A photography selection in Second Life

Hills Gallery
A Photography Selection – Hills Gallery

“Photography is my passion in here and it s what keeps me coming back,” states Hillany Scofield, “Hills” to her friends. “I love to experiment and to discover new things and  I love to get inspired.”

If anyone needed any proof of her talent as one of Second life’s foremost avatar portraiture photographers, they need only visit her Flickr stream to see her creativity at work.  However, throughout October, they can get up close and personal with some of her more recent work by visiting her own Hills Gallery in-world, which is currently featuring a display of her images simply entitled A Photography Selection.

The images are all a part of a series Hills took for Photography magazine, published by Joaopedro Oh, and which for October features Hills’ work alongside Awesome Fallen, Darklyn Dover, Migan Forder, to name but three.

Hills Gallery
A Photography Selection – Hills Gallery – click any image for full size

Within A Photography Selection there is a mix of erotic and non-erotic pieces, with the former very much focused on the sensual rather than the sexual. However, nudity is in some of the images, so they might be considered NSFW. However, there is far more here than “just” nude studies.

Noted for her use of both monochrome and a studied balance of colour, Hills’ images are always extraordinary in their composition and presentation, and this is true of the pieces on display in this selection, which offers a clear demonstration of her eye for composition and balance through pose, structure and tone.

A Photography Selection - Hills Gallery
A Photography Selection – Hills Gallery

All told, a superb series of studies, all beautifully presented in a gallery which is itself an eye-catching design, and perfectly suited to the occasion of displaying Hill’s work.

SLurl Details

2015 viewer release summaries: week 40

Updates for the week ending Sunday, October 4th

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: 3.8.4.305119, September 29 – formerly the Importer RC viewer download page, release notes
  • Release channel cohorts (See my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Quick Graphics RC viewer version 3.8.5.305528 released on October 2 – provides the new Avatar Complexity options and the new graphics preset capabilities for setting, saving and restoring graphic settings for use in difference environments / circumstances (download and release notes)
    • Notifications RC viewer version 3.8.5.305555 released on October 1 – new Notifications floater separates incoming notifications into System, Transactions, Invitations, and Group. It provides a better way to view, interact with, prioritize and manage incoming notices for busy residents (download and release notes)
    • Maintenance RC viewer version 3.8.5.305531 released on September 30 – 90+ fixes, updates and feature requests (download and release notes)
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V3-style

  • CtrlAltStudio Alpha Windows viewer updated to version 1.2.5.43397 on October 3rd – core updates: parity with the Oculus Rift SDK 0.6.0.1-beta (download and release notes)
  • Kokua updated to version 3.8.4.37073 on September 28th – core updates: parity with the LL mesh importer viewer code (3.8.4) and RLV 2.9.14 (release notes)
  • UKanDo updated to version 3.8.4.28149 on September 30th – core updates: parity with the LL mesh importer viewer code (3.8.4) and RLV 2.9.14 (release notes)

V1-style

  • Cool VL Viewer updated as follows: stable branch to version 1.26.14.8, experimental to version 1.24.15.7, both on October 3rd – release notes

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No Updates.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

Space Sunday: of Martian water, avalanches and postcards

A false-colour image of Hale Crater on Mars showing recurring slope lineae (RSL) flowing downhill, which are inferred to have been caused by contemporary flowing water, hydrated salts detected within the dark-colours RSLs tending to confirm they hypothesis they were created by free-flowing water.
A false-colour image of Hale Crater on Mars showing recurring slope lineae (RSL) features flowing downhill. Hydrated salts detected within the dark-coloured RSLs tend to confirm the hypothesis they were, and are, created by free-flowing water.

On Monday, September 28th, NASA held a special press conference which, they had promised, would “solve” a “major” mystery about Mars.

As I noted in my Space Sunday update prior to the conference, the major speculation was that the US space agency would be discussing what are called recurring slope lineae (RSL) features on Mars.

RSLs have been the subject of intense debate and discussion since 2011, when an undergraduate called Lujendra Ojha published the first in a series of papers on their presence on Mars.  In essence, they are ridges and rills which appear on the slopes of hills and craters, notably in the equatorial regions of Mars. The significance here being that on Earth, identical features are always the result of free-flowing water.

Given that it is known that Mars once supported liquid water on its surface, the presence of these features wouldn’t be that exceptional were they part of the ancient landscape. However, as the “recurring” in the title suggests, the Martian RSLs appear to be active – recurring frequently, sometimes on the seasonal basis. renewing and growing, with new ones also being periodically created.

Two images studied by Ojha showing the flank of the same crater and showing what appear to be active RSLs.
Two images studied by Ojha showing the flank of the same crater. On the left, from 2007, a number of older RSLs, faded due to dust deposits, appear with a relatively new, dark RSL. By 2012 (on the right), that RSL feature has also faded, but a further new one has appeared

Given the overall similarities between RSLs seen on Mars and those seen on Earth, particularly in Antarctica, the common belief has been that liquid water is responsible for the features on Mars. If true, then it would indicate two things.

The first would be that Mars would appear to have a subsurface water table of some description – which would be consistent with the idea that as the planet lost its atmosphere, whatever water remained on the surface may have retreated underground. The second is that it would seem to indicate that Mars is still in some way geologically active, with some mechanism at work forcing this water to the surface and creating these sudden, if short-lived outflows.

The NASA conference coincided with the publication of another paper in Nature Geoscience by Ojha and his colleagues. both pointed directly to water being the cause of the Martian RSLs. In particular, they both report that spectral analysis of some of the more recent and broader RSL channels shows they are rich in hydrated salts, which strongly indicates the presence of water. These salts are consistent with the chemical signatures of magnesium perchlorate, magnesium chlorate and sodium perchlorate.

This is significant because the presence of perchlorate deposits in water can work to prevent that water freezing solid in the kind of summer daytime temperatures – around -23C (-10F) – often experienced in the regions where these RSLs are found. Thus, if held in suspension, they would create a watery brine capable for fluid motion, and which, if released in significant enough amounts, could give rise to the RSLs prior to the water itself sublimating rapidly into the tenuous Martian atmosphere, leaving the hydrated deposits behind.

Nepalese born
Nepalese born Lujendra Ojha is the student who started the investigations into RSLs and their possible relation to free-flowing liquid water on Mars (image: The Himalayan)

The conclusion is that it is indeed liquid water that is causing these RSLs on Mars, and that this water is in a liquid, rather than solid state, at least during certain periods, such that it can be forced to the surface.

However, all is still not entirely clear – something which tends to cast a shadow on the idea of a “mystery” having been “solved”. For one thing, if the RSL rills are below a certain width, they are entirely devoid of any hydrated deposits. This could mean that some other process is involved in their formation, which has yet to be determined. Further, the mechanism which is actually responsible for forcing the water to the surface a creating the outflow which result in these RSLs is still unknown.

Continue reading “Space Sunday: of Martian water, avalanches and postcards”