@ Action News

Argon -- Editor

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Be sure and vote November 2nd!

Exploration of the new planet

Last Sunday, there was an expedition to explore the surface of the planet SpinDizzy is now a part of. Everyone met Sunday night at Centaur Square and off we went to the east.

The spindizzy field had faded so there was little resistance as Georgia, a Zebra Dragon mix, flew over the site of the old spindizzy barrier to check air pressure and atmosphere. As the field was no longer there, it seemed that the pressure and atmospheres of the two areas would have naturally equalized, but since Georgia was a dragon, one of many folks who joined the expedition who were able or prepared to be exposed to what might be hazardous conditions to the rest of us, she volunteered to check it out.

She flew over and returned reporting that the air was safe and that she could see no danger. I had hoped we would have had a stronger showing of the 'Coonlective, but Nikon and Laura were there, and as I sometimes become raccoony I was sort of a 'Coonlective cousin at the time. So we had at least 2.5 raccoons. I'd decided to remain a centaur for this trip though.

So it was time to set foot, (paw, hoof, claw, underscales...?) over the border. As I had organized the expedition, it was suggested I be the first victim... er, SpinDizzian to cross it. So I did. Sorry, I didn't have any great statement to make once over except to say, "Come on you all."

The adjoining spindizzy seemed to have ground made of glass. It was very bright and shiny, (which pleased the raccoons,) and was flat for what seemed to be miles. There were some glass plants, and off in the distance, some sort of ridges, and a glimmering object. It was determined that the "reflection" was a town of some sort, so off we went to see what we could see.

It turns out the "town" was an outpost. It looked like a town in old Wild West movies. There was a saloon, a store, a stable (with "horses"), and a telegraph office. The interesting thing, was everything was made of glass, even the residents.

Although they seemed to take us for granted, (perhaps they've seen enough visitors from other spindizzies that "strangers" weren't all that strange,) they were pleasant enough. The "Glass Plane" spindizzy was populated by what looked like light bulbs. Some were short and fat incandescent bulbs, other were tall and thin fluorescent tube looking people. As I said, everything here was made of glass. it was strange.

As were were looking around, Borris and I went into the store, which gave the clerk some concern. Not because I was a centaur and Borris was a bear, but because we were big and he was afraid we'd break something.

As we looked around, Alicia went into the telegraph office and while there, got a message from Alex. Alex, as you may recall was lost some weeks ago as he flew a spaceship to the planet before we landed.

The expedition included a lot of folks, but one worth mentioning here, was Victimheart, a care bear cousin. This is the kind of character that you know isn't going to be there as the final credits roll. Although not wearing a red shirt, he should. Victimheart went exploring east of the outpost and was never heard from again.

ith a message from Alex received, the expedition party decided to see about rescuing him. Alicia determined he was located north of the Glass Plane, so a group of us went up to seek him out.

Alex was in fine shape, and had made some interesting observations of the area he had crashed in. Seems you could dig in the dirt and find jewels the size of your fist and precious metals. Alex decided to remain, and I guess Alicia will provide him with supplies.

The expedition was a success. No one (other than Victimheart) was injured or lost, and a couple of neat new areas were found. Other adjoining spindizzies will be explored later. Watch the bulletin and events board.

If anyone is interested in creating an adjoining spindizzy, just go one square beyond the map and find a blank one. They are supposed to be set so you can just enter @chown=here and you can start building away. If you have trouble, just ask a Helpstaffer or a Wiz.

Rose Garden gets Halloween look

Eclispe photo by Kinsor.

This week, the Rose Garden took on a new look after a visit from an automaton.

It was a quiet night, and folks were enjoying the moon-lit beach and getting ready to watch the eclipse when a robot of some sort arrived. At first the robot was welcomed as a new resident of SpinDizzy, but it quickly became apparent that it was having trouble communicating. After writing a ? in the sand, Patch O'Black, local Jellicle cat, and Georgia, local dragon/zebrataur starting writing in the sand, addressing questions to the robot. After a few exchanges, the robot found that the predominant language here was SpinDizzian, better known as English, American standard. It then began speaking.

The robot, calling itself Ultrametric, indicated that it was part of the personel (or equipment,) that is currently servicing SpinDizzy. It reported that the equipment that is used to change the appearance of the Rose Garden for holidays and special events was off-line, and it was here to make the changes manually. It asked what changes should be made.

Several suggestion came from the group of folks there, but the general consensus was for a Halloween theme. A few folks, jokingly asked for an X rated Halloween theme, which Ultrametric took literally! Patch and Georgia quickly recended that "order" and asked for a G rated theme.

Ultrametric then began spinning, and the next thing the crowd knew, we had the Rose Garden "Pumpkin patch" as we see it now:

The pumpkin patch stretches to the limits of one's sight; it's surrounded on all sides by an inky black. Luxuriously stretching through these odd boundaries are spotted, shaky lines, the limits of the varied leaves and vines. Shaded pumpkins dot the landscape, to add a feeling of sincerity, far as the eye can see. Occasionally an odd, silhouetted figure rises from the ground, though it usually proves to be a used dog wearing World War I goggles, or something normal like that.

Its mission accomplishd, Ultrametric then asked who it should accept orders from the next time changes needed to be made. The group wanted to tell the robot it ought not to accept orders from Morticon, but before the decision was reached the robot left, probably to service other spindizzies.

With the pumpkin patch in place, the eclipse began, and the area was bathed in a spooky red glow as the moon passed through the spindizzy planet's shadow. Kinsor, local bat, took the photograph you see here. Nice job, Kinsor!

Wizards baffled, confused by SpinDizzy popularity

The wizard core exchanged urgent messages this week wondering about the mysterious upsurge in muck popularity shown recently. The first startling moment was Tuesday night when 48 people were simultaenously connected -- and this on a night without any planned events or special get togethers. The population exceeded 40 people for more than an hour the next night as well.

Then Saturday morning over 26 people -- which was once the longstanding population high for Toons, Furr, and Fluff -- connected together, again without particular events or people drawing the muck together.

Morticon, wallaby, supposed the only explanation for the population peaks was, "A week or so ago we suddenly got a lot more popular." As to what might make the difference, he shrugged and admitted there's just no accounting for it. Skyler, toon bunny, and Austin, elastic semi-rabbit coati, continue to insist the real issue is the quality of people who visit, and the willingness they have to form creative and supportive communities.

Secret wizardly message divulged to world!

In an almost unprecedented mav by Austin, elastic semi-rabbit coati, a message intended for wizards alone was sent instead to all of the characters on the new-character notification list on Friday morning. The message read: "I'd love the motd to be useful, though it may take something really shocking to get people to much notice it. Still, something to make it more compelling would be great.

The message was believed to be in the context of revising the Message of the Day, which is reported at the start of the login sequence, and which it's estimated has gone unread by anyone since 2001. Onlookers agreed, this was a boring slip.

The new-character notification list, independent of helpstaff, is a list of persons told about every new character who enters the muck. Their purpose is that newcomers to the community will have a warm and helpful greeting.

Austin mavs are rare, but are known to occur. His most-beloved mav occured in 2000, the famous, "Lord love a duck, the weenie's got a web site," meant to be a whisper but instead posed to the entire Rose Garden. All present agreed that yes, the weenie did have a web site.

It is possible to unsend a page #mail if the recipient has not read it. From the command ``mail'' go to the Unsend option; it requests a person to be unsent to, and one chooses the message to unsend. The page #erase command works similarly. Austin did not employ either to hide his mistake as the commands do not work with page aliases, and he did not feel like picking every person on the list to unsend the mail.

Alex breaks, but gets fixed

Alex a crystal fox came out into the rose garden pumpkin patch Friday night and fell over! This made him break and fall in because he was a crystal. It was kind of like Humpty Dumpty. But I got out my magic wand and waved it around and put the pieces back together. Then so he wouldn't break again I fixed up the insides so there was kind of a balloon inside, that way if he breaks it'll all fit back into place again.

But Alex still couldn't speak or move, even listening magically. Gilead otter said he saw this in a movie and we needed to find an oil can (that's because the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz needed an oil can to get unrusted and talk). Gilead also said having his inside balloony was a good way to hold stuff and they do that in laboratories when there's acids to be held; that way if teh bottle breaks the balloons still holds things in.

NeverNever the demon was trying to help Alex, who still couldn't talk and didn't seem able to move a lot at all last I saw.

Convergence the glass bat didn't know how to help, but said glass bats eat broken dinner plates. And that's all I saw tonight.

Austin Baffled by number of dash marks before logout message always shrinking after a crash

Austin, local coati, is reportedly baffled by what seems to be the effect of crashes of the muck. When one logs off, a message such as this is shown;

--- Life sure is strange ... and they say we only come this way once. What did I come this way for?

According to rumors, the elastic wiz has noticed that after a crash, the number of dash marks before the body of the QUIT message, in this case, ---, is less. In spite of studious research, and the unlimited power of the combined brains of SpinDizzy's Wizstaff, the reason for this loss of dashes is, at press time, still unknown.

Further inquiries will be made, and if an answer is found, you can read about it here.

Gilead's Hellishly Bad Puns

Q: What kind of car does Satan drive?
A: A Cadillac Coupe Devil

Q: How can you tell a good hotel in Hades?
A: The beds have Satan sheets.

Q: What kind of trees grow in Heck?
A: Pitchfork Pines.

Q: Who brings lumps of high-sulfur coal to everyone in Heck every Christmas?
A: Sin-ta Claus.

Q: And who helps him?
A: Hellves.

Q: What do typical middle-class devils do after a hard day of torturing souls and being tortured?
A: Come home and watch sitcoms on the hellivision.

Q: What do demons wear when it's raining flaming brimstone?
A: Ghoul-oshes, to keep their feet dry.

Q: What is a specter's favorite snack?
A: Ghostess Twinkies.

Q: Why do vampires make such good baseball players?
A: The bat really *is* an extension of themselves.

Happy Halloween. :-)

News from Duma Mountain, or, Spotty Journalism

Ray's filk.

Spindizzy's weekly Bardic Circle (Poetry/Filk gather) met Friday, October 22, at 7:00pm Spindizzy time, in a Quiet Garden, moderated by Ray. In attendance at varying times were: K'purra, Skiltek, Laura, Nelle, Elizabeth, Aleu , Darwin, Sonya, Firewind, Ba'ar, Leslie, and Roofus_roo.

After an initial discussion of Hate Poetry directed towards several less-than-user-friendly computer systems, Ray began the readings with a matched brace of original poems, titled, "You," and "You, too," Yin and Yang treatments of deeply-held personal feelings. Nelle followed with a fairy-tale written for her by a friend, titled, "The Legend of the Jewelist Knight." Skiltek then read an untitled poem for a loved-one far from home. Ray read an original follow-up poem, titled, "Hope Blossoms."

K'purra read a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay, titled, "The Courage That My Mother Had." Ray then changed the mood with another original poem, titled,"Shairi pa Afrika ('Song of Africa' )" in English and Swahili. No native speakers were present to correct his unskilled use of the language, however. K'purra then read another untitled poem, this time by Emily Dickinson, which began,"There is a solitude of space..." Ray followed with an original sonnet, titled, "Silences." Elizabeth then read "Solitude," By Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919). This triggered a cascade of poetry on hope and comfort. Ray read another original poem, titled, "Reprieve." Laura then sang a selection from Alabama's "Angels Among Us," Second verse and the chorus. K'purra read another untitled poem by Emily Dickinson, which began,"Hope is the thing with feathers."

Ba'ar changed the mood, again, reading "The Fog," by Carl Sandberg. Ray followed with another original poem, titled, "When the Dogwood Blooms," about Love undiminished by adversity. Firewind sang a Star Trek filk, titled, "Lt. Uhura's Song" (author unknown). K'purra followed with Tennyson's "Crossing the Bar." Sonya then read "Sleeping Sun" (author unknown). Discussion briefly arose about appropriate authors and poetry for the Hallowe'en session. Finally, Ray read an original poem, titled, "Pink Moment," about the sky at sunset.

The hour once again grew late, and Ray had to leave, though those in attendance were invited to remain, at their leisure.

A special Hallowe'en session of Spindizzy's weekly Bardic Circle (Poetry/Filk gather) met Friday, October 29, at 7:00pm Spindizzy time, in the Public Room of the "Kenyer es Sor" Inn in Hegy Falu, Keresztulerdo, moderated by Ray. In attendance at varying times were: Elizabeth, Laura, K'purra, Sonya, Darius, Firewind, KevMan , Adara, Argon, Yau_Ling, Ba'ar, Junta, Georgia, and Findra. A Hallowe'en snack table laden with goodies was prepared by Elizabeth.

Laura opened the readings with Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven." Sonya followed with a ghost-filk, titled, "The Ferryman," by Leslie Fish. Ray then read an original poem, titled, "Haunted Vistas." Firewing sang a reprise of "Crimson & Crystal," by Julia Ecklar. Ray lightnened the mood, a bit, with an original poem titled, "Monster Rally (An Epic Limerick)."

Ba'ar then read the introduction to "Because I could not stop for death," by Emily Dickinson. Ray followed with an original poem on a slightly different version of immortality, titled,"Vampire's Twilight." Argon raised the mood, again, reading an old, untitled nonsense poem about an impossible duel between the living dead, and the intervention of a hearing-impaired constable (ask Argon, if you're curious.

Yau_Ling read a filk titled, "My Murderous Little Toy," to the tune of Peter, Paul, and Mary's "My Marvelous Little Toy." Ray followed with a more serious, original poem about the future of near-space exploration, and the possible consequences, titled, "Pandora's World." Firewind then sang Loreena McKennitt's "The Mystic's Dream." Ray followed that with another original poem, titled, "The Death of Dreams," and then an original sonnet, titled, "Angel of Wrath." Firewind then sang "Sleeping Sun" (author unknown). Elizabeth lightened the mood again, singing, "The Monster Mash," by Bobby Pickett. Yau_Ling followed that with a recital of the grimly humorous "The Ghost of Anne Boleyn," (author unattributed).

Laura returned the spooky mood, reading Poe's "The Haunted Palace." Ray them perfomed a sci-fi ghost tale, titled, "Dawson's Christian," (tune and lyrics by Duane Elms). At that, the hour grew late, well past the Moderator's "Witching Hour," and Ray left the Gather to their own devices.

The next session will be Friday, November 3, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm Spindizzy time (luge N5 W4, [B]asalt [P]illars, [E]nter [P]ortal). All are welcome, either to read or just to listen. Check the eventlist for more details.

Side notes

Notes from the SpinDizzy Live Journal Community

How about some ideas for a better name for this column? More-like-prerecorded-than-livejournal notes? Off Muck Musings? In and Out of Character Chatter? Yes, I know these aren't the best, but I'm sure someone can come up with a better name. Jusy page #mail Argon if you have any idea!


  • National Pickle Attack Month!
    Just a reminder that October (what's left of it) is National Pickle Attack Month!
    Suri wanders to and fro on Argon's back, regretting her lack of a pickle.
    Adara reaches into the Ancient Oak and finds a big pickle!
    Royce ack. He want pickles now too.
    Adara hands the pickle to Suri. She and Royce will have to duke it out.
    Argon would give Suri a pickle, but he remembers what happened last time.
    Suri prunkles cheerfully, brandishing her pickle!
    Argon says, "Ack! No Adara!"
    Suri bellows "PICKLE ATTACK!", and tries to stuff the pickle into Argon's ear.
    Adara purrs, "What happened last time?"
    Adara ohs.
    Argon cringes!
    Royce hee hee.
    Brenda blinks.
    Elissa arrives.
    Adara snugs Elissa!
    Brenda pounces a Scottish Vix!
    Suri waves. "Hi Elissa. It's National Pickle Attack Month!"
    Argon is the poster boy.
    Elissa snugs Adara too, ohs to Suri? National Pickle Attack Month?
    Suri, her pickle attack fever sated, sits down again, whirring to herself.
    Argon says, "You're lucky, you can fold your ears down."
    Brenda . o O ( "You have a pickle in your ear." "What?" "I said you have a pickle in your ear!" "What?!" "I SAID YOU HAVE A PICKLE IN YOUR EAR!" "WHAT?! I can't hear you! I have a pickle in my ear!" )
    You say, "You shoulda worn your Pickle Filter."
    Argon soaks up pickle juice from his ear with a napkin.
  • Austin related the following, "....in another store I tinkered with Zoo Tycoon Dinosaur Island, hatching a baby Apatosaurus I named Gilead, only to discover the game was in a demo mode making it impossible to dig the ponds and wetlands Gilead wanted to be happy. Fortunately a kid asked to play, relieving my moral responsibility for Gilead's happiness."
  • Wednesday morning, US time, there was an interesting spectacle in the Rose Garden of Kern stopping by and insisting it and Ing were hard at work. To the untrained eye this looked like just grabbing and pushing around tree branches or tossing caches of screws and bolts out of the Ancient Oak, but you try arguing with it. Ing was nowhere not to be seen (Being as he is Kern's "imaginary friend"), but was reported to be in Centaur Square, so do please forward reports of imaginary birds tinkering with the centaurs. It reported Star-Sight, the My Little Pegasus, was a funny-looking bird, which you have to admit is true.

    During the week, Aushae shrunk and fae-transformed Beltrami, so the tiny sparkling balloon could crawl around on Aushae's and then Roofus' paws, although no word of what's happened from there. It is reported that this was about the most adorable thing seen in the Rose Garden, transformed at that point to the *Pumpkin Patch, which is our traditional take, in quite a while. We can only wait for her to encounter Flutterz.

    *Tanuki commented that he missed when the Rose Garden had roses in it. It will be a rose garden again, someday, though we're working on creative ways to implement it. Keep watching the aphids!

  • From Austin - At long last, well, things kept coming up, I've done the September 2004 Idle-Purge. For those fascinated by these statistics, we deleted in this purge:

    40 rooms
    91 exits
    32 things
    44 players

    No MUF codes were deleted this time around. At the end we had 521 players, the first time we've finished with more than 500 players. Do remember, always, that part of the greatness of Spindizzy is its openness to newcomers.

    Please do your best to help everyone feel welcome, whether they're old-timers checking in or brand new people. We don't know what we lose with every person who drifts away; and it's in each individual to make Spindizzy the place we want it to be.

    Also please watch for any geographic anomalies created by the idle-purge. So far as I'm aware I haven't deleted anything on the main grid or otherwise essential to the self-consistency of the place, but I could easily have overlooked something. If something seems missing or broken, report it to a wizard right away.

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.

Bearing Up


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

Dear Bearing Up,
Is this coonlective thing a good thing or a bad thing?
- The Lone Ranger

Dear Lone Ranger:
It's a good thing - If you happen to be a raccoon. Otherwise forget it.

Dear Bearing Up,
I want to make a statement and vote for Nader. How can I make sure my voice is heard?
- Dubya

Dear Dubya:
To make your voice heard use a megaphone.

Dear Bearing Up,
What is it about my ear and lemurs with pickles?
- Argon

Dear Argon:
It's your tastes that are odd.

Dear Bearing Up,
Help my house is on fire! What should I do?
- Smaug

Dear Smaug:
Get a new house that is fireproof.

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. The question this week is, "What was your best halloween costume ever?

  • Royce -- Not sure what my best costume has been.. However, my most horrifying one was the year I came as a "non-raccoon". That was scary! I felt so... plain.
  • Darius -- My best halloween costume ever was an authentic military ABC (atomic Bilogical chemical) suit. (even if it was only a training model) I had the whole get up. Gas mask, chemical hood, the black gloves, and even the boot covers.
  • Leslie pips, "Wull..I tried dressing up like Mrs Natasha once, it didn't work really well but I liked it."
  • RubbertexRaccoon says, "The year I made my costume of my own character in rubber-latex, which painstakingly took hours to put on, and days to make.
  • Ba'ar growls, "My answer for the @survey is...My Ba'ar costume. "
  • PatchO'Black mews, "When I was very young, my mom made me a great skeleton costume."
  • Spikey would have to say last year's costumes were his best when he did his and hers bride and groom donkey costumes, complete with hand hooves and full head masks... shameless plug (crappy picture though) http://www.pegadonkey.com/donkstumes.jpg
  • Suri says, "My Uberbulb!"
  • Dolly says, "Mannequin!!!"
  • Cye says, "all my costumes sucked when I was a kid. Pirate proably."
  • Sanogan purls, "Mine.. would have had to have been the undead knight I did when I was 12."
  • Scarlet_Bolt grins at Argon. "I think my favorite was when I went as a pirate."
  • Nikon sighs and had to dress up as King David for three years growing up... had be a good christian child.
  • Butterscotch feels so sorry for Nikon
  • Tottle's costumes all sucked rocks.
  • Butterscotch dressed up as Frank N Furter once on Halloween, and acted out "Sweet Transvestite" for a show.
  • Mouser won a prize in elementary school back in the 1st grade for his robot costume: A silver-painted cardboard box and aluminum foil wrapped around his arms and legs.

The Doze Garden

Happy Halloween!

The Doze Garden Comic Strip

And with the election coming up...

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