Archives for October 2010


The room was full of pregnant women with their partners. The class was in full swing. The instructor was teaching the women how to breathe properly and was telling the men how to give the necessary assurance to their partners at this stage of the pregnancy. She said “Ladies, remember that exercise is good for you. Walking is especially beneficial. It strengthens the pelvic muscles and will make delivery that much easier. Just take several stops and stay on a soft surface like grass or a path.”

She looked at the men in the room, “and Gentlemen, remember — You’re in this together — It wouldn’t hurt you to go walking with her.” The room suddenly got very quiet as the men absorbed this information. Then a man at the back of the room slowly raised his hand.

“Yes”, answered the Instructor.

“I was just wondering if it would be all right if she carries a golf bag while we walk?”

—- This kind of sensitivity just can’t be taught

Need to copy a floppy disk?

I still get a warm fuzzy glow of sentimentality when I think of floppy disks. It reminds me of Castle Wolfenstein loading on an Apple II from a 5.25 inch floppy, or backing up MIDI files to a 3.5-inch floppy.They were the super-cool step-up from the cassette drive, and I could carry them anywhere! Ok, I’d better stop now before I start reminiscing about Jupiter Lander on my Vic 20.

Believe it or not, there’s still plenty of people out there wanting to duplicate floppy disks, and with PCs of all flavours not containing floppy drives anymore, it’s a process with some challenges. If you’re really keen, you can use this online service to either buy new disks if you do have a drive, or you can pay them to do the duplication for you.

Of course, before you go to such lengths I’d recommend checking if the application / files you want to duplicate are online anyway – there’s no shortage of applications that have been ported over to Java / Flash etc that make the need for the floppy version redundant.

via [Dan Warne]


A middle-aged woman seemed sheepish as she visited her gynaecologist.

‘Come now,’ coaxed the doctor, ‘you’ve been seeing me for years.

There’s nothing you can’t tell me.’

‘This one’s kind of strange….’

‘Let me be the judge of that,’ The doctor replied.

‘Well,’ she said, ‘yesterday I went to the bathroom in the morning and heard a plink-plink-plink in the toilet and when I looked down, the water was full of five cent pieces.’

‘I see.’

‘That afternoon I went to the bathroom again and, plink-plink-plink, there were ten cent pieces in the bowl.’

‘That night,’ she went on, ‘I went again.

Plink-plink-plink, and there were twenty cent pieces and this morning there were fifty cent pieces!’

‘You’ve got to tell me what’s wrong with me!’ she implored’. ‘I’m scared out of my wits!’

The gynaecologist put a comforting hand on her shoulder.

‘There, there, it’s nothing to be scared about.’

‘You’re simply going through the change’!

Second Life in a browser on the near horizon

“Project Skylight” is its name apparently, and it’s the project that will hopefully deliver Second Life in a web browser. Tateru Nino got a confirmation from Linden Lab that testing will be occurring, so hopefully we’ll see some concrete examples in the short-term.

It’s a well overdue development, and one that is not so much innovative as essential for Second Life’s longer term survival. I know that for me my time in SL use will increase with a browser based version, as I can do it alongside my other browser activities. It’s a no-brainer really and kudos to the developers making it a reality.


A man gets to his plane seat and is surprised to find a parrot strapped into the seat next to him.

Once in the air, the stewardess comes around and the man asks her for a cup of coffee, whereupon the parrot squawks, “Bring me a whiskey, bitch.”

The stewardess, somewhat flustered, brings a whiskey to the parrot, but forgets the coffee. When the man points this out to her, the parrot immediately drains its glass and yells,”Get me another whiskey, bitch.” Quite upset, the stewardess returns shortly with a whiskey for the parrot, but still no coffee for the man. Unaccustomed to such slackness, the man decides to try the parrot’s approach. “I’ve asked you twice for a coffee, bitch, now go and get it for me.”

In a couple of seconds, two burly stewards arrive, grab both the man and the parrot, take them to the emergency exit and toss them both out
of the airplane.

As they’re falling toward the ground, the parrot turns to the man and says, “You know, for someone who can’t fly, you’re kind of a mouthy

Second Life / OpenSim developers sought

I had the pleasure of meeting Dale Linegar last year – he’s one of many innovative Australian educators working in virtual worlds. He’s after some developers as detailed below, preferably Melbourne-based. If you’re interested, drop him an email.

We are a small, dedicated team of educators, developers and programmers who are working on a range of virtual world, AI and mobile related products for several Australian Universities.

We are based in Melbourne and would prefer to work with locals if possible due to the complex nature of many of our projects, however we do have some remote staff and are always open to change.

We require people with one or more of the following skills;
– Lsl scripting
– Experience with XML PRC and REST
– Experience with Cakephp
– Experience running Opensim servers
– Experience with AIML, perhaps also radegast or program-o

Most of all, you should love what you do.

Pay and hours will depend on your skills and experience.

If you fit one or more of the roles above, please get in contact with

Disclosure: Dale kindly paid a fee for this post, which has been donated in full to Metaverse Aid.

Have a job you’d like to advertise? Contact us to discuss. Rates start at a $25 Metaverse Aid donation for a two-month text link.

Metaverse Journal Reader Survey

It’s hard to believe this site has been around for four years now. Around two years ago we ran a reader survey and it’s well and truly time to do it again. Aside from wanting to get some good information on what we can do to improve, the survey is about getting a good snapshot on how you see the virtual worlds scene playing out. We’ll be sharing the results here as well, so you can some benefit for your time completing it.

If you can spare five minutes to fill out the survey, here’s where you go. Every respondent goes into the draw to win any item of your choice from our shop up to the value of US$30. Or if you’d prefer we donate $30 to Metaverse Aid, we can do that instead. The survey will close at midnight AEDT Thursday 18th November.

Reader Survey Link

Holy men

A Catholic Priest, a Baptist Preacher, and a Rabbi all served as chaplains to the students of Northern Michigan University in Marquette.
They would get together two or three times a week for coffee and to talk shop.

One day, someone made the comment that preaching to people isn’t really all that hard – a real challenge would be to preach to a bear.
One thing led to another, and they decided to do an experiment.

They would all go out into the woods, find a bear, preach to it, and attempt to convert it.

Seven days later, they all came together to discuss their experience.

Father Flannery, who had his arm in a sling, was on crutches, and had various bandages on his body and limbs,went first. ‘Well,’ he said, ‘I
went into the woods to find me a bear. And when I found him, I began to read to him from the Catechism.

Well, that bear wanted nothing to do with me and began to slap me around. So I quickly grabbed my holy water, sprinkled him and, Holy
Mary Mother of God, he became as gentle as a lamb. The Bishop is coming out next week to give him first communion and confirmation.’

Reverend Billy Bob spoke next.. He was in a wheelchair, had one arm and both legs in casts, and had an IV drip. In his best
fire-and-brimstone oratory, he claimed, ‘WELL, brothers, you KNOW that we don’t sprinkle! I went out and I FOUND me a bear. And then I began
to read to my bear from God’s HOLY WORD! But that bear wanted nothing to do with me. So I took HOLD of him and we began to wrestle. We
wrestled down one hill, UP another and DOWN another until we came to a creek.

So I quickly DUNKED him and BAPTIZED his hairy soul. And just like you said, he became as gentle as a lamb.. We spent the rest of the day
praising Jesus..Hallelujah!

The priest and the reverend both looked down at the Rabbi, who was lying in a hospital bed. He was in a body cast and traction with IVs
and monitors running in and out of him.

He was in really bad shape.

The Rabbi looked up and said: “Looking back on it, ……circumcision may not have been the best way to start.”

The Watch – virtual worlds in the news

1. IT Business (Canada) – Ontario’s virtual world recruiting effort. “Second Life isn’t quite the hot topic that it used to be.
Web-based social networks seem to have taken at least some of the steam out of virtual worlds approaches to digital collaboration. It seems people prefer instantaneous, mostly text-based social communications rather than immersive 3D environments that allow you to construct your own objects, code your own physics and program your own behaviours.
But the community of Second Life is still alive and well amongst a certain niche. The virtual world is still appealing enough for many instituions to particpate there, and for the Ontario Public Service to recruit new employees. The provincial government’s Second Life site is outfitted so avatars can particpate in the daily activities of many public service jobs including fire fighter, paramedic, and water tester.”

2. University of Ulster Online (UK) – Advanced 3D Heralds New Teaching Dimension. “‘Virtual world’ technology has the potential to transform education and learning, an international conference at the University of Ulster’s Magee campus heard today. It is a young but rapidly evolving sector but already every university in the UK uses it in some element of teaching and research, according to Michael Callaghan, a Magee computer scientist and senior lecturer who is one of chief conference organisers. At “IMMERS[ED] 2010: The Second National Workshop on Teaching in Immersive Worlds” today, leading educators and industrial experts unravelled some of technology’s mysteries and championed its promise before an audience of academics, researchers, teachers and “serious games” enthusiasts.”

3. Virtual Worlds News (USA) – More Social Games Including Customizable Avatars. “Customizable avatars are one of the defining features of virtual worlds and may soon become a major feature in social gaming. Zynga is introducing heavily customizable avatars into its flagship game FarmVille while CrowdStar is attributing high earnings from its new game It Girl to customizable avatars. While many social games have featured avatars before this and even sold avatar customization virtual goods, the feature was only rarely a major emphasis of the game.”

4. New Scientist (USA) – Game characters to get authentically rumpled clothes. “Computer game developers use sophisticated algorithms to inject real physics into virtual worlds – painstakingly mimicking the way that light reflects off objects, for instance. But there’s something unrealistic about the citizens of those virtual worlds: their clothes barely register a crease or crumple, no matter how much running and jumping they perform. That could soon change, thanks to software which ensures that a game character’s clothes ripple and ruffle realistically as the action unfolds. Carsten Stoll of the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbrücken, Germany, and his colleagues began by generating a 3D laser scan of an actor in costume, and manually added a simple virtual skeleton. Next, the team recorded video footage of the actor moving, and uploaded it into a program that tracks the actor’s silhouette through each frame. By comparing the 3D scan with the sequence of silhouettes, the software identifies which parts of the actor’s outline deform most freely, indicating that they are covered in loose cloth.”

5. Inside Social Games (USA) – It Girl, FarmVille Show Growing Social Gaming Trend: Avatar Customization. “Avatars have been popular for nearly as long as the web itself, and customizing them has been a key part of gaming and virtual worlds, from Second Life to IMVU to other sites worldwide. Likewise, paying for avatar decorations has been an important source of virtual goods revenue for many games. But the concept has gotten relatively little attention among social game developers. Most games have been focused on mechanics like harvesting and baking, and while those typically do provide players for avatars, the offerings have been slim.”

6. Gamasutra (USA) – Interview: Roblox, The Little-Known, User-Generated LEGO Competitor. “Unlike most highly commercialized free-to-play kids’ virtual worlds, Roblox started as an outgrowth of technology designed to simulate physics. It’s a pure physics-based play space; kids arrange the blocks into LEGO-like structures, and others can access these spaces as they wish. Rather than a virtual world, it’s a collection of user-generated spaces: in terms of how the site is set up, it’s almost like a YouTube of play. When its creators put it in front of kids as part of an educational package, they quickly noticed how much fun the kids were having with it, and moved to develop it into a product with that audience in mind. Now, Roblox has launched and found an organically growing audience, finally reaching the point where its first promotional deal, with Disney, has gotten off the ground. ”

7. Marketing Vox News (USA) – Can Wunder-app FarmVille Drive Traffic to the iPad? “Zynga has released Farmville for Apple’s iPad. The free app has been customized to take advantage of the iPad’s larger screen and touch interface, letting players zoom in and out to view their farms, harvest crops, or drive tractors with the tap of a finger. Push notifications alert iPad users to their crops’ status.”

8. io9 (USA) – In Iain M. Banks’ Surface Detail, a real war over virtual Hells. “Iain M. Banks’ new novel, Surface Detail, is some of the best work he’s done in his galaxy-spanning Culture universe. A story of virtual Hell and true resurrection, it’s about the consequences of technology that makes religious afterlives possible. At the center of a sprawling cast of characters – including hyperintelligent AI Minds, virtual avatars, politicians, slaves, and ambiguously-sentient alien habitats – is a woman named Lededje. She’s from a vast but low-level civilization called the Sichult Enablement, which has space travel and advanced science but still embraces a form of slavery called “indented intagliation.” When one family owes another money, they must give one or more of their children to pay those debts. The “indented” children are often bred expressly for this purpose, with a beautiful tattoo signifying ownership written into the structure of every cell of their body – essentially a fractal tattoo that covers the skin, and continues on into infinite smallness inside the DNA itself. Lededje is one of the most valuable tattooed “intagliates” owned by Veppers, a powerful businessman whose family made its first fortune in massive multiplayer games.”

9. GigaOM (USA) – Oh! Oh! Even Linden Lab Founder Is Leaving. “Four months after CEO Mark Kingdon left the San Francisco-based Linden Lab — the company behind erstwhile hot virtual world Second Life — interim CEO and founder Philip Rosedale is getting real too. He is leaving the company he started in 1999 in order to pursue his new idea – LoveMachine, a collaboration software company.”

10. Military & Aerospace Electronics (USA) – Simulation and training technology pushes graphics to create the most realistic learning environment possible. “Realism is of the utmost importance to the pilot in training; realistic flight simulation immerses pilots in training scenarios and lend to greater effectiveness. Like L-3 Link with its high-definition displays and rich content, Quantum3D in San Jose, Calif., is in the business of creating realistic visual environments that immerse military pilots into any virtual training scenario. “The military uses Quantum3D’s high-performance image generators for a range of flight simulation and training initiatives that demand a highly realistic visual environment, including initial and recurring flight training, evaluating cockpit designs, testing new aircraft characteristics and handling qualities, and other engineering simulation applications,” says Pratish Shahk, director of marketing at Quantum3D. Advances in shader technologies enable Quantum3D engineers to add more realism to scenes providing pilots and trainees a more realistic virtual world. “With shader technologies, we can integrate more realistic-looking environmental elements — clouds, oceans, and other effects — creating a virtual learning environment that looks and feels real,” Shahk says.”

Weekend Whimsy

1. Ms ladysunfire Erin Second Life Model Video

2. Second Life – Botanical Landscaping

3.Seperate Ways (Second Life)

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