Monday, February 19, 2018

Rediscovering Jamaa: The Hot Cocoa Hut

Hey Jammers! Isn't this odd? A post on Monday? Typically, I only post once or twice every weekend– rarely if ever on weekdays, no matter how much I want to. :O

For this coming week, I have no school! Yay!!! February break is wonderful. 

Because of that, I'm gonna try and post at least every other day until Sunday– you have my word!! ;D

If you haven't noticed already, I put a new graphic on the sidebar of the blog:


I made it out of a combination of free clip art and basic AJ graphics. Because the AJ Blogging community is not as big as the AJ side of YouTube, I thought it would be cool if we could all have a little symbol to link our blogs together in support of one another. :3

If you want, take this image and put it on the side of your blog– no credit necessary! ^-^

Now, onto the main topic of this post: underrated rooms on AJ! 


I have an ongoing poll to the right side of AJ Stream about you guys' favorite underpopulated areas in Jamaa. This is not only because I'm just generally curious, but also to help me know which rooms to focus on next. 

If you haven't seen my first Rediscovering Jamaa post, this is a series I'm doing where I tour the rooms on Animal Jam that are less popular but definitely deserving of popularity. In this way, we can bring awareness of their awesomeness and "rediscover" Jamaa together! :D

So, as of today, the most-voted favorite room is the Hot Cocoa Hut, which is exactly where we're going today!

-

You've trekked through deep snow, against icy currents of wind. The icy landscape of Mt. Shiveer has you slipping and sliding– laughing down the ice slides, and the less fun slipping-and-falling-on-your-face. 

Exhausted, you make your way toward a snow-covered tent and walk through... from cold into warmth!


The floor is cool, hardened mud, but feels significantly warmer on your paws than the ice of outside. Within the seemingly light and billowy walls of a tent, where could the source of warmth be?

Steam emanates from a chattering Hot Cocoa machine...


Alright Jammers, listen up. Go to the Hot Cocoa Machine and choose the teacup shape.


Turn it blue...


Remember to set the secret temperature dial to red...


Choose the dark chocolate hot cocoa...


Add some whipped cream... 


Choose the shredded chocolate topping, and...


Voila!!! You've just made the Spookypanda Supreme, the official drink of Animal Jam Stream. XD


The entire atmosphere of the Hot Cocoa Hut is warm and comforting, from the fluffy pillows on the ground to the orange glow of the fire. 


A fun little easter egg: the bags of cacao beans are labeled SBI. What does that stand for? Smart Bomb Interactive– the original name of WildWorks before they changed it. 

Throughout Jamaa, I'm sure you can find a few more "SBI" easter eggs like this one. If you can name just one in the comments, I'll give you a (digital, metaphorical) cookie. 


I think the Hot Cocoa Hut has some beautifully earthy design elements. There are so many lovely details, like the pot of healing(?) staffs, the shelves of teacups, and that lil vase of incense in the back. I wonder what it smells like... :3


Despite the small amount of people frequenting the Hut, its item shop is updated seasonally. For instance, right now there are a lot of Friendship Festival themed items on Clearance right now.


Maybe the lack of people at the Hot Cocoa Hut is not all that bad. A few Jammers coming and going makes it a good, non-laggy place to talk with buddies. It's so relaxing, too. Sooner or later, the sounds of the Hot Cocoa Machine will make you fall asleep... Zzz...

-

Which underrated room should we go appreciate next? Vote for your favorite on the poll on the right side of the blog! ^-^

It's coming to the end of my unusual Monday post. Do you know what that means?

It's time for...

~ Creature Feature! ~

Unlike the previous two posts, I promise today's featured critter will not be a frog or a toad. Today, we're switching it up with...


The astounding, magnificent, beautiful Dobsonfly!

The only reason I know of this insect's existence is that I had seen one last summer. I was outside with my friends when we saw one on a tree– obviously, it was very surprising! Dobsonflies are really big, especially males. We were lucky, the dobsonfly we discovered was male, with big horns and antennae like the image above.

Our dobsonfly seemed to have been resting. Thankfully, my friends shared my fascination with him, so he went unharmed. I always get scared and protective whenever I see a cool animal outside. Sometimes people hurt what they don't understand...

We have to go beyond our initial reactions to animals (and people) and look deeper, see them as individuals. 

Even if you're afraid of large insects, the truth is that the bigger the bug, the slower and more peaceful they are! 

In all my days, I have never met a bug as chill as the male dobsonfly. :)

That's all for now, Jammers. See you in Jamaa!

~DoomyPanda

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Balloosh: A Land of Mystery (I was right!)

Hey Jammers! As I had predicted in a previous update post about the River's Heart, an interesting new land has opened up in just the place I thought it would!

It is not the Amazon River-style place I thought it would be, but that could be expected. We already have the Temple of Zios, after all! 

Let's welcome the wetlands of Balloosh to our map:



When you first arrive, you'll notice this land's style is a lot darker than many of the others– bigger, too. It may remind you more of a new party than a land on its own. Consequently, the Journey Book is a bit more challenging– but that makes it a lot more fun!



As I've done with lands before, I won't explicitly give you the locations of all the animals of the Journey Book. I know that it's typically the role of AJ bloggers and YouTubers to do that, but in my opinion, it's more fun to explore unguided. What's a scavenger hunt if you know where everything is already? :D



While I was searching for Journey Book animals, I made some friends and we helped each other out. I wouldn't have been able to meet them if I just quickly ran through the Journey Book, would I? ^_^

However, I will show you the prize that awaits you at the finish line, simply because it's so unusual.

Are you ready?

Here ya go:



Surprisingly, er... un-swampy. But at least it's nonmember and lavender-colored– two good things! :)

I wonder if there's any specific reason why AJHQ chose a moon design. I've seen items like this before in Jam Mart Furniture, but they've all been members only. Hmm...



As for the name, it's easy to see why a lot of people were confused. What does Balloosh mean? 

We know Balloosh is a wetland in Jamaa, based loosely off of the Florida everglades. However, it's not the name of a real world place, nor is it translatable to another language, like some lands in Jamaa are. 

The way I see it, it might be just a combination of words that sound swampy. I think it's a mix of "bayou" and "galoshes". Do any of you have an idea?


I wonder if there are any future plans for the Heartstone. Heartstones imply animals, so perhaps a new animal is in our midst.

I wonder who they could be...


In other news, Jamaa is celebrating Polar Bear Day on the 27th! Yay!!! That's a week or two away, so Polar Bear Day is now Polar Bear Week. Or Polar Bear Year. They're very important in their ecosystems, so we should always be celebrating them. :)

Click around Jamaa to learn about polar bears, their habitats, and the climate change that threatens not only them, but us. We must all stand together in support of one another, human or otherwise.

I think AJ animal-celebrations like this would be more popular if a banner item came out to commemorate the event, like Cat Banners or Gecko Banners.

That's all the news I have for you today, Jammers, so I guess it's time for...


~ Creature Feature! ~

In honor of the new land, I thought I'd feature an animal from there. I know last time was a frog, but this time...


It's a toad! There's a difference, you know. XD

The toad photo in the fun fact card was just so magnificent that I needed to talk a little about them. Toads live in a variety of habitats– in fact, I'm pretty sure you can find toads anywhere except Antarctica. 

Contrary to popular belief, as well as this fun fact card, toads are not actually covered in warts. Their skin is just naturally bumpy! :D


Toads can be less comfortable in the water than frogs are; their feet aren't webbed, and they are less streamlined than their semiaquatic cousins, but toads still like moisture. You might see them playing along shallow riverbanks, basking in the mud, and when it's cold or dry outside, they will dig themselves burrows into the richer soil warmed by the Earth's core.

This brings me to my next point: toad houses!


If you have an old flower pot lying around, and you think you might have some special toad neighbors, you can give them a sturdy shelter. Half-bury a sideways flower pot in some soil, ideally in an area surrounded by taller plants or shrubs so the toads feel safe.

I hope I see some toads this Spring. Do you? :D

See you in Jamaa!

~DoomyPanda

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Unreleased Item Theory + Cool Stuff

Hey Jammers, have I got some cool stuff for you today!!! :D

So without any annoying paragraphs detailing why I haven't posted in a week like I always do, let's jump right into today's mystery:


The E-bookshelf. Because the AJ Blogger community is fairly tight-knit, there's a good chance you learned about this item's existence on Nafaria9's excellent blog, the AJ Whip. 

All we know for sure about this item is that it is only accessible through Animal Jam's files, meaning that you cannot buy it at any shop and that you really really should NOT hack into Animal Jam to get this for your den. 

If you're confused why it's not good to hack this item, here's a little reminder why:

– Your account can be permanently banned.

– The consequences may get even more serious, as it's technically illegal.

 – If you do hack this item, you put yourself at risk of getting hacked yourself.

but most of all...

This item will be released, so it's not worth the risk!

All unreleased items get released eventually, unless of course there are issues with them, like this unreleased wall of weapons just begging for parental complaints:


Remember when that set of panda-themed items was "leaked" just a few days before the update and people went bananas for them? Well, many a regretful trade was made with people who acquired them before the official release and now no one even remembers their existence. Something to keep in mind with unreleased items.

I just wanted to share my theory about the E-bookshelf, because when released, this item might just be as unique an item as the Painter's Easel– maybe even more so.

What am I talking about? It just looks like a normal bookshelf, you might say.

Exactly.

Animal Jam rarely releases "regular" items these days– they're almost all themed somehow. If this item is so generic, there must be something special about it.

But that's not my only piece of evidence. Next, let's take a look at its name:

E-bookshelf

A bit of an odd name for an AJ item. It could just be a temporary name that someone at AJHQ thought up while being developed. Personally, I looked at it and was immediately drawn to the phrase "E-book". 

An E-book is, as its name suggests, a book in electronic form. Reminds me a little of these:


I wonder... could the E-bookshelf be released as an interactive item? Could you keep E-books in it? Could you WRITE them and keep them in it???

There are many possibilities. If this item is what I think it is, there might have to be new systems in place for its release. What kinds of books will we be able to keep in them? How might we acquire these books? Will there one day be a book shop on AJ? 

We don't know for sure. At least, not yet. *dramatic music*

In other news, I learned about a cool new Masterpiece idea that Animal Jam artists are using: Friendship Quilts.


(Image credit to Lostfairy of Animal Jam Jumble, Masterpiece credit to ocean8froggy)

An AJ friendship quilt would not be a singular Masterpiece, but a whole collection of Masterpieces that all follow the guidelines above, giving the effect of a large quilt!


For a cool quilt (as well as a cool collection of art), go to froggysquilt's den. I'm not sure if it was froggy who invented this idea, but it's a cool one! Perfect for the Friendship Festival, too. C:

Would anyone wanna make a Friendship Quilt with me? We could do one for Animal Jam Stream!!! :D

Before I go, I'd like to introduce a post idea I thought of this morning:

~ Creature Feature ~

Welcome to Creature Feature! I've decided that at the end of every post, it would be a cool idea to talk a little about an interesting animal that you probably have never heard of. 

Here on Animal Stream, we talk a lot about stuff that isn't, well, real. Digital, pixel stuff. Sometimes we forget that there's more to AJ than items. In Creature Feature, we put the "Animal" back in Animal Jam!

This first featured friend is very dear to my heart: the Purple Frog!


This is a very special animal. They live underground for their entire lives with the exception of the few weeks they come out each year. Unlike other frogs, purple frogs only eat underground instead of surfacing to forage. And unlike other frogs, they have an adorably pointy snoot. :)


Purple frogs are very ancient and rare, with only two members of their taxonomic family known by humans. 

They look very interesting for a frog, I know. You might even say they're "creepy" or "ugly", but in my opinion, they're perfectly beautiful. 

Free-living animals look certain ways because those traits are helpful for them. For instance, the purple frog's eyes are so small because they live most of their days in the dark, and their heads are shaped in such a unique way to help them dig through their subterranean homes. 

Remember that beauty standards are not universal– if you're creeped out by an animal's appearance, there's a good chance they're creeped out by you, too! 

Not to say that you're ugly, or the frog is ugly, or that anyone is less than beautiful. The truth is that "ugly" is a judgement, not a reality. 

Here's a video of a male purple frog speaking:


Like many many animals around the Earth, the purple frog is critically endangered. And like most if not all endangered animals, humans like us are the culprit. 

The growing of ginger, coffee, and cardamom all completely destroy miles of purple frog habitat. If you want to do what you can to help purple frogs, as well as their neighbors, try to limit your purchase of these to a minimum. 

Thanks for reading, see you in Jamaa and don't forget to answer the poll to the right of the blog! :D

~Doomy

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Crazy New Hints + Valentines

Hey Jammers! On Wednesday after school, I came home and thought "the update is tomorrow! I'll be a good blogger and post about it on the day it happens." Thursday after school, I came home and I thought "yay, the update is today! I'll post about it tomorrow because I'm too tired and need to sleep." Friday after school, I thought "wow, the week was so long that all I can do is sleep for the rest of the day, but I'll totally post tomorrow morning."

It's Saturday evening right now. I had thought I'd post this morning, but even after 9+ hours of sleep I... still... slept... instead...

Long story short, today was an annoying day and I need to stop procrastinating. (:

But on the bright side, some cool stuff came out this update! So let's jump right into it:


Yes!!! I love temporary new features during seasonal celebrations. For the month of February, you can send ANONYMOUS Jam-a-Gram valentines!

If you get one, it will look a li ttle like this:


I can't believe it, only two days after the update and I already have a secret valentine!!! Is it one of you guys? ;D

The nametag is generic and unclickable, and you can send any message you want to any person you want! 

For some reason, all non-friendship-related Jam-a-Grams are retired, hopefully only temporarily. 

Keep it kind, guys! Anonymity can make you feel very powerful, but with power comes responsibility. 

The second biggest thing going on in Jamaa is the introduction of a new adventure surrounding the mysterious stone that had been on display in Alpha HQ:


This adventure is a private assignment from Greely, who seems to be working solo, for obvious reasons. He's the one who took the ancient stone! 

But he assures you that his actions were not without reason. Through his secret knowledge, he knew of some riverlands that flow into a special place: the original home of the artifact. Not the underground city where the Alphas discovered it, but the true source! He must have a bottomless pit where he keeps all his books if he could find information like that.

Your quest? While Greely fends off phantoms, escort the precious stone on a raft to the river's heart. You might wanna bring a Glove, because there are many webs and traps to claw through. Somehow, the phantoms know of the importance of the stone and will do everything in their power to stop it from it getting to its destination. Hmm...

Along the way, you'll find that the phantoms have developed some new sneaky techniques to get you to drop your guard:



You'll need to persevere in order to get through. This is the kind of adventure that will make you thankful for the ability to regenerate hearts. If anyone could try to run through the whole thing on one life, they deserve a trophy.

But this adventure is merciful, to some extent:


And unlike other adventures, there is a full-blown phantom battle towards the end. But don't worry, you'll have help. ;)

The next part of this post will have some major spoilers. I really suggest you play this adventure on your own first. 

-Spoilers Ahead- 

Remember when I said this adventure was the second biggest thing this update?

I may be wrong, because some secrets implied about this magic stone could be huge.


Towards the end of the adventure, you start to see a lot of these unique trees. I took this picture because I just thought they were cool, but they might provide some hints... you'll see soon... 





This rock is a Heartstone, covered by layers of sediment! 

It's not specified which animal this Heartstone might belong to, but this animal's homeland, the heart of the river, is referenced suggestively. Right after Sir Gilbert says that the information acquired from this Heartstone will remain classified from Jammers for a period of time, Peck responds with the first two speech bubbles.

Something is very strongly implied here... 

Something not only about this Heartstone, but its home...

Could the riverlands, the home of this Heartstone's animal, become a new land!?!?!?

I know just the place on the map for this new land:


Finally, that little corner I've been obsessing over forever will have some attention!!!

What kind of new land, and what kind of new animal could be announced in the coming months?

Well, obviously one comfortable around water, if not directly aquatic. Perhaps, as many Jamaa lands represent real-life locations, these riverlands may represent the Amazon river, and the animal may be of tropical origin!

But remember how old that Heartstone is. It was held onto by an ancient civilization!

Remember the weird trees... remember what Cosmo said about not recognizing the plants' languages...

Could this animal be...

a dinosaur?

Maybe that's why the ancient city was destroyed. They reintroduced dinosaurs and all chaos broke loose!

This is just a crazy guess, but it may very well be the truth. We have never had so much fanfare over a new animal before!

What do you guys think?

~DoomyPanda

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Rediscovering Jamaa: The Flag Shop

Hey Jammers! I mentioned this idea I had awhile ago to make a series of posts giving tours of some underrated rooms in Jamaa. I decided to start this series today, kicking it off with a tour of The Flag Shop!


Entering the Flag Shop, you'll probably be able to tell that this room is much unlike any of the others in Jamaa– maybe even in real life, too. I've never heard of an actual flag shop before!

True to its name, there are tons of flags here. Covering the ceilings, decorating the walls, and of course, within the shop itself.

With the addition of four created flags (the Jamaa flag, the Peace flag, the Phantom flag, and the Pirate flag), there is a total of 114 country flags for sale.


While I counted up all the flags, I also noticed a couple of errors. For instance, the Ecuador flag is only a shade lighter than the Colombian flag, and it's missing its crest. 

I'm not being critical, just practicing the AJ blogger tradition of picking out details that no one would notice anyway. XD


Fun fact about the Jamaa Flag: it was designed by a Jammer named Mythical Arcticstar at the very beginning of 2012! Here's the original entry, unedited by AJHQ:


The Jamaa Flag is probably my favorite flag in the Flag Shop, but my favorite real-life flag design is probably Sri Lanka:


The downstairs portion of the Flag Shop offers even more surprises:


Among other places, you can shop for flags by clicking this adorable cash register. It took awhile for me to realize that there are two Gem symbols at the top of it. XD


There's also a simplified model of the largest legislative building in India. Look at the real version:


Cool detail, huh? There's a lot to say about these underrated rooms in AJ.


It also might be worth pointing out that the entire bottom floor of the flag shop might just be hanging off the bottom of the wood platform it rests on. 


Or not. It doesn't look like a very wise building decision. XD

Overall, the Flag Shop is a pretty classic underrated building and I hope it never goes away. Not many people visit it, so it's a nice non-laggy meeting place for you and your buddies!

What underrated room should I talk about next? Comment below~ ^.^

~DoomyPanda
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