@ Action News

Argon -- Editor

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A Rough, Probably Inaccurate History Of @Action News

Yay! @Action News has been published 100 times! Through several years of editors, publishing formats, and homes, @Action News has contimued to be published on a fairly regular basis with primarily good reviews. The paper owes it's success to a large number of folks, all of whom deserve a round of applause and a 'patpat' for their work in it's success.

@Action News is the progoney of several successors. The idea of a muck newspaper started in 1998 with Rocko and Tarka on Toons Furs and Fluff. This was the muck between Dreamtime and SpinDizzy. The paper was then called The Ferret and several issues survive on line.

The Ferret kind of got lost as everyone packed up their stuff and moved from Toons Furs and Fluff to SpinDizzy at the end of 1998. The idea of having a paper was secondary to the usual hustle and bustle of the move, building, and getting everything settled down and organized.

Although published without a date, but several weeks before April 29th, Maxl decided to start a newspaper on SpinDizzy. Called 'The Newspaper' Maxl had a contest to name the paper. It became 'The Floating Newspaper of Death' for two issues until I took over as Acting Editor of the May 1,2000 issue as Maxl went on hiatus. This issue also featured the first Doze Garden Cartoon. I felt a cartoon would be a nice addition to the paper, and as I had been moaning and groaning about the seemingly high idle quotient in the Rose Garden I drew, well, scribbled, a little sketch of folks idleing in the Rose Garden and called that Cartoon, 'The Doze Garden'. Well the name stuck and there has been a cartoon in most every issue since.

In the next edition of the paper, the name was changed from 'The Floating Newspaper of Death'to @Action News the name it has retained since. I didn't feel the 'Newspaper of Death' name reflected the muck, or my idea of how the paper should represent SpinDizzy. And yes, it was a decision based on my feelings alone. I tried to come up with a name that sounded like a local TV News show. Eyewitness News, or Action News... The it occured to me that some commands on the muck, some actions, are preceeded with the @sign. Viola! @Action News came to life. In case you're wondering, I pronounce it A Action News, but At Action News is just as effective. It's the symbol, @, not the sound that's the gag.

As you can see from the bizzare HTML coding of the paper at that point, I used Windows Word, which I saved as HTML and posted. The columns didn't last very long, as lining them up turned out to be impossible for me. With the publication of the June 4th Edition Maxl had stepped down as editor and turned the paper over to me.

The paper was published weekly, and although I found myself also drawing the Doze Garden, in addition to writing many of the stories, I enjoyed the experience. The August 20, 2000 edition was a lot of fun, as Morticon, alleged leader of the SED, Society of Evil Doers, 'took over' the paper and published @SED News.

The September 24th edition brought my time as editor to a close. With the next issue, local Wallaby, Kulan took over as editor, Who with help from Frogar, gave the paper a new look. Kulan published fairly regularly for about 8 months, and then turned the paper back over to me with the August 5th, 2001 issue.

I used Frogar's layout and began publishing the paper on Front Page. Although I had been assisting Kulan with the paper's publication, I enjoyed being back into it, and working to make sure I had enough stuff to get a paper out each week. I had sometimes complained to other editors about how the paper needed to be published consistantly, if it was to be a weekly, then it needed to come out, *each week*. And, although I've attempted to practice what I preach, I too have failed a few times to get the paper togther in time, or at all.

With the publication of the May 5, 2002 issue, I finally succumbed to Austin's cries of woe, and began follwing a 'correct' HTML templent which he graciously set up for the paper. Although I find it a lot harder to publish this way than using Front page, and adding links and images is not a 'drag and drop' joy, Austin claims it looks better. And I admit, it's getting easier as I go along.

So, that's pretty much the history of @Action News. They say that achievement is measured by the shoulders of those who have put you where you are, and that is certainly the case with me. Rocko, Tarka, Maxl, Kulan, Frogar, and many others who have written, drawn, offered tips and advice to the paper, and to me, are owed more credit that I, for the basis and momentum that has become the @Action News you see before you.

@Action News Thoughts

So, what can you say about a web based newspaper published about a muck? Well, for one you can say that although itís not the Washington Post it sure does get read. Seriously folks, although it isnít possible to use for lining the bottom of a bird cage or a kitty litter box (unless youíre silly enough to print each issue out), it still has some usefulness in entertainment. Yes, thatís right! Entertainment. The big ďEĒ, the entrance into humorous enlightenment, the excuse you tell your mate when itís time to go to bed and you want to stay up late. Okay, so itís not a good one for that. :-p

Actually, the paper does have it's moments and for me they were when I drew cartoons and wrote articles. From the silliness of the Christmas rhyme and skit to the notoriously funny and controversial ďDire hillbilly cartoonĒ of years past I took my shots at the reader's funny bones. Other times I simply reported events like when SED finally had a working plot that Morticon dreamed up. ( a very rare moment in history BTW)

Now the paperís having it's hundredth issue. Pretty good considering most other muckís newspapers folded by their twenty fifth! But then this isnít any ordinary muck, itís Spindizzy. Second only to Furry muck in size and longevity (if you take into account it's first incarnation). *Editor's note: Just to be accurate, Austin tells me that several other mucks beat SpinDizzy in both size and longevity.*

Iíve been around for a few years and seen plenty of mucks. Iíve never taken time to venture into FM but most others I have. Then again, most of the others are either gone or are doing a very good impression of death. SD still remains though and is renewing even now. Perhaps itís the laid back mode of SD that makes it so successful. Then again it could be the type of characters it attracts. Could also be that the many long time resident characters keep the place alive so well. God only knows what it is. One thing is for certain. It takes a special muck to be able to maintain a news paper for as long as SD has. Keeping it popular for that amount of time is also a special feat.

Iíd like to give a special thanks to Argon for giving me the chance to contribute and be part of those first hundred issues. May there be many more to follow!

Cye-chan's Itty Bitty Article

Hi! Cye-chan here! Do you know how hard it is to find pens for a 50ft Vixen? Don't ask..

Anyway I'm here to give my thoughts on the Spindizzy paper. It's needs more 50ft Vixens!

But seriously or somewhat seriously. I see The Spindizzy paper as a useful tool to see what's happend during the week on Spindizzy. More useful than the bboard or stuff like other places that will not be mentioned at this time. It's a very unique and great idea. I give kudos to Argon for writing the last 100 issues! Here's to 100 more...Just make sure you have more 50ft Vixens in it, ne?

Cye, your local 50ft vixen.

More Thoughts About The Paper

Me, I've always liked the paper. It documents how evil and successful I am. As a side benefit, newbies come on seemingly already knowing my evilness. It helps me recruit minions too, you know. And, as a public good ::shudder::, it's an outlet for amusing articles, news reports, those drawings on the bottom, and advertisements. Spindizzy wouldn't be the same without it.

FEAR AND LOATHING IN 100 EDITIONS OF HORROR & HOW I FOUND GOD

Back when I started the newspaper, it seemed like a good idea. Honest. I'm really sorry, everybody. It was supposed to be something that featured occasional actual, interesting content, but alas, that was not to be. I'm even sorrier for handing over the newspaper to the various other editorial staff that have held it through the year (or perhaps two), doing horrible things like not coercing the more interesting members of the community into writing something with their precious valuable time that would be better spent, you know, doing actual stuff.

But fear not! I've decided to retake the reins of the newspaper, but with a different spin. You see, while I've been away this last month or two, something happened to me. Something wonderful and amazing.

I found God.

Now, when I ran into him, I didn't know it was God - he was just this guy sitting in a burger stand, with this big greasy long beard, wearing a toga. I figured he might have been a lonesome frat boy, upset that his fraternity brothers had gone for the summer, but when He looked at me with those smoldering eyes and said I was damned to the fires of hell unless I did something to make up for the horrible sins of my past, including 'that incredibly boring and pitiful newspaper-thing that you started. Don't think that I don't know about that. I'm God.' Actually, it wasn't until after he cleared it up that I knew he was God.

Naturally, this got me thinking. What horrors had I spawned? Something worthy of eternal damnation in the pits of hell, forever being poked by a really sharp pointy thing and sobbing for all eternity - 'if only I had been steadfast and not given Argon the bloody paper!'

No! There was hope - and this hope lies in taking back the paper. I have formed a group of fantastic breakdancing hobos to take it back for the Lord, replace the eye-gougingly bad comic with Jack Chick tracts, and inform you all of the work of the Great Deceiver, Satan, every week. Stay on the lookout for it, and God bless!

Skolf's Spotlight

Greetings everyone. I had this idea to interview a different person each week and have it in the @Action News. My first interviewee was to be Findra, but I've been so busy and because it's the 100th issue, I've decided to make Argon the first to be spotlighted.

So it here is. Skolf's Spotlight #1 featuring Argon, local centaur and @Action News Editor.

SKOLF-Thank you Argon for agreeing to my interview. Just to start basic, how long've you been on SpinDizzy and how'd you get into it originally?

ARGON-I came to SpinDizzy on October 1st, 1998, So I've been here about 3 and 3/4 years. I sort of knew Austin on Furrymuck, and he mentioned SpinDizzy there. I asked if I could come over, and have been here ever since.

SKOLF-I've noticed you've been the editor for @Action News for some time, how'd you get the job and have you been enjoying it?

ARGON-Maxl had started the paper, and was going to be gone for a while, so I talked him into letting me edit the paper while he was gone. He let me take over officially as editor later. I really enjoy the job, in spite of the pressures of meeting a deadline and sometimes struggling to get enough 'real news' to make a paper.

SKOLF-What's been your favorite @Action News article or Survey that you've done?

ARGON-Hmmm, that's tough. I suppose I'd have to say the 'Raccoon History' piece that I did with Royce. The idea of putting Raccoon history in the context of Human events was a lot of fun. I was pleased with the idea that Raccoons had no Dark Ages because they liked shiny things.

SKOLF-I have a few other questions now, not dealing with @Action News. The first one I have is; What does SpinDizzy mean to you?

ARGON-I find that SpinDizzy is place where I have friends who I can enjoy the company and ask advice of. I'm not judged on 'what' I am, a Centaur, but on 'who' I am, and my interactions with folks. The idea that I'm not judged on my physical appearance or the way I speak or the clothes I wear, but on the persona folks see me as here is enjoyable. I also am grateful for the friends I've made, and the things I've learned from folks here. SpinDizzy is sort of like Cheers. You come by and everyone knows you, knows what you like and dislike, and you do the same for them. It's nice to have a place where folks know and like you. I am honored to be known by most of the SpinDizzy regulars, and liked by some of them.

SKOLF-And if you were to give out a single piece of advice to a newbie, what would it be?

ARGON-Don't take what some folks say and do seriously. Most folks come to SpinDizzy to have fun and visit with friends. They enjoy being In Character (IC) and/or doing some Role Playing (RP). There is a small number of folks who enjoy using SpinDizzy to vent their 'being a jerk' urge. Don't let the 'jerks' keep you from seeing what a great place SpinDizzy is.

SKOLF-Dealing with things that go on around SpinDizzy, what've been your thoughts and involvement with the SED and their leader, Morticon?

ARGON-The SED (Society of Evil Doers) and their alleged leader Morticon, have been giving the Centaurs a hard time for years. Not that he hasn't been giving other folks trouble. Morticon calls us 'Horses' and seems to think that Horses are dumb, therefore Centaurs, having Equine attributes, must be stupid. Horses aren't stupid, and Centaurs though not necessarily smarter than anyone else, certainly aren't any dumber. So he tries to push our 'hot buttons' by making disparaging comparisons between Centaurs and Horses. The thing is, with Morticon's arsenal of 'high tech' weaponry, and his self claimed 'evil genius, the Centaurs have usually beat him in vocal debate. We generally beat Morticon and SED using our wits. I will add however, that the SED and it's 'minions' keep things interesting on SpinDizzy. A large percentage of stories in the newspaper have to do with Morticon and the SED, so his 'plans' keep ink on the pages of the paper.

SKOLF-I've got one last question before I let you go. What might be a question I should ask a future interviewee for my Spotlight? You can also mention specific questions you'd like me to ask certain individuals.

ARGON-I think you might want to ask questions about their 'form'. You know, what's it like being a (name species here). Ask about any special abilities and 'powers' they have. Folks might like to know what the plusses and minuses of being elastic are if you're an Elastic Coati, or the advantages to being lighter than air if you're a Balloonie. That sort of thing.

SKOLF-Thank you for your time Argon, and I hope you keep up the wonderful work you do on SpinDizzy.

ARGON-My pleasure, Skolf!

Because of my still busy week, I was not able to actually interview Argon in person, on-line, so I'm sorry for the weird way this first Spotlight went. If I get good comments on it, I may do a follow up Spotlight on Argon in some future @Action News. Thanks for reading, and page #mail all your comments to me, Skolf.

In Other News...

Character Setup Updated!

I've done a little housecleaning on the character setup tutorial, but it needs improvement! Let me know what you think so far by teleporting to #4211, or go to the Newcomer's Island (type 'new' to get there) and enter from there.

The purpose of the tutorial is to help set up a new character. It also provides some information on advanced options that are completely optional.

Puppeteers' Guild

Hey gang..Ba'ar here. I know that many of you own and work with puppets either as a hobby or professionally. With that concept in mind, I'd like to announce the early stages of the formation of the Spindizzy Puppeteering Guild.

Meetings will be held Saturdays at my house (t #5618) starting at 2100 (11:00pm to us non military types) Muck time and continuing to whenever. Puppeteers of all types and skill levels are welcome to talk shop and exchange ideas and skills. See you there!

Movie Review - Spirit: Stallion of The Cimarron

This started out as a really, really cute film.

Thereís this lady dancing with this anthropomorphic animal-beast, when this little blue fuzzy thing was crawling along the ceiling and dropped this chandelier..

No, wait, thatís not it.

Ok, ok, thereís this mermaid thatís singing on this rock, when this little blue fuzzy thing comes surfing in and splashes all over her...

No, wait, thatís not it either.

Egad, all of these previews are starting to confuse me. What was this film about?

OH! NOW I REMEMBER!

HORSIES!

(girlish squeel inserted here)

Ok, so Iím somewhat biased, sue me.

'Spirit' is an animated film about a herd of wild horses, specifically how the leader of these horses interacts with humans. Forget what you heard (no pun intended) about the Ďidealí of ĎWhite Men bad, Native American goodí.

Phooey!

Poor Spirit (a name given to him by the Indian, not one of his own choosing, imagine that) was first captured by the US Calvary, true, but then was captured again by the Indians, ergo, no difference. On top of this, the Indian may have set him free, but in the end, so did the US Calvary Colonel (voiced by James Cromwell), again, no difference.

Some noteworthy things that were present in the film were the more Ďhonestí animation of the horses, namely in matters of Ďdiscreteí equine anatomy (Iíll leave it there), and some very good application of CGI. The rendered river in various scenes struck me as being almost photographic in realism.

One thing that left me a tad bit annoyed is how the horses and other animals are never Ďtalkingí. While this may sound odd, because in a way, this is good, for it is realistic, but with all of the whinnying, nickering, and so forth, it left me feeling as if I was watching a foreign film with no subtitles. While the gist of what was being implied was quite easily understood, it left me feeling as if I had missed something.

In summation, this is a classic story of boy finds girl, boy loses girl, boy finds girl again, and boy takes girl home to meet momma. The only thing that differentiates it is that theyíre horses. A good 'date' film... if your date likes horses.

Morticon University Announces Class Offerings

Would you like to expand your mind, advance your career, and make more money? Sure, we all do!

That's why Morticon University is opening. Morticon University, a wholly owned subsidiary of SED, Inc., strives to accomplish all three goals at a cost you can afford! And if you can't, we offer a student loan program with a low 72.459% APR!

We're different at Morticon University. Our professors believe in giving each and every student special attention and our classes are designed to make even the hardest topics easy to understand. Student participation is encouraged. Best of all, there are probably no tests! And even if there are, our Lying, Cheating, Stealing, and Bribes course will help you ace them.

What kind of classes will we offer? All kinds! The following is a list (*) (**) of classes we will be offering:

  • Conformist Writing
  • Pointless Memorization
  • Reality Transmutation
  • WWII (***)
  • Evil 101
  • Evil 102
  • Lying, Cheating, Stealing, and Bribes 101
  • Role Playing Basics (****)
  • (*) - Partial List
  • (**) - List subject to change at any time. Not all classes are available at all branches
  • (***) - Part of the Time Travel series of classes.
  • (****) - Taught partly OOC.

Registration starts in about a week, so empty those bank accounts! More information will be posted as soon as it is available. For questions or comments please see Morticon or Arkitah. If you are interested in teaching a course, please see Morticon.

DISCLAIMER: Morticon University is not responsible for death, hypnotization, injury, loss of vision, loss of hearing, binge drinking, or anything else that may occur while on the campus.

SpinDizzy Crossword Puzzle

SpinDizzy Crossword Puzzle

The Doze Garden

The Doze Garden Comic Strip

Guidelines and Procedures for Submitting Articles

Submitting a story or artwork for @Action News is easy! Just send it to argon@spindizzy.org or qmail or page Argon about it.

Most any type of story or article will be accepted. Generally, we'd prefer things that aren't out and out lies or flames about other folks, and have a basis in the reality of SpinDizzy. Things that occur in public areas are fair game. The things reported don't have to have actually happened, (any more than anything that happens here does) but make sure you don't overstep the social boundaries and rules of interaction that we have.  These are pretty broad guidelines, but we expect good sense to apply. 

Thanks!