As Second Life finally arrives, leaping and bounding towards it’s Teenage years we are once again laid witness to endure another Second Life Birthday expo, for what was once a display of everything Second Life is best at, with all the sex carefully removed of course, is now a crowded dick slapping contest between various communities as they struggle for dominance in the clusterfuck of peacocks by trying to be the biggest peacock with the biggest tail.
Or perhaps it always was that, who knows? who cares?
let’s look at some things and judge people, that’s what Second Life is best at.
Firstly let us charge our glasses as we prey toast to the Great SL Birthday Drinking Game,we all wearing our freebie raptor avi’s and a bottle of your favorite beverage? I do
This year the game has one simple rule, everytime you see the word “Dreams” take a drink.
Awesome, let us begin.
Karl Reisman dragged me along to be part of the Jeogeot Gulf Battleship Combat display. since it was my idea and three years of my hard work that made it, I thought he was going to put me in a cage on display but he just meant make sure Joe hadn’t scripted everything to explode….again.
Squeezed in between the Sailors and a Giant Butt Plug, Karl kept it simple, here is a ship, it is free, take it and come play.
Speaking of that Buttplug/Teardrop
TAKE A DRINK!
The sailors were pretty standard, a few rather nice looking sail boats and a lot of corporate sponsorship, giving out landmarks to some of the Sailing Clubs but casually forgetting all of the Clubs surrounding the Blake sea or even the existence of the Blake Sea, even though it was made for Sailors which they spent a considerable amount of time reminding everyone during their latest crusade to re-claim it from the general public.
They did have a very nice looking freebie Sailboat.
Oh hell with them, let’s go look at a Sailing club that is actually fun, but first….
Ah the Leeward Cruise Club, or LCC if you will. A magical place where the typical Drama of the sailors is forgotten and instead it’s member partake in the most bizarre of ritual that most sailors often not dare, actually fucking sail.
And you just know when they choose to represent themself by a giant Penguin looming over the dock you’re in for a fun time. No seriously, I have great respect for the LCC, they’re not trying to be anything big or fancy or try to dictate politics to people or act like one of the many hundreds of groups that always proclaim “we are just for the fun” and then cause more drama than they solve, you know who you are.
TAKE A DRINK!
Next came the Coastguard, which is another Drink if you notice it.
I had to darken the light a little because they decided, for some reason, to write a sky poem above their build in bright white text that you can’t see unless it’s dark. They also had this underwater theme going on which was kinda weird but who am I to judge?
I’m the goddam Mal, I have every right to judge, why the fuck is there an Underwater Steampunk base at the SL Coastguard display? Are they now recruiting for a Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea division?
the SL Mil 2142 were also here, one of those only groups representing the SL Military community, they had invited a number of British people to throw up over a small square of land and stuck a flag in it, most brilliant.
Did I mentioned that I may have accidentally helped found the 2142? I do that a lot, remind me to tell you about it someday, also…
Who next? Oh yes we haven’t covered any Aviation booths yet have we? Well I found Tigs sandwiched between a giant birdcage, a racist perspective of a Mexican University brought to you by the University of Texas and the Afterbirth of Cthulhu.
Little disappointing in terms to build and design being that one again, like every year, Tig’s imagination stretched to “a big blue cube!” then failed to progress any further. Thankfully she had ,this time, dispensed with the huge reels of text and corporate advertisements for essentially herself and given us the MK2. Eagle Freebie plane and an incredibly diverse gallery of the Aviation community, something I’d like to congratulate her on as it’s not something most people are willing to do.
Though perhaps next year we could all get together and do something a little more representative of this fantastically vast, diverse and mad community rather than A box, a picture of an airport and PEASANTS WHERE IS YOUR PLANE?!
DRINK DRINK DRINK DRINK.
Other notables included New Babbage, the argument city had stopped pissing on each other long enough to bring us this.
Nice little factory, lots of moving parts NEXT!
Passengers of SL Group gave us this fine exotic dandy. Alright so it’s advertising a group where you sit in the back of a plane and amuse yourself for a bit displayed through the medium of the front bit of the plane, i.e not the bit the passengers sit in, bah who am I kidding, this display is awesome.
And then there are these idiots….
Representing The Entire Lighter than Air Community was Skyboat, the project in which two idiots genuinely believe they can make an airship by filling a basic rigid airframe with balloons, I could talk about about this, mainly weight to lift distribution, propulsion, climb rate, wind resistance and the fact the pilot is suspended on a chair, sitting ontop of a Gasoline Engine ,acting as a back-up to a solar panel, which powers an office fan sized propeller.
Oh and the entire frame is going to be built out of Drainpipe.
But, I should be kind, it is an amateur project being run on a budget and designed to be cheap.
Someone really needs to inform these two on the current price of Helium ($84.00 per Mcf). Unless they particularly wish to use Hydrogen (90 Cents per equivalent Mcf) in which case I shall remind you the fate of the last airship which used Hydrogen.
Alright the Hindenburg is a little on the extreme end of things, so lets take the sensible route as use Helium.
Now Skyboat’s proposed dimensions are 30′ high, 50′ long and 40′ wide, giving us a volume of 60,000 cubic feet or 1700 cubic meters. Now the couple have stated they intent to use Choeroprene meteological balloons as opposed to their original idea, plastic bags which have a tendency to split at high altitude so thankfully ‘someone’ *cough* pointed that out to them. They can fit about 20 of them in there meaning they would need to spend around $5151 on helium alone plus 20 lift bags at $66 a bag, plus $110 for the Gasoline Engine, $105 for the solar panel plus another $570 for the battery and solar conversion kit, plus about $80 for the pipe give or take another $200 for the airframe skin and we’re looking at around $7536 for a limited use aircraft that is a major potential danger to the pilot, being that is has no way to land nor control it’s elevation.
Though as hot air balloons cost around $20,000 to make it would seem like quite the saving right?
No, second hand hot air balloons are ten a penny, here is one going for $2000
in fact if we’ve got 7k to play with here then may I introduce you to the word of Microlight aircraft. Small, one-man, single prop aircraft with a single fabric wing. Easy to fly, hilariously good fun and best of all surprisingly cheap.
here’s a decent 1985 Mainair Flash going for around $4,000
Microlights go from around $2000 to $8,000 depending on the condition.
Or if you want even cheaper and don’t mind a bit of a long term project here is an Antov AN-2 for only $1,000
Fact is this couple keep emphasizing their inability to purchase the “space age” materials as if the skies were open exclusively to millionaires when in reality their project would eventually cost more than most cheap second-hand aircraft as well as be a potential serious safety hazard to whatever poor bugger tries to fly it.
Oh god dammit, I was supposed to be covering SL12B now I’ve ended up rabbiting on about Skyboat, meh, there wasn’t much else SL12B was a major disappointment this year, four out every five booths was an “art” gallery and even then most of them weren’t even pictures the author put any real effort into, one display was just a serious of the same four stock photo images over and over. I may return there and take some quick snaps to show what I mean but then again I might not, why don’t you go, waste seven hours of your life gazing at the only fun thing apparently left in second life, taking pictures of second life.
How wonderfully depressing.