January 31, 2007


Not only is it Update Day, but it's National Gorilla Suit Day! Who knew? Wynx Whiplash, that's who! Her gorilla AVs (and chimp AVs) are on sale for L$100 each until 10pm SLT! I got one, of course, and what better place to show off your gorilla suit than in the wilds of a jungle?

On the island of Pamran, I found exactly what I was looking for.

aztec temple

I have always had a thing for pyramids.

Designed in the style of a Mesoamerican temple, the Temple of the Jaguar is dedicated to meditation, prayer and yoga. The temple opens when you say the magic words to reveal a secret interior - this was broken when I was there, but you can move the camera around and peek inside. Some very nice yoga animations are placed around the temple.

sun salutaion

Gorillas are naturally flexible.

The build is in a secluded local with lush foliage, waterfalls and a bevy of poseballs to enjoy.

just hanging

Gorillas really know how to relax.

You can always invite a firend to join you in your explorations. Especially a friend in a gorilla suit.

two on the temple

Hey, Osprey, is that another balloon ride? I just love Balloon Rides!

It turns out, Pamran is an artists' community sponsored by Guran Solomon. My brief glimpse of the area, the kindness of Guran (in spite of the gorilla suit), and hints of the legends that surround the island have made me anxious to return (in my girl suit) and take a better look around. I'll keep you posted.

Temple of the Jaguar, Pamran (245, 200, 22)
Gorilla suits! ExtroVirtual - Wynx's Whimsical Wonders, Flights of Fantasy! Emit Time (67, 180)
Poppies, Figments, Bisque (101, 102, 25)

January 29, 2007

Ave, Ida!

When I first visited ROMA during my tender Newbie Days, it was a parcel on the mainland. (At least, I remember it being on the mainland. I was young, I could be wrong.) ROMA has since moved to a dedicated sim and has grown into what is, in my opinion, one of the Great Builds of Second Life. Torin Golding has put long hours into this build for the glory of the Emperor, Julian Augustus. (Really: look for him in Search->People.)

view from the tower

ROMA is absolutely packed to the gills, there isn't a square meter of this sim that isn't occupied.

Upon arrival, pay close attention to the Customs House, where you can obtain a map hud, a free toga and information about how to join the citizens group. Immediately outside is the first of the many sacred fountains distributed throughout the sim. Each one is dedicated to a god or goddess who is responsible for that particular district (Mars is outside of the arena, for instance). If you click the image of the god, the fountain will tell you some of the things that can be done in that district. If you click the water, a litter is summoned to teleport you to another area.

fountain by the lions

Scripted fighting in the Gladiator Arena is coming soon!

And there are a LOT of areas: the Baths of Caracalla, Caligula's Garden, the Basilica, a marvelous scripted play starring Dionysus, to name a very few. And what is a visit to ancient Rome without a Chariot Race in the Circus Maximus?

horse wreck

We were doing really well until I took a wrong turn.

Or a quiet read in the Library of Alexandria?


There is a copy of Plywood vol. 1 in the corner!

Or a visit to some ancient (unstable) ruins?

it all falls down

Oh, Enjah! Did that hurt? I didn't think the "Do Not Touch" sign was serious!

The map hud is really an invaluable resource that shows the myriad of attractions and locations.

hud baby hud

I am actually wearing a Greek Peplos rather than a toga. But I figure lots of people were still speaking Greek anyway...

One of the most striking things about this build is the wealth of information. Red information buttons distribute notecards with historical facts or stories. There are information buttons everywhere. I know, I clicked on all of them. Each time another thoughtful, well-written notecard appeared I thought: "Torin, how long did it take you to do all this?!"

ROMA is littered with gifts and mementos. Each fountain has a unique treat that is free to purchase, click or copy and the Rich Imperialist Tidbit snack vendors are a scream. My favorite of the gifts has to be the Gem of Venus. It's a hud with several different animations to play. No wait - I like Jupiter's Lightning Bolt Thrower a whole lot. Mercury's money bag is also great. Everything is great - collect it all!

ROMA can only be described as a labor of love and one of my best (and most time consuming) Second Life experiences to date.

ROMA (215, 25, 22)
Circus Maximus, ROMA (150 135 44)
The Library of Alexandria, ROMA (101, 178, 46)
The Ruins, ROMA (208, 215, 53)
Peplos, Osprey Therian's Shop Bodega (210, 84, 40)

I have deliberately not provided many SLurls with this entry, there is so much to see and do in ROMA (I made four seperate trips just to write this article) that the list would be a mile long. My advice is to use the first SLurl (this is also the tp found in Search->Places), take a moment in the Customs House to read the pertinent information, and then take your time exploring the entire sim. Thanks for letting me know about the New and Improved ROMA, Pinget!

January 26, 2007


The sim of Pixel Dreams has been around since 2005, but with one thing and another, owner Tya Fallingbridge decided that after three years in-game it was time to reorganize. The sim and shops have been rebuilt as a charming beach front community complete with board walk, palm trees, and ocean breeze.

the boardwalk

The shops have plenty of room for new products. Yay!

Pixel Dreams offers a variety of activities in addition to shopping. I am absolutely enamored with the bicycles that are available to the public in a variety of colors. You "wear" the bike and ride it by means of the built-in AO, hand signals are included in the animation to ensure safe turns.

ida and Theo on bikes

The basket on the girl's version is a nice touch.

Surfing, windsurfing and boating will become available on Sunday, January 28 (tomorrow). Tya plans to have races in the near future.

The Happy Bean Cafe and ice cream carts provide refreshment and a place to take a break and organize one's thoughts.

Ida at the table

..let's see...bikes, boats, shoes...windsurfing on Sunday...have I forgotten anything?

Schmooze, the club located at the North end of the build, is swankiness personified. Glossy black walls and floors set off modern decor and lighting to its best advantage.

inside the club

The snapshots I took don't do the club justice. You will have to visit for yourself to fully appreciate the chic atmosphere.

Join the Pixel Dreamers Group to stay up-to-date on new releases, races and events!

Pixel Dreams (234, 27, 22)
Schmooze, Pixel Dreams (212, 193, 30)

January 25, 2007

You're it!

Oz Spade has given residents a way to make their mark in Sistiana by providing an abandoned building as a canvas for graffiti.

The former Oz's Meat

The building formerly known as Oz's Meat.

A Graffiti Canvas prim is provided; you create, upload and apply your own texture. Then simply situate your prim on the building. There are guidelines (read the notecard), and the objects will be cleared as the parcel fills or at Oz's whim.

Ida's Spray Can

Painting the town.

Black Market - Community Graffiti, Sistiana (134, 242, 45)
Elka's Spray Paint, boing fromage, Miramare (168, 167, 27) In the jewels/accessories/gadgets vendor - there is a tiny version too.

January 23, 2007

Around the Sim in 80 Days

Well, more like 20 minutes. And it took me another 10 to figure out how to make the balloon go - I completely missed the very handy "how to start the balloon ride" sign. Luckily there was no one around to see me looking like a dope.

Ambleside, Waterhead, Hawkshead, Grasmere and the edges some of the surrounding sims are home to the Linden Village where each Linden has a plot to create an in-world office. Several Lindens keep scheduled office hours (see their individual profiles for more information). The Waterhead Welcome Area (the one that looks like a summer camp), the Linden Recruiting Center, and RL Education In SL are are also located in the vicinity. I've visited the Linden Village on several occasions, but never noticed the balloon ride (I have Amazing Powers of Observation).

The tour begins and ends in a cute open-air pavilion (with refreshments).

oooh lemonade!

The How To sign is clearly visible to the right of the balloon itself. D'oh!

For those of you who are as Observant as I: sit in the balloon and say "go" to start your tour. The balloon flies all around Ambleside, pointing out the offices of various Lindens. Though tour script is out-of-date (Ben Linden retired recently and several other builds and Lindens mentioned no longer exist), the ride is still a nice overview of the area.

float through the air

The seat cushions can be used as floatation devices.

At the end of your tour, take some time to fly/stroll/run around the Linden Village. Linden plots vary widely in design, running the gamut from amusing, elegant, and informative to delightfully bizarre.

jack's tower

Jack Linden also has a grave with a tombstone that you can nap on.

dan's boxes

Dan Linden has a talent for creating Plywood Boxes. *click the green one*


An explosion of Watermelinden Goodness. Kind of like her bear (it's up there on top).

Pathfinder's Office

Pathfinder Linden's office is loaded with gadgets, souvenirs of his travels and battle trophies (Griefer skulls are stored in a glass display case).

For more pictures, Torley Linden has a Flickr set devoted to Linden Village. Or visit and take some of your own!

Balloon Tour of Linden Village, Ambleside (45, 40, 33)
Jack's Place, Ambleside (77, 211, 32)
Dan Linden's Land in Ambleside, Ambleside 165, 30, 30
Torley Watermelinden Land of Happiness, Fruit & Recitations, Grasmere (190, 39, 53)
Pathfinder Linden's Office, Ambleside (57, 104, 26)
Waterhead Welcome Area, Waterhead (36, 76, 25)
Linden Lab Recruiting Center, Waterhead (147, 131, 22)
Real Life Education in Second Life, Waterhead (184, 7, 40)

January 22, 2007

Ancient Lands

"Will you risk death for adventure?"

The island sim of Ancient Lands makes good its claim of dedication to "lovers, adventurers and photographers" with a delightful theme park atmosphere and a variety of attractions. Need proof? The arrival point is in a giant fish's mouth.

the port

Ancient Lands offers shops (including a tattoo parlor if you feel the need to acquire a permanent souvenir of your visit), a great looking pirate ship to climb around on, an Elf Colony (a favorite party place for elves) as well as many hidden gardens and caves that lie off the beaten path. There are convenient teleports located in all the major areas. Don't be too tempted to teleport around, you'll miss some of the more obscure areas that can only be found by walking.

All that is fun, well done and thematically related, but my favorite thing about Ancient Lands is the rides!

Take the hot air balloon tour of the island for an overview of the area. The tour points out all the major areas of interest, offers entertainment suggestions and encourages visitors to explore on their own. After that, head to the port for a ride on a friendly dolphin.

jump dolphin jump!

Hi there, Angler Fish...haven't I see you somewhere before?

The Dolphin ride ends near the Beach Party Area complete with water slide, diving board, dance floor, and trampoline! There is also a Mine Cart Roller Coaster:

out of control mine cart


And a Zip Line Ride - a great opportunity for photos.

zip line


With the exception of the Zip Line, all the rides are designed with seating for two people, making this a great location to visit with a friend or a date. If your date goes very very well, there is also a wedding chapel and some isolated areas for...erm..."adult activities" (these are fairly well hidden, making is possible to visit without offending Delicate Sensibilities).

The Covenant for the private island reads: "As time goes by intrigue and mystery will be entertwined with adventure and exploration by clever and tricky quests. Secret areas are scattered all over the island and eventually they will all be tied together by a running story line." I am thrilled by this news - many areas seemed to be part of a larger story and I have always felt that SL could use more questing.

I never did figure out where the music videos were playing. Maybe the story line could include that.

The Arrival Point, Ancient Lands (137, 15, 23)
Tourist Info, Ancient Lands (134, 39, 24)
Balloon Tour, Ancient Lands (146, 42, 30)
Dolphin Ride, Ancient Lands (120, 74, 22)
Mine Cart Ride, Ancient Lands (204, 166, 67)
Zip Line Ride, Ancient Lands (109, 116, 59)

January 15, 2007

Are We There Yet?

By 1930, a mere 22 years after the Model T made its first commercial appearance, nearly 27 million cars were carrying tourists along highways and by-ways in the United States alone. Not about to miss an opportunity, roadside businesses began to compete for the attention (and cash) of passing motorists. What better way to catch a tourists' eye than a seafood restaurant shaped like a fish, a gas station with a giant shell facade or an enormous ball of paint? This sort of advertising (highly visual and often comical) created a colorful and unique roadside culture during the 1920s and 1930s.

When Pontiac opened Motorati Island, an estate devoted to "car culture," residents were invited to submit proposals for builds that would add character and interest to the sims. Osprey Therian, one of the SL art world's most notable personalities, elected to bring the outlandish charm of the Roadside Attraction to Second Life. With her typical flair and humor, Osprey created reproductions of a series of RL builds to adorn the hills of Motorati.

Stop by the Vista Gift Mart first thing to pick up your complementary map with the locations of the attractions marked. You'll want to drop into the gift shop again on your way home to acquire souvenir postcards, tea pots, snow globes and other items to commemorate your visit. Be sure to take your camera, these are photo opportunities like you have never seen before!

the vista gift mart

Commemorative Plates are the perfect gift for the avatar who has everything.

Each attraction is accompanied by a sign with the details of the RL work.

giant ball of twine

The real Giant Ball of Twine weighs 1,182 pounds!

drive through tree

One way please!

enormous potato

This potato is built to scale!

Osprey commented in an interview with Mororati Life, that it was the "absurdity, the playfulness, of these objects" that motivated her to recreate the folk art icons. She goes on to say that a "40 foot banana or a 60 foot Paul Bunyan can brighten my day in RL or SL...There’s something sweet and fun about these roadside attractions that is worth loading into my time machine and dragging into SL - we need more fun in Second Life (as well as in First Life)."

giant carved bear

What could possibly be more fun than an 800 foot bear?

Vista Gift Mart, Motorati (207, 77, 23)
Nyloid Camera, Nylon Outfitters, Tableau (168, 185, 23)
Giant Ball of Twine, Velocity (219, 16, 38)
Drive Through Tree, Drive In (124, 68, 31)
Giant Baked Potato, Drive In (58, 63, 31)
Chain-saw Carving Bear, Velocity (198, 11, 40)

For more about Pontiac's Mororati Island, visit the official blog.
For more about roadside tourist attractions in RL North America, visit Roadside America.
Osprey Therian's works (giant potato and time machine excluded) are available in-world in Bodega Hills. Check her picks for more information!

January 08, 2007

Now and Zen

Lime is one of the original Color Sims brought on-line in June of 2003. This makes it ancient as far as Second Life history is concerned. Many builds have come and gone in these historic sims. In Blue, there is a memorial to Americana, a build that was focused on portraying American culture and heritage. Grey houses the Kazenojin (People of the Wind) who are devoted to air travel. Aqua remains a shopping center. The Color Sims are an interesting place to spend time exploring - you'll find a little bit of everything.

Like Now and Zen in Lime, for example. My friend, Pinget, sent me a land mark the other day to let me know that the area was a excellent spot for a visit. Obscuro Valkyrie has created a lovely Asian setting with charming paths and sweet bridges. It appears to be monsoon season, so take an umbrella (or an Unbrella) if you are concerned for your prim hair.

on the birdge

My favorite part of the build is the highly detailed sushi house where you can grab a snack and get out of the rain for a bit.

mmmm salmon skin roll

To the North, there is a luxurious bath house.

bath house interior

Even though Now and Zen is in close proximity to the "backup" Welcome Area in Plum which is presently in use due to current immigration levels, I didn't see another soul during my visit. It is a soothing, meditative spot.


Americana Memorial, Blue (122, 126, 29)
Home of the Kazenojin, Grey (184, 188, 39)
Aqua Shopping Park, Aqua (175, 220, 21)
Unbrella Shiny Things, Shiny Falls (173, 181, 37)
Now and Zen, Lime (75, 109, 29)
The Sushi House, Lime (47, 144, 27)
Royal Bath, Lime (48, 288, 30)
Plum Welcome Area, Plum (73, 250, 47)

PS Go Gators!

January 06, 2007

Beyond Function

Many of the more famous stores in Second Life have re-opened this week with new builds in new sims. While I was taking a look around (and buying ridiculous quantities of socks), it occurred to me that I had been avoiding pointing out areas of interest that happen to have been built for primarily commercial purposes. In retrospect, I think this has been unfair: there are many shops throughout SL that are more than just a nice place to buy things. Tableau Island, for example, immediately comes to mind.

The boardwalk at Tableau

They still have their Christmas Decorations up.

You arrive on the pier and are immediately greeted with signs advertising "Fun Things to do in Tableau." So you know right off the bat that it's a town built for the tourist. The buildings themselves look like they've been braving the salt spray for years and there's some fun swag just like you would expect from a campy little beach town (souvenir t-shirts for example). You can wander away from the beach and boardwalk and visit the park, tree house, underwater caves and bumper boats.


Doesn't Mahoroba just look like fun?

One of my top 10 favorite places in SL is Mahoroba. It is a completely zany little Japanese Pixel-Pop town. Not only are there entertaining surprises scattered throughout the build, but some really talented designers have their shops here. Clothing, accessories and animations are next door to amusing and useful gadgets (my Mary Poppins Umbrella came from Seagel Neville's store). And if that weren't enough for a good time, there is also a subway station.

Subway Train

Mahoroba is in a PG sim, so be sure to wear pants.

Silentsparrow and Factotum Dicassel have a new location in Koreshan that is as frought with ambiance as the old one. But the new location has room for an extensive underground network of tunnels. There are several ways into the dank sewers. I'll leave it to you to discover them.


/me wonders if she will ever get out.

Add to that the Uber Creepy Amusement Park next door and you have the makings of a lovely outing. Really, I could have Baedekered Koreshan Pointe all by itself!

hella creepy

Dude. Seriously Creepy. Don't miss the Teacup Ride.

I promise that while this list is incomplete - I have seen many commercial locations that transcend their function - I will never again omit spots of interest simply because I shop there!

PS What's a girl gotta do to get that "water shortage" bug fixed? World-->Region/Estate

Socks! at Celestial City, Celestial Studios (35, 219, 25)
Tableau, Tableau (244, 183, 24)
Mahoroba, Shaka (110, 219, 25)
The Subway, Shaka (131 ,155 26)
Silentsparrow and Factotum Dicassel, Koreshan (107, 216, 26)
Koreshan Pointe, Koreshan (242, 79, 24)