User:Stone Semyorka

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Stone Semyorka b. 19 November 2006. Lived out of Morris welcome area [1] until 2 January 2007 when he purchased First Land [[2]] in Dotbyeul region and built a small home [3] there. His property was near a large point of land jutting out into the ocean. After he acquired several large parcels of land in the area, the territory became known as Stone's Point.

First contemplating a nice garden for his backyard, Stone Semyorka's vision expanded to a large public park after he spent inspirational time at such lovely Second Life public parks as the Lost Gardens of Apollo [4], Intimate Moments [5], Siren’s Grotto at Dragon Castle [6], and Dyna’s Cottage, all now just cherished memories.

Stone's Point Park

The park, which is developed, yet still developing, is situated on 88,000 sqm of land adjacent to the ocean, principally in Dotbyeul, and extending into the Taerae, Dasom, Myungsimbogam, Dotoorak and Similrae regions of the mainland.

It features a 100m tall lighthouse at the point guarding the bay [7], a handsome visitor center atop the highest point of land [8], numerous romantic gazebos [9], an expansive and restful English-style garden [10], a recreation of Boot Hill, sky cabins, dance floors [11], ponds, streams, waterfalls, paddleboats [12], animals including a popular llama ride [13], and numerous other attractions. The park also is served by a Star Trek holodeck in Dasom [14].

One popular spot in the park, also in Dasom, is the Waterside Waterpark, a large swimming pool with water slides for a family fun day [15]. Nearby in Taerae is the Grungy Pool Hall, intriguingly situated in an abandoned room on Stone's Harbor ocean floor [16].

Also part of the park in Taerae is Stoneflower Gallery [17] composed of three large buildings standing in the ocean displaying Semyorka's collection of nature and scenic photography from SL and RL and his gallery of portraits of SL residents.

UNCP in SL

Semyorka's deep commitment to public education led him to provide space on his land near the ocean, first in Dasom and later in Dotoorak and Myungsimbogam regions of the Second Life south continent, for construction of a large-scale campus for an RL institution of higher education -- The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. He and his academic colleagues use the campus to teach a variety of RL classes, convene faculty development seminars, and produce grid-wide educational meetings, symposiums and conferences. For example, the UNC Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference (TLTC) which attracts hundreds of college and university faculty and staff, as well as K-12 teachers, to the virtual world each April.

As director of the UNCP in Second Life campus, Semyorka assists faculty in delivering distance education classes and programs in SL. Numerous students and faculty have been provided new learning experiences through courses at the virtual campus. The campus regularly entertains visitors from other colleges and universities around the RL state, nation and world.

Some 20 large adjacent venues form the campus on a total of approximately 100,000 sqm in the Dotoorak, Dasom and Myungsimbogam. The campus is sectioned into Main Campus, Central Campus, West Campus, East Campus and South Campus. The North Campus is undeveloped green-space parkland north of the campus Welcome Center. The land-efficient architecture of the campus is composed of stacks of sky platforms – one above another and side-by-side. Altogether, there are some 50 buildings and outdoor teaching and learning activity sites on the campus.

Examples of campus facilities include the Campus Welcome and Orientation centers, University Library, Hospital for Nursing, Art Gallery, School of Education complex, New Media and Journalism Center, Astronomy Hall in Campus Science Annex and Snowport Environmental Study Center, Student Center, Commons Conference Center, Campus Security Operations Center, and the Newbie Convenience Center and Rest Station, which is a place where new students or anyone can transfer clothes or other necessities to their inventory, and change clothes in private. It has a sizable sandbox where the public is welcome to build within an automatic 180-minute clean-up cycle.

The surrounding areas of Dotoorak, Dasom and Myungsimbogam are much like a typical college town with residences, small shops and fields with rolling hills. East of campus is the closest approach to the Second Life ocean at Stone's Harbor, which has a close affiliation with the UNCP in SL group.

A search for UNCP in the SL Search engine in-world will turn up the land profile with a teleport link to the campus Welcome Center. A brief UNCP Campus Directory is posted at the bottom of this listing. A request sent by in-world IM to Stone Semyorka will bring a notecard with landmarks for all of the campus sites and a separate notecard with landmarks to all of the Stone's Point Park attractions.

Stone's Point Academy

Semyorka also started a private facility in Dasom region called Stone's Point Academy to support the scholarly research activities of the Second Life Center for Scholarly Research in Social, Political, Economic, Scientific and Literary History.

The best known work to date by that research center probably comes from its state-of-the-art deep-sea bathysphere [18] operated by the SL Society of Oceanologists on the floor of Stone's Harbor in Myungsimbogam and Taerae regions. Stone's Harbor Bathysphere Research Station is dedicated to the study of undersea marine life, including the many colorful species of fish and coral on the ocean floor. Marine biologists and other kinds of academy scientists devote multi-day tours of duty on the bottom observing the flamboyant life of all kinds in the SL ocean.

The academy historical researchers compiled the best-known history of pirates who pursued lawlessness off the coast of Dotbyeul, Taerae and Myungsimbogam during the Golden Age of Piracy (1689-1718) [19]. Their report was compiled in conjunction with historians at the Ivory Tower Library of Primi in Natoma from information in seven old memoranda, said to be in the notorious Redbeard's own hand, found in sealed bottles aboard the sunken sloop Sparrow off Stone's Point land in 1934.

In line with the current green interest in environmentalism, the Academy operates a Prim Recycling Center at [20]. Adjacent to the recycling center is a state-of-the-art sandbox operated by the academy and open to the public 24/7 at [21].

The Academy also maintains Stone's Point Sculpture Garden on behalf of the UNCP campus art gallery, which is a major installation in Dotoorak.

Stoneflower Photography

To enhance the effectiveness of his RL professional work in teaching photojournalism, Semyorka in 2009 built in Myungsimbogam region a large-scale photo studio and associated exhibition gallery incorporating the latest technologies for digital still photography and machinima videos at [22]. Stoneflower Photography is a full service professional photography studio (not on the UNCP in SL campus). It offers in-studio and field imaging for individuals, groups, educational institutions and businesses. The studio, which is a simulation for pedagogy, offers a wide variety of imaging opportunities for new learning including profile pix, standard and special portraits, portfolio shots for entertainers, performers and politicians, couples photos including nudes and weddings, special events imaging, and art shots. Stoneflower Photography offers classes at all levels in an outdoor classroom environment for those SL residents interested in learning techniques of in-world photography. Examples of the studio's works are on display in the exhibition gallery behind the studio facility.

The Space Place

What we know about Deep Space and how we know it is presented in a colorful and stimulating set of exhibitions by Semyorka in the sky above Taerae and Dasom regions of the mainland[23]. RL knowledge of space and astronomy is on exhibit at The Space Place along with some of their finest space and astronomy-related builds sent across the great divide to the adult main grid by residents of the former Teen Second Life, where Semyorka's alternative avatar Dreyfus Dryke volunteered as an adult mentor. Dryke now is associate curator of The Space Place.

Stone's Point Spelunkers

Semyorka founded Stone's Point Spelunkers [24], a recreational club of exploring enthusiasts in the sport of caving. The members work out in a large cave training center inside a mountain custom built for the group on Dasom land. They are into original exploration of virgin cave systems in SL and understanding their physical or biological science. Unknown caves are some of the last unexplored regions of this virtual world and Stone's Point Spelunkers are searching them out. Gaining access to new caves requires digging, diving, climbing and crawling, and ropes are used extensively. As you might imagine, the spelunkers are challenged by pitches, squeezes and water.

Home Sweet Home

Semyorka's Home Sweet Home project recovers those unpopular little bits and pieces of ad-farm land and repurposes them into homes for the homeless [25]. His Home Sweet Home group shelters homeless SL residents who have suffered prejudice, harassment, griefing and abuse. Unfortunately, because they are not land owners, their only retreat in troubled times is to their newbie welcome areas where the cycle of harassment and abuse starts all over. Belonging to the Home Sweet Home group provides an alternative safe home. Membership is open to anyone in need.

A Better Place To Be

His re-creation of a small town in A Better Place To Be commemorates the late popular singer/songwriter Harry Chapin of the 1970s and early 1980s [26].

Village at Stone's Harbor

The Village at Stone's Harbor is a quaint open-air shopping village with a mix of unique goods for Second Life bargain hunters. Its seven boutiques and specialty shops offer an eclectic selection in a variety of merchandise categories at a cozy little simulation high above Stone's Harbor in the heart of Myungsimbogam region. The shops are open 24/7. [27]

Dust Bowl 2013

The story arc for the simulation Dust Bowl 2013 suggests no one's going to forget the year 2013 anytime soon. Unlike any other in tens of thousands of years, this time the temperatures at the surface of our home planet's oceans went way out of whack. The tropical Atlantic waters warmed up almost nine-tenths of a degree, while the tropical Pacific dipped cooler by almost as much. That was a huge jolt to the Earths climate that dried things out beyond belief. No man had ever seen such a drought and the 7 billion man beings and every other living thing on the planet paid a price for it. Day after long day, a charcoal blizzard of dust settled down on Earth's land masses and nearly obliterated the infrastructure everywhere.

In the United States, air blowing low across the Great Plains kept moisture from falling and dried out the soil. The centenarians shook their heads in sadness as they recalled the extreme hardships of a lesser calamity back in the 1930s. People in northwest China, Mongolia and the Koreas looked back at their dust storms of 2001. Like Steinbeck wrote in “The Grapes of Wrath” back in '39, the Sun in 2013 was as "red as ripe new blood." The dust blanketed everything around the globe. It smothered the crops in the fields, piled up higher than the tops of fence posts, settled on roofs and sifted through cracks to choke the indoors, hung on every weed and tree.

This time, it was catastrophic. Many did not survive the Dust Bowl of 2013. The question what will become of mankind? was heard everywhere above the shrill whistle of the dry wind. The answer, obviously, is we're still here trying our damnedest to work it out. It's tough -- really honest-to-god tough -- but we're going to eke out survival for the good of the human race even if we have to make johnnycakes from sand.

See for yourself at the Dust Bowl 2013 simulation [28].

Meanwhile, Semyorka's reconstruction of an humongous Borg Cube dreadnought Aggressor menaces the skies overhead where the long-range reconnaissance craft works to locate and prioritize SL species for assimilation by the Collective.

Teen Second Life

Semyorka's alternative avatar Dreyfus Dryke was an approved adult volunteer mentor and facilitator during 2007-2009 on the Eye4You Alliance Island in Teen Second Life. He produced Craft Fairs where teens showed off their prolific and excellent SL constructions, and Space Build Day. He assisted other approved adult mentors with College Fairs on the island and other projects. For instruction in journalism and mass communication, Dryke built a New Media Center on Eye4You, duplicating his installation on the UNCP in SL campus on the adult main grid. At the NASA installation on Eye4You, he delivered a weekly Saturday morning series of Space Chats, roundtable discussions with teens about RL spaceflight and astronomy achievements. Unfortunately, Eye4You and Teen Second Life now are just cherished memories. In 2010, Dryke was stationed at the NOAA educational site in TSL. Then TSL was assimilated into the SL main grid in 2011 and Dryke returned home to the main grid where he peruses his educational mission.

Political reporting

In addition to education, Semyorka has been active in SL journalism, politics and various recreational and social circles.

In 2007, Semyorka assisted a blogger covering the in-world political activities of the 2008 American presidential campaigns. To that end, he was seen at meetings of the Democratic Party of SL, the Republican Party of SL, and those campaigns that were active then in SL for Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Wesley Clark, John Edwards, Mike Gravel, and Ron Paul.

Semyorka's Second Edition blog [29] describes the passing scene. Having traveled the virtual world north, east, south and west, and scaled its heights and plunged to its depths, he describes what he has found in-world. In Second Edition, Semyorka traces the society and culture of Second Life and tells readers what he finds.

"There’s an emerging society with millions of residents displaying personalities, spawning controversies, and generating innovations," he says. "Together, they have cultural identity, social norms and a loose-knit global organization. As in real life, cultural expression is of the utmost importance to the residents of Second Life.

"That’s where the blog comes in, tracing the society and culture, politics and economics of Second Life -- the intertwining of the lives of people, both public and private," he explains.

"I have seen in this extraordinary virtual realm the full range of human emotions: joy, gratification, interest, elation, good humor, happiness, pride and pleasant surprise, but also there is sadness, fear, anger, guilt, frustration, aggressiveness, stress, irritation, shock, disgust, helplessness, indifference, anxiety, boredom, contempt, panic and shame. Of course, there also is neutrality, pondering and reflecting," he says. "You name it, it’s in-world."

Web Bio

Stone Semyorka's narrative biographical sketch for his in-world Profile is on the Web.[30]

The UNCP Campus Directory

This brief list locates two dozen places in particular among the 50 or so buildings and outdoor learning spaces on campus.

Campus Level 0 is ground level and the level numbers in each stack go up from there to level 4, which is at the highest altitude in use by UNCP at this time. Levels 5 and 6 are available, but not constructed.

Level 0 = 50m, on the ground, just above sea level Level 1 = 250m Level 2 = 325m Level 3 = 400m Level 4 = 475m

Room for future expansion in each stack if needed: Level 5 = 550m Level 6 = 625m Level 7 = 700m

MAIN CAMPUS AREAS

Level 0: UNCP Welcome Center

Level 1: Classroom Building with Outdoor Seminar and Teleconference Center

Level 2: Classroom Building with Computer Lab and Email Center, Media Center with RL Email, Outdoor Classroom, Admissions Information, New Resident Tips, Picnic Area, Braves Spirit Shoppe (free UNCP t-shirts and other paraphernalia)

Level 3: Library with Main Circulation Desk inside, Reference Desk and Knowledge Area, Instruction Area, Video Room, Book Club Meeting Room, Library Classroom, Library Outdoor Amphitheater

Level 4: Art Gallery, four levels and a walkway through Braves Park

WEST ANNEX AREAS

Level 0: Student Union Building, School of Education Building, Guides for New Residents

Level 1: New Media Center - Mass Communication & Journalism Laboratory and an Apple Distinguished Educators Headquarters

Level 2: Snowport Environmental Classroom

Level 3: Science Annex with Astronomy Hall, Astrophysics, Planetary Geology, Space Science

Level 4: Wheat Fields Recreation Center (available for entertainment bookings)

Level 5: Campus Security Center

Level 6: Campus Administrative Center

CENTRAL CAMPUS AREA

Orientation and Training Center for new SL residents (4 resource buildings)

SOUTH CAMPUS AREA

UNCP Hospital for Nursing, UNCP Commons Conference Center, Book House, Disability Services Center, Basketball Court

EAST ANNEX AREAS

Level 0: Newbie Convenience Center

Level 2: Maintenance Shop - Authorized Personnel Only

Level 3: Editorial Office of The Pine Needle student newspaper

A request sent by in-world IM to Stone Semyorka will bring a notecard with landmarks for all of the campus sites and a separate notecard with landmarks to all of the Stone's Point Park attractions. A search for "UNCP" in the SL Search engine in-world will turn up the land profile with a teleport button. A brief UNCP Campus Directory is posted at the bottom of this listing.

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