Sunday, December 30, 2012

Nanami and Sissi Design go Marketplace-only

As Maggie Bluxome reports, Nanami and Sissi Designs are closing their in-world store. I hope that they prosper; they make beautiful, finely-detailed dresses and other outfits, and I want to see them continue to do so.

In-world stores have advantages for customers and potential customers:
  • An in-world store can show you how the product really looks in world.
  • An in-world store can be a meeting place. Anyone you find there is likely to share your interest in the type of item the store sells, and you can trade information and landmarks and even make new friends.
That said, I understand why a creator might choose to sell solely via the Marketplace, and can't hold that choice against any creator. Linden Lab, maybe, but not the creators. I am amazed, especially given the RL economy, that anyone buys land given tier charges.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Shiny Toys

I was watching TV, and on a Saturday morning news show they were in a festive near-New Year's mood. One woman wore a top made of liquid lamé, and I felt a brief stab of jealousy--I'd love to have a liquid lamé top or gown in Second Life.

I'm hoping that will be possible once the work on normal and specular maps makes it into Second Life, and I also hope more generally that it will mean more realistic metallic objects and drive a long overdue stake through the heart of pre-baked highlights; now you need only wear your latex catsuit at the wrong time of day, stand on your head, or step half into shadow for an instant verisimilitude wreck as your suspension of disbelief hits a huge pothole.

(Is there a competition for most tortured metaphor in a blog post? I'd like to enter...)

Normal and specular maps (specular maps are the ones pertinent to shiny things; normal maps let you efficiently make a low polygon count shape look more detailed) are among the things mentioned in "A Look Back at Improvements in Second Life in 2012 and Forward to 2013", a December 20th Linden blog post. (The mesh deformer is conspicuous by its absence from said post, and I suspect I'm not alone in being less than happy about that.)

P. S. I know there are good arguments against using song titles as blog post titles, but as a Joni Mitchell fan I couldn't pass it up. :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

New World Notes must-read

"Cloud Party's Advantages Over Second Life for Content Creators (Comment of the Week)" is very much worth your reading.

Some time ago Gwyneth Llewelyn wrote about the obstacles to scripting in Second Life; Ezra makes the more general point about the hackery required in SL to do what should be simple things and contrasts with Cloud Party (which no longer requires Facebook to sign up--yay!).

Monday, December 24, 2012

Taking the plunge

I have bought a set of Lolas! Tango mesh breasts. I have yet to try them out--I have but taken the parts out of the box they came in and looked at the user manual (which comes in English and Spanish versions).

The Tango mesh breasts, like some other breasts, have two clothing layers, here called "top" and "bra". Apparently applicators for Tangos require a multi-step process:
  1. Wear the applicator.
  2. Click on the breasts and select the clothing layer to which you wish to apply the texture.
  3. Click on the applicator to actually apply the texture.
rather than the more usual method of simply wearing the applicator. In the past I have been able to use a Lolas! applicator despite not wearing Lolas! breasts at the time, with some texture adjustment afterwards, but no more. I fear what this might mean if newcomers to breast attachment-friendly clothing devote their efforts solely to Tango.

I will experiment with the Tango breasts and put up some photos. There are some things I'd like to try out.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Chat with Ceri Quixote

Just so you know: I am likely to be all gushy in this post.

I was wandering around this morning and had gotten into a conversation with a handsome and sharply-dressed fellow--I think he said he was about 3'9" tall. As we chatted, a group announcement came through with a new landmark for Quixote's Dream. It hadn't gone far, just enough to move a pesky sim crossing out of the way.

It occurred to my that my dapper chat companion might be interested in seeing the store. (Procrastinator that I am, I have yet to get myself properly set up with a giantess avatar.) Off I went, and after moving away from the landing point, back the TP offer went, followed quickly by his arrival.

It took a bit for things to rez, but then we saw the bridge leading to the shop. Partway across I noticed a figure that looked like she might be using a giantess avatar. "Cool, we can talk to a customer!" I thought, and we walked the rest of the way over and I saw the name tag. It was Ms. Quixote herself!

OK, here comes the twittering fangirl gushiness...

She was utterly breathtaking. I can't imagine what it must have been like to be present in person when she appeared at The Tides at a height of two hundred feet. The photos and the video are great, but they're just not like being there.

As a mesh avatar, her avatar doesn't have the obvious, verisimilitude-killing joins of early giant avatars.

I was able to converse, and we chatted. Alas, the gentleman who accompanied had to go, but we talked a bit more, though I suspect I was less than coherent. We did talk a little about clothing layers for the growing number of outfits for her giantess avatar.

Ms. Quixote graciously let me take a picture to publish here:


Thank you, ma'am, for your time, for letting me take the photo, and for your lovely work.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

More from Penny Patton

A while back I pointed readers at Penny Patton's blog, The Digital Pasture, which had an important post about avatar proportions (which you should read, or reread, if only to point out the ways it's been misinterpreted).

Penny's done it again, this time with a multi-part series, "A Critical Look at Second Life". (Here's Part One.) I hope you will read it.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

"We got both kinds [of music] here..."

"...country and western!" This famous line from The Blues Brothers may have been intended to show the wide variety of music liked at Bob's Country Bunker, but if that was its intent it was, I dare say, less than successful.

For a long time, that line has echoed in my head when I look at a possibly-useful application to see whether I could run it, only to find that it proudly supports both operating systems... Windows and Mac OS!

The recent surge in talk and support of prim/mesh breasts has been exciting... but then I'm reminded of that scene when I read the descriptions of some new clothing items and see that they support both prim and mesh Lolas!

I hasten to add that Lolas are, IMHO, among the very best breast attachments for a natural look, and they and their designer have my utmost respect... but there is more to the breast attachment market.

Clothes designers, thank you so much for supporting breast attachments. I hope you'll consider supporting multiple vendors' breast attachments.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Taking Inventory

I took a shot at reorganizing my inventory a while back. It definitely paid off, and I should go for another iteration, with a particular eye to paring down--but this time I'll be far better armed.

Don't miss Cheyenne Palisades's two-part series on Inventory Control (part 1, part 2). It's full of very good advice.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

As promised...

...the Renee India "Retro Maxi" gown. (Hosiery and shoes not included, but I don't care. I love this gown!)


Fuschia boots will have to wait for now.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Darn Blogger!

I thought I'd change things a bit... and boy, did I.

Somehow I managed to get the various gadgets underneath the blog posts rather than to the side of them, and now they won't move.

I hope to have things back in something approaching a reasonable shape soon.

UPDATE: Whew! I will try to bring back some sidebar items that didn't seem to want to move back into position, and I will rethink the masthead image, but at least I've overcome the major snafu. The odd part--nearly as I can tell, I had to edit the blog with Firefox to move items around. Under Google Chrome, they just did not want to go.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Yet another apology

The new Busted is out, which you should of course immediately read and admire. I, alas, am not there, and I apologize for that.

RL work (for which I am extremely grateful!) is cutting down on my SL time and writing time. Once I get settled in, I will once again write.

For now, you are in very capable hands--Misty Wraine, Zenith Hawke, and Angel Eulenberg appear in this month's issue, and I hope to see more from them in the future.

UPDATE: Sigh... I have to apologize for my apologies, having not mentioned Playful Howley's look back at the progression from Pong to Second Life. Don't miss it.

Hitting the big time

OK, we've pointed you at articles about breast attachments in various blogs, some of which are outside the "SL busty community". Now, there's one in the SL blog: New World Notes.

Iris Ophelia's fashion eye and virtual pen have turned to breast attachments, with "We Love Mesh Hands, Mesh Feet, Mesh Heads... Why Not Mesh Breasts?"  As with the aforementioned articles, the coverage is of Lolas!, in particular the new Lolas! Tango breasts. That saddens me a bit, as I don't think the other makers of prim breasts should be ignored... but given that, it is nonetheless a good article. The best sentence:
There's nothing wrong with [pixel sex or fetishism] necessarily, but they're often used as an excuse to push everything associated with them into a dark little corner of shame.
Alas, that enlightened attitude is not universal.

By all means, read the article, and comment if you are so inclined.

UPDATE: Be sure to read the comments. After one "mousebi" posted "...the bigger the boobs that means the smaller brain size you have.. just like in RL" and other similarly astute observations, "Eva" was one of several who responded--my thanks to all of you! From Eva's comment:
Oh, and mousebi? I wear a 38L bra IRL, and I don't have implants... but I do have a Master's degree and some old IQ tests with results in the genius range. Unlike you, I can also properly spell, capitalize, and punctuate in English -- and oddly enough, I don't use my breasts for any of that! Hey, you know what IS a fairly reliable indicator of stupidity, though? Prejudice like yours.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It doesn't hurt to ask

Recently I came across a store that had gowns that reminded me a bit of the gloriously ornate works of the late, lamented Crystal Queendom. It was a sad memory, first because the store is no longer in SL, and second because I could not wear the vast majority of those glorious dresses.

I created a notecard saying how beautiful the gowns in the store are, and that I very much hoped that the designer would consider supporting busty SL avatars.

Yesterday, I got an IM in reply. The designer said she would keep my request in mind. Not a commitment, but a pleasure to receive--courteous and enough to give me hope, a thing that's hard to come by sometimes.

So, if you come across a similarly wonderful clothing store that doesn't currently support the busty SL avater, do consider sending the designer a brief, courteous message asking that he or she consider supporting prim/mesh breast users in the future. It doesn't hurt to ask.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Not what I thought it was...

When you see a link to a blog post titled "Hacking My Vagina", if you're like me the first thing you think is that it's related to Second Life.

It isn't, though. Instead, it's a description of one woman's attempt to create a more flexible user interface for a vibrator with a very primitive remote control... and when the woman has the imagination and highly impressive engineering CV of the blog's author, the results are fascinating. Check it out.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Speaking of beards...

The question of prim versus tattoo/skin beards that came up in the "Hamlet 3.0" discussion made me go back and pull out a beard (you know, that may not be the best turn of phrase) from inventory.

Prim beards are great for Victorian/steampunk. In this regard, check out the wonderful blog Century of the Beard, or the stern rebellious bearded face of John Brown on the John Steuart Curry mural Tragic Prelude (or, if you're at my lower level of art history knowledge, the Kansas album cover art)... or bearded ladies such as Annie Jones, who inspired me to try it out in Second Life:



Clearly not doable with a tattoo or skin layer!

That's not as much the fashion of beards these days--quite the opposite. Often one sees beards that are more like car pin striping but for guys' faces. It doesn't have to be that extreme to still be better done, IMHO, with a tattoo or skin layer--just not as fluffy as the style of the 19th century:



Hamlet doesn't strike me as the fluffy beard type, so I'd say tattoo/skin. (And he may drop the beard altogether, judging by his comment on the reborn NWN Hamlet makeover post!)

Renee India

I'm happy to say that I've found yet another clothing store that is new to me and that supports prim breast users: Renee India.

At Renee India you will find mesh shoes, and you will also find prim breast-friendly clothing ranging from some items I'm too timid to wear to informal outfits and dresses to some lovely formalwear. When I can, I will buy their "Retro Maxi" gown, not to mention some really pretty fuschia mesh boots.

Do check Renee India out. (I hasten to add that they should not be confused with an engineering company that is actually in India. Renee India can be found in SL Marketplace, and the inworld store is at Mayotte (47. 62. 31)).

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hamlet 3.0?

So I peeked over at New World Notes this afternoon, and found a post by Iris Ophelia, "Hamlet 3.0: Help Me Give Hamlet a Head-To-Toe Avatar Makeover!" You won't find it on NWN now--the link is to Google's cached version. I'm not sure why it was wiped from the blog proper. Iris asks for comments and suggestions, especially on the tattoo beard versus prim beard question. Since the post is no longer on the blog, I'm not sure how best to send them.

Hamlet 2.0 is of 2010 vintage, and a bit too square-jawed; I much prefer his more affable RL face... and I hope that Iris will find him a new outfit. Tom Wolfe had the "writer in dapper white suit" thing down and trademarked long ago, and Mark Twain before him. (If you're reading this, Iris--for purposes of Hamlet 3.0, definitely tattoo beard. It's the way to go for the close-shaven beards of today. Prim beards are for the Victorian/steampunk avatar. Having been a bearded lady in Second Life, I speak from at least a little experience.)

UPDATE: It's back on NWN proper; here's the link.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Serendipity-do

(It makes your hair stay in place by happy accident, right?)

While looking for info on Lolas! Tango mesh breasts, I was induced to peek at the "about" page for Bootie & Boobies, and there I found out that one of the people behind it, Elle Caerntown, is a partner in a store that I'd not heard of before, [J'adore]. (The brackets are significant. French has been the language of choice for English speakers naming fashion items and companies for quite a while, and "j'adore" shows up in a lot of store names in SL!)

[J'adore] sells prim breast-friendly dresses and lingerie, and other items such as skirts.

Having found out about it, I went to visit, and discovered at the other side of the loop another store for the busty avatar: Sick Puppy. Now, I just looked up Sick Puppy on SL Marketplace, and it does have a presence there--mostly selling T-shirts with wiseguy (or whatever the female equivalent is) text on the front. What I didn't see there is what is in the in-world store, namely prim breast-friendly clothing. Not just T-shirts, but nice dresses and pretty darned impressive gowns!

Alas, as I write, I can't model the work of [J'adore] or Sick Puppy, thanks to RL issues--but you should visit the stores in world and check them out.

New Mesh Breasts from Lolas!

Lolas! (shame on me; I keep leaving out the exclamation point) have just come out with unrigged (and hence editable) mesh breasts; they are called "Tango". Initial photos look very good, though of course the proof of the pudding is how they look in-world, and reviews I've seen are quite positive.

I see that people are already working on appliers, so I hope that Tango users will have a broad choice of clothing soon. (As Hugsie points out, it may be possible to apply a clothing layer texture and then tweak manually.)

Googling turns up a goodly number of posts about them; Colleen Criss's very enthusiastic article has nude and clothed photos and links to other articles, and Hugsie has details on applying skin textures to Tango breasts.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Prim Breast Support Extra

So far I've seen a couple of shops that sell clothing and also support prim breasts--but there's an extra charge for the prim breast support. For example, if you head over to DeeTaleZ you'll find tops and outfits for sale and, nearby, a sign saying that appliers for prim breasts can be found in a room devoted to them. (When I did that myself just now, it was a bit hard to find that room; unlike all the others, it had no brightly lit sign above the doorway identifying its contents. I have to wonder why that is so.)

What do I think about this? I think it's fine.

I have my libertarian hat on, true, but most of all I have my love of the SL busty community, and I say it's a good thing on the whole.

I am forever grateful for all those clothiers who make clothes for us and include appliers in the bundle, and I wholeheartedly support them, funds permitting (as would be obvious from following my L$ balance and purchases!)... but if the choice is between a clothier either
  • blowing off support for prim breast users, or
  • deciding to do so, but reasoning that he or she deserves reimbursement for the added work involved, and that it doesn't make sense to charge those who don't use prim breasts for something they won't use*, and hence selling appliers separately
I choose door number two without hesitation, and I wish success to those who make that choice just as much as I wish it for those who bundle appliers, in hopes that their success will induce more to support us. (We all have our own lists of "mainstream" fashion houses from whose work we are cut off and think "if only...")

* or think they won't use...  though given those blog posts that assert prim breasts' new-found popularity, will that really be the case? If you're reading this and you aren't a prim breast user--don't you want breasts without corners? Aren't you tired of T-shirts with text distorted into illegibility or art twisted into a mockery of the artist's talent? Prim breasts aren't just for those who enjoy having breasts so big they have to use the freight entrance (not that there's anything wrong with that, at least in SL), and you aren't confined to slutwear. I hope you'll consider trying them out.

Not the Usual Suspects

So after seeing the SL Universe thread, I thought I'd go googling to see whether prim breasts really are more widely used these days. An NWN reference to Juicybomb as among readers' top choices there caused me to do something that turned out to be a better idea than I realized. I searched for "juicybomb 'prim breasts'", wondering whether Juicybomb itself had any posts on the subject... but it proved to be a good way to find the more general set of pages I was really after. What's a common feature of blogs? Links to other blogs. What are mainstream fashion blogs likely to link to? Really popular mainstream fashion blogs... like Juicybomb.

So... here's what I found (in addition to the pages I linked to in the preceding article):
  • "Sunday Quickie | Layerable Prim Boob Bras? O.O" in My Words Devour Souls: bras for prim breasts that have a lingerie layer (or at least one such set; alas, the article doesn't specify) from The Sugar Garden.
  • "Divine" in Not Quite Naked: blogger Eve Graymoon hesitates at first to try prim breasts as her SO suggests, but finds a jacket by Lapoint and Bastchild that works beautifully with Lolas. (UPDATE: that's a jacket not made to work with prim breasts, and to get the effect, she wore it open, not buttoned up.)
  • "2nd of 12 Days in Lingerie" in The Poultry Report: Uccello Poultry proves to be a very distracting construction worker with Bad Kitty's "Allure" lingerie and Lolas.
  • "String Bikini for Implant Breast, Mon Cheri" in Urban Leyends: Natsumi Kangjou shows variously-patterned string bikinis for Lolas (which may work for iBoobs and eCorp as well).
Not as much as I was hoping for, so I will try some other searches. More news as it happens.

UPDATE: I tried "fashion 'prim breasts'". A lot of links to the blog we all know and love turned up (Hi, Maggie!), but I did find things new to me, like this gem, Lavish Inside: SL styles for prim and standard breast beauties. Each post features a pair of similar outfits, one for prim breast users, and one for non-users.

Also from that search:
  • "Miss Virtual World" in Rage Log - A Second Life Fashion & Travel Blog: From the post, Mimara (who doesn't have on prim breasts in the photos shown) on the prim breast issue: "Prim breasts. They're controversial. It's odd that people in SL seem to accept furries, vampires and men built like action figures but shun, or even scorn prim boobs. With the right look they can be fantastic."
  • "[QE] Designs and Bewbapalooza" in Virtual Fashion Feed: "In case anyone has not noticed, Second Life boobs/bewbs/implants are pretty popular at the moment [October 19, 2012] and it's no secret I am excited about it! I've been an implant lover/wearer for 2 years now and it's as important to me first for the obvious reasons, I am a female and I am an ample female IRL..."
  • "If You Dare" in Octavia Dorchester's blog: "So, I just wanted to take a minute to talk about my boobs. Prim breasts are all the rage, and I can see why. They are fab." Ms. Dorchester delights in her prim breasts, and the pleasure she takes in them is contagious. I do hope that she's found more of the sources of prim breast-friendly clothing that are out there. The blog post, is, I suspect, early in her prim breast experience, as she only mentions one clothing store, Milk.

Friday, November 16, 2012

More Signs of Growth

I'm not keeping up--and that's a good thing.

It's an indicator of a growing market, and that is a good thing, almost by definition.

As someone who's getting behind, I'm about to mention things you may already know about. You may well think to yourself "Goodness, Melissa, it's about time, get with the program!" but, just in case, I will make a point of mentioning them.

First, there's a nice interview over at Tekila Vella's blog Tekila Unplugged, "Today's SL Breasts". I can't say I agree with Ms. Vella on some things, notably her singling out Mused, Lolas, and Ecorp as today's "main contenders" in the prim breast world, but then I'm no maven, just a prim breast user. The only ones who might know are the prim breast makers themselves, Linden Lab if they had the urge to monitor what prim breasts people have attached at any given time--and I'm guessing they have other priorities :)--and, perhaps less accurately, clothiers who cater to prim breasts.

All that said, the interview, with Tayla Arado, lets Ms. Arado give her opinions of the aforementioned triumvirate (triumfeminarate?), what she'd like to see in prim breast-friendly fashions, and why women should take consider prim breasts.

Speaking of Tayla Arado, Ms. Vella kindly links to Ms. Arado's blog, Modern Lady: Fashion for Breasts. I must mention that much of the imagery on Modern Lady is very much NSFW. That said, it shows some fashions that I have not seen elsewhere, and any new (to me, if nobody else!) source of information is good. Check it out... somewhere safe.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Must-read from New World Notes: Animated Mesh Heads

I don't use Second Life facial expressions much. They remind me of the scene on ST:TNG in which Data tries to smile. (Darn; can't find the clip.)

Perhaps that will change someday, though. You should head right over to New World Notes and read "Animated Mesh Heads May Be the Expressive Face of Tomorrow's SL Avatar", and above all, watch the videos! Shirousagi Noel of Snow Rabbit has done some amazing work.

To be sure, there's the problem of customization--will people choose a face that is theirs, the result of slider tweaking to one's satisfaction, or one that is beautifully expressive but, modulo skin tones and hair and eye color, looks just like all the other beautifully expressive faces? Fix that problem, and Second Life will be that much more immersive.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

RIP Thom Dowd

Thom Dowd, who did a great deal to promote and perform early music in Second Life, has lost his battle with cancer. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.


Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Moving towards the mainstream?

I was wandering around on SLUniverse, and found a thread that surprised me greatly: "Where Did You Get Those Boobs?"

The original poster was curious about them, but here's what caught my eye:
I'd been out of SL for about two months, and rarely reading any fashion blogs or feeds, but while I was gone something very strange happened.

Everyone got boobs.

I don't know if they are prim, or mesh, or part of clothing, it's really hard to tell but a lot of feeds, blogs, and particularly avatars in world have them.
The original poster was honestly curious, and the responses mostly straightforward. A post of
Behind every set of prim "ta-tas" there is a over sexed [sic] male at the keyboard. That is my theory and I'm sticking too [sic] it.
got responses from people who either cited themselves as counterexamples or simply disagreed. Many pointed out the superior shape of prim/mesh breasts compared with those of the stock avatar.

The whole thread is well worth reading; they get into mesh avatar questions and some of the issues that are familiar to any prim breast user.

I will see if I can find out which feeds and blogs the original poster was referring to. If there are portions of the SL busty community I'm not familiar with, then there are more of us than I thought, and that's a reason to celebrate. That and the relative lack of snark and mockery gives me hope.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Layers

I'm behind on multiple attachments, I must admit. If you look in the Knowledge Base, you'll see an article about the feature from February 2011. I started taking advantage of it a few months later. I am happy with the results:

  • No more having to wrangle necklaces into spine-relative positioning!
  • I can be a well-endowed fairy with jewelry! (yay!)
  • I can layer textures!
At the moment, I seem to use the last one the most. I set down the details here to fix them in my mind and just in case there's someone who hasn't taken advantage of the ability.

The thing to notice is an additional option in the menu for items in your inventory. There's not just "Wear" now; there's also "Add".

"Wear" works as always. If you "wear" something, it replaces whatever was already there.

If you "Add" something, it goes on in addition to what is already there, so that is how to get multiple attachments.

For clothing textures, order is important. The last "add"-ed item is on top. An example: I wanted to wear Bad Kitty's gorgeous burgundy cheongsam, but it's quite short! What to wear with it? Stockings, of course. For a while I had a habit of wearing Rufeena's "Temptation", but by themselves they're still rather revealing. So, add some other translucent stockings:


Perhaps a better picture is from an extremely bright English sim--it makes the effect easier to see.


Of course, there are other uses: freckles and makeup can coexist separately from the skin.

P.S. Thanks to the Emerald developers. Had they not implemented a multiple attachment feature, idiosyncratic as it was, I suspect we'd never have seen it in an LL client.

Steam for Linux starts to pay off...

From MarketWatch, the following, which I'll let Blogger preserve the text size etc. from the copy/paste for once because it's good news!


NVIDIA Delivers Massive Performance Boost to Linux Gaming

New GeForce Drivers Optimized for Linux Double Frame Rates, Reduce Game Loading Times


From the article:
The result of almost a year of development by NVIDIA, Valve and other game developers, the new GeForce R310 drivers are designed to give GeForce customers the best possible Linux-based PC gaming experience -- and showcase the enormous potential of the world's biggest open-source operating system.
Available for download at www.geforce.com, the new R310 drivers were also thoroughly tested with Steam for Linux, the extension of Valve's phenomenally popular Steam gaming platform that officially opened to gamers starting today.
Thank you, Valve, and to everyone involved. I am looking around for the drivers; the geforce.com site drivers page isn't being very helpful at the moment. More news as it happens.

Monday, November 05, 2012

"Help me get my feet back on the ground..."



So now in the post-invisiprim shoe world, you put on the "shoe" which often seems to be there mostly to distort your feet appropriately for the shoe, attach prims that show most of the real appearance of the shoe, and then wear an alpha layer that hides part of or all of your foot (and maybe your ankle as well). The results are beautiful...

...and, if you look too closely or from a low POV, they wreck verisimilitude, because you'll see yourself hovering above the ground. At least I do.

Am I doing something wrong, or forgetting something? Please let me know in comments!

Must-read from Thin and Curvy

"Just Who Makes These Rules, Anyway?" discusses the "rules" that should supposedly guide one in making or choosing tops for busty women, e.g.
  • no patterns
  • no lace
  • no ruffles
  • no high necklines
  • no low necklines
  • etc.
and suggests that you choose clothing instead based on what makes you feel good about your body.

In the process Brittany, the blog's author, says something I wholeheartedly agree with: "Taken to its logical extreme, what ['fashion experts'] are really suggesting is that our breasts are so shocking, and so mutant, and so inherently, overtly sexual, that we need to draw as little attention to them, and to ourselves, as humanly possible." Goodness knows that is consistent with the experiences of the SL busty community.

I am yet again grateful for the creative people who make prim breasts and clothing for them, and I hope that they will continue to ignore those "rules".

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

In Memoriam


Remembering Abbie Jinx. Please keep her, her family, and her partner Tilly Putzo in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Batten down the hatches!

Cheyenne is, as I type, in New York with Sweetie. Most days I would just do a happy dance and mentally wish them well upon hearing that, but this is not most days:


Please take care, you two!

Clouds have gathered over Whimsy as well. At first little puffballs of gray clouds appeared, almost Bob Rossian (Be sure to check today's Google doodle!)...


but then they darkened...


and with the night the thunderstorm came...


...and it came very close indeed.


Everyone in Sandy's path, please take care (don't be like me :)), and be prepared to evacuate if need be. You're in our thoughts.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Thanks, Abbie

Abbie Jinx is closing down the Jinxed store on October 31st, though her products will still be available on the SL Marketplace. (Between now and then, the vendors in her main store will offer a 50% discount to Jinxed group members.)

Thank you, Abbie, for your beautiful clothing and for the work you have put into it. I hope that the circumstances that keep you from devoting time to the store are happy ones, and I hope that you'll continue to spend some time in SL.

As a reminder of the wonderful work Abbie does, here's a photo featuring her "Siena" dress:


You've Been Owned

(UPDATE: The banner's gone now, but I hope you will still visit youvebeenowned.com and take action.)

What's that banner at top right, you ask?

I'm glad you asked.

There's a case, Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, coming before the Supreme Court. It will be heard on Monday, October 29. The court will either agree with lower courts or disagree. If they agree, it will put an enormous crimp in the Doctrine of First Sale, the notion that once you've bought something, you can sell it, lend it, or give it to someone else if you wish.

Wiley & Sons is a book publisher. They publish cheap editions of their books for sale outside the US. Mr. Kirtsaeng noticed this, and set up a business in which he had relatives buy the cheap editions outside the US and send them to him in the US, where he could sell them for less than the expensive books Wiley publishes to sell in the US cost and turn a profit.

Wiley wants, and so far the lower courts have agreed, that Mr. Kirtsaeng shouldn't be able to do that, i.e. that the Doctrine of First Sale should not apply to copyrighted items made abroad.

That's quite a lot of stuff these days. Thinking about holding a garage sale and selling your used computer hardware, or your old iPod? (Or are you thinking of giving it to Goodwill to sell?) If Wiley & Sons get their way, you (or Goodwill) won't necessarily be able to. Remember Garth Brooks getting his knickers in a knot over people selling his CDs used? If the Supreme Court decides for Wiley & Sons, all musicians will have to do is get their work copyrighted and CDs pressed outside the US, and Garth can get his wish.

Please head over to youvebeenowned.org and learn more about the case and its possible consequences.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Fontconfig Affair

(Sorry, I had a flashback to the days of The Man from U.N.C.L.E.)

For those of us who use Linux, there's a library called "fontconfig" that has changed in a way that breaks Second Life clients.

The version in question, 2.9.0, is present in the recently-released Ubuntu 12.10, so I suspect that many more are tripping over the problem now.

Third-party viewers are proving quicker to respond to the issue than LL. The upcoming Firestorm 4.3 will not have the problem. In the meantime, the fix from thickbrick.sleaford in the Firestorm JIRA page for the problem works.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Serendipity

Second Life is a wonderful place to take pictures. The creativity of builders, animators, and residents means there is always somewhere new and amazing. (And if you want pointers to such places, they are easily available. Look at Second Life residents' flickr or Picasa galleries, and at blogs that feature such photos. Dorka Barzane's Caminante de Sueños is a great place to start.)

Once you've found a place, Second Life gives you an advantage over RL: you control the skies. Create your own Windlight settings or find some created by others that you can use. Some Second Life clients come preloaded with a batch of them.

I have 453 pictures up on flickr as I type--I've taken more, but I don't put everything on flickr. Some aren't up to snuff, or are experiments with slightly different point of view or pose or whatever, so there's no point.

I'm not a great photographer. I'm no Maggie Bluxome or Whisky Monday... but once in a while, I happen upon a combination of location, lighting, and, if it's not a landscape, pose and clothing, that works. It happened this morning, I'm happy to say. The results are above.

It's a good time to take pictures in Second Life, and I hope that the mapping happens soon so it will be even better. (And could we bring back global illumination, please? *bats eyelashes*) The depth of field means that you can use still more techniques that photon wranglers :)--er, real life photographers--use, like bokeh or intentional shallow depth of field to keep the emphasis on a subject. There are tutorials, and many of the principles, e.g. composition and lighting, are the same in SL and RL... so if you haven't dared before, give it a try.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Gaming for Good

Sorry about the short notice, but I just found out about Extra Life. It's a gaming marathon taking place today in support of the Children's Miracle Network. Teams select a hospital they wish to help, ask for sponsors who will donate to the cause, and then they game.

Check it out, and participate if you're so inclined by creating or joining a team. (If you choose to game, please take the advice on the site's safety notice page!) If you aren't up for marathon gaming, then consider supporting a team, such as, for example, the CBT Tankers.

For once, I will have to actually say something good about the G4 network: they are supporting Extra Life, and live streaming a sort of online telethon. Well done.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Ubuntu 12.10 is here

I'm not sure why the countdown graphic isn't updated (UPDATE: it is now!), but Ubuntu 12.10 is available. I've upgraded to it, and so far, it's very nice. If you've always wondered about Linux, check it out. If you are a Windows user, you can try it out via Wubi without even having to repartition your hard drive, and if you don't like it, you can uninstall it via the Windows interface for deleting programs that you're familiar with.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

For your reading enjoyment and convenience...

Maggie Bluxome of Busted magazine has put together a document that has all three parts of Angel Eulenberg's fascinating "No Fake Tits in Gor" in one spot. If you're a Busted subscriber, you know this (and you have it already). If you aren't, first I urge you to consider becoming one, but also, I have it, and will happily send you a copy ASAP if you wish. I have the knob twisted to get IMs via email, but I have still at times seen the "Too many messages", so email me at mel_yeuxdoux@yahoo.com if need be (or even if that's just more convenient).

Saturday, October 13, 2012

It's Not Just for Minoans...

From a University of Warwick press release:
Historian Angela McShane Jones from the University of Warwick said: “In the 1600s it was fairly commonplace for women to bare their breasts in public. The fashions were initiated by court members and Queens, then replicated by ordinary women, and common prostitutes. 17th century fashion, rather than demeaning women, could be empowering. The extremely low cut dresses were designed to encourage men to look but not to touch. They empowered some women to use their sexuality.”
For more information, check out McShane-Jones's article "Revealing Mary" (History Today, v. 54 issue 3).

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Countdown to Ubuntu 12.10

Shame on me; I didn't notice that the Ubuntu image had switched to the countdown for 12.10, or to use its codename, "Quantal Quetzal". The second beta is out, so I should have realized.

What's new, you ask? Quite a bit--best visit the 12.10 Beta 2 Ubuntu Wiki page for details. There are changes to X and the proprietary nVidia driver (the latter of particular interest to those of you running with multiple monitors).

Eight days to go... at least as I type this.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

80's Flashback

I went shopping today and stopped at Gatherings, where I bought a few items, including the "Women in Black" outfit that one can wear either with a skirt or with slacks. I put it on, had an 80's flashback, and knew what I had to do.

I bought gloves and a cane. I put on just the base that came with a red hairdo, and bought some tattoo layer lipstick/eyeshadow, and headed for an office furniture store.

I will have to look for the right gesture to do it up right, but here's the best I managed--and, believe it or not, as I took the picture, the store's audio stream had started playing Eurhythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)":


Fashion for a Good Cause: Perfectly Pink Latex Ensemble

Kayliwulf Kingdom has created a lovely pink latex ensemble that it has for sale... and all profits from such sales will benefit the National Breast Cancer Foundation. (And I would hope that, especially if you regularly read this blog, this is a cause near and dear to your heart.)

The outfit includes a skirt, a bra and an underbra, a thong, and wonderful fuzzy sandals and gloves. Were I not a shy sort, I'd happily wear it. Photo after the break; it is definitely NSFW. Give it a look, and thanks to Kayliwulf Kingdom for creating this ensemble and supporting NBCF.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

This is the sort of thing...

...that makes you forget all the drama and flakiness and brouhaha and be happy that SL exists.

"ThankyouSL" at Shopping Cart Disco. Go read it, and see if you don't find yourself smiling.

P.S. Thanks to Hamlet Au for pointing the post out; I'd not have seen it otherwise.

The new Busted is here!

The new Busted is out... and as always, it's well worth your perusal.

You know by now to expect impeccable photos of gorgeous models, and indeed, they're there. The theme is science fiction, and if you're like me you will be seeking out the places where the outfits they wear can be found.

There's part two of Cindy Melglund and Whimsy Warrhol's series on creating a well-proportioned shape. If you are less than fully satisfied with your shape, you want to read both parts!

(And speaking of proportions, here's a plea I will repeat in a letter to the editor: please, Ms. Melglund and Ms. Warrhol, write the analogous article or articles on shaping one's head. I am happier having moved away from the heart-shaped head I started out with, but think I could improve a bit more if I worked at it, and I'd greatly appreciate advice from such knowledgeable folks as you two!)

Zarah Undercroft writes more about putting together outfits for the busty figure... and in passing has greatly heartened me about my shoe inventory. Invisiprims were once the state of the art for shoes--but now it's alpha layers, and current SL clients don't deal with invisiprims as they once did, with the result that the foot parts the invisiprims are meant to hide flash in and out of view as your point of view changes. I've been hoping there's a way to make those old shoes usable in the new regime, and apparently, if the shoes are editable, it is possible. Thank you, Ms. Undercroft, and I'm off to check my inventory to see which old shoes are editable.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Julianna Fashion

I happened to go searching for "busty" the other day. I saw "Busty's Beach Island" which I'd recently taken a very short trip to, and then saw "Busty Bitches Mall"--not a particularly enticing name, but I took the plunge and teleported.

They have a good bunch of shops there... but Julianna Fashion caught my eye, and I bought the Coral Silk Black Roses Long Dress. It came with two clothing layer appliers, one for (Implant Nation, I believe) Universal Implants, and one for Lolas. No problem--the Lolas applier got the clothing layer on the Foxbean Laboratories "Christina" breasts, and armed with the information from Maggie's excellent series in Busted, minor tweaks to the horizontal and vertical repeat factors had wonderful results:


I'll explore Julianna's main store as soon as possible.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

New stuff, or "Wilkommen, Bienvenu, Welcome..."

Two new items:
  • Foxbean Liebknecht has a blog! (/me fights the urge to sing "E-I-E-I-O"...) Don't worry. The link is there in the blog list so it won't disappear as this post sinks slowly in the west. Welcome to the world of blogging, dear friend. *hugs* I look forward to reading what you have to say.
  • Speaking of reading what one has to say, there's now a "Translate" widget near the top of the right hand portion of the page. You can use it to read a translation, as good as Google Translate can manage (which is a darned sight better than Bing's translation manages), into any of the languages Google Translate knows about. Beware; it tends to translate names of people, web browsers, OSs, Second Life sims and stores, etc. (CarrieAnn Lemon turned into "CarrieAnn Citron" and "CarrieAnn Limón" when I tried the feature out a couple of times.)
I hope that the translation widget is of help. Second Life is a worldwide phenomenon; it's well past time that I should support that.

A view from behind

After writing about CarrieAnn Lemon's assistance with her Ellemeno corset tops, I should provide a photo...


Thursday, September 20, 2012

"Solid."

If memory serves, that was the catchphrase of Linc Hayes on Mod Squad as portrayed by Clarence Williams III.

Solid state drives--not the very latest or fastest technology, but still far faster than hard drives that must sometimes wait over a hundred microseconds for an actual physical hunk of matter to rotate around to the read/write head!--have gone below the dollar per gigabyte price point. (Remember how excited we all were when rotating platter hard drives broke that barrier?) Today, as I type, there's a deal at Tiger Direct offering a 120 GB SSD for $0.67/gigabyte before rebate, $0.50/gigabyte after rebate.

Under Linux, you can install on the SSD and then symlink from /home/myname/BigDirectory to a directory on your larger capacity old clunky rotating hard drive to keep all your collections of music, ISOs, images, and so forth from filling up the SSD while still having your various configurations and such on SSD for rapid access. (Windows finally got symbolic links for NTFS, so it should be possible to do something like that there, too.) Since you can bound the size of your Second Life cache, it should be possible to keep that there, too, which I hope would speed up your Second Life experience.

(Discussion here seems to show that it does, though people in that thread also point out that a RAM disk is even faster, and avoids wear on the SSD--as flash EEPROM, it has a limited number of writes on any given spot--but OTOH, the point of cache is to stick around until you clear it; you'd have to do something to back it up before you shut it down and move it to RAM disk before you fire up the SL client.)

Should you decide to go SSD, be sure your OS/driver and SSD support "TRIM", and tell your OS it doesn't have to play the usual games of scheduling I/O to minimize read/write head movement. Take a look at the Arch wiki or AB9IL's blog for suggestions for Linux.

Friday, September 14, 2012

About that photo...

if you were to download the photo taken at Heart's Desire, you might notice it's 3072 x 2214. That's significant because I took it while running the current version of Armin Weatherwax's Teapot SL client. The last time I tried Teapot, it was an earlier version, and high-res snapshots were problematic.

Now, though, that's working fine... and Armin produces a real live 64-bit Linux version, which gets around all the streaming media problems with 32-bit Linux SL clients that LL and everybody else but Imprudence/Kokua seems more than happy to ignore. So, especially since lately Firestorm has been regularly crashing for me--sometimes with no alert save the "do you want to send info about the crash?" popup, sometimes with a popup with text that displays all as little boxes (which makes me think that the text was overwritten with junk that isn't valid UTF-8 or at least doesn't correspond to characters the font has),  and finally recently with an intelligible popup reading

We are sorry, but Firestorm has crashed and needs to be closed. If you see this issue happening repeatedly, please contact our support team and submit the following message: 
ERROR: llrender/llvertexbuffer.cpp(1642) : mapVertexBuffer: memory allocation for vertex data failed.
I will be loading up Teapot with Windlight setting files and running Teapot. I hope that someday I will meet you in-world, Mr. Weatherwax... when that happens, I will thank you and offer you a hug.

P.S. I am happy to see that I didn't refer to Teapot as Teacup even once!

Heart's Desire

After reading about Ellemeno on Maggie's blog, I went to check it out... and found several things I had to have.

The tops I will try later on today, but I want to show you the teal formal dress. The photo was taken at the Heart's Desire ballroom.



UPDATE: I had the good fortune to meet CarrieAnn Lemon. She's a wonderful lady, and I look forward to seeing what comes from Ellemeno in the future.

UPDATE: About those tops: they are the corset tops that Ellemeno sells. As I've said, I tend to push the limits on things like hair length, leg length, and breast size. The latter, when the breasts are (collectively!) sufficiently wider that the torso, can cause skin where the breasts rejoin the torso on either side to be exposed that should be covered with cloth. I've seen this on several outfits from various clothiers, and this proved to be the case for the corset tops. I suppose I should have pointed this out the first time it happened some time ago, but I never have--until, when Ms. Lemon struck up a conversation with me, I said something about it happening with the corset tops. I would have understood had she done nothing... but she asked for a photo. I sent one along to show the problem. Could I come wear a texture laid out with a grid and let her see? Sure!

Later that day (if I remember the time rightly) I was pointed at a texture by UUID; could I try it? (Actually, I couldn't, until I found out how you can see (modulo alpha issues) a texture via a URL that's a function of the UUID. Grab it, GIMP the transparency back into existence, and put it on...) I sent back with a shout of glee that it was wonderful--the corset top proper has a baked-in shadow along the sides, and the texture matched that at the edge, but I had the size cranked so that the darker color was covered, leading to a mismatch--I could live with that, and it would be perfect for the vast majority... and back came another texture. How about this, Ms. Lemon asked? Perfect! I replied. She said that once RL permitted, she'd send textures appropriate for the "chubby pack" I'd bought, and they were waiting for me before I was able to get back on the grid.

I apologize to other clothiers--I am at fault in not mentioning this issue to you right away when it has happened to me before, to give you the option of taking action. I promise to give you that option in the future. I mean no disparagement to anyone; I just want to say that Ms. Lemon, when I gave her that option, went above and beyond to be of help.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Vacillating in style

A week and a half ago, hot weather had returned to Iowa after an amazing stretch of temperate climes for the Iowa State Fair, which is often oppressively hot and humid, with people standing in front of fans taller than they are in the Agriculture Building for a few seconds' relief. I escaped from it in Second Life.


This past weekend was cool, giving a taste of fall to come... and of course, I wanted what I couldn't have. (We have our stereotypical prerogative, don't we?) So off I headed to a virtual beach...


I should have put on the bikini, but the urge to walk out into the lovely clear water was strong.

At that point, it occurred to me that both these outfits are from VOOH Designs. For the fall foliage, it was "Seasons Green". (I love sweaters...) On the beach at Paradise Falls, it's "Floratta 4". (After spending so much time confined to solid colors for dresses and tops that I could adapt with my non-existent texturing skills, I am a total sucker for lacy and flowery detail. If you're reading, designers, any chance of paisley? *bats eyelashes*)

I hasten to add that these photos don't do the flexibiity of these outfits justice. I didn't have the wonderful Seasons hat on, and Floratta gives you both a dress and a bikini. Both include shoes.

So thank you, VOOH Designs, for the lovely work you do. When RL weather fluctuates, I can vacillate in style in Second Life.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Isolation

I forget what the buzzphrase is. A dictatorship maintains strict control over communications, so that each person thinks he or she is alone in thinking things are fundamentally wrong. When that control cracks, and people realize that they are not only not alone, but in the majority, they act, and the dictatorship falls. (Ah, that's what it's called: "preference cascade".)

I couldn't help thinking of that when I read about changes to the Second Life JIRA in a post in Tateru Nino's essential blog, Dwell on It. You can now only see JIRA entries that you yourself have submitted. Not only that, once it's been triaged, you will no longer be able to comment on it.

Before, people could say "go look at [link to JIRA entry] and vote for it/follow it/comment if you've had this problem". Goodness knows I've done it with VWR-1258, for example. No longer. If you've tripped over a bug someone else reported and just happen to have a log file with the needed information to show its cause, it won't help unless you report the bug and someone recognizes it in the flood of entries that will come because don Fulano de Tal can't see any other reports of the bug he shares with others.

This change to JIRA behavior is not something that someone actually wanting SL to propser would do, IMHO.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

More early clothing--yay!

Eira Kalil of Tiny Things has come out with a new dress, "Tudor". It's gorgeous, and like all Tiny Things products are amazingly inexpensive. Can you believe this is L$35, including shoes?


I am such a pushover for beautiful lacy detailed textures... so this dress makes me a seriously happy camper. Thank you, Ms. Kalil.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Boobies Show?

Holli Thespian has a flickr group, "Second Life PRIM Boobies", for images that include prim breasts. My eye was caught by an image there, posted by Maelynda, owner of a store called "Mes Sucreries", that doesn't really meet that requirement--since I can't share it, I'll simply say that it shows sparkly 3D pink text reading "the BOOBIES show"--and then by the text beneath it.

I was, and still am, a little puzzled by the text; I don't think English is its author's native language. In any case, it appears to describe a month-long event starting on September 16th the poster is putting on, featuring designers of prim breast-friendly clothing. The text calls for such designers to participate.

It's a very recently posted image (as I type, flickr says it went up thirteen hours ago). Does anyone know anything more about this event?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Ending a group

A few days ago, I got a notecard from Holli Thespian, asking whether she could send notices to the members of the Prim Breast Users group about her store and its clothing--she has started to make applicators for some of her tops to support prim breasts. (They're sold separately from the tops, if I understand rightly.)

This rubbed my virtual nose in the fact that I really haven't done diddly with the group. As with various other things, I had good intentions, but we all know the terminus of the road built from those.... and even with forty-two group slots instead of twenty-five, those slots are still precious.

So... I will shut down the Prim Breast Users group come September 1st. Thank you, everyone who joined. I regret not having served you as I intended. I urge you to do the following:

  • If you haven't already done so, by all means join the Buxom Lifestyle group!
  • Be sure to take a look at Holli Pocket, Ms. Thespian's store. Maggie's wonderful blog has an article about it and an entry in her database for the store, including a SLURL.
  • Also take a look at Ms. Thespian's blog and in particular her post "Prim Boobie Infos [sic]". My photos and the things I write about tend towards the extreme, so I rarely mention an important point she makes in that post:
    I think a lot of us (including myself at one point) have this misconception about prim boobs, thinking they have to be over the top and ridiculous sizes-that's not appealing to 99% of people I know at least. This obviously is NOT the case and they can look fulfilling but still in my opinion, tasteful. They sure beat the standard lumpy/jagged looking default boobs in Sl and now it actually looks like I have REAL boobs!
    It's good to be reminded; to gain wider acceptance, prim breast makers must also cater to, and we must welcome with open arms, those who don't dream of having enormous breasts. (Prim breast makers understand this. If nothing else, purely economically, the L$ of those who mainly want the lovely shape of prim breasts spend just as well as mine. :))

Thank you, Ms. Thespian, for joining the growing group of clothiers who support prim breast users, and for nudging me to do the right thing.

UPDATE: Having to eject people one at a time is educational. Thank you to all ninety-five of you who joined. *hugs* to you all...

UPDATE: Some of the ejection messages were delayed for some reason, so my count was low. It's nearer a hundred of you. Love you all.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Watch your bandwidth

Anyone whose net connection is capped or billed at exorbitant rates past a certain point, or whose ISPs look askance at what they consider "excessive" usage, might want to check bandwidth usage when on Second Life.

The reason is described on JIRA entry SVC-8124. Under some circumstances, your SL viewer may be sent a lot of "ParcelOverlay reliable" messages. One user reports seeing 2 Mb/s (that's megabits per second) at certain locations. It only happens in some places, and one's viewing distance may affect it.

There is a fix, but it's not yet been rolled out to the main grid. Keep an eye out, either via the statistics bar in your SL client or via whatever means your computer's operating system or router, if it tracks data usage, provides.

(Boy, I have been out of the loop. This bug was submitted on August 9, and I only found out about it because I decided on a whim to see whether the Alphaville Herald was totally stagnant and on another whim to look at the comments for the most recent article.)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Ken Starks (helios) needs your help

How to start? Depends on the audience, I guess.

If you're a Linux user: Ken Starks, a man who has done a great deal to spread Linux where it counts, among the coming generation, needs your help.

If you are concerned about the "digital divide": Ken Starks, a man whose motto is "A child's exposure to technology should not be predicated on the ability to afford it" and who has worked tirelessly to back that motto up by providing that exposure to many children who'd not otherwise have it, needs your help.

If you're a kind person: Ken Starks needs your help.

Yesterday (as I type) August 16th began the countdown of two weeks until surgery goes from 80% probability of cure for the cancer he's fighting to effectively zero. In a governmental Catch-22, SSI disability disqualifies him from the programs that would pay for that surgery.

I have a link to the blog of helios on my blog; read it and you'll see how he's worked to get computers and net access to kids who wouldn't otherwise have them.

If you want to cut to the chase, head to this entry on Thomas A. Knight's blog.

Darn it, this is the second time in a short interval that someone I admire and greatly respect has found himself fighting cancer without insurance. I really would rather it not happen again.

ERRATUM: It helps to look more closely at dates. Sorry.

UPDATE: Wonderful news! A surgeon, a specialist in the procedure in question, has agreed to do it for the money raised so far. He also has Mr. S on medication that postpones that two-week deadline so he can gather the data needed to give the best chance of success. Read about it (and be sure to read the comments).

UPDATE: Still more good news, and Ken's thanks to everyone. As Ken says, now if you wish to donate, don't donate to the fund for his treatment--donate to Reglue (which The HeliOS Project is now associated with) instead.