Virtually Speaking Science hosts Alan Boyle & IgNobel Prizes creator Marc Abrahams 6pm PST Wed Jan 4

January 4, 2012

Wednesday, Jan 4 | 9 pm eastern | 6 pm pacific |Virtually Speaking Science | MSNBC’s Alan Boyle (Cosmic Log) talks with Marc Abrahams, creator of the Ig Nobel Prizes and editor of the Annals of Improbable Research, about the scientific findings from the past year that made us laugh … and then made us think. VS Science is produced in cooperation with MICA, the Meta Institute for Computational Astrophysics. Follow @b0yle @MarcAbrahams @ImprobResearch  Watch the 2011 Ig Nobels

Listen live or later on BTR to the podcast

Alan Boyle’s Cosmic Log Ig Nobel post

Hosted by MICA at StellaNova, SciLands, Second Life


Dawn asteroid spacecraft arrives in Spaceport Alpha

June 23, 2011

Spaceport Alpha, SciLands Second Life, SPNNewsR. Asimov Starsmith (SL) has modeled the Dawn spacecraft for the International Spaceflight Museum. While we wait for it to orbit Main Belt asteroid Vesta and get better images for the mural of our permanent exhibit, we’ve put our Dawn in a parking orbit on the walkway to the ISM auditorium stage.

Dawn spacecraft arrives at International Spaceflight Museum

Here’s the direct slurl to jump to this exhibit’s temporary location.

Here are more details on Dawn’s mission and powered-flight trajectory.


“…and goodnight, Mr. Rosedale, wherever you are!”

October 21, 2010

SciEye, SPNNews, Spindrift, Second Life

“…And goodnight, Mr. Rosedale, wherever you are!” is the famous tagline that ends each of the first one hundred episodes of Pooky Amsterdam’s Second Life weekly science-themed panel show, the  First Question!  Produced and broadcast from her PookyMedia Studios high above Spindrift sim/region in SL’s science continent, the SciLands, the fast-paced comedy game show has run for 2 1/2 years so far.  With a live viewership of 40 to 80 avatars on Spindrift, a broadcast audience of hundreds to thousands, and over 30,000 views on most episodes in the archives, 1st Q! has found a loyal and growing audience.

When 1st Q!, then known as 2nd Q! before they realized they were even better than that*,  started on April 10th, 2008, Philip Rosedale, known as Philip Linden in SL, was still CEO of the company he co-founded, Linden Lab [often misspelled as Linden Labs].  He left not long afterwards, and has recently returned to that position, giving a third level of poignancy to that closing signoff phrase, which riffs off of Jimmy Durante’s “…and goodnight, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are!” show signoff tagline.

At the last SLCC conference, held August 2010 in Boston, US, Pooky actually found out where Mr. Rosedale was that night!

2010 SLCC Creators Pooky Amsterdam & Philip Linden


 Photo credit by Arminasx Saimen.

*Actually, the lawyers told everyone inSL that they could no longer use ‘Second’ in a business name inSL, but instead could use the logo ‘inSL.’

[Update Oct 21st – Philip Rosedale stepped down as interim CEO 2 days ago.]

NPRadio’s Science Friday loses NSF funding!

October 15, 2010

Consider making a donation before the end of the year for maximum help – it will be tripled! Their website explains:
“Time is almost up! The 20th anniversary of Science Friday ends on December 31, 2010 and with that so does our matching grant. Until then, all donations made to Science Friday will be tripled through a $2 to $1 match by the Noyce Foundation. Science Friday will receive twice the donation!”  [They mean in addition to your contribution, for a total of U$3, three times your U$1.] is the link to donate through PayPal.

Science Friday had an island/region in Second Life’s SciLands science continent for over two years but withdrew months ago due to the impending budget crisis.

Even though SciFri left Second Life, we residents in SL still gather each week at zazen Manbi’s Science School region directly east of SciFri’s region and banter with each other about the show or continue to submit questions to SciFri’s production studio. It’s thrilling when show host and creator Ira Flatow reads your question to a guest speaker!  And fascinating to hear an answer to it.

Zaz Manbi, who is Jeff Corbin in RL (Real Life) Denver, US, was the original host of Science Friday before they purchased the right to rent their own region directly west of his. Regions have limits on the number of avatars existing at the same time, currently 100, but practically 80. So when an auditorium or stage is placed at the border of 2 or more regions or islands as the Science Friday venue was, the show’s maximum capacity could be doubled. Thanks to Zazan’s help, peak crowds reached 80-120 avatars

Here’s the slurl to teleport to Science School directly if you already have an SL account.

At this week’s show, avatars donated tens of dollars inworld, and four of us – Anonymous, Aroha Hannu, Kit Young, and myself also donated U$145 dollars through PayPal. Now, if the non-virtual-world SciFri audience comes through as loyally with donations ….

Linden Lab price increases

October 5, 2010

Linden Lab has just made another abrupt and large future price increase for regions. The announcement and reactions to it are here.

I responded:

I applaud Gentle Heron’s summary of some of the consequences, intended and unintended, of this abrupt pricing decision.

(And to academics/educators and the NASA and NOAA staffers inworld working with annual budgets set in August or September, three months notice *is* abrupt, disruptive, and not helpful to their credibility with their home financial offices or departments.)

Disclaimer: I am speaking as Paradox Olber of Spindrift isle in the SciLands, and not as a representative of the SciLands, NASA, NOAA, the International Spaceflight Museum, SpinSpace Gallery, the International Association of Astronomical Artists, the University of Texas State System, the Meta Institute for Computational Astrophysics, the MiLands, PookyMedia, or the Space For Music Museum.

Although I can confirm that, like almost all the commenters’ organizations, each of these organizations is planning to reduce Second Life footprint OR strongly discussing that option now.

– Paradox

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