Saturday, October 24, 2009

Now on Facebook!

Yes, become my friend, win prizes, amaze your parents! Link to the left in the sidebar!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Checking out the chicks

I don’t have kids and I’ve always found it mildly annoying to be around friends that do. Suddenly everything begins to rotate around the little blighters. Out goes the PS3, in comes the crib. Banished are all the sharp objects to make room for an odd collection of balls and teddy bears that litter the floor. Kids are, in a word, obtrusive – they take over your flat or your home, laying claim to it all with their grubby little hands.

I have to keep that in mind at the moment.

I logged on to SL to… errr…. well… clear event invitations and I just rushed…. I mean meandered over to check out how my three chicks were doing. Lucy, peeping away happily. Check. Linda? Strutting around on her little legs. Check. Eugene? Eugene? EUGENE!!!!!!

He was lost, gone, carried away by some stray cat or evil hearted hawk. I rushed around my land much like a chicken with its head cut off. If I had an animation “sit down and weep” I might have felt like using it. Eugene… cut down in the prim or prime of his life…. So young…. Sniff.

I finally found him; he’d fallen into the pool but didn’t seem the worse for it. But he was hunger so I gently nudged him to the feed bowl.

Then I rushed… errrr.. meandered off to get a coop for the guys. Okay, it’s a blight on my land right now and fits in, well, about as well as a grey ugly chicken coop fits in a heretofore lush and romantic tropical island. I’m now convincing myself that I’m not doing it for them. It’s all about me. Really.

Maybe I should get them some toys?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Ain’t nobody here but us chickens

I am not one to mindlessly follow hysterical trends – hell, I got my first pair of bell bottom jeans in 1979, I still think Katie Price is an It-Girl. I might even go so far to say that I was surprised to hear that the reports of Mark Twain’s demise were not greatly exaggerated. So I’d not be that astonished were I to discover that everyone has already heard about Sion Chickens.

For those of you still wearing bell bottoms let me briefly describe them: They are virtual chickens in SL that hatch, eat, grow up to become roosters or hens and have sex. Actually, I’m not so sure about the last bit, but this being SL I suspect they do. My friend Bavid has aptly depicted them as the tamagotchis of SL. Tamgotchis are the latest craze from Japan… no, wait, I think I’m a bit late on that one as well. Just google it if you don’t know what a tamagotchi is.

There is, of course, something amazingly peculiar about having a virtual pet in a virtual world. Peculiar, but apparently also very persuasive. Just how popular the little balls of feathers have become can be seen by visiting the main store of the creator. I haven’t seen a line like that since I accidently visited Neva Neva.

I am, of course, not falling for this mass hysteria. But I do know I have a duty to stay informed and in the loop. So, I purchased a starter pack (three eggs and four portions of chicken feed) for scientific purposes. And yes, I know “scientific purposes” is a euphemism for everything from using recreational drugs to buying porn mags to voting Republican. It’s disgusting and dirty and demeaning if your friends find out.

I also know from a bit of scientific reading that it would have been best to name the chickens something like “Chick001", “Chick002”, and so on. Giving them names like “Eugene”, “Lucy” and “Linda” might emotionalize my research and bring people to believe that I lack the emotional distance to observe these fluffy little balls of joy… I mean Gallus Virtualus, of course.

I’ll also deny that I stood watching the eggs for 15 minutes hoping something would happen. And even if I did, it wasn’t a very emotional moment – open your fridge, take out an egg and look at it for a while. It was about that exciting. And, to be honest, after that brief moment of parental pride when Lucy, then Eugene and finally that little beauty of a biddy Linda deshelled, watching them stumble around my land was about as exciting as reading a phone book.

As you can see, I’m not going to get caught up with doting indulgently on them. Though I will keep you up to date on their current state. I think I might just go check them now. I wonder if Lucy would like a satin lined nest when she gets bigger...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Nothing Rhymes with Orange

I’d like to mention, again, that I don’t spend all my time dancing in clubs. I do other things. I do poetry for example. So I was delighted to discover a poetry reading to go to. I think I arrived (wearing a brown jacket with leather patches on the elbows, of course) with a few misconceptions though – for example that they would actually read my poem to the crowd – so my oeuvre about an agile, partly nocturnal, quadruple carnivorous animal with smooth fur and retractile claws that was reclining on a piece of coarse, woven material used as a protective covering for floors went unheard.

At the start I also failed to realize that the poems were being read over voice chat so I was a bit confused about all the applauding going on, but not really: Poets = Substance Abuse (see pic to the left as proof: Those were the people at the reading).

Having figured that out I proceeded to sit through a number of well read but slightly confusing poems. I was also a bit annoyed that they were reading poems from avatars who weren’t even present at the event – and I couldn’t find D.H. Lawrence’s or Margaret Atwood’s profile in search either! But I still hoped I’d hear the presenter saying “And now a poem from someone here. This is from Eaton and it’s called ‘The cat sat on the mat’”. But nope, she went on to read something called Clovis by Klannex Northmead – who was actually there and got two of his or her poems read. One was about being a Clovis arrow tip, if I remember correctly.

For being such a poetically inclined crowd the people there weren’t really that eloquent. “Applause!!!” and “Applauds!” seemed to be what any poem merited. I asked if we actually discussed the poems and was told that we didn’t, just listened. That’s poetic license for “shut the f**k up”, I guess. But they did talk a bit about ampersands for a while – which I personally believe should be read aloud as their ASCII number, but I guess I’m the minority view on that.

With a last poem from the presenter things closed down. I wanted to go away with everybody to a nice pub to discuss the poems – and maybe quickly tell them my own. But my suggestion fell on deaf ears. Snotty, snub poet lovers!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Trying to be civilized

Lest you think that I spend all my time on SL frivolously wasting my time away in clubs, I can assure you that I don’t. Well, as of yesterday I can, at least. Having nothing better to do I decided to go out and do something for my edyoukayshun and happily discovered a discussion group discussing “Civilization”.

We were a small crowd of normal SLers, a few humans, a guy in a suit of armor and a cat-headed giant lollypop, a small green robot- The discussion was moderated by a woman that looked like one of those actresses in a Hollywood movie who plays the role of the bookworm but would eventually remove her glasses, release her hair and you find out she wears lacy underwear. She didn’t actually.

This is how it started: “A HOME TO OR A COMMUNITY? HOW DOES IT AFFECT US ? AND WHY IS THERE CIVILIZATION WHEN WE CAN LIVE ALONE? ... HERE'S A QUOTE AND SEE WHAT DO YOU THINK? "Underlying the whole scheme of civilization is the confidence men have in each other, confidence in their integrity, confidence in their honesty, confidence in their future." - Bourke Cockran” (The caps were to show that the moderator was inserting an idea or thought into the discussion)

The conversation sort of went off in two directions for a while. One group which I’d call the intelligent, thinking group and which I just accidently belonged to went on to discuss how the division of labour, partially aided by the rise of agriculture had a major effect on the creation of civilizations.

The other group which I can’t think of a name for that wouldn’t be at least mildly demeaning decided to go to the dogs. Or first the wolves. Here’s an example:
“take for instance the ways in which a pack of wolves or a pride of lions interact with each other”
Or maybe:
“the cheetah civilization depends on quick trite kills to survive while the leopard is strong enough to enjoy a more lengthy conquest this are traits inherent in the animal civilizations”

I think we started talking about ants as well. The moderator, who still hadn’t removed her glasses spiked the conversation with a few “hmmm.. Interesting” every once in a while – which made me feel a bit like I was lying on Sigmund Freud’s couch. So I went off to dance.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

FBIng it

You know those billboards that post your picture at a store or venue whenever you TP in? Those that say “Last Visitor” – and occasionally make you cringe because you, inadvertently of course, teleported to some place called “Hot Fetish Lovers”? Well, there is one more billboard (beyond the afore mentioned) where you really don’t want to show up.

The FBI, reports “Virtual Worlds News”, is experimenting with putting up billboards with their Ten Most Wanted fugitives on it.
I tried to find one, but putting “Ten Most Wanted” into search in SL gave me (and somehow I’m not surprised) “Ten Most Wanted Gor Slaves” as the first link.

Searching for FBI was equally unsuccessful. And somehow I feel that the FBI’s attempt to find fugitives via SL will not be any more successful. I mean, can you imagine looking for social deviants in SL? It’s hard enough avoiding them at times!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Perfect Measurements: 43-29-43

There are things in SL you ask people you wouldn’t dream of doing in RL. Like the question “What’s your breast size,” just to grab an example out of the air. Well, I’ve just done that with three friends.

But before you think I’m overly mammary mesmerized, may I explain: I’ve been wondering what the perfect measurements in SL might be. I’m not even sure what they are considered to reach in RL, but Google tells me it might just be 36-24-36, though those might be the numbers before augmentation came of age. Well, from the little data I gleamed from my friends and then averaged, measurements in SL are 55-32-39. (NB: It’s not Bust/Waist/Hips in SL but Breast Size/Love Handles/Hip Width I’m working with here.)

My friends don’t even appear that busty in SL, but at that ratio they’d be wandering around in RL with 43 size breasts. A nice thought, but I digress.

Let’s draw our eyes, reluctantly, from breast size to the hips. Using the same waist to breast ratio SL-women in RL would have 43 size hips. Imagine how often you’d have to say “No, of course it doesn’t look fat in those jeans”. It also tells me that my female friends in SL make their hips a bit smaller in SL.

Fiddling around with the math a bit more, I come to the result that the perfect waist size in SL – if 43 is the perfect breast and hip size – should be 29. Interestingly enough a much smaller number than my friends have chosen. Anyway, something to ponder.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Twitters from SL

Why do I have to do all the work, I've thought. Isn't the real secret of success in getting others to do things for you - isn't that what Web 2.0 is all about? Well, with that thought in mind I've decided to, occassionaly, post little quotes and quirps from other people here that I gleamed from conversations and chats. Today's guest: Kenn Price, DJ and very funny guy!

Kenn Price: hated pole dancing
Kenn Price: they suck on conversation
Kenn Price: and it never thanked me once at the end of the night

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Aaaaaaww... sniff, give me a hanky

"The Internet has an amazing capacity to allow people to self-sort—to find and engage with like-minded others. That will have impacts for courtship and dating that go beyond anything we've ever seen."

That’s not me that said it, but Harvard Law professor Cass Sunstein in an article in Newsweek. (Actually, I’ve said it before but no one was listening).

While there rest of the media world is doing a bit of a collective public circle jerk about Lindens decision to add a new “Adult” category to its previous PG and Mature, Newsweek has gone off to examine love in the virtual world. And not this usual type of reporting.

Instead, Newsweek seems to come to the conclusion that love in a virtual world isn’t all that bad. “(…) getting to know someone gradually, with patience and attention, seems a whole lot healthier than a drunken proposition in a bar.” It is, especially if the boyfriend’s just coming back from the toilet. Not that I’m speaking out of any previous experience.

Anyway, it’s nice to see that some magazines do report on the brighter sides of SL and its opportunities. If you do need a feel good moment when you’re considering that you spend too much time online, just give the article a read.

I'm shocked!

And yes, even after a few years wandering around SL and discovering Goths, Furries, BSDM places, Escort Islands and that Sunday morning Bible hour.

I’m shocked because Taser is suing SL as Bloomberg reports here: “Taser, the world’s biggest maker of stun guns, claims San Francisco-based Linden Research Inc. is damaging the company’s reputation and hurting its sales by allowing virtual weapons to be sold online under the Taser brand name, according to a 102- page complaint filed April 17 in federal court in Phoenix.”

Damaging the company’s reputation? Wouldn’t that be a bit like Heckler and Koch suing some amok shooter? What reputation?

Hurting its sales? Because people who buy a Taser in SL decide they don’t want one in real life? If that were the case a lot of people on SL wouldn’t be having sex in real life. Errr…. well, that may be the case, but anyway!

The Taser complaint goes on to wine ““All of the defendants that sell virtual weaponry like plaintiff’s real ones, under the mark Taser for use in the Second Life programs and grids, also sell adult-only explicit images and scenes”. They also sell drugs, the complaint adds. I don’t know, but maybe you’ll tell me, dear reader.

Does Taser just possible advertise in “Girls and Guns” and “Boobs ‘n’ Bang” or whatever those magazines are called? Sounds like Taser is just sounding shocked to drum up a bit of advertising. Well, it got them mentioned here at least.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

New NotesFromSL Flickr Photo Site!

I can hardly add to the title of this post anything but the link. And here it is: Link!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Let me through, I'm a doctor, lol :)

I’m worried. Not unduly because I don’t plan to have to use the services of the NHS (that’s the British national health service for those of you who might live elsewhere), but maybe some time I will – and I just read this in the Times of India (my favourite source of Indian news beyond hearing about them chat up my girlfriend at Sweethearts): „A British medical institute has given e-learning a whole new dimension. Med students at Imperial College London navigate a full-service hospital where they see patients, order X-rays, consult with colleagues and make diagnoses. But none of it is real.“

The “full-service” hospital, something which I believe might not be available in England for that matter, is of course in SL. And there the doctors in spe can cut, slice and examine to their hearts delight. Sounds a bit like other places in SL I’ve visited, but anyway. „If students forget to wash their hands before visiting a patient, their investigation is halted,“ the article reports. Which makes me really happy that I don’t have to use the NHS – these are in fact medical students in their third year.

I haven’t, of course, visited the hospital in World – having that male thing about those places that no number of nurses in latex uniforms can cure – but I do wonder if the creators have gone all out and provided for real patients as well. You could just sit them down for seven hours in the waiting room. And no, it wouldn’t be camping. It would be unrealistic to pay patients to wait.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Playsure of Helping Out

The palm trees sway gently in the breeze, the waves lap languidly at the shoreline, the sun chuckles happily overhead at its private joke – and you stretch a lazy hand out to your loved one and say:“Why didn’t we think of renting at Playsure Rentals long ago?”

Okay, there are those among you who think I’m being paid loads and loads of cash to give an indecent plug for Playsure Rentals, a new sim with all the delights that SL can offer. Some might think that Tilly has slipped me a wad of cash to mention Playsure Rentals in a post.

That’s nonsense.

Playsure Rentals can stand on its own and doesn’t need my assistance to get people to rent there, enjoying the amenities of a tropical island bathed in 24/7 sunshine – or slipping delicately into the soft hues of a romantic evening.

“I don’t even want to go anywhere else tonight,” you murmur sensually, “Let’s just stay here and cuddle at our Playsure Rentals home.”

“But”, your loved one might ask, “what about – well, ehm, you know…..”

Your pearly laugh ripples across Playsure Rentals – but only to the borders of your rented space.

“Silly,” you whisper, “don’t you know that Playsure Rentals comes with the newest, state of the art security system? That ensures all of our voice and chat remains completely private!”

“Oh, Playsure Rentals think of everything!”

Adult Content Warning!

I’m merely guessing, but I think on the 12th of March someone left the doors to the cages at Linden Labs open and the Communication department escaped for a while. Then, before they were all caught and returned to the cages, given their daily ration of decaf skinny latte and musli, or whatever PR people survive on, they managed to get this posted on the SL community blog.

If you work through the blandness of the first paragraph you eventually find out that LL is planning to introduce a third category to the two existing of PG and Mature. We will now, or eventually, have places tagged as Adult as well. I might have ignored this all had I not had a conversation In World with an escorting friend of mine – and then a little later get a note card passed to me by yet another, this time non-escorting friend.

If you think you’ve already guessed what their attitudes are, you’re wrong.

My escort friend was all for it. The other friend had entitled his card something along the lines of “Fascist takeover of SL by moralizing Lindens”. My escorting friend’s argument was basically that it was a god thing because there was a lot out there in SL that would make people quince and squirm. (I’d point out that in many cases that is just what people are looking for there, but whatever!) And she continued that restricting access to them would be better than making things like that Verboten.

The note card basically said that the decision, undemocratic as it was, just further curbed Residents’ rights to do what they pleased.

What surprises me is that this is a topic at all – and hence my suspicion that the Communications guys had escaped for a day. Sure, I’ve been surprised and sometimes aghast at things I’ve found in SL. But let’s take a place like Neva – a free sex sim – which will certainly fall under that category. Sure, it’s a boring place for boring people doing boring things – but if it astounded me and shocked me would I hang around to let that feeling sink in?

No, I’d TP away.

But that’s not the point. What was I doing there in the first place if I was so worried about my moral cleanliness? Had I typed “Church meetings” into search? Did I find it while looking for “Bible Studies”?

I think not.

It could be that certain sims of this sort do try to lure me in with descriptions of “Visit our wonderful beachside resort and talk to enticing other people about current affairs” – only to have me greeted by images of male avatars with erections reaching up to their shoulders.
Could be, but it hasn’t happened yet.

I do a bit of writing on the side and have some stories posted on the web. Now, two of them are tagged for 18 and older, the rest are PG (and the two first mentioned I would like to emphatically point out are tagged just because the characters use rough language at times). Now, guess which stories are most read?


Now, I think this will be what happens in SL as well. As soon as the Lindens install the Adult category landowners and merchants will be demanding to be tagged as that. Sex, as any public relations person knows, sells.

But, some would argue, if they do use age verification to allow residents access to those places, wouldn’t it reduce the overall number of potential visitors? Yes, it would. I’d like to suggest a different approach: Simply tell people that they are entering an Adult area and can turn back or cancel there tp. Certainly, it’s a pain to click away the window – but we’ve had to do that for years in thousands of stores and clubs.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Having Sax on a Sunday Morning

Some would say that I write too often about the Hot Sax Jazz Club and venture that this blog is just a case of non-too-clever product placement. It isn’t. Were I to be advertising for the Hot Sax Jazz Club I’d probably be getting money from hem (which I am not – though happy to negotiate something) or actually in their employment (which, again, I am not ).
And I’m not going to spend much time exalting all the nice things about Hot Sax, nor try to convince you to go there and donate Lindens extensively. I could, probably, do that for other fine clubs in SL – if I ever got around to discovering them.
Actually, what I’d like to blog about today is less Hot Sax as I know it : full of delightful and usually interesting people, offering – yet again usually - good music. Nor will I go into the fine choice of hostesses there (Twink, Cara, Fifi, Lindsay and “Just call me Sky, all my friends do”-Skyangel) who can be funny, cheeky and entertaining and deserve to be tipped a lot more then I remember to.
No, today I want to talk about the Sax I don’t know, but just discovered. The Sax of a (Greenwich Meantime) Sunday morning.
Have you ever, in RL walked into a bar hours after you should have been home in bed? Along the counter you’ll find maybe two or three… forms… one will undoubtedly be resting his forehead on the bar, another will be talking, quite energetically if not without an occasional slurring or words about something. It’s usually politics, football or why everone in the bar should migrate to Australia and start a new life. (I’ve never been to Australia so I have no idea what the third topic might be there at times like this).
Off to one side you’ll discover a couple who, most likely, four hours earlier hadn’t know each other existed and are now sharing secrets of their childhood. The bartender rolls his eyes as you enter – yet another night owl to contend with. He, or she, knows you’ll advance to the bar and pretend to be sober while you politely ask if it’s okay to order a drink.
Now, except for the facts that a) there isn’t usually a bartender at Sax on a Sunday morning and b) there aren’t three guys hugging the bar. Oh – and c) I’m not drunk - I couldn’t help but be reminded of that RL image just now when I logged on.
Two couples sway their slow dance in intoxicated passion. Over at the edge of the dance floor some avatar is slumped over with “Away” above their head – and yet once again I wonder why the Lindens have made the animation for being “away” look like you’ve had a bit too much to drink and are now trying to study your shoes.
In short: Sax is, at 230 AM PDT, a sad and sorry looking place.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Ve haf vays of making you dance

Women of the world rejoice!
At least In World. According to this piece of news from Reuters IT-geeks (and we know there are a number of them in Second Life) will now have the opportunity to learn how to flirt at the German Potsdam University. „The 440 students enrolled in the master's degree course will learn how to write flirtatious text messages and emails, impress people at parties and cope with rejection“, reports Reuters.