Songs for Ukraine in Second Life

Songs for Ukraine

Songs for Ukraine is a series of concerts being organised by Jenaia Morane in support of the people of Ukraine as they face the on-going aggression from the Russian government. The idea is to encourage Second Life users to help support Ukrainians through a peaceful venue featuring live music and where they can learn about ways and means to make direct donations to recognised international organisations on the web that are engaged in providing humanitarian support and assistance to Ukraine.

The concerts are being held every Saturday within a venue that recreates a section of an underground (subway) station  – such as the Kyiv Metro – where many Ukrainian people have to live and shelter from Russian bombs, shells and missiles.

The space is small and a little crowded but full of hope. It’s designed to give people a taste of what the Ukrainians are experiencing, including the incredible joy, hope, and courage generated by their music.

– Jenaia Morane

The next concert is the series will take place on Saturday, April 16th, commencing at noon SLT and will run through until 15:00 SLT.  The musicians participating are:

  • Denny Mac (noon to 13:00).
  • Max Kleene (13:00 to 14:00).
  • Raspbury Rearwin (14:00 to 15:00).

Joining the local group will provide information on future concerts.

Songs for Ukraine – music stage (dancing also available)

Those wishing to provide practical assistance to the people of Ukraine are encouraged to do so via the following resources:

  • The Ukrainian Red Cross – The Red Cross is often on the front lines of war serving to help those affected by armed conflict. The Ukrainian Red Cross is currently assisting people inside the country by aiding evacuations and providing shelter, food and basic necessities.
  • World Central Kitchen – established in 2010 WCK),deploys chefs directly to disaster areas to provide hot meals to those in need. WCK is currently working in Ukraine and along its borders in neighbouring countries.
  • GlobalGiving Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund – GlobalGiving is raising funds to support locally-led organisations throughout Ukraine. Any donations to the fund will provide essentials for refugees, from health and psychological support to education and economic assistance.
  • Vostok SOS – a Ukraine-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) dedicated to assisting areas of conflict within Ukraine. The Vostok SOS is currently accepting donations to help aid local people, evacuate the vulnerable and provide trauma support after shelling. Credit card payments are also accepted through Libereco, a Vostok SOS partner.
  • Voices of Children (VOC) – created in 2015, VOC has been providing psychological support to children affected by war in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine through art therapy, video storytelling, mobile psychologists and more – all of which is now being provided to children across the country.
  • Kyiv School of Economics – has created an initiative to provide equipment (protective wear such as kevlar vests and protective helmets) to relief and emergency organisations in the front lines (e.g. State Emergency Service of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Paramedic Association and the Ukrainian Territorial Defence Force).
  • Humanity & Inclusion (H&() – an international non-governmental organisation supporting people with disabilities in areas of conflict, poverty and disaster. H&I workers have arrived in Ukraine to assess how it can help distribute medical equipment, provide post-operative care for the injured and provide mental health support. Donations will go toward supplying emergency kits and rehabilitation and mental health support sessions.

Additional resources and means to support the people of Ukraine can be obtained via a note card provided at the event venue – look for the easels with the image of Paddington Bear on them both at the landing point and in the subway venue.

Songs for Ukraine – the above-ground landing point and dance area

So, why not hop along to Songs for Ukraine and enjoy the music – and don’t forget to visit the various resources to offer practical support for Ukraine.

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ALS Awareness Week 2022 in Second Life

Harvey Memorial Ensemble ALS Awareness Week 2022

The 2022 Harvey Memorial Ensemble ALS Awareness Week opens its doors on Sunday, February 20th and runs through until Sunday, February 27th, inclusive.  Organised by members of Supporto Italiano, the event is dedicated to the memory of ALS victim and Second Life resident Harvey22 Albatros, and focuses on music, fun and raising funds for AISLA, the Associazone Italiana Sclerosi Laterale Amiotrofica for research into, and treatment of, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Sometimes also referred to as motor neurone disease (MND) or by the synonyms Lou Gehrig’s disease and Charcot disease, ALS is a specific disorder that involves the death of neurons that control voluntary muscles. For about 90-95% of all diagnosed cases, the precise cause of the disease is unknown; for the remaining 5-10% of diagnosed cases, it is inherited from the sufferer’s parents. There is no known cure, and symptoms generally first become apparent around the age of 60 (or 50 in inherited cases). The average survival from onset to death is three to four years. In Europe and the United States, the disease affects about 2 people per 100,000 per year.

Harvey Memorial Ensemble ALS Awareness Week 2022

The Ensemble officially kicks-off at 14:00 SLT on Sunday, February 20th, 2022, with a live set by singer Soso, and will conclude with a final music set commencing 16:00 SLT on Sunday, February 27th. Between these two times, the event will offer daily mixes of live performer and DJ sets, commencing at 07:00 SLT and running through until 18:00 SLT daily, giving plenty of opportunities for Second Life Residents from around the globe to drop in.

Whilst visiting, people are encouraged to make donations to AISLA in any one of a number of ways:

  • By clicking the donations kiosks in front of the event stage.
  • By clicking on the AISLA information boards to go directly to AISLA’s donations web page, where credit / debit cards or a PayPal accounts can be used to make a direct donation.
  • By purchasing a Paola Mills tee-shirt design from the vendors on the west side of the arena, between the 2D and 3D art displays.
  • By purchasing one of the special Harvey Memorial Rabbit paintings by Terrygold (L$200 each) – these can be found on the west side of the events schedule board.
  • By entering the Ensemble Week prize draw to win a MotoDesign Chopper motorcycle  – the draw is a limited entry event (90 numbers), and located on the east side of the events schedule board – thewinning draw will be made in Sunday, February 27th, 2022.
  • By participating in the Art Auction.

100% of L$ donations and payments, with all winning bid payments from the Silent Art Auction, will be forwarded to AISLA a the conclusion of the event.

Harvey Memorial Ensemble ALS Awareness Week 2022: 2D Artists

The Art Auction has been expanded this year to feature  a total of 16 2D and 3D artists. It runs from the opening of the event through until closure on Sunday, February 27th, when the winning bids will be ascertained.

The 2D artists participating are: GlitterPrincess Destiny, Nur Moo, Blip Mumfuzz, LeMelonRouge Onyett, Terrygold, Tarozaemon Rossini, Maddina Tremor, and Karma Weyman. Each has donated three pieces of art that are being auction as unique, single lots (so people are bidding on all three pieces by an artist rather than the individual pieces).

The 3D artists have donated a single piece each, and comprise: Giovanna Cerise, Mistero Hifeng, Livio Korobase, Bryn Oh, Barry Richez, Eupalinos Ugajin, Ciottolina Xue and Moki Yuitza.

Harvey Memorial Ensemble ALS Awareness Week 2022: 3D Artists

The Harvey Memorial Ensemble ALS Awareness Week in Second Life is always an engaging and fun festival, with even more added to the mix this year yo make hopping along and participating even more worthwhile – so why not take the time during the week to do so?

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2022 ALS Awareness Week: a call to artists

Music stage, Harvey Memorial ALS Awareness Week, 2021

Every year the Italian community in Second Life comes together to host the Harvey Memorial Ensemble ALS Awareness Week, a festival of music and art dedicated to raising funds for AISLA, the Associazone Italiana Sclerosi Laterale Amiotrofica for research into, and treatment of, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), in memory of Second Life resident Harvey22 Albatros, who passed away from the disease.

First held in 2015, the festival has raised over L$2.8 million (roughly €9,000 / US $10,267), and this year it will take place from 13:00 SLT on Sunday, February 20th and run through until 17:00 SLT Sunday February 27th, 2022.

A 2D artist display area for The Harvey Memorial Festival 2022. Credit: Sniper Siemens

As noted above, the Festival offers a mix of music entertainment and art, and this year, event organisers, Sniper Siemens and the Supporto Italiano group, want to expand the latter by presenting an art auction / exhibition. To this end, they’ve  asked me to help spread the word.

In short, they are seeking donations of art for the auction / exhibition from both 2D and 3D artists in Second Life, with the requirements summarised below:

  • 3D artists:
    • Artists will have a 10m x 10m area in which to place their art.
    • Each artist can use a maximum of 300 LI for their art.
    • A maximum of 8 display spaces are available.
  • 2D artists:
    • Artists can donate up to 3 pieces of art.
    • Art should be suitable for display on an easel (see example image)
    • Easel can be supplied, if required.
    • 1024 resolution recommended for submissions.
    • 8 display spaces are currently available.

In addition:

  • Art must be submitted to Sniper Siemens no later than 3 days prior to the festival’s opening, and will be placed on display by the organisers.
  • All art will be displayed through the week of the festival in a display area directly adjacent to and surrounding three sides of the main music and entertainment area, where it can be easily viewed by those attending the event.
  • Bidding will open on February 20th, and close on the afternoon of February 27th, when the highest bidder for each piece of art will be charged for, and receive, the art.

All questions / enquires about the art auction should be directed to Sniper Siemens.

3D art from the Harvey Memorial ALS Awareness Week, 2020 (Solkide Auer (l) and Cica Ghost (r)) 

About ALS

Sometimes also referred to as motor neurone disease (MND) or by the synonyms Lou Gehrig’s disease and Charcot disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a specific disorder that involves the death of neurons that control voluntary muscles. For about 90-95% of all diagnosed cases, the precise cause of the disease is unknown; for the remaining 5-10% of diagnosed cases, it is inherited from the sufferer’s parents. There is no known cure, and symptoms generally first become apparent around the age of 60 (or 50 in inherited cases). The average survival from onset to death is three to four years. In Europe and the United States, the disease affects about 2 people per 100,000 per year.

About AISLA

AISLA Onlus was founded in 1983 with the aim of becoming the Italian national reference centre for the protection, assistance and treatment of ALS patients, promoting information on the disease and stimulating the competent structures to take adequate and qualified care of the sick.

Headquartered in both Rome and Milan, the Association is recognised by the Italian Ministry of Health, and currently operates 64 centres in 19 regions across Italy working with the support for local doctors, psychologists, physiatrists and consultants to provide support for ALS victims and their families (medical support, information, and general assistance). In addition, the Association supports research into the causes of ALS, and provides training in helping and caring for victims of the disease.

A Haunted Hollow in Second Life

Haunted Hallow 2021

If you fancy a weekend of spookiness and horror stories, then be sure to head over to Haunted Hollow, presented by Elite Equestrian, Seanchai Library, Tarot @ Teatime, and Virtual Community Radio.

Once Upon a Time there was an Enchanted Hollow somewhere between the Hudson River Valley and the land of the Brothers Grimm. It was here, under the glow of the Hunter’s Moon, that the tales gathered. They settled in as cooling breezes whirled the falling leaves, nestling between the autumnal heights and that place where the brook waters blend with the salty sea. Mind your step! In the centuries between this moment and when these stories were born, some few of them may have begun to twist, just a very little.

The introduction to Haunted Hollow

Having opened on October 7th, the event actually runs through until the end of the month in a celebration of all that we associate with Halloween. I was asked not to blog about the event until after October 13th so as to give members of the organising groups the opportunity to explore and appreciate the sky platform setting for the event, although there is still the rest of the moment in which to enjoy things.

Haunted Hollow 2021

Highlights of the event include:

  • Not one, not two, but THREE treasure hunts.
  • Pony rides with adorable free gifts.
  • Participating in Free Bird’s annual live trick or treat event.
  • Presentation of author Roger Zelazny’s A Night in the Lonesome October.
  • Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree.
  • Special story sessions, and “A Grimm Brothers Halloween” on the day itself.
  • Two Live Tarot@Teatime episodes.
  • Live Tarot Readings.
  • A dedicated “Spooky Music Stream” provided by Virtual Community Radio.
  • Three viewing rooms to stop and watch short features on the theme of death and transition.

As well as these activities. visitors to the Haunted Hallow can take the rambler tours (aerial or ground based) of the Hollow, or stop by for one of the trick or treat events hosted by Elite Equestrian. Join Seanchai Library as they present hours of stories for the season, including an encore presentation of Ray Bradbury’s “The Halloween Tree.” Explore the caves and discover video screening spots.

Haunted Hallow, 2021

Details of activities can be found at the landing point and via the event’s calendar. So, if you fancy a spooky visit or sitting down to a tale of terror, do be sure to hop along over the weened or through the rest of the month.

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A Spoonful of Sugar 2021 in Second Life

via the Spoonful of Sugar website

Currently underway in Second Life through until Saturday, October 2nd, 2021 is the annual Spoonful of Sugar festival in support of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)).

Also known as Doctors Without Borders, MSF was founded in Paris, France in 1971 as a non-profit, self-governed medical humanitarian organisation delivering emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare around the globe, based on need, irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation.

Since its founding, MSF has grown to a movement of 24 associations, bound together as MSF International, based in Switzerland. Thousands of health professionals, logistical and administrative staff – most of whom are hired locally – work on programmes in some 70 countries worldwide to provide medical and social care and support for a staggering 10+ million people annually. Much of this work is focused on third world countries where the likes of tuberculosis, malaria and AIDS continue to be major health threats to people of all ages.

How donations to SOS Help Every 3 seconds, someone in the world dies of malaria, many of them children. A donation to SOS of just L$100 gives one child a potentially live-saving treatment against the disease. 

In addition, MSF is often one of the first organisations to have feet on the ground following a disaster, and is also to be found carrying out vital work in work-torn countries such as Yemen, where over 91,000 people have been killed and many more wounded, injured and / or displaced in a 6-year-old war than gains little world-wide attention.

Spoonful of Sugar 2021

Since its foundation in 2016, Spoonful of Sugar has year-on-year consistently built on the amount it raises for MSF, with 2020 seeing the event contribute US $27,879. In all, and up to the opening of this year’s festival, Spoonful of Sugar had raised over US $80,000 for MSF, where over 80% of all funds raised by the organisation in turn go directly into its social and medical programmes, the remaining 19.5% being split between administration and management (4.5%) and global fund-raising initiatives by MSF (15%).

The 2021 Spoonful of Sugar opened on September 18th, 2021 with a special message from Greta Doucette, the Digital Marketing Associate for MSF Peer-to-Peer and Streaming Programmes, followed by the start of the events rolling music and entertainment schedule. Covering a total of six regions, the event combines shopping, entertainment, fashion and breedables in and event that has something for everyone.

The selected theme for Spoonful of Sugar 2021 is Mexico, with the shopping regions each featuring a little town in gay colours, complete with fund-raising kiosks along the broad streets. Some of these are of the “traditional” click-to-pay variety, others are more novel, offering the opportunity to buy special items such as the Astralia Taco Party set or grab yourself a Mexican recipes cook book.

Spoonful of Sugar 2021: fund-raising kiosks

All of the five shopping regions can be reached via a teleport station at the main landing point for the event (further stations can be found in each of the shopping regions). The landing point also provides information on the the festival and offers the opportunity to join the event’s chupacabra hunt that is packed with rewards from leading creators, and offers s free plushie on joining the event group.

Also to be found at the landing point is extensive information on a part of MSF’s work that is year-on-year becoming increasingly significant: dealing with the humanitarian crisis of forcibly displaced people. Those who are,  due to war, political or religious extremism, gang violence, terror, or other life-threatening circumstance, and unable to live safely within their preferred parts of their homelands (some 48 million people), or have been forced to flee their homeland entirely (30.3 million). At a time when those of certain politic stripes present the displaced and the homeless as some form of blight on society, the MSF information at Spoonful of Sugar is an important reminder of the reality of the plight of 82.4 million people world-wide.

I’m here to tell you that nobody wants to leave home. They love their cities, their neighbourhoods. They love speaking their own language. The people fleeing their home countries are running because their home countries aren’t safe. They are fleeing for their lives.

– Dr. Ahmed Abdalzarag, MSF neurosurgeon

Spoonful of Sugar: MSF information area

As such, Spoonful of Sugar is an event well worth the time taken to visit. Event if you don’t find anything to buy in the shopping regions, the donation kiosks will welcome your Linden dollars, and you can be absolutely sure that your money is going to a very worth cause..

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CVL celebrates 15 years in Second Life

Community Virtual Library, Second Life

Sunday, April 18th will see the Community Virtual Library celebrate its fifteenth anniversary with the opening of their new in-world library building and resource centre.

Founded in 2007, the Community Virtual Library (CVL) carries the tag line of “a real library in a virtual world”, and is affiliated with the American Library Association. As a library, it includes all of the facilities you might expect: the ability to select and read books on a wide range of subjects (courtesy of the Gutenberg project) and categorised as one would find in a physical world library; a reading room, resources to help with research, links to world literature presented by country / language that reflects the international nature of Second Life, and so on.

However, CVL is far more than just a virtual reproduction of a physical world library – it is a community hub offering opportunities and resources for learning, resource-sharing, and exploration. It offers facilities and presents opportunities for CVL members and affiliated groups to mount exhibitions and presentations and hold events and meetings. It also connects with library communities throughout Second Life, bringing together digital citizens with the information and resources they seek, and provides support to educators and educational organisations.

Community Virtual Library

CVL’s Full region provides a range of facilities operated directly by CVL and also by affiliated groups, offering a rich mix of literature and arts, and is a core member of the IRC 501(c)3 non-profit New Media Arts Inc. In addition to a presence in Second Life, CVL has also extended into various virtual worlds utilising OpenSimulator, including 3DWebWorldz, Avacon, CybaLOUNGE, and Kitely, either by establishing a dedicated facility within these worlds or by partnering with libraries already operating within them.

To mark CVL’s 15 years of operation and the opening of the new library building, there will be a special 2-hour event visitors and CVL members alike are invited to attend. Commencing at 12:00 noon SLT, on Sunday, April 18th, 2021, it will include opportunities to tour the new building and hear from staff and volunteers about CVL’s history and future plans.

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Community Virtual Library (Cookie, rated Moderate)