A Panacea for those who miss snow in Second Life

Panacea, January 2021

As is often the way, the changing of the year sees a lot of people in the northern hemisphere turn their thoughts away from winter and towards the promise of spring. With region designers, this often means moving to replace the snowy looks they may have set out on their regions for the holiday period with something with more colour and the promise of warmth.

Of course, this doesn’t happen overnight – some regions can continue to offer snowy scenes well into February and perhaps March. However, as January does move to February and thoughts of spring bubble up even more, it can mean that those who do like walking through a snowy white blanket or celebrating falling snow or taking to ice skates or sleds and are starting to miss opportunities to do so – or who simply like to witness / photograph the scarecrow form of trees without leaves, standing with arms upraised -, MoonStone (Hecatolite) and Louise (Sallielouise) may have just the right Panacea.

Panacea, January 2021

Occupying a Homestead region, this is a setting that – for now – remains caught in the grip of winter, although the thaw is showing signs from gradually breaking through.

Laid out along an east-west orientation (don’t be fooled by the map tile, that is still awaiting post-Uplift update at the time of writing), this is a rugged place. The highlands sit predominantly to the west:  hills that while not high, are already showing signs of greening as the days lengthen and the air warms. The lower slopes, however, are still wreathed in snow, some of which are are under curtains of snow that is falling gently, testament to the fact that winds across the island are low.

Panacea, January 2021

As the land rolls down towards the eastern coast, so it is cut by water that almost splits it in two, it extends as far as the green-topped hills that form an open-ended ring around it. But is this a river that is flowing out from the hills – or an inlet of water that, having forcing its way around a little eastern island, found the line of least resistance to cut its way deep into the landscape?, as suggested by the water’s direction of flow within the semi-iced channel.

The land is also cut by a second channel reaching to the west side hills; however, it is still largely frozen, with two large tables of ice sitting against the step slopes of the hills holding it in. One of these appears thick enough to withstand a complete thaw: is is home to a wooden bench that would not be any fun to try and haul by up the precipitous slopes.

Panacea, January 2021

Scattered across the island are a number of buildings and structures. These include two cabins – a blocky one sitting up among the hills, and a more traditional steep-roofed one encompassing a single room, sitting on the north-east headland, close to the rocky coast  and accompanied by a small folly. A lighthouse sits on the little eastern island guarding the river mouth / inlet, and beyond it, on the south-east headland, a gazebo provides a covering for the local ice rink.

Elsewhere, cafés offer places to enjoy a warm drink, while paths and trails winding through the land and the hills, watched over by the local wildlife. Most of the latter are birds, waterfowl, turkeys, squirrels and deer – although you might want to keep a wary eye on the wolves and polar bears that reside here. None of them appear to be aggressive, but you never can tell!

Panacea, January 2021
A simple yet carefully detailed winter setting, with sleds available for those wanted to have a little fun whilst a box at the ice rink will provide skates, Panacea offers a photogenic visit, and is also suitable for those who have a wearable horse and would like a winter’s ride. In this it’s name might also be taken as a pointer to the region offering a chance to sooth whatever stresses you might be facing.

With thanks to Shawn Shakespeare for the tip.

SLurl Details

  • Pancea (Ember Vale, rated Adult)

 

2021 SUG meeting week #3 summary

Angels Nest, November 2020 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, January 12th, 2021 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting.

Server Deployments

At the time of writing,the release notes for the week had yet to be produced. However, Rider Linden described the RC release planned for the week thus:

So.  We rolled SLS today with the same version that we had put up on RC last week. We don’t have any plans to roll a new RC this week, but we’re targeting one for next week.

– Rider Linden

SL Viewer

There have been no changes to the current crop of official viewers, leaving them as:

  • Current release viewer version 6.4.11.551711, formerly Cachaça Maintenance RC viewer promoted on November 12 – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
      • Project Jelly viewer (Jellydoll updates), version 6.4.12.553798, January 7, 2021.
      • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version 6.4.12.553437, January 7, 2021.
      • Dawa Maintenance RC Viewer, version 6.4.12.553723, December 15.
  • Project viewers:
    • Love Me Render (LMR) 5 project viewer, version 6.4.12.553511, issued on January 7, 2021.
    • Simple Cache project viewer, version 6.4.11.551403, November 12.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, October 26.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, November 22, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16, 2019.

In Brief

  • Map Tiles Fix: this is now “in progress”, but ETA on when map tile updates will resume . “normal” operations.
  • Lindex data feeds: are reported as being “overloaded”, regularly generating status 502, 503, and 504 errors, and sometimes returning blank documents for both in-world requests and when accessing the Lindex via the web. This is another issue LL are aware of.
  • There are assorted reporting of region performance (FPS rates and % scripts run) falling. It’s not clear if the issue is across-the-board or limited to specific channels (e.g. the Main SLS channel).

 

Art from a lockdown in Second Life

The Glinka Gallery: Lockdown Botanica

Idrial Difference (Idrial Ghost) is the owner of, and creator for, _-FAS-_, the store of plants & fantasy avatar attachments inspired by nature. He is also a 2D and 3D artist, and his most recent exhibition recently opened at The Glinka Gallery, operated and curated by Wolfgang Glinka.

Lockdown Botanica is a series of images from the physical world he produced during 2020’s first pandemic lockdown period, mixed with some of his 3D mesh creations.

As the title of the exhibition might suggest, the images presented within the exhibit are all of plants, flowers, leaves, fruit and  – with one piece – birds. All are beautifully presented in soft watercolours, with the majority of the pieces focused on a single fruit or flower that is presented against a pure white background that encourages the eye to  focus purely on the shape and colour of the subject without any distraction.

The Glinka Gallery: Lockdown Botanica

This approach elevates each piece from being a simple painting of a fruit or flower to being akin to a portrait as engaging as any portrait of a person or avatar, with the subtleties of form and colour playing as important a part in defining each subject as readily as the lines and expression on a face in a human portrait.

The two exceptions to this approach are Grapes Portrait, and Garden Tales. Both are again offered with plain white backgrounds, directing the eye and mind to focus on their subjects, the small grouping of the former giving a suggestion of life through its familiar depiction of grapes, the latter clearly suggestive of life and vitality through the presence of the two Cyanistes caeruleus.

Whwn viewing these pieces, with their lone focus on a specific item, rather than depicting each as sprays of flowers in a vase or a selection of fruits in a bowl, that brings to mind thoughts of the lockdown in which they were created. There is a sense of isolation and separation about each piece that is reflective of the sense of being separated from friends and family. Again, in this, both Grapes Portrait and Garden Tales stand a little apart, offering a view of times in the future when we will again be able to gather together with friends (Grapes Portrait) or spend time with someone we hold particularly close, but have been unable to see (Garden Tales).

The Glinka Gallery: Lockdown Botanica

Rounded out by 3D cacti, water lilies, tree stumps and more (make sure you touch the eggplant for a gift), Lockdown Botanica is an engaging exhibition by a creator and artist.

SLurl Details

A return to Armum in Second Life

Amrum, January 2021

In 2019,  we made our first visit to Amrum, the Homestead region presented for public enjoyment by Sunrise (Sunrise Avalanche) – see Amrum in Second Life. A lot has happened since then – most notably the fact that Armum has relocated, and has undergone at least one makeover. Back in 2019, our first visit to the region came at the suggestion of Shawn Shakespeare  (SkinnyNilla), so there is a certain serendipity in the fact a return visit in January 2021 also came after Shawn nudged me about it.

Sympathetic, charming, cosy and photogenic island…with many hideaways…time for feelings…dancing…time for two…waves..lonely beaches…riding….dreaming…meeting with friends…talking….

– from Arum’s About Land description

Amrum, January 2021

The current iteration of Armum contains a number of echoes of the version we visited just under two years ago: it retains its Adult region rating and the hint of BDSM activities (although not in a manner liable to put people off visiting), whilst the overall look of the setting retains the idyllic feel of a near-tropical region. Its open spaces means it remains welcoming to those who want to wear a horse and take a ride around the island.

The landing point lies towards the middle of the region and immediately reveals its sandy, open nature. The entire island is low-lying, the sand broken by scrub grasses, shrubs and relatively young Terminalia catappa, aka sea (or beach) almond. From the landing point, visitors are free to roam where they will.

Amrum, January 2021

The two main buildings on the island make for obvious destinations, each being a short walk from the landing point. The nerarer (and larger) is clearly visible to the north, and forms a large blockhouse style building. Flat-roofed and relatively high-ceilinged, its interior offers a cool relief from the outdoor warmth, the three rooms it provides simply furnished whilst still presenting a cosy retreat in which to enjoy the company of others, with further seating available on the outside deck that separates the house from a rectangular outdoor swimming pool.

To the south-east, the second house sits partially screened from the landing point by a line of sea almonds. It occupies roughly the same footprint as the first house, but offers more interior space that, thanks to the interior windows between the rooms, has a very open, airy feel. It is also somewhat more cosily furnished – although BDSM items form a more obvious part of is décor together with noticeably items and images.

Amrum, January 2021

This second house additionally shares the south-eastern end of the island with  a single-room cabin that sits as a sauna / bath house, whilst the shallow cove they both face makes for a little private beach bracketed by rocky outcrops extending into the water.

Further around the west side of the island, and again a short walk from the landing point, sits a trio of little beach houses that each offer a place to relax, while further still along the sweep of coastal sands and facing due west, sits another single-room cabin with an open deck for music and dancing sitting alongside it.

Amrum, January 2021

The buildings and decks are not the only places to sit;  there are numerous outdoor opportunities as well – beach chairs, hammocks, and off-shore folly on its own sand bank, blankets, and so on, some of which are watched over by the local sheep. All offer opportunities for people to relax and unwind within the island’s boundaries. There are also various details to be found, indoors and out, that further help retain Amrum’s reputation as a photogenic spot, with the entire setting nicely rounded-out by a suitable sound scape.

SLurl Details

  • Amrum (Secret Love, rated Adult)

2021 viewer release summaries week #2

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

Updates for the week ending Sunday, January 17th

This summary is generally published 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 for purposes of length, TPV test viewers, preview / beta viewers / nightly builds are generally not recorded in these summaries.

Official LL Viewers

  • Current release viewer version 6.4.11.551711, formerly Cachaça Maintenance RC viewer promoted on November 12th – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • o updates.
  • Project viewers:
    • Love Me Render (LMR) 5 project viewer, version 6.4.12.553511, issued on January 7th, 2021.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V6-style

  • No updates.

V1-style

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No updates.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

Inlanders, gifts, sheriffs and Poe

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.

Monday, January 18th, 19:00: The Dark Bright Water

Gyro Muggins reads Patricia Wrightson’s second novel charting the life of Wirrun of the Inlanders.

First encountered in The Ice Is Coming, when Wirrun set out on a quest to overcome the rise of the ancient enemy of Australia, the ice-bearded Ninya, the young janitor now has a reputation as a Hero among the Inlanders (Wrightson’s fantasy view of the Australian Aboriginals). It’s not a title he appreciates; he would much rather just get back to his janitorial work.

But the spirits of the land are restless: Yunggamurra, a river spirit is lost, so uses her siren-like powers of song to draw to herself those who might might take her home. Her singing come to Wirrun’s ears, and those of an elderly aboriginal emissary, and he realises he must journey to the very heartlands of Australia to better understand what he is feeling.

This he does, with the old emissary and his friend Ularra. Once there, he discovers that a storm is indeed rising within the domain of the spirits, and he is uniquely placed to both find Yunggamurra and prevent the coming storm. And so his new adventure begins.

Tuesday, January 19th

12:00 Noon: Russell Eponym, Live in the Glen

Music, poetry, and stories in a popular weekly session.

19:00: Ursuala Le Guin’s Gifts

Scattered among poor, desolate farms, the clans of the Uplands possess gifts. Wondrous gifts: the ability—with a glance, a gesture, a word—to summon animals, bring forth fire, move the land. Fearsome gifts: They can twist a limb, chain a mind, inflict a wasting illness.

The Uplanders live in constant fear that one family might unleash its gift against another. Two young people, friends since childhood, decide not to use their gifts. One, a girl, refuses to bring animals to their death in the hunt. The other, a boy, wears a blindfold lest his eyes and his anger kill.

In this beautifully crafted story, Ursula K. Le Guin writes of the proud cruelty of power, of how hard it is to grow up, and of how much harder still it is to find, in the world’s darkness, gifts of light.

With Willow Moonfire.

Wednesday, January 20th 19:00: In Walt We Trust

More from Craig Johnson’s Sheriff Longmire Series with Kayden Oconnell and Caledonia Skytower.

Thursday, January 14th: Edgar Allan Poe

Part of a special week-long celebration marking the anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe – see Virtually celebrating Edgar Allen Poe.