Bamboo’s Mindstorm in Second Life

IMAGOLand Gallery 3: Bamboo Barnes

Currently open at Gallery 3 of Mareea Farrasco’s MAGOLand is Mindstorm, an exhibition of art by Bamboo Barnes which opened on October 6th, 2021.

Hailing from Japan, Bamboo is, as I’ve frequently noted, one of the most vibrant, evocative, provocative, and emotive artists displaying her work in Second Life. She is also an artist unafraid of plumbing the depth of emotion and introspection – and this is again true with Mindstorm, which presents a series of images she has been working on for “a few years”.

The best way to describe this exhibition is to perhaps use Bamboo’s own words:

When you are feeling low, isolated, misunderstood.
Look at your disturbed soul pretending it never hurts,
The ocean of the pain roar to sweep all the goodness from you so you can feel the bottom.
Like the wind and the tide, there are no keys to open the sea, keep you face over the surface to keep the breath.
When the sun is up your skin is dry, start feel it’s in the past, then life goes on, there’s another day.
Don’t know what will come tomorrow, beneath the surface there is mindstorm.

Bamboo Barnes, describing Mindstorm

IMAGOLand Gallery 3: Bamboo Barnes

Presented in Bamboo’s familiar bold colours, the 16 images within the exhibit are joined by a number of 3rd part 3D pieces she has also textured, which together offer very visual statements on state-of-mind / relationships, which through presentation and colour emphasis speak loudly to mood and feelings.

As introspective pieces, these might be seen – not incorrectly – as reflections of Bamboo’s moods. Again, and as I’ve note before, her work is strongly bound with her mood, whether drawn directly from the emotions of life or as a result of the music to which she is listening while creating a piece. However, and as her own notes for the exhibition state, these are pieces to which anyone who has weathered feelings of isolation – not so much as a result of the on-going pandemic, but due to circumstances of life such as the ending of a relationship or an (obtuse?) misunderstanding directed towards you or the hurt inflected by the actions or words of another, and so on –  can identify.

IMAGOLand Gallery 3: Bamboo Barnes

I’m not sure how long Mindstorm is set to run, but I do recommend it as an exhibition worthy of seeing.

SLurl Details

Please use the teleport disk from the landing point below to reach the gallery.

Space Sunday: Lucy in the sky and Captain Kirk

An artist’s impression of the Lucy spacecraft flying past the Trojan asteroid (617) Patroclus and its binary companion Menoetius in 2033. Credit: NASA

Update: The report on William Shatner flying on NS-17 has been revised to reflect the fact the launch has been pushed back 24 hours from Tuesday, October 16th, 2021 to Wednesday, October 17th, due to weather concerns.

One of the most ambitious robotic missions NASA has ever undertaken – in a long history of such missions – is due to be launched on Saturday, October 16th, 2021.

After lifting-off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station by a United Launch Alliance Atlas V-401 vehicle, the Lucy space vehicle – centrepiece of a US $981 million mission of the same name – will commence a 12-year mission that will carry it, by means of three Earth gravity assists, to explore some of the earliest remnants of the solar system.

Computer model showing the Jovian Trojan asteroid clouds at the Jupiter-Sun L4 and L5 positions. Credit: Astronomical Institute of CAS/Petr Scheirich

These are the Jovian Trojan asteroids, the “leftovers” from the creation of the solar system. They orbit the Sun in two large clouds, one group, called the Greek Camp, leading Jupiter in its path around the Sun and that Jupiter-Sun L4 position, the other – the Trojan Camp – trailing behind the planet at the Jupiter-Sun L5 position.

The mission takes its name from the fossilised human ancestor (called “Lucy” by her discoverers) whose skeleton provided unique insight into humanity’s evolution. Likewise, it is hoped the Lucy mission will revolutionise our knowledge of planetary origins and the formation of the solar system.

The core element of the mission will be fly-bys of a total of asteroids, providing us with our first close-up view of all three major types of asteroids in the solar system. These are the D- and P-types that resemble those found in the Kuiper Belt of icy bodies that extends beyond the orbit of Neptune, and the D-type, which are found mostly within the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. All three types are thought to be abundant in dark carbon compounds, and that below an insulating blanket of dust, they might be rich in water and other volatile substances.

No other space mission in history has been launched to as many different destinations in independent orbits around our sun. Lucy will show us, for the first time, the diversity of the primordial bodies that built the planets. In order to do this, the mission will fly a complicated course: after launch, the craft will fly a circular orbit around the Sun close to Earth’s that will allow it use our gravity in 2022 to push it into a more elongated orbit, returning it to Earth once more in 2024, when it will again use our gravity to push it on toward the Greek Camp of Trojans.

Whilst on route, Lucy it will pass by the main asteroid 52246 Donaldjohanson, named for the discoverer of the Lucy hominin fossil. On reaching the Greek Camp in 2027, it pass through them, performing fly-bys of 3548 Eurybates and its companion Queta,15094 Polymele11351 Leucus, and 21900 Orus. Its orbit around the Sun will then bring it back to Earth in 2031, where it will once again use our gravity to swing it out into an orbit that will allow it to pass through the Trojan Camp of asteroids trailing behind Jupiter, which it will it 2033 and visit the binary asteroids 617 Patroclus and its satellite Menoetius. After this, the satellite will be in a stable 6-year orbit between the L4 and L5 clouds, and a mission extension will be possible.

The science payload for the mission comprises:

  • L’Ralph – a panchromatic and colour visible imager (0.4-0.85 μm) and infrared spectroscopic mapper (1-3.6 μm). It will be used to measure silicates, ices, and organics at the surface.
  • L’LORRI – a high-resolution visible imager that will provide the most detailed images of the surface of the Trojans.
  • L’TES – a thermal infrared spectrometer (6-75 μm) that should reveal the thermal characteristics of the observed Trojans and so inform scientists of the composition and structure of the material on the surface of the asteroids.
  • In addition, a radio science investigation will determine the mass of the Trojan asteroids by using the spacecraft radio telecommunications hardware and high-gain antenna to measure Doppler shifts.
The Jupiter-Sun L4 and L6 Trojan asteroid clouds and the course the Lucy mission will fly (in green) from Earth to the L4 group, then to the L5 group, passing via Earth. Credit: NASA

In keeping with the Voyager and Pioneer missions, the spacecraft is also adorned with a golden plaque containing its launch date, the positions of the planets at the launch date, the continents of Earth at the time of launch, its nominal trajectory, and twenty speeches, poems, and song lyrics from people such as Martin Luther King Jr.Carl SaganThe Beatles, and more.

It’s Space, Jim, But Not as You’ve Known it!

William Shatner: heading (briefly) towards the final frontier

Whilst the Federation Aviation Administration may be looking into the recent allegations about the safety culture at Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, the company has confirmed rumours that the next flight of its New Shepard sub-orbital system will include none other than William Shatner – most famous for his TV and film roles as Captain James Tiberius Kirk, commanding officer aboard the USS Enterprise, NCC-1701 – among the crew.

As one of four passengers on NS-18, Shatner will lift-off on Wednesday, October 13th, 2021 (the launch being pushed back 24 hours due to anticipated weather over the launch / landing sites). He’ll fly alongside Blue Origin’s Vice President of Mission and Flight Operations Audrey Powers and Chris Boshuizen, co-founder of the Earth-observation company Planet, and Glen de Vries, co-founder of the medical software company Medidata Solutions.

Rumours started circulating about Shatner’s participation more than a week ago, and was confirmed just after the controversy about Blue Origin’s alleged faulty safety culture hit the media. After initially tweeting his participation in the flight in terms of becoming a “rocket man” – a reference to his 1978 cover of Elton John’s famous hit, Shatner appeared in a special panel at New York’s Comic Con and admitted he has some trepidations ahead of the flight.

I’m terrified! I know! I’m Captain bloody Kirk – and I’m terrified!

– William Shatner joking about his nervousness at the New York Comic Con 2021

His participation in the flight at the age of 90 will mean Shatner is set to become the oldest human to date to fly into space, just a few months after the record was set by Mary “Wally” Funk, who participated in the first crewed flight of the New Shepherd vehicle at the age of 82.

Commenting on his presence on the flight, Powers noted that she feels like she will be flying with three of her heroes – Shatner and alter-egos of Kirk and Denny Crane, the role that again made him a household name as a Boston-based lawyer.

As with previous New Shepard flights, NS-17 will last around 10-11 minutes in total, with around 2-3 minutes spent in micro-gravity conditions.

Continue reading “Space Sunday: Lucy in the sky and Captain Kirk”

Halloween Horrors with Seanchai Library

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 in Nowhereville, unless otherwise indicated. Note that the schedule below may be subject to change during the week, please refer to the Seanchai Library website for the latest information through the week.

Sunday, October 10th, 13:30: A Night in the Lonesome October

It is the start of the Haunted Month, and Seanchai Library (SL) are marking the arrival and passage of October with a reading of Roger Zelazy’s A Night in the Lonesome October, the last of Zelazy’s published works.

A Night In The Lonesome October

Every few decades, when the Moon is is full on the night of Halloween, the fabric of reality thins and the door between worlds becomes unlatched. At this time, those with certain Occult knowledge gather to engage in The Game.

Those who play take opposing sides; on one: those who seek to win The Game and throw open the door by the light of the full Moon to usher in the Great Old Ones from the other side so that they might  remake Earth in their own images and enslave or slaughter the human race in the process. Opposing the Openers are those are those who would, by winning, re-latch the door and deny the Great Old Ones their prize – at least until The Game once more resumes.

Thus, through the month of October, the Players in the game – all archetypal characters from Victorian Era gothic fiction – form alliances, make deals, oppose one another, and even kill off opposing Players, until the night of October 31st, when the ritual of the door takes place, and the fate of the world is decided.

Each Player has his or her familiar, an animal companion with near-human intelligence, to help them complete the numerous preparations they must make and so be ready for the ritual on the final night. One of these is Snuff the dog, the familiar of Jack the Ripper, and who not only attends the play of The Game with his master, but also acts as the narrator of the month’s proceedings.

At the Haunted Hollow.

Monday, October 11th, 19:00: Watchstar

Alone in the desert, Daiya is faced with dilemma that will determine her fate. If she can successfully resolve it she will join the Net of her village, but if she fails, her life will be spent with the feared Merged Ones. Confused and torn between worlds near and far, Daiya harbours a secret of her people, and must find a way to move beyond her discoveries to a safe place where she can survive.

Join Gyro Muggins as he reads from Nebula-winning author Pamela Sargent’s Watchstar series.

Tuesday, October 12th

12:00 Noon: Russell Eponym

With music, and poetry in Ceiluradh Glen.

19:00: The Halloween Tree

On All Hallows Eve, young Pipkin is due to meet his eight friends outside a haunted house on the edge of town. But as he runs through the gathering gloom, Something sweep him away.

Arriving at the house in expectation of meeting Pipkin, his eight friends instead encounter the mystical Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud, who informs them that Pipkin has been taken on a journey that could determine if he lives or dies.

Aided by Moundshroud and using the tail of a kite, the eight friends pursue Pipkin through time and space, passing through the past civilisations – Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Celts – witnessing all that has given rise to the day they know as “Halloween”, and the role things like ghosts and the dead play in it.

Then, at length they come to the Halloween Tree itself, laden with jack-o’-lanterns, its branches representing the confluence of all these traditions, legends and tales, drawing them together into itself.

At the Haunted Hollow.

Wednesday, October 13th, 19:00 More from Terry Pratchett’s Wyrd Sisters

With Caledonia Skytower.

Thursday, October 14th,

19:00: The Last Photograph of John Buckley

When a photographic retoucher is commissioned to fix the abnormalities on a Great War portrait, he finds his own past and that of the subject beginning to connect. Are his personal nightmares returning, or is it something more?

A short ghost story in the M.R. James tradition, “The Last Photograph of John Buckley” is a dark tale of past crimes and unfinished business.

21:00: Seanchai Late Night Horror: It Came from the Multiplex

Welcome to tonight’s feature presentation, brought to you by an unholy alliance of the spellcasters at Hex Publishers and movie-mages at the Colorado Festival of Horror. Please be advised that all emergency exits have been locked for this special nostalgia-curdled premiere of death. From crinkling celluloid to ferocious flesh from the silver screen to your hammering heart.

Behold as a swarm of werewolves, serial killers, Satanists, Elder Gods, aliens, ghosts, and unclassifiable monsters are loosed upon your auditorium. Relax, and allow our ushers to help with your buckets of popcorn (and blood); your ticket stubs (and severed limbs) your candy (and body) bags… and kick back and scream as you settle into a fate worse than Hell. Tonight’s director’s cut is guaranteed to slash you apart.

Both sessions with Shandon Loring at the Haunted Hollow.

Friday, October 15th, 19:00: Ghostbusters

If there’s something weird
And it don’t look good
Who you gonna call?
Cale & Shand!

With Caledonia Skytower and Shandon Loring in Ceiluradh Glen.