SL10BCC: gather, hunt, meet and follow Crap’s footsteps

Note: This is a personal piece, and not reflective of any stance from the organisers of SL10BCC. As I’ve previously stated on this blog, items which express a personal opinion here do not carry the SL10BCC logo. They do not form announcements, but are my personal take on events, activities, and where to find information I believe to be of value to people attending the celebrations. 

The time has come. The regions are open. Are you ready to party? Have you staked-out your spot to watch the hoisting of the flags?

To help you get the best vantage-point from which to see the flags being hoist at 13:00 SLT on Sunday June 16th,  a map has been produced showing exactly where the flag will rise – simply pick a spot close to any one of red Xs ahead of the ceremony.

X marks the spots – where the SL10B flags will be hoist to mark the official start of SL10BCC and a week of celebrations (click to enlarge)

What to See, Where to Go?

SL10BCC offers twenty regions, many with 36 exhibits apiece in them, plus the Cornfield and Bear Island, and all the various entertainments running 24/7 on the main stages and elsewhere in the regions – and only eight days in which to see it all!

When you have limited in-world time, the numbers can be overwhelming and leave you wondering just how you’ll manage to see all the best bits.

Well, help is at hand. Crap Mariner, SLB veteran, raconteur and robot-about-SL has put together an informative, if personal, guide to all there is at SL10BCC. Each and every exhibit is located, named, and rated. I perosnally find it an invaluable guide if you want to cut to the quick and use your time to the best advantage.

If you are bewildered or befuddled by all there is to see, check-out R. Crap Mariner’s Brutally Honest SL10B Sim Tour.

And don’t forget to check-out his Shatoetry exhibit while you’re at it. After all, where else are you ever likely to come across Crap Mariner and William Shatner in the same space, other than in Second Life!

Crap Mariner's exhibit at SL10BCC
Crap Mariner’s Shatoetry exhibit at SL10BCC

Take a Long Walk

If you want to add some fun to your explorations of SL10BCC but are unsure of where to go, you might consider following in David Abbot’s footsteps as he start out on The Long Walk.

The Long Walk will lead you through the streets of the SL10BCC regions on a journey of discovery.

David Abbot and The Long Walk poster

Every day for the Birthday Week, David will be posting an account to the official SL10BCC blog of his explorations of the celebration regions and recounting some of the amazing sights he sees along the way.

All you have to do is follow in his footsteps. Along each stage of the journey, if you pick-up on the hints and keep your eyes peeled, you can pick up one or two special gifts. But be warned! These may not always be in the locations he mentions directly, although the clues will be there – even if they take the form of an X marking the spot!

He’s already posted his first diary entry in preparation for his explorations, so be such to catch-up with David through the blog and follow in his footsteps daily!

Make Time to Meet The Designers

If you’re not in the mood for partying, or if you’re simply partied-out from the pre-opening entertainments, then why not drop-in to the SL10BCC Auditorium? There will talks and presentations in the auditorium throughout the week, kicking-off with two special Meet the Designers events on Sunday June 16th, hosted by Saffia Widdershins of Prim Perfect:

  • 13:15 SLT – Just Meshing About with guests Maxwell Graf, Cain Maven and Froukje Hoorenbeeke
  • 16:00 SLT – The A’stra Team of Toady Nakamura and Flea Bussy will be talking all things – which will doubtless include their beloved and astounding Grendels. As Philip Rosedale once remarked: As goes Grendels, so goes the grid.” Find out why as Toady and Flea sit down with Saffia.

Catch up with the complete Auditorium Schedule for the week.

Toady and Flea's amazing A'stra Live stage at SL10BCC
Toady and Flea’s amazing A’stra Live stage at SL10BCC

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Seeking a little calm in Second Life

An island of worn ancient cliffs sheltering a garden of wonders; Lost for countless ages in the midst of a vast ocean, home to Jinn, Elves and gentle spirits.

So reads the description for The Sands of Time / Majilis Al Jinn. This is a stunning region created by Calein Flux which is well suited to both the SL photographer and the intrepid explorer. Given that we’re in the midst of many celebrations to mark SL’s 10th anniversary which are going on across the grid, as well as about to see the start of a biggest gathering of exhibitions and entertainment to mark this momentous occasion, The Sands of Time might also be a worthy retreat from the hustle and bustle of partying and fun.

The Sands of Time
The Sands of Time

For my part, I wanted to explore The Sands of Time for two reasons: it immediately captured my sense of “OoO” on seeing it, plus my graphics card is becoming increasingly poorly and I wanted to see if issues which started to really make themselves felt while trying to snap exhibits at the SL10BCC regions would occur anywhere else.

Sadly, my GPu problems do. I’ve no idea if my woes are related to the nVidia 320.18 driver snafu (I was experiencing issues before the driver came out, although things got noticeably worse after updating the driver), but I do know that I’m now reduced once more to taking snapshots in JPG and at something just a little above my monitor resolution if I want to avoid either the snapshots failing to save to my hard drive or the viewer simply falling over with a graphics-related memory issue.

Sands of Time
Sands of Time

Nevertheless, exploring Sands of Time brought a smile to my lips; this is a beautifully composed region, which brings together a mix of eastern and western mythologies (the Djinn or Jinni (genies)) of the east, and the elves of the west) together in an incredibly scenic and restful sim which, Calein informs us through a visitor’s notecard, took a year to visualise.

The notecard itself, available from a vendor at the underground arrival point, is very much worth taking and reading. It not so much sets the scene for any forthcoming explorations, but rather allows us a glimpse inside the creative process and Calein’s thoughts and ideals in bringing the region into being. And it is a fascinating insight at that.

Sand of Time
Sands of Time

You have a choice of directions when leaving the arrival point – out through a cave to a beach area at the base of the cliffs, or a climb up through underground chambers to the cliff-top. Personally, I preferred going the beach route and working my way around things from there – it left the discovery of what Calein refers to as one of his most interesting creations until later in my visit, giving me a greater sense of anticipation.

This is also a place for romantics. Up on the clifftops are gardens and the palace, with fountains and lots of places where you can sit, watch, talk, and share with a friend or loved one. These very much bring one the sense of walking through the more romanticised tales of the middle east, although hidden in the gardens are also hints of the far east as well.

Sands of Times
Sands of Time

This is a wonderful, absorbing build, offering chances to explore, to wonder, to sit and share and even to meditate. Make sure you explore up as well as down – even if the “up” is only looking up inside the palace building. There is a lot to see here, and it is all very much worth the time taken to make sure you see it all.

Now, time for me to go source a new GPU card before I’m reduced to bashing the keyboard in frustration…

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(view slideshow full-screen)

Minstrels, balloons, and a return to an ancient city of the future

It’s time to kick-off another week of fabulous story-telling in Voice, brought to Second Life by the staff of the Seanchai Library SL.

As always, all times SLT, and unless otherwise stated, events will be held on the Seanchai Library’s home on Imagination Island.

Sunday 16th June

13:30: Tea Time in Sherwood Forest

Robin-hoodIt’s June in the evergreen woods of Sherwood Forest, and with it comes a month of tales from Howard Pyle’s The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, brought to us by Caledonia Skytower and Corwyn Allen, complete with original songs by Corwyn!

An American illustrator and writer, Pyle published The Merry Adeventures of Robin Hood of Great Renown in Nottinghamshire (to give the book its original full title) in 1883. With it, he helped solidify the heroic / romantic image of Robin Hood witnessed in works such as Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe (1819).

The stories Pyle built for the book were drawn from various ballads, which he drew together to form a cohesive tale, rewriting the songs to suit a younger audience and further establishing the role of Robin Hood as a heroic outlaw who robs the rich to feed the poor – a role in sharp contrast to the way in which the ballads actually portrayed him (which was principally as a through-and-through villain).

So popular was Pyle’s work that it led to several more children’s books about Robin Hood over the next three decades, firmly establishing the legend as a respectable subject for children’s literature.

We begin the saga of Allan-a-Dale, which starts with meeting the minstrel and learning of his troubles.  As Robin befriends him, delighting in his sweet music, he starts a series of adventures that eventually lead to a church and to our old friend the Sheriff of Nottingham once more.

18:00 Storytime at Magicland

More original short stories with Caledonia Skytower, brought to us from Magicland Park.

Monday 17th June, 19:00 – The Twenty-one Balloons (Conclusion)

21-balloonsCaledonia Skytower reads from William Pène du Bois’ 1947 children’s classic, The Twenty-one Balloons.

A steamship en route across the North Atlantic comes across the strange wreckage of twenty deflated gas balloons and rescue, much to their surprise, a lone man – one Professor William Waterman Sherman.

The professor had last been seen some three weeks previously, departing San Francisco aboard a giant balloon, determined to spend a year aloft and drifting on his own.

Now, as word spreads that the professor has been found alive and well – and in completely the wrong ocean to the one he had last been seen flying towards – the world awaits the story of how he came to circumnavigate the globe in record time, only to be fished from the wreckage of twenty balloons when he had started with just the one. When he has sufficiently rested and recovered after receiving a hero’s welcome on his homecoming, the good professor tells a tale most fantastic…

Tuesday 18th June, 19:00: More from The City and the Stars

city-starsIn 1948 Arthur C. Clarke saw his first novel, Against the Fall of Night published in the magazine Startling Stories. Later, in 1953, it appeared as a novella in its own right, prior to becoming the basis of a much expanded work, The City and the Stars, published in 1956. Both focus on the same setting and principal character: the City of Diaspar and a young man called Alvin, but they tell individually unique tales – so much so that both remain in circulation,enjoying equal popularity.

One billion years in the future, Diaspar stands amidst the desert of Earth as the last, self-perpetuating city of humankind. Here, the Central Computer watches over people who live multiple lives over thousands of years before they return to storage, only to be “reborn” at a time selected by the Central Computer. Diaspar is utopian: poverty and need have long been eradicated and there is little strife. Life within the city is focused on creativity and art and in the deeper exploration of already well-understood fields. Enclosed, cyclical and ultimately static, Diaspar is both the culmination and twilight of human endeavour.

Join Gyro Muggins as he once again delves into the story which has been hailed as one of Sir Arthur C. Clarke’s best works.

Wednesday 19th June, 19:00: The Tao of Pooh (Part 2)

Winnie the Pooh may have been a Bear Of Very Little Brain often bothered by long words, but in him, his friends in the 100 Acre Wood and their adventures, Benjamin Hoff found the perfect means of introducing a western audience to the principles and ideals of Taoism.

Starting with a description of the Vinegar Tasters, a traditional subject in Chinese religious painting depicting three founders of China’s major religious and philosophical traditions: Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism., Hoff uses Pooh and other characters from A.A. Milne’s stories to reveal Taoism to his readers, going so far as to cite how the characters exemplify Taoist principles and concepts. For example, he explains how Pooh personifies the principles of wei wu wei, the Taoist concept of “effortless doing,” and pu, the concept of being open to but unburdened by experience.

Complete with excerpts from various prominent Taoist texts, from authors such as Laozi and Zhuangzi, the book is an engaging read which topped the New York Times best seller list for some 49 weeks. So why not join Kayden Oconnell and Caledonia Skytower as they continue a reading of this fascinating work?

Thursday 20th June, 19:00: Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers

SirensPrepare to be seduced by powerful magic — the sorcery of lust, need, and sensuality. Multiple award-winners Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling have gathered together twenty-two tales of unearthly temptations wickedly concocted by some of today’s most potent literary conjurers — including Neil Gaiman, Jan Yolen, Michael Swanwick, and Joyce Carol Oates. Here are stories of incubi and succubi, of forbidden fruits harvested in erotic gardens, of pleasures that persist beyond death. So heed the sirens’ song.

Join Shandon Loring at Seanchai Library, and then lie back, relax, and submit to the darkest delights you have ever experienced as he reads from these bewitching tales.

—–

Please check with the Seanchai Library SL’s blog for updates and additions to the week’s schedule. In May, library guests are invited to support Seanchai Library’s featured real world charity Heifer International. Have questions? IM or notecard Caledonia Skytower.

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SL10BCC: Get ready! It’s almost time to start the celebrations!

SL10B-CC_WordPress

Sunday 16th June will see celebrations commence across the SL10B Community Celebration regions – 20 sims packed with exhibits, stages, galleries and more – all for you to enjoy. From the 16th through to the 23rd, there will be entertainment going on right across the regions, including the huge set-piece stages such as A’stra (already very much a feature of this blog!) and the amazing birthday cake.

A peek inside the Cake Stage
A peek inside the Cake Stage

Given this is SL’s 10th birthday, there are some special pieces to see and enjoy as well – such as the History Walk, which brings you the entire story of Second Life from those “pre-history” years on the late 1990s and early 2000’s right through to today, allowing you to look back over Second Life’s past, and perhaps recall with a smile memorable events you can recall for yourself.

As well as the main celebration regions, you can also tour Bear Island, a traditional aspect of SL birthday events, and  – especially for this year – you can pay a visit to the Corn Field, SL’s original Sin Bin, where miscreants would once sent to ponder on their ill deeds.

A portion of SL10BCC's History Walk
A portion of SL10BCC’s History Walk

Celebrations kick-off at 12:00 noon SLT on Sunday June 16th

We’ll have music from all four of the SL10BCC stages:

For the complete entertainment schedule for the week of celebrations, please check-out the SL10BCC Event Schedule – there is going to be something going on 24/7 right up until the celebrations come to an end on the 23rd June!

There are exhibits of all shapes and forms at SL10BCC - including those which demonstrate how SL has been able to positively impact and support real-world activities and charities throughout it 10-year history
There are exhibits of all shapes and forms at SL10BCC – including those which demonstrate how SL has been able to positively impact and support real-world activities and charities throughout its 10-year history

The Grand Opening – 13:00 SLT

SL10BCC is HUGE, so much so that gathering everyone together in a single group of regions to join in an opening ceremony wasn’t ever going to be easy. And when we have TWENTY regions available, why should we try cramming everyone into just four?

So, to mark the start of the 10th anniversary parties for Second Life, there will be a simple opening ceremony across all 20 regions of SL10BCC – giving you plenty of time to locate a suitable vantage-point to witness the event.

At 13:00 SLT (1:00pm), the SL10BCC flags will be raised right across all 20 regions, symbolising the official opening of the celebrations. All of the flags will remain flying until celebrations come to an end on Sunday June 23rd.

THe SL10BCC Skyline by Whiskey Day (via the SL10BCC Pics of the Day)

Raising and lowering a flag is a very simple ceremony, but an important one. It marks the beginning and end of the Olympics and other special events; in some countries, the raising and lowering of a flag might mark the beginning and end of a school day. In Second Life, doing this on as many sims as possible, all at the same time, means that as many people can attend as possible — and it is symbolic of the way so many people in so many countries can come together in Second Life and share the experience.  So we will all share the experience of seeing the flags rise.

You can choose your own vantage point, as you can see a group of flags from almost everywhere. You’ll find them positioned near the edge of sims – and we’ll be posting a full list of locations soon both to the groups and on the blog.

We hope you will be able to join in this very special Opening.

In the meantime, here’s a little something from Kool and the Gang to get us in the mood.

P.S. A Little Word on Lag

I don’t want to dampen anyone’s spirits, but the inevitable reality is that “if you build it and they come” – then you’re going to have lag issues in Second Life. Put 40-50 avatars together in the same region and lag will be looking over everyone’s shoulder.

A lot has been written about lag, and there are a lot of myths and half truths. There is much that can occur server-side which can lead to lag issues. With the assistance of Linden Lab, the core organising team has done as much as possible to minimise these issues, and will be working throughout the week to do the same – regions will be restarted daily and they will be continuously monitored, etc.

However, a good deal of lag users experience isn’t down to the server-side of things – it comes from the client-end of Second Life. To try to alleviate matters a guide on combating lag has been put together, and we do ask that those attending SL10BCC read it, and follow the advice given within it in order for everyone to have a more enjoyable experience when joining-in the celebrations.

Thank you.

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