Daily Archives: July 12, 2016

Pulse SL event: L$5.5 million for Orlando victims and families

Pulse

Pulse event information on Flickr

I’ve just caught Strawberry  Singh’s Google+ note that the Second Life fund-raiser for the victims of the horrific shooting at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub in June has now closed.

The in-world event, organised by Casper Warden of Caspervend, Skye Everidge, and CerberusXing, closed its doors on July 12th having raised L$5.5 million since June 28th. That’s around US $21,400 raised for  the Pulse Victims GoFundMe Page established by Equality Florida, the state’s bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organisation, with the aim of providing financial support for the victims of the shooting and their families.

The fund-raiser was organised by Casper Warden, Skye Everidge, and CerberusXing

The fund-raiser was organised by Casper Warden, Skye Everidge, and CerberusXing

“I’m absolutely dumbfounded and warmed by the way that the Second Life community has come together for this cause,” Casper told me when I contacted him after reading Berry’s note. “It shows the compassion and generosity of our community has no limits. It’s incredibly touching.”

The funds will be donated to the Pulse Victims GoFundMe Page following withdrawal from Second Life, with Casper also stating, “I’d also like to mention that I will be lodging the donation on behalf of ‘The Second Life Community’. I won’t be giving my own name or CasperTech’s.

While the in-world event has ended and the donation kiosks are now closed, anyone still wishing to donate to Equality Florida’s fund-raising drive can still do so via the GoFundMe page which, at the time of writing, sat at just over US $7 million of the target $10 million.

In addition, Hands, a musical tribute to the 49 victims of the shooting has been produced. Patience Carter, Tiara Parker, and Angel Anthony Santiago, survivors of the shooting at Pulse Nightclub, appear in the lyric video of the song, together with members of the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles and digital creators from all walks of life.

The song is available through iTunes, and proceeds from sales in the United States will benefit Equality Florida Pulse Victims Fund, the GLBT Community Centre of Central Florida, and GLAAD. You can find out more on the Equity Florida Facebook page, and on the song’s YouTube page.

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Garden walls in Second Life

Alex Bader is perhaps my favourite landscaping content creator in Second Life. His kits cover everything from creating a sandy beach right the way through to building cliffs and peaks, with trails, woodlands, hills, rivers, woodlands and more featuring in the mix. His kits and other items form one of the largest sections of my inventory devoted to building and landscaping, and for the last year, his forest cabin and his beach house have been our preferred choices for our in-world house designs – and I can’t actually see us swapping away from them.

In mid-June, Alex generously sent me his latest creation, the Skye Tiered Garden Wall Building Set, although it took me until the last week and a bit to actually have the time to really start playing with it. Even so, I can say up front that if you’re looking for the means to create a garden which features eye-catching and beautifully organic walls with sweeping curves, unique shapes, tiered or otherwise, this is simply a must-have set.

Skye Tiered Garden Wall Building Set

Skye Tiered Garden Wall Building Set (image: via Alex Bader)

The kit comprises 17 primary parts – straight walls, curved walls, S-shaped walls, sloping walls, butas, “eyes” steps, etc., most of which are mirrored or offered in “tall” or “short” versions, some of which include attached grass slopes, to present a complete set of 28 wall sections and steps. Add to this three matching terrain elements (flat, sloped and irregular), and you have a very comprehensive set with which to create walled elements in a garden or against a hill. Alex even includes three unlinked samples to get you started!

The pieces range between 1 LI (basic steps) through to 4 LI in their default sizes. They are supplied as copy / mod, so resizing is possible – although care is needed, as doing so can significantly increase the other LI on items when enlarged. The wall segments are scripted to provide 4 stone styles:  granite, light stone, dark stone, and grey stone, each of which can include a moss effect as well, giving a total of eight different finishes.

Skye Tiered Garden Wall Building Set in use at Holly Kai park, together with the Skye Water System and steps from the Stone Stairs kit

Skye Tiered Garden Wall Building Set in use at Holly Kai park, together with the Skye Water System and steps from the Stone Stairs kit (plants and seating, etc., not a part of the wall kit)

The various shapes fit together extremely well for the most part, although there are some slight differences in width in the capstones on various segments.  However, it is in the gentle slopes and sweeping curves in several of the pieces which make this set a treat to use; as I mentioned at the top of this piece, they allow the creation of very organic walls and tiers.

How artistic you might get with the set is down to you and the lie of your land; the two designs I’ve created so far are relatively simple, but the end results are still – if I say so myself – eye-catching. It also works exceptionally well with other kit Alex has produced, particularly those which are materials enabled, such as his Skye Stone Stairs and the Skye Water System.

The kit provides three sample builds (17, 24 and 29 LI respectively) to help with ideas for what might be achieved

The kit provides three sample builds (17, 24 and 29 LI respectively) to help with ideas for what might be achieved

I’ve already seen this kit in use at a couple of events, and I’ve little doubt it is destined to become a staple and distinctive part of many regions across SL. It can be purchased in-world via Alex’s store (which is well worth exploring in its own right) or via the Studio Skye marketplace store. The price, at the time of writing, is L$699.

Art, women and war in Second Life

“This was special to me to feel the bravery of  woman soldiers,” Storie’S Helendale (GlitterPrincess Destiny) states in the introductory notes to I Was Born in Kurdistan, her latest immersive piece. “(They don’t cook in the kitchen).  (Instead they fight Isis).”

This is a difficult piece to quantify, presenting a war-torn environment as a backdrop for images depicting women caught within various combat situations, clearly drawn from the unfolding situation in Iraq. It is undoubtedly an atmospheric build – a chart at the landing point provides advice on the best viewer graphics / windlight settings for viewing it as intended.

Central to it stands the concrete skeleton of a war-torn building. Fires burn in old oil drums, the ground is rough and pitted and burned-out cars and other detritus resulting from the passage of combat are scattered around. Around the walls of this environment, and mounted in the skeletal remains of the building are images by Storie’S depicting woman in combat. Some are in traditional-look middle-eastern dress, others is more “homespun uniforms”, others in combat fatigues.

The mix of images presents both colour and monochrome pieces, with the content ranging from actually scenes of combat, through scenes from the aftermath of fighting to very personal scenes of comrades supporting one another or combat veterans simply trying to get some respite and rest.

Since is the approach taken to the piece, that interpreting it is a very subjective affair. There is no doubting that many of them do echo the privations and sadness of war; there is a subtle condemnation of the suffering it brings present in many of the images.  But this seems to be somewhat offset by an uncomfortable sense that women in combat is being celebrated to a degree.

While there are – sadly – time in this world when the only recourse is for people to take up arms and stand against the forces which would otherwise overwhelm them and their way of life. To be clear, I Was Born in Kurdistan is more a reflection of this than anything else; but the “celebratory” aspect of some of the images might give rise to a negative reaction among some visitors.

I was born in Kurdistan

I was born in Kurdistan

However, it is these juxtapositions of viewpoints and emotions which makes I Was Born in Kurdistan an installation which needs to be seen directly, rather than simply related through a blog post like this. There is currently no closing date stated for the exhibition, which opened on July 9th; I would anticipate it remaining open for at least a month.

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