Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Party Photos by Nepherses.

Nepherses Amat took all the following photos at the party last night... including the new Wizzy av...

Which is just as well as my 1.23 viewer was playing tricks.... time for Firestorm methinks.

Thanks Neph.


Monday, 27 June 2011

A Midsummer Nights Dream

Well, the opening went very well. Attended by 50 or 60 literatti and glitteratti of the Italian art scene, dancing mediaeval line dances to the strains of the celtic harp, the atmosphere really became a bit magical and surreal... excellent.

Imparafacile (great photos) and Juanita both blogged about it and I was very happy with the outcome.

It'll be around for a while... details here.

Thanks to all concerned and all who popped in.


Sunday, 26 June 2011


International Miso Day was a great success, friends gathered just to have a dance, say Hi, give gifts and generally express a lot of warm feelings for a good friend.

It is, I am certain, the best thing to come out of the internet, the ability to meet people we would never have the opportunity of meeting otherwise. Having the ability to shapeshift leads us to disregard, for the most part, how someone appears and this makes us look beyond and through the biological avatar which is normally such a strong factor when we first meet people in RL.

The various mistakes LL manages to engender are simply another hurdle we willingly overcome to be together with like minded souls from all parts of the globe, and, if LL ceased operations we would use another platform to get together.

This is probably something which isn't really stressed enough to noobs....the gold of VWs is the people you meet.

It's a game where we all can be winners.


New Show in SL

I was asked to participate in a sort of travelling gallery , the brainchild of Simba Schumann and Storm Blauvelt. The idea is to have a gallery that can be rezzed on different sims as the occasion demands.... in Simbas words...

"Arte Libera In Sogno (Arte Libera in a Dream) is the third part of Arte Libera, along with The Gipsy Gallery and Il Giardino. It is a completely new space which will host particularly vivid and colourful exhibits throughout the Metaverse materializing in different places on different occasions.

Our journey starts on Monday 27th of June at Imparafacile island with a great artist inviting us to her personal Midsummer Nights Dream.

Celtic harpist Llanior Illios will make the event even more special by taking us ‘far away’ with her beautiful harmonies.

A year ago in the same sim we organised a gipsy party, now Arte Libera is happy to cooperate once again with the Imparafacile group in celebrating summer in a vivid and colourful way.

Finally let me thank everyone who has supported me in this new idea through their creative contributions: my Arte Libera partner Storm Blauvelt of course, also soror and other two artists particularly close to Arte Libera, Noke Yuitza and ErnestHenry Shackleton."

Well, I have a soft spot for the Celtic Harp (I once had a brother-in-law who composed for the harp, but that's another story...) so I would recommend coming along to check it out on Monday if you have time...

The SLurl is... here or just IM me.

It might get full so come early, I'll be there.


Belated Stuff.

Well, you know how it is, sometimes you don't get round to it all and something has to go by the wayside. Unfortunately its been my regular postings which have taken a back seat this last few weeks... as Brinda says..."so it goes"...

Anyway...I have been popping around the metaverse in addition to having my nose firmly stuck in the TV watching the boys and girls in white strutting their stuff on the lawns of Wimbledon ...and what a mess they make of those after just one week. (not helped by people like Djokovic doing a spot of farming with his racket... guess he thought digging up the turf might help...)...

Anyway.... I did get to visit Selavy Oh's "Construct" again, it's found a home on Magoo, Mab's sim...

It started life as a 75 day residency at Humlab, Selavy making a new scripted piece each day (mostly) during her term there. It is now like a catalogue of what can be done with a script. There is probably no other build in VWs that shows such a range of scripts or what can be achieved. Selavy is probably the most 'leading edge' scripter we have.

More details on Mab's blog ... here. Selavy has another piece on Magoo worth visiting while you are there ...its at sea level and called Spherical Topography.

Its your last chance to visit FreeWee's huge build at UWA if you haven't already been. A very large project, Angry Gods will only be there til the end of the month, so, not long.... full details on FreeWee's blog .. here.

...and on the subject of UWA, Gingered has become the latest sponsor there, initiating her own monthly prize from funds generated by her DJing skills... she told me all about it as I cut a rug at Manamizic Tryjen (above) which I have posted before... (built by Trinny Mizin) that she wanted to pick her own winners .... great idea.

The UWA machinima prize pool continues to rise... now at $L300,000,.... that's what I call an endowment...

In other news....

As I predicted .....not all of the world will go along with America and UK on their attempts to strangle freedom of the Internet, and sure enough The Netherlands has announced...

"A broad majority in the Dutch parliament voted for crucial legislative proposals to safeguard an open and secure internet in The Netherlands. The Netherlands is the first country in Europe to introduce a net neutrality law. In addition, provisions were launched protecting users against disconnection and wiretapping by providers."

...so a good piece of news maybe we will all have to end up using Dutch servers... full story here.

...and an interesting take on The Cloud quite clearly seen as The Future by different groups of people...i.e. Google vs. Apple Cloud.. here.. Apparently a companies CEO and their Techies have a very different take on the importance of Cloud... Dell survey details here.

In other news... well my show on Monday ... small post to follow..

.....have a great day.......


Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Dark Moon.

Nepherses Amat is a true Virtual World biologist in that she understands about virtual flora, or Flora Virtua Exotica as I have called it on many occasions...

Just as the importation of RL houses and cars can be seen as a rather pathetic attempt to surround new pioneers in a foreign world with items from the Old Country, like comfort blankets..... so too are the attempts to grow species native to RL in this environment.

Nepherses has sought out those native plants that will thrive and created an ecosystem which is in harmony, and now a greenhouse too..... as Nyx Breen has in InWorldz. Neph has catalogued the workings of the ecosystem here.... as I have posted before.

Indigenous is a great word.

...anyway.... This from Dark Moon....

"Greetings and Salutations Dark Moon Spirits & Visitors~

I am happy to report that my research team has complied an exhibition of some of the endemic plant life of Dark Moon's Bog. Please note that these plants have volunteered to teach us, and to stay here in the atrium for short periods of time so that Dark Moon guests can understand how important each plant's role is in the ecosystem. Please click on each plant, and the seed pod to learn more.

My research team is still investigating other life forms here at Dark Moon. Hopefully, we will know more soon!

Also note, we have recently found that the vibrational level of the loving plants actually increase psychic ability in avatars! Prolly humans too! So now we are proud to introduce Teresa John, a tarot reader of some renown. Teresa will be reading cards up on the mezzanine of this atrium periodically while the exhibition stands. Please contact her if you would like a reading"

and...about those readings....

"teresa John is one of the best Tarot Card readers in SL. Not only is she guided by The Goddess and God but she is Honest when she interprets the Tarot. Anyone can tell you what you want to hear. She will tell you what you need to hear.

If you would like a little light shed on your future and are interested in a reading the rates are as follows :

3 Card - 100L
Horsehoe- 250L
Cross - 500L

Send teresa John an IM or NC for an appointment and be ready for the truth to be revealed."

Well, photos of the atrium above...and the LM is ...here.

...and it's always a pleasurable place to visit and learn of how our world looked before the Lindens cleared the land of it's natural vegetation and overgrazed the land with goats .... leading to the sorry state of the soil today, poor sand and weak grass being all that will grow until nurtured.

A recommended visit.


Thursday, 16 June 2011

Prim Mesh Equivalence.... the cost of a mesh.

In a recent attempt to convey to those interested, Runitai Linden posted an explanation of how LL is trying to work out the cost of a mesh, or, in very simple terms, if you can rezz 15,000 prims on a sim, how many mesh will you be allowed??

As you read through it here you will find it is a fairly complicated calculation... but this paragraph stuck in my head...

“Given that Second Life has bad framerates and prims aren't exactly stingy about wasting triangles, it's wise to bias meshes towards the low end of that spectrum, say at 250 thousand triangles give or take 50 thousand.  THAT is your visible triangle budget.  In order for Second Life to have a prayer of running well in a mesh build, the meshes MUST display no more than that number of triangles per frame.’

Now, just how much, or rather, how little 250,000 triangles is.... consider the following post by  Dain Shan where he calculates that 15,000 prims have 1,800,000 triangles. However.... not all of those are visible at one time...

By definition you would be able to see either 2 or 3 faces, so... that’s a third or a half... 600,000 or 900,000....

...but “ In order for Second Life to have a prayer of running well in a mesh build,” LL will make sure that the allowance is well within that 200,000 to 300,000 ‘budget’.

“ it's wise to bias meshes towards the low end of that spectrum”.. but for who? Yes we are agreed with LL that lag is bad... but... if I have been told once, I have been told 30 times that Mesh is gonna reduce lag.

Well, if the number of meshes per sim is reduced to a low enough level that will of course become a self-fulfilling prophesy.

In a later post, Drongle McMahon writes the following...

“3. (/me restrains himself) While discussion of meshes in isolation is very useful, it is my opinion that it is dangerous to ignore comparison with sculpties. The latter will be used instead of meshes if they are allowed, especially at 64m, without further restrictions. This is a very real problem for the uptake of mesh that threatens the resource efficiency and visual quality improvements that are otherwise offered. I will not say more, as requested.

PS. I guess the requested resp[onse tom the sculpty comparison is that a sim full of sculpties will not reach the performance required. So if people do fill up their sims with sculpties, that is their problem. We can't stop sculpties messing thins up, but we can stop meshes doing the same. That way people will eventually reject the sculpties?”

Now....before we get totally lost in the detail....

It seems to me, from these discussions, that I am getting more sculptie triangle for my Linden buck than I have any chance of getting using mesh.... and the idea is that it will be a positive thing if people reject sculpties and go for mesh.

This is surely not because LL will make more money from mesh uploads......

Is it because upgrading the servers or the server capacity would cost LL money and the same effect could be achieved by reducing the current 15,000 prims per sim in a poor exchange rate with mesh.? ...(poor for me, good for LL).

“So if people do fill up their sims with sculpties, that is their problem. We can't stop sculpties messing thins up, but we can stop meshes doing the same. That way people will eventually reject the sculpties?”

Now, I understand if Drongle is being misunderstood here, but it seems to me that putting 15,000 sculpties on my sim for $295 is a part of the deal, not me “messing things up”...??
The desire he has to convert us all to mesh because persistent use of sculpties.. “threatens the resource efficiency and visual quality improvements that are otherwise offered“ could surely be achieved by improved server functions.... anyway that’s tier.

So....to sum up... by restricting the number of meshes allowed on a sim “In order for Second Life to have a prayer of running well in a mesh build” LL will have less of a load on the servers than if I rezz 15,000 sculpties on my sim ... but... will I get a tier reduction if I convert to mesh? ...(smiles)...

In actual fact the uploading of mesh will be far more expensive than a sculptie. That is a prediction, not fact, but... logic dictates that when I upload a mesh, I am in fact uploading data on 3 different LOD (“level of detail”) and, for clothes, the rigging data too (how the clothes fit on the “skeleton”), that seems like a lot more data than a 64x64 pixel sculptie map...
..as this is pure speculation we will have to wait and see.

But, the question still remains, in my mind, who will benefit most from mesh?

Now the ecstatic fangirls are still spouting nonsense about Mesh, still oblivious to the fact that mesh can't be sized or flexible so the likelihood of it being used for clothes or hair is remote...2013/2014? and the most condescending of these posts from Gwyneth Llewelyn, but maybe I just misread the tone of the article... I apologise if I have in advance.

Anyway I just wanted to assure anyone who is in any doubt that my scepticism towards mesh is not due to the fact that I don't have a degree in Computer Science, or that I couldn't use Maya (if I had 3000$ to spend on software), I am happy to upload my Blender files as Collada instead of .tga. My scepticism comes from the past performance of LL when 'upgrading' the User Experience, the word Upgrading translates too often as Breaking.

I welcome any real improvement to the platform, but Runitai Linden knows, as we all do, that the first release will be buggy. After 18 months the V2 is apparently nearly usable, and by 2014 mesh may be a great feature... but fangirl hysteria (not a hypothetical techno fear) just inspires me to cynicism.

Meshy Christmas will more likely be a Messy Christmas.


Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Creative Power

Calligraphy by Shun Yu.

From a very young age I have been struck by the seemingly universal fact that, generally speaking, it is faster to destroy something than create it. ... alongside that fact it was obvious to me at an early age that the planet itself is being consumed.

The idea though that the universe is, in some way, in balance was a redeeming idea although I can not prove, through logical thought or even illogical thought, that this is indeed the case.

Art and the production of beautiful things are a different kind of consumption to the type of use I would label as destruction even though the production of an exquisite table from an oak tree involves an enormous amount of wastage. For me, on the positive side of the ecological balance sheet is the emotion (if that is indeed what the appreciation of beauty is) generated by a piece of art or craftsmanship.

In very broad strokes it could be said that the consumption of the planet’s matter is redeemed when that matter is turned into beauty. .... a sort of Sublimation of the Earth’s Substance.
Matter becomes Spirit.
Transubstantiation, as I have mentioned before.

The guiding force in this process, I find, is best summed up in these words...

“Creative power is nothing less than the detonating device in the evolutionary bomb....... It could be compared to the generative power of creation when the sperm enters and quickens the egg...... the primal directive that propels us into our destinies ...”

These words are taken from the I Ching (here translated by R.L.Wing,The I Ching Workbook. The Aquarian Press, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire).

Now the I Ching is not just another book, it’s been in constant use for at least 2,500 years both as an aid to divination as well as a philosophical text.... but these things I will not dwell on here.

The first hexagram in the book is Creative Power. The first words in this ancient text.
It is the Big Bang of humanity, of life on earth and of spiritual life.

It is the Alchemy of the Ancients.

Inspiration and the creativity that flows from that mysterious ‘visitation’ is the ‘eureka’ moment of us all whether we consider ourselves to be artists or not ... it’s that spark that makes us step beyond our given circumstances and create something new, something “better” .... as defined by us/me.... a subjective improvement.

As such I think the words “ detonating device in the evolutionary bomb” are not exaggerated.

Now, I have no illusions about how easy it is to forget this fact. We can sink into the sedimentary sludge of existence and watch, exasperated, as our bodies calcify into a living fossil while our minds scream out against our inertia. .... . but... it happens, by the Grace of the Muse, that one day, one moment, we rise up like the Hulk, turn green and shatter the chains that we bind ourselves with.
Inspiration fills us with Creative Power.... and we can conquer the Syrup Syndrome, propelled to new activity.

It’s just good to remember, when things are crap, that it could be today....


Sunday, 12 June 2011


A recent post by Lalo had me rummaging in my files for this photo which I make no apology for publishing again... seems like someone said there are too many humans in SL...

Well, rather than repeat the 1000 avatar project I just pulled out some old snaps while searching for the one above which is of Betty and I...

Now...some of them I don't even know the names of...but there's a fair Biodiversity in my past 4 years...

Some humans, yes, 'but not as we know it'....and I know I have missed out some gems, and some beautiful humans, but I don't have photos of everyone I met... so, if you aren't here....sorry...

I distinctly remember a hippo joining in on a building class I was in, Glyph as squid, Madcow, Jedda, well ... the list could get long...

...and a few nostalgic bits too...


Saturday, 11 June 2011

Fiddling While Extropia Burns.

Sometimes something gets said that really manages to say what you were feeling... poets and wordsmiths do, with words, what some of us try with shapes and colour. Botgirl has done that for me this week in her poem Extropia Burning..

"I've been looking for a new horizon
But all I see is Extropia burning
The dream of the Transhuman Grail has vanished
Merlin is a Meeroo
Camelot is Disneyland
I am adrift"

So well said.

Other news which you may also have read this week is that uploading mesh in SL will require you to get a Mesh Permit first after a short training course, and anyone who hasn't had their financial details registered with LL will not be allowed to upload any mesh....(Tateru's post)..... well, it is becoming more and more unlikely that mesh will effect most of us before 2012, possibly 2013...

...and when the world gets Disney I get out my Blender. No politics in Blender, just me and my imagination.

So...in the face of all this I just got on with making a new tree in Inworldz. ... and, to be honest, I don't really think mesh will effect what I do much. I may be wrong, it may be possible to seamlessly stitch together submeshes into a cohesive whole... but, it will be impossible to change the size, or mod it... so how useful will that be? How expensive will it be?... and the whole 'saving prims' argument is irrelevant in Inworldz anyway.

As Ener wrote so clearly in an earlier post, it's not what you got but how you use it.... and while I've been guilty recently of thinking I need Maya...in truth a pencil and a piece of toilet paper is enough...or I could draw on the walls.

I did think of a good name for this tree, but then I forgot it...hopefully it'll come back to me. When it does I'll put it on sale... but probably only in InWorldz, it's a NPISL build.

Some great news this week as Intel steps up to the plate, it seems, and may be the ones to lead us into a new era of Virtual Worlds with their possible huge increase in avatar numbers....details here.... OS may be the future.... how many meeroo's per acre is that?

....and a bit of fun.... here ... Llama Font (working on the basis that if you can't beat the fluffy pesky infestations of VW's.....join 'em)..... or cook 'em... (Miso's cookbook)...

...so...back to the lawn tennis at Queen's....


Monday, 6 June 2011

A Week of Stuff.

One of the best things to come out of VW's for a while, and I've been slow to blog it, unfortunately, is the 1000 Avatar book by Gracie Kendal. I am convinced this will be a classic and an historical piece of archiving which I would dearly love to own if my dentist and motorcarrepairingman hadn't mugged me this month.

Full details on Gracie's website ... here.... order from her inworld.

Apparently the login page in the new V2 is much improved, that has been balanced, this week, by the login page on the SL 1.23 using the worst photos conceivable. It's funny when Flickr has some of the most amazing images of SL imaginable that anyone managed to find such a bunch of sad stuff. Maybe it's another attempt to get me to change, which I will no doubt have to do, eventually,.... kicking and screaming...

I have spent the last few days when not watching The French Open (a big congrats to Li Na, the first asian woman, ever, to win a Grand Slam) on my platform (Tree of Trees inspired) making strange things for Twisted Isle which is coming along nicely...

I went along to a bridal fashion show in InWorldz (organised by Raven and Allure) to take a snap or two, and, altho not exactly my style, it was nice to see a lag-free fashion show, surely a first. Both in RL and VW's I would tend to shy away from the Virgin Bride meets Cinderella style, preferring white latex (only in VW's where my body is perfect) or Deviant Designs meets Lady Gaga (without the meat) ... just saying... video ...here.

If you are a Mac user the following security issue will be of interest, concerning the Malnamed Malware Mac Defender, more details ..here.

If you use Safari, make sure this box in prefs is unchecked.

The UWA is the news from yesterday... the FOC (foetid outer core) taking masses of prizes... in an extremely strong field.

Miso had a pocketful of prizes .. her Kandiskyesque piece wowing the judges... details on the UWinSL blog here.

Wizzy, was awarded a prize for her GeoThing, pictured here (below) at her joint rezzday with Miso (at Brinda's instigation.).

Not all the pieces get prizes, obviously, which is a shame because many of them are worth noting...

Gleman Jun's Acrobat... simple elegance.

Kobuk Farshore's piece What The Ether Asked of the Girl That Listened was one I would love to see in RL too...

While Spiral Silverstar's Zen Fractals I could live with, also. It has a peace which many anim smooth images lack.

So, in amongst a bunch of very strong work it is easy to overlook. for example, the interesting way which Cat Carfagno created a viewing space for a piece of prose... very sensitive I thought.

My overall impression was how advanced and mature Virtual Art is becoming.....and that leads me nicely over to the latest Machinima Competition....Art of the Artist. 230,000L$ prize money for the best piece depicting the art works that have been winners in previous competition rounds.... with the general exhortation "Create something that will take our breath away".. well I'm sure there will be a few entries..:)) .. full details ..here.

In other news... geeky hardware stuff...well..not sooo geeky... the new GoogleBook. This is basically just a "cloud browser"... A new concept for the future? where you don't load or maintain software on your computer, but do it on someone else's servers.... could be a bit like LL running your computer for you. Sound appealing?

On the Internet legislation which our fascist government has recently enacted... some better news. ... Internet acess is declared a Human Right. this is a small step forward, and we need a few small steps....

Finally, but not leastly... What to do with that stray Meeroo you find wandering lose in SL... More or Less Kranfel has the answer...

....final final word to those who can't take their head out of their apps...


have a good week...