@ Action News

Argon -- Editor

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Austin Sends E-Mail To Ask About Connectivity Problem

At the height of the connectivity problems with Spindizzy's ISP connections -- which left the muck perfectly fine but only intermittently accessible from Tuesday through Thursday -- Austin Dern, managing editor, sent e-mails to Findra asking about the problem and hoping for an explanation of when the system may be back. Findra reported herself to be amused by the e-mails which, of course, she could only receive and respond to while Spindizzy was accessible to the outside Internet.

Findra has since announced that should the problems which plagued Spindizzy this week occur again, she will be forced to do something nasty and out-of-character to make them all pay.

Morticon Not Behind SpinDizzy Blackouts

The town of Spindizzy had a series of blackouts this week lasting a period of several hours each. Morticon, local wallaby and onetime SED leader, was suspected of causing them and categorically denied it. An investigation was began and it was found that the blackouts were in fact the fault of the local power company.

When reached for comment, Morticon was quoted as saying "Why doesn't anyone trust me? I'm here to liven things up not cause any trouble."

Fuzzy Yarns

The Fuzzy Yarns Story Circle (FYSC) held its first 2004 session on the 11th of May. KevMan,local bi-breed; Adara, local feline; Moonbreak, local weasel; Millicent, local skunk; and Cye, local 50 ft. vixen were all in attendance.

Tuesday's story involved a fae named Lilah (not quite based on our beloved local Lilahfae) who encounters a strange little man wearing aluminum foil. The little man thinks that Lilah is Brittany Spears, coming to marry him and live in his underground bunker. The story can be found at the Gaelic Ruin (S1 E1) by typing 'view 12'. Feel free to browse the other stories, including "The Wallaby That Stole Christmas" ('view 5); "Halloween I", the earliest story document on our program (view 1), and "Roseanne Barr and the Haunted House of Horrors (Aka: Santa and his 8 G-Stringed Reindeer)" (view 11).

The first FYSC began in 1995 on a MUCK called "Brazilian Dreams II". Tarka, local otter, was a participant in those first FYSC sessions. When he found Toons, Fur & Fluff (the muck in existence before Spindizzy) in 1998, he began his own FYSC. With the help of a fur named Shadowkat, he created the FYSC program, a basis for the program we use on Spindizzy today. Since then, the weekly FYSC sessions have faded in and out of popularity. Today, a FYSC session runs only occasionally. But there are still devoted fans who attend almost every one of the sessions. Perhaps someday...who knows? Maybe there'll be weekly sessions again. But for now, the FYSC are a treasured gift, one only opened every few months.

Male/Female Population Count Revealed!

Morticon, local wallaby and Spindizzy wizard, decided to answer the age old common question of "Are there really more females than males on Spindizzy?" Well, perhaps it wasn't age old, nor a common one, but he set out to answer it! Using state of the art counting techniques involving fish, Boki, and some nets, he set out on his quest.

he results are shocking! World changing! Mind altering! It turns out there are more males than females, going against the accepted idea that females are apparently the popular ones on mucks (or at least on Spindizzy). What does it all mean? That is left up for you to decide.

The results consist of all characters on the muck (no zombies) that currently exist as of the evening of 05/20/04. Their status as a 'regular' is irrelevant to the fish and Boki. Without further ado, our gender makeup is as follows:

  • 221 Males
  • 153 Females
  • 81 Genderless (character not set up?)
  • 34 Others (Likely, the non-organic species fall into this category)
  • 4 Herms
  • -----------------
  • 493 Total characters

Local Skunk Named Head Chef Of Cafe

After looking at applications for several weeks, the Cafe des Cieux has chosen its new head chef. Rebecca Katherine Lotus (known as Becky) selected from a myriad of many fine applicants. "But Becky just had something about her. She seemed to fit right in at the cafe, and her dishes were so new and delicious we had to sign her on right away.".

On Wednesday, May 26th, the Cafe des Cieux will be giving a special buffet in Becky's honor. Becky herself will be preparing most of the food, including her special blackened catfish. Everyone is encouraged to attend this special event!

SED Attempts To Recruit Mute Balloon

Society of Evil Doers lead henchcritter Mouser attempted on Saturday to encourage Beltrami, a mute balloon half-dragon, to join the villainous organization. Though this prompted widespread snickering from the Rose Garden crowd, who had trouble imagining a transparent vinyl evil overlord, Mouser pointed out ``I've seen less qualified candidates...''

Austin Dern pointed out that while one might accuse Beltrami of being fragile, she did posess phenomenal powers gained through ``hard'' science fictional means. Through her operator she has in the past given the human JayTee a quite agile tail, and created new outfits for squirrel balloon Nimble, bear KeithBear, and several others. Beltrami has not yet indicated a decision to join or not.

Roofus Roo Made Much Cuter

Concerted action by Findra, Skyler, Skyler, and Austin early Tuesday afternoon left leading kangaroo Roofus_Roo dramatically cuter than he was before. After waiting for Roofus to get back from lunch Skyler, Skyler and Austin leapt into action, grabbing the kangaroo's feet and placing the bunny slippers around them.

Both Skylers admired Roofus's feet, which are longer than typical but narrower, offering them a bit of a challenge to fit snugly around them. And while the pink and the blue rabbits heightened the general cuteness of the large red kangaroo, neither Skyler nor Austin thought that enough.

Findra then entered, saw the project and was happy to bring her magical powers to bear. Discarding the notion of lending to Roofus the ringed tail she had borrowed earlier from Austin, she instead took to shrinking Roofus's body to about three feet tall, while enlarging his eyes, head and paws. Despite quick protests from Skyler at the change of foot form, this proceeded smoothly and left Roofus looking more joey-like than he has in years.

Roofus blushed and muttered that he had no idea why they were giving him all this attention -- nor what they were trying to do to him -- but was reassured the only objective was to make him look cuter. While this was achieved, a spirit of completion overcame the participants and drove them to do more.

While Findra began work on turning the kangaroo from flesh and blood to plush and felt, Skyler and Austin worked on extending the rabbit slippers to a full ballerina suit, a soft pink lycra outfit that covered his legs, torso, tail and shoulders, with a matching deep purple skirt. With this Roofus blushed and tried to hide, but Austin held him in place. Finally, though, the rabbits and semi-rabbits agreed Roofus was sufficiently adorable.

Pressed for comment, Roofus said, ``I have no idea why they did that, or why they picked me, or what they were hoping to do. It's kind of embarrassing.'' Commenting on the wizardly horseplay, Roofus said, ``It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye.''

Austin explained, ``Oh, we just wanted him to look cute, and he really did. Didn't even have to ask him to do any ballet steps; he just looked like a great toy.'' Skyler and Skyler added they were happy for any excuse to be worn, and to augment it with a full costume was icing on the cake. Findra added, ``The outfit was cute enough, but when Roofus blushed as we put it on him, well, that just made it all worthwhile.''

Roofus has announced he does not have any plans to wear the ballerina outfit in public again. Austin added, ``yet'' and grinned mischievously.

Otter Biology

Chapter 1. Raising Young

All otters, like most animals, start out young. For two months after they are born, baby otters are raised by their mothers, with no help from the father, or other male otters. That, however, is not because the male otters don't want to help; mother otters are just extremely protective of their newborns, and will not permit even the father near.

Most biologists think this is because the mother worries that the father will attack the babies. Anyone who has seen a male otter playing with a baby knows this is simply not the case: they are almost as protective as the mothers, and in some ways even more affectionate. More enlightened otter researchers believe it's because the mother otter doesn't trust the father to be gentle enough with the baby. While there is some merit to this theory, baby otters, like the adults, are remarkably physically tough animals. Although otters, and male otters in particular, are somewhat flaky on the concept of "fragility," even very young baby otters would withstand a little roughhousing without a problem.

It is really the fragility of the babies' mental state that keeps the mother otter on guard. Otters think in terms of fun, and not in terms of consequences. It simply would not occur to most father otters that perhaps that new Stephen King book they were enjoying might make a poor bedtime story for their sons and daughters. Since this would lead to night after night of crying and nightmares, depriving the mother otter of sleep, they have evolved a natural state of crankiness when the babies are still young. Not to be cranky would lead to inevitable crankiness anyway.

Nor would it seem at all like a bad idea to "borrow" the babies for a little while, since few things make as good of a "chick magnet" as a little baby otter. (As a note on otter reproductive physiology, female otters experience a phenomenon known as post-partum estrus: they come into heat immediately after giving birth. Since otters are strictly seasonal breeders, the temptation to use a baby otter to pick up more females would be especially hard to resist.) Most mother otters expect their children to grow up to be fine, upstanding pillars of the community, and don't think that being carried around to singles' fishing spots would really provide them the role models they need. Of course, since baby otters are babies only for a couple years, and otters for their whole lives, the idea of them growing up to be fine, upstanding pillars of the community is pure insanity. This insanity has a purpose in nature, however. It is only by espousing such an obvious disconnect from reality that the much smaller female otter is able to intimidate the larger males, and keep them away from the babies until the babies are old enough to listen to a Steven King story without waking up crying every few minutes.

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,
Recently, several of my friends have either, died, turned into ghosts, moved away, left on secret mission, or have been put in jail, and I'm feeling lonely and depressed. Is there anything I can do?
- Signed Alone

Dear Alone,
Get stuffed animals. They're friends that never desert you.

Dear Bearing Up,
Is it true that all bears hibernate for the winter?
- Signed J. Frost

Dear J. Frost,
No some of us spend the winters in Hawaii.

Dear Bearing Up,
I've seen Leslie. She pretends to be a bunny but she strongly resembles a little child in a bunny costume. Is she a real bunny?
- Signed Wondering

Dear Wondering,
Actually Leslie's a bunny in a human suit.

Dear Bearing Up,
I'm thinking about a career in podiatry. What's the best college to attend?
- Dr. Scholl

Dear Dr. Scholl,
Go to a school in France. Then you'll learn how to how to treat agony of De FEET!

Dear Bearing Up,
How many rings do lemurs have on their tails?
- Suree

Dear Suree,
The world may never know.

Dear Bearing Up,
If it's not delivery, and it's not DiGorno, what is it?
- P. Hut

Dear P. Hut,
It's junk food!

Dear Bearing Up,
How did the myth that rabbits' feet are lucky get started?
- Argon

Dear Argon,
It was started by wolves. Rabbits are succulent meet and to catch one was to feast well.

Dear Bearing Up,
When giant radioactive mutant cockroaches take over the world, what will bears do?
- Terminex

Dear Terminex,
Go to the north pole and live with our polar bear cousins.

Dear Bearing Up,
I understand bears are from another planet. Is this true?
- Area 51

Dear Area 51,
Sure! We hail from the planet Ursa Major!

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.

Newspaper Circulation Report

@Action News, SpinDizzy's weekly paper, apparently has a fairly healthy circulation, so we figured we'd show just how healthy it is.

Each week, as long as there's room. I'll show the 'hit graph' for the @Action News website.

Graphic of @Action News website hits.

Weekly Survey

Argon doing the survey.This week, Argon asked,"I'm doing a survey for @Action News. The question this week is, 'One of our SpinDizzy regulars was once involved in the manufacture of cardboard containers. Can you take a guess as to who it was?"

  • Valerius says, "Morticon?"
  • Vixie says, "Austin."
  • NeverNever guesses Morticon as well.
  • Keoma says, "i guess, PANCAKES!"
  • Cye says, "I go with the obvious Morticon :)"
  • KevMan says, "BarterGarter?"
  • Tottle closes his eyes and points randomly to.... Cye. "That's my guess."
  • Sunshine guesses it was Morticon. He worked with milk cartons, and sneakily pasted pictures of his brain over the missing persons pictures, in the hopes of recovering it.
  • BarterGarter would never work in the cardboard business. Everybody knows the real money is in the pudding can rings industry.
  • Adara purrs, "Cye?"
  • Maechen warks, "Er... Morticon?"
  • Gryphe suddenly thinks of BarterGarter. Don't ask him why.
  • Beltrami points at Roofus_Roo.
  • Mavra says, "Morticon, on a work-release program from prison?"
  • Scandal just puts on a slightly confused look and shrugs, "Involved? Maybe Alicia granted the cardboard box company charter when she was Queen?"

Turns out, the correct answer, is Skyler, local bunny slippers wiz!

Notices And Corrections

KevMan and Adara Expecting

KevMan and I would like to make a special announcement to everyone on Spindizzy. We're going to have a baby! The baby is expected sometime in September. Thank you for all your love and support of KevMan, Mosi, and myself!

Local Tanuki Hosts Event

Greetings all! Warusa, your friendly neighborhood Tanuki, here with an announcement. I have a revolutionary new product that will benefit all of raccoon kind. I will debut this product this Friday, May 28th at 2100 MUCK time in the Rose Garden.

What is it and what does it do? I'm not telling! You'll have to come this Friday to find out!

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 dont 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