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Moriash Moreau: My Second Life
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
News Brief
Just a quick note to catalog another few moments of my fifteen minutes of fame. I live for this stuff!

Thanks for the linkage, everyone!

Addendum, 3/7/07
Redaktisto Noble, intrepid reporter for SLNN, wrote a very nice article about me and the treadmill interface. The first part is kind of amusing. Redaktisto asked me to pitch the treadmill as if I were selling it. I think I went overboard just a tad. I'm glad he mentioned dDot's previous work. (I'd read about his bike interface before starting all this mess, and found out he'd also done a treadmill a few weeks after I rigged mine.) I've certainly never claimed to be the first. I know better than to claim to be the first at anything in Second Life! Probably just my own paranoia, but I always feel compelled to mention prior art when this comes up. Not that anyone has called me on it, but still.

In any case, as far as I know I am the only person in SL who is doing this now (dDot had to forgo the fitness equipment when he moved a while back), and I'd lay pretty heavy odds that I've logged in more miles than anyone else who has done it before. I guess persistence buys me a few geek points, anyway.

And I expect my regular readers (both of them) are sick of me rabbiting on about this treadmill thingy, so I'll give it a rest.
Monday, February 26, 2007
Daily Walk: 2007-02-26
Here are some interesting places I've found during my morning walks.

This isn't strictly SL related, but it does involve virtual reality, more or less. I went to a get-together at a friend's house, and ended up hurting my shoulder playing WiiSports tennis. There might be a geekier injury than that, but I think it'd somehow involve one-handed typing. My life is a comic book. Another guy (fellow SLer Throfofnir Balnarring) caught a loose Wii controller to the left temple, which left a rather impressive welt. And I believe there were some minor damages to window blinds, as well. If anyone tells you the wrist strap is unnecessary, they lie.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Language Barrier
Lately, I've been running into something kind of odd when talking to new German residents in SL. They keep asking me about flying, right after "hello." Here's the latest conversation, from earlier this evening:

New German Resident: YOU HAVE FLY [in all-caps]
Me: What?

This is the third conversation I've had about flying in as many days. The pattern is the same in each case. I'm standing around in the Garden, twiddling with something as usual, and a new resident (first a female, then later a male, and then another female) comes up and says "Hi." I answer, and then they ask me something about flying. "You do fly?" was another one. That one actually made me rotate my camera around and check the zipper on my jeans, before I realized the physical impossibility of my painted on fly being down. Another moment of immersion, I guess.

Anyway, I'm more than a bit puzzled about this. Is there some alternate meaning to the word "fly" in German? Or some kind of common mistranslation by English speaking Germans? Or perhaps some cultural predisposition to find the oft-taken-for-granted ability to fly in SL especially fascinating? (I would find that one pretty nifty, if it were true. We all take that for granted in SL: We. Can. Fly.) Has something new been added to the German-oriented welcome areas that would make newcomers want to ask passersby specifically about flying? (No idea what that would be.) Am I being propositioned for cybersex in some culturally unique fashion? (That'd be a first for me, in any language.) Or is there something about me in particular that inspires the question?

That last one kind of makes me wonder, really. Tateru Nino (name dropping!) was kind enough to try to assuage my burning curiosity by asking around amongst her more linguistically gifted contacts in SL, but the whole "fly" meme didn't ring any bells. The consensus was that it was broken English for "Have you flown?"

This seems like an odd thing to ask someone two sentences into an initial meeting, however. Unless, of course, there's something about me in particular. All three times, I was in the Garden, wearing my trademark T-shirt and my Transmet shades. Does one or the other have some connection to an airline, travel agency, drug (???), or something else in Germany that has to do with "flying?"

Anyone have any ideas? If so, please drop me a comment. This is really quite odd!
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Walking in the Relay for Life

Here's how I'll be walking in the 2007 Second Life Relay for Life. This is one of several projects planned by members of McDunnough's Relay Gang to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. More information coming soon!

If you're interested in making a donation, an in-world donation card can be found here (SLUrl link). Web-based donation methods will follow shortly. Watch this space. Thank you!

Addendum, 02-25-07
I've started a dedicated page for my fundraising efforts (possibly in addition to group efforts, as well) over at the Plywood Comic site.

More details on the treadmill interface can be found below:

Saturday, February 17, 2007
Relay for Life Kickoff
Just got back from the 2007 Relay for Life kickoff meeting and, I gotta tell ya', I'm stoked. This is going to rock. Their goal this year is to reach US$200,000 in donations. Honestly, I think that's aiming low. They achieved US$42K last year, with something like a tenth of the population. (I'm guessing from foggy memory. Something like that.) I guess we'll see!

Eventually, when things clear up a bit at work, I plan on making some tie-ins through Plywood and elsewhere. At the very least, I'll have a Plywood donation page and a Relay edition of the Plywood SL-edition book. I'm sure I'll be mentioning this again soon. In the meantime, donate to Relay for Life!

Addendum, 2/18/07
Well, just added IMs to the Garage of DOOM guilting players into making a donation if they enjoy the game. Also added pledge cards in prominent locations in and around the Garden of Mo. And added signs stating that all sales at Mo-Tech Industries will be donated to the Relay. (Maybe that will cover the cost of a few stamps or something.) Spent last night and earlier this afternoon taking footage for a promo film about the treadmill interface and how I'm using it in the Relay. I'll be cutting it together in the next couple of days, once I find an appropriate soundtrack. Then comes the Relay edition of the Plywood SL book, and the associated donation page at the website (once online donations are up and running).

Batteries to power! Turbines to speed! The Moriash Moreau Fundraising Machine is on the move!
Monday, February 12, 2007
Qarl's Cube
After seeing this comment in an NWN weekend forum, I had to take a look at Qarl Fizz's enormous cave system. It's quite an impressive project. Qarl was previously known for (among other things) creating the technically brilliant and beautiful Blimpco blimp flock (sadly out of order for the time being). I occasionally use the Blimpco project as an example of a benign use for self replication, as it uses a form of smart self-rep (in addition to evolutionary programming to improve each generation) to replenish the flock after blimps expired or were zotted by outside grid forces. I whiled away many a leisurely hour riding the fanciful contraptions, and passed out many a landmark to players old and new who were looking to tour the grid in style.

In any case, Qarl used a genetic algorithm (a concept of which I only have a sketchy layman's grasp) to generate a massive, sim-filling cube, riddled with labyrinthine passages. It's kind of Borg Cube meets Zork. "You are in a maze of twisting passages, all alike." I just spent a few hours wandering the place, but it's almost certain that I didn't see everything. Unfortunately, I seem to have left Ariadne's spool of thread in my other pants. And the trusty old right-hand rule (keep your right hand on the wall as you walk) doesn't work so well in three dimensions. Still, it was fun to get lost for a bit.

I look forward to seeing what Qarl has in store for the super-scalar construction. If you'd like to check it out, here's a direct SLurl link. Since it's a couple hundred meters above ground, and requires vertical movement, you'll need some form of flight assistance to effectively maneuver. I ended up whipping up a simple mouselook-driven mover attachment for the purpose. If you don't have a favorite flight assist, feel free to use this script. It's quite maneuverable, and has adjustable speed control, making it useful for flying in close quarters. Like, say, a 7 mile long cave complex. You never know when you might run across one of those.

A staring contest with a flock of iBall boxes (cross-eyed stereo image).

Monday, February 05, 2007
Daily Walk: 2007-02-05
Since I'm going to be light on real posts for the next few weeks, I thought I'd take the opportunity to finish up a little project I've had on the back burner. I've created a HUD to record SLurl locations and parcel names for locations on demand. During my morning walks (explained here, for those of you not already tired of hearing about it), I'm going to use the HUD to store interesting sights I run across. Every few days, I'll dump the HUD to e-mail (it generates the webpage for me already), and post the results here. Sometimes, I'll add commentary, and sometimes I'll just let the location speak for itself. This gives me a cheap way to keep my post count up, and perhaps it gives you, my loyal readers, a few nifty places to check out in SL. Win, win!

So, without further preamble, here's the first one.

Here are some interesting places I've found during my morning walks.

And, since I haven't done one of these in a while, I'll go ahead and post a stereo image of the cat sculpture from Zero Point. Note the multi-frame blur effect on the pigeon at the center. Nice, subtle effect that gives motion to the whole assembly. I don't know why I'm so enamoured of this one, which I'm sure most folks would consider one of the least impressive of the fantastic lot. Perhaps that's why. It's that much more difficult to do realism, and do it well, in SL. Or maybe I just like cats... Or dislike pigeons. In any case, do yourself a favor and visit sculpture gardens like Zero Point or Ramonia next time you're feeling burned out on SL. You'll be glad you did!

Just a quick notice of inactivity: This weblog is not dead, but it may be pretty sparsely updated for the next few weeks, due to work conflicts. Don't you hate it when real life interferes with the important things?

Saturday, February 03, 2007
Wave of Lag

Ran across an old video of the land contour mapper I mentioned a while back, so I decided to dress it up a bit. (Music is "Numerator," from Free Play Music.) As you can see, no responsible person would ever leave this thing running indefinitely. Still, it's kind of a pretty effect when Show Updates is enabled. A few screenshots of this process were submitted to Osprey Therian's UI Abstraction photography contest (currently on display in Grignano). They didn't win and, frankly, they looked pretty lame by comparison. Oh well. I never claimed to be an artiste'.
Two Things
Just a couple quick things. First, Plywood has officially kicked off again. Let's see how long I can keep it going before I run screaming for the hills, never to be seen again.

And, second, what's wrong with this picture (taken January 30, 2007)? It tickled me at the time, anyway. Yeah, I know, it's petty of me to pick on typos. But it's still amusing, given the subject matter.