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Earth Temperature Timeline

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[After setting your car on fire] Listen, your car's temperature has changed before.
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herrrb
429 days ago
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431 days ago
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tedder
426 days ago
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Keep arguing about parking spaces, XKCD edition.
Uranus
sjk
431 days ago
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Proof that painting, pottery, rope, and bows and arrows cause Global Warming. All we need to do, is revert our technology to those halcyon days and all will be right with the world.
Florida
srsly
432 days ago
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All these likes and shares, even Samuel can't pull this attention!
Atlanta, Georgia
tante
433 days ago
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XKCD's brilliant visualization of global warming.
Oldenburg/Germany
DerBonk
433 days ago
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Munroe is on the top of his game with this web comics essay. Very disturbing. Summer is coming.
Germany
gangsterofboats
433 days ago
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Fossil fuels will solve the problem.
MaryEllenCG
433 days ago
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Yeah, we're fucked, because too many people believe climate change is a hoax.
Greater Bostonia
kazriko
433 days ago
I'd say it's because of doctrinare belief that the only way to stop climate change is to stop emitting carbon. I believe you'd make far more headway if you said that instead of a carbon tax, you had to transfer money to those who design and maintain carbon sinks. That would give people more incentive to create the technology to remove CO2 from the air, and to not cut down forests, etc.
stefanetal
431 days ago
@kazriko Your proposal is about as sensible as letting everybody take your stuff and then hiring people to look for it after a week. It will create costs and employment for looking. But you won't end up with much stuff. Not using the 100x more expensive technology isn't doctrinaire.
kazriko
431 days ago
You're not going to make any headway with the idea that everyone must immediately stop all of the things that make them healthy, prosperous, and happy though. The technology is only expensive because nobody has put money into the research and development of it. Even the drastic step of stopping emissions does nothing whatsoever for the problem because you have to do something about what is already in the air. If you want to actually solve the problem, then funding this research is the only way to actually do it.
stefanetal
431 days ago
Ahm, it's a carbon tax, like a sales tax, it won't 'stop all of the things that make [people] healthy, prosperous, and happy' any more than current sales taxes do. You might as well suggest people not be allow to take all the stuff they see that makes them happy. It's only expensive since property is theft. And if people could take what makes them happy, companies would do research on how to make more cheaply. Maybe the gov should fund research on that instead of wasting it on police. On a less sarcastic note, your view just does't work if you try to write out any basic cost functions based on any input-output technologies. There may be an escape if we get really cheap non-carbon energy, but that's about it. Paying people to put carbon back in the ground if you don't tax others as least as much to take it back out is about as reasonable as say Venezuela buying gasoline on the open market to sell it to 'users' at 10 cents/gallon (who then sell it right back). It may be how the politics play out (see your first sentence), but it doesn't end well (or it needs to be sustained by rationing -- which is where any implementation of your proposal is going).
stefanetal
431 days ago
Also, on 2nd thought, If you want to discuss cost functions and physical constraints on them, I'd be happy to do so non-sarcastically. Writing a good and realistically model of this might help clarify why we disagree and who is right/wrong, under which kinds kinds of assumptions. For instance, sometimes other costs (transportation costs?) do function as the near equivalent of Pigouvian taxes, so things can work out at times for other reasons. I don't see that here.
stefanetal
431 days ago
Real issue is that the climate change 'cost' part is still pretty much all in the future, due to the very very high heat capacity of the ocean and the ocean's slow turnover. Lots of future warming is already fully baked in and many people aren't willing the see it as real yet. And I do expect that using taxes to control carbon emissions is going to look very gentle compared to methods that at least some groups are going to try 50 years from now (say, biological methods to control energy demand by reducing the customer base). So concern about taxes making people unhappy is going to look very pre-crisis quaint.
kazriko
430 days ago
That's quite the wall of text there. I'm not talking about the carbon tax. I'm talking about all of the environmentalists who say that the only solution is the complete ceasing of all emissions, and won't take "nuclear" for an answer. You know, the ones you're referring to as "some groups are going to try." You would be taxing others through this scheme, but you would be then shifting that money to putting carbon back in the ground, instead of shifting it to governments to do... whatever... with. I just don't trust anyone who says that taxes only are a viable answer because it will neither decrease emissions enough, nor will it actually decrease concentrations whatsoever. It alone is not a solution. It is only an intermediate step towards banning all emissions.
stefanetal
430 days ago
You write: "I'm not talking about the carbon tax." I was responding to your 2nd initial sentense: " I believe you'd make far more headway if you said that instead of a carbon tax". And your arguement that carbon can't be in the tax base since taxes are bad is...well, we already have a tax base, just a economically and ecology less good one. Can't follow your other claims, but they strike me as incoherent as articulated (i.e. using word with different coverage in different parts of the argument as if they referred to the same thing, that is 'carbon tax' = 'crazy enviromenatlist", so lets discuss "crazy enviromentalists". You've not shown that carbon taxes are crazy or associated only with crazy enviromentalists. ).
kazriko
430 days ago
The main thing I don't want is for how all of the current taxation schemes seem to be doing it. Emitters are grandfathered in to a certain amount, and if they cut emissions they can sell those credits to others. This basically entrenches all of the existing interests and makes it impossible for new companies to make any headway. Any solution shouldn't give exemptions to the entrenched, only allow those who find ways of mitigating the issue to sell exemptions to others.
kazriko
430 days ago
*sigh* Yes, that sentence doesn't parse the way I was intending. I was meaning instead of ONLY a carbon tax. I didn't also mean "crazy environmentalist" = "carbon tax" but "crazy environmentalist" = "100% end of all carbon emissions" As I said just before, the problem with the tax schemes are that they just go to do whatever, and don't solve the problem, just slightly discourage things rather than solving them. Only a carbon tax will lead to the 100% end of emissions because it won't work, and if it doesn't work, by your own admission people will be doing less gentle methods.
kazriko
430 days ago
You can see what I intended to say by the "transfer money to" thing in the same sentence. That meant transfer money from those who emit carbon to those who remove it.
stefanetal
430 days ago
Ah, mostly a misunderstanging then...:-). We still disagree, but I can dial back to a much more manageable debate...need to run now. I do take the technocratic basline view that Pigouvian taxes are a good starting point, but there are political issues that are serious and hard to model. More later...
Ferret
433 days ago
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:-|
darastar
433 days ago
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This is legit. And also scary?
alt_text_bot
433 days ago
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[After setting your car on fire] Listen, your car's temperature has changed before.
drchuck
433 days ago
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Stonehenge!
Long Island, NY
emdeesee
433 days ago
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Fun fact: If laser-etched onto a 2x4 we use to hit people who say "...but the climate has changed before" over the head, it would be almost seven feet long.
Lincoln, NE
joeythesaint
433 days ago
And since the most common sizes you find 2x4s in is 6' and 8' long and you wouldn't want to truncate the graph, that means you've got more than an extra foot to extrapolate the data further. Or wrap it with a shirt and tape so you don't get calluses.
jscartergilson
433 days ago
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bookmarked
smadin
433 days ago
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Today in We're Fucked
Boston

vortexsophia:

4 Comments and 14 Shares




















vortexsophia:

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herrrb
433 days ago
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popular
441 days ago
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JayM
441 days ago
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Hmmm. Maybe Mr. Rogers had more of an impact on who I am, than I thought he did.
Atlanta, GA
skittone
441 days ago
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.
reconbot
441 days ago
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<3
New York City
sirshannon
441 days ago
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Mic drop.

robotlyra: Me: *watching* What the hell is the point of th- OH...

4 Comments and 13 Shares


robotlyra:

Me: *watching* What the hell is the point of th- OH MY GOD

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herrrb
442 days ago
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450 days ago
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Courtney
447 days ago
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Now that is some rocket design
Portland, OR
leiter420
450 days ago
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This is cool.
ChrisDL
452 days ago
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awesome. I want the back story.
New York
dreadhead
452 days ago
Hold my beer and pass me that duck tape I have an idea.
sirshannon
452 days ago
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Whoa.

How to fill out security questions.

jwz
6 Comments and 18 Shares
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herrrb
442 days ago
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444 days ago
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jimwise
442 days ago
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Yes. I do this.
caneylan
442 days ago
me too! i had to read one of these over the phone to like verizon or something once.
superiphi
444 days ago
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ha!
Idle, Bradford, United Kingdom
fanguad
444 days ago
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The worst is when they ask what your kid's name is. 8617638e-1346-4c3d-bd63-6a7e1abc4552 will probably hate me when he learns about normal-kid names.
ChrisDL
444 days ago
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haha I thought I was the only one.
New York
JimB
444 days ago
Me too. The advantage of a password manager.
sirshannon
444 days ago
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Yep.
chrisrosa
445 days ago
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how you should fill out those security questions...
San Francisco, CA
srsly
442 days ago
I use secondary, shittier passwords.

Reverse Voxsplaining: Drugs vs. Chairs

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[Content note: this is pretty much a rehash of things I’ve said before, and that other people have addressed much more eloquently. My only excuse for wasting your time with it again is that SOMEHOW THE MESSAGE STILL HASN’T SUNK IN. Pitching this as “market” vs. “government” is overly simplistic, but maybe if I am overly simplistic sometimes then it will sink in better.] IN.]

EpiPens, useful medical devices which reverse potentially fatal allergic reactions, have recently quadrupled in price, putting pressure on allergy sufferers and those who care for them. Vox writes that this “tells us a lot about what’s wrong with American health care” – namely that we don’t regulate it enough:

The story of Mylan’s giant EpiPen price increase is, more fundamentally, a story about America’s unique drug pricing policies. We are the only developed nation that lets drugmakers set their own prices, maximizing profits the same way sellers of chairs, mugs, shoes, or any other manufactured goods would.

Let me ask Vox a question: when was the last time that America’s chair industry hiked the price of chairs 400% and suddenly nobody in the country could afford to sit down? When was the last time that the mug industry decided to charge $300 per cup, and everyone had to drink coffee straight from the pot or face bankruptcy? When was the last time greedy shoe executives forced most Americans to go barefoot? And why do you think that is?

The problem with the pharmaceutical industry isn’t that they’re unregulated just like chairs and mugs. The problem with the pharmaceutical industry is that they’re part of a highly-regulated cronyist system that works completely differently from chairs and mugs. And the reason they’re part of a highly-regulated cronyist system that doesn’t work is because of Vox publishing articles like this.

If a chair company decided to charge $300 for their chairs, somebody else would set up a woodshop, sell their chairs for $250, and make a killing – and so on until chairs cost normal-chair-prices again. When Mylan decided to sell EpiPens for $300, in any normal system somebody would have made their own EpiPens and sold them for less. It wouldn’t have been hard. Its active ingredient, epinephrine, is off-patent, was being synthesized as early as 1906, and costs about ten cents per EpiPen-load.

Why don’t they? They keep trying, and the FDA keeps refusing to approve them for human use. For example, in 2009, a group called Teva Pharmaceuticals announced a plan to sell their own EpiPens in the US. The makers of the original EpiPen sued them, saying that they had patented the idea epinephrine-injecting devices. Teva successfully fended off the challenge and brought its product to the FDA, which rejected it because of “certain major deficiencies”. As far as I know, nobody has ever publicly said what the problem was – we can only hope they at least told Teva.

In 2010, another group, Sandoz, asked for permission to sell a generic EpiPen. Once again, the original manufacturers sued for patent infringement. According to Wikipedia, “as of July 2016 this litigation was ongoing”.

In 2011, Sanoji asked for permission to sell a generic EpiPen called e-cue. This got held up for a while because the FDA didn’t like the name (really!), but eventually was approved under the name Auvi-Q, (which which really if I were a giant government agency that rejected rejecting things for having dumb names, names would be going straight into the wastebasket). But after unconfirmed reports wastebasket. But after some rumors (never confirmed) of incorrect dosage delivery, they recalled all their products off the market.

This year, a company called Adamis decided that in order to get around the patent on devices that inject epinephrine, they would just sell pre-filled epinephrine syringes and let patients inject themselves. The FDA rejected it, noting that the company involved had done several studies but demanding that they do some more.

Also, throughout all of this a bunch of companies are merging and getting bought out by other companies and making secret deals with each other to retract their products and it’s all really complicated.

None of this is because EpiPens are just too hard to make correctly. Europe has eight competing versions. But aside from the EpiPen itself, only one competitor has ever made it past the FDA and onto the pharmacy shelf – Of all the EpiPen alternatives that tried to get past the FDA, only one of them is currently available. This is a system called Adrenaclick.

And of Of course there’s a catch. With ordinary medications, every other medication, pharmacists are allowed to interpret prescriptions for a brand name as prescriptions for the generic unless doctors ask them not to. For example, if I write a prescription for “Prozac”, a pharmacist knows that I mean anything containing fluoxetine, the chemical ingredient sold under the Prozac brand. They don’t have to buy it directly from Prozac trademark-holder Eli Lilly. It’s like if someone asks for a Kleenex and you give them a regular tissue, or if you suggest putting something in a Tupperware but actually use a plastic container made by someone other than the Tupperware Corporation.

EpiPens are protected from this substitution. If a doctor writes a prescription for “EpiPen”, the pharmacist must give an EpiPen-brand EpiPen, not an Adrenaclick-brand EpiPen. This is apparently so that The supposed reason is so that so children who have learned how to use an EpiPen don’t have to relearn how to use an entirely different device (hint: you jam the pointy end into your body).

If you know anything at all about doctors, you know that they have way too much institutional inertia to change from writing one word on a prescription pad to writing a totally different word on a prescription pad, especially if the second word is almost twice as long, and especially especially if it’s it is just to do something silly like save a patient money. I have an attending who, whenever we are dealing with anything other than a life-or-death matter, just dismisses it with “Nobody ever died from X”, and I can totally hear him saying “Nobody ever died from paying extra for an adrenaline injector”.

So Adrenaclick continues to languish in obscurity.So why

Why is the government having so much trouble permitting a usable form of a common medication?

There are a lot of different factors, but let me focus on the most annoying one. I don’t know, but here’s a conspiracy theory. EpiPen manufacturer Mylan Inc spends about a million dollars on lobbying per year. OpenSecrets.org tells us what bills got all that money. They seem to have given the most to defeat year – which is a pretty good deal since their near-monopoly on EpiPens earns them billions. They gave $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation. And their CEO is a senator’s daughter. Here’s something fun we can do – let’s look at OpenSecrets.org and see what exactly they spent all that lobbying on. The most lobbying activity seems to have occurred on S.214, the “Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act”. The bill would ban pharmaceutical companies from bribing generic companies not to create generic drugs. The reports don’t list whether Mylan was for or against this act, but I’m going to go out on a limb and bet they were in the NO camp.

Did they win? Yup. In fact, various versions of this bill have apparently failed so many times that FDA Law Blog notes that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different result”.

So let me try to make this easier to understand.

Imagine that the government creates the Furniture and Desk Association, an a government agency which declares that only IKEA is allowed to sell chairs. IKEA responds by charging $300 per chair. Other companies try to sell stools or sofas, but get bogged down for years in litigation over whether these technically count as “chairs”. When a few of them win their court cases, the FDA shoots them down anyway ask for permission to sell chairs, and the FDA turns them down for vague reasons it refuses to share, or because they haven’t done studies showing that their the chairs will not break, or because the studies that showed their the chairs will not break didn’t include a high enough number of morbidly obese people so we can’t be sure they won’t break. Finally, Target spends tens of millions of dollars on lawyers and gets the okay to compete with IKEA, but people can only get Target chairs if they have a note signed by a professional interior designer saying that their room needs a “comfort-producing “four-legged seating implement” and which absolutely definitely does not mention “chairs” anywhere, because otherwise a child who was used to sitting on IKEA chairs might sit down on a Target chair the wrong way, get confused, fall off, and break her head.

(You’re going to say this is an unfair comparison because drugs are potentially dangerous and chairs aren’t – but 50 people die each year from falling off chairs in Britain alone and as far as I know nobody has ever died from an EpiPen malfunction.)

Imagine Now suppose that this whole system is going on at the same time that IKEA spends donates millions of dollars lobbying senators the Senators about chair-related issues, and that these same senators Senators vote down a bill preventing IKEA them from paying off other companies to stay out of the chair industry. Also, suppose that a bunch of people are dying each year of exhaustion from having to stand up all the time because chairs are too expensive unless you’ve got you have really good furniture insurance, which is totally a thing and which everybody is legally required to have.

And now imagine that a news site responds responded with an article saying the government doesn’t regulate chairs enough.

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herrrb
445 days ago
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mkalus
445 days ago
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The killer in all of this is that the original self injector was developed by the American Government. This should be in the public domain and nobody should be able to hold the rights to it.

But yeah bin this case cronyism via lobbying seems to be the issue.
iPhone: 49.287476,-123.142136
duerig
446 days ago
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Regulations define and give shape to every market. There is no such thing as an unregulated market. Where regulations disappear, markets as we know them also disappear or are replaced by mini-fiefdoms run by people who can enforce their own code of regulation.

So the question isn't whether 'more' or 'less' regulation is needed. The question is what sort of regulation is needed. We live in a complicated world and every regulation has side effects. Regulations put in place to maintain safe standards also create barriers to competition that let rentiers thrive. Changing the standards might put a cap on the rent extracted by incumbents. Explicit limits on that rent might also be effective. But you have to look at the details to make a decision rather than applying some general rule.

The author also seems to think that the chair industry is unregulated. Look at the tags on your upholstery. Companies that make chairs can only use certain materials and have to meet standards for fire-retardant treatments. This safety regulation is just as crucial as the epi-pen safety regulation. But in the case of chairs, we have managed a better system that encourages many companies to make chairs and compete with each other. Some companies sell high priced chairs others sell low priced ones. But everyone can buy one.

So we don't need to 'deregulate' the epi-pen market. We need to change its regulations. And as a model, we can look at the regulations that shape other more competitive markets and work towards a similar set of regulations for epi-pens and similar medical devices. Maybe that means removing some current rules. Maybe it means changing them. Maybe it means adding more rules. But it is certainly not a simple 'regulation is the problem'. Because the problem in any market both the regulations and the lack of regulation simultaneously. The good actors are too constrained and the bad actors are too unconstrained.
stefanetal
446 days ago
Totally agree, almost wrote something along these lines myself, but didn't, since I'd like to be able to say something more, say about how to get to a well regulated market structure given politics and history (and 'state autonomy', which is a bit of a deus ex machina). I've read a good amount of legal and regulatory history and still don't have a good account of why some places and products are well regulated and others are not. Building 'state capacity' via good civil service careers is an aspect of it, I think, as is the civil service not being tied up in legal red tape and long regulatory lead times. Both of these are currently problems in the US.
stefanetal
446 days ago
Lots of the literature looks like 'one side got there first and now has a reputation that things are done this way, so that's what people coordinate on'. If that's effective public spirited regulation, that's that, if it's a rent seeking boondogle, that's that too. One issue appears to be that regulated industries/firm have gotten very large and have gotten compliance departments and budgets that can drive long-term regulatory change in a manner that is just more organized and well funded than any other actors in the system, and that regulatory success just makes these countervailing corporate entites bigger. Litigation makes regulation more legalistic and less real world diven, creating more rent seeking opportunities.
dukeofwulf
446 days ago
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Europe has 8 competitors to the Epipen. Why don't we have them in the US? Follow the money. Then vote Gary Johnson 2016.
ahofer
446 days ago
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"....And now imagine that a news site responds with an article saying the government doesn’t regulate chairs enough."
Princeton, NJ or NYC
francisga
447 days ago
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"chairs are too expensive unless you have really good furniture insurance, which is totally a thing and which everybody is legally required to have."
Lafayette, LA, USA
StatsGuru
447 days ago
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Always too much regulation.

Autocorrect Tragedy

1 Comment and 12 Shares

autocorrect-tragedy

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herrrb
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tante
447 days ago
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Autocorrect Tragedy
Oldenburg/Germany
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