I saw a beautiful snake while out on walkies yesterday. It was a rich golden color. It zipped under a bush and I pursued it. Just as I got to the bush it came out and slithered to a few inches from my foot. It had its head raised and was shaking its rattle-less tail. I thought it was going to strike so I took a step back. It quickly zipped down a nearby gopher hole. I looked it up in my book of Southwest ecology and it was a racer. There was a caution listed. It said that the snake is non-venomous but will bite very hard. It's a good thing I took that step backwards and didn't try to pick it up.
The garden is coming along nicely. I thought either Skookum snuck in and started using it as a litter box or a rodent got in and ate some of my seeds since my mounds of watermelon, zucchini, and cucumber were all messed up. Perhaps it was the cat because the zucchini just sprouted and is looking just fine. I did notice a gopher hole, however, so I may be doing battle with the critter in the near future. And since I mentioned gardening, I can use my new gardening icon drawn by the lovable brown_wolf.
Kitty asked me about my post from yesterday. I guess it came about from a couple of thoughts that had been floating around in my head. One idea was hatched while we were manning staff feed at Califur. I know this is not a furry-only thing, but why do so many furs think its important to share their medical history with you? Is it not enough to say, "Do you have any sugar-free food?" as opposed to going into a 5 minute discussion about your diabetes? Can you just ask for a glass of water without describing each pill you're taking and for each ailment its treating? It's TMI, folks, especially if I don't know you.
Oh, I see that furries are not the only people getting freaky on Second Life. Wow. Virtual kiddie pr0n.
Germany Investigating `Second Life' Porn
By DAVID RISING, Associated Press Writer
Thu May 10, 9:50 PM
BERLIN - German authorities are trying to uncover the identity of a person who's offering child pornography in the virtual world of "Second Life."
A German, whose avatar _ or online character _ is a 13-year-old girl, has been offering to provide real photos that contain child pornography to other denizens of the online service, prosecutor Peter Vogt said Thursday.
Authorities hope to uncover the person's identity within days with help from San Francisco-based Linden Lab, which runs the online universe where people make virtual friends, listen to concerts, shop and even campaign for political office.
"Linden Lab has been working very hard here against this abuser who misuses this game as a platform for child porn," said Vogt, who heads Germany's Central Agency for the Prevention of Child Pornography.
Oliver Habel, the Munich attorney who represents Linden Lab in Germany, said the company is cooperating fully with the police.
"It is the very clear policy of Linden Lab that something like this cannot be tolerated," he said.
The misuse of "Second Life" by purveyors of child pornography came to Vogt's attention after German broadcaster ARD's "Report Mainz" aired a report this week highlighting the problem.
Besides the offer of real child porn, ARD also documented that online characters depicting children were being virtually abused. Child pornography using computer-generated images is illegal in Germany, punishable from between three months to five years in jail.
In its blog, Linden Lab said Wednesday it had identified a 54-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman as the owners of the avatars in question.
"Both were immediately banned from Second Life," the company wrote on the blog. It gave no further details.
In the case of the distribution of real child pornography, Vogt said it is almost certain there are more people out there using the game for similar purposes, and that Linden Lab was working on ways to crack down.
"Linden Lab is very agreeable to help me contain these criminal activities," he said. "One can probably never totally stop them though, just like one cannot totally stop the other criminal uses of the Internet."
Second Life is a virtual world in which players _ called "residents" _ interact with each other through their avatars. They can do basically anything that people can in real life, including buying and selling property, participating in group or individual activities, or socializing.
There are more than 6 million registered participants and many real opportunities in the virtual world. Companies have rushed to place ads for virtual and real-life products, musicians like Duran Duran and Suzanne Vega have broadcast virtual concerts there, and Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards even has a campaign headquarters set up there.
And that's about it for now. Today is "Office Cleanup Day." We're suppose to go through all of our files and get rid of old stuff that's no longer needed. Me, I have piles of stuff all over the place. It's a good thing for me to be able clean up a lot of this crap. And the best part is we get free pizza for lunch! Woo hoo!