Where everybody knows your name

June 15, 2014

Do you remember Cheers, the American sitcom television series that aired for 11 seasons from 1982 to 1993?

The show was set in Cheers, a bar named after the popular toast, in Boston, Massachusetts, where a group of locals met to drink, relax, and socialize.

Muddy's Music Cafe through the front door window

Muddy’s Music Cafe through the front door window

The bar had a theme song, Where Everybody Knows Your Name, which may have stuck in your mind. It seems as if everybody over 30 remembers the tune.

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Anywhere’s a better place to be

February 16, 2008

Most of the 12.5 million or so residents of Second Life get in free. Each has the right to do whatever they can imagine and is possible in a virtual world.

Anywhere’s a better place to be - Harry Chapin Memorial

Townscape memorial to singer/songwriter Harry Chapin (1942-1981).

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NPR star plugs SL to 3 million potential newbies

August 31, 2007

by Stone Semyorka

Have you heard of Ira Flatow? No? Well, 1 percent of Americans have.

He’s the host of that National Public Radio (NPR) show, Science Friday, with the catchy slogan Making Science Radioactive.

Ira Flatley crowd 2
Crowd gathers to see Ira Flatley at the Science School

According to the stately News York Times, radioman Flatow is one of the world’s most influential communicators of science. Apparently, some 3 million people believe it and tune in to his talkfest for two hours every Friday afternoon.

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In the future, cities will become deserts…

August 9, 2007

by Stone Semyorka

Remember Pleasantville? Where Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon were transported from their tumultuously teenage lives in a stereotypical 1990s household back into the calm and collected black-and-white world of a TV sitcom set in a perfect 1950s town? You know, something like the hometowns of Father Knows Best or Leave It To Beaver?

Wasteland - yurt welcome center
A yurt welcome center greets a visitor to the post-apocalyptic Wasteland

Reese is hot and Tobey is a nerd, neither of which was imaginable in ’50s Pleasantville. Back home in the ’90s, he had been a couch-potato expert on Pleasantville trivia. She had been sexually precocious.

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Who needs history?

August 5, 2007

by Stone Semyorka

We do, if we want SL to have more than a quick 15 minutes of fame. We need to build a strong foundation under our virtual world.

We live in a new era. Second Life just entered our real lives in 2003. There hasn’t been a lot of time for historians to write about what went on here before we arrived.

Mythical dragon serpent at Morris welcome area
Mythical dragon serpent at Morris welcome area commemorates ancient times before we arrived in our virtual world

The present has its roots in the past, and knowledge of our past is necessary for understanding the present. History helps us understand our foundation — how we reached the point where we are today.

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Loving an avatar girl from Nowhereville

July 28, 2007

by Stone Semyorka

Dayton, Ohio, sometimes called the Gem City after a well-known racehorse, is itself famous for its Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, largest in the world. And the LexisNexis online archive of print media and legal documents used by lawyers, journalists, and academics, also largest in the world. And the annual Dayton Hamvention, also largest in the world.

Not so famous is the tiny western Ohio community of Centerville, near the big city of Dayton. It’s home to just 23,024 souls in some 10,000 households.

Rich Desoto concert series

Poster for Rich Desoto’s Nowhereville concert series. I wonder if the title should be pronounced as “now here ville” or “nowhere ville?” Those are two quite different statements.

To be fair, I should point out that Centerville is sort of famous for one thing: the largest collection of early stone houses in the state of Ohio. Many are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

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Empowering the physically challenged

July 28, 2007

by Stone Semyorka

I said here the other day that Second Life empowers people facing a variety of challenges. Now Newsweek has discovered Simon Stevens operating his in-world nightclub known as Wheelies. Stevens is Simon Walsh in SL.

The magazine’s print article in the July 30, 2007, issue is here.

Simon Walsh dances in chair

Wheelies owner Simon Walsh dances in his chair.

Interestingly, Newsweek produced a video of article reporter Jessica Bennett entering SL and interviewing Stevens at his nightclub. The 33-year-old Stevens has a disability-consulting firm — Enable Enterprises — in England.

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