerals.  Whether these ventures come up empty or produce a huge bonanza depends on how much valuable ore is accessible.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Facebook Buys Oculus Rift for Two Billion Dollars

On Tuesday, it was announced that Facebook had purchased Oculus Rift for two billion US dollars.

Stay tuned for more details.

Sources: BBC, CNN Money, CNN  
Image Credit: Robyn Beck/CNN 

Cartoon of the Day

While with some friends, one demonstrated this amusing chat gesture. I don't know where he got it, but we all had a good chuckle out of it.

Bixyl Shuftan

The Oldbie Project – Aley aka Arcadia Asylum

DrFran Babcock's latest interview of her "Oldbie Project" is a name a number in Second Life will recognize: Arcadia Asylum, not known as Aley. A well known creator, she gives away many of her items for free. Dr Fran had a long chat with her, in which she described her first days in Second Life's early times, and answers a few other questions.

Read the interview in People.

Eye On the Blog: "Production Company Seeking UK Residents for TV Documentary"

In the official Second Life blog a few days ago, Linden Lab announced that there was a chance for a British Second Life couple to appear on television.

We were recently contacted by Back2back Productions, a production company in the UK, about a documentary series they’re working on, one episode of which will feature stories of couples that first met online. For the episode, they are currently looking to speak with UK-based Second Life users “who have solid relationships/marriages as a result of meeting in these online communities, but also couples who are together online but not yet in real life.”

The show is described as “an entirely positive exploration of these relationships and plans to overturn people’s misconceptions through honest storytelling – it’s very much about ‘love conquering all.’”Although international couples are okay, at least one partner should be British to qualify. Those interested can contact the producers at, "All initial conversations will be strictly confidentia."

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Events this Week March 25 to March 31

This is the last week of March, and perhaps the last week to see some winter-themed places such as the Winter Safety Game. There's also the Furry Fair and there are the Relay events. And of course there's our usual live music and DJ parties, book and poetry readings, discussions, talk shows, church services, and races.

See the list of happenings in Events this Week.

SL Video: "Nova Albion Parade and Celebratrion of 10 Year Anniversary "

(Click Here if the video fails to load)

RacerX Gullwing's video of him in Nova Albion's Tenth Anniversary Parade. The Second Life Wikia states the region was "Second Life's first official City sims. Features of these sims included twice the prim allowance, as well as a full array of Linden-created infrastructure." Every year, the city holds an anniversary event. This year, it was on Sunday March 23rd.

Unfortunately, RacerX's driving leaves something to be desired.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Game Review: The Elder Scrolls Online

Earlier this month, the makers of  "The Elder Scrolls Online," based in the same story world as the game "Skyrim," allowed people to give their game a try for free one weekend. Both Nydia Tungsten and Bixyl Shuftan gave it a play. Today, we offer Nydia's review of the multiplayer online game. So is this a worthy game for the money you'll need to pay when it's available later this year?

Read Nydia's review in Other Grids and MMOs.

Hotter Than Air: The Burn2 "Burnal Equinox"

Time has  passing so quickly. Notice of the Burnal Equinox was released about two months ago... seems like last week! Next weekend the Burnal Equinox of Burn2 will be open .
 I have been in the region, lost in the noxious green toxic waste that covers the ground in Deep Hole. But above you will find marvelous builds to investigate hovering in the clean air supported only by their own gaseous  inventions.  The center camp has be also been raised out of the goo and hovers in the air  held in place by balloon power. Parties will be taking place inside where I saw a great dj stage and a lovely piano waiting musicians.

I had a talk with the Event Coordinator, Leroy Horton (Demonstrating the gas mask) who told me that greeters will be handing out protective gas masks and directing all to transport balloons to access the Center Camp and to other balloons that  tour the entire area.  The event will be open to the public Friday, March 28 at 12PM SLT.The lamp lighters procession will open the festivities.  The event will be open through March 31 when it will close at 1am slt.  so you will have plenty of time to visit more than once. Put it on your calendar for next weekend.

Check out the video (below article) and keep the event list below. .

Gemma Cleanslate

Chamonix City Winter Games Delayed until December

In February, The East River Community Blog announced that Chamonix City would be hosting a "Winter Games" event, lasting from March 15 to the 22nd. And soon a series of areanas and tracks were constructed in the area for the event. Unfortunetly, as those who stopped by found out, there would be no games. First they were postponed a week, then it was announced they wouldn't be happening until next winter, in December.

As much as it pains me to have to say, the Winter Games are being postponed until December of this year. Initially, they had been postponed one week, due to some extenuating circumstances, but after much deliberation, they’ve been moved back to December. To be completely honest, I might have been too ambitious, with my initial date of mid-March. This being my first major event, I might have tried to rush things a bit. But I must say, people have really rallied around this concept, and we have got some really special things to show you for the Games.

So the event is a no-go, at least for now. In the meantime, there's a number of areas and courses for people to drop by and give a try, such as the snowboarding course.

Image Credit: Drewski

Hat tip: Daniel Voyager

Bixyl Shuftan

A Peek at InWorldz Fifth Birthday

On Sunday March 16th, InWorldz began it's fifth anniversary celebrations. Yours truly has been busy, but has made some effort to visit the event. I've found a few interesting builds by the standards of either virtual world, and a few people.

More on IW5 later this week.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Cartoon of the Day: WW2 RP

By Bixyl Shuftan

Relay for Life Jail and Bail at E&S Breedables!

 E&S Breedables is Holding its Second Jail&Bail for Relay for Life! We are team number 77! We would love to have you come join us for this fun even starting at 2pm SLT! Come donate to RFL at the kiosk in front of the person you want bailed out...or kept IN! This is sure to be a great event! So come on down at Sunday March 23rd, at 2pm SLT to have fun with us and raise money for a great cause!

Here is your jail bus ride! Miniconjou (130/55/25)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

SL Video: "Furry Girls of SL (Girls Girls Girls)"

(Click Here if the video fails to load)

From Nydia Tungsten, "Okay my first attempt with a full edited video keep in mind my editing skills are almost none existent anymore and never done virtual video work, so I am having to relearn everything, This IS a work in progress by the way so... that said I hope you enjoy it."

Press Release: The Freedom Project Thank You Ceremony and Exhibition Launch


Date: 23rd March, Sunday
Time: 5PM SLT

The Freedom Project which had been receiving creations for the past many months, will see a THANK YOU Ceremony and Exhibition Launch at 5PM SLT Sunday, the 23rd of March.

The Freedom Project is a 2D/3D Art & Film Event organized jointly by the University of Western Australia, along with members of the Virtual Ability Group, and the Centre for ME/CFS and Other Invisible Illnesses Group in Second created an artwork or a film/machinima or in fact a personal story on the theme of ‘Freedom’, showing how virtual worlds have in some way helped them or those around them.

This event is to thank all the artists, filmmakers, and writers for contributing their works and of themselves, as well as to thank the many individuals, groups and organisations who made this possible, including Eliza Wierwight, who created the poster for this event,  David Doyle & Simone Flavelle of DADAA's stARTSPEAK Project, Tom Papas & Screen My Shorts Inc. (Sydney), West Australian artist, Len Zuks,  Beverley Hill of UWA's Equity & Diversity Office, Craig MacKenzie and Deborah Bolton of UniPrint,  TheDove Rhode of Peace is A Choice Gallery, Taralyn Gravois, AviewTV and LaPiscean Liberty, Eleanor Medeir and The Sim Street Journal as well as Kit Guardian and Guardian 11:11 for their multifaceted commitment towards the event as well, also iMoogi TV ( and Nu Vibez Magazine ( led by Filipa Thespian

Feel free to come visit and take in all the wonderful creations anytime at the UWA Virtual Gallery.

UWA (40, 107, 247)

Clowning Around For The Relay

Those taking part in the various Relay for Life events can often be accused of clowning around. Though last Saturday, the expression took on literal form with an offer by Rowena Dubrovna, the Captain of Team Strange Journeys, when they were helping out the Equstria team.


Thanks to your donations of 3,000 linden plus to various kioss and getting Team Equstria RFL BRONZEEEEE,

Rowenda posted that she "must wear a clown outfit for an entire week!!" and , "Yes.. I will wear it at our event on Wednesday."

Friday, March 21, 2014

Madpea's Kiana Writer to Sing at Furry Fair

When Kiana Writer, the head of the Madpea area, known for it's gaming and other activities, agreed to be part of the "Feed a Smile" charity auction, she probably had no idea what to expect. But what happened didn't cross her mind at all, "what I didn't think was that IF I write I'm willing to do ANYTHING for this, then I should be truly prepared for ANYTHING!"

The winning bid for Kiana was made by Chloe Seljan, the owner of the Potpourri Markets. So what did Chloe have in mind for Kiana to do? She had only one request ...

"I need you to sing at Furry Fair."

Chloe is the organizer of the Furry Fair, which has been going on all this month. Today is their "Feed a Smile" Day, and Kiana was made part of the line-up of musicians as a singer.  She goes on stage at 7PM SL time, "As a person who keeps her word, I decided that I WILL SING! It's been neverending practise now to make sure that my voice will be smooth as silk and lots of training (wine) to keep my nerves calm as I don't like to be in front of an audience. No matter what, there will be plenty of SURPRISES and GIFTS for the audience."

So will Kiana end up making scores of fans from Second Life's furries? Tonight will tell.

The event is at 7PM SL time at Boutou (123/119/25)

Source: Madpea Blog 

Bixyl Shuftan

Where Are They Now? Covadonga Writer

Before Second Life Newser, there was Second Life Newspaper. For some at the Newser, it was where they got their start as writers. Among our coworkers there was Covadonga Writer. Recently, we had a chat with Cova to see how she's been doing since those days.

Read the interview in People.

Botgirl: "What Went Wrong" With Second Life from 2008-2010

Botgirl Questi did a noteworthy article about Second Life during a turning point in it's history. In 2008, it looked like it was part of the future of mainstream computer use. By 2010, the amount of land owned by people was dropping, and Linden Lab had laid off a third of their staff. Botgirl felt this was the result of a number of decisions by the Lab with the goal to "transform Second Life from an anarchic virtual frontier settlement into a business-friendly company."

This wouldn't the first time a business decided to alter it's focus in an attempt to gain a wider audience. Unfortunately like many such businesses, it ended up alienating it's existing market while failing to gain a new one, "with incomprehensibly poor communication with the Second Life community along the way, Linden Lab managed to throw out the virtual baby with the bathwater." 

Botgirl's "From Thriving Anarchy to Failed Corporate State" can be read here: (link). The following few articles in her blog expands on the subject.

Memorial Service for RFL Cheerleader Srooc Skytower

On Friday evening at 6PM, there was a memorial service for one of the Relay for Life volunteers whom had recently passed away: Srooc Skytower.

The memorial service for a Avid relay for lifer  SLCS Cheerleader  Srooc Skytower will be at 6pm on the field. please wear something appropriate for a memorial service/funeral or a SLSC Uniform. the schedule for the service is as follows: Opening, Speakers, Marines Amazing Grace, 21 Pom Salute then Final HUD Call. Hope you can make it and if you wish to say something on Srooc's behalf you will get the chance to do so. i know she would want you all invited so here ya go.

I was unable to make the memorial service. I was able to arrive at the scene shortly afterwards at the stadium in the Cheertopia sim where the event took place. There were numerous flowers, pictures, and other objects placed in honor of the late cheerleader.

As it turned out, there were still a few people around. One was Daphne Yardley-Wayward (daphne.yardley), whom was happy to talk, "Putting together SROOC Memorial has been (the) highlight of my career here. ...Srooc was one of our sisters. The memorial service honor her life not only in SL but in Real Life.It was honor to have her RL daughter attend." Another there was  Debi Dastardly, "We also renamed the Stadium in her honor, Bix. We had a great turnout of 85 people. It was a very moving celebration of Srooc's life both here on SL and in Real Life."

Scarlettrose Magic told me, "If you look up overhead Bixyl, you can see her name on the scroll. That is the RoH, or Ring of Honor. RoH is earned, not just handed out, so you can see she is/ was/ will be important. She was one of the founding supports for this cheer team we all enjoy."

It was soon time to leave. But it was obvious this woman had left an impact that will be remembered for a long time.

The SLCS Relay for Life team holds events at their now renamed Srooc Skytower Memorial Stadium, in the Cheertopia sim.

Bixyl Shuftan

A Week at the Office Alone

For the first time since the start, it's just been the me the editor and head writer at the paper this week. No, nobody's been slacking. One was in the hospital, and the others had to take care of some real life matters. But don't worry, the rest of the team will soon have some stories. Until then, I'll hold down the fort the best I can.

*slides the keyboard forward and puts a pillow down, followed by taking a snooze*

Thursday, March 20, 2014

"Time To Move On" - Kylie Sabra Leaving the UCCSL

For months, Kylie Sabra tirelessly led the United Content Creators of Second Life group, a group created in response to Linden Lab's change of it's Terms of Service in reguards to the rights of content creators. She had urged level-headed dialouge with the Lab. In February, she concluded the Lab had no intention of changing the terms to ease the concerns of builders, saying the group had to pursue other options if it wanted the Lindens to change. In her latest post a few days ago, she announced she was moving on from the UCCSL.

LoveCat Thei and I had hoped to create  group that would benefit creators, but we had also hoped that others would join us in providing much-needed services. Alas, no one stepped forward to take on any of the tasks that would need to be accomplished in order to bring you those services. ... LoveCat and I both earn incomes from our work here and realize that as much as we want to contribute, we need to take care of our families first. I wish we had more impact on effecting change to the ToS. Failure does not sit well with me, but when it comes I know that I simply have to get up and move on with life.

Kylie mentioned a detail that she felt was a sign the ToS move was not a power grab, "I would like to point out something that has come to my intention, that cements for me that Linden Lab does not intend to steal our hard work. ... Linden Lab recently approached an in-world artist and entered into a written contract to use their photos to promote Second Life." Still, she felt the Lab could have handled the issue much better, and the consequences would be long lasting, "Whether the ToS sits well with us from a moral/ethical standpoint is moot. They are within their rights to do as they wish. I think it unfortunate that they chose such inflammatory wording. ... we will never again feel that we are partners in this endeavor with Linden Lab: We will never again trust so blindly as we once did."

For now, the UCCSL group is still open, though Kylie may close it if membership plummets. She also stated she would continue to speak out in the future about other issues.

"Wishing you all a pleasant goodnight–for now."

Bixyl Shuftan

First Cross-Sim Giant Snail Race of 2014

By Bixyl Shuftan

On Saturday at 11:30 AM SL time, the first Cross-Country Giant Snail Race of the year took place in Second Life. Organized by RacerX Gullwing and his team, the Giant Snail Races usually take place on a track in the Devon Dream sim every week. During the Relay For Life fundraising season, once a month there is a special cross-sim or cross-country race to help raise funds for the cancer charity through the Giant Snail Races team. Typically such events can span a few dozen sims, and always take place on the Second Life Mainland over highways. This race took place across 37 sims on the continent commonly called Sansara.

For a 2500 Linden entry fee, racers could start at the starting line at the Abitibi sim. There was a cheaper 500 L fee, but those taking the discount had to start a sim back. The course went through both country and urban areas, with green arrows helping to mark the way for the giant snails as they wobbled their way down the track, leaving behind trails of "slime bubbles." Snail avatars are customizable, and some stood out such as Snurky Snoodle's 3D glasses and Tindalla Soothsayer's pink shell and dress. Some noteable places were passed such as the newcomer hangout "The Shelter."

After a little more than a half hour, the finish line in the Noyo sim was first crossed by Gareth8 Albatros. Snurky Snoodle took second place, and Oodlemi Noodle third. Others came in as follows:

Tindallia Soothsayer 4
KJ Kiranov 5
Hermione Highwater 6
Cinders Vale 7
Lelani Carver 8
Cate Foulsbane 9
Alden Cortes 10
Rendal Constantineau 11
Safra Nitely 12

RacerX would later announce, "We raised 47,950 L with the race today and Wildstar Beaumont took some great pictures of the race with shadows on. They are gorgeous." Wildstars pictures can be found on his Flickr here: (link) There was also a youtube made of the race, with yours truly able to be seen at the finish line (55 minutes long).

(Click Here if the video fails to load)

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cartoon of the Day

By Bixyl Shuftan

Real Life News: Net Trolls, Internet Ownership, and Bitcoin

There's been a few things going on in real life news that have some impact on us in Second Life, or are least of interest.

An online survey by Canadian researchers suggested that Internet trolls are "prototypical everyday sadists." (CNN) This is something that would come as no surprise to some Second Lifers whom deal with griefers.

Last week, the US Department of Commerce anouced that it was giving up its control over ICANN, the organization that oversees the Internet's addressing system (BBC) (Popular Science). With the NSA's relentless spying on people's use of what they've been looking at online, this might seem like good news. But some are wondering if this move could end up leading to widespread censorship by governments over what people can see online (Breitbart).

The big thing in the news lately though has been Bitcoin, which made the news in Second Life media last year. Late last month, Mt Gox, one of the leading exchanges for Bitcoin, filed for bankruptcy and confirmed that it had lost over half a billion US dollars worth of the virtual currency (Wall Street Journal) (BBC).The result has been a steep decline in Bitcoin's value that some are wondering may be permament. While this was still fresh in the news, Newsweek announced that  Satoshi Nakamoto, a 64 year old Japanese American was the creator of Bitcoin (Newsweek). But Nakamoto denies the story, saying he doesn't even own an Internet connection (Yahoo), and has moved to "clear his name" (BBC).

Since then, other events on the world stage have taken the spotlight off these events. But no doubt more is to come in the following weeks.

Bixyl Shuftan

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Events this Week March 18 to March 24

It's a week full of events in Second Life. Madpea has it's Steampunk Gacha. Book Island has a number of special events this week, such as it's Erotic Writing Dash.  The Relay for Life has a number of events And there's the regularly scheduled DJ & live music events, book & poetry readings, talk shows, races, church services, and more.

Read more in Events this Week.

St. Patricks Day Sim in SL

RacerX Gullwing, known for his Snail Races, found this while looking at the map. Looks like someone had a wee bit o' Saint Potty's day fun with th' landmakin' tools.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Where Are They Now? Netera Landar

As the Second Life Newser has gone on for a few years, a few of the team have reluctantly departed and went on their separate ways. So where are they now? We contacted one, Netera Landar, to find out what she's been doing. As it turns out, Netera's remained fairly active, working on getting a third fictional story published in real life, and more.

Read the interview in People.

The "Catch the Criminals" Relay for Life Game

On Sunday March 16, one of the teams of the Relay for Life, Team Mental Health Awareness Retreat posted the following announcement:

Calling all units....we are searching for subject Luna Cheevus RFL (catharticluna) and Remy Hadley  (naeviaturquoise). Please be advised that subjects can be highly dangerous. There is a Reward of Cozy Beach Cottage House being given out for the person who finds them.

Where In The World Is Luna and Remy? (It's like playing "Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego")

Checking out the included notecard, there was a little more information.

In order to play this game you will have to donate 500L to the relay for life kiosks located at
L.A Lakeside Family Center, Labor of Love (172, 67, 22)

Once you have register, send an IM to Joshuan Banx to get all the information.

Registration is until Tuesday, March 18th. The first person to find the subjects after the game begins, wins a cottage house. The prize is for each subject.

I went ahead and 'ported to the landdmark's location. I soon found the team's kiosk. I decided to contact Joshuan to see if he had more to say.  Asking him what people could expect on the hunt, he told me, "Lots of fun, the opportunity to explore different sims, and maybe some level of anxiety or stress for not being able to catch these criminals. They are so fast, so well skilled and organized that not even our best agents have found them yet." How fast were they? He answered, "They have robbed several banks in the last 3 years and we still haven't been able to catch up to them yet. The latest robbery though has made them a high profile case and the most wanted. They stole a special key right from inside the White House! and yet, not a trace of where they can be. ... This key holds a lot of value to the economy but I can't say anything further as it's top secret. If we don't catch these criminals soon, citizens will find themselves in worst conditions (since) the Depression era."

"This is why we need the best detectives we can find. We need all eyes and ears on the street looking out for these criminals. We need them to be reported immediately. Please tell the citizens of second life to stay safe and be alert. We will equip our detectives with all the information on these criminals on March 19th. Hopefully someone will find them."

I asked for more information about Team Mental Health Awareness Retreat. He told me, Many people tend to forget the mental health illnesses that are caused by the diagnoses of cancer. A part of what we do for relay is that we offer mental health resources and information both RL and Sl for people who are battling cancer and or caregivers. We offer an opportunity to talk to a group of peers who understand what it's like to suffer from depression, anxiety and/or PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) while being diagnosed with a serious illness. If someone is out there feeling depressed or alone, the people from Mental Health Awareness Retreat wants to let you know that you are not alone. You have a group of peers that care and would like to meet you. We also have information in relations to cancer and mental health in almost all of the events we do. Anyone can feel free to grab those information. There shouldn't be a stigma attached to mental health illness. It's ok to ask for help and you can recover from a mental illness."

"According to statistic 1 out of 4 people who are diagnosed with cancer will face a form of depression. Having depression can really affect how a person responds to cancer treatment. The good news though is that depression is treatable but because of the stigma that is attached to mental health, many people won't seek help. We hope to decrease the stigma and provide information showing people that recovery is possible and that it is ok to seek help. Research shows that people who cope with depression and/or recover from depression are more likely to recover from cancer then those who don't."

"Anyone can feel free to drop in by the Mental Health Awareness Retreat to pick up the resources or any of the events we do. We will have the resources there as well." Joshuan told me that the group itself does not provide counseling, "we are not professionals within SL nor provide counseling or any form of therapy. We are a peer to peer group who provide resources such as phone numbers to a local place someone can reach out to, hotlines, websites, and if need be, we can help locate a place near your hometown that helps with mental health and cancer and/or offers support groups. One of those resources for example is They offer amazing! information in regards to cancer and mental health."

Joshuan also has a blog, "Skittles in the Pit," which has a number of posts about Team Mental Health Awareness Retreat.

Once again, the location of the team's kiosk is at  L.A Lakeside Family Center, Labor of Love (172, 67, 22)

Bixyl Shuftan

Pooped Fox

Yours truly has been pretty busy, and finally the need for sleep caught up to me. I'll have more posted later.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Cartoon of the Day is back, and so are new cartoons, like this one of my skunk av stopping by a St Patty's Day party.

By Bixyl Shuftan

Saturday, March 15, 2014

SL Video: "PussyKats (Jai-Ho)"

(Click Here if the video fails to load)

Posted by an "SLcheet Fan," "Vid not made by me- saved some of cheetah kitty vids years back and wanted to share them as her YT account is gone."

"Starring Misery, Laurara, and Cheetah"

Friday, March 14, 2014

Two Events this Weekend: Winter Games and Cross-Sim Snail Race

Weekends in Second Life are full of events. Two sports events stand out.

One event in the Second Life Winter Games, set in the Chaminox City area. Daniel Voyager described them as, "you can sign up for exciting competitions such as snowboard races, curling, ski jumping, ice hockey, snowboard half-pipe, downhill ski races and much more." Taking a quick look at the place, the Second Life Hockey group, the GOHA is pretty big there. Some tracks, such as snowboarding, were open for people to try out.

Cross Check (99/95/22)

With the Relay season under way, there are plenty of Relay for Life events. Among them is RacerX Gullwing's "Giant Snail Cross Country Race." The race is open to all, with at least 500 Lindens required to enter. But for 2500L, one can start a little further ahead. The race will take place over a few dozen sims. While there isn't a prize, the winner gets bragging rights, plus his victory shown on SL tv.

The event takes place twice on March 15, at both 10:30 AM and 2PM SL time (here).

Seraph City is Saved, Moved to New Sim

Good news for fans of the "retro-future" city area, Seraph City. Once in danger of fading away from Second Life, it now has a new home in the Symbiosis sim. On Wednesday night, I was invited to Club Seraph where some of the location's friends, including some involved with it's rescue, had gathered to celebrate with a few drinks at the bar.

Read Bixyl's article in Places.