Baroque Dreams in Second Life

Baroque Dreams
Baroque Dreams

The Edge, the fashion division of Kultivate Magazine, is celebrating it’s one year anniversary between November 11th to 30th, As a part of the celebrations, Haveit Neox has been commissioned to design and build a special, one-of-a-kind artistic runway, bringing together art and fashion.

Entitled Baroque Dreams, the installation serves a dual role, both as an art installation, which will formally open at 16:00 SLT on Sunday, November 13th, with a live performance by Dimivan Ludwig, and as the setting for a special The Edge anniversary fashion show featuring the designs of Lyrical Bizarre, which will take place between 14:00 and 15:00 SLT on Sunday, November 13th. Thereafter, the installation will remain open to visitors for a period of a week.

Baroque Dreams
Baroque Dreams

Baroque Dreams takes visitors to one of the fashion capitals of Italy and the world: Venice. On arriving, visitors walk between two tall figures and into what might be a portion of the Grand Canal; gondolas lay moored on the water, and buildings rise on three sides. A set of stepping-stones mark the way to where the runway rises from the water, arched like a canal bridge before it splits and loops  around audience seating. From there it climbs towards a set of fountains – another Venetian landmark, to where a huge Fashion Queen rises as if toy oversea proceedings, her headgear and dress suggestive of St. Marks Basilica.

Within this are many of Haveit’s hallmarks: a rich use of colour, sculpted centaurs, proud ships – also indicative of Venice’s history as a centre of commerce and seaborne trade. While around everything, the tall buildings of Venice rise.

Baroque Dreams
Baroque Dreams

Compact and yet with a grand sense of scale, Baroque Dreams is a unique installation, ideally suited to embodying The Edge’s aim to bring together art and fashion. Congratulations to all Eles, John and all at The Edge on this first anniversary.

SLurl Details

Baroque Dreams (Water Haven, rated: Moderate)

Women of Science in Second Life

Women of Science History Museum
Women of Science History Museum

Tucked into a little corner of Second Life, and easily overlooked, is the Women of Science History Museum. I first visited it in early October, after noting it featured as an Editor’s Pick in the Destination Guide, but it’s taken me a little while to sit down and write about it!

Occupying a modest garden offering a place for visitors to sit as chat, the museum is curated by Elliot (LadyAngelDust), and occupies a three storey structure to one side of the garden. Inside is a selection of informative biographies of some of the women who have contributed to our understanding of the sciences over the years.

Women of Science History Museum
Women of Science History Museum

It’s an eclectic and diverse group; some will be familiar to many – Hypatia (355-415 ce), Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) and Marie Curie (1867-1934) to name three – while others may be less well-known, such as Mary Sherman Morgan (1921-2004) and Chien-Shiung Wu (1912-1997), with a total of twelve women from history represented across the three floors of the museum.

Each woman is represented by a display which includes props representing their field, photographs and a biography – the latter of which can also be obtained in note card form by clicking on the gold star alongside their names.

Women of Science History Museum
Women of Science History Museum

Wisely, they are not presented by science background or in chronological order (although the second floor exclusively features women born in the 20th century). This encourages fully exploration through the museum, which leads visitors up to the upper floor and a teleporter sitting in a corner.  This provides access to the planetarium and the biographies of four more women, including a personal heroine of mine, Claudia Alexander.

There is perhaps a slight bias towards American women evident at times, particularly in the planetarium section, where it would have been nice to see someone like Nicole-Reine Lepaute recognised. I also felt it a shame that Mary Anning, who was denied proper recognition for her ground-breaking work in palaeontology during he own lifetime, is not included. But these are minor niggles, and it’s fair to say there are a lot of women who might justifiably be included, but the museum only has so much space. Certainly as minor critiques, they do not detract from the fact the museum does make for an informative visit, and is fully deserving in being recognised as a DG Editor’s Pick.

Women of Science History Museum
Women of Science History Museum

SLurl Details

Of Victorian investigations, supernatural quests shapeshifting children

It’s time to kick-off a week of story-telling in voice, brought to our virtual lives by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library. As always, all times SLT, and events are held at the Library’s Second Life home at Bradley University, unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, November 13th 13:00: Tea-time at Baker Street

Tea-time at Baker Street sees Caledonia Skytower, John Morland and Kayden Oconnell open the pages of the second full-length novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle featuring Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. Originally commissioned for Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine, for which it was serialised under the original title The Sign of the Four; or The Problem of the Sholtos. This was reduced to The Sign of the Four in later serialisations and when published in book form in 1890 – a title which itself was further abbreviated to The Sign of Four for various film and television adaptations.

Sign-of-fourIn 1888, Mary Morstan comes to Sherlock Holmes seeking his assistance in two matters. The first is with regards to her father. Having returned safely from India in 1878, Captain Arthur Morstan had arranged to meet his daughter at the Langham Hotel, London – but he had vanished from the hotel prior to her arrival. In the decade since, no trace of his whereabouts has ever been discovered.

However following his disappearance – and possibly pursuant to it – is the second reason for Miss Marstan’s visit. Every year from 1882 onwards, she has been in receipt of a single pearl, which started arriving after she had responded to a strange newspaper advert inquiring for her. The latest such pearl to arrive had come with a letter, indicating she had somehow been wronged, the sender asking to meet with her.

Holmes discovers that the pearls started arriving shortly after the death of a Major Sholto, who served with Arthur Morstan in India. His investigations leave him convinced there is a complex set of connections between Morstan and Sholto, which involves an Indian fortress, the names of three Sikhs, an Englishman by the name of Jonathan Small and Sholto’s two sons. If all that weren’t enough, it would seem that greed and treasure may lay at the heart of matters..,

Monday, November 14th 19:00: The War Hound and the World’s Pain (Von Bek #1)

von-bekGyro Muggins concludes Michael Moorcock’s 1982 supernatural novel.

Europe, the 17th century: nations are ravaged by the Thirty Years’ War, driven by religion and engulfing most of the Great Powers. Weary of the fighting, disillusioned, faithless and cynical, Ulrich von Bek, the War Hound, deserts his troops and travels through a Germany ruined by the war and religious persecution.

Coming to a strange forest, he finds within it a castle which appears to have escaped the war. He decides to seek shelter within its walls – only to find this is no ordinary castle. The lord within it is none other than Satan himself.

Von Bek discovers he has been allowed into the castle so that Satan might seek his help. In return for his soul, the Devil asks him to seek out the Cure for the World’s Pain, so that Satan might use it as proof to God that he wishes to be reconciled with heaven.

The hosts of Hell, however, aren’t that keen on the idea of reconciliation…

Tuesday, November 15th 19:00: Serafina and the Twisted Staff

Caledonia reads the second adventure for Robert Beatty’s young heroine, Serafina, published in July 2016.

serafina-2Introduced in Serafina and the Black Cloak, the titular heroine had, up until the events of that story, lived a secret life in the basement bowels of the manor house on Biltmore Estate. However, she was forced to reveal herself to the estate owner’s young nephew in order that together, they might discover why the children on the estate were mysteriously vanishing.

Now, just a few weeks after those events, Serafina and her new friends must confront a new danger, one worse than the Black Cloak.

In doing so, they well face tests that will strain friendships, while Serafina learns more about her unique talent and abilities, allowing her to grow from introspective “other”, to a young girl accepting of herself. Nor is she alone in her growth; Braeden also is able to come into his own, understanding his own particular gifts,

Intended for younger readers, the Serafina books have a richness of prose and an approach to storytelling guaranteed to keep readers – and listeners – of all ages enthralled. Join Caledonia to find out more!

Wednesday, November 16th 19:00: For the Love of Billy

Caledonia Skytower, Kayden Oconnell and Corwyn Allen read selected poems by Billy Collin, the Poet Laureate between 2001 and 2003.

Thursday, November 17th

19:00: The Ransom of Red Chief and More

Shandon Loring leads listeners in the world of short stories by William Sydney Porter, known as a writer by his pen name, O. Henry.

21:00: Seanchai Late NIght

With Finn Zeddmore.

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 November-December is Reach Out and Read, a non-profit organization that gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into paediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together.