@ Action News

Please don't forget to read the bulletin board. Enter +read from anywhere.
Please also enjoy The spindizzy_muck LiveJournal community, open to one, all, and others.

SpinDizzy's 8 Year Anniversary!

It's difficult to imagine that eight years ago this week, we lost the muck Toons, Furr, and Fluff. In the ancient days of 1997 that was a moribund muck, and Speckles invited me to try doing something with it. With a great deal of work and creative energy from people, some around here yet like Skyler, Morticon, and Natasha, and some whom we've misplaced in the years like Shadow and BJ, we succeeded beyond anything we could have imagined.

When in September 1998 Toons, Fur, and Fluff went down for good, it was heartbreaking to have to start from scratch again. But over the couple of weeks after that we saw an outpouring of support and creativity, both in building and in setting up new social networks, that I couldn't have imagined we would enjoy. I'd never want to go through an experience like that again, but I'm delighted we had it.

Since then, we have been unusually lucky to have had an amazing array of talented people, bringing imagination, energy, and creativity in incredible measure. The number of people who simply get Spindizzy, who understand our community and how to join in with it, and who find here a place to grow more intensely and passionately themselves, has been incredible. Thank you for being so fascinating, and for letting the rest of us share that.

Mouser Gets a New Paint Job

Astute Spindizzyites may have noticed that Mouser, local furpent, has not been his usual self for most of this summer. Instead of his normal chocolate brown summer pelt, he's been sporting a rather vivid purple-and-green plaid. When pressed for an explanation, he replied, "I don't know exactly how it happened, except that it involved a bucket of toon paint. The toons around here are pretty casual with it, you know...it's not like they appreciate the value of camoflauge."

Update: About a week or so ago, Natasha, local toon coati, appeared to have solved Mouser's problem. When hearing of his plight, she ordered a bucket of ACME toon paint to match his original summer pelt, and promptly dunked him in it to cover the offending purple-and-green. Mouser reports that he's much relieved about the new paint-job. "Natasha says it's guaranteed to last through at least a one-reel cartoon. I'm hoping that means it'll keep until my regular winter white fur grows in. I just wish she'd used a less painful method of blackening my tail-tip than a Bunsen burner..."

Pastimes of SpinDizzy: A Gesture to Remember

A game of kings, it's nonetheless one Beltrami plays every day, leaving us to wonder at her ancestry. Charades dates back to 16th century France and possibly before, where scribes tell us that King Louis XIV danced the clues to a comedy of proverbs. Queen Catherine the Great, in the midst of 18th century Russia, used it as an intellectual challenge, crafting proverbs which were acted out and then solved by her court.

Charades has a history as an art, a party game, and an exercise between intellectuals. Today's version, where participants act out the syllables of a word until the entire word may be guessed, is only a recent incarnation and only one version of this royal pastime. History records it as a part of Petit Jeux, or "little games" that kept participants engaged evening after evening.

Beltrami, by her very existence, brings a new incarnation of the game to SpinDizzy, and unconfirmed rumors suggest there was a Charades event not so long ago. Such a thing would require a number of participants, but could happen with as few as two. No code, only a willingness to spend the evening with "Petit Jeux" is required.

Explosions and Giant Robots: The Tauren Empire

The staff of @Action News has asked me to explain why the Tauren Empire attacked SpinDizzy and how they were driven off. As most of you who participated in the little conflict know, I was hired by the Empire to help them crush SpinDizzy's rebellion. Needless to say, my assistance did not do them any good. In case you hadn't noticed, you are all not living under a Tauren Empire puppet government.

I am not entirely sure what this Empire's problem was and why they attacked. I helped them because Andros promised me technology and an unarmed craft capable of interstellar travel. Pity I did not ask for payment in advance ... anyway, whatever their problem was, they were determined to seize control of SpinDizzy for good. Naturally, some of our residents did not particularly like this idea.

Morticon, of SED, led the resistance. He split the rebels into two teams: one that attacked the Empire fighters and capital ships with their mechs, and another that broke into SpinDizzy's control center. Admiral Andros commanded the fleet from space while I, supported by a company of stormtroopers, guarded the control center.

I never saw most of the ground team, but I know at least Morticon, Portia, Shadowcatcher, and a couple others were involved. Somehow, they managed to sneak past the guards I placed at the entrance. Morticon used his ninjas to distract the stormtroopers. His ploy worked, but his famous ninja force were nearly completely wiped out. Morticon will have a hard time recruiting new replacement henchmen, let me tell you!

I set a trap inside the base for them, but they made short work of that too. Shadowcatcher and Portia faced me two-on-one. Just them, and me ... though I admit I had powered battle armor, a gatling laser, and support from two laser turrets. Regardless, they defeated me and regained the control center. I escaped by beaming aboard the Vespucci X.

After beaming aboard the V-X, I entered my own personal fighter craft just in time to witness the Empire get crushed by the rebels. Moments after I entered into the fray, the V-X itself was destroyed by a nuclear blast from Darius's mech. Meanwhile, with the control room in Morticon's hands, SpinDizzy itself had already begun to move from Imperial Space. The battle was all but lost for the Empire.

The Empire wanted to take a parting shot at SpinDizzy before fleeing. One of their capital ships locked onto one of the rebel craft with a tractor beam. I am not sure why I did this ... but I moved in to rescue the rebel. Unlike most fighter craft, my Interceptor is fitted with a teleporter. It is difficult to use in a dogfight, but you would be surprised the creative uses you can make with it. If only I could have seen Andros's face when he realized he had captured only an empty rebel ship! Unfortunately, my reward for this rescue was that my own craft got heavily damaged. I would not have been able to escape with the rebel pilot, Niran, if Pathfinder had not attacked the Imperial capital ship with his own mech. The Empire was forced to retreat, without their prisoner.

Morticon Retires Feared Ninja Force

SED Ninjas With heavy Ninja casualties during the Taurian battle for the SpinDizzy Control Center and no new Ninja recruits in sight, Morticon was forced to retire the once-feared group of henchmen this week. The remaining two Ninjas will be "set free and released of their commitment to the SED. They'll probably go dimension hopping, as Ninjas often do," Morticon said.

No word on what fearsome force will replace the Ninjas was given, though Morticon hinted, "Whatever I come up with, you can be sure it'll be even more evil and effective! Better lock those doors and close the blinds! Either that, or pay up so that I might pass by your house, if you know what I mean." He then laughed evilly and left the room.

Bounty on the Mercenary

I have come from another world in pursuit of the Mercenary, who here calls himself The Antiraccoon. The Mercenary is a dangerous, evil human who has caused a great deal of harm and suffering during his life. I wish to bring him to justice. He can be clever at times. I would encourage others not to get involved. If you spot him, only report to me his presence and I will deal with him myself. Do not let him smooth-talk you into providing him assistance. He has a silver tongue, but it is the forked tongue of a serpent.

Anybody who provides me information leading to the Mercenary's capture will be well rewarded. I have provided, from the best of my recollections, this sketch of the Mercenary. He is clever and may find ways to disguise himself...

Editor's note: Serene's sketch might be described as follows:

The Antiraccoon dresses plainly: he wears khakis and a light jacket. Right above his left breast-pocket there is a detailed patch that looks like a hamster. On the back of his jacket the phrase "Butt Kicking for Goodness!" is written in large, black letters. He is a clean-shaven man with dark brown eyes and unusually short brown hair. It is surprisingly difficult to determine his age from his features or mannerisms: he could be anywhere from 18 to 45 for all you can tell. He almost seems ageless.

How to be Cute

Vixie Vixie here, I've been asked to write up some pointers on being cute, so you can try and be as cute as me. Since that's impossible, the next best thing is to try and be cuter than you are now, and what better person to offer advice than the World's Cutest Fox?

First off, become a fox. While this is not necessary, it really helps. If you don't want to be a fox, and I can't imagine why not, there are many cute species you can be. Some of these are rabbit, otter, raccoon, red panda, kitten, and skunk. There are more, but these are ideas.

Once you've become a cuter species, you're halfway there. A good part of being cute is always being well groomed and clean. Dirty and unkempt are not cute. Never underestimate the importance of a bow, these can add a lot to cuteness.

Attitude is improtant to being cute. Always be nice and friendly to everyone, and try and be humble. If you need pointers on this, just watch me in the garden, and you'll soon learn.

The way you present yourself adds to your cuteness. Try sitting in a cute position, and a little tail swishing can be extra cute. Never underestimate the importance of Bambi eyes.

Another important things is maintaining yourself through what you eat. I enjoy a steady diet of chocolate and coffee, and since I'm so cute, it obviously works. I supplement this with some chicken and fish. Observe me having a treat in the garden sometime, and you'll see what eating cutely looks like.

Finally, being cute is also a state of mind. If you think you're cute, you probably are. And just in case those around you forget, don't be afraid to remind them of just how cute you are. They may forget, and will appreciate being reminded.

That's my cute tips for now, stop by and say hi anytime, and bring the chocolate!

Last Week's Caption Contest
cat and dog in bed

"Cats and dogs, living together, MASS HYSTERIA!" - PatchO'Black

"A true example of how children only know of love and kindness, its the adults that teach them differently." - Niran

"Puppies hate to admit it, but there's nothing more comforting at bedtime than a kitty plush." - Argon

"You know, when I said I was dog tired, ..." - Findra

'E ... Emily?' 'Yes, Bob?' 'I just had the strangest dream.' 'Go back to sleep, Bob.' - Austin

Got a good idea for a picture for the caption contest? We'd love to hear from you! Go to the bottom of this edition to find out how!

Bearing Up
Bearing Up logo.

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:
I notice there's been alot of wind lately. Why is this?
- Argon

Dear Argon:
The WINDBAGS of CONGRESS are back in sesson!

Dear Bearing Up:
Do you believe in NUMEROLOGY?

Dear Medium:
No, I think it's something you just can't COUNT ON!

Dear Bearing Up:
What would you give a guy who has all he wants, including a lovely wife and kids?
- Gates

Dear Gates:
An airplane ticket for one so he can 'get away from it all' and have some time to himself

Dear Bearing Up:
What's a sure way to leave Las Vegas with more money than you came?
- Gambler

Dear Gambler:
Put it into a bank to gather interest while you're there!

An Interview With Beltrami

Interviewer's note: For our readers who may not know, Beltrami carries a chalkboard which she occasionally uses to write down phrases, and inside which a chalk dragon, Chalky, lives. At the interview was Beltrami (a balloon dragon with a full colorful outfit), Lou (a palm civet), and myself (a rubber toy bunny).

Beltrami grins and sits down in front of Skyler and squeezes Lou's ankles.
Lou nuzzles Beltrami's ears and sees if it can get out the 3D-Blackboard for Beltrami.
Beltrami shrugs. She takes it out and stretches it open, and sets it up. Chalky yawns and then leaps toward Lou!
Lou noses toward Chalky moving to the edge of the board.
Skyler pats Lou's head. "Shall we?"
Beltrami nodnods, and Chalky slurps at the edge of the board by Lou.
Lou vits and noses back at Chalky it tries licking the board but icks.

Skyler: "Many of the newspaper's readers may remember you as a balloon human, or a balloon kangaroo. Today, you look a lot different. What can you tell us about how you got here - or perhaps some of your early days here?"
Beltrami holds up a finger. She looks through her index cards and then holds up 'I AM AN EXPLORER.' She points to herself, then winds her hand counterclockwise many turns.
Beltrami points to herself, then shakes out her hands and arms, letting them hang loosely. She folds them up together, and then puts her hands pressed together down. She takes her left hand and folds that through the air on to her right hand.
Beltrami holds up two fingers in her right hand, and then sends them off in a straight line, then twirls around in a spiral and pats the ground.
Skyler mmms. "A spacecraft, I think?"
Beltrami nods. She pats the ground, then holds her hands together and unfolds them.
Beltrami points to her eyes and then looks around, and spreads out her arms and wings!
Skyler nods, "Yes, I think I see. SpinDizzy is certainly a place to explore, isn't it?"
Beltrami nodnods. She points to the pylon (in Charter Park), she taps Lou's nose, she points to Skyler's belly-squeaker.
Lou looks toward Skyler's belly-squeaker.

Skyler: "You're wearing an unusual outfit. What can you tell us about it?"
Beltrami's tail bounces. She hops to her feet, pats her chest, and then stands, legs spread, fists on her hips, looking courageously out in the distance. She points to herself, then stands on one leg, with her right leg folded up, and holding her hands at arm's length above her head.
Beltrami relaxes, and then sits back down. She holds up two fingers.
Skyler: "You look awfully heroic like that. It's a superhero's outfit."

Skyler: "A full time job? :)"
Beltrami grins...she shakes no. She holds her hands just a little bit apart.

Skyler: "Ah, but there must be a few people to save from peril once in a while. Are you a part of Beltrami's team, too, Lou?"
Beltrami nods. And she rubs her left cheek into Lou.
Beltrami squeezes Lou's hind ankles and nods.
Lou vittervits? The civet wiggles its ankles and noses at Beltrami.

Skyler: "Do you have any superhero stories for us?"
Beltrami wavers her left hand. She holds up a finger, then on the 3D-BB draws a copy of the fountain in the garden.
Skyler nods...
Beltrami claps the water in the drawing a couple times, like a person flailing would shake it up. Chalky jumps over and dips its head in the fountain.
Lou vits at Chalky.
Skyler: "Oh, and couldn't swim, yes..."
Lou vittervits.
Beltrami nodnods. She points to herself and pats her chest, while Chalky gets to drinking all the 'water'. Its belly and tail fill up.
Skyler blinks, then wriggles its ears. "Oh...er...yes, I think I may know something about this one. I don't remember any part about my being filled up with water, though..."
Skyler points at the board, where Chalky seems to be rather busy drinking.
Lou vits and thinks it remembers this adventure.
Beltrami frowns at Chalky and shakes no. She points to where she *had* been patting, and then pats her own chest.

Skyler: "I can speak to being saved from the choppy waves by Beltrami, yes. They had something to do with the globes around your waist, didn't they?"
Lou tilts its head.
Beltrami grins and nods a little. She picks up one. Chalky- much more spherical- rolls back and drums its belly.
Skyler: "Would you and Lou be so kind as to show us how it works?"
Beltrami signs Ok and taps Lou's nose?
Lou's attention is drawn to Beltrami, vitter.
Beltrami nods. She holds up one finger, and sets the globe on Lou's back. It flashes blue, and she gives it a twist until the element inside flashes yellow.
Lou vurrit and tries to keep it steady,
Beltrami pets Lou's head while the civet shifts over into a balloon form, with vinyl skin and a transparent body and cute little air plugs in its ankles and wrists.
Skyler: "Yes, I certainly see!"
Lou wiggles a bit as a balloon.

Skyler: "Would you call yourself Beltrami's sidekick, Lou?"
Beltrami nods- she squeezes Lou and then turns the dial back, to put Lou back in normal form.
Lou vitters in agreement.
Lou vurrits happily once restored and noses Beltrami's clothing too.

Skyler: "You came to SpinDizzy in a spaceship...and that was alone, Beltrami?"
Beltrami grins...she taps the dial and twists it again, and this time Lou expands to twice its normal height.
Lou vIITs.
Beltrami nodnods to Skyler.
Beltrami dials Lou back to normal size and rubs its nose.

Skyler: "You certainly seem to know a lot of people now...I've heard that Aushae is your adopted mother. Do you have more family like that?"
Lou noses back at Beltrami.
Beltrami nodnods! She takes the globe off Lou and puts it back on her belt. She points to Skyler and nods. She tugs her suit and lets it go, and holds up two fingers. She holds up three and then - she pauses a moment and rubs the back of her neck.
Lou nodnods at Beltrami and Skyler.
Beltrami shrugs and on the board writes out 'NIMBLE' and 'WULPHE'. She tugs her suit and writes 'DOLLY'. Chalky licks its lips.
Lou looks sternly at Chalky, vitvit.
Skyler nods...
Beltrami nods. She squeezes Lou and pats Dolly.

Skyler: "Sometimes I'm sure the fact that you do not speak can make communicating difficult...does that ever frustrate you?"
Lou vuhhrs some more at Beltrami.
Beltrami nodnods...she holds her hands a little bit apart. She points to Lou and to Skyler and signs Ok; she points to - elsewhere - and then slaps her left hand over her face.
Lou blinkblinks at Beltrami and licks her slapped face.
Beltrami grins! She rubs Lou's cheeks and pets its tail.

Skyler peeps! "Are there a few common gestures and phrases you like to use, that might help others communicate with you?"
Beltrami nodnods! - and she grins. She taps her chin, she holds up one finger, then two fingers. She taps Skyler's nose, she squeezes Lou's ankles.
Skyler hees. "Well, if we can put words to a few of them, I think that might help. :)"
Beltrami blinks and nods...she rubs the back of her neck.
Beltrami slowly nodnods, then looks at Skyler and signs OK?
Skyler: "Sure, Beltrami...go ahead. I know that's one of them. 'OK'. :)"
Beltrami grins. She taps her chin and swings her hand out toward Skyler, and then she signs OK?
Skyler mmms. "Yes, I'm pretty sure that's 'thank you', if memory serves."
Beltrami nodnods.
Skyler: "Any other good ones for our readers to know?"
Beltrami rubs the back of her neck.
Beltrami blinks - she holds up a finger, then points to her neck, and signs OK to Skyler?
Skyler hmms, and paces a few steps back and forth. "I'm afraid I don't know that one."
Beltrami blinks? She nods and holds up a finger.
Lou vurrits, the civet must be going. The civet noses Beltrami and leaps off.
Beltrami rubs the back of her neck, then writes out 'THINKING' on the board that the water-logged Chalky still hasn't cleared.
Beltrami squeezes Lou's ankles before he leaves!

Skyler ahs! "Now wait a minute, that's the third question I've answered. Whose interview is this? ;)"
Beltrami's tail bounces and she points to herself.

Skyler: "Is there anything you'd like to see more of on SpinDizzy, Beltrami?"
Beltrami nodnods. She pats her operator palette; she tugs on Dolly; she points to the far field of the city's edge.
Beltrami holds up two fingers and points to herself, then taps her forehead, winds her hand clockwise a few loops, and points southwest.
Beltrami writes down 'MEAN TO BUILD OWN COMPLEX' and points southwest. Chalky rolls over backward and lets it tongue loll out.
Beltrami writes down 'DOLLY- NIMBLE- MISSED PEOPLE'
Skyler nods, to the second one. "If you ever do build one, you'll have to let everyone know!"
Beltrami nodnods!
Skyler nods. "You want to see more of the people you miss, yes, I've got it."
Beltrami writes down 'MORE FANTASTIC VISIONS/ TOYS'

Skyler: "Okay, last question. :)"
Beltrami nodnods?
Skyler looks with concern at Chalky. "Chalky looks a bit...waterlogged."
Skyler: "So, the question. If you really could have a voice to speak with...would you want one?"
Beltrami blinks...she shrugs and shakes no. She taps her throat and looks up proudly.
Skyler grins. "I've got it. I think you'd better take care of Chalky, Beltrami...I don't know if that much water in an interview is really healthy. ;)"
Skyler: "Thanks for talking with me today!"
Beltrami nods and taps her chin. She looks over at Chalky, who spits out a stream of water in her face!
Skyler: "You're welcome. :)"
Beltrami taps Chalky's nose. Its still-pretty-full belly wobbles.
Beltrami nodnods. She picks up the 3D-BB.

Beltrami was last seen in a crowd with her face dripping with water. Chalky the chalk dragon's water diet seemed to have left him a bit sloshy and wobbly.

Got a good idea for an interview? We'd love to hear from you! Go to the bottom of this edition to find out how!

This Week in History


Want to do a cartoon for the newspaper? We'd love to hear from you! Read the article below for how!

Want to contribute to @Action News?

Got something that you'd like to contribute to @Action News, but aren't sure if you should, or how to do it? Just get in touch with any of Argon, Ba'ar, Skyler, or Findra, and they'll be happy to help! Here are some basic guidelines, though.

Contributing a story or artwork for @Action News is easy! Just send it to newspaper@spindizzy.org, or qmail/pagemail Argon, Findra, Skyler, or Ba'ar with your article!

  • @Action News is published weekly on or after 9:00pm Pacific/SpinDizzy time on Saturdays.
  • Articles received after 8:00am Pacific time on Saturday may be published in the next edition of @Action News.
  • Most any type of story or article of interest to SpinDizzy's newspaper readers 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.


@Action News