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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/07/2020 in Blog Entries

  1. 36 points
    Hi Residents! We rolled out some changes to how region crossings work this week, and I want to explain a little about why and what we changed. Please note that this blog post is gonna be a bunch more technical than my normal posts, because this is a tricky technical thing. Here’s a really quick summary, however: As part of moving regions to the cloud we discovered that region crossings between the cloud and our data center were terrible. Since we now had an easy way to reproduce the issue, we dug into it, and were able to find some really old bugs, and fixed them. Hooray! And now for a fuller description! The process of crossing from one region to another when you’re riding in a vehicle is pretty involved. The region you’re leaving needs to be able to tell the region where you’re arriving everything it knows about the vehicle, and has to do it really quickly. That includes all of the scripts in the vehicle, everything that’s attached to it, the direction and how fast it’s going, and lots of other stuff. To make this happen quickly, early on in Second Life’s history we made some assumptions about our network, including things like how big a packet can be. Those assumptions generally worked okay on our own network, but not outside it. When you crossed from one region to another, the regions were putting a lot of information into large packets and sending them across our network. This was usually okay because our network was purposefully built to run Second Life. Then, as soon we tried to do this on someone else’s network (in the cloud), things didn’t work quite right. The problem was most noticeable when crossing from a region in our data center to one in the cloud. The first thing our engineering teams tried was breaking those large packets up into smaller ones, but that actually made the problem worse. Rather than send one big packet and wait for the other side to say it received the data, with smaller packets, it had to repeat that bunch of times for each packet. (Send, get an acknowledgement, send another piece, get an acknowledgement, etc.) It was still mostly okay across our network, but way worse when a region in our network was talking to one in the cloud. We now knew this code would never work well, so we needed a different approach. Next, our engineering team decided to use another way to send the data across the network, using the same protocol and method we use for other types of data. Most importantly, it is faster and more reliable. That did the trick! We’re still collecting statistics on the impact this change has, but things are looking very positive. Once this new code was written, the performance when going from region to region got a lot better, and it worked between our data center and the cloud! The improvement was so dramatic that we decided to not make our Residents wait for uplifted simulators, and rolled the changes out right away. That code is what rolled out to the grid this week. It’s really exciting that the cloud migration is helping us find really old bugs and make Second Life better as we go. A gridbun that’s really ready to hop among the clouds, April Linden
  2. 7 points
    (Photo courtesy of Juel Resistance) This week’s featured artist is Juel Resistance (you may know her as Suzen Juel), whose creative output consists of soulful music as well as dreamy visual art. Please visit her Spotify and this awesome RL video of her playing music. We hope you check out her calendar to catch her live inword! She posts some amazing photos in a variety of styles on Flickr, and more information can be found on her website. If you’d like to experience some of her artwork inworld, head on over to Altered. Q: When and how did you hear about Second Life? A: I was playing an online game with a friend called The Sims Online. He told me to check out Second Life, so I did. I created Juel Edison and explored the vast spaces and just couldn't figure out what to make of it. While I was exploring I met another friend that I kept in touch with and eventually I just lost interest. In 2005 my SL friend said, “JUEL, COME BACK, there is live music in SL now!” I told him he was full of s*** haaa, and I came back as… well, me. Q: What instruments do you play, and how did you first become interested in music? A: I had a thing for the organ at my grandma's house when I was about 4ish. It had all those fun bossa nova, samba, cymbals sounds, so I'd putz around on it, playing what I would hear on the radio. Mom would sometimes play it with me, she had taken lessons when she was young. I lost interest… at about 13 I found a guitar in my grandparents’ attic, a tiny one. I ran downstairs: “PAPA!” He smiled and said, “I made that the year you were born, it's yours… go play it!” I loved that guitar and I was going to learn it… so I got some books and taught myself for a while, eventually taking lessons until my guitar teacher asked me to sing and play “Delta Dawn.” I slowly packed up my little guitar, walked home, and never went back. I was mortified. SING? I'm NOT going to SING in FRONT of YOU! OMG! That was that. I really haven't put it down since. I also have a ukulele that I love, but I don't really play it as much. I dabble around on harmonica and also have my mom's banjo, which I would like to learn as well. Oh, and I whistle, that's important too! Q: The painter Wassily Kandinsky was known to experience synesthesia and expressed hearing music as he painted, associating colors with distinct musical notes. As a visual artist, do you ever feel that your paintings are informed by your music, or vice versa? A: It's interesting that you bring up this question! When I was a preteen or so, I would listen to music, what kid didn't, right? My mom had come into my room and asked what I was doing. So I said without hesitation, "I'm drawing the sounds: this is the bass, this is the drum, this is the guitar," She just said, “Ok… interesting.” I didn't find out until many years later that this is synesthesia. It has had a profound impact on my art and music. I often paint in what I'm seeing or hearing from music with a good bass line, like trip hop. It's full of vibrant imagination to me. My own music doesn't really make me see colors, more shapes...closing my eyes when I perform is like a putting up the big screen theater, haha. Q: While there have been many incredible female Blues and Americana figures, the mainstream image of the "greats" of these genres is predominantly men. Please share some underrated female musicians that you feel we should know about. A: I'm a sucker for female songwriters. Lucinda Williams tells some soulful stories in her lyrics. She's relatable, she gets it. Holly Williams. Mary Gauthier. Rory Block. Beth Hart. They all have serious soul, edge, and guts. Q: A huge obstacle to gender equality in the arts is the notion that many see female/non-binary experiences as only interesting to them, but male experiences as universal. Do you try to make your work universally appealing, or do you aim for a niche audience? A: I do quirky little cartoon drawings called 'inkies.' They can have curly hair or long hair and they always have a shirt on. Someone once asked why they are all female and I said, “Nooo, they aren't, they are gender neutral.” And as I'm grinning, I realized that no one has ever questioned this before in my inkies. As far as music goes, I write what I write and hope someone else finds it relatable, I hope someone feels something. I hope people find a little release, be it funny or sad or any other emotion. I tend not to create things to be universally appealing, it's quite personal and very much a niche audience. Q: What is the most meaningful aspect of the SL music community to you? A: That we are a global community all in one little world called Second Life. We are music and art driven, we support each other with all the unique gifts we have. It's a great community that I fall more and more in love with every time. Thank you, Juel. Keep it up!
  3. 6 points
    “Lab Gab” is a live-streamed variety show that showcases events, destinations, and different talents across Second Life. Join our host, Strawberry Linden, as she speaks with the founder of Second Life and co-Founder of High Fidelity, Philip Rosedale! Strawberry will be asking Philip questions about the origins of Second Life, what he’s up to now, and what he sees in the future for virtual worlds. Tune in on Friday, August 7th at 10:30am PT/SLT. Watch us live on YouTube, Facebook, or Periscope! For full episodes of Lab Gab, click over to the Lab Gab YouTube Playlist.
  4. 4 points
    It’s World Lion Day and today’s majestic Second Life pic of the day is by Xana Newall. For a chance to have your image featured as the Second Life pic of the day, submit your work to the Official Second Life Flickr Group, but don't forget to read the rules! Connect with Second Life on Social Media: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Flickr | Pinterest | Tumblr | Plurk | TikTok | Reddit | LinkedIn
  5. 4 points
    "Philip talked about hanging out at the new Linden Homes continent, the virus pandemic, the rig, the status of High Fidelity, his Second Life avatar, a little about the Linden Lab acquisition (saying it’s a good thing) and much more." Read more on the blog.
  6. 4 points
    Dangerous Safari by Aliya Ashton is today's Second Life pic of the day! For a chance to have your image featured as the Second Life pic of the day, submit your work to the Official Second Life Flickr Group, but don't forget to read the rules! Connect with Second Life on Social Media: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Flickr | Pinterest | Tumblr | Plurk | TikTok | Reddit | LinkedIn
  7. 3 points
    (photo taken at Astral Dreams) One of Second Life’s role-playing communities involves steampunk fandom. For those unfamiliar with the term, steampunk is a genre of science fiction/science fantasy that takes place during the era of steam power (usually the British Victorian era or the American “Wild West”) in which the fashion, technology, and physical settings are influenced by designs from the future. The aesthetic can be anachronistic, containing futuristic elements that are set in the past, or retrofuturistic, where the design is inspired by depictions of the future made in an earlier period. Residents can visit a number of steampunk regions to be immersed in a wondrous mixture of time and imagine what might have been. The decor often contains a sense of whimsy and magic, with polished brass, plenty of iron, and wood. Leather clothing is quite common, as are clocks/watches with visible gears and thick goggles to protect your eyes while flying airships or welding. The marketplace has tons of incredibly creative steampunk items, from tophats to Victorian furniture. You can also take inspiration from notable steampunk films, such as The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and The City of Lost Children. For those who just want to see what others are up to before diving in, check out this chat on the forum. Steampunk is an easy style to experiment with, since the accessories are so distinct. You can start out with a monocle and a watch on a gold chain and take it from there! ( (An example of a steampunk setting, photo by Orion)
  8. 3 points
    When there are 15 seconds left on 'Chopped' and there's no time to change into a new shirt! Today's Second Life pic of the day is by Mac Massimo. For a chance to have your image featured as the Second Life pic of the day, submit your work to the Official Second Life Flickr Group, but don't forget to read the rules! Connect with Second Life on Social Media: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Flickr | Pinterest | Tumblr | Plurk | TikTok | Reddit | LinkedIn
  9. 3 points
    A whimsical and surreal adventure awaits any curious traveler who arrives at Wonderland. Creators Nips and Lucifer Alpha compressed a stunning amount of detail into a relatively small region, with Nips describing their stylistic goals as “vivid colors, dense, lush landscaping, and splashes of inexplicable whimsy.” This quality over quantity approach to space has fostered a disarming vibe conducive to intimacy, with many Residents staying for hours and often coming back with friends. It’s like they distilled the allure of a trendy coffeeshop and the serenity of a sculpture garden; Wonderland embraces the spectacular while deftly omitting any source of intimidation. Part of what makes Wonderland’s environment so welcoming is a great balance of open space and shelter under luminous trees, tall mushrooms, or other fanciful structures. In fact, Nips says that the many romantic nooks are quickly becoming popular date spots for couples. Exploration of the sky above will lead to many photogenic floating islands with varying themes, and keep an eye out for a flying whale! Wonderland has some humorous details as well, with Easter eggs from beloved films like Hook, Shrek, and maybe more for meticulous observers. In keeping with SL’s sense of community, Wonderland’s creation was a hugely collaborative effort, with Nips and Lucifer Alpha sourcing content from some of the best creators and artists in SL. They would like to express gratitude to LOVE, HPMD, Boudoir, Bryn Oh, Mistero Hifeng, and Curio Obscura for helping to make the place what it is. Whether you have just a moment or all the time in the world, stopping by Wonderland is an absolute must. Wonderland Take a step through the slightly broken looking glass and then immerse yourself in the land that Alice abandoned. We are all mad here and all mimsy were the borogoves. If you find the Bandersnatch or Jubjub bird, please return them safely to their cages. Visit in Second Life Credits: Video Production: Draxtor Despres
  10. 3 points
    "If we check Wikipedia, it redirects us to the entry for VR photography: “VR photography (after virtual reality photography) is the interactive viewing of wide-angle panoramic photographs, generally encompassing a 360-degree circle or a spherical view. The results is known as VR photograph (or VR photo), 360-degree photo, photo sphere, or spherical photo, as well as interactive panorama or immersive panorama.”" Read more on the blog.
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    "The SL History Museum in Phobos is a great place to learn about the origins of Second Life. There are displays of historical Second Life images, notecards, objects and freebies. The SL History Museum was built by Oz Spade back on 4th August 2004. " Read more on the blog.
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    Pictured: Monsters by Cica Ghost Each week, the Second Life Destination Guide editorial team reviews dozens of new locations and events worth exploring. With all those beautiful destinations to check out, we thought we’d highlight a few of the entries that stood out to the editorial team. Here are this week's beautiful additions to Editors' Picks: Monsters by Cica Ghost ''Monsters are real, ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes they win.'' Steven King Visit in Second Life The Coasters Club A place for art, content creators, and music in a minimal photogenic flooded water landscape. Visit in Second Life Chankanaab Chankanaab, a little jungle along the cerulean Caribbean waters, on the coast of the Yucatan. With authentic flora and fauna, Chankanaab is the next best thing to visiting Cozumel yourself. Come explore, take photographs, and meet a group of lovely people. Enjoy nature, if you like, or indulge your darker side. Visit in Second Life Mount Campion Caves National Forest Mount Campion Caves National Forest is landscaped to look like a natural mountain park. There is an extensive system of natural caves and caverns. Above ground are miles of scenic trails through natural canyons and forests. There is hiking, horseback riding, and cabin rentals. Located on the slopes of Mount Campion, the highest mountain in SL and bordering SL route 6 Bridle path. Visit in Second Life Eterea Eterea is a region dedicated to photography, with surreal and fantasy settings. A little piece of art in a wonderful fantasy world called Second Life. Visit in Second Life Check out these beautiful regions perfect for role-play: Outpost Station 12 Outpost Station 12 is a cyberpunk-inspired Space Station which is open for role-playing, photography, or just hanging out. Visit in Second Life Rizzi on the Beach - Hotel and Resort Welcome to RIZZI on the BEACH, a Grand Hotel and beach resort offering you beauty and luxury for your dream holidays. Enjoy the amenities like the beautiful restaurant, the pool bar, beach cabanas, and the day spa. Enjoy vivid roleplay with the Rizzi staff! The "Honeymoon Wintergarten" is the perfect hideaway for lovers, offering maximum privacy including a terrace and pool. Visit in Second Life Kiyori Kiyori is an adult region with a focus on nightlife with an Asian twist. Ride the subway, visit the red light district, find luxury Asian-styled high rise apartments, or stop at the Korean District for KBBQ restaurant, K-Beauty Store, Internet Gaming Cafe, Karaoke Lounge, Soju Bar, and more. There is also an Asian Night Market where you will be able to shop and rent stores. Explore and discover something new each time you visit! Visit in Second Life Edge Located in the picturesque northeastern coast of New England, nestled in a small harbor town you will find Edge. Edge is filled with beautiful open landscaping and many hidden secrets waiting to be found. Wander into the harbor or along a waterfall laden path. Enjoy the tea house garden or a stroll along the river. Whatever your passion, the region is open for all to explore, see the sites, and enjoy some relaxation and company. Visit with others in the Edge community and enjoy fun banter over one of our games. Edge caters to the kinkier side of life, so feel free to entertain every facet of fun you can dream. Visit in Second Life Transylvania Turns 16 The Transylvania Family, Second Life’s oldest gothic vampire and lycan community welcomes you all to celebrate its 16th birthday with a week-long series of events starting on Friday, August 7 and culminating in a birthday celebration on Thursday, August 13. Visit in Second Life Finally, a shopping experience you don't want to miss! The Outlet Seraphim brings you The Outlet Infinity Event! It is a brand new shopping experience. It never closes! Your favorite designers are bringing you previous releases at a HUGE discounted price, and changing the items weekly making sure you always get a great bargain. It's a great way to save money and update your wardrobe. See you there! Visit in Second Life Got a spot that you’d like listed in the Destination Guide? Make sure to drop us a note at editor@lindenlab.com or submit your spot via web form. Connect with Second Life on Social Media: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Flickr | Pinterest | Tumblr | Plurk | TikTok | Reddit | LinkedIn
  16. 2 points
    Today's Second Life pic of the day is of a beautiful anime avatar by Kitsune Shan. For a chance to have your image featured as the Second Life pic of the day, submit your work to the Official Second Life Flickr Group, but don't forget to read the rules! Connect with Second Life on Social Media: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Flickr | Pinterest | Tumblr | Plurk | TikTok | Reddit | LinkedIn
  17. 2 points
    Sunshine Girl by Romi Clementine is today’s Second Life pic of the day. For a chance to have your image featured as the Second Life pic of the day, submit your work to the Official Second Life Flickr Group, but don't forget to read the rules! Connect with Second Life on Social Media: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Flickr | Pinterest | Tumblr | Plurk | TikTok | Reddit | LinkedIn
  18. 1 point
    “Lab Gab” is a live-streamed variety show that showcases events, destinations, and different talents across Second Life. Join our host, Strawberry Linden, as she speaks with the team that helped to bring the Peale in Baltimore into Second Life. The Peale, which is housed in the first purpose-built museum building in the United States, debuts later this week. Joining us on “Lab Gab” will be Nancy Proctor, the Director of the Peale in Baltimore, David London, the Peale’s Chief Experience Officer, and Eme Capalini from Virtual Ability. Tune in on Friday, August 14th at 11am PT/SLT. Watch us live on YouTube, Facebook, or Periscope! For full episodes of Lab Gab, click over to the Lab Gab YouTube Playlist.
  19. 1 point
    "The “Rochester” is an impressive 4 Bedroom 3 Bathroom modestly sized mansion perfectly suited for luxurious living and entertaining! Its detailed exterior is a subtle blend of coastal architecture, with delicate wood details and an eye-catching turret projecting out of the front facade. Long shutters adorn half-covered balconies which rest upon bay windows that let in an abundance of sunlight, giving the interiors a warm and cozy atmosphere." Read more on the blog.
  20. 1 point
    "the provocative dualistic title of today’s show is chosen to maximize roi [return on investment] on internet searches of course. but fear not: within the one hour + discussion there is much more wisdom from fran wilde, rj barker and tad williams on the role and impact, the craft and joy of reading and writing contemporary fantastic literature." Read more on the blog.
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    "Hello my dears, I have a cute new skin from theSkinnery for Fleur, I use again the new hair from Truth and a beautiful bodysuit from Scandalize." Read more on the blog.
  25. 1 point
    "Besides bringing to the public a retrospective of photographer Boudicca Amat’s work in Second Life, The 22 art space opened yesterday, August 8th, with a special installation that Randy and I conceived as an interactive experience for the gallery’s public: Carol Anne." Read more on the blog.
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    "In a new adventure for our second lives, Randy Firebrand and I decided to inaugurate an art space in Bellisseria called The 22, and we invited photographer Boudicca Amat for the opening exhibition, which starts today, August 8th, and runs until October 24th (for the same period, Randy and I will be showing an installation there, too, but that’s a subject for another post that will soon be published). " Read more on the blog.
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    "And we are back with more goodies to share! I was planning on taking the day off from posting but there is just so much amazing stuff going on right now I couldn't resist!" Read more on the blog.
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    Details on the blog.
  32. 1 point
    "I can’t imagine anyone being at all surprised that I’m super nerdy a lot of the time and pretty proud of it too! This is also a specific instance in which I am perfectly okay with perpetuating a few stereotypes. Gaming headsets are nerd gear. Gamers are nerdy, and it is awesome. Glasses are sexy, and also nerdy. " Read more on the blog.
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    "STORYLINE: Fennimore's parents told him he had to take his little cousin Willow with him to Hogwarts. She was shy and worried about getting lost in the train station. When he didn't offer his hand for her to hold, she held onto his shirt tail instead. "I'm going to be in Ravenclaw too, Fenny!" she shouted over the busy noise." Read more on the blog.
  35. 1 point
    "We hope to see all of you there! and Show off your styling! Plus the results of the GIVEAWAY will be ANNOUNCE at the PARTY at 2.30pm SLT." Read more on the blog.
  36. 1 point
    "I love boho décor. Actually, I love boho everything. All the bright colors, the soft curves, the flowing dresses and flowers in the hair. For décor, bright colors and cheerful, free spirit feel. It makes me feel calm and safe. I wish I had a living set like this one from The Green Door in the real world." Read more on the blog.
  37. 1 point
    "Erik Mondrian, one of the winners of the New World Notes competition for a free ticket to the inworld private premiere of STÖMOL, enjoyed my film so much he told me I should consider submitting it to a film festival. If you’ve seen my Lab Gab interview with Strawberry Linden, you’ll hopefully know by now just how much of a novice I am to all of this film-making stuff, and therefore won’t be entirely surprised to learn that my response to this was, “How do I do that?”" Read more on the blog.
  38. 1 point
    "Lab Gab returns on Friday, August 7th, 2020, with a very special guest in the form of Philip Rosedale, the founder of Second Life and co-founder of Love Machine Inc., and Coffee and Power – which would become High Fidelity." Read more on the blog.
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    Happy 6th anniversary to L'Homme Magazine in Second Life! Today's pic of the day is the cover of their August 2020 issue. Click over to read the magazine now! For a chance to have your image featured as the Second Life pic of the day, submit your work to the Official Second Life Flickr Group, but don't forget to read the rules! Connect with Second Life on Social Media: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Flickr | Pinterest | Tumblr | Plurk | TikTok | Reddit | LinkedIn
  41. 1 point
    "I came for a visit to enjoy the August art exhibition at the Nitroglobus Roof Art Gallery yesterday. I explored Mareea Farrasco‘s art, that, my fault, I didn’t know yet. The Nitroglobus Roof Art Gallery is brilliantly curated by Dido Haas." Read more on the blog.
  42. 1 point
    "Have you ever been on an all inclusive holiday in Second Life? I haven’t. Well until this week! Huck surprised me with a fancy vacation to a luxury resort, the Kidaka Resort, where he booked a lodge in the wilderness for us. He only told me to pack for ‘safari’ and to take some days off of my usual Second Life activities and the rest I would see when I got there." Read more on the blog.
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    "Cruella Deville was a bad person who liked to wear the fur from dalmations. Me on the other hand, I just love dogs and having them around and I figured, why not match my dogs today?" Read more on the blog.
  47. 1 point
    Careful, unsuspecting traveler: what appears to have once been an idyllic medieval village is now inhabited by a dark force. Midnight Dreams is a huge region with many obscure nooks and ominous dens. The name Midnight Dreams was chosen very purposefully, as a notecard explains: “Midnight... the border between light and darkness... a day ends, and a new one gets born in that magical instance... it's the portal of the dream world…” This gloomy role-playing community is an English-speaking 8xp CSS (the grid-wide Community Combat System, made by Suzanna Soyinka) so those who speak other languages must use a translator. This region is also open to observers intrigued by the macabre, as long as you wear a tag. Upon entering the region, a menu of postcards illustrates the different supernatural beings you can transform into, each with varying strengths and attributes. In addition to vampires, there are demons, lycans, and even cyborgs, among others. Some of these character choices even have subcategories, which speaks to the depth of detail poured into this creation. It would take hours to explore this region thoroughly. Some of the highlights include a cathedral, marked by stained glass and jagged edges in the gothic manner, and a mysterious cocktail lounge bathed in deep red decor. In one remote catacomb, candles provide just enough light to reveal a bloodstained carpet leading to one of the Vampire King’s many thrones. Those bold enough to take a seat must cross a threshold of decaying bones. Trade in the summer heat for a ghostly chill at Midnight Dreams tonight! Midnight Dreams Midnight Dreams is a dark roleplay and optional combat environment focused on Vampires welcoming to all species. Featuring a variety of things to see, including a dark lit asylum, a floating lighthouse, an ancient, rune-scrawled shipwreck, a secret underground dungeon and a beautiful butterfly lake. Also connected to a Medieval Village, if you feel so inclined. Visit in Second Life
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    (Photo courtesy of Nina Setner) This week’s featured artist is Nina Setner, an incredibly talented singer with a broad range: jazz, cabaret, vintage and current pop/R&B, musical theater, and opera. She is a lifelong lover of music and has studied vocal performance in university, record stores, and beyond. Her music can be found on her YouTube channel, as well as SoundCloud. Q: When and how did you find out about Second Life? A: I'm an oldie in SL--I'm coming up on my 13th rez day this October, which seems particularly insane to me. Back in 2007, my life changed radically because I'd had my first child earlier that year. Going out with the girls had been replaced with staying home with the baby, so all of a sudden I found myself without much of a social outlet. One night we happened to be watching a now ancient episode of CSI with a storyline in which SL featured, I was intrigued, and here I am--though to be fair, I would say that in addition to the life-changing relationships I've made along the way, it's the music first and foremost that has kept me here. It has always been my touchstone, in both lives. Q: You sing in a wide variety of styles, two of which are jazz and cabaret. For people unfamiliar with these genres, how would you describe the difference? A: Oh wow, great question--I'll do my best! In the simplest terms possible, jazz is a musical style, and cabaret is a performance style. Jazz requires a lot of imagination and willingness to experiment and be fluid with rhythm, time signature, melody--but often within a pretty strict framework. In order to excel at it, I think you have to be brave and give into the process. You can't scat sing or improvise 8 bars timidly--you have to go in with your whole heart. Cabaret on the other hand is a more intimate performance setting, as opposed to a larger theater or arena, etc. It can be free form (on the piano bar end) or it can be scripted ahead of time in a more formal cabaret club, but in both settings, singers are enjoying a rapport and a connection with their audience, either by telling them a story through songs they've chosen ahead of time or engaging with them off the cuff. Cabaret singers commit hundreds--thousands, actually--of songs to memory, because in a setting like that, you need to be ready and able to sing requests from multiple genres, jazz certainly being one of them. Q: You mentioned that you are a mother. How do you balance your creative outlets with raising kids, and do they like music as well? A: I was a regular in the club circuit here in Chicagoland where I reside in the days before I had my kids. When I stumbled into SL, I had NO clue about the live music community or potential opportunity to continue performing at a high level, but thankfully I found out pretty quickly. While they were little, I had to keep my schedule incredibly light--one, maybe two shows a week tops. As they've gotten older and can entertain themselves for an hour (though everyone who follows me regularly has heard my kids in the background *far* more often than I'd like over the years!), I've been able to increase that show load. My kids are young musicians as well, but neither of them enjoy singing. Apparently they're “too shy.” I keep hoping that'll magically change one day. Fingers crossed! Q: When books are adapted into films, there are always purists who say the source material was better. Has there been a film adaptation of a musical that you feel should only be experienced live in the theater? A: Another fantastic question. I think musicals that are more on the visual spectacle end--for example, The Lion King--I think that those are best appreciated live and in person. It's difficult to transfer the director's vision to the screen in those circumstances. I'm also a bit of a Sondheim fanatic/purist, so while I've been really happy to see his work getting the wide exposure and recognition it deserves through film adaptations of Into the Woods and Sweeney Todd, nothing takes the place of seeing Sondheim done as Sondheim intended. On the flip side, some musicals transfer brilliantly--the film version of West Side Story is still, for me, the one to beat. I have yet to see a live performance of it (or any other movie musical) that I liked more. Q: Did you study music or are you self-trained? A: At this point, it feels like I've been studying it my whole life. I started playing piano as a young kid and added voice lessons to the mix during my early teen years. Those piano lessons really helped shape my ear and broaden my repertoire beyond what I even understood at the time (I was playing Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust" and songs like it back in high school out of random piano collections I'd pick up at the local music store--who knew I'd still be singing those songs 30 years later?) I did study music in college--I went to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and hold degrees in both choral music education and vocal performance, and I'm still studying today--that never stops! Q: What is the most meaningful aspect of the SL music community to you? A: So, so many things. What SL and the music community in particular have added to my life and work as a musician is sort of incalculable. But I think reaching out over thousands of miles, making those connections and sharing your art and your passion with people you never would have had the opportunity to meet otherwise? I think that's pretty damn special. I hope we're here for years to come. Thank you so much, Nina! Don’t forget to check out her calendar for upcoming performances, and her group in SL. If you or someone you know would like to sign up to be featured in Music Mondays, please fill out this form. For more information, take a look at our official announcement.
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    Today we’re announcing our new, fresh faced Auctions System - now part of Place Pages. We’ve created an Auctions Walkthrough and the Auctions FAQ to help answer common questions and provide a detailed breakdown of how auctions work and what happens during the different stages of bidding. You’ll notice a couple of key changes: Bidding on an auction will require you have the funds available in your account at the time you place a bid. Your maximum bid amount is immediately taken out of your account and held in escrow. If you are the winning bidder, the parcel you won will be assigned to you within an hour of the auction closing. Soon it will be possible for you to create auctions to sell mainland parcels you own (the parcel must be owned individually, not by a group).
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