Veteran’s Day
By Dwip November 11, 2016 at 1:52 pm Comments (0) RSS Feed for this post

As I think everyone reading here knows, my aborted Army career was brief and altogether unspectacular, but as three month stretches of time go basic training left a large impression on me. One of those moments from basic goes like this: We had a Drill Sergeant, a particularly intense and hardcore infantryman like many of the best Drill Sergeants are, who used to read us Medal of Honor citations over the intercom at lights out about once per week. They ran the gamut from MSG Roy Benavidez and 2LT Audie Murphy to some lesser known men. They also included MSG Gary Gordon and SFC Randy Shughart, whose stories are known to anyone who’s seen or read Black Hawk Down. Always, […]


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August Medialogging
By Dwip August 31, 2014 at 11:59 am Comments (0) RSS Feed for this post

A short month this time. Though I do love the non-fiction, it does have the potential to be extremely slow going at times. Getting through it, it must be said, was unhelped by the appearance on the holds shelf of two seasons of Breaking Bad and the never-ending search for gainful employment. And a few other things. We’ll talk about those later. YTD stats: January: February: March: : 4 books; 4 fiction (1,450 p.) / 3 videos; 1 movies (2.6 h.); 2 TV seasons (15.2 h.) April: : 5 books; 1 graphic (136 p.); 4 fiction (1,269 p.) / 1 videos; 1 TV seasons (6 h.) May: : 8 books; 5 graphic (1,352 p.); 1 fiction (465 p.); 2 non-fiction […]


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I Couldn’t Have Said This Better
By Dwip June 20, 2014 at 1:56 am Comments (0) RSS Feed for this post

Quoting Dale Favier via Andrew Sullivan: When I was young and foolish, I thought I could learn all of history and have it all available in my head, or at least a lot of European history, or at least a lot of English history. Now I know that almost all this stuff will fall right back out of my head again. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not worth doing. There is another kind of knowledge building up, a synoptic sense of what people have done and will do, what sorts of organizations have succeeded, what sorts have failed, and some of the common notions of why. It’s all terribly vague and unsatisfactory, and the more you read the more you […]


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A Commentary In Two Quotes
By Dwip October 2, 2013 at 2:41 am Comments (0) RSS Feed for this post

In which I’m going to break the “no politics on the blog” rule for a brief moment to post a couple of quotes I think aptly describe life at the moment. What is our present condition? We have just carried an election on principles fairly stated to the people. Now we are told in advance, the government shall be broken up, unless we surrender to those we have beaten, before we take the offices. In this they are either attempting to play upon us, or they are in dead earnest. Either way, if we surrender, it is the end of us, and of the government. They will repeat the experiment upon us ad libitum. A year will not pass, till […]


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Through the Past, Doubly
By Dwip September 21, 2013 at 4:52 pm Comments (0) RSS Feed for this post

So, during the Great Parental Move of 2013, we held a garage sale. At the beginning of this, when I walked up to my parents, I noticed this really old wooden box and a crazy looking green thing under Dad’s chair, and being the curious sort that I am, asked what the devil this strange contraption was. The answer was that it was a set of stereoscope images and a viewer that had belonged to…well, Dad wasn’t sure entirely, but some female relative on his side of the family, he was pretty certain. And, since I was the one in the family interested in all of this random old crap sitting around, would I like it. Yes, yes I would.


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Ten Years Gone
By Dwip March 19, 2013 at 4:27 pm Comments (1) RSS Feed for this post

Yeah, I haven’t done a history and politics thing here in a while. I think it’s time. I’ve got more thoughts on this subject than I can put down in one blog post, but we’ll give it a shot. Ten years ago, I heard that while driving in my car on my way to go visit friends. As I recall, it was sort of a surreal night – what should have been a night of extreme gravity was for me another night of fun and games, and if you go back and read my posts from March of 2003, you can see the same sort of duality reflected in them. I’m not wildly proud of that, nor of much of […]


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The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
By Dwip December 28, 2012 at 1:19 am Comments (1) RSS Feed for this post

In which I finally, after three years or so, finish all 1,147 pages of Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, which is about precisely what it says on the cover. Tried reading it once in grade school, put it down, picked it back up in the later stages of my stay in CT, and here I am writing a blog post to mark the occasion. I don’t think it’s taken me this long to finish a book ever. Not, I note, because it’s a bad book – while long, it’s well-written enough, though Shirer is heavily biased (and fond of ad hominem), and informative – but because it’s a depressing subject. One wants to point out the […]


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Physical Graffiti
By Dwip July 31, 2012 at 8:31 pm Comments (4) RSS Feed for this post

So, this NSFW but kind of hilarious list of Roman graffiti from Pompeii is pretty great, though a lot of it depends on the tone of the translation. h/t Andrew Sullivan


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Re: Stalinism
By Dwip July 24, 2012 at 5:36 pm Comments (3) RSS Feed for this post

You can always tell election years around here, because there eventually emerges a point where Samson isn’t posting, and I break my no more politics on the blog rule. I also don’t tend to go after specific people and specific posts here, but it gives me an excuse to make some points on some subjects I apparently want to make, and here we are. So it goes.


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Can’t Believe The News Today
By Dwip May 10, 2012 at 2:24 am Comments (4) RSS Feed for this post

In departure from my usual “no more politics here, go to Samson’s” policy, two things from today I want to pass brief comment on. First, this unfortunately unembeddable YouTube video of President Obama coming out in support of marriage equality. About this, two things: 1. We’re either going to believe in that “All men are created equal” thing, or we’re not, and this would seem to me to be a great step in the “we are” category. 2. I’ve heard the idea advanced that you may believe as you will about Obama’s motives for saying what he said, and since he didn’t confide those in me I’m not going to speculate, but either way, first time a president has made […]


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Victory Through Airpower
By Dwip November 29, 2010 at 10:34 pm Comments (3) RSS Feed for this post

Via Andrew Sullivan, this animated Walt Disney movie from 1943 is totally awesome. Little red animated tanks? Check. Giant swastika factories? Check. Brick throwing? Check. Bald eagles beating the crap out of a knife-wielding octopus? Most definitely check. Totally worth your hour.


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Oi
By Dwip August 18, 2010 at 9:09 pm Comments (3) RSS Feed for this post

Not that I’ve been given, for the last while, to commenting on the wars the nation has been waging, but pretty much every single part of this strikes me as an astonishingly poor idea. We shall see, I suppose.


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Heroes and Great Men
By Dwip June 7, 2010 at 4:10 pm Comments (4) RSS Feed for this post

Most of you who have seen my room in the past few years have noticed an astonishing array of squirrels, chickens, rabbits, velocirabbits, Darth Fuzzy, and Megatokyo strips, which are the sort of thing one puts up when one is in one’s twenties and does such things. The other thing currently above my desk, hiding a little above the printer by that amusing picture of the penguin and the rabbit cheerleaders, is an old photograph of Ulysses S. Grant, which I am informed was taken during the battle of Cold Harbor, which he lost.


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I’m No Fan Of the 19th Century…
By Dwip May 11, 2010 at 1:08 am Comments (0) RSS Feed for this post

But the writing had a certain flair to it. Quoth the New York Times of 3/28/1860: Mr. DARWIN’s mode of accounting for the diversity of the specific forms of organic life, differs alike from the doctrine of LAMARCK, (who made transmutation to depend mainly upon the efforts of the animal,) and from the hypothesis of the author of the Vestiges (who found the solution of the problem in the idea of consecutive development.) It differs also, let us say, in having for its basis some undeniable facts. Too, as I have oft lamented to Sarah, we have lost a certain flair for naming seen in days of yore, and please do persue that comment thread for more on the subject, […]


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Unrealized Perils of the American Revolution
By Dwip March 15, 2010 at 6:00 pm Comments (8) RSS Feed for this post

Via Andrew Sullivan, we have this, which tells us that among other things, our forefathers apparently ran the risk of having to fight large cats on sinking rowboats in storms while dual wielding a cutlass and a flag. (As to the actual post that image is attached to, Re: Texas textbook standards or lack thereof, I have no comment but *headdesk*)


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Happy 233rd
By Dwip July 4, 2009 at 9:16 pm Comments Off on Happy 233rd RSS Feed for this post

I’ll talk about this more later. For the moment:


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Thoughts On Iran
By Dwip June 17, 2009 at 2:08 pm Comments (2) RSS Feed for this post

So, in case you haven’t been paying any attention, or have been watching CNN which is apparently now become about the same thing, millions of people in Iran are out in the streets protesting the apparently government rigged election of our old pal Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over his reformist challenger Mir-Hossein Mousavi. I’ve been pretty much reading Andrew Sullivan and the New York Times Lede blog 24/7 this whole time. It’s crazy stuff. Millions in the streets, brutality by the police and militia, universities raided, you name it. I’m not sure if I have anything to really add, other than to salute a bunch of people who are putting their lives on the line for their own democracy and freedom, but […]


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Brief Historical Ponderances
By Dwip June 12, 2009 at 1:36 am Comments (2) RSS Feed for this post

So, recently, Ta-Nehisi Coates, who blogs at the Atlantic and who is somebody you maybe ought to read, picked up James McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom on the history of the Civil War, and was talking about it. And in reaction to him I’ve got a whole bunch of random thoughts percolating about, so I’m just going to throw a few of them out to the rest of you: 1. Pretty much all of what Coates is saying on the subject is at the least interesting, but this one was really interesting, and I quote: “I’m coming to finally, at long last, admire Abraham Lincoln. I am almost ashamed to admit this. It feels cliche and silly. But its true. […]


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Proliferatory
By Dwip May 4, 2009 at 12:11 am Comments (1) RSS Feed for this post

So it turns out that it’s been quite some time since the last time I did a history post on here, let alone an Iraq post, and for a guy with a history degree that spends a good chunk of his day following foreign affairs, that’s probably a bit odd. Let us turn our leporidic gaze to that issue, then, and use as the vehicle for the discussion a book by a man named Charles Duelfer, who you may know from the Duelfer Report on Iraqi WMD. Turns out he has a recent book on the subject by the name of Hide and Seek: The Search For Truth In Iraq. Just to get this out of the way, it’s an […]


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Picking Up Your Room Could Save the World
By Dwip January 28, 2009 at 8:31 pm Comments (4) RSS Feed for this post

Via here, a 1950s tale of 1950s societal conformity gone horribly…amusing.


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Empty America
By Dwip January 7, 2009 at 7:17 pm Comments Off on Empty America RSS Feed for this post

With a nod to the glory days of shwi and my desire to read the whole thing through again now that it’s being written again after a 3 year hiatus, and so I can not go digging through the hell that is the Google Groups interface: Empty America Parts 1-36 Dictionary posts (read before Part 37+) Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 37 Part 38 Part 39 Part 40 Part 41 Part 42 Part 43 Part 44


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On the Punditocracy
By Dwip November 27, 2008 at 3:14 pm Comments (6) RSS Feed for this post

A brief, utterly inappropriate to the day ponderance on reading too much post-election political bloggage. In which the raging far left suddenly realizes that OMG Obama is keeping Gates as Secretary of Defense WTF Bush appointee OMG Iran-Contra AAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!11111one!! and may, you know, not declare unilateral peace and withdraw us from the Middle East over the space of five hours in later January. This was apparently not what they thought they were electing the man for, but hey, at least they get Hillary. Whereas your rightists get to be puzzled, because while everybody expected that OMG Hillarycare socialism massive gun control abortions Muslim terrorists aaaaaaaaaa, nobody expected that the man might actually do reasonable things as regards foreign policy, like, […]


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Obama
By Dwip November 5, 2008 at 12:27 am Comments Off on Obama RSS Feed for this post

Via the NYTimes. There’s a lot of things I could say about tonight, and perhaps I shall say them anon. For the moment, let me say this – I got brought up on a lot of ideas of what this country was about, and what it could be, who we could be. And here we have elected a man who makes me feel, makes a great many of us feel, that we can be that place. This is a pretty amazing moment in history, and I’m profoundly grateful that I’ve been here to seen it.


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Rabbit Voting
By Dwip November 4, 2008 at 12:16 pm Comments (2) RSS Feed for this post

In which I vote in my third presidential election. I’ll have more to say, likely, as the night goes on, and polls actually close and the like, but for the moment, a few notes on the voting experience in a non-Oregon state. Via Andrew Sullivan, this is how it could have been, and via myself, some blathering on the OR Voter’s Pamphlet, which in 2000 ran to 430 pages in 2 booklets and was instrumental in saving my sanity. On the whole, a civilized way of voting for a civilized age. I am less enthusiastic about my having gone to the polls today. On the one hand, I had very little idea who half the candidates were and their positions, […]


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Because It Had To Be Done
By Dwip November 4, 2008 at 10:23 am Comments Off on Because It Had To Be Done RSS Feed for this post

Because, as you may have surmised, sometimes geekery is a strange place. And even the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court is not immune to this. Not, mind you, that I am suggesting that said Chief Justice, in his non-cyborg state, actually drank the blood of small children. Rampant dickholery? Yes. Infantile vampirism? Not so much.


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Irreverancy
By Dwip November 1, 2008 at 7:29 pm Comments Off on Irreverancy RSS Feed for this post

By request: [19:22] serenadingwords: And now, it is time to read Plutarch’s Life of Marius! [19:22] TontoMarius: I can save you time. [19:23] serenadingwords: lol [19:24] serenadingwords: sounds good, but i feel i should read the plutarch just to have done it [19:25] TontoMarius: He shows up. He pwns some dudes. Some other dudes are like “Whoa, wtf. We must pwn you.” So he pwns them. So then everybody’s like “Shit guys shit, you need to go pwn these other guys rsn” and so he goes and pwns them. And everybody’s like “Dude, mad hax.” And then he kicks it for a while. And then these other guys leap out, and he’s like “Dude, I can pwn you with one […]


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On Current Political Discussion
By Dwip October 20, 2008 at 10:33 am Comments (2) RSS Feed for this post

In which I am going to continue refraining from actual political discussion on this blog, because I still feel slightly nauseous about things said in 2004, and in any case we have Samson’s blog for that. This blog is for discussion of our alien overlords, and perhaps also rabbits and squirrels, who may or may not be the same as the forementioned alien overlords. They are very clever. That having been said, via Sarah, this bit from the archives was true in its time, just as it’s true today. And in other news, Colin Powell has endorsed Barack Obama for president. I encourage you to spend the fifteen minutes of your time to watch the videos I linked. Not because […]


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On Poliblogging
By Dwip September 3, 2008 at 11:52 am Comments (4) RSS Feed for this post

I think my last couple of days can be summed up sufficiently with this xkcd: Mainly in response to this post of Samson’s. Still thinking I will more or less avoid the political stuff here, however. Last time I did…it was bad. Real bad. Hopefully I have learned something since 2004. Maybe.


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On the DNC
By Dwip August 28, 2008 at 10:07 pm Comments Off on On the DNC RSS Feed for this post

Watching speeches from the DNC right now. Lots of things I could say about it – Kerry was actually pretty good, the Clintons somewhat less so, Biden really really good, about holy crap do they script these things or what – but I’ve pretty much given up blogging politics these days, and I think that’s probably a good idea. That having been said, you know what I think is really really interesting about this thing, and what’s really cool? Here we are, in 2008, with a bunch of mostly white dudes, many of whom are from former slave states, standing up to give big speeches in support of a black dude running for the highest office in the nation. And […]


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Phone Boothing
By Dwip July 24, 2008 at 7:58 pm Comments (3) RSS Feed for this post

Despite my general aversion to this sort of thing, but because it’s so utterly me, and because I was encouraged to, let us play a little game. Suppose, for a moment, that you have a phone booth. With this phone booth, you will travel through time, collecting 8 historical figures to help you deliver your oral report on their time periods, and to help review the world of San Dimas, 2008. (And yes, I’m talking about what is now a 20 year old movie. Oi.) In the original film, these 8 were: 1. Napoleon 2. Billy the Kid 3. Socrates 4. Sigmund Freud 5. Beethoven 6. Joan of Arc 7. Genghis Khan 8. Abraham Lincoln Now as for my list, […]


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More Civil War
By Dwip July 9, 2008 at 4:28 pm Comments Off on More Civil War RSS Feed for this post

Since I was thinking about this earlier, a little bit more blathering on The Civil War. Which is going to be mostly YouTube clips of the thing, hitting what I think are some of the emotional high points, starting with: This clip from Episode 1, which lays out the basis for the thing about as well as anything can, I suppose, or at least gives you enough graphic reason to convince you that slavery is a bad, bad thing. As to these next three, the first 1.5 are the bittersweet ending, and the second 1.5 cover Lincoln’s assassination, a topic I will return to in a moment. This clip from the end of Episode 1, which contains a letter you […]


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Happy Patriotic Explosives Day
By Dwip July 4, 2008 at 10:09 pm Comments Off on Happy Patriotic Explosives Day RSS Feed for this post

As fireworks are called in some parts. In honor of the thing, two versions of a quote, and a little blather. As is my wont from time to time, I’m rewatching that immortal Ken Burns epic, The Civil War. I’ve talked about this series before, and last year at this time, no less, and others have said a lot about it too. And I could say lots more about it, like how the first episode is perhaps the finest piece of documentary filmmaking ever done, but instead I’ll just say this: For the last 15 years or so, I’ve had The Battle Cry of Freedom stuck in my head. It’s my default humming music. Now, as to the quote: “Whence […]


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Ponderance
By Dwip January 22, 2008 at 12:19 am Comments (15) RSS Feed for this post

I wonder if Ron Paul realizes how much he sounds like Halor. For that matter, I wonder if anti-regulation free market capitalists in general realize, given the realities of history, how on crack they sound. There’s a bit in that video where he basically says that it’s ok that poor people get a bad education. That’s fairly impressive. Not that I need to be beating on Ron Paul of all people, since he’s running neck and neck with Dennis Kucinich for ignorance of reality. But seriously. There’s some special kinds of crazy going on that video. On the other hand, this particular Google video features Barack Obama, who seems to have, if not totally, at least gone a long ways […]


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Wikithreading, Revisited
By Dwip November 4, 2007 at 9:33 am Comments Off on Wikithreading, Revisited RSS Feed for this post

Because Wikipedia search histories are fun. This one starts with me watching Gladiator, a movie which, unlike Braveheart, has perhaps not aged as well as it should have, but which serves to start us off with me looking up Commodus. Commodus Augustus Marcus Licinius Crassus Battle of Carrhae Sino-Roman Relations Daqin Seres Roman Trade With India Buddhism and the Roman World Thence to Augustus, a few other places, and on to the possibility of Roman soldiers captured in the Parthian wars being sent east and coming into contact with China. Not to mention embassies being sent between Rome and China, a flourishing trade with India, and a discussion of Buddhism in the West, wherein the assertion is made that Buddhists […]


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In Our Youths
By Dwip July 8, 2007 at 9:11 pm Comments Off on In Our Youths RSS Feed for this post

First, on that blog technical note, you will find that the archives are slightly reworked (that whole iframe presentation was seriously pissing me off), the comment window now behaves like it did in Days of Yore, and entries dating back to the beginning of 2005 are now categorized. Each step on the categorization front gets harder – 2005 had more entries than 2006, 2004 has more than 2005, and 2003 even more than that. But we’re getting there. That’s not actually what I wanted to talk about, though. I actually want to talk about my 4th of July, which is a useful springboard for a number of topics. Here’s what I did. I checked out the Ken Burns PBS documentary […]


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I, For One, Welcome Our New Air Conditioning Overlords
By Dwip June 28, 2007 at 11:02 pm Comments Off on I, For One, Welcome Our New Air Conditioning Overlords RSS Feed for this post

Which has nothing to do with anything other than I said I was going to use it as a post title, and I did. Because 87 degrees with high humidity? Just say no. Friends do not let friends experience this sort of thing, and where this leaves my friendship with Sarah, I don’t know. On the other hand, she took me to this comedy show at Yale a few months ago, and I’ve been telling a joke from that ever since. Well, she found a video of it, which you should watch, because OMFG. Also, I should note the whole Talks At Google thing, which is basically Google saying “Hey, awesome or important person, come talk to our people!” John […]


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The Other War
By Dwip March 19, 2007 at 6:38 pm Comments Off on The Other War RSS Feed for this post

I swear to you, BF2 is the most mod-unfriendly game I have ever seen in my life. I realize that much of this has to do with being concerned about cheating. However, this is ludicrous. Let’s hear it for installs, I guess. On the other hand, it’s that much better than BFV in this regard, because BFV, well, it could be pretty bad. However. In any case, allow me to commend a book unto you, called Japan At War: An Oral History by Haruko Taya Cook and Theodore F. Cook, which is, yes, an oral history of Japan during World War II. I found it to be a phenomenal book, covering as it does everyone from soldiers to workers to […]


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Speechifying
By Dwip January 23, 2007 at 9:43 pm Comments (3) RSS Feed for this post

[22:59] Samson: Wow. I actually beat you to the obligatory State of the Union blog post? :P [23:00] Dwip: I didn’t even know it was tonight. [23:00] Dwip: I suppose I’ll need to go find a transcript. Yeah, oops. This is what happens when I stop paying attention to the news, because the news proves itself to be increasing irrelevant every single day. So I guess I’ll blather about it a bit, since Samson did. And I shall do so using Sarah’s favorite Thomas Friedman quote: Some things are true even if George Bush says they are. Going down the list, here, and for those of you following at home, the transcript is here. Whatever else, giving the nod to […]


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On the Political Rabbit
By Dwip November 8, 2006 at 1:38 pm Comments (13) RSS Feed for this post

So I haven’t particularly been talking about politics on here for a while, being still worn out from that whole ’04 mess, wherein we all kind of went off the deep end for a few months. But I do want to note a few things, post-election. 1. I did not, to be honest, actually vote. Had I still been registered as an Oregon voter I would have, though I wouldn’t have been excited about my choices – OR conservatives are a scary bunch in general, and Kulongoski’s not exactly the greatest governor we’ve ever had, really. However, since I’m now a CT voter, and I’m brand new in the state, I found that I didn’t like the idea of trying […]


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Interlude
By Dwip July 10, 2006 at 6:51 pm Comments (1) RSS Feed for this post

So sorry, but during my entire week off from work, I really had better things to do than blog. Things like play a lot of Neverwinter Nights and Civ, and read lots of books. But I shall describe these things unto you, O readers, and that’s pretty much going to have to hold you for a while, though I will mention that it was hard not to just up and quit today at work, after tasting all that time off. If I wasn’t leaving in 3 weeks anyway, I may have. So, Shadows of Udrentide, here. The first Neverwinter Nights expansion, which I’m pretty much playing because Cole was like “Dude, the NWN xpacks are so cool!” Because to say […]


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Paradise In the Sun
By Dwip June 26, 2006 at 8:39 pm Comments (2) RSS Feed for this post

Having finally finished Quicksilver, let me just talk books for a bit, but not before noting that today was REALLY REALLY hot, and sucked a lot, in the following fashion: [18:15] Dwip: So we’re all kicking it at work, and Satan walks in, right? [18:15] Dwip: And he’s like “Crap, dude. It’s HOT in here. I’m going back to Hell, where it’s cool.” [18:16] Dwip: And since Hell is, you know, ON FIRE, you can imagine how work was. [18:16] Maelfactor: Neat! [18:19] Dwip: Because I guess it’s upwards of 104, and work is a big metal building. [18:19] Dwip: With no insulation or anything. [18:19] Dwip: And no air flow. Also, this picture, thanks to Suzanne, who’s graduation party […]


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Can’t Believe the News Today
By Dwip August 15, 2005 at 1:47 pm Comments Off on Can’t Believe the News Today RSS Feed for this post

Firstly, on the topic of Ghost In the Shell SAC, I have two things I want. The first is a video game, and the second is a Tachikoma of my very own. If I could drive the second around in the first, that would be spectacular. On the one hand, summer is conspiring to piss me off a lot. On the other hand, the AC in the house seems to be working so well that I’ve been resorting to my NINJ4 hoodie, which, while l33t and all, as it were, is something I didn’t expect to do for another few months. On a totally unrelated note, today’s blog surfing seems to have involved a lot of people talking about assorted […]


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Teh Funny
By Dwip July 22, 2005 at 3:42 pm Comments (3) RSS Feed for this post

This is like the funniest thing I’ve read in weeks. Maybe ever. I’m having AoK flashbacks. [edit – pasting whole thing here just ’cause] If World War Two had been an RTS game, it would have gone a little something like this…. *Hitler[AoE] has joined the game.* *Eisenhower has joined the game.* *paTTon has joined the game.* *Churchill has joined the game.* *benny-tow has joined the game.* *T0J0 has joined the game.* *Roosevelt has joined the game.* *Stalin has joined the game.* *deGaulle has joined the game.* Roosevelt: hey sup T0J0: y0 Stalin: hi Churchill: hi Hitler[AoE]: cool, i start with panzer tanks! paTTon: lol more like panzy tanks T0JO: lol Roosevelt: o this fockin sucks i got a depression! […]


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Napoleon Tauntage
By Dwip April 26, 2005 at 7:37 pm Comments (2) RSS Feed for this post

We’re on a roll today. Quoth Whir: We need to have an entire website dedicated to Marechal conversations. Me: Napoleon lost, though. Besides, he completely subverted the Revolution. Which isn’t to say that the Revolution didn’t need subverting, but when the whole goal of the thing is to ESCAPE monarchy, well. But it’s, you know, the French. Can’t do anything right. Marechal: Napoleon abolished the monarchy! Me: Yeah, you could sort of say he did. Except then he set himself up, which sort of, you know, defeats the purpose. Marechal: As Emperor. Me: Because, you know, changing the name makes your dictatorship that much better than other, wannabe dictatorships. Me: Whir: Ask him how he feels about giant airships, steam-powered […]


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Compare and Contrast
By Dwip January 31, 2005 at 5:01 pm Comments (9) RSS Feed for this post

So I kind of told Regina I’d do a political post today in honor of the Iraqi elections. But first, I’d like you all to witness Darth Fuzzy’s pictorial debut. Woot. That having been said, let’s talk about Iraq for a bit. I’ve got a whole host of things I want to say on the subject, but let’s start by noting the vast numbers of Iraqis that showed up and voted in the elections with a considerable amount of pride, risking life and limb to do so. Pretty much no matter who ends up winning said elections, the mere fact that they showed up and did so is worth an awful lot. In the sense that our two biggest goals […]


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Insert Catchy Title Here
By Dwip December 17, 2004 at 7:06 pm Comments Off on Insert Catchy Title Here RSS Feed for this post

So, in a strange twist of fate, I find myself reading a number of books on World War II, playing a WWII FPS, and playing a Civ 3 succession game of the WWII in the Pacific scenario all at the same time. Go figure. In any case, I just talked about MoH:PA, and you can read the Civ game for yourselves, so I’ll talk about books. I don’t remember offhand the history of the Pacific war I read. It was, well, the standard US vs Japan history. And, while this is all interesting, and I needed a refresher on the course of the war, what interests me is not American-centric history from the American POV, but in what the Japanese […]


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Big Brother
By Dwip November 29, 2004 at 12:13 am Comments (2) RSS Feed for this post

Let me present the Nifty Program of the Day, a thing called World Wind. By NASA of all people. It’s an earth globe that can be covered with Landsat images, USGS topographic maps, and aerial photos, amongst other things. You can make landforms 3d if you want. Yes, this is very cool. Topographic map of the area near my house. Aerial of my house (house/land in the lower left corner). Aerial of Oregon State University. Directly right of the “Campus Post Office” in yellow is the history building, Milam Hall, and across the quad from it is the MU. Further right is a grassy area with crazy looking paths, and just below that is the library. Just to the right […]


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The Media War, Revisited
By Dwip November 16, 2004 at 2:21 am Comments (16) RSS Feed for this post

Watched a film, a documentary, called Control Room tonight. Watched it three times back to back maybe, given that there are commentary tracks, too. Might watch it a fourth time. Needless to say, I think it’s good and you ought to watch it. For those of you who have no idea what I was just talking about, it’s a film that tries to examine the coverage Al Jazeera gave to the invasion of Iraq in ’03. Lots of AJ folks talking, of course, but also a few others, including a certain US Marine lieutenant named Josh Rushing, who you may remember from an NPR interview I linked to. Now, obviously if I just watched it for 4.5 hours straight, I […]


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Delayed Response
By Dwip November 11, 2004 at 9:40 pm Comments (9) RSS Feed for this post

So you’d think I’d maybe chime in on the whole raging political debate thing before now, seeing as how it’s my blog and all, but no. But no. Too much Battlegroup 42, you understand, and it turns out that it’s my fate this year to get hit by every single disease known to man, so it’s been a fun week like that. So I’ve got a little bit to catch up with. 30 posts. I think that’s some sort of record for here, both in quantity and in relative quality. So I owe you all a big thank you for showing up and posting, and an even bigger one to the people who don’t show up much (Hi Samson, hi […]


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Yet Another Election Post
By Dwip November 7, 2004 at 3:28 pm Comments (30) RSS Feed for this post

You know, I don’t think Samson’s ever gotten his own blog post, and since he’s the one providing me with the space to HAVE a blog, that’s probably a little ungood of me, isn’t it? So we’ll just be doing that for a second, after these messages: Whir and I have been playing a Battlefield 1942 mod called Battlegroup 42, and it is leet. Astonishingly leet. What BF1942 should’ve been in the first place leet. Maybe a couple too many antitank rifles running around, but oh well. Anyway. Politics. We’ll start by quoting two comments made to the Four More Years post: Jesus. It scares me to no end to see how completely ignorant to reality the democrats have become. […]


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In God’s Country
By Dwip November 4, 2004 at 6:27 pm Comments (6) RSS Feed for this post

So I’m talking to Rema last night at Mechwarrior, and he says something to the effect of “I’ve decided I no longer consider myself an American, just an Oregonian.” And really there’s something to be said for that, because, well, consider: We had record turnout, and while that is on the one hand a good thing, said turnout appears to have been, from all appearances, made up of the sort of social conservatives I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. This after an exceedingly ugly campaign filled with viciousness and lies (not that we didn’t just have four years of such things, but the intensity went way up). It used to be, and I am reminded of it by […]


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Four More Years
By Dwip November 3, 2004 at 12:02 pm Comments (11) RSS Feed for this post

Well…shit. Not only did Bush get another term, it’s 53-44 Republican in the Senate, 231-200 Republican in the House. We got RULED. On the plus side, at least we had record voter turnout, so that’s something. And at least Oregon pretty solidly tread the Path of Goodness and voted solidly Dem. On the other hand, well, this whole thing revealed a lot of very ugly things about this country, starting with the method in which much of the campaigning was done, and ending just now with every single gay marriage ban measure making it in. Even in Oregon. And that, plus the Republicans flat out owning the federal government, worries me. A lot.


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For Great Justice
By Dwip November 2, 2004 at 6:00 pm Comments (8) RSS Feed for this post

Well, here we are (we’ve been here for hours, but never mind). Election Day. Voting places are starting to close, and bit by bit we’ll get results in. Gonna be a fun night, if you like political races like I do. Here’s thinking it’s going to be a close race. Hopefully, it’s close in Kerry’s favor and not Bush’s.


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Titleless
By Dwip October 14, 2004 at 5:20 pm Comments (1) RSS Feed for this post

On the one hand, I’d sort of like to talk about the last presidential debate, but there’s really not much to say. Kerry did all the good Kerry things, Bush did all the bad Bush things, except this time he didn’t rampage on the moderator. And anyway, Fafblog does it better. Much better. Or I could talk about the Pentagon Papers, complete with quotes, but since I didn’t bring in the first volume from the car, you all are SOL. Or I could settle for saying that we played Mechwarrior last night, and it was a sealed booster, and I got the best 3 packs I have ever pulled, not to mention THE best pack I have ever pulled, complete […]


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Set the Ray to Kerry
By Dwip October 9, 2004 at 2:11 am Comments Off on Set the Ray to Kerry RSS Feed for this post

*sees Whir, ducks* So let’s have some politics. Laurent should like this one better than the last one. Reading through the second debate transcripts right now, and some stuff is catching me eye. Such as: Quoth Bush: “And I saw a unique threat in Saddam Hussein – as did my opponent – because we thought he had weapons of mass destruction…We all thought there was weapons there, Robin. My opponent thought there was weapons there. That’s why he called him a grave threat. I wasn’t happy when we found out there wasn’t weapons, and we’ve got an intelligence group together to figure out why. But Saddam Hussein was a unique threat, and the world is better off without him in […]


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Zottage
By Dwip October 2, 2004 at 3:18 pm Comments (2) RSS Feed for this post

Well, let’s see. Things happened. And there was stuff, too. We’ll start with the obligatory political debate, finally back at Tonto for the first time in a while. Along those lines, the debate, which as I mentioned to Whir and Regina, went about like this: So Kerry was like “Dude, Bush is a fuckup.” and Bush was like “Uh. Terrorists are bad, mkay?” That having been said, Rome: Total War is awesome. I killed the Gauls, killed Carthage, am currently owning Germany in harsh harsh ways, and am gearing up to take on the Romans in the civil war that’s coming soon. This will be good. Too, Whir and I have been 2 vs 18ing all the BFV maps as […]


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Calm Like a Bomb, Part II
By Dwip August 10, 2004 at 7:39 pm Comments (5) RSS Feed for this post

This is probably way too long for the comments, so Cole gets his own blog post. Yay, or something. It’s been a while since I’ve had a good political argument. I once heard that if you don’t have a job, you should treat job hunting like it’s your job, and make that clear to your parents. I have no idea of the usefulness of the advice, but it sounds good, so I pass it along. This, of course, is what they’ve been saying as well. Some days this works better than others. Speaking of Calm Like a Bomb, I watched the Matrix on TBS last night. It was sorta screwy how, in the foyer shootup scene, they had the security […]


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Calm Like a Bomb
By Dwip August 9, 2004 at 12:14 pm Comments (3) RSS Feed for this post

(Written on 8/6, for the curious, but I just got around to posting) Ignite, ignite. Not to go off on a totally Livejournalish rant, but life around here sucks at the moment. Dad around the house all day pretty much threw everything off, to the point where none of us is getting enough sleep, tempers are flaring, and it’s all made worse by my supposed job hunt, which involves on the one hand fending off 24/7 requests on my time by parents who then get angry when I haven’t the time to jump in the car and drive to town, which is apparently the only true way to get a job. So not so good. And my attitude towards the […]


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Electioneering
By Dwip July 30, 2004 at 1:26 pm Comments (1) RSS Feed for this post

So today’s a pretty typical day for the last week. Kind of like this: “So, Erik. You’re going to go do job hunting stuff today, right?” “That’s the plan. In like half an hour.” *ten minutes later* “Erik, could you go [thing]?” “And while you’re at it, [thing] and [thing]?” *three hours later* “So, you’re still going out, right?” “Um, yeah. After I do the now hour’s worth of stuff I need to do, I’ll go into town for like, an hour of productive work. Maybe not.” But anyway. I’ve been in an awfully political mood lately, given the whole DNC going on and everything. Told the family to fuck off and listened to Kerry’s speech even, and I don’t […]


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Bad Blood
By Dwip July 27, 2004 at 12:18 pm Comments (5) RSS Feed for this post

Assorted randomness follows. So we got our DSL modem replaced today, which should hopefully cut down on the instances of being randomly disconnected from the ‘net at inconvenient times, such as when Whir is in my crosshairs. We can but hope, anyway. If you were one of the like 2 people on the planet who didn’t know that my ‘net connection sucks, well, it does. It always has. It’s Monroe, what do you want? That aside, I woke up at 8am this morning. Now, while I realize that there are quite a few of you who actually do this sort of thing on a fairly regular basis, there are others of us for whom it’s like being an Apollo 11 […]


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Everything to Everyone
By Dwip June 3, 2004 at 6:12 am Comments (6) RSS Feed for this post

Firstly, Tharavel should be up now, thanks to Putty and the school network. Try [EDIT 10/01/14 – Link redacted] and wait for a while, because it’s a 3 meg download. Should be a .doc and a .fcw inside. For those of you with CC2, the .fcw will be nifty, otherwise you’ll just have to live with the less good map in the .doc. Speaking of the .doc, it’s like 80 pages, and uses columns, tables, and all sorts of pretty bizzare stuff. For those of you not using Word, well, it may or may not work. *shrug* In any case, enjoy, and you know where the email is to drop me comments and questions and such on it. Secondly, I […]


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And You Thought Our News Was Biased…
By Dwip March 2, 2004 at 5:29 am Comments Off on And You Thought Our News Was Biased… RSS Feed for this post

This whole paper thing can go away now. It’s become annoying. Well, except for how it allows me to dig up some really entertaining, yet offensive quotes from 1860 Northern newspapers, whereupon everyone uses assorted racial slurs and such. Or, you know, there’s always entertaining stuff like this: “If the condition of the negro slaves of the South and the free negroes of the North be contrasted, we find no difficulty in determining where the comfort, happiness, and well being of the race are best preserved. In the South, as everybody is aware, the wants of the negro from infancy to death are supplied…the duty of this care by the master is not only a moral but a legal obligations, […]


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Heh
By Dwip March 1, 2004 at 8:26 am Comments (2) RSS Feed for this post

NYT headline of the day: U.S. and French Troops Arrive in Haiti to Restore Stability Why is this funny? I have no idea. I haven’t quite pinned it down yet. But it is. Very.


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Argh
By Dwip February 24, 2004 at 7:57 pm Comments (3) RSS Feed for this post

President Bush’s whole support of the Federal Marriage Amendment deserves a lot more thwacking upon that I can give it right now, but fortunately there’s people like Andrew Sullivan to do it for me. I really want to say I’m surprised by the whole thing, but I’m really not. Just one more reason to vote for whoever it is gets the Democratic nomination. Along those lines, Nader, go away. We don’t want you. We told you that in 2k, and you didn’t listen to us. Now run off and go play in the corner or something.


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Faith in Government
By Dwip February 21, 2004 at 5:06 pm Comments (1) RSS Feed for this post

So the news of the day is that my paper topic for HST 407 got shot down on Thursday, and I have until about Monday to come up with a new one. So I’m digging through various things online, such as the Congressional Globe for July 4, 1861. The Senate’s proceedings therein take like 2-3 pages, and are on the order of “Right then. Here’s some messages from the President and the cabinet secretaries. We all done, then? Excellent.” The House of Representatives is slightly more chaotic. It’s on the order of: Clerk: Ok. Down to business. Roll call. Guy 1: I object. Flunky over here wasn’t properly elected. He went and got elected in Virginia, then voted in Ohio […]


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“When, in the course of human events…”
By Dwip January 27, 2004 at 6:14 pm Comments (22) RSS Feed for this post

I was going to write this originally as a reply to various people in the timeline post, but it’s a bit large for that now, so… I don’t usually need to pull out Wordpad for a commentary reply. Sheesh. Well, seeing as how Western Civilization developed without the United Nations or anything even close to it, I’m pretty sure things aren’t going to suck too bad without such an absurdly worthless institution. Yes and no. On the one hand, the UN is fundamentally flawed. I think we all pretty much recognize this. In efforts to be more inclusive or whatever, it has come to lack the collective will to enforce the things it says it wants. Iraq is one example. […]


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Blerk
By Dwip January 24, 2004 at 3:55 pm Comments (10) RSS Feed for this post

As far as the whole Iraq thing goes, this timeline makes interesting reading.


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Guns and Money
By Dwip January 21, 2004 at 6:33 pm Comments (19) RSS Feed for this post

“This is interesting. To say the least.” —Toast “Sadly, I’m not surprised. I went to the UN once, and they have a graph up somewhere where it shows how much money they’d need to solve or at least nearly solve many of the world’s problems. The total cost is less than the total military expenditures of every country in the world.” —Regina “Either way, I can’t see why there’s such a need for that much money being directed towards the military. The only plausible threat would be terrorists (which is plausible), but since when do you fight terrorists with, say, stealth bombers?” —Toast You, too, can have your very own topic, simply by making a political statement. Congrats, y’all. ;) […]


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A More Perfect Union
By Dwip January 21, 2004 at 12:48 am Comments (13) RSS Feed for this post

So, in a fit of political something or another, I tuned in to watch Bush give his State of the Union speech tonight. On that note, let’s hear it for C-SPAN for having a live webcast of the thing. In fact, let’s hear it for live webcasts. Anyway. This whole thing deserves some sort of gigantic hand wringing, which I’m not sure if I’m capable of in my current exhausted state, but we’ll see what we can come up with. So… For the curious, you can find the transcript of the thing here. I’m not going to argue with the war on terror blurb. Mostly because there’s not a whole hell of a lot to argue with, but also because […]


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Hearts and Minds
By Dwip January 9, 2004 at 2:00 pm Comments (4) RSS Feed for this post

For the New York Times readers in the audience, I though this was a pretty interesting read.


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Sympathy For the Devil
By Dwip January 3, 2004 at 1:20 am Comments (3) RSS Feed for this post

Much to say, now that I am once more in a place to say things. Firstly, throat, whatever your problem is, stop it. Stop it right now. I am REAL tired of your attitude. Like, WAY tired. So unless you want to be sent to bed with no supper again, cut it out. Anyway. Much going on on the Civ front. I finally have a successful Succession Game in RBC4a, in which our 5CC Mayans do quite a lot of sacrificing, and quite a lot of math. Just what any game needs to be highly entertaining, right? Blood, sweat, and calculators. And, something like 4 new SGs having started today*, I’m now in RBC9 (NINE!), and am up next, as […]


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Samurai William
By Dwip December 19, 2003 at 1:51 pm Comments Off on Samurai William RSS Feed for this post

How long have I been hyping this book, totally unread by me, now? 6 months or something, anyway. Well, I got ahold of the Corvallis library’s copy of it the other day. It didn’t last longer than a day. 350 pages, read essentially straight through. Damn fine writing. Tells the story of William Adams, a sailor upon whose life John Blackthorne of Shogun is modeled. The truth, it seems, is just as interesting as the fiction. Less involved in epic warfare than you might think, Adams was infact an advisor to Tokugawa Ieyasu, and participated in lots and lots of interesting trade stuff. In fact, after reading it, I’m inspired to go out and find a history of the East […]


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Fukoku kyohei
By Dwip December 18, 2003 at 7:55 pm Comments (6) RSS Feed for this post

Rich country, strong army, even. Or maybe sonno joi (Revere the Emperor, Expel the Barbarians). Take your pick. But I get ahead of myself. Finally more or less recovered from being sick. My parents aren’t, but I’m better. That’s excellent. Too, I apparently did well for myself this last term. Worked half to death, but I managed three Bs and an A-, which may well mean I go to England this spring. That’s great. Lot of movie watching these days. Watched Pirates of the Carribean Tuesday with Tali and Laurent, and there was much rejoicing. It was, as I said after the movie, “a suitably rediculous movie.” Fun, didn’t take itself seriously, good times. Not necessarily more than 3/5 aliens […]


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Good Times Bad Times
By Dwip December 14, 2003 at 10:10 am Comments (5) RSS Feed for this post

For the plus side of today, we have: The capture of Saddam Hussein. While it may or may not translate into a real reduction in the number of guerillas in Iraq, the symbolic victory is enormous. This is good. My playing of Epic 37, which is one of the coolest games I’ve ever played. You will hear more about this when the game ends on the 22nd and I can actually talk about it. My birthday, which was muchly fun, and good times, even if I do suck really bad at Godzilla. My acquisition of Civ 3: Conquests. Yay. On the downside of today, we have: The lack of a patch for C3C means there are still game-crippling bugs. My […]


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Things That Make You Go Hmm…
By Dwip December 11, 2003 at 5:43 pm Comments Off on Things That Make You Go Hmm… RSS Feed for this post

To recap: The President of Taiwan wants to hold an independence referendum. China is, of course, against this. China now announces that it wants to increase US imports. Bait, you ask? Trying to influence Bush? But would the Chinese ever do such a thing? We wonder. And the bit about Halliburton overcharging the US Government for it’s monopoly in Iraq? That’s just too good for words, I tell ya. I just looooove politics. Don’t you?


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Back To Good
By Dwip December 11, 2003 at 12:30 pm Comments (2) RSS Feed for this post

I am now done with finals. W00t. Life is now good. I will now, as I was telling Suzanne, demonstrate my primal superiority over the corpse of my finals by playing computer games until I can no longer see straight. Raaaaaarg. Too, it may well be that I’ll be seeing The Last Samurai tonight. Whee! A few random thoughts. First, MY National Guard can beat up Marechal’s National Guard. While he’s got some Paladins, a bunch of infantry, and some F-16s, I’ve got M1A1 tanks, infantry, and twice as many F-15s as his F-16s. Nyah. Yes, we really DO have arguments about these sorts of things. Frightening, I know. On a further note: There’s an operation in Iraq going right […]


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Erik and Morocco’s Excellent Adventure
By Dwip December 6, 2003 at 1:40 pm Comments (3) RSS Feed for this post

This is me, filling time while I listen to one of those Anth 210 videos I need to, er, watch. Fortunately he’s not putting anything worthwhile on the screen. Busy life. In between the Anth videos, which is going to take like, 5-6 more hours, there’s going to be me studying at the library with Jean in a couple hours, me revising my Jacksonian democracy paper which fortunately isn’t due until monday, me working on my combined 17 pages of stuff for 20th century science, and me watching Pirates of the Carribean tonight with Tali and Laurent, which is only fair because I sort of skipped out on them last night to crash for 10 hours. And this video, for […]


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“The moral, however, is simple: Blow up your school. Game more.”
By Dwip November 30, 2003 at 7:20 pm Comments (7) RSS Feed for this post

So, as it works out, I have to read about 3 books and write a 15 page paper by Thursday morning. This is, in fact, doing better than I was last night by a fair amount. Still, the next two weeks are not looking to be a bastion of Goodness, Light, and the Warm Fuzzy Feeling. But such is college. I’d like to put in a good word for Thanksgiving. We’re about out of relatives to celebrate it with these days, but the food really, really rocks. Those of you who still live at home will understand where I’m coming from in a couple years, here. But really, it’s generally agreed that this Thanksgiving was one of the top five […]


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Gobble Gobble
By Dwip November 27, 2003 at 10:58 am Comments (5) RSS Feed for this post

I’ve a few other things to say, but they can wait for a while. For the moment, I’ll just wish everyone who reads this a happy Thanksgiving, for those of us what celebrate it. On another note. I don’t usually approve of our president as a general rule, but I think well of him for this. But anyway. Happy Thanksgiving.


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Before I wander off to
By Dwip October 4, 2003 at 4:09 pm Comments (2) RSS Feed for this post

Before I wander off to do some homework, we ponder a few things. Such as, for instance, This article, which tells us that Polish troops have found 2003-dated, French-built anti-aircraft missiles in Iraq despite the ban on selling weapons to Iraq. Or, for instance, the transcript of the head of the US WMD inspectors in Iraq’s testimony before Congress about the state of the investigation, which sums up to “Well, we haven’t found anything yet, and boy the newspapers sure are concentrating on that, but what we have come up with looks really frickin’ suspicious, yknow?” Though, to be fair to the other side, the whole “imminent threat of WMDs” thing might have been a TOUCH exaggerated, eh Bush? Much […]


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God Money Part II
By Dwip October 2, 2003 at 4:22 pm Comments (4) RSS Feed for this post

I am REALLY tired. Which sucks. I hate being really tired. But the point, really, is that my prof for comparative politics is all talking economics, and she’s like “The protestant ethic directly caused the growth of capitalism in Western Europe.” There’s a famous book behind it, apparently. I think I’ve heard of it. But really, let’s go with a no on that one, unless anybody objects. I might explain that more when I’m awake, though.


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God Money
By Dwip September 30, 2003 at 12:19 pm Comments (6) RSS Feed for this post

I’ll have things to say about class, but I’ll say them after class. For now, I have 15 minutes to kill, so here’s an ICQ I got from Marechal: So I am reading in this economics textbook, Marius … and everything I am reading says regulation is bad. They’ve got graphs and charts and stuff proving it. So then I’m like … “Well, duh.” Call me a Republican, a capitalist, and a patriot, but yeah .. … so I don’t understand how you can be so pro-regulatory with minimum wage laws and lots of taxes and rent controls and welfare. It’s bad economics. What am I missing??? What’s missing is, essentially, two things. First is the lessons of the Industrial […]


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Iraq in Perspective
By Dwip September 18, 2003 at 2:11 pm Comments (8) RSS Feed for this post

Well Toast, this one’s for you. I was going to reply in the comments, but it sort of outgrew that, so: yeah, I sorta remember us talking about Iraq quite a bit… interesting how you already back then never used al qaeda as an argument, while the entire press was basically screaming about it constantly. Good thing :) Still waiting for some report on the whole Weapons of Mass Destruction though. None found yet, right? Wow, why am I not surprised? And does anyone but me see the irony in vetoing that resolution? France, Germany and Russia?!?!? Bah I say, bah! The Iraq debate was an interesting one. Knowing what I know now, I’m not sure I’d have said all […]


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Gee, You THINK?
By Dwip September 17, 2003 at 4:56 pm Comments (7) RSS Feed for this post

This is a particularly sad bit of news. Firstly, I’m all for democracy, but I live in the same country as any number of very stupid people, and this saddens me. Secondly, just a TAD late there, eh Mr. President? Because it would of course be horrible of you to make the statement back when it mattered, like, oh, before the war, when everyone was chanting “Let’s go bomb Iraq because they helped with 9/11” and you were saying shit about how Al Queda and Saddam were working hand in hand, now wouldn’t it? Because that wasn’t a fucking stupid claim to base a war on or anything. You know, the more I think about it, the more I see […]


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Interesting Times
By Dwip September 8, 2003 at 9:59 am Comments (6) RSS Feed for this post

Well, I finished David McCullough’s biography of John Adams last night. Call it 3am. Good times. It won a Pulitzer, and for good reason – it’s a very informative book, while being a good read in the bargain. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, and came out more knowledgable for it. Can’t say better, I think. Go forth, acquire it, if you’ve got any interest in the subject at all. So, Adams lived in some very interesting times, in the Chinese sense of the term. ’76, the Revolution, the diplomatic troubles of a new nation, serving in the almost useless VP spot, and finally as President in his own right, and then doing the whole Cincinatus thing. Quite a […]


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Cult of Personality
By Dwip August 31, 2003 at 3:49 pm Comments (5) RSS Feed for this post

Because Toast wanted me to post this. Not as funny as it might’ve been, and I didn’t ACTUALLY call Nappy a loser, but oh well. Marechal: What a life Napoleon led. One day he is an underpaid foreign officer without an appointment… then he was a European Emperor ruling from Lisbon to Warsaw, Vienna, Paris, Rome, and all of Europe at his feet and a million soldiers under his banners…. and then he’s a lonely, poor old man on a God-forsaken rock in the south Atlantic. Wow. Me: And of those, one is a good career goal. :P Marechal: Just … amazing story. Two human stories, above all else, fascinate me. The story of our Lord Jesus Christ and the […]


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And We Continue With…
By Dwip July 23, 2003 at 5:29 pm Comments (8) RSS Feed for this post

Well, this took a bit of time to get to, but here we are. Marechal’s very own topic. Well you see now, it’s not that we are opposed to scientific change. That’s great stuff. I don’t happen to be much of a science person, but one of my friends, who is also Lutheran, is a science geek. Science is good. UNLESS it crosses the bounds of acceptable, ethical conduct. Stem cell research based on aborted fetuses, for example. Sure, the possible scientific benefits may be potentially great, but the cost in human life is too high. This, of course, requiring one to consider human life’s beginning at conception. For those interested, there’s lots of science out there on when the […]


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More Responses
By Dwip July 20, 2003 at 12:47 pm Comments (2) RSS Feed for this post

I think this is a bit too large for the comments pane, so… Quoth Regina: That was really informative. Thanks. :) Question: do you view bad things that come from religion as the natural progression of religion and its logical conclusion? Or are they abuses of a system that could work? Yer welcome. That’s a sort of complex question, and I may or may not be able to answer it well, but I’ll try. Start with this thread here. There’s some exceedingly long pontificating there that might be of some use. To attempt to answer it directly… it depends on the “bad thing” in question. Blind faith, frex, can be a “logical conclusion” of religion. It isn’t for all people, […]


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Responses
By Dwip July 19, 2003 at 2:36 pm Comments (2) RSS Feed for this post

And lo, here we are again. Responses to comments and the like. Regina’s fault, Marechal’s fault. Yes. Giantly long post ahead, Cap’n! To quote myself from July 5th: Religion, on anything more than a purely personal level, is our enemy. I say this as an athiest, of course, and with a nod to the discussion on the nature of monotheisms and organized religion in the Tonto thread. To continue with that, religion is our enemy because faith and reason, faith and science can after a certain point no longer co-exist. As it is reason and science that are the keys to any sort of progress socially, materially, or otherwise, blind religious faith must be cast aside and replaced with a […]


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Four Hours Later
By Dwip July 5, 2003 at 6:13 pm Comments (3) RSS Feed for this post

I finally finished writing forum posts and emails. And I only wrote like three, which should tell you something. At any rate, most of my assorted wordage has been on the subject of religious theory, which is always quite amusing to me as the athiest I am. This may be of interest if you like such discussion. My bit begins in reply to _real’s massive July 4th post. I’ve got a certain tangent from that discussion, which is why Islamic fundamentalism is our enemy, among other things. I won’t post it there, for it’s fairly inflamatory, but I’ll post it here. You the reader may be offended by it. Religion, on anything more than a purely personal level, is our […]


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Yummy!
By Dwip June 11, 2003 at 12:14 pm Comments Off on Yummy! RSS Feed for this post

Not for the faint of heart, but I found the first part of this to be cool, in a gruesome sort of way. Makes you realize how enormously uncool it was to be an Aztec. For that matter, I’ll just go ahead and plug the whole Bronze Age New World timeline while I’m here. Very nicely done alternate history. So, hrm. What else have I been doing lately. Well, there’s always Civ 3 Succession Games: RBP10 – The Spanish Explorers Sirian’s Sandbox And then there’s the Medieval: Total War SG: The Kings of the French KoF Comment Thread And then there’s all the school. Stalin final tonight, Anth and Greece tomorrow morning. And then it’s all over for the entire […]


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You have two rabbits…
By Dwip May 16, 2003 at 9:46 am Comments (6) RSS Feed for this post

Soviet humor: [a group of rabbits are attempting to flee the USSR to Poland] Border Guard: Why do you wish to leave? Rabbit: The GPU has given orders to arrest every camel in the Soviet Union. Border Guard: But you are not camels! Rabbit: Just try telling that to the GPU.


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*YAWN* Part III
By Dwip April 24, 2003 at 4:35 am Comments Off on *YAWN* Part III RSS Feed for this post

Well, that’s that. A not-quite-3-page summary of an article entitled Soviet Perceptions of U.S. “Positions-of-Strength” Diplomacy in the 1970s. 25 pages. Serious stuff, though sort of…dated at 1979. At any rate, it was a sort of hard assignment, but not as hard as she made it out to be. OTOH, I haven’t got a grade on it yet… It seems, though, that if one reads with an eye to the main points, it’s not all that difficult. Could just be me. At any rate, it’s 4:30 in the morning, and I’m starting to lose the effects of the massive caffiene ingestion. I may sleep yet. All I know is, if I never see the interior of MS Word again, it’ll […]


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My Take on Iraq
By Dwip April 1, 2003 at 8:47 pm Comments Off on My Take on Iraq RSS Feed for this post

For those of you who don’t listen to me at Tonto, and have no idea where I am on the whole Iraq thing (that’s you, Samson), this thread ought to fix that. The Marius posts are me.


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When Jokes Go Horribly Wrong
By Dwip April 1, 2003 at 8:24 pm Comments (4) RSS Feed for this post

First there was Joan of Orc. Then there was Orcsama bin Laden. Then came Orcsef Stalin, Saddam Orcsein, Georc W. Bush, Bill Clintorc, Jaques Chirorc, Mao Zeorc, Adorc Hitler, and Winston Churchorc. Cole, this is all your fault. Rumors of my coming up with everything but Joan of Orc are a vicious lie. So are the rumors about my having way too much free time. In all seriousness though, what free time? Tonight’s homework: Stalin Book #1: pgs 1-7 Stalin Book #2: pgs xviii-49 And as much of 3xPlutarch’s Lives Greece Book #1: pgs 162-219, 346-386 as I can get done. And that’s just the first day. And that’s not counting the 40 pages worth of papers or the work […]


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Yay Human Shields?
By Dwip March 28, 2003 at 5:56 pm Comments (2) RSS Feed for this post

I don’t think I really need to comment on this or this.


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Teaching History
By Dwip March 28, 2003 at 4:30 pm Comments (6) RSS Feed for this post

Regina, this is your fault. But you get a whole blog entry in response, for what that’s worth. Dontcha love how, in high school, they try to make you understand the “themes” of history and cause and effect and such things, but as for telling you anything about the “themes” of recent history and the causes of some of the problems and events of the last half-century…I haven’t learned any of it yet in school, and all I know about it I credit to my parents, who taught me about the last 50 years. ‘Course, there’s the chance that I’ll learn about it in US History in 2 years, but still, 16 years is a pretty long time to starve […]


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The Six Week War
By Dwip March 27, 2003 at 10:27 am Comments Off on The Six Week War RSS Feed for this post

So some fool talking head on NBC last night is like “If the war goes on for more than six weeks, it will be a serious political problem for Bush.” It’s about here where you sort of need to pause for a moment, and realize that we’re living in the century of the five YEAR war. In fact, within the lifespan of the United States, we’ve had all of, say, one war that was less than a year, and that was Gulf War I. And why is that? Because we stopped short of fully invading Iraq. Limited objectives, limited time. This time is different – full blown country takeovers against opposition take a while. Anybody with any amount of intelligence […]


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Not…quite…done…yet…
By Dwip March 25, 2003 at 10:20 pm Comments (2) RSS Feed for this post

This is the post that never ends, it goes on and on my friends… So, anyway, the point of the whole thing here is less of a rant against a specific position, though most if not all of the previous was beating on the anti-war crowd. I beat on the kill em all crowd, too, not that you hear much of it. One likes to bill oneself as a political moderate, who doesn’t particularly like the way far left or the way far right much. But the point here is a rant about common sense. Or uncommon sense, since a lot of people seem to have pretty much skipped American History in school, or got screwed in the learning of […]


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Forgot one
By Dwip March 25, 2003 at 9:58 pm Comments Off on Forgot one RSS Feed for this post

Left out a thought. Bad me. Lot of people amazed and mystified as to why, say, France and Russia, let alone anybody else, don’t support the US position. Other countries have their own interests, yknow, which don’t necessarily coincide with US interests, and in a lot of cases are pretty much opposite to them. Russian arms sales to Iraq, anyone? Way the world works. Get used to it.


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The Media War
By Dwip March 25, 2003 at 9:50 pm Comments Off on The Media War RSS Feed for this post

So I’ve been marinating in Iraq war coverage for like, what, five days now or something? Seems like centuries now, for some reason. Keep coming up with random thoughts on the issue. Like you know how the first war was the “CNN war”? For my family, this one is going to be the “MSNBC war” for whatever that’s worth, which isn’t much. So the White House is giving a press conference today, and they’re talking about humanitarian aid and how it’s hard getting it into Iraq because Iraq, yknow, mined the harbors. And these reporters are going on and on about the poor people of Iraq and how we’re not holding up our end of the deal and giving them […]


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Iraq again…
By Dwip March 21, 2003 at 4:52 pm Comments Off on Iraq again… RSS Feed for this post

Firstly, this is fairly amusing. Another quote I read recently is along the lines of “Even viewpoints I disagree with shouldn’t be represented this badly.” Tell me about it. My 9 year old neice indeed. And I’m sure that, one of these days, I’m going to regret telling a lot of people to shove it in my megarant down there. Ah well.


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Free at last, free at last
By Dwip March 21, 2003 at 1:49 pm Comments (1) RSS Feed for this post

For both me and the Iraqis, it would seem. Me, well, I’m now on Spring Break. Finally. I somehow missed one of my finals, but I’m done. All that matters. Now I get to relax, when I’m not taking care of mom, who went under the knife for foot surgery yesterday, and is now going to be stuck in bed for weeks. Along those lines, I drove way, way too much yesterday. Halfway to Corvallis, back home because I forgot the Jeep keys, back to Corvallis, late to my final so I’m running like mad to get there, only to realize that the place is empty, run around campus looking for it, run to my car to pick up Cole […]


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The Price of a New Mouth
By Dwip March 18, 2003 at 5:39 am Comments (5) RSS Feed for this post

Monday, March 17th, 2003. A day that will live in infamy. Not really because we will likely be at war with Iraq within a week, unless Saddam Hussein somehow isn’t the dictator everyone’s known him to be for a decade or more. No, I’m a supporter of the war. Nevertheless, people will die because of this, and that saddens me. It saddens me that things have come down to this, but mostly it’s about a hopefully but not likely to be small number of human beings who will die because of a man who made himself their leader. There’s also a lot of worry – not in the least because of a friend who’s boyfriend is over there. Five or […]


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ROTD XV: Election Night
By Dwip November 8, 2000 at 10:36 pm Comments Off on ROTD XV: Election Night RSS Feed for this post

In the aftermath(?) of Election Night. I’m very tired right now. I was up until 2+ in the morning last night listening and tracking the elections. Very, very crazy night… I and a number of others were alternately clicking the refresh button on cnn.com and other places while talking in the Bush Won!!!! thread on AOKH OD. The vote now hinges on a couple of thousand people in Florida, and at one point it was down to 210 people. There are 210 people on my FLOOR practically. Really amazing, huh? Really gives one a great sense of faith that your vote DOES count, that you DO matter. When 2,000 people in one state can elect the next president… yikes. I’m […]


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ROTD XIV.V: Encyclopedia Oregonia
By Dwip November 4, 2000 at 10:35 pm Comments Off on ROTD XIV.V: Encyclopedia Oregonia RSS Feed for this post

Or something like that. I suppose this could have easily gone in my last rant, but I didn’t feel like it. Indulge me or something. Today’s topic: The Encyclopedia Oregonia, otherwise known as the Oregon Voter’s Pamphlet. Although calling it a pamphlet is something of an understatement. Volume 1 (the measures) is 400 pages long. Volume 2 (people) is more to the tune of 20 or 30. The ballot itself was 2 pages front and back with people and measures. One for the people, one for the measures. That’s like the biggest thing I’ve seen yet. Yikes. But back to the book. There are something like 11 different proposed constitutional amendments for the state constitution. Plus a bunch of taxes […]


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ROTD XIV: Politics and Eye Doctors
By Dwip November 3, 2000 at 10:34 pm Comments Off on ROTD XIV: Politics and Eye Doctors RSS Feed for this post

Anybody been missing these? Today’s topics: Marius gets in a political debate and Marius goes to the opthomoligist (anybody know how to spell that?). Let’s see… politics first. For starters, I didn’t recieve my ballot to vote with. This, you understand is baaaad (sheep impression time). So I walked the 10 odd blocks down to the courthouse to get it. And yes, I have a car, and I could have driven. I felt like walking for some reason. I fear that there might well be something wrong with me now. The other political thing was a very long (like 3 hours) debate with a friend over A, who to vote for president, and B, Oregon’s Measure 9. Without going into […]


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ROTD XIII.V: Everclear Spoke. I Was There
By Dwip October 27, 2000 at 10:33 pm Comments Off on ROTD XIII.V: Everclear Spoke. I Was There RSS Feed for this post

An after-action report from the Everclear/Democratic party rally/concert thing. I knew they were coming, and was going to go. Got to try and take my history midterm through them soundchecking… “Yup. Yup. Yup.” went on for a while. Which of course made me want to get the hell out of class and on over to the MU where they were playing. Unfortunately I got out of there so fast that I got to stand around for an hour. Luckily about half my friends were there, so I got to BS for a while and generally hang out waiting while dodging various people with flyers and things telling me how to vote. It was primarily a Democrat thing, but a bunch […]


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