Friday, 30 March 2007

Vincent van Gogh 36/221/66

Vincent van Gogh was born in the Netherlands and died in France. Painted in both countries. Tressis Virtual Worlds in Amsterdam opened an exhibition of his work last night at 24.00 PDT in SL. This exhibition is special as it exposes stillives, portraits and landscapes that rarely can be seen and also shows the paintings in a new and exciting way. The walls of the museum are transparent and the time zone is set to midnight, which means that you will see the paintings in a dark environment with stars behind it. Also exciting is the 3 - dimensional presentation of some of the highlights of this selection. The design of the museum itself is a thrill. Do not deny yourself to be able to say later that you were there too. Souvenir hunters will have the opportunity to buy 3-d objects related to the subject of some of the paintings. I bought a vase full of sunflowers, to be admired in my office.

Thursday, 29 March 2007

James Deavin 109/34/47

AKA Jen Bekman. Photographer! Both in real life and in SL. We share that passion. He is a professional, I am not. He has two galleries, one in SL, one in RL. He shows RL in SL, SL in RL. Got it? Visit his website to read his statements in both worlds. Google either James or Jen. You will find him.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Usability Center

This center, on Usability Island, shows a number of devices that come in handy when starting a training- and/or teaching center. They also exhibit a small number of games that are well made and fun to play. The carpet that tells your height is extremely handy.

Photography tutorial

SL is a wonderful place to work on your creative skills, taking a good picture for instance. How do you make a close - up, use light, a low shot or seeing the world in birds - eye view. This and more can be learned seeing Torley Linden's tutorial.

Orientation Island 121/90/21

Newbies like me do best to visit this island to get acquainted with the basic skills of an inhabitant of SL. At some point the instruction says: FLY. You better do so, first of all the path stops and second, you will end up in ditch if you don't. More tasks to come while you go.

Holocaust 33/101/89

The pictures shown here are are not easy to cope with. It is a shocking reminder that we are not really doing much better now. Maybe a bit better, but not enough and that is why there is still a need for this exhibition. Small but with a tremendous impact on me, .......again, even after so many years.

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Text 100 Island 201/77/91

Along this boulevard you will find a handful of bays. In every bay you can play one or more plays like settlers, backgammon, checkers, chess, a puzzle, some dices, etc. Best to go in pairs as most are boardgames for two or more. Do not miss the 'build-the-highest-tower' contest.

Commonwealth Island 192/84/316

I am sitting on a platform, with a huge box around me with the earth picture textured around me. To understand what you see I quote the builders of this: The GeoGlobe takes feeds as input and displays them as <..> headlines. These are then placed with colored dots onto the appropriate place in the world where the news is happening. Zooming in close to the dot will display the headline appropriate for that location.

Dowden 123/212/48

This building houses an exhibition of Long Beach artists, opened in May, 2006. It is still there to be admired. The owner of the building does anthropological research in SL and is working on a book about it. He is away for research in Indonesia till April this year. Some people!!

Yelas 197/219/31

Have you ever seen a windmill/turbine from this angle? No, well you 'll be able to see it all in Yelas where an elevator will bring you up to this level (not back, btw) At floor level you will find a half - open model of it, showing its components in detail.

Kanin 206/96/311

Probably the highest point in SL. It is owned by Governor Linden. I think it is a ski - resort for employees of the Linden Office. It is way out of other places and completely empty except for a few handy items, like a ski - lift. Nice and sunny there!

Immaculate 199/207/39

It is all about chemistry: organic and anorganic. Not my favourite subject but a lot of people will like to stand next their chromosomes. I got the T - shirt anyway and there is a coffeecup to take away too. Freshly openend BSC has another building on Mendel. Never heard of him, better have a look there too! Oh, please do something about the elevator, if you forget to enter you 're lost for ever.

Monday, 26 March 2007

NMIT 105/244/23

The Garden of Learning on Eduisland is a natural, quiet place. No big pompous buildings or overdone auditoriums. I was looking for gadgets, noticeboards, laptops, whiteboards or objects to touch, but none of those there. A tent and some seats, plenty of room to sit around it too. Do we need more than this to learn, to teach?

Commonwealth Island 184/96/21

I will travel from Vancouver to the Rockies and back in May. My camper might turn up any minute in this park on SL. Commonwealth Island is about building a community in Second Life focused around organizations working for social equity and environmental sustainability. Poppies there too, my favourite flower. We will leave them there, picking them is useless.

Palmetto Library I 56/182/24

Cybrary City on InfoIsland holds a number of libraries. This one has a very tasteful design and feels very comfortable. The bookshelves on the background link to the on-line catalogues of the university. I do cannot imagine yet what the added value is here. The chat with peers maybe, it is certainly not made for teaching. There aren't too many chairs either.

NPL Exhibition 205/90/23

This UK National Physical Laboratory shows an exhibition around colour blindness. In a rather old fashioned decorated room you can swap from one colour-blindness to another. Although most people know what it is, hardly anyone can literally envisage what it is like. Here you can and while you are there take a copy of Newton's apple tree as well.

Info Island II 146/231/34

Info Island is one of the many scientific centres in SL. It has a nice interface to their website: for which you can register while visiting the center. The available HUD tells you more on what you will find there. An exciting promise.

Support for healing 172/91/67

This lovely green dragon and a splendid garden are there to comfort you, make you feel much more secure and healthy. SFH aims to supply support to those in need for help, and who is not these days. The website claims over a 1000 members all over the world, but not many of them visit this Eden in SL.

Home, but sad 116/60/105

I got my numbrella. That and the wellies are the only proof I travelled Numbakulla. I didn't succeed in healing the Pot. Got wet twice. I did my best though and tried to find the pieces. It is a splendid game, built with care and joy. Some splendid views.

Sunday, 25 March 2007

Quest I 194/41/23

So far so good, I can send messages out, so do not worry. This world is magical, but some doors do not open without a key or something. I am wandering around, without aim or direction. No doubt I will find somebody that can help me.

Numbakulla 194/41/23

Am I courageous enough to go into this garden of mysteries? This game starts well with excellent information on the who and the what. The note on the floor is for those who came after the person that left it. The task is clear: please continue my work! I have got my notebook on me and about to enter the game. I will keep you posted. Come and find me when not back in 24 hours!

Fuchsia 216/95/25

Governor Linden created a nice spot for a picnic, a field trip, a walk or just lying in the sun, watching the sky. Fuchsia is also a sandbox a where you got plenty of space to try to build really large objects without a lot of interference from others or other objects. Allthough nice stuff, it is a pity they do not take it with them when leaving.

Wales 117/47/34

Search for Wales and you will end up in Fred Kenorlands' domain. I 'd seen a picture on his dog somewhere before but now I met the little rascal myself. He' s a pretty and kind dog, doesn't bark and is fond of children. Fred' s place is a good visit as it holds an info-centre to the mountains of Snowdonia as well. You'll find the inevitable pub there too.

Saturday, 24 March 2007

Intemptesta Nox 200/52/77

It is a mock-up, sure, but how many of us have seen this in RL. Does its atmosphere and detail bring you in the fantasy world of the opera? Could not any minute a virtuoso like Rubinstein take the stool? It must have been divine to finish building this.


Mysterious beauty. A wonderful spot in SL, more or less based on the Phantom of the Opera. You will find a little inn, with a terrace in something of a village. It all gives you an impression on how 19th century Europe might have looked.

Galaxy 227/89/301

This is not a lifebuoy. Most of us joined the Starfleet academy once. and some still cannot get away from it. Here you can walk through this world yourself. It is hanging out there, waiting for you to buy you' re way into the future. The really modern thing is a money machine and you might need it there too!

Friday, 23 March 2007

ABC Island 130/137/42

A three storage sandbox. A guy with a gun, a sleeping clown, dozens of beach chairs and balls. Plenty of room to build and on this time of day not very busy. The central pillar tells you all about the terms and conditions. Pretty clear and straightforward. There is a lot to see on this island. The entry point for teleport will explain it all. Do not hesitate now, take the tour!

Indian Village 19/226/26

This Indian village is occasionally visited by a lonely wolf. By the looks of it, and its regular come back it is one of the objects made by these people. That is what I hope. The tribe do not mind you passing but remind you of the fact that it is their home. Maybe we should have shown such courtesy in RL. Well worth a visit.

SDSU 220/112/24

Quite early one morning in San Diego. The basics of building are explained in this excellent, yet simple and instructional playground. Both a sandbox and a tutorial. Practice what you preach seems to be the motto here. The green enables you to practice what you have just read, your fellow novice or professional creators can give assistance or set examples while you learn to build your own primitives, 'prims' in SL. Focussed, tidy, well done!

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Seen this guy? 15 minutes of fame reward!

I travelled far, I travelled wide. I stayed up at night and asked around. So far I have not been able to find this big Fur on the right. Is there anybody out there that can get me in touch with 'it'? The SL ' r that gives me the golden tip will have his/her 15 minutes of fame on this blog. Promise!!

Eduisland Sandbox 106/74/302

Best sandbox so far. It is enough space to do all you would like. It has two seats for admirers to follow the creative process and there is nothing that would distract you from your work. There are several sandboxes in SL, but this one used the motto: "Erst in Erschrankung erscheint die Meister" and developed a perfect place-to-be according so.

EduNation 64/234/23

It must be a clever guy that built this location. Thought a lot before he started to build an old fashioned building like most of the others do. This auditorium seems a bit strange when the speaker sits on top of the building, but it all falls into place when you know that the group - tables in the pavilion can fly!! They are numbered so the coach can get them one by one, in groups of two or a plenary. They can probably use the set to fly away in this learning zone aka Second Life.

EduNation 64/234/23

What more do you need but sea, sun and sand. The presence of a noteboard, an assignment dropbox, a laptop in the centre of a teaching pavillion tells me that there is more to it than the 3S I started with. EduNation has it all nicely combined in SL, people are using it too, but being 9 hours away from the West Coast of the USA there wasn't a crowd. I like their solution for a group session. Hanging in the air, no attachments, just a place to sit and talk about life, or something more trivial.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

NMC 129/172/23

Search on 'teach' and you 'll find 4 locations in SL that answer to that key. The fourth, closed to public, looks very empty seen on the Map. The others hold inside and open - air facilties for teaching, and hopefully learning. The Campus Cafe is nice and spacious, there is a bed to rest on. Why not make it comfortable, if that is within the budget. On T2 I met GlobalKids Bixby. He pointed me towards more resources. I will keep you posted.

University of Amsterdam 212/27/36

It is sunrise. Quiet, clean, I am on my own and walking through a small, quiet, clean and empty building. It holds an auditorium, a sunroof and a balcony. It has to be in this building, of all places that you meet a man that forgot to put is coat on or was just testing not too on this location. What some people do for fun, I don't get it, but it 's Holland. We 're tolerant to deviant behaviour ;-\

Helicon meeting 84/121/50

From left to right: Amber (NL), Scot (USA), Joop (NL) and Wendel(Sweden) meeting in the boardroom of the Helicon College of Second Life. The session was organised to support Wendel in his presentation of SL to colleagues in his university. Amber was so kind to let us use her space, toured us through all the other rooms and gave a small demonstration on building. We discussed a while on the possibilities of SL, but more important to meet again in 6 weeks time, same place when Helicon will have students at work there.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Echoditto Island 85/175/28

Amongst professors. We were sitting there, all more or less dominated by our chairs in our movements. Scripting does that: it tells you how to act in a chair once seated in it. The other side is that three of kind discussed the chances we get in SL for changing the educational paradigm. We will have a presentation of our ideas together soon, no doubt! Big stuff, ordinary chairs. Rlife, Slife, we 'll see.

Antigua 99/139/25

Helicon has developed an excellent building for teaching and learning. It has an impressive front, its spacious, contains interesting games like chess and also held a birthday - party when I visited them just now. I hope to meet some students here one day and exchange ideas and experiences on the extra ' s for education in SL. As far as I can see they are heading for something special here.

Pandora 201/20/87

Some people are fond of natural colours, but when you feel like a change, you might get inspired by this location. It is nothing specific, just a hide - out for some of our SL - friends. Some nice trees and flowers in the same colourful combination in the garden. Reminds of those pink houses once built in my country. Took some time to get used to.

Sedig 19/44/22

The yellow badge shows that I am taking the tour about schizophrenia in the UCD - Centre. I quote the builders of this simulation: This clinic building is based on the hallucinations of two specific people with schizophrenia. They were interviewed in detail and gave feedback on early designs for the hallucinations. While the hallucinations are not glamorous, they fairly accurately reproduce these patients' experiences. You should get a sense of just how intrusive the voices of schizophrenia really are. Not for nervous types.

Suffugium 67/53/63

Visited at night this is not the happiest place to be. In a corner, without reason, a burning aeroplane. Industrial garbage. On the main square a huge statue, somewhat futuristic. An army surplus and a 'Road Closed' - sign, blocking a tunnel that ends the world. A mixture of greys, browns, obscure corners and unfinished buildings. Not a soul alive. Good views though and lots of inspiration for painting too.

Monday, 19 March 2007

Ballerina 48/126/31

Some people know how to dress. I met this woman in Mocha. She wore a beautiful dress and could change on the fly to even more beautiful outfits. At some point she was angelic with white wings. Pity I couldn't mail her the result as she was away as sudden as she appeared. Such is second life.........

Teal Venetia 195/5/34

Not many of us had the pleasure visiting Venice and if you do go in april or september. Teal can be visited 7/24 and hold much of its beauty. You will miss the smell of dirty water, the Gugenheim and the magnificent paintings of Tintoretto, but it comes close . A knock-out is this globe with the map, real or not, of SL. A wonderful idea and splendid in its simplicity. Chapeau to the genius that made it.

SL Historical Museum 202/161/33

Did you know that day in Second Life is 4 hours long, with 3 hours of daytime and 1 hour of night. Many other quirks of the sun and moon: The sun orbits the SL world and travels faster during night, the moon is always full, there will not be an eclipse for many many Earth years, a year in SL is 10 days long. This and much more information can be found here. An amusing and illuminating afternoon, if you take the time to see all things and read all notecards.

Sandbox 128/127/21

Login, search for sandbox and click the one with the biggest crowd busy and watch SL- avatars building and testing. In most cases weapons are not allowed but this rule is not always understood by all. Morgana is testing a variety of primitives (prims), the basic building blocks of all you see in SL. She is quite good, she can make fire, icy - flowers and all sorts of other things. This takes a knowledge I don't have yet: scripting!!

Sunday, 18 March 2007

ANWR 93/136/36

An offshore platform for drilling, yeah.....but what is it really? It has a machine that produces prims on a belt, all the time. I had a glimpse of the owner and asked him if I was trespassing, but he didn't react. I might have though, and he maybe more comfortable alone. We do not know, but let us leave him for a while on his lonely island, out there in SL.

The Port 128/128/0

A group of artists links Real Life to Second Life and starts and/or supports projects to show that connection. It is a wonderful world full of questions: what am I looking at, what does it mean?. They succeeded in giving me all reason to pose them. I hope they will continue and expand on this idea!

Nakama 128/127/22

Japanese gardens always make you look at all sides. Bridges are made to look left and right and there is always a depth-view. This trip showed the beauty of colours and the fantasy of nature, but it also has a flip-side. It is well worth a long tour as there is much to discover.

Avalon 54/136/31

King Arthur wasn't there when I visited this white island. It probably was built just for the fun of building, as there seem no other reasons for it than just that. It's fun to explore and some awesome fly-views to be seen. A lot of objects to promote the capabilities of its maker Fizik Baskerville, who was born on SL in 2003!!

Cyberpunk City of Nexus 56/200/102

It 's not difficult to feel lost in this city that combines strong architecture with places that look like a junkyard. I quote SL Reuters here: It’s a cyberpunk set, a city deep and wide and styled as the paleo-future of the 1980s. You start on a high city square, surrounded by the gleaming spires of zaibatsu skyscrapers. Descend, and you’ll find the wrecked streets, the Gothic churches and blood-bucket bars. Under the streets are tunnels, leading to illicit clinics and bombed-out labs.