As part of our latest revamp, we have instituted a new Twitter account. Follow us @ISMuseum. Pretty soon we will add our feed to the sidebar on this page, too. Anybody got a good WordPress plug-in for that?
We have tweets on this page now! See the sidebar item headed “@ISMuseum” for the latest.
We apologize if you tried to access this website recently and got a “suspended account” notice. There was a problem with some malware that sent out a bunch of spam, resulting in the suspension. That has been removed now, the software updated, and everything should be back to normal now. Also, if you did get some of that spam, which I think was sent on behalf of some VISA card provider in the Netherlands, we apologize for that, too, even though it was done without our knowledge or permission. And thanks to our ISP, JaguarPC WebHosting, whose quick action and 24/7 support nipped this issue in the bud before it got completely out of control. The same malware had been injected into 3 other sites we own, but their spam engines had not been activated yet, so we were able to remove it from them before they caused problems, thanks to JaguarPC’s early warning system.
I just had the pleasure of listening to chapter one of a forthcoming audiobook by a friend I went to high school with. Pam Rose was then and is still a very talented musician, songwriter, and now author of what promises to be an exciting memoir. Why this is relevant to the spaceflight museum will be obvious when you hear the name of the chapter (available free for signing up to her email list): Rockets. At the end of the chapter, in which she tells what it was like to grow up on the “Space Coast” of Florida in the sixties, she sings (and probably accompanies herself on guitar as she used to do back then, too) her song, If I Fly.
So, go listen to her chapter and buy her song, and see if you agree If I Fly would be a fantastic theme song for the museum! Even if you don’t agree we even need a song, you’ll have heard some good words and even better music, so what do you have to lose?
Life in Second Life is not all serious work for members of the ISM. Some of us actually have other things we do! Shocking as that may seem, at least one of our group has a new accomplishment. Opal Lei, known in Real Life as Lea Tesoro, has published a book, called Love, Like Dim Sum. It is available now on Amazon.com.
In the video that she made about her book, Opal included a few frames taken at the ISM’s Spaceport Bravo workshop during a recent meeting, and she kindly gives the museum attribution in the credits. Thanks, Opal, and good luck with the success of your book!
The 2012 celebration of Yuri’s Night is fast approaching, and as it does, plans are beginning to gel. A new blog post about our party has just been posted to the Exploratorium’s website, so be sure to check that out.
It’s appropriate to mention here that the party at the ISM is being co-hosted by the National Space Society, with contributions from the Exploratorium. Special recognition is due to Emileigh Starbrook, who has done an incredible job building the new venue, making posters, enlisting musical talent, and scheduling the whole evening. Thanks, Emi!
Yuri’s Night is a celebration of manned spaceflight, held every year on the anniversary of Yuri Gargarin’s historic orbit.
Join us in a new venue high above Spaceport Bravo for a gala party filled with live and streaming music, party favors, exhibits, and conviviality among other spaceflight enthusiasts. See the ISM Wiki’s current events page for up-to-the-minute details, and watch this blog for a link to a permanent Wiki page with images from the event after it happens. The party is happening between 12 noon and 11 p.m. Pacific Time, in order to give people from around the world in every time zone an opportunity to attend.
In pursuit of ever more ways to organize and present information about the ISM and its exhibits and activities, we have begun work on a wiki. Anyone can read the pages, but if you are interested in adding content or editing existing material, you must register and be approved by an administrator. To request approval, please send an email with your username to the webmaster.
Our plans for the wiki include eventually having a descriptive page about every exhibit in the museum, as well as information about the museum itself and the virtual world(s) it occupies.
Also, please notice the new ISM Calendar widget in the sidebar, showing the next five events in our public calendar. Clicking on an event will open the Google Calendar page for that event, where you can find more information about it.
Thanks are due to a number of people: Wagner James Au, of New World Notes, Inara Pey, of Modem World, Daniel Voyager and other bloggers who have brought this issue to the attention of the public; Linden Lab, who did return the sims with all their content, after all, and let us know we are in fact considered a valued part of SecondLife®; several significant financial donors (who are anonymous for now), including one particular donor who paid the overdue rent, allowing us to even consider trying to restore the museum; and everyone who commented on blogs about the disappearance of the sims, and how much they liked them and hoped they would come back. It would never have happened without all these things combined. Plus, we have heard from several individuals who have offered to help us make sure the ISM is never lost again.
Watch this space, or join the Spaceflight Museum Happenings group in SecondLife®, to find out when our “Grand Re-Opening” party will be! Cypress Rosewood (SL name) is planning a return concert on ISM in early March, which will be part of the festivities. Plus, Jenika Connolly, whose magnificent telescopes are featured in the ISM gift shop, had donated a new exhibit to be unveiled during the Grand Re-Opening. There are more plans in the works for improvements, so stay tuned! The ISM is Back!
As many people have noticed, the ISM’s Spaceport Alpha and Spaceport Bravo vanished from the SecondLife grid sometime in mid-January. In the immortal word of Texas Governor Rick Perry, “Oops!” Since then, a group of advisors have been busy at work, figuring out how to raise the funds to pay the arrears in land tier owed to Linden Lab, and just as important, how to proceed going forward, since paying the back rent would at best buy us just one month.
I’m happy to report that thanks to encouragement from many, and a generous donation from an anonymous source, the ISM will return soon, probably in just a day or two. Then we will begin the work on that “way forward” I mentioned in the first paragraph.
In the meantime, rather than saying it all again, for the story of how we got here I’ll refer you to a couple of blogs where it has been written up in the past few days. Wagner James “Hamlet” Au deplored the loss in New World Notes, and Inara Pey has a story for her blog at Living in a Modem World blog.
So, watch for notices of our “Grand Re-Opening Party” soon! Then roll up your sleeves and join us as we dig into plans for making certain the ISM doesn’t go away again.
Don’t forget, you can help keep ISM alive by using our Donate page (newly updated), or by going directly to PayPal and sending funds to email@example.com or by “paying” L$ in SecondLife to AyeEss Emms, the avatar that is used to manage ISM’s land owning account.