@ Action News

Argon -- Editor

Please don't forget tread the bulletin board. Enter +read from anywhere.

HURL in the Rose Garden

hURL, a muf program by Morti is set to debut in the Rose Garden. What the program does is pretty cool, It watches the text of Rose Garden conversations and records any recognizable URLs. It DOES NOT listen in on pages, whispers or page #mails. Just what's "said" out loud. You can use hurl #recent to see a list of the last few URLs offered up in the Rose Garden, just like using spoof #recent.

So what's it for, anyway? Well, a lot of URLs are 'hurled' around the Rose Garden, and sometimes folks will say, "Hey what was the URL of that picture of the pink elephant that Zambini, (Local "vamypre" goth Magick rabbit arteest,) drew?", and no one remembers because they didn't even bother clicking on it. Now they can enter hurl #recent later and giggle at his work. Chanspot, local coffee fossa has beta tested it at the Bristles and Pixels club and it has been very useful.

So far no one has seen any problems with the hurl program although there was some discussion that folks might find it intrusive or unwanted. If you're one of these folks, hURL has a quick and easy command to force it to ignore everything you or your puppets say (The #ignore as explained in the following screen capture). In addition, every time it records a URL, it tells you what URL it saved. There will be something added to the Rose Garden so the few remaining folks who don't +read the bulletin board or @Action News will be aware of it.

hURL will be available on 'plib' for use in other places on the muck or just to look over. If you see a problem or concern with it, let Morticon know.

Below is the hurl #help screen:

hURL v1.0rc4  by Morticon@SpinDizzy   {Name by Kinsor@SpinDizzy}  2004
  Description:  hURL listens in on a room and notes down any URLs said or
                posed. It does NOT listen in on pages or whispers.  The
                most recent URLs captured may be viewed by all.
      #help       - This screen
      #ignore     - Causes hURL to ignore whatever you say (won't record URLs)
      #!ignore    - The reverse of #ignore. Causes hURL to listen to you again
      #recent     - Show the last few URLs recorded
      #erase      - Remove the last URL you said from the URL list
      #status     - Tells you if hURL is currently enabled
  The following options are for the object owner only:
      #install xx - Activate hURL and keep a history of xx URLs.  xx > 2.
                     example: 'hURL #install 25' keeps 25 URLs
      #install    - Activates hURL and keeps the last history setting
      #disable    - Causes hURL not to listen anymore to anyone in the room
      #clear      - Clears the list of URLs
      #remove     - Disables and removes all props related to hURL
      ## text     - Adds a divider line with 'text' in it

Way to sneak around MUCK discovered! Intruding unknown into conversastions! Problem solved before loophole exploited!

There's a loophole that lets someone with a personal exit to a location set that exit dark and teleport in and out of the room without notice. Meaning no arrive or depart messages.

For example: I have a personal exit, created by an @act me, to Bristles and Pixels called 'bp.' I could type 'bp' at any time and be taken there. Normally this results in a 'Chanspot has arrived.' sort of message, and when I leave, there's a 'Chanspot has left.' However, if I set that exit dark, no one could see me coming and going and I could jump in on coversations without anyone being aware of it, and even take logs.

If you don't want this sort of access, but still allow personal exits, you can set these two functions on your rooms. Eventually this fix may be set on #0.

@set here=/_arrive/announce:&{null:{otell:{name:me} has entered.,#room-db, #-1}}
@set here=/_depart/announce:&{null:{otell:{name:me} just left the room.,#room-db,#-1}}

Just replace the #room-db with the db# of the current room. If you'd like to see who has personal exits attached to your rooms, type '@entrances' while in the room.

Special thanks to Austin, Terry, Kinsor, Aushae, and the SpinDizzy community for finding and troubleshooting this fix! The original discussion thread may be seen here: http://www.livejournal.com/community/spindizzy_muck/2949.html.

Snowstorm Generated

Friday morning Logan and Beltrami brought snow to the Rose Garden.

Logan cougar-mousetaur's pet Thunderstorm, visiting the Garden, received a puff of ice-cold air from Beltrami, balloon half-dragon. The cold air reduced the ability of the cloud to hold moisture which, combined with normal dust in the air, caused it to begin a cold rain. Though others avoided it Beltrami stepped into the rain and enjoyed the sound of rain on her body. As the air continued cooling the storm turned to sleet, briefly, and then snow.

It did not significantly weaken Thundercloud and the light snow is not expected to change climate conditions in the city.

Spindizzy Olympics Update

The Spindizzy Olympics have been a great success! Don't forget our Awards Banquet on Sunday, August 29th, from 19:00 to 21:00 at the Cafe des Cieux (N3 E0)'s table two. Watch this space next week for an overview of the games!

"Patched" O'Black

PatchO'Black suffered minor damage whilst in balloon form this week. Roughhousing caused a small seam to tear. Beltrami had a patch kit covering the damaged section and was able to arrange for his normal pressure to be returned. PatchO'Black has many forms besides this latex cat, and will show them happily.

Logan has cast removed

Ping, mouse, Saturday removed the leg cast Logan, cougar-mousetaur, had on hir leg.

Ping used a small motorized rotary saw which spun with awesome, loud and frantic activity, frightening Logan and onlookers. Ping promised repeatedly it was under control before wrestling it to Logan's cast. She did successfully cut it without cutting Logan.

Ping warned Logan of atrophied muscles, prompting Logan to promise to exercise hir healed leg. Sie turned the scraps of hir cast to Beltrami, whose operator pack restored the cast to its unbroken state, as souvenir.

PatchO'Black accidentally transformed

Patch O'Black in his jellicle mouse form, wished Saturday morning formodifications to the costume reported in the July 18, 2004 edition of @Action News.

He had a costume based on that of "Little Cheese," a character from the 1980s comic book "Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew." PatchO'Black stated he wanted a more classic costume, that of Terry Toons hero Mighty Mouse.

As Beltrami's Word balloon and Kamida sang Mighty Mouse's theme song- with PatchO'Black's name inserted- Beltrami picked up PatchO'Black and set him against the chaotic skin of NeverNever. Her skin in chaos-fox form is an uncertain, ever-changing and easily malleable form when it is not studied.

So she looked away from NeverNever and dabbed some "chaos" onto PatchO'Black's uniform as if finger painted. PatchO'Black asked what it might do, to which NeverNever said, "Never can tell." She did not, but the drop of chaos caught PatchO'Black and transformed him- and his superhero outfit- into a six-foot-tall jellicle mockingbird.

PatchO'Black quickly took to his new skills- his first time he claimed as a bird of any sort- with a virtuoso display of sounds, from bird calls to imitations of telephone signals.

Kenshu unballooned

Kenshu, raccoon archer, last week turned to a balloon by Ceralor, was turned back to flesh-and-blood by Beltrami this week.

He'd enjoyed the change but wished to return to normal. She created for him a belt which simplified the changing to and from flesh-and-blood, leaving him the chance to return to balloon living if he later wants.

Beltrami given ice breath

Aushae, dragonness, granted her daughter Beltrami, balloon half-dragon, a limited power of ice breath.

Aushae identified ice breath as a thing to which all silver dragons are entitled, and so created a pair of smaller balloons which were pressed into her skin. The balloons- which do not have obvious physical form anymore- serve as 'lungs' providing her a breath of chilled air.

Beltrami does not breathe and lacks the muscles or muscle skill to breathe ice as flesh-and-blood silver dragons do. She substitutes by hitting her chest, which forces out a puff. The air has been cold enough to chill, and let condensate form on her hands; Aushae claims she could provide almost limitless cool if she desired.

Report on the hurricane

The storm.

As some of you may have noticed, I wasn't on as frequently after Hurricane Charley came through Central Florida. As explained in the August 15th edition of @Action News the paper goes through processes in this area before being published.

Due to the fact that I normally go back and forth between that area and SpinDizzy, some folks have asked about the hurricane and how I was effected. So here is what happened.

First of all, my home there was undamaged except for the mail box blowing away. Talk about "air mail..." And I came through unscathed. But now, about the storm...

The media.LIke any modern centaur, I had the computer and TV turned on to monitor the storm's progress. This worked fine until about 7:30 pm when the power went out. I had a battery power TV, but it would only pick up one station. Since I have cable, I don't have a TV antenna, and centaur or not, I wasn't about to climb a ladder (a questionable objective for a centaur in the best of conditions,) to install one in a hurricane. So I used the friend of TV reception, aluminum foil to get a relatively clear picture.

The storm moved pretty quickly, and the TV news crews were out in it telling viewers how dangerous it was to be doing what they were doing. There was a point where this guy was standing in a street in Sanford, Florida, talking about how strong the wind was, when this car drove up and stopped right next to him. A guy with a beer leaned out and yelled over the wind to the reporter saying, "Hey, why don't you take shelter? Don't you know there's a hurricane coming?" I found that pretty funny.

The storm "raged" until about 2:00 am. With the power off, I could hear the wind and rain hitting the windows, and see power transformers blowing when trees hit the electric lines. They would give off a strange green glow when they'd pop. I wasn't too concerned, my home on earth is made from concrete block, and has a fairly new roof, so I was confident it'd hold up.

Unlike the storms we have on SpinDizzy, chocolate ice cream blizzards and fairy dust storms, this hurricane did some real damage and (as of press time) 25 humans had died as a result of it.

Cable down.The next morning I went out to survey the damage. A few limbs had broken off nearby trees, one of which had knocked down my cable line. Ack! After the second day of clearing a few down limbs, watching the one channel the TV would pick up, and having no air conditioning or hot water, I figured it was time to get out of town.

So I put a few things in my truck (Well, I'm a centaur, what do you think I drive, a Honda Civic?) and headed out. I had already arranged for a week's vacation so I decided to enjoy myself.

The plan had been to visit Tallahassee, Florida, the state capital to discuss some centaur related issues with my state representative, but due to the storm, the folks in the government were all busy appearing in front of the local media looking concerned.

Centaur Friendly Hotel.I found a "Centaur Friendly" hotel. This meant it had high capacity elevators, large rooms, big beds, certain hygienic devices, and the usual air conditioning and, as the sign says, "Free Wireless Internet".

The staff was very friendly and helpful. Apparently they specialize in having centaur guests. As few of us as there are on Earth, it was certainly a niche market, but I was happy to find the place.

I got checked in and settled and set up my laptop. The room was large, and by moving a few things around, I found I could hunker down at the desk and see what was happening on SpinDizzy. You know, check in on the "real world".

I made arrangements with Chanspot, local coffee fossa to make sure @Action News got published that week. The fossa did a fine job, and I am grateful.

Anyway, I spent two days visiting the state capital. Other than the government buildings there isn't a lot to see. And since my appointments had been delayed, I wasn't on anyones' visitor list.

With increased security, and standing out as I do, I decided not to take the public tours. My shoes are made of metal and a rubber substance, but they always set off metal detectors and I decided it wan't worth the hassle.

After two days, I decided that, rather than calling the neighbors to check on my electricity, I'd just drive back and check in person. It's only about a four hour drive, and hey! I was on vacation. So I went back to Daytona Beach.

No surprise, I still didn't have any power, but the postman had left the mail next to my door in the carport since the mailbox was gone. The cable TV (and broadband connection) was still down, so I figured I'd just find a hotel in town and stay there until the power came back on.

Ha ha. Like I was the first to think of that. Not only were all the "centaur friendly" hotels full, but all the regular ones were too. It was early afternoon, so I decided since I was still on vacation, I'd head north.

Centaur Friendly Hotel.After a bad night in Jacksonville, at a hotel that wasn't centaur friendly, (The desk clerk asked me if I needed a stable for crying out loud,) a too small bed, and dial-up, along with a romantic couple in the next room, I decided my visit there would only be for one night. My cousin is a big wig with a hotel chain and told me to get on up to Savannah, Georgia, and he'd arrange for a room for me. Being from The South myself, I felt right at home in the laid back city that epitomizes Southern Charm. They had a centaur friendly hotel, with a high speed connection, which met my needs perfectly.

I spent two days in Savannah and got to see the sights. The food was wonderful, and when I called my neighbor to check on the electricity, I was almost disappointed to learn it was back on.

So I loaded up the truck again, and made the trip back home. True enough, the utilities were back up, except for the cable. But that was fixed the next day.

So that's where I was the week after the hurricane. See? It isn't all that hard for a centaur to get along in the human world. The worst thing about the storm, was my short and irregular visits back to SpinDizzy. It just was a reminder of the things we take for granted until we lose them!

Patch O'Black discovers source of ailment!

Patch O'Black, local Jellicle Cat, recently found out that he has a strange condition. Something was cause parts of his body aging at different speeds. After an investigation, Patchy was able to find the source of such an odd affliction. While searching through his Jellicle Fields, a patch of thyme was discovered!

The thyme has been removed and safely stored in a jar to protect folks from the effects. When asked why in a jar, Patchy replied "Because I can't yet keep thyme in a bottle." Currently there is no plans to try and grow any more of the plant in the Jellicle Fields, as Patch O'Black wouldn't want too much thyme on his hands.

Caption contest

Raccoons.Here's the responses to the caption contest:

  • Slingshot suggests a caption for the raccoon pic. "Save some for us, Bert! You've already eaten half of his ring-finger. You don't need to eat the thumb too!"
  • Austin (Wed Aug 11 11:03:08AM) -- For the caption contest: 'Eventually the raccoons got their pet human under control.'
  • Slug - One of these things is not like the others! o/~
  • Leslie - "Mr Tottle and Tottle make their very own barbershop quartet with two other raccoons and a human!"

Zadfrack and the Three Bears

Zadfrack gets the goods.

A Lemur Story

A traditional Lemur tale, presented for Austin Dern, and Kern the Tern, and others who would of Lemur culture learn.

Once upon a time, in far-off Madagascar, there lived a colony of Lemurs. They owned a paper mache mine, and made their living by digging paper mache and selling it to the Terns. They were thrifty Lemurs, and used what extra money they made to finance a moon rocket which they were building. As it rains a lot in Madagascar, and as they had chiefly paper mache from which to build their rocket, there were numerous setbacks. Still they perservered, and each time the rocket would rise afresh from the sodden mess.

One day the Chief Lemur sent Zadfrack Lemur off to the beach with a load of paper mache to sell to the Terns. Zadfrack hadn't gotten far before he met a Garter Snake pedalling a curious little wagon hung all around with assorted knickknacks.

"Hi Snake!" said Zadfrack.

"Hi Monkeyboy!" said the Snake. "What's that you've got there?"

Zadfrack explained about the paper mache and the Terns, and the problems that they were having building their moon rocket.

"I have just the thing!" said the Snake, placing three ball-bearings on her counter.

Zadfrack went "oooOOOooo...", impressed by the round and shiney ball-bearings.

"These aren't just any ball-bearings", continued the Snake. "These are magic ball-bearings, and the Bears that hatch from them will know the secret of making waterproof paper mache."

Zadfrack quickly made the trade, and kerschlundled away home with the magic ball-bearings. When he explained what he had done, the other Lemurs were all deeply impressed, and sat around for quite some time prunkling and whirring cheerfully as they admired the shiney spheres. At last they made some paper mache nests in their garden, and put the ball-bearings in them to hatch. Then they went to bed.

When they awoke the next day, they found that the ball-bearings had indeed hatched, but the Bears were nowhere to be seen. All that could be found was a trail of tiny Bear tracks, leading away into the forest. The Lemurs wasted little time in howling over their misfortune, but instead went out to look for their Bears. The Bears were nowhere to be found, however, and after some time the Lemurs were forced to admit defeat. They returned to their paper mache mine, crindling woefully, having been so close to having the secret of the wonderful waterproof paper mache, only to have it slip through their paws.

Time passed, and reports began to be heard of a family of Bears building a moon rocket of their own on the far side of the forest, a wonderful rocket which didn't collapse into a shapeless mess every time it rained. The Lemurs sent out emissaries to ask the secret of the waterproof paper mache from the Bears (for indeed, it was the very same Bears) but the Bears rebuffed them, and would not share what they knew.

The Lemurs talked the situation over, and decided that a spy would have to be sent to learn the secret of waterproof paper mache. The Chief Lemur picked Zadfrack, and bright and early the next morning, he kerschlundled off through the woods to where the Bears were building their rocket.

After a while, he came to a clearing in the forest, with a big paper mache moon rocket standing in the middle of it. Zadfrack looked things over carefully, but the Bears were nowhere to be seen. Zadfrack decided that he would have a look around.

Zadfrack climbed up the quaint little paper mache ladder, and in through the quaint little paper mache hatch. The first room he came to was an engineering section, with three computers - a big computer, a medium computer, and a tiny little computer. Zadfrack sat down at the big computer first, but it was running line prompt Irix, and it was too intimidating. Then Zadfrack tried the medium computer, but it was running XP, and Zadfrack hadn't come to play solitaire. Then Zadfrack tried the little computer, and it was running KDE, so Zadfrack looked through all the files, but couldn't find the secret of waterproof paper mache.

Next Zadfrack investigated the galley, where he found three loaves of bread. The big loaf was hard as a brick, and Zadfrack put it back. Next he tried the medium loaf, but it was all soft and chewy, without any real texture. He passed that one up too. Then he tried the tiny little loaf, and it was perfect - hard and crunchy outside, and soft and chewy inside. He tucked it under his arm to eat later, and went away prunkling cheerfully to explore the rest of the spaceship.

Next he came to the control room, where he found three acceleration couches. The big couch was too hard, and the medium couch too soft, but the little couch was just right, and Zadfrack sat down to eat his loaf of bread. He'd just taken his first bite, when from a hatchway overhead he heard,

"Tibia, Fibula, Scapula, Femur!
I hear bread being eaten by a Lemur!
Be it French or merely stale,
The crunch betrays them, never fail!"

It was the Bears! Zadfrack went "Ack!", and jumped up to flee. Back through the galley, back through the engineering section, back through the quaint little hatch and back down the quaint little ladder he went, quick as a Lemur. At the bottom he paused, unwilling to leave without at least a sample of the waterproof paper mache. Seizing a handy electric chainsaw, he sliced away the rocket fin closest to him *bzzzzrt!*.

Just then the Bears appeared at the hatch above him, and began to climb down the ladder. Zadfrack fled, dragging the rocket fin behind himself. Without the missing fin, the rocket was much less stable, so that the Bears on the ladder overbalanced it, and ever so slowly it began to topple, the gyros fighting all the way.

Now the Bears went "ACK!!". Thinking quickly, they realized that their only hope of avoiding disaster was to launch the rocket now. Back up the ladder they scrambled, with all the alacrity of panicked Bears. Quickly they strapped themselves in, and with a roar and a gush of fire, the moon rocket took off, climbing into the eastern sky.

Sadly, while the paper mache was waterproof, no-one had thought to check it for fire resistance, so that the combustion chambers burned through several miles downrange. The three Bears parachuted to safety on Diego Garcia, which to this day remains infested with Bears. As for Zadfrack, he trundled on home with his paper mache sample, but when the other Lemurs heard about the burnthrough they reconsidered their plans for building their rocket of paper mache, eventually settling on more durable zinc as a construction material. This led them to open Madagascar's first zinc mine, and although they never did reach the moon, they still lived happily ever after.

Ice Cream Sundaes contest

As I wrote before, I'm looking for suggestions for sundaes based on the characters are here. Normally, I would only accept a sundae idea from the charater themselves. However, Austin, who deserves a sundae named after him, doesn't have time to come up with one. So, I'm throwing it open to suggestions! Best idea wins and the creator will be given credit!

Bearing Up


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

Dear Bearin Up,
How come I maek so many typos wehn I tpye? I cn usually spel pretty goood when I writ wiht a pinsal.
- W. Shakepsaer

Dear Shakepsaer:
Simple with a pencil, you have an eraser.

Dear Bearing Up,
Are Jellicle cats really magical, or do they just work on technology I don't understand?
- T. S. Elliot

Dear T.S. Elliot:
All Cats are magical, just ask them.

Dear Bearing Up:
As a centaur, I have a natural affinity towards cats. I want to get a kitten for my house. When looking at a litter of kittens is there a way to tell if any are Jellicle? I think having a Jellicle cat at my home would be nice, if the kitten was willing to live there.
- Argon

Dear Argon:
Wait till the night of the Jellicle Ball. If your cat is nowhere to be found, you can be sure he is a jellicle cat and has joined his jellicle brothers and sisters.

Dear Bearing Up:
Will we have six more weeks of winter?
- P. Phil

Dear P. Phil:
I'm in Arizona so may I ask.. Winter? What's that?

Dear Bearing Up,
My doctor says I need glasses. I've never seen a skunk wearing glasses. Should I get a pair?
- P. Lepew

Dear P. Lepew:
Sure. Then you'll learn to spray the correct people.

Newspaper Circulation Report

@Action News, SpinDizzy's weekly paper, apparently has a fairly healthy circulation, swe 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

Adara doing the survey.This week, Adara did the survey and asked,"What was the first muck (or anything of the sort) that you joined?"

  • Aleu mrrs, "mine was RaccoonMUCK."
  • Borris says, "FurryMuck"
  • Slug chirps, "SpinDizzy. First muck I stayed more than a week, anyway."
  • Hige says, "FluffMuck"
  • Marcus says, "It *would* have been Brazilian Dreams II if it hadn't closed right before I put in my app. So the first for me was Furry."
  • Lilahfae admits that.. "This MUCK, Spindizzy, was the first!"
  • Randy_panda -- I myself first joined Spindizzy. I joined SocioPolitical Ramifications (SPR) muck (spr.ctrl-c.liu.se 23) in Autumn of 1999. I didn't really make my VR home anywhere else until I came to Spindizzy this past June and that's saying something! -->
  • Suri: FurryMUCK, way back in 1994.
  • Argon: I met Mavra on a centaur mailing list and she introduced me to "mucking" on Furry Muck. From there, I heard about Toons Furrs and Fluffs and went there. In the meantime, I tried Unbridled Desires (An "equestrian" muck with pegusi and horses and centaurs) and then came to SpinDizzy once it was up.
  • Austin says, "Brazilian Dreams II."
  • David remarks, "FurToonia."
  • Nikon says softly, "FurryMuck. Toons, Fur and Fluff was my second muck, but quickly became home."
  • KevMan says, "Here!!!"
  • Kenshu says, "Realm of the Gods."
  • Logan squeaks, "Since I don't count MUDs as anything at all, SpinDizzy!"
  • Selethrial yips, "Well.. In all my history of characters, I first joined FurryMuck. But this character is unique to SpinDizzy."
  • Firewind [OOC] Before SD, many years ago in a land far far away, I tried to join a Harry Potter muck.
  • Becky says, "Furtoonia...My first character was KathLotus...Becky is her daughter."
  • Sonya [OOC] This is my first and only muck, Adara.

A note from the editor

Please be sure and include your character name when e-mailing articles to @Action News. I don't make a habit of connecting character names with their players, so if I don't know the player the e-mail is recieved from, I can't credit the writer properly.

Thanks! Argon

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 tnewspaper@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 thave 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 tapply.

Thanks! Argon, Editor @Action News