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smile. EXPLORE. relax. / Jan. 23 / weekend

feed your brain


an intellectual dinner party



more online @


video games


ESCAPE Jan. 23

contents 4 Something local 5 from dancer to choreographer 6 host an intellectual dinner party 7 brain foods 8 feed your curiousity 9 social games expert 10 greek row 11 train your brain 12 ted talks to watch Rubik’s Cube

on the cover

photo by taylor bolton Escape is a student-produced publication of OU Student Media, a department in the Division of Student Affairs. Copyright 2014 OU Student Media.

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brain-spiration After the “syllabus week” of school, it’s time to get down to business. With the TEDxOU event this Friday, we think it’s a good time to “feed your brain,” and get some inspiration for the semester ahead. In that spirit, this issue is focused on giving you activities that are both entertaining and smart. We’ll show you how to host your own intellectual dinner party (pg. 6) and even provide some “brain foods” to serve your guests (pg. 7). If you can’t make it to TEDxOU, but you still want to keep your mind sharp, see our list of documentaries that coincide with some of the topics being discussed at TEDxOU. For those of you who aren’t really feeling like challenging your mind (school is hard, we get it), see our “Something Local” segment to learn about a student who is starting his own record label (pg. 4). Finally, be sure to see our profile of a dancer turned choreographer performing in the Young Choreographers’ Showcase this Let us know what you think. weekend (pg. 5). We really want your feedback. Seriously.

contact us!

Megan Deaton, editor-in chief @meggiejennie

email: twitter: @OU_Escape


things to do this

weekend 1.

what: pizza planet when: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. tomorrow where: Oklahoma Memorial Union’s first floor

Enjoy free pizza at lunch, courtesy of the Union Programming Board. Get some fuel for laser tag in the evening!

2. taylor bolton/oudaily The Oklahoma Daily Editor

See a free showing of “About Time,” a time traveling romance starring Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson.

Kyle Margerum Editorial Adviser

Judy Gibbs Robinson


Advertising Manager

Kearsten Howland

what: upb laser tag when: 7 to 9 p.m. tomorrow where: oklahoma memorial union’s molly shi boren ballroom

The Union Programming Board is bringing laser tag to campus. The ballroom will be filled with inflatables to serve as bunkers.

Advertising Adviser

Anne Richard


what: free movie, “About time” when: showings at 7 and 10 p.m. tomorrow where: oklahoma memorial union’s meacham auditorium


what: women’s basketball when: 7 p.m. saturday where: lloyd noble center

Watch our women’s basketball team take on TCU Saturday night. Show up and help the team continue its winning season.

5. kate mcpherson

conner golden

assistant editor

Copy Chief



hannah norton @hmnorton

Graham Dudley @danger_dudley

Miranda sanchez @chicadelamusica

what: billy joe winghead and sonic violence at opolis when: 8 p.m. saturday where: opolis

Hear “sleaze-rock” band Billy Joe Winghead rock Opolis Saturday night. Remember concerts at Opolis are 21 and over.


Something local

garrett holt student, musician, founder of his own record label

megan deaton | Q&A


n OU student is starting his own record label with the help of his bandmate. Communications junior Garrett Holt and his roommate Robbie Fetter are transitioning from musicians to producers with the start of their new record label, Squonk Records. Holt and Fetter previously collaborated in their band, Pizza Thieves, a high energy band with a garage rock sound. I sat down with Holt to ask about the process of starting a record label while keeping up with his duties as a student.


: So what made you decide to start a record label?

: Robbie and I had kicked around the idea for years now, and we’ve always wanted to do it. I know I specifically, I’ve never been a fan of digital music. I don’t like buying music online or buying it from iTunes because I feel like I’m not getting anything for what I’m buying. I like getting the physical copy. I like being able to hold it. I like the jacket, the cover, the album art. It feels like having an actual art piece that you’re purchasing instead of just purchasing files on the computer.

Q a

: Is vinyl all you produce? Do you also put out CDs?

: We don’t have any plans to do any CDs. Our focus is primarily on vinyl, but we’ve thought about doing some cassette releases as well because that’s also another thing that’s popular right now and they’re really cheap to make. So I think that’s easier for records we know less about or don’t know how well they’re going to do. We could do cassette releases instead of a full vinyl.


: What all goes into starting a record label?

tony ragle/ou daily Garrett Holt and Robbie Fetter hang out in Guestroom Records where the first record they’re producing will be sold. We’re just focusing on music that’s already recorded but doesn’t have a way to get onto get onto a physical vinyl copy.


: So basically they bring their music to you, and you send it to be made on vinyl? : Yeah, we send it. We work with a company called Pirate’s Press in San Francisco. They specialize in vinyl pressing but they do all kinds of stuff there. They’re a really cool company … So we get the masters of the stuff from the artist and we send that to Pirate’s Press and they press it onto vinyl and they send it back to us.

: It’s mostly just filing a lot of paperwork with the state. Like you have to get your tax forms in. You’ve got to get a business license. You have to set up a bank account. You have to have business bank: You’re also a student. How is it being a student and trying to ing and everything. For what we do, that’s pretty much it. run a business?


: Do you have a space you record in?

: We don’t as of yet. We’re thinking about possibly working on starting to have a place that other people record in and do stuff. As of now, since we’re just starting, we don’t have a ton of capital.


: I don’t want to say that it’s like, easier than you think, but it kind of is. Since we’re the owners and we’re like working on this ourselves on our own time it’s not like we have any specific deadlines. It’s not like someone is yelling at us to get it done, so it’s kind of nice that we can just do it in our own time. Plus Robby does a lot of the actual getting stuff done part. I’m a motivator mostly.


: What bands have you produced records for so far?

: We haven’t put anything out yet fully. Our first thing, the band we’re working with is called Poolboy. They’re from Norman … They’re really, really fun. We’re super excited about their record. We’re putting it on clear vinyl with pink haze, so we’re just really excited to be able to take the record and do something cool graphically with it and make it a nice art piece kind of thing.

Q a

: When you produce this record will it be sold in stores here?

: I think the primary market for it will be the band selling it at concerts. That’s a lot of why we want to do the physical release because people will see a show and they like the music and they might buy the record so they can have it as like a souvenir for the night. But it will also be in the Guestroom shops, and we’re looking into getting a distribution deal so it can be sent out to different places around the country.


STEPPING OUT STEPPING OUT STEPPING OUT A dancer challenges herself with this year’s presentation of the Young Choreographers’ Showcase.

graham dudley | feature Nicole Reehorst is no stranger to the ly,” she said. Young Choreographers’ Showcase. She first But when her old friend Chase Ward participated as a dancer her freshman year introduced her to Shostakovich’s Symphony and had to perform a graduate student’s No. 8 in C minor, there was no going back. unusual choreography. “Sometimes when you hear music, as a “The part that I was playing, I came dancer, you can just picture choreography out of the audience and climbed up on the to it,” Reehorst said. “I definitely experistage wearing lumberjack clothes and boots enced that when I first heard this.” over my pointe shoes, and we had one of Ward, a violin performance sophomore, the [Mario] game-type guns. That’s how said he met Reehorst back in boarding the piece started,” she said. school at Michigan’s presti“That was definitely out of gious Interlochen Center for my comfort zone.” the Arts. Her “comfort zone” is When Reehorst needed something that Reehorst help selecting her music for mentioned a lot, as in pushthe piece, she sent Ward a ing it and getting out of it. As the reason people Facebook message asking a ballet performance junior, if he’d help out. Ward was come to ycs and learning the Shostakovich Reehorst has done plenty of comfort-zone pushing in her piece as an assignment — he are so inspired five semesters at one of the first violin for the OU by it is that it’s plays nation’s best dance programs. Honors String Quartet. so new and fresh This year, it’s Reehorst’s Reehorst said the contrastturn to choreograph for the every single year.” ing nature of the symphony’s Young Choreographers’ first two movements is a big Showcase, and while she’s part of what drew her in. decided to avoid the Mario first movement, she said, melanie Jensen, ballet The route, that doesn’t mean she’s is “quiet and contained,” but performance junior the second is “aggressive and not challenging herself. Reehorst’s piece, “Eius relentless from start to finish.” Belli” (Latin for “Her War”), is two move“The second movement is a direct depicments of barefoot, boundary-pushing dance tion of a war scene, so the tempo is very that starts off small and then explodes into quick,” Ward said. “As one person is soloa frenetic pace. ing, the rest of the quartet has these kind “At first, I wanted to do something that of bombs that go off, so they’re really short was more legato and slow, because that’s notes and you play them at the frog of the what I’m more comfortable with, personal- bow, which is where you get the most grit

Ballet performance junior Nicole Reehorst choreographs a dance rehearsal.

go and do young choreographers’ showcase When: 8 p.m., Jan. 23-26 Where: Reynolds Performing Arts Center and short sound.” The music was such an important part of the piece, in fact, that the two decided to have the movements performed live by the Honors String Quartet. They will stand upstage center and play as the dancers move around them, Ward said. Melanie Jensen, a junior ballet performance major, is one of five women Reehorst cast in her piece. She said she loves the decision to


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involve the quartet. “To have them as a part of the viewing aspect is really different, because usually the orchestra’s on the side during a dance piece,” she said. “I think it’s brilliant.” It’s all made possible by the unique format of the Young Choreographers’ Showcase. “The reason people come to YCS and are so inspired by it is that it’s so new and fresh every single year,” Jensen said. “You never really know what you’re going to experience.” Reehorst, who praised her entire cast for their work on the piece, wouldn’t speculate as to the quality of her choreography so far. “But I can say that I absolutely love it, she said. “I can’t wait for my next experience.” Whenever her next opportunity does come, don’t expect Reehorst to think inside the box. Her comfort zone doesn’t stand a chance.






Kate Mcpherson | entertaining

megan deaton | food

TED talks are pointless if you don’t share them with others. The conference’s tagline is “ideas worth spreading,” and if you don’t talk about the talks with your friends, neighbors and/or random person on the street, you aren’t getting everything you could out of the event. Make discussion easier by hosting an intellectual dinner party. Follow these steps below to make your party a success:


Cherry pick your guests. You do not have to invite

your best friend. You do not have to invite your roommate. Invite a group of five to nine people who come from different backgrounds, yet have similar outlooks on life. This will ensure you don’t have easy or repetitive conversations (like you would if you only invited physicists or only Oklahomans), but it’ll help conversations flow more easily among people who might not know each other.



Start a conversation. Remember how Grandma

made the whole family go around the table on Thanksgiving to say what you were thankful for? The same concept applies here. Ask everyone to list the last book they read or the best teacher they ever had — and make them explain why.


e all know what you eat can affect your general health, but certain foods are particularly good for your brain function. Set the tone for your dinner party (or just your Monday morning) with some of these brain foods to get those thinking juices flowing.

Almonds are just one example of a whole family of nuts that contain high levels of vitamin E. This vitamin is known to prevent decreased brain function as you age.

Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin K, a supplement known to enhance cognitive function and brainpower, according to WebMD.

In addition to being delicious, blueberries give a boost to your brain. The fruit has been shown to reduce the risk of age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia, as well as improving motor skills and learning capacity, according to WebMD.




Make a seating chart. It seems very elementary school, but think about it — if you let people fend for themselves, they will naturally end up sitting next to people they already know or the first person they start a conversation with. Assigning seats guarantees people you think might have interesting conversations will actually get a chance to meet and chat.

Have an inspiring menu.

Your regular drunk food isn’t going to cut muster. Go out on a limb and try something your average college student won’t eat every week. Whether that’s cooking from Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” or preparing a simple Greek dish, serve something that will get conversation started. Pro tip: if you’re going to be boozing, serve wine. It just seems fancier than PBR or a cosmo.

Have a backup plan. Conversation can sometimes become stilted, so be ready to revive the party. Have a few controversial talks lined up to discuss at length, or come up with a team-based game to play that will encourage communication.


The merits of this controversial fruit (vegetable? No, fruit), seem to be endless. Avocado contains a healthy kind of fat that promotes blood flow, something your brain needs in large supply, according to doctor and well-known author Steven Pratt.

brain boosting recipe avocado and salmon spring rolls INgredients: Spring rolls: + 4 ripe avocados, cut into 48 slices + 2, 3 to 4 ounce packages smoked wild salmon, cut into 12 strips + 12 eight inch rice-paper wrappers (can be found in the Asian food section of your grocery store or in an Asian food store) + 1 cup shredded carrot + 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint Dipping Sauce: + 1/3 cup soy sauce + 2 tablespoons orange juice + 2 tablespoons lemon juice + 2 tablespoons mirin (look for it in the supermarket with other Asian ingredients, dry sherry or white wine with a pinch of sugar is a good substitute) + 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper preparation: 1.) Soak one rice-paper wrapper at a time in a shallow dish of very hot water for about 30 seconds. Lift out, dripping the excess water off, and lay on a dry cutting board. 2.) Center a strip of smoked salmon in the bottom third of the wrapper. Leave a one inch border on the sides. Top the salmon with four avocado slices, one tablespoon shredded carrot and about two teaspoons of basil and mint. 3.) Fold the wrapper over the filling and roll into a tight cylinder, folding in the sides as you go. Cut the finished roll in half. 4.) Repeat to make the rest of the rolls.

You’ve probably heard plenty of buzz about omega-3 fatty acids. This nutritious element has been linked to improved focus and memory, and fatty fish like salmon are overflowing with it.

5.) To prepare the dipping sauce, whisk all ingredients in a small serving bowl. Tip: If you want to make the rolls ahead of time, wrap individually in parchment or wax paper and refrigerate for up to four hours.


feed your hannah norton | film

which way home

TEDxOU will have a variety of speakers covering a wide range of topics, from the hunger problem in America to the power of empathy and shared experience in social change. Unable to make it to TEDxOU? Interested in watching longer films about some of the topics being covered in TED Talks this year? I have a list for you! There are a large number of documentaries available for public consumption with just a few clicks of a keyboard. Although it was difficult to narrow the list down, here are a few documentaries sharing powerful stories.

Akash Patel will be talking about his working with immigrants and his passion for immigration reform during TEDxOU. There are many documentaries about immigration, but I found “Which Way Home” to be particularly moving. This documentary follows several children who are trying to get from Mexico and parts of Central America to the U.S. It discusses the difficulties of the journey and how these children’s difficulties do not simply disappear when they enter the U.S.

a place at the table “A Place at the Table” is a documentary about child hunger in America. It follows the lives of three different people who are not sure where their next meals will come from: a mother in Philadelphia, a fifth-grader in Colorado, and a second-grader in Mississippi. “A Place at the Table” shows the viewer that, although America makes more than enough food, there are still more than fifty million people in the U.S. who are going hungry. Feed the Children will be at TEDxOU this week, and if you are interested in learning more about the hunger problem in America, check out this documentary. Although the website, only has a trailer, there are full-length versions available through Netflix and Amazon Prime.

climate of doubt “Climate of Doubt” examines how climate change and conservation has been politicized and debated so much over the years that it has been pushed off the political agenda. Frontline argues that climate change was once an important political issue, but has recently become entrenched in doubt. The documentary discusses those organizations who have made a profit off of casting doubt on the science and researchers behind the idea of global warming and climate change, and what this doubt might mean for the earth’s future. Melanie Maguire will be talking about conservation for profit during her TED Talk, so if you are interested in learning more about environmental pressures “Climate of Doubt” is the documentary for you.

my father, my brother, and me This PBS special tells the story of a man recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, the same disease that has afflicted his father and his brother. Detailing treatment options and research breakthroughs, “My Father, My Brother, and Me” is about the research being performed on this debilitating and heartbreaking disease, and gives the viewer a hopeful outlook for the future. At TEDxOU, Dr. Nicole Jarvis will be talking about her work in Parkinson’s research. If you are interested in learning more about the disease as a whole, check out this documentary on the PBS website.

empathy healthcare cafe Part of a larger collection of videos on empathy, “Empathy Healthcare Cafe” is about the importance of empathy in healthcare. What is interesting about this project is that it does not just discuss the idea of empathy or the importance of emotion when taking care of patients. It goes further, detailing ideas on becoming more empathetic and why it is important in the patient-physician interaction. If healthcare is not your primary interest, there are also many other video projects based on the power of empathy. I encourage you to go and explore the website, where you can find videos on everything from navigating the business world to meditation. Check out this series of videos if you are interested in Jake Morgan’s and Neal Walia’s presentation tomorrow.


thinking social Building the video game community Video game developer and OU alumnus James Simpson is working to enact social change with interactive community video games. Simpson will be a speaker at the TEDxOU event tomorrow.

miranda sanchez | profile TEDxOU speaker and CEO of GoldFire Studios James Simpson is a video game developer. Specifically, Simpson is a developer with a focus on social games, but not the games like “FarmVille” and “Mafia Wars” that plague Facebook timelines and notifications. “We see other social games out there from companies like Zynga, and games like “FarmVille” which is obviously social, and we see those as games that aren’t actually social,” said Simpson. While “FarmVille” can be played on Facebook and link players with their friends, there’s no real conversation going on in the game, Simpson said. He said he believes one of the best examples of a social game is “World of Warcraft” because of the level of interaction that occurs within the game. After graduating from OU in 2011 with an entrepreneurship and venture management degree, Simpson went on to create GoldFire Studios in Oklahoma City with a plan to develop his own version of social games. “We’re focusing on truly social games, which focus on building communities around the games and providing real-time, interactive experiences,” Simpson said.

Dnot social


GoldFire Studios’ newest game, “Casino RPG,” is Simpson’s prime example of a truly social game. “Casino RPG” is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, or MMORPG. Though players won’t find themselves hacking through enemies like in “World of Warcraft,” they can hit the slots, play poker and blackjack and build their own casinos — and, of course, interact with other players. Right now, “Casino RPG” is still in beta, meaning it is still changing and receiving updates, but is currently free and playable, Simpson said. Even once they’ve finalized the game, Simpson said they plan on continuing to develop the game and hope people continue to play, not just for the gameplay, but for the community photo provided aspects as well. James Simpson is a video game developer and will soon speak at the TEDxOU event about creating social Through video games that build the gaming community. these types of games, Simpson believes they have the power to transcend cultural boundaries and make a positive impact. In addition to creating the first video game studio in Oklahoma, Simpson is “My [TEDxOU] talk is about how making Oklahoma a more welcoming space for others interested in video game video games are able to enact pretty development. much sweeping social changes throughIn 2013, Simpson founded the Oklahoma Game Developers, and organizaout the world,” Simpson said. tion dedicated to bring together developers. Once a month, Simpson said the Furthermore, Simpson said he wants group meets to listen to a guest speaker or engage in a game development workto bring attention to how the percepshop. tion of games doesn’t properly reflect “We weren’t sure how many people we would have coming to the meetings,” the reality of games, especially when Simpson said. Their first meeting saw over 60 participants, he said. it comes to the mainstream view of Now the organization has over 150 members and counting. Though GoldFire games. Studios was the first game studio in Oklahoma City, they are no longer alone. Though there are plenty of incorrect “Over the last year we’ve seen a lot more smaller indie game studios start stereotypes about video games, Simpson to pop up,” Simpson said. ”Things are definitely starting to expand here in said he will be sure to explain the difOklahoma.” ference between truly social games and For more information about the Oklahoma Game Developers group, visit those that are not. for details.




Greek Row

extraordinary economics

megan deaton | profile

Melanie Maguire believes “economics can save the world.” The Gamma Phi economics senior will be speaking about environmental conservation at the third annual TEDxOU event tomorrow.

Melanie Maguire is a Gamma Phi on a mission. The economics senior said she believes the application of economics can solve many of the world’s problems, as she’ll communicate in her speech at TEDxOU tomorrow. there was really “I think economics can save the world, an outpouring of but I think it’s a matter of communicating it,” Maguire said. support. especially Maguire didn’t always know econommy sorority they ics would be her passion. “I realized I was more excited about tweeted you know, going to class and learning about taxes ‘can’t wait to see than all of my friends were,” Maguire melanie.’ a lot of said. Hooked on economics, in Spring 2012 my sisters have Maguire started researching a concept said they’re called community based natural resource management. The concept is the idea coming.” that an entire tract of land and all the wildlife on it is given to local people who own and manage it to make it a profit melanie Maguire, yielding investment. The idea is especialeconomics senior, tedxou ly useful when dealing with endangered species. speaker, gamma phi “The idea is that if you turn endangered species into something that can turn a profit, all of the sudden people have an incentive to protect them,” photo provided Maguire said. Economics senior Melanie Maguire studied community based resource managment while studying abroad in Peru. Last semester, Maguire traveled to Peru and got a chance to see some of her research in action. ily, many of whom plan to attend her After auditioning for TEDxOU at the learns the economic research, speaks “All I really found out was that it TED Talk. end of last year, Maguire has been caretheir language and then cultivates it didn’t work,” Maguire said. “Peru kind fully crafting and editing her speech. “There was really an outpouring of and takes it to the policymakers and of changed it a little because I saw what “As you can see, I talk pretty freely,” support,” Maguire said. “Especially my says, ‘Hey look at this. We can do this,’” was wrong. It does have to be a carefully Maguire said. “I think the trick was putsorority, they tweeted you know, ‘Can’t Maguire said. crafted program.” ting it into a structured speech.” wait to see Melanie.’ A lot of my sisters But first, Maguire needs to get through Maguire has been taking what she Maguire certainly does talk freely, with have said they’re coming.” her speech tomorrow, though she doesn’t learned in Peru and applying it to her After the TED Talk, Maguire has seem to have any real anxiety about research. Now, she has a chance to share an eloquence that only comes naturally. “I’ve always been pretty outgoing,” plans to graduate and head to graduate speaking in front of an audience filled her ideas with a huge audience. Maguire said. “I think I was that precoschool. She said she doesn’t know where, with intelligent people. “I’ve always loved TED Talks,” but it’s definitely in her future. And after “I’m really excited,” Maguire said. Maguire said. “At the second [TEDxOU] cious child that takes the lead and talks to strangers.” that? “This is like checking something off your I saw the first student speaker and realMaguire’s confident voice has received “My dream job would be to be the bucket list at 21. It’s a dream come true ized that was a thing. I knew I wanted to ample support from her friends and fam- go-between and to be the person that really.” do it the next year.”


train brain your

apps to keep your mind sharp kate mcpherson | technology



Don’t listen to your tech-fearing grandma: Apps are a great way to feed your brain. Check out some of these to learn something new.

duolingo (iOS and Android) Always wanted to learn a new language without signing up for that five-hour 8 a.m. class? Duolingo’s app can help teach you Spanish, French, German, Portuguese or Italian. The courses are completely free — there aren’t even any ads. By playing games and competing against friends, you’ll become motivated to master a new language or five.

khan academy (iOS and Windows) If you want to master organic chemistry, computer programming or art history, enroll at Khan Academy. You’ll have access to thousands of short lectures on the topic of your choosing. You get badges for all the learning you do … you know, in case you want to brag to your friends in real life.

how stuff works (iOS and Android) Ever wondered how power plants get you electricity or how your toilet works? You need How Stuff Works. Produced by the Discovery Channel, this app will answer all of your questions about basically everything, and if it doesn’t, you can always check out their YouTube channel or television series. photo provided

University of Oklahoma Libraries

provides selected textbooks on reserve in Bizzell Memorial Library

Visit Bizzell Memorial Library, OU Libraries’ website at or call (405) 325-4142


The Grumpy

TED talks to watch and feed your brain:

couch Potato kate mcpherson | entertainment Not one of the chosen few with tickets to TEDxOU? Pull up some TED Talks online and get inspired anyway. These three talks are a great place to start. All talks are available free on the TED website, and many can also be found on Netflix. See even more TED Talks to watch at

“your elusive creative genius” — elizabeth gilbert Elizabeth Gilbert, author of many excellent books like “The Signature of All Things” and “Eat, Pray, Love,” talks about how each of us have a genius and how the pressure put on creative people negatively impacts their psyches. If you’re even remotely interested in writing, art or music, this is a mustwatch.

“the paper town academy” — John Green Young adult author John Green discusses the importance of learning communities and why learning is important. If you’re already feeling burnt out this semester (I know I am), watch this to find inspiration to keep learning, even if it’s through non-traditional methods.

“the danger of a single story” — chimamanda ngozi adichie Novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Adichie argues that only having a single story of a place or person results in a closed mind and limited cultural experiences. This ought to be required viewing to live in this world.

see more online at


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