Mistero Hifeng and a tango in Blossom Land

Cammino e Vivo Capovolto: Mistero Hifeng
Cammino e Vivo Capovolto: Mistero Hifeng

Update, October 10th: Cammino e Vivo Capovolto and Ocho Tango have relocated to Retrospect.

As is evident in these pages, I am something of a fan of Mistero Hifeng’s mesh sculptures in Second Life, having written about his work in both in January of this year and in October 2014. So when he contacted me to inform me he has now moved his gallery and shop to a new location, and invited me to pay a visited, I was only too happy to do so.

Now located on one half of Blossom Land, a Homestead region shared with the Ocho Tango dance venue, of which more anon,  Mistero’s new gallery retains the minimalist feel and rich atmosphere of his last location, whilst also offering visitors something new to experience.

Cammino e Vivo Capovolto: Mistero Hifeng
Cammino e Vivo Capovolto: Mistero Hifeng

Gone is the coastal feel, with a partially flooded beach across which Mistero’s works are seemingly scattered at random. Instead, the land is almost entirely flooded, the only relief coming from a number of scattered trees a single stone bridge arching over water, and – of course – Mistero’s art.

The latter have all been carefully placed across this watery landscape in such a way as to stand either as individual pieces, rising from the water or occasional sitting on a little sand bank of their own. Great use is made of the available space, the water surrounding most of the pieces on display tending to direct one’s focus solely on each sculpture, while the trees provide an interesting framing for some of the pieces, and the bridge has allowed Mistero to make a little vignette of his work, focused on what (I believe, at least), is a new piece, E’ Rubero per te la luna (And for you, the Moon, Rubero – seen immediately above), which is a very striking piece.

Cammino e Vivo Capovolto: Mistero Hifeng
Cammino e Vivo Capovolto: Mistero Hifeng

Another piece I don’t recall having seen before is Un vita quasi umana (A life almost human), which can be found towards both the centre of the gallery space and towards the west side. More familiar pieces such as Volare (Fly) are also present, and always pleasing to see, together with Per Te, which I’ve always found evocatively powerful and edged in love / tragedy.

To the north of Mistero’s new space, and linked to it by both a series of paving stones forming a narrow path and the span of another stone bridge, lies Ocoho Tango, sitting atop a broad, flat plateau. This is a place which may well need no introduction to some; but one which I’d wrongly assumed to have vanished from Sl a while ago – so finding it alongside Mistero’s gallery came as a pleasant surprise. It also marks Blossom Land as a place to which I’m liable to be making frequent return visits, both for Mistero’s art and for the opportunity to dance!

Cammino e Vivo Capovolto: Mistero Hifeng
Cammino e Vivo Capovolto: Ocoho Tango

Mistero’s work is, to me at least, deeply evocative, and his original gallery space displayed it well enough. With this new space at Blossom Land, however, he has gone even further, presenting a richly layered environment and atmosphere which allows each piece to come to life before you. As such, if you’ve never seen his works gathered in one place, I do recommend you pay a visit.

While there, don’t forget you can still TP to her store and purchase most of his pieces there, all of which can be resized. The teleport can be found alongside the landing point, and also offer a quick way up to Ocho Tango.

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2015 viewer release summaries: week 11

Updates for the week ending: Sunday, March 15th, 2015

This summary is published every Monday, and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, a list of all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware), and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information.

Official LL Viewers

  • Current Release version: 3.7.25.299021 February 24th – no change
  • Release channel cohorts (See my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Avatar Height Hover RC viewer version 3.7.26.299635 released on March 10 – Avatar Hover Height allows you to adjust the vertical position of your avatar within some preset limits. See the wiki page and my overview (download and release notes)
    • Experience Keys RC viewer updated to version 3.8.0.299338 on March 9 – provides support for viewing and managing Experiences and for contributing content for Experiences (download and release notes)
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V3-style

  • Black Dragon updated to version 2.4.1.9 on March 10th – core updates: rendering improvements to horizon, Godray / volumetric light (change log)
  • CtrlAltStudio Alpha for Oculus Rift updated to version 1.2.3.42796 on March 15th – core update – parity with Firestorm release 4.6.7 (download and release notes)
  • Restrained Love Viewer updated to version 2.9.6.8 on  March 10th – core updates: ability to shift camera focus when blindfolded, allowing avatar to “feel” environment around them (release notes)

V1-style

  • Cool VL Viewer
    • Stable branch updated to version 1.26.12.35 – March 14th
    • Experimental branch to 1.26.13.3 – March 14th
    • Legacy branch to 1.26.8.91 – March 14th
    • Release notes

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No updates.

Additional TPV Resources

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Tugby time!

And they're off! Tugby sees two teams of little tugboats engaged in a rugby-like game
And they’re off! Tugby sees two teams of little tugboats engaged in a rugby-like game

“Ever heard of Tugby?” Nber Medici, co-owner of the Hollywood Estates and keen sailing enthusiast asked me early on a Sunday morning (well, early SL-wise!).

“Tugby? What’s that?” I asked her by way of reply.

Handing me a landmark with a grin, Nber said, “rugby with tugboats, every Sunday, 08:00 SLT! Come along if you’re interested!”

And the Red team gains possession of the puck - not the covering move by one of the reds to block the advancing Greens
And the Red team gains possession of the puck – not the covering move by one of the reds to block the advancing Greens

Well, I’m admittedly not into rugby (no men on bikes or in fast cars!), but the description intrigued me, so come 8:00 am, Maya and I hopped across to Santa Cruz and the Tugby arena (there’s actually a spectator’s stand on the neighbouring region of Dutch Harbor that offers a good view of the playing area) to find out what it is all about.

In sort, Tugby is exactly as Nber describes – a kind of rugby with little tugboats. Players are divided into two teams – Red and Green – and each proceeds to their end of the playing area. When the boats are set (one player per boat), the game float, or puck, is dropped, and then it’s a race to get to it and then push it across the other team’s goal line. Each time a goal is scored, the team return to their respective goal lines, ready for another puck to be dropped into the centre of the arena, and the game resumes until one team scores the required number of points to win.

The Greens mount a strong defence on their goal line!
The Greens mount a strong defence on their goal line!

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well, like rugby, there’s a lot more involved than running with the ball; tactics play a considerable role, making sure you don’t get so far ahead of team-mates  they can’t support you, working with the other tugs on your team to block those with the puck from making headway, forcing “scrums” in which control of the puck can be wrested from the opposition and, when the way is clear, being prepared to make a charge for the goal line while keeping control of the puck with your boat.

The rules to the game are straightforward (the first being to have fun), and anyone is welcome to join a competition, which I think lasts for an hour, and a number of matches, although the nuances of that were lost on me, as I too busy chasing boats and trying to get pictures! Tugboats are free of charge from the arena rezzer, and Nber is on-hand to both organise things and referee games as they are played.

Watching a game from the spectator stand: Maya and I with Wippie and Burt
Watching a game from the spectator stand: Maya and I with Wippie and Burt

Not only is this a team based game, but there are also individual tables as well, based on the number of games played and points earned, with tables and results available at the Tugby section of the Starboards Yacht Club’s website.

Matches have been going on for several years, and the original system was designed by Joepie Korobase (scripting and tug boats), with Yasmine (youaintseenme) more recently having updated the system and automated parts of it, such as the scoring and puck spawning.

A Tugby scrum up close!
A Tugby scrum up close!

Watching the matches was fun, even while trying to grab snapshots. From the commentary and comments, it was clear those taking part were having a lot of fun, and I think it fair to say Maya and enjoyed ourselves as we witnessed the games unfold from our perch atop the spectator tower. Who knows; next time we might even try our hands at driving a boat each, if there’s room on either team!

Related Links

Note that if you’d like to try your hand with a Tugby boat outside of a match, the clubhouse offers a vendor where you can grab a boat any time and try it out. You can also join the Tugby group at the clubhouse and be kept advised of events.