Monday, January 25, 2021

We are all different, we are all the same. Let's celebrate diversity!!!

Being around people who are different from us makes us more creative, diligent, and hard-working. Culture is that which shapes us; it shapes our identity and influences our behavior. Culture is our “way of being,” more specifically, it refers to the shared language, beliefs, values, norms, behaviors, and material objects that are passed down from one generation to the next.

Cultural diversity may include acknowledging the validity of different cultural expressions and contributions, as the meme of Bernie going around the internet and also landed in Second Life. Although this may be funny and we laugh about it in other cultures it may be forbidden to make fun of a public figure. 

There is a responsibility that each one of us has when we become influencers and create a trend, an idea, or an opinion. These things can quickly go wild and before you know it a movement is started of people not respecting other's opinions. Think about this, do you judge someone because they may believe in a political party, their religious beliefs, their skin color, or gender?

 Try to be diverse and let others express themselves. In addition, cultural diversity helps us recognize and respect “ways of being” that are not necessarily our own, so that as we interact with others we can build bridges to trust, respect, and understanding across cultures.

Increase your level of understanding about other cultures by interacting with people outside of your own culture—meaningful relationships may never develop simply due to a lack of understanding. Second Life is a great place for this because so many cultures come together all at once. Intervene in an appropriate manner when you observe others engaging in behaviors that show cultural insensitivity, bias, or prejudice. You know what is wrong and what is right, don't be afraid to speak up when you see people hurting others because of their differences. 

Cultural diversity supports the idea that every person can make a unique and positive contribution to the larger society because of, rather than in spite of, their differences. Imagine a place where diversity is recognized and respected; various cultural ideas are acknowledged and valued; contributions from all groups are encouraged; people are empowered to achieve their full potential, and differences are celebrated.
Celebrating rather than just tolerating the differences in order to bring about unity through diversity.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

In a world of pure imagination

Oompa loompa doompety doo
I've got a perfect puzzle for you
Oompa loompa doompety dee
If you are wise you'll listen to me.

What do you get when you don't have enough prims?
thinking you own an entire sim,
what you get is "a you can't rezz"
that is what the Linden lab says.
I don't like to think of it.

Come with me and you'll be
In a world of pure imagination
Take a look and you'll see
Into your imagination
We'll begin with a spin
Traveling in the world of my creation
What we'll see will defy explanation.

Nothing is impossible when you go to the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory in Second life.

The Chocolate Factory, because we all need a bit of sweetness this year! A Second Life Experience based on the movie we all loved as children, "Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory!" Start by first "trying" to get your Golden Ticket at the candy store! Touch, ride, jump, float, sit, and have fun!

This is a fun place to visit and especially if you know the story. You feel special knowing you got the golden ticket to enter. A good ole Willy Wonka Chocolate Bar would be great about now. 

Don't forget to visit Charlie's home, just follow the signs.
Take a boat ride in the chocolate river, and so much more to see. 
Reminder, do not be like Augustus Gloob who ate too much, or like Violet who never can get enough from chewing gum. There is a Veruca the spoiled brat who wants it all now and Mike Teavee who is hooked on the television.

In Second Life you could actually create the fictional Wonkavator like in Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, ThyssenKrupp's ropeless lift "that can move vertically, side to side, and diagonally." 
In a world of pure imagination, it is all here. Come and visit the wonderful world of the Chocolate Factory.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Mentally Obese

Oh, it is not hard to become mentally obese. Just like being obese comes from eating all that food you know you shouldn't stuff your mouth with. When you are mentally obese it is a result of getting an overload of news and unhealthy information fed through the digital tools we all have and love.

Watching hours of TicToc or YouTube or getting news from Twitter and Facebook are as unhealthy as eating not just one slice of cake but the entire cake. Our distracted and mindless behavior — choking is only the most obvious culprit of many — takes us away from doing what we want to be doing. All our normal excuses miss the point. It’s not the lack of time, or the terrible boss, or the annoying friends, or the student loan debt.

A healthy digital lifestyle is about finding a balance between information consumption and reflection, which allows the information to move to a higher level of thinking.

Can you find the level of higher thinking in Second Life, a virtual world that relies on digital tools to be able to log in and escape from the reality? Yes!

You know what the doctor says that everything in moderation can be a good thing. When I first logged into Second Life, I became immediately drawn to wanting to see and learn everything that SL had to offer. That is an unrealistic goal because you cannot learn how to master a specific thing in a few hours. Can you become mentally obese in SL? Yes of course you can. It is all about choices. What I have learned in the many years I have been here that creativity never ends. With creativity, I can cleanse my brain from the mental garbage that social media feeds us. 

You have to smell the flowers and sort it all out. Break yourself free from the "choking position" of the 21st century, which is looking at your phone on average every 30 seconds. In Second Life you may need to use other skills, like mathematics in order to create something out of one prim. Even if you create it in Blender and bring the mesh item into second life it still requires a mathematical calculation. If you compare that to your phone and the media you get your entertainment with it is a much higher functioning skill. On a phone, you tap, scroll, scroll, tap, and so on. In Second life you measure, calculate and your creation comes to life.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Second Life is where to be!

I know 2020 changed all of our lives in so many ways. From wearing masks and isolating to learning and working virtually. 

One thing that has not changed is Second Life. It is still here and better than ever. Many people from the past logged back on to see if we are still here and yes we are. 

If you are thinking of logging into Second Life here is a great place to start. The Retreat and the Retreat Gallery. I created some new art inspired by Covid. No worries you will be safe here and no mask is really required unless you want to wear one.

I do want to let you know that my heart goes out to all people who were affected by Covid. Know that you are not alone, we are all in this together and together we can overcome even the worst of things. This may take a little time, but in the meantime let's get together and explore the wonderful virtual world of Second Life. Anything is possible here.

I truly believe that being in Second Life has helped me as a teacher to adjust so much faster to the virtual teaching approach than if I never had that experience. I am thankful for that because Google Classroom and the hundreds of zoom meetings do not feel as bad anymore.

Whenever I am asked to provide some of my art in a zoom meeting I always share pictures I took in Second Life and people never have anything bad to say. In fact what I do hear is: Oh this is so beautiful, it looks so realistic, it is amazing. And you know what, they are right. 

Come see me today in Second Life at the Retreat and the Gallery and if you want to dance and hear music, just go down to the Basement Club, there are daily sets with DJs M-F starting at 6PM (PST).

Sunday, January 10, 2021

The Golden Hour!

I hope by now everybody has arrived in the new year and is ready to face all the challenges that are ahead of us.

So I was in the middle of this dream and then I woke up and the world changed almost overnight. People started to come out of their homes ( a little bigger than they were before they were isolated ) and smiled and they started to hug again. Children played outside and went to school. Restaurants were open and men took women on dates and after to the movies to watch "The end of the world". It was all surreal and just like that I woke up and realized it is 2021 and not much has changed. People still hate as always and now even more so.

“Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn—and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.“
Most haters are stuck in a poisonous mental prison of jealousy and self-doubt that blinds them to their own potentiality. It is really best not to give them too much attention, it would be as foolish as walking over a cliff and have someone pull you down. I imagine people hang on to their hate so stubbornly because if they let go they may actually have to deal with life. Let us make 2021 better and stronger and leave the hate behind. Let go of it!!!

In order to read from the past, you have to open your eyes and look and not hide behind the blindfold that was put on you. How will you know you are in the right place if you are blind?

“Once in a golden hour, I cast to earth a seed. Up there came a flower, the people said, a weed.“
Alfred Tennyson

There is so much more to discover in your life so get ready and open your heart to love and everything that goes with it. Although we may have to isolate ourselves we still can be in Second Life where it is safe. You can hug there and masks are not required. Just think of the shopping events and how close people stand together? (almost on top of each other) That is all good here.

I am working on a new project for my gallery at the Retreat, so be ready it should be all done in a week or so. 

In the meantime have an open mind and open eyes and send those with a hateful heart back into 2020.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Happy New Year!!!


I found the motherload for the new year right here in Second Life.

What is new for 2021?

I do hope the new year brings lots of exciting adventures to you. I like to learn a new skill and hopefully this time I will actually complete it. Maybe make some more Second Life Videos or since this was a tip of a "friend" use Second Life as a teaching tool for my classroom. Who knows, it may be fun.

I like the fact that our New Year's Eve Party was celebrated in the realm of close friends. It was calm and quiet just like in Real Life and there is nothing wrong with that. You don't always have to have gigantic parties.

Avoiding stress is probably one of the main focuses for 2021 because there was so much of the negative in 2020. I still feel extremely lucky to have friends that I really cherish in second life that I also call friends in real life. Who would have known that logging in on a daily basis would produce a long-lasting friendship? 

I don't want to make a bunch of resolutions that will fail in the first month. You know the ones that you set and you know you will never do. Instead, I like to use my time in Second Life in a more productive way. Maybe create more, take more pictures, meet more people whatever it will be I want it to lift my spirit and in the long run help others find their laughter and joy.

Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Luck of the Germans!

Penguins symbolize dreams, adaptability, dual-natures, closeness, family, and spirituality.

I hear many people already saying Happy New Year and the new year is not quite here. In Germany, it is considered bad luck to wish Happy Birthday or Happy New Year before the day actually has arrived. We say " Guten Rustch ins Neue Jahr", which means have a good slide into the new year.

In Japan, the peacock is linked with a Buddhist divinity.
It carries the values of kindness, goodness, love, care
The Good Luck Pig or Glücksschwein comes in a marzipan form in Germany and is considered to bring good luck and usually you see many of these piggy treats during the time before the new year. 

The ladybug is a Christian symbol of luck. In German, it's called Marienkäfer. Ladybugs can have up to seven black spots on their red wings and in German-speaking countries (well, many western countries) the number 7 is considered lucky. To this day many Germans believe you’re in luck when a ladybug lands on you!  You will find them made out of chocolate or attached to the lucky new year pig.

We consider it good luck to see a chimney sweep (der Schornsteinfeger). And you’re even luckier if you get to turn one of the silver buttons on his black uniform – which is why plenty of German chimney sweeps are missing buttons that have got torn off in the process.
However, you celebrate the upcoming new year and the symbols that create good luck I do with a perfect slide into the new year...make it a smooth one.

Fireworks: Noisemaking and fireworks on New Year's Eve (Silvester)
are believed to have originated in ancient times when noise and fire
were thought to dispel evil spirits and bring good luck.