Posted tagged ‘Virtual World’

And it grows and grows…

May 23, 2009

There are more things to see on the TOL (Tree of Life).  I have added a slide show about birds in the animal room you will find interesting.  Incidentally I took the vast majority of the photos myself including the three you see here.  The conure is my pet Nurmi.

Bird Slide Show from the Tree of Life Animal Room

Bird Slide Show from the Tree of Life Animal Room

The plant room is coming along beautifully as you can see by the snapshots.  I will be adding some more informational items soon.  I also put in a couple of places to sit – one for regular, human-sized avatars, and another for tinies (like me in these pictures).

Biome's Tree of Life Plant room facing back

Biome's Tree of Life Plant room facing back

Biome's Tree of Life Plant room facing front

Biome's Tree of Life Plant room facing front

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Biomes Evolve again

November 21, 2008

Lots of news.  First of all the beautiful fall on Biome II is gone with the first snow we had here in the UP (Upper Peninsula of Michigan).  I am making trees from photo’s I took but, in the mean time, I am using some of those awful Linden trees that randomly seem to scrunch and shrink.  I find it really funny but particularly annoying that you go somewhere to get the special box of free trees and they are exactly the ones you already have in your library.  sometimes they even rename them just to fake you out.

Winter comes to Biome II

Winter comes to Biome II

On Biome I decided we needed a nice cozy foresty place to enjoy.  I added more trees included some oaks I made from sculpted parts and some nice seating around.

More forest comes to Biome

More forest comes to Biome

I also met an amateur mycologist, George Sporg, (George Sayers in real life) who is helping with our fungi room in the tree of life.  He has sent me some amazing photos and they will be a great addition.  The photo below is of one of the UP’s favorite fungi – a morel.   In his own words, “Here are a few pictures of the common yellow morel i.e. Morchella esculenta — It should be noted that this is a taxonomically troubled genus and depending on the company you keep referring you morels as such could spark a dangerous debate … usually the mushrooms eaten before anything like that takes place”.  I really appreciate the collaboration of people who have particular expertise or great ideas!

Common Morel

Common Morel (c) George Sayers 2008

Fall on Biome II and update on Biome

November 8, 2008

It’s fall on Biome II.  The leaves have changed and will soon be gone.  It won’t be long until the land will be covered with snow.

Fall on Biome II sim in Second Life

Fall on Biome II sim in Second Life

Squirrel in fall on Biome II

Squirrel in fall on Biome II

Squirrels are looking for acorns to hide and the woodpeckers are active – looking for those insects that will help them through the cold days.

Pileated woodpecker on Biome II

Pileated woodpecker on Biome II

Meanwhile I am looking for a more permanent source of funding so this amazing place can continue to grow.  Linden Labs kind of threw us a curve ball with a proposed very harsh change in pricing of Open Space lands (which Biome II is) but then backed down and made the proposition a little more reasonable.  The funding for Biome Ii is paid until August and it is my assumption given my last e-mail that no other charges will be added until then.

Making Plants

October 13, 2008

It has occurred to me that people make things out of “prims” for the most part.  As I look around myself I find circles, cubes, pyramids, spheres, tubes sometimes twisted or cut or stretched.  In other words SL is a recreation of “man’s” world.  But nature is not so simplistic.  While it is possible to make a bear or tree out of cubes and spheres and such, it never looks quite natural enough so people have created another way to make more natural-looking items – sculpties.  I have Blender -the open source program that is used by a number of people I know.  I haven’t had time yet to really explore it.

But to begin my design of natural things I decided to do a few very SL-ish plants.  But the plants I needed to do are not found in the Linden Library or, for that matter, anywhere on SL.  I needed specific plants from the Great Lakes region of the US, specifically the Upper Peninsula and Lake Superior shore.  I started with a photo of a “sand cherry”, a native dune plant.  I found it takes a lot of time, patience and a fine hand to take out all that background junk and leave in all the leaves and flowers that are there.  Then , the image has to be saved correctly, uploaded, put on a prim and 3 or 4 of those prims assembled to give it a more-or-less 3D appearance.  Here is my first plant – the Sand Cherry.

About Biome

October 10, 2008

Biome actually consists of two islands in the virtual world Second Life, Biome and Biome II.  Owned by Northern Michigan University, they are maintained by Dr. Carolyn Lowe of the NMU School of Education.  Dr. Lowe is known by the name Clowey Greenwood in Second Life.  Please call me Clowey “in world”.  Sometimes I am a human-appearing avatar but don’t be surprised if I appear as a tiny snow leopard.  Biome and Biome II are dedicated to the study of biodiveristy, classification of living things, ecology and bioenergetics.

Found on the island of Biome are the Faculty and Student Center, a Learning Center with classrooms and Clowey’s office, a comfortable foyer, and the entrance to the enormous Tree of Life which will house displays and activities pertaining to the various groups or kingdoms of life.  A 30 meter high microscope looks down on human-size microorganisms in a 10 meter diameter drop of pond water.  In the Butterfly Pavilion you can look at electron micrographs of butterfly wings and then enjoy a leisurely visit to the pavilion where butterflies flutter about you.  You may want to study the idea of a closed system “pop-bottle” habitat or tour a coral reef with many of the groups of the animal kingdom.  And, of course, there is the famous Obstacle Course for new residents (or old who want to brush up on SL skills) to practice their walking, flying, using the camera, searching for groups and making notecards.  Planned are interactive exhibits on food webs, photosynthesis and respiration.

Biome II is new (as of October 2008) and will be dedicated to ecosystems common in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and the Lake Superior shoreline.  Currently there is a wetland area and a rock-bottom stream.  A dune area is in the process of being developed.  There is a small mountain which will have rock out croppings of our famous UP rocks.  Mixed coniferous and deciduous forests will occupy the remainder of the area.