Wednesday, April 30, 2008

By Request

By request, I've repdocued Whimsical Times in text form.

Whimsical Times is the official publication of Whimsy Estates, available free of charge as a public service. Send materials and enquiries to Cheyenne Palisades in-world or e-mail her at

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Whimsical Times
The Newsletter of the Whimsy Sims
April, 2008, Vol. 1, No. 2

Whimsy Shapes Up

With terraforming complete, Job One for Team Whimsy became one of primming-- that is, putting objects on the land in a logical and consistent and in-theme manner. Top priority was creating a home for the volcano goddess. One doesn’t want to make Pele upset!

Cheyenne laid down her patented wadeable animated lava, making certain there was a super secret way to slip underneath into the secret space under the volcano, then installed Pele's erupt mode. This required the temple, which Chey initially placed on the lower eastern face of the caldera. Sweetie took one look at it with her designer’s eye and shook her head. Soon the temple was sitting atop a promontory on the western edge, where it commandeers a grand view of the Whimsy sim and, as a bonus, looks impressive from the ground.

The Pele island will be under development for a while. On the table are gardens at sea level, paths (late note, some paths are now completed) and something—Team Whimsy isn’t yet sure what) to occupy the hollow space inside the mountain. Already the island sports a Paleolithic drinking bird (touch to start and stop, and ride it if you dare), a hang glider rezzer, and Whimsy’s entry area.

The public beach also got dressed up with a pirate ship with obligatory sunken treasure, a campfire for story-telling and music-playing, a tiki gazebo, and a canoe rezzer. Foliage on the beach is tropical. Cheyenne, who has long tried and often failed to follow Exuberance’s advice that plants look best when clustered, broke down and bought some of Lilith Heart’s ready-made beach groups, which make the northeast corner of Whimsy look like a tropical paradise (which it sort of it).

Some objects will eventually be relocated as Team Whimsy plans and constructs a network of walkways and bridges and works out routes for the Whimsy Avatar Mobilization Authority.

Whimsy—the best keeps getting better!

Tiki Controversy

The Whimsy Transportation Authority is taking heat for its recent decision to run a light rail line down the stone gullet of the archipelago’s giant tiki man. Enraged local residents have threatened to boycott the WTA. “We don’t know Mr. Tiki’s story,” resident Michelle Runningbear, president of Citizens for Saving Mr. Tiki, told The Whimsy Times, ”but we’re used to him and we like him as he is. We resent the Transportation Authority’s unilateral decision to run a train down his throat. If the WTA goes forward with its plan, Whimsey’s residents will engage in sporadic nonviolent acts of silliness.”

WTA President Cheyenne Palisades pooh-poohed the idea of a demonstration. “We have Mr. Tiki’s explicit permission for the rail route,” she said, “and he’s getting a nice kickback. Tiki men everywhere will be outraged if CSMT interferes with Whimsy’s public transportation. And by the way, Ms. Runningbear is on the No Ride list.”

Construction of WTA’s routes are underway, with much activity in the vicinity of Mr. Tiki. “We fear the worst,” Ms. Runningbear told the Whimsical Times.

Build to 4096m!
What’s Unusual About This Prim?
It’s at 4000 meters!

In a series of bold and daring experiments, Cheyenne Palisades and Sweetie have confirmed the rumor that it is possible to build as high as 4096 meters with the new Dazzle First Look viewer.

“The air is thin up there, but I can hold my breath for a long, long time,” said Sweetie. “I got my training on the Avatar Mobilization Unit.” “The train, that is,” said Ms. Palisades. “You’ll see why when you ride it.”

“It was amazing!” said Sweetie. “We broke the 768 meter barrier! 1000 meters! Still building! 2000 meters! Still building! Three thousand! Four!”

“We were able to rez, resize, link, and move prims all the way past 4000 meters,” added Ms. Palisades, “and teleports worked as well. This will be huge!"

“This was fortuitous and timely,” said Sweetie. “We needed more room for ridiculous builds.”

Team Whimsy is in need of an energetic and not very bright volunteer to determine whether the extended building range is available to non-estate owners. If so, rumor has it, a new corridor will be opened for resident structures.

Feminist Expedition
A Woman On a Mission

Whimsy resident Feminist Expedition consented to an interview
with Whimsian Times.

Fem, will you tell our readers about your work in real life and Second Life?

Fem: I’ve been working for decades now as a non-violence advocate and as a self-defense trainer and martial arts instructor. In the 80s I fell into Buddhism when a martial arts student told me about a class “I needed.”

So, I began practice in kundalini yoga and quickly met my guru.... For people who aren’t familiar with meditation as a spiritual practice, that can be a very strange idea. And it was for me, too!

In Second Life, I met a guy from England who wanted to create “The Enlightenment Gallery” as a parcel to collect art and give folks a chance to make a connection to the higher energies... so I offered to teach basic meditation practice. He offered to build me a Skydojo for doing SL training for self-defense professionals. Then he decided to leave SL! So, I inherited the parcel. For a while it was on the mainland, and now it’s on the lovely isle of Whimsy.

I’ve been teaching meditation groups since August 2007. I’m currently working on materials to bring more self-defense education to SL, with presentation boards and through video.

WT: Are you finding SL an effective medium for your work?

Fem: Second Life is an awesome place that allows people to meet internationally, in an easy way. For this reason I think it’s very effective for folks working with progressive ideas— where else can you chat internationally with only a few keystrokes needed to bring you together? With meditation, I find a lot of people here looking for community and sometimes assistance in separate growth techniques that can actually build spiritual awareness and capacity... from all the infinite things that are available to us in these modern times... Second Life and real life!

WT: Fem, tell us about your aquarium!

Fem: In SL there seems to be plenty of builders of fascinating things. One of my first fascinations was with SL fish, so we decided to host SL’s Great Fishbowl, to highlight the creativity of this medium. Also, it’s well-known that gazing at fish is wonderful for stress-reduction... so we felt this would be a wonderful way to use
our parcel.

Since we started our fish collection, we’ve hosted mermaids, mermen, and scuba divers and many other guests have come to see the beauty of these moving pixels in all colors and forms. Plus, where else can you have a great conversation with a good friend while slowly rotating around the fishbowl on the back of our gorgeous orca? This is a must-participate Second Life opportunity!

Havok4 Wreaks Havoc!

April 1 saw the gridwide implementation of Havok4, Second Life’s new physics engine.

It’s finally here. And it’s causing problems.

Sweetie was quick to notice. Her avatar was sliding down a tilted prim, she said. And it was! “I sort of like it,” she told Cheyenne. Next, she noticed her avatar was losing altitude when hovering.

So, too, does the Mathieu Basiat’s hang glider, which, under Havok1, was a pleasure to ride in Whimsy’s wind currents. Now it drops so rapidly it’s impractical to ride.

Then there’s the matter of the backwards-flying parrots. Chey set out a half-dozen at Pele’s caldera and they went wild, tumbling and flying in a most erratic fashion. Creator Garth Fairchang promises a fix, so Whimsy residents will see soon see more parrots. Meanwhile, the Fairchang gulls, hawk, and parrots already on the land continue to fly correctly.

Most things are working properly under Havok4, which offers a number of benefits over Havok1, the previous physics engine.

New Sim Neighbors

Whimsy’s residents were excited on April 4 when a range of mountains suddenly appeared on the southern horizon. Leaf Shermer’s Eccentricity sim had been born!

For a year-and-a-half, Leaf owned property just to the south of Pele, Chey and Sweeite’s home on Dreamland’s Forsaken sim. Leaf’s land was beautiful and peaceful and she was a wonderful neighbor, so when she decided to buy a sim, a slot next to Whimsy was a natural.

Because of a recent and dramatic decrease in prices for private islands, both Leaf and Chey will be getting openspace (“light”) sims, which provide 3750 prims on a land space the size of Whimsy. Whimsy Kaboom will be placed along Whimsy’s western border, and Leaf’s new sim will be placed to its south.

Whimsy Kaboom will offer plenty of open water for sailing and surfing

Police Blotter Coming

Private islands provide special tools to help owners deal with the dreaded lag monster. We all know the lag monster, right? It spoils your Second Life experience, making it difficult to move and rez objects, and dress your avatar. Now we are able to spot laggy scripts. In Whimsical Times we’ll be listing objects that cause a large amount of server or physics lag, and, for comparison, some objects that require little script time. Some of the laggy objects will, alas, be Cheyenne’s.

Whimsy’s server can handle a certain amount of laggy scripts, but too many will slow things down. It will help us all to know how much script time our objects require.

Seeing your most recent dearly-loved purchase in this space doesn’t necessarily mean you should remove it, but it can’t hurt to know which sorts of objects place heavy loads on the server.

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