King: Falconias Chancellor: Antracia | Imperial Advisor: Ferric Sun Foreign Viceroy: Walking-Contradiction | Chief Justice: Scotchpinestan Director of Finance: vacant | Minister of Culture: Island Union WA Delegate: The Black Virus Speaker: Aequitas-Veritas
Aisli | Asianatic | Dyr Nasad
Griff | Hospitlar | Morrenstien | Sopo
Hello! And welcome to February's edition of the Equinox Monthly Telegraph, the foreign dispatch newspaper for the region of Equinox.
It's been a cold and miserable January for most of the world, but not here in Equiniox, oh no. We're aglow with activity and general cheer. That's because Equinox is a community, not just your everyday region. We're friends as well and we all help each other out in times of need, cheer each other up and so on. I think that that is one of the greatest things about Equinox, and something we should all be proud of.
Normally in this section I would talk about random things that came to mind (such as the above). But frankly, why should I bother wasting your time getting you to read this when there's a perfectly good newspaper below? There has been, as always, a plethora of things going on in Equinox this month so read on and enjoy. Senate Speaker Elections
Speaker Elections opened quickly with former Speaker Aequitas-Veritas and multiple time Senator Sopo both announcing their intentions to run. Both did quite well on this, quickly gaining support of the other senators. In the end, Sopo won with a slim plurality of 4-3, with one Senator not voting. Sopo quickly got to work taking care of the backlog of work but unfortunately, three days after winning the position, Sopo had to step down.
From then on out, AV has held the position and has done quite well, continuing his success from the last term. Karputsk Inducted into Hall of Fame
After weeks of deliberation, and the longest known tiebreaker vote in the history of the world (which lasted longer than the rest of the entire Hall of Fame induction process), the Cabinet selected Karputsk to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
However, as author of this article I feel that the true tribute to this amazing person would not be an article about his contributions or lack thereof, but rather, a random image. I leave you with this:
Thank you. Senate Update
So far this term, the first term of the New Year 2010, nine (9) pieces of legislation have been proposed 3 being Constitutional Amendments. All of the amendments were passed by the Senate and at press-time are currently being debated by the guilds. Executive Order Repeal
One of the most controversial bills that was voted on by the Senate was the Repeal of Executive Order #007. The EO was handed down by King Falconias months ago. The EO established that multi-guilding, meaning belonging to more than one regional guild, was not allowed.
Proponents of the Executive Order argued that multi-guilding would undermine the entire guild system and there was no reason to allow multi-guilding.
Most opponents of EO 007 did not disagree with those who were in favor of the Executive Order but did not agree with how it was passed. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Equinox states that it is for individual guilds to determine rules for membership, and EO 007 took part of the right away. The opponents felt it should be for the guild to decide, not the King.
In any case, the repeal failed the Senate due to the fact that a majority was not reached. Regional Treaty?
Another high-profile act that is currently being debated in the Senate Chamber is the Northern Lights Treaty. This is a treaty that is to be to benefit both The Kingdom of Equinox, and the region of Canada.
Most Senators agree, this is a great treaty, but the inclusion of a military clause has great potential to interfere with our constitution. The King has stated that no guild will be forced to partake in this treaty. He is leaving it up to the Senate to adopt, and then send it for guild ratification. MORE Office Space?!
The Advancement of Executive Office Sophistication Act was an act that was proposed by former Senator Maria (now banned from the region). The Act would have developed office space and private rooms for Cabinet Ministers. The Act was Tabled due to no Senator (besides the sponsor) supporting it. Who Needs a Holiday?
Another failed act was the Holiday Act of 2010. The Act would have brought the government into recess for days of specific holidays. The Act failed the Senate, because the sponsor (Former Senator Maria) was banned from the region and no other Senator took up the cause. Farewell Senator Maria
Senator Maria has been mentioned now a few times in this article. The senator had been very active in Equinox as of late, and had fired up a few people along the way. The senator was accused of spying, anti-semitic remarks, and generally not being someone one would want to be around. This prompted King Falconais to use Executive Authority and ban Maria from the region. Thing King tirelessly defended his actions, while at the same time acknowledging the fact that her banishment could have come from a more political standpoint. As of press-time, no one has complained about her banishment, just the way it occurred.
This was the first time that any senator of our region has been forcefully removed from their office, let alone being ejected from the Kingdom entirely. Senate At-A-Glance
The following is a chart by Senate Speaker Aequitas-Veritas:
Equinox Got a Makeover!
Falconias woke up one morning, stood atop the Palace of Equinox, looked down at his followers, and bellowed: "Thou shalt have new look, my followers!" And with that, the mighty King Falconias raised his hands and struck them down with thunderous force, sending giant cartoon bolts of lightning straight into the heart of the evil beast of ugly forum themes.
Then Falconias raised up his hands and opened a portal to the world of beautiful skins, and with his superior magical force, he summoned three mighty themes that were more pleasing to the eye.
The people vividly cheered on their King, who then thanked them by filling the moat with Rickard's White Ale.
Then he turned to the rest of the world, and bellowed, "Thou shalt have preview of our glorious forums!"
Population vs Activity (opinion)
It has long been assumed in NationStates that population equals activity, with regions of a large population having a generally active member base. This is not true.
Some regions manage to milk more activity from their smaller member base than others, and Equinox is undoubtedly one of those regions.
The activity in Equinox this month has been frankly astounding, and I blame Falconias. Noting that Equinox only had around 12,000 posts to go until it hit 100,000, he decided to start something called an “Extreme Spamathon”. To make matters worse, he gave all the resident spam-donkeys a carrot-lure; if Equinox reached a hundred thousand posts by the end of January, he would reveal an embarrassing video of himself in a high school drama performance. And so, the spam began.
Quickly, spam appeared all over Equinox for no apparent reason. Several members hit post milestones, and I suspect at least one member has now hit two. The small talk in Equinox has gradually degenerated in quality, in order to maximize the quantity. It’s like everyone is using twitter, but limiting themselves to 15 characters a tweet.
Some people have come up with other ways to create activity (namely myself). A few of the hardcore Equinoxians chose to spam our MSN contact lists with the Equinox site link in order to massively inflate our online users record. This was successful- within half an hour it had jumped from 24 to 43. Amazingly, the majority of people online were still members, and we gained some more active members of the community for our efforts.
The author must do something about this or all his evil plans will be royally screwed, and he shall be forced to create new ones.
Equinox's population history, compared with its activity history. As you can see, population counts for nought. Culture, Island Style
With a new term came a new Minister of Culture in Equinox, and the winning candidate this time round was Lords Guild Veteran Island Union. Seeking to keep up with the high par set by his predecessors Ferric Sun and Aisli, he set to work straight away at creating some fun new escapades for the region.
First off, he sought to ascertain which was the region's favourite; Hamburgers or Hot Dogs (the winner was a resounding Hamburger), before going on to start a thread where members could deposit their favourite 'My Life Is Average's.
Key part of Island's first couple of weeks was the Top Ten People of 2009 awards, aka the Golden Bongs. Regional members were asked to vote and the ten people who were deemed to have influenced and added to Equinox the most during 2009 are (in reverse order): Nordlijonia, Morrenstien, Ferric Sun, Sopo, Walking-Contradiction, Island Union, Scotchpinestan, Aisli, Falconias, Antracia.
After this, a few pointless polls, an emoticon contest, a Winnie the Pooh colouring contest and a celebration of National Clean Up Your Desk Day saw activity in the culture area continue,
A favourite contest initiated by IU has been Where's Waldo, where Waldo-hunters must search the forums high and low for Waldo in Island's posts. This contest got somewhat competitive when Sopo began stalking Island as he posted. (There's only one person in the region who would be OK with that, and her name begins with an A and ends with an I ~ Ed.)
The origins of Waldo's reclusiveness.
Another favourite contest has been the Guild War, where Guild members have been encouraged to take their rivalries to the cultural battlefield, with a cash reward as an incentive. To start, people submitted their favourite YouTube videos, a competition which was won by Avakael of the Lord's Guild. Then, Aisli of Jolly Roger won a colouring competition with an *ahem* delightful rendition of a woman giving birth in water. Finally (so far, at least), Antracia won a joke competition for Jolly Roger with a Pirate Themed story.
In addition to all this, there's been a poetry competition, a regional game of Diplomacy, and another pointless poll, that has ensured that Island's term so far has been a solid and strong one, keeping up the high standard of Culture Equinox has grown accustomed to.
STOP PRESS - Unfortunately, Island's computer has suffered a virus attack and so will not be able to fulfil his cultural duties and has been forced to resign. The Senate is currently looking for a replacement.
1. Lords Guild ( +1 ) Leader: Island Union Key Member in January 2010: Scotchpinestan Membership: 16 ( +1 ) Active In Last Week: 15
If there was an award for most resilient guild, Lords would surely win it. After being dangerously close to not even being in the top 3, efforts from guild stalwarts such as Island Union, Scotchpinestan, and Wade Garrett (formerly known as KevinWasserman) have paid off huge dividends and the Lords Guild is firmly #1 in Equinox again. Now that their arch-rival Axiom is largely a non-factor, Lords can focus on building their guild even more and look to the future. Rumour has it Lords may begin a small military-type of force, despite their lifelong staunch no-military stance.
2. Jolly Roger School of Ninjitsu and Swashbuckling ( -1 ) Leader: Aisli Key Member in January 2010: Antracia Membership: 11* ( -2 ) Active In Last Week: 8
It seems Jolly Roger's euphoric super-merger in December was short-lived. The Jolly Roger guild suffered blows in January, losing a bunch of semi-active members to inactivity, including Stealth who massively failed in his role as appointed Senator and has disappeared entirely. They only have about a half-dozen members that are contributing actively, almost all of which are in the current Government so there isn't a lot of guild to be held once the government is looked past. Jolly Roger has potential but has been advertising terribly and failed to capitalize on the Europeian invasion.
* - Includes inactive Karputsk, who has eternal membership due to his membership in the Hall of Fame.
3. Jethnea Guild ( -- ) Leader: Drop Your Pants Key Member in January 2010: Walking-Contradiction Membership: 13* ( -- ) Active In Last Week: 11
Jethnea remains the "meh" factor in Equinox this month; still spamming, but simply a non-factor in the current political scene. Predictions indicate the Jethnea Guild growing again, but for now they are caught in a lull, and they need to find a direction and take it. Jethnea is one of Equinox's finest, and there is no question that at some point in there future they will likely be #1 again.
* - includes inactive Pope Lexus X who has eternal citizenship due to his membership in the Hall of Fame.
4. Axiom Guild ( -- ) Leader: Hadisthe Key Member in January 2010: Jahka Membership: 11 ( -- ) Active In Last Week: 7
Axiom remains suspended above the chasm of fiery guild doom, suspended by a multitude of fragile strings. Hadisthe has made some, but minimal, effort to revive the guild. Axiom is only alive because it is home to several devoted active members, almost none of which participate in Axiom affairs. It also hurts them that their only government member is their appointed Senator, Morrenstien; thus, they failed to win anything in the last election. The future of Axiom is cloudy at best.
* - includes inactive Rocktml and Joshua who both have eternal citizenship due to their membership in the Hall of Fame.
Thats's it for this week, folks.
Chief of Staff: Antracia
Contributors: Walking-Contradiction, Avakael, Morrenstien