ScienceSim Land Grant Program Presentations Scheduled

Please join us on Saturday, January 9th or Sunday, January 10th for a presentation about the land grant program in ScienceSim.  Details about participation in this program will be presented and information about applying for a parcel with be provided.

The times and locations are as follows:

Saturday, January 9th, 7 am PT/10 am ET, Shengri La Hope 216, 37, 2001

Sunday, January 10th, 10 am PT/1 pm ET, Shengri La Hope 216, 37, 2001

Sunday, January 10th, 4 pm PT/7 pm ET, Shengri La Hope 216, 37, 2001

If you cannot make these events, you may visit our regions in ScienceSim or in Second Life (Shengri La Hope) for more information, or send a request through your organizational email to admin at fashionresearchinstitute dot com.  Please note we cannot respond to requests from noninstitutional addresses.

“Designing Dreams” Avatar Apparel Graduation Show

Join us as we celebrate the graduation of four avatar apparel designers, Jare Capalini (AU V), Misteria Loon (Pas de Deaux), Xand Nagy (Kicks & Twirls), and Wollemia Sands (Bull & Bear Careerwear) from the six-month long emerging avatar apparel designer program sponsored by the Fashion Research Institute, Inc.

Shengri La Emergence Day Party April 4th


The original Shengri La island emerged on March 25th, 2007.  As it was originally intended, it served as a utopian base for our science, art, and fashion collaborators.  Shortly after the first island emerged, the other four were added: Shengri La Hope, Shengri La Peace, Shengri La Joy, and Shengri La Love. 

The past two years have seen a wide array of changes to Second Life, and to the activities and work we conduct in our regions in Second Life.  We’ve seen Windlight, sculptured prims, and the rise and fall of void sims as a business model. Despite all the changes we’ve seen, some things have remained the same in Shengri La. We continue to develop visually compelling, deeply immersive islands where our collaborators can work and engage.  We also stay true to our original covenant of providing kind sheltering wings and a safe haven for wanderers, some of whom stay with us as collaborators, others of whom are transient visitors.  Our programs have changed and expanded, and we are currently in the process of graduating our class of emerging avatar apparel designers, and developing new programs designed to move this important work forward.

In our current incarnation, we are an officially sanctioned Community Gateway, where we provide orientation to new residents with a corporate & enterprise focus.  Our research areas include examining how users become immersed in virtual worlds, how enterprise becomes virtual, and virtual world enterprise applications.

We are pleased to invite you to visit our islands.  Please come and experience the wonder and peace which is Shengri La, and to celebrate with us as we begin our third year of collaboration and exploration. 

You are invited to help us celebrate with the activities that best express our unique focus on virtual worlds:

7-8 am  Fairy Fashion Installation
10 am SLT Ode Butterfly Hunt
1-2 pm Kyle Beltran plays live 
3-3:30 pm, Founders Re-dedication
5-7 pm SLT Fairy Rave with Qee Nishi, DJane

+ 3 special art exhibits by the ever talented and prolix Callipygian Christensen

Details of our events follow:

7-8 am SLT Fairy Fashion Installation, featuring the work of emerging avatar apparel designer, Misteria Loon.  Misty’s gowns are ethereal and fragile and perfectly suited for the static display of fashion in the lovely woods of Shengri La.  We will show 8 of her gowns as well as a complete color run of her Flower gown.  Our volunteer models who have graciously offered their time to support Misty’s first show  reflect a range of body types and skin tones, which breaks from the usual  attenuated runway model look.  We would like to thank Jen Shikami of Seven’s Selections for donating wings to the fairy models, and Ellie BearCat, Georgianna Blackburn, Patricia Anne Daviau, Anarya Elderslie, Ahuva Heliosense, larae Magic, IndiaRose Muircastle, Sequoia Nightfire, Prissy Price, Chestnut Rau, Oura Scribe, Jaydie Sapeur, Neva Seljan, Elizabeth Tinsley for graciously donating their time for Misty’s Emergence Show.

10 am SLT An Ode butterfly Hunt – Shengri La is renowned as an estate with a regular monthly Ode hunt.  Ode jewelry collectors spread across our five islands in search of elusive jewelry-containing butterflies.  The Ode hunts are a wonderful way for new residents to learn to engage with the SecondLife interface.   Older residents make new friends and love to collect the fragile Ode jewelry created by master jeweler Random Calliope.

1-2 pm SLT  Kyle Beltran plays live on the Shengri La sim.  Kyle has been a visitor to Shengri La almost since the beginning. We are pleased to have his talent gracing our celebration.

3-3:30 pm SLT Founder Shenlei Flasheart (Shenlei Winkler in real life) will talk (very briefly) about why Shengri La was created and future directions.

5-7:00 pm SLT Fairy Rave with our longstanding DJ of choice, Qee Nishi.  Qee has been creating Trance sets for us  since December 2007, when we first ‘discovered’ her at Dance Island.  Qee will again play for us at a Fairy Rave, so plan your best fairy outfit and join us for two hours of the best Trance music on the grid.

During the day, all of our art galleries will be open to the viewing public. 

The Small Gallery will host a retrospective of Callipygian Christensen’s Shengri La images from the beginning to its current incarnation. 

Calli’s work will also be features in the Fashion Research Institute’s Information Center in Shengri La Hope, with a series of images from the renowned FRI Shengri La Spirit build in OpenSim (41,000+ prims of decadence).  

Last, Calli will reopen her main Gallery (The Main Gallery at Shengri La) with a fresh new exhibition of her latest photography throughout Second Life.

Please join us for one or all of these events.  We look forward to seeing you there.

Spirit, Redux


We are pleased to have been able to restored Shengri La Spirit with all 41,793 prims of its original build.  Spirit has been quietly languishing in a welter of code since last May, when it was up and running on a version of the OpenSim code in the 4400s.  [1]

Spirit was originally built for performance testing. Spirit is an authentic build of very high complexity; it was not synthetic data generated programmatically.  Spirit provides an interesting data set to study because of the many prims of all sizes, some cut and convoluted and uniquely arranged; others feature sculpt maps, all arranged within a design that some regard as lovely, and others regard more as a compelling example of what the very early alpha code could be made to do.  Spirit was built when the OpenSim code base was in the 4400-4600s when the challenges to building were substantial. 

Spirit redux is now running on  r8737, which was created on 9th March 2009.  According to Justin, prim loading is a ‘heck of a lot faster than it used to be’.  It took 30 minutes on r4667 to load Spirit.  Now it takes about 10 seconds.

Logging back in to a build I had thought was gone forever was quite an experience.  Every tiny prim crystal was present; the great metal horses in the fountain continued their mad charge into the sea.  The flames in the candles still flickered, and drops of particle water rained from the central pillars in the meeting area. 

Justin and I are shown here, in Spirit version 1.  We have physics turned off, so the entire build is phantom and we floated for our snapped moment.













[1] We’d like to thank Dave Levine, IBM Research for collaborating with FRI on Shengri La Spirit.

Rescheduled Ode Hunt for Wednesday, January 21, 5 pm SLT

Courtesty of SL’s bumps and pains over the past weekend, the second Ode butterfly hunt has been rescheduled for this Wednesday, January 21, at 5 pm SLT. Join us on the lovely islands of Shengri La for the only five sim Ode butterfly hunt. With any luck, the grid will cooperate and we can all hunt butterflies! See you there!

Ode Butterfly Hunt in Shengri La Sims


It’s time once again for our monthly Ode butterfly hunts in Shengri La.  The first is scheduled at 7 am SLT and the second at 5 pm SLT.  All five sims will be closed to the public for the hour prior to allow the butterfly handler to release her newest catch.  POE hunters and all other visitors will be asked to leave the sims promptly at 6 am and at 4 pm.

To hunt Ode-containing butterflies, just teleport to any of the sims, or start in the Shengri La Welcome Area.

December Events in Shengri La

We have a full calendar of events in or related to our activities in Second Life. 

Kicking it all off, our Emerging Avatar Apparel Designers are participating in the Peace on Earth grid-wide treasure hunt, now through December 31st.  Our designers have all created gifts especially for the hunt, and their work can be found by following the links included in the PoE globes.  Please visit the Shengri La Welcome Area to pick up information about the hunt, to find the Fashion Research Institute’s globe, and to learn more about our activities in Second Life.

Starting December 5th, we will host a special Candy Cane hunt benefiting CRY America.  100 candy canes, each stuffed with fashion, will be hidden on the Shengri La sims.  Candy canes are priced at $25L, all proceeds to benefit CRY America.  Some of the fashion items include gowns from the old Prim & Proper line, jewelry sets, boots, shoes, handbags and much more. 

On Saturday, December 6th from noon to 2 pm slt, Ahuva Heliosense will be hosting a party benefiting CRY America.  FRI is pleased to provide clothing and accessories in support of this activity and we hope that our colleagues and friends will all join us at the Crown and Pearl.


Saturday, December 13th from 6-pm slt, we will hold one of our raves, the Snowflake Rave, on Shengri La.  DJane Qee Nishi will be DJing, dress will be your best interpretation of winter (or snow, or ice, you get to decide). 


December 17th, we will hold not one, but two Ode butterfly hunts.  The Ode hunts are as ever, free to all, and are held from 7 am slt till the butterflies are gone; and from 5 pm slt till the butterflies are gone.  Please note that we close the sims one hour prior to the hunts’ posted start times to allow the butterfly handler to release the butterflies.  If you are present on the sims when we close them, you will be asked to leave the sims so she can perform her work in peace.  Thank you for respecting this request.


On Saturday, December 20th, we will hold a formal ball, Winter’s Majesty, with music provided by Benton Wunderlich.  Chestnut Rau has graciously opened her dance floor in Shengri La Love for this event.  Once again, this is a benefit on behalf of CRY America.  Dress is majestically up to honor the holiday season, and we will have a special outfit for the ladies, designed especially for this event. 

Throughout the season, we invite you all to visit, skate on the several skating areas, ride our free horses, or drive our free carriages.  We have both buckboards and pure white formal carriages with matching white horses, perfectly romantic and perfectly elegant.

We will also have the holiday market in the Welcome Area of Shengri La.  Please visit us to find all your holiday decorating needs fulfilled, and donate to CRY by purchasing any of the lovely items you will find under the trees.