Perspective

From my friend Serendipidy Haven’s blog:

Perspective

by Serendipidy Haven

vangoghA brief trip to the National Gallery recently brought me face-to-face with Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’, or at least, one of his variations of this most well known of his subjects. Sunflowers was my main reason for the visit – since i’ve never seen the work in the flesh before, but it also gave me the opportunity to become re-acquainted with another of his paintings that has pretty much passed me by up until now.

Van Gogh’s chair has never really inspired me or struck me as being particularly special. It lacks the thickly daubed, tormented brush strokes of his later pieces and the finesse displayed in his other works of the period. It’s a peculiar thing, worth getting up close to; where the warped, almost child-like perspective of the composition is offset by the painstaking attention to detail the artist gives to the most mundane of features. You’re struck by the effort that’s gone into painting the door hinges, knots in the wood and the weave of the chair seat… but, on this occasion – for the first time – i stepped back, and suddenly everything changed.

From the middle of the room, the painting that had always struck me as rather flat and distorted resolved into something entirely different. It was almost as if i was seeing through Van Gogh’s eyes, sat at his easel, glancing over the canvas towards the chair on the other side of the room. That bizarre perspective which offends the eye when seen in close up, becomes completely natural and lifelike when viewed from a distance – the painting becomes less a flat canvas and more a three dimensional moment in time, captured in oils. It was an unexpected and somewhat humbling moment.

paint_001How often do we see things from our own viewpoint with  a skewed perspective, failing to understand what is right in front of our eyes, and not seeing the picture as it really is? Probably quite often and, as users of sl, it’s something that we’re very used to experiencing from the ‘outside’ world. Those who’ve never had the opportunity to properly get to grips with becoming part of a virtual world tend to have a distinctly distorted picture in their minds of what sl is about. Like me peering closely at Van Gogh’s canvas, they’ll seize on the little details that make sense to them, whilst remaining utterly puzzled and bemused at the bigger picture. So the common perception of sl, from those who have no experience inworld, is that it’s an environment that’s primarily about pixellated sex, a ‘game’ played by geeks sat in their basements with curtains drawn and snacking on cheese puffs. They seize upon the bits that stand out to them and write off the larger part as irrelevant, uninteresting or incomprehensible.

It’s a matter of perspective. And perspective works both ways.

The perspective from which we see sl differs dramatically according to where we stand – on outside looking in or, equally, on the inside looking out – and we residents can be just as guilty of skewing the overall picture as those who have no experience of the virtual world. From the inside, we are terribly good a painting pictures of sl from a palette based entirely upon our own perceptions and experiences, rather than taking a balanced view, (this is something that ex-residents, in particular, can take to an extraordinary degree). The result is a very narrow-minded and distorted view of sl… the servers are always down, it’s full of griefers and content stealers, it suffers from nightmare lag, gacha events are corrupt, and so on. Even when we’re positive we tend to pick and choose to focus on the bits that matter to us, ignoring the fecundity of the virtual community and excluding whole swathes of SLife that we personally have no particular interest in.

Perhaps it would do no harm to occasionally break these self-imposed rules and try to look at things from a different perspective – who knows… perhaps that aspect of sl that you never understood, never appealed and that you’d managed to convince yourself was of no worth at all, might look very different from a different angle, or when you take a step back and try to appreciate what it’s all really about.

Or, you could just stick with the perspective you’ve got, and maybe miss out on a much bigger picture.

If you’re not swayed then think on this a moment: Vincent Van Gogh was completely unappreciated in his lifetime, purportedly only selling one painting before his death. Now he’s one of the most recognisable artists that has ever lived, and his paintings sell for millions. Just imagine how all those people who turned him down and derided his work might have felt if they’d known how he’d now be appreciated. Sometimes, focussing on the details and the ugliness of what we perceive means that we can be blind to the potential and the beauty of what we are seeing.

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s. x

Now I think I know
What you tried to say to me
Don McLean – Starry Starry Night

Excellent stuff well done Seren

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Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year

santahoHo Ho Ho Seasons Greetings to you all. Hope the New Year brings all you need. Wow its 2015! To my age group that’s science fiction territory. WOOT! Anything is possible wow great stuff!!

On part of Siani’s Junkyard Winter Wonderland video to come

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YouTube Erratum

Don’t know what is wrong with YouTube embed code???? Anyway here is a link to the video Sorry about that. Will try putting in the embed code again.

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Moving Pictures

I love making videos, especially using second life. If you need one for a club or function fill out the form below and I’ll get back to you. My main production site with the videos I love best ( made in the last month) is on Ravens Kiss (dot ) org. With modern software it is amazing what you can do if you use your imagination. If any one needs lessons likewise fill out the form and advice for me? Fill out the form …..smiles. I manage on disability but don’t charge much for making a video, it depends what you want. I charge €8 or $10 an hour and I’m pretty quick. Here is a list of the programs I use.

Expression Studio (there is a free version , highly recommended, lessons given)
Microsoft PowerPoint Excel Word 2013 ( I have MS Certs in them, lessons given)
Camtasia Studio ver 8 ( this is my main program you can pick up a lower version for very little, lessons given)
Autodesk 3DS Max (I’m learning this at the moment)

I use anything I can get my hands on. Its surprising the free stuff out there. Anyone using Paint to do graphics is daft! lol. Just as an example I have captured a PowerPoint transition and saved it as an animated gif on a loop. Ok I have been doing this for some time but to be perfectly honest its not rocket science. I studied PowerPoint online and then went up to Dublin to do my exam which I passed with flying colours! Cost? Nothing except my time.

curtainsites

Having your own domain, a personal domain is so much fun. I mean I just tell people to google me ( Philip Finlay Bryan ) and there are links to everything I do. My email address is me@PhilipFinlayBryan.com [I actually use a different one, Philip@IrishSecure.com, I forward all my email addresses there] So be a member of the 21stCenturyNetworks (dot ) com . Come join the fun.

RavensKiss (dot) org

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Settings revisited

I have learned a few new things sins I posted Appearence so here is an addendum.  I have surveyed some people most were running sl in high graphics wise . I got a bit miffed with one person who had a very bright face light. I sent him a picture:

earniebrightI was blinded by his light so I sent him the above picture. Prior to this DJ Siani ( who is getting a web site ) told me I could derender lights. I managed to do this with one lady who was bright with four lights however I couldn’t do this with Ernie. I IM ed him He told me that he was running low on graphics and only went on high when he was photographing. He told me I could turn off lights globally by unchecking Local Lights. Which works but gets rid of ALL local lights including the DJ which I may want and the lights built into the sim. So. Below is a video I made about it all. I’m still getting used to voice narration and I used the stream from http://JunkyardLive.com . I am also still learning Camtasia 8.


settingspenSome people have different settings for different settings lol or for different activities. At the moment I’m sticking to one and seeing how it pans out for different sl environments. There is a balance between quality and speed I have yet to fine tune. I’ll let you know.

 

WARNING! AVATAR THEFT!

While I was chatting to someone about settings she told me her avatar had been hijacked. She was sent a bogus market place url that looked like the real thing. It captured her user name and password. She caught it in time and used Linden Labs fraud dept to get a new password sent to her. No damage but just a reminder to be careful.

 

BTW my best videos are now going up on RavensKiss (dot) org

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Blogs Poems Partners and Pictures

Reproduced from NowChangeYourLife.wordpress.com

I come across gems in second life. I think it is the blues community, nice thinking.My fav blogger is Serendipity Haven (serenhaven.wordpress.com)who writes little stories that are so informative and entertaining. Highly recommended. AND not just for second life users either. I have blogged about her before. Read her latest offering, its very informative.

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Take my partner, she has an awesome job that keeps her very busy but she spends much of her spare time with me. In her “spare” time she is a poet and has her own site. JessikaJenvieve.com fabulous poetry. Heres one she wrote for me:

It is Best

You wanted a love song
I don’t have the words
Cordelia – like, I have nothing to say
but it is inside,
deep
somewhere
I just can’t put my finger on.

You want forever and I want you to tell me
the pain in my head won’t kill me.
I want you to make my tea and a cheese sandwich.
I don’t want words, I want silence.
There’s a tangle of lyrics out there
waiting for me to catch my foot in them.
Pick the wrong one and you will fire up again.

Say nothing, it is safe.
It is best.

For PFB

“I’m a mature socialite cougar 60 k living in millionaires paradise” she says on skype……Love her sense of humour. We get on so well and are partners in second life, the online community. We spend a lot of time chatting to a background of the blues. Here you can see us dancing. At the top right are private messages bottom left are local messages.

While hosting (a host manages the dj session greeting people and providing help like joining the group) I met a person who was fun to chat to, who I hadn’t met before. She too has a blog and this is what I found:

We seem to think that big events and weighty, important conversations make the bulk of a relationship. Yet .. it’s chatting of little nothings .. how spring air moves and caresses across the face .. picking dandelions and sending them off to seed other places .. or sharing two blades of grass with a friend and trying to make a blade-of-grass kazoo together.

Lobbing nonesense words and silly verses between us .. twirling and feinting at nothing .. nothing moments are what I miss.

If you are the very best of friends with me, I will fill you with letters of little nothings.

Her site which she hasn’t updated in a while is http://vixenquandry.wordpress.com/

One of the things people love to do is take photos in second life it is very photogenic. So here is a gallery a person I met in a European blues club. Name of Schlock who has a wonderful talking parrot called Clyde with, i would say, artificial intelligence!!!!

Heres the gallery, sorry missed Clyde but i sent Schlock an email coz he should have a blog!!

Then another person with a site http://www.deadmonkeysociety.org/writtenword/index.html the front page looks like this:

deadmonkeys

All this is just a taste of the variety of people that you meet in second life. It is a community of intelligent diverse people. Possibly it is the blues community as this is all i have experience of. I am still exploring and have lots to learn. I will have been in second life for a year. Yes I am addicted.

Its not a problem

hotstuffHere is a picture of my Storm Constantine (aka Jessika) we have known each other for six months and we decided to partner. This means we have made a commitment to share and cherish each other. It may be likened to a marriage, the “ceremony” was an email and now we appear in each others profile. partner
There is a wonderful thing that happens in second life. You become one with your avatar and truly your avatar becomes an extension of yourself. when you join with another avatar like in a dance something magical happens. You begin to feel with your avatar. Holding your partner becomes as though you are holding a real person and in some ways you are. It feels real. You can get incredibly close to someone. It starts in chat. As in anywhere / place chatting to someone brings you close to that person. We have chat in secondlife. However how do you explain a kiss producing a physical response in real life? Second Life is awesome. I can only suggest you try it for yourself. If you need a decent avatar let Avatar Creations know and we will make you beautiful.

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My Storm


storm2Yes a lovely person very danceable love the curve of her back the touch of her thigh. Sigh yes I am smitten. yet dear readers such a person. Such an exotic, to me, life. hard not to be a tad intimidated but how did an ignorant mexican keep her for 11 months i ask myself.  well he had the blues and other attributes so i heard but even so. just her story of the tortoises is so wonderful. and shes seen every movie eva and knows the directors cousins dogs name. such an aficionado opera too, the blues of course and the rest of the arts. yet he could keep her quiet for 11 months and it would have continued had he not been caught.

but chin up old chap never say die and all that.  she obviously fancies you for some strange reason tho we both know she could do better jeez dozens of requests to dance when she is not dressed sexily but they appear “stupid” how can she tell?  i dunno. but for now she is all mine and that is quite yummy. i will do my best not to bore her not to make too many mistakes like mixing up Casablanca with Key Largo omg how embarrassing, oh dear i am such a plonker. well i will do my best can do no more.

Second life appeals to the actor in us. We style our avatars, costume them then manipulate them in dudestanding 2scenarios. tout le monde est une scène n’est ce pas and our world is second life and our stage. We play but have no control over the other actors. well we do in part as our actions affect their actions. however there are boundaries like those  of good manners. Do we play a role with our avatar? A pretend? Or is it us and the avatar a mere cipher. there is something that happens between us and our avatars, a fusion. we have designed our avatar. Storm calls her “my little work of art” and isn’t she gorgeous. i’m juswyt an ordinary bloke tho i try and dress well to make up with it. think Storm would have me in jeans and tee shirt every day. but i like dressing up.

of course there is the age difference: me a noob and her an old lady. Can’t do anything about that. Just ask her to be patient with me . It can be hard though as in this respect i am definitely inferior. shes very kind tho as i know i can be difficult to teach. so glad she turned me on to firestorm which i hadn’t used for ages. otherwise i would still be using singularity. its a different experience and as we are dating lol we should be using the same viewer. of course her computer is far superior to my old banger. she runs in ultra mode i run in medium low. she sees sl very differently to me. i mean the quality she sees with shadows (coz I just tried Ultra before crashing) is awesome. even my computer isn’t good enough boo hoo. in the six months we have known each other only had one nice cuddle. i need more cuddles. she dumped my cuddle lounger when she was doing the bed. i put it back on the off chance.

she says she loves my mind. got to get off my meds so it works better. i have a terrible memory. always was proud of my mind tho these days because of my meds its not so sharp. don’t know how she can love it. i’ve got to wake up more. ho hum i’ll get there……..

 

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Freebies and domains

 

(all links are in bold and open a new window) Its funny I spent a few posts warning you about freebies now I am giving you some. Firstly let me give you a Freebie. If you need to capture ANY image on your computer screem then get 4Shared Shot it is awesome. You can capture anything on your screen. It sits in your task bar tray. Another great facility is Zoom.it You can have any image on the net and zoomify it.

 

Look at this!Just get the url of the image, copy it then paste it into http://zoom.it. Get the embed code and paste it into your web site or blog. If you want Deep Zoom composer the free program is here! You will probably need a windows ID. You can see it in action here
One thing I love about wordpress is the free themes and plugins. Most things on the Internet are free BUT as I have said before Domains are NOT free NOR IS HOSTING. So UseMe.biz.

Free Graphics program that I use a lot is Expression Design and I use Expression Web for editing html. Both great programs and free from Microsoft .

I don’t know what anti virus program you use but Microsoft Security Essentials which is free, is excellent.  . In four years I have had no virus.

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Here is a list of my Domains. At €10 a year why not? 21st Century Networks,( 2stcn a short form for convenience), is the global site for my domains. Avatar Creations is to provide a professional service for business and academics using Second Life, a 3D Immersive cybercommunity. Family Blogs does what it says, every family should have a blog. with a colleague we run two radio stations. Freedom Radio is in process. Most of the cyber domains do what they say on the box. Dude Starship is my avatar.

Hosting and domain registration, sub domains are 2ndlife, Irish Secure,nhys.biz (wix), secondlifehosting.com (wixx) ImACoolChick, and my virtual space. mygf and mybf are for those who want a sub domain eg wynter.mygf.biz, dude.mybf.biz

My Blues sites are still in the embryo stage, I have yet to contact the DJs and the hosts to get their take on the blues in second life. I’ll put them up on secondlifeblues.com. I think it will be really interesting.

i have hyperconnectivity.me and familyblogs.me to add to the mix.

Dunno, pjfbncyl, this blog, omgg, oknp, jnanabodhi (my Buddhist site), onlymoi, are all personal domains. Registering domains is my hobby. As I have my own hosting company it costs nothin to host. I generally put up a front page then a blog in a sub directory. omgg.net took 20 minutes to do the front page and about 2 hours to do blog.omgg.net i love 4 lette domains that have a meaning. omgg has loads:

  • oh my good god
  • oh my golly gosh
  • oh my gossip girl
  • oh my gay god (?)
  • oh my goodness gracious
  • extra emphasis for omg

I have a passion for creating web sites and blogs. If you want this animation and tune you can download the zip file here by right clicking and save link

You may have noticed I also love making videos. My youtube channei is youtube.com/philipjamesbryan I also have another video site TechnologyIsMe.blip.tv

 

IF YOU NEED ANTI VIRUS SOFTWARE then be cautious. I run Microsoft Security Essentials I find other anti virus software a pain. This is free and is designed by microsoft for microsoft operating systems. Makes sense to me.

I use free web sites to test, advertise and to see what they can do. I have :

  • Webnode : I like webnode it uses a nice interface. If you want to practice go for it. Here is a site I made BUT if your reguster with them YOU DO NOT GET CPANEL (control panel) So you are severly limited with what you can do. Great for practice no good for permanent.
  • Weebly : Uses the same modular sustem as Webnode . It works well and I have an advertising site there. You can view it here but I haven’t finished yet. Been getting 3 emails a day asking me to upgrade. No htank you. No control panel only the modules.
  • Wix : I love theinterface its html 5 far superior to the others. I bought two templates I liked it so much. http://secondlifehosting.com BUT AGAIN NO control panel. I registerd that domain so I could use the template for http://2ndlife.biz it is a mirror BUT I have control panel with 2ndlife.biz with unlimited emails, sub domains etc etc.
  • WordPress will offer to host your domain however if it does you do not get s self hosted site with plugins. You are limited. I registered two so i could get the dot me addresses eCollege.me and hyperconnectivity.me its expensive too.

These sites are all well and good but they end up producing the same kind of web site. Always ask can I create sub domains and the important one EMAILS! You want to have full control over them. The sites above are a blog. REMEMBER A DOMAIN IS FOR A LONG TIME NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS ………hardy har har but you get my drift.

The Internet is not static. However you can be sure the generic top level domains, dot com, biz, info, net amd org are not going away. We have seen a major revolution in the programming language of the web, html5. I want a control panel to CONTROL my domain. I do not want someone else to control it. I want to control emails too.

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You Can get a free copy of Adobe Photoshop Creative Suite 2 Here when you create an Adobe account.

Thats about it you should be OK for now. You should get a Domain shouldn’t you?

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Digital Art

I was never very good at Art. At school I had all these brilliant ideas, my imagination flew, but when it came to putting pencil to paper, well even my stick men looked stupid. technology has always been a love of mine. At 5 years old my dad would bring me home instruments and magnets to play with. He worked in Smiths Industries making things like tachometers. I’m good at manipulating software. Ah but Photoshop I could never come to grips with. I did an online course and got the basics sorted but the more sophisticated stuff is beyond me.

However I can do a bit. Here is an attempt; This is a background i captured from the 3d world blue mars:

 

Then using Photoshop I captured avatars and removed their backgrounds and put them in and made this :

This is my first attempt at using Photoshop. i have a long way to go. Please right click on the pictures and View Image. They are very big. I have set up a gallery in sl called Don’t Panic. Here is the idea :

They get a website out of it too. It might just be a profile picture or it might be a whole scene. We will see. Meanwhile here is my best attempt so far :

 

What do you think?

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