Tag Archives: politics

Chief Prognosticator of the Realm

by Walt Brickman, Editor, The Bricklyn Eagle

Summary of Article ➤ You’ve undoubtedly already heard references in our posts to the Chief Prognosticator. We felt some readers might appreciate more background on this quite important position. For your convenience, we’re also adding this entry to our online Glossary.

The Chief Prognosticator play a key role in Bricklyn, as that individual’s advice is often given great weight by members of the Federal Council🌀 (and by all citizens of the Realm🌀) on matters of “high significance affecting the future of Bricklyn.”

While the position bears some similarities to the “Wise Elders” role in Native American tribes, it also draws on the tradition of oracles and prophets, though the Chief Prognosticator is clearly not a religious position, nor does it involve any sort of fantastical precognition. Most importantly, the Chief Prognosticator and his/her staff in the Office of the Chief Prognosticator (OCP) rely heavily on scientific research and data in their predictive reports, and often consult with the Realm’s Chief Historian.

➤ Some readers might reasonably ask whether Bricklyn’s founders drew inspiration for the Chief Prognosticator’s role from Isaac Asimov’s “psychohistorian” Hari Seldon. Principal Historian Winifred Tiler Jackson discounts this possibility, as no references to Asimov are to be found in archival material about the Bricklyn Constitution’s establishment of the position of Chief Prognosticator. However, it must be acknowledged that many Bricklynites of all ages are Asimov fans!

It almost goes without saying that the position of Chief Prognosticator is completely non-partisan. Also worth noting, the minimum age for being appointed is a young 60!

How the Chief Prognosticator is Selected

As required by the Constitution of the Realm of Bricklyn, the Chief Prognosticator is chosen and appointed for a 15 year term. Selection is made by unanimous agreement of the three members of a specially convened panel. This panel is comprised of the President of the Council; the Principal Historian of the Realm; and the Chief Scientist. The make-up of this panel reflects the fact that the Chief Prognosticator must not only be skilled at deep political analysis, but also be well-versed in both history and the STEM fields. Fluency in both English and Danish is also required.

Of course, potential candidates are first discreetly vetted by staff of the OCP.

Former Chief Prognosticator Brickbury in this 1992 photo in front of the former Corner Garage Building, where the Office of the Chief Prognosticator was located for many years.
Current Chief Prognosticator David Bricks (seen at Bricklyn Central Station) was appointed to the position in 2014. His term runs through 2029.

Weighing the Words of the Chief Prognosticator

The most influential of past Chief Prognosticators was Ray Brickbury, who was involved in the key 1992 decision limiting computer network connections to the Outland world,🌀 and establishing The Exchange🌀 as the only place where citizens could access Outland networks and databases (excepting access provided to certain government offices, including, not surprisingly, the Office of Outland Affairs).

The current Chief Prognosticator is David Bricks. Readers might recall his involvement with the very recent decision of the Federal Council placing a ban on Facebrick. Bricks also appears weekly on the Bricklyn Broadcasting Network’s News Hour.✥

photo of DPW Director Chulpin Spancer

Chulpin B. Spancer, Bricklyn DPW Director

  • by Gloria Vanderbrick, The Bricklyn Eagle’s People In the News correspondent
  • May 30, 2021

Summary of Article ➤ Bricklyn Dept. of Public Works Director Chulpin B. Spancer has moved Bricklyn to the forefront in getting new infrastructure built, as well as in dealing with improvements to aging water and sewer systems.

photo of DPW Director Chulpin Spancer
Spancer standing on the bike/ped bridge over the southern end of Bricklyn Bay — part of Phase 1 of the City’s ambitious bike/ped improvements.

➤ Editor’s Note: This is the first in an ongoing series of posts The Bricklyn Eagle will be running on the BricklynVT.com site. Reporter Gloria Vanderbrick, in her “People in the News” column will be introducing you to the people who make Bricklyn tick. Today, she’ll be highlighting Chulpin B. Spancer, Director of Bricklyn’s Department of Public Works (DPW).

Chulpin Spancer seems a fixture in Bricklyn Vermont. With his white hard hat on, and sporting his DPW orange & blue attire, he’s regularly spotted walking or biking through town. But surprisingly, Spancer’s only lived here since 1991, so he’s still — in the eyes of many — a flatbricker.🌀 His family traces its roots back to the Town of Billund, Denmark, home of many of Bricklyn’s founders.

Street scene in Billund, Denmark (Legoland). Photo by Bobby Hidy, Flickr Creative Commons License.

But in 1969, instead of emigrating to Bricklyn, the Spancers and a small group of other Billunders settled in Brickville, New Hampshire.

Their decision reflected a “philosophical” split among LEGO peoples, between those advocating the SNOT philosophy and those NOT.📍

📍While many readers will find the SNOT debate difficult to assess, respected Lego analyst Holger Matthes has written: “But what is the miracle behind SNOT? SNOT stands for Studs Not OTop and doesn’t mean the green stuff produced in your nose. It’s more like a ‘philosophy’ to use LEGO bricks slightly different. The well known studs are not used in the normal top position. The bricks will be fixed in another way, let’s say ‘not on top’ … “

Fortunately partisan sniping has faded in recent years as Lego communities have embraced the motto of “Fred og Enhead” — Peace & Unity.

Spancer Moves to Bricklyn & Finds His Calling

In what was undoubtedly a difficult decision, Spancer left his family in Brickville at the age of 18 after embracing SNOTism, and moved to Bricklyn, enrolling in the University of Bricklyn VT (UBVT) where he received a B.S. in Recreational Theoretics. After graduating the young man quickly became involved in local politics, and ended up winning election to the Bricklyn City Council.

Spancer also found his calling as an early bike, pedestrian, and transit advocate, becoming director of the powerful nonprofit, Vocal Brickmotion.🌀 In looking back, most of us now realize that there was much that needed to be done to move us out of our beloved automobiles — and Spancer and Brickmotion were leaders in this effort!

Taking the Helm at the Department of Public Works

Spancer surprised some — including this reporter — by leaving Vocal Brickmotion several years ago to become Director of the Bricklyn DPW, appointed to the post by YMK Spiro Brickburger. Editor’s Note: Much more on YMK Brickburger’s reign in future posts.

Spancer and DPW Customer Service Manager Mary Tiler Fleur on part of the recently completed bike/ped network. Note the free city bikes behind them, one of three such locations now in place.

Spancer has focused on getting new bike and pedestrian infrastructure built, while also stressing the need to rebuild the city’s aging sewer and water systems.

As many Bricklyn Eagle readers are aware, Spancer pushed forward an ambitious plan for a greatly expanded bike and ped network. Voters rewarded these efforts by passing the huge $1.2 million CuDo 🍩 bond issue📍 last March to pay for Phase 1 of the Bike & Ped network, and then an additional $900,000 for Phase 2 last November. Incidentally, Phase 2 included the quite spectacular Railyard Overpass which we’ll be highlighting in a future post. Both Phases 1 and 2 are now complete, having come in on time and right on budget — in the true Bricklyn Builds Better spirit!

📍 Note that dollar amounts are given in Bricklyn currency, the CuDo 🍩 [CopperDonut]. While Bricklyn is, indeed, a municipality in the State of Vermont, when it was incorporated into the State in 1961 by an Act of the U.S. Congress, it received the right to use its CuDo 🍩 monetary system. Of course, U.S. currency is also honored in Bricklyn to make it easier for visitors. We’ll ask our business & economics reporter, Paul B. Macro, to discuss the financial implications of using the CuDo 🍩 in a future post.

As Spancer recently remarked in the pages of The Bricklyn Eagle:

“Bricklyn has taken the lead in re-orienting its transportation system away from heavy reliance on the automobile, and towards alternative forms of transportation, including rail, bus, biking, and walking. We’re proud to be doing our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and hope to be a model for other communities.” (From, “New Transportation Plans Taking Shape in Bricklyn,” The Bricklyn Eagle, May 14, 2021). ❖