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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Miss Globe Universal Pageant, An Interview With The Chairman


By Marcel Mosswood

A contest is currently being held to choose Miss Globe Universal who will represent women with all their beauty: looks beautiful, smart, and kind. Of course, this is not an easy process to choose candidates who deserve the title of Miss Globe Universal. A few days ago I had the opportunity to interview Rose Mikaelson (DjRoseAthena) as Founder / Chairman of Miss Globe Universal pageant. Here is the interview:

Rose Mikaelson, The Founder / Chairman of Miss Globe Universal Pageant
Marcel: Hi Rose, can you tell me what is the main mission of the Miss Globe Universal?

Rose Mikaelson: The mission and purpose of the Miss Globe Universal are to empower women from all over the world, build the confidence they need in order to do their absolute best and help further build careers that may be in the modeling world or outside of that. Miss Globe Universal challenges all women in every way and helps them discover new things during their journey's. The journey is long but it's only the beginning. We appreciate and value our contestants. We are also very excited to celebrate a milestone of five years now in Second Life.

Marcel: Wow, five years! So this is the fifth pageant. It seems like there is a lot of series of events starting from the registration to the election of the Miss Globe Universal, can you describe the timeline of the event?

Rose Mikaelson: The timeline of Miss Globe Universal begins during the planning process. I have five months to plan each new pageant from January to April. The pageants season begins in May and ends in August. It always begins with the application. We have an application because it is important to test the skills and gather the information we need about the applicants. After this comes the live auditions. This goes on for 2 months from May to June. The real work begins in July and ends in August with the spectacular finals. This becomes a five-month process.


Marcel: OK, so what assessment do you use in nominating Miss Globe Universal?

Rose Mikaelson: The assessment process is a long one. We have more judges this year than in previous years. Each section of the pageant has it's own voting process. I break it down to about 6 voting systems. There are also strict rules all judges must follow. I am very proud that my pageant is as fair and honest as they come. Anything else I can not reveal to the public. Some information is for judges or contestants eyes only.

Marcel: Do you have a vision of Miss Globe Universal who will be selected in this event?

Rose Mikaelson: I have zero knowledge of who wins it all in the end. From the very beginning of who enters, the auditions, the runway challenges, and anything else in between. All the voting is done by hired professionals that have been entrusted to due to the duty they agreed to with their best of their abilities.

Each person who is a contestant, judge, or a follower my pageant has their own idea or vision of who should win. The way I envision things throughout the entire season is very different but it should be since I own Miss Globe Universal. I also do not share that vision with anyone. In a way, it's like my own secret sauce. My thoughts, comments, vision or anything else I keep that to myself. It has worked just fine since 2014 and I plan on continuing my traditions.

Marcel: I’ve heard that you work alone in preparing for this event, it must be very tiring. Can you share with our readers about the quotes or motivational words that you use to motivate yourself?

Rose Mikaelson: This is true I do work alone. I have worked alone since December 2014 when I opened my pageant. To many people, yes it is tiring. Especially if they do not have the skill set or knowledge, for example, to do all this alone. I am the only Founder and Chairman that I know of in Second Life that holds a major pageant alone.

I love what I do with a passion and have never backed down no matter what I have been through over the years. Some of my closest friends tell me they could never do what I do and like to call me Superwoman.  What I have been through in my personal life or Second Life is my motivation as well as my music. However, if I were to select any special quotes it would be:

"All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. – Walt Disney"

Want to know more about the Miss Globe Universal Pageant? Visit the website: https://missglobeuniversal.com/

Marcel Mosswood.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Ari's Concert on Cape Heron


By Deaflegacy

Ari (Arisia Vita) started his concert half an hour early on May 8. He would have his concert on Cape Heron every Wednesday morning, starting at 10 am SLT and ending at 11 am SL time. Ari  is usually early. When he arrived, I was warming up his piano for him. Ari thanked me, and I  stood up so he can sit at his piano. From that moment on, beautiful music starts to flow from Ari's piano.

Even though there was only two people at the beginning, one by one, people started to stop by so they can listen to Ari's music. At one point, a song request was put in and be played that song request.

“It is always soft and warm, never bold, just like the maestro himself,” said Carle (carleonie).

Ari even has a quote for the article: “I play in the same spirit as Franz Liszt who, having graced the piano with some of the greatest music ever written, once said: 'Even if I might not create anything good or beautiful in all of my life, I will still feel a real and deep joy in tasting the beautiful and great work of others that I distinguish and admire.' - Franz Liszt”

Whenever Wednesday comes around, I would make an effort to go to his concert. I love Ari's music and I also know that he is a really good piano player. Although Ari  had never played a piano in real life, he would do a good job on Second Life. I give Ari him an A plus in efforts in bringing music to Second Life.

The landmark for Ari's concert is: 


Deaflegacy

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Being Human, Part Deuce


By Bixyl Shuftan

As most everyone who reads the Newser knows, most of the time I go about in a Luskwood red fox avatar. It's not that often that I change to a human avatar for more than a brief length of time. The first time I did was for a few weeks in 2011 for a "Bid Me" event for my Relay for Life team. A few years later in 2017, I was so for about a week in a similar fundraising event. I'd decided on a black human avatar partily to see how true were the claims of ethnic avatars getting the cold shoulder were, partially. But as I tend to stand out where I go anyway, I wanted to do continue to do so. And of course there was the "Blazing Saddles" humor aspect. For those who don't know, it was a Wild West comedy made in the 1970s by Mel Brooks in which a previously all-white town gets a black sheriff.

In 2019, I'd gotten a few requests to do another "Bid Me Human" event, and so I offered to do another for Rita. This time though, I felt the Blazzing Saddles joke was getting old, so I decided to get an avatar from another ethnic group, Asian. I didn't find much of a variety on Marketplace, and much of what I found was expensive. But I found an avatar that was a good buy, and one Asian-Americain friend thought was okay. So I went with it. Besides the ethnic difference, it had hair and was slimmer, less muscular.

So how has the reaction been compared to the previous human avatar? Once again, it's been overall positive. With the lighter skin tone, people have been slower to recognize it as Asian though, one saying the white fedora made him think of Michael Jackson. One person whom had liked the previous avatar wasn't so sure about this one, "You look like a college freshman." On the other hand, the one friend of mine who outright complained last time that the first was a poor match, this time didn't think this one was too bad, but still wanted me back as a fox. Also last time, there were a few jokes, friendly ones, from Europeans about the avatar's ethnic look then. That wasn't the case this time.

But one thing was the same as last time, the "Ahhhhhhhhh! A human!" gestures from my furry friends. Actually, that was the most visible thing. I was still interacting with my friends much the same as before, puns and all, and dancing with a few ladies. But as time went on, much like in 2011, the novelty with my friends wore off, and more openly looked forward to me being back to normal.

It's been, different, these past few weeks. I've missed being able to just up and change around. But the "Bid Me" restriction ends this Friday, April 19. And so I'll be back to foxy, or whatever else comes to mind.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, April 8, 2019

Wesley Regenbogen on Cobras MC and "Be The Match"


By Deaflegacy

A few days ago, I had the luck of meeting Wesley Regenbogen. His being a member of the Cobras MC, I asked him what his role was there. “Well, let me start on how I got into being a biker in the first place," he replied, "I wanted to do an awareness campaign in Second Life for Be The Match ( http://www.bethematch.org ) and I found someone that did it before here in SL in the past. Her name is Mightbe Shelter, currently our Prez at Cobras MC, and she told me that Cobras MC might be interested into helping me with this cause. So, she invited me over and thaught me how to ride a bike and took me with her on the rides at Cobras MC.

"After a while, I was invited to become a Cobras Venom ( support tag at Cobras MC ) and after a while I was invited to become a Prospect. I prospected for about a month and then I was 'patched in' as they call it. I became a full member since June  4th 2017 . So this year on June 4 th I will be 2 years member of Cobras MC.”

My next question to Wesley was if he is planning on staying a member of Cobras MC for a longer time.  “I hope to be a member of Cobras MC forever, of course.” said Wesley, “Cobras MC is a bunch of nice people together.  I'm glad I got the opportunity to join them.”

I asked Wesley how long has he been supporting Bone Marrow Transplants. “Well, I wanted to start up an awareness campaign for Be The Match," Wesley replied, "I tried to convince the people behind the organization to get into Second Life. A while back they went to have a look in, but I never heard back from that person again. Either they are unfamiliar with the concept of Second Life or they aren't interested. I have no clue.”  

According to Wesley, in real life, he has beta thalassemia trait (minor), and he wanted to help people with the same conditions (genetic blood disorders).  I asked him what is beta thalassemia trait.  “A genetic blood disorder that has to do with the red blood cells,” Wesley answered.  Luckily, he has the version without symptoms.  There is more information about that condition at: https://www.thalassemia.org/learn-about-thalassemia/about-thalassemia/ . That is why Wesley would like to do an awareness campaign for Be The Match.

I asked Wesley ih he would be continuing the campaign for Be The Match for a long time.  “Well, if the persons behind the organization are willing to help me  and are willing to see the potential of Second Life," said Wesley, " then  yes, I would fully start the campaign here in Second Life.” 

Before leaving, I asked Wesley if there was anything else he wanted me to say in the article about him.  “Well, in real life I'm not a biker," he replied, "but in Second Life, I'm a biker.  Recently, I managed to get my 300 rides done with the Cobra MC.”

Deaflegacy

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Interview With Geerkil Ziskey, the Dragon DJ


By Deaflegacy

Second Life has a number of DJs, but only one takes on the form of a dragon: Geerkil Ziskey. I'm a curious pony, so I got an interview with him. 

Wanting to get to know DJ Geerkil, so my first question was, “Okay, could you please tell me about yourself?”  He replied, “Well, I am a child in an adult body that likes to have fun and joke around a lot.”

My next question was about his hobbies.  The dragon answered, “Amateur Radio.  Collecting music, avatars, and interesting SL builds.”

I was wondering where he likes to go on Second Life.  His response was, “Due to my size, I do not venture around much. I mostly hang out in the sims I work in as a music broadcaster.”

I asked Geerkil what he would like me to say about him in the article. His answer was, “I lack in social skills, but I more than make up for that in a desire to be helpful. I love what I do in Second Life.  I love my music and the sharing of it with the others.”

According to Geerkil, he plays at The Happy Vixen.  He also plays at the Zeta Valley Wharf, The Gathering Oak, Club EFS, The Heart of Gold, Lost Farms Crystal Cavern, also The Cutlass Club from time to time.  He also plays at The FunHouse.  Geerkil works for three different Internet Radio Stations, PhoenixradioFM.com, Allfurradio.com and KVXN radio.com.

My last question was if he is planning on being a DJ for a long time.  “As long as I can.  I have been doing it in Second Life over twelve years.  For working for actual Internet radio stations, about five.

The dragon will be playing from his hoard of music records for some time to come.

Deaflegacy

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

GoSpeed Racer On Her Published Novels


By Bixyl Shuftan

Many longtime residents know GoSpeed Racer (GoSpeed Rasere) as a DJ for many of Bay City's events and the owner of the KONA Internat radio station, as well as for being "Cleverly Named" after a character in cartoons. But she's also a published writer. She has written three novels inspired by Second Life, under her real life name R. Jacques. The third was just recently published on Amazon. I recently went to interview her about them.

We met up at her place near KONA Stream Studios. "Welcome," she greeted, "It's three levels, an underground, the surface, and my private studio up in the sky." I noticed a statue on the grounds which looked like the one on her cover in the third book, and made a note to bring it up later. We walked inside and sat down.

"So to begin with," I asked, "what gave you the idea for the stories?" "Several things," GoSpeed answered, "I've always been a science fiction fan. In Second Life I've been exposed to so many other people's imagination. Especially potent was their roleplay experiences. Many roleplay groups have forums packed full of storylines generated in SL." When I asked which ones were her favorites, she responded, "Oh, I never participated. I don't have the time or motivation to get so deeply involved. Bedsides, being 'GoSpeed' is enough for me to begin with (smile). Like many of us, my SL avatar is a character of our own making which only partially represents our true selves."

I then asked when did she start writing her first book. As it turned out, she had earlier projects before her published works, "I did start a short story back in 2009, but I never finished. Fast-forward to 2015 and my favorite podcaster/author did a two-part podcast about writing novels. It was then I decided to take the plunge and begin writing. I wrote a 20,000 word short space opera novel. It's pretty rough, I must admit. But I plan to revise and release it one day.

Her attention turned to her first published novel, Raser's War, "My first released novel I began in 2016. It was an origin story of sorts about GoSpeed and how she and her fellow NPCs in a futuristic virtual world gained their independence, but in the process, lose their innocence. Some 500 years in the future, mankind is at peace. That also implies life can be a bit boring of course, so many people seek entertainment and fulfillment in virtual space. GoSpeed is a virtaul resident of one world, Simvie Loko. Her kind, the NPCs, serve human users. As you may know, Utopias are never perfect. And humans plan a rebellion against authority, a world-ruling artificial intelligence named Gaiana. Gaiana hates dissent, so he sends forces into Simvie Loko to root out the rebels. The rebels fight back, and GoSpeed is recruited to fight with the rebels."

On the cover of her second book, We Built This City, Bay City is prominently featured on the cover. "It is a continuation of GoSpeed's journey," she called it, "The new world she lives in has less meaning. Her life on the island is not what she wants, so she goes to Bay City to find a new life. The story is much darker as GoSpeed loses her way and gets involved in activities she'd never dream of doing in her past life: PTSD, Loss of a relationship, losing her place in society.

"We Built This City is the most Second Life relatable of the three stories. I included (with their permission) many residents of Bay City, (such as) Marianne McCann, Uccello Poultry, Pygar Bu, Thomas Hooker." I asked what the residents thought of their cameos. Racer answered, "Oh, they loved them! Oh, there is one caveat I used when writing about SL avatars. The basic premise behind 21st Century avatars in a 25th century simulation was that they were modeled after social media found in Internet archives. You may recall news stories about how it is possible to recreat personalities based on social media postings? Say you have hundreds or thousands of pictures, blog posts, etc... You could come up with a personality. Using that as a premise, the characters I wrote tended to deviate to a degree compared to how they act now." Some had comparable roles, such as Marianne's counterpart being the city's mayor and that of blogger Uccello being a TV journalist.

This time, the main antagonist is a criminal organization. "There is a neighboring city that was sourced from a late 1940s noire themed game (like L.A. Noire) run by the mafia," GoSpeed explained, "Angel City, a pseudo Los Angeles, actually." There's also more than just the mafia separating the two communities, "As you can imagine, there would be a clash of cultures and values between a mid 20th century people and a mid 21st century group." Among the characters are a couple whom had been cryogenicaly frozen in the 21st Century whose minds are uploaded into the virtual world to inhabit avatars.

Recently published this month was her third book, The Bounding Main. "The third novel wraps up a few storylines and opens up the world of Simvie Loko to new lands," GoSpeed explained, "The first novel was about a loss of innocence. The second was the fall from grace. The thrid ias about forgiveness and starting anew. To get into the meat of the story, a new civilization is detected in a region of Simvie Loko that was off-limits. GoSpeed joins a joint expedition between Angel City and the ordinary citizens. They venture south to contact these new countries, and of course, things wind up being more complicated than they imagined."

I brought to her attention the statue on the cover, which was like the one in her yard. "Yes, a Roman centurion," she told me, then smiled, "which is relevant to the storyline. There are 'Romans' in the story." But these weren't exactly what we usually think of, "NPCs (aka Citizens) are from the 25th century. 49ers, residents of Angel City, are 20th century relics. The new countries they discover are from different parts of history, and alternate history to be precise. Remember the Star Trek episode with the planet that had 20th century Romans? Kinda like that."

I then asked if she was planning another book in the series. "This particualr series is finished," GoSpeed answered, "but there are other contemporary stories in Simvie Loko I can write about. I plan to write an anthology of short stories about various characters and locales in the world, like, the founding of Bay City, the first days of Angel City's arrival and the chaos that followed. You can only put so much in a novel. I want to give a few characters their due. It's also a form of world building too."

"After my anthology I plan to write about some of the characters leaving the virtual world and inhabiting android bodies. Two of them, Abba and Ravishal were sent to Mars to finish the job Abba started decades before. Her origin is alluded to in the first novel." So some of the virtual characters do end up in the real world, "Space is very harsh to human bodies. So, why not send androids with human personalities? ... To quote Elton John, Mars is cold as hell. Plus the radiation is pretty harsh too."

GoSpeed hoped that her novels would inspire others in Second Life to start writing, "There is a VAST amount of creativity here and so many stories that can be told. If I can self publish, then anyone so inclined can." She mentioned Book Island, saying aspiring writers could head there and share excerpts, "You can read them aloud or have the hostess, Selina Greene read them in voice chat. I shared scenes here and there as I wrote them. It is nice and informative to hear your writing read."

GoSpeed's novels can be purchased through Amazon on her page there (link) and Smashwords (link). On Saturday March 30, there will be a discussion about The Bounding Main at Book Island at Noon SL time.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, March 18, 2019

Kitacelia and Raising Horses


By Deaflegacy

I got a chance to interview Kitacelia (Kἶէმƈεlἶმ Lմἶղƈօɾἶმlօէε Kεlνმɾl) for her role in the horse business in Second Life.  Over time, I have gotten some horses from her.  So I felt if there's someone who knows about them in Second Life and can tell others, it's her.

My first question to Kitacelia was how long has she been breeding horses. She answered,  “ABC horses I have bred for about a year and half now.  I bred another type of horse as well but they are less realistic and cost extra to make pets after they are done breeding.”

I was curious about what was her favorite part about having ABC horses, so asked.  “The fact that they are realistic looking horses in size, the different breeds, etc.” Kitacelia answered.

I then asked Kitacalia how much longer she is going to continue in the horses business.  “Hmm well as long as I am able to, and as long as I enjoy it, I suppose,” she replied.

Besides raising horses, Kitacelia spends some time as a club hostess. She works at Club Zero Gravity, the Happy Vixen, and other places, getting the word out about events and greeting people as they enter the club.

Before we ended the interview, I told Kitacelia that she is an inspiration because she raises horses and helps others to get the them. I also told her that I would definitely recommend her business to the others.  I also said that I would also include the landmarks where the others can buy her horses from.

Here are the places where you can get Kitacelia's horses:

Dark Moon Rising ABC pony pen Kitacelia
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Helmsgarde/129/33/21

Dark Moon Rising ABC Stockyard
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Helmsgarde/87/34/21

MG NEW BEGINNINGS MARES
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/DYNASTY%20BEACHES/131/225/21

MG NEW BEGINNINGS
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/DYNASTY%20BEACHES/114/210/21

Hope you have fun raising horses too.

Deaflegacy

Monday, March 4, 2019

Ari at Creations Park


By Deaflegacy

Ari (Arisia Vita) is a piano player in Second Life. I recently went to one of his events. The party was held at Creations Park (168, 168, 1) as it usually happens every Tuesday from 12 pm to 1 pm SLT.  There are mermaids at the ball, dancing as Ari plays the piano, often with help from Carleonie.  Unfortunately, during the event, real life kept interrupting my listening (and covering for the Newser).  I am sure that I would be going back to the event again next week.  But I did catch up to Ari and Carleonie to ask them questions about the event that I missed.

I asked Ari how the concert was.  “Ok,” he replied, “It was very nice.”  I then asked if there was many people at the concert. “Yes, and each one special, for different reasons,” he answered.  I noticed at the concert, even with real life interrupting often, that Ari had Carleonie helping him.  “She helps me by just being close to me,” he told me.  I then asked him if is going to continue performing at the concert for as long as he can.  “Yes, I would like to,” Ari told me.  I thanked him, and moved on to his music event partner, Carleonie.

I asked Carleonie how the concert was.  “Oh it has been very nice," she told me with a smile, "Everyone loved the music, as always. (smile) Ari had prepared a very nice playlist.  I like it, too.”  I told her that I noticed that she was helping Ari.  I wanted to know how she likes helping him out.  She smiled, “I love it.  And I feel honored, that he asks me to do so. And since I have helped him two or three times, now it has become already some kind of tradition.”  I was curious to see if Carleonie would continue to help Ari out every Tuesday from 12 pm to 1pm. She answered, “When I am able to log on I surely will do so with pleasure.”  I thanked her.

They do make lovely piano music every Tuesday afternoon, from 12 pm to 1 pm.  They would go to Creations Park to play their music.  There are mermaids at the concert, always with a contest.  If anyone is interested in listening to piano music as well as hanging out with the mermaids, I would encourage them to go to Creations Park.

https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Creations%20Park/168/168/1

Deaflegacy

Monday, February 11, 2019

What's New With The Dragon Crew


By Bixyl Shuftan

Second Life has no shortage of DJs. But few are teams whose personality interactions are great entertainment for their listeners. And even fewer have the appearance of a dragon. The combination makes the Dragon Crew a unique musical team in Second Life entertainment. Made up of DJ Geekil, whom has been DJing in SL for years in his dragon avatar, his partner JB Raccoon, whom while not being in the virtual world nearly as long had quickly emerged as a talented music player, and LS Raccoon, whom sometimes acts as the hostess for the two men, the "Epic Failure Show" or "Dragon and Raccoon Show" as they've often called themselves has entertained many crowds. Interviewed by the Newser in December 2017, recently they requested to meet up to talk a little about a few things that have changed since then.

Among the recent changes is that due to real life, JB can't quite take part as often as he used to. "I do not participate on Tuesdays or Wednesdays because of my health," he told me. Geerkyl scoffed at the explanation, "That's the excuse he's using." So the Dragon Crew has taken on a new co-DJ for Geerkil, "I have a replacement staff member for Tuesdays and Wednesdays." The new member of the crew is Applebloom (JeanetteDJennet Resident), whom is almost always in a pony avatar. "So when I say hay is for horses," the dragon mused, "Applebloom will agree."

So how did the little pony end up part of the Dragon Crew? Meeting up with the two at the Happy Vixen beach club, the dragon answered, "I sat on her, and she liked it," Geerkil chuckled, "NOT!" Applebloom responded with a "Hrumph!" I asked about a rumor I heard that if he did that again, she'd use "pony magic" to give him the most girly cutie mark she could think of on his behind. Geerkil answered, "She did offer a mark I would never ewver forget, every time I sat down again." "Dern right," the pony grinned, "I may be small but my kick is mighty." "Plus the fact she wears steel shoes," the dragon remarked, "which is a little bit troublesome."

Applebloom then told, "Well to be truthful about it, I first saw ol' Geer here a little before we had that Halloween event (at the Happy Vixen) and I looked at him and JB Raccoon wondering just what the hell they were playing, especially at the Halloween event. Well, not too long after that I had a talk and introduced myself to Geerkil and told him I'd love to do what he does and maybe be on his show one day but that my mic was broken. And he told me when I got my mic fixed. Well a few days ago I finally got a new one and got in touch (with) JB here at The Vixen, and he told me to hide and we'd 'surprise the sausage.'"

"So I hid down on the second level and when (Geerkil) came, we shocked him because he couldn't figure out who the 'guest' was until he saw me. Both he and JB liked my style and easygoing nature and how well I worked with them during that show that both he and JB had the idea of asking me to take JB's spot on Tuesday and Wednesday because JB had to ease back on his workload. So here I am,.now a full fledged member of The Dragon Crew." The little pony smiled.

The conversation went to Discord chat, JB making a recording which would get sent to me. "You can be like the rest of the news media and report fake news, saying we play great music instead of the truth," Geerkil chuckled. When I responded by asking him what were their greatest epic failures were, he answered "Too many to mention." He joked that the recording being made of the conversation would glitch and become "white noise."

Geerkil occasionally gets teased by his colleagues and friends who occasionally call him "sausage." The joke goes back months ago when at a show, the subject of cooking sausages for a meal came up, and he ended up saying "I love sucking sausages." It wasn't until after he spoke it that he realized it could be taken as innuendo, and those who heard gleefully chuckled. The joke has stuck around since, "You never sausage a dragon."

Geerkil sometimes pokes a little fun at Applebloom's screen name, JeanetteDJennet Resident. "This is the name that ne-ver ends," the dragon teasingly sung, "It goes on and on my friends." When I asked her where the name came from, she answered it was from, "a MUCK that me and my late hubby were on. I was a little donkey named Jeanette, so when we came here instead of having it jeanettethejennet I shortened it by two letters to jeanettedjennet. I was a Wizz on that MUCK in fact, we both were. His name was Skunx, a skunk that could shapeshift." The detail she most remembers about their time on the MUCK was their home area Oah Hill Ranch, "It was HUGE with like close to 30 seperate rooms. If you've ever been on a MUCK then you know you have to descibe it, put all the door and exits on and descibe THOSE. Very involved. ...took me several months to build it." Being a MUCK, places had to have a lot of detail, "especially if you wanted to link it up with the rest of the MUCK."

When Geerkil and Applebloom co-DJ together, their routine is called "The Dragon and Pony Show." Geers commented that the order was because D is before P in the alphabet. They're played at a number of clubs in the past year, the dragon commenting, "we left a few ... one because they had some internal issues, then they wanted us back, but when we asked for our (positions) back, we never got them. ... that was the one with stickers, I like stickers." JB ang Geerkil mentioned a few more, one they left because, "we weren't funny enough," another because the manager "was a (dirty word) (dirty word)," and another, Dancing With Angels, closed because the owner had health issues, "That was sad." They are still performing at the Funhouse, at the Heart of Gold club, Club Cutlass "from time to time," the Happy Vixen Beach Club, Zeta Valley, and the Gathering Oak. Geerkil also performs at Lost Farm Crystal Cavern, though JB won't set foot in there. There's also "Club EFS." "There's probably one or two more that we've forgotten ..."

Club EFS is the Dragon Crew's own and new club, located at at Nox Arcana high above the PlayaCar sim at (52/128/2251). While EFS is short for "Epic Failure Show," only the initials are used as there are others who perform there, "but we wanted to keep the reference to us." As of the writing of this article, there are two other DJs who perform there, DJ Squeaks (Brandi Streusel), Benji, who Geerkil grumbles "thinks the raccoon is more important than the dragon," and "The Floof." "Awesome!" Geerkil cheered in response at the third, "We have 'The Orange Floof.' ... Got a really cute avatar, I really like it." JB called it an orange husky avatar.

The steel and brick club is dragon-themed with lots of wings, dragon statues, a couple smaller dragons flying overhead, and the dance floor being a hellish-looking set of iron bars over flames. Geerkil joked, "it has a nice little grill over top of a lava bath so we can pre-cook our guests so that later on in the show we can eat them." He would later comment, "Hey, I'm a dragon. Everything else looks like food to me." The grill does have a purplish mist over it, so perhaps it's magic that keeps the flames from burning the feet on the dance floor.

Of LS (Little Spirit) Raccoon, Geerkil remarked, "We put her in her own special office, where she can be on the phone." JBstated she was recently given a desk as a gift by a friend. ... valued at $200." Geerkyl grumbled, "No one sends me no ****ing desks." JB mused, "At least now I know where those teeth marks came from." Geerkil would later call LS an enthusiastic hostess, even when there was hardly anyone else in the club they were at, "she continues to do her performance." "She treats it as if we have a club full of guests," JB added. But they sometimes had other hostesses, such as Kitacella at the Happy Vixen, "Kit's good."

As before, some of Geerkil's humor is a bit low, "I admit my sense of humor is quite warped." Seeing LS's anthro dragon avatar, Geerkil remarked "Boobies." He would then say he used the word because of all the terms for that part of a woman's anatomy, that's the one he gets in the least trouble for using. Of their performance at the Gathering Oak, Geerkil called it, "The home of the Fabulous F*rting Fairy Furry Forest Flatulent-Filled Forest where they f*rt fragrant flatulent ..." He would later say, "I find f*rts hilariously funny." He did say though he has been blamed for a few windbreaking noises that he never made.

One occasional personality is DJ Tech. "Tech gets on occasionally, so he's a special guest." JB commented, "Tech primarily does get a brief appearance on the show with us." Geerkil then remarked "usually to tell me to shut the f**k up or something." JB chuckled, "Or (call you a) dumb a**ed dragon." The dragon muttered, "That's another famous phrase." Little Spirit giggled, "That's why we call him D.A.D." Someone joked, "That gives 'Who's your daddy?' a whole new meaning." That resulted in chuckles from everyone but Geerkil.

Sometimes Geerkil wears a hard hat. When asked to explain how it started, he explained that on occasion someone's been dropping anvils on him, "I decided to take some precautions." JB joked the weather has sometimes been "partially cloudy with a chance of anvils." When asked if there have been sightings of a coyote chasing a roadrunner, JB answered, "Well, the anvils do say 'ACME' on them, so it's possible (chuckle)." I then asked if Geerkil was wearing a hard hat, was someone else going to wear a sailor suit, a third a police uniform, and a fourth a biker. Geerkil blurted, "Oh no no! We are NOT going 'Village People!'" "Oh God no!" JB exclaimed, "No waaaay!"

Of the antics at the show, Geerkil rmarked, "I am not the instigator, but I do tend to promote that at times. ... (chuckle) I have a loyal crew." JB mentioned one incident at the Gathering Oak in which someone made something happen to Erik, who then looked right at Geerkil. The dragon chuckled, "I have this guilty look about me. I'm just doing my job, and darned if every time Erik ****ed, he'd watch me like a hawk. ... I'm laughing my (butt) off. It was so funny, and I'm the only innocent one in the whole group. All I did was make the suggestion, and it makes things happen (laughter)." They also mentioned a few jokes they played when people nearby go Away From Keyboard. "You do not want to be idle around us for very long," Geerkl commented.

The Dragon Crew now has a Facebook page at ( https://www.facebook.com/DragonandRaccoonEFS/ ). They also have a Patreon page. "There's not much on there for perks right now," JB explained, "We don't have the money right now to offer anything significant." "I think or first perk is going to be a coffee mug with the Dragon and Raccoon logo on it," Geerkil spoke. "Once we have a new logo design," JB added.

Geerkil refers to their collection of older and more obscure music as Warehouse 13, "Lost and forgotten tunes."

JB Raccoon pointed out his avatar, which he calls a "huskcoon," has changed a little since the interview a year ago, "he even has a pair of glasses to match the ones I'm going to wear in real life. JB had previously used an Aventity blue husky. He would go on to say as time has gone on, he's become a bit more social. While he had no problems interacting with people on-air, he preferred to keep his avatar a bit distance from others. "Someone would move to the DJ booth, I'd move away. ... I'd move somewhere else just to get away from them. I don't do that anymore. I haven't done it in several months." He gives some credit for this to Akea Gromet, "I think he was the first ... to get behind the DJ booth, and me not move." JB would take a picture of him, which remains at the Happy Vixen as Akea passed away several months later.

During the interview, one friend of theirs on and off of Second Life, known here as Lord Equis, made a few comments over the voice chat. He also appeared at the club to say hello.

Of their ideas for the future, one they're considering is recording their off-the-air conversations. "A lot of the funniest stuff we do is off the air," Geerkil explained,

After a bit more than an hour, the Dragon Crew and I went our separate ways. Geerkil and Applebloom's "Dragon and Pony Show" can be encountered at the Happy Vixen at Purrfection Estates (236, 219, 24) on Tuesdays at 4PM SL time. The "Dragon and Raccoon Show" is on Thursdays at 6PM SL time. And as mentioned before, there's their Club EFS at PlayaCar (52/128/2251) .

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, February 4, 2019

Marianne McCann and Mole Day


By Deaflegacy

On Saturday February 2, Bay City held it's annual Mole Day event. It was organized by Marianne McCann. She and I met at the site of the Mole Day party. We were talking about the celebration and how it got started.“Well, it's always an honor to put on Mole Day," replied Marianne, "Bay City was one of the very first projects of the Linden Department of Public Works, so we have a special kinship to the Moles. Mole day was started by me and BlueGin Yifu, as a way of honoring their good works. all the stuff the Moles make and do to help keep Second Life fun and all.”

I asked Marianne where she gets the idea for the Mole Day. “Well, it was last January about eight years ago," said Marianne, "and BlueGin and I were thinking about Groundhog Day, which was upcoming. We thought 'heck with groundhogs, we got moles!' This led to us thinking, about all the work the Moles did in Bay City and elsewhere, and that we should honor them for it. That first year, all we did was issue a proclamation in their honor, By the next year, we decided to hold a public concert in their honor.”

I wanted to know how the Lindens and the Moles feel about the Mole Day. “They've always seemed to appreciate it," replied Marianne, "They don't get a great deal of praise, after all. I mean, Lindens are usually vilified - rightly or wrongly - but moles tend to be, well, under the radar.” I was curious to see who shows up the most often. “Garden is here most times, Ancient, Abnor, and others often show too.” said Marianne. “The weather may be causing issues this year.”

I was wondering if the event had changed in any way. “Yes, a bit," replied Marianne, "Like I said, it was at first not even an event itself, but the thing I've noticed is how it's gone from simply a Bay City event to more of a grid-wise thing. People from elsewhere on the grid come here to partake.”

My last question was which one of Lindens or Moles have been the most fun. “Oh gosh, that's a hard hard question. There's been so many! I don't think I could even pick one.” said Marianne.

I stayed at the party for as long as I could, but with so many people coming to the party, due to the lag, I have to leave. But I sure hope that the others had lots of fun at the Mole Day party.

Deaflegacy

Monday, January 21, 2019

How Second Life Makes Life Better For A Disabled Person


By Deaflegacy

Hello, everyone!  My name is DeafLegacy.  As per my name, I am deaf.  I have been deaf since birth.  I have managed to do just fine when my Mom learned sign language.  I was a lucky woman to have my Mom, who knew sign language.  Unfortunately, I lost her in 2013.  I miss her very much.

I came to Second Life three years and five months ago.  Someone mentioned Second Life, and that caught my attention.  At first, I was a shy person, using a female human avatar.  I wasn't sure how to get more Lindens.  As days went by, I started to know more about this virtual world.  For one, I know now how to get more Linden dollars, from winning contests, to Second Life jobs, or buying them with real money.  I do that once a month to make sure that my lots are paid for.

I find this amazing that when I first started using Second Life, I moved into an apartment on Cape Heron.  I have had two apartments but not at the same time.  I would remember my old living spaces with fondness.  When I was living in an apartment, I would be looking at houses on the parcels, and wanted to live on a parcel.  One day, I got parcels.  I can't say how many parcels I got because for some reasons, it's not right.  So I would just say that one day, I got some parcels, and ever since then, I have been making sure that I pay the rent.

Why am I telling you this?  Well, I can give you a few reasons.  I can tell you that I was lucky in finding Virtual Ability, which is a group for people with disabilities.  They have been there for me ever since I have been a member.  I can also tell you about writing for the SL Newser.  I was so happy when Bixyl Shuftan hired me.  I can definitely tell you that my desire to write never stops growing, even though I have a disability. I mean, when it comes to writing, who cares about the writer's disabilities?  We care about what the writer is writing about.

Second Life had helped me out a great deal since the day I signed up.  I have no regret in joining Second Life, and I hope to continue on as a member of Second Life.  In a way, thanks to Second Life, I'm now a writer, and I got lucky to have a partner, Six String (roleplayismylife).  I love Six String very much.

Thank you, Second Life, in giving me many chances.  I will never forget that.

Deaflegacy

Friday, January 18, 2019

Wisdomseeker and Whole Brain Health


By Bixyl Shuftan

When it comes to keeping one's mind healthy, the people to go to are Whole Brain Health at Inspiration Island. I recently interviewed the head of the group,  Wisdomseeker (Lissena Resident). We met in a skybox with a few pannels and chairs over the sim. "We hold our staff meetings here," Wisdomseeker explained.

"World Brain Health really began in 2013.," she told me, "I came into Second Life fascinated by the imaginative aspect of it, but not really sure what I would do here. Then I met Gentle heron of Virtual Ability Island. She encouraged me to do a presentation on brain health for her spring 2013 conference. I did that, and also set up what is called a brain Health Fair in real-life. In real-life, it takes place in a gym and allows seniors to try out many of the activities that promote brain health. I brought it into Second Life. That is my background and training, holistic evidence-based approach to brain health and well being. So everything here comes from that beginning."

I asked about the sim's name, Inspiration Island. Wisdomseeker pointed out, "The name comes from our logo." She pointed it out in the nearby wall: Inspire, Interact, Innovate - Change. "These are the things we focus on--educating through fun and thought provoking activities." I asked about the activities. She answered, "The idea is that people can learn what they can do to have greater well being, and we give them ways to actually try out those things. We work from five pillars of well being, activities that encourage self care--good diet, sleep, exercise and stress reduction, encourage social interaction that iis positive, encourage cognitive challenge, encourage creative self expression of all kinds, and help people develop a sense of purpose. Those five based on the research. So if you look around, you can find parcels that focus on them."

"We have for example a Multiple Intelligences Experience parcel to explore your greatest kinds of abilities--have you seen it?" I answered that I had noticed it from a distance. Wisdomseeker continued, "We hold our jazz concerts Wednesdays on the music stage there. Music is one kind of intelligence. My husband is a musician (smile). We have a number of music programs. (The) 50s sock hop for instance hosted by Curei on her Floating Gallery here. The map on the welcome board--which is all over the sim--is a good way to see what we offer. A great 'Relationships in SL and Beyond' program led by Pet Karu, who is a professional counselor. We have about 30 people who create programs and activities here, island members. Darth Vondran teaches chess here as a brain game. ... We take a group photo every year. It keeps getting bigger."

"I am on the board of Nonprofit Commons here in SL, and this region is part of Rockcliffe University Estate. I have a staff that is made up of gems. Thuja Hynes is Associate Director here. Francisco Koolhoven is Media Director. His is a scripter, made the Welcome Board behind us. And Katsii Tennen is our Music Organizaer. So the four of us work closely and others participate through their programs, like Osangar and her amazing brain! I never in a million years thought I would be doing this, it just sort of grew (smile)."

Wisdomseeker went on, "We are the virtual arm of a real-life nonprofit called 'Ageless Mind Project.' ... You see, I strongly believe that virtual lives enrich our other lives. AMP has the goal of educating the public about lifestyle choices that improve brain health and well being. In real life my husband and I give workshops, often using music as brain food as the theme. Music can contribute a lot to well being, a lot of research on this. One thing we are doing now is setting up a series of challenges/quests on the sim, a structured way for people to explore. So many tell us we have so much here, they don't know where to start. We will give people badges for completing challenges. Our staff is working on that now."

Wisdomseeker mentioned one could find their calendar of events at https://virtualinspirationisland.org/calwbh/ . She went on to say they try to have events every day, "we keep adding new ones--we also try to collaborate with other groups. For instance we are hosting a tea ceremony presented by another group, a special event next week. ... One thing, everyone who comes here and likes it, tells me. We are a friendly bunch.  People feel safe here. They like the feel of the place."

I asked her, "One question coming to mind, would someone in their 40s approach brain health a little differently than someone in their 20s? What if the person was in their 60s?" Wisdomseeker answered, "One way to look at it is this:  everything you do from the time you are born to protect your brain is important - at any age what we teach here is valuable - no matter how early or late you start - having this knowledge and practicing it is the key. The underlying concepts are universal. I say this as someone who turned 80 this year. I got into this because we took care of close family members who developed dementia. Once I realized there are things people can do to have a better chance - look at the football players, for instance, I wanted people to know about it. Now if they would just requie helmets on scooters."

Another question of mine to Wisdomseeker was, "Would you say on the whole, brain health is being taken more seriously?" She answered, "Very much so now. I keep up with the research so I can see how much more there is. Especially now that we know more about the brain itself, about neuroplasticity and neurogenesis, how what you do can change your brain for the better, grow new neurons, improve memory, lots of good stuff. It's worth learning about and developing good habits around it. Second Life is important in one great way. I believe it has the power to reduce loneliness. Loneliness is connected to depression and is generally bad for brain and well being. That's why having positive relationships here is so important too, something we focus on."

I asked if they were planning anything this year that stands out. Wisdomseeker answered, "Our major focus is on giving visitors a clearer pathway to well being through our sim - so when they come here they will know more easily where to explore, according to their needs and interests. Many of our members also are planning new activities here. We are very open to having new people join us both as visitors and members, and to suggest additions and improvements."

Wisdomseeker and I parted ways. But I would return later to look around the island. And there was a lot to see, both on the ground and higher up. There are a number of places one can go to read information. But there are also games areas, such as the 3D Maze at (224/51/22) and those at Games Park at (203/55/701). One can get a list of locations here.

https://virtualinspirationisland.org/

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Inspiration%20Island/151/234/39



Addition: Whole Brain Health made this video in 2016 of the activities on Inspiration Island.

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Sebastien Bouevier and Survivors of Suicide


By Deaflegacy

"Survivors of Suicide" is the largest group in Second Life for people dealing with depression or people who know someone who is. It is headed by Sebastien Bouevier. Recently, he and I met at their new location that was opened a week ago.  I asked him if we could stop by the beach.  We did. The beach area was well done, resembling one in real life. “That's what I was trying to achieve,” said Sebastien, “I wanted somewhere tranquil and serene for people to come and relax.”

We went to a lookout and sat down. I asked Sebastien if his group was particularly important this time of year.  “Yes," he replied, "the holidays is typically the busiest time of year for us at SOS, as a lot of people don't have much in terms of family and friends in real-life, as well as it being a stressful time of year for literally everyone.”

According to Sebastien, he didn't join SOS until just over six years ago. It had already been running for almost four years by then.  Krissy Sinclair, the original founder, started it after being a member of a similar group in real life, and realizing that there was a need for it here on Second Life.

I asked Sebastien how many members are there in the SOS. He said, “As of today we have close to 900 members.” said Sebastien, “Yes, we got over 100 new members during the Christmas Fair.” Their Christmas Fair was a month-long event to celebrate their tenth anniversary as well as gain awareness and raise money for the group.


My next question was, “Would you agree that SOS is attracting more and more members in the time of need because they are there to help people in need?”  Sebastien's response was, “Yes, I do agree with that. Survivors of Suicide is here for everyone and we are open 24/7. We have a team of mentors who are able to talk with people one on one, and when there aren't any mentors available, our group chat is active and very friendly. It is a sort of community of people all helping and supporting each other.”

The next question is if the SOS would continue on much longer. “Oh yes," said Sebastien, "we are the longest running group of this kind in Second Life. We have seen many other groups come and go, but none have stood the test of time. Judging by the immense support from the SL community at large during our event, we will continue to stay open, and continue to grow.”

I asked if anyone can come in the chat at any time to seek help. “Yes," replied Sebastien, "anyone is welcome to join the group chat at any time to ask for help. A group invite will be sent to everyone who lands at the SOS parcel.”

My next question for Sebastien was when the best time to ask for help would be. “Hmmm, it really depends," said Sebastien, "we have members and mentors from the US west coast, and even Hawaii, to Australia and New Zealand.”  “Lets put it this way, I've never been online and not have had at least a dozen of members online at the same time.”

The next question was, “Is there such a thing as exchanging emails with other members or/and mentors so they can continue to receive the help they need when they are not on Second Life?”  Sebastien's response was, “No, but that segues nicely into something I wanted to share with you and your readers," said Sebastien, "We have started embracing social media. We are now on FaceBook, Flickr, and we have our own Discord server. Are you familiar with Discord? ...  It is called Survivors of Suicide. We have a discord button in the entrance hall of the main SOS building long with a button for our website, FaceBook page, and Flickr.”

“I'm excited that we are now able to reach out to our members even when they aren't in Second Life,” Sebastien said, “It was really nice to see all the people that came to visit us during the event, we have over 3000 people come through, and I spoke with over one hundred of them, and everyone had stories of either themselves or people they knew who has gone through very difficult times.  We are going strong into the future, with a new club house, more meetings and activities than before, and that we are here to stay.”

As the interview came to a close, Sebastien said, “My main goal for 2019 is to grow the membership of SOS, I realized just how many people who needs us, or could benefit from us, but don't know we exist. So that is the main objective, and any publicity we can get is fantastic!”

The interview came to a close and I have a good feeling about the future of Survivors of Suicide.  As Sebastien said, they are here to stay. As a member of SOS, I look forward to many days with the group.  SOS is an excellent group, and they are helping people out in need.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Legenda/47/56/24

Deaflegacy