Friday, October 28, 2011

Now They're in the Lobby

Goes to show you, leave the door open and you never know what will come in.

The plywood one Is from the batch we did for Maker Faire. The other one has the bones from the ones we did this summer in Precollege. Beth's scene painting class has spent the first half of the semester filling it out.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

All My Platforms Runneth Over

Worth a Look

Here are some posts from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time:

New 'Phantom' to preem in Plymouth

Variety: Cameron Mackintosh's new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera," previously announced in Variety, will premiere at the Theater Royal Plymouth in March 2012 as part of a year-long U.K. tour.

Doris Duke Foundation announces a windfall of $50 million for performing artists.

The Washington Post: These are the kind of numbers artists like to hear. The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation announced Thursday it is launching a new initiative to give $50 million over the next ten years to performing artists.
At a time when the lingering recession has rocked the larger arts community, individual artists have lost essential financial support from both the public and private sector. Duke hopes to fill some of that gap.

Arts Funding Is Supporting A Wealthy, White Audience: Report

Huffington Psot: Billions of dollars in arts funding is serving a mostly wealthy, white audience that is shrinking while only a small chunk of money goes to emerging art groups that serve poorer communities that are more ethnically diverse, according to a report being released Monday.

Does Warner Bros. Really Have Exclusive Movie Rights to a Story Posted on Reddit?

Hollywood Reporter: In the annals of Hollywood, there have been many tales of writers realizing their dreams by successfully pitching a studio on a film. But these days, with many studios getting sued left and right for allegedly ripping off ideas from writers, executives have become a lot more careful about unsolicited submissions.
Now comes the amazing tale of James Erwin, a largely unknown author who successfully got Warner Bros. to buy movie rights to his story about what would happen if U.S. Marines traveled back in time to fight the Roman Empire. Erwin accomplished this by posting a series of stories entitled "Rome, Sweet Rome" on, an online community that allows users to post links and have discussions with each other.
Warner Bros. aggressively snapped up rights to this story upon seeing it, but does the studio really hold exclusive rights to adapt a film adaptation?

Given Age Discrimination, Should Actors Be Allowed To Lie About Their Ages?

ThinkProgress: This is one of those situations where my instincts as a journalist, and my instincts as an advocate for feminism in entertainment come into conflict. An actress is suing the Internet Movie Database for publishing her true age on the grounds that discrimination against actresses over 40 is so pervasive that revealing her age would complicate her efforts to find future employment.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Less than 24 Hours To Go

Come one come all...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Worth a Look

Here are a few posts from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time:

Eat, Drink, and Talk Seriously about the Theater

HowlRound: We ate, drank, and talked seriously about the theater. Mostly we talked about how talking about the theater is as vital to the theater as food is to the body, and that the various strands and strata of the local theater community could benefit from intersecting more often and directly. John said the six of us weren’t nearly enough, that there should be forty people at the table. So a few weeks later we threw a “Theater Salon” for forty invited guests on the stage of Last Planet Theater in San Francisco’s dicey Tenderloin district. To our delight, it went over very well.

Fisher Technical Services Flies High With Spider-Man

Live Design: Probably the first thing to clear up on the performer flight systems for Spider Man: Turn Off The Dark is this: Spider-Man can’t actually fly. “Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man refers to himself as a ‘webslinger,’ which is not the same as flying—he can jump very high and very far, and he can swing on a web line from location to location, but unlike a lot of other superheroes (and supervillians, for that matter) he does not possess the power of flight,” says Scott Fisher, principal of Fisher Technical Services (FTSI) of Las Vegas, NV, who were contacted to provide the performer flight systems for the show.

CPSC Table Saw Rules: Emotion vs. Numbers

Popular Woodworking Magazine: The Consumer Product Safety Commission will be accepting public comments on a proposed rule to improve table saw safety. Comments will not be accepted by e-mail, but will be accepted online via, or through the US mail. Submit your comment to CPSC online through this link. We hope that readers of this blog will choose to make their voices heard, whatever side of this issue they are on. This is an important issue, and we think it deserves careful thought and consideration. Unfortunately, most of the statements made by the parties involved have made use of emotional appeals, supported by numbers that have little basis in fact. Most of the media attention this issue has received, in the woodworking community and in the national media, has been repetition of these arguments. Whether or not we need government regulation for safety features on table saws should be based on a rational analysis of the costs versus the benefits. A lot of people get hurt every year while using table saws. These injuries can be devastating and life-changing, and treating any injury costs a lot of money. But will society as a whole be better off if new technology on table saws is mandated?

The problem that won't go away: Chicago's casting couches

WBEZ: Though sexual harassment is rarely as blatant as “Sleep with me or I’ll fire/won’t hire you,” most workplaces–and theater is no exception–are shot through with male bosses who are too friendly, male co-workers who are implacably hostile, and all the other symptoms of unchecked power to demean and intimidate women. And who has more unchecked power than a director in the midst of auditions?

In the Cut: Salt action previsualization

SALT Previs: Freeway Chase from Joshua Frankel on Vimeo.
scanners: Thanks to Joshua Frankel, who worked closely with director Phillip Noyce and stunt coordinator/director Vic Armstrong on the animated storyboards for the sequence I examined in "In the Cut Part II: A Dash of Salt," for sending me his previsualization sequence.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 21:44 Watching Green Hornet movie. Not the best film I've seen. #
  • 12:08 Furniture repairs can be professional grade, props grade, scenery grade or DIY. I think today I only rose to scenery grade. #
  • 14:34 @andreashock order of quality, yes #
  • 14:36 3rd & 10, 3rd & 10, 3rd & 10... Tough to get anything done that way. #
  • 15:42 Going to a march or a rally yesterday can't be the end. Stay vocal, stay involved. Anyone that runs anything is hoping you disappear: DON'T #
  • < li>17:13 Enjoying the music of Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich and the CMU Junior MTs along with my PDAC peeps #
  • 17:13 Worlds collide #
  • 19:08 If you can't seat us together do me a solid and go for obstructed line of sight #
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Saturday, October 15, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 01:13 Watching Inception again. I think the top falls. #
  • 12:39 Pittsburgh Children's Museum. Maker Orientation. #
  • 19:53 @aerdin I know a few candidates for that last one #
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Friday, October 14, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 21:08 oops, didn't ask for enough money #
  • 11:20 Studiocraft CAD - coordinates. How many times have I done this? #
  • 15:30 That thing I said I would do Tuesday - just getting to it #
  • 17:38 who is playing on the cut? #
  • 17:40 because it sounds like Melissa Etheridge #
  • 18:24 Iliked it better when facebook sent you to the birthday person's wall #
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 12:07 Does your shop have a table saw? You need to see this: @stagedirections @backstagejobs #2amt #
  • 12:14 Does your shop have a table saw? You need to see this: @BlueToolCrew @JamieNoTweet @donttrythis #
  • 14:41 Technical Direction 3 - Maker Faire prep #
  • 15:17 @giantspatula learning anything? #
  • 16:15 PTM Pro Practice - Website Design #
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Also Maybe Worth a Look

There actually were a lot of interesting articles last week:

Supreme Court Won't Hear Case Saying That You Have No First Sale Rights With Software

Techdirt: We had just mentioned the infamous decision in the Vernor v. Autodesk case last week, in discussing the Psystar decision. If you don't recall, the court in the Vernor case effectively decimated the concept of "first sale" in software, making it questionable if you could ever resell software that you'd bought.

The creative class is a lie Someday, there will be a snappy acronym for the period we’re living though, but right now — three years after the crash of 2008 — American life is a blurry, scratched-out page that’s hard to read. Some Americans have recovered, or at least stabilized, from the Great Recession. Corporate profits are at record levels, and it’s not just oil companies who are flush. For many computer programmers, corporate executives who oversee social media, and some others who fit the definition of the “creative class” — a term that dates back to the mid-’90s but was given currency early last decade by urbanist/historian Richard Florida — things are good. The creativity of video games is subsidized by government research grants; high tech is booming. This creative class was supposed to be the new engine of the United States economy, post-industrial age, and as the educated, laptop-wielding cohort grew, the U.S. was going to grow with it.

The show will never go on again — the most resplendent abandoned theaters across America

I09: At the blog After The Final Curtain, photographer Matt Lambros documents some of the most majestically collapsing theaters across the United States.Despite the fact that many of these post-apocalyptic auditoriums have been vacant for decades, Lambros' gorgeous photos imbue these now-hidden places with a shred of habitability...even if all the seats have been torn to shreds.

A Nutrition Label For Building Products

Fast Company: Transparency is becoming increasingly important for a number of industries; you probably have some idea about the ingredients in your food, and thanks to sites like GoodGuide, your electronics, cleaning products, and clothing. But the building products industry remains disturbingly opaque. You have no idea what your house or office is made of. Since we spend so much of our time indoors, shouldn't we have a better idea of what, exactly, we're being exposed to? The Building Product Transparency Project, a partnership between design firm Perkins+Will and architectural product company Construction Specialties, is planning to shed a little light on the industry.

Is Kickstarter the best solution for independent creators?

Online Video News: Last week, YouTube star Freddie Wong made tech blog headlines when he launched a Kickstarter project to fund a new action/comedy web series about video games.The fact that he’s using Kickstarter isn’t news — it’s the fact that in 24 hours, he raised $77,000, $2,000 more than his fundraising goal of $75,000. As of Friday afternoon, with 21 days left, over $118,000 had been pledged. This is only the latest example of the thriving Kickstarter economy, which since 2009 has become an increasingly common way for independent creators to fund their projects.

140 Characters or Less...

  • 10:12 @naavon just dial 9-9-9 #
  • 10:13 @thespophile biz-arre #
  • 10:15 Not my best start #
  • 10:28 Idea for today. Stop buying bottled water. #
  • 11:04 Technical Direction 1 - Shop Survey #
  • 11:52 Democrats should be having monthly televised policy debates as counterprogramming #
  • 12:07 Sometimes he's not completely wrong about everything: Sometimes. #
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Maker Faire

See there, in the upper left corner?  That's my prekies with their dinosaurs.  We're doing a repeat with the Technical Direction 3 class for the Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire.

I'll keep you posted.

Worth a Look

Here are some posts from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time:

Taking Note: The National Arts Education Standards

Art Works: The College Board, in partnership with the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS), recently released two research reports designed to support the revision of the National Arts Education Standards. Building upon the 1994 National Standards, which were the result of a collaboration of professional associations representing dance, music, theater, and visual arts teachers, the next generation of arts education standards will describe what students should know and be able to do as a result of a quality curricular arts education program. According to the NCCAS wiki, the new standards will “support the 21st-century needs of students and teachers, help ensure that all students are college and career ready, and affirm the place of arts education in a balanced core curriculum.”

"As Above, So Below" as part of Immersive Surfaces.

NOTCOT.ORG: “Immersive Surfaces” is a publicly presented video projection installation onto the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn during the Dumbo Arts Festival from September 23 - 25, 2011. The multi- part video projection, created by over 20 international artists and curators, will cover over 30,000 sq. feet of the Manhattan Bridge Anchorage, Archway and the surrounding cityscape, through the use of cutting-edge video mapping technology.

Fair play: should gender equality in theatre be mandatory? But Pascal has a more interesting – and perhaps more controversial – argument: that the woman issue can be better addressed through Arts Council England. "I think unless we have equality being demanded at funding level, equality of employment for women at all levels, this is not going to change. I think the arts council needs to demand that this is implemented. I think it is purely financial – nobody will change unless they are forced to. There has been a massive push for disability equality, but there hasn't been the same for gender."

Are drama schools training actors for real life? In an era of job cuts, the redundancy of navy personnel and the perilous future of hospital services, it seems perhaps frivolous to expend pity on young actors – but spare a thought for the people who could be the artists of the future. The people who would, if they were only able to develop, bolster our tourist industry and entertain our hearts in the depression and hard times on their way. Theatre, said Lorca, is the measure of a nation's greatness. Our theatre is a jewel, and we are throwing its future on the dung heap.

Rediscovering the Lost Art of Research

Sightlines: For theatre artists, research is central to their work –particularly visual research. It can also become one of those problem areas to teach. Professors may ask, "Why don't my students get it?" and students chime in, "Where am I supposed to find it?" Hearing these questions and seeing students turn in undersized, pixilated images makes it an important topic worth addressing.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 00:34 sad. "@GreatDismal: 39-percenter" #
  • 11:45 @ellenjuhlin good job. #
  • 14:45 Technical Direction 3 - Arduino Wrap Up #
  • 18:45 Nice dinner with the folks from Flyspace #
  • 18:46 Anyone using Tweetdeck? Anyone getting a weird "updating Tweetdeck" window? #
  • 19:14 Greenpage Weekly Top Five: #
  • 19:24 Can always tell from my Twitter stream when there' s a Republican debate on #
  • 19:33 @bethsemler at least you have a pen #
  • 19:56 photocopier, dead, of course. #
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Monday, October 10, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 23:12 Occupy Pittsburgh? It's a thought. #
  • 23:24 Own a home, save 4 retirement, insure your family, provide education 4 kids. Maybe Mitt is middle class. Thought I was too. Maybe not. #
  • 23:59 @naavon have now moved all the cats and still no clamps. #
  • 10:22 Stair Porn is somewhat less exciting to me now that I am more familiar with our local building codes. #
  • 10:23 @iSparkle_Bee what track? #< /li>
  • 12:16 Check out my friend Mark on the Today show: #
  • 13:17 @jhuntington the xmas machine can't be stopped. #
  • 13:23 What are they doing by the fence. #
  • 16:43 @euromandy what show? #
  • 16:50 Technical Direction 3 -Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire Dinohack production meeting @pghmakerfaire #
  • 17:03 We could do a dozen dinos, couldn't we? I think so. #strangeclassassignments #
  • 19:13 Seagull Black #rejectedpaintcolors #2amt #
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This Saturday there is an "Occupy Pittsburgh" event.  Seriously considering going...  River Song was a very ambitious and really interesting writing arc...  I left over 50 points on the bench for my fantasy team,  It's possible I shouldn't play fantasy football...  I got through the whole weekend without the need of an ambulance.  That's a marked improvement from last year.  It didn't go unnoticed...  There's a Greenpage article this week about if Drama Schools are properly preparing students for *life*.  Everyone commenting is responding as if it were about if Drama Schools are properly training students for *the business*.  Not the same...  Often it worries me how little coverage the war(s) seem to get on TV.  I mean, yes, bullying is important Andersen but we have troops in the field...  Some students and I did a favors for some friends of mine.  It seems to have come out nicely and everyone seems to be happy...  I can now say I am fine with not having seen "Money Never Sleeps" in a theatre...  I have to decide what we're bringing to Maker Faire.  I'm thinking maybe 8 pieces, but there's someone inside me that thinks maybe more...  Mitt Romney called himself middle class.  I got to thinking about it and it's possible we're wrong...  That play today, when Redman went into the pile, and then after an instant the whole pile surged forward, that was awesome...  There are a lot of people I ought to call more often...  Having watched four seasons of "Damages" I think it is possible season one is still the best...  What would you do on a vacation to Miami or Fort Lauderdale?  Now taking suggestions...  It's got to the point where a day in the shop requires an equal or greater time for things to stop hurting.  I could be wrong, but I think the answer might be more time in the shop...  The students have really taken to the Arduino workshop.  Guess I should make it a permanent addition to the curriculum.  So much for "doing less"...  Following the 99% tumbler really makes me worried.  Really I don't need any help with that...  My laptop.  The worst.  I wonder if it would run Windows 7...  That cat we were going to put down - we haven't...  The CPSC is going to wind up making table saws much more expensive (or lead to many current models to disappear from American shelves).  Maybe I'll buy one next weekend just in case - after the rally...

Sunday, October 09, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 00:16 Now wondering if next season Ellen will represent High Star against Patty. #damages #
  • 12:33 Anyone seen my quick grip clamps? #
  • 12:34 @pegele03 ouch. Don't do that. #
  • 12:36 @giantspatula I am currently rewatching all of X-men #
  • 13:33 I knew I should've played Garcon #
  • 15:00 And that's that. #
  • 17:30 @AskDocG you're most welcome! #
  • 17:32 Install complete! #
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Saturday, October 08, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 21:53 I'm not sure the center of that story was supposed to be "Good people die." #
  • 08:37 And now part two. #
  • 19:54 Fabrication complete. Install tomorrow. #
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Friday, October 07, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 22:47 @pegele03 clearly I am spacing something #
  • 23:56 Bummer @donttrythis , really would have liked to have seen that cradle go. #
  • 09:13 @giantspatula yes #
  • 09:19 @giantspatula I think they do that to try to help convey period #
  • 09:27 @KendraSerra what's most striking to me there is all the health problems, if it's a representative sample we are a very unhealthy country #
  • 10:49 StudioCraftCAD - more basics. Tired students. Slow CAD installation. #
  • 11:55 Doesn't "Record corporate profits" also mean "record available corporate capital"? #
  • 12:54 THE MAN took my dollar changer off the soda machine. #
  • 12:54 @CBPittsburgh woohoo - thx! #
  • 13:03 #youmightbegandalfif your bumper sticker reads "my other car is Shadowfax" #
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Thursday, October 06, 2011

Stop Motion

This was on Boing Boing in my feeds, but is gone from the site.

Soon it will probably be gone from here too.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Worth a Look

Here are five posts from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time:

I know what it’s like to have failed, baby

2AMt: Over nearly twenty years of striving, struggling and occasionally thriving in the theatre, I have honed my strategic approach to rejection. If it’s a biggie, I give myself 48 hours to pout, weep, question my fundamental decency as a human being and eat raw cookie dough with a large spoon, but then I have to get on with it.

The Playwright's Dilemma Tony Kushner can't make a living writing for the stage. America's most prominent playwright confessed in an interview published in Time Out New York earlier this year that "Angels in America" doesn't pay the rent: "I make my living now as a screenwriter! Which I'm surprised and horrified to find myself saying, but I don't think I can support myself as a playwright at this point. I don't think anybody does." So far as I know, Mr. Kushner is right. I don't know of any American playwrights who earn the bulk of their living writing plays. Many of the older ones teach, while a growing number of younger ones write for series television. Itamar Moses, for instance, has written for "Boardwalk Empire" and "Men of a Certain Age," which isn't stopping him from turning out stage plays (his latest effort, "Completeness," just closed Off Broadway).

Public Comments Next Step in Table Saw Safety Rules

Popular Woodworking Magazine: The Consumer Products Safety Commission will meet on October 5, 2011 to decide whether or not to continue with an "Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking" to address table saw blade contact injuries. If the commission decides to proceed, the next step will be to accept comments from the public on this issue. Comments will be accepted online or by mail.

Coaching a Surgeon: What Makes Top Performers Better?

The New Yorker: I’ve been a surgeon for eight years. For the past couple of them, my performance in the operating room has reached a plateau. I’d like to think it’s a good thing—I’ve arrived at my professional peak. But mainly it seems as if I’ve just stopped getting better.
During the first two or three years in practice, your skills seem to improve almost daily. It’s not about hand-eye co√∂rdination—you have that down halfway through your residency. As one of my professors once explained, doing surgery is no more physically difficult than writing in cursive. Surgical mastery is about familiarity and judgment. You learn the problems that can occur during a particular procedure or with a particular condition, and you learn how to either prevent or respond to those problems.

The Louisiana Model

Below the Line: From King Kong on the Empire State Building to Marilyn Monroe on the subway grate, New York will always attract filmmakers. From the green Pontiac Steve McQueen chased off the 19th floor of Marina Towers in The Hunter, to the baby carriage Brian DePalma pushed down the steps of Union Station in The Untouchables, filmmakers will always gravitate to Chicago.
But Louisiana?
When Louisiana became the first state to pass entertainment industry tax incentives in 2002, no one could have known that in less than a decade the state would be the third most popular film and television location in the U.S. Indeed, Louisiana has a chance to log a record 150 filming applications this year and to see local film and TV in-state spending for the first time top $1 billion.

Monday, October 03, 2011

We are the 99%

So I've been reading these:

We Are the 99 Percent

There are about 50 more every 12 hours, sometimes more.  It's become the most active feed in my RSS.  It is monumentally depressing.

Sometimes you read one and you feel like... ok, you made some mistakes.  Other times I am thinking... right, well no system is going to be able to account for that.  But mostly I think... damn, there oughta be a law.

And then I think a lot about my bank balance and the security of my job.

Truth be told many of these people, even the disastrous ones are better off than others.  Most of these folks went to college.  Most people don't go to college.  Most of these folks appear to be fairly technically knowledgeable.  Many, many people are not.  As a sample it appears to be a fairly well educated mostly left leaning group.  But one wonders if that only means that it's barely the tip of a monumentally depressing iceberg.

Some things just leap out at you after a dozen or so posts:

It is unquestionably time for single payer federal health insurance.  These people with huge medical debt, or insurance deductibles with five digits - we're better than this.  It's time to get it done.

As an aside, we need to better promote the CHIP programs.  Reading about people saying their infants can't get health care because they don't have insurance while knowing that there are governmental programs in existence that the writers must be unaware of is tragic.

If we can't get universal health insurance then we need some kind of government lending program.  30 year loans at 0% for health expenses.  You'd wind up owing your soul to the company store, but it's gotta be better than tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt to go to the doctor.  Dental ought to be covered too.

There should be unlimited unemployment hardship forbearances for student loans.  Can't pay if you can't find work.

We should get together and have the government liberate people from underwater mortgages.  The buyers ought to get a piece of the money they put in back - not all of it, but something to work with.  The government should put the screws to the lenders to settle for pennies on the dollar - or just a flat write off for the companies that were bailed out at taxpayer expense.  Can't have people who could find work elsewhere unable to move because they can't sell their house.  The government can sell the houses or donate them to not for profits.  People got rich selling houses we didn't need to people that couldn't afford them and then the profit takers got bailed out when the scheme collapsed.  We need to help the people on the ground.

There ought to be a tax credit for taking anyone into your household.  Adult child, parent, grandparent, anyone not able to stand on their own two feet.

Apparently something needs to be done around divorce settlements and support.  People ought not be able to walk away from debt, leaving it to their ex.  Maybe support should be like a mortgage, where you borrow the whole amount up front to guarantee it and then pay it back over time, or maybe not the whole amount, but something like 24 months in an escrow account.  Something so there is a backstop against missed payments.

Oh, and did I say we need single payer, universal, federal health insurance?  Yeah.  Now.

I read this thing day after day and get more depressed and scared.  It's time for something substantive to be done.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 22:31 Moneyball. Two thumbs up. #
  • 15:46 Hard to score points without a pocket. #
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Saturday, October 01, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 20:35 @narcosislabs should have followed my own initiative #
  • 20:37 @bethsemler sure, judge away. No comic-sans. #
  • 13:12 Seen this? you should. Make sure your representatives do too. #
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