Saturday, February 28, 2015

Great Second Life Destinations: Pandora Box of Dreams Celebrates the Season of the Sakura

 


The arrival of beautiful pink petals of the Japanese Sakura, or Cherry Blossom Tree, celebrate the arrival of Spring around the world. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Sakura leaves arrive  in their native Japan and throughout the Northern Hemisphere from mid-March to mid-April. The tree has served as a main goodwill ambassador for the nation of Japan which has donated saplings around the world. Washington D.C., which first received hundreds of Sakura from Japan in 1912, now has thousands which line the monument -filled Tidal Basin along the Potomac and celebrates the arrival of Spring with a month-long Cherry Blossom Festival, which opens with a huge fireworks display.


Walk through the curtain once you arrive
The Japanese-themed Pandora Box of Dreams celebrates the Sakura with one of the nicest natural landscapes in Second Life. Arrival at the destination places you high up in an atmospheric skybox, walk through the gauze curtains to the room which contains a fanciful bed which is actually a teleport to the earth below. One you arrive, you will find a landscape full of a few ornamental structures like the red gates above, and other assorted ruins and constructions.  Walk around the island, and other the bridges at different sky settings to catch not only the tree blossoms, but floating lanterns which dot to the surface of the water and float in the sky. Catch a good look, for this is a Springtime Dream-- and one that will put in the mood for warm days ahead of you reside in colder climes.


To visit this highly recommended destination:
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Diamond%20bay/181/141/2001


The bed is a teleport to the Sakura-filled landscape below

Links:

Flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/pandora_box_of_dreams/

Pandora Box of Dreams is currently a Second Life Destination Guide Editors' Pick. You can check out other recommended destinations to visit here:
http://secondlife.com/destinations/editor




To see more blog coverage and photography:

Sannita Cortes:
http://sannissl.blogspot.de/2015/02/pandora-box-of-dreams-dream-001-dreams.html

Honour McMillan:
https://honourmcmillan.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/finding-an-elusive-spring-in-second-life/

World of Yana:
http://yana.slmame.com/e1505862.html















Friday, February 27, 2015

Great Second Life Art Installations: NaTaS Janus & Friends- Entropy 2 - Three, and Soon to be Five Great Installations at LEA 28


Blue


Note:  Another attraction has opened at Entropy 2 - Fast Food Hell. You can catch my review here:
http://www.eddihaskell.com/2015/06/great-second-life-destinations-watch.html

NaTaS Janus and friends are building Entropy 2 at LEA 28, which will be four individual art installations and a very interesting urban-themed gift shop when completed. Although two art installations are not yet complete, I visited and met with NaTaS who said that visitors are welcome to see the open areas.

The arrival area is shown below. You can visit Blue (the green hued images above and below), Cliché (the black and white images immediately below), and the urban themed Gift Shop, where you can pick up a large variety of really cool freebies.

Make sure to visit the interior of the buildings in the gift shop area to see some very well done interior spaces. I especially liked the Absinthe Bar with its beautiful emerald light just like the famous liquor itself.

The doors are teleports to the individual installations.  To visit:

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA28/147/104/1062


Arrival Area

To find our more about the Linden Endowment for the Arts (LEA):
http://lindenarts.blogspot.com/

NaTaS has an interesting store on the Second Life Marketplace:
:https://marketplace.secondlife.com/stores/24837?id=24837


Cliché





Gift Shop






Blue




This animated GIF from the Blue installation was made from 18 individual frames at gifmaker.me


Eddihaskell.com URL is Not Working Right Now


UPDATE:  www.eddihaskell.com is working now. Thanks for your patience. (at 3:13 PM on February 27).



If you are trying to reach this blog through www.eddihaskell.com, you are probably getting this error.

This is because I need to reconcile my DNS and my nameservers with my host provider, Dynadot,

It might take another 12 - 24  hours to fix this.

In the meantime, www.eddihaskell.blogspot.com, the alternative blog address,  is working just fine.

Sorry for the inconvenience!


Breaking News! Google Blogger Reverses Their Policy on Adult Content Blogs -- Censorship Loses & Freedom Wins!



Just In From Google Blogger -- Freedom Wins!  The Adult Content Policy Is Reversed!

Hello everyone,

This week, we announced a change to Blogger’s porn policy. We’ve had a ton of feedback, in particular about the introduction of a retroactive change (some people have had accounts for 10+ years), but also about the negative impact on individuals who post sexually explicit content to express their identities. So rather than implement this change, we’ve decided to step up enforcement around our existing policy prohibiting commercial porn.

Blog owners should continue to mark any blogs containing sexually explicit content as “adult” so that they can be placed behind an “adult content” warning page.

Bloggers whose content is consistent with this and other policies do not need to make any changes to their blogs.

Thank you for your continued feedback.

The Blogger Team

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Eddihaskell.com Will Be Moving To Wordlpress Within Three Weeks -- You Can See My Wordpress Blog Here



Update on March 8, 2015 -- I have decided not to move to Wordpress for the time being, since Google has since rescinded their restrictive content policy-

Eddi Haskell


At some point over the next three weeks, I will be leaving Google Blogger and moving over to Wordpress.  Google's new no mature content policy has prompted this. This policy puts LGBT Bloggers under additional scrutiny -- anything vaguely sexual may earn you an adult rating from Google simply because worldwide readers are not as open as those in the USA and other area.

You can see what my blog may look like here -- I am experimenting with the Hemingway format, but may decide on another. I have republished today's post here:

https://eddihaskell.wordpress.com/

The Wordpress address is temporary until I make the move and use eddihaskell.com as my only blogging address.

My Blogger address here, www.eddihaskell.blogspot.com, will either terminate on March 23, or stay up and be pointed to my new Wordpress Blog.

What I have yet to decide is if I will publish on Wordlpress.com, an ad supported platform, or move over to my own hosting provider (this is paid) and publish a WordPress Blog there with Wordpress.org. I may make this a two-step process. Whatever I decide, eddihaskell.com will be my only blogging address once I make the switch.

Wordpress.com is not that complicated, I urge everyone publishing on Blogger who is considering a move to try it.

Note:  Wordpress.com allows adult content.  You can see their policy here. I do not think they will change this as Google has, but if you are concerned about this, consider a Wordpress.org blog on a provider such as HostGator -- this will cost a small amount each month. 

You can see Wordpress.com's mature policy here:
https://en.support.wordpress.com/mature-content/

For now, please continue to check back here for our most recent posts.

I will keep you up to date on the move.

To the future,

Eddi Haskell (and Ryce Skytower)


Great Second Life Destinations: Dacotah Longfall's Jacob's Pond Is Now Inspired By The Magnificentmost ss Black Hills of South Dakota



The Black Hills of South Dakota are one of the most scenic and visit parts of the United States. Sharp mountains and crystal blue lakes fill an area the size of the State of Connecticut. Rugged conifer and hardwood trees, and herds of buffalo and other wildlife add to the beauty of the region. The most famous site in the Black Hills is Mount Rushmore, sculpted with four colossal heads of great Presidents of the United States taking 400 artists and other workers 14 years to build. This is truly a destination worthy of a virtual Second Life region.




Lucky for us, Dacotah Longfall's new rendition of  The Pine's at Jacob's Pond, a favorite destination of bloggers and photographers is inspired by the Black Hills. Although there is no Mount Rushmore, the lakes, hills, buffalo herds, and masses of forest are all here. The mass plantings of trees and flowering plants, which give this destination so much of its character, are naturally done without any repetitive symmetry. A rugged path winds through the region and surprises at every turn. This is the fourth rendition of Dacotah;s creation that I have photographed and highly recommend that you visit.

SLurl: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Jacob/128/128/21




To see my coverage of Jacob's Pond:

http://eddihaskell.blogspot.com/2014/12/great-second-life-destinations-winter.html

http://eddihaskell.blogspot.com/2014/10/autumn-foliage-week-2014-fall-colors-at.html

http://eddihaskell.blogspot.com/2014/03/great-second-life-destinations-pines-at.html




To see more blog coverage:

Inara Pey:
https://modemworld.wordpress.com/2015/02/18/of-spring-hikes-through-second-life/

Bitacora:
http://bitacora-viajera.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/the-pines-at-jacobs-pond-spring.html












Ryce Skytower and Dacotah Longfall


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Great Second Life Destinations: Visit the Swedish Coast at Ansgar`s Island




The fresh cool air of the Baltic Sea blows over Ansgar's Island, which is inspired by the many archipelagos off the Swedish coast. I enjoy quality of light whenever I travel, and nothing in real life has impressed me as much as bright blues of the sea and sky in the summer months of Sweden. The coastal hills and medieval ruins here, together with a very pretty church with painted ceilings and walls makes this destination a stand-out. I particularly liked the interiors of the houses and structures here, so make sure to take a peak inside when you visit. Highly recommended.

To visit:
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Night%20Screams/58/69/22

Website:
https://ansgarisland.wordpress.com/





To see my recent photography from MadPea Island, another Baltic-influenced coastal atchipelago:
http://eddihaskell.blogspot.com/2015/02/great-second-life-destinations-madpeas.html


To see my photography from another Scandinavian-influenced island, Frisland:

Summer 2014:
http://eddihaskell.blogspot.com/2014/04/great-second-life-destinations-frisland.html

Autumn 2014:
http://eddihaskell.blogspot.com/2014/10/autumn-foliage-week-2014-frisland.html

Winter 2014::
http://eddihaskell.blogspot.com/2014/12/great-second-life-destinations-frisland.html



For more blog coverage and photography from Ansgar's Island, check out the  two-part coverage in Pearl Grey's blog Million Happy Endings:

Part 1:
https://millionhappyendings.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/ansgarso-1/

Part 2:
https://millionhappyendings.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/ansgarso-2/












Update on Google Blogger New Adult Content Policy

Link to Article at ZD Net



This post concerns anyone who uses Google Blogger to publish their blog, not general readers- unless you are interested in content censorship issues.

Background

Google announced yesterday, in an unexpected manner, that any blog that uses the Google Blogger platform, and that has "sexually explicit" or "nude" content will be removed from public access on March 23, 2015. They claim only "pornographic blogs" will be affected.  This has turned into a big issue with censorship implications and is being covered in worldwide media.

My two blogs are affected. Ryce Skytower's blog, which has explicit adult content, has published its last post yesterday.  There is a good chance Ryce's blog will come down.  I am not yet sure about this blog -- Google assigned this blog an adult rating in late December without notifying me, and it seems I cannot have this removed. eddihaskell.com will continue after March 23 -- on another platform if necessary if this blog is removed from public circulation

I have found some additional information out today about this:

1. Showing male buttocks may generate an adult rating from Google. Also, showing breasts through gauzy fabric may now do the same. It is very subjective. Much depends on the intended audience for a blog and accompanying text. There is no difference between avatar and human nudity as far as Google is concerned. Google is claiming only "pornographic" blogs are affected. It is yet to be seen if this will be the case.

2. "Dirty Stories" and suggestive text from LGBT and other blogs that are "alternatively sexual" may generate an adult content warning. Simply mentioning LGBT or a similar term in your blog's name may be enough to have you declared adult.

3. ZD Net, the #1 news source for high technology, reported that  LGBT blogs, and any blog that discusses "alternative form of sexuality" will be placed under additional scrutiny. Remember, what is "tame" in the USA -- such as two men kissing -- may be considered pornographic in Saudi Arabia.

4. Blogger support, which seems very surprised by this, is telling people that not every adult rated blog will be affected, and that there will be an appeals process. However, if over 1 million blogs want to  be reviewed, it is obvious that any appeals process will take a long time.

My recommendations:

1. If you publish a Blogger blog that is not now rated adult, either voluntarily or through Google placement (as this blog is) you probably do not need to worry.  It is  unlikely Google Blogger will be taking down regular blogs if they have left you alone to date, even if you received an email from Google Blogger.

2. Realize that if you publish an LGBT blog, or blog that is "alternatively sexual" you are under additional scrutiny.

3. If Google Blogger, as in this blog's case, has given you an adult rating and sign-in screen, you should assume your blog may be taken down on March 23.  If you are showing overt pornography, it will be - reports conflict on how strict Google is going to be.  Make sure to download your blogger  templates and photographs on your hard drive. This web site gives details on how to do this:

http://googlebloggerclosesgayblogs.blogspot.com/p/how-to.html

4. If you now have an adult blog, try to get rid of offending content -- if you can -- and set your blog to general. Before you do this, you need to test if Blogger will allow you to get rid of your adult rating. If you have published less than 300 posts, and if only 10% of your posts are adult, it may be worth the effort.

5. Google may change course and drop this policy by March 23. The outcry is bad out there, and people are sensitive about censorship. I actually predict that this will happen, with Google saving face by announcing new publishing restrictions for new blogs.

Best Regards, Eddi Haskell (and Ryce Skytower).

Ryce Skytower's Blog Publishes Its Last Post. The Future of This Blog Is To Be Determined.

The Last Post At Ryce's Blog

I just published this post over at Ryce's blog, which was set up for adult content- and which will be coming down on March 23 unless Google changes its restrictive content policy. The future of this blog remains in question -- we need to see what Google does after March 23, and if we need to move to a new publishing platform. -  but eddihaskell.com will continue in one form or another.

Thanks again for all your support,

Eddi Haskell (and Ryce Skytower)



You can see the last post in Ryce's blog here:

http://ryceskytower.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-end-of-journey-this-is-our-last-post.html




Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Is Google Declaring War On LGBT Bloggers? It Sure Looks That Way!

From http://googlebloggerclosesgayblogs.blogspot.com/

It appears that Google Blogger is discriminating against LGBT Bloggers. In fact, it is a purge that is worthy of the dark ages.

Yesterday, Google sent emails to any blog owner that uses the Google Blogger service with an adult rating that unless all sexually explicit and graphically nude content was removed, blogs would not longer be made available for public viewing after March 23.

My adult rated blog, ryceskytower.blogspot.com, will almost certianly come down on March 23.
This is too be expected, since this blog was specifically started as a place for me to post adult content. I cannot go through 1,000 posts and take down every nude image as Google suggests.

But this is only half the story.

Apparently LGBT oriented blogs are being specifically targeted. This blog is one of them.

This blog does not publish sexually explicit or mature content but is quite open about appealing to an LGBT audience in Second Life. Although most of the content here is general and covers Second Life destinations, I do occasionally run photography of the LGBT club scene in Second Life and feature other non-sexual photography for LGBT audiences.

In late December, and without notifying me, Google assigned this blog an adult rating. I could not figure out why -- and attempts to contact Google were rebuffed.  It has cut pageviews down 40% here since we are now invisible in search.

It now seems that merely having LGBT content may get this blog removed after March 23.

The prestigious Ziff Davis News Service confirms this. LGBT is marked as a primary targeted category.  Look at the very first category -- LGBT because it is "outsider" sexuality!

Currently, Blogger blogs marked as "adult" include LGBT and "outsider sexuality" diaries, erotic writers, transgender activists, romance book editors and reviewers, sex toy reviewers, art nude photographers, film-makers, artists such as painters and comic illustrators, text-only fiction writers, sex news and porn gossip writers, LGBT sex activism, sex education and information outlets, fetish fashion, feminist porn blogs, and much, much more.

Upon checking the web tonight, other LGBT bloggers who are using Google's platform are reporting the same treatment.

The Google Gay Blog Kill Number 4651 and Growing!

There is even a web site that is listing over 4600 blogs with LGBT content that have been shut down by Google in the past few weeks. Although many are overtly sexual, many are not.

http://googlebloggerclosesgayblogs.blogspot.com/

I really hope this is not true.  But for now, I expect that this blog in its current form with not be published after March 23, and that I will need to migrate to a new platform.

I pray that Google in its wanting to make their blogging platform as non objectionable as possible is not declaring war on LGBT Bloggers by refusing to publish their content. We have come to far to go back to this treatment.


Google Blogger;s New Policy?

UPDATE HERE:

http://eddihaskell.blogspot.com/2015/02/update-on-google-blogger-new-adult.html