In the jungle, the mighty jungle…

Makeahla Jungle
Makeahla Jungle

My apologies to Makeahla and Mz Marville. I was supposed to have posted this on Saturday, January 10th, but i managed to sidetrack myself into fiddling with other things.

Makealha Jungle is a new series of regions (three open to the public, the fourth – Another Hangout –  forms Makeahla’s own home, and may be closed in whole or in part to visitors as result) which officially opened its doors to visitors on Saturday, January 10th.

Makeahla Jungle
Makeahla Jungle

As I noted in my preview tour, kindly arranged by Mz Marville, who is responsible for the overall design of the regions, Makeahla Jungle is intended to be a place where people can visit and relax, take photos, etc., while also considering the natural world around us – including the l=plight of some of the species represented within the regions. In this, a particular reference is made to the northern white rhino, ceratotherium simum cottoni, of which only five now remain in the entire world, and the species will soon pass into extinction; the easternmost of the three public regions  – Makeahla East – is therefore dedicated to the memory of the northern white rhino.

The opening for the regions was marked by a special ceremony and party afterwards, and people are now free to explore the regions and meet the animals within their borders. Rezzing is open for those who wish to place props while taking photos – but do please clean-up afterwards. There is no special group to join for rezzing rights, or fees to be paid.

Makeahla Jungle
Makeahla Jungle

Also, to mark the opening of the regions, there is now a photography competition running through until January 31st, 2015, with a L$5,000 prize pool on offer. The rules are straightforward, as quoted below:

3 entries are allowed, we are looking for artistic expression, and the feeling of fun in nature when judging. The contest is open to landscape or avatar photography. Contestants must keep in mind that any photography taken / entered, if chosen grants Makeahla Jungle authorization to use the work as they see fit.

Entries should be made via the Conserve Landscaping Flickr group. Judging will take place on or around February, 1st, 2015.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a delightful rendition of The Lion Sleeps Tonight by Ladysmith Black Mambazo and The Mint Julips.

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Of bards, shipwrecks, shadows, hikes and the wealthy

It’s time to kick-off another week of fabulous story-telling in voice, brought to Second Life and Kitely by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library.

As always, all times SLT / PDT, and unless otherwise stated, events will be held on the Seanchai Library’s home on Imagination Island, or at their Kitely Homeworld.

Sunday January 11th

12:00-14:00: An Afternoon of Shakespeare

Guaranteed to bring a little warmth to a winter afternoon, a presentation of pieces by William Shaespeare.

Join Corwyn Allen, Aoife Lorefield,  Derry McMahon, Kayden Oconnell, Dubhna Rhiadra, Bear Silvershade, and Caledonia Skytower for a special presentation of scenes from some of the bard’s plays and readings of his sonnets.

18:00: Magicland Storytime: In Search of the Castaways

castawaysTeenager Mary Grant, sets out with her younger brother, Robert, and chaperoned by Captain Jacques Paganel and led by the comically intrepid Lord Glenarvan (and his crushingly handsome son!), to secure the rescue of her shipwrecked father. Adventure, intrigue, romance and betrayal are all to be encountered before Captain Grant’s children succeed in their task.

In Search of the Castaways was a 1962 film by Walt Diney studios starring Hayley Mills, Wilfred Hyde-White, George Sanders and Maurice Chevalier as Captain Jaques Paganel. It was based on Jules Verne’s 1868 novel, Captain Grant’s Children, which was in turn re-issued following the film, but itself retitled In Search of the Castaways.

Join Caledonia Skytower in Magicland Park, she she brings this engaging tale to life.

Monday January 12th, 19:00 Jack of Shadows

Gyro Muggins continues reading Roger Zelazny’s 1971 novel which mixes science-fiction and fantasy, the title of which is an homage to Jack Vance.

jack-of-shadowsThe story takes place on a tidally locked planet – that is, one whose rotation about its axis precisely matches its orbit around its parent body, thus the same face is always presented to the the parent body (just like our own Moon always presents the same face towards Earth). Given that that parent object in this case is the planet’s Sun, it means that one side of the planet exists in perpetual daylight – and is the seat of science; while the other lingers in perpetual night – and has become the seat of magic.

It is from the latter that the protagonist of the story – Shadowjack – comes. Even among his own kind, he is unusual, for the manner in which he draws upon his power; something which can, in the right circumstances make him exceptionally potent. However, when placed in either complete light or complete darkness, he is almost powerless. Jack’s only friend, Morningstar is doomed to what is effectively eternal punishment unless Jack can cross between the two realms of light and dark, combining his abilities with the power of science. Thus Jack must risk being lost in total light or total darkness in order to to rescue Morningstar. And if he fails, who might rescue him?

Tuesday January 13th, 19:00: A Walk in the Woods

walk-in-woodsBy his own admission, Bill Bryson isn’t the world’s greatest adventurer. This being the case, you’d think he’d have serious misgivings about undertaking this particular “walk in the woods”, as he disarmingly calls it: taking the 3,500 kilometre (2,200 mile) Appalachian Trail – a journey which would take five months to complete.

Travelling with his good friend “Stephen Katz”, the book is both a humorous guide to the trail and a set of serious and insightful comments / discussion on the trail’s history as it winds its way from Georgia (where Bryson was living at the time the book was written in 1998), to Maine. These discussions cover a broad range of subject including the sociology, ecology, trees, plants, animals and people of the states through which the trail passes (Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine).

Join Kayden Oconnell as he dons his walking boots, takes up his hiking staff and opens the cover of this Bryson classic.

Wednesday January 14th,19:00: Beggars Day Book Two: The Caged King

Beggars Day 2Caledonia Skytower continues reading MJ McGalliard’s second novel, and the sequel to Beggar’s Day Book One: The Beggar Prince.

The Kingdom of Galaway has a law that every ruler must work a year and a day as a commoner; thus were readers introduced, through the first volume, to the kingdom and some of its notable inhabitants, including King Willy, Prince Larry, the scheming Percy, desperate to see himself on the throne, and the chicken-stealing crone Cruith.

Now, in the second volume, Vikings, hidden illnesses, ancient family squabbles and unplanned pregnancy are but a few of the changes in Galaway. Cruith is part of a conspiracy, Willy invents a new wagon, apples seem to be in the mix, while everything seems to revolve around a baby horse. And I haven’t even mentioned King Monaghan.

Intrigued? Then why not hop over to Seanchai library to hear this entertaining tale which, incidentally, is illustrated by one Judith Cullen – aka Caledonia Skytower!

Thursday January 15th

Explore: The Great Gatsby Preview, Kitely

Explore TGGDrop in to the Seanchai library’s homeworld on Kitely and from there pay a visit to the first presentation in the Library’s new EXPLORE the Stories Behind the Art series. Here you can explore the world of the Great Jay Gatsby, central figure in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s acclaimed 1925 novel.

Explore the Great Gatsby Online is a unique collaboration between Seanchai Library and the Tacoma Little Theatre (TLT), Tacoma, Washington state. TLT will be presenting Simon Levy’s stage adaptation of The Great Gatsby, directed by Dale Westgaard, to live audiences from January 25th through February 8th. In conjunction with this, as I recently previewed, the Kitely facility will present a range of in-world activities focused around the novel, providing the opportunity for both those seeing the play and virtual world travellers to further explore Gatsby’s world.

This preview offers virtual world users the opportunity to do the same, ahead of a season of official events. I’ll also be providing a special overview of Explore the Great Gatsby ahead of the preview as well.

19:00 Winter Dreams, Second Life 

Join Shandon Loring for an evening of themed tales.

Friday January 16th, 19:00: Explore the Great Gatsby, Kitely

Join the staff of Seanchai Library as they present the first reading from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s magnificent novel.

Saturday January 17th, Seanchai Kitely

09:00: More Winter Dreams

Shandon Loring continues his journey through tales themed for the time of year.

13:00 Explore the Great Gatsby

If you missed the début reading here’s a further chance to join the staff of Seanchai Library as they read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s magnificent novel.

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Please check with the Seanchai Library SL’s blog for updates and for additions or changes to the week’s schedule. The featured charity for January / February is Project Children, teaching and building peace in Northern Ireland, one child at a time.

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A little bite of the Big Apple: Battery Park and the waterfront

Montauk New York; Inara Pey, January 2015, on FlickrMontauk New York (Flickr) – click any image for full size

A long time ago – in SL terms – I wrote about the NY Healthscape exhibit at SL8B, and in doing so, made mention of their base of operations in SL: the 20-ish regions of New York.

Established in 2008, NY HealthScape is sponsored by the Southern Tier HealthLink, New York, a non-profit organisation that is bringing electronic information from hospitals, doctors, etc., together into a comprehensive patient record, available to both health practitioners and the patient.  As such, and over the years, the regions in SL have been used to develop both a community and to provide a means of reached out to those who might otherwise be unwilling or unable to access healthcare information.

At the time of 2008, NYHS had introduced a series of Quest Homes, interactive tour or hunt inspired installations on the NY HealthScape sims which allows for themed health information to be delivered in a game format. These allowed visitors to participate in a quest  / tour of the New York regions, collecting points which could be redeemed for prizes along the way, with health information also being provided as well.

SouthernTier New York; Inara Pey, January 2015, on FlickrSouthernTier New York (Flickr) – click any image for full size

Developed over the years by a team of individuals led by Panacea Luminos, and which has included well-known SL residents such as Skylar Smythe and Followmeimthe PiedPiper, the NYHS regions offer visitors the opportunity to explore part of New York city and the wider New York state in something of an historic context. Don’t expect to find towering models of the Empire State Building or the Chrysler Building, but do be prepare to wander from SoHo through Battery Park, along the banks of the Hudson as they once looked, and reach points such as Montauk and the Hamptons, or up state towards Ithaca and the finger Lakes. Along the way, there are famous landkmarks to be seen, trains and trams to be spotted and the occasional 1930s-style taxi rumbling by.

As they date from 2008 onwards, the NYHS builds are not “modern” in the sense that they rely on prims rather than mesh – but this should not put anyone off visiting. undeed, I’d say the fact that the builds haven’t all being overhauled and replaced by mesh is entirely in keeping with the historic nature of the community, and itself offers a slice of genuine SL history.

WaterWayWest New York; Inara Pey, January 2015, on FlickrWaterWayWest New York (Flickr) – click any image for full size

My favourite parts of these regions are those representing the coastal / waterfront areas of New York and New York state. At Battery Park, for example, you can wander along the waterfront and admire the art on display, visit Castle Clinton and wander westwards to the famous Pier A, offering a view of the Statue of liberty out in the sound. Or you can go east, across a miniature reproduction of Brooklyn Bridge into the SoHo / Greenwich village like TriBorough region, and onwards to Coney Island’s famous Cyclone Roller Coaster (Panecea has a things for roller coasters – one was the theme for the SL8B event where I first met her 🙂 ).

Further west from TriBorough lie LISound, Montauk and Harbour, all of which represent various parts of New York state and it its coastline. Here again are some famous sights to be found and appreciated, such as the Montauk Point lighthouse and the the Long Beach Bar “Bug” lighthouse – both seen in the sketch at the top of this post. Or, if winter sports are more your thing, you can head northwards and enjoy a little skiing in North Country; just be aware of the footpath crossing the end of the ski slope!

SoHo New York; Inara Pey, January 2015, on FlickrSoHo New York (Flickr) – click any image for full size

All told, there’s a lot to be seen, and plenty of opportunities for photography. Rezzing rights can be obtained by joining the land group; as always, if you do join and rez, please clean-up afterwards.

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