Seven Healthy Ways to Cope in Crazy Times (…and Getting Donald Trump Banned from Hell in Second Life!)

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Photo by Elijah O’Donnell on Unsplash

It’s no secret that we are living in crazy times.

Gallup has been measuring the emotional health of people around the planet since 2005, and the polling company reports that global emotions hit at an all-time low in 2017:

“Collectively, the world is more stressed, worried, sad and in pain today than we’ve ever seen it,” Gallup’s managing editor, Mohamed S. Younis, said in a letter in the report.

“Globally there’s upheaval,” Molitor says. There’s migration crises (“and a lot of suffering involved in that,” she says), instability in government (with Brexit happening in Europe, infighting in the U.S., unrest in Turkey, crises in Yemen, and many other places), and dire climate warnings.

There’s a lot of uncertainty, which drives stress, worry, and all of the emotions that go along with that, she says. “And whether you’re politically aware of it or not, it’s kind of in the zeitgeist.”

Molitor says her patients (who are notably in most part middle and upper middle class individuals) are feeling very anxious, overwhelmed and helpless. “They are feeling under siege,” she says.

I’m not surprised. Frankly, I have been feeling a lot more stressed out, afraid, and angry than usual lately, and I know many of you feel the same. Is it just me, or is the world getting even crazier? It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even want to check the news anymore. And don’t even get me started about Donald Trump…

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Protester’s sign during Trump’s recent visit to the U.K.

Here are a few suggestions on how to cope in crazy, stressful times from the article:

  1. Get involved: Find a cause related to what’s driving your stress and unease and give back.
  2. Get educated: Particularly when it comes to the divisiveness that’s becoming synonymous with politics in the U.S. and elsewhere, be curious about others’ opinions rather than judging them immediately.
  3. Be grateful: Have gratitude for what you do have in your life and the things that you can count on — like the people you love and those who love you.
  4. Focus on what you can do: You’re certainly not going to be able to change everything that bothers you, but you likely can change some of it. Ask yourself what things can you do to feel more hopeful every day, and do them. (That doesn’t mean you get to completely ignore the negative things that happen in life, but you don’t need to dwell on them all the time.)
  5. Take care of you: Doing things like sleeping well, eating well, moving (it doesn’t have to be going to the gym), laughing and doing your laundry — taking care of your basic needs — these acts go a long way in helping you feel more in control and better able to deal with whatever challenges land on your plate.
  6. Make time for the people you care about: Social support is one of the number one ways to boost resiliency. Scores of research show being lonely worsens stress and worsens health outcomes, while being with and relating to others boosts positive emotions.
  7. Pay attention to what’s pushing your buttons: A big part of not letting those negative emotions getting the best of us is knowing what’s causing those negative feelings to begin with. If Twitter wars put you on edge, limit how much of that you take in, when you read it or whose rants you read.

Personally, I think it’s time I took an extended Trump news break…for my own sanity.


On a somewhat funnier note, my newly-created Donald Trump avatar has already been banned from his first sim in Second Life: the hellfire and eternal torment experience run by the Demon’s Forest group. It would appear that even Hell doesn’t want Donald hanging around!

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Donald is wearing:

Mesh head and body: styling details can be found in this blogpost (the cheapest of the three options, total cost L$498)

Devil horns, tail, and pitchfork: free gift by ~T&S~ from the SL Marketplace. All items are copy and modify (I needed to adjust the horns to fit the mesh head properly).

Red hellfire steam rising from his feet: free gift from <SIC> from the SL Marketplace

TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR: L$498

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Editorial: Fasten Your Seatbelts, It’s Going to Be a Bumpy Night!

Yesterday’s announcement that Sansar is moving to Steam was a big shock, but it should not have been so unexpected. It’s clear that Linden Lab is under increasing pressure to show a profit from Sansar, after plowing years of work into the platform without getting much back in return. They simply can’t keep relying on the profit from Second Life to build Sansar indefinitely. Eventually, Sansar has to pay its own way.

Some people will say (in fact, they are already saying) that Sansar is not yet fully-featured enough to be on Steam. High Fidelity made the mistake of putting its product up on Steam well before it was ready, and it got savaged in the user reviews. Is Linden Lab really ready to take this fateful step now, rather than wait another six months or a year to further polish the platform? Why the sudden pressure to do this now, before the end of this year?

What surprises me is how quickly and easily Linden Lab is jettisoning its SandeX exchange. The delicate and intricate balancing of the Sansar economy was something that LL staff put a lot of time, effort and energy into (even going so far as to create a subsidiary called Tilia, which focused on payments and the compliance work associated with operating virtual economies). All of that work, or at least a good chunk of it, gone.

Obviously, integration with Steam was considered to be a higher priority than the SandeX, which was considered a key component of Sansar. Which leads to the question: What other major changes to Sansar are going to be required before its launch on Steam? 

Yesterday’s announcement has probably raised more questions than answers. Several content creators have already announced on the official Sansar Discord channel that they are taking a break, cashing out their profits, and watching from the sidelines as all this plays out over the next few months. Which is exactly what Linden Lab doesn’t want.

And, of course, the even bigger question is: What happens if moving to Steam doesn’t bring a significantly larger audience to Sansar? (You could argue that High Fidelity’s launch on Steam has so far had very little impact on its usage levels, aside from the monthly spike of users attending regular stress testing events.)

As Bette Davis says, “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.” A bumpy night not only for Sansar, but for all the competing metaverse platforms in this overcrowded and uncertain marketplace.

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Mark my words; there are going to be winners and losers, and it will not be pretty. I predict that one or more of the blockchain-based virtual worlds will be among the first to fail, given the current grave state of the cryptocurrency markets, but really, anything can happen at this point.

Oh, and by the way, in response to those people talking about how Linden Lab tried—and failed—to get Second Life on Steam way back in 2012, Eliot, Sansar’s Community Manager, said on Discord today:

I also saw some people commenting that trying to get SL on Steam didn’t work out. Well we’ve learnt from that experience. The announcement we made comes after months of negotiation with Valve. We have an active dialogue with them on this :thumbsup:

So, it would appear that this move has been in the works for quite some time, and it’s not an impulsive decision by any means. But no matter how well they plan, it’s still going to be a bumpy ride. Stay tuned. And fasten your seatbelts!

Mozilla Hubs and Sketchfab Announce a Design Challenge: Create Your Own Clubhouse!

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Sketchfab and Mozilla Hubs are teaming up for a contest: design your own clubhouse! (Apparently, this is a trend in virtual world contests…)

Welcome to our new community contest! Once again we’ve joined up with the Mozilla crew to build virtual worlds. This time we’re exploring their new Hubs platform and populating it with new spaces and props.

The theme is ‘Clubhouse’ – this can be anything from a treehouse to a speakeasy, a space station to a super-secret gathering space at the bottom of the ocean. You’ll be challenged to design both the space as well as props for it so that other people can use them on Mozilla Hubs.

About Mozilla Hubs

Hubs is Mozilla’s new social 3D platform. It lets you meet friends, ‘voice talk’ to them, and decorate the space with any kind of content, including YouTube videos, images and, of course, Sketchfab models – just by visiting a link.

Give it a try now! Visit this room on Hubs, open a second window with downloadable Sketchfab models and just copy and paste the page URL for in any downloadable Sketchfab model to add it to your space.

The prizes are pretty sweet, too:

1st Place

  • $1,000 Amazon Gift Card
  • Oculus Go – If Amazon supports shipping in country ($200 gift card if not)
  • 1 year of Sketchfab PRO

2nd Place

  • $750 Amazon Gift Card
  • Oculus Go – If Amazon supports shipping in country ($200 gift card if not)
  • 6 months of Sketchfab PRO

3rd Place

  • $350 Amazon Gift Card
  • Oculus Go – If Amazon supports shipping in country ($200 gift card if not)
  • 3 months of Sketchfab PRO

10 Honorable Mentions

  • $50 Amazon Gift Card
  • 1 month of Sketchfab PRO

The contest deadline is Tuesday, November 27th, 2018. The complete list of contest details and rules can be found here.

Spatial: A Brief Introduction to Another Social Augmented Reality Platform

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Spatial is another social augmented reality (AR) platform with an emphasis on workplace collaboration:

According to their website:

Spatial’s mission is to empower people to be more connected, creative, and productive. Our first product transforms how people work. Organizations are increasingly distributed across offices and information doesn’t flow easily. Success depends on people working together. Spatial is the collective computing platform for organizations to unlock their productive and creative potential.

Among the companies testing out Spatial is Ford Motor Company:

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According to a press release from BusinessWire:

After two years in stealth, Spatial is launching its cross-reality collaboration platform that enables holographic teleportation through augmented reality, turning any room into a 3D workspace. With Spatial, users connect remotely and express ideas seamlessly using lifelike avatars, unlocking a new level of computing that is not confined by space. Spatial runs on various AR headsets including Microsoft HoloLens.

Spatial enables an entirely new way of working together and eliminates the need for video conferencing and work travel. Features include:

  • Remote presence: Feel like local and remote participants are in the same room with lifelike avatars.
  • Infinite workspace: Extend your workspace beyond the screen and seamlessly tie together content from all digital devices into an infinite space.
  • Collective knowledge work: Quickly visualize thoughts and ideas using Spatial’s voice-driven 3D web browser.
  • Accessible anywhere: Spatial works best with augmented or virtual reality headsets, but is also accessible via web and mobile browser.

Spatial’s cross-reality platform is being piloted by Ford X, a new incubator formed by Ford to unify its product teams working on mobility initiatives.

I guess Ford Motor Company has deep enough pockets to be able to afford the still-expensive augmented reality headsets required to use Spatial!