Archive | May, 2008

Second Life: The New San Francisco?

30 May

When I first moved to San Francisco, I was expecting a mecca littered with open minds and interesting and collaborative ideas; that I’d have to cut my way through the creativity and activism that would naturally blanket the city like it’s oh so famous fog. Of course I was being naive. Every place where human beings live there live the problems of those human beings. There’s still violence, racism, poverty, prejudice and community divisions. But here we have hope I think. San Francisco is definitely a breeding ground for many new and wonderful things and a true melting pot of ideas and cultures.

I feel the same way about Second Life. I don’t believe that I’ve written about Second Life before in this blog, but I’ve been a resident for more than two years doing everything from event planning to building, design, photography and volunteering for non-profits. It is a place where you can pretty much do what you want, look like you want, explore different aspects of your personality or discover new ones and collaborate with people around the world in an immeasurable variety of ways. A good friend of mine has a child avatar (Marianne McCann) in Second Life, simply to create a wonderful childhood experience. She swims and plays, carries around a teddy bear and explores to her heart’s content. There’s been plenty of controversy about child avatars in Second Life, many finding it difficult to believe that their intentions are not inappropriate and harmful. And throughout all of that, I’ve been especially proud of my friend for keeping her child avatar.

A recent article on massively.com states that Linden Lab (the creator of Second Life) is not allowing child avatars to attend the Second Life anniversary event this year. If this is indeed true, it is indeed sad and perhaps it is fear of the possible repercussions that has prompted this decision. My thoughts? Stand up and continue to give a solid representation of what is good and creative in the world. Actions like this can make people feel disregarded, disrespected and persecuted.

I’m curious to see what happens…

Read the article on massively.com here.

EDIT: Linden Lab update: “All exhibits, in substance and form, are PG on Linden Land. Any Resident can submit an application to exhibit. A team of Lindens and Resident organizers will review the applications, and if accepted, builders can be in any avatar form they choose (provided they are within PG guidelines).”

Read More @: http://blog.secondlife.com/…b-birthday-expanded-and-new-submission-deadlines/

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Another Baby Step…

29 May

New York to Back Same-Sex Unions From Elsewhere

“Gov. David A. Paterson has directed all state agencies to begin to revise their policies and regulations to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions, like Massachusetts, California and Canada.”

Video: Mark Bittman: What’s wrong with what we eat

25 May

http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/263

A 20 minute video from the chef who wrote “How to Cook Everything”.

A Sign of the Times

14 May

I used to volunteer at a nonprofit in Oakland, CA and although I don’t get over there much at all anymore, I am still in touch with them and received an email about a recent and unfortunate event. I felt that it was important to share the sentiments expressed in this message.

Grand Avenue merchant latest target in robberies of Oakland businesses.
Uhuru Furniture & Collectibles calls for economic development instead of increased police as response.

On the afternoon of Sunday, May 4th, 2008, customers and staff at Uhuru Furniture & Collectibles on Grand Avenue experienced what several businesses in the area have experienced, a daytime robbery during open hours.

We recognize that this robbery, and the increased number of such robberies in Oakland, is taking place within the context of a sharp escalation in the already desperate poverty of Oakland’s black community.

Continue reading

Transgender Issues on NPR

9 May

I happen to hear a great story on NPR yesterday about one particular family with a young transgender child and learned that they’ve done a few pieces on this subject in the past couple days. It’s a subject that interests me and living in San Francisco, certainly an issue that comes up on a regular basis. And, even here in San Francisco, there is still violence and prejudice against the transgender community and more than a little confusion.

I hope these links are informative, interesting and enlightening!

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90247842

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90229789

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90289426

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90273278

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90234780

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgender_Day_of_Remembrance

Greenfield?

1 May

This morning I heard a story on NPR about an American business man who has plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in a plan to build a water park and resort in the city of Baghdad.It is difficult for me to describe what I felt when I heard this story. Though I can certainly see the need for development and jobs in Iraq, I can’t help but see images flashing in my mind. Poverty, droughts, food shortages, starvation, murder, global warming. I also wondered at this type of development as it seems to me that imposing western and American culture on the rest of the world seems to be one of the things that helped get us into this mess in the first place.

I’d love to get your opinions.

Listen:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90090656

Read:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article3802051.ece