Tuesday, 31 March 2009

The Stomach Museum

While wandering aimlessly around SL I found a small but interesting place, the Stomach Museum. You can find information and photographs on stomach disease, plus videos explaining certain procedures such as bariatric surgery for weight loss and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy.

This sounds like an unusual kind of thing to have in SL, but to me it is the virtual equivalent of something like a pathology museum in RL, which can be used by doctors and students to learn about disease and how to recognize it. Just another side to SL.

Hibiscus Hastings

Monday, 30 March 2009

All Up Front!!

This lady was seen in one of the popular fashion stores the other day, she is probably the most extreme example of feminine form I have come across and she was also smoking a cigar (in the hand you can't see in the picture!). I have put a couple of stars on to save her embarrassment, but to my amusement, I read her profile and she didn't have a lot of information, but she did say 'come on girls if any of you want this shape just IM me,' Somehow I don't think I'll get trampled in the rush.......

Sunday, 29 March 2009

The BrimStone

I bumped into an old friend of mine Lambor Tungsten, a few months back and he told me that along with a friend of his Badd Coba, that he was in the proses of designing and building a new nightclub. I wished him well, and went on my way thinking no more about it.

Last week however I was reminded of my chat with Lambor, when I received an invitation to the grand opening of 'The BrimStone' the best nightclub in all of Second Life! I immediately got in touch with Lambor, and he excitedly told me all about the plans for the 'grand opening' of the BrimStone. He said "Badd Coba and I have been working really hard to get this club up and running, and we hope to build up a strong and regular list of members, who will keep coming back to the club because they enjoy it". The club is situated in the Liberty Central area of Second Life, (and can be found if you type The BrimStone into the search box). Lambor went on to tell me he was expecting a packed house for the opening night. As well as dj's and dancers they are hoping to have at least one live band on. I decided that I would go and have a look round the club early, before it officially opened. I have to say I was impressed! standing outside the club you feel like your about to walk into something from a Hollywood awards ceremony, with the red carpet and the spotlights that slowly change colour beaming into the night sky, made me feel welcome and the need to walk into the club. The inside has everything you would expect to see, with the regular dance balls, lights and a well stocked bar. The stage area is large with plenty of room for the bands to perform. There is also a booth for the disc jockey's, with what seems like reinforced glass all around it, maybe for safety reasons? or is it to stop the over eager ladies from throwing themselves on to the handsome dj's! The music they favour is more to the heavy side of rock, but i know they will adapt to suit the occasion or if you have a musical request. I was just about to leave, when i noticed right in the middle of the dance floor a pole! not just any pole, but a dance pole and this one's got my name written all over it! I've always wanted to give it a try, so a quick look around to make sure no one is watching, and I grab the pole with the delicate touch of a bull elephant lol. However a click or two later i was dancing! sliding up and down the pole like a professional. Glad no one was there to see me though, best to ware shorts or jeans really, and not a short skirt, especially as i was commando that day!!! Sadly I missed the grand opening night as it started way past my bedtime. Lambor told me that he wants to keep the club open all the time, with wall to wall music, live bands and special events with lots of lovely lindens to be won. As well as all that, there is a sploder and even a trivia quiz game. So next time you feel like clubbing the night away, why not jump into a taxi, and get yourself down to The BrimStone, your not only guaranteed to have a good time, but you could even end up going home with more money than you started with.



Over the years there have been many different looks






Many Looks


Only One Janey!

Happy Rez Day, Janey!

Love and Best Wishes

Pixi and Hib

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Scenes from SL

A guest pianist at a very elegant establishment.

Dancing can be so tiring!

A meeting of the Virtually London (lite) team.

Hibiscus Hastings

Arcadia Asylum

If you are building your own city in Second Life and you want to get that grungy urban feel to it, you could do no better than to visit a site dedicated to Arcadia Asylum. By all accounts Arcadia is no longer in SL, but has left behind a great legacy with all the wonderful things that she built. The site I visited is 'An Arcadia Asylum Library' and it quotes 'Here you will find a growing library from which you may borrow and, hopefully, will lend the fine builds of Arcadia Asylum.' Arcadia made a point that she never needed money and all her stuff is free, but it's not to be re-sold. I wonder if there is anyone around who knew her, it would be hard to find someone as talented as this builder again and she has left a wealth of items for future SL generations. So go over and get your free textures, vehicles and other bits of grunge city life items for that very realistic touch to your sim.
Janey Bracken

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Fred or Freda

Not too sure of this little avatar's gender, he seemed to have a boy's name, but then again it may be a girl's name in other countries, I'll call him Fred (not his real name!). Anyway I spied Fred giving himself a wash and brush up in the street and bless! he looked a bit strange! The only thing I could see that he was adjusting was his boob size which got bigger as I watched. Regretfully though, he still ended up looking like his Great Aunt Sylvia from the 1950's. If ever an avatar needs a make-over it's poor Fred!
Janey Bracken

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Keep An Eye On Wei's Designs

Wandering about the grid Monday evening, I teleported to a shop for a look around and as I stood there a lady called Wei Gears gave me a landmark to her store. Wei makes eyes, and beautiful they are too! I went over to see Wei’s place today and luckily she was there (:::J&S:: J&S Fashion Design). She offered either to let me try a demo of the eyes, or said she would model them for me. I asked if she wouldn’t mind modelling them so that I could take her picture.

I asked Wei when she had started to create eyes and she told me that she had started a few months ago and the eye project is finished. However she will have new releases with new colours. I bought a pair of the eyes that Wei had modelled for me (Tea 121) and they are really life-like right down to the reflections in them. Another great idea that Wei had thought of, was eyes for different countries; I spotted some with a Union Flag. Wei kindly gave me a pair of the Union Flag eyes and I will wear them for our next SL British event, go and see her collection, be patriotic and buy your country's flag!! You will be stunned by the other eyes that she has made as well and they are a snip at 99 Lindens.

Wei said she has started to make clothes and I look forward to seeing some of her new designs. Thank you for the interview Wei I wish you much success!!

Janey Bracken

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Love Your Comments

We are now set up to take comments, ideas and suggestions (within reason!) from anyone who wishes to contact us, all we ask is that you keep it clean!!!

The Knightsbridge Gallery

I think the Knightsbridge Gallery in SL London Knightsbridge is a very interesting place. At the moment they are showing the work of Feathers Boa, a well known artist in SL.

According to the information on the notecard in the gallery, Feathers Boa has been active in SL for a little over a year. She creates pieces that make use of the unique opportunities possible in SL, and you can observe this in the works shown in the Knightsbridge Gallery, which are described as “reactive" artworks. When you move close to them they change.

I have found that the Knightsbridge Gallery exhibits some thought-provoking artists. Last month they presented the art of Sowa Mai, which I reported on in Virtually London (lite) , please read about his work there. The Knightsbridge Gallery is a bit of a hidden gem in the London sims, I hope you’ll go have a look.

Hibiscus Hastings

Monday, 23 March 2009

Medieval Role-Play at Artstonia Village

Interested in trying some medieval role-play? Drax and I teleported over to a ‘Hotspot’ sim called Artstonia Village. We could see no end of avatars showing on the map, but failed to find the ones indicated to be below ground level (possible bots, who knows!). We did, in fact, meet a few people to say ‘Greetings’ to. There is a nice atmosphere about this village sim, and providing you are willing to dress the part and talk in the accepted manner (there are note cards advising on entry), you should really enjoy a visit there. Be a little wary of wandering though, as you may find you are entering restricted areas without realising it. We received a couple of notices saying we had wandered onto private land and would be ejected if we did not leave. You may meet dragons, wizards, elves, goblins, pixies, faeries and all sorts, as well as human avatars dressed in the medieval period costumes. It’s a well constructed village and has great detail, we will go back again to say ‘Greetings’ and sample the ale at the local tavern, give it a try, you can even pick up some free costumes at the teleport area when you arrive.

Janey Bracken

Too much grief

Hello everyone, I really wanted to start this new blog with an upbeat, 'make you feel good' story. Unfortunately because of something that happened to me a few weeks ago I cant really concentrate on much else. Maybe if I put it down in print, and tell you all about it, then it might help me, so here's what happened. I was spending some time at one of my favourite places called Sunflower trivia, which is owned by Stormy Sion, Stormy is a very nice little girl, and has accomplished an amazing amount for saying she is only six years old! The sun was just starting to set and I was enjoying talking to a few of my friends. All of a sudden two avatars appeared, straight away I knew there was something sinister about them. They were dressed in what I can only describe as military uniforms, ready for battle sort of thing. One of them made a beeline straight for me, and without so much as a word of hello told me how lucky I was, as he had chosen me for sex! I can't write what he actually said, it's unprintable. I've only been in Second Life for about four months, and I have to say I have been asked now and then if i want to have sex, but I've never been told I'm going to.Anyone who knows me, will know I'm not shy and will not back down from anything or anyone, and I certainly won't be talked to like that. I told him to go away and grow up, to which he responded by pulling out some type of gun which. when fired, sent me hurtling out of the Sim and into some kind of wilderness. I was free-falling through empty sky, eventually I landed on solid ground not even knowing where I was. I'm not going to let this scum treat me like this, I will teach him a lesson I thought, so I TP'd myself straight back to Sunflower. Sure enough he was still there when I got back. He moved closer to me and before I knew it I was trapped in a metal cage, it was only then I realised I didn't have any means of defending myself! nor I'm almost ashamed to say, attack and even hurt this evil monster. I was frightened and felt violated, how, and why would anyone want to do this to me? but I will not give in. I managed to struggle free by using the pie menu chart and sitting on top of the cage, but every time I broke free he would only encase me again. After being trapped several times I realised I did have a way to fight back. A male friend of mine generously gave me --- wait for it--- a zk4 attack helicopter, how romantic was that? hehe. I sifted through my inventory, and after what seemed an age I eventually managed to materialise the helicopter, Once again I scrambled free from my tormentors cage, and climbed aboard what I hoped would be my saviour from this hell. Now I know it wrong to have these feeling, but after what I've been through because of this thug, I really wanted to hurt him. If I could stop him in any way, then he might not hurt anyone else. I started the engines, looked up, and to my astonishment I was confronted with the biggest war plane I'd ever seen. This was definitely squeaky bum time. I tried to fly away, to get out of this nightmare, but he somehow managed to disable my chopper and throw an even bigger cage around it. was really scared now, what would he do next? could he reach in here and rip me to bits, so ending my short time in Second Life? Well fortunately for me I didn't find out, because as suddenly as the attacks started they both disappeared. I think their mummies had called them for their dinner!When I finally climbed out of the helicopter I was shaking with fear and anger, how can this sort of thing happen, surely there's something someone can do about such harassment. There is a system in place where you can report such abuse (just go to help at the top of your screen, and click on report abuse). If only I'd had the presence of mind I would have made a note of their names, sadly I didn't, I would have loved to name and shame them. Just reporting them for abuse doesn't seem enough to me, even if they do get banned from Second Life they only return later under a new name, and who knows just how far they might go next time! Will we have to be going round picking up dead avatars before anything real is done about it. Is there a way that the 'powers that be' in Second Life can trace their computers address and ban them from entering Second Life that way? I don't know, but I bet there are many av's out there that do, perhaps you could let me know. One thing I do know is that many avatar's will be frightened away from Second Life if the abuse is allowed to continue. I spoke to my good friend Janey Bracken about the abuse from griefers. she reminded me that she posted an article in our sister paper Virtually London (lite) a while back, giving lots of tips and help for dealing with such griefers. I would love to hear from anyone who has suffered abuse of any kind in Second Life. You can be anonymous if it makes you feel more comfortable, you can get in touch with me by either dropping me a note in to my profile box, or sending me an email. My address is pixipiers@googlemail.com. Please feel free to drop me a line about anything that's on your mind, I would love to hear from you. Bye for now Pixi

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Riding around the Nation of Victoriana

One of my good friends, Boye Jervil, lives in the Victoriana sims. He owns the Pre-Raphaelite Gallery in Victoriana Square.

The Nation of Victoriana is made up of about 5 sims, with plans for more to come. They are beautifully done, thanks to the detail conscious mayor, LittleBlackDuck Lindsay, and well worth checking out. They are role-playing sims, so you will see the inhabitants in their Victorian garb, and when I go over there I sometimes dress up so as to fit in. If you don’t change into Victorian clothing no one says anything, but it is fun to dress up and look as if you are a proper Victorian.

Boye im’d me to ask if I wanted to go riding around the sims and I said yes, as I hadn’t been out on my horse, Honey, in ages. I tp’d over and we had a good ride around. We ended up at Victoriana Harbour, where preparations for a picnic had been set up. As you can see from my picture, someone has already been into the drinks!

We also met a couple who live in Victoriana Harbour. The lady warmly welcomed me to the area and noted that she feels the harbour looks best at sunset, so I changed my settings and discovered how right she was! It was a peaceful and beautiful end to our ride around the sims.
Hibiscus Hastings

You Do See Some Sights!

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time clubbing over the last couple of days, Ruskin Thor was dj’ing in the Mayhem Club in SL Mayfair on Thursday night, doing a great job, and SL London Manager Seany1235 Blinker had opened the new look Underground Club in Knightsbridge. One guy stood out in the crowd at both clubs, his name was Lucifer and he had bright red hair. Another guy in the Underground Club had got his wardrobe slightly mixed, with his white socks and blue bikini, he looked a bit lost. Taking my vote for most under dressed avatar of the evening was a very glamorous girl in a red swimsuit (back view was even more adventurous!). No idea if they were all out on the pull, but I said to Hibiscus at the time ‘I don’t fancy yours much!!’
Janey Bracken

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Hello from Hibiscus

Hi, I’m the third member of the group, Hibiscus Hastings. I’ve been in Second Life about 18 months now, and discovered it quite by chance. I had no idea what it was about, never played computer games or entered chat rooms. One day I was reading about art, which is one of my great interests, and I saw a reference to something called Second Life. The artwork I read about was being shown in SL and RL at the same time, so I decided to pop into SL to have a look. Well, that was it. My original intention was to find the work, have a look and leave, but as you can see, that was not to be. I am still here and enjoying almost every minute of it, aside from the laggy bits and crashes.

A little while after joining SL and upgrading my computer so I could actually walk around, I discovered that CNN was starting a group of ireporters to report on SL, so I decided to give it a try. I have always wanted to write, so I took the plunge and began going to the meetings and eventually I worked up the nerve to post something. I will never forget the first time I posted a story; it was such an exciting experience. And that feeling has never gone away.

I also met my very good friend, Janey Bracken, at CNN. Janey has mentioned in her introduction that a friend of hers changed her Second Life, well, Janey changed my Second Life. She became Assistant Editor at Virtually London (lite) and encouraged me to write for the blog, too. Not only did I find a job in SL, but I also decided to move into the London sims since I was going to be reporting on them, so I found a home and a community, too. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined all this when I first joined SL.

When I write for CNN, I like to write about the intersection of SL and RL, so I do lots of stories on how RL organizations have come into SL and use it in various ways. I have written about NASA, educational and research institutions in SL, such as the Biomedicine Research Labs, the Imperial College Hospital and Digital Ontario Island, which showcases the use of broadband technology. I still enjoy art a great deal, so occasionally cover art galleries and the Ballet Pixelle, a dance troupe made up of performers living across the globe and performing together in SL. It is fulfilling and fascinating; I think of it as covering the pioneer days of a new world. I am hoping that with this new blog I will have the chance to write about other aspects of SL, the little day to day happenings that really make up our virtual lives. And it will finally give me the chance to write about one of my truly great passions, shopping! Love to shop, born to shop! This will be a new and exciting experience for me and I can’t wait to get started. I hope you’ll come along.

Janey So Far!!!

Short introduction from me, well I’ve cut it down as much as I can!!! My name is Janey Bracken and I have been around for a couple of years in Second Life (29th March 2007 was my rez day). I have been on quite a trip since I joined SL. Starting as a frightened newbie, never having even ventured into a computer game before!! My first rez location, which I call my first home, was Murray, a place claimed by griefers who tried to constantly eject me. I am extremely stubborn (not always a good thing!!) and fought back, returning time after time, until I got in with some good guys there who taught me how to protect myself. The griefing was good in a way, as it gave me a sharp lesson about SL, not only in defence tactics but also on what sort of people I may meet in the rest of the grid.

I have made many good friends in Murray and we continue to stay in touch. One friend suggested I start writing a blog, which I did towards the end of 2007. When starting to write stories for the blog, I looked around the grid for Christmas themed sims and met a wonderful lady. Her name is Wheemzel DeCuir and I wrote about the gorgeous festive site that her and her husband BengalTiger Writer had created. Wheemzel was about to change my SL forever, although I did not know it at the time. She got in touch with me one day and said that the news media group CNN had come into SL. They were looking for writers, calling them ireporters, who would report both on SL and real life. I went along to the CNN meetings in-world and met real life reporters who encouraged us to grab stories about SL and post them on their news site. This was the start of both real life and Second Life ireporting and I was among a handful of ireporters, (including Hibiscus Hastings) contributing at that time. The number of ireporters has increased so much, as self reporting has taken off big time, that there are now over 20,000 ireporters.

I knew that I had found my niche, I loved it, going out interviewing people and finding things to write about. My first big break was when CNN reporter Tyson Wheatley sent me on a consignment to cover an American Congress meeting. They were holding their first real life meeting using the SL environment, which actually made a bit of history, it was the first time Congress had entered into a virtual world and they discussed the future of using 3D Internet programs such as SL for education, business and health matters. I later received a letter from the Congressional people thanking me for covering the story, which was a nice surprise. I write regularly for CNN and try to put one story in a week, and I appreciate the help I have had from CNN Reporters and Producers Nicole Saidi, Henry Hanks and Tyson Wheatley.

My second big SL chance came about in June 2008 when I saw an in-world advert from Multi Media Manager Nik Hewitt, who worked for the Daily Mail (av Nikk Huet). Nik wanted reporters to write about SL London, a fantastic mirror image of the real London, owned by the hard working Debs Regent. I applied for the job and was instantly made Assistant Editor and was actually earning my first SL wage. I love writing about this fabulous London sim, keeping the blog updated each weekday with all the news from the virtual capital (http://www.virtuallylonondlite.com/ ). Within a short time Nik made me Editor of the blog and I am pleased to say that Hibiscus Hastings, a great writer that I had got to know at CNN, joined me as Chief Reporter. Also by chance I met new avatar Pixi Piers and instantly knew that she also had a big talent for writing. I am extremely lucky to have these two contributing to the blog, they are both excellent writers and both best friends to me. Another best friend who has supported me one hundred percent is Drax Ember, he has encouraged me, given me advice, helped me and has also had to put up with me during any bad times when I’ve felt like backing away from writing altogether.

Due to unforeseen circumstances Nik no longer runs Virtually London (lite) and a couple of months ago, handed the blog over to my control. Nothing has changed in respect of content and we will continue to report on the London sims, with hopefully Nik also posting articles and machinima films from time to time. I would also like to thank Nik for giving me the chance to write for the London Blog and for all his help. I would also like to mention Debs Regent and her wonderful London team, a lot of whom have also become good friends to me.

I keep my real life apart from SL as much as possible, preferring to write as Janey. I have some bad parts to my character, I am bossy, organising, opinionated, make up my mind about people within the first five minutes of meeting them, good or bad (I am usually right though!!), hate treacherous people who make out they are my friend whilst scheming behind my back, (there are some!), love constructive criticism, but hate people who criticise because they themselves have no talent, also people who say they can do everything but can’t! This list probably isn’t exhaustive either. My good points are: I am fiercely loyal to my friends, I will come to their defence whatever, hopefully I am generous, forward planning, good with ideas and a good listener (although I don’t suffer fools gladly!). I have a great sense of humour and can be witty, although people who do not like this call it sarcastic! No idea why!! Looks a bit like the bad bits outweigh the good, but never mind, I’m honest too.

This new blog is exciting as it’s different to my personal Janey blog and Virtually London (Lite). I, along with Hibiscus and Pixi want to bring you snippets of news from all over SL, funny little bits, sad bits and some crazy bits thrown in, bear with us and we can share all the wealth that this virtual world offers!


Hello everyone. I would just like to introduce myself to you all. My name is Pixi Piers, and I’m 5 feet 6 inches tall, with blonde hair, brown eyes and how much I weigh is my business! I am very much like my real life character in many ways, and I’m not sure who rules who anymore! I work as a reporter for Virtually London (Lite), along with my boss Janey Bracken and head reporter Hibiscus Hastings. Although I have only been in second life for less than 4 months, I have travelled to many places and met many people. Some have intrigued me, some have repulsed me, and some have even tried to hurt me. Fortunately for me I have met some really nice people also, and a couple of these I feel privileged to call my friends, (you know who you are). In this weird and wonderful world it’s comforting to know I can depend on these few. At the moment I am single, and will probably stay that way, unless a certain footballer comes calling! no names, but he used to be captain of his country’s team, and is, sadly for me, married to some posh bird, lol. Talking of football, I used to play when I was younger just for the local team, but we were the best team in the area (smug). My mum used to say "your just like a tom boy" and apparently I would reply "I’m not a tom boy, I’m a tom girl" lol. I have fantastic memories of going to watch my favourite team with my dad, which I hope to share a few with you in the coming weeks. Music is also big in my life, I listen to it all of the time. I love doing the clubs with my 'girls' and when I was around 18 to 20 years old, we would go to raves all around the country, staying away for days at a time. They were the best days of my life, although my mum's worst (sorry mum x). I love speed. and I own an old clapped out sports car, and I adore driving round with the top down, wind blowing through my hair, and the shades on, foot to the floor, 'heaven'. I don’t have any children of my own yet (David where are you?) hehe, but I have nieces and nephews whom I adore. I enjoy quizzes and trivia--- hang on a minute! this is beginning to sound like a lonely hearts column, a searching for love kind of thing, rather than an article. Oh well while we’re at it, he must be tall, like football----- lol.
I’m really looking forward to writing here, sharing with you a few of my thoughts, some of my up's and downs. And if some of what I write makes you smile for a while, then you have made me smile. Please come back and visit us often as we will be posting more article and stories as often as we can. Oh and please don’t be shy to click on an advert, as it helps us pay our way, thank you. Pixi

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Virtual News Hounds

Welcome to our virtual world. We are three reporters who write for Virtually London (Lite) http://www.virtuallylondonlite.com/ and CNN ireports. We would like to share our stories, news and adventures from Second Life with you. We intend to cover all aspects of life in a virtual environment and invite you along for the ride! So please feel free to comment, we love to hear from you!

Reporters - Janey Bracken, Hibiscus Hastings and Pixi Piers