Sometimes this Feels like Magic

This past week, Bjorlyn Loon and I set up a land bridge from the Science Friday island to my parcel on Space Island (the one with my exhibition about Lord Rosse’s giant telescopes). Now people can walk between the two, or at least see visually that they’re connected, thereby encouraging cross traffic.

Then I built some stone walls around the setup area for the tour. Signs point to the start of the tour, where other signs give step-by-step instructions on how to get set up to take the tour (because it requires them to have QuickTime installed, enabled and working).

I spent much of the week writing the scripts (software) for the flying carpet that takes visitors through The Earl and the Leviathan exhibition. It was one of those things where I thought I understood what was going on but then I’d go to test it and it wouldn’t behave as expected. Back to the thinking room!

On Monday, Desideria Stockton’s students showed off their final projects about feral cats, so I dropped by and checked them out. She invited all the SL educators. Each visitor could vote for just one. I thought they were pretty good for first SL projects.

Also on Monday, Cypress Rosewood had Enniv Zarf on his radio show. Enniv (Paul Kwo in RL) does improv piano. He mentioned a neat event he’d done where he watched an SL sculptor create a 3D model based on the music Enniv was playing, and Enniv would change his music based on what the sculptor was creating! I chatted with him a bit afterwards. He might be able to do music for one of my future projects. (I need musicians who can improvise backing music based on visuals – if that sounds like you then contact me!)

On Tuesday I got a magic lantern from my neighbor in Caledon Moors, Pyter Morgridge. A magic lantern is what they used to give slide shows back in the Victorian era: a candle inside a box shines through a slide and then some lenses focus the image on a screen. There used to be “projectionists” who’d travel from town to town giving magic lantern shows.

I’m using the magic lantern to show the opening slides at The Earl and the Leviathan. (Actually, I asked Pyter to make a modified version so that I can have finer control over the transitions.)

At the weekly NASA CoLab meeting on Tuesday, we learned that NASA Goddard (one of NASA’s centers) is ready to do something official in SL. They may have something you can visit by this summer.

On Thursday, the SciLands Senate got to tour some of the new things NOAA (the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) is doing in SL. Below is a picture of a model of their research vessel, the Okeanos Explorer.

On Friday I went to the MICA Journal Club hear George Djorgovski (from Caltech) talk about a recent paper he co-authored, trying out an idea that dark energy arises from vacuum fluctuations. Making very few assumptions, he calculated Omega_vacuum to be about 0.4, which is the right order of magnitude.

Over the weekend there were some scientific talks organized by SciArtMedia Sands to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Richard Feynman‘s birthday.

Apparently the days of me being practically the only guy organizing serious scientific talks in SL are really gone. And good riddance too!