So what is Second Life?

March 14, 2010

Second Life is a popular, three-dimensional virtual-reality world — a computer-simulated environment which users inhabit.

Users move about the on-screen environment and interact with each other via their digital representatives known as avatars, which are persons in Second Life. Communication is by text and voice chat.

As a virtual representation of a user’s real-life self, the look and feel of an avatar is limited only by the individual’s creativity.

Portraits of Some Second Life Residents
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Stoneflower Photography Studio in Second Life

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The Japanese fishing village Hosoi Yu Ch’un

November 8, 2008

Wandering the byways of the virtual world Second Life one day, I came across an extraordinary vision of reality in the Japanese fishing village Hosoi Yu Ch’un and the farming village Hosoi Lung Ch’un built by Amiryu Hosoi at Hosoi Ichiba on Virgin Island.

Fishing boats beached in village cove

Fishing boats beached in village cove

Here’s why this could be the most peaceful place in all of Second Life…

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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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Another date that lives in infamy

September 11, 2007

The infamous attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike on the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor on Oahu, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941.

When President Roosevelt spoke to a joint session of Congress the next day, he called December 7 “a date which will live in infamy”.

September 11 Memorial wall
September 11th Memorial wall in Second Life is etched with nearly 3,000 names of victims of the 2001 terrorist attack against the United States

Fast-forward 60 years

On September 11, 2001, a total of 19 men affiliated with an Islamic extremist group calling itself al-Qaeda hijacked four commercial passenger airliners en route to California from Logan International Airport at Boston, Dulles International at Washington, and Newark airport at New York City.

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Les Plus Belles Lunettes du Monde

September 8, 2007

by Stone Semyorka

Ten million people around the world could die from breast cancer in the next 25 years if a cure isn’t found.

That’s a lot of people, but their situation isn’t hopeless.

They have compassionate helpers on their side in the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists — the former Susan G. Komen Foundation, known now as Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Pink ribbon
I’m sure you’ve seen those pink ribbons everywhere

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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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