Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Hello World

Sims based on popular anime series: 1 (good); Minutes spent trapped underground: 10 (bad); Minutes spent pointlessly teleporting between tp points in order to see blue circles go whoosh: 15 (bad)

Through Gogolita blog discovered that is now a sim which recreates part of The World. This was an online gaming universe in an anime and game series called .hack/sign. Is thus quite convoluted since is recreation of a virtual world, inside a virtual world.

Nicely detailed architecture, except flying turned off (at least for people not in The Game) and when accidently fell into harbour, found self wandering round and round underneath city in the sea until thought of teleporting back home. It is particularly taking how they have recreated the blue circle things that pulsated around you when you teleported.

You can do role play too but must draw line somewhere, i.e. Babylon 5 role playing would be OK, but .hack/sign is a role play too far.

By bye boatie

Boats returned to whence they came: 1 (good); Office blocks erected: several (bad)

Things continue to come and go around my home. The boat I was complaining about finally drifted into my property, so I could Return it to its owner. Pics show ocean WITH the boat and ocean WITHOUT. Hurrah! Except of course once I had banished it, the shoreline looked a bit empty.

The next door but one owner has put vast screens round his/her oceanic parcel, with pics of sand, sky and palm trees. Frankly, if they took those down on my side they would be able to see REAL sea, sand and palm trees i.e. mine. Hmm. What do I mean by "real" there? (discuss)
Elsewhere, what used to be a sort of marina has developed into a series of office blocks. However, they are mostly glass, and also completely empty, so it could be worse.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Mirror mirror

Gifts from landlady: 1 (good); Time spent gazing adoringly at self in mirror: too long (bad)

Landlady on the Juicy sim, who owns the shop I rent, has given her tenants a mirror which has the words "Mirror mirror on the wall who is the juiciest of them all" written on it. It snatches your pic out of your profile and shows it to you in the mirror. Cool. Have put it in the Shore Thing cafe next to the bouncing dog and grungey table. Wonder if should take up Gogo's (landlady) offer to change it, though. Is it Ok to be talking about juiciness where there be students? Not sure.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Using SL with first years

Discussions held: 2 (good)
There is a transcript of the session on Using SL in a first year undergraduate module held on 15 May 2008 on Infolit iSchool in Second Life (the virtual world) online at
In this session Maggie, Ishbel and I talked about the class aims, the nature of the intervention etc. and our thoughts about its impact. Good lot of discussion. You can see were a good number of people there, in fact were even a few not in that pic e.g. Pancha, who was wearing a cool alien costume just out of shot. Am writing up a case study about it, and will do a post here when is online.

Today discussion was more informal but still a few people turned up. Had a chat about some of the usual things e.g. learners' attitudes to SL. Ab Marvin came along for the first time in a while. He and Ishbel were 2 people at very first Info Literacy group meeting. Turns out has been teaching in SL too at Abo Akademi. Interesting. After some chat toured the island including where have put up posters presented by Information Management students. have blogged that elsewhere.

By the end of tour was just Robin, Cas and me, but we celebrated with ice creams at the Shore Thing.

The minaret reappears

Minarets mysteriously reappearing: 1 (good) (But baffling)

I know some people will have been worrying about this. The middle part of the minaret that vanished has returned, from who knows where. If they could only speak, eh?

The boat "Demo", however, is still moored just outside my waters. Here I am trying to persuade myself that it doesn't spoil the view. But it's no good, it does. Wonder if I should write to Governor Linden (owner of that chunk of sea, at least that is what it says when you Edit Land) about it.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Farewell and Hello

Babylon 5 quarters abandoned: 1 (bad); Babylon 5 quarters rented: 1 (good); Babylon 5 stations decommisioned: 1 (bad); New Babylon 5 stations constructed: 1 (good)

Who can forget bit in Sleeping in Light when Sinclair [I mean Sheridan!]visits almost deserted B5 just before B5 gets blown to smithereens and Sinclair [ditto] goes to some vague but well lit Beyond. Well, obviously, anyone who isn't B5 fan, and any such can stop reading now since will be doing more fannish burbling in this post.

Excellent people who seem to devote lives to recreating B5 in SL have upgraded B5 experience as have moved to bigger and better B5 simulation. This entailed moving out of old B5 so was ejected from quarters and went to pack up and say farewell. Now this was probably like scene where Lyta is told by Zack that she has to vacate nice spacious unit with proper shower and downgrade to small pokey unit.
In fact (as will emerge) am not having to downgrade to pokey unit, although new quarters will not have shower unless put one in, but, for those who know, this indicates general air of quiet melancholy. Am pictured saying farewell to Babcom unit which, readers may remember, is what clinched it as far as renting went.

Yesterday the new sim, Epsilon 3, opened and tp-ed in eagerly. Was welcomed by one of creators, Dollwife, and then explored it in own time. Is startlingly spacious, and was particularly impressed by:
a) Garden - ah those scenes with Delenn and Sinclair [I think I meant Sheridan again - but there were scenes with Sinclair too]! Delenn and Kosh! Londo and (etc etc etc). Can also see garden through strategically placed windows.

b) Outside of B5 - can stand in C&C and then zoom out and is just like being Ivanova at the start of the show!!

c) Corridors - all long and spooky!

d) Everything else.

Quarters are still for rent. At first thought would opt for quarters near garden, but then discovered Ambassadorial suites, so of course had to have the Centauri ambassador's rooms. Only 25 prims extra allowed for furnishing so will have to choose wisely. Here I am contemplating the purple drapes and hoping that Londo hasn't left any decaying spoo in the cupboards.
P.S. The Minbari ambassador's room has a proper sloping Minbari bed! Was almost swayed by this coolness, but remain loyal to Londo, the rogue.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Where is the minaret?

Parts of building disappearing: 1 (bad); Boats appearing offshore: 1 (bad)

Checked Moorish house part of property for first time for a while and discovered that there is problem, namely, middle part of minaret appear to have gone. V. strange. Has someone hacked in and deleted it - if so - why that bit? Has earth shifted downward, leaving top part of minaret stranded? Is it simply Linden Lab glitch? Was I so tired one evening that fell into trance and went around doing random deletions? In fact is not aesthetically displeasing and leaves pleasant view in gap where middle of minaret should be but that is not the point. Wonder whether will reappear just as mysteriously.

On other hand, a boat apparently called "Demo" has appeared offshore. Is not actually in my parcel, in fact is in open sea belonging to Eric Linden, so cannot get rid of it. Quite decorative in a way, but whole point of that land is uninterrupted view of sea. Hrumph.

Missed and attended

No. of education events missed due to foolish mistake re time: 1 (bad); No of castle warming parties attended: 1 (good); No of 20s parties attended: 1 (good)
Yesterday was due to be busy day in SL since had planned to a) attend castle warming party at noon SL time and b) attend interesting education session on team working at 1.30 SL time. However, when entered SL around noon (ie 8pm in RL here) realised awful truth namely that was too late for education session by 12 hours as it started at 01.30 (9.30 am RL time). Oops. Should really have realised as person facilitating it lives in Hong Kong in RL. V. foolish and will have to apologise since was limited attendance event and might have been waiting list.

Somewhat chastened changed into party gear. Invitation was really to Ishbel as is her neighbour with castle, but she had been told could bring friends so she asked me and Pancha. In fact am almost neighbour as is just in nextdoor sim to my home. Dress code was "historical" so had rooted through huge inventory and found Barerose "First Princess" outfit with natty crown, and paired this with poofy skirt and boots. Not sure was strictly historical, but in fact when teleported in turned out that most women were wearing vaguely low cut gowns so fitted in. Hosts are writing historical novel set in French chateau on which castle is based. Ishbel kept crashing out so withdrew early.
When got home again took some pictures of self lounging around in princess outfit, then followed up general invite to 1920s party celebrating - something or other to do with the 1920s I presume. Found a 1920s dress in inventory too. Have decided that will view this as validation of shopping policy (i.e. ready for any situation) rather than signal to stop buying NOW.

Student work

Haggis companions purchased: 1 (good); Free Scotland strips received: 1 (good); Races lost because SOMEONE distracted me with a notecard in middle of race: 1 (bad)

Visited work of students at University of West of Scotland on Thursday. Enjoyable. Consisted of Museum of inventors, model of Hampden but without presence of fans or indeed footballers, and wildlife park including Loch Ness monster. Was also a monorail but didn't work out how to use it. Inventors' exhibition on 2 floors v. informative with links to wiki. Green feet things indicated path round exhibition (first pic.).

Wildlife park also included notecard posts giving (as you might expect) notecards about various fauna. My urge for consumption was satisfied as could purchase Haggis companion for only a few Linden (strange badger like creature that follows you when you rez it, reminded me of days when Phil the Phoenix was my constant companion). Could also purchase rather large squirrel but did not think existing squirrels on Infolit iSchool would approve. As can see in this pic there was also Weather, as often experienced in Scotland.

The final exhibit was of Hampden, looking forward to Commonwealth Games in 2014 which (as any visitor to Glasgow cannot escape knowing) are taking place in Glasgow. Here there was a quiz about Commonwealth games, which I didn't exactly pass, but I was nevertheless kindly given a Scotland shirt.
This was possibly to compensate for the fact that I was completely rubbish at a game where you had to keep clicking a coloured dome to get your ball to zoom round faster than anyone else's. On my 2nd attempt was actually doing OK when someone else in room dropped a notecard on me thus preventing clicking for some crucial seconds and resulting in humiliating defeat. Not that I'm blaming anyone but me, of course.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Textures, book

Help given with applying textures: 1 session (good); Book about myself created: 1 (v. bad); Hours spent on book when should have been doing a ppt for a conference: would rather not say (v.v. bad)

Useful thing that did yesterday was to help advise on how to put textures on a prim (see first pic.). Bad thing that did yesterday was to spend considerable time on a New Work, namely Adventures of Yoshikawa: the Book (vol 1). This is all the fault of Ishbel (note to Ishbel: not really, I'm just trying to find someone to blame). Her RL version is an ace photographer and contributed pics to a book created by her local photographic society on an evil, time wasting application called
Within minutes of discovering this fatal site had downloaded software and was busily uploading pics and arranging text. Believe this is called Vanity Publishing, and indeed is vanity since is mostly filled with pictures of Me. Have got up to p22 of 40 (40 being limit for lowest cost book). You buy hard copy version (i.e. this is how Blurb makes money) and can offer them for sale in Blurb shop. Whheee!

Reach out

Reach out
Originally uploaded by Sheila Webber
Cheesy motivational posters created: 1 (bad)
Whilst procrastinating tonight I picked up a link to the Automotivator site where can create American-style "motivational" posters. Proves horribly easy to do and worst of it is,am now thinking "Hmmm, perhaps this poster isn't so bad after all". Also wasted further time in learning how to upload photos straight from Flickr to this blog. No end to the useless web 2.0 skills am acquiring.

Thursday, 8 May 2008


Presentations held: 1 (good); Peak no. in audience: 4 (OK); No. in audience at end: 1 (bad, but obviously better than zero); No. of slides in Angrybeth whiteboard: 28 (too many)

Today gave presentation on Using Variation Theory to develop a module on information literacy: abstract contained troublesome words like "phenomenography" so had not expected big turnout and was relieved that was not just me and Mitsy the cat.

Spent all day putting together ppt. This is for presentation in Sweden at SIG Phenomenography conference where will be god-fathers and -mothers of phenomenography e.g. Ference Marton. Therefore am concerned that presentation hangs together since would not like to warble on and then have Marton say that after all it is Not Variation Theory, with me then wishing to sink through floor to avoid contempt in eyes of assembled phenomenographers.

Thus had idea of doing pilot runs in SL and also (tomorrow) in RL. Am still in draft stage since although have handle on phenomenography through project we did, have not thus far grappled extensively with variation theory. When previously tried to explain what I want to do with Variation Theory in this module, people I'm talking too have glazed over and evidently lost will to live.

Anyway four people who heard bits of presentation were v. polite and person left at end was v. kind so feel was worthwhile.

This was first time have used Angrybeth whiteboard. Seemed straightforward though for some people took even longer for each slide to rez than on own challenged computer. Coincidentally immediately after presentation some other educator dropped by and recommended another presentation tool so will investigate.

Am not putting up chatlog since is basically me talking about slides, with copious spelling errors as per usual. However, am leaving presentation up on island for a bit, near Sakura House (see pics) so if anyone is interested in learning mysteries of phenomenography they can drop in.

After this decided to change display in shop. Uploaded pics of cherry blossom and dressed shop with assorted blossom related items. Discovered that vendors in shop had been incorrectly loaded so would have given people wrong pictures. Have had no complaints so perhaps no one bought any, or perhaps people were happier with surprise pics of roses rather than expected pics of daffodils. Think have got it right now. Here I am sitting outside shop. Is all rather pink but with cherry blossom theme what do you expect, eh.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Is SL useful for web searching

Chatlogs posted: 1 (good); Questions resolved: none (inevitable)

Have posted the transcript of the discussion held on 1st May (last Thursday) on Infolit iSchool. Subject of this was whether Second Life was any use to help teach students how to search the web. Had asked people to bring along objects etc. that they had created to do this, but in fact no-one brought anything, though one person mentioned plans for an Information maze.
Chat log is at
In the pic I have used the Mystihud tool to rez a table with chairs - a new chair is added as soon as someone sits down. Crowding resulted from me losing nerve and adding several chairs just in case it didn't work automatically, which it did.

Another trip

No. of free kimonos sought: 4 (good); No. of free kimonos found: 0 (bad); No of free sushi meals acquired: 1 (good); No. of leeks acquired: 0 (bad)
Saw on blog feeds that Tenjin region had free kimonos, so teleported over. However, most of blog entry was in Japanese, and doubtless this disclosed detailed instructions of where could actually find free kimono since hunted round vainly trying to spot them.

However, in course of travels ended up with free sushi tray, also colourful globular creature (see pic top right), also strange bats to play some sort of game, also Fortune told at temple which seemed to be saying that my RL was going to go better than my SL and that I should avoid camping. Did not end up with leek (negi in Japanese, I know this because of the series Negima where leading child, allegedly from Wales, is called Negi) as it merely gave system error when tried to vend it to me. My inventory is lacking in edible green veg. so will have to go back to retry that and the spinach next to it. Yum.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Rez Day

Parties attended: 1 (good); Lag encountered: lots (v. bad); Trips to Japanese schools: 1 (good)

Had some enjoyable Rez Day times despite Sl having "database issues" (vague yet menacing). Above shows party in Babylon 5 to celebrate 6 months of the Zocalo. Initially teleported in wearing centauri costume, but them seemed like most people not in costume, so hastily tp-ed out again and changed into something party-ish yet not too primmy i.e. silver trousers with favourite cardigan and latest heels which seem to look good with most things.
Next compilation shows me and Harumi in Banesse sim where have reproduction of Japanese school.

Sim is called Benesse which sounds like "Vanessa" as in one of heroines in Madlax, but seems to be some sort of education company in Japan. As can see has numerous features. Frustrating lack of seats that can actually sit on, also it needs a pose to lean against railing on roof while saying "Doste" to ones best friend or working up courage to confess to object of affection. Poses in fact rather odd, though not in nasty way, e.g. see those in swimming pool. Harumi was holding his sculptie cat btw.
However many pleasing details and was enjoyable visit, so should not be churlish.

Happy Rez Day to Me

Years in SL: 1 (good)

Have not blogged this week as have been zipping round at conferences and doing presentations and so forth. However today is my REZ DAY so will be celebrating by blogging, consuming, taking pics and photoshopping and so forth. Had planned to have party but in end too busy, also have fear that if organise social thing will end up being me, Mitsy and Goggles. Have arranged to visit Japanese sim with Harumi later which should be fun. Also plan to attend Babylon 5 party later on.

Seems to be convention to also have at least 1 blog entry musing on what 1 year in SL means, so will have to fit that in somewhere. In the meantime here is a cute picture of me.

The blog of Sheila Yoshikawa on her adventures in Second Life. This may be very thrilling. Or possibly not.