Saturday, February 27, 2010

Congratulations Team Canada

I don't know if they actually "own the platform" but the Woman's Hockey Team from Canada definately owned the celebration. Congrats Team Canada on pissing off your own Olympic Committee. You girls rock!

Naughty Sports Reporter Toy and I decided to commemorate your achievement with a celebration of our own.

Good luck, and congratulations to all the competitors in the Vancouver games. We love you!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Forest of Enchantment

The Forest of Enchantment is a really new BDSM friendly Romance area located in the sim Avant Hollow. As you can see from my picture here, it's a very pretty build. I assure you that there seem to be plenty of corners and cuddly areas. I didn't see an actual BDSM area but there is a crypt equipped with RLV enabled pilliths. No one was actually using them while I visited, but there was plenty of room. There's a mall too of course, with plenty of room if you want to open a store.

The picture here is textured and slightly enhanced in photoshop. Sorry I only took the one, maybe next time there will be more time.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Art 101 Assignment 6

This is the last of Art 101 assignments: "Freestyle!  Using raw materials and Gimp create three artistic pieces. Use whatever combination of filters and effects you want. This is your final exam."

Okay, Professor Outlander did insist that I could use any image programs I liked, and I have a copy of Painter 10 that I needed to practice with, so....
My original SL Photograph was taken in a place called *Secret Garden* on a sim called "Nude." Dispite the name, most folks there seemed to be dressed, and I was hit on by more boys there than I have been in quite a while. But I loved this shot, this sim and the way this one turned out. I used Painter almost exculsively (I think I tweeked the colors a little in Photoshop).  I used the underpainting technique and some color matching. The only thing I'm not crazy about it the amount of canvas texturing. The tutorial says to turn it way down, and I actually had. But in looking at it the next day, I wish that I had saved a copy before I applied that texture because I'd tone it down a lot more if I had.

For this piece I started to use Painter again, but I wasn't crazy about how it was coming out. So I brought the original and the Painter version into Photoshop and started playing with some of the technics from the earlier lessons. This has some of the "line drawing" lesson applied to it, and some of the Warhol concept, though I chose a different approach. Over all I really like this one.

The final  piece is pure GIMP again. I took a shot from an earlier project and played with it over and over using all the lessons, until I came up with this. Again it has a little bit of everything in it, but not exactly the way the tutorial called for it. I thought it was interesting how the color tiles had hardly any effect on the base of the statue, and on certain parts of the "skyscraper." I can't tell you why this happened, but I like the outcome.

Art 201 assignments are out at Hillcrest College, along with Art 101. It's easy enough to pick them up if you'd like to try your hand at this. And kinda fun too. You certainly don't need to invest it software since Gimp is a freeware program. I'd love to see your work.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Darkest... well maybe if you set to night... Africa

Today we’re exploring the heart of Virtual Africa.  The arid heat of the dark continent’s savanna is a welcome change from the piles of snow I’m experiencing in the Midwest.

My first stop is the Ranger Station. This is a good place to check in, get a feel for what’s available, and plan your safari. There are even private game drives available, should you need assistance, but I found the site very easy to navigate. In fact, teleporters will take you directly to the habitat you want to find.

I must admit, the first thing I wanted to see was the Elephants. The majestic dignity of these lovely animals is a sight not to be missed. There is a small herd of these imposing critters, including several adults and calves of various ages.

One of the quickest ways to get around the sim, and get an overview of all the different parts of Virtual Africa is by balloon. You get a birds eye look with a guided tour, and there’s room for up to three friends to join you.

The balloon narrator did warn me that hippos were notorious for killing humans in Africa, due to their stealth and speed. Well, I couldn’t just take their word for it, and had to ask if it were true. The representative of the hippopotamuses declined to comment.

Exploring the scorching grasslands turned out to be exhausting work, so I took a moment to relax with one of the locals. Virtual Africa is one of 4 sims operated by Uthango Social Investments, a South African not-for-profit company. Aside from the wildlife, which includes crocodile, giraffe, zebra, leopard, and my friends close personal friends the meerkat and warthog, Virtual Africa has a theater for shows and events, and many cuddle spots.

It’s easy to find Virtual Africa, it’s an Editor’s Pick in the Showcase section of Search Second Life. There’s just so much to see and do, you really shouldn’t miss it. Reporting for Naughty News, I'm Zimmi Warwick

Live From Caledon On Sea - The Blue Mermaid

In my personal blog, I promised a full report on my lovely Valentine's Day and I hope it was worth the wait. Reporting from Caledon On Sea with a little help from my friends, Professor Outladish presents: The Blue Mermaid.

First off I have to thank my two lovely loyal readers who assisited in this shoot.

Regan Finesmith will be the subject of the free poster given to loyal readers who also follow my in-world group (free to join, hint hint). She was chosen through a careful selection process involving asking for a volunteer and taking the first person to raise their hand. Let that be a lesson to aspiring reporters everywhere. All you have to do is seize the opportunity when it presents itself.

Io Guisse, my lovely assistant and Valentine's date just had the luck (good or bad, you be the judge) to end up losing her dress on stage with me during the Valentine's event.
 OK, so first the dry facts. The Blue Mermaid is a burlesque club in Caledon. Events are held Wednesdays at 7 and Sundays at 1. The owner, Hypatia Callisto and the DJ for the event, Icarus Ghost were both amazingly friendly. Io and I were made to feel right at home.

Its got a lovely atmosphere and is pleasantly risque by Victorian standards. Reporters and their dates can get naked on the stage, for example, without getting into trouble. I must admit this had a fair bit to do with my enjoyment of the evening. They also don't mind junior reporters taking a little impromptu champagne bath.
Now if you're like me, you've been to clubs all over SL. The formula tends to be very straight forward. There's a commercial area that vendors rent space in. That pays the bills for the club, which in turn generates the traffic for the vendors. Once you get there, there's a two hour themed event. Depending on the size of the club the prize for best in theme is somewhere between 250 and 1000 L. There are strippers and a DJ working for tips. Before the event, the place is empty. Two hours after the event starts, prizes are given out and everyone who works there packs up and goes home. Even when you win, you're left feeling vaguely used.

Not so the Blue Mermaid, my friends. The Valentine's Day dance was scheduled to start at 7 PM. Every time a group went home, another came in. When the DJ finally packed up to go home at midnight there were probably still a dozen people in the place. This, faithful readers, is a place that people come because they love it run by people who love it. There were plenty of dancers shedding their clothes but none were employees or doing it for the tips. I can't reccommend this place highly enough for the neo-Victorian, Steampunk, or just slightly naughty set.

The main room has several lovely features. There's a bar for dancing on. . .

and tables and couches to perform for a more intimate audience. . .
and that's just the main room. 
If your looking for other places to check out, The Blue Mermaid is part of the Caledon Adventure, as shown by the goblet next to your pleasantly distracted junior reporter.

Just step out front to the time machine. Flip the lever, pick a destination, have a seat and you'll be whisked away to another Caledon Adventure location of your choice. Don't do it yet, though. You'll miss the joy of the Mermaid's secluded back rooms.
The first of these isn't so much a back room as a top room. When things get crowded down below, you can head up the staris to the balcony level. Its perfect for watching the Caledonian antics, as a dance overflow area or for getting a little closer to an adoring fan.

From there you should be able to easily find the other back rooms, complete with a comfy couch, another lap dance chair and an absolutely lovely rug in front of the fireplace.

Unfortunately, this is the point where my lovely volunteer had to leave. It was a great shoot, though and very. . . satisfying off camera. 

Live from The Blue Mermaid in Caledon On Sea, this is Professor Outlandish, sleeping the sleep of the just.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Outlandish Elections!

That's right, noble readers, junior reporter Professor Outlandish is running for mayor of Hard Alley!

Of course every Mayoral candidate needs a platform, so here it is.

The Outlandish Party Platform:

1. Too much money is being spent on punitivie enforcement. Less cops on the street and more money to edutaction!
    A. This means making Hard Alley Reform School the best institution of its kind in the region.
    B. Additional money should go to vocational training for the Alley's most important careers: hooker, dancer, wage slave and freelance security professionals.

2. The public needs to know what's going on. Expect regular reports from the mayor's office on CMNF Naughty News.
I think you'll find my work there says more than any platform could.

3. Open door policy. If elected I will mainain regular office hours where I pretend to listen to the concerns of all citizens. Such concerns will be prioritized according to the amount of income they generate.

4. A dead sexy mayor who's not afraid to flaunt it!

The election will run all day on Feb 20th. Vote early, vote often and expect frequent news updates.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

CMNF Naughty News. Live From The White House

I guess my CNN report caught someone's attention. Words can't describe my shock and honor at being invited to do my next report live from our Nation's Capital at no less prestigious location than the White House.Unfortunately everything that could go wrong for my camera elves did. We still got some good material but there will be a lot of outtakes on my personal blog this time.

Air Force One was down for repairs but I was met at Reagan National by the Presidential helicopter. I figured I needed to dress a little more formally for this report than the last one, so I went with silk gloves and stockings. No one complained. I promise you the Marines were saluting with more than just their right hands.

I'm not sure how well known it is but there are actually three identical choppers. All three fly at the same time for security, since no one can know for sure which one the President is on. We grabbed this quick shot while waiting for our Secret Service Escort. The fellow on the left there was my personal Secret Service Agent for the day, Steve. Keep an eye on him, you'll be seeing a lot of him in this report. Steve spent the entire day keeping an eye on me. I even handed him the camera for the last shot.
After disembarking I was whisked to the security station for a mandatory once over. Since there weren't many places to hide anything, I got through with a quick grope. . .er. . .pat down from the female agent seen here. I think her name was Stephanie. She was very professional. . .on camera, but I'm looking forward to a quiet drink with her the next time I'm in DC.
 My next stop was the President's office. The President has a lot of offices. This isn't the Oval Office but one near the press room. I was happily filling out all the bureaucratic forms that Steve needed to clear me for all access when Barrack "Barry" Obama himself dropped by! He couldn't stay for long and I wasn't in a hurry to get him into a scandal of Clintonian proportions but we had a chance to shake hands before Steve rushed me off. . .
. . . to the press room! This may have been the ultimate honor of the entire trip. Imagine, a junior reporter like me delivering an official press briefing for the White House! I'll spare you most of the gory details, or at least save them for the next section. Suffice it to say the press was much easier on me than they usually are on the White House Press Secretary. Oh, and that's Steve again on the far right.
 Outside I got to give basically the same speech to the general public on the White House lawn. As you can see in the background, they wanted me to promote the Bush/Clinton Haiti relief fund. So I am. Go by the White House or Google it. Haiti's always been notorious for corrupt government, rampant violence and one of the worst economies in the world. This disaster has ironically given them a new chance. To rebuild the country, the government is actually going to have to stand and deliver. A Haiti that works sounds as impossible as the fall of the Iron Curtain used to. 'nuff said.
 After a long day of briefing the press, Steve took me around to see the other sites. This is where my camera gnomes really fell asleep. Not pictured here are the famous ballroom, the under repair Air Force One, the limo fleet and a few other things. On the other hand, I did get to sit in THE Chair. The Oval Office, this desk, this chair are arguably the seat of power for both America and the world. Ok. . .I'd argue not the world but I wanted to make sure I didn't give the Fox News fans anything to crucify me for.
 Plus the obligatory close-up.
Of course no tour of the White House is complete without a stop at the Lincoln Bedroom. Sure, Lincoln never slept here but I just had to have a look at an 8'x6' white blanketed bed. By now my photography gnomes were already in the wlefare line, so I handed off the camera to Steve. As you can see, the Victorian furnishings reaaly are all they're cracked up to be. Personally, though, I needed a closer look.

 What a way to end my day. Live from the White House, this is Professor Outlandish, thinking of you.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Art 101 Assingments 3, 4 and 5

Hey it took longer than I expected but here's a little more from Professor Outlander's Art 101 class.

As you may remember, this is a class in Image Manipulation and focuses on the using the free software GIMP. Our third assignment was to take an SL photo and reduce it to a more sketch-like image. The tutorial for this is here:  It's not a bad tutorial either.  Considering how often I see ads for "cartoonifying" a photograph, it's not a bad skill to have either.

My first attempt was taken of ladies at the Garden of Evil. There will be a whole story on that place soon. In the mean time, I wasn't really overjoyed with my results and decided to have a go at a self portrait or two.
I tried again and came up with this one. Much better in my opinion, and I turned it in as my homework. I think the program did really well in reducing this to an almost line art image. There is some subtle shading but not nearly so much as in that first. It was a studio shot and I think it turned out great.
But just to show that not every studio shot turns out perfect either, I'm not really happy at all with this one. It may be the pose, or some of the odd shading in the neck, but I just don't like this one as much. If I needed this one I'd be taking it into Photoshop for some serious adjustment myself.
Assignment 4 went onward upward and a little retro. You can read the tutorial here:  Andy Warhol may be best known for saying "Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes," but his print making and pop art left an indelible mark on America. His bold use of color and repetition is almost immediately recognizable.
This assignment isn't so much about stealing Uncle Andy's work as it is some very basic image manipulation. Done correctly you will end up with a complicated project, but one you understand and can still work with. I played with the zoom on the SL camera some to make sure I got a good look at the Stiletto Moody shoes.

Assignment 5 was as follows, by "now you should know Gimp well enough. Using filters (artistic effects) convert your raw material to an oil painting." This is the part that's not safe for work. It's actually a studio shot with a studio background. We had some fun setting it up, but had to avoid taking pictures of his penis. I won't tell you which of the major manufacturers it came from but I will say it didn't photograph well. My poor model had to go out a research more realistic prims after this shoot.

The last assignment for Art 101 involved making 3 original works as a final exam (hopefully using what you've learned). But that's for another time.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

New Studio Sneak Preview

Max has been hard at work (with a little help from me) putting up a studio in his workshop. Yes, he used to make prims in this space. The first thing he made was this anchor desk, nicely transparent for the CMNF News team.

So I guess the big news this weekend was the game.  Lets see here, I'm reading from the wire service that New Orleans won, heh heh, I guess the boys did a heck of a job, eh Mr. President?
Of course the rest of the country is covered in about two feet of snow, with temperaturs in the zero to 10 range and more snow headed in this week.
To me, that means it's a good day to stay inside. I hope you've enjoyed this sneak peak at our new Naught News Studio. Reporting for the Bedroom Sports Team, I.... I.... AYE!...... ah..... I'm Zimmi Warwick.

Outlandish News: Reporting Live From CNN Headquarters

Following in the footsteps of my inspiration Zimmi Warwick, I'm off on the trail of hard hitting Second Life Journalism. Where better to start a career in the news than the place more Americans get their news, CNN?

That's right, noble readers, CNN has their own island specially dedicated to iReporters in Second Life. As the sign says, its unedited, unfiltered news. So I guess they won't mind if I grab their branded gear and wear it for my report. At the signs (shown below) you, too, can get your very own CNN microphone, ballcap, press pass and reporting pose. For the more. . .*ahem*. . .serious journalists, there's also information on how to become an iReporter. You, too, can cover Second Life for CNN without pay, all while maintaining no rights to your stories if they make the real news.

Having cleared my first hurdle in becoming a serious naked reporter it was on to the newsroom. I realize that most reporters prefer to sit behind the desk to laying on it. You really should try it, though, if you get the chance. They're more comfortable than they look. Everywhere you go, CNN is kind enough to remind you that iReport is unedited and unfiltered.
If that's not an invitation to a little naked reportage, I don't know what is. Now right above me is a lovely piece of work that I just couldn't get in frame. So here's a separate shot of your second favorite naughty reporter (after Zimmi) with the iReport camera.

I should take a little aside to note that I only ever saw one person at CNN HQ besides myself. There's a weekly briefing at 2PM SLT and I imagine that's the only time it sees much use. Serious reporters should probably stop by this Mature sim then.The briefing is held in the exceptionally lovely amphitheater as seen here. . .

You would think that this is it. They have recruiting tools, a news room and a press conference area. What else could the world premier news network possibly need? Well it turns out that the CNN news hub is packed with other fun things. Right nearby is a drive-in, complete with classic cars where you can watch CNN.

Or just sit back and unwind from a long day of reporting.Some of these cars are less than perfectly friendly and I got launched out of a good few before finding places to settle on these two. Still, there's something magical about the drive-in. Its the ultimate expression of car culture and disproportionately responsible for the conceptions of Generation X.
Once you've had your fill of drive-in news you can wander the various nature spots filled with gazebos, a mountain to climb and a family of happy deer. Mr. Deer told me that he is happy to be on the CNN reservation because its the only place in Atlanta that he's not in danger of being shot or run over. Seen behind us is the aforementioned mountain with a broken hang gliding experience at the top. Until they fix it, don't bother.
Well, it has been a long day of of reporting on reporting. Its a favorite passtime of the media but it can be draining after a while. Ready for a little break I headed over to the lake front coffeehouse. This place has a real war correspondent feel to it. It could be in any little third world country with its hardwood finish and folding chairs. The coffee's good, though.

Once again, I have to thank CNN for posting tacit permission to do this article in a clearly visible place. So, properly relaxed and having been all over the sim, it was about time to call it a day. I couldn't go back to my apartment all sweaty from my assignment, though. The bright lights and all the running around really build turn up the body heat. While I do love getting sweaty, I hate to leave an assigment smelling like I've just come from the cast of Survivor. Fortunately, right back near where I began, the lovely people of CNN were kind enough to provide somewhere to grab a quick shower before heading off camera.

Until next time, noble readers, I'm Professor Outlandish and this is the Outlandish News.