Volume VIII – Issue 372 - Novemeber 5, 2007
Please don't forget to read the bulletin board. Enter read from anywhere.
|Argon||@Action News Mayorial Debate|
All four candidates, Beltrami, Eliahn, Jaxen and Portia have adjusted their campaign schedules to be there. It is hoped that SpinDizzy's voters will attend to see just where these candidates stand on the important issues facing SpinDizzy.
The Debate will be held at the auditorium of The SpinDizzy Center of Arts and Sciences. Located at (S2 W1) the auditorium can be reached directly by entering tport #5361.
The debate will be moderated by Argon, local centaur and editor of @Action News. As they mayor of SpinDizzy will represent all of us, please send any questions or issues you'd like the have the candidates address to firstname.lastname@example.org or page mail them to Argon.
This is an important election and concerned citizens should do their best to attend. Please join us Friday, November 9th at 8:00 PM muck time and see what the candidates have to say.
|Argon||Gilead named Elections Supervisor|
It should also be noted that Gilead, local otter, has been named Elections Supervisor by unanimous agreement by the candidates. Gilead will set the date of the vote, and count the votes and announce the winner. @Action News agrees with this choice as it believes Gilead will be a fair and impartial Supervisor.
Austin, local coati, raccoon, rabbit, etc. asked, "Any big policy directives, then, Gilead?"
Gilead answered, "No waterboarding non-aquatic species."
Argon, local centaur, noted, "That's a good directive."
Borris, local polar bearg ruffed, "Borris is Aquatic Species!"
Austin said, "Good start. Any thoughts on election day, Gilead?"
Gilead added, "No voting from the rooftops. The folks you snipe could be your friends."
Austin then asked, "And will there be rules about magical candidates casting spells on the populace?" Gilead thought a moment and replied, "Hmm." I'll have to go to the airport bathroom and ask Dumbledore about that."
As of press time, the actual "Election Day" has not been set.
|Ba'ar||Local Fox Announces His Bid for Mayor|
Jaxen want to run because he wants to give back to the community "After I found out about the election for mayor," he is quoted as saying, "I thought that (was) one way I might be able to do that."
As far as being asked why he'd make the best SDer for the job, Jaxen was a study in modesty, believing that it was the job of the community to decide who is best for the mayor's office. . He did note that he was a good listener and he cared about the community. "I think those are important qualities for a mayor to have." he said.
Jaxen doesn't believe that Spindizzy has many problems but promised to work on the communication difficulties that sometimes arise between the wizcorps and the community, offering to work as a liaison between the two parties to help them resolve the issue at hand.
The SED's been a problem in the past, but Jaxen didn't seem to think they were troublesome any more, adding that ""If need be, I'd talk with those who had effectively handed them before."
In closing Jaxen was quoted as saying, "I hope that every one here does vote, and that they pick who they feel is best suited for mayor.." and added that, "If it is me I would be honored."
|Argon||Kamida to open area|
Kamida, local skunk kit, is preparing her refuge for exploration by others.
This reporter was honored to get an early sneak peak of the area and, in spite of his fear of spiders, quite enjoyed his visit. The area's name is unpronouncable by this reporter as it is in Kamida's "arcahic language", however she is considering calling it The Darkling Wood, which most everyone can pronounce. Located at S8 W8, I was given a guided tour of the area.
As Kamida is known for her cooperative agreement with her spiders, none were seen during our travels through the woods. Kamida told me that visitors to the woods wouold not be bothered by the spiders, and other creatures living there, unless the guests bothered them.
With different paths, places to explore, and interesting sights to see, I got a glimps of a strange creature, it was a small pony but seemed to be on fire. Kamida introduced me to phuh, (spelled with no caps,) who although burning, wasn't at all hot to my touch. Phuh, although a big shy, turned out to be friendly. I asked Kamida about phuh, who said she was a "My Scary Pony". I asked her to explain.
Kamida said, "The ponies who live in my forest do not like the other ponies very much, they said that they have been sent away from their land because of what they have become."
"They told me that a long time ago they lived in a land far far away, where an evil wizard who ruled. One day the scare bears and the ponies decided to drive out the evil wizard and a huge battle took place. When the wizard was almost defeated he used a terrible cursed item on the ponies and the bears. some of the bears changed into horrible creatures while some of the ponies fell dead on the spot, only to rise as undead shadows of their former selves."
"They managed to defeat the evil wizard but paid a very evil price, no matter what magic they used, no matter how they tried, they could not cure the afflicted bears and ponies. The undead ponies told the others that they did not mind that they where evil looking but their hearts where pure. but the more and longer they listened to the voices of the others the more they heard that those who where not changed where scared. When some evil things started to happen around the land the humans first blamed them, then the other ponies started to listen to the humans, finally the undead pomies were driven out."
Now they are hiding in my forest, scared and a little angry. Can others see them? I do not know, they usually wander through the forest, I think the spiders somehow feel pity for them and leave them alone."
Although not "officially" open, Kamida may show you around if you ask her to. Just beware, in spite of the little skunk's "protection", there are dangers there.
|Leowulf||Fake Objects, Real Commands|
With the upcoming mayoral election heating up, and the fur starting to fly, fake objects like buttons and signs are starting to be more common around Spindizzy. Add to that both individual platforms as well as the wizstaff in general have been promoting a general cleanup of Spindizzy by eliminating unneeded objects as well as changing some of them to fakes where possible. But what is a fake object? What is a real object? How do we work with and manipulate fake objects, and how are they better? If they are better, why don't we use them all the time?
These and other questions have been cropping up all over ever since Beltrami started handing out buttons. Austin did an excellent write-up on how to create and remove the properties that represent them, see 'cread 21' if you haven't seen that. Great from a programming level point of view, and how they work, but there have still been folks fumbling to use his instructions. Somehow the fact that we DO have commands for working with them never got documented, and that's what prompted this article.
First though, a little background. What is an object? An object is a discrete entity in our database with a unique ID, its DBREF. You've probably seen a dbref number, that's the number that starts with a # you may have seen associated with some object. Every object can be referred to by this as well as by name. Technically, every room, player, zombie, and even exits, and programs, are objects. They are each unique entities that fill a slot in the database. Every one of those has an attribute, what we call a FLAG, that defines whether it's a player, a room, an exit, or whatever. What we commonly refer to as an object is really a database object of type THING. From here on out though, now that that's established, this article will simply use the common term 'object' for what we need to discuss. The main points are that it's a discrete entry in the database, and it can have flags.
Now, what does all this mean to us? First off, a database entry takes up space, even a newly created object with not even a description, just by virtue of being a placeholder in an entry, uses space. Then it grows from there as you add things like descriptions and success messages and such. Assume we have 20,000 entities on Spindizzy. That means all the rooms, people, exits, everything, as they all have an entry. Now let's assume each one is 10K bytes in size. Yes, a bit of an exaggeration, as even my mega-coded living room is still only 8K, but just an example. Not much for one thing, but that comes out to 200M bytes for the database.
This is one reason, probably the main one, why things like look-traps, and eventually, fake objects were created. Essentially, they just 'look like' an object, without really being one. Like a photo of a vase on a desk, rather than the actual vase. Or a stage wall that looks like a building, when it's only a painted backdrop propped up with 2x4s. The 'look' in the above sentences is the key. The program that runs when you type 'look' has been customized to find not only the real objects you're looking at, but also looks for those special properties that Austin described, and displays them as well, as if they were objects too. If the fake is in a room, the property is on the room. If it's listed in someone/something's inventory or contents, the property is on that person or thing. But note the space taken up. It's only the number of characters required to define that property. That ends up in a big space savings.
So why can't we use fake objects all the time? Real ones have a lot more power, just because they 'are' part of the database, just like you can do more with a real building than you can with that stage prop. Like a real building, real objects can have contents, as well as exits and actions. These are all traits of a real database entity. They can be teleported, linked, or manipulated by any of our tools that can use the database and dbrefs. Bottom line, a real object can do things, be things, and hold things, as well as have other special traits, like those flags I mentioned, that affect other attributes of objects. A fake object is just a stage prop, it's designed to affect the senses, sight, smell, touch, taste, and that's about it. It can in itself, hold other properties, and even some MPI code, for custom user applications, as a sub property of its definition, but that starts getting into custom programming, and beyond the scope of this article.
A prime example of a real object is the Ancient Oak in the Rose Garden. It exists; it has a dbref, an owner, properties, as well as code and an action on it. Could it have been a fake object instead? It probably could not. As a unique entity, it can belong to someone else other than the owner of the Rose Garden itself. Also a unique object can be @locked to prevent movement. The oak as a fake object would present the difficulty of having and managing the 'snack' command, as a fake can't have actions. If we just wanted a prop to stand there and look and smell pretty though, it probably could be made fake, but wouldn't be as fun.
On the other hand, campaign signs and buttons are a good use of fakes. They need nothing more than a description that can be viewed when you look at them. They could have smells or feel a certain way if you wanted, but since they don't need to DO anything, they're perfect for being fake objects.
So how do we make, edit, and manipulate them? Those commands I mentioned at the beginning of the article should eventually make it into globals, but here's a brief rundown on what we have that understands fake objects.
The first one is 'objecteditor', or you can use its abbreviated alias 'FOE', for Fake Object Editor. It's much simpler than our normal 'editobject', but as it's a fake, there's a lot less TO edit. This program is also nice in that it can also be used to create and edit look-traps as well as fake objects. Create, edit, and delete are supported and is run with the command plus the location you want to put it, such as 'foe me' to work with an object or look-trap on yourself. Basic usage can be had with 'foe #help'. Note that you 'must' include either a location or #help, or it will give you an error.
In addition to 'look', our smell/taste/feel program is an updated version that supports fakes. Those properties can be created and edited in the editor mentioned above. (See 'smell #help' for details.)
The big one that sparked this article was watching someone attempt to delete a fake by manually deleting the underlying property. However, we have '@recycle!'. Yes, that's just like the regular command, with a '!' on the end. Pretty self explanatory, it prompts for are you sure before actually deleting.
Inventory supports fakes, pretty obvious, moving along.
Then there's 'hand', think we've all seen the 'hand #fok' talk going around. Hand manages handing both fake and real objects, both in whom can be handed 'to', as well as setting whether the object itself 'can' be handed. As before, see 'hand #help' for more information.
The third one that's missing from our listings is 'fdrop/fget'. One program handles both commands, works just like drop/get, but for fakes, just add an 'f' to the front. It's pretty straightforward, no help for this one.
The last program we have for working with fakes doesn't have a command associated with it. MUF program @name.muf, dbref #2027, is intended as a global replacement for the normal @name command, and supports naming and renaming of both real and fake objects, but was never installed as a global for some reason. If you want to use it for renaming fake objects, you will have to set it up by creating your own action, such as maybe '@fname', and then linking it to this program. There may be a wizstaff reason it was never implemented, use with care.
So that's basically the ins and outs of what real and fake objects are. They each have their strengths and weaknesses, and appropriate times when a particular one is better. The tools are there, use them wisely and we can all help make Spindizzy a better place to live. Here's hoping this article has helped.
Editor's Note: This is a great summation of the properties and uses of fake objects, but the item of note to most folks is this: To dispose of a fake object type:
|Argon and others||Ambient Noises in a room|
I was asked about how to create "Ambient Noises", the program that creates the random things that happen in the Rose Garden. The radio, the "venders" (that Darius, local mink, is so fond of,) the clouds of confetti, etc. I asked about it, and Findra and Ping pointed to the following.
Directions on how to add the noises program to a room can be seen by entering, @view #2383 . Once entered, you'll get a list of instructions on how to do it. But as some knowledge of such commands is assumed, I'm going to try and show a "step by step" list of how to set up noises. Enter the @set here: whatever, so set the different parts of the program up.
Now that you know how Ambient Noises are made, what if you're one of those folks that are annoyed by "noises"? There's an easy way to avoid hearing them. Just enter,
This should suppress the ambient sounds -- though it will also suppress a number of other automated noises made, too, so be warned. Other people may still hear it, of course, and will react as they choose, but that's not generally considered spam. To undo the block so that you do hear the noises again, enter,
Now, I'm fully aware that I've probably made some errors in this, so if you see any, please let me know and help me correct them. I'm putting this in the paper as much as an informative article as a "How to do it" that will remain in the @Action News Archives.
|Various Contributors||Halloween 2007|
On Halloween night, Moricon hosted a Halloween story circle. What's a story circle? It's a round robin sort of way of making up a story. Everyone takes a turn telling a bit of the story and then the next one in the circle tells the next bit. More information about story cicles can be found on The Fuzzy Yarns Story Circle FAQ Page
This story, was made up Halloween night by Morticon, Portia, Monarch, and Terry. The creator of each portion of the story proceeds their part.
* Morticon (Morticon Wallaby):
Ted the wolf was having a problem. His foot hurt. More specifically, the underside of his left foot hurt every time he walked or ran. Every doctor he visited could find nothing wrong, even after many painful tests. It seemed to start after he visited a strange place a month ago on a dare with friends, but he didn't remember hurting his foot then. "I wish I knew what was wrong with my foot," Ted sighed wistfully.
As Ted walked down the street, limping due to the pain in his foot, he replayed that night in his mind's eye... It was a clear, but moonless night. Dark as ink splash on clean white paper. He and his friends Bill Bull, Greg Meow, and Pauly Parrot were walking down past the cemetery when Bill got a bright idea. "Hey Ted... hold up a minute. I got something to talk to you about."
Ted wasn't sure exactly what to think of Bill pulling him to the side, usually Bill was the outspoken member of the group and it's rare for him to want to speak in private. Curious, Ted stepped to the side and let the others continue on. Bill glanced around a moment to make sure no one's listening before he murmured, "Have you heard the story about the grave digger, Ted?"
Ted laughed, "Of course, everyone's heard about the gravedigger who got murdered becuase he was the one who saw that child-molester putting flowers on his victim's grave..." Bill shook his head, "No no, not that one..."
Ted wagged his tail, "Then the one about the gravedigger who secretly sold the bodies of his victims to the medical school?" Bill shuddered, "Ewww. Closer, I guess... but no, not that one either."
* Morticon (Morticon Wallaby):
Ted thought hard a moment, then said, "Oh, the gravedigger that skinned the dead and wore them like a second skin?" Bill said, "Yeah! That one! Rumor has it those skins are in the maintenance building just over the hill, and that he puts them on at midnight every Saturday. I dare you to put one on before he comes, and let's see what he does. We'll back you up, behind some of the larger gravestones." Bill grinned convincingly. "What do you say?" He urged. Ted thought a moment, "Well..."
Ted snerked and says,"You have got to be kidding me." He shook his head,"You think I'm that stupid. I mean, what's in it for me if I do it?
Bill said,"Well, you see. If you do this, then you can have the first pick of all the girl's for the next dance next month. I know you got your eye on Mandy." Ted mmms and says,"You mean, if I go and do this, you'll help me get a date with Mandy? Deal!"
Bill waves his hooves, "No, you just get first pick." he grins and murmurs, "But I bet you don't have the guts to do it anyway... chicken." he teases in typical childish manner to coerce his companion into the task. In predictable- fashion, Ted sighs and walks to the cemetary gate, "You guys had better be ready to back me up." He pushes the gate open very slowly, though it hasn't been oiled in a long time and unleashes an incredibly loud screeeeeeech!
Ted sighed and shook his head. The next thing he remembered after that was waking up at the party, surrounded by adoring women all listening to the story he'd been right in the middle of telling. It had been a really bad scene, because he didn't remember how he got there or even what he'd been talking about, and while chicks might dig scars, sudden mental problems were *not* a turn-on.
But what really creeped him out was Mandy asking him to at *least* tell him what had happened to Bill and Greg. Creeped him out so much he'd tried to flee the party, only to go sprawling and stumbling across the room from the sudden unexpected pain.
* Morticon (Morticon Wallaby):
Ted ended up on the floor, most of the party-goers going quiet, staring at him. "Why don't you tell us what happened, Ted?" they chanted in unison. Ted feels disoriented, looking around. "What am I doing here? I don't even recognize half of these people. Why is this room so cold and damp?" His foot was throbbing badly as he managed to get up again, and made it to the exit. When he opened the door, it was pitch black outside. He could hear the sounds of city traffic in the distance, but he couldn't make anything out. He'd never seen a night this dark before.
Ted was standing on the hill in the cemetery and everything seemed to close in on him with the darkness. He said to himself,"I must have passed out. That was just a dream." He steadied himself against the building, his fur matted to his forehead from sweat. He panted and called out,"Bill, Greg.. Where are you guys?" He mumbled,"Probably ran off... chickens." And he slowly made his way back to the gate.
Little did Ted know... it wasn't a dream. His friends were already gone, and he was the last one left. He vaguely remembered the party where people were asking what happened to his friends, but couldn't quite recall what happened that first fateful day in the cemetary. But not to worry, the grave digger remembered. And he would have his revenge.
It was a long walk to the cemetary from the nearest bus stop, especially with his limp. He felt like everyone was staring at him as he walked down the street, as if they could tell from his expression that he was on a mission of PAIN. At least three people crossed the street to avoid him.
And of course when he got to the cemetary, the gravedigger was nowhere to be seen. Ted limped up the hill, gasping and panting as the pain spiked to a higher pitch. He leaned against the door he'd been dared to go through, exhausted... and it swung open instantly, not locked or even closed, dumping him into the darkness. "GAAAAH!"
* Morticon (Morticon Wallaby):
Even in broad daylight, the inside of the building was forboding. It turned out to be a crypt of sorts, but the light didn't seem to travel very far in. It might as well have been night. The door slowly swung closed from a gust of wind, leaving Ted in the dim light, the crypts around him. The inside seemed a lot bigger than it suggested. "I've been waiting for you." A craggly voice said around a corner. "Didn't you have enough last time?" It said hatefully. Ted managed to get on his feet, the pain suddenly gone, replaced by adrenaline.
"I came back to get my life back.. and my friends! I know you had something to do with their disappearance.", Ted exclaimed in a voice sounding braver than he felt. The voice continued in his craggily way,"Prove it." He cackled spookily echoing through the crypt. Ted listened closely... there was something slightly familiar about that voice. He took a few steps closer,"Show- yourself!" And then the room suddenly glowed in firelight and Ted stepped back from what he saw.
Before him stood a skeletal man, leaning on his shovel. The tattered rags he wore were splattered in blood and mud, testimony to the fate of Ted's friends. "You remember me now, don't you boy... yes... it's true." he cackled loudly for a moment, "I'm you. And by now, I'm sure you recall what happened to your friends. What YOU did to your friends!" The wizzened old man laughed hysterically, but there was a sort of familiar appearance to the face... and his foot! The old man's foot was missing! Chopped off at the ankle!
Ted nearly passed out, but he managed to keep his senses. Because, well, "Um... no... actually... I don't remember anything."
Ted shook his head, "Do you remember lying? I mean, if this is really some stupid time-travel stunt, and not just you trying to confuse me out of figuring out which one of us I am?"
"Well, if I'm NOT you," the craggly voice replied, stalking over and poking his boot, "Why do we both have the same missing..." the shovel poked at Ted's pained foot, which was not, in fact, missing. "Missing... what?!"
* Morticon (Morticon Wallaby):
The gravedigger gasps, "This means...." And before Ted could ask what, the gravedigger had already retreated around the corner to another room, closing the door behind him. Ted sighed, "What was that all about?" He pondered as he looked about the room. Spotting a decorative rod, he wrested it from the wall with a bit of effort, "I better get prepared... this could get ugly." He twirled the rod, experimentally, then crouched in a dark corner next to the door and listened. There were muffled sounds inside, like the gravedigger- was working with something soft.
Ted slowly makes his way quietly towards the door to get a better listen. The gravedigger seems to be muttering,"Not me. Not myself. Did I kill the wrong ones? Did I kill myself?" Then crying and the door is wrenched open. Ted takes a few steps back and presses himself up against the wall, the rod in his paws trying to hide into the darkness, his black fur blending into the darkness
The gravedigger steps out slowly and grins,"One got away.. I must be him. I must be." Ted to his chance now and jumped at the gravedigger when...
The gravedigger laughed, even as Ted was about to swing that fatal blow. "No... first I want you to see my masterpiece... before you kill me and settle this." he motions inside the doorway to the table in the room beyond. Upon it are three skulls, bovine, bird, and feline. On each of them is written a word. A single word. Repeated so many times. 'Coward!'
Ted squinted at the artwork. "I dont know, it needs something, it's kindof... repetitive."
The gravedigger laughed, "You studied MAKING art, not critiquing it! You don't have nearly enough cynicism to be a critic. Not *yet*."
"I don't think it really counts as art, even," Ted said, "It's so childish. If after a whole life of practice, this is the best I can do... maybe I'd be better off if you killed me. Here, take the club." He held it out for the gravedigger.
* Morticon (Morticon Wallaby):
The gravedigger had a cruel grin on his face. "It's not entirely complete,though. It needs one more peice." And Ted realized, to his horror, what the gravedigger meant. The gravedigger pulls out a nasty looking switchblade, recently used to kill his friends, he could tell from the stains. "Killing you will collapse this whole mystery. Everything will become clear again." And he lunges forward!
Ted rolls bringing the club to knock the blade out of the gravedigger's hand, but missed rolling off to the side. He gets back up and points the club at the gravedigger,"No. No you aren't getting my foot. I.. I won't let you." His foot gives way at that moment and he tumbles to his knee. The skeletal form inches closer,"You have no choice. You have no where to run and nothing more to live for. What are you going to do now?"
The gravedigger reaches down suddenly, grabbing Ted by his pained ankle. "Repetitive you say?! Then we'll have to add a splash of dissonance!" He lowers the switchblade and begins to saw away at the flesh, which comes away far too easily... revealing the metal spike driven into Ted's stump of a lag, fore he had no foot either and had been walking on the spike all night!
The wiggling stump of a foot that had been impaled on the spike didn't die when it was removed... "21st century prosthesis," the gravedigger explained, "Now to finish you off! DIE, Ted!"...and then he stabbed himself, repeatedly, over and over and over while Ted stared fixated at the wriggling undead foot. "Remember... finish the statue or this is all for nothing... but don't use my skull... use my.... *gurgle*"
"What?" Ted asked, looking over at the old man, but he was already dead. He picked up the wiggling foot, and stared into the socket where his spike fit into it... and then reached in and pulled out a giant pebble. "Ugh, no wonder it hurt," he said, putting it back on, "Yeah, now I remember. I accidentally killed all my friends, and crushed my foot, when this crazy old man came out of a portal and swore he could save me... and then cut off my foot with his pocketknife. And he can take the fall for everything, since the DNA will match. I'll be fine."
There was a spring in his step as he left the cemetary, but all the people still looked at him funny, possibly because he was covered in blood. "Don't worry, it's not mine!"
* Morticon (Morticon Wallaby): The end.
|Gilead||Gilead's Last Minute Puns|
Q: why did the pedigreed female dog have to send her ex-mate a bottle of her pee every month?
Q: Why did the championship frisbee dog have to pay for his puppies'
training after he divorced his mate?
Q: Why did the pregnant female dog suddenly get embarrassed?
Q: Who's Iceland's most famous musical dog?
Q: What's the worst thing for a dog to find in his inbox?
Q: What do you call dog food full of holes?
Q: What do you call an offensive characature of a Black Labrador Retriever?
Q: Why do puppies always believe what they are told?
Q: What do you do when your toy dog is overweight?
|Hi all, Ba'ar here with your @Spindizzy Action News survey for this week. What monster (from literature, folklore or otherwise) scares you the most?
|Argon||Doze Garden Cartoon|
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