One Billion Rising: rise, release, dance in Second Life

OBR in SL 2014;  Victor1st Mornington's magnificent 4-region stage
OBR in SL 2014; Victor1st Mornington’s magnificent 4-region stage

One Billion Rising is set to take place on February 14th 2014. Around the world, men and women will be gathering “outside places where they are entitled to justice – court houses, police stations, government offices, school administration buildings, work places, sites of environmental injustice, military courts, embassies, places of worship, homes, or simply public gathering places where women deserve to feel safe but too often do not.”

OBer 2104: Kicca Igaly
OBR in SL 2104: Kicca Igaly

The event, first held in 2013, did much to raise awareness and bring people together through music, dance and helped provide information on organisations where victims of domestic and societal abuse and repression can find help  – and those wishing to give support could do so.

As with 2013, One Billion Rising will again be supported by Second Life users from around the world, with activities centred on a magnificent 4-region stage area surrounded by incredible works of art.

OBR 2014: Pallina60 Loon
OBR 2014: Pallina60 Loon

The gates officially open at 23:00 SLT on February 13th, with the music commencing at midnight and continuing non-stop through until midnight on February 14th. Everyone is invited to come along and rise, release and dance.

The term “One Billion Rising” is taken from UN findings which show that one in three women – one billion worldwide – are, at some point in their lives, the victim of violence at the hands of their partner, family members or complete strangers.

OBR 2014:
OBR in SL 2014: Giovanna Cerise

OBR in SL is not a fund-raising event. However, for those wishing to take direct action in support of women who have found themselves victims of violence, the four regions have multiple information givers which provide details on organisations around the world which will gladly accept donations and support.

The list of artists  – men and women – participating in this year’s event is phenomenal. Installations are located across all four regions and there is also a special 2D art gallery and a 3D art garden.

OBR in SL 2014: Betty Traud
OBR in SL 2014: Betty Tureaud

This year will also feature special poetry readings taking place at 08:00 SLT and 15:00 at the Poetry Cafe.

I hope all of you reading this will spend a part of you Valentine’s day visiting OBR 2014 for what promises to be another stunning community event. I know I’ll be there for at least part of the day – so do please say hello if you see me 🙂 .

The OBR 2014 map
The OBR 2014 map

Landmarks and Links

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Drink it with your eyes

Jadeyu Fhang  - Gallerie Artemis, inspired by Drink Me With your Eyes
Jadeyu Fhang – Gallerie Artemis, inspired by Drink Me With your Eyes

In October 2013, the collaborative teaming of Natascha Randt & Karima Hoisan produced their 12th production, a machinima shot in Second Life featuring a poem by Karima set to music.

Called Drink Me with Your Eyes, it’s a highly sensual piece, strong in imagery and metaphor, particularly in the use of horses (desire) and stampedes (desire leading to passion and release) and the power of dance. It is, in a word, erotic.

Inspired by the video and opening at 14:00 SLT on Thursday February 13th at Gallerie Artemis, is a new exhibit by Jadeyu Fhang.

Set over the two floors of the gallery (look for the small record inset into the floor to one side of the ground area of the installation, next to the table and chairs), it features number of small vignettes, which either present or suggest scenes from the video.

Jadeyu Fhang - Gallerie Artemis, inspired by Drink Me With your Eyes
Jadeyu Fhang – Gallerie Artemis, inspired by Drink Me With your Eyes

Some of these are clear references – such as the horses running through water; others are more subtle, such as the empty chairs and table on the ground floor or the naked figure sitting atop a wine glass, eyes glowing faintly.

The installation comes with a windlight setting (midnight), together with a request hanging in the mist at the entrance that viewers be set to night for the benefit of those who miss the windlight prompt. If you have Firestorm  or a viewer with extensive windlight presets installed, I suggest you take a moment and have a little play with night-time options; some interesting results can be had.

Jadeyu Fhang - Gallerie Artemis, inspired by Drink Me With your Eyes
Jadeyu Fhang – Gallerie Artemis, inspired by Drink Me With your Eyes

One small word of caution: the installation includes a screen for playing Drink Me With Your Eyes in-world. However, there is  an ongoing issue between the webkit within the viewer, Flash and YouTube which can render the latter unwatchable via Media on a Prim in-world (see my report here). This being the case, you’re better off watching the video directly on YouTube. This doesn’t however, impact in any way on the installation itself.

Related Links:

Jadeyu Fhang - Gallerie Artemis, inspired by Drink Me With your Eyes
Jadeyu Fhang – Gallerie Artemis, inspired by Drink Me With your Eyes

Crossing the divide and looking homeward

CuriosityLast time around, I mentioned that the Curiosity team was looking at alternative routes to get the rover down to the crossing-point for the start of its explorations of “Mount Sharp” at the centre of Gale Crater and, more immediately, to a target of interest for further science studies.

The desire to seek alternative routes came as a result of periodic examinations of Curiosity’s aluminium wheels revealing they’d suffered more wear and tear during recent traverses of very rough terrain than had been anticipated. While not a threat to the rover, mission managers would still prefer to lessen the impact of the rover’s southerly transit over what has proven exceptionally rugged ground.

At the time of writing that last update, planners were considering taking Curiosity over a sand dune roughly a metre (3 feet) in height sitting between two rocky scarps, as the terrain beyond the dune, dubbed “Dingo Gap”, appeared to be markedly less rough. While a little more circuitous than a direct-line drive, crossing the dune would still allow the rover to get to its next target for taking samples, a rocky outcrop dubbed “KMS-9″.

The view over “Dingo Gap”, captured on Sol 528 (January 30th, 2014), shows a westward-leading valley of much smoother terrain compared to the rover’s recent drives. The largest of the dark rocks on the sand to the right of the scene are about 60 cm (2 feet) across. This image was captured via Curiosity’s Mastcam and is shown unprocessed: the colours are as the human eye would see them on Mars under local daylight conditions (click to enlarge)

While other routes were under consideration as well, it was decided to take Curiosity “Dingo Gap” after it had been ordered to drive up to the base of the dune and take a peep directly over the top of the mound to get a detailed view of the land on the other side. The rover actually made the crossing  on Sol 535 (February 6th), and a series of nine black-and-white images captured by the rear hazard-avoidance cameras (Hazcams) were later strung together to form a short video of the crossing.

series of nine images captured by the rover’s rear Hazcams show progress over “Dingo Gap”. At the start of the sequence, Curiosity’s front wheels were on the base of the dune’s slope, and the entire traverse covered a distance of some 7 metres (23 feet) – click to enlarge

With the crossing made, Curiosity is set to travel to “KMS-9”, something over half a kilometre away, and which comprises three different terrain / rock types offer a relatively dust-free area for examination and further drilling operations. The area is one of the number of potential “waypoints” identified from orbit that missions scientists hope will help provide greater insight in the soil, rock and climatic conditions which may have once existed around “Mount Sharp” and help build up a clearer picture of changes in conditions which may have occurred within the region through which the rover is travelling.

Continue reading “Crossing the divide and looking homeward”