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ABOUT

About This Site
The Very Picture of Self-Promotion

HUMOR

The Periodic Table of Dark Matter
The Emperor’s New Fabric of Space

Headlines Torn from the Pages of History (and Thrown Away)
Things That Didn’t Happen in 2015

USA No Way
Fake But Accurate News

Compare & Save Big-Time
Are You Paying Exaggerated Prices for Exaggerated Differences?

How Not to Be Taken for a Ride on the Bus
Our Mass Transit Primer

Win Any Argument
Using Paralogic and Surreason

Quick and Easy Housekeeping
For the Cleaning Impared

Periodic Table of Hollywood Plot Elements
Lights, Camera, Reaction!

How ESP Works
Mind Reading Diagramed and Explained

Mysteries of UFOs Revealed
They’re Here, They Are, They Are, They Are

Economic Jargon, Lingo, and Gobbledegook Deciphered
Your Guide to Money Mutterings

American History 101 2.0
The Fake But Accurate Story

Cosmology Willikers
A Shorter History of Everything and Nothing

Government Machinery at Work
How the Wheels of the Bureaucracy Grind

Those Darn Cats
Our Deal With the Devils

THE FLYING FILES

Flight Made Simple
An Easy Way to Understand How Planes Can Fly

How Planes Can Fly
The Correct Explanation of Lift for Non-Engineers

Bad Lift Demonstrations Corrected
Putting Bernoulli and Coandă in Their Proper Place

The Trouble With Airflow Diagrams
That Confuse Rather than Enlighten

FACTUAL

Extra Dimensions of Existence Don’t Exist
There Is No Three in 3-D

Counter-Steering Made Easy-Peasy
Balancing a Bike by Turning

Notes for Young Illustrators
Learn from My Experience, or Get Your Own

Folk Etymology Folks Invent From Whole Cloth
False and True Origins of Common Phrases

How We Make the Easy Life Harder
Shutting Ourselves Out by Moving the Goalposts –Why Being Middle Class Was Easier Fifty Years Ago

What Fabric Is The Fabric of Space Made Of?
Space Warps, Time Wefts and Bent Reality

Money Is the Root of All Stupidity
Bad Advice and Worse Ideas You May Have Run Across

Changes that Changed Everything
The 10 Greatest Inventions of All Time?

The Story of Honey
The Processed Food Processed by Bees

Bikes Don’t Turn By Leaning
Proving Cones and Gyroscopes Are Futile

How I Nearly Ran Myself Over With My First Car
My Motoring Misadventure With a Jerry-rigged Jalopy

Optical Illusions You Often Run Into
Don’t Worry, They Don’t Hurt

cartoonery

NEW!

Mythical Monsters and Concocted Creatures
Name the Animated Natural Blunder Game

ANIMATED FUN

Great War Bloopers and Tactical Jokes
Tommy Foolery, Fritz Flops, Pierre-Balls, Atta-Turkeys and Igor-Blymies

Discovery of the Element of Surprise
Pathétic News Presents

Middle-Aged Mundane Made Over to Modern
A Video Guide

Animated Optical Illusions
Webio-Bot Gets Taken for a Ride

Webio-Bot Meets the Internet
Getting Into the Net With the Web-a-Tron 9000

FUN & GAMES

Play Webio-Bot Maze
A Lab Rat Game, Only With Your Mouse

Just What Kind of a Person Are You Anyway?
Take the Personality Test and Discover the True You

Find the Elusiver, Mysteriouser Creatures
Another Search Game

Consult the Mystic 8 Ball
Ultimate Mystic Service Answers Any Yes-or-No Question

Play Whack-a-Bot
Quick, Get ‘Em!

Play Webio-Bot Rescue
A Game Where You're the Hero

Play Webio-Bot Invaders
Save the Planet

Find the Secret Message
A different Kind of Word Search

Hollywhat? Movie Trivia Challenge
A Movie Trivia Quiz of the Funny, the Obscure, and the Strange

I Will Read Your Mind Online
With Internetelepathy

TOON FUN

The kind of thing you might have seen in Cracked magazine but didn’t

X-Y Axis Charts off the Grid
Connecting the Dots & Plotting the Plots

Gag Cartoon Gallery
Jokes Without a Lot of Reading

E-Z P-Z House Selling
Redirect, Repackage, Relabel

Airline Travel Made Stupid
Everthing You Never Wanted to Know About Air Travel

Winless Wear
2008 Detroit Lions Merchandise

READER’S DIGEST

Ships Aho-Ho-Hoy  A flotilla of Naval Flops

Win Any Argument  Abridged Version

The B-B-Q Pyramid  For the Cooking Unimpaired

Mythic Snowmen  And More Snowmen

Venn Again, Maybe Not  Another Last Laugh

Quick and Easy Meals  For the Cooking Impaired

CRACKED

Baseball Stadia for the ’90s

Bizarre Business Cards We Hope We Never See

Complete Guide to Piercing

CRACKED's Plan to Balance the Federal Budget in ONE Year

The Future Ain’t What it Used to Be

History’s Least Successful Proto Humans

Just Plane Stupid

Landmark Remodeling

Personalized Remotes

Police Line-ups Around the World (and Beyond)

Roller Coaster Mania

Tanks, But No Tanks

Trojan Horse Designs That Didn’t Quite Make it

Umpire Outfitters Catalog

Ye Olde Transport Catalogue

SUCK.COM

Suck School of Comic Art –Graduate Course
How to Draw Funnier

Suck School of Comic Art
How to Draw Funny

Crash Course
Cartoon Motorcycle Accidents Versus Cartoonist Motorcycle Accidents

Happy Suckiversary
Play Suck.com Art Director

blog

ARCHIVES

2018:  Current
2017:  Sep–Dec  May–Aug  Jan–April
2016:  July–December  January–June
2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010
2009   2008   2007

DEPARTMENTS

Newsy Spoofs  All our news and predictions fit to fake

Fauxcabulary  All our made up words

AMUSING FAVORITES

The American Cornucopia

Crossword for Illiterates

Disunited States of America –after the Breakup

Hooray for Hollywar Film Clichés

The Ministry of “Quotations”

NuSA? We Rename the States

Persistence of Rotary Vision Week

Soccer’s Wildly Improbable Medical Palpitations (WIMP)

Spinflation: Cheaper Though It Costs More

Star Dreck –Musings of a Semi Hemi Demi Trekker

Turn Vice into Virtue by Acting Naturally

What the Music You Listen to Says About You

INTERESTING FAVORITES

Better Than Sliced Bread –Uncelebrated Inventions Great and Small

Keeping Descriptions in Order

Lucky Lindy in Combat

Mouse Utopia –Too Much of a Good Thing or Nothing Fails Like Success

Not So Magnificent Flying Machines Week

Talk Like a Sailor Week –Common phrases with nautical origins

The Union Jack, Three Flags in One

Why a Mile Is 5,280 Feet

Why a Nautical Mile Is Not One Mile

Why There Are 24 Hours in a Day and 60 Minutes in an Hour

BLOGROLL-LINKS

Plasma-Electric Universe:

Thunderbolts Project

Plasma Cosmology

Holoscience

Electric Cosmos

Miscellaneous:

AccuRadio

Forgotten Weapons

History Buffs

Isegoria

Jay Leno’s Garage

Jordan Peterson

Lindybeige

Newmark’s Door

Peoples Cube

Scholagladiatoria

Sudoku.org

Zero Hedge

Z Man

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BLOG 2018 CURRENT

Five Letters Dropped from the English Alphabet …

old-letters

…and our own possible, plausible, but mostly unsubstantiated explanations of why we no longer have them.

Thorn was a single letter for the ‘th’ sound. Typesetters who didn’t have a thorn character would substitute a Y in its place. That’s where the Y in ‘Ye Olde Shoppe’ and such comes from. Which should be pronounced ‘the’ and not ‘yee.’ If these quaint boutiques wanted to be really old-timey accurate, they’d use thorn instead of Y. Though most folks wouldn’t know how to say that, either.

Eth was a single letter for the ‘th’ sound. Wait, didn’t we just do that? Oh, that was thorn. Why there were two letters for ‘th’ is a mystery to us. We suppose it was a mystery to other people as well since they jettisoned eth along with thorn way back when. Plus, if you dotted your i’s, but forgot to cross your eth’s, they’d be d’s. We dink dat’s right.

Sharp S was a funny-looking S that’s hard to tell from a lower case F. You see it in the Declaration of Independence and other period writing. The sharp S sounded exactly like an S and was only used in specific cases depending on… We don’t know. The rules for when to use which S are persnickety and confusing. And rather pointless, really, since it’s an S in either case. Which we suppose is why they axed the thing.

Wynn was the original W. Maybe. The English alphabet is picked up wholesale from the Latin alphabet, except there was no W because V was W, or vhatewer. So V was wee and not vee. Again, maybe. English needed another letter because it had both sounds. Still does. So V was vee and they grabbed that Greek-looking wynn to use for wee. Well, not everybody and not always and not for long. Some folks used ‘uu’ for wee. Which eventually got fused together as one letter, double-u. Though it looks like a double vee (VV, vv) and not a double-u (UU, uu).

Ampersand at one time was a letter, said as ‘and,’ meaning ‘and.’ You might call it a letter-word, though you couldn’t spell other words with it and so not very h&y. To us, that makes ampersand a symbol for a word, like $ and which are not in the alphabet, and not a letter. It would seem other folks came to the same conclusion as ampersand was demoted to the alphabet extensions ranks joining the numbers, punctuation and whatnot.

Filed 2/23/18

Very Special Delivery

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dafedsex2 dafedsex3
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Another snippet of old “Brickbats” art from the Reason magazine archives. Pointlessly animated as is customary hereabouts.

The Pentagon has admitted shipping live anthrax spores to labs in as many as nine states and one foreign country via a commercial carrier. The labs expected the spores to be dead.

On the other hand they might have used the USPS. Though we’re not sure we’re all that comfortable with packages of live anthrax “going postal.”

Filed 2/22/18

Unwitting Court Jesters

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More actual court transcripts from the disorder in the court files. Which makes life easy for us, we just steal plagiarize cite them. We even “borrowed” the phrase “disorder in the court” from an old Three Stooges short. Well, it’s a new picture, anyway.

Lawyer: Now isn’t it true that on the fifth of November last year, you rode naked through the streets on top of a garbage truck, letting off fireworks and singing “I did it my way” loudly?
Witness: What was that date again?

Lawyer: I take it that before this accident happened, you lived with your brother-in-law and sister.
Witness: Yes.
Lawyer: You got on quite well?
Witness: Yes.
Lawyer: And you saw him interact with your sister, and I believe they had one child?
Witness: I didn’t see the actual interaction, but they did have one child.

Defendant (representing himself): You sell drugs out of your house don’t you?
Witness: No.
Defendant: I know that’s a lie, I’ve bought [crap] there myself.

source: mylawblog.typepad.com

Filed 2/21/18

Assess Your Word Arcana

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While breezing along happily reading some book or other, we are suddenly confronted with a word that makes us go, “wha-?” So we leg it for the dictionary to devine what the heck the author is getting at. Maybe. Sometimes we just let it slide because the suspects are all gathered and the detective hero is about to name the murderer. Breaking the suspense to look up some obscure word just won’t do; the killer could get away!

Here’s a packet of just those kind of words we stumbled across and over. Which is to say they stumped us. How many do you know?

Click on text to select or change your answer. Double-click to unselect.

Celerity (səl-ĕr′ ə-tē)

  1. Fibrous green vegetable
  2. Fame for no apparent reason
  3. Unduly famous fibrous green vegetable
  4. Like a bat out of Hell
  5. Good-natured ribbing

Gallimaufry (găl ə-mô′ frē)

  1. Belowdecks of a bireme
  2. Hodgepodge
  3. Airline food
  4. Offensiveness of bratty kids
  5. French as spoken by non-Francophones

Thaumaturgy (thô′ mə-tûr jē)

  1. Unpleasant dreams
  2. Wickedness
  3. The set of beliefs of postmodernists
  4. Magic
  5. The application of suction cups as medical therapy

Labile (lā′ bīl)

  1. A mobile that has fallen on the ground
  2. Of the common people
  3. Too old to get married
  4. Unmentionable body part
  5. Oversensitive and flighty

Concatenation (kŏn kăt ə-nā′ shən)

  1. State of indecision
  2. Dislike of cats
  3. A chain of events, for instance
  4. Embarrassment at forgetting someone’s name
  5. Din made by the percussion section of an orchestra playing Modern music

Mouseover for answers

Celerity d. [Archaic or literary] Swiftness of movement

Gallimaufry b. A confused jumble or medley of things

Thaumaturgy d. The working of wonders or miracles; magic

Labile e. Of emotions that are easily aroused, and tend to alter quickly; emotionally unstable

Concatenation c. 1. A series of interconnected things or events 2. The action of linking things together in a series

Scoring
5 – Excellent
4 – Excellent
3 – Excellent
2 – Excellent
1 – Excellent
0 – We didn’t know them either

Filed 2/19/18

A.I. (Artificial Imbecility)

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botprogrammer3 botprogrammer4
botprogrammer5 botprogrammer1
botprogrammer7 botprogrammer6 botprogrammer7

Click pic to replay animation

“You never know how smart a moron is until you try to program a robot” —Unknown (by us, anyway)

Which is to say we’re a lot further away from cyborgs and the like than computer engineers hoped or imagined.

Filed 2/16/18

Supercharge Your Word Savvy

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We switch things up a bit this time around by couching all the choices prosaically instead of in formal dictionary speak. You’ll get that in the answers. So be warned, the correct choice may not be a literal definition, but close to the actual meaning. Also, as many words have multiple meanings, we pick one and run with it for brevity’s sake. Other than all that, the game is the same multiple choice business as before. Let’s get to it.

Click on text to select or change your answer. Double-click to unselect.

Spate (spāt)

  1. The past tense of spit
  2. A really bad combover
  3. When things come fast and furious
  4. Spell of bad luck

Ichor (ī kōr)

  1. The CPU of a Mac
  2. Blood of the Gods
  3. Fish scale disease
  4. Mad genius’ assistant

Officious (ə-fĭsh′ əs)

  1. Arranged in cubicles
  2. Clumsy and stupid
  3. Like a nitpicking busybody
  4. In the manner or character of unwritten rules

Comity (kŏ′ mə-tē)

  1. Funny act or performance
  2. Officious assembly of people
  3. Person confined to a sanitarium
  4. Courtesy, politeness

Volplane (vōl′ plān)

  1. Type of flying rodent
  2. To dive right in
  3. Swedish flying car
  4. A carpenter’s tool for shaping volutes

Mouseover for answers

spate c. A large number of similar things or events appearing or occurring in quick succession.

ichor b. The fluid that flows like blood in the veins of the Greek Gods.

officious c. 1. Assertive of authority in an annoyingly domineering way, esp. in trivial matters. 2. Intrusively offering help or advice; interfering.

comity d. Courtesy and considerate behavior toward others.

volplane b. 1. A controlled dive or down­ward flight at a steep angle. 2. To make such a dive or downward flight.

Scoring
5 – super-duper
4 – superior
3 – so-so
2 – stalled
1 – sub-par
0 – sad

Filed 2/14/18

The Motor City –Now Under New Mismanagement

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detroit-water4

Another snippet of old “Brickbats” art from the Reason magazine archives. Pointlessly animated as is customary hereabouts.

Bishop Daryl Harris was stunned to learn the city of Detroit was suing his church for $170,000 in back electricity payments. For one thing, the church’s landlord is responsible for paying its utility bills. For another, the energy provider is DTE Energy, not the city. The next day, the city cut off the water at Harris’ home. It turns out it had made a mistake in both cases: The church it meant to sue was a different one with a similar name, and Harris was up-to-date on his water bill. But officials said he would still have to pay $30 to have his water turned back on.

Yet somehow such a well-run city still went bankrupt and the former mayor is in prison. Still, it might have been worse, the good bishop may have been on the neigh­boring Flint water system. Though on second thought, cutting off his water would have been doing him a favor.

Filed 2/12/18

Gracias Where Gracias Is Due

don-quixote1 don-quixote2 don-quixote3 don-quixote4

What Do the Following Common Turns of Phrase Have in Common?

We have Cervantes to thank. They all come from Don Quixote (or as some have it, Donkey Hotey) which was initially published in 1604, under the title The Ingenious Knight of La Mancha. Old William Shakespeare ain’t the only one who could coin a good cliché. The book is also where the phrase ‘tilting at windmills’ comes from. Tilting is jousting. In the book our eponymous hero attacks (tilts at) windmills under the delusion he’s fighting giants. As Cervantes wrote:

“Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless.”

“What giants?” asked Sancho Panza.

“Those you see over there,” replied his master, “with their long arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two leagues in length.”

“Take care, sir,” cried Sancho. “Those over there are not giants but windmills.”

Another term with a similar meaning to tilting at windmills –quixotic. One guess where that comes from.

Filed 2/9/18

Legendary Creatures We Didn’t Invent

creatures-Omag

We could play name the creatures, but the names should be pretty easy to match with the pics. Besides, the reader has perhaps had enough of that by now. The old art above, done years ago for Omag, inspired our recent menagerie of fictitious fauna. Anyway, here’s what they are:

Do they exist or don’t they? Are they so elusive as to be dubious like the yeti, or extinct like the dodo bird? The Tasmanian Tiger was real and now thought extinct. By most. Some claim recent sightings. Then again, there are sightings of yetis, chupacabras, death worms, and bigfoots, too. Reliable? We make no call.

In case you’re wondering, all the recent kookie critters have been relocated as a feature here:

Mythical Monsters and Concocted Creatures

Or you might try another variation on the theme we did here:

Elusiver Mysteriouser Creatures

Filed 2/7/18

Don’t Say We Didn’t Try to Warn You

devilsworkshop

Top Ten Reasons Why Not

  1. You’ll poke somebody’s eye out
  2. You’ll catch your death of cold
  3. You’ll break your neck
  4. You’ll go blind
  5. You’re too young
  6. You’re too old
  7. It’s not as easy as you think
  8. It won’t do any good
  9. You’ll just make it worse
  10. We’ll tell mom

Filed 1/19/18

Hop Up Your Word Horsepower

adamant

A new year, a new chance to know your nouns, verify your verbs, and perfect your prepositions. Take the quiz to test your grip on the language. Need we explain how a multiple choice quiz works? One word, one answer. Go.

Click on text to select or change your answer. Double-click to unselect.

Adamantine (ă də măn′ tēn)

  1. Unbreakable
  2. Stubbornly stupid and proud of it
  3. Adolescent from adaman
  4. Teeny-weeny, especially applied to a person; Lilliputian

Homologate (hō mäl′-ə gāt)

  1. Scandal involving diluted milk
  2. To approve; confirm or ratify
  3. To process extracted seed oils into margarine
  4. Metaphorical door that separates the men from the boys

Morass (môr-ăs′)

  1. Wild Scottish donkey
  2. Third buttock
  3. Complicated or confused situation
  4. To repeatedly abuse with a slap to the face or a two-fingered poke in the eyes

Omphaloskepsis (ŏm fŭ-lō skĕp′-sĭs)

  1. Disbelief in little green chocolatiers
  2. Contemplation of one’s navel in meditation
  3. Male crotch rot
  4. Transverse crest on a hoplite helmet

Tactile (tăk′ tīl)

  1. Self-stick flooring
  2. Shaped like a tiny nail
  3. In a discreet manner
  4. Perceptible by touch

Mouseover for answers

adamantine a. Unbreakable
homologate b. To approve; confirm or ratify
morass c. Complicated or confused situation
omphaloskepsis b. Contem­plation of one’s navel in meditation
tactile d. Perceptible by touch

Scoring
5 – word stalion
4 – word thoroughbred
3 – word workhorse
2 – word mule
1 – word nag
0 – off to the glue factory

Filed 1/17/18

Avian Arsonists Down Under

firebird

Some time back we reported how Australia has some of the most poisonous critters around. Mostly reptiles and spiders. Well, it seems they also have bird firebugs. Raptors that help spread brush fires. Australia, the land of great big hopping marsupials, killer arachnids, deadly snakes in the grass, and plumed pyromaniacs. Makes you wonder what Mother Nature is up to down there. From Australia’s National Post:

Raptors on at least four continents have been observed for decades on the edge of big flames, waiting out scurrying rodents and reptiles or picking through their barbecued remains.

What’s new, at least in the academic literature, is the idea that birds might be intentionally spreading fires themselves. If true, the finding suggests that birds, like humans, have learned to use fire as a tool and as a weapon.

Read it all: Australian birds have weaponized fire…

Filed 1/15/18

No News Year End Roundup

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Ten Things that Didn’t Happen in 2018

  1. Words spelled with XY combination purged for toxic masculinity; Foxy, waxy and xylophone become foxish, waximal and zhelophone
  2. Mayor declares San Francisco nuclear family free zone
  3. Retailers criticized as racist for running TV ads without interracial couples
  4. Physicists discover subatomic transtrons which can be positive, negative, or whatever they choose; Bent space-time gets even more bent
  5. French Left amends old slogan to “Europe for the Africans!”
  6. DC bureaucrats celebrate milestone ten millionth law; All government computers replace “command save” function with “command spend”
  7. Writing left to right declared Eurocentric; Writing becomes more egalitarian from the bottom up
  8. Disney buys CNN; relocates offices to Fantasyland
  9. Mathematicians discover new whole number ‘twone’ between one and two; Near infinite gets farther away
  10. Russians hack Bible code; Satan elected Pope

Filed 1/12/18

Back from the Might as Well Be Dead

sleepybear

Our slumber is over and so we return you to our irregularly unscheduled content. Which we are sure the reader has been eagerly anticipating with bated breath. Bate. Another one of those old words you rarely run across outside of a clichéd old phrase. “With bated breath.” Though you sometimes run across its synonymous sibling, abate.

In fact, bate is an aphetic version of the original word, abate. Aphetic simply means a word has lost bits. For example, the trailer containing fuel behind a locomotive is called a tender, which is a shortened version of attender. Along the same lines, bus is a shortening of omnibus. We suppose a modern example is blog being an aphetic version of weblog.

Asides aside, you also don’t much stumble upon bate’s other meanings. From the sport of falconry you have bate as a verb meaning the action of a falcon held by the talons beating its wings to take off. From which comes a noun variant, a state of violent agitation. From tanners we get a verb definition, to soak leather after liming in an alkaline solution to soften and remove the lime. That alkaline solution was called bate, now its a noun.

See what you’ve been missing? Well, we’re glad we’re back anyway.

Filed 1/10/18

Zzzzzzzzzz…

Due to unfortunate conditions the site has been put to sleep. Temporarily. At least we hope it’s only temporarily and we’ll be up and at it again soon.

Filed 1/3/18

Happy New Improved Year!

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trashback trashtop

Official notice for 2018: As of January 1st we are no longer terry colon dot com. The new and improved, bigger and better, oh so modern and lucky name is terry colon point com. The one and only original point com on the known Internet. Bookmark us today!

Less official notice for the coming year: As it seems these days every other blog or website has a whacky and/or cryptically meaningful name, we decided to jump on that overcrowded bus. Only we can’t make up our minds what that off-kilter rife-with-hidden-significance name should be. And so… well, you’ll see.

The new year brings a slightly new look to boot. Not a rebuild, more like a tune-up. The color scheme has been tweaked and the masthead font (very top) has changed from Terrifix to a new version of an old typeface from our Face Front collection, Beatnix Bold. And as last year, the archives have been culled of the less interesting or dated bits. Think of the archives as a highlight reel. Or maybe an oldies station, where it’s a blast from the past and not crap from the past.

Filed 1/1/18

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