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Showing posts with label Grand Canyon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Grand Canyon. Show all posts

Friday, August 28, 2020


The day is sunny, and it feels sooo good to get out of the house.  You head on over to the Grand Canyon, reveling in the solitude of the most majestic region on the entire grid. There you are, communing with nature…
Suddenly and without warning, you are almost knocked off your mule by an ear-splitting roar! You look up just in time to see, disappearing over the lip of the canyon, a high-performance jet aircraft screaming through the sky!
Yes folks, you have stumbled into – (cue the timpani drums) – AN AIRSHOW!
Grand Canyon SL recently hosted a good old-fashioned Air Show, complete with wing walkers, bi-planes, people in sharp looking flight suits, and over a dozen high performance jet aircraft.
After the last roar of engines had rolled off down the canyon. After the show was over and the last planes had departed for their home field.  After the bleachers were clear of spectators with only empty popcorn boxes and soda cups to show they were ever there….I was able to catch up to an exhausted Lis (lisisme.dubrovna), owner of Grand Canyon SL,  and 5(johnnynumberfive), lead for the Hawks Aerobatic Team. They graciously agreed to chat with me.

Josh (Thomas1 Bellic) JB:    Let’s start with you, Johnny. How did you first get interested in Air Shows?

5 (johnnynumberfive) J5: As a young kid around 6 years I got a ride in an old Papua New Guinea mission plane the 'Andrew Stuart' which incidentally is now in a museum.  From early years I remember cutting out planes from the back of 'Corn Flakes' packets and later upscaling them and building them from balsa.  Later in my 20's, I, along with a bunch of work mates took up hang gliding, which later progressed to a job as a hang-gliding instructor.  So, for as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with planes.
However, in 1991 I attended the 70th Anniversary Richmond Air Base Show and for the first time saw real fighter jets up close and was inspired by our own Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Roulettes Aerobatics team. 

In SL I naturally gravitated toward aviation and joined the USNSL Blue Angels.  So in early 2017 when a combat friend of mine mentioned starting our own team it was a 'no brainer' :) 

JB:  Tell me Lis. How did you come up with the idea of hosting an Air Show?

Lis (lisisme.dubrovna) LD:  Johnny was looking for a venue and contacted me and at first it was only supposed to be The Hawks but word got around and then other teams wanted to fly at the Grand Canyon. It's a scenic place for an airshow. They were all absolutely amazing.

JB:  How extensive were your preparations for this event? I understand you had to move mountains, literally, to pull this off. 

LD:  I contacted LL to take down my Mt Everest sim which is north of the Grand Canyon, so that the skies would be clear. I had great cooperation from an agent at Linden Labs. It is unusual for them to take down a sim for a day but he went there and saw that Mt Everest would obstruct the view of the planes in the sky. I am only sad they did not do more to promote such a magnificent and skilled event.
I removed some high prim items from 3 sims to help with lag. I opened 3 sims and many parcels for rent so that they could rez their planes. I did a sim restart before and after each team. I video filmed the entire event and I'll soon edit and put it on YouTube. I'll send out the URL in Grand Canyon Group notices.

JB:  How long did it take to build the runway and the bleachers for the fans?

LD:  At first, I created a black megaprim for the runway but then Johnnynumberfive had a runway and bleachers in inventory. I had to clear the land below and join all pilots to my Grand Canyon group as Entertainers. I was "Ground Control" lol.

JB:  How many people does it take to put on an airshow?

J5:  Wow the million-dollar question!  How long is a half-stretched rubber band? :)  Most teams consist of 6 pilots - 4 in the diamond team and 2 in the solo team.  But if you include those that do stuff for the teams to keep them flying...Lukeflywalker Fittinger EmCee's, Jimi Xi provides helmets, plane manufacturers like Shana and TBM, photographers, and then show hosts all play an integral part, but it’s our fans that do the most just by providing the motivation

JB:  Can you share a few words about each of the groups that performed?

J5:  There are many other teams in SL and all present a quality and unique experience for their audience.  Anemone Wing Walkers hark back to early circus style barn storming, Team Phoenix is an older team and presents a strictly choreographed and tidy formation display.  The USNSL Blue Angels strive for excellence in discipline, much like the RL USN Blue Angels, and the Hawks, although not the newest kid now are still testing the boundaries in maneuvers, themes, light and sound.

JB:    Do these four teams fly together often?

J5:  SL attracts a wide variety of people and from time zones all over the world so it's challenging to get everyone together.  However, the common love of aviation is a compelling reason to get out of bed at crazy times of the night for these shows.  Typically, its only once or twice a year for larger events involving 4 or more teams but smaller 1 or 2 team events more often.

JB:  How much practice goes into an airshow?

J5:  I can't speak for the other teams but generally once or twice a week for official practices of about 2 hours, and then informal practices when time permits.  It generally takes about 3-6 months to perfect a new maneuver to show worthy quality, depending on its complexity.

JB:  What was your favorite part of this year’s Air Show?

J5:  Being back on the runway after a successful show was nice, I have to say.  It was rough up there with the lag, but I have to say the best thing by far is seeing all the teams do great and seeing the audience enjoy the show.

LD:  They were all utterly amazing but I have to admit I was stunned by "The Mirror" performed by the Hawks solo team at the end of the show.

JB:  I can hardly wait to see this again.  When is your next Airshow?

LD:  I hope we can do a big one like this twice a year so maybe we can look forward to a January 2021 Show.

J5:  The next one for the Hawks is September 20 at Jamaica for a much more "Jamaican' style casual show - right in my wheelhouse :D

JB:  Lis and Johnny, I’d like to thanks you for agreeing to chat with me this afternoon. Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

LD:  Please come to the Grand Canyon and join the group so that I can inform you with notices of live singers and air shows and contests and events and additions I make to the sims. I have just added 'Experience' which is nothing more than a fast teleport (it does not take over control of your avi like many think). You will be amazed by the Love Tunnels. There is also a new Cuddle Cloud Tour (PG).

J5:  Ah so may 'ism's I could share here but I say just do it... give it your best shot...whatever it is...and if not, go support those that do.  We as humans are more skilled and experienced at pulling others down, albeit most often in good humor, but it’s so nice to see the support these teams give each other and the blessing they are to the wider community.

So there you have it, folks.  Just when you think you have seen everything, someone throws an Air Show at you, and you have to rethink what you believed was possible in this wonderful world of SecondLife.

Grand Canyon SURL:

Monday, June 15, 2020


The basic unit of color in a computer image is called a “pixel”.  SecondLife residents, using the medium of these pixels, have proven to be some of the most talented and most creative artists in the world.  Their creations are legendary in their beauty, as these “Pixel Masters” create whole new worlds for the rest of us to explore and enjoy.  And there are none more talented than those who take examples from the Real World and replicate them in cyberspace for our enlightenment and amusement. Arguably, one of the BEST examples of Real World landmarks being immortalized in pixel is the SL Grand Canyon.  I caught up with Lis Dubrovna, the creator of Grand Canyon, and managed to get her to share some about this wonderful place with our SL Enquirer readers.  This was no easy feat, mind you, as Lis is almost ALWAYS on the go, creating, redesigning, tweaking here and there, doing what she can to improve her four sims.

JOSH BELLIC (JB): Lis, what inspired you to build the Grand Canyon?

LISISME DUBROVNA (LD):  I went to visit the opening of the SkyWalk and tour the Grand Canyon in RL. I was very thrilled and impressed. Some years later I joined SL. I wanted to build a sim which would teach residents the skills needed in SL and also to offer an alternative to poorly done and immodest sims. I woke up one night at 5:00 am and wondered excitedly if anyone had built the Grand Canyon. I went to my computer and researched that no one had so then and there I bought a Full Sim. Little by little I added to that first sim and now there are 4 and they offer just about anything you can imagine. I made my sims free to all residents.

I thought LL would recognize the value and popularity of my sims and assist me with tier but they have not taken notice. I rely on donations and mostly on my RL job as a graphics artist to pay the $600.00 USD per month tier which Linden Labs require.

JB:  The Grand Canyon as you have built it is more than just a canyon.  You have many delightful areas scattered around the Park Grounds.  Share with us a couple of your favorites here?

LD:  On all the Grand Canyon sims I rent homes and the renters are such cool people. It's like a family. On Grand Canyon South I love my Falls Ballroom which is so very beautiful for couples and my art galleries at ISME where talent from across the grid can be shared.  There’s Mermaid Park and Salsa Salsa. I love the central area of Grand Canyon which offers free ridable horses and so many trails and other activities. Crater Lake and Zen at Grand Canyon North are romantic and fun. A new addition is Circe du soliel camp grounds at Crater Lake which has great animations and horse trails. And then there is the crowning jewel, Mt Everest. It is the Highest terraformed land mass in SL. I love watching the hikers find their way up the mountain. The latest addition is that we now have EXPERIENCE which allows fast teleporting all over the 4 sims. It is used as a teleport to the new LOVE TUNNELS. I hope people will begin to realize that saying yes to EXPERIENCE does not mean, in any way, that you hand over control of your avatar. It just gives you the ability to get from one place to another fast.

JB:  Besides the Grand Canyon, you built another of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, that you just mentioned - Mount Everest.  Tell us more about that project?

LD:  Mt Everest was built with pixels recycled from digging out the Grand Canyon. Seriously, I love the ocean and scuba diving but I really love hiking and snowboarding and mountains. To build Mt Everest was a dream come true. I discovered a secret for raising land to over 500 meters in SL and hence Mt Everest is the highest terraformed land mass in SL. It has a gorgeous Tibetan village with dance and activities. The water falls coming from above at the Buddhist temple are very beautiful. The Temple offers Buddhist teaching scrolls and a meditation room. The music is calming and lovely. You can climb all the way to the top by way of trails and ladders and zip lines. There are secret love caves at the top. I love having built 2 of the 7 Natural Wonders of the world.

JB:  I know there are several different rides in the Grand Canyon.  Tell us what is available, and which is your personal favorite?

LD:  My favorite is our famous hot air balloon ride which has given rides to over 600,000 people. It is a way to relax and chat with a friend and get to know them better as you are carried on the wind to all the best places on my sims. There is also a hot air balloon ride at Mt Everest. I have a horse giver near the lodge and many trails. Another favorite is at the canyon bottom near the lodge and it is a rock slide avalanche. People love it although it is a little frightening. The Water Slide is well loved. The Hang gliders and para gliding are also fun. I have a submarine ride at Mermaid Park which shows off the beauty of that underwater park. There are so many fun things at the Games area. You need many days exploring to find all the activities I offer. 
JB:  How many visitors have you had to Grand Canyon properties over the years?

LD:  That is hard to say because I have not really kept track. I know the balloon ride has given over 600,000 rides so I can assume that all 4 sims in their 11 years have hosted well over a million visitors. I have a group and the members are called Grand Canyon Scouts. There are 11,500 Group members, which is quite large for SL. 

JB:  What are some of the unexpected headaches that come with running 4 sims. 

LD:  The unexpected headache is "be careful what you wish for". I always wanted to build a place people would have fun at and be loyal to and enjoy AND I didn't want to make them have to pay any fees. The people who come here are terrific and love the sims but the sims are so loved that I can't bring myself to tear them down even though they are draining my bank account. 

JB:  Did you do this all yourself?  Or does it take help to run a place of this magnitude?  Tell us about your support Staff.

LD:  I pretty much did it all myself and continue to. In the early years Tiger Zepp helped add fun things to the GC sim. Willie Frangilli and Wanli Resident have been loyal Estate Managers for many years. There have also been a few other helpers along the way who have brought their talent to help improve the sims. This past year WakiZashi Yoshikawa has been an Estate Manager and he is super creative and reliable and kind hearted and given so much unselfish attention to the sims. Waki is my partner and I doubt anyone could find a more honorable, trustworthy, Skilled programmer in all of SL. He is starting a line of mesh jewelry called Zashi and he has a shop on GC South.
JB:  What can we expect next to come from the creative mind of Lisisme Dubrovna?

LD:  I just finished the Love Tunnels and caves and created Experience on the sims. Recently I brought 2 statues I cast in bronze in RL as mesh statues to my art gallery in SL. They are unique in the techniques I used. I have a terrific permanent exposition by Igor Ballyhoo at Gallery One. I added a corral full of horses at Grand Canyon and a free horse. I added Cirque du soliel camp ground to Crater Lake. I'm sure I'll find a new project soon. I always do. 

So there you have it folks.  If you have never seen the Grand Canyon SL, you are truly missing out.  If you have been here before, I urge you to come back and see what’s new.  

Yep.  The Grand Canyon: Now more than Ever…

Monday, February 20, 2017

Best Country Venues in SL – Camury Reporting

The Second Life world is filled with amazing and extraordinary places, and many of them become favorites for those who enjoy exploring. Some of these wonderful places represent perfect virtual replicas of places that exist in real life and certainly deserve our visit.
See below 5 lovely places for you to visit in Second Life.

Machu Picchu
The mysterious city of Machu Picchu is one of the biggest attractions in all of South America. The ruins are above the clouds at 7,979 feet above sea level. Built around the middle of the 15th century, it is the main conquest of the Inca Empire. In Second Life you can visit and see the virtual replica of Machu Picchu and explore the stairways, temples, aqueducts and observation points scattered over a mountainous landscape resembling a maze. Machu Picchu is suitable for adventurers or those who enjoy culture and history.

Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is a steep gorge carved by the Colorado River in the state of Arizona in the United States. This formation is part of the Grand Canyon National Park and you can experience the graphic replica of this wonderful work of nature in Second Life. Many visitors, however, do not know everything the place can offer them, such as the distinct and inspiring landscapes and the many outdoor adventures for those who love adrenaline. Take a balloon at the entrance of the park and explore the cliffs of this tourist spot. The Grand Canyon it’s the owner of such a grandiose beauty that it inspires its visitors. It is not by chance that he was elected one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

Great Wall Of China
The Great Wall of China is a military architecture structure built during the Imperial China, and is also considered one of the seven wonders of the world. The Great Wall consists of several walls, built during several dynasties over approximately two millennia. If, in the past, its function was essentially defensive, at the present it is a symbol of China and a sought after tourist attraction. You can get to know the graphic representation, have fun and explore this great work in Second Life. Do not forget to visit the Pandas Bears.

Venice is a city in the northeastern of Italy, located on the marshy Venice Lagoon, which stretches along the coast between the mouths of the Po and Piave rivers. Venice is famous for the beauty of its architecture and works of art. A part of the city is considered World Heritage, along with its lagoon. Take a gondola and stroll through the replica of this beautiful city in Second Life. Explore the canals, the magnificent squares and bridges and even stop for coffee or wine while enjoying the view of the lagoon.

Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is a 324 meter high iron structure, built in the 19th century and located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. The Tower has become a world icon of France and one of the most recognized and visited structures in the world. In Second Life, you can explore the virtual replica of this magnificent structure and visit the square and surrounding buildings. If you are more into a bit of adrenaline, you should climb up to the top of the tower and enjoy jumping parachutes. There is nothing better than exploring and getting to know the beautiful landscapes and monuments that graphic designers create in Second Life.

For those who enjoy beaches, waterfalls, snow, pyramids ... for all tastes there’s always some interesting place to meet. Adventure yourself!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Visit the Virtual Grand Canyon. It has Similarities to the Real Famous Landmark- Nena Dreadlow Reporting

Have you ever wanted to go to the real Grand Canyon but never had the chance? There is a whole sim in second life that offers a virtually real experience.  I visited this landmark and I must say that it does resemble the real life one in more ways than one.

Named an official park in 1919, The Real Life Grand Canyon is located in Arizona and is a steep sided canyon carved by the Colorado river.  This natural formation is 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide.

The Skywalk at the real location is managed by the Hualapai Tribe. It has a horseshoe shaped steel frame with glass floors and is 70 feet high. You can get a wonderful panoramic view of the canyon from this platform.

I visited the SL skywalk as it would not be something I would not do in real life due to being afraid of heights. The virtual skywalk is also shaped like a horseshoe, made of prim glass and very high up. It was nice observing the landscape from that height without being afraid.

Some of the activities offered in the Real life Grand Canyon are zip lining which takes you across at about  30 mph.  It takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. I thought I would try this in Second Life. It was a fast trip down to the bottom of the canyon. Still fun!

A popular activity at the Real life Grand Canyon is helicopter Tours. There are many options with different types of helicopters. You can take a tour from Las Vegas. I was happy to find a helicopter that I could ride around the sl sim. It was great to be able to look around and see everything from a bird’s eye view.

Another Activity is river rafting! Something I have never done but have always wanted to. At the Grand Canyon you can raft down the Colorado River to Diamond Creek or even Lake Meed. The trips can last from 2 to 5 days in the real world but in the Second Life you can take a quick relaxing trip down the river and not even get wet.

History is a big part of our cultural because it allows us a peek back in time. It  helps us understand the world we live in, how things can change but also remind us of our past and how the world was shaped.   I was glad to see that the SL Grand Canyon made sure to mention some things that happened in the real one.  It is both adventurous and educational.

In June 30 1956 the grand canyon was the site of the deadliest commercial aviation disasters in history. Two planes - A TWA and United Airlines collided above the canyon. Both planes fell into the eastern portion of the canyon near the Colorado River.  The location of the crash has been designated a National Historic Landmark. In Second life, The creators of the virtual Grand Canyon  made sure to include this piece of history.

The Pueblo People were thought to live in the Grand Canyon over 1000 years ago. There are six major tribes; the Havasupai, Zuni, Hopi, Paiute, Navajo and the Hualapai. The Native American Indians are a big part of the history at the canyon. The Havasupai Indian Reservation is opened to the public to visit that part of the canyon. Havasupai means people of the blue-green waters. The replica in Second Life  shows how they would of lived back then.

I love the fact that there are not only a lot of activities to do here. From hiking and taking a plane ride to taking tours or checking out the canyon from an observation deck.  But there are also things that you couldn’t do in RL like flying with your avatar through all the ridges and valleys to dancing under the stars with that special someone. They even have clubs and lots of shopping here.

 As you can see there are so many similarities to the Real life Grand Canyon. What makes Second Life so unique it seeing things you would not normally see.

 Check out the TP board to explore!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

7 Wonders of the SL World – Shaneos Howlett Reporting ...

The 7 wonders of the Second Life world reflect the real world ones.

 What we have discovered are a range of areas to explore that are available to the general public.  These include: The Great Pyramid of Egypt, Petra, Gardens of Babylon, The Colosseum and The Grand Canyon.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Spotlight on Lisisme Dubrovna: Grand Canyon, the Beauty of Simplicity – Glossom Resident reporting…

Carved by the hands of Lisisme Dubrovna, the Grand Canyon is one of the most powerful forces of nature virtually portrayed in Second Life.
Located on three outstanding regions with tremendous landscapes, it excels in all the opportunities it has to offer that outdo the expectations. Proficient in sports (radical sports, water sports and ground and air sports), it is also a place for relaxation, romance, shopping, art and for unforgettable experiences.