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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in atomic_fungus' LiveJournal:

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Saturday, June 25th, 2016
11:56 pm
#5248: Other things
Bad names--besides "Latrina", Mrs. Fungus came across a beaut of a terrible name.

"Felonee".

...yeah, perfect name for your daughter! Felony! Perfect!

*whimper*

* * *

On my way to work last week, as I drove down one of my usual roads, I thought I saw wisps of fog drifting by the edge of the road. In sunlight.

"Damn," I thought. "How humid does it have to be for there to be fog like that?"

Then I drove through one of the wisps of fog and saw thousands of glittering wings, and realized it wasn't fog but a swarm of friggin' mosquitos. In my defense, I've never seen a swarm of mosquitos like that before.

Today on my way to work I saw even more, and denser, clouds of mosquitos. The swarms are mating dances, visible clouds of thousands of bugs all getting together to lay millions of eggs.

Can we PLEASE! bring back DDT now?
9:05 pm
#5247: TIRED
I would expect that--until things change at work--the bloggeratin' around here is going to be scarce Thu and Fri for quite some time.

Two things need to change: mandatory overtime needs to go away, and my team has to be moved back to evenings all week instead of being on morning shift on Sat and Sun.

This business of getting off work at 10 PM and having to be back there at 9 AM--and work a 9-hour shift on top of it--is getting really, really old.

Plus side, last night I actually got to bed at 12:30 as planned, and so I don't feel embalmed this evening. I may not even need a nap tonight!

* * *

Somehow I utterly forgot about city stickers for the cars. I remembered Monday, though, and got the new stickers on Tuesday, so now it's just a matter of applying them to the vehicles.

I'm glad I remembered while it was still June. The stickers are $50 until July 1, at which time they go up to $100.

* * *

George Will wants to elect Hillary, I guess.
If Trump loses at the convention, in spite of having the required number of delegates for a first ballot nomination, then Republicans all across America will smell a rat. Yes, it can be done, but it will be extremely difficult without fracturing the coalition that is required to elect a Republican in November.
"Extremely difficult", in this case, means "don't make any fuckin' plans."

Related. The ones with Trump on them will sell out.

* * *

Well, the sun is blank again--no sunspots--and it's been that way for a couple of days. Welcome to the beginning of solar minimum!

* * *

Today there was a really stupid guy I had to deal with.

Here's what happened: in May he demanded that we put him on the smallest possible data plan. So the rep did that--a 500 MB plan--and credited the guy the difference between the plan he'd been on and the plan he'd been moved to. ($80). And what does Buddy Genuis proceed to do?

Of course he then uses 10.7 GB of data on his mobile hot spot, because after all what else would you do?

...and when he gets a bill of which 95% is the $615 overage charge--incurred because he insisted on being moved to the smallest possible plan!--he calls us to bitch about it.

See, the smallest possible plan is a 500 MB plan, and it bills data overage at $15 per 250 MB. The 500 MB plan is for people who use extremely small amounts of data. They're not for mobile hot spots!

So when he ran up the 10.7 GB usage, that was (10x4x15)+15, which is $615. Naturally this bill was all our fault, because reasons.

Uh, no. Sorry. It's all in the remarks on the account. You don't get to piss and moan over how high your bill is, demand we lower your data plan and credit you the difference, only to change your mind after you got a big bill when you've been sent forty-two emails telling you that you were over your data. (Of course he "never got the emails". People never get e-mails, because that'd mean the overage was their fault. Hint: IT IS, SUNSHINE.)

To be nice, we offered him $100 back, but that's all. He made his bed, for fuck's sake.

Then he thought he'd be smart and tell me he wanted to talk to his lawyer, and he wanted to know if we had to give verbal disclosures about plans. I told him no, because he'd invoked the specter of legal counsel, I wasn't going to answer any questions, but instead refer him to our legal department. At that point my boss took over the call. I was not sad at all.

* * *

Anyway, it's almost dark and that sticker isn't going to apply itself. *sigh*
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016
4:37 pm
#5246: Well, that's a relief.
Finally got the living room cleaned. It's been bothering me for months; I can't stand that level of clutter.

In the process, I took the old floor speakers I've had since early 1991 and tested them, figuring that if their decade (!) in the basement had ruined them I'd throw them away. When I started cleaning the basement I moved them into the living room to get them out of the way; but they couldn't stay there and I wasn't planning to leave them there ad infinitum. Now there's enough room in the basement for me to work around them, so down they went.

But first, testing, once all my chores and errands for the day were complete; and when they were, I hooked the speakers up to my stereo system and let 'em blare. I listened to music for about an hour and a half, and there was absolutely no sign of deterioration whatsoever. The sound was crystal-clear and everything worked beautifully.

...I had half-hoped they had deteriorated to unusability, because that way I could have toted them out. But they've suffered only minor cosmetic injuries over the twenty-five years that I've had them, and they work perfectly, and I cannot--I am constitutionally unable to--throw away a pair of perfectly good speakers.

Next alternative, Craigslist, I suppose. But if I can ever get the basement as clean as I want to get it, I intend to use them with the old stereo as part of the console game system down there. That'll be cool.

And the living room looks great.

* * *

I think it's fair to say that if you're in the top 10% of income earners in the country you qualify as "rich". That threshold is surprisingly low. $190,000 puts you in the top 5%; $300,000 puts you in the top 1%.

If you want to be "middle class" these days $100k is where you have to be, though. That was "rich" a couple of decades ago. The middle class is shrinking.

But there's no inflation.

* * *

The Greater Depression continues with an unemployment rate around 23%. We are told it's 5% because our government can't afford to tell us the truth, which is that the economy sucks.
...[U]pon inspection, you can see that the alarming 23%...unemployment rate is merely unemployment calculated as it was until the Kennedy administration, when out-of-work Americans who had suspended an active search for jobs--primarily because none could be found--were relabeled "discouraged workers" and dropped from the tally of the unemployed.
The government has found it necessary to modify the way statistics are calculated because if we continue to use the same methods to calculate critical economic numbers the way we always have, it would be obvious how shitty things have become on their watch. And of course the press is careful not to remind us that this year's unemployment figure of 4.7% is not equivalent to 2005's 5% unemployment figure because while there are a hell of a lot more people out of work in 2016 than were in 2005 we simply don't count them.

Because that would make Barack Hussein look bad.

If Trump wins the election this year you can bet that suddenly news reports will be full of such caveats.

Related: with her promotion, Mrs. Fungus is handling screening applicants and scheduling interviews. So far, in the past month, she's had six applicants fail to show for interviews. Her brother reports that where he works there is a similar tale being told.

WTF.

I'm of the opinion that there are people who must apply for jobs to retain their government benefits, but of course the last thing they want is to actually get a job, because then they'd have to work. This is not helping the unemployment figures, but since our government isn't even counting right, what difference does it make?

* * *

Today is Wednesday, and mostly it's been a gloomy day. They're predicting severe thunderstorms, and flash flooding; and right now it's moist enough outside that I'm not going to be cutting the grass this week. Still, it's been so dry over the past two or three weeks that it doesn't need cutting.

Last night we watched 10 Cloverfield Lane; Mrs. Fungus really enjoyed it. I didn't like it as much as she did but it was reasonably entertaining. 80% of the movie took place in a bomb shelter and there were eight people in the movie, three of whom never appeared on screen and two of whom had bit parts. Not exactly a "cast of thousands". It was entertaining enough, though.

Tomorrow the workweek begins anew. Whee!
Tuesday, June 21st, 2016
5:11 pm
#5245: The stuff of legend!
Not really. Today I finally got the pine needles vacuumed up from the living room, though.

Pine needles clog our regular vacuum cleaner. I had to get the shop vac from downstairs. I turned it on and it blew a huge cloud of dust out, so I took it outside and cleaned it before trying again. This time I was able to vacuum up the Christmas tree needles without creating a smokescreen.

Worked up a sweat doing it, despite the AC, because there's no circulation in the living room and I was manhandling a shop vac. Oh well.

* * *

Why the hell does anyone care what Kim Kardashian thinks? She's disappointed because the Senate voted down four Democrat blood-dancing gun control bills.

Kim Kardashian is famous because she's famous and her family is famous: her father was a friend of OJ Simpson. That's the sum total of her contribution to society; she didn't invent anything or build anything or create anything. Absent the furor around the OJ Simpson trial no one would ever have heard of this useless extrusion.

Yet here I am, commenting about it. Yeah.

* * *

Wow, kid is arrested for rape, then released, and a week later kills two other kids. Local cops say "gang activity"--want to bet on what kind of gang it is? It couldn't possibly be composed of illegal aliens, now, could it? The article carefully does not say.

* * *

Heavily armed people arrested in Holland tunnel.
One of the suspects allegedly told authorities the trio was en route to Queens to try to save a friend who is on heroin and being held against her will. Police are looking for the possible woman in Queens.
Sure they are, now. It speaks volumes that people have to take matters into their own hands like this.

Or maybe someone's been watching too many movies.

Or something.

* * *

This is the sort of thing that occurs to me whenever Arse Technica and the rest of the global warmenation crowd start talking about how there's no money in climate research, and it's just about the science, blah blah blah etcetera.

If it were actually about science, the climatologists would welcome people who point out the flaws in their research. The point of actual science is to get the right answer.

But that's not the point of climatology. The point of climatology is to convince everyone that climate change is man-made and must be stopped by restricting human activity. Climatology is about protecting the rice bowls of the climatologists, which is why any dissent whatsoever is treated harshly. There may not be huge, "Now I have two Ferraris!" money in it, but there is nonetheless plenty of grant money to be had. You won't live like Bill Gates, but you will live a decent upper-middle-class lifestyle, much better than seventy percent of Americans do...and without having to work all that hard. You even get to attend a conference or two per year, some in exotic locales. Spend a few hours per week teaching a class (or, more likely, working at your computer while one of your grad students teaches the class) and write a dozen papers per year, and dutifully submit your grant applications on time--you have it made. Certainly you don't have to get your hands dirty.

It's just a racket. That's all it is. And anyone who threatens the racket must be destroyed, hence this "not displaying responsibility in respecting the reputations of other colleagues" horseshit.

Michael Mann--if he worked in an actual scientific discipline rather than climatology--would have been ridden out of the field on a rail for faking data the way he did with his hockey stick graph. It's telling that despite the demonstration that the whole thing was fake, he instead is still a prominent figure in climatology.

* * *

As for me, I have other chores to do. It's looking like the lack of rain over the past couple of weeks has left the lawn dry; I may mow it to reduce the shagginess but it hasn't really grown enough to be worth mowing otherwise.

It's cooler today than it was yesterday, and it's supposed to be even cooler tomorrow. And then Thursday it's back to work. *sigh*
12:20 pm
#5244: And people wonder why I don't want to visit Chicago
Denninger is right. The lakefront in Chicago used to be safe; now it's just as crime-ridden as the rest of that shithole.

I don't want to work in the city, I don't want to commute there, I sure as hell don't want to live there. It's not going to get better, either. My desire to avoid Chicago is borne entirely of self-preservation, and I'm in "condition orange" the entire time I'm in the city.

No thanks.

* * *

California's energy policies have led to this. California residents and businesses have been advised that they'd best prepare for blackouts, because California's capacity for generating electricity has outstripped demand for electricity.

No one is allowed to build power plants there. No one is allowed to drill for oil. And so California is now basically a third-world country.

* * *

The liberal establishment refuses to talk about the Orlando shooter's identity. Because he was a gay muslim Democrat, of course. (If he'd been a white Baptist Republican, it would be hammered home in every other sentence.)

The media doesn't like to talk about the seedy underbelly of the gay community. It doesn't fit the narrative; and of course we must never, never, ever be critical of muslims.

Besides, even acknowledging the fact that the shooting was the result of muslim fanaticism is counterproductive to the message, which is that guns cause murder. And the left simply could not wait to start dancing in the victims' blood and trot out the same tired remedy: we must ban guns now. If he shot up the nightclub because he's a self-hating gay and because his religion commands him to kill homosexuals, then the gun was just a tool and not the cause. We can't have that!

* * *

If you don't already know that these power tools are hazardous, you shouldn't even be using scissors. I read this post expecting something interesting, but none of it was, because it's all pretty obvious. I resisted learning to use a circular saw for years because they frankly terrify me. Ditto for chainsaws. Holy crap--human skin is much softer than wood and these things tear wood up, so believe me I have a healthy respect for the damned things.

But the risks of using the tools can be managed, and if you're careful you can do fantastic things with them. And once you've used them a few times you get a better idea of how they work, and how they can be dangerous, and eventually you realize that they're not going to rear back and bite you unless you do something very stupid. (Disabling safety interlocks, for example.) You must pay attention to what you're doing, of course, lest there be an accident, but while these tools are hazardous they are only dangerous if you are cavalier about their use.

What the hell--a steak knife can be deadly. A pencil. It's all how you use it.

* * *

Finished watching the second season of The Knick last night. Mrs. Fungus saw the plot twist coming, I didn't; score one for her.

* * *

Yesterday, I wore shorts to work.

Now, I didn't break any rules; the dress code says we can wear shorts as long as they reach the knee. I just needed to find the shorts I had which do that; most of my shorts end about six inches higher. They're really comfortable but not fit for work.

When I was in the PC Hardware department at Rockwell, in 1998, we were allowed to wear shorts then, too. Mainly it was because our "lab" was a cage opposite the loading docks, and it was frequently pretty warm in there. So I bought a couple pairs of jeans shorts. Mrs. Fungus doesn't like them, so I lost track of where they were, but yesterday I decided I wanted to wear them to work.

Couldn't find them, but I knew I had a pair in the dresser, so I opened one drawer and found a pair of shorts that I'd forgotten I had. They fit and were suitable for passing the strictures of work's dress code, so I put them on; then I thought the better of it and looked in a different drawer to find the pair I'd been thinking of.

Tried them on, could not button them. Well, it's been thirteen plus years since I last wore them; I consigned them to the "donate" pile and put on the other pair. They were very, very comfortable.

That's the first time I've worn shorts to work since 2009.

The interesting thing is, for the first time in my life I work in a place where even I can get chilly. That's never happened before; everyplace else I've worked, the thermostat has been adjusted for the thin-blooded. Like my father before me I run about five degrees hotter than everyone else, and when most people around me are complaining about how cold it is I'm wishing I had a fan.

But several times in the past month or so I've found myself wanting to be a little warmer.

I don't know why. I've heard some people opine it's for the computers, but that's not so; the typical desktop computer will function just fine with an ambient air temperature of 90°F and in fact the CPU tends to run even hotter than that. My thinking is that it's mainly because the thermostat is controlled by people who work in the offices around the periphery of the call center, and the ventilation in those rooms isn't as good as it is on the floor, and so the thermostat must be down rather far for those offices to be at a reasonable temperature.

I'd bet on that, in fact.
11:31 am
#5243: What is wrong with Mr. Tuvok?
John C. Wright has an excellent piece up today talking about how Hollywood is ruining good hero stories. It's a really good read, and makes a crapton of good points; but then he says this:
...[I]f the writer wants more blacks in STAR TREK, having Spock played by a black actor in the latest remakes would be an insult to the character. Nothing stops the filmmaker from having a dark skinned Mr. Tuvok as in VOYAGER, or a female Vulcan officer as in T’Pol in ENTERPRISE. The difference is that if you make a new character, you have to do something creative to make the character memorable. But Black Spock is as dumb an idea as Girl Thor.
That reminded me of Voyager, which was easily the worst series ever to come from the Star Trek universe. It was the worst because it was the most politically-correct. Tuvok was a symptom; and my discussion here actually dovetails nicely with Mr. Wright's.

"What is wrong with Mr. Tuvok?" He's black. And vulcans can't be black.

"You're racist!" No, I'm not. Look:

40 Eridani A is a K1-class main sequence star about sixteen light years from Earth. It's much cooler than our sun is (our sun is a G2, and spectral classes run from top to bottom O B A F G K M N R S) and its light is more red. It produces less ultraviolet than our star does.

According to the canon of Star Trek, the universe was seeded with DNA by an ancient race and evolution was allowed to proceed on a bunch of planets in parallel. That's why humans and vulcans and klingons and cardassians and bajorans and-and-and can all interbreed. It's why Kirk could have sex with the Orion slave girl.

But all these instances of parallel evolution--while resulting in highly similar species--also resulted in them having great differences. Vulcans, for example, have hemoglobin that's based on copper, rather than iron, which is why their blood is green. (And of course their internal organs are arranged differently, as is the case with klingons.) It's why they can differentiate races, in the show, with different forehead and nose appliques while claiming they also have highly different biochemistries. All these characteristics were due to different evolutionary environments.

So far we're in good shape. There's no reason for life--even life started from the same basic seed--to be the same everywhere; I mean, look at Galapagos, for crying out loud. We've cataloged one planet's biodiversity and we've found that even minor changes in environment can make for big differences in physiology. That's where we have the problem, in fact.

You see, Earth's sun puts out a pretty good amount of ultraviolet light, which is ionizing radiation. There's enough UV in sunlight that life on Earth's surface has to have defense mechanisms against it. We get sunburn if we stay out in sunlight too long; the skin turns darker in response. The pigmentation of the dead epidermis blocks UV from reaching the living cells underneath, which could be harmed by the radiation (and which could become cancerous). But we're not all dark by default, which would seem to be a natural trait in such an environment. Some of us are lighter in color because our ancestors inhabited places which get less sunlight over the course of a year, and defaulting to dark skin is unnecessary. Some of us are darker because our ancestors inhabited places with a lot of sunlight year-round.

But that's for a planet warmed by a G2 star.

For a planet warmed by a K1 star, melanin is much less important. The UV output of 40 Eridani A is less blue, more red, and so vulcan life would have comparatively less UV protection, because it would need less than terrestrial life does. And where there is no need for a trait, it doesn't appear (or rapidly vanishes if it does). That's Natural Selection 101.

You or I, we could walk on the surface of Vulcan all summer long and never need a drop of sunscreen. I'm white as a sheet, near enough, but the melanin present in my skin would be sufficient and I would never get a sunburn there. My skin might darken a bit, lose the pallor due to too many days spent indoors, but I wouldn't get a very dark tan there. I couldn't; there just isn't enough UV in 40 Eridani A's light.

So, why is Tuvok black?

Tuvok is purebred vulcan, so he's not getting his skin color from one of his parents. Vulcan life doesn't need that level of UV protection, so his skin color didn't come from genetics--that's science, for crying out loud--and as far as I can recall he is the only example we've ever seen of a black vulcan.

That only leaves a few possibilities. One, Tuvok lied about his past and is actually a human who had surgery to make him look like a vulcan--but no, he's not trans-species, because he's got the telepathic abilities and everything else that says he's pure vulcan. Two, he had some kind of disease when younger which permanently stained his skin. But if that were so, we'd have seen more like him, wouldn't we? Even if it were rare? Three, he's a mutant.

"Mutant" checks all the right boxes without checking any of the wrong ones. Lucky for Mr. Tuvok, his mutation is a benign one, one that makes his job (Starfleet officer) a bit easier without causing him any trouble since no one cares about skin color in the 24th century, unless they're aliens-of-the-week who are there to be the foils of this week's morality play.

I don't really care about whether or not there are black vulcans. It's a TV show with a bunch of near-magic technology in it, so one little thing here or there doesn't really matter. What bothers me about Tuvok isn't that he was black, but that they cast a black man to play a vulcan solely because they wanted a black man to play a vulcan. It was a selling point: "And in this series, the vulcan will be black! And it's about time we had a black vulcan. It's a triumph for equal rights!" There was no justification for it other than "The only reason we've never seen a black vulcan before now is RACISS THAT'S WHY YOU BIGOT"

Tim Russ did a great job playing Tuvok; he's a competent actor and he could have done any role on that show equally well. But if we're going to purport to be telling a science fiction story, we need to at least remember the science.
Monday, June 20th, 2016
11:58 pm
#5242: Oh, for the noble socialist paradise!
Venezuela has hit the endgame for socialism.
While many rank and file residents are literally hunting dogs, cats and pigeons to simply stay alive, the wealthy patrons of the socialist regime continue to drink champagne and live the high life behind well fortified walls.
Because socialism doesn't work.

North Korea, too. North Korea can't produce enough food to feed itself. Attempting to remedy the situation only accentuates how unequal socialism is.

* * *

Gun shot refuses to sell gun to a drunken wife-beater. Er, "journalist".

* * *

Last night's ep of Game of Thrones--

Well, I do not often cheer out loud for things that happen on TV. Last night, I did.

It was about time.
12:08 am
#5241: The almond
So, Saturrday, I dragged myself home from work and--exhausted--ate a cupcake and wrote a three-sentence post before allowing myself to flop into bed.

Twigs, being an adolescent cat of approximately seven months, has boundless energy, especially after sleeping all day, and was excited that daddy had come home, so of course he was running around the house at Mach nine and making all sorts of noise, all of which was not conducive to me getting any sleep.

But eventually he dropped to sublight speeds and I was starting to drift off when I heard him start making these noises. Soft thudding sounds, just loud enough to keep me awake--so I sat up and saw him laying on his side by the bedroom door, his front paws stuck between the door and the jamb. I shooed him away and looked behind the door, figuring that one of his toy mice had ended up back there; but instead, laying on the carpet behind the door was a single almond, in its shell.

Critter likes playing with nuts in the shell, so last Christmas he got a couple of walnuts and a couple of almonds to play with. We never did find them all; well, Twigs found one.

I picked up the nut (the one with the shell, that is) and said, "Twigs! You want the almond? You want it?" He was staring at me with that wide-eyed kitten look; I tossed the nut down the hallway towards the family room and he took off after it like he'd gone into warp drive. Critter was there, though, and the almond fell within arm's reach of him, so there was a little battle at the bathroom door I didn't bother to watch. I just went back to bed.

And the rattling noise of the almond being batted around the bathroom was distant enough not to disturb me.

* * *

Anyway, time for bed. It's summer now.
Sunday, June 19th, 2016
8:44 pm
#5240: ¡El Horno!
That's going to be my Mexican wrestler name! ¡El Horno! If you say it grandly and roll the R, you almost kinda forget that you're saying "the oven!" in Spanish.

This is what happens if you read the label on the chimichangas too closely.

* * *

Rather than building bridges, socialism destroys them.

Something truly unusual: an academic with an open mind. After seeing the wrack and ruin left in marxism's wake, he rejected it.

* * *

Today's word for the day comes to us courtesy of Xykon, evil lich (from Order of the Stick by Rich Burlew):

"In case you haven't noticed, the world is weird and stupid and doesn't care about anything printed in your math book." Truer words never spoken.

* * *

Turn plastic into diesel. This is earth-shaking? Considering that the feedstocks for plastics come from crude oil this is merely a foray into depolymerization. You could get the same results by mining old asphalt for the tar and breaking it down into diesel fuel.

It's all organic chemistry.

* * *

Moving a lawn ornament. The last real interplanetary ships were turned into decorations. *sigh*

* * *

Well, the weekend is over, and now I have just Monday to worry about; then two days off...where I get to do a bunch of other work. Argh etc.
Saturday, June 18th, 2016
7:30 pm
#5239: Busy and very, very tired.
Title says it all. Work, work, work, not enough sleep, not enough anything else at all.

I am starting to be worn just a bit fine by all these 9-hour days, and I'm not the only one who's feeling the grind at that place.

Signing off and going to bed.
Wednesday, June 15th, 2016
1:18 pm
#5238: This is why I don't want to live in Florida.
Gators, and you're not allowed to shoot them.

Look: alligators are predators, and they're reptiles, so they think nothing of taking a human being whenever they can. Do you know why wolves are so scarce in America? They didn't used to be; before this land was settled there were wolves all over the place. But wolves will take humans when they can, because they're predators. So we shot a hell of a lot of wolves, until there weren't very many at all.

I won't live in Florida unless I'm allowed to shoot gators.

* * *

And then, more about the self-hating gay muslim terror attack.

First off, Karl Denninger, emphasis removed as always
In short any claim that cops wish to level about being "heros" and "first responders" went right out the window in Orlando and for me, anyway, it will never return. The police in this case, including SWAT and all the other agencies, literally prevented the triage and transport of injured and dying people from the scene to a trauma center right down the street by refusing to engage the shooter for three hours after their first arrival on-scene.
The thing is, the police are not required to save your life if you're endangered. That's necessary because otherwise it'd be a huge liability nightmare. But it also means that you're on your own!

Cops aren't legally obligated to do anything if someone is actively shooting. You call cops "officer" because that's shorthand for officer of the courts. Their job--their only job!--is to arrest and detain people who break the law. End of list. The rest of it about "to serve and protect" is just high-minded propaganda meant to make you think they're there to help. They aren't. They're only there to arrest people who break the law. They're not required to endanger their own lives for the sake of the civilians.

Once you understand that, any outrage you may feel about the police leaving victims there to die makes no sense at all. It's not their job to rescue people; their job is to arrest the guy who's breaking the law, if possible. They're allowed to use lethal force to subdue him if necessary. If a civilian gets injured or killed while they're doing that, jurisprudence puts the onus for that on the criminal, not the cop.

This is the problem with gun control advocates who insist people don't need guns because we have police. The police don't have to do anything. And, in fact, when it comes to a mass shooting like this one, the police don't do anything; either the shooter runs out of ammunition, or else he commits suicide.

If the party line is true--if there was only one shooter, which some eyewitness accounts contradict--then one other person with a gun could have stopped him cold, and we wouldn't have such a huge body count. (If there was another shooter, or two, or four, then no.)

And Francis Porretto has it exactly right:
If peaceable Muslims won’t restrain and discipline violence-inclined Muslims, it will be done for them, possibly by wholesale slaughter.
Contra George Bush, islam is not the "religion of peace". If they will not voluntarily join the rest of us in the 21st century, they'll be forced to once the rest of the world gets sick of their shit. And that will happen; if you look at the history of the world you see the pattern time and again. Sooner or later, the repeated insults from this or that group ends up in a massacre.

Like this.
A further thought on all this: “Love Wins!” ONLY when it’s used as a club against decent people living in a contemporary, tolerant society whose inhabitants by and large don’t think it’s worth it to draw sharp, hard lines around weaklings and fools, who are willing to let them win rather than waste time fighting real wars over nebulous bullshit. In the Real World, amongst the Bad People, not so much. Here, most of us are willing to respond to the Brat Left’s Tantrum Of The Week by shrugging and saying, “To heck with it, let the whiny little snowflakes have their way. It ain’t worth killing them over.”

Until one day, it IS. That day comes when the rest of us realize that weakness, cowardice, and foolishness are getting the rest of us killed along with the fools. Then, watch out. On that day, if it comes, you might REALLY have something to cry about. Which is another thing your mama should have told you about.
You really need to pay attention in History class, kids.

* * *

So, Saturday evening my father-in-law gave me a weather radio.

Mrs. Fungus thought--some time ago--that we ought to have one, because we get inclement weather that can be life-threatening (the occasional tornado). I demurred, citing the fact that we live less than a quarter mile from a warning siren which will wake the frickin' dead whenever it goes off, and we have better things on which to spend our money.

But Dad gave me one, so now I've got it set up. I come into the computer room this morning to find its "advisory" light blinking, and had no idea how the hell to shut it off. The display was scrolling something about a test, but no matter what I did it kept scrolling that message and the light kept blinking. Eventually it stopped.

Gonna have to read the firkin' manual for this one. I hate user interfaces which are not intuitively obvious. But "free", and in all probability it's just the nature of the beast, anyway.

* * *

A few days ago I saw a farmer out disking a field, and I said to myself, "Well, that's a harrowing experience!" And that reminded me of a blast from the past.

In Princess Mononoke there's a scene near the beginning of the movie when Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a skirmish. Soldiers are attacking a village for some reason or another, and seeing Ashitaka--an able-bodied man, mounted, with a bow--they move to kill him. There's a lot of them and only one of him and things look really, really bad for Ashitaka.

Then, Ashitaka--touched by a demon and exiled from his village because of the curse--shoots arrows at a couple of them. One is decapitated; the other has his hands shot off. By an arrow. This scene was, in part, meant to show what the demonic curse was doing to Ashitaka: it made him superhuman, gave him great power--but it was going to kill him if he didn't find a cure for it.

Now, here's the thing: when you're an ordinary person and you haven't seen the movie before and you don't know what's going to happen, there's a lot of tension in that scene. Here's one guy, by himself, and there's an entire friggin' army on the other side. The army decides he's going to die, and he's only got a bow and arrow to defend himself against pikes and arrows and swords. So you're watching this scene and getting all tense, because it's suspenseful...and then Ashitaka fights back with such unlikely and overwhelming force that the viewer experiences a sudden release of tension: this situation isn't as bad as I thought it would be. And the viewer is startled by what he sees: arrows do not decapitate people. So the viewer laughs. This is what people do when confronted with a tense situation which is suddenly de-escalated.

I laughed at that scene. I laughed for the reasons I outlined above, and because he shot that guy's head off with an arrow? REALLY?

But in the American otaku scene, at the time Princess Mononoke was in theaters, some special snowflakes couldn't stand the notion that people were laughing at it. It was a pretty big deal to some of these knuckleheads, and it was a sign that Americans Just Don't Understand Because They're Hicks.

One idiot in particular wrote to Animerica that she'd had a "harrowing" experience watching the movie. Was she harassed by thugs or almost raped or threatened by a gun? No, some people laughed at Princess Mononoke. The horror!

*rolleyes*

What a bunch of dweebs.
12:41 pm
#5237: Take it with a grain of salt.
The government has a new standard for salt in diets which is probably dangerous. I don't watch my salt intake. I don't watch my fat intake. I try to watch my carb intake. Carbohydrates--sugars, especially--are bad for you.

Salt, however, is an electrolyte, and you need that. As long as you're not eating it by the spoonful, it's fine.

I notice, however, this:
...[E]vidence indicates people on low sodium diets place themselves at risk. The government disregarded peer-reviewed research showing that low-salt diets can lead to insulin resistance, congestive heart failure, cardiovascular events,...
Here's the thing: generally, when someone is put on a low-salt diet, it's done because he's fat and hypertensive. What else does the government say to do when you're fat and hypertensive?

Cut out fat. Eat more carbs. Which increases insulin resistance and leads to further obesity and a bunch of other bad stuff.

I know that I'm still suffering from the effects of years' worth of drinking sugar water all the damned time. But I've noticed that the incidence of my episodes of hypoglycemia has gradually become lessened since I made the switch to diet-only (and now I can't drink anything but "unleaded" as "regular" makes me feel crappy).

And it occurs to me: what difference does it make to the government how much salt people eat? Why is our government even expressing an opinion on all this, much less promulgating standards?

Starz has a series set in New York in 1901 at the Knickerbocker hospital. The Knick does what all TV series do: it looks at life in another time through the lens of modern progressive sensibility, which is why they had to have a black doctor in the show. (Because raciss, of course.) And naturally one of the first season plot threads was about a nun who performed abortions. (Of course she was a nun.)

So one of the plot threads this season is about eugenics. And naturally Racist Doctor is for it and Black Doctor (who trained in Europe don't you know! so he's extra-smart!) denounces it as "pseudoscience".

No one would have made that argument in 1901.

The recognition that humans have genes and heredity which could be selected for was (and is) a logical extension of genetic science. Humans can be bred like any living thing to select for desired traits and to cull undesirable ones. There is no question that this is the case.

What is at issue here is the ethics and the morals of doing so. Ethically and morally, it's wrong to treat people like livestock.

...but they can't show extra-smart-trained-in-Europe Black Doctor falling back on outdated concepts like morality and ethics, because extra-smart-trained-in-Europe means science! and no religion needed. (And the show's entire depiction of religion is standard Hollywood, of course; no further explanation is required.)

But human eugenics was taken very seriously in the early 20th century, so much so that American progressives like Margaret Sanger were forming organizations to promote it. Planned Parenthood wasn't just about abortions; it was also about culling undesirables from the gene pool, like negroes and mental defectives. Margaret Sanger was a huge racist by any reasonable standard; she promoted abortion as a way to diminish the black population.

In The Knick we have a scene where Black Doctor tries to get Racist Doctor fired for doing vasectomies on about fifty adolescents judged to be mentally deficient, and he's dismayed when head surgeon John Thackery tells him that Racist Doctor didn't break the law and didn't perform the vasectomies at the Knick, so there was nothing he could do about it.

In fact, the only thing--the only thing!--that got in the way of the eugenics movement was Hitler. If Hitler hadn't been a devotee of eugenics we'd still have that nastiness to contend with--but as a progressive socialist in the early 20th century of course Hitler was a proponent of eugenics. And the Holocaust happened in part because the Jews had undesirable genes that had to be culled from the gene pool.

Like most of what came out of the progressive movement of the early 20th century, it's about time we had a good, hard look at what the role of government should be in monitoring our daily lives. We don't need the FDA to tell us how much and of what to eat; we only need the FDA to ensure that the ibuprofen tablets you get at the grocery store contain 100 mg of ibuprofen and nothing toxic (melamine or what-have-you). We don't need the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide emissions and publish position papers on global warming; we only need it to make sure people aren't dumping toxic waste in the water supply. We don't need the FCC to monitor content of media; we just need it to make sure that no one tromps all over someone else's broadcast.

Government is too big, too bloated. Government needs the diet, not us.
Tuesday, June 14th, 2016
6:19 pm
#5236: Warcraft
Oh, yeah, this one's a keeper.

First off, the CGI and the live actors were integrated seamlessly. You look at Durotan talking to Llane Wrynn and you don't doubt that there's an orc talking to a human being.

The best part of the movie was how it was set in places we WoW players recognize immediately. It was really, really enjoyable, and we intend to go see it again.

* * *

On the way to the movie, Mrs. Fungus and I had a conversation which rapidly devolved into hilarity.

"When we get home," I told her, "I want to blog about a couple of things. First, I want to talk about how we're lowering the flags to half-mast for everything these days."

"But there was a tragedy!"

"No, I know that. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about, 'Oh, no, I spilled my yogurt! Better put the flags at half-mast!'"

"What's the other thing?"

"The other day, on my way to work, I saw a...I don't know if it was the business or their delivery truck, but it was a hoagie truck. And on the back it advertised: 'Steak hoagies! Turkey hoagies! Veggie hoagies! Assorted hoagies!'"

"What's wrong with that? It just means they have different kinds."

"They could just have said 'assorted hoagies,' then. Why do all that?"

"Because people wouldn't know what kind of hoagies they have."

"I think if people are too stupid to know what 'assorted' means they shouldn't get to have hoagies. You know, have that bar set at a reasonable minimum."

...somehow the conversation devolved from there into Edward G. Robinson: "You don't get any hoagies, see? Yeah! See? I don't have time to read all that, see? I'm a busy man! I'm a hard worker! Yeah! See? I spend all my time working! Yeah! See? Thank goodness for voice mail! I'll powerwash your house! Yeah! See?"

By that point Mrs. Fungus was laughing so hard she could barely breathe.

"And now," I said, "I forgot what the other thing I wanted to talk about!"

"Wasn't it about the flags?"

I saw some guys putting the flag at half-mast last month, and it occurred to me that--these days--flags are flown at half-mast for just about frickin' everything these days. It used to be that the flags went to half-mast when a major politician died, or a big-name military guy; it didn't just happen because some self-loathing religious fanatic shot up a nightclub.

Of course, when I was younger, people didn't really shoot up nightclubs all that often, self-loathing fanatic or not.

Anyway, the movie was great, and it was chock-full of nice touches. There were a couple of scenes that took place in the Lion's Pride Inn in Goldshire, and of course we recognized the place. There was a scene with a murloc and they used the murloc aggro sound from the game. Dalaran looked like it ought to; Stormwind was actual size rather than the simplified version we have in the game, but it still looked right.

The critics didn't like the movie, but this movie wasn't made for them. This movie was made for gamers.

*"I'll powerwash your house": we got a spam voice mail from a powerwashing company. Mrs. Fungus thought they sounded very nice.
1:54 pm
#5235: The birdbath
So while I was working on getting the grass cut last week, I moved the bird bath and the sundial so I could cut the grass in the center of the yard where we keep such things. Seeing the cracks in the bird bath reminded me that it had been broken a few days after we got it, and I remarked on that to Mrs. Fungus, that the repair I did seems to have held up rather well as it's still watertight.

We got to talking about that, and we realized something: in the three years since we put it in the middle of the yard, though hot and cold, calm and storm, that bird bath has not moved one iota.

The night it got broke, a few days after we got it--it wasn't wind that knocked it down. It wasn't an animal. Someone was blundering around our house in the dark and ran into it, not expecting it to be there, and broke it.

That gibed with something else that happened a month or so later: one day we went out onto the back patio and found that our lawn furniture had been moved. We chalked it up to wind (it had been windy the night before) and/or one of us--probably me--having moved it for this or that reason, but neither of us was ever really convinced that was the case. The furniture was arranged in a way we would not have placed it, and in a place we wouldn't have put it; but absent any other explanation, what else made sense?

Considering other things which were going on at the time, though, we've come to realize what actually happened: it's pretty obvious that there was someone who was trying to look into our windows, and on one occasion ran into the birdbath which had just been put on the corner of the patio, and on another moved lawn furniture so he could see our family room from the kitchen windows.

Pity the security camera wasn't watching that area until later; it would have been nice to take that to the police and get this perv off the streets. But those incidents are partly why we put it there in the first place.

* * *

Law enforcement isn't allowed to know that muslim terrorists may target gays because politics trumps reality in the Obamanation.

* * *

What did the FBI know and when did it know it? The gay martyr is increasingly being demonstrated to be a self-hating gay muslim who drank. Now, homosexuality and liquor are utterly forbidden to muslims--I mean, "forbidden" as in "there's no way to save you from perdition, bitch." Except that sins can be expatiated through prayer, of course, provided you have time to pray before you die. Or by murdering as many infidels as possible before you kick.

Go figure that he'd be the central figure in a massacre.

* * *

I need to read this in its entirety but I'll have to do it later since Mrs. Fungus and I are going to go see Warcraft this afternoon and I want to get into the shower.

Also getting short shrift, the economics of a heavily roboticized society because I just don't have time right now. Sorry.
12:22 am
#5234: Twigs eats corn on the cob.
Yeah, he hasn't been with us a month and he's already got weird habits.

I've heard of cats that eat corn on the cob before. First time I've seen it.

* * *

So, the radical islamic terrorist who shot up that gay bar in Orlando--turns out he was a regular there, despite living 120 miles away.

Also had a profile on a gay dating app.

The spin on the story is amazing. Because the media want to blame this on white Christian gun owners, not insane gay muslims of Pakistani descent.

So, there we have it: the left has officially declared that muslims are a more important minority group to them than gays are.

* * *

Good for you, Trump! If someone with access to your campaign is going to lie and mischaracterize you, you may as well revoke their credentials. Screw 'em.

* * *

Mrs. Fungus is watching cat videos and I have two cats on my desk. WTF.
Sunday, June 12th, 2016
8:35 pm
#5233: If it had been a white Christian Republican, we'd know all about it.
News is mum on the political affiliation and religion of the creep that shot up that gay nightclub in Orlando.

Internet, however, says "muslim" and "democrat".

The waste of skin called 911 and told them what he was doing, and pledged allegiance to ISIS. This makes the worst mass shooting in US history an example of an islamic terror attack even if the news media is not saying so. "The shooting had nothing to do with religion," quoth the git's father, but somehow I get the idea that's not actually the case (see above, "ISIS".) Let me explain it this way: a lot more people than you would think are angered and offended by the sight of homosexual men getting it on in a public restroom. Most of them do not then wait until Ramadan to go shoot up a gay nightclub.

It's because of the NRA, not because islam is an intolerant death cult which commands its adherents to kill sinners.

* * *

That Ann Barnhardt piece I linked yesterday is pretty thought-provoking. And when I think about it, I find that this is one of those things that I simply know to be true as soon as I read it.

* * *

If you say "thank you" you owe CitiGroup $0.001. Man, what can't you trademark any more?

* * *

"[The employment numbers] always are “revised down,” each and every month, and they have been for a long time." Because we're in a depression that started no later than 2008, and probably in 2000.

* * *

An open letter to Katie Couric about her anti-gun "documentary".

* * *

Now, last night it was just stinking hot outside, hot and humid; today--without any thunderstorms or anything--it's cool to the point of being chilly outside. So when I got home from work the bunker felt like an oven inside...and the AC had been set to 76°. So I opened the place up and now it's pleasantly cool inside.

Tomorrow, back to the upper eighties, says the weather report. I do love summer.
Saturday, June 11th, 2016
10:06 pm
#5232: Trixie Lulu Moon shares her magic
I am so tired--

Had to stay at work yesterday until 11, got home after midnight, didn't get to bed until after 1, didn't get to sleep until well after 2.

Had to get up today at 7. Woke up, of course, at six. *sigh*

...and had to stop by my father-in-law's house to work on his computer, with the result that I didn't get home until almost 9 PM. That's more than thirteen hours out of the house.

Embalmed.

* * *

The religion of peace sure is noble and good, isn't it? Fuckin' muslim savages.

* * *

Unlimited data baby today, claimed he could get the exact same plan as he has with Verizon, for only $30 a month. I actually told him: "Sir, if MetroPCS can give you unlimited 4G LTE data for $30 a month, I suggest you take that deal." And then I added, "Because I can guarantee you that they don't offer unlimited 4G LTE data for $30 a month. No one does. It's economically impossible."

I actually spent about twenty or so minutes just chewing the fat with my boss after work was over. Kind of nice to talk about not-work stuff, you know? And he's a good guy.

* * *

I'm going to bed very, very soon.
Friday, June 10th, 2016
12:19 am
#5231: 100 calls an hour!
Mrs. Fungus is sifting resumes to find people worth interviewing. One applicant claimed he works in a call center now and takes 100 calls per hour. When pressed, he said, "Maybe two hours."

I can't take 100 calls in two days. So, yeah, I'm calling "shenanigans" on this one. And so is she.

Plus side: that's better than the lady who said one of her hobbies is putting on makeup. This apparently warranted a bullet point.

* * *

I'm going to hit a bunch of links and then call it good, because today was one of those life-sucking days where all I really wanted to do was to tell everyone who called, "You're an idiot. Shut up and hang up."

The real problem was the second call I took today. Guy just wanted to move to the 18gb data tier. Should be a 3-minute job, all told.

I was on the phone for FORTY FUCKIN' MINUTES.

Here's the thing: one of the phones on his account was, for some reason, incompatible with the plan, so I had to do what the previous reps did: remove the phone, then add it back in. Took me a good ten minutes to figure out how to do that one; and then, when I was done?

Should be a matter of adding the IMEI and SIM card numbers back in the fields I just fucking copied them from. But of course, when I tried to put the numbers back in, the system told me the device ID and ICCID were incompatible.

Forty fuckin' minutes...and I had to hand it off to Tech. *sigh*

No, my day sucked, thanks.

* * *

8 reasons #NeverTrump failed.

The logical end of titty bars. Appeals court ruled unanimously that titty bars must hire men who identify as women. Guess which circuit court of appeals so ruled. (Hint: the same one that rules hard left every time.)

Fred!
If people want to demonstrate against anything at all, fine. If they detest any politician at all, fine. If they are vulgar subliterate rabble, let them be vulgar subliterate rabble where I am not. But when they run wild over and over and shut down politics, they need to be stopped, right now, with nightsticks and dogs and long jail sentences.
THIS.

CLosest I can come is "Darth Vader, without his helmet, in Ray-Bans." And then I laugh my ass off. (Mrs. Fungus, upon seeing this, asked, "What kind of day is this? These are the people who will be taking care of us when we're old! We're doomed!")

EBT cards not working? Incompetence, or no money? No one in the press is asking.

Repair your zanzithophone! I did!

Resurrecting an Atari ST.

I laughed at something other than the bit in the middle. I laughed at the upper left corner:
Why potatoes get soft when you boil them but eggs get hard? IS EGG REVERSE POTATO?? Please tell me I can't stop crying.
I laughed, and laughed more.

I needed a laugh. Thanks, Bluesun.
Wednesday, June 8th, 2016
12:34 pm
#5230: Funny how the books I read never mentioned that part.
Amelia Earheart was a passenger.
Since most of the [1928 trans-Atlantic] flight was on "instruments" and Earhart had no training for this type of flying, she did not pilot the aircraft. When interviewed after landing, she said, "Stultz did all the flying--had to. I was just baggage, like a sack of potatoes." She added, "...maybe someday I’ll try it alone."
In other words, Amilia Earhart was the first woman to be ferried across the Atlantic non-stop. "...[T]his flight that made Earhart an aviation pioneer was 100% image, 0% skill and accomplishment."

She wasn't instrument-rated. Instead of training for her instrument rating and making the flight herself as Lindbergh did, she had a male pilot do all the hard stuff.

The saddest part of all this is how totally not shocked I am. The sum total of my reaction to the news that Amelia Earheart was, in fact, not really the person doing all the things claimed of her, amounts to a disinterested, Oh, really? Well, how about that? It's like I'm not even surprised by it.

This is a feminist victory?

* * *

Ann Barnhardt makes an interesting point here. What is American medical debt really worth if you can buy $15 million worth of it for $60,000?
It implies a 25000% markup to the paying private consumer. Everyone else (namely insurance companies and government...but I repeat myself) backs out of the TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND PERCENT CUSHION.
And I don't know what I can add to that.

* * *

Here's a hint: it's called a drive-through for a reason, idiot. No fast food place wants pedestrian traffic at the drive-through, for the reasons Denninger cites in his post. It's a safety issue.

* * *

The American left is finally showing its true colors. Or color, rather: red, of course. This asshat is merely the latest example.

* * *

I agree, this probably goes right to the Oval Office. The left loves to use the power of government to silence its critics. They would have sent in SWAT teams if they could have gotten away with it.

* * *

Now the cops can take all your money, not just the money you happen to be carrying. If you can prove that it's not from nefarious activity--so much for presumption of innocence!--they might even let you have some of it back.

It's a sweet deal for the company that makes the hardware; they get 7.7% of everything the state seizes.

Rule of law, presumption of innocence, civil rights, and freedom--not so much.

* * *

Reverse the players in this imbroglio and see how well that flies. The OBAMA State Department is saying that it'll take 75 years to fulfill the GOP's FOIA request about the Clinton e-mail scandal.

Let's just flip the script a moment. Let's say it's 1987 and it's the Iran-Contra scandal and the State Department under Ronald Reagan says it's going to take 75 years for them to fulfill the Democrat Party's request that they produce documents relating to Oliver North's actions in the deal. The press would still be howling about it.

In 2016 for a Democrat President's scandal: nothing but crickets from the press. Of course.

Meanwhile, Hillary is still being investigated by the FBI. She's now the Democrats' presumptive nominee (as if this were ever in doubt!) so I don't know why the FBI is even bothering. Even if Obama himself can't stand the Clintons and would love to see her taken down, all that needs happen is for some Democrat elite party member to call Obama and say, "Look, Barry...sign the fucking pardon. Or would you like us to start talking about Reggie Love?"

Let's face the facts. Hillary is not going to go to jail. She's not even going to go to trial. This entire matter is going to be investigated, and then her role in all this will be quietly forgotten. The FBI will drop it; it's possible that a few of Hillary's underlings may be indicted (solely as a paean to "rule of law", and of course the FBI must be thrown a bone once in a while) but she herself won't be. Ever.

My prediction does not require any actual precognition: the FBI is going to find that Hillary Clinton made mistakes but was not herself complicit in the breaking of any laws, and that SO-AND-SO and WHAT'S-HIS-FACE were the actual miscreants. This is how it always works.

The DNC has long since decided it will front Hillary Clinton--much the same way the GOP intended to front Jeb Bush--and nothing's going to stand in the way of that.

Sanders won't be allowed to split the Democrat vote, either, so stop hoping. Trust me on this. The Sanders campaign will be quietly "urged" to resign and back Hillary.

* * *

Today's my Sunday. It's quiet and pleasant. Can't beat that.
Tuesday, June 7th, 2016
7:16 pm
#5229: Oh, yeah, that grass is CUT.
I'm really glad I was able to get it cut today, because it really, really needed it.

It's not just that it rained while I was trying to cut it last time and I had to stop; it's that it's grown like crazy in the two weeks or so since then. I got the east 40 cut last time--it was the immediate back yard where I had to stop due to deluge--but it was long and shaggy and looked like crap. The front yard, too. It's been raining too much; I haven't had good weather when I've had time off from work. Today that changed, finally. I didn't really want to cut the grass, but it sorely needed it.

So: got the tractor out and whacked it all back. And this time, because the weather didn't start making with the thunderstorms, I was able to finish all the tractor work and get out the pusher, and got the trimming done; then I got out the weed whacker and had a go at some of the worst of that, too.

Result: the yard now looks 100% better than it did.

One of the problems I've had with the tractor is how unevenly it cuts the front yard. When I cut north-south, it comes out uneven, with a sawtooth profile; so the first time I cut it this year I had the brilliant idea of cutting it east-west, going up and down the (gentle) slope instead of across it--and it looks much better for only a little more effort.

I keep thinking I've got to get the loppers out and whack back some of the brush, but so far I haven't managed it--I haven't had the energy for it--but that's not an emergency, anyway.

It really doesn't take a lot of effort to keep your yard reasonably neat. You just need not be a total screwoff, is all.
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