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Messages - Jubal

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Banned for not being sufficiently in check.

Changed the thread title as I don't think we need a new thread every year for Austria.

So, Austria now has a Conservative-Green government, and we'll see what that ends up looking like. In the national polls, the Greens and Conservatives are both continuing to do well, with the Greens polling in second in the averages above the SPO in the mid-teens, and the FPO sitting in an embarrassing (for the traditional third party) fourth place. NEOS are doing creditably too, hitting double figures, and the OVP Conservatives are still soaring ahead in the polls. It's the SPO and FPO who are doing badly compared to their historical positioning, especially the SPO who were once the major party of government right across Austria.

There is one bit of bright news for the SPO - Austria's easternmost, least populous state, Burgenland, voted in its regional election today, and the SPO beat expectations, increasing their vote by about nine points from the previous election to achieve an overall majority of a couple of seats, a rare feat in Austria's proportional elections. Despite the Burgenland SPO having been in coalition with the far right, they did not lose votes to the Greens, who stayed fairly static, with a tiny increase for the Conservatives and a big drop for both the local Burgenland List and the far right FPO. NEOS generally failed to make headway. It's interesting how much this bucks the national trends - my impression as an activist is that it's now extremely tough to counteract national polling trends in e.g. the UK, not least because the local press is so weak and under-read, so it's interesting seeing the social democrats achieve it here.

General Gaming - The Arcade / Re: AI Dungeon
« on: Today at 05:01:51 PM »
Someone even made a short film from a particularly disjointed and bizarre story:

The Town Crier! Announcements! / Mastodon Account Move
« on: Today at 05:00:02 PM »

Another quick announcement - we've moved our account on the federated open-source microblogging network Mastodon. Our previous host,, is closing at the end of February - we'd like to thank them for hosting us since we joined Masto back in 2017 - and so we're now moving to a new account on the flagship instance, This will allow us to keep a strong presence on Mastodon and build on the wide array of followers we have on there, with the levels of stability and good maintenance we've been able to enjoy on the .at instance previously.

If you're a Mastodon user, you can now find and follow us at to keep up with Exilian news and our interactions with the Mastodon community. Hope to see you there!

Best wishes,

Jubal (Megadux)

The Beer Cellar - Forum Games! / Re: Word Association
« on: Today at 12:18:27 PM »

The Beer Cellar - Forum Games! / Re: Change a Letter III
« on: Today at 11:35:22 AM »
Well, we have air and music here. And a whole mere full of beer.

The Beer Cellar - Forum Games! / Re: Word Association
« on: Today at 11:34:44 AM »

The Boozer / Jub and Pentagathus at the Danube
« on: Today at 12:05:45 AM »
So, Penty visited Vienna recently. Last weekend we went to the Imperial Treasuries and looked at some buildings and had cake at a traditional Vienna cafe and suchlike - on Tuesday I planned that we should go walk up in the Lainzer Tiergarten to look for some boar and chamois, but it was closed, probably because they were shooting the boar to keep numbers down. So instead we went down to the Donauinsel, the long artificial island running along the north/east bank of the Danube through Vienna, and we saw a bunch of waterfowl, so I thought I'd share the pictures with you. I'm thinking I might do more sharing of pictures as forum threads like this, as I feel I should be using the big social media silos less overall, so let me know what you think and whether you'd like to see more of similar.

(As ever, you can click on any of the below pictures to blow it up to full size)

So here's the frosty Danube - a large part of the side-channel between the Donauinsel and the bank proper was frozen over. Buoys kept bobbing down and breaking through bits of the ice (possibly their anchors being pulled along the current?) It was thin ice, but thick enough in many places for gulls and crows to walk on, whilst in the unfrozen bits collections of swimming gulls were joined by swans, coot, cormorants, and a lot of Pochard.

Parts of the Donauinsel have trees, those were frosty too, as evidenced. It was the quietest I've ever seen the area - we benefited from it being a weekday in the middle of winter on that front. The fog was pretty thick - the distance revealed itself much akin to a computer game's edge-of-view fog as we walked - and so the photos are mostly a bit grainy, but this one at least was close enough to be pretty sharp - the others are hopefully nice all the same.

There are some Pochard and Tufted ducks in this one, but the really interesting one is the middle bird, which I thought might just be some kind of manky mallard crossbreed but my parents inform me is actually probably a Velvet Scoter - something of a rarity in Austria and Vulnerable internationally, breeding in northern Scandinavia and Russia and wintering around European coastlines as well as the Black and Caspian seas and up the Danube. I wish I'd tried harder to get some better views and pictures of it now!

A herring gull (or actually probably a yellow-legged gull, which is basically exactly the same thing unless you really care about gull taxonomy), investigating a fish. It kept poking the fish with its beak until it poked it righ through the ice and lost it in the water, and then stood there looking confused whilst all the surrounding crows complained at it.

This is a Goosander, or a Common Merganser if you're using US terminology (the bird called a Merganser in British terminology is a Red-Breasted Merganser in US nomenclature).

The front two birds here (the back one being a lady mallard) are Red-crested Pochard, which I'm not sure I've seen in the wild before. They're pretty nice birds and very striking - the male's head looks a bit dull due to the conditions, but in sunshine would be an extremely vivid bright orange.

And finally a cormorant - the name is a corruption of corvus marinus, which is itself a latin form of the old term "Sea Raven", which is what they used to be called. Penty correctly observed that this would also make for an excellent stereotypical villain/band of soldiers in a fantasy or semi-historical sword-swinging novel. Cormorants are definitely an underrated bird - maybe one to do in an Unexpected Bestiary sometime.

The Beer Cellar - Forum Games! / Re: Word Association
« on: January 25, 2020, 10:37:37 PM »

The Beer Cellar - Forum Games! / Re: Word Association
« on: January 25, 2020, 10:12:14 PM »

The Beer Cellar - Forum Games! / Re: King of the Hill
« on: January 25, 2020, 09:24:08 PM »
I get Gollum to go drop himself into a dramatic volcano.

I take the hill with an army of the free peoples of Middle-earth! My hill!

The Beer Cellar - Forum Games! / Re: Change a Letter III
« on: January 25, 2020, 09:22:33 PM »
And would that be you, Herr Tusky?

The Beer Cellar - Forum Games! / Re: Would you rather?
« on: January 25, 2020, 09:21:52 PM »
Jules Verne, I think.

Monotheletism or Monoenergism

No, because how would we decide which kind of jam to use!?

How do essays contain such inherent malevolence as a format?

The Beer Cellar - Forum Games! / Re: Word Association
« on: January 25, 2020, 09:19:57 PM »

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