Just when I start to think I can finally give up on SL, it begins to surprise me again. Not necessarily this seascape in the new Sea of Fables, although it is new, and an improvement over the old sea bed…
… but, kind of, some new landscaping in Nascera, and on the oldest square of 64 sims, the core of the continent that I explored last winter to a large degree. I have a hankering for more biking adventures on this continent to see all the changes, and just to soak in some purdy colors. 🙂
I’ll report more on these and other finds at that time. For now just some prelim pics.
I was sort of surprised to still see the White on White Gallery near my new dwelling spot in Ulyanovsk Oblast (next to the Maebaleia side of the Rabbit Hole), since it doesn’t have an attached, official Sasun Steinbeck art kiosk any longer. I think these smaller hole-in-the-wall type galleries (and I’m using the phrase in a positive sense here) are gaining more and more of my respect, as I see the same type of works over and over again in the larger art venues. The “art for art’s sake” phrase springs to mind, although I don’t think that’s exactly the description I’m looking for. More a detachment from what *I* most deeply care for, and that is the surrounding landscape (in most cases). At the very least, with small galleries like this, on the ground, the landscape is just outside a nearby door. It brings a sense of airiness, and attachment to the virtual world at large. Often large galleries, on their own islands, for instance, whatever the advantages of such a setting, also set themselves apart from the common SL creators. Sometimes this is justified, of course. I’m just adding my 2 cents here in saying that occasionally, to me, it appears exclusive and aloof to do so. But there’s that old saying about the 2 types of users that populate Second Life, the mainlanders and the estate people. I’m definitely in the former category now, which has been a minority for several years.
*And* I’m also interested in the fact that an artist named Lemmon exhibits in a sim with the Rabbit Hole, as I’ve stated before. It’s reassuring he’s still here now that I am as well.
This fairly surprised me: a sim in the center of the Maebaleia continent that has double the terraforming limits of any of the numerous sims I checked nearby after discovering the anomaly. Surrounding sims all have the standard +4/-4. This one (Ilythyia): +8/-8. I was tipped off to this exaggeration by the large mound pictured below, apparently created to help hide a nearby roadside ad billboard. It seemed unnaturally tall when I passed by it while traveling down Route 8, and so turned out to be. To other people this type of quirk may be ho hum boring, but to me it’s spice for the otherwise sometimes bland meal that is SL.
Nearby deep holes, also in Ilithyia. Not nearly as deep as, for example, the Rabbit Hole (either Jeogeot and Maebaleia “sides”), but still unnaturally so, if you will. I do not know of any other sim outside Sansara (oldest mainland mass) and perhaps a couple on Heterocera (2nd oldest) that allow this non-conformative terraforming, to give some perspective on how rare the phenomenon appears to be. Apparently some bug allowed the creation of the amazingly deep Ulyanovsk Oblast hole — just as was the case with the Jeogeot (Blackmount sim) side of same — because now the sim has the usual +4/-4 limits, like all others I’ve found on the newer continents beyond the original two, save Ilithyia now. For this reason alone, I would gladly give up a present non-Otaki Gorge parcel to by one here, just to play around with the anomaly — same would go *doubly* for Notata (Heterocera; +16/-16 limits). Fun with holes and hills!
And *this* most definitely surprised me (!), for right under my nose all this time is what appears to be a 9th, official mainland sink, and a fairly large one at that. And, ta boot, I use to rent on the lip of this thing (Spring 09) without realizing what it was at the time. This would be what we will call the Finsteraarhorn sink, after the main sim it lies within. But, somewhat similar to Chasm Deep on Corsica (which it’s comparable in size to, if not in depth), the newly identified sink obviously spills over into at least one more sim, Dammastock in this case.
Below, Baker poses for a picture in heavy vegetation atop a Linden tunnel positioned at the lowest point of the sink, it seems, with a freshly emerged Route 8 stretching west ahead of him. Behind Blochs here, the highway moves “underground” for one whole sim (Dammastock again) before reemerging on the east side of Bietschhorn.
And then *another* surprise this night to add in: the discovery of even a 10th, mainland sink, and not far south of the Finsteraakhorn sink on Maebaleia. Again, we have the requisite texture color change, and the needed size, it seems. This particular one is more obviously split between 2 sims, with the bottom of the sink almost straddling the line between them. This would be Grossglockner and Schreckhorn. Perhaps interestingly, Grossglockner is named for the 3rd highest peak of the Alps by prominence, while Finsteraarhorn, although located a number of sims to the north (five), is named after the 2nd highest peak of same, again according to prominence. Mount Blanc, also the highest overall Alp mountain, would come first in the same list.
While I’m formulating a better name, I’m just going to call this Grossglocken/Schreckhorn depression “Sink X”, remembering the recent mention on this blog of Plant X located in Earth, Texas. In conjunction with this, I also think back on the so-called “Magic Square of Earth” I’ve encountered in several web searches, which happens to be 10 numbers wide and high, or 10×10 — “X” again, then, as on a clock face. I specifically remember a Great Serpent Mound site coming up among the few hits on this phrase, but which seems to no longer exist. I’ll have to check on that — I believe I have some printouts of the web site somewhere in my files.*
As you can see by the picture below, Sink X is a pretty deep affair, with the bottom presently at about the 29 meter level. The water level in the associated sims is at the normal 20 meters, meaning that there’s no way to terraform down to it while inside the sink.
A tangential note: I wonder if this fellow and his namesake phenomenon (Lamb Shift) have anything to do with the Cross of the Lamb and our Peter?
Below are the 2 new sinks as they appear in the terrain view of the inworld map. Finsteraarhorn Sink is centered by the larger, isolated beige area to the north, and Sink X is identified through the smaller, isolated beige texture patch to its south. Arguments will appear saying that both of these depressions are too close to the coastline to count as true sinks, but I think they will be overruled by the majority who judge such things. Is this ruling body the legendary Confederation of Sinkers or a part thereof?**
* Traditional associations between magic squares and planets usually stop at the 9×9 Magic Square of The Moon. The complete list, smallest to largest, is Saturn (3×3), Jupiter (4×4), Mars (5×5), Sun (6×6 — note the Earth is skipped in this backwards progression), Venus (7×7), Mercury (8×8), and Moon (9×9).
** The 10 identified mainland sinks as of 11/9/10 according to continent:
Jeogeot (6): Big, Second or Oolamoo/Drews, Aotearoa, Otaki Gorge, Lill Burn Valley, Blackmount
Corsica (2): Egg Hill, Chasm Deep
Maebaleia/Satori (2): Finsteraarhorn, X