Check Out Star Wars: The Untold Stories

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photo by Filomena Quinnell

The Second Life  performance group “The Monarchs” will be doing their final performance of  “Star Wars: The Untold Stories” on Saturday, August 27, at 3 PM SLT.

This will be your last chance to check out a sim wide performance that is really unique and creative. The event webpage describes the performance as follows:”Star Wars: Untold Stories is a sim-wide mega-show where you will be flown from planet to planet, and entertained by extravagant dance spectaculars that feature highly detailed sets, elaborate costumes, electrifying choreography, and magical special effects, all set to exciting music.”

The presentation is a project created through a land grant given by The Linden endowment for the Arts program. I am a big supporter ( and sometimes critic) of the endowment. The  event features some amazing builds created by Diiar Vader and Royal Shippe. The dancing and particle lighting is highly choreographed by Vader, Shippe and  Babypea Von and SexyS Quintessa.

Even if you are not a Star Wars fan, you will find some of the creative designs and artistry very entertaining. Everyone is encouraged to keep their script count low and, if you want, feel free to dress in character for the occasion.

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photo by Filomena Quinnell

 

 

 

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Fetish Fair 2016 is underway

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I could not manage to get in to Collabor88, so a little devil in me decided to check out the Fetish Fair 2016 instead. I am glad I did! The fair is huge this year. (Or, as Trump would say, it is “Hyuuuuge”.)

This year’s fair runs from August 19 through September 2. A lot of great designers are on hand including some of my favorites like SYS, Earth Stones, DURA, Insanya and more. The mask I am wearing is by SYS and I love the work that went into it. Look at the detail of the leather and rubber! It comes in four colors and has a styling HUD for added customizing. I am wearing the Alex mesh head from LOGO and the mask fit my head with no adjustment required.

If you are looking to shop, be a bit daring and check out the Fetish Fair while it is still going on. You will be glad you did.

 

The land scam was virtual, but I bet those handcuffs were real

city_wallpaper_by_johnny8901-d39rhgyIn a case where the virtual world crashes headlong into  the real world’s legal system, a Pennsylvania man  has pled guilty to felony in Indiana court stemming from a fraudulent land investment in Second Life.

This story of a virtual fraud leading to real arrest and prosecution in Indiana caught my eye because I am familiar with the Hoosier state.

Josh Bills was convicted of scamming a Morgan County woman out of more than 50-thousand dollars. The woman gave Bills over $50,000 for the purpose of expanding his real virtual real estate business. After Bills spent  $3,256.10 with Second Life and then put the rest of the money into his E*Trade investment account, the Indiana woman contacted the office of Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson. Lawson went to work and Bills was arrested.

In a first-of-its kind case, Bills pleaded guilty in July to a charge of theft, a class D felony, and was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay full restitution of $53,500 to the victim. In what could be a precedent setting move, Lawson prosecuted Bills for not being a registered business in Indiana.

“Real estate schemes are some of the most common forms of investment fraud that come across my desk, but this is the first time we’ve seen a virtual land scam,” said Secretary Lawson.

Obviously there was no “land” being sold here. The “land” in question was similar to all land in Second Life. It is nothing more than server space …or is it? Lawson gave the case enough value to prosecute Bills because neither he nor the product he offered were licensed in Indiana.

When you consider that Bills was in Pa, and the victim was in Indiana, and the land to be purchased was essentially storage space sitting in a server in California, you have to kind of admire Lawson’s office for even investigating Bills attempt at fraud, much less making an actual arrest and prosecuting the case. Since it appears to have ended with Bills agreeing to plead guilty, I don’t think an appeal is likely, or even possible. That could have been interesting.  I think that, as virtual reality develops,  it will be interesting to see real world governing bodies try to apply existing laws as more and more people step back and forth from the real world into the virtual one.

Fear and Loathing

fear2.pngWe were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like “I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive…” And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car, which was going about a hundred miles an hour with the top down to Las Vegas. And a voice was screaming: “Holy Jesus! What are these goddamn animals?”
 – Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

ABOUT:
Tools:  Lumipro & Photoshop
Hair:  Argrace – Tomoe
Head: LOGO Alex 3.1
Skin: Pink Fuel – Harley
Glasses: Redgrave – Maddison
Shirt: Erratic -Yvonne Tie Up Shirt

Wander into a painting at Ceakay Ballyhoo’s “A Watercolour Wander”

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It is always a treat to find a new sim or location to visit in Second Life. Often, I will simply open my map and skip around some of the Linden Endowment for the Arts locations on the map and see what I can find. It can be hit and miss, but I recently found a location that I thought was very unique and a great take on landscaping in Second Life. Imagine stepping into a watercolor painting and going for a walk. That is exactly what artist Ceakay Ballyhoo, better known as CK, has created at A Watercolour Wander.

CK shares my love for landscaping. She is also a watercolor artist in real life and her LEA project is the result of trying to bring the two things together.

“I love the immersive nature of SL and am thoroughly enjoying landscaping and decorating in here,” said CK. “When I started to play with making my own textures and realized I could paint watercolors, I was instantly reminded of my love for the book Rose Madder, and the movie What Dreams May Come, both dealing with ‘entering’ paintings and seeing the world beyond. So that’s what I wanted to try and create. The sensation of walking into a painting.”watercolorwander2

In an endeavor that took approximately five months, CK has created a unique setting where, from any direction, you are standing inside a painting. She takes it a step further by adding a story to each of the “panels” that you walk through while exploring the sim. If you visit, don’t rush. Take time to read the stories and take a pause inside each setting. If you take your time, the setting can be very immersive and relaxing.

The sim is part of LEA12, and it is great to see Linden Lab still supporting some artistic efforts with their endowment. Personally, I would like to see them do more, but that is a rant for another day. CK said that the experience of working with the endowment was a positive experience.

“It has been great so far,” she said. “They assign someone to you for any questions you might have and offer to assist in any way they can.”

Give yourself a moment and take time to visit A Watercolour Wander soon.

 

 

Gos’s Gacha at the Garden is great!

Everyone who knows me knows I like gachas, and I like shoes. I like all shoes, but I especially love old style tennis shoes. Sneakers. Trainers. Chuck Taylors. Chucks! They go by different names but in RL and SL,  I have them in all styles and colors. They have been around since 1917 and I fell in love with them when I saw Riff Randall and the Ramones wearing them in Rock ‘n’ Roll High School!
gos postI  was really excited to learn about a new gacha that Gos currently has at The Gacha Garden’s one year anniversary event. You know Gos. They have been making highly detailed footwear in SL since the beginning of time. These shoes are no exception. They are highly detailed down to the laces and the traditional rubber label on the back.

The base shoes are free and textureless. They fit both Slink and Maitreya mesh feet, as well as system feet. They are sized for both men and women. The textures are the gacha you must purchase, and they come in a variety of colors and styles, including two rare sets and one exclusive set just for the event. Each texture comes in the “paint can” shown in the photo to the right. You just rez the can and load the textures into a HUD and apply them to the shoes. You can load as many textures as you want into the HUD.

The shoes at the Gacha Garden are the “high-top” style. I learned that Gos also has a “low-top” version available at their in world store. They are sold as a gacha item as well and have their own unique textures. The Gacha Garden event will run until August 31.

I know not everyone is a fan of gachas. I will likely have my own comments about gachas in general one day soon. You can often come out on the losing end with gachas but, the way these shoes are set up by Gos, I think you could ultimately come out spending much less then you would end up paying for a fat pack. If you collect this style  of shoes the way I do, these shoes are winners!

Oh Snap! LL is testing a snapshot addition to your outfit folder

 

outfitfolder fullshotWhile everyone is obviously excited about Linden Lab’s Project Bing which will improve the avatar skeleton, another project is sneaking in that I think is just as exciting.

Currently, if you check out the list of official alternate LL viewers, you can find the Project VOB Viewer. This viewer includes a great new feature I have been wishing for LL to add to appearance folder blogtheir viewer for years. If you are like me, your appearance folder is full to the brim of different outfits you have saved. I have tried various naming systems, but still always end up with a few folders that I am not sure what outfit I have saved inside.

With this new feature, we can attach a picture to each outfit folder, so we can see EXACTLY what outfit is inside! Pretty cool, right? Even better, the designers at LL have made the process very simple. If you look at my Appearance Folder in the photo, you will see I have selected to view “Outfit Gallery”. This breaks each outfit folder into a large folder icon. You simply take a snapshot of the outfit you have saved inside that folder and TADA! You can now add an image of the outfit to that folder icon, giving you a visual representation of all your outfits. The folder’s menu let’s you add an existing image, or you can simply select “take snapshot” from the menu and you instantly have a snapshot for your folder. You are charged 10L per snapshot, so be aware of that.

You can try the VOB viewer now, but remember, it is a test viewer and is not even considered a beta release, so expect a few bugs. If it becomes a part of the official viewer code, I can see myself using this feature quite a bit. How about you? Is this a feature that you will find helpful in your Second Life?

Hello!

Howdy

Welcome to Virtual Karma. Take some time and look around at this new blog. I begin this endeavor with the hope that I can offer a fresh approach to discussing what is going on in both Second Life and the virtual world in general. It is a technical blog, but it isn’t. It is a photography blog, but it isn’t. It is a tutorial blog, but it isn’t. It is a place for me and others to rant and rave, but it isn’t.

Virtual Karma is for the naturally curious like me. We’ll discuss the ins and outs of Second Life, as well as all the creative aspects of virtual reality in general. We’ll be discussing  photography, music, design and much more. I am just geeky enough to beleive that VR is going to play a big roll in everyone’s future. I will also want to mention and promote some cool places that you should check out. I want to share. I plan to seek out those people in the virtual world that I think make things interesting, and hopefully we’ll get to know them together. I plan to keep it simple.

I am here mainly because of a natural curiosity that makes me an annoyance to most of my friends, but also let’s me share a wide range of information with others. However, be warned. I stipulate up front that I typically know just enough about any subject to be a danger to myself and others. I promise you, it will not be dull around here! I also cuss a lot.

Everyone can use some good karma once in a while, so sit back, get comfortable and let’s have a conversation.