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Topics - Tulionberry the Enforcer

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and nine more superdelegates drop Clinton

Even though The New York Times declared that Hillary Clinton “secured enough delegates for the Democratic nomination,” and later issued a correction blaming the erroneous statement due to “an editing error,” Hillary Clinton did not actually earn enough delegates to be declared the nominee of the Democratic Party. In fact, contrary to the call by the Associated Press, Clinton also has not actually won California either. There are still millions of ballots that remain uncounted that will indeed be counted as the official canvass progresses, according to the California Secretary of State’s office. As the canvassing got underway, things started to to look up for Bernie Sanders’ supporters.

In Los Angeles County 275,972 Vote-By-Mail, 256,326 Provisional and 24,021 ballots of another form still had to be counted as of Friday afternoon. This totals over 556 thousand ballots in Los Angeles County alone that will be counted, where Clinton’s lead over Sanders is just over 164 thousand votes. Los Angeles County could still go either way.

The votes simply aren’t all accounted for just yet, but they will be.

The most recent report shows that in Glenn County, now that all of the late mail-in ballots and all of the provisional ballots are counted, Bernie Sanders’ voters managed to flip the county. On election night, Glenn County was called for Clinton, but the most recent report shows that with all but 24 ballots counted, Sanders won Glenn County. As the votes are still being counted in San Luis Obispo County, Bernie also surpassed Clinton there. He pulled ahead of Clinton in Santa Barbara County as well, where there are almost 21,000 ballots left to count, and on election night, there were only around 25,000 ballots cast for the Democratic primary. The ballots to be counted are almost the same number of Democratic ballots reported in the hours after the election day. The New York Times, as of Saturday night, had not updated their results in any of the counties where Bernie flipped the votes.

Berniecrats have not given up hope that Sanders will catch up and maybe even win in California before all the ballots are counted. The Secretary of State’s office in California explains.

“It typically takes weeks to process and count all of the ballots. Elections officials have approximately one month to complete their extensive tallying, auditing, and certification work (known as the ‘official canvass’).”

“Most notably, voting by mail has increased significantly in recent years and many vote-by-mail ballots arrive on Election Day. In addition, vote-by-mail ballots postmarked on or before Election Day and received by county elections officials no later than 3 days after Election Day must be processed. In processing vote-by-mail ballots, elections officials must confirm each voter’s registration status, verify each voter’s signature on the vote-by-mail envelope, and ensure each person did not vote elsewhere in the same election before the ballot can be counted.

“Other ballots that are processed after Election Day include provisional ballots (processed similar to vote-by-mail ballots), and ballots that are damaged or cannot be machine-read and must be remade by elections officials.”

Now, while provisional ballots are generally used in the manner mentioned on the Secretary of State’s webpage, these ballots are playing a massive role in the hope that Bernie Sanders’ supporters are carrying that Sanders, who is separated by Hillary Clinton’s lead by only around 400 thousand votes in the entire state, could end up winning California after all.

After meeting with President Obama at the White house this week, Sanders reminded the press that the final numbers are still not in for California and that he looks forward to the remaining ballots making the race in California a much closer delegate split.

Those provisional ballots might not reflect the same proportion of votes in California this year that they normally do. According to multiple reports by poll workers, poll workers in districts in California were being told to give voters who were considered “No Party Preference” provisional ballots, rather than just giving them cross over ballots.

For weeks, on social media, Berniecrats worried that Bernie voters might be given provisional ballots at the polling places by poll workers, and that those provisional ballots would not count. As it turns out though, California’s thorough official canvassing procedure includes counting all provisional ballots.

Friday was the last day that the mail-in ballots had to be received by in order to count in the final tally. They had to be postmarked by election day. As the official canvassing started, Clinton’s lead began to shrink slightly. There are still 2.4 million more ballots to go through before California’s Democratic primary results are known, including over 718 thousand provisional ballots and Clinton up just 475 thousand votes in California.

Clinton is still ahead in delegates and super delegates, but nine more superdelegates are now showing in the most current update from The Green Papers as having dropped Hillary Clinton. She now as 545 superdelegates who say they will most likely vote for her at the convention in July. The New York Times still shows 577.

General Discussion / Paranormal Activity VR Game
« on: June 13, 2016, 12:22:22 AM »

I'm a real fan of this kind of genre (e.g. Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Alien: Isolation, etc), and I'll admit Vr seems perfect for these types of games.


The challenge led to a brief shootout in the family’s El Paso County home Wednesday, authorities said.

A Colorado man is facing child abuse charges after allegedly challenging his daughter to a firearm “duel.”

The bizarre challenge led to a shootout Wednesday before Robert Williams was safely taken into custody, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said.

Authorities say Williams was arguing with his daughter around 7:30 p.m. when he pulled a handgun on her and his wife. He allegedly then ordered his daughter to go to another room and fetch a gun so they could “duel.”

“A struggle ensued and a round was fired by the father,” the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office stated in a release. “The daughter then fired a round in the direction of the father.”

As the wife and daughter tried to flee the home, Williams allegedly grabbed a shotgun from a shed and pointed it at his wife. She was able to get it away from him and call 911, authorities said.

Fortunately for everyone involved, no one was injured.

Williams was booked on two counts of felony menacing, prohibited use of a weapon and child abuse. His daughter’s age was not released.

General Discussion / Addictions are harder to kick when you're poor
« on: June 03, 2016, 06:19:01 PM »

Addictions are harder to kick when you're poor. Here's why

Addiction does discriminate: it hits hardest those who are already down or feel that they will never be able to rise.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, crack cocaine, which was prevalent and visible in poor black communities, was said to be a great threat to the white middle class. In many black communities, before crack took off, unemployment rates had been high and rising, driven by the decline in manufacturing jobs and biased hiring and firing practices.

But where jobs had more stability, and where drug users weren’t victims of the “war on drugs” policing push, the long-predicted spread to the leafy suburbs never happened. While white youth took plenty of cocaine, addiction rates didn’t skyrocket. And when middle-class youths did get hooked, their recoveries were quicker.

Now, another drug epidemic is afoot, and white America looks economically a lot more like black America in the 1990s: stable, well-paying jobs are disappearing, replaced by lower-wage positions with far more uncertainty. And criminalizing drug use, while proven not to work, remains the default.

But our response to today’s opioid crisis cannot be effective if it ignores the socioeconomic aspects of the problem. Though advocates like to claim that addiction is an equal opportunity destroyer, in reality, it is far less likely to hit people who have stable, structured lives and decent employment than it is those whose lives are marked by uncertainty and lack of work.

Research shows that when a country has a healthy middle class – and low or at least moderate levels of economic inequality – addiction rates are lowest among the middle class and at least half of them (excepting tobacco) end by age 30, even without treatment. However, when unemployment, tenuous employment and inequality are high and the middle class shrinks, more people are at high risk. And their odds for early-life recovery decline.

Abundant data support the connection between socioeconomic factors, addiction and recovery.

For one, heroin addiction is more than three times as common in people making less than $20,000 per year compared to those who make $50,000 or more, and higher levels of education are also linked with lower rates of addiction. The relationship between addiction rates and inequality has long been noted by researchers who study its health effects: countries and states with higher levels of inequality tend to have worse mental health and addiction problems than those with less dramatic differences between the 1% and everyone else.

Further, decades of survey data also show that the addiction rate among the unemployed is usually around twice as high as among those who have jobs. Some of this unemployment, of course, is addiction-related job loss. But a review of this literature suggests that in many cases, unemployment precedes addiction and that either way, it reduces the odds of recovery.

So what explains these connections? It’s important to understand that 90% of all addictions begin in the teen and young adult years, a time when most people – especially in the middle class – are in school. Binge drinking and drug use are one way that teens separate themselves from their parents and declare independence.

Moreover, in the high school and college years, not only are teens developmentally primed to move away from their families, their brains are also especially sensitive. The regions that push youths to take risks and seek romantic relationships are the same ones that drive desire for drugs during addiction – and these areas mature long before the regions that exert maximum control do. The prefrontal cortex, which is the seat of judgment and restraint, does not fully develop until the mid 20s, which is typically when excessive drinking and other drug use tends to recede.

This healthy maturation is not only driven by genes, however; it is also reliant to some extent on environmental experience. For example, in a typical, modern middle-class life, people are completing college and starting careers alongside as their prefrontal cortex matures. And it’s not as easy to get away with not showing up or showing up hungover or stoned at work as it is to college classes.

The routine and requirements of working life work against addictive behavior and, for many people, they are what allows it to be outgrown. Getting married is also a turning point into recovery for many people: being accountable to a spouse often makes binging harder. Finally, having a child is also a major spur to quitting or cutting back dramatically: the demands of a baby and the love and purpose that parenting engenders tend to work against a lifestyle of frequent intoxication, to say the least.

Combined, these social and developmental factors work to keep all but the most severe addictions time-limited to adolescence and young adulthood.

But when decent jobs are not available, all of the social aspects of this process can be blocked because economic opportunity influences not only employment, but also coupling and childrearing. Accordingly, recovery without treatment is far less common among the poor and unemployed.

For over 100 years, we’ve relied on attempting to cut the drug supply by locking up dealers or restricting access to certain chemicals – and this has never remotely come close to solving the problem. If we want to fight addiction, we’ve got to look at what drives people to despair. And to do that, we can’t ignore inequality.


Here's the full list of dumb questions that your state wants to know the answers to:

ALABAMA:  Who is Jesus? / Who owns FOX News? / Who is Lucifer? / Is Donald Trump married? / How to vote?

ALASKA:  How to smoke salmon?

ARIZONA:  Who vetoes bills? / What is hominy? / What is the minimum wage? / Why is my computer so slow?

ARKANSAS:  Where is Syria? / Who won the Civil War? / What is zika? / When is Veteran’s Day? / Is Adele married? / Is God real? / Is Pluto a planet? / How to vote on The Voice? / Why did the chicken cross the road?

CALIFORNIA:  What is sexism? / What is Jello? / What is a mullet? / What is spirituality / What is anarchy? / Where is Iraq? / Is O.J. guilty? / How to get divorced? / Who owns MSNBC? / Who qualifies for Medicare? / What is nihilism? / Am I asexual? / How to become an accountant? / Where does bacon come from? / When is Burning Man? / When is Coachella? / When is kitten season? / Is a coconut a nut? / Is Bran the Three-Eyed Raven? / Is coffee bad for you? / Does bread make you fat? / Is honey vegan? / Is Bernie Sanders vegan? / Is karma real? / Is Uber safe? / Where is the nearest Starbucks? / Why are people racist? / Do jellyfish have brains?

COLORADO:  What is fracking? / What is hash? / What is paleo? / Who is Edward Snowden? / Where is Waldo? / What is dry ice?

CONNECTICUT:  Will Trump win? / What is the American dream? / How to be pretty?

DELAWARE:  Who run the world? / How to get away with murder? / Who is Young Metro?

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  When is Ramadan? / Where is Obama today?

FLORIDA: Where is Israel? / Who owns CNN? / What is A.A.? / Is adultery illegal? / Where is Siri? / What is quantum physics? / Are UFOs real? / When is high tide? / When is Opposite Day? / Is Kasumi a synth? / Is magic real? / Which Disney princess am I? / Why are Americans so stupid? / How to be famous? / How to be rich? / Why does everyone hate Florida?

GEORGIA:  Who created God? / Who is in the Illuminati? / What is calamari? / What is adultery? / What is ovulation? / Who is going to be the next president? / Was Jesus black? / Who is Allah? / Is DMX dead? / Is Jesus real? / Is Vietnam communist? / How to hack an Instagram account? / How to improve credit score? / How to hotwire a car / Where is weed legal? / When is a woman most fertile? / Why are my nipples so sore? / How to be a man? / How to become a stripper? / Is Africa a country?

HAWAII:  What is foie gras? / What is Instagram? / How to write a resume? / How to YouTube? / What is the meaning of life?

IDAHO:  Is Ted Cruz the Zodiak Killer? / How to be single? / What is federalism? / What does “Netflix and chill” mean? / Is Netflix down? / How to meditate? / What is the electoral college?

ILLINOIS:  What does OPP mean? / Is Trump winning? / What is falafel? / What is pâté? / What is NATO? / Was Jesus real? / Is Bill Cosby guilty? / Is JoJo engaged? / Was Hitler elected? / Why are TSA lines so long? / How to jump a car?

INDIANA:  What is presidential? / What is Islam? / What is Judaism? / How many states are there? / What is communism? / What is Jupiter made of? / What is natural selection? / What is satire? / Do midgets have night vision? / Are aliens real? / Is Bigfoot real? / Is global warming real? / Is Bernie Sanders a democrat? / Was Clinton impeached? / What is the constitution? / What is the first amendment? / What is the second amendment? / How to be popular?

IOWA:  Where is ISIS? / Who is Bernie Sanders? / What is a caucus? / What is a socialist? / What is socialism? / What is Snapchat? / Is Lady Gaga married? / Is Ted Cruz hispanic? / Do penguins have knees?

KANSAS:  What is Syria? / How to make meth?

KENTUCKY:  What are jorts? / How to pass a drug test? / What is catfishing? / How to make a baby? / What is hemp? / Who is Siri? / Which side is your appendix on?

LOUISIANA:  What is Scientology? / When is hurricane season? / When is Wrestlemania?

MAINE: Who won Survivor? / What is a blue moon? / How to knit? / Is Bernie Sanders Jewish?

MARYLAND:  Did O.J. do it? / Is Joe Flacco elite? / Who unfollowed me? / Who runs the world? / When is it going to snow? / Why do I owe taxes?

MASSACHUSETTS:  Who’s on first? / Can I kick it? (Yes, you can) / When is Columbus Day? / How to negotiate? / How many beers in a keg? / Where have all the cowboys gone?

MICHIGAN:  Is Trump presidential? / What’s the weather today? / Who is Ron Paul / What causes depression / Where is Canada? / How much caffeine is too much? / Who is Muhammad? / When is Lent? / Is Mr. T dead? / How to be a good girlfriend?

MINNESOTA:  Is funner a word?

MISSISSIPPI:  Am I pregnant? / Who am I?  /  Can I get a what what? / Is Obama the antichrist? / Who is Prince? / Is Prince dead? / Who killed Tupac? / What is love? / What is Common Core? / What is gout? / What is HPV? / Are mermaids real? / Who is Harriet Tubman? / How to lose belly fat? / How to lower blood pressure? / How to make money? / Where is Rihanna from?

MISSOURI:  Who has played Batman? / When is tornado season? / Am I a psycho?

MONTANA:  How to move to Canada? / What is corned beef? / What is Gluten? / Is Bernie Sanders out?

NEBRASKA:  Who owns Budweiser? / When is Arbor Day? / What is Tinder?

NEVADA:  Who invented pizza? / What is asexual? / When is spring break? / Is Reddit down? / Where is Area 51? / What is Burning Man?

NEW HAMPSHIRE:  Who Framed Roger Rabbit? / Who should I vote for? / Is Bernie Sanders married?

NEW JERSEY:  Who is Hillary Clinton? / How to stop Trump? / How to make friends? / Is time travel possible? / When is iPhone 7 release date? / Is weed bad for you?

NEW MEXICO:  Where is Mars? / Why is the sky blue? / How to be emo? / Do dogs dream?

NEW YORK:  Am I bisexual? / Am I an alcoholic? / Am I a democrat? / Where my dogs at? / Is Cornell an Ivy League school? / What’s a millennial? / Who killed Biggie? / Who to invade next? / Who unfriended me? / How to meet women? / Who is Banksy? / When is Passover? / Is Mercury in retrograde? / Is wine gluten free? / How to ask for a raise? / Is Hillary Clinton left handed? / Is Bernie Sanders a communist?

NORTH CAROLINA:  Who is the antichrist? / Who built the Great Wall of China? / What is Buddhism? / What is Hinduism? / What is religion? / What is dabbing? / Is Kodi legal? / How to open a jar? / Is Donald Trump the antichrist?

NORTH DAKOTA:  When is NFL Draft? / How to get a passport?

OHIO: What is feminism? / What is the best dog food? /  Is pot legal? / Am I a republican? / Do I have to pay taxes? / Was Jesus white? / Will North Korea attack?

OKLAHOMA:  Is Obama muslim? / Why do dogs eat grass? / Why are gas prices so low?

OREGON:  Should I move to Portland? / Who is Ammon Bundy?

PENNSYLVANIA:  Am I gay? / Is Bill Cosby a rapist? / When is X-Files? / What is vaping? / How to write a check? / Why are people gay? / What is Grindr? / Is Hillary Clinton going to win? / Why is my period late? / Why can’t I poop? / Do cats fart?

RHODE ISLAND:  Did Jay-Z cheat on Beyonce? / Is John Snow alive?

SOUTH CAROLINA:  What is transgender? / What is capitalism? / What is mercantilism? / What is OCD? / What is satire? / What is foreshadowing? / Is Google making us stupid? / Is he cheating? / Is Jesus God? / Is weed legal? / How to hack someone’s Facebook? / Where is my phone?

SOUTH DAKOTA:  Who let the dogs out? / Who killed JFK? / How to tie a tie? / How to use Snapchat? / Why is my poop green?

TENNESSEE:  Who killed Superman? / Who or whom? / Where do babies come from? / What is popcorn lung? / Is vaping safe? / Are unicorns real? / What is the clap? / What is the hottest pepper?

TEXAS:  Am I a lesbian?  / Am I cool? / Am I a sociopath? / How does sex work? / Who is the best rapper? /  Who named Pluto? / Who qualifies for medicaid? / Who was the best president? / Do I have herpes? / How to meet men? / What is gun control? / Where is the internet? / What is jock itch? / Where is hell? / Where is heaven? / Why do I sweat? / Where is Johnny Manziel? / When is flu season? / When is Jesus coming? / Is Russia in Asia? / Can I vote? / How to yodel? / Which Pokemon are you? / Why are people so mean? / Why are we here? / How to get rich quick? / How to be the man? / Who is Putin? / Why is my hair falling out? / Why is my tongue yellow? / Why is my tongue white? / Do girls poop? / Do zombies exist?

UTAH:   How many ounces in a pound? / Who moved my cheese? / What should I make for dinner? / What is my IP? / What is Pinterest? / What is quinoa? / How much wood would a woodchuck chuck? / What about Bob? / When is National Pancake Day? / How to kiss? / How to network? / How to pick a lock? / How to register to vote? / Which states are winner take all?

VERMONT:  Where is my mind? / How to write a cover letter?

VIRGINIA:  Why is Virginia for lovers? / What is emo?

WASHINGTON:   Who buys gift cards? / How many grams in an ounce? / What is Spam? / What is dim sum? / What is kombucha? / What is Reddit? / Is Comcast down? / Is Breaking Bad over? / Will Bernie win? / Can Bernie win? / Is Ted Cruz Canadian? / How can I help Syrian refugees?

WEST VIRGINIA: Are zombies real? / Who invented the internet? / Who died? / Who is Donald Trump? / How to lose weight? / What is normal? / What is pansexual? / When is Cinco de Mayo? / Is Facebook down? / How to last longer in bed? / Where is Chuck Norris? / Why is there a leap day? / Why are cats afraid of cucumbers?

WISCONSIN:  Who are the Koch brothers? / How to join ISIS? / When is American Idol on? / Is coffee good for you?

WYOMING:  What is Wyoming?


Science: Magic Mushrooms Found to Help Depression

Overcoming years of stigma and governmental restrictions, British scientists showed that the use of psychedelics can create a new field of psychiatric treatments.

In a first study of its kind, researchers found psilocybin, the psychedelic compound in magic mushrooms, to be a safe and effective method to treat serious depression.  Scientists from Imperial College London concluded that giving managed doses of psilocybin to subjects who were previously resistant to treatment by common anti-depressants led to “enduring reductions in symptom severity”.

The study was conducted by the team which earlier this year published the groundbreaking research where they scanned the brains of people using LSD.

The senior author of the study, Professor David Nutt, said: “It is important that academic research groups try to develop possible new treatments for depression as the pharmaceutical industry is pulling out of this field‎. Our study has shown psilocybin is safe and fast acting so may, if administered carefully, have value for these patients.”

The study involved 12 patients (six men and six women) with moderate to severe depression that was not improved by previous attempts at treatment and lasted on average 17.8 years. There was no control group. Researchers gave the subjects two oral doses of psilocybin (10mg and 25 mg) 7 days apart. The subjects were provided with psychological support and a safe setting. The patients were then assessed for depressive episodes from 1 week to 3 months after treatment.

Here is how the flow of the study:

Spoiler (hover to show)

Researchers found that the “trip” for each participant started about 30-60 minutes in, peaked at 2-3 hours after the dosing, and subsides after about 6 hours. Psilocybin was tolerated well by all the subjects, without major side effects, with some exhibiting only mild anxiety and confusion. 

The study’s lead author, neuropsychopharmacologist Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris, cautioned: “Psychedelic drugs have potent psychological effects and are only given in our research when appropriate safeguards are in place, such as careful screening and professional therapeutic support. I wouldn’t want members of the public thinking they can treat their own depressions by picking their own magic mushrooms. That kind of approach could be risky.” 

 In other words, don’t try this at home just yet, although the results are very promising.

This chart highlights the efficacy of the treatment:

Spoiler (hover to show)

The researchers acknowledge that their study was conducted on a small scale and see it as a feasibility study that should motivate further research into the use of psychedelic compounds to treat major depression. They hope their work will “catalyse the re-emergence of a promising research area in psychiatry”.

Research paper:


Man Gets FBI Visit, Entire Flight Delayed After Economics Equation Reported as Terrorism

An American Airlines flight has been delayed due to a woman thinking an Ivy League economics professor could be a terrorist because of a math equation he was writing.

40-year-old University of Pennsylvania economics professor Guido Menzio was traveling from Philadelphia to Syracuse on Thursday.
He was solving a differential equation, when suddenly, as he describes it on his Facebook page, “The passenger sitting next to me calls the stewardess, passes her a note.”

The plane then came back to the gate, and the passenger left, while Menzio was requested to leave the plane, too. He was then “met by some FBI looking man-in-black.”

“They ask me about my neighbour. I tell them I noticed nothing strange. They tell me she thought I was a terrorist because I was writing strange things on a pad of paper. I laugh. I bring them back to the plane. I showed them my math,” Menzio wrote.

American Airlines have confirmed that the woman informed them about Menzio. She said she was too ill to take the Air Wisconsin-operated flight. The air carrier spokesman Casey Norton told AP that the crew followed protocol to take care of an ill passenger and then to investigate her allegations. Norton added that the officials determined them to be non-credible.

Menzio is Italian and has curly, dark hair, and he is an outstanding Ivy League academic, having had spells at Princeton and Stanford universities.
In the end, Menzio, was allowed to board the flight, which was over two hours late, scheduled to depart at 7:20 p.m. local time, but eventually leaving at 9:42 p.m. The woman who raised the false alarm didn’t fly.

“Not seeking additional information after reports of ‘suspicious activity’ … is going to create a lot of problems, especially as xenophobic attitudes may be emerging,” Menzio said in an e-mail to AP.

It’s not the first such incident, ethnic profiling included, over the last few months.

In April, an Iraqi student was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight after passenger complained he was speaking on the phone in Arabic. In fact, the student was talking to his uncle.

General Discussion / Sand Marble Race 500 feet
« on: May 06, 2016, 07:41:57 PM »

General Discussion / "We put a GoPro on a sparrow"
« on: April 26, 2016, 11:07:42 PM »

General Discussion / Medical Marijuana Refugee Families
« on: April 23, 2016, 05:11:06 AM »

What I Learned From Medical Marijuana Refugee Families

It wasn't that they believed marijuana was a miracle drug. Sure, many would arrive at that conclusion, but it wasn't the reason they left family and friends, uprooted themselves, and resettled in towns and cities beyond the Rockies. Rather, it was desperation — the sobering realization that no combination of pharmaceuticals would save their children — that drove these parents to Colorado.

They call themselves medical marijuana refugees. Left with no legal protection, these parents fled their home states and took asylum in Colorado, the Mecca of the marijuana legalization movement. I met with several of these families earlier this month.

Today, they are advocates. But their activism is informed by firsthand experience, not some abstract belief in the healing powers of a federally controlled substance. I think there's often a misconception about the "type" of parents who choose to treat their sick children with marijuana, as if they're united by a set of shared political and ideological beliefs. In reality, the only thing that unites them is an uncompromising dedication to their kids' wellbeing.

Well, that and the fact that pharmaceuticals didn't work for many of these young patients. If the pills were effective and reduced the number of seizures that these infants, toddlers, and adolescents experienced each day (the majority of refugee families use cannabis to treat their kids with severe forms of epilepsy), it's unlikely they would have ever left. In many cases, however, the prescription drugs didn't work; in other cases, they worsened the very conditions they were designed to treat.

"We'll do anything — any parent would," Amy Dawn Bourlon-Hilterbran, the founder of American Medical Refugees, told ATTN:. "You'll go anywhere, you'll do anything, you'll try anything. And for years and years, we've tried pharmaceuticals that we knew could potentially kill our children — that certainly had hideous side effects and literally stole our children from us in the form of their personality and happiness."

"I mean, really, what else do we have to lose?"

Hilterbran's 14-year-old son, Austin, has Dravet syndrome, a catastrophic form of epilepsy that caused him — for most of his life — to dozens to hundreds of seizures per day. As ATTN: previously reported, the Hilterbrans moved from Oklahoma to Colorado in 2014 after pharmaceuticals nearly killed Austin, causing his vital organs to shut down from toxicity. Like so many parents I met, the Hilterbran's decision to treat Austin with cannabis reflected the state of desperation the family found itself in, not necessarily their optimism about the plant's medicinal value.

Oils derived from cannabis treated Austin's seizures better than any pill had, Hilterbran said. He's gone days, weeks, and months without seizures — something his parents wouldn't have expected in their wildest dreams — and they were also able to wean him off the half-dozen pharmaceuticals he was prescribed. Austin's story is nothing short of incredible, but what struck me during my trip to Colorado was how often I heard parents from all across the U.S. tell variations of the same story.

I met parents from Texas, Wisconsin, Indiana, Florida — even Ireland — who testified to the effectiveness of cannabis as medicine for their children. American Medical Refugees — an organization that helps families transition from states where marijuana is illegal to Colorado — counts more than 150 families as members, and each family's experience is certainly unique. That said, they share distinct commonalities: namely, they were parents before they were legalization advocates, singularly committed to their children's health.

The evidence of marijuana's medical benefits continues to grow, albeit slowly in the U.S., where federal restrictions make it difficult for scientists to access and study the substance. Anecdotally, however, the evidence spills over in Colorado.

When the acting chief of the DEA, Chuck Rosenberg, called medical marijuana "a joke" in 2015, patients and advocates shook their heads. More than 150,000 people signed a petition for the official's resignation. I asked Yvonne Cahalane, who moved to Colorado from Cork, Ireland, to treat her 2-year-old son with cannabis, what she made of Rosenberg's comment.

"I would hate for this person to need [cannabis] and then realize that it's not a joke," Cahalane said. "But maybe he should visit some children."

I found that answer powerful and true. It's one thing to ignore the research; it's another thing to entirely ignore the parents, their children, their stories and experiences. That's why I set out to visit Colorado and meet with these refugee families.

General Discussion / Meet the Robin Hood of Science
« on: April 17, 2016, 06:15:55 PM »

The tale of how one researcher has made nearly every scientific paper ever published available for free to anyone, anywhere in the world.

On the evening of November 9th, 1989, the Cold War came to a dramatic end with the fall of the Berlin Wall. Four years ago another wall began to crumble, a wall that arguably has as much impact on the world as the wall that divided East and West Germany. The wall in question is the network of paywalls that cuts off tens of thousands of students and researchers around the world, at institutions that can’t afford expensive journal subscriptions, from accessing scientific research.

On September 5th, 2011, Alexandra Elbakyan, a researcher from Kazakhstan, created Sci-Hub, a website that bypasses journal paywalls, illegally providing access to nearly every scientific paper ever published immediately to anyone who wants it. The website works in two stages, firstly by attempting to download a copy from the LibGen database of pirated content, which opened its doors to academic papers in 2012 and now contains over 48 million scientific papers. The ingenious part of the system is that if LibGen does not already have a copy of the paper, Sci-hub bypasses the journal paywall in real time by using access keys donated by academics lucky enough to study at institutions with an adequate range of subscriptions. This allows Sci-Hub to route the user straight to the paper through publishers such as JSTOR, Springer, Sage, and Elsevier. After delivering the paper to the user within seconds, Sci-Hub donates a copy of the paper to LibGen for good measure, where it will be stored forever, accessible by everyone and anyone.

This was a game changer. Before September 2011, there was no way for people to freely access paywalled research en masse; researchers like Elbakyan were out in the cold. Sci-Hub is the first website to offer this service and now makes the process as simple as the click of a single button.

As the number of papers in the LibGen database expands, the frequency with which Sci-Hub has to dip into publishers’ repositories falls and consequently the risk of Sci-Hub triggering its alarm bells becomes ever smaller. Elbakyan explains, “We have already downloaded most paywalled articles to the library ... we have almost everything!” This may well be no exaggeration. Elsevier, one of the most prolific and controversial scientific publishers in the world, recently alleged in court that Sci-Hub is currently harvesting Elsevier content at a rate of thousands of papers per day. Elbakyan puts the number of papers downloaded from various publishers through Sci-Hub in the range of hundreds of thousands per day, delivered to a running total of over 19 million visitors.

The efficiency of the system is really quite astounding, working far better than the comparatively primitive modes of access given to researchers at top universities, tools that universities must fork out millions of pounds for every year. Users now don’t even have to visit the Sci-Hub website at all; instead, when faced with a journal paywall they can simply take the Sci-Hub URL and paste it into the address bar of a paywalled journal article immediately after the “.com” or “.org” part of the journal URL and before the remainder of the URL. When this happens, Sci-Hub automatically bypasses the paywall, taking the reader straight to a PDF without the user ever having to visit the Sci-Hub website itself.

If, at first pass the network fails to gain access to the paper, the system automatically tries different institutions’ credentials until it gains access. In one fell swoop, a network has been created that likely has a greater level of access to science than any individual university, or even government for that matter, anywhere in the world. Sci-Hub represents the sum of countless different universities' institutional access — literally a world of knowledge. This is important now more than ever in a world where even Harvard University can no longer afford to pay skyrocketing academic journal subscription fees, while Cornell axed many of its Elsevier subscriptions over a decade ago. For researchers outside the US' and Western Europe’s richest institutions, routine piracy has long been the only way to conduct science, but increasingly the problem of unaffordable journals is coming closer to home.

This was the experience of Elbakyan herself, who studied in Kazakhstan University and just like other students in countries where journal subscriptions are unaffordable for institutions, was forced to pirate research in order to complete her studies. Elbakyan told me, “Prices are very high, and that made it impossible to obtain papers by purchasing. You need to read many papers for research, and when each paper costs about 30 dollars, that is impossible.”

So how did researchers like Elbakyan ever survive before Sci-Hub? Elbakyan explains, “Before Sci-Hub, this problem was solved manually for years! For example, students would go to an online forum where other researchers communicate, and request papers there; other people would respond to the request.” This practice is widespread even today, with researchers even at rich Western institutions now routinely forced to email the authors of papers directly, asking for a copy by email, wasting the time of everyone involved and holding back the progress of research in the process.

Today many researchers use the #icanhazpdf hashtag on Twitter to ask other benevolent researchers to download paywalled papers for them, a practice Elbakyan describes as “very archaic,” pointing out that “especially in Russia, the Sci-Hub project started a new era in how research work is done. Now, the requests for information are solved by machines, not the hands of other researchers. Automation made the process of solving requests very effective. Before, hundreds of requests were solved per day; Sci-Hub turned these numbers into hundreds of thousands.”

Last year, New York District Court Judge Robert W. Sweet delivered a preliminary injunction against Sci-Hub, making the site's former domain unavailable. The injunction came in the run-up to the forthcoming case of Elsevier vs. Sci-Hub, a case Elsevier is expected to win — due, in no small part, because no one is likely to turn up on U.S. soil to initiate a defence. Elsevier alleges “irreparable harm,” based on statutory damages of $750-$150,000 for each pirated work. Given that Sci-Hub now holds a library of over 48 million papers Elsevier’s claim runs into the billions, but can be expected to remain hypothetical both in theory and in practice.

Elsevier is the world’s largest academic publisher and by far the most controversial. Over 15,000 researchers have vowed to boycott the publisher for charging “exorbitantly high prices” and bundling expensive, unwanted journals with essential journals, a practice that allegedly is bankrupting university libraries. Elsevier also supports SOPA and PIPA, which the researchers claim threatens to restrict the free exchange of information. Elsevier is perhaps most notorious for delivering takedown notices to academics, demanding them to take their own research published with Elsevier off websites like

The movement against Elsevier has only gathered speed over the course of the last year with the resignation of 31 editorial board members from the Elsevier journal Lingua, who left in protest to set up their own open-access journal, Glossa. Now the battleground has moved from the comparatively niche field of linguistics to the far larger field of cognitive sciences. Last month, a petition of over 1,500 cognitive science researchers called on the editors of the Elsevier journal Cognition to demand Elsevier offer “fair open access”. Elsevier currently charges researchers $2,150 per article if researchers wish their work published in Cognition to be accessible by the public, a sum far higher than the charges that led to the Lingua mutiny.

In a letter to the judge, Elbakyan defended her decision not on legal grounds, but on ethical grounds. Elbakyan writes: “When I was a student in Kazakhstan University, I did not have access to any research papers. These papers I needed for my research project. Payment of 32 dollars is just insane when you need to skim or read tens or hundreds of these papers to do research. I obtained these papers by pirating them. Later I found there are lots and lots of researchers (not even students, but university researchers) just like me, especially in developing countries. They created online communities (forums) to solve this problem. I was an active participant in one of such communities in Russia. Here anyone who needs a research paper, but cannot pay for it, could place a request and other members who can obtain the paper will send it for free by email. I could obtain any paper by pirating it, so I solved many requests and people always were very grateful for my help. After that, I created, a website that simply makes this process automatic and the website immediately became popular.

It is true that Sci-Hub collects donations, however we do not pressure anyone to send them. Elsevier, in contrast, operates by racket: If you do not send money, you will not read any papers. On my website, any person can read as many papers as they want for free, and sending donations is their free will. Why can Elsevier not work like this, I wonder?”

In her letter to Sweet, Elbakyan made a point that will likely come as a shock to many outside the academic community: Researchers and universities don’t earn a single penny from the fees charged by publishers such as Elsevier for accepting their work, while Elsevier has an annual income over a billion U.S. dollars. Elbakyan explains: “I would also like to mention that Elsevier is not a creator of these papers. All papers on their website are written by researchers, and researchers do not receive money from what Elsevier collects. That is very different from the music or movie industry, where creators receive money from each copy sold. But the economics of research papers is very different. Authors of these papers do not receive money. Why would they send their work to Elsevier then? They feel pressured to do this, because Elsevier is an owner of so-called "high-impact” journals. If a researcher wants to be recognized, make a career — he or she needs to have publications in such journals.” 

This is the Catch-22. Why would any self-respecting researcher willingly hand over, for nothing, the copyright to their hard work to an organization that will profit from the work by making the keys prohibitively expensive to the few people who want to read it? The answer is ultimately all to do with career prospects and prestige. Researchers are rewarded in jobs and promotions for publishing in high-ranking journals such as Nature.

Ironically, it is becoming increasingly common for researchers to be unable to access even their own published work, as wealthier and wealthier universities join the ranks of those unable to pay rising subscription fees. Another tragic irony is the fact that high-impact journals can actually be less reliable than lesser-ranked journals, due to their requirements that researchers publish startling results, which can lead to a higher incidence of fraud and bad research practices.

But things are changing. Researchers are increasingly fighting back against the problem of closed-access publishers and now funders of research such as the Wellcome Trust are increasingly joining the battle by instituting open access policies banning their researchers from publishing in journals with closed access. But none of this helps researchers who need access to science right now.

For her part, Elbakyan isn’t giving up the fight, in spite of the growing legal pressure, which she feels is totally unjust. When I asked what her next move would be, Elbakyan said, “I do not want Elsevier to learn about our plans,” but assured me she was not put off by the recent court order, defiantly stating “we are not going to stop our activities, and plan to expand our database.”

Already, only days after the court injunction blocking Sci-Hub’s old domain, Sci-Hub was back online at a new domain accessible worldwide. Since the court judgment, the website has been upgraded from a barebones site that existed entirely in Russian to a polished English version proudly boasting a library of 48 million papers, complete with a manifesto in opposition to copyright law. The bird is out of its cage, and if Elsevier still thinks it can put it back, they may well be sorely mistaken.

General Discussion / Watercolor + Gouache Painting Timelapse
« on: March 28, 2016, 09:45:03 PM »


Deal reached to boost California's minimum wage to $15, avoiding ballot box battle

Lawwmakers and labor unions have struck a tentative deal to raise the statewide minimum wage to $10.50 an hour next year and then gradually to $15, averting a costly political campaign this fall and possibly putting California at the forefront of a national movement.

The deal was confirmed Saturday afternoon by sources close to the negotiations who would speak only on condition of anonymity until Gov. Jerry Brown makes a formal announcement as early as Monday.

The minimum wage compromise ends a long debate between the Democratic governor and some of the state's most powerful labor unions. For Brown, it's political pragmatism; numerous statewide polls have suggested voters would approve a minimum wage proposal — perhaps even a more sweeping version — if given the chance.

According to a document obtained by The Times, the negotiated deal would boost California's statewide minimum wage from $10 an hour to $10.50 on Jan. 1, 2017, with a 50-cent increase in 2018 and then $1-per-year increases through 2022. Businesses with fewer than 25 employees would have an extra year to comply, delaying their workers receiving a $15 hourly wage until 2023.

Future statewide minimum wage increases would be linked to inflation, but a governor would have the power to temporarily block some of the initial increases in the event of an economic downturn.

A spokesperson for Brown did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did legislative leaders.

Brown, who signed a minimum wage increase in 2013, had resisted multiple efforts to revisit the issue at the legislative level until labor unions made it clear they were prepared to take the issue directly to voters. Last week, the first of two union-sponsored initiatives qualified for the Nov. 8 ballot. Its backers are hopeful that the final agreement will allow them to formally withdraw that initiative in a few weeks.

"We want to look at the details first," said Steve Trossman of Service Employees International-United Healthcare Workers West.

Sources say the Legislature could vote on the wage compromise as soon as the end of next week by amending an existing bill on hold since 2015. Its passage would place California ahead of a minimum wage increase now being considered in New York, and would probably add fodder to the raucous presidential race. Both Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have endorsed the goals of a nationwide campaign to raise wages to $15 an hour, and advocates say swift action in California could force both Democratic candidates to embrace what would be a more aggressive plan of action.

The proposal in Sacramento goes beyond private-sector hourly wages by including a gradual addition of up to three new paid sick days for government workers who provide in-home care to the disabled. The timing of those future benefits would be subject to economic conditions, but the proposal still represents a significant victory for labor groups.

In January, Brown warned of a $4-billion-a-year increase in state budget expenses if public-sector care workers — who are paid the minimum wage — were to receive $15 an hour. The gradual ramping up of wages and benefits in the new agreement is more aligned with Brown's larger budget philosophy.

Though the agreement will affect millions of low-income workers starting in early 2017, it won't affect efforts by some communities to boost local wages at a more rapid pace. One source described the statewide proposal as simply a "floor," or base level, of wages upon which individual cities or regions can build if they choose.

Business groups, which did not immediately respond to requests for comment, were relegated to the sidelines during the negotiations. They had sought some kind of way to preempt the local wage ordinances through state legislation, but labor groups considered that kind of concession a non-starter.


Pro-gun Florida mom is accidentally shot by her four-year-old son while driving after the boy found her pistol in back seat - just a day after she bragged about his shooting skills

Jamie Gilt, 31, was driving with her son, 4, through Putnam County, Florida
The child picked up a loaded .45 handgun from the back seat and fired
Gilt was shot and wounded after the round passed through the truck's seat
She told deputies that she had been shot in the back by her young son
Just 24 hours earlier, she posted about her toddler's shooting ability
She wrote: ''Even my 4 year old gets jacked up to target shoot with the .22'
Gilt was reportedly on her way to pick up a horse when she was shot

A high-profile pro-gun activist was shot in the back by her four-year-old son after he found her pistol lying on the back seat of her truck just 24 hours after he boasted about his shooting skills online.

Jamie Gilt, 31, who posts about firearms on her social media accounts was driving through Putnam County, Jacksonville, Florida, on Tuesday in her truck when she was wounded after the toddler picked up the weapon and shot her in the back.

It came just a day after she said the youngster would get 'jacked up' before a shooting practice on a page dedicated to her musings on Second Amendment rights.

On the profile Jamie Gilt for Gun Sense she wrote: 'Even my 4 year old gets jacked up to target shoot with the .22'.

She reportedly believes she has the right to shoot anyone who threatens her family - and plans to teach her offspring the same mentality.

According to CBS47, Gilt was on her way to pick up a horse when the shooting unfolded.

Her four-year-old son picked up a loaded .45 semi-automatic handgun from the back seat, pointed it towards his mother and pulled the trigger.

The powerful round went through the front seat and passed through Gilt's body .

Gilt flagged down a passing Sheriff's deputy and told him that she had been shot.

Deputies recovered a .45 semi-automatic handgun from the floor of the truck. They are satisfied that the round was fired from inside the vehicle. 

Gilt and her son had been travelling to pick up a horse from a relative when the accident happened.

It's progress, but it's going way too slow.

It’s Happening — D.A.R.E. Ends Anti-Weed Campaign, Quietly Removes Pot from Gateway Drug List

Cannabis has been shown to kill cancer cells, save the lives of countless epileptic children, treat PTSD, heal bones, treat brain trauma, and a slew of other uses science is only beginning to understand. And yet, the only thing dangerous about this seemingly miraculous plant is that police will kidnap, cage, or kill you for possessing it.

In spite of some form of cannabis being legal in some fashion in 23 states, the government still violently and with extreme prejudice continues to seek out those who dare possess it.

If the CDC calculated the number of deaths inflicted by police while enforcing marijuana laws, that number would certainly be shocking and could even be deemed a risk to public health. Marijuana is, indeed, dangerous, but only because of what can happen to you if the police catch you with it.

Nothing highlights the hypocrisy, immorality, and sheer lunacy of the drug war quite like marijuana prohibition and the only ones who continue to enforce the immoral and tyrannical act of marijuana prohibition are those who profit from it.

Below is a list of the top five industries who need you locked in a cage for possessing a plant in order to ensure their job security.

Police Unions: Coming in as the number one contributor to politicians for their votes to lock you in a cage for a plant are the police themselves. They risk taking massive pay cuts and losing all their expensive militarized toys without the war on drugs.

Private Prison Corporations: No surprise here. The corporatist prison lobby is constantly pushing for stricter laws to keep their stream of tax dollars flowing.

Alcohol and Beer Companies: These giant corporations hate competition, so why not pay millions to keep a cheaper and far safer alcohol alternative off the market?

Pharmaceutical Corporations: The hypocrisy of marijuana remaining a Schedule 1 drug, “No Medical Use Whatsoever,” seems criminal when considering that pharmaceutical companies reproduce a chemical version of THC and can market and sell it as such. Ever hear of Marinol? Big pharma simply uses the force of the state to legislate out their competition; that happens to be nature.

Prison Guard Unions: The prison guard unions are another group, so scared of losing their jobs, that they would rather see thousands of non-violent and morally innocent people thrown into cages than look for another job.

The good news, however, is that people are rapidly waking up to the war on weed. Even idiot politicians who still think it’s dangerous are being enticed by the lure of tax revenue generated by ending prohibition to dig them out of budget shortfalls.

Perhaps one of the most telling signs of change is the fact that the anti-drug propaganda group known as D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) has not only removed cannabis from its list of gateway drugs but they have stopped lying to children about its dangers.

For more three decades, cops would fear monger about the dangers of marijuana to children who had never even heard of it before. “One hit and your life is over,” they would say, instilling this false fear in America’s youth — luckily, most kids never bought it.

However, DARE no longer mentions marijuana in their fear propaganda, and kids are better for it.

Studies on drug use show that almost every single person, 99% of all illicit drug users have tried marijuana before they did any other drugs. This insubstantial fact is still used by reefer madness folks across the globe to bolster their claims that “marijuana is a gateway drug.”

But when one looks past the surface of this claim, it becomes downright silly. It just so happens that 99% of these so-called illicit drug users could have also tried coffee, soft drinks, candy, or milk before moving on to harsher substances.

DARE has conceded their loss and moved on. Of course, they didn’t make a press release saying so, but they only quietly removed marijuana from their list of gateway drugs. This is a victory for freedom and another step forward in the fight to end the failed and violent drug war.

The propaganda wall is crumbling in the war on drugs, and this cannot happen fast enough. Depriving tens of thousands of people of their freedom is not only poor judgement but it’s a crime against humanity — and should be treated as such.

Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world.

General Discussion / John Oliver brutally destroys Donald Trump
« on: February 29, 2016, 02:55:30 AM »

General Discussion / Hollywood is this still a thing?
« on: February 23, 2016, 04:36:39 PM »

General Discussion / Yep, he's a psychopath
« on: February 05, 2016, 08:38:53 PM »


A man who was allegedly high on meth reportedly fought off more than a dozen police officers while publicly masturbating.

Andrew Frey, 37, apparently made a series of outbursts and then began masturbating in an Oregon restaurant, The Oregonian reports.

Incredibly, police were reportedly unable to subdue Frey with a Taser.

It took 15 officers to finally take him into custody and stop him pleasuring himself.

Frey later reportedly told authorities that he took methamphetamine and couldn’t remember the obscene incident, according to the Marion County Sheriff's office.

Frey was treated at a local hospital and then booked into county jail on charges of public indecency, theft of services, and resisting arrest.


On the Wednesday of the shooting in San Bernardino, California, only a few hours before the event took place, doctors went to Capitol Hill asking Congress to end the ban on gun violence research. They presented a petition signed by over 2,000 doctors nationwide, protesting a 1996 ban that prevents the Center For Disease Control from studying gun violence.

The ban was made after a CDC-funded study revealed that having a gun in the home increases the likelihood of homicide and suicide. The NRA convinced Congress that the CDC was using its power to advocate gun control, and Congress quickly cut funding for gun-related research. It wasn’t exactly a ban on all research, per se, but the amendment was worded in such a confusing and vague way that no one knew for certain what was permitted. This created a climate of fear and intimidation with CDC researchers, where “no federal employee was willing to risk his or her career or the agency's funding to find out” if they could study gun violence. But why would the CDC want to study gun violence, anyway?

The “disease” in Center for Disease Control is a slight misnomer. The CDC exists, as per its website, “to protect America from health, safety and security threats ... whether human error or deliberate attack,” and “conducts critical science” as a response to health threats. That can be everything from Ebola to car safety, anything that could be potentially lethal to Americans that isn’t naturally occurring. CDC research has helped states with seatbelt laws and has done intensive research on tobacco. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner evidently does not know what this organization does (or he was just being facetious). He has said, “The CDC is there to look at diseases ... a gun is not a disease. Guns don’t kill people, people do.” Cars are also not disease, nor are cigarettes, and both are equally unlikely to kill people on their own. Yet the CDC is permitted to study their inherent health and safety risks.

Emotions are intense on this topic, as well they should be. We’re talking about an issue that involves about 300,000 deaths in the past decade, and how we reconcile that with certain rights. There’s not an easy answer; it’s not black and white. Still, how is it that tensions are so high we can’t allow research to be done by a non-partisan organization that is, by all accounts, purely concerned about public safety?

 What struck me as most profoundly disturbing about the ban wasn’t that it happened — if elected officials who are chosen by the people make a decision they feel is in the best interest of the people, we have to live with that even if we disagree. But the chilling truth is that a lobbyist organization could have this type of influence over Congress. They aren’t elected by the American public, and yet they have control over our government. Their power resulted in a ban that prevents us from educating ourselves about ourselves, our country, and any risks that guns might present. The hashtag #endtheban is trending, but is it possible that our congressmen and congresswomen could be more intimidated by their constituents than whichever lobbyist has the most muscle? It’s an issue about guns, yes, but it also brings to light an equally big issue about who is really making laws on Capitol Hill.

General Discussion / Independence Day 2
« on: December 13, 2015, 06:57:11 PM »

General Discussion / X-Men: Apocalypse
« on: December 11, 2015, 05:23:21 PM »

General Discussion / Nick Offerman's 'Yule Log'
« on: December 03, 2015, 09:57:54 PM »

General Discussion / Captain America: Civil War
« on: November 25, 2015, 02:45:25 AM »

General Discussion / Holy shit, this commercial
« on: November 20, 2015, 12:34:26 AM »

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