Category Archives: NEWS

Not yesterday’s; unless you’re in the Time-Warp section

BILE BACK-LOG: Trump Trumps Top Twit with a Twist

Owing to having taken a solemn oath for the duration of the election period in Canada to maintain a non-​partisan position on political things, I couldn’t comment publicly on anything of any nature which involved the Canadian political parties, any of the topics covered by those parties as part of their campaigns, any of the individual running, the policies of any of the governments over the years, even foreign nations’ current events which might reflect how I might view a political position in Canada, and… well, everything, really…

This is the first in a series of posts where in I vent my spleen from those things which made me want to smash my head against any flat surface until my brain was sufficiently anesthetized the pain of trying to make sense of the news events was no longer noticeable.


Rob Delaney on Twitter is re-​tweeting some seriously insane things from Republican Presidential hopful Donald Trump’s Actual Real Account. EG: he’s accused George W Bush of destabilizing the Middle East by invading Iraq, thus ignoring George HW Bush invading Iraq, Nixon & Ford propping-​up the Shaw of Iran, Eisenhower & the CIA for installing the Shaw in 1953 via a coup d’état, and the Allies for having built the foundation of boundary disputes in the first place c. post-​WWI.

But he seems to have always suffered from of selective memory, because in December of 2011 he said this:

So… ignore the cause, point finger at the idiot brother of an opponent, then posit the raping of another sovereign nation’s resources as the spoils of war that was created by the USA? The man is unhinged! More than a thing to laugh-​at, he is seriously dangerous! I mean, PEOPLE LISTEN TO HIM AND AGREE WITH THINGS HE SAYS!!

Aaaaaand he gets worse only a few months earlier than the last one saying this:

What? Was he saying…

Oh! He •did• mean that in 2011, because there he is clarifying it 2½ years later! So Iraq should •thank• the USA for destabilizing the Middle East by handing over all its national assets (save for the historical things, you know, rocks and old paper are boring, give us the black sticky stuff) in recompense for the Americans who died in the effort to force Democracy and apple pie down the unwilling gullets of the Iraqi peoples?

And then there’s this, proving the man is an idiot doing what he claims is something he is a genius at:

Donald John Trump, born June 14, 1946. Probably less useful than anything you can imagine, but if accused of that he’ll just declare how proud he is of it.

Mood: infuriated
Music: “The Primitive and the Passionate” by Les Baxter and His Orchestra [1962, Reprise R9-​6048 Stereo]
Book: “The Map That Changed the World ” by Simon Winchester [HarperCollins, October 2009, ISBN: 9780061978272]

PODCASTS: More Recommendations

First, this post has nothing to do with CBC Radio One’s show On the Coast.

Except that sentence.

As with the earlier post recommending various podcasts, all the links for them take you to the iTunes releases, but if you plonk the titles of these shows into Stitcher or whatever you listen to podcasts on, you should be able to find them.

CBC News Network's "Power and Politics" [click to embiggen]

CBC News Network’s “Power and Politics” [click to embiggen]

Every weekday on CBC News Network, Power & Politics with Evan Solomon runs for two-​hours including commercials. They don’t issue a video-​format podcast of the show, but they do release an audio-​only version. This is basically the single best way to be as up-​to-​date with national issues and Canadian politics. It’s also the single-​best way to become infuriated with the horse-​shit passing for standards of responsible behaviour on Capital Hill now.

Some of you may think the following is exaggerated, but I swear it’s more toned-​down and simplified than reality:

Evan Solomon: Let me ask you this straightforward ‘yes or no’ question, which is clearly phrased and to the point.

Any Elected Person of Any Party or Appointed Ministry Official Spokesperson: Thank you for that question about a topic every single Canadian cares about, and which I will now completely ignore as I repeat all the stock phrases and policy statements that I’ve spent the last hour being coached on, most of which consist of saying what an idiot another party’s leader is, and how not one single candidate of theirs should ever hold public office due to reckless endangerment of the economy /​public safety /​federal purse-​strings in general [choose one or more]. None of this has even the remotest connection to the matter you’ve just asked, but I wasn’t listening anyway.

Seriously, this is what we get in the halls on Parliament Hill. Over and over. Every single day. Without fail.

How about starting with ‘yes,’ or ‘no,’ and then explaining why? Is that so impossible?

Every single party is just as bad at directly answering, except for the Green Party’s Elisabeth May who seems to not only have an ability to listen but also respond appropriately to the interviewer. If there was ever a convincing reason for me giving that party my support, and for the citizens’ increasing feeling of cynicism and powerlessness with the electoral system, this is it.

My blood pressure probably increases twenty points every time I listen to this, but the discussions they have with the political analysts and reporters like Kady O’Malley are excellent. Hearing the interviews that make your blood boil will help to give the broader context of the analysis the panels give you.

CBC Radio's "As it Happens" [click to embiggen]

CBC Radio’s “As it Happens” [click to embiggen]

Every weekday on CBC Radio One, As it Happens runs. This show has been around for as long as I’ve listened to CBC radio, and hearing the late Barbara Frum interview people taught me much about how to think intelligently and look at the world’s events with an informed and inquisitive mind. Currently involving Carol Off (interviewing) and Jeff Douglas (announcing and occasional editorial rants), this provides national and international news by speaking to the people directly involved in the event, or at the very least able to offer details from the area.

Sometimes there’s science; sometimes issues specific to a particular province, or US state, or city; sometimes there’s interviews with people who stuff and mount mice in dioramas using themes from popular movie musicals. There are always puns, and it’s always excellent. The podcast includes all the material from the show, and is often available before it’s broadcast on the West Coast. I always hear it the next day, right after listening to Power & Politics.

CBC Radio's "The House" [click to embiggen]

CBC Radio’s “The House” [click to embiggen]

If you still need Canadian political news after a week of listening to people not answer questions, there’s CBC Radio One’s The House.

Hosted by Evan Solomon, you amazingly do not get a bunch of repeated material from Power & Politics, instead you hear fresh interviews with Ministers and others, plus analysis from intelligent people. All of them discuss the important issues of the last week and try to make sense of them in a meaningful way. That’s not always entirely possible, but they give it their best. Good as a supplement to Power & Politics, or as a fifty minute replacement of it if you’re not all that addicted to knowing how Her Majesty’s federal, bicameral, legislative branch of Canada works.

CBC's "The National" ~ At Issue [click to embiggen]

CBC’s “The National” ~ At Issue [click to embiggen]

A weekly analysis of national issues can be found through the “At Issue” section of Thursday evening’s The National on CBC Television. They issue it in a video format, but the link I’ve provided takes you to the audio-​only version. Typically it’s about fifteen minutes or so, and involves one (sometimes two or three) topics of import from that week’s political news and looks at what it means and what sort of effect it may have in the week to come. The discussion is always measured, intelligent, and informed. You may not always agree with particular commentators, but their points are always well-​thought.

CBC Radio's "The 180" [click to embiggen]

CBC Radio’s “The 180″ [click to embiggen]

Once a week, CBC Radio One’s The 180 looks at people who have done an about-​face on an issue and taken a stand that either seems surprising for them or anyone. Sometimes the topics have two people on either sides of the issue, but more than not you get a topic being looked into across a couple of episodes, sometimes due to listener’s comments or reaction to an interview the week before. If the ideas of what if economists started a political party or shooting wild animals is entirely defensible or if basic food is tax exempt we shouldn’t tax tampons piqué your interest, then this is a show to listen to once a week for just under an hour.

Bugle, The ~ The Bugle (an Audio Newspaper for a Visual World) [click to embiggen]

Bugle, The ~ The Bugle (an Audio Newspaper for a Visual World) [click to embiggen]

Fridays, the brains behind the web-​site TheBuglePodcast​.com release a podcast called The Bugle.

Quite how they made the decision to do it that way, I don’t know, as it seems more than a little confusing, but… well, they’re English, so it probably makes sense in the let’s mess with the Colonials’ minds sort of way they are wont to do.

Typically, the half-​hour is made-​up of American, UK, and international news items, but focuses on one topic in detail for a majority of the show. Occasionally there are references to “footie” and cricket, as the hosts are both British: comedians Andy Zaltzman and John Oliver.

Funny. Very very funny. Also occasionally rude.

Due to Zaltzman living in London, England and Oliver in New York City, there have been occasional shows which may have been recorded when one of them has had a couple of drinks, what with the time differences and all (late at night New York is quite early in the morning in London, you see). There have been at least two episodes where Zaltzman was in the Antipodes, Oliver was in NYC, and their technician co-​coordinating the recording was in London; thus creating truly trans-​global, dual-​hemisphere, intercontinental satire spanning the earth’s day. The sun never sets on The Bugle’s mighty hosts, it seems [the pointless use of technology which was seemingly improbable only a generation ago simply to make dick jokes has been commented upon by the hosts, so keep that in mind].

NPR's "Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me!" [click to embiggen]

NPR’s “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” [click to embiggen]

An additional show I’ll simply mention in passing is Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!, a marvellous quiz-​style look at the week’s news in the USA. If you’ve ever heard “Quinn’s Quiz” on a Thursday episode of On the Coast, then much of this will be comfortably familiar. It runs under an hour, and always has some Great Person interviewed and who participates in one of the quizzes. Get this now, you’ll thank me later.

Oh, damn. I mentioned On the Coast again. Sorry.

Book: The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis [W.W. Norton & Company, February 2011; ISBN 9780393078190]

Podcasts from On the Coast Tease More than Satisfy

I don’t think so much of myself that a comment such as here’s what I want to have on this blog has the least bit of influence over anything the Great and the Good do in this — or, indeed any — city. I have mentioned ad naseum my taking to listening to podcasts whilst working, and my yearning for hearing the CBC RADIO one programme On the Coast with Stephen Quinn. They have the occasional podcast show-​up in the iTunes feed, but they could stand some improvement.

In this post here, I mentioned that their supply was too infrequent for my desires; and their content might be declared ‘piffle,’ in that they were very heavily lifestyle stories. Actual ‘news’ wasn’t there at all. That’s odd, as the show does a fair bit to cover topics of up-​to-​the-​minute interest of the citizens of ‘Metro Vancouver’ (as the marketing boffins like to call the Greater Vancouver region).

What I bemoan is the lack of supplying content such as this:

Christy Clark: 4 Years as the B.C. Liberal Party Leader

See, that is some righteous content! You get Charlie Smith, editor of The Georgia Straight; Alise Mills, former B.C. Liberal Party strategist, issues management and political consultant; and Bill Tieleman, former NDP strategist, columnist with 24 Hours and the Tyee; all discussing the specifics of the province’s fortunes, or lack thereof, under the leadership of our current Premier for the past four years. Budget, labour relations, leadership skills, mistakes made, ‘family first’ policies, and whether the citizenry has taken to her or not; all are covered. This is the sort of useful material any thinking person wants to hear and contemplate when they have fifteen minutes and forty-​five seconds to spend intelligently. Whither the province?

That is the sort of thing that should be shoved at us in a podcast.

Sadly, that is something that’s not shoved at us in a podcast.

The CBC web-​site is the only place to find that, possibly as a way of getting people to see those adverts that we’re all blocking using AdBlock Plus in our browsers. Here’s what we get instead:

On the Coast podcast feed [iTunes]

On the Coast podcast feed [iTunes]

Great! They’ve finally got a clue and are up-​dating every day or so with decent content! Hey, maybe the story about ‘Alcohol Concerns’ could be great! You are forgiven to think this to yourself. You are entirely normal to even overlook the fact that “Supervised Safe Injection Expansion” piece is only 29 seconds long, as the recent ruling by the… wait, what?

Yes, that’s right, those bottom two are only just long enough to let you hear the network promo to sign-​up for eMailed newsletters for your favourite shows — a technique to inform people which, technologically speaking, went out with buggies and button-​shoes — and then the file is done. Indeed, the nine minute file for “Alcohol Concerns” does exactly the same thing, and the measurement is misleading.

Wednesday, the following was posted by the host of the show:

Huzzah! Finally the guy who has the portfolio that includes transit, highways, ferries, and a plethora of stuff that people all froth at the mouth about, is actually going to be interviewed; something which is all too rare. This should be great! After all, he’s also the brains behind the policy I ranted about in this tweet:

If that interview with Minister Todd Stone makes it into a podcast, and one that I can actually play, I’ll be stunned. In the meantime, here’s a link to the entire episode lasting two hours, twenty-​six minutes, and thirteen seconds. Chances are Minister Stone is somewhere in there around the one hour mark. There’s no easy way to fast-​forward through the show to where you want (although you can grab the little circle and slide it over a bunch, but it’ll take an epoch to buffer).

I’m going to buy a cheap radio. London Drugs, you can thank the daft people responsible for CBC podcasts for some of your inventory moving.

Mood: irritated
Music: Glenn Gould (1955 Performance & Zenph Re-​Performance), Johann Sebastian Bach: Goldberg Variations [yes, I recognize that brands me as a stuck-​up sticky-​beak; fuck off]
Book: The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis [W.W. Norton & Company, February 2011; ISBN 9780393078190]

The Silence of the Long Bell

Thanks to the generous notes from four people speaking highly about my character, I was able to secure a position for four months with a Government Office. After a few weeks of training, I worked some rather insane hours when things got quite busy, but my contract was not renewed and thus my employment with them ceased on May 2nd as originally scheduled. This was regrettable, as one had hoped for an extension so that income could continue to create all sorts of solutions to problems encountered in other corners of life. Sadly, it was not to be.

It’s quite likely that a contract will be offered to me for next year’s season, but sadly there are still eight other months of the year which have their own costs associated, so this isn’t entirely a good position to be in. There is another vague, slim possibility that a contract might be offered for three-​or-​so-​months for the very end of this year (providing training in another area of the Government Office’s services, and possibly lasting as long as mid-​December), but again, this doesn’t exactly cover the year as one might wish.

Thus, the search for “a proper job” resumes.

So far there are no prospects, and the frequency of actual interviews for positions has been the same as the two previous years before now: nought.

Also, this previous four months’ topsy-​turvy schedule of work, with associated merry dance of famine and feast and… wait for it… might be… no, never mind, it’s famine again has had an understandable effect on my health: bad.

My final fortnight of employment with the Government Office saw me miss three days of work, two of which would have provided a not inconsequential quantity of over-​time hours, owing to likely having the Norovirus (predictable messiness, lack of desire to do anything but sleep, inability to move at any rate resembling a mammalian one); followed a week or two later by a bizarre skin infection (two patches of broken skin near the mouth, considerable initial inflammation along jaw on same side indicating spreading sub-​dermal invasion) which is only now disappearing; and now it’s something that, were Dr. Watson to ask his good friend for advice based on symptoms about the thing’s nature, doubtless Sherlock would cry was “alimentary!”

The last of these things is apparently commonly seen in those who are under a great deal of stress (frequently following childbirth; unlikely to be case here), and I’ve no idea how that might apply to my situation in the least… I mean… ‘stress…?’ Moi…?


I’m now eating all sorts of fibre-​rich foods, as well as a daily dose of psyllium husk suspended in water – I refuse to refer to the brand-​name as it makes me feel Really Quite Old Indeed – and am doing things to myself for medical reasons that I’d far rather have someone else do for recreational ones.

I also spotted an expansion of the cataract in my left eye, to the point it really looks like a cobweb, just like it’s said they do. I can even make it wobble around if I feel like it.

I feel so very old and irrevocably broken now…

Currently I’m house-​sitting for my parents, as they’re in Northern Europe for six weeks, returning on the anniversary of D-​Day (there’s some symbolism there… somewhere…). This fortnight’s final push to the finish sees them having just arrived in Portsmouth for three nights, then three days in Bristol, followed by two more nights in London (to have a beer or two with some Fowlerites), and then another three in Iceland, then home.

In addition to the task of trying to be at home in the house of one’s youth where everything is stored in a place where it wasn’t when you left it there nearly two decades ago, there’s the interesting experience of repeatedly wondering how, in the name of God, do they live surrounded by so much stuff and cope with this every day? It’s a familiar building, but one wonders how one ever lived there.

Dear Lord in Heaven

Dear Lord in Heaven

I gave-​up trying to figure out the manner through which their TV provides a cable signal. I really didn’t want to to watch anything in particular, unless The Mercer Report, The Daily Show, or The Colbert Report could be located. However, one doesn’t like being defeated.

The flat screen TV is below, and the remote on the far left is for it. The DVD player is the bottom one on the shelf (I don’t think there’s a remote for that), then the VHS is the next one (that’s the middle remote), then the Shaw Cable Converter thing is the little one on the top (and the remote for that is on the right). I spent four months doing web and software tech support over the ‘phone with people who had wildly different levels of tech ability, and wildly different computer set-​ups, and never actually got skunked helping people. This bastard thing, however, got me completely flummoxed.

So, I basically said screw that for a laugh and went back to reading my book.

Ah books: like TV, only slower.

–Marianne Baatz

Meanwhile, last week came the vague message from England that Mother has had part of her face and neck seize up. The initial panic of oh no, it’s a stroke… turned out to be false, as explained by Father:

She has been afflicted with Bell’s palsy on her right side of her face. We saw a Dr in London and had further tests at Guy’s and St Thomas’. She now has lot of pills and instructions to see the Dr when she gets home.

So… That’s something good… considering what we started out with, anyway.

Additionally, Mother says this about her first-​hand experience of the NHS:

By the way, the Accident and Emergency ward at [Guy’s and] St Thomas’ Hospital is a marvel of quiet and efficiency on a Sat. morning and the staff are wonderful. They’re building a new children’s hospital, too.

No doubt they’ll put up a plaque to commemorate their achievement of impressing a Canadian Senior.

Well, there you have it: me; 48; separated from ex-​wife-​to-​be for over a year, yet still haven’t moved out; cannot find a job to support self; and apparently my entire family (including myself) has become akin to a fleet of vehicles rapidly disintegrating ‚as they roar haphazardly down the highway in the direction of some destination which is not only invisible, but may not actually be located where it is thought to be, or even exist in the first place.

I say all of this, knowing full well it doesn’t relieve me of the responsibility of me as an Actual Adult. If it weren’t for Heather, I’d be a dribbling and gibbering idiot by this point. She’s been a God-​send.

Additionally, this all pales in comparison to most people’s challenging lives. After all, I happen to know someone who, in the space of only a few short years, accomplished the following:

  • left first wife
  • acquired restraining order for same
  • had kidney cancer
  • married second wife a day or so after learning same
  • had kidney replaced with new one
  • is now deliriously happy with said new wife and kidney (in that order of priority)
  • created at least one novel, a novella, and a few short stories during the latter portions of the above period
  • continues to be the success he deserves to be in all things

What have I got to say for myself? Nothing.

Bugger me.

Actually, no: there’s that medical condition to be considered, after all.

Mood: confused
Music: A Motown Tribute to Nickleback [2013, independent release]
Book: Making Money, Terry Pratchett [ISBN 9780552159333, Corgi/​Transworld, 2011]
Put on Something Sexy (medium)

OPINION: What's the Big Deal? When Should They Learn?

It’s not often that I’ll step out of my usual box of “someone ranting about arts” to discuss sexual things. Yet, that’s where this post is going. so I’ll warn you now that if topics such as “family planning” or “condoms” or “practising safe sex” or “sex education” or “animated porn cartoons” make you uncomfortable or even offend you, you should go away now.

Seriously: right now.

Okay… you’ve been warned…!

See, there’s this problem over in Nanaimo, where a Grade 8 kid (around 13 or so) was given a copy of a book. A flip-​book; you know, the kind where you let the pages flip quickly past your thumb and the series of images on the page seem to move, like a movie. Yeah, that sort of thing.

The flip book was given to him as a part of an in-​school programme with excellent goals.

As part of a new district policy to make better use of time during exam week, the school offered students personal health classes in personal health and planning this year.

AIDS Vancouver Island has provided some course materials for a number of years for the programme

Splendid! This is good, and something that needs to be taught to the kids somehow, sometime, by someone. Typically parents who say ” this sort of thing needs to be taught in the home” are also frequently the parents least likely to actually do the educating about sex at all. However, that’s beside the point here.

In addition to other materials from other similar organizations, AIDS Vancouver Island has been involved with providing course materials for a number of years as part of the programme, so the credentials of the content is both sound and respectable.

For more of the ins-​and-​outs of the matter itself, you can read THIS STORY on the CBC News site, as well as THIS STORY as well as A LATER ONE on the site for The Vancouver Sun.

What got me thinking about this at all was this tweet:

Learning about the delightful and intelligent Nadine Thornhill of Ottawa (but soon to be San Francisco-​based), I then gave some thought to the question of this particular educational material and its possible inappropriate use with 13-​year olds.

Here’s an animated *.GIF of the book, showing what you would would see if a copy of it was in your hand.


This following graphic will show you images of two-​dimensional characters engaging in
the consensual act of coitus – apparently in a pleasurable fashion – and there is no
specification that they are actually married or even in a committed relationship.
You will also see a man’s willy, which has a condom placed upon it.

Proceed with caution if you feel this might cause you discomfort.

I’ve put this together from the original PDF (you can find that PDF here: CLICKY!) which was published by the Chee Mamuk Aboriginal Program, BC Centre for Disease Control in 2010 as part of their client resources. They describe it as “Flipping fun – a pocket-​sized flip book that models condom use.” The point of it is to promote “Safer sex and sexual health > Safer sex” and within the specific population it targets being “youth.” Presumably the very specific sub-​set of that is First Nations youth, as there have been concerns expressed about STI and HIV become more wide-​spread in recent years, and the promotion of safer sex and contraction of diseases in that community.

Put on Something Sexy (medium)

Put on Something Sexy (medium)

CLICK HERE to see the above animated version of Put on Something Sexy in a larger image size

Sticking with Twitter as a sort-​of litmus test of the acceptability of the material, here’s some reaction to the issue.

There’s the confirmation that the intention of the material has been met: education on how to use a prophylactic device. All good there. Huzzah! Knowledge is power, the use of a condom isn’t as difficult as you might have though, easy to do by anyone, and there’s at least one less mystery which might provide resistance to the use of them therefore.

How could someone object to this, one wonders. It’s possible that a thirteen-​year-​old male might feel uncomfortable discussing the matter with their parent, but it doesn’t seem to me possible that this same male could be un-​aware of the existence of condoms, nor that he might not be considering his options regarding sexual activity in the near future. Perhaps I’m presuming too much, but one might suggest that the innocence of the average 13-​year-​old male is hardly un-​touched long before he sees this fairly benign and un-​erotic booklet? There is the omnipresence of the interweb and its propensity to serve up anything you can state in a few words and which are shoved into Google.

There are a few things one can object to in the book, however.

Both of these quite good points.

The male’s tattoo, and the female’s feather accessory do both smack more than a little of tokenism to make the characters more readily identifiable as First Nations community members. Taken to a ridiculous extreme, this would also manifest itself as two people wearing wooden shoes to make them ‘more Dutch,’ or perhaps both of them smoking and frying some horse meat to make them ‘more French,’ or both of them firing off handguns to make them ‘more American.’ Still, the need to have two people who weren’t clearly white does require something more than a slight tinting to their flesh.

Additionally, the reality of sex – it’s a bit messy, and it’s certainly ain’t elegant as viewing material – is hardly on display here. The idealized images above don’t really grab the eye of the kids, and basically continue that style of textbook illustration that reduce to the barest essentials something far more complex and thus make it… well… a bit boring, really.

To return to the title of this post, however, and the real question this whole thing raises in my mind:

If the kid doesn’t get the information at school, and in the grade where they enter the level of education they start really concerning themselves with careers and other ‘adult-​oriented’ questions of how to live their lives, then where do they do it? Seriously: when?

Okay, sure, the chances are good that only a minority of the students in Grade 8 now will have experienced a sexual act that would necessitate the use of a condom (based on my experience in high school, anyway… not that I’m bitter or anything… no no), some of them actually will have done so by the time they get into the senior grades. Do we wait until they’re about to have sex, then rush up to the parked cars and set-​up the flip-​charts with diagrammes of reproduction systems, shove a handful of condoms through the window, and then hope for the best? Clearly that’s not going to work as they’re not going to be paying attention to anything other than how annoying the adults are being, and it’s already too damned late for them to remember anything.

No, telling them about stuff they need to know before they actually need to know it is the best, to my mind.

After all, we teach our youth about all of the traffic signs and potential behaviour that causes automobile accidents before they get behind the wheel of a car; why not teach them about STI /​HIV /​AIDS and how to use condoms and dental dams before they start navigating a bed?

NOTE ADDED LATER: It is only now that I’ve read Nadine Thornhill’s article about “Sex: A Tell-​All Exhibition” (although I may have read it months ago when she posted it originally). It’s only now that I realize the above final paragraph mirrors her closing argument about the teaching of material prior to its actual use. What can I say; great minds think a link… and fools seldom differ, yes, I know.