Of cardboard and cats and wealth and wisdom

It’s time to kick-off another week of fabulous story-telling in voice, brought to our virtual lives by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library. As always, all times SLT, and all events in Second Life are held at the Seanchai Library’s home at Bradley University. Locations for events in InWorldz and Kitely are given within the write-ups for those events.

Sunday, May 31st

13:00 Tea-time at Baker Street

Caledonia Skytower, Kaydon Oconnell and Corwyn Allen continue reading The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, originally published in 1894, and which brings together twelve (or eleven in US editions of the volume) adventures featuring Holmes and Watson, as originally published in The Strand Magazine. This week: The Adventure of the Cardboard Box.

The Adventure of the Cardboard Box
The Adventure of the Cardboard Box

In choosing a few typical cases which illustrate the remarkable mental qualities of my friend, Sherlock Holmes, I have endeavoured, as far as possible, to select those which presented the minimum of sensationalism, while offering a fair field for his talents. It is, however, unfortunately impossible entirely to separate the sensational from the criminal, and a chronicler is left in the dilemma that he must either sacrifice details which are essential to his statement and so give a false impression of the problem, or he must use matter which chance, and not choice, has provided him with. With this short preface I shall turn to my notes of what proved to be a strange, though a peculiarly terrible, chain of events.

So begins Dr, John Watson in re-telling one of Holmes’ more grisly cases, which was first published in The Stand Magazine in 1892, before forming a part of the Memoirs anthology in the UK, and His Last Bow in the United States.

The affair begins when Miss Susan Cushing of Croydon receives a grisly parcel of two severed human ears, packed in salt. Inspector Lestrade is convinced that the parcel is a prank on the part of three medical students Miss Cushing was forced to evict from her lodgings due to their unruly behaviour. Lestrade points to the parcel as coming from Belfast – the home of one of the former lodgers – as reason for his suspicions.

On examining the parcel, however, Holmes is certain that they are dealing with a far more serious crime, involving tormented minds and extra-marital relationships…

18:00 Magicland Storytime – Thomasina Part 1

thomasinaJoin Caledonia Skytower at Magicland Park as she commences reading Paul Gallico’s 1957 novel (and later a 1963 Walt Disney film starring none other that Patrick McGoohan, alongside Karen Dotrice – who also appeared in Disney’s Mary Poppins and The Gnome Mobile – and Susan Hampshire).

When Thomasina, young Mary’s cat, suffers injury, Mary’s veterinarian father and widower, is typically unsympathetic , and rather than treating the cat, has it put to sleep – earning himself the enmity of his daughter, who declares him dead to her.

Thomasina, meantime, finds herself in cat heaven, only to be returned to Earth because she has lived only one of her nine lives. Thus begins a series of adventures involving Thomasina, Mary, her father and a local woman regarded as a “witch” by the children, but who has a caring way with animals…

Monday June 1st, 19:00: Science Fiction with Gyro Muggins

This evening Gyro reads from two short stories. In Isaac Asimov’s 1956 story, Pâté de Foie Gras a goose is discovered which actually lays golden eggs. Meanwhile, in If at Faust You Don’t Succeed by Roger Zelazny, Robert Sheckley, the contest between the forces  of Good and Evil for control of the  universe resumes, but Mephistopheles has mistakenly signs up a  medieval cutpurse named Mack the Club, thinking him the  learned Dr. Faust. And that’s just the start of Mephisto’s problems…

Tuesday June 2nd, The Great Gatsby, Part 2

Great GatsbyCaledonia Skytower, Corwyn Allen and Kaydan Oconnell continue reading of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s magnificent 1925 novel.

In 1922, Nick Carraway arrives in New York to learn about the bond business. He rents a small cottage in West Egg, home of the newly-rich, only to discover the owner of the huge Gothic mansion next door, the deeply mysterious Jay Gatsby, is prone to throwing lavish parties every weekend, to which in seems everyone comes. Everyone it seems, except Nick’s cousin Daisy, who is married to Tom Buchanan. Together they live across the bay in the more fashion East Egg, where the “old money” resides.

Following a visit with them, Nick is slowly drawn into their world, both discovering Tom Buchanan has a mistress who lives in the Valley of Ashes, an industrial area lying between the Eggs and New York city, and finding himself increasingly attracted to the Buchanan’s friend, the beautiful, if cynically minded, Jordan Baker.

Then, one Saturday, Nick finds himself invited to one of Jay Gatsby’s great parties, and is thus drawn into an increasingly deep well of infatuation, lust, and tragedy, witnessing first hand a darker side of the so-called American Dream.

Wednesday June 3rd

06:00: Forever Erma

Erma BombeckErma Bombeck achieved great popularity for her newspaper column that described suburban home life from the mid-1960s until the late 1990s. She also published 15 books, most of which became bestsellers. From 1965 to 1996, Erma Bombeck wrote over 4,000 newspaper columns, using broad and sometimes eloquent humour, chronicling the ordinary life of a mid-western suburban housewife. By the 1970s, her columns were read twice-weekly by 30 million readers of the 900 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada

Join Freda Frostbite and Trolly Trollop as the delve into Erma’s wit and wisdom of everyday life, joined by Caledonia Skytower.

19:00: The Night Fairy

With Faerie Maven-Pralou.

Thursday June 4th, 19:00: The Night’s Ocean

Shandon Loring reads from the 1936 short story by H.P. Lovecraft and R.H. Barlow.


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 April / May is Habitat for Humanity, with a vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live – a safe and clean place to call home.

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SL12B: Of press applications, time capsules and videos

We’re approaching the start of June, and with the run-up to this year’s Second Life Birthday Community Celebrations. As noted in the banner above, the event will take place between June 21st and 28th, and will feature fifteen regions packed with builds, performance areas, stages, works of art and more, all celebrating the rich creative diversity within Second Life. On Monday, June 1st, eager exhibitors will gain access to the regions, ready to start construction!

As a part of the build-up to the main event, there will once again be a special Press Day – Saturday, June 20th, 2015 – when the fifteen regions will be open for bloggers, photographers, machinima makers, and so on to tour them and preview all that awaits residents in this year’s celebrations.

If you would like to participate in the Press Day for SL12BCC, please make sure you complete and submit the SL12B press application form.

The SL12B Time Capsule

The Time Capsule is a traditional part of the SL Birthday celebrations. It is used to contain items donated by SL residents, which are placed on display at future SLB celebrations. This year is no exception, and the SL12BCC organisers have issued an invitation to residents to submit designs for a time capsule that represents a significant technical enhancement for the year, or which is inspired by the year’s celebratory theme, which this year is “what dreams may come?”.

To give some examples of past time capsules, the SL4B capsule had flexible prims which that of SL5B featured glow – which were technical developments in SL in their respective years, while the SL6B time capsule was a meteorite chunk, in keeping with that year’s space theme.

SL9B Time Capsule
SL9B Time Capsule

If you’d like to submit a design for this year’s time capsule, please read the guidelines set-out in the official blog post on the invitation.

Video: The Calm Before the Builds

I have the honour to be invited by the SL12B CC coordinator, Doc Gascoigne, to produce a series of short “preview” videos marking how things are developing on the celebration regions as building commences – and obviously without giving too much away!

As work starts in earnest for most exhibitors on Monday, June 1st, 2015, we thought we’d start the previews with… a preview! Enjoy!

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