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Volume 601, #3:
Hursday, Ovember 18, 1234
Times Resumes Publication After Suspension Of Martial Law
After a brief ten-month hiatus, The Kibonia Times is now back in business. We have invested in a state-of-the-art twelve-cylinder, nine-trapezoid Shmeidelberg rotary-inset double-action fifty-eight color printing press with a rated capacity of over twenty thousand pages per second. We trust that this will restore the confidence of the Times's hundreds of faithful subscribers. We also assure you that our delivery staff has been fully briefed on how to get the papers to your homes via the most efficient routes awhile avoiding passing through any radioactive areas, which could damage your copy of the Times. Now that martial law has been rescinded after the Nuclear Civil War and explosion of Kibonia's entire electrical system due to the "1234/5/6" bug, normal life shall resume here at the Times.
Nuclear War Does Not Destroy Kibonia
Details are still sketchy, but either a massive nuclear strike was ordered against the Durian rebels by the Kibonian government, or the Kibonian government was the target of a massive nuclear strike by Durian rebels. (Investigators are still trying to determine which side set off the nuclear warheads during the battle between the rebels and the government, said battle having taken place in the middle of Kibonia City where all the rebels and all of the Kibonian Council were present.)
"I'm not sure," said Kibo, "except that I'm certain it was the fault of the Durian rebels, whether they were the nukers or the nukees. I'm just glad I don't live downtown." Kibo's palatial estate is on the opposite side of Kibonia City from the seat of the Kibonian Council, which is located in the slums. Fortunately, there aren't slums there any more.
Kibo is currently seeking to recruit new members to re-form the Kibonian Council, presumably by appointment as the citizenry of Kibonia refuses to go near a voting machine in light of the recent incident with the national electrical system exploding.
All Computers Everywhere Explode Simultaneously
As leading computer scientists had warned twenty years ago, all computers everywhere in Kibonia halted and burst into flames at the stroke of midnight on 1234/5/6.
"It's a shame they warned us so long ago," said one ex-computer technician, "because then we wouldn't have forgotten all about it before we needed to fix it."
The "1234/5/6" bug, as it is named (because that was the date on which it attempted to destroy civilization) was caused by computers mistakenly interpreting the year 1234, the month 5, and the day 6 as the number "1234/5/6", which, to any computer, means "123456 AND SO ON". So all computers counted to infinity, which made sparks come out of them as robotic steel arms scratched up their hard drive platters with tungsten-steel engraving tips.
According to noted science popularizer, astronomer Burt Head, "You couldn't stop 1234/5/6. It was a force of nature. That date was destined to happen some day, and there was no way for computers to not be confused by '123456 AND SO ON'. In fact, it's even hard for me to stop saying numbers after '123'. This is why all those educational shows for toddlers should stop repeating those catchy jingles where they count up and up and up. Also, science should be more popular."
The Times asked Dr. Head why all the computers exploded simultaneously, given that more than half of all computers had their clocks set incorrectly to begin with, but he just shrugged. "It's more important to talk about why the nation's entire electrical system, every last wire, exploded at the time the computers blew. You see, because the computers were exploding and thus non-operational, they were no longer using any form of energy as they burned. This meant that the electrical grid they were plugged into suddenly had all this extra electricity in it that nothing was using, causing a massive overload. I'm sure that the 'OVERLOAD' indicators at power stations everywhere lit up microseconds before they, too, exploded."
The aftermath of the destruction of all high technology and electrical infrastructure in Kibonia had severe consequences, including a further interruption in the Times's publication schedule which was already adversely affected by the local nuclear civil war.
Martial Law Successful
Despite some early problems, martial law turned out to be a good means of keeping the peace in Kibonia during the anarchy which erupted after the destruction of all technology. This is because the soldiers were well-organized enough to be able to steal everything before the civilians had any idea what was going on, so almost nobody had to be shot for looting except for those foolish few who tried to steal jewelry from soldiers.
The Kibonian Army has been returned to its former peacetime configuration, and some of the stolen goods have been returned to the stores, including most of the cheap stuff.
Xestel Declares Bankruptcy
After the detonation of every single piece of wire in Kibonia, Leader Kibo ordered Xestel to restore phone service to all citizens. However, everyone was afraid to ever touch anything electrical ever again, and Xestel's employees instigated a 'work slowdown' after being ordered to each eat ten cans of peas per day to get empty cans for the new national phone infrastructure. Xestel's chief supplier of string -- Cloyd Lurgens, the man who had rolled up The Biggest Ball Of String In Kibonia -- took his ball and went home.
Due to these supply problems, Xestel was forced to declare bankruptcy. Telephone service is currently being restored throughout Kibonia by small companies, each serving only a few thousand residents, who can afford to deploy high-tech solutions such as fiber-optic cable on a local basis. Said one resident, "This is so cool! Now I just have to mail my bill across town instead of paying extra for a long-distance stamp! And now my phone number's only three digits long so I don't have to remember all those other extra ones nobody cared about!"
Leader Kibo has formed a commission to study the feasibility of investigating the possibility of integrating these local telephone systems, some of which use fiber-optic cable the size of spaghetti, others the size of vermicelli. Also, some systems have three-digit phone numbers, some use four-digit phone numbers, and some use buttons with pictures of people's faces, so nationwide integration of telephone services may not be possible for some time.
Ratburgers Return To West Wox
Ratty's 100% Rat Ratburgers has reopened, due to relaxation of West Woxian health standards by dint of nuclear war. Ratty's new location is also much more convenient than the old one. Now centrally located, the rebuilt Ratty's can be seen from any side of the crater.
The only change in Ratty's all-rat cuisine is that now they are considered an upscale establishment, at least until some other animals are discovered to have survived the nuclear war besides people, rats, and cockroaches. And who wants to eat cockroaches?
Reports of Nonexistent Diamonds in Elastia Were a Hoax
After the eradication of all of Elastia's buildings and most of the topsoil during the Nuclear Civil War, as heroic pioneers first entered Elastia looking for wreckage to steal, they discovered a shocking site: Everywhere that the ground had been blasted away, shiny clear stuff was revealed! It now appears that the late Mayor Jonas Eubanks was lying when he claimed that diamonds had not been discovered in Elastia.
Government-sponsored diamondologists, sent to retrieve samples, disagreed, saying there were clearly no diamonds, and then all retired to tropical islands. However, satellite photos do show a shiny clear substance everywhere under Elastia. It is believed that this is evidence that Elastia has been sitting on a single large diamond. Leader Kibo has ordered a special police cordon around Elastia (composed entirely of millionaires who are too rich to want to steal any diamonds) to prevent further scavengers from chipping off pieces until a method to raise the entire diamond can be implemented.
It is unclear what Kibo intends to do with the fifty-mile-diameter diamond, as it is too large for a ring.
Still No News from COF
The fortress-like Country of Freedom, which was untouched by Kibonia's Nuclear Civil War, continues to maintain closed borders, and is still jamming all radio and television transmissions within a hundred miles. It is unknown whether the Country of Freedom even knows that Kibonia has had a nuclear war, as the wall around the COF is high enough to block any view of nuclear explosions.
To take advantage of this potential situation, Leader Kibo had urged all decent, COF-fearing citizens to check their neighborhoods for spies from the COF's elite KROK spy agency, and if they find any KROK spies, they are not to tell them that there has been a nuclear war.
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