CGVR, a member of the RyanSchultz.com Discord server (now over 700 members strong, hailing from any and every metaverse platform!) shared the following two-hour video presentation with me, and I wanted to share it with my readers:
This Birds of a Feather is for attendees interested in the dance scene, communities and clubs in VRChat — including but not limited to “Calibrate”, “Club Poseidon”, “Club Zodiac”, “VRDancing”, “VR Dance Academy”, “VRPD”. We will talk about experiences with virtual reality dancers, what to make sure of when dancing in VR, how is it different from the real world, what are the pros and cons, and perhaps also a dance performance. The session is hosted and funded from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 101017779 (CAROUSEL+).
The State Funeral of Her Majesty The Queen will take place at Westminster Abbey on Monday 19th September at 11:00 a.m. BST (here’s a guide from the BBC which outlines all the events from today leading up the funeral). If I were a Londoner, I suspect I would be getting away from the city to avoid the throngs of visitors who want to witness such a historical event. However, for those of us who prefer to stay away from the crowds, virtual worlds such as Second Life (which has always had a strong British community) offer another way to mark the occasion.
Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain [has] died…The reaction in Second Life has already started. At London City, a memorial was set up. It included a British flag at half staff, along with a crown on a pedestal with a flame at the base, a guestbook with candles, and three pictures that gave a slide-show of Queen Elizabeth over the years.
So I decided to pop into London City (website), a region of six sims which offers residential and business rentals, and has been a welcoming region for people new to Second Life for many years now. As you can see by the green dots indicating avatars on this map, it’s busy 24/7/365! People are commiserating with each other via both text and voice chat (I usually have voice chat turned off on my viewer; it’s much more common for avatars to use text chat to talk with each other in SL).
There are three large signs, each with a slideshow of images from the Queen’s life, a wreath, and a memorial flame.
Next to a set of votive candles (you can light one simply by clicking on it), there is a book of condolence which, if you click on it, you can add a message:
Nearby is a box where you can pick up a free memorial ribbon for your avatar to wear:
Like me, you may wish to come to London City, sign the book of condolence, and chat with other Second Life users around the world about the life and accomplishments of the Queen. Please check the official London City blog for updates on news and events in the region during this time of mourning.
I have been blogging, off and on, for twenty years now, and in that time I have used just about every kind of blogging software imaginable. In the 2000s, I tinkered a bit with Blogger and LiveJournal, and for a couple of years I maintained a personal blog using the Movable Type software, really getting into the customization of it. From June 2012 to February 2014, I wrote a Blogspot blog about a metaverse platform called Cloud Party, called the Cloud Party Bugle (sadly, Yahoo! acquihired the company making Cloud Party, and ended the project).
In 2017, when I started writing a new blog called the Sansar Newsblog, I decided to go with WordPress. There are actually two WordPress services. WordPress.com is a service that helps you build a website using the WordPress software with managed hosting, while WordPress.org is the source where you can download the software itself, which you can use to build and maintain a website on your own. I chose the managed hosting option and, by and large, I have been quite happy with my decision.
In February 2018, I renamed my blog to RyanSchultz.com, using a domain name I had purchased a decade earlier. One advantage of naming your blog after yourself is that, no matter what tangents I might head off in, I am always on brand! 😉
WordPress offers dozens of professionally-designed site templates, and I chose the clean and uncluttered look called Twenty Fifteen:
However yesterday, much to my dismay, I loaded up the RyanSchultz.com blog in my FireFox browser to see this monstrosity (see below). All of my serif fonts had been changed to sans serif, and even worse, my main blog text was rendered so small as to be almost unreadable! AAAAARGH!!!
In a panic, I rapidly checked how my blog looked on other devices and in other browsers. What is confounding me is that it only appears to be happening on my work computer; it displays correctly in the FireFox browser on my iPhone and iPad, and it also displays correctly when I use the Chrome browser on my work PC. Even weirder, when I go into edit mode on a particular blogpost, it displays properly, too!
This problem just popped up out of the blue, I have no idea what is going on, and I am NOT a happy camper. Yesterday afternoon, I did a quick text chat with WordPress.com tech support to see if they could troubleshoot the problem, but September is a very busy month for me and I had to log off and tend to more pressing matters than font display issues! They suggested updating FireFox to the latest version and I did—but it still didn’t fix my problem.
If all else fails, I might decide to drop the Twenty Fifteen theme and pick a different theme for my blog. After five years, this might be my sign from the universe to change things up a bit!
So I apologize if your view of my blog looks a bit wonky today. I am aware of the problem and I am trying to fix it! If you do see what I see in the second picture above, could you please drop me a line and let me know? Thanks!
UPDATE 8:44 a.m.: And, as mysteriously as the problem popped up, it now appears to be fixed! But please drop a comment or ping me on the RyanSchultz.com Discord if you should encounter it, thank you!
I got the news over lunch at work, directly from the BBC website, that Queen Elizabeth II passed away. It is truly the end of an era.
I had known from the very first reports this morning, that this was possible, of course. However, it seems almost unreal to me that, a mere two days earlier, she was standing in Balmoral castle in Scotland, welcoming her fifteenth U.K. prime minister.
The BBC reported:
Queen Elizabeth II’s tenure as head of state spanned post-war austerity, the transition from empire to Commonwealth, the end of the Cold War and the U.K.’s entry into – and withdrawal from – the European Union.
Her reign spanned 15 prime ministers starting with Winston Churchill, born in 1874, and including Liz Truss, born 101 years later in 1975, and appointed by the Queen earlier this week.
She held weekly audiences with her prime minister throughout her reign.
She made a famous promise in 1947 that her life would be spent in service to her nation and the Commonwealth, and she kept that vow until her dying day. She was not born to be queen; it was the unexpected abdication of her uncle David that jerked her family into the limelight, and she never really spent another day out of the spotlight. She served with honour and dignity, and never publicly complained.
Throughout her reign, the Queen spent an average of three hours a day “doing the boxes,” which meant reading the official documents sent to her by various government and state offices. She also met weekly with the British prime minister when Parliament was sitting. She knew better than anybody the progress of public affairs and how individual prime ministers had responded to particular situations and crises.
“Anyone who imagines that [these meetings] are a mere formality or confined to social niceties is quite wrong; they are quietly businesslike and Her Majesty brings to bear a formidable grasp of current issues and breadth of experience,” former prime minister Margaret Thatcher wrote in her memoirs. Those views were echoed by the late Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau, who wrote in his memoirs that he “was always impressed not only by the grace she displayed in public at all times, but the wisdom she showed in private conversation.”
Queen Elizabeth II’s life is a model of service and attention to duty. We shall not see her like again, I fear.