@ Action News

Argon -- Editor

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Pancake Day Celebrations A Huge Success

SpinDizzy's Adara decided to celebrate Mardi Gras in style this last Tuesday. In combination with a street party afterwards, she opened up her new cafe in the French Quarter, named Cafe des Cieux. Mardi Gras, otherwise known as Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, or Pancake Day (in the United Kingdom), is a huge event down in New Orleans, and the celebrations in the French Quarter were more than a match for this.

After the ribbon cutting ceremony, everyone rushed into the newly opened cafe, and after looking around and admiring the decor, sat down at the tables. Fortunately, the three tables were very large, even managing to accommodate some of SpinDizzy's larger denizens, such as Logreth.

The menu consisted of a large number of different items, helpfully split up into different categories, such as appetizers, soups and salads, seafood, poultry, and desserts, with very reasonable prices. The waitstaff, Rolando and Christina, were very friendly, and although the service was a little slow due to the large crowd, the drinks and food were both excellent, and everyone enjoyed themselves.

Table three was the largest table in the Cafe, and seemed especially noisy, possibly through the consumption of too much wine. A snowball fight broke out after Chanspot brough in a whole load of snow clinging to it from the East Coast. Fortunately, once enough desserts had been consumed, the ensuing sugar lethargy took over and things started to quieten down.

Jagermeister and bunnybirds proves an interesting combination, we found.

After dinner, the party moved out into the street in front of the cafe. A good number of people came sporting costumes or masks to mark the event, making everything look very festive. The King and Queen of Mardi Gras were chosen to be Findra and Warusa, and they then proceeded to lead the first dance of the night. The dancing carried on into the early hours, and all in all everyone seemed to have a wonderful time.

I'd like to thank Adara for hosting the Mardi Gras celebrations, and the staff of the Cafe des Cieux, for helping make it so much fun!

Brenda, Logreth Transformed By Leslie's Magic Spree

Brenda, Jedi and often macro-morphic cougar, and Logreth, Pernese dragon, were transformed Friday by an impressive display of fairy magic put on by faux-bunny fae Leslie.

Darius, ferret and first volunteer, was temporarily turned violet, which he did not care for. Darius was changed back and given instead a basket of chocolate covered cookie-sticks.

The real show of the night was the intense effort Leslie put into turning Brenda into a balloon. Brenda became hollow and see-through. The final and most remarkable touch is that she spreads magical sparks from her hands, her ears, and her tail.

Last, and hopefully not least, came Logreth himself. The bronze-scaled dragon was given rainbow colored fur. The rainbow started at his right ear, and shifted in stripes from the violet of his ear, to blue, green, and all the way down to red at his left, hind leg.

The transformations started when Logreth, curious about what Leslie could do, asked for a demonstration. The other denizens of the garden kept wisely out of the way of the rampant magic as the volunteers began changing. Notable in this regard is red kangaroo Roofus_roo; he stayed at the edge of the garden shouting encouragement.

Patchy Winds Up

Patch O'Black became the object of everyone's attention Saturday morning when Aishae, dracoati, demonstrated her powers of life-weaving by giving the noted Jellicle cat a large brass wind-up key. The butterfly wing-shaped key turned at a slow, steady rate and did not appreciably slow down while people watched. Aishae's life-weaving did not completely alter Patchy's body into that of a machine; instead simply the key and its components connected to his otherwise normal Jellicle cat body.

Patchy appeared uncertain about the new lifestyle, though he was assured that the key was quite stylish, and literary precedents such as the famous Tik-Tok of Oz were given as examples of the rich and exciting lifestyle wind-up people could enjoy. That Nikon might enjoy the large brass key for its aesthetic appeal or for the enjoyment of winding up her husband in the mornings and evenings was also offered, though this did not convince him wholly.

After this uncertainty Aishae re-wove Patchy's life back, allowing him to consult with Nikon. The process in both directions was quick and painless; Patchy mentioned he did not realize it as it was happening. Aishae has kept the key, and expressed happiness to restore the key.

Patchy went on to display his own Jellicle magic, showing Aishae and the assembled crowd how he could turn into a Jellicle dragon, a Jellicle coati, and into the small Jellicle raccoon form which Nikon likes best.

Fizzy Lifting Drinks Finally Wear Off Of Mouser

The fizzy lifting drinks which the muck enjoyed during Soap Bubble Weekend the 14th and 15th February finally wore off of fursnake Mouser this week. Mouser was unable to explain why the drinks, which provide a temporary state of gravity-free life to their consumers, lasted so long on him, although it is not hard to imagine that something in the biochemical history of the fifty million years between our time and Mouser's future birth caused the strange and durable response.

Asked to describe what it was like to go for half a month from being a ground-dwelling creature to a being slithering through the air the way a water snake stirs through the ocean, Mouser said, ``Well, it was different. At least I didn't get eaten by a hawk or anything; being up out of the underbrush was a bit disturbing.''

Would he try fizzy lifting drinks in the future? ``Only if I can get some kind of steering mechanism. It's hard to slither in mid-air.''

Softpaws Turns 100

Softpaws the tiger reached his 100th connection to Spindizzy this week, in a ceremony marked by people gathering in the Rose Garden and comparing their connection counts. 100 connections is typically the first milestone reached as a person becomes an old familiar to the place, and the wizards congratulate him on this achievement. They hope for many long, lag-free, and happy connections in the future.

Softpaws has debated a change in lifestyle, changing perhaps to a squirrel. His expressed ambition in this case is to be cuter, and less frightening to people, as well as to enjoy the benefits of a huge and fluffy tail. Millicent, skunk, offered the suggestion he may want to be a skunk instead, which Softpaws is reported to take under advisement.

Your connection count is reported as you wake up. You may also find it out anytime -- as well as learn the date and time of your character's creation -- by entering the command
@when me
at any time.

Austin Serious About That Rant

Austin Dern, coati, pointed out this week that he meant every word of the strange and semi-coherent rant he made the week of 8 February about making ``enhancements'' to the Spindizzy ``value-added amusement and personal enrichment lifestyle alternatives.'' Asked what the words meant, Austin was happy to explain in a less confused fashion to a crowd gathered in the Fen Inns Thursday morning.

``At our best,'' he said, ``Spindizzy is a place in which people get to be more intensely, more passionately themselves. We show the sides of ourselves we're not comfortable displaying in real life, or feel awkward about sharing on other mucks, and we find most often that other people like seeing that, and want to see more. We've got a good blend of people who don't want to be cynical or angst-ridden and so we end up generally much happier for it all.

``Still, there is a nasty, clinging inertia that wraps around people. For example, when Findra and I traded ears I had to pose and nudge and look at other people and prompt and lead multiple times before people looked at me, and even more before they started asking what happened, and how. That shouldn't be. We should be taking more active, more alert interest in people. We should be trying to draw one another out.

``It's not something that takes a lot. It just requires being a little more curious, or a little less shy about asking even stupid questions. Could I slide my elastic paw through a straw? Good question, but only one person's ever asked it. How far away can I hear something with the rabbit ears? A natural question, but one I haven't been asked. Could I be used as a kite? Sure, but only two people have tried in years. Why not more?

``We all have a better time if we're a little less hesitant, a little less afraid of saying something embarassing -- and by the same token a little more forgiving of people who ask dumb questions. Please, everyone, look at other people's descriptions more. Be more playful. Don't worry about repeating something another person's done, just try not repeating yourself. The muck becomes a lot more exciting when each of us just pays a little more attention. It's worth it and we'll all be happier for it.''

Because It's Been Too Quiet Lately

Q: Where did the kangaroo hang his diploma?
A: On his office wall-aby.

Q: What did the kangaroo say when he plead guilty to a crime?
A: ``The Tazmanian Devil made me do it!''

Q: Where does Australian honey come from?
A: Walla-bees.

Q: What does a kangaroo say when he's playing Hamlet in the local Shakespearean company?
A: ``Wallaby, or not wallaby? That is the question.''

Q: Where did the wallaby go when she had to pee?
A1: To the kanga-loo.
A2: Or was it to the can-garoo?

Q: What do you call a kangaroo who can't see very well?
A: A walleyed-by.

Q: What piece of gym equipment do flyers practice with, to get ready for a boxing match?
A: A pouching bag.

Q: How do kangaroos and wallabies simplify their work in MS-Office?
A: They make visual basic macropods.

Q: How do flyers get their joeys to fall asleep?
A1: They sing them a wallabye.
A2: Or a lullaby.

Q: Why did the Australian bring a mob of Eastern Wallaroos with him when he went to France?
A: He heard the currency there was Euros.

Skyler and Austin Used as Roto-Rooters

For nearly a full hour this week, Spindizzy's Rose Garden fountain belched and hissed annoyance while draining. While Terry and Butterfluff speculated on the noise, it finally overflowed its banks, making a terrible gray water mess of the area around it.

Jiffy waded ankle deep into the mess, until declaring that a clog must exist in the plumbing. While Skyler proposed fashioning a hook to poke down the water works, Roofus_roo, red kangaroo, determined the best way to solve the problem as scouting it out in person. Through stretching Austin's elastic coati body out to several feet in length, and collapsing Skyler down into a featherduster, he fashioned a rather impressive ad-hoc pipe cleaner for two inch iron piping, and shoved both down.

After an impossibly long time of only bubbles filtering up through the now-quiet fountain, both Austin and Skyler darted back to the surface. Skyler carried along with her an overdone mud pie, two Lionel train set cars, a Dairy Queen dipped cone, fifteen napkins, seventeen shinies, and a public domain reel of Superman cartoons.

Although waterlogged and seen quickly after racing for bathtubs, Austin and Skyler both seem otherwise unscarred by their hour's time as plumbers. They have not yet stated what the rate for their labor will be.

Before running off dripping in dirt and garbage, Skyler bunnybird was heard to say, ``Give a hoot! Don't pollute!'' before hooting and shoving the entire mess into the ancient oak tree, where it isn't likely to bother anyone until tomorrow evening.

Austin Sees Room Besides Rose Garden, Gives Opinion

I've been wandering around the muck lately and found that it's a generally well-built, reasonably creative collective work, and I want to thank everyone who's been building for doing such a good job making the muck a friendly and accessible place.

There's one small point many people have overlooked, and I would like to bring it to people's attention so that it can be fixed. By the building code every room accessible to the public is either on the main grid -- the rooms you get to by going north/south/east/west from the Rose Garden -- or else it needs an exit named out;exit;leave. The intent is that no matter where anyone is on the muck, you should be able to get back to the grid by typing out, or exit, or leave enough times.

Most people understand the reasoning behind this, and will have for example all their rooms in a building given some exit that's named [H]allway;hallway;h ... and that's fine. All I ask is that you add to the preferred exit names the names out;exit;leave, so that people who are not familiar with the place can still navigate it. This isn't hard; in the above example you would just want to type the command

@name hallway=[H]allway;hallway;h;out;exit;leave

As another point exits are supposed to all have descriptions, so you can 'look out' and see where it takes you; as well as succ, osucc, and odrop messages. Generic messages can be produced simply by using the setGenericExits command:

sge hallway

Also, it's very good practice to have your places appear on whereare; this makes it easier for people to find new places and new crowds to visit. We've set up several commands to make it easier to make a place appear on whereare; the first is setWhereAre:

swa Description Of The Room

which command sets the description that appears when someone types wa. This can describe the place or include directions to reach the room. If you would like to set separate directions -- which will appear only when a person types wa #dir and so may be less accessible -- you can enter

swad How To Get Here

and those directions will appear for those using whereare to find directions.

Overall, again, I want to congratulate everyone for their work, and I want to encourage everyone to wander around Spindizzy some more; we have a lot of creative and original rooms. I just want to help make it easier to appreciate them. Thank you, won't you?

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 write their names in the snow?

Dear Alpha:
No, we use paper and pen just like everyone else.

Dear Bearing Up:
How do I know if I should set my clock to regular time, or daylight saving time?

Dear Tiempo:
If you're in Arizona, you never need to set your clock. Otherwise you do.

Dear Bearing Up:
After a recent experience with the ``benefits'' of ``out sourcing'' tech support, how can I assure the tech I talk with speaks English and can do more than read from a script?

Dear Argon:
Learn to speak Indian. That will help you communicate better with your tech support representative.

Dear Bearing up:
Which is better Trigun or Cowboy Bebop?

Dear Vash:
Neither: The best is Metropolis.

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. We asked the Spindizzy community this week, ``Is there an @Action News survey this week?'' Here's what they said.

  • Mouser: Mu.
  • SED Blimp: There is always a survey for Boki! WAAARRRKK!
  • Argon: Sure, there's one every week, except when there isn't.
  • Sakura: Seven.
  • Roofus_roo: Splunge.
  • Kaya: Sure there is, isn't there always?
  • Suri: I'm not able to answer that.
  • Rown: Oh. I guess there is... Unless there isn't.
  • Vixie: There's always a survey, so the answer has to be yes.
  • Ikuri: Oh, I almost forgot about the survey. I say sure, I'd buy one, but I certainly wouldn't tell anyone about it!
  • Butterfluff: Do we need Spindizzy surveyed? I thought we had some pretty good maps already.
  • Nimble: Now.
  • Austin Dern: I'm never doing a high-concept survey again.

Notices And Corrections

Roleplay Expo Sunday

Interested in narrative-style role-play*? Kinsor and Chanspot would like to host a get-together for roleplayers on Spindizzy to log in at one place to have a chance to organize games and get to know eachother better. We hope that this ``expo'' will let folks have a chance to meet who otherwise might not have. This expo isn't exclusive to narrative-style, it just focuses on it. If you can't make it, page #mail Chanspot or Kinsor with your:

  • Player
  • Comments: (What do you like, dislike? Type of game you prefer/how do you play?)
  • Era style: (Steampunk, etc.)
  • Sample Character name:
  • Background: (For your sample character)
  • Character Quote: (For your sample character)
  • General Timezone(s): (optional, but helpful for finding players available at similar times)

Note by sending this, you're giving both Chanspot and Kinsor permission to post your info on ``the directory'' at the Inn! This means that someone might page your Spindizzy character at a later date if they're interested in roleplaying (which is kind of the point, ot? :)

The expo will be Sunday the 29th at 8:30 CST at the Inn of Fens, ('luge s1 e6', 'en').

* What's narrative-style roleplay?

Narrative roleplay centers around ``weaving/telling a story'' with other characters and having a consistent character personality. For example, someone playing in a narrative style might say: ``Tam sweats as he opens the door, hand trembling. The last time he opened it...etc.'' Action-style RP could be considered the opposite of narrative. For example, they might say: ``I open the door and cast my spell.'' This kind tends to be a little more common around tabletop, and is lots of fun. However, that isn't what this expo is focusing on. :)

Lost: Fae Wings

Large, semi transparent wings, with a preponderance of greens and pinks. Answers to the name of `Rover'. Disappeared between Friday night and Saturday morning. If found please return to Findra.

Services Offered: Life-Weaving

Aishae, life-weaver, offers her services to people hoping to change their lifestyles. New lives may be custom-fitted or may be drawn from a catalogue including popular options such as: changing size, color, texture, species, gender, number of tails, number of ears, number of heads, and swapping limbs left and right or fore and aft. More options are available for couples or larger groups. Drastic reshaping of destiny available in certain cases.

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