@ Action News

Argon -- Editor

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Spirit and Opportunity On Track

The Spirit Rover, which has been roving through the Rose Garden and other areas of Spindizzy, is returning to normal operation. In addition to picures from SpinDizzy, it is also sending back images from either the surface of Mars, or unexplored areas of Spengo.

It is especially fitting that these successes come at this time. It was during this week that the three greatest tragedies in NASA's history occured; The Apollo 1 tradgedy, The Challenger Explosion and the breakup of Columbia As we congratulate NASA and the JPL on their successes, let us take a moment to remember that there is nothing safe about spaceflight, and to admire the bravery of the men and women who accept the challenge to broaden our knowledge of space.

Interview with Gilead

Gilead, local otter and Helpstaffer is a well known SpinDizzy resident. He was gracious enough to allow me to interview him.

To start with let's take a look at him:

You see a sleek young Otter, full of energy and, apparently, fish (he's a bit plumper than some otters you've seen, perhaps). Gilead is almost entirely non-morphic; the only morph like quality about him is the way he stands on two legs instead of four, and the way he uses his hands a bit more deftly than a non-morphic otter might.

His fur is dark brown and glossy, but the fur around his short bewhiskered muzzle is lighter, almost cream in color. The lighter colored fur continues down around his chest and belly, dipping down between his short, stubby legs. His hands and feet are slightly webbed, to allow greater mobility in water, but serve him well on land as well. He smiles, and his small black eyes twinkle as he notices you looking at him.

Argon says,"Lets get started then."
Gilead nodnods.
Argon says, "So, Gilead, how did you find your way to SpinDizzy?"
Gilead chirps, "Hmm. That's so long ago, and at my age, my memory fails me. I think I followed Natasha here one day."
Argon says, "Is SpinDizzy your 'home' then?"
Gilead looks sadly around... "It's a home for me, yes. Probably my favorite place to be now. But...I've been visiting some places longer, and...I don't know if I'd ever not consider other places home." :-(
Argon nods.
Argon says, "Well, tell me about your otter family. Do you get to see them often?"
Gilead chirps, "Other than my brother in law Ozzie and my niece Willow, I don't get to see family very often. I visit them every Saturday, pretty much, and clean up after them."
Argon smiles.
Argon says, "Everyone knows otters like fish. Do you have a favorite kind?"
Gilead chirps, "I love eels! They're so sweet and tender."
Argon says, "Not electric eels I hope."
Gilead chirps, "Nope. They're fatty and self-basting, but I prefer them not to be self-cooking."
Argon chuckles.
Argon says, "Well, everyone knows you help out at the local zoo. Does being an otter help or hinder your work there?"
Gilead chirps, "I think it helps. The other otters don't bite me while I'm working. Although sometimes the wallaroos get scared, because they seem to know I'm a predator, if not actually preying on them."
Argon nods, "How long have you been doing that?"
Gilead chirps, "Since I was a cub. I started just a few days before I got my driver's license, and back to the zoo was one of the first places I drove afterwards."
Argon says, "As a cub, did you want to work at the zoo? ...you know, as a career?"
Gilead chirps, "Hmm. I guess like all cubs, I wanted to train killer whales when I was little. As well as be a chemist, and an astronaut, and a fireman, and a soldier, and military dictator of a united Earth."
Argon grins.
Argon says, "Well, two out of three isn't bad."
Gilead nodnods. "I figure military dictator can wait a bit."
Argon says, "Ok, let me ask you this then. I've noticed when you're in the Rose Garden and folks leave, you always sigh, and sometimes pace around the place some folks have been. Why do you do that?"
Gilead chirps, "I miss them when they're gone. :-("
Argon nods, "You seem to be a very social creature. Are all otters that way?"
Gilead chirps, "We like solitude sometimes too. But I wouldn't be here when I want to be alone."
Argon nods.
Gilead snickers into a paw. "I'd probably go to FurToonia for that. >-) Just kidding."
Argon says, "Hee hee."
Gilead has friends there too.
Argon says, "Well, let me ask you about Cye. You and she seem to have a special relationship. How did you two get together?"
Gilead chirps, "We just met in the Rose Garden. She's a nice vixen. :-)"
Argon nods, "There are a lot of nice folks there. But what about her attracted you to her?
Gilead chirps, "I think it's her big heart. ;-) She has a cute sense of humor, and is very gentle. She's so nice. Not like some of the really big critters I've known."
Argon nods.
Argon says, "So, what do you like best about being an otter?"
Gilead scritches his head with a hindpaw, and ponders...
Gilead chirps, "I'd have to say the perfection. ;-) Seriously, I don't know if I can come up with a favorite thing. Maybe my fur. It's so useful. Winter coat, life jacket, wetsuit, armor, high fashion. It's everything an outer covering should be. And it never snags on things underwater."
Argon nods.
Argon says, "Ok, so what's the worst thing about being an otter?"
Gilead eeps!
Gilead chirps, "Probably the lack of respect from ignorant people. We're small, but that doesn't make us insignificant predators. For our size, we're amazingly strong. We're as powerful as wolves or pumas. We can hunt deer. Even bears won't take food from us."
Argon nods.
Argon says, "Who on SpinDizzy do you admire most?"
Gilead scritches his head with a hindpaw again... "Probably Leslie. She's quite advanced for her age, without losing her cuteness. Nice little bunny."
Argon nods.
Argon says, "You're a Helpstaffer. Do you get a lot of requests for help? What sort of questions do folks ask you?"
Gilead chirps, "I don't get that many questions, really. Usually people need help with setting up look-traps and actions, or some little MPI message on an exit or action. I'm slowly procrastinating on making a guide to building vehicles too, but I haven't gotten a question about them in a long time now."
Argon says, "Lets see... anything you can think of that readers would like to know about you?"
Gilead chirps, "Not much to tell, really. I was born at an early age, went to obedience school... and flunked paper training. So...watch your step. Oh, wait, that's Colleen the Road Rover... Hmm. I'm just a fairly normal little otter, really."
Argon says, "Oh, I should ask you about your puns. How do you come up with them?"
Gilead chirps, "I guess it's the mustelid lack of attention span. By the time I'm thinking about something, I've started thinking about the next thing that comes to mind."
Gilead chirps, "Like...take Sunshine, for instance. She's a porcupine. And since I had some mushrooms with dinner, PORcupine reminds me of PORtabella mushrooms. So I would wonder if a spiky mushroom is a Portabellapine."
Argon chuckles.
Gilead chirps, "Or maybe a porcubella."
Gilead chirps, "Like that. :-)"
Argon says, "Well, I'm out of questions for now. I'm sure there are obvious ones I've missed, but I suppose that's enough for now."
Gilead nuzzles you!
Argon says, "Thanks, Gilead. I appreciate you taking time to be interviewed for @Action News."
Gilead chirps, "You're welcome. :-)"

Taken With a Grain of Salt

This week, Slug, local snail showed he had a sense of humor and was able to take a joke.

Just as Argon, local centaur, used to get all hot and bothered when someone made a joke about him being a horse, and finally calmed down and took the good natured jokes in stride, Slug found that he could smile at jokes being made about him and salt. Snails of course, have an adverse reaction to salt, and constant jokes concerning salt and him, had started to wear thin.

But just as Argon finally realised the jokes made about him being a horse were being made out of ignorance or weak attempts at humor, Slug found the same to be true. Few folks, with the exception of certain wallabies and lemurs, actually thought Argon was a horse, and even fewer would actually carry put a threat of putting salt on Slug.

With this change in attitude, Slug is more comfortable and good humored when 'salt on the snail' jokes are made.

Big Words for Small Coati

This week in the commodious expanses of the Rose Garden, a colossal crowd heard Austin, local coati, use an appreciably gargantuan term in the description of a behemothic object.

The term used, in context, was, "Mind, the container shipping is of brobdingdangian proportions. The largest container cargo ship in the world, in fact, was just christened." This statement left a sizable majority of the group expressing prodigious ingnorance as to the comprehensive definition of which the term was fully inclusive.

Abundant searches on the Internet caused Google.com to get almost as many hits as its name, and eventually resulted in the discovery of the meaning of the word. However as the cosmic ranging searches declined, Butterfluff, local fluff, who is has consumed a behemothic number of books and is and substantually well versed in grammer, punctuation, and classic literature, already knew the answer and with its usual immense desire to educate, informed those with less prodigious knowledgeof the definition of Austin's king-size word.

The fluff said, "Brobdingdangian, is an adjective. its definition, 'Of extraordinary size; gigantic; enormous.' Brobdingnagian is from Brobdingnag, a country of giants in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's The Brobdingnagians obviously, being the Opposite of Lilliputians. Butterfluff's vocabulary and knowledge of language comes as no surprise to those who are aware that the fluff uses its vast knowledge to proofread @Action News each week.

Playing Opossum

Last Wednesday, a quiet evening in the Rose Garden was once again destroyed by the advent of Morticon, local evil wallaby-turned-opossum. Almost instantly, Morticon began to eye Mosi, local meerkit, as a meal. Mosi's mother Adara, local judge feline, stepped in with claws extended. But Morticon kept advancing until PatchO'Black, local Jellicle cat, covered Morticon's eyes with his paws. As Morticon was being distracted, Lupinetiger, local kitsune, gave Mosi a small blimp to play with. The blimp had a special button that was supposed to give Morticon an electrical shot. Unfortunately, all the button seemed to be able to do was cause several gallons of water to fall on Morticon's head. Enraged, Morticon made a grab for the blimp, as Borris, local polar bear, hit the opossum's tail with a mallet, and PatchO'Black once again covered Morticon's eyes with his hands. KevMan, local bi-breed and father of Mosi, placed the meerkit at the top of the Ancient Oak where she would be safe. Then, with seemingly psionic powers, Lupinetiger caused a large block of cement to form around Morticon's tail, leaving the opossum stuck. Morticon was freed by a few Spindizzians who had pity on him, and he left in a rage.

After this, everyone thought that life would get back to normal. But they were wrong. About five minutes after Morticon left, a 7 ft ball of fabric entered the garden. Mosi went to play with the ball, and was suddenly taken hostage inside the fabric. The ball rolled east to the beach, with KevMan, Adara, Borris, and Lupinetiger in hot pursuit. At the beach, the fabric was clawed and bleached, but to no avail. Eventually, both Borris and KevMan were captured by the ball, leaving Adara to attack the fabric from the outside. With KevMan and Borris working from the inside, the ball was forced to give up its three captives within about 10 minutes. When the ball was destroyed, a small robot with the letters "SED" was recovered from the center of the fabric. So far, no charges have been filed against the SED, the group believed to be responsible for the attacks.

Requests Tempered by Humor Content

Recent requests by several SpinDizzy residents to be included in @Action News and The Doze Garden Cartoon have led editor and alleged illustrator Argon. local centaur, to bang his head against the wall.

The normally calm and even tempered horse-like but not like a horse individual explains. "I'm always happy, sometimes desperate to get material and ideas for @Action News." He continued, "I want to include new contributors and material as often as possible. Since I have no shortage of folks wanting to be in the paper, the problem is how to work them in."

The editor explained, "The trouble is, I need a story, or announcement, or something newsworthy to make an article concerning someone. For a cartoon, I need a joke of some kind. As has been shown by previous articles, the impact of a story, or the humor of the joke doesn't need to be top notch, although we'd prefer them to be. But anything topical concerning SpinDizzy, or humorous will certainly be considered.

So, If you'd like to be in @Action News, do or report on something newsworthy. Want to be in the Doze Garden comic strip? Come up with a joke or gag that can be made into a cartoon.

@Action News is SpinDizzy's paper, and encourages everyone to be a part of it!

Spengo to be Declared a Preserve

A final decision by Alicia Vulpnine, former Queen of the Neo Republic, was made not too long ago that she will stop all efforts on making Spengo habitable and declare the small satellite a preserve.

As you may know Spengo is a small flat piece of land that is in Spindizzy's orbit. Ms. Vulpnine was one of the first to land on the small island moon and tried to make it livable for all around though to this day the effort has been fruitless. "There's just no demand and I feel as though the area should be left alone." she said in a press conference. The exact date is unknown but all that visitors to the moon will be able to go to is the small little Daisy Garden.

Bearing Up

Ba'ar.Welcome to latest edition of Bearing up, the advice column where Ba'ar (That's me!) has answers to your most challenging questions.

Dear Bearing up.
Do bears prefer beer or wine?

Dear Bud: Neither. We prefer honey.

Dear Bearing Up,
I play guitar for a heavy metal band. I enjoy playing, but the other members of the band say I'm not angsty enough. What should I do?

Dear Gibson:
Go back to waiting tables. That'll put your music on the back burner. In worrying if you'll ever make it big, that'll give you the angst you need.

Dear Bearing Up:
I've had the pleasure of meeting your adopted son, Jason. Do you have any advice for parents on how to raise a kid in these turbulant times?

Dear Argon:
Don't have kids at all. No harm no foul.

Dear Bearing Up,
I keep finding centaur tracks in the road in front of my house. What can I do to keep these horse people from walking down my street?
Crabby Appleton

Dear Crabby Appleton:
Put out some glass so they'll cut their hooves. That will keep them away.

Dear Bearing Up:
Which is better for drawing, pen or pencil?

Dear Michael: I prefer crayon.

Remember possums (to steal a term from Dame Edna ;-D), if you have any questions,please page mail me (Ba'ar) online or send mail to big_bear@operamail.com. Thanks.

Weekly Survey

Argon doing the survey. This week, Argon asked, "I'm doing a survey for @Action News suggested by Butterfluff. The question is, "What countries has your typist visited?"

  • Adara -- My typist has been to America (her home) and to Canada.
  • Borris -- England, Scotland, Ireland
  • Vixie -- Mexico, Jamaica, Haiti, and Ireland.
  • Butterfluff -- The US and Canada.
  • Ruby -- Belize, Mexico, Canada, Germany.
  • Ba'ar -- Rocky Point once but that's about it.
  • Tami -- I've been to England, France, Canada, and Costa Rica.
  • Jabari -- Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, England and Scotland. Oh yes, and Lichtenstein and the Canary Islands.
  • Austin -- "The United States; [ West ] Germany; Switzerland; Lichtenstein; Austria; Japan; Taiwan; Hong Kong; Indonesia; and Singapore."
  • Findra -- Britain, Norway, Sweden, France, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Bahamas, and the United States.
  • Brenda -- Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, Haiti, Cayman Islands, France, Brittish Isles, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

World map.

Note that not all countries may appear on the map. Some were not listed.

Notices And Corrections

Magic World of Soap Bubbles Delayed

Due to unforseen complications the Magic World of Soap Bubbles event has been delayed. It is not cancelled, though -- it will just pop into town the weekend of February 14. Please continue to speculate and enjoy.

Contacting @Action News

Qmail and page #mail can now be sent to @Action news directly. Just send to @Action or sdnews. Use qmail or page #mail @action=message / qmail or page #mail sdnews=message.

E-mail can still be sent to newspaper@spindizzynews.org or argon@spindizzy.org.

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 newspaper@spindizzy.org or qmail or page @Action or sdnews about it.
@Action News is published weekly on or after 12:01 AM Eastern Time on Sunday. 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! Argon, Editor @Action News