Big White Gazette

This is the archive of Alfvaen's articles published in the newspaper "Big White Gazette".

Date: Thu, 3 Jul 1997 12:04:20 -0600 (MDT)

The Big White Gazette

"Wasting Bandwidth Since Yesterday"

This is a special Trinket Trivia edition of the Big White Gazette. This issue--Antiquities!

It is well-known that the Museum values highly trinkets which have been buried for more than the 60-day period which they consider sufficient to make a mere trinket into an Antiquity. With my recent researches, I present here a list of those Antiquities, and some others which are, or were, close.

The oldest Antiquity is, of course, the Crystal Grapefruit. Who knew, when it was buried, that it would take so long for its seemingly simple conditions to be fulfilled? Is this a comment on the lack of assiduousness of the gamesters of Ackanomic? Or just an indication of the slowness of play? In any event, with the imminent resumption of the game of Viruses, things may shortly be coming to a head. (More on that, perhaps, in a later issue.) In any case, with a whopping 248 days(at press time), this is our champion Antiquity.

Next, at 234 days, buried two weeks later, is the Jara treasure--the Map of Jara, the Fine Wooden Chest, Malenkai's Gold Coins, the Onyx Vase, and the Shades of Chorg. Malenkai has been heard to say more than once that he didn't think the Map of Jara treasure was "that hard". Well, obviously the treasure-hunting cadre of Ackanomians would disagree, and some may even have given up. And the other treasure...does it rely on the Map? Or are the cryptic Parade description and the words of Phoebe enough?

At 180 days is an Antiquity which may never be found! The Model of what might have been Jmmer's Butler, with its crypto-minimalist map, may never be found unless Jammer rejoins the august citizens of Ackanomic. It may someday surpass the above treasures...

Red Barn's Sceptre of Penguin Power will certainly languish over the summer as its inhumer takes an absence from our fair, flat land... In fact, little is known of this Antiquity, not even its description, and the fact that it has been buried for 155 days.

The enigmatic Jukkasjarvi Treasure is next, only one day less underground, for 154. With the recent redistribution of the Runestones, is there new hope for this treasure? Does it rely on the earlier treasures of Jara for vital clues? Perhaps this reporter is optimistic, but the days of this treasure may be numbered, and the Codex of Jara and the Golden Frog may not languish much longer beneath Ackanomian soil.

The location of Elves has been unknown for 132 days now, but its(their?) location still eludes treasure-seekers as well. This reporter has not heard much about this treasure, either from unsuccessful searches or from the burier eirself, but it still has a long way to go to reach the pinnacle of the Crystal Grapefruit.

The Tube Top of Kyle Bannor is another which may be lost, as founder and sometime player Ackers, recently given up as missing after his extended vacation, never came back to tell us why. This item has been buried for 119 days.

And then, the youngest Antiquity among the undiscovered treasures, at 109 days, the Alien Shaking Ball, whose highly individual treasure map has not yet been cracked.

As of this writing, the Wouf Houng is only five days away from the sixty-day limit, so it may take over from the Alien Shaking Ball the youngest buried Antiquity status.

Of perhaps more interest, though, are the Antiquities which have been unearthed. The Jade Key of Yara, now in the possession of stellar treasure-hunter /dev/joe, spent 97 days underground before being unearthed. The Chalice From The Palace was found by Guy Fawkes 86 days after being buried, and is now in the possession of collector mr cwm. And the Exquisite Dead Guy, in its second burial, spent 115 days underground before being unearthed by Alfvaen shortly after his arrival in Ackanomic, and is now buried again.

Finally, there are those items which the Arts and Antiquities community still mourns. The Staff of the Silicon Python spent 140 days below ground before being unearthed by /dev/joe, and was destroyed less than a month ago for cold hard cash. And then, at 59 days not a legal Antiquity, but considered an honorary one for the purposes of this column, the Bracelet of Conjuring, which, although buried at the same time as the Staff, spent only 59 days underground, and met its end on the same day and to the same cruel fate.

This issue of the Big White Gazette was sponsored by:

Alfvaen's Unique Trinkets

When you want a trinket with that personal touch, but don't have time to describe it yourself, talk to Alfvaen at, or come to Tamson House at kaa J8. Reasonable rates.


Date: Mon, 7 Jul 1997 14:58:24 -0600 (MDT)

The Big White Gazette

"Wasting Bandwidth Since Last Week Sometime"

Continuing our look at Trinkets and Treasure, this issue the Big White Gazette looks at those Trinkets which, while not necessarily Antiquities, have spent large chunks of their lifetime Underground.

Yes, some Trinkets just seem to be best-suited to being buried as Treasures, found again, and then reburied. Some have served well in this capacity, but none better than the No Tea, which has been buried a whopping four times so far(by Mohammed, /dev/joe[twice], and fnord). While currently enjoying an above-ground sojourn of over two months, it seems likely that this spunky little entity will not stay there forever...

Runners-up, at three times buried, are the Exquisite Dead Guy and the Lucky Ball and Chain. These two trinkets are both TMBG references(the No Tea, a bit more obscure, is a reference to the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Infocom Software game), and the Exquisite Dead Guy definitely seems to prefer inhumation as a lifestyle.

There are a few which have been underground twice: the cheap plastic imitation of the Amulet of Yendor, Fibber the Low-Grade Brass-Painted Cheapo Plastic Flea, the Golden Frinking Straw, the Hubert Feathers, the Secret Decoder Ring, the Silver Shovel, and Strider's Presidential Vision.

What is it about certain trinkets that make them more likely than others to be reburied? We asked up-and-coming treasure-hunting hotshot, Alfvaen.

A: One of the factors is that the ones who enjoy finding treasures the most, and are the best at it, also enjoy burying treasures themselves. So what you get is someone unearthing a treasure, and having the trinket around for a while, and then ending up burying it later when they want to create a new treasure.

BWG: I can certainly see this being the case with you and /dev/joe, although /dev/joe seems to accumulate trinkets faster than he buries--witness last month's mass trinket destruction, many of which were found in treasures. fnord also tends to keep things in circulation. I think that breadbox may perhaps be more interested in keeping the trinkets he finds, as souvenirs.

A: Well, breadbox is more of a finder than a burier, I think. The "Hubert Feathers" was created and buried specifically to find another treasure, and even the adjunct treasure he created for that featured only one minor trinket, and the rest bonds, money and gadgets. I myself actually prefer to create new trinkets and bury them, like I did with my first few treasures, but with what seems to be a growing amount of currency tied up in trinkets, it seems best to make use of the ones we have.

BWG: Do you notice any discernible pattern in the types of trinkets that are reburied?

A: If it's a hard treasure, you want to bury an expensive trinket, to make people want to work harder for it. /dev/joe will often bury a bunch of small trinkets together as one lot, which makes his own PE entry less crowded. But apart from that, I don't think there's a real pattern to it. Most of the new trinkets created today are either big ones intended as tax shelters, or small ones trying to exploit Malenkai's Loophole, or for humorous intent. The Silver Shovel idea is interesting, though, and if it continues it may surpass the No Tea in reburyings.

BWG: Do you have any hints for the treasure hunters out there?

A: I knew that was coming. One thing that may be helpful is that breadbox, when he did his W-File Report/Phoebe post, asked me if I wanted to put any hints in, since he didn't have any treasures buried himself. So there are a couple in there, which some people may not have realized. And of course, now that I'm a Priest of the Church of the Markovian Dream, I will be putting in my Prayers For Deliverance as well. Apart from that...the pangram one is entirely straightforward, and I confess is more of a test of computing power than anything else, but I'm genuinely interested in the result; and yes, I did mean "Ackapennies" instead of "Ackadollars", but I'd rather the listing on the Treasure page remain the way it is.

BWG: Thank you for talking to us.

A: My pleasure.

Grapefruit Update:

The staff of BWG have also sorted through the available records to determine who are the leading Crystal Grapefruit candidates. The results are as follows:

Guy Fawkes--2 wins, Ghost game 1 and Grab-A-Donkey game 1
/dev/joe--2 wins, Ghost game 3 and Fictionary game 1
Robert Sevin--1 win, Ghost game 2
Mr. Lunatic Fringe--1 win, Grab-A-Donkey game 2

Neither Guy Fawkes nor /dev/joe are finalists in the current Grab-A-Donkey game, but both are strong contenders in the current game of Viruses, so this reporter is willing to bet that that game will see the final fate of the Crystal Grapefruit, as soon as it gets back up to speed(as it should, with the return of CarsesraC to referee).

Want Ads:

Wanted: prosthetic foreheads. Will pay a reasonable price. Contact or visit kaa J8.

Date: Sat, 19 Jul 1997 09:21:35 -0600 (MDT)

The Big White Gazette

"Wasting Bandwidth Since A Couple of Weeks Ago"

This issue: an exclusive article from Ackanomic's own Tabulator and Promoter--Chaos!

(This article was sent to us not long ago; in it Chaos describes some events that, controversially enough, take place in other realms even beyond the ken of Internomic, realms which almost seem not to be Nomics at all...until recently.)


Big City, Suburbs in Furor

Somewhere in the United States there is a broad stretch of land made up of mountains, forests, a few fair-sized towns, and in the west, a city on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. The land is called Tennessee. The city is Memphis, and I live there.

About two weeks ago, the nomickiest thing happened here.

A little background information is in order. There's a constant battle here (probably everywhere in the United States) between big cities and the affluent outlying areas that hover just beyond their borders (the suburbs). People do not want to live within Memphis city limits. The schools are rotten, taxes are high, and crime is rampant. However, one can live just outside Memphis and drive each day to a workplace in the city.

The trend is a little sad. Those who can afford to move out do so, and the city is left with a weaker tax base. Conditions worsen.

Living in the suburbs is a pretty blatant loophole surf. You reap the benefits of living near a big city, drive on their roads, and earn money in your job with a company lured there (at some expense) by the city-run Chamber of Commerce-- without paying city taxes or taking any interest in the city's community, which decays in its neglect.

So cities like Memphis are always trying to expand their borders by annexing the outlying areas. This closes the tax loophole at least, although not in a way that anyone really likes. (The inner city is still doomed, and everything Memphis City Schools touches turns to slime.) Naturally the suburban loophole surfers don't want their communities to be annexed, but the state law has always been on the city's side on this one.

Until now.

This spring, the Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee proposed some legislation to help a little town (in his district) avoid annexation by a nearby city. It flew through the Tennessee state legislature. No one bothered to read it.

The amendment to state law repealed a rule that previously prevented any new city from being established within three miles of an existing city. It also lowered some population requirements so that now, any group of 225 citizens can write up a list of services and a budget, hold a referendum, and (depending on the results of the vote) incorporate themselves as a new city. The amendment furthermore gave such proceedings precedence over annexation by existing cities.

So there's a new loophole to surf. If the city of Memphis is breathing down your back door, grab some friends and incorporate. Once you're in a city of your own, Memphis can't touch you.

The thing is, no one understood all these changes at the time. No one dreamed of their repurcussions. And the loophole sat in the books for several months before anyone noticed.

Imagine the shock, the horror, and the joy of being the one to discover it!

Suddenly, within the past two weeks, three rich little munchkin havens popped up just east of Memphis, all clamoring to incorporate. The city, blindsided by the news, watched in horror as hundreds of acres of phenomenally tax-rich real estate slipped through its fingers. The mayor called for a special session of the Tennessee legislature to change the law back before any of the referenda could be carried out. One suburban lawyer and activist retorted, "I really think it's shameful that so many people are calling for the special session for the sole purpose of denying people the right to vote."

The whole situation is exhilarating in a way. There is ridiculously slanted rhetoric on both sides. There is suspense-- for the Tennessee legislature will convene again next year, and no one seems too sure about what will happen. Careful political plays are being made. There is the ironic humor of seeing urban forces, formerly unstoppable, suddenly impotent while the little guy scrams gleefully for shelter. And behind it all, there's the man who pulled the most collossal egg plant in the history of the state, slipping this little logic bomb right under the noses of an entire three-ring bipartisan circus of politicians and bureaucrats. (Still no comment from him.)

But then, the revelation hits. We're playing Nomic with people's lives out here. This can't be a good trend.

Trinkets & Treasures:

In the BWG's continuing effort to bring you useless statistics regarding trinkets and treasures, we present below a painstakingly assembled list of the players who have buried, and found, the most treasures. From this list were excluded such treasures as the "Jukkasjarvi Cheez-Whiz" Bonus Vote treasures, as well as the Whamiol and "snowgod" Treasure Maps, which in this publication's opinion are not in the spirit of Treasures.

The results follow:

Treasures buried--
12--Malenkai: 101,102,103,106,107,120,122,132,137,166,173,176
8--Mr. Lunatic Fringe: 104,111,123,134,138,149,165,177
8--/dev/joe: 118,119,125,126,140,151,172,174
7--Alfvaen: 144,146,148,155,164,167,169
5--Chaos: 109,110,112,115,153
4--breadbox: 113,116,141,142
2--Guy Fawkes: 114,163
2--Jammer: 117,129
2--Red Barn: 121,152
2--fnord: 127,128
2--Antimatter: 143,168
2--two-star: 145,170
1--Niccolo Flychuck: 105
1--ThinMan: 124
1--Strider: 130
1--Ackers: 133
1--Calvin N Hobbes: 135
1--Bascule: 136
1--IdiotBoy: 139
1--Voting Gnome: 147
1--karma: 175

This reporter must confess that he didn't realize that Mr. Lunatic Fringe (the erstwhile snowgod)had buried so many treasures. Malenkai's top placement was less surprising, perhaps because so many of his treasures remain unfound.

Treasures found--
16--/dev/joe: 103,109,110,112,113,114,116,120,127,138,139,143,145,148,149,167
6--Alfvaen: 118,141,142,151,153,173
5--breadbox: 115,119,132,136,146
3--Guy Fawkes: 105,111,140
3--Malenkai: 124,130,134
3--two-star: 144,168,172
2--Chaos: 126,174
2--fnord: 123,125
1--Voting Gnome: 102
1--Bascule: 163

/dev/joe's top placement on the list is also not surprising, although perhaps the size of the gap between first and second place is. But there is no question as to who is the champion treasure hunter in Ackanomic.

Trinkets & Treasure--Update:

It was brought to the attention of the BWG that another Trinket has been added to the list of the twice-buried, the "repayment". At first, the outlook for this Trinket, created almost as an afterthought by former President Mr. Lunatic Fringe, did not seem bright--either destroyed trivially for recompense, or even buried forever, but /dev/joe, in true Treasure-Hunter fashion, managed to unearth it, and then buried it himself. It was found by two-star a little over a week ago. There is obviously grounds to speculate that two-star himself may be preparing another treasure map, since the Silver Shovel treasure would seem to depend on it. (Or does it?)

The Exquisite Dead Guy has also been unearthed again, by /dev/joe, and it seems likely to this reporter that it will soon equal the inhumation record of No Tea. While /dev/joe satisfied the conditions of the map by determining that no "Ackanomic-inspired pangram" existed, Alfvaen has informed us that the search remains for other pangrams inspired by Ackanomic. He has also made cryptic comments about "anti-pangrams".

Classified Ads: (rates: A$3 per line)

I have a cramped store which is called "Canines Tattoo Parlour" on area k9 on the map. any player may come here and get a peel off tattoo made and provide a description if they wish for 200A($) and I will buy them back at any time later than 3 days for 195A($) as long as they r not too badly desecrated or disfigured from there original state.

-Karma (Tattoo You)

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