Sunday, February 21, 2010

R.I.P. Lionel Jeffries

For fans of Victorian and Steampunk films, Lionel Jeffries should be a familiar name, or at least you're familiar with his works. He played Professor Cavor, discoverer of Cavorite, in the film adaptation of "The First Men In The Moon", he directed the classic film "The Amazing Mr. Blunden" (a childhood favorite of mine I used to watch around Christmas) and "The Water Babies", but most of us would remember him as Grandpa Potts in "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" (even though there was a six month age difference between him and Dick Van Dyke, who played his son). Here's the condensed obituary from The London Guardian:

Lionel Jeffries, actor, screenwriter and director, born 10 June 1926; died 19 February 2010. As an actor Lionel Jeffries, who has died aged 83, was a master of comic unease. This was perhaps fuelled by the personal unease he felt in a sex-and-violence era which overtook the gentler sensibilities he sometimes brought to his acting. He was in a stream of British and Hollywood films. Some roles, such as Lieutenant McDaniel in Bhowani Junction (1956), the Hollywood version of John Masters's novel about India's struggle for independence, were serious dramatic parts; others, such as Dr Hatchet in Rank's Doctor at Large (1957), were slighter and more risible. He enhanced Blue Murder at St Trinian's (1957), about the madcap girls' school, and was Grandpa Potts in the successful children's film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), alongside Dick Van Dyke. But he was far from comic as the splenetic Marquis of Queensberry, hounding Oscar Wilde to prison over his son's liaison with the homosexual playwright, in The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960). Three of Jeffries's scripts were made into films. The first was based on E Nesbit's novel The Railway Children, which Jeffries adapted in pursuit of his belief that there were more wise children than wise adults. When he took his script to Forbes, then head of production at Elstree, Forbes asked him who he visualised as the director. Jeffries replied: "I know it's a crazy idea and not on, but I've always secretly harboured a longing to direct it myself." The finished film impressed Forbes by its "great style and warmth" and was a financial and cult success, being shown year after year on television, especially at Christmas time. The Amazing Mr Blunden (1972), which he also directed, was a science-fiction film in which Diana Dors played against glamorous type as the repulsive Mrs Wickens. The film won him a gold medal for best screenplay at the International Science Fiction and Fantasy Festival in Paris in 1974. Wombling Free, which Rank made in 1977, was another children's favourite. He also directed the films Baxter! (1973), and The Water Babies (1979), after Charles Kingsley. He is survived by his wife Eileen and his children.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Preparing To Relay

On March 13, 2010, Relay For Life of Second Life officially gets underway. From then, until the weekend of July 17th, teams from all over The Grid will have fundraisers to help raise money to benefit cancer research.

Steelhead begins it's third year as part of RFLofSL with our team The Steelhead Salmons. Special thanks to Tanarian Davies who got us involved. This year, marks my first year as team captain. Club Gearz will be the Steelhead Salmon's headquarters. Lunar built a nice looking warehouse build next to Gearz to use for our yard sale (something I'm not very familiar with, but good thing the Salmon's co-captain, Annechen Lowey, knows all about that). After RFL, I'll have crates and barrels added so the Scamps and others can have some fun. An added item to all teams is an events board, which will give you information on all the teams fundraising.
The new build
A look inside the new build, the old Gearzton Foundry Warehouse.

Another shot from inside the warehouse. Few more details Lunar wants to add, but it should serve several purposes for Steelhead (RFL, roleplaying, storytelling, etc.)

The Events Board. Click on one of the squares to get info on different fundraising by other teams. The top banner gives you links to different websites regarding Relay for Life, The American Cancer Society, and various other tidbits regarding cancer research.

Despite some aggravation (mostly at the lag during the big weekend in July), we're always happy to have been a part of this, and we say, "I'm ready to do this when it starts up next year." It's one of the rare times I talk with people outside of the Steamlands, and I've met plenty of folks who would make excellant citizens of Steelhead City, Caledon, and various other places.

The team members of the Steelhead Salmons are as follows: Fuzzball Ortega (me), Team Captain; Annechen Lowey, Co-Captain; Angelica Trescothick, CeAire Decosta, Christine McAllister, Hotspur O'Toole, Riven Homewood, Tanarian Davies, Tensai Hilra, and TotalLunar Eclipse. In actuality, I consider the Salmons as the "Planning Committee", working out ideas for events, and what to do for the big weekend. All of Steelhead are the team members. The spirit and enthusiasm that each citizen has is what makes it all rewarding.

Until there is a cure, we relay. Lag be damned.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Grid's Oldest User Generated Content

Originally created in Linden World by resident Steller Sunshine, back in 2002 (according to Hamlet Au on his New World Notes, she was the first Alpha user and created this overnight), it made the move to the Grid in 2003. It's located in Welsh, at this location. The Beanstalk is a game. Without using flight, you're supposed to jump from leaf to leaf, trying to reach the top.
The photo is a wide shot of the area, that little dot you see near the Easter Island style head is me, in an extremely rare trip to the mainland, looking at the stalk.