Christmas week with Seanchai Library 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 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, December 19th, Noon: A Christmas Carol – The Big Read

At the Seanchai Winter Holiday setting.

A Seanchai Library reading of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol has long been a seasonal tradition in Second Life. Most often since 2012, the reading has been associated with the Library’s end-of year celebration of all things Dickens with the annual presentation of The Dickens Project, conceived and coordinated  by Caledonia Skytower.

However, whilst presenting a seasonal setting for their events in the run-up and around Christmas, for 2021, Seanchai Library is taking a break from the full quota of activities for the Project – but they will be presenting the highlight of the Project in the form of The Big Read – a cover-to-cover reading of Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol.

First published in 1843, with illustrations by John Leech, A Christmas Carol is a story with which we’re all familiar: the redemption of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge through the visits of four ghosts: his former business partner Jacob Marley and the spirits of Christmas PastPresent and Yet to Come.

Part secular story, part Christian allegory, A Christmas Carol was written at a time when Victorians were exploring and re-evaluating the traditions of Christmas “old” and “new” – carol singing, the growing use of Christmas trees and the sending / receiving of Christmas cards. Partially inspired by the stories of other popular authors together with his own experiences whilst a boy, A Christmas Carol was the fourth Christmas story Dickens wrote, but its themes of redemption, giving, kindness and the ability to transform the lives of others struck a collective chord among the novella’s readers, one that has continued to be heard down the decades since its publication.

In this very special reading, Seanchai regulars Corwyn Allen, David Abbot, Aoife Lorefield, Dubhna Rhiadra, and Caledonia Skytower are joined by Gloriana Maertens to take us back to Victorian London and this timeless tale.

Seanchai Winter Holiday setting

Monday, December 20th, 19:00: Prometheus

Gyro Muggins reads the final volume of Philip José Farmer’s tale of Father John Carmody, and ex-con who painfully grew a conscience, but who is still not entirely beyond benefiting himself.

Having been tasked with travelling to the planet Wildenwoolly entirely by his own means, and entirely without funds, Carmody find himself travelling with an unexpected – and unwanted – companion, the egg of a large sentient bird called a horowitz. Firmly attached to his chest with no obvious means to remove it, the egg leaves Carmody with no option but to travel to the homeworld of the horowitz.

In Prometheus, Carmody reaches Feral, the planet of the horowitzes – and finds himself cast into the role of a kind of Prometheus. Except that, rather than bringing light to that world, his role is that of an educator bringing moral enlightenment to the bird civilisation.

Tuesday, December 21st

12:00 Noon: Russell Eponym

With music, and poetry in Ceiluradh Glen.

19:00: Festivus

With R. Dismantled.

Seanchai Winter Holiday setting

Wednesday, December 22nd 19:00 Adventures from Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather

Susan had never hung up a stocking . She’d never put a tooth under her pillow in the serious expectation that a dentally inclined fairy would turn up. It wasn’t that her parents didn’t believe in such things. They didn’t need to believe in them. They know they existed. They just wished they didn’t.

There are those who believe and those who don’t. Through the ages, superstition has had its uses; nowhere more so than in the Discworld where it’s helped to maintain the status quo. Anything that undermines superstition has to be viewed with some caution.

There may be consequences, particularly on the last night of the year when the time is turning. When those consequences turn out to be the end of the world, you need to be prepared. You might even want more standing between you and oblivion than a mere slip of a girl – even if she has looked Death in the face on numerous occasions.

Caledonia Skytower read selection from the 20th book in Pratchett’s Discworld series at Seanchai’s Winter Holiday setting.

Seanchai Winter Holiday skating pond

Thursday, December 23rd, 19:00: The Night Before the Night Before

The return of a Seanchai tradition with Kayden Oconnell, Aoife Lorefield, and Caledonia Skytower, Live at Seanchai’s Winter Holiday setting.

Friday, December 24th, 14:00: Christmas Eve Skating Party

With DJ Caledonia Skytower at Seanchai’s Winter Holiday skating pond.

Embedding Second Life 360 images directly into WordPress

via Linden Lab

I recently covered the promotion of the Second Life 360º Capture viewer to de facto release status (see: 360º Capture viewer now de facto SL release viewer), in which I referenced uploading images to platforms such as Flickr. Since that article, I’ve received questions on embedding images from the viewer into blogging platforms such as WordPress or viewing.

While I cannot speak to other platforms, it is possible to directly display 360º images (including those produced via the Second Life viewer and TPVs) directly into WordPress posts / pages. There are actually two ways of doing so:

  • If you are using Automattic’s own platform / hosting via, you can use dedicated shortcode created by Automattic.
  • If you are self-hosting and using, you can either use a dedicated plug-in such as Algori 360 Image, or try the shortcode option (which I believe should work, although I cannot verify, being a user).

For the purposes of this article, I’ll be covering the use of Automattic’s shortcode option. The key points of this approach are:

  • It works with both of the WordPress editors, Classic and Guttenberg (the “block” editor).
  • It supports any suitable 360º image with a .jpg file extension (not just those created with the SL viewer, although the notes below assume you are using the 360º viewer to initially create your 360º image(s).
  • It allows images to be viewed when embedded in a post / page, and has an option to display them in a full-screen mode and returning you to the post / page in which they appear when done.
  • As it works with URLs, it can be used to display 360º images you have uploaded to other platforms, such as Flickr (which I’ve also covered below).
  • It defaults all images to a single image size rather than a more usual equirectangular aspect ratio (2:1), which can look overly large within a post or page, depending on the theme you are using, as per the example below:

Embedding a 360º Image Uploaded to WordPress via the Classic Editor

  1. Use the 360º viewer to take your image.
  2. Upload the image to your WordPress Media Library.
  3. Edit the image via your Media Library, and copy the URL as it is given.
The image URL can be found in the image editor Attachment floater (WordPress Classic dashboard version shown). Manually highlight and clip it to your clipboard or use the Copy URL to Clipboard button. Click for full size, if required.
  1. Edit the post in which you wish to embed the 360º image and position the cursor when you wish the image to appear.
  2. Switch to the Text view (click the tab at the top right of the WordPress text editor), and enter the following shortcode:

Where “path-to-photo” is the 360º image URL.

  1. Switch back to Visual (click the tab at the top right of the WordPress text editor), the shortcode should appear as you’ve typed it.
  2. Go to Checking Your Results, below.

Embedding a 360º Image Uploaded to WordPress via the Guttenberg Editor

  1. Use the 360º viewer to take your image.
  2. Upload the image to your WordPress Media Library.
  3. Edit the image via your Media Library, and copy the URL as it is given.
  4. Create a Shortcode block, and within it type:

Where “path-to-photo” is the 360º image URL.

Checking Your Results

Once you have created the 360º image shortcode:

  • Use the WordPress Preview option to check the layout of your post / page and that the image is properly displayed.
  • Use the Full Screen toggle option in the bottom right corner of the image to expand it to a full screen view and then click the icon again to return to the post / page view.
  • If you see a message similar to “Enter valid URL” or “failed to load the VR scene”, check to made sure you have added the shortcode and / or image URL correctly.

Embedding a 360 image uploaded to Flickr

As noted above, you can also use the WordPress shortcode option to display360º images you’ve uploaded to Flickr directly into your WordPress posts / pages, where they will play when clicked. Here’s how:

  1. Upload a 360º image you’ve captured to your Flickr photo stream.
  2. Click on the image in Flickr to display it.
  3. Click the Share Photo arrow icon at the bottom right of the screen.
  4. This will open a floater with a series of share options. Click on BBCode.
  5. The floater will display URL information. click on the information to highlight it, then paste it into a suitable editor. It will look like the example below.
Flickr image BBCode – note the element highlighted in yellow
  1. Trim the URL to just leave the part highlighted in yellow that starts with “https://live.static” and ends with “jpg”.
  2. Follow the instructions above to create the 360º image shortcode using either the Classic or Guttenberg editor, replacing “path to photo” with the Flickr image URL from the BBCode.

The image below is an example of a 360º image uploaded to Flickr and embedded into this page using the above method, and which can also be seen here.

And that’s it! For any additional information, see: Embedding 360° Photos and Virtual Reality (VR) Content via WordPress.