For and about Cancer Survivors in Second Life, and for anyone who has been touched by cancer

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ishtar Roux on air on'Two Martini Lunch'

So there I was, sipping my martini 'shaken not stirred', at the Sunset Jazz Club, listening to the 'Two Martini Lunch' radio show on 'Martini in the Morning'.

My reason for being there? Cancer survivor and Relay for Life of Second Life team captain Ishtar Roux was being interviewed on the show by Brad 'Martini' Chambers.

Ishtar Roux and Whenever Timeless in purple dancing at the Sunset Jazz Club

'Ish' talked about the history of Relay for Life, not forgetting to mention that it is 'International', and explained how RFL of SL is very similar to RFL in real life. She also gave simple and easy-to-follow advice about how to find out more and take part. And all this while she was dancing ... WTG Ish!

Belle Loll and Poppy Zabelin watching the dancing as they listen to the radio program

If only someone had told me that I needed to throw on something more respectable than t-shirt and jeans!

Monday, June 29, 2009


The Live Art Auction organized in Second Life by the RFL Survivors/Caregivers Committee was a great success judging by the results up to the time I went to bed. A good number of people turned out and there was some lively bidding competition.

The auction, which was due to be held last week but had to be rescheduled because large areas of SL went down, was organized by LadyKay Gable, with proceeds going to Relay for Life of Second Life.

I went to the auction set on one particular picture, and went home the proud owner of 'Spring #1' by Filthy Fluno. Filthy has long been one of my favorite artists in SL, and this particular work caught my interest because it is fresh, and bright, and full of hope. It is evocative of some of the artists whose works I admire, such as Matisse, and Kandinsky. And this particular picture reminded me of a time many years ago when I was feeling very low, and went out and bought a yellow couch to bring some sunshine and color into my life.

For more information about 'Filth' a.k.a. Jeffrey Lipsky see this New York Times article 'Portrait of an artist as an avatar':

Lots of smoke but no fire

This year I am heading a team of 'ambassadors' to promote the international aspect of Relay for Life of Second Life. Like many others I've been concerned about the rumors out there that Second Life is being banned in Australia. I would have grave concerns about cancer survivors and supporters in ANY country being excluded from Relay for Life of Second Life, not to mention the wider ramifications of Second Lifers from any country being barred from entry into SL.

The source of the confusion appears to be a story published in the Sydney Morning Herald last week. Basically, selected ISP's are trialling a scheme to block access to adult content games. An internet critic is quoted in the article as saying that 'the move to extend the filtering to computer games would place a cloud over online-only games such as World of Warcraft and Second Life, which aren't classified in Australia due to their online nature.'

Now, a ‘cloud’ is NOT the same as an outright ban, although some sources have said it IS so. The Metaverse Journal responded on June 25 in a long open letter to the Australian Minister in question, Senator Conroy, objecting to the ban. Over the weekend the thread was picked up by hundreds of blogs and forums around the world. On Monday June 29 the Australian Christian Today wrote that: ‘It was confirmed by Australian Minister for Censorship that online games such as Second Life is (sic) banned in the country.’

There is nothing like checking the facts first. So Ember Farina, Australian ‘Ambassador’ for RFL of SL and Team Captain of the Friends Fighting Cancer RFL of SL team, who in real life is an Australian firefighter, contacted the office of the Senator in question and spoke with an associate there, and says: ‘It appears to be something related to GAME ratings. SL is not classified as a game at this stage. IF there was a complaint received in the future to the Gaming Commission then it would be addressed but his associate seemed fairly comfortable that it's not an issue in this circumstance.’

Ember went on to say: ‘I asked the Senator's associate if there was anything in writing to support this but there wasn't. As far as the Senator's associate was concerned this only came to light because a newspaper article jumped on it - SL was never mentioned nor targetted by the Senator.’

The whole thing seems to be a misinterpretation of the Australian government’s ongoing censorship/filtering scheme trying to block extreme violence games and child pornography. So it looks as if although there's a lot of smoke, there's no fire. Yet.


This morning I contacted Linden Labs who have now responded that: 'We have received no indication from the Australian government that it intends to block Second Life.'


Sydney Morning Herald

Christian Today

Metaverse Journal

Friday, June 26, 2009

Live art auction to benefit Relay for Life of Second Life

The live art auction being organized by members of the RFLSL Survivors and Caregivers Committee that was due to be held last saturday had to be postponed because of the sim outages in Second Life. I understand from LadyKay Gable who is the auction's main organizer that the auction has now been rescheduled to SUNDAY JUNE 28.

Above: a sneak preview of some of the works that will be auctioned on Sunday

The auction will be held on the north shore of ACS island. Chase Marellan will be wielding the gavel. An amazing array of artists have donated their works. So come, dig deep in your pockets, and bid! All proceeds to the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life of Second Life.

The following artists have generously donated works:

Daruma Picnic, Sledge Roffo, Zhora Maynard, sakura2 Kohime, littleone Aries, Greenthumb Magic, StarZ33 Mccullough, LadyKay Gable, Silver Click, Elizabeth Tinsley, Delgado Cinquetti, Rain Somhers, Cheen Pitney, Cre8tive Chemistry, CHUCKMATRIX Clip, Josina Burgess, Sistagrlro Wei, Katarina Erin, Oberon Onmura, Artfox Daviau, Caitlin Tobias, Demi Blackhawk, Jazz Calhern, poi jarvinen2, Betty Tureaud, Maryva Mayo, Shellina Winkler, zephyru Zapedzki, Physeter Nicholls, Feathers Boa, Filthy Fluno, Misprint Thursday, and BrightamberG String. There is also a posthumous collection of works by Artistic Fimicoloud.

Take the SLURL to:

The Future is NOW! ACS helps celebrate SL's sixth birthday

The American Cancer Society, one of the finalists for the 2009 Linden Prize, is one of the organizations featured at Second Life's Sixth Birthday (SL6B).

The Society's site, designed by Emily Schaf, is located in SL6B Titan.

While the main focus of the American Cancer Society exhibit is on Relay For Life of Second Life, the site also features samples of other American Cancer Society real life programs, such as Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, International Relay For Life, and appropriately the American Cancer Society's More Birthdays campaign. The exhibit was also the venue for a panel discussion yesterday on virtual support for cancer survivors.

The exhibit features a cool new video by MarkTwain White describing the role of the American Cancer Society in Second Life.

It is humbling to be a part of this amazing organization. As 125 teams and more than 2000 volunteers prepare for the fifth Annual Relay For Life (to be held this year on July 18-19) it is clear that the American Cancer Society is making the future and setting standards in fundraising and support in virtual worlds … and that 'The Future of Charity in Virtual Worlds is NOW'!

SL6B runs until June 30. Don't miss seeing this exhibit - go to:

For more information about exhibits and events at SL6B, check out the SL Wiki at

Register for the first lap of Relay for Life of Second Life!

With less than a month to go, there's still time to register for the first lap of Relay for Life of Second Life!

The Fifth Relay for Life of Second Life will be held July 18-19 2009. More than 125 teams and 2,000 volunteers are hard at work raising funds to cure cancer. So far they've raised over $200,000 real American dollars!

The first lap honors cancer survivors and cancer caregivers from around the world. Survivors and caregivers walk the first lap to put a face to the battle against cancer. They've been on the 'front lines' in a battle on cancer, and are here to tell their story. Over 120 survivors and caregivers have already registered.

For more information on Relay for Life of Second Life, visit

To register for the first lap, please go to that site and click on 'Survivor & Caregiver First Lap Registration'.

If you have any questions about the first lap or the Survivor/Caregiver Committee, please email Dwen Dooley, Chair, RFL of SL Survivor/Caregiver Committee, at

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Makeover models on show in Hope Haven

We've installed a viewer in Hope Haven where you can now see the 'before' and 'after' pics of the 'Makeover Magic' models. Come see.

Pictured above: Glenna Lane, a long-term breast cancer survivor and an active member of the cancer survivors group, after her makeover.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

An angel's touch

With all the coverage we've had for the Makeover Magic fashion show on the American Cancer Society island on Sunday, June 7 you'd think there would be nothing left to say. Well, not quite.

The fashion show went off flawlessly. The models - survivors, caregivers and mentors - looked stunning. But behind the scenes there were, putting it mildly, complications. One of them was losing our partner Runway Magazine who were co-sponsoring the event and responsible for the publicity ... who quite simply fell off the grid. The story's been blogged to death so I won't repeat it here, but it left Makeover Magic coordinator Cinders Vale and the committee members with quite a dilemma. Should we look for another partner? Should we postpone the show? Or fill the gap ourselves? We took the brave decision to handle it through the group's members and, judging by the results, I think it was the right way to go.

At one point it looked as if we might lose Glitter Xeltentat, a cancer survivor, from the program. And then an angel stepped in ... Italia Villota called Glitter a day before the show and took her shopping, and made sure she got on the runway.

Behind the scenes

Glitter poses on the runway

Glitter sparkled. She walked down the runway as if she'd had years of training (and I know how difficult it is, having walked the gangplank ... errr ... runway at the survivors' fashion show in 2007 ... it was like walking through thick, sticky, heavy glue). She glittered, she gleamed, with her SL family there to support her. And her new look suits her perfectly!

The final line-up

If you've read my previous post you'll know that we chose to hold the event on National Cancer Survivors Day, because it is about celebrating survival, and giving survivors (and their caregivers) a little pampering. Thank you Italia for showing us what NCSD is about!

A big thank you to all the fashion mentors, the FACES team, FACES CEO Aradia Dielli, the designers who donated items, and Jeremey Ryan of Barefoot Designs for the surprise gift of a home for each of the survivors and caregivers who took part in the show. To our photographers Jordan and Sharron. To Aryon Dagger for interviewing the participants. And last but definitely not least our coordinator, Cinders Vale. You are ALL angels!

The Art of Healing - exhibition at Karuna

I have just visited Karuna where there is an exhibit of work by Sledge Ruffo on 'The Art of Healing'. Karuna is a non-profit sim that promotes AIDS/HIV awareness where stories are shared in music, literature, and art.

Sledge Roffo started making art in Second Life about a year ago, coining the word 'Primagery' to describe the process -- i.e., creating prim sculptures and then taking snapshots from various angles.

From the landing point I took a healing walk along the riverbank towards the Community Center. The images lining the path are bright and luminous but still surprisingly calming. There are some garden sculptures, and more 2D images inside the center and up on the roof including the limited edition 'primagery' collection.

Sledge writes: 'The work shown comprises a selection from a body of work that I have produced from November to January, with the exception of the sculptures displayed in the garden which are very recent. '


TP to the starting point here

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Hair Fair to benefit cancer kids

Mark your diary -June 20 is the Hair Fair, which will donate profits from sales of SL hair attachments to the real life non-profit Locks of Love. LoL gives hair pieces to kids who lose their hair due to chemotherapy or other medical crises. I bought some amazing hair there last year.

See James Wagner's blog at:

Celebrate survivorship!

Sunday June 7 is National Cancer Survivors Day - and to celebrate, six survivors and caregivers who have been treated to a makeover will be parading their new looks along with their mentors at the Makeover Magic fashion show on the American Cancer Society island. The show kicks off at 11 am SLT.

This event is organized by a committee led by Cinders Vale and formed by the Cancer Survivors and Cancer Caregivers groups together with the FACES Creative Team. It will feature designs by a host of talented designers who have kindly agreed to donate items.

'Makeover Magic' is the Second Life equivalent of a real life program, 'Look Good...Feel Better' - a free, community-based service run by the American Cancer Society that helps cancer survivors to restore their appearance and self-image during treatment.

National Cancer Survivors Day is celebrated in hundreds of communities in more than 15 countries around the world and is supported by the American Cancer Society. Come and help us celebrate survivorship and admire the makeovers!

Oh, and the SLurl:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Playing The 1st Question

Three Relay For Life team captains were among the four contestants in The 1st Question on Tuesday. I couldn't be there myself because of the timing but I watched it later on line.

Aryon Dagger is a breast cancer survivor who has been featured before in these pages when she took part in the Makeover Magic program last year. She's a consultant for this year's program and talked about the fashion show which is taking place on Sunday.

The other contestants were Jasmine Night and Katina Magic who are both team captains, and Franja Russell who runs the SciFi and Fantasy portal and was last week's winner.

Pooky Amsterdam and Hydra Shaftoe host this weekly fun quiz on SLTV, and there were plenty of plugs for Makeover Magic and for Relay For Life.

First up, each contestant was asked to define which element defines them best. Aryon and Jasmine both chose mercury, which Aryon chose because it is 'liquid, smooth, and mixes well with other elements'. Katina and Franja chose oxygen and cobalt respectively.

It was a closely run contest between the two 'mercurial avatars' but Aryon slid in front at the end. Woot Aryon!

Watch it here on:

UPDATED Friday, June 5 - Aryon has blogged about her experience here:

I painted my house purple ...

After brainstorming with some Relay For Life volunteers, RFL of SL event chair Fayandria Foley came up with the idea of showing our hope by turning our land, our clothes, everything we could think of, purple on a chosen day. So, Monday, June 1 we turned SL purple.

Poppy's Place

I painted my house and died my hair in the cause.

For more images see the Daily SL News blog: