Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Virtual Ability at SL14B

The 14th Birthday of Second Life® is celebrated by everyone on the grid, and everyone is welcome to join the party which runs from the 18th through the 25th of June. It's a "Carnivalesque" themed week filled with music, art, presentations, meeting Lindens, dancing, gifts and all sorts of hilarity!

If you have a Second Life account, you can go to the links provided in the text below; if you have never been to Second Life, you can sign up through Virtual Ability's website. Follow the steps to get your avatar, go through the orientation to get the basics of navigating in Second Life, then follow the links below and at the SL14B website to experience the party.

Virtual Ability has an exhibit there! It is enjoyable to visit, various things to interact with - getting popcorn, popping balloons by throwing darts, other fun things. It also shares information about why some people are not able to fully participate in celebrations, raising awareness and reminding folks to be mindful of that. Stop by there if you get a chance!
The SL14B website is filled with information and links to the various spots of interest. Pssst...some Virtual Ability members built exhibits there, are performing, giving presentations... you can look through the full list of exhibitors and performers to find them. Don't forget to grab the gifts at the exhibits while you're there - there will be presents galore, and many exhibitors are participating in the SL14Big Hunt as well. Don't miss seeing these, enjoy the creativity and this special event!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Humpday Hint: "Never Say Never Again" A Healthy Internal Dialogue

Contributing Author: Gentle Heron

Three words can put too much pressure on you: “never,” “always,” and “must.”

When you set your life change goals, using these words does not allow flexibility.

While you may think “I will never eat a candy bar again” is a reasonable diet goal, it will make you feel too guilty about an occasional lapse. Leave room for a treat once in a while.

“I will always have only a small salad for lunch” can be set aside when your best friend from college visits for a day.

“I must not eat dessert with dinner” is too restrictive if your family is having a reunion picnic.

Try to avoid using those three dangerous words in your internal dialogue.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Where Do I Go to Complain?

Contributing Author: Gentle Heron

The answer is, “It depends on what you are complaining about.”

If a roofing contractor is going door to door in your neighborhood after a storm, or if someone is walking around knocking on doors and soliciting, you should call your local police to report the incident. You can also report it to your state attorney general.

Various federal agencies deal with specific types of scams and frauds. The FBI, for instance, runs the Internet Crime Complaint Center. While it does not itself conduct investigations of claims, it refers them to the appropriate agencies. If you receive a phishing email or your computer is hacked or you are approached over the internet with a fraudulent scheme, this is where you would report it.

If the scam is conducted by postal mail, such as chain letters or fake sweepstakes “winner” announcements, report it to the Postal Inspection Service. This is also where you would report mail theft.

You will want to list your phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry. After your number has been on the list for 31 days, if you continue receiving unsolicited phone sales calls, you can report them. However, calls from survey firms, debt collectors, and registered charities are exempt from Do Not Call restrictions.

Report identity theft, romance scams, unwanted telemarketing, malware concerns, work-at-home schemes, abusive debt collectors and other types of fraud to the Federal Trade Commission. Your information will be pooled with other complaints to build a case against con artists. You should also report fraud to your state attorney general and local police.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau intercedes on your behalf with companies that provide financial services, credit reports and payment cards.

Your credit card company or bank is where you would report lost or stolen cards (credit, debit, or ATM) as well as fraudulent use of the cards. Make a copy of the fronts and backs of all such cards, and keep it in a safe place. Contact information is usually on the card itself.

Graphic by iSkye Silverweb

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Mental Health Symposium Opens

The Virtual Ability community in Second Life invites you to join us for our sixth annual Mental Health Symposium. It will be held on Saturday, May 27, beginning at 6am Pacific (9am Eastern), and continuing through 5:30pm Pacific (8:30pm Eastern). This year's conference theme is "I can relate to that." It is free and open to the public. The Symposium takes place in Virtual Ability’s The Sojourner Auditorium, on Virtual Ability island. The SLURL for the auditorium is: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Virtual%20Ability/54/170/23.

Our international group of presenters offers a wide interpretation of the theme, based on their interests and academic backgrounds. Attendees will learn ways to promote mental health for themselves and their families, how diet affects mental health, and how first responders and medical clinicians can improve their own mental health.

Below is the full schedule for the conference. Please note that SLT is US Pacific Daylight Time.
6:00am SLT
Tracy Burrows “Diet, Nutrition and Food Addiction”
7:30am SLT
Sarah Henderson and Kristin Klimley “First Responder Mental Health: The Importance of Training and Intervention”
9:00am SLT
Joel Edman “Nutritional and Holistic Approaches to Stomach and Intestinal Disorders: Practical guidelines that can also be helpful for chronic and/or complex health issues”
10:30am SLT
Join us on selection of tours of SL sites related to mental health in Second Life
Noon SLT
Ian Colman “Mental health promotion - What can you do for you and your loved ones?”
1:30pm SLT
Karen Davison “Bridging the Divide: Exploring research in nutrition, mental health and food security”
3pm SLT
Diana Anderson “Virtual Windows: Design solutions to improve the mental health of clinical staff”
4:30pm SLT
Namaara MacMoragh "Mental Health Following Brain Injury"

If you are unable to attend the conference inworld you can view the live stream here: https://www.youtube.com/c/Draxtor/live.