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Total Lunar Eclipse

Eclipse of Earth's Moon.On February 20, 2008, many gathered in the Rose Garden for the (OOC) Total Lunar Eclipse.

Zoie, a new resident and local raccoon, tried to spread the word quickly about the upcoming event a few hours beforehand as well as setting up her telescope. She explained that, as well as the eclipse, that that same night as of 6:40pm (muck time) was a full moon as well. She also pointed out that with the eclipse, you could also get a look at the rings of Saturn on her telescope to the bottom left of the moon as well as getting a good look at Regulus, the heart of the Leo Constellation.

As the time drew closer to the lunar event, more citizens gathered for the event, among them being Argon, local centaur, Borris, local polar bear, and many others made their presence known. Even the late arrival of an injured Morticon, local wallaby, with Portia, local red panda, helping him so he could get a view of the rings through Zoie's telescope, garnered plenty of attention. "Gaw! I'm so excited!" exclaimed Zoie, "I still am!! I am just so HAPPY to see this happening, let alone it happening on a full moon of all things, let alone my birth sign" as the young raccoon bounced happily,"Despite the "cheese" jokes.. the only thing that could've made it better if I brought my camera so I could've taken pictures of Saturn as well as normal pictures of the eclipsing and eclipsed moon!"

Argon said, "I was quite impressed by Zoie's telescope, her proficient handling of the instrument,and her impressive knowledge of the sky. She helped me understand what was going on and why and did so without making me feel ignorant. Even folks who weren't interested in astronomy found her guidance through this event facinating."

Despite the lunar event, PatchO'Black, the resident jellicle cat, seemed to keep to his basket in the Rose Garden. Though no explaination was given, it is generally assumed due to the eclipsed moon, his jellicle heart was not moved to dance until the event was over. To comfort him, many done their best to care for the young jellicle until it was over.

Upon the ending of the event, many were discussing what they would like to do for the next solar/lunar event, even Morticon seemed more animated than usual with the shared enthusiasm of the crowd, even offering to help someone organize the next event. Zoie has quietly offered her knowledge for the next eclipse.

Jellicleness lowered by Eclipse

Patch and the Moon.During the eclipse, Patch O'Black, local Jellicle cat, seemed somewhat sluggish and not his usual happy self. He wasn't sining and dancing, or making food, like moon pies, or much of anything. He seemed awfully quiet and withdrawn. And he got even more quiet and withdrawn as the eclipse progressed

Later, I was able to ask Patch why the eclipse had this effect on him. He noted that the moon is quite special to cats as, being nocturnal, they like a little light. For Jellicle cats, the brighter the moon, the more Jellicle it is.

Of course once a year there is the Jellicle Moon, which (from these lyrics,) is the night of the Jellicle ball. This is a time for all the Jellicle cats to gather and enjoy... well, being Jellicle.

Although this wasn't the night of the Jellicle ball, any bright moonlight is essential for Jellicleness and with the moonlight fading, Patch's sense of Jellicleness faded some as well. He didn't feel much like singing and dancing. In fact, he seemed to feel more like napping in his cat basket. Although once the eclipse was over and bright moonlight again shone, Patch was back to his regular Jellicle self.

Classic Gaming Article

Combat from Atari 2600.This is the first, in hopefully of many, articles I hope to write about the many, many games we grew up with. I was first "introduced" to video games when I was very little back in 1983, with the classic Atari 2600. Since then, I've been a gamer girl with a passion.

Since I mentioned the Atari 2600, I guess for starters I should mention "Combat". It was the very first game I remember playing. There were several modes you could chose from. There was the straight out tank fight to having some "cover". They made a few things to make it fun by adding either homing shots or the pool shot (which you could bounce your bullet off the wall). There was even a mode where you could be invisible (with only a brief appearance after you shoot).

The next mode you could choose are "bi-planes". You should shoot at your opponents using cloud cover. The next one up to it is using three bi-planes against one large bomber. The battles my brother and I used to have were classic (just about as competitive as Mario Kart for N64 in college competitions or Smash Brothers today). The next point after this is the jet battle in single, double or triple combat.

This game was released back in 1977, which makes it just over 30 years old. There were MANY great games from Pitfall, Yars Revenge, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Breakout and many more nostalgic games. I truly came into my own when the NES came out so prepare for next week, when the most classic cheat code game is portrayed!

Your gal with the controller,

Zoie the Rose Baroness

Holidays from Home

'Kenkoku-Kinen no Hi', the memorial day for the nation of Japan.(As SpinDizzy residents are from many places, it seems logical to talk about holidays from other cultures. Rin, local wintermouse, is a Japanese mouse, and has agreed to tell us about some of the holidays celebrated there. As many of us are fans of Anime and video gaming (Which seems to have been developed in Japan,) it would seem some knowlege about the culture would be of interest. - Editor.)

Kon-nichi wa, minna-san! This is Rin Yukidama again, with another holiday! Not too long ago, we touched on Risshun, the Spring Setsubun. This time, I'm going to talk about 'Kenkoku-Kinen no Hi', the memorial day for the nation of Japan. Although not so extravagantly celebrated, this holiday nevertheless has quite a history to it. It's celebrated on February 11 on every year, as opposed to being stuck to a particular Monday like some of the other holidays we've gone through.

As I'd mentioned, celebrations aren't quite so extreme; about the only real marker for this holiday is the sudden appearance of Japanese flags everywhere. It's a day during which citizens of Japan reflect on what it means to be a member of that country. However, due to the somewhat controversial nature of extreme nationalism, which can be construed as a forced political view, the celebration of this day can look a little eerily quiet to foreigners more acquainted to huge celebrations for the founding of nations.

I'd said as well, however, that this holiday has quite a history, and that it certainly does! Originally, before World War II, it was 'Kigensetsu', known in English as simply 'Empire Day'. It was to celebrate the country's foundation by the mythical Emperor Jinmu as chronicled in the 'Nihon-Shoki' (on which I won't go into much detail, though you readers can do some independent research!). Back in the day, it was an extremely celebrated holiday, and Emperor Meiji was thought to have really stood behind it to rally the people around the sovereignty of the Japanese royal family. There were those who thought that concentrating attention on the Emperor would also help unify the Japanese people...

...And then came World War II. What happened in a nutshell is that after the war, there was a major downplay on the supreme authority of the emperor. You'd think that would be bad for the holiday... But then, as things would go, the new Constitution for the nation of Japan as we now know it was handed over on the exact same day as Kigensetsu was celebrated on! The day effectively regained its status as the founding of Japan, mythological or otherwise. How's that for coincidence?

And now, just when you think it's all over... there's another holiday this same week! We in Japan have adopted Valentine's Day, same as most of the rest of you! ...Well, mostly the same. You see, in Japan on Valentine's Day... we girls give chocolate to the guys! Don't worry, though; it's not all one-sided. Just wait for another month, girls! We get our revenge!

...Anyway, that's all for this week in Japan. Next month, we'll start with Hina-Matsuri, the Doll Festival. But, for this month... Jikai made, sayounara!


Stop the presses!Thank you to everyone who contributed to the newspaper!

Special thanks go to:

The Various Sources for the Total Eclipse report,
Argon for the report on Patch's loss of Jellicleness,
Zoie for the article on Classic Computer games,
Rin for 'Holidays from Home',
Patch O'Black for 'Four Color Kitty',
Ba'ar for his his survey and
Argon for this week's cartoon.

Four-Kolor Kitty: Defending The Dream

Supercat - Patch O'Black (Art by Chanspot).Greetings, readers! As we come to the close of February, this column is in honor of Black History Month. We will be looking at African and African-American heroes! This actually makes up quite an impressive list, and there are far more than the ones I've included here. Let's go ahead and look at some of these outstanding members of the cape-and-cowl set!

122.jpgLet's start with those that hail from the DC universe. Their first African -American super-hero is probably their best known one: Black Lightning. His true identity was Jefferson Peirce, a former Gold Medalist, he returned to his old neighborhood in Metropolis, a section that was nicknamed "Suicide Slum", to start a career as a high school teacher. He found the area was rocked with violent crime, mostly due to such groups as The 100. A family friend created for Peirce a costume with a electronic "power belt" that, along with a mask, an Afro wig, and affecting a "hip" style of speaking, allowed him to don the identity of Black Lighting! Eventually, when the belt was destroyed, he found he could now wield his electric powers without the need of it. He has since gone on to be one of the most respected member of the super-hero community. He has served as a member of the Justice League of America, and has been described as having a razor-sharp code of ethics. He has also gotten married and raised two daughters. These young ladies, we have discovers, also have superpowers. His oldest daughter has the power to increase the density of her body will keeping her volume the same, and goes by the name "Thunder". Her younger sister has yet to join the family business and take a code-name, but it has been shown she takes after her dad with lighting powers. Jefferson Peirce himself has kept active in the crime-fighting department as well, though he no longer wears the funky wig, opting for a clean-shaven pate, and doesn't jive-talk anymore.

232.jpgHowever, in DC's version of history, Black Lighting was preceded by another super-hero during World War II. Like Black Lighting, Will Everette was an Olympic athlete, but afterward, he was forced to take a job as a janitor in a laboratory. An accident gave him the power to take on at will the qualities of any substance he touched. For example, if he touch a brick, his body would take on the appearance his skin was made of brick and he would become as tough and strong as brick. While at first he served as a henchman for super-villian Ultra-Humanite, he quickly decides that he isn't the criminal type, and joins the All-Star Squadron's huge roster of heroes.

330.jpgHe would fight injustice, and would also become a huge figure in Civil Rights in DC's fictional Earth. He would marry, have children, and eventually die of cancer. However, he would be succeeded by two of his grandsons. Will Everett III would take on his grandfather's name and costume, working with a group named "Extreme Justice", and would die fighting a villain known as The Mist. A second grandson named Markus Clay also has his grandfather's powers, though uses a look of his own. He has been helping the survivors of Hurricane Katrina, has recently been recruited by the Justice Society of America.

426.jpgFinally, from the DC side, we will look at the high-tech armored hero simply known as Steel. Named John Henry Irons, he was an inventive genius that originally worked in the weapons division of AmerTek Industries. However, when weapons he designed started showing up in the hands of criminals, he decided to leave his work. However, he learned that the company would have gone after him and his family, he faked his own death, and went to Metropolis to lose himself in the city. It was there, working as a construction worker, he met Superman who rescued him when he fell off a skyscraper. He asked Superman how he could repay him for his life, Superman replied "Live a life worth saving". When Superman appeared to be killed by the rampaging alien Doomsday, Irons decide to step up to help defend Metropolis in his stead. He built a suit of armor, filled with high-tech weapons and inventions of his own design, including a metal hammer that he could use ether as a melee-weapon or throw for long-range attacks. He was dubbed "Man of Steel", after one of the nicknames for Superman, by the media, which was eventually shortened to "Steel". Since his introduction, he has become a major figure in super-hero circles, considered one of the foremost scientific minds as well as a heavy-hitter when in a fight.

521.jpgMarvel, of course, has several black super-heroes as well. Their first was a fellow by the name of Black Panther. The character, by the way, predates the Black Panthers by a few month. His true identity is that of T'Challa, the king of a hidden African nation called Wakanda. While this land might look primitive, it is actually one (if not the) most advance civilization on the planet. As their leader, he was given the right to eat a heart-shaped herb which enhanced his physical abilities. This, in and of itself, would make his a formidable crime-fighter. However, he also possesses a brilliant intellect, having been trained at some of the finest schools in the world. This combination of brains, brawn, and political might means that if one finds themselves facing against this African monarch, they would be better off just calling it a day. He has acted as a member of the Avengers, but more recently, when Reed and Sue Richards needed to take some time off from the Fantastic Four, Black Panther went in to fill the gap, along with his new wife, the lovely Ororo Munroe, better known as Storm.

615.jpgSpeaking of Storm, she also hails from Africa, where he mutant powers of weather control made folks dub her a goddess. However, when Professor X came to her to make her part of a new team of X-Men, she left to use her natural talents for the greater good of man and mutant-kind. With flowing white hair, she is both striking and beautiful, but don't let her good-look fool you. When she was younger, before her powers manifested, she lived on the streets as an orphan. As an X-Man, she was known as a strong, spiritual woman, though for a time in the 1980's, she felt she had lost her way, and adopted a more wild "punk" look and attitude. Eventually, she found her center again, but her experiences made her all the more formidable, and for a time she lead the X-Men. As stated before, she is now married to the Black Panther, and served with him for a time as a member of the Fantastic Four. Currently, when not partnered with her husband, she is once again a member of the X-Men.

That will wrap up this week's Four-Kolor Kitty. Remember, if you have a topic or question you would like to see used in a future column, please page #mail it to PatchO'Black. Until then, see you in the funny pages!

Gilead's Un-Bear-Able Puns

Q: What did the ranger say when he saw Yogi sneaking behind a bush?
A: There's trouble bruin.

Q: What does an ursine take for arthritis?
A: Bear aspirin.

Q: How does one become a licensed ursine?
A: Go to school and then pass the baar exam.

Q: Why did Ted Kennedy stop to take pictures so often while he was touring Yellowstone National Park?
A: He's never passed a baar in his life.

Q: Who, besides Venom Bear, was Spider Bear's most recent nemesis?
A: A sand baar.

Q: How does a male grizzly chat up a female in season?
A: Hey, Baby, what's ur sine?

Q: What do you call an ursine diva singing Wagner's Ring Cycle?
A: Bruin-Hilda.

Q: What do you call a bear who commands a battalion of bears?
A: An Ursa Major.

Q: What do you call a bear who's not old enough to buy a copy of Playbear?
A: An Ursa Minor.

Q: When do ursines give their raccoons a bath?
A: Washbear day.

Q: Where do coatis go for teppan-yaki cuisine?
A: Benihanaguma's.

Q: What's an ursine's favorite ice cream treat?
A: A Good Humor Baar.

Weekly Survey
Ba'ar doing the survey.Greetings all, now that @Action news is back, here's your latest @Action News Survey. Why do you think that @Action News was silent for so long?
  • Ba'ar says, "I think the SED came back and stole the printing presses."
  • Natasha says, "It was silent because it wasn't being published. QED."
  • Gilead chirps, "Because we all made Santa cry."
  • Kit_Skyfire says, "Someone forgot to feed the hamsters that run in the wheels that power the equipment that is used to create and run @Action News. And since there is a hamster shortage, it took awhile to repopulate enough wheels to create sufficient power to restart @Action News."
  • DTF ponders "Morti used up all the ink fighting octopi?"
  • Darius says, "I'll decline to answer that question."
  • WhyteShadow says, "The newspaper is inanimate and cannot speak. In the event that the newspaper does speak, you are urged to disregard what it says."
  • Andros yips, "The ship delivering the blank paper gave a Tauran ship a funny look and was promptly shot down."
  • Zoie thinks to herself,"A mixture of the flu, extended vacations and lack of shineys."
  • Ray purrs, "'Cause there's been a news blackout, imposed by the forces of black-outness?"
  • Clarisa says, "Because your internets was broke?"
  • Argon says, "I won't give away the answer. It'll be fun to see what theories there are!"
Doze Garden Cartoon

The Doze Garden Cartoon.
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Contributing a story or artwork for @Action News is easy! Just send it to newspaper@spindizzy.org!

  • @Action News is published weekly sometime on Sunday.
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  • 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.
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These are pretty broad guidelines, but we expect good sense to apply.


Editor - @Action News