Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Second Life and Real Life Converge, not once but twice!

Just a month ago, one my my Second Life and blogging friends came to Vancouver to stay with the OS and myself for a couple of days.   LastDitch is from the UK and shipped his Ferrari across the Atlantic to tour the United States and visit all of the 48 lower states.  15,000 miles in just under two months!  We'd met before in RL so he made a relatively short detour to Vancouver to catch up with me again.

We met another local blogging friend, Cascadian for lunch on the deck at Bridges at Granville Island, on a beautiful sunny day.

LastDitch on the left, Cascadian on the right
My lunch: halibut, asparagus etc
My dessert: a small Pavlova.  Actually not so small!
Having a Ferrari in your driveway gives you cachet in the neighbourhood!

Setting off again for Washington

 Yesterday the OS and I had dinner at The Teahouse in Stanley Park with one of my other long time Second Life friends, Dido,  who is from The Netherlands and holidaying with her husband in Western Canada.  It was a fun evening with good food, good wine, a great view and wonderful company.

I forgot to take my camera and was so busy talking I never thought to use my iPhone so you have to excuse me lifting images from Dido's blog.  I hope you don't mind Dido. 

The OS and Dido raise their glasses in a toast!

Dido's husband gets a top-up of his wine
The Cheese Plate:  the only food photo.  How unusual!
 We started with stuffed mushrooms or salads, followed by Sockeye Salmon with scallops
 While Dido's husband chose the cheese plate the rest of us indulged in decadent

View from our table by the window at the Teahouse, as the sun
disappeared in the western sky


Dido is the fourth Second Life person I have been fortunate to meet in Real Life, each one of them from a different country, which is one of the great pluses of that virtual world. 

A fun evening and it was a great pleasure to meet someone whom I have considered a friend for a long time as well as her husband.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Dona Nobis Pacem

This is the sixth year of my participation in Mimi's Blogblast for Peace.  Are we any closer to peace?  Is it actually attainable?  I'd like to be able to say yes to both questions but I have my doubts some days about the latter.  
Peace is the only
battle worth waging

That's a pretty simple if profound statement from the French philosopher and writer Albert Camus.  Certainly many are waging this battle for peace but there are others would much prefer that war is waged, not necessarily for philosophical or moral reasons or collective self defence but simply so they can continue to profit from war.  Then again working for peace is a bit like fighting forest fires.  Stamp out one in one part of the forest only to find another flares up elsewhere.  

But nothing is accomplished without effort and nobody puts more effort into this campaign than Mimi Lenox so I blog with her and many others on this day, in solidarity for this goal, for it gives me hope.

Again, I would like to post John Lennon's very moving vision of what the world could be like, should be like.  His dream for all of us. May the day when the world will be as one come in my lifetime. Peace be with you.

Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one

John Lennon, 1971

Mimi's Blogblast for Peace Official Website

Peace Globe Gallery

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Making Petroleum from Thin Air

A serious science and environmental post, would you believe it?

It's not April.  I checked my calendar and everything.  So imagine my surprise when I read this.  

It looks like the Brits have found a way of making "clean" pure petroleum out of thin air.  It sounds  was to good to be true.  

What are the ingredients?  Well air for a start, or the carbon it in anyway.  Plus sodium hydroxide (lye or caustic soda), hydrogen and electricity.

Caustic soda can be made from seawater using electricity, but there are lots of other ways to make it.  Hydrogen can be made from water using electricity. 

The carbon comes from CO2 in the air, so not only can they get the petroleum from the air, they are also scrubbing CO2 out of the air at the same time.....   So get this, every gallon of carbon dioxide from "air fuel" burned is offset by the carbon dioxide used to make it.  

If the electricity used to make it comes from "renewable resources" or nuclear then it is absolutely carbon neutral.  So much greener than bio fuel as it does not waste valuable land that could be used to grow food.  

If you think about it the technology really makes all vehicles electric powered with none of the disadvantages. 

Another big bonus is fuel independence and an assured domestically produced supply.  Maybe a reduced need for oil and reduced risk from oil spills.  Maybe cheap fuel at stable prices?

The developers say a larger (test?) plant could produce more than a metric ton of petroleum a day, within two years.  With funding they think refinery scale operations could be running inside of 15 years.  

Shouldn't some of the green tax money and "Global warming" funding be switched to this immediately?  If CO2 really does cause global warming then this technology would be doing the world a service even if it was only used to sequester the petroleum.  It could stop global warming in its tracks and even reverse it. 

Putting my cynical hard hat on.  So that's the Climate change lobby/industry gravy train and the oil companies threatened by it.  Two good reason for it not to happen.  With the lobbying power they have I expect it will be made illegal.  

But if CO2 isn't causing global warming then it is a way for the climate change industry to put off everyone finding out for the longest time and keep the dollars flowing and the oil industry would be better off changing horses and getting on board with it.......

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sow the tomato, reap the whirlwind

This is not really a hard hat post. Just the facts mam.. I guess. I do get so sick of all the pure hate "bull" that gets passed around and around and NO ONE ever seems to question it. So here are some questions about a wacky story.

A while a go this thing came round about Islamic groups wanting to ban the tomato because it is somehow Christian. I am not sure where it first appeared, one attribution was the Now Lebanon site.

There was a picture of a tomato cut in half showing a cross shape horizontal cross section with the seeds and some Arabic type script along with a supposed translation. I can't read it so I couldn't tell if it was an honest translation or a just recipe for chicken soup.

Whatever, It went something like this:
"Eating tomatoes is forbidden because they are Christian. [The tomato] praises the cross instead of Allah and says that Allah is three (a reference to the Trinity).”
[God help us]. I implore you to spread this photo because there is a sister from Palestine who saw the prophet of Allah [Mohammad] in a vision and he was crying, warning his nation against eating them [tomatoes]. If you don’t spread this [message], know that it is the devil who stopped you.”

Absolutely. Goodness help us indeed!

Now, for one thing. looking at those words in the English translation, especially the last part, it looks like it has all the ingredients of a chain letter aimed at Moslems with a reason to send it on?

It kind of works elsewhere also just because it sounds wacky and confirms stock ideas.

OK back to that tomato. Notice anything? Go on you must have seen a sliced tomato before... not so many guys maybe?

Of course it depends on how you slice it for one thing, but sliced horizontally you can get anything from two "divisions" or "spokes" (like in a wheel) to almost how ever many you like (at least five). Depends on the variety I guess?

Go on check it out don't just... duhh... accept it.

Mostly the ones I get from the store have just three spokes.

So, for sure, only _some_ tomatoes _sometimes_ show a cross shape, and I figure, not the majority.
OK so was the original thing genuinely from some ignorant cleric who never does his own cooking? Was it from some sneaky cleric (who does his own cooking) but wanted to make trouble (who cares what women think anyway, who let them learn to read anyway)?

Or was it someone who wanted to make Islam look especially crazy/unreasonable?

It sure is bs. But is it fake bs, or the real McCoy?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The stuff dreams are made of?

It is one of "those things" about sl that, if your home location is not available for technical reasons, when you log in _then_ you get automatically shunted to the nearest Hub.

This is most often real busy anyway, but especially if some other nearby home locations are also taken down for maintenance by the lindens. And that is most often so.

It is another one of “those things” that when you log in you rez wearing exactly what you had on when you logged out, unless something weird has happened.

One thing you do learn is if in doubt set to rez at your home location.

Sooo, anyone here ever had that nightmare where you find yourself naked in a crowded public place?. Yes, you see what’s coming, don’t you.

I logged in the other day. I was careful to log into my home location because I had to log out suddenly previously and I only had on a necklace at the time.

So I already had trouble where I had to update my viewer when I realised I was not rezzing at home at all.

There were bunches of people standing round and more rezzing by the second. I was still rezzing, so I looked like a cloud (imagine orange steam in a shower), but I knew what was coming. When I finished rezzing the cloud would fade and there I would be in all my glory.

No time to find anything to put on. The place was laggy with people making me clumsy.

I tried to take off but there was a roof, so I start to run for the way out, all the while trying to fly as well, barging people out the way, feeling bad about doing that, but thinking it is acceptable collateral damage, when what should happen at that moment, but I get am im from one of my oldest sl friends.

“Hi”. She said.

“Where are you? Are you on your own?” I ask urgently.

“Yes..?” she came back.

“TP me! TP me now!” I practically shout as I am fading in running naked and finally leaving ground.

Her tp request comes up and I accept it. “Whooshhh!” Away to safety.

So I appear in this graveyard place complete with ghosts going “wooohhh!”. And there is “A”.

“Oh you are an elf! she exclaims. "Love your hair hon, who did it” she grins, “Better get something on it’s empty here at the moment, but public. No knowing when someone might show up”

“’Wasabi Pills’” I reply. “It’s the same as my latest petite hair do.”

Hugs all round and I now have a moment to put on some high wasted jeans a top and some shoes.

“Oh no Halloween!” I say working out where we are “You are not shopping for Halloween already are you?”

“What’s wrong with that?” She asks defensively.

“I have not had my summer vacation yet is what is wrong with that!”

She laughs. And we turn to discussing where the best hair dos are to be found just now.


Oh the latest news? We have junked the castle and the castle in the sky. Our old beach house is back up in the old beach front property. It has a dancefloor/decking over the ocean.

I have reverted to beach bunny.. elf.

Unfortunately we let some of the land go and it is a bit crowded with other people’s places spoiling the solitude and views. There are places on stilts in the actual ocean. There is half a cruise liner in the bay of all things.

I got myself this lovely sunny Aztec pattern dress and have on my swim suit under.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Gettin Real

I saw an ad on a music channel, something about it stuck and made me think, and I guess that is the point of ads (I can't believe I am posting about an ad).

It was for the Toyota GT 86 (I had to look it up ^_^ I remembered it was a red Toyota GT something). The thing is I guess it must have been aimed at guys, but some of the underlying concept chimed with me also (I can't believe I am posting about a car ad).

It has this sort of noir look, like say sl’s Dead End City but I am guessing might owe more to Grand Theft Auto (seen but never played).

In the Ad the Avie is in this sim looking to “score” something real. He knows the place to go. You see a real burger and a real plant, then he picks up the Toyota, real and covered in a dust sheet in a garage.

He drives round town, none to careful of the paintwork, like footage from some traffic cops reality show, but less fuzzy. Then, in a kind of Thelma and Loise moment, uses the car to smash right out of the sim into reality.

There is an empty road one second and then in a shower of shards the already real car is through into rl, on the road and off into the distance… no regrets…

Kind of reminds me of a "Fastball" track also, I'll leave you to guess what one.

On his own! He had a spare seat.... He could have taken me along for the ride (pouts).

So maybe the ad partly plays to the idea of avies being able to break out into rl? I guess it also plays to guys who have driven awesome cars virtually in games and might want to try it for real.

I thought after (weird thought), if rl was actually really a totally convincing sim, how could we ever tell?

Look for the developer’s short cuts and cheats maybe?

Friday, August 24, 2012

WikiLeaks Saga #III

Extradition and the US

This is fun, like being a detective... Your intrepid reporter investigates further...

Can we say what the US Government’s real thinking on Assange is? Officially not much going on in the open. It looks like they don’t want to make any pronouncements to destabilise the situation.

Semi Officialy? Well VP Joe Biden has publicly identified Assange as a "hi-tech terrorist”. There really have been calls for Assange to be hunted down and killed (tho not from the Government) and Hills Clinton is said to see some of what WikiLeaks has done as “an attack on the international community”.

A grand jury in Virginia looks to be preparing a case of espionage against Assange and WikiLeaks. Also a recent leak (Ironically ^_^) suggested that the US government has already issued a secret sealed indictment against Assange.

Also you never know when some DA or ex DA with an eye to the next step on the political ladder might try something on, just look at the Lawsky vs Standard Chartered Bank shake down. A nest of vipers being burned out by a righteous All American hero? Or some poor old unsuspecting elephant in a ruthless poachers sights?

So there is enough smoke to seriously suggest flames. To suggest that the US has the “hots” ^_^ for Assange. That those who matter think he may have done them harm and ought to pay.

The UK government (more later) seems absolutely and self destructively crazily desperately keen to ship Assange off to Sweden presto allegro. How come?

Is Assange right to worry about being extradited to the US by Sweden? Everyone involved is sure being careful to avoid promising it won’t happen for sure.

If it were me, and I am honest, I guess I would not want to trust it wouldn’t happen. Would you?

It seems more like to me that this so called "SEX-CRIME!!" is really mostly a “he said/she said” nothing much of anything and I do wonder how it is still in the air.

Is there really any reason it could not be done by an interview? Even conference e-link? Would there really be any real forensic evidence?

Is there really any credible case or chance of a prosecution, or is it more an excuse to get him to Sweden?

Political Assylum the Brits and Ecuador

Assange has, maybe not absolutely without reason, felt he needed to obtain political asylum, to avoid extradition from the UK. He popped into the Ecuadorian Embassy while waiting extradition to claim asylum.

While he was in there the British Foreign office, mostly known for their devotion to the UKs membership of the European Union, and (touchingly) the belief in their regularly channelling Machiavelli ^_^ if you would believe the more hairy anti Brit US survivalist conspiracy sentiment and many arab/middle east states.

The British press seem to be mostly briefed against him, talking of him being holed up in a tiny stuffy room they do seem to especially like the word stuffy. There are dozens of cops surrounding the Embassy.

So why would those officials for some weird crazy reason threaten or at least suggested the police might be able to try to justify raiding the Ecuadorian embassy to arrest Assange? .

If it was a terrorist siege with gun play maybe, but for this?

They must have known what they were suggesting was against the spirit the law they were trying to use was drafted in and if they did it, it would weaken the diplomatic protection of British embassies in many places where the Geneva convention barely protects them.

All it did was make up the Equadorian’s minds for them and mobilise practically all of South American opinion against The Brits, and probably badly weaken their position against Argentina in the continent, something way more important than Assange. How is a Latino guy going to react if he is threatened/insulted in public?

What is going on with that? On the face of it it looked to have been plain crazy, inept stupid, and I am being nice here..

If it wasn’t that then it is so deep I have not figured the angle yet.