Aotearoa – New Zealand Interactive Pavillion

I stumbled upon an announcement about this in the Events list, and boy, am I glad I did! Lost among the gazillions of tringo, slingo, yard sales and camping chairs fests, was this gem: the Aotearoa/New Zealand Interactive Pavillion in Uli. I couldn’t go there at first, due to connection problems and the twin power outages that kept the grid down, but Saturday was the day I’d finally get a chance at having a closer look at it. I sure don’t regret it, and I’ll encourage everyone reading this post to take a peek as well.

The first floor is, so to say, the “shopping area”: postcards, Maori artwork and costumes, books, and even a small stage–on which Luthien Unsung performed a traditional dance just for us when we were there yesterday. It’s already pretty interesting in my opinion, although the best is to come.

Up to the second floor I go. First, the Pavillion is beautifully done, that’s the least I can say. Lots of pictures of birds, fishes, NZ currencies and stamps, as well as a slideshow with landscape photographies. Second, it’s also very instructive: with all these pictures, come notecards telling the visitor a little more about what he’s currently looking at. Historical information disputes it to samples of birds’ cries.

The third floor is a reproduction of a meeting house, and of the “Marae”, the sacred courtyard in front of said meeting house. In there are displayed traditional Maori weaponry, pictures and statues. A few panels on the wall marked “Pakiwaitara” also hand out notecards that tell the story of the world’s creation, and more.

One post in one blog wouldn’t be enough to tell of all the wonders shown in this exhibition, so I’ll once again urge you, reader, to go have a look by yourself. It’ll be worth it, and a good use of your time.

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Serenite Island

Another of these beautiful sims I had never been in yet… Someone on the forums recommended to have a look at it, and so I went and… took pictures again, yes. I purposefully chose to take night pictures, since I thought it was giving even more charm to the place. When the theme is clearly celtic, seeing its cottages and forests under the pale moonlight is definitely better!

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New York City Photo Exhibit

Good thing that I checked the forums this morning, because this exhibition of pictures taken by Craig Horton only lasts through Monday, from what the post says. Faithful to my old habit of taking pictures when I go to any kind of event/place that’s worth it, here are a few shots. The photographs are really good, so if you want to go have a look by yourself, drop by Nocturnal Threads in Pimushe (118,43).

From left to right: Grand Central (Midtown) and Restaurant Row (Hell’s Kitchen), Bright Lights in Midtown, Washington & the NYSE, Brooklyn Bridge, Lady Liberty, towers and the Bull (downtown), The Mall (Central Park).

From left to right: Brooklyn Bridge, Staten Island Ferry & The Waterfront, Liberty statue, Brooklyn Bridge, Battery Park City (Downtown), Frogs at Battery Park City, Tulips at Trinity Church, Trinity Church, cops, NYSE at night, World Financial Center (and a glimpse of Washington statue again).

From left to right: Flower Market, Cabs in the street and “The Pride of Midtown” (a tribute to 9/11), Chumleys (the Village), Subway art, The Firefighter’s Prayer and Theatre District.

The ice skating ring in front of NY Library.

Various scenes from Central Park (including Bethesda’s Fountain).

Panels and inscriptions: The Smoker’s Prayer, Don’t Feed The Rats, Daydreamer Accepted.

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What’s On Your Doorstep

Exploring and travelling in Second Life has this that you never fall short of new builds, areas and curiosities to discover. However, it also keeps you far from home… and home, sometimes, can reveal itself as being surrounded by many good builds and interesting places as well. These shouldn’t be overlooked, right?

Right under my nose – so to say – lies this nice place, carefully “hidden” on top of the huge mountain that is the center of Varney. Oh, I never found anyone living there, or at least wasn’t lucky enough for that, but there still is this vibrant atmosphere about it. These pirates, mind you, they even have a sauna, and large towels on their wooden floors, in case they’d like to sunbathe under! As for the housing itself? Among wooden huts and various green leafy trees, what more could one ask? “Appropriate furniture” is not an answer, since they have it too.

There is more to see in Varney, namely the excellent build of my good neighbor Hiro Pendragon, which is a pleasure to look at – and makes me feel each time like seriously rebuilding my own house and store, in order to make the landscape more pleasant to look at from his side on things; unfortunately, this also always makes me feel soblank regarding what to do, as I don’t feel that I could really be on par with my meager building skills I don’t have the time to develop. Blech. At any rate, if the sim has known changes like any other sim, I must say that our little corner of paradise here is most welcome, and that I should really take some more time to regularly visit what new builds and other wonders may lie there.

And you… What’s on your doorstep?

Picking Up Some Readin’

Even though I haven’t been in SL much these past weeks (… months…), I’ve still somewhat kept in touch with some of the blogs and what was happening in world. Thus, there was no way I’d pass the opportunity to pick up a copy of Cory Doctorow’s book, if only out of curiosity after having read some of his posts on Boing Boing. Of course, having grabbed in some five minutes ago and still waiting for it to fully rez in my home, I don’t have much to say about it yet. This will come in time.

Now, will I read it? This is a question to which I can’t answer. I’m interested in reading it, that’s a fact. I’m not sure if I’ll have the opportunity to do that in Second Life much, given the time it takes to rezz pages, and above all, not be interrupted. I deeply dislike being interrupted when I read, so in the eventuality I’m found tagged “Busy – Reading”, this is what it means. On the other hand, the prospective of such a media for distribution of a book is quite a novelty regarding the world of “games” and “virtual universes” at the moment, and it’s exciting to hold this copy of the book. A virtual copy, but a copy nonetheless.

I’m even tempted to go to the signing on July 24th, although 11 PM my time on a Sunday evening doesn’t bode well for me to be able to log in *sigh* The bane of not living in a US-friendly timezone, I suppose.

Ah, well. This can still be interesting. Much interesting.

Journey To Atlantis

Some people believe that this is not just a story told by Plato and other famous Greeks, but that Atlantis was a real place. Many people have searched for Atlantis, even claiming to have discovered artifacts. But without absolute proof, the island’s existence remains one of the world’s great mysteries.

According to Greek mythology, Atlantis was an ancient island (dating back to at least 1400 BC) in the Mediterranean Sea near what we now know as Greece. Poseidon, who was god of the sea and brother to Zeus (the top god in Greek mythology), appointed his son Atlas as ruler of Atlantis. The vast island was bigger than the continents we know today and it prospered as a peaceful, wealthy, powerful and sophisticated place. Unfortunately all this good fortune made Atlantis’s people feel superior and had them acting spoiled and even lazy. Such behavior angered the gods, who decided to punish Atlantis by destroying it with the power of earthquakes and volcanoes. At the end of one day and one night Atlantis was flooded and buried beneath the ocean, never to be seen again.

Some people believe that this is not just a story told by Plato and other famous Greeks, but that Atlantis was a real place. Many people have searched for Atlantis, even claiming to have discovered artifacts. But without absolute proof, the island’s existence remains one of the world’s great mysteries.

These words introduce the traveller to this mysterious place called “Atlantis”. Ever since I had taken note of it to be soon revealed to the public eyes, I had sworn to myself that this time, I wouldn’t miss the opportunity of exploring some more. This is now done; finding myself with some time on my hands in this fair morning, I went and delved into the depths of the Great Temple of Atlantis, marvelling at the immediate overwhelming one can experiment, being constanlly surrounded by the ocean as I was walking through the underwater corridors. The arrival area fortunately provided me with a map of the place, map that could be found at other locations, which made it so that in spite of the immensity of the place, I never got lost (and this is an exploit worth being mentioned given my poor sense of orientation).

The first room lying in front of my eyes still being under construction, I decided that I’d check this one later, and walked around a bit, admiring the delicate light shed through the glass in each corridor, finally finding my way to the Library. Information about the Gods, about the ancient Atlantis… the name was written on the floor, as I entered in: this was no doubt the domain of the mighty Poseidon. I then discovered that the forgotten city was also hosting the Avian Spa, which peaceful atmosphere indeed invites the visitor to relax.

I quickly passed near the private quarters, home of the ones who brought back Atlantis to the rest of our world (I will name Captain C. Kinsella, Engineer T. Fallingbridge, Lieutenant W. Sojourner and Medical Officer D. Sojourner); private as it was, I made no sound, and simply took opportunity of the map present there to make sure that I wasn’t lost. I then glided – for walking doesn’t seem appropriate enough in there – to Hera’s Garden, where I peacefully sat for a moment, in the fragile beauty of running water, marble statues and high chiseled pillars.

For the social ones, those who cannot imagine this mysterious underwater city without human life in it, for you there also lies a place to to dance and drink, named the Wave Room, and the L’Eau Beau, a show room from what I could see, that will make you forget for a moment that the surface and solid ground is far above your head. This is not my place, though; for a while, now, I will go on wandering, simply breathing in the quiet air, and letting the inner peace slowly fill my self as I stand among the plants and leaves. For Atlantis invites to contemplation, and not to wild movement…

Babes (and guys too) and guns

The moron who’s presently writing this entry had been jumping in eagerness when she learnt on the forums about the Seburo/Saedaku/Seburo PD contest, last month, and then… proceeded to completely forget to take her pictures, all of this while thinking “I still have time, I still have time, as soon as I’m in world for more than five minutes, I’ll take shots!”. Alright, alright, truth be told, I didn’t really forget about the contest… just about the due date. Somewhat I was convinced that the pictures were due in March. Well poop, this’ll teach me, next time. For now, I just have my eyes to weep, and my fingers to go trigger-happy on the snapshots, if not on the guns.

Sooo. The contestants’ pictures have been put on at the Dreaming Tree in Tavarua, and thus I headed there to see what I had missed being part of. Once again, woe is me, for the pictures are really great! Some of them definitely reminded me of Shadowrun and of a certain RP-related illustration style, which so totally rocks for me. Some others are more in the line of advertisement/cover girls… And some are also references and winks to movies, anime (special mention for the Shirow-inspired picture, mwaha), or to comical situations. Lots, lots of “gals” too – though I spotted a few men as well; it looks like we must have a certain charm when wielding big guns or flamethrowers, who knows!

I didn’t shoot all and every pictures, it’s one of these situations where people simply have to go there and see it by themselves. However, as it’s hard to prevent myself from doing so anyway, here are a few appetizers:

And now, we have until March 5th to vote, so guess where I’m going to head next

Last day of the Winter Expo

Even though I didn’t update this diary since before Christmas, I still wanted to add a last bit about the Winter expo in Zermatt/Moritz, since more people have built there since I myself started my build. Unfortunately, I never got around to really “finish” it or scrap it and do something else, but… I’m still content with it as it is.

No long blabberings today though… only pictures:

1. My own build
2. Sezmra Svarog’s snowglobe
3. Ryntha Suavage’s cat and angel
4. Siobhan Taylor’s ice tower
5. Tiger Crossing’s snowflake and Cosmo Drago’s Old Man Winter statue
6. Shadow Weaver’s ice dragon
7. David Valentino’s statue and Aiden Seraph’s burning ice
8. Sarah Flora’s ice castle and small dragon
9. Toast Bard’s building and Forseti Svarog’s giant rose
10. Lash Xevious’ “No Reason To Despair”

I believe this will all be scrapped tomorrow, or at least very soon…

And Happy New Year, everyone!

Straight on ’til morning… a journey’s end?

It would’ve been impossible for me to write about one, and not the other… Thus, I was planning on an entry regarding Neverland itself, and it seems that now is perhaps a good moment.

Once entering the Darling’s house, the stairs leading me to the children’s room, the doors to Neverland were quickly open for me, and there I took my flight, headed through “Lovely Thoughts” to the pirate’s ship and the lost children’s isle. There, in the trees, were the houses. There, on top of the mountain, was the Indian village, where I stood watching at the fire. Yet in spite of the beauty of all these builds, they couldn’t beat the vision of the Mermaid’s pond, that caught my eye in such a fashion that I kept staring at it for a long time.

Perhaps, all in all, it can seem an empty place, compared to the myriad of little things to be seen in Olde England. Perhaps it’s why I get this feeling of “ending journey” in this place, or because we can more easily see where the land itself ends? Nevertheless, it has been an interesting place to visit no matter what, even though it won’t beat London for me.

Alas, it is now time to go. Tomorrow, December 15th, Neverland will be no more, as was intended when it first opened its doors. No more mazes and playing Cops & Robbers, no more East End, nice park and stores avenue… goodbye, tramway and fairy dust. I know however that this is something I won’t forget, something that I will treasure in my memories.