2018 Home and Garden Expo in Second Life

The 10th Home and Garden Expo (HGE) in support of Relay for Life of Second Life and the American Cancer Society, is currently open, and will remain so until Saturday, June 2nd, 2018. Taking place across seven (Home Expo 1 through 6 and Expo Centre) regions, the event offers some of the finest in home, garden, and furnishing designs available across the grid, as well as a range of breedables and breedable accessories.

With over 100 exhibitors taking part, the event offers something for anyone who is looking for a new home, ideas for furnishing and decor, wishing to improve their building (or other) skills, or who just wishes to keep abreast of the latest building / home trends in Second Life.

Home and Garden Expo 2018

Throughout the Expo there will be a range of events and activities, including entertainment and dancing, classes, gachas, talks and discussions, an art show (with pieces by Your’s Truly – all proceed from their sale to RFL of SL), a market, an auction, and more.

RFL Awareness Hunt

This year’s hunt allows participants to explore the Expo regions and visit the twenty Awareness kiosks where they can learn about the different types of cancer. There are also hand prints and ribbons to collect, which denote which kiosks you’ve visited and decorate the tree on the Hunt HUD (available for L$250 from hunt vendors). In addition, the Awareness kiosks may award participants an additional random prize.

When you’ve visited all twenty of the Awareness kiosks, hunt participants will receive an Meeroo avatar.

Home and Garden Expo Map (click for full size)

Decorating Competition

*Entry applications close Monday, May 21st*

Twelve homes have been set-up on Home Expo 6, in six different styles by six different builders. The twelve entrants in the competition will be given an allowance of 500 prims (/Land Impact) with which to decorate their home and its garden.

Each contestant can decorate in any style they wish that suits their house, but they must include at least three items purchased from RFL vendors at the Home and Garden Expo. All houses must be decorated by Saturday, May 26th, 2018. Thereafter, from Sunday, May 27th through Friday, June 1st, 2018 visitors to the Expo will be able to vote on which house and garden they like best.

The breakdown of prizes has yet to be announced, but the overall prize pot, at the time of writing this article, stood at L$35,000.

Visit the competition page to enter – and remember, applications must be made by the end of Monday, May 21st, 2018.

Lantern Releases and Luminaria

Every day of the Expo at 16:00 SLT, lanterns will be released from the Expo Reflection Centre, in honour of all those afflicted by cancer.

The reflection area is also the place where you can light a luminaria lantern in memory of a loved one or in support of one fighting cancer now.

Home and Garden Expo Reflection Centre

With so much to see, it is likely that more than one visit might be required to see all of the designs and gardens – and with the number of exhibitors, pointing to specific creators is a little unfair. I therefore suggest that should you go, start your visit at the central Expo Center region – and then work your way around the regions using that as your anchor point.

About the Expo

The Home and Garden Expo raises money for Relay For Life of Second Life (RFL of SL). Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature fund-raising event, and RFL of SL is one of its virtual counterparts. You can find more information about RFL of SL at the official website.

Expo exhibitors are required to have two 100% donation items at the Expo. These items must be new and exclusive to the Expo for the duration of the event.

100% of registration fees, sponsorship fees and donation items are paid to Relay For Life of Second Life. 50% of the proceeds from the gachas will be paid to RFL and 100% of the L$10 hunt items.

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2018 viewer release summaries week #20

Logos representative only and should not be seen as an endorsement / preference / recommendation

Updates for the week ending Sunday, May 20th

This summary is generally published on 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.
  • Note that test viewers, preview / beta viewers / nightly builds are not recorded in these summaries.

Official LL Viewers

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V5-style

V1-style

  • No Updates.

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No updates.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

Space Sunday: drills, telescopes, pictures and doubts

In March I reported that NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity had taken an important step in recovering its ability to drill into Martian rocks to collect samples. Now it looks like drilling operations could be resuming.

Use of the sample-gathering drill was suspended in December 2016, after problems were encountered with the drill feed mechanism – the motor used to extend the drill head between two “contact posts” designed to steady the rover’s turret during drilling operations. In particular, there was concern that continued use of the drill feed mechanism would see it fail completely, ending the use of the drill.

Since then, engineers have been trying to develop a means of using the drill without and reliance on the drill feed mechanism, and at the end of February 2018, a new technique was tested. Called Feed Extended Drilling, or FED,  it keeps the drill bit and head extended, and uses the weight of the rover’s robot arm and turret to push the bit into a target rock. This is harder than it sounds,as it requires the weight of the rover’s arm to provide the necessary pressure to help push the drill bit into a rock – something it is not designed to do, and might actually break the drill bit or cause it to become stuck. However, the rover passed the February test with flying colours.

This success meant that engineers could focus on recovering the drill’s percussive action. This assists in both helping the drill cut into a rock and in breaking the contact area under the bit up into a fine powder that can be collected by the collection tube surrounding the bit.

A close-up of the drill mechanism. In the centre is the hollow drill bit, which cuts into rock and gathers sample powder. The drum at the base of the drill is the first part of the sample collection mechanism. Also of this used to be extended up against a rock sample by the drill feed mechanism. Just visible cutting across the bottom right corner of the image is one of the two contact posts. The second post can be seen in part in the top right corner of the image. These are used to hold the rover’s robot arm steady against a target rock surface while the drill is extended for sample-gathering operations. Credit: NASA

On Saturday, May 19th, and following further tests using Curiosity’s Earth-base test bed twin, the command was sent to Mars for Curiosity to carry out a second drilling test using both the FED approach and with the drill percussive action enabled. Unlike the February test, however, this one has an additional goal: to actually recover a special sample of rock.

For the last couple of months, the rover has been making its way along a feature on “Mount Sharp” dubbed “Vera Rubin Ridge”, toward an uphill area enriched in clay minerals that the science team is eager to explore. In doing so, the rover passed a distinct rock formation that could fill a gap in the science team’s knowledge about Mount Sharp and its formation.

Testing the FED / percussion approach to drilling on Earth using Curiosity’s test-bed “twin”. Not how the drill head (centre) is fully extended, so the contact posts cannot be used. Forward pressure on the drill is being provided entirely by the rover’s robot arm. Credit: NASA/JPL

Given the progress made in trying to get the drill working again, the decision was made to reverse Curiosity’s course in mid-April and drive back to the rock formation in the hope that the May 19th test could gather a sample from it. Commenting on the decision, Curiosity principal scientist Ashwin Vasavada  said, “Every layer of Mount Sharp reveals a chapter in Mars’ history. Without the drill, our first pass through this layer was like skimming the chapter. Now we get a chance to read it in detail.”

If the new technique has allowed Curiosity to gather a sample – at the time of writing this article, NASA had yet to provide an update on the operation – the engineering team will immediately begin testing a new process for delivering that sample to the rover’s internal laboratories. This is again a complex process, which in the past has involved the drill feed mechanism to transfer material gathered by the drill to another mechanism called CHIMRA (Collection and Handling for In-Situ Martian Rock Analysis), also mounted on the rover’s turret. CHIMRA sieves and sorts the material, grading it by size and coarseness before transferring it to the rover’s science suite, located in Curiosity’s main body.

Curiosity’s “fingers”: the five instruments on the rover’s turret, including the drill with the feed mechanism motors behind it and the two angled contact posts clearly visible, and the CHIMRA system used for sieving and sorting sample material gathered by both its own scoop (for surface material) and the drill (for rock samples). Credit: NASA 

Success with both the drilling operation and same transfer will mean – allowing for fine-tuning and other adjustments – the drill could be re-entering regular use in the near future.

Continue reading “Space Sunday: drills, telescopes, pictures and doubts”