Friday, October 27, 2017

Ari's Rezzday

By Deaflegacy

Ari (arisia.vita)'s RezDay finally came around on October 18 and it's not just any RezDay.  It's Ari's 10th RezDay.  It happened on Wednesday.  

I went to Ari's concert on Perfect Paradise (131,152,22).  It was amazing.  Ari started his concert by greeting everyone.  I then reminded him it was his 10th RezDay.

"Hello, both of you ..and happy Res day, Ari, whether you celebrate it or not (smile)." said Gaia Maria's alt, Mariaseconda.

"Thank you Gaia," said Ari, wishing her hugs.

"*hug*. I'm always happy to celebrate any special days, including other people's (grin) So, chocolate for Gaia today, in honor of Ari~!~" said Mariaseconda.

I asked people around the piano what they thought of Ari's music.

"Ari's music calms me and takes my mind off of my worries." said Jonquil Gal (esthezia.andel).  She likes to dance to Ari's music. "He has gotten a lot of my smiles." said Jonquil Gal, smiling.

Ari would only accept tips in smiles. I asked him if it's true that if someone tries to tip him, he'd return the tip to them.  "Yes, with thanks." said Ari.

"I love this dreaming music... always.." said Helge Janus. "Ari gives us a special gift with his music." said Jonquil Gal. "It's a peaceful event," said R0bin Helsinki,"Tunes in paradise." "I just reflect the gifts around me." said Ari.

"Ari was in his usual splendid form, both musically and fashion wise." said Caya Corvale.  "It is always a pleasure to listen to the music he chooses. A generous mix of classical and popular melodies." "Always a pleasure to have you in the audience." said Ari.

"His talent is amazing, and Ari is one of the most wonderful, charming, kind people I have met in any reality," spoke Mariaseconda. "I am honored." said Ari.

"I wonder how the piano can still make such lovely sound with plants in the case." said Carla Broek. "It's magic." said Ari. Carla continued, "Well up until now no wildlife or children have been hurt. And he sits very still, not making any sudden moves that might spook people with nervous reactions. So I would say it goes well for him at the moment. ...It's great. And I love how he can play and chat at the same time." "I have some great help." said Ari.

"Ari *always* finds lovely music for all of us ...and I swear he is telepathic ... knows just what I need to hear at any given moment :)" said Mariaseconda.

"One of my fondest memories when I was very young was lying on the couch in the living room listening to my older brother play the piano." said Ari.  "I think it affected me."

When the concert ended, people thanked Ari for his wonderful music.  To this day, Ari is a really good piano player who cares a lot about the others.  That's who Ari is.

I later got together with Ari during the concert at Cape Heron.  As it turned out, Ger Y Lli was the first place for Ari to play his piano several years ago, thanks to Yavanna.  Soon after that, Ari started playing for Cape Heron.

"The desire to help others." said Ari when I asked him what inspires him to be a piano player on Second Life. 

When asked if he would continue playing for a long time on Second Life, Ari said, "As long as others enjoy it, I will."

We talked about the park in Ari's honor on Cape Heron. I asked him if he is aware that there is a park in his honor. "I am and I love it, it honors me." said Ari.  He is also aware that the owner of the park is planning on keeping it for a very long time. It pleases Ari to know that the owner is keeping the park for a very long time.

Ari said that he's not surprised that someone wants to interview him on his 10th RezDay and also know now that he is an inspiration for many pictures that someone took of him.

Mister Rogers is Ari's role model.  He asked me if I knew Mister Rogers and I told him that I knew him from 1980's.  Even when there was no subtitles on TV at that time, I still knew Mister Rogers.  It was my favorite TV show.

When we said goodbyes, I left with a smile on my face.  Ari isn't just an inspiration.  He is a role model, too.  That's something to know about a piano player who would continue to play music as long as the others enjoy it.

Ari's piano schedule shows that he plays at


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Reader Submitted - Halloween for Stoners in SL

By Any1 Gymoid

Even though I don't smoke in RL, I am part of a significant community in Second Life (SL).  We are stoners. SL stoners congregate around some brilliant musicians: Tukso Okey and Jed Luckless. Also Lluis Indigo and Larree Quixote.

Every few weeks, I get an IM from Jed Luckless, like Hey Maggie! I'm gigging tonight! Spread the word! He knows that I will! My avatar is very wired into live music groups; which also tend to spill over into other art groups such as P.S. (for writers and poets) and Communication Arts (for all artforms). And of course Active and Acting is a great group for all event announcements; founded by a Greek politician; who often shares his fav youtube links on a bender. It's fun!

Anyways, I got the request from Jed on Sunday afternoon, and as I spread the word, the lead staff writer for SL Newser, Gemma Cleanslate, started screaming at me in a public forum. Maggie you MUST write up that event for SL Newser! She's was not taking no for an answer! The editor in chief reluctantly agreed to this arrangement; all that jazz went down on the ASSOCIATED PRESS group for all to witness. Surprise scoop! Eh?

So anyways, Jed was doing a Halloween Show at Dark Star; his home sim, and it was totally awesome! As expected! Spiderman can JAM, my friends! My gang of stoners love to come over early before Jed's shows and lounge about in Jed's parking lot. Very bare bones accommodations, but always terrific fun. Jed usually gigs for 2 hours; so hang onto your hats it's a wild ride. Jed plays in the style of The Grateful Dead; doing many of their covers. Stoner heaven it is.

I am a yuge fan of stoner movies too. I've always been a fan of Cheech and Chong; also Bill and Ted... and House Party I, but more recently Harold and Kumar, PCU, and others. Totally funny! 

At Tukso's shows, I have a special role. I am sort of a tight ass when it comes to wall-clock timing; so I announce the countdown to 4:20pm. 4:20 is a special time for stoners; it's an real-life schoolyard tradition that arose after Columbine. Yeah April 20th is blah blah's birthday, but now we stoners rule 4:20. Always! Another fun tradition: when Tukso gigs late on Saturday Nights at Purple Rain club, a lot of us stoners do get naked! So there you have it! I like to kid the young men, like: "Hey Lluis! How's it hangin? LOL" 

Lluis Indigo is yet another brilliant stoner musician in SL! Sometimes he plays live with the Looper (a guitar gadget), as Tukso does. And also plays live Flamenco guitars. He was my stoner buddy for about 2 years before we discovered his brilliant music! Like Larree Quixote! Go figure! Larree Quixote is another great stoner musician who plays many traditional hippy-era anthems! 

To get involved in SL stoner community is really easy. Join Tukso's SL group is one way. Another is to join any entertainment group  and watch for my announcements! I am totally sure Jed Luckless will call on me again! Keep an eye out for Tukso Okey, Jed Luckless, Lluis "Puddin" Indigo, and Larree Quixote. We love and cherish them all! Blessed Love! Peace Out! Dude, it's 4:20 somewhere!

Maggie Mae Bhaktiguru

Monday, October 9, 2017

Businesswoman Banned From Second Life Without Clear Explanation

By Bixyl Shuftan

Talking to Furry Fashion, I was told about someone who worked with them, Luna Pawpad, whom had been given the boot by Linden Lab without being told exactly why. "Luna Pawpad helped me set up the FF Halloween area but LL banned her account," one of the staff told me. They had no idea why she was banned, "Every time she opens a support ticket they close it without responding. She keeps getting the run around. She's disabled and relies on her Second Life income. ... She'd been a loyal SL player for over seven years, and now she's banned plus all her alts. She's lost her parcels, her accounts, her store, thousands of items/money down the drain."

I talked to Luna via an Instant-Messenger. She described herself as quite involved in Second Life commerce, "I'm  a major part of Furry Fashion. I was a premium member, and I had a business. ... I was also heavily involved in Quest Fur Cover and other events like Gacha Guild. ... All of which helped supplement my income in real life.  I'm non-working disabled, and my husband and I are struggling as it is. My account was going on nine years old in November."

Linden Lab had blocked her entry into Second Life without saying exactly why, "My account was put on administrative hold. All I got was a lengthy notice that I broke TOS, and that's it." When I first talked to her, she could only think of one possible reason, one that she thought she had straightened out with Linden Lab some time ago, "The only clue I have is that my account was held before because I used my mom's card a couple times to buy Lindens, ... with her permission ... because she had no other way to send me money (according to her). I just provided her ID and my account opened back up."

And with that all was well, until now, "Then suddenly this, like months later. I've opened two tickets to appeal, and they were closed without (an)answer. And the direct case I filed last night, no longer exists."  She wondered, "maybe her bank happened to flag it one day, or maybe she did by mistake. That's really what this all seems like is a mistake." She had explained the situation to the Lab back then, "in the last case I filed I wrote out a very lengthy explanation, the case that now no longer exists. ... The only reason I used Second Life to get money from my Mom, was because I processed credit periodically anyways, from sales of my own stuff."

Later on, Luna mentioned there might be one other possibility, "A couple days before I was buying demos of full perm stuff to look at." And she purchased an item that she found out later was copybotted, "I didn't realize it till after I purchased it, so I just deleted it. It was a whoops."

I would later get an email from a Rand.Lupindo.

I've known Albright (Luna.Pawpad) in Second Life for at least 7 years, and in that time she has been a stable, energizing presence, volunteering at my own Sim (Timber Wilds animal avatars and sandbox) and other communities.  It is thus with sadness that I found that she was recently banned permanently from Second Life for unknown reasons other than an unspecified violation of the Terms of Service, and as far as I'm aware not given any warning, explanation, or recourse.  

For what it's worth, I doubt this ban is deserved, it smacks of the impulsive shadow banning of content creators on flimsy grounds that occurred last year, and I can vouch for Albright as a fixture of our community and certainly not a greifer or criminal.  If the ban is somehow deserved, she should at least be given an explanation as to the specific reason and some recourse for appeal.  

If users are going to be surreptitiously expelled from the game after accumulating years of legitimate accomplishments and relationships, fully intending to be and believing ourselves to be in compliance with the rules, without warning and without explanation, not even allowed to come back on a new account, then it seems that no one can feel safe investing their time and effort into this space.

And then another from Bowno Scarbridge, saying she was talking to Luna the moment she was booted off Second Life,

I had logged onto Second Life on the 3rd of October into the Gatcha Guild event. The BRDMRT Raptors had just been added the night before and I wanted to see how many people were around and enjoying them. Luna Pawpad and a few other friends soon joined me in the Raptor fun! We were all goofing around, clicking people's noses and making jokes over voice. Good stuff and good fun. Suddenly, Luna vanished out of nowhere, completely randomly and without any warning. A couple minutes later I get a message from Luna that she had been banned from SL. Confused and shocked,

I asked her why. She had been transferring her L to her alt account, which is used to store it for safe keeping. She was locked down for  'suspicious activity' because she was transferring L.

 SL replied to her appeal with :
  'Thank you for contacting Linden Lab Fraud. After conducting a thorough review, Linden Lab has determined this account or an alternate account has violated the Second Life Terms of Service. Regretfully, we have determined this account and all alternate accounts will be permanently terminated. Per the Terms of Service, you may not return to Second Life on any account, new or existing.'

Luna Pawpad is a modder of the SL community. Her products are texture mods that she makes by hand. Her work is her own. None of it breaks TOS and none of it is Copyright. She is decently known in the modder community. She has a few enemies from working as security at Furry Fashion.... But that's really about it!

Luna Pawpad thinks that transferring L was one of the causes, but also the fact that she had to borrow her mothers credit card for a bit. Her mother AGREED to this and even let her use her ID as proof.

She has tried to make tickets, and LL continues to close them without replying. Her email that she has sent will likely never be replied to or if it is.. it will likely just be a copy paste message. ... Linden Labs is being very unprofessional about this entire thing. The LEAST they could do is tell her what she did wrong. Right now, all we can do is assume. Luna is a paying customer to SL and deserves to at least have her tickets answered and a chance to defend herself.

This hasn't been the first time Linden Lab expelled someone from a popular business from the virtual world. In 2014, Meissa Thorne, one of the major contributors to the popular fishing game 7Seas, was banned for refusing to provide her Social Security Number and other ID directly to Linden Lab as part of their new Identification Policy at the time. Although the team had time to prepare for her exit, there were lasting changes, such as no further "Fishversary" celebration events.

As for what to do now, Luna wasn't sure where she could go from here, "I've submitted tickets, Ame wrote an email. I don't know if any of my other friends have done anything, but at this point, getting enough people to vouch for me might be my only hope at this point. I've seen people get banned for legit TOS violations, but returned because enough people protested."

And so, as Furry Fashion's team gets ready to celebrate Halloween, the mood has been darkened as one of their own has vanished, not at the hands of a monster, but the heavy hands of Linden Lab, with no clear explanation as to what the reason was for, or if it may happen again.

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, October 6, 2017

SLife and Times: Banned For Looking Odd

By Bixyl Shuftan

For my furry friends at the Sunweaver/Angels community and elsewhere, one of their pet peeves is being harassed or banned about their appearance when they go out looking at different places and clubs. Some consider it common to the point they'll hang out only at places they know have other furs or call themselves "furry friendly."  Grease Coakes wrote about his experience, and I've written on the topic myself. Personally, I've found it a rare experience, though still annoying.

So it got my attention when a "coconuteater" wrote on "Blog Veridical" about being banned at a club "within three seconds of my avatar entering the building." He Instant-Messaged the owner, "Hello, why am I banned?" The owner's answer was, "I smell a lot of trouble, and I'm not up to it today." "Do you think I'm a griefer or something?" "So you think I'm an idiot?" While he didn't give his account name, he did show his appearance. This was a human avatar, but it was oddly porportioned, with a huge chest with wide shoulders, tiny arms, and big ears. He was also barefoot.

There were a number of comments after a link to the article was posted on the "Second Life Friends" group in Facebook. Some offered sympathy. Some suggested he simply go to a different club, "Shallow sl saddens me this is what it comes down to judging by a persons looks shame on all of them." "Even pixels get judged these days........sad times." Some were saying he needed to update his looks, "Thats the lesson here.. leave those noob looks back in the past where they belong. this is 2017 .. not 2005 .. noob feet ( AKA Duckfeet ) are out.. Noob hands out. block head.. out. layer clothing.. dead as dust." "If we were friends I'd strongly encourage you to improve appearance. You don't have to have a mesh body. ,,, Put some effort into making the visual experience more realistic or at least show you care about what you look like."

Others were saying his odd appearance was the kind favored by griefers, "I definitely think 'troll' seeing this avatar. ... you know what they say, first impressions matter." "I cant help but feel your intentions were to stir the pot, everyone knows that extreme noob looks are usually a griefers preferred appearance. If it was my club and i saw you come in looking like that, i would also be atleast worried drama was coming." "i have to admit u look like alot of the griefers ,j\s. nothing aginst u. jus really u look like a griefer" "If you've been in Second Life for more than a couple of years, and have been to clubs or gatherings - you KNOW that many (not all) griefers like to drastically deform their avies to look crazy. You know this. So if you're not a noob, why would you drastically deform yourself to look like a griefer? Come on now. Keep it real. People who've been griefed are going to have their guard up and when you manage a CLUB, you MUST keep a lookout for people who look every bit like a griefer. You don't wait for them to do it. ..." "That avatar looks like a classic griefer avatar."

And a few were saying yes, it did look like the stereotypical troll avatar, but avatars like these they encountered weren't always that. "That being said a lot of people have used this game to bully and harass people in a certain manner. You can understand why some people are so quick to judge, but it should really be by your actions not how you look." "There was a time when the 'different' avatars were the ones with big boobs, tans, perfect hair and giant pectorals. The avatars that people consider 'griefer' avatars were once the far, far more common avatar you'd see on the grid. Insisting on looking 'different' *is* a choice. Some people don't want to look like a cookie cutter copy of someone else's distorted notion of perfection, or acceptability. They just want to express themselves. Your comment reminds me of how outcasts were treated by the popular crowd in high school. As long as people don't act out, or have an avatar emitting giant Bill Cosbys, I say let them be. Even if you have had a rough day, ejecting people just because of their appearance is lazy."

One comment got my attention, "What it comes down to is how much time you are willing to put in to growing your group and making it a place for all... last night I had a potential griefer on my sim (1 day old, dressed like it and a naughty word name). So I TPed to him and asked him how he was doing... it took me a short ten minute conversation to find out that A) he was new and B) he was really liking SL... I made a friend, not a potential enemy down the road. A**hattery like the club owner pulled will make more enemies than friends...if you don't have an enemy before you ban someone, you usually do when after you do... in this case, an enemy that will post about you on his blog."

About the only thing most agreed upon was ultimately "his sim, his rules." Even those who sided with the writer, there was an admittance he was within rights to do what he did. They just felt he shouldn't have.

This isn't quite the same as the situation furs and other fantasy/sci-fi avatars such as faries and elves, who can spent plenty of time on their looks. But still, it brings to mind the old story of those who are different being singled out and being told they are not welcome.

Do you the readers have any stories of your own, or stories about handling someone new who stood out?

Scources: Blog Veridical , Facebook

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, October 2, 2017

Cookie Obsession and Gurl Scouts

By Gemma Cleanslate

Jadyn Firehawk of Yosemite let me know that the region was hosting a Gurl Scout Jamboree this past weekend. I went over to visit and see what was going on. I arrived early in the morning and found sleeping scouts so I tiptoed quietly away. Later when I came back there was a rowdy bingo game going on which all were enjoying. I saw by the colors of the tees there were quite a few troops taking part. These are adult gurl scouts. 

 I was interested in background of the gurl scouts in Second Life since I actually bought some cookies last year from a scout. WixenWednesday introduced me to the founder of the movement , April Loire, and we had a nice chat. April told me she started a troop way back but then sort of let it go until someone approached her to ask advice on running a troop. The project then took on a life and at this time there are about 400 gurl scouts in nine troops around Second Life. Eight troops are involved in this first jamboree. 

WixenWednesday, leader of one troop, says, “Troop Honey Bee 754 is all about focusing on scouts, friendship, community, and fun. We are a small troop that is looking to grow while remaining a small close-knit family.The sense of community and solidarity filled with happiness and love plays a key role in the troop and it is something that is certainly felt throughout our troop home!”  

April Loire handed me a book of badges so I could see what it was all about. Remember this is an adult project so some of the badges are indicative of that fact. In the front of the book I found the pledge which is similar to the actual Scouting pledge. It begins,” I will do my best to be honest and understanding, considerate to all, helpful and kind, ...”

The work to earn a badge is difficult and must be proven. They each take a lot of work! The badges cross a variety of activities from growing to fishing and into the arts and all aspects of Second Life. She explained that they work closely with the Digital Farming System and that is reflected in many of the badges. Cookie Obsession is the name of the Scout badge book and it looks like there are new badges being created all the time. There is cookie selling in Second Life and half of the proceeds go to a charity of each troop’s choice and the rest of the money is used to support the troop. The uniforms are cute and the banner with the badges is worn with pride across the front.

There are other activities through out the year according to each troop’s choice also. There is to be an Octoberfest coming up. April interrupted her fun at the jamboree and  took me over to see the Headquarters where each troop has a Kiosk with something indicative of their troop.

Later in the day I went back to Yosemite to check out what was going on and they were all preparing for the first jamboree group photo. In the evening there will be skits , campfires and finally a sleepover in the John Muir camping area.  

It looked like all were having a great time. I saw a few boy scouts were visiting also. One of the troops is going to be sponsoring an Second Life kid’s troop very soon. The jamborees will be held quarterly with a season theme in the future. The  women have formed a bond that carries over into their Second Lives though they may all be different and live in different regions and involved in many projects.

When I went to the HQ to look at the kiosks I met Truuli and commented on all the work for each badge and she said ”Oh yes, we want them to feel a sense of achievement and proud of the work they have done... (laughter), when we say that you earn badges, you really do earn them (smile). It is up to each troop to decide what they want to do.“

If you are interested in the concept visit the headquarters  You can also contact the people above for information.

Gemma Cleanslate