The Day Today

This is the archive of Bascule's news articles published in the newspaper "The Day Today". (Although note that the first seven articles, appearing between May and June 1996, were unofficial publications, as they predated Proposal 891.)

Date: Wed, 1 May 1996 00:05:27 +0000


By Ergates thi ant, Ackanomia correspondent

The crisis in Ackanomia deepened today, when the Proposer, Wayne, admitted to reporters "I am not sure as to what is happening in the game".

The announcement came as a shock to many observers of the game, who had previously believed that Ackanomia's rigid rule system would carry it through any consitutional difficulty.

Ackanomia has been in turmoil ever since the President, Robert Sevin, declared himself "The Winner" last Monday. The only sitting Justice, Malenkai, immediately issued an Act of Justice to overturn the President's win, however it was not enough to quell a "mad frenzy" in the Financial Markets as reported the next day by the Financier, Calvin N Hobbes.

While lawyers argue over the small print of R507 and R508, a growing body of opinion says that the game is over and therefore the rules no longer apply. Judgement 157 may have ended the game. This judgement could yet be overturned by the Supreme Court, however it is still unclear at this time whether or not the Supreme Court is in session.

The prospect of the game being over has revealed how deeply unprepared Ackanomia was for a state of anarchy, for anarchy it surely is. Thinman went on the record to say "whatever we do will be outside of the Rules". Mr cwm added, "there are no more rules to be within.". Such statements would have been unthinkable just 10 days ago.

Possible solutions to the problem include resetting all scores to zero and starting a new game with the current ruleset. However there appears to be no consensus yet on the issue of PFBonds or Ackadollars. An ordinary resident of Ackanomia, Bascule, commented "With no rules, how are we to resolve these issues?"

If the crisis is not resolved soon, there may be no Ackanomia left to save. The Proposer himself said tonight "We need to resolve this soon, or we might start losing players, including myself."

Date: Wed, 1 May 1996 21:27:02 +0000


By Count Sessine, Peanut Editor

Business in Ackanomia appeared to be returning to normal today, writes Count Sessine.

Tens of AckaCitizens breathed a sigh of relief when the Proposer, Wayne, distributed the latest voting results and new proposals.

Life in Ackanomia has been severely disrupted since the discovery of "a winner" last Monday. Calls had been made for the historic Rules to be abandoned, prompting the Clerk of the Courts, Mohammed, to make a public statement denying that law and order was breaking down.

this is not a name, who earlier in the week had claimed that everyone else in Ackanomia was on holiday, issued a public retraction yesterday to unanimous relief. He claimed that, "My intent was to show that there are so many loopholes and unregulated things in the rule set that all this quibbling over what happens at the end of the game needs to be cleared up."

Today it appeared as if the working men and women of Ackanomia were not unduly worried about the lack of a ruleset, and were going about their normal daily business as if the game had not ended. In the Pubs and bars, the conversation had moved onto game custom, winning by paradox and the long-awaited Proposals.

Proposals 669 and 672 propose ways of dealing with the discovery of yet more "winners". However, the legal situation may not be fully clear even after the voting periods for proposals 669 and 672 have elapsed.

Date: Thu, 2 May 1996 20:09:20 +0000

Today I've reproduced an excerpt from "The Ackanomic Times", which as you all know has a pro-Presidential bias.


By Colonel Marmaduke Melchitt (Rtd.)

Ackanomians were rejoicing today after an historic announcement by our glorious President, Robert Sevin.

The President took time out from his busy schedule to intervene personally in the crisis in Ackanomia, which had threatened to bring the country to a standstill.

His decision, to restart the game of Ackanomic in another "cycle", was applauded by Ackanomians as another example of the President's good judgement and common sense.

Some subversive sections of Ackanomia are still rebelling against the President's momentous victory of last week. The insurgents, led by the Clerk of the Courts, Mohammed, reduced debating in the Public Chamber to a slanging match. His comments, not worthy of reproduction here, have been referred to the Politeness Moon for adjudacation.

The wicked Mohammed also declared himself a "mortal enemy" of the President. Many now consider his position as Clerk of the Courts to be untenable.

Opponents of the Presidential action had clearly not read the text of the document, which explained, "This is the only way to solve our problem without losing players."

Date: Fri, 3 May 1996 15:29:00 +0000


The Ergates thi ant interview

Bascule bumps his head on the doorframe as he enters the Gnome's bungalow. (I rely on Bascule a lot. It is difficult for ants to get around.)

The Voting Gnome sits Bascule down and offers him tea and cake. The Voting Gnome is a short, plump figure, with reddish cheeks and a jovial disposition that immediately puts an ant at ease. And he serves excellent cake, as I discover when Bascule gives me a crumb of his.

Is it a lot of responsibility being the Voting Gnome, I ask. He considers carefully before replying. "Well yes, I guess it is", he says, munching on his cake. "If you look at it that way. I don't really have to think about it much, because I always take the advice of my Buddy", he adds. You've had a lot of buddies in your time, I put to him. "People seem to like me", he nods. "Maybe it's just because I vote the way they ask me to, but I'd like to think that there's some genuine friendship there too", he says, laughing.

I ask him if he enjoys his job. "Very much so", he says, "it's a lot better than my old job." When I ask him what that was, he gestures at a fishing rod on the wall. "I used to be a Garden Gnome. People don't realise, it's a tough life. Whether it's raining or snowing, I had to keep fishing. And I never caught anything either", he says, wistfully, "except colds!". Bascule chokes on his tea, and spills some on his latest proposal, which he has been working on during the interview. "You might be my Buddy soon", laughs the Gnome, "if too many of those things get voted down!". Bascule looks annoyed, and I quickly change the subject.

I ask the Gnome about other Nomic entities not currently recognised in the rules. "Oh yes, there's plenty of others", he says. "Players sometimes don't look hard enough. I was pleased to see that the Right-Handed Grapefruit was found recently". He is interrupted by a bleeping noise, which turns out to be his mobile phone. "It comes with the job", he says before answering it. "Got to go, I'm afraid. Techno's going to vote, and he wants me to be there."

As we are leaving, I look at Bascule's tea-stained proposal, and think that he could do worse than have the Voting Gnome for a Buddy.

Date: Thu, 16 May 1996 20:20:40 +0000


By Querl Xoralundra IV, heavy weapons specialist

Ackanomia's Financier, Calvin n Hobbes, was almost reduced to ashes tonight, writes Querl Xoralundra IV.

Addressing the public forum, he astonished onlookers when he declared, "The earth is NOT FLAT". The earth undoubtably IS flat, as was proved beyond doubt with the adoption of proposal 729 earlier today.

However, Calvin n Hobbes appears likely to escape incineration, as he narrowly avoided claiming that the earth is round. However, this did not prevent the bloodthirsty this is not a name from immediatly calling for a witchhunt.

Disappointed Ackanomians were putting away their firebrands and petrol tonight, as the exact wording of proposal 729 was re-examined. Bascule, who discovered the ancient Acka-law and proposed it's re-adoption, said, "Perhaps it ought to be amended if sacreligious statements like this one can go unpunished. And now we'll have to wait to find out if Hobbes is made of fire-retardant material or not."

* Acka-scientists are redrawing their maps of the solar-system tonight, and outdated charts are being destroyed. One eminent scientist, who did not wish to be named, said, "I'm puzzled. I was sure it was rrrr... I mean, this is off the record, isn't it?"

* Campaigning is already underway for the post of CSRR. The Governor, Snowgod and Malenkai have all declared their intention to run for the post, although the Appointer is yet to officially open nominations. The pre-election war of nerves is hotting up regardless, as Snowgod declared a feud between himself and Malenkai's faction.

* Construction work on Ackanomia's first Gaol was completed on Tuesday. The Architect, Malenkai, was reported to be pleased with the contractors' achievement. The design was thought ambitious by many, as it has an infinite number of cells.

Date: Tue, 4 Jun 1996 17:47:37 +0000


By Mr Zoliparia, Gargoyle Expert

Ackanomians flocked to the streets today to greet a surprise visitor to Ackanomia, Michael Dorn, better known as Worf from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Their hopes of meeting their hero were cruelly dashed when it turned out to be none other than /dev/joe, parading his newly purchased Prosthetic Forehead.

The disappointed Acka-citizens then listened in stunned disbelief to /dev/joe's proclamation that his unbecoming cranial extension gave him the ability to amend rule 663 and give himself 257 points.

mr cwm observed that an infinite variety of upper-facial masks would not necessarily include one possessing such bizarre properties, and it looks tonight as if /dev/joe has wasted A$7 on a somewhat unattractive bonce.

Date: Fri, 7 Jun 1996 16:15:28 +0000


By Ergates thi ant, Ackanomia correspondent

Doubts were expressed today over the validity of Ackanomia's recent Presidential election, when Calvin n Hobbes asked, "What kind of election rigging is this?"

this is not a name, who was inaugurated as President after the results were announced on Thursday, has already re-opened his election campaign in anticipation of a second election. His campaign team have been targeting those who did not vote in the first election.

It appears that vital votes may not have been registered, and that these unregistered votes may have been enough to tip the balance in favour of the other Presidential candidate, /dev/joe.

this is not a name has called for a re-election, however the Speaker, Mohammed, is trying to ride out the political pressure, saying "I'm not willing to do that unless I am convinced that Calvin actually cast his votes during the Election". "I don't believe myself to have lost anything", he added.

Some commentators observed that /dev/joe may have gained extra votes from voters confusing him with Michael Dorn, famous for his role as Worf in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Ackanomia is notorious for it's unsophisticated electorate.

* Ackanomia's new Justice, Bascule, has made a rather pathetic attempt at winning the current cycle of the game in the past few days. His performance has been variously described as "ham-fisted", "inept", and "incompetent". His score has been at 254, 259, and 256, pretty much anything in fact, except the magic number 257.

Date: Fri, 26 Jul 1996 01:51:34 +0000



By General Samuel Melchitt (Mrs)

Ackanomia's mad fashion of the Summer has just been unveiled - being burned alive!

Self-confessed fashion guru snowgod started the unlikely trend way back in May. Calvin n Hobbes was soon to be seen sporting the attractive shimmering yellow design, while snowgod was so taken with that de-rigeur "just singed" look that he has since added a second outfit to his collection, and it seems likely that he will shortly acquire a third.

This essential fashion accessory for the hip Ackazen is now proving more popular than ever before, with Robin Hood, Mellon, Brinjal, ThinMan, Habeous Corpus, /dev/joe and pTang1001001sos joining in the headlong rush for designer incendiaries.

So much so, that the "tailor to the stars", the Witchfinder General, is threatening to resign due to overwork.

Date: Tue, 30 Jul 1996 02:00:20 +0000


By A. Liar, court correspondent

Ackanomia today was rocked by the news that Malenkai, former Justice and a pillar of the community, has been leading a seedy double life as an illicit Coke drinker.

Malenkai admitted guilt for his heinous crimes when he submitted CFCJ 106 against himself. At the time, he cheekily recommended for himself a paltry penalty of just ONE DAY in Gaol.

After Judge Sevin delivered his verdict and sentence, Malenkai was removed from the courthouse by the back door, to avoid the crowd of protestors who had gathered outside the main entrance, waving placards and shouting "HANG HIM! HANG HIM!"

Former colleagues of Malenkai are distancing themselves from the hardened criminal tonight. Justice Bascule, who served on the Supreme Court with the disgraced lawbreaker, said to The Day Today, "I'm saddened to see such a well respected member of the community brazenly flouting the rules. I only hope he isn't found guilty of dealing."

Date: Thu, 8 Aug 1996 23:55:49 +0000




By Bascule, Ackanomia's Voice of Reason

President /dev/joe will no longer be President in 3 days time, The Day Today can *exclusively* reveal to it's readers today.

The Day Today's *exclusive* pre-election poll indicates that /dev/joe's popularity, which was 55% at the last election, has plummeted since then to as little as 15% this time around. This leaves snowgod and Niccolo Flychuck to fight it out for the Presidency, with /dev/joe looking likely to be be left in an ignominious third place.

In The Day Today's *exclusive* pre-election poll, we asked you to indicate how you would be voting in this election. With a massive sample of twelve, the statistical accuracy of the survey cannot be doubted, and only a massive swing of at least 20% towards /dev/joe will keep him in office.

In The Day Today's *exclusive* pre-election poll, we asked you the question, "Who are you planning to vote for in the next election?" The results are shown in the figure below.

   40%-|   xxxxx
       |   XXXXX
   30%-|   XXXXX
       |   XXXXX                   xxxxx
   20%-|   XXXXX                   XXXXX
       |   XXXXX       XXXXX       XXXXX       XXXXX
   10%-|   XXXXX       XXXXX       XXXXX       XXXXX
       |   XXXXX       XXXXX       XXXXX       XXXXX
             |           |           |           |
          snowgod    /dev/joe     Niccolo    Undecided
         (None Yet)   (Nobs)      Flychuck      15%
            38%         15%         23%

snowgod (None Yet) 38%
Niccolo Flychuck (non-aligned) 23%
/dev/joe (Nobs) 15%
Undecided 15%

Barring a major upset, this makes snowgod the hot favourite to win the election, with Niccolo Flychuck in second place.

One question being asked is over Niccolo Flychuck's rise to popularity. Experts say it can be explained in part by the cheapness of Email over television advertising, which opens Ackanomia's elections to all candidates. Elections in other countries tend to be restricted to those with party backing or massive private wealth. Of course, with the backing of the heavyweight political parties (None Yet) and Nobs, snowgod and /dev/joe have no such worries.

The Poll Results in Full: Page 2
Leading Article: Page 15

Date: Fri, 9 Aug 1996 00:37:43 +0000


The figures shown in the opinion poll in The Day Today are incorrect. The figures should have been as follows:

snowgod (None Yet) 42%
Niccolo Flychuck 25%
/dev/joe (Nobs) 17%
Undecided 17%


Date: Fri, 9 Aug 1996 01:53:23 +0000


Our *exclusive* poll reveals that snowgod is likely to win with a massive 42% of the vote, with Niccolo Flychuck in second place.

We also asked you for your reasons for voting. These were as follows:

75% The proposals submitted by the candidates
50% He seems like a good bloke
25% Supreme Court appointments
25% Religion
25% The flourish with which Blue Crosses and Bronze Torches are awarded
17% Wit/fun messages*
17% Party political allegiance
17% The voting histories of the candidates
17% Track record in previous Offices
17% The need for continuity and stability in Government
8%  Judicial pardons
8%  The need for change

*This was not a category specified in the poll. It seems likely that this category would have scored higher if it had been one of the prespecified options.

It seems as if the proposals candidates submit have by far the biggest impact on the electorate's voting patterns, with three-quarters of you citing this as a reason for your choice of candidate. By contrast, the candidate's previous track record in holding office in Ackanomia only interests 17% of you.

The poll's results are a little misleading, since while religion appears to be a major factor in determining voting patterns at 25%, if the candidates themselves are removed from the sample, religion only matters to 11% of the electorate.

Breakdown of results:

All    Non-  Candidates
   Candidates Only
75%    78%     67%   Proposals submitted by the candidates
50%    44%     67%   He seems like a good bloke
25%    33%     0%    Supreme Court appointments
25%    11%     67%   Religion
25%    22%     33%   Flourish of award ceremonies
17%    22%     0%    Wit/fun messages
17%    11%     33%   Party political allegiance
17%    11%     33%   The voting histories of the candidates
17%    11%     33%   Track record in previous Offices
17%    11%     33%   Continuity and stability in Government
8%     0%      33%   Judicial pardons
8%     11%     0%    The need for change

And while 33% of non-candidates cite Supreme Court appointments as being a reason for their choice of President, not one candidate cites this as important. The Day Today asks the question: Are our Presidential candidates out of touch with what ordinary people want?

Interestingly, the while 50% of respondents marked "He seems like a good bloke", if the Presidential candidates' responses are removed from the sample, this figure drops to 44%.

Q3. Do you think campaigning will influence your decision?

8% Yes
92% No

This seems to let Bascule, snowgod's campaign manager, off the hook.

Out of the one respondent who replied yes, 100% said that an extremely silly campaign might affect their decision.

Leading Article: Page 15



In a shock move /dev/joe has WITHDRAWN from the race for the Presidency, pledging his support for Niccolo Flychuck's campaign.

If, as seems likely, /dev/joe's supporters switch to Niccolo Flychuck, this would leave snowgod and Niccolo tied on 42% each.

This would leave the decisive votes with the 17% of undecided voters.

The importance of an extremely silly campaign cannot be underestimated now.

Date: Wed, 8 Jan 1997 19:48:49 +0000


Controversial new plans to overhaul Ackanomia's system of government were unveiled today by her former President, Robert Sevin, writes Dan Quayle.

Mr Sevin launched his revolutionary plans, designed to allow Ackanomia's population to grow to thousands, even millions, of players, to a mixed audience. His scheme would, he believes, reduce the inevitable "bandwidth" problem that a nomic of this size would face.

The problem is this: In an Email nomic, there are no sidewalks, or pavements, instead Ackazens move around on "bands". When the population of a nomic reaches 50 or so, there simply aren't enough bands for all the citizens to move around on without bumping into each other. In addition, RL representatives of the nomic population need to "download" information regarding their virtual counterparts, also stored on bands. If the population of a nomic were to reach the critical number of 57, these bands would simply become too wide to fit into the average home computer, causing a "nomic crash".

Mr Sevin's idea is to divide the Ackanomic population into "Townships", each with it's own ruleset, that would interact through a federal system, moderated by senators elected from each township.

The scheme has met with objections from players who enjoy playing in a small game. They worry that they might lose touch with old friends placed in a different township to themselves. Some players simply like being "a big fish in a small pond".


The Day Today is conducting an *EXCLUSIVE* and completely unbiased telephone, er, Email poll.

Do YOU think that Acka would benefit from massive immigration? Then Email us with the line
"I would like my country to be invaded by foreigners."

Or if YOU would prefer Acka to stay roughly the way it is, Email us with the line
"I am a paranoid xenophobe."

The *EXCLUSIVE* results will be published in the next issue of your Number One Fun Day Today!

Date: Sat, 11 Jan 1997 21:06:07 +0000



By Genar Hofoen, Batball correspondent

An impressive 10 players responded to our poll question, "Should Acka subdivide?" The result was a perfect split, with 5 of you in favour of a 3rd Reich-like blitzkrieg invasion of Acka, while 5 of you preferred to own up to latent racist tendencies, owing to some mischievous questioning by our pollster. Two prominent Township- skeptics (Malenkai and fnord) did not vote, so it looks like an uphill struggle for our former-president-turned-township-touter, Robert Sevin.

Those results in full:

I would like my country to be invaded by foreigners:

Calvin n Hobbes
Robert Sevin

I am a paranoid xenophobe:

mr cwm (wearing a Silly Vacation Hat)

Date: Fri, 17 Jan 1997 06:22:49 +0000



As we approach Ackanomic's first birthday, it seems a suitable time to look back and reflect on the passing of one of Acka's finest traditions, the CFJ.

Known to it's friends as a Call for Justice, the CFJ was once an essential tool for the aspiring Ackazen. No loophole surfer worthy of the name would dare to show their face in public without at least 3 potential paradox wins grinding their way through the legal system.

Developments in rule technology pioneered by Legal Engineer /dev/joe have made the CFJ largely obsolete. Proposal 1160 provided a way to resolve conflicts of precedence within a given rule, and proposal 1188 added the requirement that a paradox should be original in order to give the caller of that CFJ a win by paradox. The last win by paradox was Mohammed's elegant Copycat CFJ, as long ago as October 22nd. Future wins by paradox will be few and far between.

It is interesting to correlate the fall of CFJs with the rise in sub-games (see accompanying figure). The first subgame was party chess, first proposed by Niccolo Flychuck on July 17, followed quickly by the machine that goes *ping*, grab-a-donkey, ghost, and the wonderful duelling limericks. Playing subgames seem to have replaced submitting CFJs as Acka's no.1 hobby.

Understandably, many players enjoy the stability and tranquility of a robust ruleset. However, I cannot be the only player who dreams of multiple threads, delayed paradox CFJs and Acts of Justice, back to a time when the game lurched from crisis to crisis, when even logging on was an exciting experience, because we could never be sure that the game would still exist.

The author held the position of Justice from June to November 1996


      50-|                  CCC         SSS** |-10000
No.      |                  CCC         SSS   |
of    40-|                  CCC         SSS   |-8000
CFJs*    |                  CCC         SSSSSS|       Number of
(C)   30-|                  CCC   CCC   SSSSSS|-6000  subgame
         |      CCC      CCCCCCCCCCCC   SSSSSS|       related
      20-|      CCCCCC   CCCCCCCCCCCCSSSSSSSSS|-4000  Emails***
           J  F  M  A  M  J  J  A  S  O  N  D 
                      Month of 1996

B denotes both a C and S character.

*Data from the CFJ archive,

**The machine that goes *ping* went into overdrive in November

***We're a lazy bunch here at The Day Today. This data is completely fabricated. Nevertheless, as we're sure you will agree, the results are very interesting

Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 09:37:14 +0000



By Querl Xoralundra IV, political correspondent

The President, Niccolo Flychuck, moved today to quash calls for a State of Crisis to be declared in Ackanomic, writes Querl Xoralundra IV.

He announced, "This is not a good enough reason to call a Crisis Fix. It would set a dangerous precedent". Declaring a State of Crisis would "send a message that we are advocating chaos and lawlessness".

The Speaker, Malenkai, had previously been under pressure to declare a State of Crisis following the distribution of forged proposals sanctioned by Mohammed, the Promoter.

The bogus proposals have been coming out of the Promoter's office since Tuesday. The problem was first noticed by Malenkai, who observed that there was no proposal numbered 1652 although proposal 1653 had already been distributed, a clear breach of Rule 406. Mohammed blamed the error on the computer system, Acrobot, that was recently installed to alleviate the chronic staff shortage in the Promoter's office.

Confusion and indecision over how to remedy the situation brought voting to a standstill this week. The Speaker urged the Promoter to issue "dummy" proposals with the missing proposal numbers, before re-distributing the now correctly numbered proposals. The chronically overworked Promoter instead begged the Speaker to declare a State of Crisis in order that the President might declare the proposals valid. Meanwhile, the CSRR officer, mr cwm, informed himself that "He won't even *think* of touching this one."

Public opinion on the matter, as ever, was split. Guy Fawkes wished to avoid resubmitting his proposals, Calvin n Hobbes advocated the use of Crisis Resolution "*only* as the last resort", while Malenkai and breadbox both described the use of Crisis Resolution as "abhorrent".

The issue was finally put beyond doubt by the President's pronouncement.


This week's quirky quote was sent in by Bascule from The Den of Iniquity, Ackanomic. He recieves A$10 for pointing out this gem, from rule 362:

"The Speaker may declare a State of Crisis at any time via public announcement, provided the game is not in a State of Crisis."

And they say that there are no more paradoxes!

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