The SL Parade and Blog Veridical Work Together as Sponsors

In case you haven’t heard, there is a new blog available that discusses all things SL!

Called Blog Veridical, this up and coming blog site has been active since May 2017.  Offering the SL public vivid first person accounts on all things relevant to SL, Blog Veridical is an excellent source to turn to if you are interested in reading about SL related controversial topics.

The SL Parade is proud to act as a sponsor for this awesome website, and we are also proud to be actively cross promoting our writings to better serve the SL Public.

Please take a look at one of their many articles here:  when a ban Muddy’s the situation by cocunuteater,

Press Release: Kultivate Magazine & Rock Your Rack’s Charity Art Show & Auction

Kultivate Magazine & Rock Your Rack’s Charity Art Show & Auction

Dates: September 30, 2017 to October 14, 2017

Location: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/The%20Aftershock/68/129/23

Website: https://rockyourrack.wordpress.com/about/art-show-and-auction-by-kultivate-magazine/

Kultivate Magazine is pleased to have partnered with Rock Your Rack to create a special charity art show and auction! Rock Your Rack is the signature charity of the in world group, Model’s Giving Back. Rock Your Rack benefits The National Breast Cancer Foundation, which sponsors mammograms and breast cancer screenings for women and men.

The art show will feature the following artists: angyel Resident, artandsoul constantine, Astrid Zhangsun, Beth Pentewyn, Booyakashaka Resident, CalystiaMoonShadow, captainofmysoul, chanasitsayo, Daruma Boa, DrusillaGwind Resident, Eleseren Brianna, Elle Thorkveld, emberdearheart Resident, Eucalyptus Carroll, FreeDom Voix, ilyra chardin, Inquisitor Titanium, Jamee Sandalwood, John Brianna, Karma Weymann, Kerry Streeter, M8ty Resident, Meishagirl Resident, Myra Wildmist, NaTaS Janus, retroye resident, Sandi Benelli, Sheba Blitz, tisephone resident. Veruca Tammas, Vivienne Darcy, & wintergeist.

Events will include the return of the Pink Art Ball with live performer SaraMarie Philly, a special gift card raffle, and a special art auction bundle, featuring work by Cica Ghost and Bryn Oh. The art show will participate in the Rock Your Rack hunt, where hunt goers can search for hangers throughout the art area and the rest of the sim.

About Kultivate Magazine:
Kultivate Magazine is a publication about the cultural aspects of Second Life. The goal of Kultivate Magazine is to support art, culture, photography, music, and fashion. Kultivate Magazine consists of the magazine, The Edge and The Edge Gallery, The Windlight Art Gallery, The Red Gallery, The Kultivate Bailywick Gallery, The Kultivate Select Gallery, Ristorante Ivanna, & The Tribute and Crown Pub. Kultivate Magazine is proud to be the media partner and primary sponsor of Team Diabetes of Second Life, an official and authorized team for The American Diabetes Association.

About Rock Your Rack & Model’s Giving Back:
Rock Your Rack is the annual fundraiser started in October of 2012 by Jamee Sandalwood and the team at Models Giving Back. MGB is the grid leader in trusted charity events. We do it all and have for several years now with one person responsible for the entire event. Jamee takes care of everything from Designers, to bloggers, to musicians, to models. This way any confusion is avoided and no one has to wait to check with anyone else before things are getting done. Jamee’s vision leads the event to success year after year with many of the designers coming back with us due to the smooth, efficient way things are run and reported. With 100% transparency, all of our documentation from screenshot totals, to Lindex transactions, to donation receipts account for every penny that was earned and donated all being posted right here for all to see.

About The National Breast Cancer Foundation:
The National Breast Cancer Foundation was founded in 1991 by breast cancer survivor, Janelle Hail. NBCF’s mission is to help women now by providing help and inspiring hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education and support services. That’s why NBCF provides free mammograms to women in all 50 states through our network of hospitals. They are now joining hands with people around the world to provide breast cancer education.

For More Information:
https://rockyourrack.wordpress.com/
www.kultivatemagazine.com
https://fundraise.nbcf.org/fundraise?fcid=851628 (official Rock Your Rack & Model’s Giving Back page at The National Breast Cancer Foundation website)

Bee Designs Prove That SL Can Empower RL Moms!

Bee Caudron Law, Founder and Creator of Bee Designs… (photo taken by Bee Caudron Law)

For Bee Caudron Law, her business started with a feature story on the news and a dream…

Specifically, her desire to create her own Second Life business started in 2007; at the time, she was tending to her newborn daughter when she unintentionally spotted a program that was centered on the Second Life video game.  She explains to The SL Parade that it was while watching that program that she realized she could make money in world.  She continues, “…as I was at home with a newborn baby, I thought it was a great idea to try to work [in Second Life as a creator] and raise [my daughter while] working at home…”

Bee Designs Logo…

It was from there, according to Law, that the creation of Bee Designs was born.

II.  Bee Designs:  Focus and Specialization

Bee Designs specializes in the creation of homes, as well as furniture and other decor.  Law explains, “…my goal is to create products that give a ‘home feeling’ for those who buy my creations…”

When prodded further on how her products invoke a “home feeling” within her customers, Bee Caudron Law explains that she often relies on a combination of her own imagination and real life photos.  She continues, “…sometimes, I  start by making floor ad walls, then the idea starts to build inside my mind…other times, I look at an RL picture I like and start making a product that looks just like it…”

Collage taken from the Second Life Marketplace….

Yet in addition to relying on her own imagination, as well as on RL photos for inspiration; it is imperative to note that the textures, foliage and other materials used also create a realistic (and hence, homey) feel in all of Bee Designs products.  This homey feel is also reminiscent of the reason why Law decided to pursue her SL business in the first place:  To stay at home to raise and support her family.

With Bee Caudron Law being the sole owner, proprietor and creator of Bee Designs, she confesses that creating can often be difficult work.  Law continues, “….takes a lot of time and effort to learn and to create each new set…”

Yet with her store being in operation since 2009, it is a challenge Law readily accepts with each creation she designs. Law recently added Halloween store at Bee Designs.  “I love it over there…” she warmly affirms, then continues, “…I had a few other for full perm items (I created) on older avatars, but have stuck with Bee Design and exclusively create under my Bee Caudron Law account…”  If you would like to pay a visit to Bee Design’s Halloween store, please click here:  Bee Design’s Halloweentown

In addition to the Halloween store, Bee Designs has an array of Gatcha products for the discerning customer.  The products, ranging from bedroom furniture to exclusively decorated buildings, are featured in the Bee Designs Gatcha machines located all over the Bee Designs sim.  To see some of the Gatcha items featured at Bee Designs, please look at the slide show featured at the end of this article.

…from SL Marketplace

III.  Bee Designs Empowers Bee Caudron Law To Be An Awesome Mom

Besides creating exciting and visually appealing products, Law contends that the best thing about Bee Designs is that it reflects her RL goals and aspirations.  Law explains, “…I didn’t know a thing when I started Bee Designs…but now, Bee Designs is my RL job, so it reflects in my whole life…most importantly, it allows me to raise my girl and earn money…

Bee Caudron Law shared this awesome photo with The SL Parade…

Bee Caudron Law has relied on Bee Designs as her sole source of income since her daughter was a newborn.  Now that her daughter is 11 years old, Law continues to be by her side to watch her grow up.  Law continues, “…thanks to SL, my daughter studies at the best schools….SL has also given us the finances needed to travel, live in a very nice apartment….all I have always wanted to give to my daughter…”

Besides relying and loving what she does in Bee Designs, Bee Caudron Law loves being a mother.  “Being a mom…” Law contends, “…is amazing…you learn more about yourself while raising your young ones, and you see a part of yourself flourishing too…”

…taken from SL Marketplace…

The love for her daughter is not only demonstrated with the fabulous creations featured in Bee’s Creation, but in Bee Caudron Law’s avatar as well.  With dark, flowing hair and flawless skin…complete with a look of wonder in her eyes, Bee Caudron Law looks just like her RL daughter…

Law continues, “My daughter physically looks a lot like me, and personality wise, she acts like me in every way, too…and thanks to SL, I get to be by my daughters side as she grows and matures…”

In addition to seeing Bee Designs products at the store, The SL Parade has installed Bee Designs’ Flower and Ice Cream Shop on its sim.  This installation, in addition to this article, is our way of saying thank you to Bee Caudron Law for creating such wonderful products for the SL community…

To visit the Bee Designs sim, please click here:  Bee Designs.  To purchase Bee Designs products at the Second Life Marketplace, please click here:  Bee Designs at SL Marketplace.

Also, please take a look at the slide show below; the slide show features Bee Designs Gatcha products (as marked) and a few photos taken by The SL Parade:

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”61″ gal_title=”Bee Designs”]

 

Spring Into Fall With Azalea Bluebell’s Full Permission Creations!

With Fall fastidiously approaching, many SL patrons are scrambling to buy foliage that reflects the approaching season.  Well, one place to turn to is the Full Perm Store – What-A-Mesh & Azalea Bluebell.

Azalea Bluebell, innovative owner of Full Perm Store – What-A-Mesh & Azalea Bluebell products

Specializing in all things floral and ornamental, the Full Perm Store – What-A-Mesh & Azalea Bluebell sim is ran by Azalea Bluebell.  She, along with her trusty bot side kick Gardening Bear (HelpingElf) have created a seasonal-based atmosphere that truly highlights how and where Bluebell’s creations can be used on virtually any sim in SL. Complete with a barn, plants and other foliage representative of the Summer, Winter, Spring and Fall seasons, Bluebell has created an environment that looks and feels like a nursery and crafts store.  Her products–ranging from hollyhocks sprinkled throughout the sim, to mushrooms planted in rich soil that is comfortably surrounded by stones to better separate them from other plants and wildlife–are featured in a way similar to the way they would be seen in an RL business.  As if being blessed with a thriving business and side kick is not enough, Azalea Bluebell has recently been nominated for the Rezzie Awards’ Best Full Perm Landscaping Meshes category…demonstrating that she is being recognized for her contributions in SL.  To vote for Bluebell, as well as other creators, please click on the following link:  Rezzie Awards Ballot.

When asked how she came about naming her business, Bluebell explains, “I wasn’t very original with my business name, so I just kept it at Azalea Bluebell…I used to have ~AB~ Creations before and I still use the ~AB~ in my items, but in general you can find me best by just searching my name…My business as Azalea has been around for just over 2 years, but my business in total for over 5-6 years, but I don’t know exactly.”

Rhododendron loderi with bluebells, taken by Andy McIndoe (https://www.learningwithexperts.com/gardening/blog/how-to-grow-rhododendrons-the-chelsea-flower-show-shrubs)

To shed more light on the name of her business, please note that Azalea Bluebell’s name reflects two types of flowers: the azalea and the Hyacinthoides (nicknamed the Bluebell for its blue, bell-shaped blossoms).  Azalea Bluebell’s name echoes her creative specialization in all things decorative and floral, while also highlighting the fact that she additional creates food, stuffed animals and even moving chickens and chicks.

Wikipedia, though unintentional, best clarifies the connection Azalea Bluebell has to her creations.  According to Wikipedia, Azaleas are flowering shrubs in the genus Rhododendron, particularly the former sections Tsutsuji (evergreen) and Pentanthera (deciduous).  Azaleas, like many of the foliage featured at Full Perm Store – What-A-Mesh & Azalea Bluebell sim, bloom in spring, and their flowers often last for several weeks, and are part of the Ericaceae family (from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azalea).

As a creator, Azalea Bluebell says that she has been actively creating for the SL community for over 10 years.  Bluebell continues, “[and I] was always fascinated with trees and plants…I just found the typical 3-way prim shapes a bit boring so when mesh was announced I just had to give it a go. First I started with my other account but over time I switched over to Azalea and made her especially for that purpose (hence the name being two flowers).”

Bluebell further contends that she specializes in the creation and selling of full permission items, and that in the midst of creating and distributing these items to the SL public, anything (nature or otherwise) is capable of inspiring her.  She explains:  “…but a majority of the items are based on home and landscaping [merchandise] such as flowers, plants, trees, etc.  I have some food items too and for the kids around SL, I have plush animals and other children related objects…”

Besides creating full permission items, Bluebell specializes in creating full permission items that are also low in prim.  To accomplish this feat, Bluebell relies on strong Level of Detail (LOD’s) that is complimented by a low prim count.  Bluebell explains how she does this by saying, “Creating items can be extremely nerve wrecking haha…When I first started making mesh items, I always bumped into errors when uploading, some of them made sense but most were a shot in the dark for me. It was a matter of time till I understood them though…and meanwhile, I haven’t had any uploading errors in ages. [Yet,] the tricky part of making meshes is that you always have to keep the polygons (triangles on a mesh) in mind. The more polygons an object has, the higher it will end in LI (land impact) too….so to make the LOD (level of detail) strong too, you need to keep a model as low in polygons as possible so you can keep the impact down, while still retaining the quality of the item for when they are viewed from a distance…”

Though Bluebell would never admit this to The SL Parade readers, it is imperative to note that she has a knack for explaining difficult concepts in a way that is easy to understand.  This further distinguishes her as a unique and approachable creator…one capable of teaching others in such a way where they do not feel alienated or ostracized.

II.  The Key to Low Prim:  LOD’s and Low Lag

When asked to explain what Level of Detail (LOD’s) were, Bluebell describes the term as the ability to see a creation as you either walk toward it or away from it.  She continues, “LOD stands for level of detail and it’s important for SL because they – as the name already says – handle the level of details over distance. I’m sure you have noticed items suddenly disappearing when you walk away for a small distance, and when you walk back they pop back in again, that’s one of the LODs. Second Life knows 4 LOD steps, being lowest, low, medium and high. It comes pretty much down to the creators choice, in that creators can choose what models they would like to use at what distance…some will use the default SL uploading system, while others will use different files per step…”

photo taken from SL Marketplace (https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Mesh-LOD-Indicator-Tool-for-meshers-builders-Level-of-Detail-Gpu-optimizer-DEMO/6819041)

“This last option…” Bluebell contents, “…gives you better control over the details…but requires more work too. Strong LODs are important because without them, the items would fade away too fast. The size of a mesh will affect this too….”

As a promise to herself, as well as to customers, Azalea Bluebell strives to keep all items she creates at a low lag level.  She continues, “I always try to keep the lag low for my items…I noticed that some creators use several 1024 maps on a single item, even if they are super small., and those textures will take a lot longer to rez when you have an optimized mesh that is using a single texture. Of course, you won’t notice the difference in an empty sim, but if the sim is built with lots of textures and objects, this, along with the area potentially having a lot of visitors frequenting the sim, will likely lead to having items take forever to load (or rezz)…I have found that when optimized textures and models are incorporated in creations, it reduces that loading time significantly…this, in my opinion is one of the battles creators face…”

Besides battling to balance high LOD’s with low lag, Bluebell is also in the midst of training her Gardening Bear (HelpingElf) bot.  As he is her right hand man for all things related to the Full Perm Store – What-A-Mesh & Azalea Bluebell business,  Bluebell relies on Gardening Bear to tend to the sim, as well as monitor her in-world group.

Azalea Bluebell hangs out with Gardening Bear…

Because Gardening Bear (HelpingElf) works so hard at the Full Perm Store – What-A-Mesh & Azalea Bluebell business, he is often mistaken for a real avatar.  In fact, many patrons have had whole conversations with him without even realizing that he can only give one-dimensional, bot-based responses.  These limited responses, according to Azalea Bluebell, is one of the key challenges with Gardening Bear (HelpingElf).  Bluebell says that prior to this challenge, Gardening Bear (HelpingElf) was initially equipped with a special self learning AI brain. Sighing, Bluebell says, “I use to have engaging conversations with him, but he can’t even hold a conversation now…”

It is for this reason that Bluebell is aiming to better socialize her bear and make him more adaptable to complex interactions.  Besides potentially accomplishing that goal, Bluebell also wants to teach him how to perform additional domestic duties.  She says, “It’s just me and the gardening bear…he takes care of the plants by watering them and keeping the weeds out. I still have to teach him how to mow the grass but that should be done in time…”

Nonetheless, if you are still interested in talking to him as he is, Bluebell will look over the conversations and get back to you as soon as possible.

III. Azalea Bluebell Wants Creators to Use Her Products to Further Explore Their Own Creativity

All Gardening Bear bot challenges aside, Azalea Bluebell contends that what she does in Second Life reflects her Real Life interests.  She explains, “I absolutely love gardening in RL and often take pictures from flowers to reproduce in Second Life or other grids like InWorldz or the Hypergrid using Kitely Market. One day I hope to have a huge garden and get all the flowers I love along with a big veggie garden. Oh, and chickens! And I always want a cow lol…”

Though her clientele are too extensive to mention, Bluebell clarified that though she started building for various companies and universities,  she initially had no desire to make a profit off of her creations.  “I wasn’t here to make money like some of us do,” she explains.  “…instead, I find it more important to help others where I can and I figured that with my items, I can help people create new items too while stimulating their creativity.”

Specifically, Bluebell encourages other creators to use her products when they create merchandise for the SL public.  For instance, if a creator is interested in creating an engaging gazebo with vines and flowers, Bluebell wants the use of her products to better define a person’s creative vision.  She supports this claim by saying, “I’m amazed with what people make out of other items…and I love seeing that….”

To help customers better understand how to use her creations, she continues, “I always compared my items as Lego bricks. Lego allows you to make wonderful things…and my items are one of the building blocks for many around SL.”

In keeping with Azalea Bluebell’s request, The SL Parade Headquarters features her products all over the sim…all of which are in keeping to the permanency of Spring theme discussed in The SL Parade Offers Spring To All Patrons article.  This, along with fully supporting Azalea Bluebell in her endeavors, is our way of saying thank you for creating such wonderful products.

If you are interested in purchasing Azalea Bluebell’s products inworld, please click on the following link:  Full Perm Store – What-A-Mesh & Azalea Bluebell

To purchase her items on Marketplace, please click on the link included here:  Azalea Bluebell’s Marketplace.

Take a look at some additional Azalea Bluebell creation photos here:

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”60″ gal_title=”azalea”]

 

References

McIndoe, Andy. “Rhododendron loderi with bluebells” Photo.  Taken from http://www.learningwithexperts.com (https://www.learningwithexperts.com/gardening/blog/how-to-grow-rhododendrons-the-chelsea-flower-show-shrubs)

Wikipedia. “Azalea” from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azalea.

Meet Aiden Windlow, The SL Parade’s New Photographer

Aiden Windlow has been in Second Life 9 years. He came over from IMVU and wasattracted to the vast freedom of movement it offered over the other. A long time RPer he got involved in superhero RP, taking the role of Batman and also became a GM for the RP. The game went through several versions before finally ending. Aiden also took up SL photography establishing his SL studio, Seasons of Serenity. Through the studio, he offered logo design, AV custom drawn artwork, and other art commissions along with the photography services. He is now staff photographer for The SL Parade magazine along with still working from Seasons of Serenity.
His studio can be found at The SL Parade home offices. Please click here to pay a visit:  Seasons of Serenity Art and Photography.

In RL, Aiden has worked full time for over 20 years in graphic design and illustration under his studio banner Technicolor Raccoon Studios. He has done much work for recognizeable companies such as, Upper Deck, Image Comics, Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Pinnacle Games, West End Games and many publishers of comics and gaming products. He is currently working on several creator-owned graphic novels. Samples of his work can be seen at his inworld studio as well as online here: http://tecraccoon.daportfolio.com/

The SL Parade Offers Spring To All Patrons

As many may know, I have not been as active in my writings due to Real Life bereavement.  I lost my mother on May 24, 2017 and the grief I have been experiencing has been overwhelming.  Yet, in the midst of my grief, I want to thank the SL community for being patient with me.  I also want to thank all of you for your support during this difficult time…with a special thank you going out to John Brianna and his wife Eles, Hunae O’Neil, Monrocie Core, VP Sandalwood, Mark Taylor, Nita Wunderlich, Luchenpur Darwin, Belyabee and Krystali.  There are countless others that I need to thank, so please forgive me if your name was not included in this article.

Though I have not been writing articles, I have been doing a lot of things behind the scenes to create a more inviting atmosphere at the SL Parade Headquarters.  One of the things I recently implemented was the creation of The SL Parade game room.  This game room features three bowling alleys, an engaging Connect Four game, a checkers board, pool table, and an air hockey table.  Though this items are free to the SL game playing public, The SL Parade encourages donations to help with the upkeep of the website as well as The SL Parade Headquarters.  Thus, there is a donation box located in the game room, and I encourage all who come by to donate what you can.

In addition to the game room, I have also installed a garden at The SL Parade’s entrance.  This acts as a gateway to another feature at The SL Parade Headquarters:  A permanent kind of Spring.  Because Spring signifies renewal and growth, I wanted to make The SL Parade Headquarters a reflection of all things pertinent to Spring.  I have installed two pools–one in front of the new SL Parade Dance Hall, as well as one located in the open seating areas designed for patrons.  In addition to the pools, there are swaying trees and other foliage designed to convey the newness often associated with spring.

The SL Parade Headquarters still has an informal cafe designed for upcoming listening parties that will happen via our partnership with SBE/Kulturezine Media, an RL music distribution company that specializes in Hip Hop, Gospel and an array of other music genres.  Inside the cafe, there is a small stage, a bar and dining tables for patrons to sit.  This, along with an open floor for dancing, allows a more intimate setting to insure full enjoyment of the services offered.

Because The SL Parade has hired Aiden Windlow as our SL Parade Photographer, we have allocated space for his photo gallery and studio.  Windlow’s biographical information will be featured in another article, but I must say that I am very grateful and excited that he is on board!  Aiden Windlow’s gallery is a few doors down from three stores that are available to rent at the SL Parade Headquarters.  If you would like to set up a business at The SL Parade Headquarters, please feel free to contact me inworld or via Facebook.

I also want patrons to notice the element of romance intrinsic at The SL Parade Headquarters.  In addition to being all about renewal and growth, Spring is very representative of budding and new romance.  Because romance (in my opinion) seems to be becoming a lost art form, I wanted to recreate space for those interested in recapturing what seems to be a lost art. One key element of romance is courtship; the act of taking someone you are interested in out on a date, as well as checking on their well-being, should be a constant fixture between those interested in becoming more romantically involved.  To facilitate courtship, I have created spaces on my sim where couples can picnic, dance, and even shop.

Besides the available store space for those interested in setting up business at The SL Parade Headquarters, I planning to set up a flower and novelty shop specifically designed for budding couples.  This flower and novelty shop was inspired by two things:  (1) The belief that couples should offer flowers and/or other items to convey their love and affection to one another and (2) my personal desire to honor my mother, who loved flowers immensely.  In addition to the latter reason, I have personally always wanted to own an RL flower and novelty shop because, like my late mother, I have always loved the smell of flowers and freshly turned soil.

Like the purple-umbrella’d tables designed for virtual dining and conversation, there are two tables by the tentative floral shop that serve ice cream.  Those tables are conveniently located at the ice cream parlor connected to the flower and novelty shop. Please note that any donations made to The SL Parade can also be made at the registers located inside the flower and novelty shop, as well as at the ice cream parlor.

All the items featured on the sim were created by a slew of talented creators…all of which will be featured in The SL Parade.  I have the interviews completed, and I look forward to publishing them for your reading pleasure.  This, along with introducing my newest staff members, will completely be in sync with my intent to create the permanent feel of spring at The SL Parade Headquarters.

Restorative growth and renewal is what The SL Parade is all about.  It is my hope that you come by and visit the sim, and partake in embracing the sentiment of Spring.  After all, in SL we can create a season of permanency no matter what season we are currently experiencing in RL.  To visit the SL Parade’s Headquarters, please click the following link:  The SL Parade Headquarters, Cafe and Garden Entrance.

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”59″ gal_title=”sl parade spring”]

Editorial: Reciprocity, or Going Where Your Bread Is Buttered

Have you ever been on the receiving end of mass teleports (TPs) and group conferences from an array of hosts, DJs and venues?  Prior to disabling my group chat feature, I did.

And while I initially had no problem with these habitual TP’s, etc.; it began to take a toll on me.  The mass TPs and group chats seemed like a cattle call rather than a way to commune and get to know other Second Life community members; there was nothing personal in them, and the only time I ever heard from many of these DJs and hosts was when they were having a party.  There was never an individual, nor personal hello…not one conversation held that conveyed anything other than “letting go” at yet another elaborately orchestrated party.

This realization would become especially perplexing when I would invite these same individuals to gatherings at the SL Parade Headquarters, because whenever I had an event, none of them would turn up to support it.  And while I understand that many SL community members are busy at various clubs and other venues, I also think it prudent that if one asks for support, then there should be willingness to give the same support to others business owners, too.

This mindset is a little bit more than going where your bread is buttered.  Though a lucid reference that has been used since the 1500’s, the concept of “going to where your bread is buttered” stems on the concept of reciprocity. According to Wikipedia, “…reciprocity is a social rule that says people should repay, in kind, what another person has provided for them;[1] that is, people give back (reciprocate) the kind of treatment they have received from another.” (wikipedia.org)

The power of choice is ours when it comes to patronizing venues, but in an ideal world, this patronage should center around the concept of reciprocity.  If I attend a venue for instance, and I am tipping DJs, Hosts, and the venue to boot, it would be nice to get that same support, too. Further, not only should I receive this support, but others that regularly patronize a given venue should as well.

from https://www.pinterest.com/pin/398850110732632719/

And this concept of reciprocity should not be limited to clubs, but also be intrinsic in SL churches and other types of venues, too.  In terms of the SL church, it is my belief that reciprocity should come in the form of direct community involvement.  From holding private conferences between two individual members who have publicly bickered on social media, to mapping out fundraisers for community members that are experiencing real life hardship, this form of reciprocity should be in accordance to what a real life church would do.

Wikipedia also vividly describes another tenet of reciprocity by providing examples.  The online encyclopedia states, “By virtue of the rule of reciprocity, people are obligated to repay favors, gifts, invitations, etc. in the future. If someone receives a gift for their birthday, a reciprocal expectation may influence them to do the same on the gift-giver’s birthday. This sense of future obligation associated with reciprocity makes it possible to build continuing relationships and exchanges. Reciprocal actions of this nature are important to social psychology as they can help explain the maintenance of social norms.” (wikipedia.org)

I would also like to stress that the kind of reciprocity that I am encouraging is not negative.  I am encouraging positive (and balanced) reciprocity.  When practiced in this light, reciprocity is more than a moral obligation; it also entails the building and cultivation of relationships within social groups. With this in mind, how can a venue–let alone a DJ, Host, etc.–ask for the SL community’s support, yet fail to give the very same support they ask for in return?  Though a rhetorical question, I would argue that if the true definition of reciprocity was practiced, it would facilitate some sincere interaction and effective business building.

ReRe Sandalwood relaxes at the SL Parade’s Cafe…

The last time I questioned motives and priorities in Second Life, I got pounded upon.  However, this pounding will not stop me (nor should it stop you) from stating the obvious:  it is important to support businesses (DJs, hosts, etc.) and venues that will go out their way to legitimately support the success of others.  Doing so creates a more personalized atmosphere, while also demonstrating a sincere effort in legitimately supporting in-world businesses.

Etopia’s 10 Year Earth Day Celebration…And An Earth Day Clue!

Happy Earth Day To Everyone!!

NOTE:  The SL Parade has placed prizes all over its Headquarters in celebration of Etopia’s Earth Day.  Aligning ourselves with not only Etopia, but with Whole Brain Health, Nonprofit Commons, and Center Ground; The SL Parade has opened it’s virtual doors for you to not only take a look around, but to claim your prize!  To acquire a clue to find YOUR prize, please read this entire announcement, then pay a visit to The SL Parade’s Headquarters

Etopia’s Earth Day celebration this year is a multi-sim event. Etopia has partnered with Whole Brain Health, Nonprofit Commons, and Center Ground to bring you a variety of workshops, tours, music, and film.

Enjoy the festivities and Thank you for 10 fabulous years!!

********  Schedule of Events ***********

**** THURSDAY 4/20

7pm SLT: Earth Day Kickoff Party with DJ Dani.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Etopia%20Island/131/96/23

**** FRIDAY 4/21

8:30am SLT:  Showing of the film “Before The Flood” followed by discussion. Before The Flood looks at how climate change affects our environment and what society can do to prevent the demise of endangered species, ecosystems and native communities across the planet. This event will be held at the Nonprofit Commons Ampitheater.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Plush%20Nonprofit%20Commons/102/140/26

11:30am SLT:  Bridging Worlds – The Etopia Experience (Namaara MacMoragh) Presentation will share how Etopia bridges the Second Life experience with real world application of sustainable living ideas, works to raise awareness about the impact of climate change, and how collaborations with other Second Life communities benefits everyone.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Etopia%20Island/84/157/23

2pm SLT:  Tour & Discussion of The Importance of Wetlands and Marine Life. Meet at Etopia Quest to explore the wetlands and marine life of Etopia with a discussion of the impact of climate change on this fragile ecosystem.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Etopia%20Quest/172/101/25

6pm SLT (tentative):  Showing of the film “Before The Flood” followed by discussion. Before The Flood looks at how climate change affects our environment and what society can do to prevent the demise of endangered species, ecosystems and native communities across the planet. This event will be held at the Bayview Ampitheater.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Etopia%20Island/84/157/23

Friday Sister Sim Events You Don’t Want To Miss …

10am SLT:  Sunvibes Workshop on Inspiration Island  – Join the folks at Whole Brain Health on Inspiration Island for a musical journey from country to country. What better way to appreciate other cultures than our own than by listening to tunes from around the world?
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Inspiration%20Island/219/102/27

**** SATURDAY 4/22

9am SLT:  Bamboo Bike Tour of Etopia Island with Namaara MacMoragh. Learn more about some of the most popular spots on Etopia and discover some of our hidden treasures. Join Nam as she shares the story and the fun of Etopia.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Etopia%20Island/194/56/22

11am SLT:  Climate Change Game with Marly Milena at the Climate Change Platform on Inspiration Island. This symbolic modeling exercise explores various perspectives on climate change with a discussion on how we can use this experience to foster dialogue, sharing of information, and raising awareness of this issue.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Inspiration%20Island/13/82/701

LIVE Music At KATJA’s
** 12pm SLT – The Vinnie Show
** 1pm SLT – Max Kleene
** pm SLT – Torben Asp
** 3pm SLT – Phemie Alcott
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Etopia%20Prime/59/141/23

2pm SLT:  Earth Day Open Mic- come share your writing: fiction, non fiction, poetry, essays about what inspires you about the Earth. life, climate change, and sustainablity. It can be your original writing or the writing of your favorite author. You can read yourself, have someone else read for you or just come to listen. Join Bhelanna Blaze & Namaara MacMoragh at the Etopia Ampitheater.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Etopia%20Island/84/157/23

5pm SLT:  Fighting Climate Change with Permaculture. Join fate Paule as she shares her experiences creating a permaculture lifestyle and how this approach can make a difference in our daily life while creating positive change for the future.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Etopia%20Homestead/211/57/24

Saturday Sister Sim Events You Don’t Want To Miss —

10am to 10pm SLT:  A Celebration of Music at Center Ground from featuring an array of DJ’s. Not attending a discussion or taking a tour? Be sure to stop by Center Ground for fun, friends, and great music.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Han%20Loso/121/43/65

**** SUNDAY 4/23

11am SLT:  Sustainability Sunday – Topic is Value of Earth Day Awareness (does it change behavior? how can we increase impact, reach, etc?)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Etopia%20Island/194/56/22

Sunday Sister Sim Events You Don’t Want To Miss —

9:30am SLT:  Meditation at Inspiration Island with Dani Ballinger. Everyone interested in meditation is welcome at the Whole Brain Health Meditation Group. This intro is filled with instruction for beginners and interactive discussion. It’s a wonderful opportunity to contemplate our relationship to our mother earth today.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Inspiration%20Island/214/212/701

 

*** Other Activities ***

  • 10th Anniversary Birthday Hunt (20 April – 30 April)
  • Guided Walking Tour of Etopia Island
  • Guided Tours (Balloon Prime, Eagle Mtn, Dragon Surprise)

 

 

 

SL Parade’s Earth Day Clue (for the hunt):  

Way in the forest deep,
the gift is deeply hidden,
look toward the ground, as it is tightly wrapped
Once found, it is yours to keep

Please pay a visit to the SL Parade Headquarters to claim your prizes!

Reminder: Come to The SL Parade’s Big Band Party on Sunday, April 9, 2017!

 

Walk the SL Parade’s Red Carpet and join our Big Band Party!

Reminder:  Don’t forget that tomorrow, The SL Parade will be having a BIG BAND party from 2 PM SLT – 4 PM SLT at The SL Parade’s Headquarters. Come in your formal best, and be ready to strut your stuff on the Red Carpet and have Luna Morandiere take your photo!

Be sure to come out to the Big Band party on Sunday, April 9, 2017 from 2:00 PM SLT to 4 PM SLT!  Click here for your limo:  Limo to The SL Parade’s Big Band Party!

Heather Ann: Furries Are Discriminated Against In Second Life

No Furries Allowed

In many sims, you will see these signs or find it listed in the sim rules. At first I wasn’t sure what a furry was, so I had to check that out. Once I understood what a furry was, I still didn’t understand why someone would want to dress up as an animal in a game where you could be anything you wanted to be. In fact, one of the first people I met in world was a life sized white tiger. For many days, I had no idea if the person behind this avatar was male or female because the name was unisex and the conversation was neutral. It wasn’t until the tiger invited me to go dancing did I find out he was a guy.

One thing I learned about people who walk around in SL in animal avatars is to never underestimate them. I have met many Furries over the years. They come in an array of personality types, from shy to outgoing, as well as creative.  Many are also introverts, while others are extroverted. Also, their ages range from teens to individuals in their forties….but they are not limited by age range. Even the sexual identity of the furry varies; a furry’s sexuality can be aligned with the LGBTQ+ community, be heterosexual, or be non-sexual.

Overall, being a furry tends to be a freeing experience…it’s like Halloween every day….wearing a costume. Some of the furries I have spoken with tell me being furry has allowed them to overcome serious social anxiety. As their character, they are able to explore in world and are also free to interact in ways they couldn’t do on a daily basis in the real world.

Thus, if Furries are such interesting and diverse creatures, why are they discriminated against on some sims? I can see in some sims with strict role play why a limitation of characters is a must. However, in clubs or other causal sims, it really shouldn’t be a problem.

Discrimination is discrimination no matter how you look at it. And why do most people discriminate? Because they fear the unknown.

My suggestion is to not let fear stop you from possibly meeting the most interesting person–or Furry–you have ever experienced.