Friday, November 30, 2007

Looking Elegant

My real life wife and I enjoy exploring the virtual world of Second Life together. Here is her avatar recently looking mighty elegant:

Elegant Tamar

What a babe. But then that's one of the many reasons I married her.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Howstuffworks "How Second Life Works"

Howstuffworks "How Second Life Works"

This is one of my favorite ways to unwind before hitting the sack at night. Second Life is what a resident makes of it. It can be positive or negative. There's a lot of envangilism that is being done in Second Life but there's much more to be done. As in real life, the harvest is plenty, but the workers are few. To find out more get a free basic account and head over to the Eternal Creations beach and talk to some of the residents hanging out there.

Court Sets Its Scope on Handgun Ban -

Court Sets Its Scope on Handgun Ban -

Read this for a really nice summary of what the case is about and the questions to be considered.

Taking The Second Amendment To Court, The Supreme Court Prepares To Examine DC's Right To Ban Handguns In The Context Of The Constitution - CBS News

Taking The Second Amendment To Court, The Supreme Court Prepares To Examine DC's Right To Ban Handguns In The Context Of The Constitution - CBS News

The U.S. Supreme Court has accepted the case. Keep an eye on it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Supreme Court may take up D.C. handgun ban - 11/09/2007 -

Supreme Court may take up D.C. handgun ban - 11/09/2007 -

No matter which side of the issue you come down on, this bears watching. Whichever way the Supreme Court decides will have far reaching implications. No rant, just a recommendation to read the article and keep an eye on this.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Found this gem today and I just had to share it here:

Enron Capitalism

Feudalism: You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

Fascism: You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them and sells you the milk.

Communism: You have two cows. You must take care of them, but the government takes all the milk.

Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income.

Enron Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt-equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows. The milk rights of the six cows are transferred through an intermediary to a Cayman Island company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The Enron annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more.

From the Political Joke Archives

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Red Wings - More Impressions

Is it just me, or can Chris Osgood not lose right now? He is money. I know the Wings want to work Hasek back into the lineup to keep him sharp, but it must be hard. The Wings have tightened up their defense and are winning with goal tending, solid defense and puck possession. Just hope they can keep it rolling and no major injuries strike the team.

Monday, November 5, 2007

One Guy's View of Second Life

If you haven't heard of it, one of the hottest things on the internet right now is Second Life. This is how Linden Lab (the creator of Second Life) describes the experience: "Second Life is a 3D digital world imagined and created by its Residents."

Such a short phrase and yet it says so much. I had to see what all the buzz was about. So, I created an identity (and no, I'm not revealing it) and started exploring. After reading some of the stories in the popular media I was expecting the worst. Instead of a virtual world filled with scam artists and moral depravity I found something else. I found a microcosm of the world we live in. Sure, a person can find all the trouble they want if they look hard enough, just like at home. A person can find some extremely positive areas and activities as well. Again, just like at home.

A large adjustment for me is that there is no "objective" or "mission". There are no points or lives. The environment is what you make of it. Sounds a lot like real life: You get out of it what you put into it. If you want to be a virtual slacker, go for it. If you want to be a virtual entrepreneur, have at it. For now I'm going with the slacker route.

The key phrase in the description above is "imagined and created". The sim is what I make of it. This is daunting to me, but with enough exploration to see what others are doing I'm learning what that means.

So far my favorite part is exploring and meeting people. It's really cool that every avatar I run into represents another person. Striking up conversations has been a blast. I have found some Christian themed areas that are friendly and make the experience positive.

In a virtual environment people seem to have fewer inhibitions, so they are more apt to stop and talk with virtual strangers. Of course, as anywhere on the internet, it's best to not reveal too much personal info.

In short, I'm glad I gave it a try.