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by The Impeccably Arranged Snark of The West Pacific Master Dispatch. . 532 reads.

The Western Post - February 2021

Announcements!

  • LinkSave the date for the Festival of the Perfections! The third annual arts festival will be held February 21-28. Anyone is welcome to submit pieces in the categories of Art, Poetry, and Writing, and the new non-competition category of Music. The event's Discord server will open a few days before the event, so keep your eye out!

  • UTWP is returning soon! The next class of UTWP will be starting near the end of February—if you want to participate, go to #enroll_at_utwp on our Discord server!

  • Forum Reorganization! The Hall of Nations is working on revitalizing the TWP forums—Join in the conversation in #gameplay_commons on the TWP Discord or send a telegram to Fujai for a link to the planning doc.

  • A special announcement from Duck, one of the Layout Editor's cats, stepping on the keyboard: ".3022222222222-====srrrrazzzzz"


Hall of Nations Update

January of 2021 has seen several new things within The West Pacific. A new group, West Pacific Gaming, has been announced, feedback is being sought for reorganizing the forums (Link click here to contribute), along with several events for the Hall of Nations.

First, The West Pacific Inquisition has begun! TWP Inquisition will be a series of AMA’s for members of the HoN to ask questions to a leader in TWP’s government. Members can ask about current projects, what the government official does in their position, or even “what would you do with an Emperor Penguin that you can’t get rid of?”. This stems from Dilber’s desire to increase transparency in how things are run. Our first Inquiree is Giovanniland. Gio is a Guardian of The West, a Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the regional Card Czar.

Next, the regional proposal, Commend Bran, was passed, with a vote of 24-1! You can read the Linkfull text on TWP’s forums. Thank you to everyone who provided information and feedback during the drafting process!

Finally, February is election season! Or is it? It is with muy, muy humility that I remind you that the deputy ministers will no longer be elected by the Hall of Nations. The only elected positions will be the Speaker of the Hall of Nations and the Guardian of the Hall of Nations. I also regret to inform you, that due to delegate supremacy, elections have been postponed until the HoN reorganization is complete. *cue thunderous applause* So, if you don’t like what Teralyon or myself Aluminum Oxynitride have done, we encourage you to volunteer to help out with the reorganization!

WAR Ministry Update

Well, we did it! The holidays campaign for Guardian and Delegate endorsements was a success, thanks in large part to Deputy Minister Bobki. Bobki did a great job with the theming and posting of the holiday magic campaign; so a round of applause to Bobki!

Endorsements on the Delegate have evened out, and we seem to have reached the natural equilibrium at our current engagement level. Periodic NNEs and Telegrams are still issued, though WAR is looking at what the next engagement level may look like to push up the endorsement average.

In the mean time, keep an ear out for news about a WA Authorship project from TWP!

Card Club Update

It is time for another update on The West Pacific Card Club! After the many December card events as part of our Midwinter Shenanigans, January was rather quiet. However, many activities are being planned and announced as I write:

One of them is a brand new weekly reward for Punday Monday. Each winner chosen by our Delegate from now on will receive cards matching the Punday theme for the week. The goal is to increase participation in this weekly event! Other interesting plans include a Valentine's Day themed card activity (similar to Octwperfest and/or Midwinter Shenanigans) and prizes for the winning submissions of the yearly Festival of the Perfections that is coming soon.

Furthermore, talking about rewards, we have some interesting news. Our Card Club got a fair amount of cards gifted by none other than Noahs Second Country, one of the top card traders. A large giveaway was conducted by this player, and card organizations were given priority to receive cards for their events. Thus, we now have a significant larger pool of cards to choose rewards from, and we encourage donations if anyone wants to contribute — simply gift them to Western Card Storage G.

That is all for this month! Thank you for reading this Card Club update, and see you on next month's edition.

Old Lawnmower’s ‘Brrt-Brrt-Chka-Brrt’ Wins Grammy’s Best Rap Song

By En-Im-En of Podium

Ever since its debut on the music scene 3 years ago, Old Lawnmower has consistently released smash-hits across all charts, racking up potential millions’ worth of sales from what some purport to be a cult-like fanbase. This year seems to be no different, with its latest single ‘Brrt-Brrt-Chka-Brrt’ (which was composed entirely of roughly 10 minutes of severe, squirrel-related mechanical failure) winning Best Rap Song in last night’s Grammy Awards, a move from the judges which some of OL’s detractors are calling “completely nonsensical” and “literally impossible.”

Yet more controversy erupted upon its entry to the acceptance stage, where it forwent its usual stalled and barely-fuelled demeanour in favour of a reckless and out-of-control trajectory off of the platform into the crowd, knocking several rows of the audience over and even shaving a notable reality TV host's hair-do down to the skin before eventually crashing into the opposite wall and losing its engine hub. Despite this unexpected behaviour, we at The Western Post believe that this sensational development will work to even further boost ‘Brrt-Brrt-Chka-Brrt’s' profits in the coming weeks and months from fans and haters alike, surely prolonging OL's career for many more moons.


Questions & Branswers

By Bran Astor

One of the best things about being a Culture Czar and Feeder Delegate is getting to know the folks who make up this West Pacific community. In many ways it’s superior to real life and there’s none of that pesky pandemic to worry about. However, lately, I’ve been craving a deeper connection than the routine check-ins concerning governance. To that end the few remaining peons and interns from my tenure were tasked with carefully replicating a set of late night talk show questions found streaming online meant to dig beneath the surface and lay a Westerner’s soul bare. It’s called Questions & Branswers.

First up, Teralyon.


What is the best sandwich?
Pulled Pork Sandwich.

What is one region you really want to purge?
Hard to say, probably one of those large puppet storage's like TNP.

Who's the scariest guardian?
Hands down, Fuentana.

Fuentana? Really? I mean... really?
Look, hear me out! I know out of the current Guardians everybody would pick Bhang Bhang Duc or Fujai, but they're wrong. BBD just cares and wants everyone to succeed and sometimes that requires tough love. Now I ask you this, have you ever seen anyone speak ill of Fuentana? No? Know why? Fear.

Why do you hate former Guardians?
Sir I do not hate any former Guardi.... Wait a minute.. Was this all a ploy for me to say it was you?! Well you dun goofed, you said scariest when you should of said bestest

Apples or oranges?
Definitely apples, much more versatile than an orange.

Because it's the bong you can enjoy with peanut butter?
Well.. Well yea.. I meant more that you can use them to keep cakes fresh or use them to ripen tomatoes but I'm not gonna lie that I've done at least one of those things you've mentioned.. Remember kids! You can enjoy an apple a day in more than one way!

Have you ever asked someone for their autograph?
I've met a bunch of famous people but I can't say I've ever actually gotten or asked for an autograph.

What do you think happens when we CTE?
I've heard imaginary Canadians can't really CTE so I might be safe, but just in case that's not true, I'm going to say we join the big op in the sky and raid evil wherever it shows up.

Favorite action hero?
The Savior of Christmas, LinkJohn Mcclane.

Do you have a favorite smell?
Yes. Hard to explain, mix of sea air and lavender.

Do you have a least favorite smell?
The washrooms in some underground mines are some of the worst smells imaginable.

Pineapple: Does it pizza?
Pineapples are a gateway drug to Swedish banana curry kebab pizzas.

Flat or sparkling?
Sparkling. I'm classy like that.

Most used app on your phone?
Spotify apparently, though Discord is right behind it.

You get one never-ending pasta bowl for the rest of your life, what is it?
Fettuccine with Traditional Meat Sauce and crispy Chicken Fritta.

What number am I thinking of?
181

Witchcraft!
I can neither confirm nor deny the use of any sort of magic or magical artifacts. All I can say at this time is Polaris4Lyfe.

Describe your TWP experience in seventeen syllables.
Some of the best people
I have met are from TWP
Never a dull moment.


There we have it. Now you know Teralyon.

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January Interregional Events

By Giovanniland

In order to build even deeper relationships and start 2021 with fun activities, the West Pacific had interregional events with some of its close allies.


The flags of the West Pacific and Europeia.

The first of those events was a Region of the Week festival with Europeia, owing to the long-standing Treaty of Friendship between the two regions, signed under then-Delegate of the West Elegarth and then-Europeian President Trinnien. The idea was first suggested by Giovanniland, and then Europeian government members such as President Pichtonia and Minister of Foreign Affairs Jermeny greatly helped with planning and coordination. This type of event has been hosted by Europeia several times, in which an allied region is invited to have fun and increase relations for a week.

The festivities happened on a Discord server and started on January 7 with a "get to know you" voice chat, for residents from both regions to introduce themselves and talk about various topics. Daily polls were also created by Lime82 (Europeian Minister of Culture) and Jermeny, ranging from common themes—such as favorite color—to unusual questions, for example whether one would eat spiders to gain supernatural powers for a certain time.

On the following days, several games were hosted by Baobab-bumbaria, Giovanniland and Rotasu. Examples of games played during the event are Among Us, Board Game Online, Skribbl.io, Secret Hitler, Trivia, and Uno, whose sessions sometimes lasted for hours. Furthermore, people could also play with the Pokémon and Taco Shack bots on a dedicated Discord channel. Last but not least, a tag raid was organized on the final day of event with participation from TWPAF pirates and ERN (Europeian Republican Navy) sailors. This concluded a week of fun with one of our treatied allies, with the hope that more events with Europeia will be held in the future!


The Magna Hearta's logo, used as flag for both the region and the founder nation.

The other major interregional event happened in the end of January. Called The Magna Hearta, this event was held together with our The Pacific and Balder allies, and was unique in regard to the fact it all happened within NationStates. The major driving force behind the planning was Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Varanius, who coordinated with the Pacifican and Balderan governments to make the event happen.

The password was lifted and the event officially started January 25th. The first day was filled with puns, and there was Norway one could miss it because the puns were all Nordic-themed. Once the day Finnished, there was also a twist—a nation would be banned from the region for having the worst ranking on a random stat—and the first one was Authoritarian Giovanniland for the Rudeness stat. In the second day, the participants posted haikus about the theme "Order," in the hopes that order would be maintained and they would not be banned at least on that day.

The following days saw two AMAs, first with Delegate of the West Dilber and then with King of Balder North East Somerset (NES). Questions ranged from NationStates history and community themes to other non-NS topics (all questions and answers can be seen in The Magna Hearta's regional message board). There were some similarities between each AMAs, such as the answers about the most interesting or favorite part of the game — in which both answered the community. More shockingly, when asked about their opinion on pineapple pizza, both Dilber and NES expressed their support for this controversial food.

Last but not least, a Karaoke Friday was held in which participants posted pirate-themed songs. After the event finished, the few lucky people still not hit by the banhammer were now removed from the region, and a password was imposed again to preserve the message board. In the end, it was surely a fun event with our friends at NPO and Balder, which saw the building of deeper relations between all regions. Overall, it was an eventful month for TWPers who took part in these events! More interregional festivals will come soon, therefore stay tuned for announcements.

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The Haiku Review: Notable New Year Poetry

By Fhaengshia, United Adaikes, and Fuentana, Poet Laureate of Haiku

Introduction
By Fuentana

New year, new haiku, same snark and beauty.

The Haiku Review is excited to share our selections for January’s favorites. We have each picked several favorites and offered short commentary on them. We hope you’ll also enjoy the wisdom, wit, and wonder conveyed in these combos of 17 syllables.

Fhaengshia’s Faves

Teralyon wrote:Thousands of card farm puppets
Are worth only one
Quality, not quantity

Bhang Bhang Duc wrote:Cut thumb on corkscrew,
Opening bottle of wine.
Hazards of drinking.

Fujai wrote:Great trees stand in crisp air
Little footprints on the snow
Placid morning

Comment: A picture is worth a thousand words, far too many to fit in a haiku. Yet Teralyon shows us exactly the reasoning behind our frequent trebuchet fireworks shows. That and it paints a pretty picture in the regional happenings feed.

Bhang Bhang Duc’s haikus have managed multiple entries this month. Whether capturing mischief or the mundane, the master of snark regularly makes us smile with mirth.

Haiku are structured around a rule mandating their syllables. Like other forms of creative writing, haiku can benefit from breaking the rules now and then. Most notably in the West, this was seen with a celebration of the hukai, a Tao the watcher creative innovation, but Fujai’s haiku here shows no theme is necessary to structure a scenic haiku outside the regular bounds.

Adaikes’ Faves

Kitaniala wrote:Though I've been quiet
I've awaited this haiku
Haikusday is great!

Comment: Though we generally like the different days of activity in TWP, we at the Haiku Review duly agree!

Westwind wrote:To The Acutely Obtuse
Life's an Adventure
Raise a Crimson Toast with Me

Comment: After a month of honoring TAO, we all can be The Watcher (you can be acutely obtuse if you want, or obtusely acute) in our own little ways (that is for you to find out how). And what is there to life that is not an adventure? (And why do we only celebrate life on certain days when we can celebrate it every day?)

Bhang Bhang Duc wrote:It seems to be a bad day
For spammers on here
Stay strong TWP.

Comment: All day, every day, baby! All day, every day bad days for spammers, and all day, every day strong TWP!

Fuentana’s Faves

Bhang Bhang Duc wrote:Rain, rain, rain, rain, rain.
Rain, rain, some cloud, rain, rain, rain.
And guess what? More rain.

Wellington Bingbong wrote:Went to make meatballs:
I prepared the spice mixture,
but there was no beef.

Demonos wrote:Where do you feel love?
In the head, heart, or *gasp* soul
Woe to the faithless.

Comment:
For my selection, I chose humorous haiku.

Bhang Bhang Duc’s haiku about Welsh weather was saturated with a sense of frustration, but damp and dreary days are par for the course in the United Kingdom. As the saying goes, when it rains, it pours. I often imagine what Earth Wind and Fire would have written if they originated in the UK. “Never wasn’t a cloudy day” is not so uplifting, I guess.

I loved Wellington Bingbong’s funny take on an experience many a foodie has had: thwarted plans to cook something because a key ingredient was missing. No wonder we privilege the “meat” of the argument. Without it, the spices have nothing to do.

Finally, I got a chuckle out of the beautiful and ironic insight of Demonos. Like a bat out of hell, Demonos proclaims woe to the faithless when it comes to love. Could tormented souls shed light? Indeed they can. (This is also as close to hell as I’d like to get).

Afterword
We continue to honor our favorites, and look forward to more great, zany, silly haiku. If it gives you any motivation, write a memorable haiku and it will be enshrined forever in our growing volume of the West’s best poetry.

Want to get more involved? Contact any of the authors to join our work as members of The West Pacific Fine Arts Society, a branch of The West Pacific Cultural Trust.

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Comic Alley

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New Year, New Puns

By Gryphonian Alliance

TWP kicked off the new year with its snarkiest, brightest, spiciest puns as part of our weekly tradition of Punday Monday. Here are some of the winning selections from the month of January.

Giovanniland wrote:Milk is the fastest liquid on Earth, because it's pasteurized before you see it.

Soy milk is just regular milk that's trying to introduce itself in Spanish.

If you sign up for an economics class, you should bring some spoiled milk from home on the first day. They’re a big fan of gross domestic products.

Leche is just Spanish milk that doesn’t know how to say cheese in French.

(And I bet the students lost domestic interest coming home after that stinky econ class!)

Willow Gate wrote:My thesaurus was very cheap. It's terrible, and also terrible.

I would traffick my thesaurus to you, but I meditate that mine isn’t much better.

Giovanniland wrote:A retired Florida couple was watching TV. The husband looks outside.

As he struggles to get up, he yells to his wife: "Hurry! Cane!"

Do hurricanes always hit Florida because all the old people can’t run away?

And my personal favorite:

Red kanga roo wrote:According to the Book of Marsupial Love Puns,

What did the wombat say to his fiancée? There is no wombat'er than you.

(While I’m not quite sure how this kangaroo got ahold of a computer or why he decided to settle in TWP, his pun-making skills wallaby appreciated by all.)

Congratulations to all the Punday winners for this month. Join us on the RMB every Monday for more clever puns!

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Art Tips with Fujai

By Fujai

In a game all about nations, flags are a pretty big deal. Along with your nation’s name and pretitle, your flag is the first thing someone sees of it. Because of that, it’s important that it’s designed well, so this month, we’ll go through an inexhaustive list of some tips for what makes a Good Flag™.

Color Tips

  1. Don’t use eye-hurting colors

    • On screens, colors are created by showing different amounts of red, green and blue (RGB). When a color has too much of one or more of red, green or blue, the color can look rather harsh. Because some programs (e.g. MS Paint) have these very pure colors in their default palette, some beginners use them in their flags. To fix this, all you have to do is fiddle with the color until it’s easier on the eyes, as in the example below:

  2. Watch how many colors you’re using

    • The general rule of thumb is to use 3 or fewer colors, with 4 as a max, to make your flag less busy. However, some flags go against this guideline, such as South Africa and the Aymara Wiphala, so just be careful.

  3. Make sure your colors go well together

    • The heraldic rule of tincture says “some colors don’t like to sit next to each other, so make sure they never touch.” There’s truth in this, but the heraldists go a bit too hard with it, in my opinion. I generally wouldn’t put red and green next to each other, but sometimes it works. Take a look at other flags and see how they use colors.

  4. Use more pink and purple

    • That’s it, that’s the tip.

  5. Post-publishing addition from Aluminum Oxynitride Check your contrast in greyscale

    • Put your flag in greyscale to see how well your colors contrast with each other. Very slight changes in the RGB values can make a huge difference in making your flag more visually appealing.

Design Tips

  1. Less is more

    • As in many things, less is more. For the extreme, see: Switzerland, Palau, Japan, etc. On the other hand, high detail can look incredible too, see: Iran, Kazakhstan, Belarus, etc.

  2. Maps on flags aren’t Cool

    • Please just don’t do it, I’m begging you.

    • Sometimes it can look alright (e.g. Kosovo), but it depends more on the shape of the country than anything else, so it’s best to just not.

  3. Don’t make a seal on a bedsheet

    • The Linkflags of US states are the biggest offenders here, but many other countries’ states and provinces do the same. The issue here is that they generally don’t look good and there’s no creativity involved.

  4. Don’t use clip art and don't make a flag that looks like clip art

  5. Colonial flags aren’t as cool as you think they are

    • There are hundreds, if not thousands, of nations on NS who use some variation of the British Blue Ensign, with a union jack in the canton and a seal on the fly, and they all look exactly the same as each other at first glance.

  6. Tricolors aren’t evil

    • Some people don’t like tricolors, but I think they look neat, especially with fun colors.

  7. There are better ways of incorporating coats of arms without just slapping them on a flag

  8. Be original!

    • Do something different! Be bold! Be creative! The sky is the limit, so you shouldn’t let yourself be constrained by convention (beyond tips for making things better)

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The Western Post Staff - Delegate-in-Editor-in-Chief: Dilber Editors: Fuentana, Fujai, Giovanniland – Staff: Aluminum Oxynitride, Bran Astor, Fhaengshia, Gryphonian Alliance, Nieubasria, Overthinkers, Podium, Recuecn, Teralyon, United Adaikes, and LinkYOU

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The Western Post is brought to you by The West Pacific Cultural Trust, The West Pacific News Group, and viewers like you. Thank you.
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spooky!


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