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The Southern Journal - October 2021 Edition

The Southern Journal
The Official News Outlet of the South Pacific


October 2021 Edition

On September 7, incumbent Local Councillor Erinor resigned from both their position, citing real life concerns as the cause behind the resignation. As expected, a Special Election for the now-vacant Local Councillor spot was triggered by Election Commissioner Kringalia the following day.

The Local Council serves as the gameside government of The South Pacific. Since its inception, it has been tasked with looking over the gameside community of the region, a herculean task that involved moderating the Regional Message Board, passing its own seperate laws for the gameside community, coordinating with the forum-elected government of the region in various matters and approving gameside-related legislation that the Assembly passes for implementation.

Several gamesiders immediately declared their candidacy for the position, including Nicholas and Great Britain, Somurias, MilkyWay Republic and Concrete Slab. Concrete Slab, a 5-time Local Councillor and one of the original members of the Coral Guard, soon distinguished himself as the clear frontrunner for the position as the campaigning period went on, emphasizing experience and reliability as his strong points. While some raised concerns about his dwindling activity level and past corruption charges, majority of the voters seemed satisfied with his assurances that such things wouldn't happen again.

On September 14, Kringalia opened the voting poll as election day came around. Concrete Slab would quickly pull away early on and never look back again as he was overwhelmingly elected with 66 votes in his favor, joining PenguinPies and Murelia in the Local Counil. Somurias came at a distant second, while Milkyway Republic and Nicholas followed after respectively.

The Southern Journal heartily congratulates Concrete Slab on his election and hopes that he might have a successful and prosperous term like his predecessor did.

On 11 September, Admiral-General Delegate Amerion posted a drawing of a SPSF Admiral shoulder badge made by him on the TSP Discord, stating that he created it because he "was bored" and humorously suggested that the South Pacific Special Forces (SPSF) be renamed to the South Pacific Special Fleet, the ranks be changed to accomodate the region's tropical theme and he be officially given the position of Admiral-General as the supreme overlord of it. After recieving inital support from the Minister of Defense HumanSanity and SPSF Officer Emodea, he proposed an Linkamendment package to the Charter and the Military Code, changing the rank names to fit the naval theme.

Under the proposed amendments, the following ranks would've been rebranded to fit the tropical naval theme of the SPSF:

Minister of Defense - First Lord of Admiralty
General Corps - The Admiralty
General - Admiral
Commander - Commander
Officer - Officer
Soldier - Sailor
Trainee - Cadet

While the proposal got some early support from Soldiers Qvait and Doge Land, it soon ran into stiff opposition by General Nakarisaune, who objected to its obvious links to the British and raised concerns about similarities to the Europeian Republican Navy, which follows a naval theme as well. Generals Roavin and Witchcraft and Sorcery objected as well, stating the same reasons as Nakari and further pointing out that this would be an unnecessary and confusing change to the new SPSF members. Coral Guard member Land Without Shrimp voiced their opposition to the change as well.

The proposal ended up going to vote on 16 September, five days after it was proposed. 61 out of 76 legislators voted, with 25 people voting for, 22 people voting against and 14 people abstaining. Since the package did not reach the required three-fifth supermajority as required for a constitutional amendment, it failed to be implemented.

While the proposal might've ultimately failed, it is clear that the region is of two minds regarding what the SPSF' theme should be. It is expected that this will come back to the Assembly voting floor again in the future, with perhaps different end results than this one.

The South Pacific and The Union of Democratic States jointly hosted a festival in the honor of the fourth anniversary of the ratification of The Treaty of Democratic Unity, the alliance between the two regions. Aptly named the UDS-TSP Anniversary Festival, it was held to celebrate the multi-faceted and prospering relationship the involved regions have nurtered for the last couple of years. Organized by a group of volunteers which included Quebecshire, Murelia and the author himself from TSP and Zukchiva, FiHami and Isles from the UDS, the festival took place for three day, from 14 September to 17 September.

Several unique games and events were arranged by the organizers to engage the participants in, including five popular multiplayer games which everyone could take part in and enjoy over the course of three days. These games were Among Us, Jackbox Party and Gartic Phone and popular .io games and A democracy-themed trivia night was also held by Isles in honor of the common ideals both regions champion to round the festival off.

The festival ended up being an outstanding success. Members of both The South Pacific and The Union of Democratic States were able to come together, have some fun and celebrate the two regions' great relations.

The bells of wanton destruction and irradiation rang across all of NationStates as it heralded the arrival of the annual nuclear apocalypse; the N-Day, where everyone stops verbal barrages to accomplish their agendas and instead focuses on throwing nukes at each other to satisfy their long-hidden grudges. This year’s event, reaching its sixth year in existence already, was a little bit different than other years, however.

Even before this year’s event began on the 25th September, it became increasingly clear that the main competition would come down to three major factions; The Potato Alliance (PA), the Crabs of the Apocalypse (also known as CotA, a merger between the Horsemen of the Apocalypse and CRABS) and The Catgirl Hivemind (Catgirls), which served as a continuation of sorts of Ba Sing Se, the shields-only faction that took third place in the leaderboards with zero radiation last year. Last year’s winners The Augustin Alliance didn’t enter, while most of the members of ATOMIC ended up merging with PA or CotA or didn’t choose to participate at all. I can’t blame them, throwing nukes at each other non-stop for 24 hours might take quite a toll on one’s mind and soul. Especially when you’re doing all of that having little to no sleep, staring lifelessly at a monitor, just clicking buttons with seemingly no end in sight.

...moving on, CotA and PA quickly announced a Non-Aggression Pact between the two factions lasting upto 12 hours into the event, with a 2-hour cooldown period after it ended. This meant that the first half of the day was going to be the two major faction focusing on the Catgirls and other smaller factions for running up the score, while the hyped-up showdown between CotA and PA would come fourteen hours in the event, likely deciding who would take the crown of the nuclear wasteland.

However, the Catgirls folded fast. Really fast. Within a couple hours into the event, CotA, led by Sweeze, steamrolled over the faction, their shields quickly crumbling before the endless swathes of nukes lauched at them. Even CotA themselves were surprised at their dominance, although that didn’t stop them from continuing to throw nukes at just about everyone who weren’t PA and running up the score to over a million points. And speaking of PA, they continued their own journey of targeting other factions, getting upto more than 90000 points as the 12-hour mark slowly approached.

With the Catgirls no longer a threat and the expiry of the truce nearing its end, the remaining two major factions decided to stockpile resources for the inevitable battle between them. CotA quickly stockpiled around 1.8 million nukes and 700,000 shields, while PA managed to stockpile 375,000 nukes and 450,000 shields, a fraction of CotA’s numbers. The writing was on the wall; PA wasn’t going to win this, not this year. There won’t be any inspiring comeback story like last year’s, the only thing that faced them was total annihilation.

But that didn’t stop them from going down in a blaze of glory either.

Under the leadership of Tim, Salaxalans, HumanSanity, Catania and other Potato Generals, PA set their sights on two goals; to ensure that everyone participating was having fun and to get one massive volley which can get past CotA’s shields and irradiate them as much as possible. Assigning almost everyone to nuking duty, Tim, HumanSanity, Cat and Refuge Isle took on the arduous job of shielding the upcoming onslaught of nukes from CotA. And once the fourteenth hour had passed and the truce had officially expired, over a million nukes combined were launched by both sides at each other indiscriminately and pushed the site to its limits, reaching dangerously close to crashing it like last year’s event. Maybe next year…

While PA’s shields held out longer than what was initially expected of them, it proved to be no match for CotA’s waves of nukes. The faction quickly plummeted to the bottom of the leaderboard as the nukes wreaked havoc all around, while their attackers managed to set a handy distance between them and rest of the participants. PA was able to get around five thousand nukes past CotA’s shield walls and inflict some damage on them, breaking their dreams of zero radiation, but it was ultimately meaningless in the grander scheme of things as they solidified their position as the winner of this year’s nuclear armageddon.

CotA spent the remainder of the event messing around, creating puppet factions to fill the leaderboard with their name, blocking other factions’ nukes to get the most interceptions record in N-Day history and fending off allegations of being entirely made up of robotic crabs with artificial intelligence from the rest of the site. You know, the usual things.

While there are definitely fierce debates to be have about how fun this year’s N-Day was, no one can deny that it was certainly a memorable event.

In our modern world, society has faced many crises. One of them is known since 1856, when Eunice Foote had written her paper on how CO2 and water steam, when exposed to sunlight and enclosed in a glass cylinder, had increased the temperature of the air inside. Today it is called global warming. In this article we shall take a look on which energies will warm our future bath water.

To dive into this question, we first must understand the problem which makes us pose this question at all. Global warming. Climate change. These are the crises that humanity will not only face, but is facing now. Global warming and climate change are two different observations. Global warming means that the average global temperature is rising but it is caused by climate change. This is a phenomenon which has been around since the Earth has existed. For billions of years the climate on Earth has changed. From ice to warm ages, the Earth has experienced a lot. Yet these changes happened on large time scales. Some were caused through tectonic shifts, some from volcano eruptions and others by the change of the Earth trajectory around the Sun. So why has this issue been brought up, when it is nothing new? The new factor in today’s change, are we. Humans. We have morphed the Earth in many ways. Many times, for our own use. Since the industrial revolution humans have learned to use fossil fuels to power machines. But by the research conducted by Eunice Foote, and five years later by John Tyndall, we have understood that by burning these fuels, we are damaging the environment. Since the 1980s the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been meeting to create a global solution for a global problem. This solution, or these solutions, are all based on using renewable, green energies.

The most popular energy is currently solar. This form of renewable energy uses the light from the Sun to convert it into electricity. To do this, we use photovoltaic panels. Panels which have two silicon layers. One p – dotted, with “holes” where the electrons can jump into and thus create a moving current of electricity, and a n – dotted, where there are too many electrons and they create a “cloud”. To understand how light “creates” electricity, we must take a short dive into quantum physics.

At the time of Newton, physicists started to question the nature of light. Some claimed it to be a particle, other a wave. Not until the early 19th century did we get a proof, which clearly demonstrated that light is a wave. If you take a source of light, say a hand lamp, and point it to a double slit, you will see something which will cause a “wow”. If light were a particle, there would be two stripes behind each hole. But there aren´t any. Behind the holes, no light is detected. So how do we explain this. Well, we say “What if the light were a wave. What would happen?” Indeed if you drop two stones into clear and steady water, waves form into a circle. When the two high points hit each other they “interfere” with each other and create an even bigger high point. The same happens with two low points. If a high and low point hit, there suddenly is no wave at all. This explains our observation at the double slit. Later Einstein showed that when you “shoot” light at a metal, it can hit the electrons and give them enough energy to jump out of the material. But for this, light would have to be a particle to transmit energy. Both statements are equally true, so we say that light is both a particle and wave simultaneously. The wave – particle duality. This phenomenon, the Einstein photoelectric effect, helps us design our solar panel.

As sunlight hits at the top of the n – dotted layer, electrons in the “cloud” get enough energy to jump out. They are then catched by a silicon metal plate. Happening many, many times at the same moment, we get a negative pole at one side. On the other side we have the holes, where not enough electrons are located. Because of this lack, this side is positive, and is our positive pole. If we now lead these two poles together trough a light bulb for example, we get a current flowing and the light bulb lights up.

For now, this procedure requires a lot of input energy with a not negligible loss of energy until the end. Silicon has to be farmed somewhere too. Will it change? We will see. But for now, alongside water and wind power, solar remains the most accessible.

Amerion has a storied history in NationStates to say the least. Originally starting out in UCRs like Australia back in 2013, Amerion rose to public prominence following the end of the New Lazarene Order coup in 2015, where he drew attention for his excellent graphical work for the Celestial Union of Lazarus (the post-coup government) and rose to the top of the region for a short while as its Delegate. Following a two-year break due to real-life pressure, he returned back to the game as a South Pacifican in 2018, and has remained one ever since. He has served in a multitude of positions during his time here, including successful tenures as Chair of the Assembly, Prime Minister and most notably Delegate, a seat he's currently holding. He has also managed to subjugate the entire region under his rule with the help of his aide Colonel Llama, lovingly referring to the residents as Minions. Deputy Minister Rabbitz somehow convinced Emodea (Moon) to conduct an interview of this tyra-err, kind dictator of the region and after passing some stealth checks to sneak into the Admiral-General Delegate's office, he sat down with him for a relatively short, yet insightful interview:

Moon: When did you start playing NationStates?

Amerion: I began NationStates in January 2013 which seems like many lifetimes ago, both from the perspective of NationStates generations as well as in real life. My experiences in this formative period was very much like that of all new players; furiously answering issues and seeing the corresponding impacts on national statistics, talking on the Regional Message Boards, and using IRC for regional government chats. As I look back at this time, I am reminded of my earliest dispatches which were rudimentary at best. Revisiting them makes me nostalgic and somewhat wistful for a time long past.
It was a time that I spent almost exclusively in User-Created-Regions, small and otherwise unremarkable communities of five to ten nations who played the game not so much for the roleplaying or pseudo-government aspect but ultimately for the friendships that was formed. It was a peaceful innocent period that reflected in a way the novelty of the game. It is a feeling I hope many of our current generation of newer players can experience before larger things.

I recall in 2014, I was the Minister of Foreign Affairs for a medium-sized UCR with some 100 or so WA nations and made my way to the various GCRs to seek relations as one often does in the position of chief diplomat. It is why my forum user page in the South Pacific states the account was created in 2014. During this time, I was involved in a region, Australia, and it was there that I first came across McMasterdonia, a familiar name to all in The North Pacific. His presence there encouraged me to explore further in the GCR landscape and that along with players such as Tomb and Andrew brought me to Osiris which was the place of my first official involvement in GCRs.

Not long after, in I believe early 2015, Lazarus was couped and liberated. I joined shortly thereafter in all the excitement that coups generally afford spectators and found myself enthralled with the fast paced constitutional convention. Lazarus was to be my new and sole home for the next three years.

My life in Lazarus was as serene as a rollercoaster ride. The challenges we faced as a community characterises much of the sinker-landscape but it bonded many as friends and for a time, at least for the beginning two years, all was well. I served in a variety of government positions during that time and made many lasting relationships, perhaps the most memorable is my friendship with Aumeltopia. Together, we went through a most horrid experience of a coup. Coups are much fun to bear witness to as general NationStates players but to be a direct party of them is to pull out teeth with the fanaticism of a toddler on a seven-hour sugar rush.

Much has been said about the Lazarus Coup and there is little left to revisit. It was no doubt a pivotal moment for many players and defined NationStates gameplay for many months. It also caused the departure of many emotionally exhausted people from the game, myself included. It was also somewhat good timing as well as I had increased responsibilities in Real Life and not visiting NationStates regularly helped immensely with what I say often is the first and only priority any player should have: Real Life > NationStates.

Nevertheless, in early 2018, I was informed that Imkicha had mounted a successful coup of Lazarus and returned to the game to see what was to be made of this new venture of my home for many years. I reunited with many players from that era, Aumeltopia, Harmoneia, New Rogernomics and became familiar with and friends with others like Tubby. The process that unfolded under Imki’s guidance was ultimately of great benefit to a region that had been marked with instability for much of its modern history. It did, however, make me realise that perhaps a new journey was in order, and so I returned to the game searching for a new home.

I looked far and wide for that place, from The North Pacific, to Europeia, to The Rejected Realms. I settled on the South Pacific solely because of Aumeltopia who had made a home for himself in the oldest extant democracy in NationStates.

Moon: What was your first impression of TSP's community when you first arrived here?

Amerion: At the beginning of my South Pacifican ‘life’, I was still very much active in Lazarene politics and invested in the region’s progress. This was just after the new Mandate had been decreed and the end of the Anarchy Era, so there was much work to be done in terms of legislation. I recall going through the Assembly’s law archives for inspiration for bills to be presented in Lazarus. It was all very impressive and crystallised why Aumey decided to make the South Pacific his home.

I confess, it was somewhat intimidating to be in a much larger community than the one in Lazarus. It was a bit like when I ventured to the North Pacific—you have all these established players, these rules and procedures, an advanced culture and sub-cultures … but it did make for a fascinating introduction; going through all the debate threads, learning about Glen-rhodes' and Belschaft’s numerous points of disagreements, how the institutions were set up, and the general dynamics of the region.

Moon: How was TSP as a region back when you joined? What was it's culture like at that time?

Amerion: If I recall correctly, and I admit, it has been a fair while—I quite liked what I saw when I joined, the South Pacific was and indeed still is, a vibrant forum for democracy and debate. There was plenty to be done in the Assembly and a good deal of discussion in the its Discord channel. As a new member of the community, it was all very exciting.

Moon: What was your motivation behind running for the Delegacy this term?

Amerion: The Minions were getting fat! Delegate Beepee, for all his good characteristics, is hobbled by his kind heart. Within the first month of his rule, sweatshops were closed down across the South Pacific and malnourished children returned to their Minion parents; some of whom weren't even aware they had any in the first place (such was the efficiency of my operations). I could see Minions getting complacent in my absence; happiness returned to the Coalition and we can't have that.

So I resolved to, in the event that Beepee was not to run for re-election, to Make the South Pacific Minion Again!

Moon: And then you won and we find ourselves under your malevo-err I mean, benevolent rule! Yeah, that's what I meant, hahaha. sweats nervously

Amerion: Malevolency is the new benevolency! :smiling_imp:

Moon: Moving on, what's the thing you're looking most forward to in accomplishing during your term as the Delegate?

Amerion: From purely a political perspective, the Delegacy is not a terribly important position. Certainly, it fulfils a ceremonial role in our region but the formal duties and portfolio of the Delegate is insignificant beyond maintaining the security of the region. As such, the Delegacy is what any given holder chooses to make of it.

In the case of your Supreme Leader, I am leaning heavily in this term on increasing our influence in the World Assembly. As one of the largest regions in the world, we naturally possess an outsized role in the institution. The Delegate can give the region a more pronounced presence in its venerated halls by exercising its voting power without hesitation. This means voting early— preferably casting the first vote—and thereby influencing the outcome of the vote.

There is also the priority of increasing gameside awareness of government. This goal has made fantastic leaps with the introduction of the Dispatch Project, an initiative spearheaded by United States of Vietnam who deserves much of the credit for both the dispatches and the Southern World Assembly Initiative (SWAN). We can go further by promoting the government's initiatives and agenda across the South Pacific and using the considerable mouthpiece of the Delegacy to do so. The Office of the Delegate is making initial progress on this front with a unified dispatch operated out of the office and it is hoped that the fortnightly Delegate's Briefings will likewise strengthen the public's awareness of our government's efforts.

Moon: Oooh, that sounds amazing.

Delving into a bit of a personal territory here; do you have any memories that you consider the fondest during the time you've spent here in TSP?

Amerion: All the way back in October 2018, I had just been appointed Cabinet intern by newly elected Prime Minister Serres republic and it marked the beginning of my involvement with executive government ^-^

Moon: For the uninitiated (yes, that also includes me), what was the role and exact responsibilities of a Cabinet intern?

Amerion: Because it was a new position, it was touch and go with regards to what the role entailed. I think, looking back, it functioned as something of a Minister at large, where you contributed to all the discussions in Cabinet but didn't have an actual portfolio or responsibilities. The idea behind it was to train players for service in high office but that purpose was made redundant with the introduction of Deputy Ministers into Cabinet meetings.

Moon: We're nearing the end of this interview now. Is there anything else you would like to say?

Amerion: Nope :blush:

Moon: That concludes the interview then. Thank you for giving me your time of day!

Amerion: :thumbsup: