Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

Nights in White Satin   Leave a comment

Note: lots of graphics beyond the break, but worth it

Nights in white satin
Never reaching the end
Letters I’ve written
Never meaning to send Read the rest of this entry »

Photo Tips from Berry Singh

Here are some photo tips from Strawberry Singh, which I discovered today on New World Notes — thanks, Ham!  Even old hands can learn new things, and I discovered some goodies about WindLight and Firestorm I didn’t know about.

Be prepared for maybe a minute of dead air at the beginning as Berry is getting things set up; don’t touch your dial, as she’ll come in soon.  Additionally, be prepared for a photobombing visitor in the background close to the end — a rather “EEEwwww”-worthy Hallowe’en clown (grin).

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Circle In The Sand

Circle In The Sand 2

Sundown all around
Walking through the summer’s end
Waves crash
Baby don’t look back
I won’t walk away again

Circle In The Sand 3

Oooooh, baby, anywhere you go
We are bound together
I begin, baby, where you end
Some things are forever

Circle in the sand, ’round and ’round
Neverending love is what we’ve found
And you complete the heart of me
Our love is all we need
Circle in the sand, circle in the sand

— “Circle In the Sand” by Ellen Shipley and Rick Nowels; performed by Belinda Carlisle

Circle In The Sand 4

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The details:

Photographed at The Trace region

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BBC London 2012 Machinima Trailer

 

Back to the Olympic theme as the fortnight of the London 2012 Games winds down.  Here’s the teaser commercial the BBC was running before the Games began; I was lucky when the Beeb’s embed code wouldn’t work in WordPress, because it forced me to search it up on YouTube, and find a full-length version.

The great thing about this, besides the sheer spectacular beauty of the entire concept, is that it’s all done in the box as a machinima.  There isn’t a live frame in it anywhere!  It wasn’t filmed in Second Life; I’d love it even more if it had been. The idea, of course, is that the whole of London, and even England, is the backdrop for the Games.  You have fishing trawlers laying down lane floats for swimming; boxers in a ring at a cargo port; runners racing down an East End street (with the finish line in front of a shop with the sign Photo Finish); a gymnast doing floor exercises on a pedestrian bridge in the City; an athlete using the south-shore beaches as her sand pit for the long jump….  And all around in the background, you see the upper edges of the Olympic Stadium, showing that the whole country is watching.  Take a look at this thing — you’ll get the idea.

The BBC liked this so much that they use still and partially animated concept frames at the bottom of each of their Olympic Web pages.  If you want to see them (a few of them pop up only rarely), run off to their site and go to the bottom of each page.

Caerleon Museum of Identity Explores the Question of Who We Really Are As Avatars

Botgirl Questi announced  that a new virtual art exhibit, the Caerleon Museum of Identity, will be opening on Saturday, October 2, at 12:00.  (Her press release was not specific, but I would assume that this is SLT.)  The announcement included a video clip:

You can read the full text of the press release at Botgirl’s blog.  With 18 artists represented in the exhibit, which will run through October, it promises to be a thought-provoking museum.

I say this because this exhibit goes to the point of one of the things that provokes discussion among people “living” and working in virtual worlds:  when we’re looking at an avatar, is that someone’s real identity there?  The anonymity of an avatar gives people wonderful flexibility — with this creation of bytes and pixels, we can be who we want to be, not what we really are.  For some, it’s wonderfully liberating; for others, it allows them to conceal aspects of themselves they’d prefer not to show.  But for all of us, we have to confront the question at least once:  is this what the person behind the other computer is really like?

Most of us play various roles in our RL day as it is, usually linked to our interactions with those around us.  We have one face for the customer in our store; another, a presumably looser version, for the co-workers when we’re in a private moment on the floor or in the back room.  Friends outside of work may see yet another, at a sports game or club-hopping.  Even our interaction with some family and relations, if not all of them, can be a form of role-play; we have favorite grandparents we love to visit, or abysmal aunts we wish would never stop by, and we either display our feelings, or conceal them as deeply as we can out of politeness’ sake.

But what happens when all of the cues built by society and the knowledge base of personal, direct interaction in a meeting are made invisible and irrelevant?

In Second Life, we only have what the person is showing us with words on a screen, or perhaps a voice; and, of course, the appearance they choose to build for themselves out of pixels and prims.  For all we know, the rampaging extrovert with chopped, grungy hair, greasy leather clothes and piercings in places never dreamed of, might be in RL a dramatically shy wallflower with clean, tied-back hair, an ultraconservative wardrobe, and never even piercings for earrings.  Indeed, they might not even be the sex they’re portraying themselves as.  And then,of course, there are the furries, dragons, fae and aliens teleporting all over the place.  One of my favorite avatars from my days at the Blarney Stone was a blue fox.  That surely wasn’t what the person was in real life!

You may want to check out this exhibit while it’s open.  Hang around for a while and meditate on the studies; see what these artists’ thoughts evoke in you.  I haven’t seen this yet, though I may attend the bloggers’ preview on Friday.  But my experience and training tell me that the best art make you think, opens up your senses to a new reality, or a new take on reality.  This virtual world we love and deal in is a reality in itself that needs new thoughts, new philosophers to work out its parameters.  Perhaps the Caerleon Museum may begin the walk toward such an exploration.

Teleport to the exhibit.

Mo is Served His Roccas by Ravelry Knitters

Did anybody watch CBS News Sunday Morning today?  Specifically, did they watch Mo Rocca’s segment?

As Mo says above, and in case the video disappears, it all started last year, when he made one of his periodic appearances on the NPR comedy-quiz show, Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, hosted by Peter Sagal.  If you’ve never listened to this show, do so!  Download the podcasts, or listen to your local NPR station.  It is one of the funniest things on radio!  But, any road, there was a question up before the panel whose answer involved hand-knitted sweaters for plucked chickens.  (I did say this was a comedy-quiz show, I believe….)  Mo, offhandedly, dropped a remark that “hand-made sweaters are always itchy.”  Little did Mr. Rocca know what he had started….

Approximately two weeks later, Peter took a moment between rounds to introduce Mo on the phone, after giving a few words of background about what had happened, to wit:  the nationally respected comedian had raised the ire of the worldwide knitting community, particularly on Ravelry, one of the best sites for knitters and crocheters on the Web.  (You’ll see their sticker in my sidebar, as I’m a knitter myself.)  Peter asked Mo, “Do you have anything to say in response to this?” and was answered, “Yes, Peter, I have prepared a statement….”  He proceeded to give a speech that would have done the best Washington flack proud, explaining that as an exchange student in Peru during his school years, he had been forced to bed down with an alpaca in its pen.

This, of course, was the purest spin, as we all know just how soft an alpaca fleece can be; and the yarn from it is completely divine!  Therefore, a dedicated group of Ravelers resolved to make Mo eat his words, with Rocca salt for the seasoning.  A matter of a few months later, they did just that, by presenting him a gift — on stage at another taping of Wait, Wait, with a handmade, 100% Merino wool sweater.  And it fit perfectly.

Well, apparently, my fellow Ravelers wrought their “revenge” far better than they knew, for it appears we’ve made a knitter out of Mo.  Watch the film and see!

How High Can You Fly in SL?

The answer to that is easy:  200 meters (if flight isn’t locally deactivated), unless you have a flight assist of some kind, such as a Flight Feather or jetpack script.  With one of those, the ceiling is unlimited.

Ah, but what effects do high altitude have on that luscious virtual body of yours?  Well, that’s changed over the years.  Here’s the skinny on it as of August 2007, thanks to the Wayback Machine known as YouTube, and Daedalus Young:

I wasn’t aware that your avatar started deforming as you went higher.  Could it be that the magnetic containment bottle that surrounds your avatar shape starts breaking down (WHAP!)

Okay, okay; sheesh, let a girl have a little fun….

Anyway, as you can see from the tape, Daedalus’ body starts getting twitchy around the eyebrows somewhere between 40 and 80 km high.  Around 100 km, the avatar’s arms (and probably legs, and any other [ahem] extremities) start losing their vertical hold, so to speak.  That isn’t a case of the jaggies, it’s a case of the chunkies!  Looks more like Plastic Man with the hiccups.

Finally, in the really outer stratosphere, 1,000 km up — that’s one million meters, for us Americans hopelessly stuck in English measurements — you might as well be a scarf flapping in the breeze; nothing is recognizable at all.  According to Daedalus’ notes, much above the 1,000 km mark, and your avatar just disintegrates; nothing visible of the body at all.  For Daedalus, he didn’t regain cohesion, even after returning to surface level, until he logged out and back in.

Beyond the visual effects, Daedalus noted that it was a boring ride.  Building is limited to a ceiling of 1,000 m or less, of course, and so the rest of the distance is nothing but sky and horizon.  I suspect that Daedalus laid something on his keyboard to hold the fly up button depressed, until he got where he was going. It took a while!

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