Relaxing in Cape Florida in Second Life

Cape Florida Lighthouse and Park; Inara Pey, June 2018, on FlickrCape Florida Lighthouse and Park – click any image for full size

Cape Florida Lighthouse and Park is a homestead region designed by Shen Molinaro, specifically designed for people to visit, enjoy and to relax in. It offers plenty of walks, both along its sandy beaches and inland along paved paths, wooden board walks and over raised earthen trails that wind over grass and under bough. Also on the beaches and under the boughs of trees and palms, can be found places to sit or hang out along with opportunities to enjoy board games, take a bicycle ride or have a swim (look for the HUD givers as well as the rings out on the surf).

The region is somewhat modelled after the Cape Florida Light and the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, at the southern end of Key Biscayne in Florida. The lighthouse has a long history, and is the oldest standing structure in Greater Miami. Today it is operated by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Cape Florida Lighthouse and Park; Inara Pey, June 2018, on FlickrCape Florida Lighthouse and Park

I’ve no idea how well the region reflects the park, as I’ve never had the good fortune to visit the latter; but the lighthouse presents a fitting homage to its physical world namesake, and the beaches echo those from which popular photos of the lighthouse have been taken. However, accurate physical resemblance to Bill Baggs State Park isn’t important: the region stands on its own as a  place of natural SL beauty.

The beaches run along the west and north sides of the region, the northern beach becoming quite expansive before it reaches the white finger of the lighthouse topped by the black “nail” of its light. Grass grows on the undulating beaches, vying with trapped seaweed to break-up the whiteness of the sands. Rocky outcrops also break up the sands, several of which have snagged flotsam deposited by the sea during high tide; there are also numerous places to sit and watch the ebb and flow of the tide – be it on sun loungers, deck chairs or blankets.

Cape Florida Lighthouse and Park; Inara Pey, June 2018, on FlickrCape Florida Lighthouse and Park

Behind the beaches, the land rises gently – not to any great height, but enough for the sand to give way to a more solid covering of grass spread beneath the boughs of tress and palms. It is here, among the trees that the majority of the board walks and paths can be found, offering multiple routes to different destinations. The latter includes the octagonal bulk of a great greenhouse overlooking the southern coastline, the glass long gone from its heavy wooden frame, a small cabin, a partially walled terrace, a paved terrace under a triangular awning, and more besides.

To the east of the park is a tiled roof gazebo offering shade, food and refreshments, one of several decks that hug the coastline sitting below it. On one of the latter, set above the south-western tip of a beach on a rocky overlook, offers a couple of spiKKo tables for those looking to play a game. Just above one of the beaches, tucked away near the old church gate marking the way to (or from!) the paved terrace and its awning, in a chess table. A little stall can be found here as well, offering a range of fresh fruit.

Cape Florida Lighthouse and Park; Inara Pey, June 2018, on FlickrCape Florida Lighthouse and Park

The paths and board walks, with their twisting and winding and frequent intersections, help to give a feeling that the park is larger than the region on which it sits. This is further helped by the use of trees, bushes and shrubs to hide views of the coastline.

Those wishing to rez props for photography can do so by joining the region’s group. It might also be worth playing with windlight settings – I confess to flicking my viewer over to a couple sky options provided by Stevie Davos as a part of his cloud and sky series (see here for more), as I found the default windlight left me feeling a little chilly whilst exploring the region. When wandering as well, make sure you have local sounds enabled; Shen has provided a rich sound scape to fit the region and breathe further life into it.

Cape Florida Lighthouse and Park; Inara Pey, June 2018, on FlickrCape Florida Lighthouse and Park

A beautifully conceived and executed region which invites people to tarry whilst visiting.

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Holmes, aliens, revenge, rescue and music in Second Life

Seanchai Library

It’s time to highlight another week of storytelling in Voice by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library. As always, all times SLT, and events are held at the Library’s home at Holly Kai Park, unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, June 3rd

13:30: Tea-Time at Baker Street

Caledonia Skytower, Kayden OConnell and Corwyn Allen return with a Seanchai favourite: Tea-time at Baker Street. This time they are going right back to the roots of the legend, and the case which first introduced the world to Doctor John Watson and the renowned Consulting Detective, Mr. Sherlock Holmes.

study-in-scarletA Study in Scarlet was written in 1886 as a full-length novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and published the following year. It is actually one of only four novel-length stories Conan Doyle penned about Holmes and Watson in the original canon (the remaining 56 tales of their adventures are all short stories). As it was the first time the two had appeared in print, part of the story was used to establish each of them, and how they met.

It is 1887, and Doctor John Watson, invalided out of the British Army after being wounded in the Battle of Maiwand during the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878-1880), has returned to London where he is seeking accommodation. After bumping into an old friend, Watson finds himself being taken to St. Bart’s Hospital, where he is introduced to a stranger carrying out a laboratory experiment. On shaking Watson’s hand, Sherlock Holmes immediately perceives that he has recently returned from Afghanistan, and thus Watson first experiences Holmes’ remarkable deductive abilities – although quite how Holmes came to his conclusion remains a mystery. After a short conversation, he agrees to join Holmes in moving into a flat (apartment) at 221B Baker Street, where they’ll split the rent.

In the story, it is actually several weeks before Watson learns of Holmes’ rather unusual chosen profession. When told, he remains initially dubious until Holmes gives a practical demonstration of his powers of observation and deduction, using a messenger from Scotland Yard as his subject. The messenger has come with a request for Holmes’ assistance; Holmes is at first reluctant to heed the call,  but Watson urges him otherwise. So it is that they set out on their first adventure together, one involving poison, a double murder in London and a bitter tale of love, loss and revenge from America.

18:00 Magicland Storytime – Mrs Piggle-Wiggle

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle lives in an upside-down house and smells like cookies. She was even married to a pirate once. Most of all, she knows everything about children. She can cure them of any ailment. Patsy hates baths. Hubert never puts anything away. Allen eats v-e-r-y slowly. Mrs Piggle-Wiggle has a treatment for all of them.

The incomparable Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle loves children good or bad and never scolds but has positive cures for Answer-Backers, Never-Want-to-Go-to-Bedders, and other boys and girls with strange habits.

Join Caledonia Skytower at the Golden Horseshoe in Magicland Park, as she reads from Betty MacDonald tales of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.

Monday, June 4th 19:00: The Nitrogen Fix

2000 years from now, the Earth has acid oceans, mutating exploding plants, silent, tentacled observers, doomed Hill cities, nomad Outcasts, vicious, power-mad rebels.

In this world, fully depleted of freely floating oxygen – it has all been trapped in the Nitrogen Fix –, humans are the last native animal species on the planet. What civilization is left is isolated and separated.

A doomsday scenario? perhaps. But Hal Clement has a knack for making this beleaguered, suffering version of Earth and the trials of those living on it far more enticing that might be first thought.

Join Gyro Muggins as he travels to Clement’s world and see what might be found there.

Tuesday, June 5th: The Cold Dish (Walt Longmire #1)

Two years ago, four boys were put on trial for raping a Cheyenne girl. Now one of them – Cody Pritchard – is dead, shot and dumped in with a local farmer’s sheep.

For Walt Longmire, it means his hope of finishing out his term as sheriff of Wyoming’s Absaroka county in peace and quiet is at an end; instead, he finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation.

Plenty of people had cause for wanting Cody Prichard dead but who had the guts to do the deed? And are his three compadres next on the hit list? For Longmire, it means facing one of the more volatile and challenging cases in his twenty-four years as sheriff. One in which he means to ensure that revenge, so often regarded as a dish best served cold, is never served at all.

Join Kayden OConnell as he reads the first volume of Craig Johnson’s tales of Sheriff Walt Longmire.

Wednesday, June 6th 19:00: Hello, Universe

In one day, four lives weave together in unexpected ways.

Virgil Salinas is shy and kind-hearted and feels out-of-place in his loud and boisterous family; Valencia Somerset, who is deaf, is smart, brave, and secretly lonely, and loves everything about nature; Kaori Tanaka is a self-proclaimed psychic, whose little sister Gen is always following her around; and Chet Bullens wishes the weird kids would just act normal so that he can concentrate on basketball.

None of them are friends; at least not until Chet pulls a prank that traps Virgil and his pet guinea pig at the bottom of a well.

This leads Kaori, Gen, and Valencia on an epic quest to find the missing Virgil. Through luck, smarts, bravery, and a little help from the universe, a rescue is performed, a bully is put in his place, and friendship blooms.

Join Caledonia Skytower as she reads Erin Entrada Kelly’s 2018 Newbery Medal Award-Winning tale.

Thursday, June 7th: RUSH 2112

  • 18:30-19:00 The Temple of Syrinx plays a major role in unlocking the Crystal Gate in Ready Player One. Shandon  Loring reads that part of Ernest Cline’s seminal VR story.
  • 19:00: RUSH 2112 Anthem – the story behind the music of the album.

Also presented in Kitely (hop://grid.kitely.com:8002/Seanchai/144/129/29).

19:00 Seanchai Late Night

Contemporary Sci-Fi with Finn Zeddmore.

 

 


Please check with the Seanchai Library’s blog for updates and for additions or changes to the week’s schedule.

The current charity is Project Children, growing peace in Northern Ireland one (or two) children at a time.