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Posts posted by SiouxRanger

  1. 35 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

    I object to the idea that coffee is a frivolous topic, but I'll refrain from moderating you just this once.

    Sorry for any confusion, some have raised issues that my TONE was frivolous on other matters, so many posts ago.


  2. So, seriously:

    1.  Just boil water and have a bottle of some brand of "coffee flakes or crystals."  Folks can add as little or as much as their taste demands boldness. There are a number of brands of coffee flakes or crystals and they have different tastes.  Take two or three different brands.  Let the coffee drinkers choose the one they prefer best.  (Or just ask them, and buy what they want, or tell them to bring their own.)

    2.  There are "coffee packets" similar to tea bags. Perhaps multiple brands. Get a selection. Any adult not satisfied should consider a career in the French Foreign Legion .  (My apologies for relapse.)

    3.  So, for the coffee lovers who insist that amateur (our poster) make THEIR coffee by actually brewing it.

    A.  There is the "French Press" method.  Check the internet for directions and the equipment needed. (ADD 10% to their camp fee for the specialty equipment needed and language training.)

    B. There is the "Percolator Pot Method" which involves a metal coffee pot, a lid with a glass bulb, a metal stem, and a metal basket for the coffee grounds.  Dump about a scoop of grounds for each two (2) cups of coffee into the basket.  (Do the math:  A cup of coffee is 8 oz.  A pot that can make 8 cups only need 4 scoops of coffee.  A little stronger, add a scoop, less caffeine, substitute decaf as desired.  Heat until there are "poops" of water passing through the glass bulb. When the "poops" are dark enough to suit taste, remove from heat and pour.

    C.  There is the "Cowboy Pot Method" practiced by Joe Davis, Philmont Camp Director so long ago who personally taught me this method at the Hunting Lodge one night at a conference of senior Ranger Staff in 1972 or 1973.   He dumped a scoop of grounds into a coffee pot of water for every cup of coffee to be produced, and a scoop of grounds 'for the pot.'" When he thought it was ready, he added another cup of water "to settle the grounds" (to the bottom of the pot, presumably) and after a bit poured out a strong coffee being careful not to disturb the grounds which had settled to the bottom of the pot.

    So, just to check notes:  Becoming a Scout does not mean you suspend your judgment or the scientific method.  Headed to a campout and need to make coffee? Get the equipment to do so and do some test brews in your kitchen and have the coffee drinkers be present to evaluate  your efforts. Adjust your formula.  Folks who do not show up to assist? They can drink swill.

    Perhaps just as important as the coffee, or even more so to many, are the creamers folks prefer.  Powdered creamers are all over the ballpark all being offensive to my palate.

    There are all manner of liquid creamers, various (millions) flavors.  ABSOLUTEY require your unit coffee drinkers to bring their own as there are just too many variations to accommodate your unit's coffee drinkers. And budget.

    I drink black coffee.  Simplifies everything.  And, I only need to scrape out residue once a year. All so as to accommodate more black coffee.  A little known aspect of the Philmont Ranger Mentality, being just another aspect of the "Philmont Ranger Mile."

    Gee, half way through this post, already replies.

    Headed to the woods to dig a foxhole and await the blast...

  3. Change your name.  Plastic surgery. Dye your hair.  Change your fingerprints. Learn a foreign language (with the appropriate accent). Change continents of residence-Antarctica is recommended.

    NEVER make coffee for anyone.

    Other than that, you are doomed.

    (Oh, and why aren't the coffee lovers making their own coffee?)

    (Sorry to someone so long ago who criticized me for frivolous comments, but the topic of COFFEE is an exception.)

  4. 3 hours ago, qwazse said:

    There are no uniform police,

    Well, I think that there are. Any deviation of official rules is seen as a "violation" whatever that means.

    It is not uncommon in statutes for there to be rules, with NO consequences.

    Well, and one might ask, why are there rules (enacted by the Legislature which ought to know better than to make rules with no consequences) with no consequences?

    Shoot somebody, there are consequences-severe.

    Well, there is this concept in the law of "aspirational."  Essentially, the idea that the Legislature is suggesting that folks meet certain standards that have no penalties but folks should still aspire to meet. (Frankly, "aspire" to me means "perspire" and if enough sweat drops, you've fulfilled your duty.)

    This concept, in my state, is generally found in lawyer professional ethics rules. (Sure, let's give the lawyers a way out-well, I am one, and resent any break that diminishes my credibility.)

    So, back to Scouts in uniform.  A Scout wearing a Scout shirt, is OK. A scout who has his shirt tucked in, is better, and a Scout with neckerchief is at the top.  Some have the appropriate rank patches, others not so much.

    I am delighted that Scouts show up at all, whatever their attire, and many came from sports activities in some measure of sports attire, and many some minutes late. But they were at the meeting. I am not about to send them away. And nearly all of the Scouts in my Troop who were in sports earned Eagle. They worked hard and we accommodated.

    And before you pound down on me as some weak-willed, uniform-denier, I worked on the Philmont Ranger staff in the early 1970's-3 years. Rangers ALWAYS wore Class A uniforms on the trail, and we joked "We were not allowed to sweat." (Well, we were very young and strong, and just might have pulled that off-but whatever, you NEVER were allowed to be out-of-breath.)

    Ranger staff now wear knit shirts. Not sure why.


  5. On 1/3/2022 at 7:44 AM, qwazse said:

    You are right, but I still win.  (Headed to my bank to deposit...what do I get? Who cares.)

    Rules And Regulations Of The Boy Scouts Of America


    II. Policies

    Policy Concerning Military Training

    Technical military training and drill must not be included in the Scouting program.

    (Last time I read it was 1998±. I think it was the same, then. Homer nodded, slightly. The BIG NOD on my part was not catching that the Hitler Youth did not exist at the time of BSA's Charter so no prohibition on military training would likely have been incorporated at the time of Congressional Chartering on that account.)

    I have not researched WHEN the prohibition on military training arose.  Somebody probably knows.  Curiously, the U.S. Military seems to have a preference for "non-militarily trained" Scouts.

    On the other hand, my swimming merit badge required that we entered the pool silently, swim the length of the pool silently, and exit the pool silently. Seems a lot like Seal Team 6 prep to me.

    • Upvote 1
  6. Just have to put in a plug for the Ashley Book Of Knots.  Known as "ABOK" to those fascinated with knots.

    If you don't own a copy, copyrighted in 1944, and revised in 1991± (or maybe 1993), or have not seen or heard of it, you have truly missed something.  It is available online as a .pdf, and on eBay in hardcopy.  Get the revised 1991 (or maybe 1993) edition.  (No one seems officially to know which knots were revised in 1993±, though there are various lists available but they do not agree.)

    About 4,000 knots, hitches, and bends. All drawn in pen and ink by a master artist.  Each knot is numbered, along with a discussion of the knot, a bit of history…

    Then there are also plat sinnets, splices, block and tackle configurations, ship rigging, button knots.  (Remember those long plastic buttons that slid through loops on your Robert Hall coat with the faux fur collar? They had faint lines embossed on them mimicking the leather lace used to tie them from when folks KNEW how to tie them.)

    Decorative knots, knots usable as tricks, how to make a boatswain's chair, how to tie it to a rope so you can hang from a steeple to repair the roofing, and how to tie a hammer to a rope so you can raise it safely to work on the steeple.  How to truss up an elephant to load it into the hold of a ship, or tilt a ship on shore to expose its hull to scrape barnacles.  Marlinspike seamanship. How to make standing rigging:  "Worm and service with the lay, turn and parcel the other way."

    It is a Masterpiece.

    Anyway, back to bicycles, there are a number of "running hitches" shown in ABOK.  They are typically used to secure a sail to the boom after a day of sailing.  However, they are also particularly suited to repairing a bicycle tire where the tread has separated from the bead due to the rubber being rotted. A series of running hitches draws the tread back to the rim, which covers and protects the inner tube. It will get you home.  World like a charm on a Troop bicycle trip.

    The great advantage of running hitches is that one does not need to laboriously snake the whole rope through the spokes and around the tire.  One is only passing a short loop through the spokes.  Easy on, easy off.

    And, from the previous post, we learn that running hitches may make suitable bicycle snow tires.

    • Thanks 1
  7. 21 hours ago, johnsch322 said:

    Fred I have always felt your sincerity in your posts.

    I have to agree in Fred's sincerity and balance.

    And I agree with his comments about "a different time, place, beliefs, sensitivities, etc. (and I do not intend to misquote or misrepresent Fred's comments), and frankly, even today, the last decade or two, having brought 3 sons through the program to Eagle, I have never felt comfortable about discussing abuse issues and feel that even I, recognize that I, personally , live in that different time, place...).

    And, not only is that uncomfortable, parent to child, but I never really appreciated the extent of the abuse.  (I do now.) I never saw any suggestion of improper behavior in any scouting activity I was involved in. (I once deduced that a burglary had happened by a tiny splinter of wood on my desk-about 1/32nd of an inch long-no way it got to my desktop without foul play-and I was right.)

    BUT, where I depart from agreement with anyone's comments to the contrary, is that abuse is a CRIME and as a CRIME it should be reported to the police, folks charged and authorized to investigate reports of CRIME. And the police are charged to report credible allegations to the state's attorney.

    And allegations of abuse should be reported no matter of the reporting person's evaluation of whether it is a crime, or will be taken up by a prosecutor to file charges, or whether those charges will ever be proven, or whether a conviction result.

    An observers duty is to report, regardless of beliefs, results, or consequences.

    And THAT is where National failed its Scouts, its leaders, its Councils, its Chartering Organizations, and its PRINCIPLES, starting with "Trustworthy."

    And we cannot doubt that failure of National as its bankruptcy is proof enough of its catastrophic and unmitigated failure of principle.

    That National (apparently) required Councils to send ALL documents related to an abuse claim to National, retaining NO documents at the Council offices, is clear and irrefutable evidence of National's pattern of concealment of incidents of abuse. This is unforgivable. PERIOD.  

    That there were parents whose scout had been subjected to abuse who did not want their scout subjected to the legal process, having to be interviewed by law enforcement, subjected to depositions with the alleged abuser being present, and then having to testify in court-Yep, I understand and that is one reason why so few cases were prosecuted back then.

    Were there parents, guardians of their natural children, who exercised that authority and waived claims against abusers?  Yep, probably a lot.  Are there claimants now, whose parents intentionally waived filing a claim (to protect their scout in his tender years) until it was too late to file under the applicable statutes of limitations?  Certainly. And likely a high percentage of claimants who are outside the statute.

    And are there adult scout claimants now who still suffer from the damage inflicted in their tender years?  Yes. Without doubt.

    One of my best friends was ruthlessly abused as a youth, and only told me about  it about 4 years ago, a delay of about 52 years. And his parents KNEW of the abuse and sent him to a facility where he was further abused.  He had a tortious adult life.


    • Upvote 1
  8. @ThenNow before you go the "hook, line, and sinker" route, our Troop camped at Devil's Lake one April.

    I checked historical weather reports for the area and packed shorts. (And long pants, too.) Be Prepared.

    There was a foot of snow on the ground when we arrived and one other tent in the entire park.  The temp hit minus 9 overnight.

  9. 4 minutes ago, ThenNow said:

    Debating if I need over the ankle,

    Over the ankle if wearing a backpack.  And also if hiking trails with a lot of loose rocks (double fist sized) that you'll be stepping over.

    Philmont seems to have a lot more rocks on its trails than I remember from the 70's.

    But, if you think about it, trails which have larger rocks uphill from them, pretty much self-trap rocks as they are loosened by rain and roll down the hill and land on the trail.  There really is no erosive process to move them off the trail as properly constructed trails are not nearly as steep as the hillsides they cut across. As it has been about 50 years since first hiking Philmont, I think my theory has some likelihood of being at least partially accurate.

    You might do fine with a below the ankle boot but twisting an ankle 10 miles from a trailhead could be trouble.

  10. 1 hour ago, yknot said:

    No parent today would dream of sending their little 6 or 7 year old off onto a field with a coach who has no idea what they are doing, either with kids or a sport, and yet that is exactly what scouting does

    At an Eagle Court of Honor years ago, just as I was about to speak, as I looked across the audience assembled for the 3 Eagle Scouts, it struck me that the majority of folks there were not active in Scouting and likely had no inkling of the number of requirements the Eagles had completed, the range of skills and topics those requirements spanned, the years it took to do so, and even more telling, the vast number of campouts and meetings each Eagle had attended to complete just a requirement or two.

    As it is our Troop's practice to provide each Eagle with a 3 ring  binder with an extensive collection of certificates, letters, etc., and having one before me, I turned to the print out of Ione of the Eagle's entire scouting history, showing the dates that they earned each requirement and merit badge.

    I spoke for just a couple of minutes about what it takes to earn Eagle-mentioning the items above.

    My point is that Scouting is a complicated program.  Touching on topics and skills few adults have unless they've been through the program as a youth. Knots, life-saving, archery, kayaking, first aid, canoeing, rifle shooting, fire building, fishing, cooking over a fire, gas stove operation (and repair), whittling, shotgun shooting, tree identification, range safety, camping skills, knife and axe… 

    And it is not merely these skills which are a challenge, but also being a unit leader mentoring and counseling youth whose ages span a number of years and taking into account the emotional and academic differences among scouts of different ages.

    And it is "immersive."  Weekend campouts and summer camp weeks are a far cry from an event lasting an hour or two.

    I can understand parents being reluctant. The program is daunting.

    Few adults active in my Troop have a scouting background. It is not the program I grew up in.  Many merit badges are "homework" oriented-much more paperwork-which has been growing over the last several decades. Most scouts struggle to motivate themselves to complete merit badges that are mostly paperwork.

    My generation is late 60's to mid 70's. Many boilers are running out of steam.  Who will pick up the load?

    • Upvote 1
  11. On 2/12/2022 at 9:51 PM, skeptic said:

    Me thinks you paint far too broadly and darkly.

    And perhaps you are right.

    "Darkly" Yeah, lawyers are inclined that way.

    But things rarely resolve by themselves to the better.

    I love the program and the principles, and followed my 3 sons and many other Scouts to Eagle.

    But the individuals who manage BSA operations at National? No, they should all be fired.

    Tell me if you can, where is the bright light in National's bankruptcy?


    What part of "unmitigated disaster" cannot be understood?

    BSA National senior staff should be trashed. All of them.



    • Upvote 1
  12. On 2/7/2022 at 8:16 PM, awanatech said:

    Has your DE been involved in this process at all?



    A DE is likely a recent college grad, and in my Council, many were never a Scout. None have a Juris Doctor degree nor licensed as an attorney, and thereby are not licensed to give legal advice.

    And so, given that THE ISSUE on the table (National filed bankruptcy over this issue) is whether adult unit leaders are legally liable for abuse claims against other adult leaders in their unit, why-oh-why would anyone seek advice from a DE?

    I have earned a J.D, and am a licensed attorney. Opinions of DE's are irrelevant to me.

  13. On 2/14/2022 at 11:33 PM, T2Eagle said:

    How so and by who? The release has nothing to do with Youth Protection it is all about commercial use of a person's image.  Even if you cross out that section it's a long way from there to being able to be compensated by BSA for incidentally walking into the background of a photo that's later published.  Whoever told you there were ways around not having the release was right, depending on the state there are lots of ways around that.  And as I mentioned, it would be even further a stretch to be able to take action against a regular person who posts it to Facebook, and virtually nothing at all that could be done about someone who puts that picture in their own scrapbook.   

    Not crossing it out-you have NO legal argument.

    Crossing it out, you preserve your legal argument.

    Is the legal argument preserved worth much-not likely as you note.

    Can you stand tall at the front counter and Rant with authority-you bet. And if you file suit, the council is DOWN about $10,000 in legal fees before the first eye is blinked.

    At the end of the day, we register, we pay, and we stand tall to be sheared by National so it can profit.

    ut tAnd National conceals the risk of harm to our kids.


    I attended all but one campout that my 3 sons attended, so they were always close by, though I did not hover, but they knew IK was there if there were issues.

    But not every parent attends every campout, or even one campout.

    "Hey, It's Scouts.  That's safe, isn't it?"


  14. On 2/16/2022 at 11:34 AM, johnsch322 said:

    that there were upwards of 40,000 Nazi concentration camps

    This is an incredible number.  Some time ago, I came cross an article about a compilation of all of the places where Jews and others were concentrated or exterminated during WW II. It was at least 40,000, and perhaps even more. I think that Yad Vashem was compiling the list.

    Many of us recognize Auschwitz, Sobibor, Majdenek, Treblenka, Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, and Dachau, and that leaves 39,993 none of us are familiar with.

    • Upvote 1
  15. On 2/16/2022 at 11:34 AM, johnsch322 said:

    Some of the posts that I have read here are starting to sound a lot like:

    Holocaust Denial
    Holocaust deniers know they won’t be believed if they just outright deny that the holocaust happened at all, so instead, they decided they would take the stance that the holocaust happened but not to the extreme degree that people claim it to be. Most scholars believe Holocaust denial started because of issues with Israel, anti-Semitism, and skepticism of the widely accepted history. Holocaust denial has been going on since the Holocaust began. It would be incredibly difficult for me to convince you that the Holocaust never happened, but it would be much easier for me to undermine the validity of what you think you know about the Holocaust.
    The name “Holocaust Deniers” can actually work in favor of the people trying to discredit the Holocaust. They claim instead that they are not Holocaust deniers, just trying to have an honest debate about what happened during the Holocaust. Then they can make the claim that they aren’t extremists because they don’t deny the whole holocaust. The use vagueness as a tool against facts, the minute they get into clear specifics their argument starts to fall apart. Their argument relies heavily on the argument that Auschwitz is the perfect example of what Nazi concentration camps were like. The general public tends to forget that there were upwards of 40,000 Nazi concentration camps active during the Holocaust.

    Thank you for posting this. You are precisely right.

    "Come walk with me, no not that way, just turn 2 degrees this way, Hi, smile, all is good, take a dozen steps, then turn another 2 degrees…in a mile, you are headed 180 degrees-a complete reversal. Soft, slow, and imperceptible-yet, now evil never happened-actually evil was a good. You should show no alarm-all is well."

    But it isn't. Evil is always evil.

    "The price of Liberty is eternal vigilance."

  16. 2 minutes ago, SiouxRanger said:

    I've commented on this before, some time ago. And to be brief.

    The concept of "bankruptcy" is that a legal entity, National BSA in our case, as a corporation, can obtain legally binding forgiveness from part of all, or all of all the debts legally enforceable against it.  Chapter 11 is the part of all, and Chapter 7 is all of all.

    This is a critical concept. Creditors of National, who ONCE HAD a legal claim against National are simply not part of the concept of the bankruptcy law. They are NOT claimants in a bankruptcy sense.

    So, NATIONAL proposes, through its PLAN, contrary to all bankruptcy law, that scouts, now adults, who no longer have any legally enforceable claim against National (due to the passage of time, and having passed statutes of limitation), should be included in the class of claimants entitled to a settlement payment.

    "And why would that be?" -Carson of Downtown Abbey.

    Because National BSA has to havSadly, I just hang on words.












  17. On 2/12/2022 at 3:38 PM, Eagle1970 said:

    To me, it is morally wrong to pit victims against each other and give victims who were merely touched more money than victims who endured unspeakable horrors, based solely on the state where abuse occurred.  I understand that is how it is, but I find it reprehensible.

    I've commented on this before, some time ago. And to be brief.

    The concept of "bankruptcy" is that a legal entity, National BSA in our case, as a corporation, can obtain legally binding forgiveness from part of all, or all of all the debts legally enforceable against it.  Chapter 11 is the part of all, and Chapter 7 is all of all.

    This is a critical concept. Creditors of National, who ONCE HAD a legal claim against National are simply not part of the concept of the bankruptcy law. They are NOT claimants in a bankruptcy sense.

    So, NATIONAL proposes, through its PLAN, contrary to all bankruptcy law, that scouts, now adults, who no longer have any legally enforceable claim against National (due to the passage of time, and having passed statutes of limitation), should be included in the class of claimants entitled to a settlement payment.

    "And why would that be?" -Carson of Downtown Abbey.

    Because National BSA has to havSadly, I just hang on words.











  18. On 2/12/2022 at 4:01 PM, yknot said:

    I've seen little in the plan that constitutes any kind of a real restructuring of the organization. The only strategies for future success are lasered in on yet more marketing and reliance on membership increases. There is a lack any kind of independent, outside or even introspective review of how scouting is going to survive beyond the 2020s.

    BINGO. Where is the meaningful change? Like the Wizard of Oz, "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain."

    I am sick of the secrecy.

    Us volunteers FUND National and the Local Councils, all not-for-profits, yet all the financials are hidden.

    Nothing is GAAP. At least that which does see the light of day.

    Time for a change.

    • Thanks 1
  19. 31 minutes ago, yknot said:

    I hope that is not a real practice because it would be yet another way that youth protection in the organization is being subverted. 

    As an attorney, I can absolutely assure you that that is precisely what I heard. And I was as alarmed as you. For the same reasons.


  20. There is the Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin. Devils Lake in Wisconsin is a neat place.

    Asolo brand boots and trail shoes.  I've bought a dozen pairs over the years, at least, for myself and my sons.  My unit adults t about another 6 pairs, upon my recommendation.  And their kids another 4 or 5 pairs.  Start there.  

    If boots, trail shoes, don't feel very comfortable in the store, they are wrong.  Keep trying.

    Hiking poles.  Always TWO, not one.  But, learn to use them.  They are not some affected bauble to look cool.  They maintain balance, which saves you a TON of energy trying to maintain balance.  They propel you forward moving some work from your legs to your arms, which are generally underused in hiking, and, on the down hill,  they can be used to virtually eliminate the shock of your knee absorbing the dropping load of your body and pack as you hike downhill.  (Extend the length of the poles for downhill hiking, and plant the pole in front of you before you plant your foot on the downhill, and your arm will help softly lower the load to your foot which can be placed gently with no shock to your knee.) This takes practice and it helps to be a musician, because if you consider your footfalls as "the beat," you'll be planting your poles on the beat, before the beat or after the beat, depending on what you are doing. If you are traveling some distance, and perhaps at anytime you are "underway," always, always have your footfalls land on the beat, that is, a uniform rhythm. So, that means, if you are steaming along a flat stretch with feet falling at a second per step (actually pretty slow), and you come to a spot where you have to take baby steps, let your foot hang so that it lands in the rhythm.  Breaking footfall rhythm consumes mental energy. Hiking from Dan Beard to Kit Carson Museum at Rayado with a pack in less than 12 hours-mental energy is a precious commodity.

    Down.  The only sleeping bag filler worth having in my opinion.  Period.  "It won't keep you warm if it gets wet."  (There is a story about a bad night at Harlan camp, I'd rather not admit to.)  Don't get it wet.  900 down means 1 ounce fills 900 cubic inches.  650 down means 1 ounce fills 650 cubic inches.  As the down number goes up, the cost goes up drastically.  I have a 650 down bag good to 0 degrees, or -10, and a 900 down bag good to 20 or so.  the 900 down bag cost as much or more than the 650 down bag, weighs half or a third as much and is like a cloud.  An 800 down bag or higher will not disappoint you, and worth every cent.  They are great all winter long in the living room to keep warm watching football, too. (Put them away from the cat as it will likely like to burrow into it with the attendant claw snags.) I have owned a dozen synthetic fill bags, though only through the synthetic fill technology of about 20 yers ago. They are fine in mild temps but quickly crushed down and lost much of their insulating capacity. Modern synthetics might be better. If all else goes South, your sleeping bag is your last bastion of refuge.  If you are cold, you cannot even wait out a catastrophe for some days in relative comfort. 

    Colin Fletcher is the Father of modern backpacking.  Author of The Complete Walker. Four editions.  I prefer the first edition, as the others include new equipment, largely.  I've read large parts of all of them. He has a number of books of his endurance hikes.  Thousand Mile Summer.  The Man Who Walked Through Time.  River.  There are others not quite so directed at endurance hikes.

    Tents. Having owned numerous Kelty tents, North Face, and finally a Big Alice (just not sure what to make of that name from a marketing standpoint), my one person Big Alice Copper Spur 1P is a work of art.  Go to REI and set up a dozen tents, re set them, make a nuisance of yourself fiddling with tents.  I did.  Check head room, width, space for stuff, etc. 

    Have good travels.

  21. My unit always strikes out the release by a line run through each line, initial the block of lines, make a copy for the Troop file.

    No one has mentioned the practice-even Philmont.

    But we have our evidence if issues arise.

    I've heard pros mention that even if folks don't sign the photo release that, "There are ways around that."


    We are all just sheep to be sheared against our wishes.


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