March 30, 2004

Precioussssss Funk

Sometimes I wonder what I'm married to. George Clinton's got indigestion, I'll bet. I feel a little ill myself.


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St. Fat Louis

You might have read Men's Health around the time it put out its list of the fattest cities. Other magazines do it, too. St. Louis always seems to make the pudgy list. Well, the County Executive and St. Louis' mayor are looking to do something about that. So is the Post-Dispatch, the local newspaper, that puts out a Health and Fitness section every Monday.

But back to the article.
Slay and the equally fit St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley have teamed up to inspire residents to lose weight, eat a healthier diet and exercise regularly.

The resulting health and fitness campaign is "Get Hooked on Health St. Louis."

It will feature former Cardinals shortstop Ozzie Smith as the first St. Louis fitness czar and follow cities such as Philadelphia, Houston and Cincinnati in getting public officials behind efforts to turn couch potatoes into gym regulars.
There will be some TV PSAs, and there's a website, As if this name is at all indicative of St. Louis. But I visited anyway.

Website's a bit sparse, but it holds some promise. I'd like to see recipes, a bustling calendar of area events (Trailnet, etc). A full listing of all area parks and their facilities. Without all of that, it's a waste of taxpayer money. Heck, it may be a waste of taxpayer money as is, but at least try to drop the ratio.

I'll send them all of my ideas, and hopefully some good will come of it.


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March 29, 2004

MSN - uh, doh

MSN currently has a headline, "What caused Whitney's drug problem?"

I dunno - what do you think? Perhaps drug usage? Probably started there. You don't hear of too many pregnant abstainers (Mary aside), alcoholic non-drinkers, or tobacco-addicted non-smokers.

Oh, and then there's that "choice" thing about level of usage. Don't play in the fire without fire-resistant clothing and knowledge of fire's potential. Dang that personal responsibility.


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Ah, a Comment

Lovely - on one of my early Atkins-related posts.
lady your wrong diet has everything to do with your heart ample supply of the right nutrients and a viral infection wouldn't be stop listening to docters start thinking for yourself for once.
I must concede to this obvious expert. After all, he or she has redefined the proper usage of "your" for "you're" and the spelling of doctors.

Forgive me for not thinking for myself. Perhaps I should set an hour of my gym time a day aside to do nothing but stuff myself with little preprocessed no-carb snacks made by the Atkins marketers. During this time I can sit cross-legged on the floor and ask forgiveness for the error of my ways. No more carb-filled fruit for me; I'm a changed woman.

The sarcasm runs pretty think on Monday. In other news, there are geese running across the roof here at work. Perhaps I should go outside to see if they are obese, and, if not, ask them what they eat. If I see any low-carb packaging in their beaks (seed-cracking or worm-stabbing beaks, Brian?) I'll let you know.

I love carbs.


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March 26, 2004

Fetus. Defined.

In light of the Senate's passage of the Fetus Protection Bill, I would like to define the word "fetus" in this short entry.

First, the dictionary.
1. The unborn young of a viviparous vertebrate having a basic structural resemblance to the adult animal.

2. In humans, the unborn young from the end of the eighth week after conception to the moment of birth, as distinguished from the earlier embryo.
Eight weeks - didn't know that. When's the embryo law coming?

I shouldn't be so snarky, being one of those people who believes that life begins at conception. But I can't help it. Here's why.
  • Abortion is legal. A mother can terminate the life of her fetus (or embryo) at any time until the law considers the pregnancy to be at a state that an abortion of same pregnancy would be considered a "partial birth."
  • Anyone else bothers that fetus, knowing about its existence or not, whammo! Your crime's been doubleminted.
So, to mother - fetus isn't a human. To everyone else, it has "rights." Come again?

Oh, one other observation. Name a fetus, it becomes a human. The name "Conner" ring a bell? Perhaps the pro-life ralliers should carry around signs with pictures of fetii with attached baby names. Stronger message than "She's a child, not a choice."

I've seen Silent Scream, by the way. (Website seems to have some issues).


Posted by hln at 07:29 AM | Comments (1)

Legislate THIS!

In Santa Fe, you'd best buckle up or otherwise restrain your animals from roaming free in your automobile. It's the law (almost).
The city of Santa Fe may soon require pet owners to restrain their dogs, cats and ferrets in special pet seats or with seat belts while traveling in a moving vehicle.

The ordinance, endorsed by the city's public safety committee, would also require that "animals in open beds of trucks and cars be tethered or restrained enough so the animal can't fly out the window," said Kate Rindy, executive director of the Santa Fe Animal Shelter, who helped develop the proposed law.
I just love silly laws. Please, add a clause to that so that only driving animals need the seat belts.


Posted by hln at 07:09 AM | Comments (1)

PETA - It's What's For Dinner

This is a public service announcement to remind you that "Nothing could be bloodier than KFC’s buckets of fried chicken corpses."

That's right, nothing. A blood bank? No, sir. Atrocities committed on human beings because of terrorism, the Holocaust? PETA says no. Nothing.

Actually, I would rather remind you that KFC is kind enough to wash the blood off of the dead chickens delivered to its restaurants. KFC employees are instructed to also cook the chicken before selling it to customers.

But, see, if you order a two-piece original recipe dinner, you're all right. That's not bloody because it doesn't come in a bucket.

Just watch those calories. Or, you could adopt the surest approach so as to know you're not offending PETA: stop eating.


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March 24, 2004

Where's This Thing Going?

Darned if I know. Cycling season's here, really, though I learned today when I tried to take a ride that I lost a glove and need to buy a new pair before this weekend. Warm but windy weather should lurk here for another week at least. I have to get outside and off my duff sometime in the meantime.

But, yeah, good question. I've not really put the heart and soul into the blog that I did in 2003, and I, like Brian, wonder whether I should keep it. It does take some time. I'm way behind on those aforementioned book reviews, and I'm starting to spend more and more time exercising (very necessary), and, thankfully, less and less time working.

There are so many blogs out there. I can't even keep my stinking blogroll up to date.

I think today (at least for now) I'll share my one piece of self insight. I really like being a woman, but there are two times I'd like to be a man.

1) Everytime I eat.
2) Everytime I exercise.


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March 22, 2004

Heather the Radical

Yesterday, while dining at the Olive Garden, a restaurant that redesigned in the last few years to put the smoking section right in the front of the store (you know, right around where you have to wait for a table. WHY???) I decided (with nudging from my dear spouse) that I should restrict my restaurant dining to fully non-smoking restaurants.

There, decision made. Now life is much simpler; I'm removing the thing that makes me bitchy. If I'm going to pay for a meal that I do not cook, I want to fully enjoy it. I can't do that if I'm chewing the air and my nasal passages decide to shrink their air aperatures.

So, last night's mission was to find all of the smoke-free restaurants here in the St. Louis area I could. I was surprised to find that I think I'll be doing all right with finding good food. My decision will likely hamper some social eating when I explain why I won't visit a restaurant, but I can live with that. I don't exactly have a social circle filled with smokers, as you can imagine.


Posted by hln at 12:12 PM | Comments (6)

Clear Something Up For My Simple Mind

CNN. Front page right now (10:11 a.m. CST)
Thousands of Palestinians jammed the streets of Gaza City for the funeral procession today of Hamas founder and spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, killed earlier in the day in an Israeli missile strike. As Palestinian militant groups vowed revenge, Israeli officials said Yassin was a "terrorist" who deserved death.
CNN: Linking to itself in: Key facts: Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.
1987: Yassin founds Hamas from ranks of Muslim Brotherhood religious organization. Hamas soon emerges as strongest political rival to mainstream Fatah movement of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Hamas opposes peace talks with Israel and carries out scores of suicide bombings, killing hundreds of Israelis, to thwart peace agreements negotiated by Arafat and his supporters.
Someone please explain why "terrorist" appears on CNN's main page. Yes, I'm disputing the quotes. CNN itself calls this a fact, no? I'm certain Isreal's not making an assertion here; Israel believed the man was a terrorist.

"...carries out scores of suicide bombings, killing hundreds of Israelis..."


Posted by hln at 10:15 AM | Comments (2)

March 18, 2004

Two For One

This is a dual-purpose post. One, I received my Tour de Cure packet today - the first cycling event I have. Saturday, June 19, 2004. I'm in woeful cardiovascular shape, and I'm in the dreaded ball-of-lard stage from too much work and too much food. Too much of everything but exercise. All fixable, though. (I still lift religiously, of course).

So, what's that - wow, tomorrow that's 3 months. Can I get in good enough shape to do my 100 miler? Of course! So, here I am, begging asking for small donations to support my efforts.

In case you need extra enticement, part two's in the extended entry. Not all of me is lard.


The pic was Brian's idea. This is our convertible in Florida. Members of the New York Coast Guard got a good gander of the photo shoot (which I was almost unhamlike enough to not do).


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March 17, 2004

Operation Terrorism defines terrorism as such:
The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.
It misses two keys words. These words are "illegitimate" (which is different than unlawful) and "immoral."

I was in Florida on March 11th without bloggable access to an Internet-connected computer. So no commentary from me until I read this - something so illustrative of every point I would make that I'll first let it speak for itself.
PARIS, France (CNN) -- French police have opened an investigation after a Paris newspaper received a letter from a Muslim group threatening spectacular attacks that would make "blood run to (its) borders."

The letter, from a previously unknown group calling itself the "Servants of Allah the Mighty and the Wise," said it planned to take action after Muslim girls were banned from wearing headscarves in schools.

Servants of Allah the Mighty and the Wise, an expansion team.

Before news of the letter was released, French President Jacques Chirac said France was not under direct threat of attack "but, as are all the democracies, it is not safe from terrorist attacks."
Democracy. Yes, there it is, the root of the problem. I'll state it simply and concisely. The problem is not us. So, those of you over in the State of Wyoming, if you were blaming yourself, PLEASE STOP.

The cause of terrorism is not the United States. It is not Israel, not Spain, not France. It is freedom, the ability to live one's life as an individual with free will. And there is no logical "why." And it's not as simple as have and have not. Rather, it's a credo of hate held by bands of individuals who are willing to die to achieve, no, wait - willing not only to die but to kill innocent civilians (and consider themselves ever the more successful by doing so) to take aim at democracy - at "Westerners" especially.

While this particular decision (the headscarves) seems extreme, it certainly does not warrant "attacks that would make "blood run to (its) borders"." I would hope we have consensus here.

From the dawn of humanity (Cain killed Abel, no?) until far beyond our days here on earth there will be senseless killing of innocent human beings. And the reason, should you feel the need to search for one, is mere evil. This is a time unique only in its technology - the ability to coordinate attack strategy much like September 11th and March 11th. And it's bone chilling. If you find this acceptable behavior - a viable political vehicle - I'm certain there's a group that'd love your help for the small cost of your soul.

Terrorism is not another form of disagreement. It's an ideologically bully where those bullied are disposable "examples" so the rest of us who remain will act as though we were the victims. Shocked beyond action or into inaction. That is the aim.

If you live in a free society, you are a target. There is no answer to this problem, no surefire means of eradication. Only attempts at containment, define that as you will. Certainly I'd not advocate that we abandon democracy. So, those of you who would argue that Spain was attacked because of its affiliation with the Coalition, I reply that perhaps the time and place was so chosen, but Spain "had it coming" merely because it's free. <sarcasm>If it's not oppressed, than surely it's an oppressor, for that is the way of things.</sarcasm>
And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

For nation shall rise agains nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in diverse places.

All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.

And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

Matthew 24:6 - 10.

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Happy St. Patrick's Day

Leave me a comment; I'm Irish.


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March 16, 2004

The Best Catalogs in the World

I got a piece of junk mail yesterday that amused me so much that I must share. It's entitled The Best Catalogs of the Year, and it's obviously aimed for those who do not use the web. The premise, presumably, is that you'll pay these people who put out this meta catalog to send you catalogs featured in the listing.

I thought I'd save you the trouble by providing a sampling.
Just think - your mail could be this exciting.


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March 15, 2004

Your Funny Mental Picture for the Day

So, I'm back. Went to the gym tonight, of course.

Was wearing Skechers - brown lace-up pair. Yep - I lifted wearing gym shorts, a t-shirt, and the shoes I wore to work.

Brain is still in Florida, obviously.


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Back From Warmer, Non-Working Days

If you read Brian, you know that we spent Wednesday through Saturday (flying back Sunday) in and around West Palm Beach, FL. It's one of my favorite vacation spots - know my way around, even.

The time away was idyllic. I took a laptop but only used it for fun, really. Of course, world nastiness (the deaths of 9 in Fresno; the deaths of many more in Madrid) occurred in hyperbolic fashion while we were gone, so it's not like one can truly escape.

But we certainly tried. Ate a lot of good food that will ensure immediate future biker shorts wearing will be embarrassing. Drank a decent amount of watered-down beach cocktailage. Split a bottle of wine with Brian only to later discover that ordering same wine by the glass was considerably cheaper. Got sunburned only while driving in the convertable. Walked at/in/around the ocean's edge. Squealed appropriately at unexpected large waves. Removed large amounts of sand from my being.

But, today, back at work. I vowed during this vacation that the world will not end if I work less (on average). That I NEED to work less so that my only activities are more than less-than-necessary gym attendance, a blog entry every day or two, and much inactive drooling braindead and bodydead Netflix watching.

Oh, and one of the best parts. Florida restaurants are non-smoking. It seemed like all of the general Singer Island/North Palm Beach/Lake Park area was populated by non-smoking residents. The air was not chewy.

Not St. Louis, of course. Back to Earth.


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March 09, 2004

Don't Wear Earrings On a Crime Spree In Great Britain

Why? Because they can getcha with ear prints now. Forgive me for this one - it'll have to go in the Bonfire (if I can remember to send it). But this is just obnoxious. If this originated from the US, I'd have to say "your tax dollars hard at work," but for now I'll refrain. Or something.
Criminals often wear gloves but are less likely to cover their ears and before would-be burglars touch a doorknob or try to pry open a window they might press their ear against the glass to hear if anyone is home.

Ear prints had been used to identify individuals and criminals long before fingerprints became popular in the early twentieth century. They came back into use in the 1990s but unlike fingerprints they were never organized in a computerized system.
Cellophane...earprints foiled? (Okay, that was a stretch).


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UK GM and Fingers (Not Chicken Fingers)

Our friends in Great Britain have okayed some genetically modified corn destined for a bright future as cattle feed. Big news, actually.
Britain's first genetically modified commercial crop will be Chardon LL maize, a type of corn crop used for cattle feed that is manufactured by Cropscience, a unit of Germany's Bayer. The crop will not be planted until spring 2005 at the earliest, Beckett told the House of Commons.

Chardon LL is not grown in any European Union (news - web sites) countries, but similar varieties have been grown in the United States for several years.

Spain is the only European Union country to plant significant amounts of biotech crops, with 79,000 acres of genetically modified corn in 2003, up a third from 2002.
This particular "flavor" of corn is genetically modified to be resistant to herbicides. British experts of their own flavors, of course, are quoted complete with dissenting opinion. I mean, isn't it obvious, it's the gentically modified crops that have made America so obese. GM food is the cause of all ills that plague this country.

While reading a sister article, I learned that Greenpeace is furious. Greenpeace - whales. Concentrate on the whales. Welcome to rational thought, UK government. May your people and "experts" soon follow suit in learning the process.

"The government has given the thumbs up to GM maize and shown two fingers to the British public," said Friends of the Earth (news - web sites) director Tony Juniper. "Tony Blair must not ignore the threat GM poses to our food, farming and the environment."
Yeah, two fingers. Like, as in lovely British obscene gesture. As demonstrated here. (Click that - it's a "can't miss.")

In a complete unrelated story that now must emerge, a British online friend explained the two-finger thing to me once. I'll see if I can find that for you. Ah, yes, here we are.

The original tale said that after Agincourt (or maybe Crecy - it depends on which version you find) the English cut off the first two fingers from the hands of captured French bowmen, to prevent them from drawing a bow again. The English subsequently used the "two finger salute" as a jeering gesture at French soldiers.

But, wait, wasn't I using all ten of my fingers to tell you about Greenpeace? Aye, I was. Naaa - nevermind. Unimportant.


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March 04, 2004

Hey You Cat Owners, Help

I have no time to blog, but I have a question, and I want to look like I'm updating the blog, so here we go...

How many cats do you have, and do you have leather furniture, and can the twain meet?

Discuss. Help me. Considering leather furniture.

Back to work.


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March 03, 2004

Where Capitalism and Obesity Meet...

McDonald's is phasing out super-sizing! Yeah, what's that mean? Less food for your money, solider. But it's for public health! Now, to get the same amount of food, it's less of a value and more menually (is that a word) difficult to obtain.

The hamburger giant has started phasing out its trademark Supersize fries and drinks in its U.S. restaurants as part of an effort to simplify its menu and give customers choices that support a balanced lifestyle, a company spokesman said Tuesday.
Chew on that instead of your extra fries and drink. And whistle the balanced food cost "simplified" menu song.

And this dude?
An award-winning documentary called "Super Size Me" has heaped on more unwanted publicity for McDonald's. The documentary, which chronicles the deterioration of filmmaker Morgan Spurlock's health during a monthlong experiment eating nothing but McDonald's food, won a directing prize at the Sundance Film Festival and is set for wide release this spring.
Moron. Apple muffin in the morning, big salad for lunch, grilled chicken sandwich, no mayo for dinner. You actually probably need more food than that - two grilled chicken sandwiches for dinner - hold the top bun on one. Let me guess that's NOT what he ate during his month. May his girth and intelligence increase.


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March 02, 2004

Bonfire of the Vanities - Week 35

It's the burning time of the week - the time for the best of the worst of the best to surface amongst some rather stinky flames.

Week 35. (Somebody get me a drumroll?)

First, visit Red Wheelbarrow for some roasted chicken (mmmm) and, wow, some roasted Ann Coulter. Jerry then tells us all about Inane Bill's teeth and threatens to roast Alan Greenspan, who runs away screaming. This is all in a pseudo-Oscar theme.

Quote of the post? "Alan Greenspan, in directing the Fed, wants to go on to direct Social Security, cell phone safety, and proper removal of stuck legos from your face after you fall asleep on them."

Owen of Boots and Sabers has way too much time and bad graphics software on his hands. He's missing a line in Missouri, too; I shouldn't even include his post. Where's the burning and the controversy? Sigh.

Quote of the post? "You are here->" (Left me little choice)

Michael Friedman talks all about hair and the lack thereof. Michael, kind soul that he is, offered the tagline "Michael Friedman explores the ancient Chinese art of comb overs." You know, I can't let him off that easily.

I'm including the picture instead of a quote. Caption contest anyone?


John Moore of Useful Fools enables Johnk to use has favorite f-word in a shadow caption.

But no mention of Treebeard.

Josh Cohen makes me squint with his site design. You should go squint, too. If you stare squintily long enough, you may see Princess Leia, too.

Oh, and then he links to a site for his book. [reading]. Ooh, Josh has four cats! You're right, Josh, this post is burning brightly enough to fuel Wyoming for a week.

Josh also commented on his submission and used the words "fellatio" and "Sean Hannity." (I know, Mom, I can't put THAT on my site, but I did remember to put the period within the quotes).

Alex Dunn tells us that he's a "grown ass man."

Andrew Ian Dodge (who has such a cool name - means he's bad for the Bonfire) talks about Venom. And he doesn't mean Kate, and that's my only point of reference.

"Of course, we all know why Colby likes 'em, because Cronos used to wear a hockey mask."

Harvey proclaims himself an angel. And then he breaks into song. Or something. And he manages to hyphenate innuendo-laden. But he blows it by writing in a circle, a Reynolds-dinner-to-be puppy chasing his tail.

Dave of Blogo Slovo presents us with a slow-loader. Blogspot's such a tease.

His post is about dried venison hide. I think there's a poem in that. Be sure to rhyme in "Bush lied" and end the thing with "people died." Then eat your tofu.

Nathan of The Argus discusses monkeys running wild and Earth's women. Yep.

Well, that's what I get out of it. He describes it as "Two weeks in a row, I let out strange facts about me to the world. Despite being a man, I'm apparently a closet lesbian, and now I let everyone know that monkey riots haunt my dreams." Yes, Nathan, but have you COUNTED the monkeys? That might explain everything.

Kin provides us with the litter's runt (shouldn't runty be a word - I think so). His son wants to be a father at 4.

MuNu's own Susie reviews some movies. I can't read her post because I may want to see these movies. So I'll pick random words and make something up.

"We used to have a chain called Belmont. A Belmont store was great. You could go in and come out with a can opener, 5 yards of flannel, a lamp shade, a dowel rod, Monopoly, shampoo, crayons, half a pound of Brach's candy, a Birthday card, a new bra and one plate to match your Corelle."

You see, this is a post about things you should buy together to make all the men in the store go "hmmmm." My Corelle was always plain white, so everything matched it.

MuNu's Snoozy Jim tells us his wife is getting shots for the puppy. Can she get shots for my cats, too? They hate them. I digress.

He brings Snoozebob to life. Run one, run all. Don't look back.

Bryan McAnally teaches us the proper use of the word "blaccent." Stun your friends!

Kiril Kundurazieff debates with the television while watching the Democratic Debate (did I just capitalize that? I did. I feel dirty).

"You know things aren't gonna be promising from the gitgo when Larry King tells his audience that we will benefit from learning who will lead this country for the next 4 years.

Um, Larry, dude....

Would you like to borrow my glasses, man?"

Sean of The American Mind begs for an Instalanche. Hey, if you have to do something for the Bonfire, begging's good. Even if it's not for _YOUR_ Instalanche. Hi, Glenn, remember me?

Can't leave out the Esteemed Spouse. He thinks that our government should claim it can teleport (or otherwise quickly remove) and thereby depose unpopular leaders or dictators. After all, isn't that what happened in Haiti? **Poof** Perhaps the VRWC can score on this one.

Eric of Classical Values provides this week's novel. It features Howard Stern, Crumb girls (and he's nice enough not to call me one) and many, many updates.

Ady from Ripe Bananas mistakes the Bonfire for the Carnival. Ady, you're a day off; you can retract your post if you like, though. Naaaa.

She titles her post "Nature Magazine Bias Watch - writer in British scientific journal thinks military ordnance is used when people get angry." But I call it "can't find because links are blogsplatted." Ady - meet Pixy Misa. Come on over to the dark side.

I think it's the PETA post, which always gets points with me. Ady, the PETA post can NEVER be your worst of the week. Visit it anyway.

And, rounding out this week's collection, Kevin of Wizbang! discusses Raiders of the Lost Ark but doesn't mention Toht. Doh! He thinks no one cares about his entry; I care.

Next week's Bonfire smolders at Pragmatic Conservatism.


Posted by hln at 07:31 AM | Comments (5)

March 01, 2004

Animal Morality

Does Ajax not understand that this is plain WRONG?


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