Sunday, January 30, 2011

Checking Out Some New Teen Talent in Second Life

I've been wanting to go visit some of the new sims showcasing teen builders/designers now resident on the main grid after the merger and this morning I finally had the opportunity.

I started on the Eros sim and it's a great introduction to dozens of teen designers. I wandered through multiple stores full of high quality product and, if the clothes weren't exactly what I personally might look for, my male alt is definitely going to go back and acquire some very cool shorts I saw in a few of the stores. Which I guess means he'll need shoes and a t-shirt as well. :)

The prices all look more than reasonable and I enjoyed the sim and store designs. I met some very nice people as I wandered around, including Heather Vespucciano (one of the Trustees) who directed me to two other teen sims I think you should check out.

The first, Epic, won me over immediately because anybody who loves Doctor Who must be one of the good guys!

I should point out that although there is a lot of fashion there are also vehicles, weapons and quirky objects on sale. The designers are varied and show their own styles while apparently sharing a similar love of quality.

The third teen sim I visited this morning was Eutopia and again I was impressed with the amount of talent displayed. These designers may be young but they're good and deserve a look.

I look forward to finding other teen builds to explore but, in the meantime, I strongly suggest you start your own journey on these three teen imports. You'll find some designers you may want to include in your regular shopping excursions. I'm going to login as my alt and go get some shorts. :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Inconvenient Second Life Truth

(Editor's Note: If you live outside of North America please see the note at the bottom of this post. I'm away from my computer today so I've agreed to let this guy "Cleng Kneb" do a guest post. I can not be held responsible for anything he may do or say!)

Allow my to introduce myself. I, Cleng Kneb, am a patriot and a thinker. I care about this grid of ours and I care that there are those elements trying to subvert the Founder's wishes and introduce their liberal agenda into what is, and always shall remain, our world.

I have been paying attention people and what I see is not pretty. Allow me to use this conveniently placed blackboard to illustrate what should be obvious to all clear thinking residents.

The first step for those who try to undermine our way of life is always to have us start fighting amongst ourselves. That way we are too busy to notice their machinations. They have succeeded in starting a grid-wide civil war between the bunnies and the ponies. Have you noticed that nobody is even talking about the poor chickens? Wake up people! They're trying to tear us apart!

Is it just me or has anybody else noted that the new CEO is from England? That's right - England - socialism with an accent.

This new hire has arrived just when those techno communists have increased their demands for "open everything". Oh I know they conceal their intent with technical mumbo jumbo but what they're really talking about is our border people! Think about that - our only defense against the dark clouds that hover around outside just waiting to contaminate our upstanding citizens with their filth.

And do you believe a socialist CEO is going to fight the good fight against them?

The inconvenient truth that the liberal mafia doesn't want you to know is that the prime objective - their ultimate aim - is globalization. Yes globalization - I get sick just thinking about it. Our prim babies will be required to suck on organic formula. We'll be herded into relaxation camps and forced to listen to Enya.

The next step will be the annexation of our grid by the United Nations and our amalgamation with the wider metaverse. Am I the only one concerned about our future?

Remember, I couldn't say these things if they weren't true.




Explanatory Note for those readers outside of North America: I'm satirizing a political commentator who is well known for absurd and hate filled speech. I hope you are never required to endure his rants.

Monday, January 24, 2011

It's Robbie Burns Day - Gung Haggis Fat Choy

I know I look a teensy bit hungover - and it's a possibility. Today is after all Robbie Burns Day and that deserves celebrating. I didn't choose the last name McMillan by accident you know - there is a lot of Scotland in my genetic makeup. There is a lot of Scotland in Canada's makeup as well and the traditions are strong here.

In Vancouver we add a little twist. It will shortly be the Chinese New Year (the year of the Rabbit in case you didn't know) and many will combine the celebrations. Add the traditional Burns Supper dish to the Chinese New Year Greeting (Gung Hei Fat Choy) and you get the title of my post. My friend and I are preparing for a multi cultural feast and I may require a few days rest afterwards.

I was going to share with you Robbie's Address to the Haggis but some of my readers have difficulty with Auld Lange Syne so it would probably be almost impossible to decipher the Address. Instead I've chosen one of his best and favourite song poems - A Man's A Man For A' That. And to show that you don't have to be a staid 18th Century singer to deliver this toast to the egalitarian spirit I have a recent version of the song for you. I'll provide the words in case you have trouble following - you enjoy the music and Lang may yer lum reek!

Is there for honest Poverty
That hings his head, an' a' that;
The coward slave-we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a' that!
For a' that, an' a' that.
Our toils obscure an' a' that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The Man's the gowd for a' that.

What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, an' a that;
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine;
A Man's a Man for a' that:
For a' that, and a' that,
Their tinsel show, an' a' that;
The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor,
Is king o' men for a' that.

Ye see yon birkie, ca'd a lord,
Wha struts, an' stares, an' a' that;
Tho' hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a coof for a' that:
For a' that, an' a' that,
His ribband, star, an' a' that:
The man o' independent mind
He looks an' laughs at a' that.

A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, an' a' that;
But an honest man's abon his might,
Gude faith, he maunna fa' that!
For a' that, an' a' that,
Their dignities an' a' that;
The pith o' sense, an' pride o' worth,
Are higher rank than a' that.

Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a' that,)
That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an' a' that.
For a' that, an' a' that,
It's coming yet for a' that,
That Man to Man, the world o'er,
Shall brothers be for a' that.

The Arcipelagus in Second Life

It was going to have to be a quick travel day in Second Life. I've been ignoring those dastardly physical world errands for too long. I decided to take the lead from my friend Cyberloom and visit the Arcipelagus - a string of islands in the sea anchored (pun intended) by the famous Fallen Gods Store - familiar to anybody like me with a predilection for fantasy skins.

Owned by Alia Baroque these islands, and the builds on and around them, are perfect for the traveler and the photographer. Check out Cyberloom's shots - she does a much better job than I do.

There are wonderful details hidden around corners and in small rooms. The ships and structures on the water are delightful. Start your journey at Annon, The Gate and then work your way down throughout the chain.

I found myself so intrigued with individual structures that I forgot I was trying to do a quick survey of all of the islands for this post. I would have to include dozens of pictures to give you a complete sense of the wonders to be found. But you don't want that! :)

Instead, please take my word for it and go visit the Arcipelagus. You won't be disappointed.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Rough Justice in Second Life - Everybody Knows

I received an urgent message from my friend Gertrude insisting I attend the latest session at the Second Life Halls of Justice and rushed over. After all watching the court proceedings is very educational (if nightmarish).

I was surprised though that she seemed to be just standing there rather than preparing whatever defense was going to be required.

  • Gertrude: Oh I'm not defending today - the accused hired himself a high priced attorney. They're in the holding area discussing the case.

  • Me: What is the case? Which one is the Defendent?
  • Gertrude: Oh they've put the worm on trial - his name is "Everybody". I'm very excited about it because I get to be part of the jury!
  • Me: Jury? That's the jury? How many of you are there?
  • Gertrude: Yes, Ms. Cynical, that's the jury. It's very representative and there will be 11 of us.

I ignored the "cynical" jab but had to know why there were 11 on the jury.

  • Me: Aren't there supposed to be 12?
  • Gertrude: There are however many the Chief Justice feels there should be and today he said he was in an "elevensy" mood.
Oh yes, the Chief Justice - the biggest, ugliest bug in SL and proud of it. I saw him in his usual spot along with the Prosecutor. I'll bet he makes the Jury stand up just so they'll get cranky - he's annoying that way.

Just as I was dwelling on the Chief Justice's many faults I heard a loud gong sound in the huge chamber and the Bailiff called the court to order.

  • Chief Justice McArtherops: Are all parties present and prepared to begin?
  • Prosecutor Lie: They are Your Nastiness. In the matter of Everybody Knows I will appear for the prosecution and the Defendant has found himself a "real" lawyer.
  • Chief Justice McArtherops: I will decide who is "real" and who is not. Please announce the charges.
  • Prosecutor Lie: Your Sliminess, the Defendant is charged with pretending to "know" everything and allowing himself to be quoted extensively and permitting those with opinions to forgo the presentation of facts.

The Defense Counsel yawned and began to roll his eyes.

  • Chief Justice McArtherops: Could the Prosecutor please simplify his language - what exactly is the issue here?

  • Prosecutor Lie: Um, certainly. This little worm insists that he "knows" everything and that his "knowing" is all that is required to provide backup for countless statements of "fact". Everytime somebody wants to make a point in an argument, a group rant, a blog or on a forum they begin by saying "Everybody Knows" and that is all that is required to establish a baseline of fact.
  • Chief Justice McArtherops: You're telling me that all anybody has to do is start with "Everybody Knows" and then they can say whatever they want and it automatically becomes the truth?
  • Prosecutor Lie: Precisely Your Creepiness. In topics as diverse as Second Life viewers, functionality, Teen Grid immigrants, Fashion Faux Pas and even our beloved new CEO.
  • Chief Justice McArtherops: Wait - our new CEO?
  • Prosecutor Lie: Oh yes. Apparently "Everybody Knows" that the CEO is just a figurehead. He is being manipulated by a group of shadowy investors just waiting to cash in with an IPO.

  • Chief Justice McArtherops: /me would like to cash in on an IPO. I don't like the sounds of this but how widespread is the problem?
  • Prosecutor Lie: It is becoming bad enough that even the brilliant *cough* satirists don't sound farfetched - comments and headlines are veering off into the theatre of the absurd all based on the statements of the Defendant and his cousins "Everyone", "People" and "I Heard".
  • Chief Justice McArtherops: This disturbs me greatly. Does Counsel for the Defense have anything to say?
  • High Priced Counsel: I'm a very busy man and this won't take long.

There was a collective gasp in the chamber when he said that! The Chief Justice started vibrating and the Jury looked very nervous. I hid behind a pillar.

  • High Priced Counsel: My client "Everybody" wakes up in the morning and "knows" everything. It is indisputable. He makes his "knowledge" available to those who don't have time to regurgitate their research for the benefit of the unwashed masses and is in fact doing a public service. This kangaroo court is a farce and we do not acknowledge your jurisdiction. Everybody knows that there is no such thing as justice in Second Life.
  • Chief Justice McArtherops: I really really hope Mr. Everybody has not as yet paid your inevitably inflated bill Mr. "Real" Lawyer. First of all the Kangaroo Court is down the hall - so you've obviously taken a wrong turn somewhere. Secondly I decide not only what is truth but also what is justice. You are not only out of order you are out of here.

Everybody's lawyer didn't so much poof as he exploded. Into thousands of tiny little bugs which crawled off the platform and down into the abyss. Blech!

  • Chief Justice McArtherops: I've already made up my mind but for protocol's sake I will now request that the Jury tell me what I've already decided.
The Jury members shuffled their feet, glanced at each other and then looked everywhere but at the Defendant. Never a good sign.

  • Chief Justice McArtherops: Very well. I can see we are all in agreement. The Defendant has been charged with providing non existent backup for "statements of fact". Unfortunately I cannot prevent all and sundry from using you as a source but I can insist that in the future you will be prepared to provide detailed documentation proving that what you say is factual.
  • Everybody: How am I supposed to do that?
  • Chief Justice McArtherops: Oh it's very simple. Before you can use the words "Everybody Knows" you must document that you have checked with every resident in Second Life on the subject at hand.
  • Everybody: That's impossible!

  • Chief Justice McArtherops: Nonsense! The Bailiff will give you a clipboard and before you answer a request for information you must poll all residents and submit your findings to the court. From now on the phrase "Everybody Knows" will actually have some meaning. Try to keep in mind that I have the ultimate "God Powers" inworld. I'm certain that everybody knows what that means!

Geez the giant bug has a sense of humour. I might actually start feeling sorry for the little worm. Nah!

Throughout the trial I had this song playing in my head. It seems appropriate to use it as the sound track for the worm's new adventure.




  • Halls of Justice - Skye {Veralarti} Space Castle.
  • Prosecutor - Second Lie
  • Defense Attorney - SeanMcPherson Senior
  • Jury - Ahuva Heliosense, Crap Mariner, Shockwave Plasma, Tor Karlsvalt, Apollo Lokaria, Svea Morane, Daniel Voyager, Georgianna Blackburn, Callipygian Christensen, and Belvidere Fotherington