Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Lots of stuff: Part 1

Been busy teaching in first life this summer but also with Second Life as well. In about 2 weeks I in my first life presence as Paul Decelles will be giving a presentation on doing simulations in Second Life to the SIDLIT conference in Kansas City. My topic is Scientific Simulations in Virtual Worlds and I will cover some of the stuff I did on my sabbatical, lots of which is on this blog, and also discuss alternative virtual world systems for doing simulations.

Also, I am part of a group of Second Lifers working over at Nature Magazine's Second Life site at Elucian Omega associated with their Second Nature site. The idea is to have people share lab space to work on their own projects and by sharing space and working in close proximity hopefully the collaboration engendered will lead to greater productivity.

The group includes a bunch of really talented people including Max Chatnoir, whose Genome Island Site I have visited numerous times. Another really talented person doing some exciting work on visualizing proteins is Hiro Sheridan who does lots of really cook stuff on visualizing protein structure. We each have our own project areas, my project is to build a mitosis and meiosis simulation, something I have wanted to do, but it is a bit more complex than the other things I have done and so its only now do I have the background in scripting to attempt this.

Since we have people at different levels of Second Life experience, we are having some basic workshops to get us started. For instance the first week was basic building, given by Hiro. I don't know about the other participants, but I thought it is really valuable to see how another person explains Second Life.

In Second Life there are often several ways to ummm build a cat. So it is easy to get stuck in one way of doing things. For instance, when I duplicate an object I always do it from the pie menu and had forgotten about the little shift and drag trick, which is actually a lot easier. Another example: our first homework assignment is to build a chair and while I have done some building had not built my on chairs-just quickly slapping things together not not being too concerned with the llSitTarget function.

So this morning, I spent some time building a chair and using llSitTarget...and of course it needed a table, and a nice rug. The result is shown here. Now I can replace those lumpy cushions in my lab space!

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