"I love your "Malaysian Accent", can you say it again?"
"几够力一下有没有"

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Saturday, April 25, 2020

Eloise Moss On A Modern History Of Burglary

Eloise Moss On A Modern History Of Burglary | HistoryExtra Podcast - HistoryExtra

"[On the late 19th/early 20th century] What's really distinctive about the history of crime in this period, but specifically the history of burglary is that the law itself has a very, very specific set of criteria for what actually counts as a burglary.

So, today, if someone breaks into your home at any time of day or even any kind of property in any sense, it can be classified as a burglary. Now before 1968, which was when the Theft Act made that the case, before that point, burglary by law was defined as breaking into an exclusively domestic environment, so, an inhabited residential space between what are legally defined as the nighttime hours of 9pm and 6am.

And for that reason, burglary has a kind of really sinister aspect to it because essentially, when the burglar is nearby, you are going to be in bed, asleep, vulnerable. Potentially undressed, even, around the presence of that intruder, so it carries a life sentence, because it's entwined with ideas of vulnerability. It's entwined with ideas of rape, and it's even imagined as a kind of a rape of your home, that penetrating into the sanctity of your own personal space in a period where privacy is really a marker of particularly being a middle and upper class person. Privacy is is sacrosanct. So the idea of what's usually characterized as some working class person breaking into that space is horror, you know, and then purloining your valuables...

"‘There's a romance about burglary in this period that is associated with so many people experiencing economic deprivation. And the idea that certain burglars have kind of taken more initiative than others to clamber up and over into people's properties and therefore avoid the police altogether because they're not operating at street level, they're clambering over and above the the level of the streets. Is actually viewed as sort of slightly inspirational.

There's a historian called Gillian Spraggs, who suggests that we have a cult of the robber In England dating from the medieval period with characters like Robin Hood through the 18th century with real life highwaymen like Dick Turpin and Jack Sheppard, who have been idolized in songs and ballads and in stories for as long as we can remember’...

‘You mentioned that there is almost an erotic connotation to it as well. You did touch on it when you were talking about the invasion of the boudoir’...

‘The idea of a very handsome young man dressed in black and he's very athletic, clambering up into your bedroom by night is not viewed as necessarily a bad thing by everyone and there's a lot of quite trashy semi erotica written around that possibility in stories of the period’...

‘There were women burglars, there are women burglars, but in the period that of this book 1860-1968, as far as the government was concerned, and as far as the judicial system was concerned, no there weren’t... women was viewed as so integral to domesticity, to home life, to maintaining the stability of homes and relationships in this era, the idea that a woman would kind of ignore all that ideology to break into a house to threaten a family, to threaten their prosperity and their sense of safety and stability and to threaten the relationships at the core of that family by their presence, by making the home less safe, was really something that contemporaries fought against...

They were given either much lighter sentences, and often the ones having been captured for burglary that charge would then be changed into being an accomplice of a man. So a lot of women burglars actually become quite canny about this and say, oh, no, it wasn't me, it was my boyfriend or my husband who had lured me into doing this, or who gave me these things and then it turned out they were stolen, who knew? You know, poor me. And they say this in court.

And they are believed because people want to believe that a woman will not have been able to commit this crime, both on moral grounds and actually in terms of skills as well, because as much as the burger is seen as the aristocrat of crime, they're associated with being particularly clever and particularly skilled. And again, this is a period in which largely women are thought to be far less intelligent than men"


Patriarchy!

Links - 25th April 2020 (2)

Pinpointing The Exact Moment 'Cats' Reviewers Lost Their Minds - "The incomprehensible horror has claimed the sanity of many of journalism's finest...
"Are the coats that some of the cats, like Macavity (Idris Elba) and Old Deuteronomy (Dench), wear actually made from the skin of other cats? And if so, does this mean that Jennyanydots, who at one point unzips herself out of a full-body fur suit, is a kind of Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs type? Why would you ever put 'Beautiful Ghosts', the underwhelming new addition that Swift and Webber wrote for this adaptation, right up against 'Memory'? Is the implication that Grizabella, played by Jennifer Hudson, became an outcast because she did sex work intentional, and if so, what does sex work for cats entail and why are the other cats so goddamn judgemental about it?""

Dame Judi Dench Says Her 'Cats' Character Is Trans - "Tom Hooper's disastrous Cats is undoubtedly the worst movie of the year, but it's also one of the most interesting. The film has had Jason Derulo's dick edited out with CGI and new and improved graphics shipped out to theatres days after its release. It's even drawn comparisons to medieval paintings. Now, adding to the Cats news cycle, Dame Judi Dench has suggested her feline character is trans."
Too bad that didn't save the movie

Johan Torres's answer to Is the movie Cats (2019) really that bad? - Quora - "there is the baffling decision to have some cats naked and some cats in clothes. This can be easily ignored in the theater where everyone is wearing lavish costumes and there effectively is no line between what would be clothed or nude. But even if you can work your mind around the weird Ken doll-esque smoothness of the nude cats, you get shocked back into thinking about it when a cat decides to take off their clothes. And then, to make the levels of incomprehensibility even more stratospheric, at one point Rebel Wilson unzips her fur to reveal she is wearing a full dance outfit underneath it… and then underneath the outfit a new (old?) coat of fur. It felt like my mind was experiencing a computer error when it happened... the cast for the movie is absolutely bizarre. Rebel Wilson, James Corden, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Jason Derulo, Taylor Swift, Idris Elba. It’s like they just picked names from a hat. And they all seem so incredibly excited to be doing a Cats adaptation. No one is phoning in their performance. No one is winking to the camera. Ian McKellen though is absolutely the stand out as he is determined to give the most considered and realistic performance… for Cats.Though you can tell who the theater actors were, the ones who could be hired cheap, because those cats stick around for the entire musical, while the celebrities are shuffled off as fast as possible... But the most impressive thing about Cats is its sheer genuineness. On every level, everyone involved thought they were making great art. The true classics of camp have to be naive. Works of art that are ill-considered, drowning in shocking excesses and wild pretensions. But that can never be achieved intentionally. To be transcendentally camp, it needs to have been sincerely aiming for that pinnacle of true art.Every single creative decision involved in the movie Cats is the wrong one, including the decision to adapt Cats in the first place. It is literally drowning in artistic vision. Its ambition is utterly without bounds. The execution… well the execution fails in every frame. It is bad in the most glorious way possible. It is possibly beyond what mere humans would consider taste. Cats is a fever dream. Cats is staring into the blasphemous visage of Azathoth. Cats is absolutely terrible on every level. And yet I have rarely had as much fun in a movie theater as I did watching it. I want to see it a second time. I know when it is released for home viewing I will probably watch it every year, like I do with Gymkata, The Room, Teen Witch, Troll 2, and Birdemic.Your ability to get enjoyment out of it depends heavily on whether you enjoy camp, and in particular, musical camp. Cats is an absolute treasure, and we should cherish it."

Alastair Stewart used SAME 'angry ape' quote in previous Twitter row - "Alastair Stewart used the 'angry ape' quote from Measure for Measure during a Twitter row with a white environmentalist 18 months ago, it emerged today. The tweet emerged after the veteran presenter was forced out of ITN last night after black Twitter user Martin Shapland complained he used the phrase towards him. But in June 2018, Mr Stewart had used exactly the same Shakespeare quote in an exchange - this time over horsefeed and ragwort - with a white Twitter user... Supporters of Mr Stewart said he appeared to have a habit of using the phrase to make a point about those he felt were claiming to be experts in a certain field... 'he will be the first man ever fired for accurately quoting Shakespeare'"
Since we're told that colourblind people are racist, this is fitting
How long before Shakespeare himself is cancelled?


Stickers bearing white supremacist messages found in Ipswich
So "Reject White Guilt" and "It's Okay To Be White" are "white supremacist" messages. It's telling how institutionalised anti-white racism is

Why liberal white women pay a lot of money to learn over dinner how they're racist - "A frank discussion is led by co-founders Regina Jackson, who is black, and Saira Rao, who identifies as Indian American. They started Race to Dinner to challenge liberal white women to accept their racism, however subconscious. “If you did this in a conference room, they’d leave,” Rao says. “But wealthy white women have been taught never to leave the dinner table.”... “White men are never going to change anything. If they were, they would have done it by now”... It seems unlikely anyone would voluntarily go to a dinner party in which they’d be asked, one by one, “What was a racist thing you did recently?” by two women of color, before appetizers are served. But Jackson and Rao have hardly been able to take a break since they started these dinners in the spring of 2019. So far, 15 dinners have been held in big cities across the US... Morgan Richards admits she recently did nothing when someone patronizingly commended her for adopting her two black children, as though she had saved them. “What I went through to be a mother, I didn’t care if they were black,” she says, opening a window for Rao to challenge her: “So, you admit it is stooping low to adopt a black child?” And Richards accepts that the undertone of her statement is racist... A lot of people hate Saira Rao.“The American flag makes me sick,” read a recent tweet of hers. Another: “White folks – before telling me that your Indian husband or wife or friend or colleague doesn’t agree with anything I say about racism or thinks I’m crazy, please Google ‘token,’ ‘internalized oppression’ and ‘gaslighting’.”... Another previous attendee, who did not want to be named, says she found Rao to be dogmatic, and presented a distorted depiction of history, leaving out facts that do not fit her narrative. At one point, she referred to Rao as “the Trump of the alt-left”."
How does one find so many suckers?
As absolution goes, it'd be cheaper and faster to go to church. And at least the priest wouldn't tell you you'll never be forgiven


Why Iowa is so important this time - The Washington Post - Jennifer Rubin, May 13 2019
What good are the Iowa caucuses anyway? - The Washington Post - Jennifer Rubin, February 3 2020
Of course, Trump "attacking" the press is the real danger to the media

The Case Against Stretching - "According to a 2016 study of 605 personal trainers in the U.S.—virtually all of whom had certifications from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) or the National Strength and Conditioning Association—80 percent of them still prescribed traditional static stretching to their clients... The main spur for the Sports Medicine article, by exercise scientist James Nuzzo, is the fact that flexibility is still pegged as one of the five “major components” of physical fitness, alongside body composition, cardiovascular endurance, muscle endurance, and muscle strength, by the ACSM. The 2018 edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, from the Department of Health and Human Services, also lists flexibility among its big five (this time alongside cardiorespiratory fitness, musculoskeletal fitness, balance, and speed).If you actually flip through these documents, you’ll experience a bizarre cognitive dissonance. The Guidelines state repeatedly that “flexibility activities are an appropriate part of a physical activity program, even though their health benefits are unknown and it is unclear whether they reduce risk of injury.”... greater flexibility as measured by the sit-and-reach test isn’t associated with longer life—unlike the ACSM’s other four “major components” of physical fitness. It also doesn’t predict more successful aging (like avoiding falls), except in ways that are better predicted by muscle strength. Contrary to a half-century of locker-room wisdom, being flexible doesn’t seem to protect you from injury either. This topic is the focus of hundreds of studies, and there are admittedly a few that do find benefits. At the other end of the spectrum, there are a few that find that being too flexible is also associated with injury. But overall, it just doesn’t seem to make much difference. It’s also not associated with non-sports-related problems like low-back pain. And finally, being flexible doesn’t improve your sports performance—unless you’re doing something where range of motion has a direct impact. If you’re a gymnast or a ballerina or a hockey goaltender, you’d better be flexible. Even as a cyclist, you need enough flexibility to be able to get into an aerodynamic riding position and still pedal comfortably. If you’re a runner, on the other hand, you’re highly unlikely to sustain an injury that has any connection to your inability to touch your toes. In fact, there’s some evidence that greater flexibility makes you a less efficient runner, presumably because having tight “springs” in your legs allows you to store and return more energy with each stride... there’s solid evidence that holding a stretch for a minute or more temporarily decreases strength and speed for up to an hour, likely due to changes in the neuromuscular signaling from brain to muscle. That’s a pretty harsh irony: all the stretching that I did religiously before every race in the 1990s and early 2000s might have actually dulled my edge... Nuzzo suggests that strength training is an ideal alternative. Sure, it makes you strong and has all sorts of other long-term health benefits—but if you use your full range of motion while doing it, it can also make you more flexible, with various studies showing increases in sit-and-reach scores of between 10 and 25 percent. Aerobic exercise and other forms of functional and combined training can also boost flexibility, according to a few studies. Basically, it appears that being healthy and active is enough to maintain a reasonable level of flexibility."

Don’t throw out old, sprouting garlic — it has heart-healthy antioxidants - "“Sprouted” garlic — old garlic bulbs with bright green shoots emerging from the cloves — is considered to be past its prime and usually ends up in the garbage can. But scientists are reporting in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that this type of garlic has even more heart-healthy antioxidant activity than its fresher counterparts... When seedlings grow into green plants, they make many new compounds, including those that protect the young plant against pathogens... Other studies have shown that sprouted beans and grains have increased antioxidant activity"

Garlic Scapes - "Scapes are delectable, with a gentle flavor that’s much less pungent than mature garlic. They can be used to lend a garlic perfume (e.g., put a half a scape in a pot of cooking rice for a subtle garlic note), as an herb, or cooked and eaten like a vegetable. Scapes are perfect pureed with butter to prepare herb butter for vegetables, fish, etc., or made into pesto with basil or another herb. Used as a vegetable, they work well paired with other green veggies (e.g., asparagus, peas) in frittatas or stir-fries."

Black market breakfast cereals are alive and well in Canada - "Black markets and shadow economies, that were typically used to buy and sell illegal goods, have a banned product that you wouldn’t expect to be on their proverbial shelves, breakfast cereal. Certain American cereals are not permitted to be imported according to regulators at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Nonetheless, some boxes of prohibited cereals have been appearing in Canadian corner stores and local farmers markets.Breakfast cereals including Cookie Crips and Franken Berry are not sold officially by General Mills to grocery chains in Canada. According to General Mills Canada the reason that some cereals sold in America are not sold north of the boarder is due to certain government regulations... Canadian regulations put cereal in its own special category that requires cereal sold in Canada to have a specific nutrient profile. One might assume that sugar content might be the reason for the ban, but it turns out that the amount of sugar in American cereals is comparable to that contained in Canadian cereals. The real reason, however, that certain cereals are not sold in Canada has to do with vitamin and other nutritional requirements established by the government of Canada... Labeling laws and French language requirements also play a role in preventing some of these cereals from being sold in Canada. General Mills also reports that different products are made to suit the needs of different consumers and that the cereals sold in Canada are made for the Canadian palate... Cereal isn’t the only food item sold on Canadian black markets. Pirate Joe’s, a store popular in Vancouver, is an unauthorized and unaffiliated reseller of goods found at the popular US grocery store Trader Joe’s. Pirate Joe’s will soon be reopening after winning a legal case brought by Trader Joe’s.In another example, in 2012 three Canadians including a police officer were arrested for smuggling restricted cheese across the border. Vancouver at that time even had its very own “cheese baron” who according to the National Post single handedly imported 18,725 kilograms of illegal cheese. Buying or selling contraband cereal isn’t a crime punishable by jail time like some other restricted black market items... If Canadians are willing to buy a cereal for nearly twice its U.S. price or smuggle tens of thousands of pounds of cheese across the border annually perhaps the government should consider liberalizing some of the current laws surrounding food regulation with the goal of increasing consumer choice?"

Mary Beard On The Nude In Western Art

Mary Beard On The Nude In Western Art | World Histories Podcast - HistoryExtra

"Committed gallery goers tend to be terribly sniffy when they hear someone say: you know, oh this is just soft porn for the elite, isn’t it? And, you know, I can be sniffy about that too. But I think it's a question that that you really have to answer or you have to ask. I'm not sure if there is an answer is there? But I think you do have to look at this and think, so what is the difference between this and soft porn?

And that comes over very clearly in one of the paintings that we feature in the first episode, which is Courbet’s origin of the world, which is a very detailed hyper realistic painting of a woman's genitals, and she doesn't have a head and she doesn't have any limbs. And you think, why is it? How do we explain why this is in a gallery and it is a masterpiece, whereas similar photographs of that, we’ll much more likely find in a, you know, a not wholly salubrious shop.

And, and I think that, there isn't, you know, when it comes to the human body, there isn't a strict divide: porn or art is partly in the eye of the beholder. But I think it was very interesting looking at this painting which has been extremely controversial. And it now hangs very much in a very kind of proud place in the Musee d'Orsay in Paris. And it was interesting thinking about all the ways that we have of convincing ourselves that a painting like that is art. So it's in a very elaborate gilded frame, which says, masterpiece, right? It's called, the origin of the world, which gives it a kind of, sort of high level mysticism.

And even the Musee d'Orsay’s own website, talks about the use, and the sophistication of the use of color, stops it being pornography. And, you know, all those things are, in a way true, but all I think that shows is just how difficult the boundary is between art and porn and I, I've been very surprised at the vehemence of the reaction, even, even to the kind of rather crude semi accurate quotes of what I said. How. Really. Violent people get when they're confronted with the difficulty of that distinct. And in a way, justifies the program, I think... ‘I think she needs to be punched every day.’…

‘You open with a fourth century BC statue’...

‘It’s what we believe to be the first full sized sculpture of a female nude in the West, certainly in Greece but probably the West. And it's a very puzzling piece. It was made in the early fourth century BC. We’ve got no idea why after centuries of representing women closed the sculptor practically chose to do this sculpture of the goddess Aphrodite in the nude. What we do know is it was instantly quite difficult for people. The first clients he offered it to said no thank you, we’re not taking that. It then ended up being taken by the city of Kaleidos [sp?] in what is now Turkey.

And they kind of turned lucky in a way because it became a huge slightly notorious tourist attraction. You know, they put it on the ancient equivalent of fridge magnets, you know, it went on coins and on lamps and, and everything. But there is, there's a whole lot of, kind of background stories told about it, which shows you very clearly how difficult it was for people. There's one famous incident. It's described a couple of centuries later.

About a young man, story of a young man who falls in love with a statue and manages to get locked up with her in the temple. And then he tries to, well, sleep with her is probably a bit too coy and rape her is probably a bit too extreme. Have his way with her is what kind of books usually say. And he then, he does that. He leaves, apparently, the mark of his seed on on her thigh. And then he goes off and he throws himself off a cliff...

We have very strange boundaries about what we think counts as a nude. And that's still very much sits, not entirely, but it very much sits within a essentially classical form. And there's all sorts of other naked bodies that maybe we have to put back into the category of the nude. And we start very near the beginning of the program with the body of Jesus.

Because actually, if you think about Western urban culture, the place you see naked bodies, sometimes is more often anywhere else, maybe apart from an art gallery, and even there sometimes is in churches, you know that the crucified Jesus is usually not absolutely naked, effectively naked. And yet we don't talk about the nude Jesus…

We look at some amazing Michelangelo drawings at the British Museum with Neil MacGregor who used to be the director there. And he’s very clear that, you know, one of the bodies that has been most crucial and formative in the way the West has thought about nakedness and nudity is Jesus's body and of course it has, because if you have a religion whose central paradox is God made man, you have to say, so what sense, how far is Jesus man? And how far is Jesus a sexual being? And there are some extraordinary drawings in which you can see. Well, yeah, let's not put too fine a point on it. There's not much doubt that Jesus has got an erection...

‘If you look at, you know, standard definitions of pornography, I mean, I don't think there was ever any good definition of pornography. But if you look at what people say, make something pornographic. It's that you have no personality. All you've got is the genitals. You don't have a head, you don't have a face. You're not engaging with this person. You're just seeing it as sexual organs.

And in every way, on that kind of definition, Courbet’s origin of the world looks like a piece of porn... And yet it is treated now. And to some extent for me has become is… when I look at it, I enjoy actually enjoy looking at it. But it's become a piece of art, it is a piece of art. And yet it's a piece of art that you can see. Everybody is terribly, very careful to remind you that it's art. Let me talk about all the the wonderful use of mustard and brushstrokes. You know, the website, the museum tells you that it's not pornography, because of the nice colours. And you think that this is, I mean, you know, I can see where they're coming from, but it's desperate. They put it in this gilded frame which you know, and it's a kind of frame that you don't put pornography in, you know. This is the kind of frame that masterpieces go in…

There's a wonderful street artist who came down... sits in front of it in the Musee d'Orsay. And then she lifts her skirt up, reveals her genitals… There is a woman, a real woman, whose genitals you can’t actually see as clearly as the one in the painting, is being removed from the gallery when behind her is this really detailed-... I assumed what she was doing was trying to point out the irony of it'"


Sounds like people think Mary Beard is 'trolling' - since they feel uncomfortable when she points out Hard Truths

Links - 25th April 2020 (1)

Religious leader sells meth to students, claims it’s halal - "A religious leader in Indonesia was arrested for selling methamphetamine to students, claiming it was halal or permissible under Islamic law.Ahmad Marzuki, from Madura, Northeast Java, sold the substance to his pupils at an Islamic boarding school, as per Vice Indonesia/Vice yesterday, Jan 29. He told them that the illegal drug would increase their drive to study and recite the Quran... Marzuki explained that he knew methamphetamine is illegal under Indonesia’s laws, but that he found “no evidence against it in the Quran.”"

Dank Detective Memes - Posts - "It's not that I don't know how to use the metric system, it's that I choose not to utilize measurement designed to be used by people who have trouble counting without taking off their socks.
Imperial is a flex on the third world."
Weird flex, but ok. I guess that's why Americans are so great at maths. Oh wait.

Meme - "How Big Are Deer? Adult Deer Are as Tall as a Bicycle They Weigh as Much as 800 Hamburgers"
The fabled superior American Imperial system

Meme - "To remember how many feet there are in a mile, u just gotta use 5 tomatoes. five to-mate-oes sounds like five, two, eight, 0 and there's 5280 feet in a mile"
"To remember how many meters there are in a kilometre you just remember "1000” because the system of measurement in the rest of the world wasn‘t invented by a drunk mathematician rolling dice."

Meme - "Today we asked my three year old cousin how much he weighs and he said, "uhhh, like fifty squirrels”"
Strange how the Imperial system is superior because it uses units people can relate to

Meme - "4 PERSONS MAX 1000 KG OR
1 HORSE 5050 BANANAS 6666 HENS EGGS 2941 PIGEONS 88 HADDOCK 10526 NICKELS"

What's this in normal people measurements? - "The number of cricket chirps in 14 seconds plus 40 equals the temperature in Fahrenheit."
"Americans be measuring temperature in crickets but avoid Celcius at all cost"

Mohubedu on Twitter - "A sinkhole roughly the size of six to seven washing machines has closed the northbound lanes of State Line Road near 100th Street in Kansas City, Missouri."
"Americans will measure with anything but the metric system"

Quote by Josh Bazell - "In metric, one milliliter of water occupies one cubic centimeter, weighs one gram, and requires one calorie of energy to heat up by one degree centigrade—which is 1 percent of the difference between its freezing point and its boiling point. An amount of hydrogen weighing the same amount has exactly one mole of atoms in it. Whereas in the American system, the answer to ‘How much energy does it take to boil a room-temperature gallon of water?’ is ‘Go fuck yourself,’ because you can’t directly relate any of those quantities"

Heraclitean Fire on Twitter - "Populism is what the establishment elites call democracy when they don't like the outcome."

Susan Brown's answer to Why do a lot of Fly Emirates crew quit within 3 years of joining the airline? - Quora - "Fatigue. The rosters the Emirates crew have are a lot...
Rules. When you sign your Emirates cabin crew contract you also sign up to follow 10000 rules. There are various strict rules the crew have to follow both on duty and off duty. Example: the female crew are not allowed to have any male friends sleep over at their house. The same for the male crew. Example: if the crew wish to have family over to their accommodation, they have to sign forms and have it approved. This is in regards to having family over to stay for a long period of time. There is also a curfew in place for all crew. The strict rules can feel suffocating for some. Example: the crew are not allowed to have alcohol in their houses without a liquor license. If the company finds out the crew have alcohol in their accommodation without having a liquor license then the crew is fired. Having all these rules makes the crew feel very controlled by the company. The crew feel like kids having a ‘’big brother’’ watching them at all times, etc...
Working environment... There are a lot of back stabbing happening among the crew. A lot of crew reporting each other. A lot of crew getting fired for silly reasons, etc. The crew feel they don’t have any support from the managers. Example: if a crew member ends up having a argument with a passenger, then the passenger have the right to get that crew member fired. The crew really have no voice... When the crew have no voice, no support from managers and have difficult passengers then sometimes it feels like they are ‘’modern day’’ slaves on board.
Roommates. The crew share the accommodation with one or two other crew. The crew are not allowed to change accommodation until after they have completed their probation period. The probation period is 6 months"

Captain America has more dialogue spoken in Spider-Man: Homecoming than all of Infinity War. : marvelstudios

People who understand Chinese/Japanese, what's the dumbest thing you've seen tattooed on someone? : AskReddit - "Korean tattoos, which You rarely ever see. They were written vertically on his each of his calves. One said left leg, the other said right leg."
"Dude was so proud of his grandson that he had a tattoo that said “I love my grandson”Except I’m guessing everyone just googled “I love my grand son” because it came out reading “I love fat boys.”"
"I have the characters for Shrimp Dumpling (Har Gow) tattooed on me. I knowingly did this, because I'm half Chinese and fucking love shrimp dumplings.I had a chinese girl ask me if I knew what it meant and I laughed and said of course, I love dumplings.My chinese mother was not impressed but then laughed and said it was very me."
"Once when I was in university, working at a shop, a very fat lady came in with the kanji for "large" tattooed on her shoulder blade. I politely complimented her tattoo and asked what it meant. She said it meant "sassy"."
"The four elements tattoo with "Dirt, hot, blow, wet" was pretty funny."
"Japanese speaker here. Guy had one that read "トン勝" Someone told him that トン (Ton) means pig and 勝 (katsu) means to win. He thought that putting them together means to win against pigs (police?) とんかつ Tonkatsu means pork cutlet. I didn't have the heart to tell him."
"Seen a few over the years but one that I remember most was when I first started learning Mandarin.The guy had a tattoo on the back of his leg that proudly said 牛肉 which means beef."
"Sort of a reverse semi-related answer to this question, my cousin was in Japan trying to land a business deal with some auto manufacturers, taking them out to dinner and such, and during dinner a girl walked by wearing a shirt that said "I want to berry my head in your chest" (misspelling the fault of the shirt, not of me). He laughed like a donkey breathing Joker gas, and had to fumble trying to explain to these old Japanese dudes what was so funny.Eventually, when his Japanese wasn't up to snuff enough to explain either the act or the misspelling, he settled for miming the action with a pair of invisible breasts. The Japanese dudes instantly understood that, and thought it was hilarious. It apparently made the rest of the business negotiations run much more smoothly."
"I met a girl when I was backpacking in China who knowingly had the characters for "prostitute" tattooed on her hip - she thought it was funny, and the only people who saw it would be ones she chose to show it to.The Chinese guy who was drinking with us in the hostel was horrified, and suggested that she get another tattoo underneath which said "only joking"."
"Guy had "変態外人" on his arm, said it meant "Lover of Asian Beauty" when in fact it means "Foreign Pervert""

Cartier Rose's answer to Why does Canada refuse to recognize foreign education degrees or credentials? - Quora - "One time, I was asked to teach Management in this college which is located in a country outside Canada. At the end of the semester, we had an open book exam.On the day of the exam, we sat students apart from each other. But shortly after the exam, the students starting exchanging papers and talking to each other. I tried to stop them, and it got to a point where one student, stood up. Towering over me, he pointed his fingers at me and said: “ This is my friend. I have to help him and I have right to let him copy my answers. What do you want? The other local invigilators immediately came to my assistance. They pulled me aside and told me that I was new and didn’t understand their practice. They allowed students to copy from elementary school on, so this was not an issue.I’ve many more of such cases, having lived in many countries."
"It is our Canadian policies of being ‘fair’ and ‘non-discriminatory’ that reduce everyone to the lowest denominator. The Canadian government cannot say that one graduating from Harvard is accepted while another from Bogabogaland is not.Therefore, if we have to give an exception to someone graduating from Harvard medical school, we have to give an exception to someone graduating from Bogabogaland. Now, do you want someone with a medical degree from Bogabogaland to operate on you? I can assure you, you wouldn’t want that."

Chlorine - "Chlorine is the most widely used disinfectant in the home. It is also disinfectant used by the water industry to maintain hygienic conditions within the public water supply network of pipes... Water  is  safe  when  it  leaves  the  treatment  works  and  the  trace  of  chlorine  is  there  only  to  preserve  the  high  quality  of  the  water  as  it  passes  through  the  miles  of  pipes  used  to  convey  water to homes and workplaces. Chlorine has a long history of about 100 years of safe use for hygiene purposes worldwide."
I wonder whether the British people triggered by chlorinated chicken know their water is chlorinated, and their salads and vegetables are washed in chlorinated water

Chlorinated chicken: How safe is it? - "Chlorine-rinsed bagged salads are common in the UK and other countries in the EU"

Barq's - Wikipedia - "Barq's /ˈbɑːrks/ is an American soft drink. Its brand of root beer is notable for having caffeine"
The only root beer which can match A&W

The English Defence League; 'Real' immigrants

BBC Radio 4 - Thinking Allowed, The English Defence League; 'Real' immigrants

"‘The English Defence League, the EDL, characterized in that commentary as a far right group. Well, it's a label which readily conjures up such other terms as racist and fascist. It's a label which almost seems to preempt the need for any further inquiry into the precise nature of such a movement. But it was exactly that kind of foreclosure that led my next guest to undertake a major ethnographic study of the EDL study, which in the words of one reviewer breaks apart stereotypes of rightist activists as simply dupes, thugs, and racists. Well, that study which is now published as Loud and proud: passion and politics in the English Defence League, is the work of Hilary Pilkington, who's professor of sociology at the University of Manchester’...

‘The electoral results, looking here 1980-2012 show that support for far right parties such as the British National Party didn't really rise above 1% until 2012, then rose to 1.8%. And that level of support has remained below countries such as France and the Netherlands’...

‘One way you can look at this is to think about why, what are the reasons there might be for those parties not having made it through into national parliament, for example. And one of those reasons is quite simply we have a political system which makes it very difficult for them to do that. So if you look at BNP, but also UKIP, they've had electoral successes, and rather paradoxically, in the European Parliament. So I think if you look perhaps at other measures, like for example, the ongoing European surveys on values and attitudes, so if you look at base levels of xenophobia, for example, you find that the UK has around 20%, which is typical of other Western European societies where there have been major breakthroughs by populist radical right parties into national Parliaments’...

‘The English Defence League initially rose in defense of British troops coming home from Afghanistan’...

‘Interestingly, the mission statement of the English Defence League didn't change for the entire period that I was in the field. And it's only recently that there's been, I would say a significant shift in the way that it expresses its aim. So the new mission statement issued in January 2016, for example, for the first time has any statement on immigration. Prior to that there was no official statement on immigration’

‘Now, I've got here, these are the words of one of the speakers at a sort of a national demonstration, which expands upon who is being targeted by the EDL. This goes back to, this is Luton, 2014’

‘I’m not talking about the guy you carpool with. I’m not talking about the guy you see at the school gates, picking up the children. I’m talking about the extremists, the loons the clerics and the imans who want to preach a seventh century ideology in a 21st century world.’

‘That's interesting because your respondents, reading what they had to say, they're keen to stress. That they were only opposed, this is that time, they were only exposed to extremism, not to individual Muslim people. In addition, many of them also claimed not to be racist. I mean, I know it's an ethnography, you're not going to be judge and jury on this. But how consistent and convincing did you find those sort of claims? Not racist, you know, not anti muslim?’

‘I think there are a number of different differentiations that they make, actually. So one of them is, some people would make a differentiation between militant - what they called militant or extremist Muslims - and Muslims. Most of the respondents I talked to extensively, though, made an even more important distinction between Islam and Muslims. So for example, they would make a point of saying, we are not protesting against Muslims, we have nothing against Muslims. We think there is a, an inherent problem in Islam or in certain readings of Islam. So they would make that, that that distinction. That's not to say that, especially in the heat of demonstrations, on the coach, in the banter, in the run up to demonstrations, there wouldn't be a slippage between those positions’…

‘My response to that is to imagine if somebody told you that they were very hostile to Judaism, but not to Jews. Now, history and convention would immediately probably set the alarm bells ringing because while it might be possible in some respect to hold the things separately, in practice, they quickly come together. For example, how would an EDL member identify a practitioner of Islam? They’d look for a Muslim. And to do that they'd use social signs, dress, appearance, name or skin color, perhaps all of those in a way, which means we're talking here about how groups are made into a race rather than religion, per se. And I think Hillary brings it out really well in the description of Kane and Tina at least in that section on seeing Islam, which brings us back I think, to many of the mechanics of how Islam is racialized. And insofar as it becomes this kind of explanatory variable for all that’s alien in these young people's political imagination’...

‘Their grievances are quite widespread, but they're usually expressed in terms of a sense that people like us, have become second class citizens. So it would be expressed on one level in relation to what they perceived as competition over resources, especially social housing. And the second main articulation of it would be around a sense that there was a two tier justice system as I called it. So things which were understood as racist when they were perpetrated against others in inverted commas, were not perceived as being racist when perpetrated against us.’...

‘Since you've completed your research, they've got a new mission statement, which is, it references the first time the need to control immigration, unlike their previous statement, what do you make of this development?’

‘It's an interesting development. I think it's not surprising given you know, in 2015, it was a rather bizarre situation where every mainstream party had a policy on immigration and was talking about how they would control immigration and what benefits they would reduce for certain types of immigrants and so on. And the EDL had no statement on immigration’...

‘They did expressively disassociate themselves from the British National Party didn’t they?’

‘Oh, yes, there's a grassroots level, almost all respondents are adamant that they would have nothing to do with with the BMP. That only two respondents out of my whole group were, had been former members of the BMP. And both had very strong reasons for why they'd left.’


Good to show to people who claim the BBC is entirely and irrevocably biased and 'leftist'

Presumably according to Nasar Meer (who conflates criticism of extremist Islam with criticism of Islam, and then with anti-Muslim sentiment), we can't criticise fundamentalist Christianity

Curiously other episodes don't have second interviewees who critique the first. But I'll take what I can get...

Friday, April 24, 2020

Links - 24th April 2020 (2)

The Iroquois Theater Disaster Killed Hundreds and Changed Fire Safety Forever - "The opulent theater had been advertised as “absolutely fireproof.” How could hundreds of souls – mostly women and children - perish so rapidly? Who was responsible?Days later, the Chicago Tribune ran a list of regulations that had been flouted by the Iroquois, including the lack of an adequate fire alarm, automatic sprinklers, marked exits, or suitable fire extinguishing devices. Even the two large flues on the rooftop where the smoke and flame could have vented out were boarded shut... The fire forced Chicago to take a hard look at how they regulated large public spaces in the booming city. “How much of that was because they had flouted the building codes and how much of it was that the building codes didn’t go far enough?” says John Russick of the Chicago Historical Society. “…[there was] a fair amount of ‘our buildings don’t protect us and we need to do more to them.’ It wouldn’t have been enough even if the building codes had been followed—a lot of people would have died in the Iroquois Theater fire.”"
I wonder how libertarians will blame regulation for the deaths
Someone says this is why exit doors open outwards, but I can't find unanimity on this (or even which direction they should swing in)


Singapore jails Indonesian helper for mixing menstrual blood, saliva into employer’s food - "A foreign domestic helper had stolen more than S$17,000 (US$12,624) in cash from her Singaporeanemployer’s mother. She was also afraid that the family would scold her for her work performance.So the Indonesian mixed some of her urine, saliva and menstrual blood into their rice and water, and the family of six ended up consuming it.This practice of using vaginal fluids to make love and magical potions can be found in some parts of Southeast Asia, where some believe that they have special powers."

PINK HEDONIST on Twitter - "When women are told that they can never be wrong and are never responsible for anything bad that happens to them - they become tyrants. However, while acting like tyrants, they think they are the VICTIMS that have been falsely wronged. Nothing can be more dangerous than this."

Why Is Vietnamese Food in America Frozen in the 1970s? - "Forty years after the Vietnam War, many Vietnamese restaurants in America are still a tribute to a time and a place that no longer exists: 1970s Saigon. I thought I knew Vietnamese food until I met the dish banh trang nuong. As a Vietnamese-American, I’ve always clung to the nostalgic idea of Vietnamese food as a way to connect with folks back home. But when I first saw banh trang nuong in a YouTube video documenting street food, and then in real life at Brooklyn restaurant Di An Di, I faced a moment of crisis. The dish, dubbed “Vietnamese Pizza” on the menu, consists of a circle of rice paper crisped up on a grill and topped with cooked egg, shrimp powder, pickled chiles, ground pork, and hot sauce. The idea of there being a Vietnamese dish that I didn’t know about was distressing, to say the least... You can see it in the way pho is almost universally expressed in the United States: It’s the South Vietnamese style, which includes tableside garnishes like basil, sliced chiles, and hoisin sauce. In the North, they prefer their pho without such last-minute additions. Though pho only came to the South in 1954, when Northerners migrated that way en masse in response to the country’s partition, Southern chefs used the soup as a base to showcase the flagrant potency of their region’s herbs and chiles. Like any other cuisine, food in Vietnam has evolved and expanded in the last four decades—banh trang nuong was only one example of the myriad innovations and trends that have arisen from street vendors and chefs since the 1970s. Nevertheless, the enduring image I have of Vietnamese food is only what my parents and grandparents could piece together in their own kitchens. My grandparents and their children cook what is nostalgic for them; in turn, their memories of the past are what I myself crave. The mom-and-pop restaurants I frequent as an adult have rarely challenged this narrative: We all remember and fill in the gaps together... Through food, they could, like many Vietnamese restaurant owners, remember Saigon, even if maps didn’t show it.
So much for "authenticity"

Meet the Woman Bringing Social Justice to Astrology - "Nicholas used November 2017's mercury retrograde to urge her followers to contact the FCC prior to its vote on net neutrality. She wrote about the new moon in Scorpio representing the need to heal during the initial wave of sexual assault accusations in Hollywood. She’s posted about DACA and the border wall and has even been promoting an online tool called FreeFrom, which was started by her wife Sonya Passi to help victims of domestic violence understand how to pursue financial compensation"
Since both are bullshit and Democrats are more likely to believe in astrology, this is fitting

Avast's Free Antivirus Harvests All Your Clicks, Sells Them to Third-Parties - "As we’ve learned time and time again, “free” things on the internet are almost never truly free. If you’re not paying with money, you’re probably paying with your data. That’s the case with the free antivirus products from Avast, which harvest browsing history for sale to major corporations. Despite claims that its data is fully anonymized, an investigation by our sister site PCMag and Motherboard shows how easy it is to unmask individual users"

Comparing meta-analyses and preregistered multiple-laboratory replication projects - "Many researchers rely on meta-analysis to summarize research evidence. However, there is a concern that publication bias and selective reporting may lead to biased meta-analytic effect sizes. We compare the results of meta-analyses to large-scale preregistered replications in psychology carried out at multiple laboratories. The multiple-laboratory replications provide precisely estimated effect sizes that do not suffer from publication bias or selective reporting. We searched the literature and identified 15 meta-analyses on the same topics as multiple-laboratory replications. We find that meta-analytic effect sizes are significantly different from replication effect sizes for 12 out of the 15 meta-replication pairs. These differences are systematic and, on average, meta-analytic effect sizes are almost three times as large as replication effect sizes. We also implement three methods of correcting meta-analysis for bias, but these methods do not substantively improve the meta-analytic results."
Garbage in, garbage out

Darius Media Network - Posts - "sleeping around in your 20's has consequences later on in life, don't let society fool you.i wanna know how women got triggered by this tweet when this wasn't gender specific. I am confusion."

Cathy Young on Twitter - "American Dirt, a novel that takes a sympathetic view of the migrant crisis, has earned the author death threats and forced her to cancel the book tour. But it's not Trump world that hates it—it's woke liberals."
"This, I think, is why attempts to find a "cancel culture on the right" are a fundamental misreading. Right-wing mobs sometimes target political enemies, for sure. But there's no RW equivalent to this kind of ideological policing toward people sympathetic to RW causes."

France is losing the battle to save the baguette, warns leading bread historian - "France is losing the battle to save good bread as a Gallic baking renaissance among a small elite of boulangers has failed to topple the tasteless white baguette, the historian considered the world’s foremost authority on the subject has warned.Steven L Kaplan, who France has decorated for services rendered to the quintessentially French staple, said that the country was facing a “perfect storm” of factors - from globalisation to complacency - that have blunted the ability of bakers and consumers to care about or even recognise a top quality loaf. The American historian had long warned that standards were slipping, dating the decline in quality to the 1920s with the transition from slow bread making with a sourdough base to a quick process using yeast. Mechanisation in the 1960s hastened the plunge towards increasingly tasteless bread.The result has been plummeting daily consumption in France, which has fallen from 600g per person in the late 1880s - two and a half baguettes - to just 80g today - less than a third of a baguette.There was hope in 1993, when the French government issued a decree to create a special label called “the bread of French tradition”, made exclusively with flour, salt, water and leavening and no additives or freezing. In parallel, millers offered bakers better flour and renowned Parisian baker Lionel Poilâne blended large-scale production with artisanal practices like lengthy fermentation with sourdough and wood oven baking... Instead of a widespread rise in top quality bread, the government decree only sparked a “niche renaissance” among an elite of “incredibly imaginative, audacious” bakers, some of whose loaves are “so good they are up there with a Cheval Blanc or Chateau Latour wine”.“That’s great for people in the bourgeois bohemian districts of Paris but it just hasn’t touched the vast majority; among France’s 29,000 so-called “conventional boulangers”, only 10 per cent at best are interested in such things,” he said.The rest continue to offer mediocre bread to the French, whose “lack of taste is underlined by one staggering statistic: about three quarters continue to eat the 1960s white baguette - a bleached, deformed, unnatural, tasteless loaf,” he scoffed.It is not a price issue, he told the Telegraph, as often “we’re talking about a difference of sometimes 20 centimes”.“Most French are no longer able to discern and then evaluate what constitutes good or bad bread. They take refuge in the citadel of subjectivity by saying: ‘I know it’s good, I’m French. Because I like it, it must be good.’”... Globalisation is one of the culprits, he said, saying that it had “powerfully sapped terroir, the French attachment to local and national taste” and spread the desire for soft fluffy fare you don’t have to chew.But more dramatically, he said it was a sign that the French had lost their reign as the “hegemonic source of the arts de table they had enjoyed since the 17th century”.Meanwhile, France’s national confederation of bakers and patissiers was making things worse by waging war on industrial baguettes and bakery chains without defining and improving the quality of their own bread.The latest “scary” sign of the decline was France’s absence from the podium at this month’s bakery world cup in Paris, whose winners were China, Japan and Denmark."

The surprise place where hijab can spell trouble - ""It is easier to be wearing hijab in London than Cairo." This is how 47-year-old Dalia Anan describes her experience as a woman wearing the Islamic headscarf - also known as hijab - in London compared to her hometown in Egypt... "I feel judged in Egypt more than I do here"... "After a certain time in the evening, you are not allowed into some restaurants or what are regarded as 'cool' places, especially in the north coast"... Several women also reported not being allowed to swim with the full-body "burkini" swimsuit or scuba diving suits in some resorts.  "The problem is that hijab has become subconsciously categorised as 'low class', and, hence, it is banned in places that cater exclusively for the high class"... In Egypt, Dina explains, "high class now refers to those who have a lot of money, speak English rather than Arabic and are 'open minded', which means they drink alcohol and wear revealing clothes"... All those I spoke to said an increasing number of Cairo's upper class are taking off the hijab, and they said those who are still wearing it frequently get questioned about why they still have it on... The stigma of wearing hijab among Egypt's upper class was also one of the main drivers for the #MyChoice social media campaign that was launched in May. One of the campaign's co-founders, 30-year-old Heba Mansour, says she had "a cultural shock" when she moved to Egypt three years ago after living abroad with her family."You are mocked and downgraded because of the hijab," says Heba, who works as a senior progressive adviser at the American University in Cairo and just completed her Masters degree in educational leadership."
I never knew there was so much disgusting Islamophobia in Cairo
All those posts about "Afghanistan" and "Iran" in the 70s (i.e. Kabul and Tehran) take on a different light


Intimate relationships between races more common than thought - "Intimate partnerships between the races—estimated at more than 5 percent of all marriages in the United States—are much more prevalent when cohabitation is also considered... While 25 percent of married Asian women have white husbands, for example, nearly 45 percent of cohabiting Asian women have white partners. And while 17 percent of married Latino women have white husbands, about 22 percent of cohabiting Latino women live with white men... “Cohabitations are not a trivial share of young people’s unions,” Harris and Ono report. “Among the four racial groups we examined, about one in six unions is a cohabitation. Just over 16 percent of unions for Asians, Latinos, and whites are cohabitations, and more than 25 percent of unions for Blacks. So focusing exclusively on interracial marriages, as most previous research has done, seriously underestimates the extent of intimate contact between the races.”In general, whites and Blacks were much more likely than Asians and Hispanics both to marry and to cohabit with their own racial group, the researchers found. But within each racial group, there were slightly different patterns, depending on gender as well as type of union.While almost 96 percent of married white women have white husbands, the researchers found, fewer than 93 percent of cohabiting white women live with white men. White women are 3.5 times as likely to live with Black men as to be married to them, and they’re also more likely to live with than marry Asians and Hispanics... About 69 percent of married Asian women are married to Asian men, while 25 percent of married Asian women have white husbands. “But as common as marriages are between Asian women and white men, cohabitations are even more prevalent,” says Ono. “In fact, Asian women are more likely to be living with white men than with Asian men. Nearly 45 percent of cohabiting Asian women have white partners, while less than 43 percent have Asian partners.”... In general, the researchers found that Black, white, Asian, and Latino men and women consistently choose to cohabit with people who are different from the people they marry. For all of these groups, cohabiting unions are more likely to be interracial than are marriages"
The first data I've seen on interracial relationships beyond marriage; interracial gender dynamics are even more exaggerated here than with marriage

China: stirring up trouble abroad to cover unrest at home

On China deploying an aircraft carrier in the South China Sea:

"As I've said before, PLA starts shit overseas to cover for trouble back home. THey have never deployed a carrier so far south before. Why are they doing this now? Have they made some military breakthrough? Do they have some special submarine capability?

No its because they are facing impending economic collapse back home. Many months of lockdown means lack of food esp for big cities. Vegetables and produce spoil becuas ethey lack freezers. And after economic collapse comes civil unrest.

I said before that China's draconian measures serve dual purposes - to control the infection, but also to brutally suppress any uprisings. Villages as far away as Inner Mongolia are shut down. This is happening on both far east and west provinces in China.

CCP has quietly spread out PLA forces throughout the country to prevent widespread uprisings, and no one seems to have noticed

Even 1 month of lockdown causes massive economic damage especially regarding food supply. Crops and produce spoil. Freezer usage is uncommon in China where electricity supply is patchy at best. Roads are in horrible condition esp in mountainous areas. We already know that supplies are being hoarded in central areas where top CCP officials are located, and excess food left to spoil.

These problems can be mitigated by bringing in food from other provinces, but a "second wave" of infections has caused Wuhan to be placed under lockdown again. Its a matter of time before this happens to other cities.

Its common knowledge that the PRC economy was slowing down prior to the outbreak. This has brought the economy to a screeching crash. This is bad for several reasons. China banks are extremely strict about loans and typically will only lend money to someone with a AAA or AA rating. Most people do not qualify, hence they use something called the "shadow banking system". This shadow system is so large that not even the CCP knows how big it is.

Widespread land reform has caused real estate to become highly profitable in China. This has caused rapid increase in property prices esp in cities, worst in Beijing and Shanghai. We now have a "subprime" lending system with rapidly escalating property prices, now coupled with an economic crash. Does anyone remember where they've seen this before? That's right- USA 2007/8.

So you see, the PLA and PLN moves are largely distractions. The wumao army is working in overdrive to suppress negative news and generate propaganda to distract the population. Right now it seems to be working as the eyes of the world are focused on the pandemic. There is no military nor naval breakthrough that can explain PLA's latest aggression in the South China Sea.

China teeters on the brink"

Links - 24th April 2020 (1)

A poor, Trump-voting Florida town opened a government grocery store to end its food desert, but it's "not socialism"
I don't know why Americans keep calling social democracy socialism
Under some Americans' use of the term, there is no non-socialist country in the world (since there is always some degree of government intervention)


Zoe Quinn & Anita Sarkeesian, twin queens of Gamergate, turned feminist victimhood into a career, then cheated their followers - "For the best part of a decade two women have parlayed supposed gamer sexism and death threat allegations into wealth, fame, and a reputation at odds with their actions. Will Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn ever be held to account?... she launched a Kickstarter for an erotic full motion video game. It would go on to raise a respectable $85,448... The last official update occurred over 500 days ago on August 30, 2018, when Zoe informed backers that the project had run out of money.Incidentally, at the very same moment she told the people who’d given her 85 grand that she was broke, she was in Japan, traveling in luxury. Perhaps not so surprisingly, the same media entities that were quick to boost her project to the masses have never once reported on the status of the game... One of the biggest media lies about Gamergate is that everybody who is supportive of it is a bigot who hates marginalized people. An ironic tall tale considering evidence shows the people most touting the importance of such folk are the ones most taking advantage of them.Following Gamergate, Zoe Quinn launched the Crash Override Network. It was built as a support group for victims of online harassment, and infused with money from Anita Sarkeesian’s nonprofit, Feminist Frequency, who took on the role of a financial sponsor.The network as a whole would only last roughly two years, and if former staff allegations are to be believed, not everyone got paid, and her trans members feel as if they were especially taken advantage of. Making matters worse is that allegedly, normal everyday people who came to the network seeking help were often denied service if they weren’t famous enough. Accusations range far and wide that Crash Override was just a ruse to help boost Quinn and Sarkeesian’s popularity. Statements which are believable when considering how Sarkeesian lives as opposed to those she is seemingly close with... A big portion of their funds came from corporations, and she was quick to take on an entitled sense of self and call them out on Twitter for not financially supporting her. The loss of Fem Freq funds hasn’t appeared to hit Anita too hard, as outside of her activity with the organization, she tours the world and gives speeches. This coming April she will be embarking on a mini speaking tour in Europe, which is a potential windfall as her average speaking fee is $20,000. Graced with the ability to travel at will, she even takes part in events like JoCo Cruise as a featured guest, and this past December she toured parts of Africa on what appears to be a trip of leisure.Her trans co-host Carolyn Petit is another story, however... A core argument of her content is the dishonest depiction of women, so it says a lot that her channel’s own art thins the hosts and makes them ten times prettier... Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian are enabled, emboldened and in essence bankrolled by a mainstream media that refuses to hold them accountable. Years of lies and manipulation have had no negative effects on their standing with the press. On Tuesday, both were featured in a Vox article about Gamergate, another litany of familiar accusations of “spreading hate” and “violence against women”... Most sickening of all is the lack of due diligence by those in the industry still providing them a voice. Whatever they say is taken as fact, a horrid display of unethical journalism as both individuals continue to purposefully cause outrage wherever they go, even at the cost of other people’s lives.There’s Alec Holowka that we know of, but how many people reached out to Crash Override for help, only to be turned away because they weren’t popular enough? And suppose that was their last desperate bid to find comfort, could they too have cut their lives short?"

The tricky economics of all-you-can-eat buffets - "it’s harder to “beat” the buffet than you might think... our analysis yielded an average buffet price of ~$20.Like most restaurants, buffets operate on extremely thin margins: For every $20 in revenue, $19 might go toward overhead, leaving $1 (5%) in net profit... Buffets often break even on food and eke out a profit by minimizing the cost of labor.Self-service allows a buffet to bypass a wait staff, and all-you-can-eat dishes (which are generally less complex and prepped in enormous batches) can be made by a “skeleton crew” of line cooks. “At a typical restaurant, a cook can service 25 customers per hour — and that’s at best,” says Joe Ericsson, a managing partner at the food consultancy Restaurant Owner. “In the same amount of time, a single buffet cook might be able to prep enough food for 200 people.”Because margins are so slim, buffets rely on high foot traffic... It is estimated that between 5% and 25% of any given dish will be wasted, either through the buffet’s miscalculation of demand or the diner’s overzealousness. Waste reduction is a key focus of any successful buffet and a frequent tactic is reusing food... Buffets are also able to save money by utilizing economies of scale and buying food in bulk...
By nature, buffets attract the very customers they wish to avoid: Big eaters with insatiable appetites. Buffets seek to “fill the customer’s belly as cheaply and as quickly as possible.” To do so, they employ a number of research-backed tricks to get people to eat less food:
They put the cheap, filling stuff at the front of the buffet line
They use smaller plates
They use larger than average serving spoons for things like potatoes, and smaller than average tongs for meats.
They frequently refill water and use extra-large glasses.
Even higher-end buffets, like the $98 brunch at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, employ these tactics: “They hide the truffles, the foie gras, and the oysters,” says Britt. “You literally can’t find them.”...
While the buffet might lose money on a small number of meat gluttons, it handily makes it back on those who under-consume or only eat the cheaper foods... The buffet owners we spoke with estimated that over-eaters like Larry only account for 1 in every ~20 diners... Buffets don’t stop there: Many beef up their margins by selling soft drinks separately. At a cost of $0.12 per fill, a $2 soda comes with a 1,500% markup... Over the years, buffets have made headlines for kicking out guests who eat too much... the real enemy of the buffet isn’t the occasional over-eater: It’s the steady march of technological progress, and the changing consumer preferences that have come with it... the number of buffets in America has fallen by 26% since 1998 — even as the total number of all restaurants in America has risen by 22%... By 2030, the National Restaurant Association projects that 80% of all restaurant items will be eaten at home — a trend that buffets can’t effectively capitalize on. Today’s health-conscious consumers have also shifted away from quantity in favor of experience-driven dining options."
I remember someone saying that restaurants will escape the factors killing retail because eating out is an experience

The Economists Who Studied All-You-Can-Eat Buffets - The Atlantic - "Buffets are now big businesses, particularly in Las Vegas. The buffets in Vegas are no longer the dollar bargains they once were in the late 1950s. They're fancy productions with Kobe beef and king crab legs that can cost over $50. New research shows that paying that much for a buffet might actually make the food taste better... at places like AYCE shabu-shabu or Korean barbecue places, businesses save further on cooking costs as customers cook their own food as part of the experience... buffet operations don’t have to deal with finicky guests sending their orders back to the kitchen... “We specifically refer to our ‘all-you-care-to-eat’ items in this way because we do not want to encourage our guests to intentionally overeat,” says Kerry Kramp, chief executive of Sizzler. “Sometimes guests misperceive these types of promotions and they take it as a challenge to potentially overconsume"... It helps that buffets appeal to groups... Ovation Brands collects data weekly on waste in its restaurants. From there, the numbers are plugged into a computer for modeling based on time of year. Projections are made for the number of customers expected, along with what they’ll likely eat.“We know pretty well how much food will be consumed on any particular day,” says Gessner. “We use far more fish products on the weekends, more salads at the beginning of the year. Meatloaf and fried chicken are the most popular items.”"

It’s official: Canadians have abandoned U.S. outlet malls - "You know it’s getting bad when even employee discounts can’t get customers through the door.New numbers published by BMO Capital Markets Friday show just how steeply cross-border shopping has tumbled out of favour with Canadians now that the loonie is nearing peso-like levels.Day trips into the United States this year are down 26 per cent, rivalling some of the sharpest drops on record. The loonie’s historic slide over the past year or so “has completely reversed the tide of cross-border shoppers”... The numbers back up what retail execs have been noticing this year along the U.S.-Canada border, home to scores of outlet malls that Canadians spent freely at just a couple of years ago but have virtually abandoned as the CAD has plunged in value against the U.S. dollar... “Big shifts in cross-border travel tend to occur when the loonie falls below the mid-80 cent US range”"

U.S. premium outlet malls coming to Canada — will it live up to the hype? - "A comparison of income growth also shows why Canadian shoppers may hold more promise than their U.S. cousins. Per capita disposable income has risen 14% in the last 10 years in Canada, adjusted for inflation, while U.S. disposable incomes are up just 9%... Sales at shopping centers in Canada average about US$580 per square foot, compared to US$309 in the United States... Sonshine said there are about 135 premium outlet malls in the United States — with a population of some 311 million — but none in Canada, home to 34 million. Canada also lacks the large luxury malls which are common in the United States and thus seems ripe for expansion... "The average visit to an outlet lasts for three and a half hours by a consumer whereas the average visit to a typical shopping center is less than an hour. So it’s more of an outing"... While Canada has just half as much retail space per person as the United States, he thinks the lesson may be that Canada is not as under-retailed as the U.S. is over-retailed... While he admits the premium discount mall format will likely appeal to the healthy segment of the market that treks south of the border for deals — the destination shoppers — Stephens said consumers have also become more savvy, realizing that the goods sold in outlet malls are not the same as sold in regular stores.“If you’re going to a premium outlet mall really anticipating that you’re going to be able to buy high-end designer fashions that you would normally get in a full-line store and you’re going to be able to get them at 50 to 70% off, then you’re really deceiving yourself.”... “As we see more U.S.-styled factory outlets open on our doorstep, there will be less incentive to make the trip across the border. But it will all come down to the trade-off between convenience and price,” Hernandez said in an email.Retail prices for identical goods are typically 10 to 50% higher in Canada than in the United States, a much-resented differential that experts blame on import duties, transportation costs, government regulations and simple retail mark-ups. If the new outlet malls have the same price differentials, cross-border shopping may still win out. Porter said the success of the venture may ultimately come down to the Canadian dollar and new, more generous limits for what Canadians can bring home duty-free after a U.S. trip.The Canadian government in June doubled duty-free limits for Canadians to C$800 (US$780) for a trip lasting two to seven days. It boosted the limit for some shorter stays to C$200 from C$50."
From 2012

20 Things Canadians Pay Less For - "1. Healthcare
2. Medicine
3. Some new cars
4. Utilities
5. Tertiary education
6. Cappucino
7. Cheese
8. Preschool
9. Mortgages
10. Hotel rooms
11. Tourist attractions
12. Beef
13. Potatoes
14. Bread
15. Apples
16. Oranges
17. Internet
18. Movie tickets
19. Rent
20. Inexpensive restaurant meal"

10 Things That Canadians Pay More For - "1. Cars
Tariffs on imports from non-NAFTA countries run higher than the U.S., but it's our safety regulations that also contribute.
2. Gas
Blame the weak Canadian dollar. Gas prices in Canada are based on global market rates, using American dollars, even when it is produced and refined in Canada
5. Electronics
Most consumer electronics are imported from Asia and subject to tariffs. Once Canadian technical standards are factored in, the price is hiked even further.
6. Books
The low Canadian dollar plays a factor but it's the country's copyright rules, which grant Canadian distributors exclusivity, allowing them to add up to 10 per cent to the price of U.S. books.
7. Appliances
Damn those safety and energy efficiency standards, which cost manufacturers hundreds of thousands of dollars"

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Contacting Pannirchelvam s/o Ramachandra

If anyone knows how to contact Mr Pannirchelvam s/o Ramachandra (previously featured), please send a Facebook message to Cecille Rivera

She says she is his wife from the Philippines and she has been unsuccessfully looking for him since she left Singapore in 1999

She needs to contact him to annul their marriage

Monday, April 20, 2020

History According to Bob - Tulipmania

Mehmed The Gardener:

"In 1400 AD Constantinople was a shadow city, its decline reflecting the faded fortune of the final Byzantine rulers. In fact, the city was more than half empty. The seven mile long walls enclosed a city of barely 50,000. But in size and situation and reputation, it was still the greatest city in the world. At least it was true until 1204…  bronze cannons made by a Hungarian Christian who had originally offered his tech to Emperor Constantine the 11th, but he didn't have the money to pay for the guns… when we were there for a while, on vacation, they referred to it, a lot of the locals referred to it as Constantinople... When Mehmed discovered one day that one of his prized cucumbers had been stolen, he had the palace gardeners brought before him and disemboweled them one by one, in hopes of ascertaining which one of them had eaten it. Later Ottoman rulers would more than match Mehmed the Conquerer both in cruelty and in their enthusiasm for exquisite palaces and gardens."

Carolus Clusius Part 1:

"Charles de L'Escluse… was surprised to find a package of tulips. Perhaps they’d been intended as a gift. They were stuffed in amongst the fabric, and probably put there by a grateful Ottoman who was making a good profit on this shipment. At any rate, the merchant had not been expecting them and didn't want them. He actually had no idea what they were. He thought they were a strange sort of Turkish onion. Most of the bulbs were roasted, and served for supper. Seasoned with oil and vinegar. The rest he planted in his vegetable patch, next to the cabbages"

Early Dutch Tulip Types:

"Botanical tulips were noted for their robust and simple color schemes. So how did the celebrated cultivars of the Dutch Golden Age become so elaborately colored? The solution to this problem was simple, but disturbing. They were diseased. The great irony of tulip mania is that the most popular varieties, the ones that changed hands, for hundreds and thousands of guilders, were actually infected with a virus, which is unique to tulips. It was this virus that caused both the spectacular intensity and the variations in the colors of their petals and that explained why tulips alone amongst flowers of the garden displayed distinct, intense and brilliant colors that the collectors came to crave"

French Tulipmania 1600:

"Although the French craze was short lived, their enthusiasm for the tulip had important consequences for Parisian society. Even in the 1600s, French court life was renowned and copied throughout Europe for its elegance and style, and fashions of the French court were taken up and followed everywhere. Indeed, they often continue to flourish in the backwaters of Europe long after the French had moved on to something else. And it was not uncommon for visitors to go to West Ireland, or to the forests of Lithuania, and find local noblewomen dressed in Parisian styles that had faded away 10 to 20 years ago. The first people to follow the fashion of the French court were of course the French themselves. Shortly after the tulip became popular in Paris, a mini mania for the tulip hit northern France... If later reports are to be believed, the passion for the tulip at this time was such that in 1608 a miller exchanged his entire mill for a single specimen"

Dutch Style in the Golden Age:

"During the Dutch Golden Age, the once sober, God fearing Dutch, who were so Calvinist that their society frowned upon any kind of ostentation in any form, and the ministers were actually fined for venturing the merest semblance of a joke in church slowly began to acquire a taste for display"

Tulips and the Ottoman Empire 1595:

"The Ottoman Empire had always admired the tulips but starting around 1595 the decline of both the popularity of the tulip and the decline of the Ottoman Empire’s power began. Mehmet III became Sultan in 1595. This womanizer was less interested in tulips and more interested in seducing women.

After Mehmet III you have Mustafa I who ended his reign locked in a dungeon with only two naked female slaves for company. Osman II was killed by having his testicles crushed by his own soldiers. Most of this era’s sultans were either short lived inadequates or butchers. At best they only displayed sporadic interest in the Gardens of the Abode of Bliss which is course the Topkapi palace.

Some degree of stability returned to the Ottoman Empire under sultan Mehmet IV, 1647 to 1687. But his father Ibrahim the Mad, a man who once had all 280 women of his harem drowned just so he could have the pleasure of selecting their replacements, was still not exactly a good father figure for the Sultan. But one thing that Mehmet the, that Ibrahim was noted for, however, was his love of tulips. So there's a little bit of good somewhere in there...

In 1687 Mehmet IV was deposed by his ministers and replaced by a pliant half brother. Now how does this all come about? And there's a good reason for why the Turks through the 17th century or the 1600s were cursed with a long line of mad and bad Sultans who threatened to ruin the empire. Things had changed in Istanbul since the days of Suleiman the Magnificent.

Much of the vigor of the Turkish royal line had dissipated when it proved necessary to abandon the old ways of securing the Imperial succession. Ever since the time of Bayezid, the victor of Kosovo and then following by Bayezid’s bloody example, the new Sultan would inaugurate his reign by having every one of his brothers executed so they couldn't plot to take over from him.

Under Mehmet the Conqueror this lethal tradition had actually been codified as law so that on the ascension of Mehmet III, 1595, no fewer than 19 of the new Sultan’s siblings - some of those still infants breastfeeding - were dragged from the harem and strangled with silk handkerchiefs, having first been circumcised to ensure that they would receive a welcome in paradise.

Brutal as the system was it did produce a series of bold, decisive Sultan's famous for their ruthlessness. In 1607 however, the reigning Sultan Ahmed I could no longer stomach the prospect of one of his beloved children murdering all the others. He arranged for the old policy of legal fratricide to be replaced by one of locking up the unwanted brothers in a small area of the harem known as the kafes or the cage.

The cage was a suite of rooms in the West area of the fourth courtyard of the palace. That offered tantalizing views of fig orchards, the Ottoman paradise gardens and the Bosporus. There with eunuchs for company and sterile concubines for sexual consolation, unwanted princes lived lives that unpleasantly combined the immutable boredom of their daily routine with the nagging terror that execution might after all still be their lot. When one Ottoman ruler died, his eldest son would be taken from the cage where he had spent his entire life and acclaimed as the new Sultan while the other men of the Imperial line would return to the few pursuits they were permitted, embroidery and manufacturing ivory rings among them and their lives of quiet despair."

Tulip Kings End:

"His only chance of saving his neck was abdication. A nephew Mahmoud was plucked from the cage and placed on the throne. His ascension turning point for both the Empire and the tulip… he was a keen voyeur who like nothing better than hide behind a grill in the harem and spy on the women of the palace. On one occasion, the Sultan even had the stitches of the flimsy clothes that the ladies wore while bathing secretly removed and the garments reassembled with glue, knowing that it would melt in the heat of the steam room and expose each woman naked to his gaze... Ahmed the Tulip King was returned to his cage to gaze once more over the Ottoman fig groves and to wile away his nights and dreams of dagger petaled flowers, bathing in the full moon’s light and throwing needlepoint and shadows about the secret gardens of the abode of bliss. So that's the end of the second round of tulipmania. And the poor Ottomans lost all of those tulips. It's incredible. Not, none of them survived"

Links - 20th April 2020 (2) (Butter in Canada)

In search of higher-fat butter - "Canada is a butter backwater, with less variety and quality and far higher prices than nearly any other food-loving nation. In Europe and the United States, it's available in myriad permutations, from gently nutty regional butters, to fragrant, seasonal butters made with the summer milk of a single herd, to extra high-fat "dry" compositions used in baking.In Canada, butter is just butter. Give or take a few very minor variations, it's a monopoly-produced dairy commodity, the same from coast to coast.And as Ms. Nouiran and scores of other top pâtissiers have realized, Canadian butter is uniformly made with a government-mandated 80-per-cent fat content, while most butter in Europe – the stuff that makes for great pastries – starts at 82 or 83 per cent. What's worse, Canada's government levies a 289.5-per-cent tariff on all but a tiny quantity of foreign butter... You can't produce a single-herd butter in any large quantity, for instance, because under Canada's supply-managed dairy monopoly system you have to use milk from the provincial pool. You can't do much about packaging (butter must be sold in a printed foil wrapper), or make tangy, naturally cultured butter from raw cream that's been allowed to gently ferment (no raw milk, please, we're Canadian).The law also stipulates that Canadian butter must have a minimum 80-per-cent fat content. As Mr. Nogler noted, however, it does not invoke an upper limit. At the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto about a year ago, Mr. Nogler noticed that a few of the high-end cheese shops were selling 250-gram balls of imported European butter, some of it advertising 84 per cent fat. The stores were selling it for as much as eight times the price of Canadian butter, or the equivalent of $35 a pound.Mr. Nogler asked Chet Blair, Stirling's master butter maker, whether he could make a high-fat butter. As it happened, it isn't any harder. It's just that nobody had bothered to try.Three or 4 extra per cent of fat content may sound like a trifling difference, but it's a massive one in the worlds of baking and chocolate making. Fat content affects butter's flavour (more fat, more flavour), delivers creamier texture, and raises butter's melting point. But most critically, fat content is a zero-sum proposition: The more fat a butter contains, the less room there is for water. Higher fat butter can contain between 10- and 20-per-cent less water than the usual stuff.In chocolate making, that lower water content translates to confections that can stay fresh longer without the use of preservatives. In pastry, water acts like glue between dough layers, sticking them together when, ideally, they should separate (it's the difference between flaky and bready). It's not impossible to make an excellent croissant with Canadian butter – David Wilson, the head baker at Toronto's Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants, uses Lactantia brand butter. But Mr. Wilson is a rarity.Thomas Haas, a master pâtissier based in Vancouver, has found a simple, but not particularly satisfying solution. Like many European-trained bakers here, he uses 84-per-cent butter from New Zealand that manages somehow to squeeze through Canada's butter tariff blockade. "I feel guilty buying butter that's been shipped halfway around the world just because it has more fat," said Mr. Haas, who is considered one of the best pâtissiers on the continent. "But it's important."Jennifer McLagan, a chef and cookbook author (one of her books, called Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, rhapsodizes about the importance of good butter), goes to even greater lengths. She often allows Canadian butter to soften before using it. She then wraps the butter in cheesecloth and squeezes all the water out... Though Canada's butter prices are among the world's highest, that reality affects home cooks far more than professional bakers and food manufacturers. Under the Special Milk Class Permit Program, run by the Canadian Dairy Commission, approved bakers and processors receive hefty rebates on their butter purchases. One baker we spoke with said he gets a rebate of between $60 and $90 for every $200 block of butter he buys.The reason for the program, a Commission spokeswoman said, is that food manufacturers and bakers who export their products are allowed to import foreign butter without tariffs. Without the rebates, Canadian butter couldn't compete with the foreign stuff... Outside of its program for manufacturing exporters, the country allows in just 3,274 metric tonnes of foreign butter annually – less than 4 per cent of Canada's consumption. Anything beyond that is assessed a duty of 289.5 per cent."
From 2012

How the dairy industry complicates the quest for better butter - "Remember those 270 per cent dairy tariffs Donald Trump was complaining about? That's actually a bit low — foreign butter earns a whopping 298 per cent tariff when it enters this country... international trade politics take aim at our protection of dairy — the quotas that require farmers to only produce as much as Canadians will consume and the tariffs that keep foreign dairy, chicken and eggs out of the country... It is mandated to be at least 80 per cent fat, which seems plenty high, but is still two per cent lower than standard European butter. European butter also tends to be cultured, meaning active bacteria is added to it before churning, giving it a tangy taste... "If you're trying to promote the use of butter, why are you allowing us to import, why are you not pushing the industry to make better butter for us, promote your own farmers? I am French, but I am also Canadian, and I want to support what's local. But I want quality."... The conundrum of supply management is that outside the system, it makes no sense. Why should dairy, eggs and poultry enjoy the protection of quotas and tariffs when beef, grain and apples, for example, must survive in the thrust and parry of an open market? Especially when research shows that supply management forces consumers to pay higher prices. Inside the system, though, all this makes perfect sense. It ensures stable, consistent dairy supply that takes the whiplash out of being a primary producer of food, encourages family farming, avoids direct government subsidies and keeps food local. Kootstra thinks that it should be a model for all agriculture... Passionate farmers like Kootstra bring politicians over to the side of the dairy industry, especially since Canadian consumers have yet to rally around the idea of lower prices for dairy (and economists don't hold a big enough voting bloc)."

Chris Selley: Supply management be damned. Is Canada on the brink of a butter revolution? - "Art Hill, a food science professor at the University of Guelph, has some very simple shopping advice: “There’s probably no reason why you shouldn’t just go in and try to find the cheapest brand.” Not only are the products incredibly similar, he says, but many will actually be “coming out of the same churn.” The vast majority of farmers sell their milk into pools, where it’s combined with milk from other farms — and dairies that want to make butter will buy the milk they need from those pools. Unless you like paying for fancy branding, best save your money... our American friends, too, enjoy a more diverse domestic butter market — and vastly superior access to foreign products... Canada has its plucky butter upstarts, though, and Sylvain Charlebois, a business professor at Dalhousie University who studies food production, argues Ontario is leading the pack... Rob Gentile, the mastermind behind the Buca empire, recalls being astonished first and foremost by the bright-yellow colour — a hallmark of grass-fed milk and its byproducts... Gentile raves about what Emerald Grasslands brings to a kitchen, particularly when used to emulsify a pasta sauce... Paula Navarrete, chef at David Chang’s Momofuku Kōjin in Toronto, says it reminds her of the butter she grew up eating in her native Colombia. She serves it much more simply than Gentile: in a big slab on a flatbread with spiced honey, sumac and Maldon sea salt. She says customers come back just asking for bread and butter — “Drew’s butter,” as it’s identified on the menu.“Sometimes you forget that something so simple can be so amazing,” says Navarrete... Imports are still a tiny chunk of the Canadian dairy market, but they have steadily increased with each successive free trade agreement"

Canadian butter “really sucks”, says B.C. researcher - "“Canadian butter had the worst omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, it’s double what you see in French butter,” said Ghosh. “Our butter really sucks. There’s no other way to spin it.”Omega-6 content was highest in commercial butter samples from Canada, the United States and China, while samples from Russia, Belarus, France and Germany contained the least. Butter from grass-fed cows had the most balanced ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids.The finding may explain why health research on the benefits and hazards of animal and vegetable fats are so contradictory in different parts of the world and why government advice on what people should eat and avoid have different health outcomes in different countries... Studies on the health impacts of dairy conducted in Europe tend to show positive effects, while similar studies in North America show no effect or a negative effect... “In countries where cattle are fed oil seeds instead of just grass and silage we are seeing differences in the butter,”  she said. “In France, even commercially produced butter is very close in composition to grass-fed and that likely has to do with what they are feeding their animals.” Scientists have struggled for decades to explain why people in France, with a diet high in animal fats have a relatively low incidence of coronary heart disease compared with Britain and the United States.“This result begins to explain the French paradox”"
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