Shenlei Winkler Speaking at ISTE2010 SIGVE Virtual Environments Playground

Join educator and author Shenlei Winkler for this whirlwind tour through three well-defined use cases for OpenSim-based education.  Focusing on her celebrated work in virtual worlds for fashion designers, she also highlights ongoing research and development of exciting new projects in historical simulation.

Winkler will be talking about OpenSim for Education: Butterflies, Battlefields and Fashion Design from 12-12:30 pm MT/2:2:30 pm ET in the ISTE Island 4 region in Second Life.  Please join us for what promises to be an interesting half hour!

Fashion Research Institute Announces Butterfly Exhibit Grant Applications Now Open

Fashion Research Institute is pleased to announce the offering of five grant awards to educators around the world to further evolve and develop an exhibit of over 100 unique species of butterflies Shengril La Chamomilein an immersive learning environment using the OpenSim platform, which is an open source virtual world platform that allows actual users to change their digital environment. Using virtual worlds gives educators powerful tools to offer both synchronous and asynchronous education, research, and simulation.

For more information please visit our website. There you will find complete details on applying for this grant valued at over $75,000.

Announcing the Shengri La Bird Sanctuary

Sanctuary Entrance
Sanctuary Entrance

We have completed the new bird sanctuary behind the Shengri La Vintage Marketplace, and would like to invite all to visit our newest space, full of birds and butterflies, and a special garden of roses visitors may take away with them.

The sanctuary is particularly interesting because we now have more than 35 species of birds represented throughout the Second Life Shengri La complex.  Some of the birds are easily seen – the swans and other water birds tend to be very visible, whereas the songbirds (just like in real life) aren’t as easily noticed.  We’ve included a list of our species below – please visit us, and see if you can locate all of them!

Rare White Peacock, Standard Peacock, Western Gull, Black-headed Gull
Black-Tailed Gull, Spotted Owl, Hoot Owl, Barn Owl
Common Kingfisher, Belted Kingfisher, Snow Owl (male & Female)
Raven, Green Woodpecker, Great Horned Owl, Greater Flamingo
Caribbean FLamingo, Toco Toucan, Red-headed Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker, Grey Bat, Black Bat, Brown Bat
Mute Swan, Black Swan, Cardinals (male & female), Bald Eagle
Blue bird, Robin, Black bird, Blue Jay, Starling, Mallard Duck (Male & Female)
Peking Duck, Muscovy Duck, Hummingbird – Sky, Robin
Hummingbird Pumpkin, Hummingbird Silver, Crimson Topaz Hummingbird
Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Blue-throated Hummingbird
Violet Sabre Wing Hummingbird, Jamaican Swallowtail Hummingbird
Baltimore Oriole, and various Parrots

Fountain in the Shengri La Sanctuary

Fountain in the Shengri La Sanctuary


Sunset Falls over the Sanctuary

Sunset Falls over the Sanctuary

Overlooking the flamingoes in the pond

Overlooking the flamingoes in the pond

Looking towards the Western Gate

Looking towards the Western Gate at Moonrise


The Rose Garden Gone Wild

The Rose Garden Gone Wild

FRI Takes Part in Monarch Migration Weekend

Friday, October 17th, Shengri La is home to not just its usual Ode butterfly Hunt, but also to a Monarch Migration butterfly hunt.

Our hunts on Shengri La start at 7 am SLT and at 5 pm SLT.  The sims close to the public at 6 am and at 4 pm to allow the butterfly handlers to release the butterflies. To participate, pelase join us on any of the Shengri La sims in Second life, or just follow this link.

Over the weekend of October 17-19, 2008, there will be a massive migration of Random Calliope’s Ode Butterflies through Second Life. Commencing on Friday, October 17 from the Science Friday sim, the Ode butterflies will wind their way throughout SL to celebrate the North American Monarch Butterfly Exhibit at the Science Friday sim and in general raise awareness of the awe-inspiring real life annual North American Monarch Butterfly migration.

Random Calliope is a creator of wearable art. He is a master craftsman and the work that he does with microprims is truly breathtaking. He has been creating jewelry in SL for almost three years and while he has created pieces that have fetched some truly awe inspiring sums for charity, what may be equally impressive are the pieces he creates simply to give away.

The Science Friday Group in Second Life are fans of  National Public Radio’s Science Friday show, which is broadcast every Friday live in Second Life, from 11 AM to 1 PM SLT.    Science Friday is also broadcast live over public radio stations nationwide  as part of NPR’s ‘Talk of the Nation’ programming. Each week, Science Friday focuses on science topics that are in the news and tries to bring an educated, balanced discussion to bear on the scientific issues at hand. In Second Life, Science Friday listeners gather for a lively chat discussion of the program.  One of the recent segments was on the migration of monarch butterflies.

The butterfly hunts that allow one to obtain Ode jewelry are a homage to the once very popular community butterfly hunts of days gone by, but this time with a science and conservation twist. Proper gentlemen and gentlewomen would pack their picnic baskets in the spring and summer and head off to the nearest flowered field. There they would use their butterfly nets to capture prized butterflies of infinite variety. 

The Ode monarch migration hunt is a hunt to see and learn, not to capture. The community gathers in a field to look for butterflies. They may be in trees, floating around, in the grass, or anywhere a butterfly might be found. The hunts work in this way. Pieces of Ode jewelry are put in selected butterflies and then released in a pack of decoy butterflies. There is a script contained in each butterfly that allows it to fly in a random pattern around the sim. When the hunt begins the participants need to find and click on the butterflies to receive a prize.

This special monarch migration will include science elements:  a map of the monarch migration in the real world, a sculpted milkweed flower demonstrating the relationship between butterfly pollinated plants and the conservation of species, free milkweed plants so that you can learn to recognize the plants upon which these butterflies survive, an exhibit of butterflies under the microscope, and the conservation measures that you can take at home to conserve these precious insects in real life.

Monarch butterflies ARE living jewels!

Ode is an 9 piece jewelry set (hair piece, earrings, necklace, pendant, brooch, bracelet, ring, garland) which at this moment has 25 color variations. The challenge is to complete full sets of one color for your Ode butterfly collection; however, Ode pieces can only be obtained through participating in Ode Butterfly hunts and/or through trading with other collectors. New varieties of butterflies are occasionally added and some variations such as the Platinum and the Shades of Golden are extremely rare.

To stay informed of when the Ode Butterfly Hunts are beginning please join either the SL Ode Butterfly Collectors group or the Ode Butterfly Collectors Subscription group by clicking on a kiosk at either Ode Butterfly Clubhouse at Ode or the Welcome Area on Shengri La sim.