Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Jumping the Snark?

It's been quite a while since the SL Fashion Police and What the Fug? blogs have had a new article posted. The latter changed a while back so that date stamps don't appear on posts--but they didn't think to pull them from comments, so it's highly likely that WTF? hasn't had a post since late September 2010; SLFP hasn't had one since early December 2010. The What the Fug? flickr photostream is still up and accumulating photos and comments, to be sure, but that hasn't resulted in new blog posts.

Perhaps people have burned out on snarky posts commenting on photos of people who typically have at least questionable fashion sense. (I can't persuade myself to take the time to look at the rate of posting or commenting on the flickr stream since the last WTF? post, but the data would be interesting.) We can hope.

Jinxed Fashion

Last night I was looking around for a sleeveless low-cut halter top for a photo. I never found it, but while I was looking, I came across a couple of stores I'd never seen before. (That's good; you know that prim breast-friendly clothiers are doing well when there get to be more than you can keep track of!)

The first one I came across is Jinxed Fashion. There's a store in the Busty Village Mall, but to see everything you'll want to visit the main store in the Valle Verde sim.

I bought a couple of outfits--first a dress, called "Siena", that caught my eye because of the lovely texture. Note: Windlight settings make it look black and gold rather than black and silver. (If the creator happens to read this, please consider a black and gold, or black and copper, version!)


The second, "English Rose", comes in several colors; this is the black. Note: the skirt is very short; so much so that I took advantage of multiple attachments and put on both Rufeena "Temptation" black  and black pantyhose. Again, local lighting gives a yellowish cast to the dress, and it's also very bright, but I liked the idea of going to one of the  Mainland London sims for this photo. I couldn't quite get standing beneath the "Welcome to Carnaby Street" sign to work, so I took my picture here.

New vString prim breasts from Violet Studios

As Maggie Bluxome has announced, Violet Studios has come out with a new set of prim breasts. They're a joint effort of Hemi Violet and Juggernutz Ivanovic.

The name is very clever; vString starts with "vS" (Violet Studios), and includes "string", alluding to polypropylene or "string" breast implants that the FDA banned in 2001. A very few women still have them, most notably Chelsea Charms, and I believe her look influenced the look of vStrings.

vString prim breasts give you many options. There are two HUDs. In practice, I think that the one that lets you change size and some other things will be rarely used. It's far easier to simply touch the breasts and call up a popup menu that gives ready access to that HUD's functionality and much more--but not to positioning the breasts on your torso; that is left to the standard Second Life editing options, which are easy to use, so why reinvent the wheel? The other HUD is the "Breast Look Designer", which gives you control over skin and tinting for various aspects of the breasts and of the bra and tank top layers. vString breasts are made to work very easily with Violet Studios skins; as the docs say,
If you own one of our Verotic Human Skins, or Demon, or LTX range prior to the release of the vStrings, simply go in to the appliers folder for your skins, find the updater and wear it. A new version of the appliers will be sent to you, including the new vString appliers.
Speaking of size: you can control the size of nipples as well as the breasts as a whole, and in addition to discrete jumps in size, you can start ongoing growth and stop it later.

There are a lot of options for "interactivity", i.e. whether and how up to ten other people can modify the state of your breasts. You can either permit it or not, and modify the set of people you grant permission to.
So, how do they look? I first tried them with a turtleneck that I have worn for a while:


Of course, I wouldn't stay at that size. (Besides, one effect of actual string breast implants is that, barring draining of the fluid that the polypropylene string absorbs and irritates surrounding tissue into producing, they will make the breasts continually grow.) Here you can see that these prim breasts, like some others, come together at the top at a point over the sternum, so they can be pushed to very large size.



Finally, I had to try Bad Kitty's gorgeously detailed "Tied Up" top. Here you see what's a problem with all prim breasts: tops with a neckline are just about impossible to match up where the clothing layer joins the neckline. (UPDATE: and you can see that that meeting point, which the clothing layer has to be set up to cover, is at the very top of the sternum as I have them positioned. That may be a mistake on my part.)





vString prim breasts are, as I write, L$1000, with free updates for (second :) life. The makers encourage feedback, though they admirably say "we don't do promises". The shape one prefers is a personal choice, of course, but given the features and openness to suggestions, I think that people will be very satisfied with vString prim breasts.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Anime-ish Avatars

A while back I posted the result of an attempt to make my avatar more anime-like, at least in the face. The results were kind of creepy.

Turns out I didn't need to bother. If you want very anime-like and very creepy avatars, go for one of the "Bloom Doll Avatars" inspired by the RL "Blythe dolls" that were initially short-lived, but proved, as the saying goes, big in Japan. Emerald Wynn has the details, with pictures.

I Use Prim Breasts and I Shop

So some of us were dancing at Bosom Buddies, chatting and enjoying one another's company, when the conversation turned to things that we as prim breast users could do. Suddenly a variation on a recent political snowclone leapt to mind; it occurred to me that when we go shopping, we could wear a T-shirt that, perhaps, shop owners would see and think about:


This is just a prototype; I will get some advice on how to improve it. When I'm done, I will make it freely available, and I hope that if you use prim breasts, you'll consider wearing this while you're clothes shopping.

(OK, now I'm really getting silly. I'm thinking about a shirt that says "I Ching and I Vote".)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Reset!

OK. Was I misled by the etymology of "bathycolpian"? Was there some meaning drift between classical and modern Greek? ("Knecht" in German still means "servant", but English "knight", which the cognate English "knicht" turned into, is very different. German "sterben" means "to die" whatever the cause; in English it turned into "starve", specifically to die from lack of food.) I don't know, but... now that two Greek speakers have warned me about my epithet, I've reset my display name. I'll see if I can't find another one.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The anti-Gor

A few weeks ago I was relaxing in a pool with fellow Minoans. I forget exactly what we were talking about, but I was trying to find a way to describe what appeals to me about the Minoan Empire sim and its citizens and culture, and here's how I had to describe it: it's the anti-Gor.

UPDATE: It turns out that there's an "anti-Gor" group in SL. I don't mean the above in that sense. I mean it in the sense that the basis of Minoan civilization is, as far as we can tell, quite the opposite of that of the Gor books. Minoan civilization appears to have had equality of the sexes; Gor proclaims the superiority of men and that men and women are in their rightful position and only truly happy when men own women as slaves and women are owned as slaves. There is very little evidence of Minoan civilization being warlike. War and individual combat are common in the Gor books; googling "gorean warfare" and "gorean combat" turn up millions of hits.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wonderful News!

I am delighted to have found out that Maggie Bluxome and Jennifur Vultee are engaged! More information at Maggie's blog (believe me, you want to go there to see the photo of the happy couple), Aliecia Lionheart's blog, and the Latex Web Inc. blog. Please join me in wishing the couple every happiness.

Monday, May 23, 2011

2nd Hub

In the ongoing saga of Facebook versus SL avatars, check out this NWN post, where we learn that LL suggests that instead of creating a Facebook account for your avatar, you create a Facebook page for your avatar (which you can only do from a Facebook account, which would presumably be that of your RL identity). You show up as the creator of the Facebook page, but only to yourself.

Facebook pages are typically set up for businesses, products, bands, celebrities/public figures, causes, and the like. They don't have messages associated with them, and can't have friends, and while Facebook accounts can "like" them, they can't "like" anything themselves. Your Facebook account is associated with the page as its creator, and as such, you, and anyone else you deem an administrator of the page, can see the list of creator/administrators.

I say to heck with Facebook; I don't want to go where I'm a second class citizen. I've taken the advice Strawberry Singh posted in a comment, and set up on 2nd Hub. At least, I've tried to. I misspelled my avatar's name, and it won't let me verify my account because of it. (If you go to the support page, they list as one of the most frequently asked questions "I signed up with the wrong email address, or I spelled my email or name wrong. What should I do?" That question links to the FAQ page, to a different question, whose answer basically says that if you didn't do any of those things, you can verify your account. Gee, thanks.) It's been eight hours since I submitted a ticket; we'll see what, if anything, happens.

So... if you decide to try 2nd Hub, for heaven's sake, double check your avatar name!

UPDATE: I was pretty impatient, wasn't I? Around 5 the next morning my time I got an email reply; the problem is fixed, and I'm now verified. More news as it happens.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

No Turning Back


I'm sorry; when I compare a photo like this (taken at sunset in the Love Garden) with the crude images from my first days in Second Life, I can't imagine going back to those times.

nVidia's come out with the 560; it's like the 560 Ti, but with one of four streaming multiprocessors disabled. The cards are starting at $200 rather than the $240 for 560 Ti, and tests show it considerably closer to the 560 Ti than the 460. I hope I can upgrade my graphics card before terribly long.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

Wishing for Detachment

People often discuss "detachment" in the context of Buddhism. I was trying very hard to practice detachment today, but Second Life wouldn't let me.

OK, it wasn't the Buddhist sort of detachment, though it was detachment from things--in particular, jewelry and prim skirt components. In total, I detached a whole set of Indian jewelry and a prim skirt close to a dozen times before I gave up and signed off.

Searching on the Firestorm JIRA shows that it's a known problem, it's in the server code, and LL is working to fix it. I hope it's corrected soon. I'd like to maintain my detachment.

UPDATE: I suppose I got my wish. Now my avatar just doesn't rez. Last time this happened it was days before I could see myself.

UPDATE: I don't know whether it had anything to do with it, but I signed on with Kirsten's--which grabbed a lot of RAM and slowed to a crawl as usual, but before it did my avatar did at least rez. I can get back on with Firestorm now, whatever the cause.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I'm flattered!

Emerald Wynn over at Emerald's Eyes has an interesting little graphic on her blog pointing to a web site, I Write Like, that will analyze text and tell you what famous author it thinks the text resembles. It says she writes like Stephen King (though her subject matter isn't macabre--I would guess the site just checks grammar and the like). I couldn't resist, and here are the results, after feeding it the text of "The Bathycolpian Ambassadress":


I write like
Cory Doctorow
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

I'm flattered! (Now, to fiddle with the HTML to make it fit in the right-hand column...)

I think I'm spoiled

I think I've gotten spoiled by the variety of clothing now available, and want more. I wandered over to Club Habibi, looked at the lovely clothing in the nearby stores, and could only think about the work required to adapt it to prim breasts. Then I headed to the lovely Danbi sim, decked out in Indian jewelry, and wished I had a sari of the sort I had seen on sale.


The problem with the sari is the way it drapes over the shoulder—the texture would only really work at one size, just as regular texture clothing only really works on the specific shape the designer creates it on... but surely we could have a choli!

I guess what started me down this path was seeing a gorgeously detailed dress while hair shopping and wishing I could wear it. We've made advances, but still mainstream clothiers don't think it's worth catering to us, while on the other hand, how many clothiers catering to us can spend the time on that level of detail? (There are some [waves to Mullemaus Oh], and they have my gratitude.)

So, shame on me. I shouldn't whine, but I will hope that we take the next step, whether that is persuading the mainstream to think of us, seeing more adaptations such as Tenyene's fine add-ons to Bug[poop] bustiers, or more prim breast-friendly clothiers moving to the next level.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Minoan population growth

Recently King Minos sent out a notice: there are now four hundred citizens of the Minoan Empire. I am happy to hear the news, and I hope for a prosperous future for the Empire.

If you've not visited, I hope you will. The land and the city are beautiful, and the residents welcoming and friendly. Come see the museum, the temples, the beach, and the chariot races. Try your hand at bull jumping. I think you'll be impressed.

UPDATE: If, as I hope, you've followed the link to the page about bull jumping, do look at the rest of the site. It's well worth your while.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Machinima Mondays

Darn, I wish I'd known about this sooner. Apparently there's a series of videos up on YouTube collectively called "MachinimaMondays" put up by Chantal Harvey. If they're all as good as the one I saw today, featuring Kirstenlee Cinquetti and the Kirsten's SL Client team, I will make sure I continue to view them. Don't miss that particular one; it's loaded with useful information.

Interesting item on mailing list

From "SLPlugin lagging my viewer like crazy, maybe it was a bad idea from the start?":
Anyhow, the result of all those (useless?) [SLPlugin] processes in the background is heavy swapping, manifesting itself in "lag like hell" (framerate drops from around 25 to 1.5). A relog fixes it (of course), but only for a short time.
That's what I'm seeing (OK, he doesn't mention the insane memory usage, but still...). Unfortunately, it doesn't look like anyone's come up with a real solution; I'll give the "killall SLPlugin" method a try.

UPDATE: I tried it; didn't do a bit of good.

Noyl Boucher's Minoan hair... it's not just for tinies any more!

Noyl Boucher, creator of utterly cute tiny avatars with wonderful Minoan hair, has generously allowed us bigger people to benefit from the lovely hair he created, too. And even more generously, it's free! Thank you; I'm in your debt. And if you're interested, don't just check out the hair; visit Noyl's Lil Shop and Noyl's fascinating flickr photostream.

OK... if they don't have them back by now, will they ever?

Enough. If Blogger doesn't have the removed post(s)/comments back by now, I'm going to repost what I recall. Sorry, everybody.

(Hmmm... it wouldn't be quite right to do a parody called Posts off a Blog, because unlike the snakes, the posts aren't there. "Enough is enough! I have had it with these [bleep] posts off this [bleep] blog!" just doesn't have the same ring to it.)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

New Blog

OK. Perhaps it's a good thing that Blogger has yet to restore those changes, because I can now correct a mistake. I hope Aliecia Lionheart will forgive my having repeatedly misspelled her name.

She's started a blog, Happenings of a Busty Second Life Dancer, which promises to be very interesting.(It is NSFW, as you might infer from the title.) It will cover various topics, so do take a look at it.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Great service!

Now that Blogger is letting me post again (still waiting for the wiped posts and comments...), I can do something I promised.

A while back I bought a blue outfit with a short skirt in the Minoan Empire's shopping area. I put it on, and the skirt promptly told me to click on it and activate the scripts, which would let me resize it to fit... but I couldn't do it! Some kindly folks on the Firestorm group suggested it might be marked no modify, and indeed it was.

I IMed the seller and requested either a refund or a skirt that would let me turn on the resize script, and VERY promptly I got a kind reply and a skirt that let me resize as soon as I put it on.

I enjoy letting people know about people who provide exemplary service, and the seller, Cleopatra Xigalia, is one such. One can't ask for more. She sells a wide variety of items, not just historical clothing. Check out some gorgeous examples at Virtual Fashion Feed. (UPDATE: and don't miss her recreation of an ornate dress from a painting of Elizabeth I. Not the one with the hard-core ruff, but still amazing.)

Disappearing articles/comments

As you know if you've tried to post an article or comment to any Blogger-based blog in the past day or thereabouts, or tried to find an article that darn it, you know was there, you know that Blogger has been having trouble.

One major glitch (that I've seen, at least) in over four and a half years is better than it could be, but is still frustrating while you're in the midst of it. I can post again [crosses fingers], but one or two posts and comments are still missing. I hope they are restored shortly.

UPDATE: That said, one has to wonder about what's happened to Ann Althouse's blog, a very popular blog that, for some reason, Blogger has characterized as a spam blog and taken down. Anyone who's read it would know it's as far from a spam blog as one can get.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Good photography

OK. When it comes to photography, I'm so-so. (Which is OK... it just means I have a lot to learn, which should be fun.) If you want to see some amazing work, take a look at Luminis Kanto's photographs on flickr.

Give me the technological fix

Long ago in the early days of the ecology movement, the believers would decry the use of technology to solve pollution issues, scorning the "mere technological fix"--so the supposed problems weren't really the movement's motivation, otherwise fixing them would settle the matter.

I was reminded of this while googling around to see what in the way of wearing advertising people may have done in the past in Second Life, because the search happened to turn up the infamous "impeach Bush" extortionist. He would buy tiny plots of land, put up huge "impeach Bush" signs on them and then offer to sell the plots for a ridiculous price so those nearby could get their view back. When it happened, in late 2005, there was a huge brouhaha. Google "second life" "impeach bush" and you'll get over 27,000 hits.

Now, if you use Phoenix (or its descendant, Firestorm) or Imprudence? "Dang, that's an ugly sign." Right click, remove, derender... done. (At least that's the sequence for Firestorm, my current SL client of choice.) A would-be extortionist or griefer, nipped in the bud.

So... give me the technological fix, please.

Check out Cheyenne Palisades's blog for an example of applying mute and derender to an avatar.

A journey of a thousand miles...

...as the saying goes, though I prefer "All difficult things have their origin in that which is easy, and great things in that which is small."

After a mere four years or so, I've created a texture for a prim breast clothing layer, using that of an Ubuntu T-shirt Allana Braveheart gave me as a model. Here it is:


So, it's a start. Now to figure out how to distort the flat texture to undo the distortion from applying them.

The text at least started out as a joke, but... in RL, people have rented out ad space on their heads, foreheads, eyelids, and abdomen. If one had the time to commit in Second Life, could one make money wearing advertising?

Monday, May 09, 2011

Foxbean Laboratories Nadine 1.5 prim breasts: a review

Big Booby Girls in Second Life started a series of very good reviews of prim breasts. Alas, the blog (and the Whimsy's Closet blog that it seems to have merged with) have gone dormant, so I will write a review of Foxbean Laboratories' "Nadine" breasts, release 1.5.

You should know this: Foxbean Liebknecht is a very dear friend, and she's given me some of her products. (I bought a set last night to make sure I know exactly what is in the box.) I will nonetheless do my best to write an objective review. Foxbean's work stands on its own; it doesn't require a biased review from me to prop it up.

Foxbean Liebknecht has been making prim breasts since the days before sculpted prims. In those days, clothing associated with prim breasts was built from prims, attached to the breasts, that you could associate a texture with and turn transparent if you wished.

The "Nadine" breasts, or as we will refer to them henceforth, "Nadines", use sculpted prims for a more natural, organic shape than is possible with the geometric prims that were all Second Life originally had. With the 1.5 release, they have a "clothing layer" to which you can apply a texture to match a top.

When you open up the box (and the box within it!), here's what you'll find:

  • the Nadine prim breasts with all four combinations of with/without clothing layer and with/without bra
  • plump, "torpedoes", and quad (!) versions with and without bra
  • two versions of a tintable halter top; as with all tops that work with prim breasts, there's the usual sort of paint-on texture top one wears, and a texture one applies to the prim breasts
  • a description of all the textual commands one can use to control the breasts
  • a HUD and documentation for it; the HUD gives you control over size, position, skin (see below), color, and lactation
  • a colorizer
  • two shapes designed to work with the prim breasts
  • documentation on texturing for the breasts and the bra
  • a suckle attachment and documentation for it
That last item needs some explanation: it doesn't include the animation you might expect, but instead it attracts the prim breasts' lactation to it along a potentially gravity-defying path. I only used it once, to see what it does.

The above list doesn't mention an important feature: the breasts come with four skin textures for the breasts: pale, tan, bronze, and African-American. They work well with certain Redgrave skins.

(Speaking of skins, Shayna Korobase has been working on skins for prim breasts that should be available shortly. She has appliers that work for several brands, including Nadines. I look forward to seeing them!)

All that is well and good, but it tells you nothing about the most important thing: how they look. The nipple is a sculpted prim unto itself, while the breast proper includes the areola. That makes it easier to get a very realistic skin texture... but what I most dearly love about these prim breasts is their shape. I suspect that the name "Nadine" is a clue to their inspiration; there is a model named Nadine Jansen.

I have received many compliments about them. Here are some examples.

From a thread about prim breasts in Second Life at the Breast Expansion Archive forum:

One user, commenting on a photo I took in the Minoan Empire with the "torpedo" Nadines: "Those sculpty breasts look so real."

I replied: "That's why I love Foxbean's work. The 'Nadine' prim breasts are amazing, and IMHO Lolas are their only rival in SL for appearance."

Another comment: "I totally agree when it comes to natural looking Foxbean and Lola are the top, but I have to throw my chips in with eCorp on their creativeness and builds."

I respect that. All prim breast makers have my gratitude; some push the envelope, and different people have different interests.

A comment on the same photo, this time from flickr:

"You know, one thing that I like about you is that even though your breasts are a bit out of the standard norm, you take the time to make them look like they have actual gravity to them, instead of them being just big balloons floating on your chest. That little bit of detail is refreshing in a way."

About clothing availability: I've not seen many clothiers that explicitly mention Foxbean Laboratories compatibility, alas, but Nadine 1.5 breasts are compatible with eCorp installers, which are plentiful in the prim breast clothing world.

After all that, I must admit that Nadines have one disadvantage, for me at least.

Remember the HUD and its great variety of adjustments of prim breast position? One of those adjustments is to move the prim breasts closer to each other or farther apart. This adjustment works on all the prim breasts that come with the package--except for the set with the clothing layer. To work with that set, the actual shape, not just size, of the clothing layer would have to change so it would still fit precisely around the breasts themselves. I don't know whether that is possible.

Why does that make a difference? Because of the way Nadines are shaped. If you look at some prim breasts, you'll see that at the top, they come to a point above the sternum. Whatever one might think of that for verisimilitude, you can grow them to considerable size and they will still come to a point above the sternum. Nadines don't come to a common midpoint; they each have their own.

If, like me, you want to push the limits, you'll find those limits are tighter than they would be for some other prim breasts because of that difference. Make Nadines too large, and they'll attach at the top to your upper arms; make them larger still, and the tops won't be attached to your body at all. I must experiment further, but as I have them, they look unnatural with low-cut tops well before that size. My desire to be extremely well-endowed thus pushes me towards modest dress save in the Minoan Empire, where going topless is the social norm, letting me move the breasts closer together at larger sizes. I blame only myself for that; whatever prim breasts' design, I will push them as far as I can.

I hasten to add that Nadines aren't alone in having problems at extreme size. Lolas will stick out through your back if you make them too big! Even Implant Nation prim breasts have a difficulty, though they can be pushed much further than Nadines: the wrinkles that happen in sculpted prims at the "north pole" become rather noticeable.

So, in summary: if you want your figure to be controlled by others via various mechanisms, Nadines are not for you. If you want your breasts to look like they obviously have implants, Nadines are not for you. If, however, you want to look and feel beautiful, I can say that I use Nadines, and that is what they do for me. I've tried other prim breasts, briefly, but I always go back.


I shouldn't go on about appearance without showing it, so here are some photos, though of course you can see examples scattered through this blog. (Admittedly, using myself as a model has the disadvantage that you won't see a range of sizes.) NSFW photos are after the break.

UPDATE: Reine, in the comments, is absolutely right. I should mention that Nadine 1.5 costs L$300. As I write, the only place I know of to get them is at the lower level of the Busty Village Mall, at Phaedra (85, 32, 23).





The last of the above photos shows the issue with décolletage at large size.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

There's an (empty) web site

BUSTed Magazine has a web site, http://www.busted-magazine.com/. Alas, at the moment, there's just a blank placeholder page there. I hope we can look forward to a web site as beautiful as the magazine.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Reine

I've mentioned my friend Reine before; it's past time I showed some photos.

Reine is a beautiful woman with impeccable taste not only in clothing, but in architecture, interior decoration, and landscaping. Yesterday she showed me around her new residence. Would that I'd thought to take pictures inside--I was utterly amazed at its opulent Middle Eastern style.

Reine herself:


Reine and her magnificent home:

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Whimsy, Beautiful and Dangerous

I try to stick with the beautiful part; those hummingbirds are mean! Here's a view of Whimsy by night with a bit of fog.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

A Reminder


I can't wear Minoan dress everywhere (really? :)).... but I can wear something that reminds me of Crete, to which I will always return.

New activity at Minka Made

If you keep an eye on the list of links over to the right, you'll notice that Minka Made is back on the list. That's because there's a recent post there. It's good news; Minka Pearl has put up a store for the summer that has most of her work for sale. Check it out.

Many thanks to Maggie Bluxome for noting this on her blog. If you don't read it, you really should!