Author Archives: Inara Pey

About Inara Pey

Eclectic virtual world blogger with a focus on Second Life. My blog can be found below and I'm semi-active on Twitter and Plurk.

Viewer release summaries: week 35

Updates for the week ending: Sunday August 31st, 2014

This summary is published every Monday and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, a list of all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware), and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information

Official LL Viewers

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V3-style

  • Alchemy viewer released version 3.7.14.33534 Beta on August 27th – core updates: UI refresh; legacy profiles; region tracker; snapshot floater updates (release notes)
  • CtrlAltStudio released version 1.2.2.41190 Alpha 2 on August 25th – adds Oculus DK2 positional head tracking (release notes and download)
  • Kokua release version 3.7.8.35024 for OpenSim on August 27th – core updates: refocus on SL 3.7.7 and 3.7.8 code base for better OpenSim stability (3.7.12 still available for SL) (release notes)

V1-style

  • Cool VL viewer updated on August 31st – Stable release to version 1.26.12.15 and Legacy version 1.26.8.73 – core updates: please refer to the release notes

Mobile / Other Clients

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

M*A*S*H remembered

 

4077th MASH - LEA2

4077th MASH – LEA2 – click any image for full size

Open now at LEA2, is an homage to what remains both one of the most highest rates shows in US television history, and one of the most internationally popular and instantly recognisable: M*A*S*H.

Created by Tahiti Rae, the build lovingly recreates the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital from the era of seasons 6 through 8. Within it are all the familiar sets and locations. The Swamp, the Nurses’ Quarters, the tents of Colonel Sherman Potter, Father Mulcahy and Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan, the OR and offices – right out to the motor pool (remember Staff Sergeant Luther Rizzo?) and Rosie’s, the off-camp bar; all have their places here.

“I chose to build my representation based on this television series because so many people all over the world personally relate to how the human spirit, humour, diversity, skill and love can bring people together, regardless of War,” Tahiti said of the piece, “Does War send us apart?  Or actually bring us together?”

She continues, “To me, war has never changed. It’s always been either self-defence or defending the freedom of a friend. Otherwise, it is intolerant aggression.  Regardless, the human spirit always prevails.  And this particular portrait of those who went through the Korean War, based on real surgeons on the front lines, brought into our living rooms what they suffered, laughed about and loved in such a profound way, that it touched us all.”

You might wonder how I can pin-down the period of the show represented by the build. Well, such is the care with which Tahiti has put this all together, the clues are all there to be seen, both indoors and outside. One only has to explore to find them. And exploration is very much the key to this installation.

You start at an arrival point high overhead – a triage or pre-op station, if you will – where you can find information on the build and on M*A*S*H itself. From here you can teleport down to the region, arriving at the 4077th, as so many personnel did, at the helipad located on a mound to one side of the camp.

Walk down the worn track from the pad, and you’re free to explore the camp as you will. Do make sure you have local sounds enabled to full appreciate things, and keep an eye out for the clipboards located in places like quarters, the OR and so on – they contain information and video links related to both popular moments in the show and the experiences of actual Korean War veterans.

Within these clips is one from one of the most poignant moments from the show, which in its own way, underlines the complete futility and indiscriminate nature of war: Radar’s announcement that Colonel Henry Blake’s plane, transporting him home after having completed his tour of duty, had been shot down over the Sea of Japan with no survivors.

The level of detail in the build really is wonderful – as noted above, there are enough clues to pin down the approximate point in the series the camp represents. There may even be individual clues which allow the time to be pinned down even closer than I’ve managed; but the key thing is, it’s all here – from Colonel Potter’s beloved Sophie, to the small memorial to Colonel Blake, through to Hawkeye’s trademark red bathrobe and signature Groucho Marx nose / glasses and on to … well, visit and see for yourself!

Around the periphery of the build are what appear to be some incongruities, such as a “tiny” military encampment and a sniper’s position, uniformed soldiers, all from eras much later than that of Korea – perhaps a reminder of conflicts which exist to this day.

As well as leading you to those, exploration of the region is important as it will bring you eventually to the story’s end – a music video and then a final teleport (reached via a bus; your only clue!

Those who know and love the series will understand the symbolism presented at the “The End”, as they follow Tahiti’s directions and explore each of the rooms. The reference to the show’s final episode and the experiences within it of the lynchpin of the series: Dr. Benjamin “Hawkeye” Pierce, as portrayed by the brilliant Alan Alda.  Work your way up through the rooms to Hawkeye’s and then step out onto the fire escape. This will take you to a final goodbye – M*A*S*H style (although there ar teleports back to the start point and back down to the 4077th).

I’ll leave the final word on the build to Tahiti, “In a time of great conflict on this planet, I wanted to recreate MASH because I think it’s important that we remember how war separates us, and yet also how it brings us together.  I am humbled and honored to bring back the full gamut of emotion that the writers and actors burned into our memories with this television series.  We use the past as part of our foundation for the future.”

Related Links

 

 

 

 

Odyssey within a Lost Town

 Il Folle Volo, La Città Perduta

Il Folle Volo, La Città Perduta (click any image for full size)

La Città Perduta (The Lost Town), the arts venue curated by Akilae Gant and Sivi Kelberry, and which is modelled after a run-down Italian town, is currently home to a marvellous installation by Giovanna Cerise entitled Il Folle Volo, or The Mad Flight, which opened on Thursday, October 28th.

The exhibit takes as its central theme Odysseus‘ journey home to Ithaca, as told in Homer’s Odyssey, although it also touches upon his role in the Trojan War, as told through the pages of the Iliad, and takes its name not from Homer’s work, but draws it from Canto XXVI of Dante’s Inferno, although even within this, there remains an echo of Odyssey.

Three of the pieces on display are hard to miss, as they tower over the The Lost Town. In the main piazza, close to the landing point, a great, multifaceted horse rears into the air – a reference to the Trojan War, and Odysseus’ role within it, the stone of the piazza beneath it symbolically stained blood-red.

Close to the town’s church stands the imposing figure of the cyclops Polyphemus, whom Odysseus and his crew encounter after being blown far off course in a storm while attempting to return home following the war. The imposing figure, as tall as the church itself, is made of multiple, shard-like pieces both light and dark, which give it a magnificent dynamic feel.

On the edge of the region sits the titular piece, Il Folle Vollo, drawn from  Dante’s Canto XXVI, and seen in part at the top of this article. The Canto tells of Dante’s journey through the eighth circle of hell, Fraud, where he and Virgil, his guide, encounter Odysseus alongside Diomedes, both caught within flames in the eighth Bolgia, their punishment for perpetrating the deceit of the Trojan Horse. Here Odysseus tells Dante of his final adventures (Dante’s own creation), in which he met his end in a great vortex.

Here, the vortex itself is represented by a swirling mass of prim-like cubes, each rotating on its own, giving rise to a shifting pattern of light and dark as the mass spins about a central axis, and through which faces rise and fall. This piece also has echoes of Odysseus’ encounter with another vortex, that of Charybdis, the great whirlpool, which Odysseus faced along with the six-headed monster, Scylla, while attempting to reach Ithaca.

The final two elements in the piece, which represent Odysseus’ encounters with Circe and with the Sirens, are more subtle in nature. C  in particular make take a little finding – although the teleport disks located close to each piece should help those who want to visit each element of the installation directly rather then exploring the town.

Part of the beauty of this installation is the manner in which each of the pieces is perfectly suited to the environment in which it sits; the blending between them and the default windlight over The Lost Town and the architecture of the town itself, is superb. The multifaceted nature of the pieces not only aid in creating this blending of art and setting, but it also reflects the fact the Odysseus’ legend is also one of many literary facets, both in terms of the telling of the encounters within it, and in the manner in which they are portrayed by Virgil, Homer, Dante, and others down through time.

This multifaceted symbolism is reflected – and extended – in Giovanna’s own description of the exhibit, in which she says, “The work presented in Lost Town is freely inspired to some events in which the man with the multifaceted appearance will prove its capabilities. Odysseus and his journey becomes the symbol of the journey of all men who refuse to be trapped by dogma ropes, conformism and fear and prefer to go further, risking. Everyone can be a Ulysses, when we are ready to take ‘il folle volo’. Is always right do it?”

For lovers of art and mythology, this is an exhibit that is not to be missed.

Related Links

Death on the beach, people from the stars, folk from the sea and poignant letters

It’s time to kick-off another week of fabulous story-telling in Voice, brought to Second Life and Kitely by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library.

As always, all times SLT / PDT, and unless otherwise stated, events will be held on the Seanchai Library’s home on Imagination Island.

Sunday August 31st

09:00: The Heart of Ireland: The Red Girl – Seanchai Kitely

Via Goodreads.com:

In the 1930s, Irish novelist Maurice Walsh placed the moors and mountains of Ireland firmly on the literary map with this celebrated collection of stories. Since then, readers have continued to be charmed by these accounts of the simple and common activities of the characters in 1920s rural Ireland.

The lives of Hugh Forbes, Paddy Bawn Enright, Archibald MacDonald, Joan Hyland, and Nuala Kierley intermingle as the themes of nationalism, human dignity, honour, and love are given full play. Made famous by John Ford’s Oscar-winning film The Quiet Man, starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, these remain humorous and poignant tales set against a backdrop of intrigue and Irish civil unrest.

Join Caledonia at the White O’ Morn cottage on Glen Island at the Seanchai Homeworld  (grid.kitely.com:8002:Seanchai) as she once again takes listeners to the very heart of Ireland

13:30: Tea-time at Baker Street: The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes

Caledonia Skytower, Corwyn Allen and Kayden Oconnell once again open the pages of The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, the final set of twelve Sherlock Holmes short stories first published in the Strand Magazine between October 1921 and April 1927.

This week: The Adventure of the Lions’s Mane

“It is a most singular thing that a problem which was certainly as abstruse and unusual as any which I have faced in my long professional career should have come to me after my retirement, and be brought, as it were, to my very door. It occurred after my withdrawal to my little Sussex home, when I had given myself up entirely to that soothing life of Nature for which I had so often yearned during the long years spent amid the gloom of London. At this period of my life the good Watson had passed almost beyond my ken. An occasional week-end visit was the most that I ever saw of him. Thus I must act as my own chronicler.”

Thus begins the second of only two stories of Sherlock Holmes’ adventures to be narrated by the great man himself. As the opening suggests, Holmes is now in retirement in Sussex, where he meets an old friend whilst on the beach. Harold Stackhurst is the headmaster of a local preparatory school, and as the two men chat, one of the masters from the school, Fitzroy McPherson, staggers up to them, his torso covered in livid welts as if he had been whipped with a hot wire. McPherson manages to utter the words, “Lion’s mane,” before dying.

More mystery ensues when it emerges that McPherson was involved with one Maud Bellamy – much to the chagrin of her father and brother -, and he had a sometimes strained friendship with another of the school’s masters, Ian Murdoch. What’s more, Murdoch may have also once been a suitor for Maud Bellamy.

Is murder most foul in the air? Could hatred or jealousy be the reason? Is McPherson’s death the result of his involvement with Maud Bellamy? The mystery seems to become more perplexing when McPherson’s dog is found dead, apparently having suffered as agonizingly as its master. But is its discovery the clue Holmes has been seeking?

To find out more, be sure to turn up on time for a spot of afternoon tea at Baker Street!

Monday September 1st, 19:00: Far From Home: The People Deluge

the peopleZenna Chlarson Henderson was one of the first female science-fiction authors, having started reading publications such as astounding Stories from the age of 12, and becoming a popular author in the 1950s and 1960s.

She is perhaps best known for her The People stories, which focus of a race of human-like aliens forced to flee their homeworld due to a natural disaster, and some of whom arrive in the American southwest shortly before the start of the 20th century.

The People have the very best of human qualities: love, gentleness, spirituality; and also special powers of healing, levitation, telekinesis and more, who wish only to preserve their home culture and beliefs amidst a world which, despite their human appearance, does not understand them.

Henderson’s tales about The People ran to some 17 stories which examined the lives of The People, their past on their homeworld, their attempts to live quietly on Earth, their interactions with their human neighbours, all told in a beautiful, moving style. Why not join Gyro Muggins to learn more as he resumes their story through the pages of The People Deluge?

Tuesday September 2nd, The Sea Fairies

Lyman Frank Baum is best known for his Wizard of Oz novels. However, over the course of his life he wrote some 59 novels (including four “lost” novels), 83 short stories and over 200 poems.

sea-fairiesThe Sea Fairies, first published in 1911, was intended to be the first volume in a new series of stories after Baum had “finished” the Oz series with the Emerald City of Oz. It tells the tale of young Mayre Griffiths, known to all as Trot, who lives on the coast of Southern California, where her father is the captain of a sailing schooner. Trot’s home life is shared with Cap’n Bill, her father’s former skipper, who has lived with the family since an accident cost him a leg.

Cap’n Bill is a devoted guardian to little Trot, and spends his days walking the beaches with her, or rowing her along the coast, regaling her with tales. But when the subject of mermaids comes up, Trot’s wish to see one is granted, and both she and Cap’n Bill fix themselves transformed into merfolk – who are sea fairies – and taken to the undersea realm of Queen Aquarine and King Anko, where they witness many things and are forced to come up against the wicked Zog the Magician …

Join Faerie Maven-Pralou as she takes to the seas once more and continues this lasting tale.

Wednesday September 3rd, 19:00: Stories from the Shadows

With Shandon Loring

Thursday August 28th

19:00: Letter to My Daughter

lettersFrom the publisher’s notes:

Dedicated to the daughter she never had but sees all around her, Letter to My Daughter reveals Maya Angelou’s path to living well and living a life with meaning. Told in her own inimitable style, this book transcends genres and categories: guidebook, memoir, poetry, and pure delight.

Here in short spellbinding essays are glimpses of the tumultuous life that led Angelou to an exalted place in American letters and taught her lessons in compassion and fortitude: how she was brought up by her indomitable grandmother in segregated Arkansas, taken in at thirteen by her more worldly and less religious mother, and grew to be an awkward, six-foot-tall teenager whose first experience of loveless sex paradoxically left her with her greatest gift, a son.

Whether she is recalling such lost friends as Coretta Scott King and Ossie Davis, extolling honesty, decrying vulgarity, explaining why becoming a Christian is a “lifelong endeavor,” or simply singing the praises of a meal of red rice–Maya Angelou writes from the heart to millions of women she considers her extended family.

Join Caledonia Skytower as she opens these remarkable pages.

21:00: Seanchai Late Night

With Finn Zeddmore.

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Please check with the Seanchai Library SL’s blog for updates and for additions or changes to the week’s schedule. The featured charity for September-October is Reading is Fundamental: seeking motivate young children to read by working with them, their parents, and community members to make reading a fun and beneficial part of everyday life.

Related Links