An appeal on behalf of Second Life creator Elicio Ember

Cerridwen's Cauldron; Inara Pey, January 2016, on Flickr Cerridwen’s Cauldron – Ground Level

Elico Ember is a brilliant Second Life creator and a friend, I’m therefore posting this article in support of him and his family, after learning via Saffia Widdershins about a familial health crisis he is facing, and a call for help he has put out via Facebook.

You can read the full details on Saffia’s post. Suffice it to say here that Elicio’s father has suffered a stroke which has left him with neurological damage. As Elicio explains in his Facebook post (which Saffia provides in full on her blog), circumstances mean that his father is without health insurance, despite having been employed by the state teaching languages at a local university. In order to ensure he gets the required treatment, the family has been forced to turn to private medical assistance, and thus are facing exceptional medical (and potentially other) bills as a result.

To help them meet these costs, Elicio is making a simple request: that people consider buying his Second Life creation, and thus boost his available income.

Cerridwen's Cauldron; Inara Pey, January 2016, on Flickr Cerridwen’s Cauldron – the skyborne store

For those of you who may not know him, Elicio is the man behind the incredible Cerridwen’s Cauldron, which I wrote about in 2012 and again in 2016. He is a regular designer of regions for Fantasy Faire and – if I may repeat some of Saffia’s words, is one of the warmest, kindest and most giving hearts in all of Second Life. His warmth and generosity simply know no bounds.

Elicio creates beautiful plants with an otherworldy feel (indeed, “Otherworld” was the name of his 2016 Fantasy Faire build). His work can be found in many fantasy regions, art installations and gardens looking for and exotic look. Those who have come across his work tend to find it unforgettable.

So – and to again borrow from Saffia – if you only do one thing in Second Life today or over the next few days, please consider making it a purchase of Elicio’s marvellous creations, either from his in-world store or via the Marketplace – and do, please, tell friends, share this and Saffia’s posts, and help one of the kindest people you might ever hope to encounter in Second Life.

To remind you of his incredible talent, I’ll close with a video of Otherworld I recorded at 2016’s Fantasy Faire.

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ALS awareness week 2017 in Second Life

Harvey Memorial Ensemble ALS Awareness Week main stage
Harvey Memorial Ensemble ALS Awareness Week main stage

Now open through until Sunday, February 26th is the Harvey Memorial Ensemble ALS Awareness Week, a charity event intended to both raise awareness of ALS and raise funds for continued research into the disease.

Dedicated to the memory of ALS victim and Second Life resident Harvey22 Albatros, the week focuses on music and art, with both live performers and DJs offering sets throughout the week, and a number of SL artists offering pieces for auction, with all proceeds as well as donations during the week going to AISLA, the Associazone Italiana Sclerosi Laterale Amiotrofica.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), sometimes also referred to as motor neurone disease (MND) or by the synonyms Lou Gehrig’s disease and Charcot disease,  is a specific disorder that involves the death of neurons that control voluntary muscles. For about 90-95% of all diagnosed cases, the precise cause of the disease is unknown; for the remaining 5-10% of diagnosed cases, it is inherited from the sufferer’s parents. There is no known cure, and symptoms generally first become apparent around the age of 60 (or 50 in inherited cases). The average survival from onset to death is three to four years. In Europe and the United States, the disease affects about 2 people per 100,000 per year.

2017 marks the third year of the event, which features a daily schedule of music running from 07:00 SLT through to 18:00 SLT, and featuring a mix of live performances and DJ sessions lasting between one and three hours.

Wednesday, February 22nd
07:00
DJ Samira
08:00
iClubs Disco
09:00
DJ Maurizio  Mitico
Noon
DJ Erya la Bionda
13:00
Maria Brandi
16:00
Michael Arabelol – Live
Thursday, February 23rd
07:00
 DJ Paolo55
09:00
Lucrezia Angel – Live
10:00
Karaoke Party & Latin Dance
12:00
DJ
13:00
DJ
14:00
TBA
15:00
TBA
16:00 – 18:00
DJ Lucios
Friday, February 24th
07:00
Dj Phill
09:00
DJ Lucifero Verne
Noon
Laura – Live
14:00
PlaiRob – Live
16:00 – 18:00
Le Cigalon
Saturday, February 25th
07:00 DJ Tarall Digg
09:00 DJ Coso Deroma and Momi Hallison
Noon
Capricorn Club
14:00
DJ Jane Morli
15:00
DJ Ux Hax
16:00 – 18:00
Myo & Gera’s Lurido Rock Bar
Sunday, February 26th
07:00
White Beach
09:00
Guilia Elton  Live
10:00
Josie Anderton Live
Noon
DJ Francesco Ansari
14:00
Phoenix Joom
15:00
Hogman
16:00 – 18:00
DJ Jill

SLurl Details

A Japanese Tea Garden in Second Life

Shareta Osumai Tea Gardens - links in article; click any image for full size
Shareta Osumai Tea Gardens – links in article; click any image for full size

As we all know, the Moles are the resident builders of Second Life who form the Linden Department of Public Works (LDPW). They take care of all the major Mainland infrastructure projects, up to and including activity locations such as PaleoQuest, The Horizons Experience, and other reached via the Portal Parks.

February tends to be Mole Month, with the annual Mole Day taking place in Bay City, celebrating the work of the Moles. 2017 has also been especially poignant for the Moles, as their long-term Mole-In-Chief, Linden Lab’s own Michael Linden, departed the company for pastures new. This being the case, I thought I’d take a little time out occasionally to visit some of the more notable Mole builds in Second Life which may not be as obvious as the “big” places like the Horizons Experience – and a good place to start, thanks to an indirect nudge from Kinnaird Flachra, seemed to be the Shareta Osumai Tea Gardens.

Shareta Osumai Tea Gardens - links in article; click any image for full size
Shareta Osumai Tea Gardens

The Tea Gardens can be found in three locations in Second Life: in the Premium East continent (which also includes Cape Ekim, and the mystery of dragons and Professor Linden, which I first visited far back in 2013), and at Premium South 2 and Premium South 3. All three locations, unsurprisingly, are identical, and form part of the hub for the Japanese themed Linden Homes.

The major feature of the gardens is the pagoda tea house which sits alongside and ornamental pond fed by a stream which tumbles and meanders down from nearby uplands. The tea house is set within a fenced garden, filled with autumnal trees and offering cobbled paths for wandering, the stream cross by delicately arched bridges, and with a small sand garden or meditation.  Those not wishing to walk can catch a ride around the garden on a mole-pulled ricksaw.

Shareta Osumai Tea Gardens - links in article; click any image for full size
Shareta Osumai Tea Gardens

Beyond the garden is a broader area of trees and cobbled walks to be enjoyed and, northwards, lies a path winding up into the hills to the local Info Hub, where various freebies can be obtained and people can learn about Linden Homes. This path, winding via stone steps, also leads the way via  Mole Temple – which (and while it didn’t contain anywhere near as many statues) reminded me a little of the Temple of 10,000 Buddhas, Shatin, Hong Kong.

It’s easy to be dismissive of the Linden Home continents – I’m not a great fan of many of the house styles myself, and do find myself wishing more was done to blend the edges of some more naturally into the sea where they form the edge of the grid – but areas such as the Shareta Osumai Tea Gardens, Cape Ekim and others scattered across these regions offer little gems awaiting discovery.

Mole Temple close to the Tea Gardens
Mole Temple close to the Tea Gardens

SLurls and Links

All the tea garden areas are rated Moderate

SL project updates 2017-8/1: server, viewer

Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bayblog post

Server Deployments

As always, please refer to the server deployment thread for updates.

  • There was no deployment to the Main (SLS) channel on Tuesday, February 21st, again leaving it on release 17#17.01.27.323172.  However, all regions on the channel were restarted in keeping with the Lab’s policy of restarting a channel every other week, regardless as to whether or not it has received a deployment update.
  • On Wednesday, February 22nd, all thee RC channels should receive a new server maintenance package. The release notes had not be published at the time of going to press, however the changes are said to be “minor”.

SL Viewer

There are currently no changes to the SL viewer pipelines from the Lab, with the currently available viewer remaining thus:

  • Current Release version: 5.0.1.323027, dated January 25, promoted February 3 – formerly the Maintenance RC viewer.
  • RC viewers:
    • Maintenance RC viewer version 5.0.2.323567 dated February 14th – a range of improvements and features – overview here (initial release version number)
    • Love Me Render RC viewer version Version 5.0.2.323361, dated February 9th – rendering pipeline fixes and improvements
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Alex Ivy (LXIV), 64-bit project viewer version 5.1.0.501863 for Windows and Mac, dated January 10th
    • 360-degree snapshot viewer, version 4.1.3.321712, dated November 23, 2016 – ability to take 360-degree panoramic images – hands-on review.
  • Obsolete platform viewer version 3.7.28.300847 dated May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.