Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Zombie 101
Every day I learn something new from CNN.com/Exchange readers. While working on our Monster Mash gallery of Halloween pictures, I was told it takes 15 feet of pvc pipe to make an adult zombie skeleton. If you buy your heads in bulk at a beauty supply shop, it costs about $15 to build one. Good to know.

Randall Cookesy of Hanceville, Alabama knows how to build a zombie. He wants you to know, too.

Items needed:
two 10-foot pieces of 3/4" PVC
four 3/4" 90 degree elbow sockets
two 3/4" 45 degree elbow sockets
one 3/4" cross socket
three tee sockets
a hand held PVC pipe cutter

Measurements needed:
neck - 2"
shoulders - 8" two pieces
spine - 21"
upper arm - 12" two pieces
lower arm - 11"
hip - 6" two pieces
legs - 32"
feet - 10"

Randall Cooksey writes: You can put this together like you would a skeleton, you can connect the feet to the legs by using the tee sockets. You may or may not want to use PVC cement to glue your zombie together. Outside the wind will blow it down, but the cement holds it great. I used tent stakes to help anchor the zombie down. I hope this will be a great help to you.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Getting I-Reports can be tricky
I phoned Francis Keating minutes after he sent us some great shots of anti-government protests in Hungary. Luckily, he had his cell phone with him, and was still on the scene. His words painted a riveting image. Protesters and riot police were squaring-off. Then he was drowned out by this loud clanging. I didn't know if it was the sound of conflict or what. I wanted to know what was going on, but I also wanted him to be okay. Keating couldn't hear me. I sat, listening, waiting, for a few tense moments as the metallic banging continued. Finally, Keating was on the line again. The banging was an ancient bell in an old church and not the sound of rioting. How ominous it had seemed moments earlier, and yet how benign it seemed in the wake of his explanation.

We love getting photos and video I-Reports from CNN.com users, but we also want you to stay safe while you're doing so. I'm getting to be an old lady, and frankly, my heart can't take the stress.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Why I-Reports?
Hawaii's big magnitude 6.7 earthquake on October 15 sold me on the value of I-Reports. I was working in the CNN control room on the Sunday morning that the quake hit. Several I-Reporters immediately sent in pictures of quake damage, and just as fast as they came in, CNN put them on the air. The producers kept asking, "Are there more? Are there more?" When there's a big breaking news story, there's a tremendous appetite for news -- people want to see for themselves what's going on. And until Hawaii's local stations swung into action, I-Reporters from Hawaii provided an invaluable service to the outside world.

So, make sure your camera batteries are charged and you've written down our e-mail address (cnn.com/ireport or ireport@cnn.com). You never know when a big story is going to break in your area.
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