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by The Inhospitable Ski Slopes of Agalaesia. . 263 reads.

The Rejected Times Issue LXIV: Christmas; Suppressions and Satire

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Issue LXIV | January 2021

Editor-in-Chief: Agalaesia
Deputy Editor-in-Chief: Vincey

Index

  • No Place Like NationStates For the Holidays - Crowheim

  • Epilepsy Awareness Month 2020 - The Church of Satan

  • Union workers shut down Grim Interregional Airport by force - Glacikaldr

  • Regional Message Board Suppression - Agalaesia

  • Kral's Cooking Column: Arepas - Kraljevstvo Rata

    No Place for NationStates like the Holidays

    FEATURE | WRITTEN BY Crowheim | EDITED BY Agalaesia

    The holiday season is ending as we pass Christmas, the New Year, and whatever other holidays you may celebrate. It is time to put away the tinsel, the mistletoe, and the sugar plums, but not before we take one last good look at how the residents and players of NationStates’s Game Created Regions celebrated their holidays on-site.

    First, in the world’s oldest region: The Pacific. The Vox Populi of the region, Waterfall State, hosted the month long Pacifican Christmas event, which featured fun seasonal polls, an issue-themed banhammer competition in which nations sent puppets to a region where every day a new stat is chosen and the player with the lowest of these is banjected, a short story competition, a card raffle, and games of Among Us.

    Meanwhile, in the West Pacific, a different month-long event was held: the Midwinter Shenanigans. A calendar with events on each day of the month of December was published, featuring a snowman building activity, a “reindeer deathmatch”, and a secret santa gift exchange. Recipes for cookies and cocktails were also collected and published in a cookbook in time for the End of Year Cocktail Party, which ran from January 1st to the 3rd.

    In the South Pacific, the region celebrated through a contest to decide the holiday-themed flag for the region, and through the day-by-day publishing and reading of “The Auphelian Solstice Series”, a collection of twelve consecutive short stories with a holiday theme. The region also collaborated with Lazarus to host Megafest, a month-long extravaganza with Choose your Own Adventure games, card lotteries, an “Ask Me Anything” with Treadwellia, the delegate of Lazarus, and more.

    The East Pacific ran several of their own activities, including art contests, a secret Santa program, and a haiku competition for the holidays, celebrating their holiday spirit in a slightly quieter fashion than many other regions onsite.

    Osiris’s Wymondham collaborated with leaders from other regions, such as Miss Bad Life Choices and Aynia Moreaux, to host a site-wide charity fundraiser, with donations going to the Trevor Project. Events were hosted to promote the fundraiser, including streams with prominent NSers such as former TEP delegate Fedele, TWP delegate Dilber, and TRR’s own Culture Officer Nakari. Individual participating regions also took part in the event planning, many of them organizing their own promotions for the fundraiser, which at the time of writing, has raised 3,400 dollars.

    Neither Balder nor the North Pacific held any major events, but...

    last and certainly not least, the Rejected Realms hosted Rejectmas, as they do annually, under the supervision of Culture Officer Nakari. Highlights include a Chess Competition, described by Nakari as “just like the Queen’s Gambit, but sexier and with better camera work." Rejectmas also included the traditional Lord of Misrule, where the RMB is subjected to bizarre and wacky rules, a Home Alone movie night, Nakari’s signature Popmaster events, and a contest to design a flag to fly over the region on New Year’s Day.

    As you can tell from the vast variety of events that took place, there was quite a lot to do over the holiday season and the month of December. And that is only the GCRs!

    Epilepsy Awareness Month 2020

    COMMENTARY | WRITTEN BY The Church of Satan

    First and foremost, it is important you know that I AM NOT A DOCTOR. The information from this article is derived from organizations that specialize in epilepsy as well as the scientists therein. Admittedly I missed 2019’s article for reasons I can’t remember. I’m even late for 2020’s article. It may not be November or 2020 right now, but regardless I think this article is very important under the circumstances. With a pandemic in full swing, many people have one question on their mind, “How does COVID-19 affect people with epilepsy?” The short answer is that it does and it doesn’t. It can either have no effect, or it can have severe effects. I know what you’re thinking, “This sounds like an answer and a non-answer!” The long answer requires more detail, and I hope you stick around long enough to read it. Studies are being conducted around the world but so far none have discovered any increased risks from the virus itself. First, we’ll be looking at the beginning.

    Pre-Infection

    Currently, studies show that people with epilepsy are not at an increased risk of infection. Non-related factors can, of course, result in an increased risk of infection but epilepsy itself is not a risk factor because it does not compromise the immune system. If you have COVID-19 and epilepsy, then epilepsy had nothing to do with it. While the CDC has included epilepsy on a list of conditions that may increase the risk of infection, that is only because it is a neurological condition. The UK has included people with neurological conditions as an “at-risk” group, but it does not specify epilepsy. Until studies prove otherwise, there is no reason to believe that epilepsy increases the risk of infection. Additionally, there is no evidence to suggest that epilepsy medication causes an increased risk of infection so you can take comfort that the medication will not cause any complications.

    During Infection

    This is where it gets risky. People with uncontrolled seizures, particularly seizures triggered by fever or infection, may be more vulnerable to increased seizures at the time of infection but there is no evidence of this yet. There is also no evidence to suggest that epilepsy medication will cause complications after infection. I am no doctor, but I am not concerned about any trouble from taking my medication during the pandemic. However, studies show that there is a low risk of an increase in the frequency and severity of seizures after infection. This is where you should be concerned but attempts at prevention of infection are the best way to avoid this possibility. Fever and the stress on the body that comes with COVID-19 are where the increase in seizure frequency and severity come in. However, even without COVID-19 fever and any condition that causes significant stress on the body could have the same effect. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 the smart thing to do is to get tested as soon as possible. If you do have a seizure it is more prudent to call your doctor rather than go to the emergency room unless your seizure lasts for more than five minutes, occur in clusters, occur in water (such as while in the bath or a swimming pool), are followed by unusually prolonged postictal symptoms (confusion after a seizure) or abnormal recovery or if the seizure(s) cause potentially dangerous injury. If you’re taking any experimental drugs, then the institution responsible for monitoring you and your condition should be consulted. They will know better. If you do go to the emergency room or even just for a check-up at your regular doctor, then it is prudent to let them know you’re taking an experimental drug. The effects it can have are unknown. If you or anyone else is wearing a mask during a seizure it is recommended that the mask be carefully removed in order to facilitate optimal airway function. If a seizure does last for more than five minutes, then you can be content with the safety of administering buccal or nasal medication (intranasal midazolam) as there is no evidence to suggest that they will cause complications due to COVID-19 infection. Recent evidence has suggested that laying prone (on your stomach) causes improved breathing in people that have respiratory issues caused by COVID-19. However, sleeping in a prone position has been associated with SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death from Epilepsy), a condition that is currently very much not understood. I’d go into it but since it was intended to be the subject of last year’s article, let’s save that for next year’s article. Let’s just say that for reasons unknown, people with epilepsy are more likely to die from seizures if they sleep while laying prone. If you have epilepsy and COVID-19 it’s best to consult your doctor about how to proceed in this regard. In conclusion, prevention is the most important thing you can do. Take steps to lower your risk of infection. If you are infected then consult your neurologist and your primary care physician. They will be a better source for advice on the subject than any average joe, including me.

    Indirect Effects

    By virtue of the chaos and "traffic jam" as it were, you might find that it's more difficult to get your prescriptions. Doctors are busier than ever and drug stores have longer lines. It would be prudent to ask your doctor about extra prescriptions just in case. You wouldn’t want to run out of medication at all, but even more so now.

    DISCLAIMER: While surveys conducted via telephone and other telecommunications methods have gathered certain data on the subject, those surveys do not have any scientific data to support their conclusions, (including but not limited to EEG’s, physical examinations, blood tests, etc) so I would not rely on them for accuracy unless scientific studies have corroborated their findings.

    Editor's Note: you can view more information about COVID-19 on the World Health Organization's Website here: Linkhttps://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

    Union workers shut down Grim Interregional Airport by force

    SATIRE | WRITTEN BY Glacikaldr


    RRA Corporal Dooley standing down at the sight of Pepsi

    Although the Rejected Nations Ejection Union (RNEU) protest in Gettersburg Market on Rejectmas Day 2020 went ahead peacefully, protestors later marched down to blockade the Grim Interregional Airport. Following half a day of disruption, the Rejected Realms Army tried to disburse the protest. While workers resisted, the situation quickly deescalated after our reporter on the ground presented a can of Pepsi to the RRA.

    While the situation diffused, the Rejected Realms’ Officer of Foreign Affairs held a TRT-exclusive press conference: “We stand by the actions of our good boys in purple, even after what they did to the children. Though we are sympathetic to the concerns of these workers, the RRA did a fine job at taking back Grim Interregional Airport. Regardless, we are halting flights until this situation subsides.”

    Nonetheless, the RNEU’s workplace disruption still remains at large. During this 2020 Rejectmas, ejection workers have united and refused to render their ejection, banjection, and rehousing services for any regions refusing to contribute to their wage increase. The Rejected Realms has long been the subject of cheap labour for processing ejections and banjections alongside rehousing exiled nations, better explained as terraforming landmasses to accommodate entirely new nations sent to TRR. Particularly damning is the frequent use of these services by Pacificans and Gamplayers who refuse to contribute to these workers’ wages, and yet continue to extort TRR as a source of cheap workers.

    Union Boss Tcejer, during an interview with The Rejected Tabloid, explained how the RNEU “stands by its convictions … if regionalists need Rejects so desperately, they will quickly find that our services are only rendered at a price. Back pay included, and we’ll be collecting real soon.” While this threat was at first determined weightless, this latest action of bringing down one of TRR’s busiest airports just goes to show how real of a threat the RNEU poses to the current economic dependence on TRR’s cheap ejection services by countless other regions who likely never gave these services a second thought.

    As we left the TRT-exclusive press conference, we saw TRR’s Delegate arriving at the Department of Foreign Affairs. This appearance was soon followed by thousands of civil servants rushing out and ushering in foreign diplomats at a comical pace. Ever since, their offices have been bustling with foreign diplomats who seem crammed in like sardines as the Officer of Foreign Affairs rushes about and starts negotiations in hallways, joined by staff carrying charcuterie boards and an emergency reserve of whiskey being saved for the Officer when in need.

    Regional Message Board Suppression

    OPINION | WRITTEN BY Agalaesia | EDITED BY Makdon; The Church of Satan

    In the past few weeks, there has been a large debate surrounding suppression on the Rejected Realms Message Board, with people eventually voicing their discontent on a forum thread and the delegate eventually issuing a recommendation to stop all suppressions.

    This is a very interesting moderation policy, especially for a region that cannot ban its members, and it doesn’t seem to be a stance that many Game Created Regions are adopting today.

    What the Statistics Tell Us:

    In the Rejected Realms, around 32750 posts were written on the regional message board in the span of one year. In Lazarus, a sinker that has around one hundred more nations than the Rejected Realms at the time of writing, only 14350 posts were made in their regional message board over the course of the year. In the South Pacific, the feeder region that is closest in population to the Rejected Realms saw around 126000 posts on their regional message board.

    Osiris and Balder saw 5400 and 3600 posts respectively.

    My point here is to illustrate that although the Rejected Realms’ Board isn’t as active as the South Pacific’s, it is relatively busy compared to the other sinkers, who have little to no official Regional Message Board Rules. This means that a suppressions policy is likely more needed, as there is a larger volume of messages that come through, and with activity comes disruption.

    So, should TRR Have a Rules or Suppression Policy?

    Most people who argue against suppressions state that suppressions decrease the quality and flow of conversation on the board, and that truly rule-breaking posts can be handled by the on-site moderators (one of which resides in the Rejected Realms). Similar reasoning is used against Board rules.

    Suppressions, however, serve a few purposes:

    1) They make the RMB more aesthetically pleasing. The Regional Message Board is often covered in serious spam that may take a while for NationStates moderators to suppress, as they aren’t always online. Suppression makes unpleasant spam disappear, which ensures that the board is easier to read, especially on mobile screens, which are a pain to read the board with anyway;

    2) They serve as a warning system to ensure that behaviour that may have a negative impact on the quality of the RMB in the future.

    Online messaging generally is full of spam and unwanted messages, and to control them, we need to dish out some form of punishment. As the Rejected Realms cannot ban individuals, suppression is the best warning system we have to prevent nations from posting unsavoury and unneeded content that a majority of users find irritating (such as “nonsense,” and blatant spam posts.)

    What Criteria Should We Adopt for Suppression?

    I think that criteria for suppression, in general, should be decided on what issues the message board presently faces at a given time, and should generally include rules to tackle that specific problem.

    The rules should also be malleable and contain no superfluity - if the key individuals posting on the regional message board say that a certain criteria for suppression is harming conversation or is no longer required because the issue that the suppression was initially combatting no longer exists.

    Kral's Cooking Column: Arepas

    RECIPE | WRITTEN BY Kraljevstvo Rata

    Hey everyone! How are you today? Hope you're doing fine. This recipe is for arepas, commonly prepared by the people of South America, typically by Colombians, Venezuelans, Bolivians, and to a lesser extent Ecuadorians. This recipe is going to focus on the Ecuadorian way of preparing this food.
    Onto the recipe:

    Ingredients:

    A bag of white cornmeal
    A bowl of water
    Mozzarella, or Oaxaca cheese
    Butter (Salted)
    A pan
    A stove
    Hopefully some sort of shelter if you have it.
    Instructions:

    1. Mix your cornmeal and water. Be careful not to overpour your water with the cornmeal. You want a dough-like consistency. Knead that stuff.
    1a. If your dough is too dry, add water until it is soft and malleable.
    2. Roll your dough into a ball, and squash it into a disc. Make an indent in this disc.
    3. Put your choice cheese into this indent, and fold the edges of the cornmeal dough onto itself.
    4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you run out of dough.
    5. Get that pan, throw some butter on it (think frying eggs), and toast the arepas. They should have black spots where you toast them. This is perfectly normal.
    6. Take them out of the pan. Eat them off of the plate that I didn't specify in the ingredients list

    My mother used to make these all the time. I remember sitting down at the table (as you do when you're about to eat) and just scarfing them down. I loved these, and if you make them, you will too.

    NOTE: The Rejected Times does not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Rejected Realms.

    Discuss this Issue over on the NationStates forum here.

    Find The Rejected Times Index here.

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