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Mount Fehashna erupts for second time this year

Mining has been implicated in the latest spate of volcanic eruptions in the Shna region, with Mount Fehashna erupting twice this year alone. Fortunately this is an area sparsely populated, but with the region’s only stand of ancient snow wood trees.

Mining activities are uncommon these days but still necessary when needed minerals are hard to synthesise in fusion workshops. The Shna area is rich in natural shuonite, which tends to form only alongside active magma flows.

Both Mount Fehashna and Mount Asenashna have erupted this week, threatening local forests, and contaminating nearby lakes.

Winter Welcome Festival Preparations in Full Swing

With the beginning of winter only a month away, schedules are already being finalised across the country for this year’s festivities.

“The lead-up is always hectic” says local school teacher Beeanne Harvis, “but it’s worth it! The kids all get to learn about each other’s cultures, and really welcome the new arrivals, whether they’re from across the country or across the world.”

Not everyone is so enamoured with the month-long celebration, however.

“The parties are alright, I guess. I like the food. But that’s only one weekend. The rest of the time it’s reduced business hours and lots of talking,” says recent school-leaver Sugio Teebou. “I just don’t see the point.”

Councillor Igan Vorfio defends the festival.

“In addition to welcoming new neighbours, many people use this time to share their stories. Whether it’s from feeling heard or realising that others are dealing with problems just like you, a lot of people feel more connected during the festival, and that makes us so much stronger as a community.”

Many businesses slow down at this time of year, with most employees taking advantage of leave entitlements reserved for the event. Mental health services, however, see a spike.

Psychologist Blexton Revar remembers when the festival was introduced. “We were run off our feet those first few years. A lot of people were carrying a really harmful amount of pain.”

“Whether it was from trauma or simple exhaustion, or any number of other reasons, so many people were carrying burdens that they shouldn’t have had to. I suspect that all the talking opened some floodgates. It really shone a light on the magnitude of what we were dealing with.”

Whether you enjoy the talking, or resent the reduced business hours, or just like a bit of extra down-time, there’s no denying that the festival is a memorable part of your year.

“We’re still busy, of course,” concludes Revar, “but these days it’s manageable. As a society, I think we’re getting better at finding balance, and this festival is a big part of that.”

Work at new Jabhala cossa mine grinds to a halt

Work on the TerraLunar Metals cossa mine at Jabhala was halted on Monday after only two days of excavation when a potential Site of Historical Significance was discovered.

Analysis of initial blasting at the site, returned some anomalous readings, which were promptly brought to the attention of the site foreman. “Those kinds of readings usually indicate a void. Sometimes they can be filled with combustible gasses and that can get dangerous,” said safety officer Pento N’Carlthon who was monitoring the blasting. “Given the terrain, we don’t usually find them that close to the surface, though. It was very strange.”

Preliminary investigation of the area showed evidence of ancient human habitation, so the location and its immediate surrounds have been declared a protected archaeological site. CEO of TerraLunar Metals, Wex Landus was excited by the find.

In a press conference held yesterday, he was eager to learn more about this site. “I’ve already met with the local Jabhala indigenous leaders, and I share their excitement about what might be discovered here.”

When asked about the miners whose jobs are affected, Ms Landus assured they would remain on the books. “As you know, there are provisions in place to protect workers in these circumstances. The government will reimburse them for half their usual salary, and we will continue to pay them the other half.”

“There were only 26 people staffing that mine anyway, so it’s not going to hurt our balance sheet, and the cultural index we gain more than makes up for the financial loss.”

“I understand that a couple of the older workers are grumbling. They’d rather be working. But that’s unavoidable. We’re going to allow a job swap to any of our other mines if they can find someone to agree to it. Most of the other workers are enjoying some family time or travelling. I know that a few are taking the opportunity to do more around their community.”

When questioned about what the delays would mean more broadly, Wex Landus was evenly pragmatic. “Obviously, there will be studies to see if we can work around the site without disturbing it further, but if not, then the ore will just have to wait. We know where it is. It’s unlikely to go anywhere.”

Restoration of Longkhatipur ancient baths nearing completion

The famous public bathhouse of Longkhatipur is slated to be open for tours next month. Considered by many historians as a marvel of engineering, the expansive bathhouse complex has been carefully excavated, studied, and painstakingly restored. Although the restoration has returned the facility to a fully operational status, general public tours will be purely observational. Visitors will be expected to remain fully clothed at all times.

Oceanic plastics mining operations finally making headway

A significant reduction in the volume of plastic debris floating in the world’s oceans has been attributed to extensive international mining operations. The modest, but positive results come as efforts continue to rise with three more TerraLunar Plastics mining ships due to launch in the next six months. These ships will be mining the Great Eastern Serenia Plastics Patch.

Coastal Framisland braces for annual drenchstorm season

With severe weather on the rise, the vulnerable community of Framisland is preparing for another devastating season. Having barely recovered from last year’s relentless drenchstorms, the people of Framisland are weary but resolute.

Is Technology Killing Creativity?


When I was a child I made an animated movie using modelling clay and an old cine camera. It was slow, time-consuming, tedious work, and the end result was barely a couple of minutes long.

Fast forward to today and what took me days to make back then can be achieved in a matter of moments with the right software, and I wouldn’t even need to touch a block of modelling clay. A much less messy way of doing things to be sure, but has this technological revolution come at a price?

Some say that today’s artists are relying too heavily on tech at the expense of creative input. For my part, I have to disagree. True, technology has had an effect on my artistic work, but if anything, it has made me become more creative rather than less.

In my latest animation I’m actually using motion capture; a technique that was once available to only the biggest movie studios. But those days of exclusivity are gone – recent advances in technology mean that almost any of us can have a movie production studio in our own living room if we really want to.

While this can speed up our creativity, it also requires us to broaden our horizons. I am no longer simply an animator. Thanks to the technology I use, I have been forced to become an actor as well.

Physically acting out the scenes for my digital actors has given me a greater insight into the whole creative process, and I see no reason for this trend not to continue.

It’s entirely possible that far from stifling our creative spirit, more technology will actually broaden our creative horizons. Who knows what wonders the artists of the future will make?

Outbreak of hemorrhagic benonte virus ravages subtropical Ghendia


The poverty-stricken nation of Ghendia is suffering another outbreak of hemorrhagic benonte virus. Officials are calling on the world community to supply them with prophylactic doses of treatment for the virus, in an attempt to halt its spread. The treatment, however, is only effective in the early stages of the disease, and tens of thousands have already progressed beyond that point. Even if the world acts quickly to help, Ghendia will likely feel the effects of this outbreak for many years to come.

School’s out for traditional schooling


The Department of Education and Futures Enablement moved a step closer to the closing of all traditional schools last night when its Decentralised Schooling Bill was approved by the Upper House. Grand Minister O’Shea was positive about this development, stating, “It is time that the ‘one size fits all’ approach to education be torn up, in favour of a more nurturing and responsive ideology.”

Central to the premise of this Bill is the shifting of the responsibility for the education of this nation’s youth to those who know them best – their parents, carers and families. Families will be issued vouchers to use as they see fit.

Some families will elect to educate their children at home, others will pool their resources and establish small, multi-family pods and others will opt to access privately run establishments. But this move has not been without controversy. It is still unclear what will happen for the children who are in the care of the State.

However, the issue of students with specialised learning needs has become clearer, with ongoing support that can be accessed by families, or the opening of centres to assist these children. A surprising development has been the response of businesses and institutions, with schools of excellence in intellectual pursuits, sports and specific careers all offering options for tuition. This will mean the closing of all school sites and the termination of the employment of all staff.

Longitudinal studies continue to support respect-based parenting methods


The latest results from the ongoing international studies continue to back respect-based methods as producing the best outcomes across a range of metrics. These findings add further evidence to previous data gained over the last 40 years. Controlling for cultural differences where possible, it is clear that respectful parenting out-performs more authoritative stances, particularly in the areas of self control, self motivation, and empathy.