Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Question of the Day

Your house is on fire and you can only save one thing in it (all living things got out alive), what do you save?

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Short One -- Double Dribble

I rarely watch basketball. In fact, I rarely think about the game ever since I stopped playing in 10th grade. The last minutes of any close game are the dullest and least dramatic of any sport. Sure, there have been some great last minute shots, but there is no momentum. Foul. Foul shot(s). Time out. Run a play. Make or miss shot. Foul. Foul Shots. Time out. Ad nauseum. I remember getting up from the stands at a basketball game in undergrad with 26 seconds left. I went to the bathroom and returned about 5 minutes later and 4 seconds had ticked off of the clock. Dear God.
Anyway, all that is to say that I just now had a realization about the game Double Dribble for Nintendo (awesomely called Exciting Basket in Japan) while watching some March Madness games. How weird is it that Nintendo named its basketball game after a penalty? It makes it seem like you should aspire to double dribble. Why not name a baseball game Foul Ball. Or a football game Pass Interference. Hell, there’s a lot to choose from in football. Hockey could be Icing. Soccer: Red Card. Golf can be Water Hazard. Coming up with these names is kind of fun in and of itself.

Actually, I kind of like this idea. These games can be sports games that allow cheating. It can be like a realistic version of Mutant League Football. You can bribe the ref. Take cheap shots. Hit the right controller code and the umpire will blow a call. I’m all for it. It’s time for a change in sports gaming anyway. How many Madden’s do we need, anyway? Write your Congressman to get some movement on this.
I went into school seething after this play happened. But how much fun would it be to control the outcome??? Oh yeah... Yankees Suck. So this next picture is for me:

Question of the Day

Is there ever a time when farts aren't funny?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Top Five Worst Bands Ever

This list comprises bands that give me a physical reaction to their badness. Most bad music just makes you want to turn it off or shoot the radio. At the very worst, take out your anger on the band. The bands here, though, make me want to cause harm to myself. I hear them and my stomach immediately tenses. I can feel the blood start to boil and the joy sapped from my life. The only escape is sweet release from this mortal coil. OK, so it’s never gone that far, but my head does pound at the slightest hint of their music.

A few caveats to my selection. I didn’t pick stuff like rap, country, or pop music because it would be too easy. That music isn’t made for me anyway, so I’ll hate it, but let it exist in its alternate dimension. Also, I don’t want to pile up on a particular genre, so some bands not only represent themselves, but similar acts of equal talentlessness.

Anyway, here we go:

Honorable Mention -- Fall Out Boy
Fall Out Boy misses the list because I’ve heard maybe three songs (and hated them all), so I’m not the best judge on that front. My dislike has to do more with the external effects of their fame. Firstly, Pete Wentz. I wish I didn’t have to live in a world where this guy exists in any realm of my experience. I don’t want to see him popping up on TV or here anyone talking about him. Why couldn’t this douchebag remain anonymous? He has one of the most punchable faces I’ve ever seen. I hope someone takes him up on that sometime, preferably me.
Secondly (and lastly), the band name is a Simpsons reference. How can something that represents all that is good and pure in the world be stolen for evil like this? I wish Matt Groening had filed an injunction to stop this travesty. Sadly, Fall Out Boy represents all of my desires being crushed.

5. The Eagles
As the Dude says, “I’ve had a rough night and I hate the fuckin’ Eagles, man.” And much like the Dude, I abide. If I ever faced a situation like Elaine on Seinfeld where I was with someone who entered a trance upon hearing “Desperado,” I’d sneak out of that person’s life forever. The Eagles’ main offense, in my eyes, is how horrifically boring the music is. Just looking at a song list is like overdosing on Ambien. “Take It Easy.” “Peaceful Easy Feeling.” “One of These Nights.” “Life in the Fast Lane,” HA! Nice try Eagles. Fast Lane my ass. If only they remained broken up. Then we wouldn’t have endured Hell Freezes Over (as if they have control of that anyway).

4. Poison
Ahhh, Bret Michaels. Such a fine representative of Central Pennsylvania. I’m embarrassed to even acknowledge that not only did he grow up not 15 minutes from my hometown, but some of my high school teachers went to school with him. I’m connected to him in only two degrees! Which means you, readers, are connected in three degrees!
Now, Poison is a stand-in for the entirety of hair metal, but they are chosen because they are the worst of them all. The embodiment of everything I hate about the genre and yet another notch in my ongoing screed against the 1980’s. To make matters worse, Michaels is now whoring himself on reality TV. I guess it makes sense coming from a music scene that screams, “Look at me!”

3. Deerhoof
I never realized how badly a body can react to new stimulus until I heard Deerhoof for the first time while working at Neato Burrito. The sound of singer Satomi Matsuzaki’s voice immediately shot needles into my brain. By the time the third song started, I was in an active rage. My anger was bubbling out of my ears. Even death metal doesn’t elicit that reaction from me. Most frustrating for me is the Deerhoof is almost universally praised. How can something so assaulting be revered? If you want me to Hulk out, throw on some Deerhoof. I can’t guarantee you’ll like the results.

2. Nickelback
Nickelback is also a representation of a genre. I couldn’t decide between them and Creed, but felt they stepped on each other’s toes. The main reason I chose Nickelback is for an opportunity to link to a video (below). And, of course, I have to bring up the Brian Posehn quote, “I don’t think music makes people violent. I think bad music makes people violent. Like Nickelback makes me want to kill Nickelback.” The genre is filled with the least imaginative and dull “rock” music. The found the recipe and shall never divert. I guess the real reason I chose Nickelback is that at least Creed had the decency to break up.

1. Journey
Like anyone who has been around me the past two years didn’t see this coming. And more proof as to why the ‘80s sucked. The worst part of Journey is their popularity against all odds. I don’t know anyone who owns a Journey album (greatest hits don’t count). Of course, Journey is played so much on the radio that people probably feel that they don’t need to get an album. I’ve heard that there is not a second of any day that Journey is not being played somewhere (heard only because I said it).

Journey also represents that “corporate rock” bands (though I don’t subscribe to that term): Styx, Boston, and REO Speedwagon. With these other bands, I can find something to like, no matter how minute (like “Mr. Roboto” or the “Foreplay” part of “Foreplay/Piece of Mind”).

In the end, Journey makes me not want to leave my apartment. I know I will hear them sometime and have no control. It’s a matter of time. God forbid I go to a bar on the weekend. Journey makes me wish for a totalitarian state where sound has been banned completely.

And they get no video or picture. Suck it, Journey!

Question of the Day

Can God make a boulder so big that He, Himself, can't lift it?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

Question of the Day

I know not all of them do it, but why do women wear makeup while working out???

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Celebrity Voices in Animated Movies

I mentioned that I was going to write about this and it had to be today. Why? Because I finally got around to seeing Coraline, a movie I enjoyed but stirred up the age-old question: why do we care if there is famous voice talent in an animated film? There are so many incredibly talented voice actors available who can create ten to twenty characters without blinking an eye and would save studios a lot of money if only they were given a chance. Just look at what Hank Azaria, Dan Castellaneta, and Harry Shearer do for The Simpsons.

In Coraline’s case, the cast features Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman, Keith David, and Ian McShane (speaking in a Russian accent). How many of those voices do you think you could identify? Even with my love of John Hodgman, the only reason I could tell it was him was because I saw his name and he didn’t sound like any other male characters. The only casting I can justify is of the roommates Miss Spink and Miss Forcible because they are played by Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French, the duo from Absolutely Fabulous. At least that’s a call back to something else. And what particularly perturbs me about Coraline is that the character design of the father looks remarkably like Tom Kenny, famously the voice of Spongebob Squarepants.

Of course, casting celebrities in animated movies is hardly a new thing. If I had to place when celebrity began to outshine the animation, it would have to be with The Lion King. Sure, Aladdin featured the over-the-top performance of Robin Williams, but that character was designed for his comic stylings. The next biggest name in the cast is Gilbert Gottfried. I don’t think I need to extend my argument against Aladdin beyond that. Before that, you had the likes of Eva Gabor or Vincent Price popping up, but the appearances were limited.

However, The Lion King was a veritable cavalcade of recognizable voices. Jonathan Taylor Thomas at the height of his Home Improvement days. Matthew Broderick. Jeremy Irons. James Earl Jones. Robert Guillaume. Whoopi Goldberg. Cheech Marin. This would be the case with Disney hand-drawn films until it was shut down. Pixar came along and continued this trend.

Right off the bat, Pixar utilized one of the world’s biggest stars, Tom Hanks, and another Home Improvement alum, Tim Allen. But like the Disney trend (and yes, I know Pixar and Disney are in bed together), Pixar largely cast television or character actors. In a bit of hypocrisy, I can justify this because character actors rarely get their time to shine, either, relegated to “that guy” status. Conveniently, this allows nearly the entire catalogue of Pixar films to fly beneath my frustration (with the possible exception of Cars, which I don’t particularly care for anyway).

So, who gets the brunt of my wrath? Why, it must be Dreamworks. As if you didn’t see that coming. From humble beginnings with Shrek, featuring the voices of only three A-listers to Monsters. Vs. Aliens, with no less than ten big names filling the bill. Which brings me back to my original question: do we care about the famous voices?

I’m inclined to say no. I can see casting two leads with major stars, or a funny sidekick. Someone the audience has prior experience with. But do we really care if a character that has ten minutes of screen time is played Samuel L. Jackson? I acknowledge that there is a certain baggage that comes along with certain actors, but what’s the harm in letting some lesser-known people try to establish their names on the big screen. What bugs me the most is that a lot of small roles are going to big names (usually people I really like) instead of helping the smaller guys. As silly as Comic Book: The Movie is, I like that Mark Hamill cast many voice actors in the live action roles (and also has a special feature on the DVD about voice actors and their trade).

This turned into an unfocused essay, but essentially my point is give voice actors some big-time gigs. They deserve it. They’ve worked very hard to be versatile and celebrities are just waltzing in so they can make movies for their kids. With the possible exception of comedians, do big-name actors bring much to the table? I don’t think so. Of course, nothing will change because animated movies seem to uniformly make a lot of money. However, Pixar showed that you barely need any dialogue if your product is good enough. So maybe that’s it. People try to cover up lack of quality with a wealth of stars. I think I’ve busted this case wide open.

And for those with the time, the great Mel Blanc:

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Short One -- Penis Enhancing Pills

This is the first of an ongoing series of musings that won't be as long as most of my other posts. The posts will deal with weird things that have been taking up my mind-space that people don't generally want to talk with me about. This first topic was chosen exclusively for the complementary and punny relation to the title of the feature.

I'd like to say that Enzyte's recent legal troubles caused me to start thinking about the effectiveness of penis enhancing pills, but sadly (and embarrassingly) I've spent a good deal of time thinking about this independently. The main point I’ve been pondering is how, exactly, it works, supposing it does actually work. The penis is made up of mostly tissue, blood vessels, and skin, so you don’t need to worry about extending bone (pun partially to mostly intentional). I suppose, in theory, it’s possible to create something that could alter the ratio of components of the penile region, but how would one make it so it zeroes in on the area? Couldn’t other areas of the body start to sprout? I wouldn’t want bulbous elbows (though the extra padding may help if I ram my elbow into a wall or a face).

If it is really possible, then why aren’t there pills that could increase or decrease the size of someone’s nose or ears? I should think that those body parts don’t cause a large enough population enough anxiety to be profitable. Companies like Enzyte pray off of insecurities. And of course, the commercials show women flocking to “Smiley Bob” just to sit in his lap or stare approvingly at him in the pool sans trunks (which begs the question: is Bob always running around with a raging erection?)

The same can be said about the weight loss pill industry. They zero in on people with low self-esteem and exploit them. Truth-be-told, I kind of feel that people buying pills to lose weight deserve to get screwed over. We know that good diet and exercise will accomplish the same, but people are lazy. At least with penis enhancement, the men really don’t have anywhere else to go (and I’d definitely try a pill before surgery. I only want doctor’s messing around down there out of necessity).

Of course, the commercials always have the caveat that “results may vary.” A convenient ass covering if I’ve ever seen one. So if there is no change, then you’re just unlucky. Now that Enzyte has gone under and the people in charge are in trouble, it would seem that perhaps people are wising up to the scam. If only we could do something about the other 9,000 (my estimate) pills promising penis enhancement.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Top Film for Each Year of My Life – 1996


“People think it's all about misery and desperation and death and all that shit which is not to be ignored, but what they forget is the pleasure of it. Otherwise we wouldn't do it. After all, we're not fucking stupid. At least, we're not that fucking stupid.”

“Take the best orgasm you've ever had... multiply it by a thousand, and you're still nowhere near it.”
Trainspotting began my love of Danny Boyle. He is easily one of the most interesting directors working today; bound by no genre. I could have plastered this space with quotes from the film. The narration alone is top-notch and features the iconic and poster-ized “Choose Life” monologue. I was so enthused about Trainspotting that I made my parents watch it. I don’t recall feeling awkward about it then, though I get a bit uncomfortable thinking about it now.

The film comes screaming out of the gates. The combination of Iggy Pop and the mad dash down the street is positively enthralling. If there is one thing Boyle knows how to do, it’s film a foot race. I didn’t think Slumdog Millionaire was all the great, but damn the opening running through the slums is fantastic. Boyle cut his teeth on the fantastic Shallow Grave, but Trainspotting really feels confident in its style. There are certain films that feel like the director is just being flashy, but it all fits immaculately with the content.
Boyle does little to glamorize the drug use (contrary to what the second quote above indicates). There are three images that will stick with me forever related to the downward spiral the characters are involved with. The first is when Spud shits the bed, mostly because I thought it was blood the first time I saw the film. The second is when Renton dives into the most disgusting toilet ever shown in a movie. And all I’m going to say for the third is… dead baby (and everything involved with it). I guess all that really needs to be said is that Trainspotting is filled with indelible images and dialogue.

But that’s not all I’m going to say. Ewan McGregor is impossibly good in this. I don’t know why American productions make him use a fake American accent. Ninety percent of the time he is completely wooden and uncharismatic. He’s a terrific and funny actor. Why remove those facets from his performance? The rest of the cast around him is perfect as well, with Kelly McDonald landing a role in No Country for Old Men, recently.
And it needs to be said. Danny Boyle may be the best a using music in his films. The soundtracks are never clichéd but always interesting. He digs deep for all of his films to find the perfect song for the perfect moment. I fully believe that this film is responsible for “Lust for Life” becoming so popular in other movies/shows and commercials.

Now, 1996 was another good year for movies, though most of the films get little to no respect. The Oscar nominees were all pretty dull. The genre output (Mars Attacks!, The Frighteners, Scream, Cemetery Man) and indies (Trees Lounge, Bottle Rocket, Fargo) helped to push this year over the top. And I need to note that I erroneously place Dead Man in 1995 (since remedied) and it belongs here. A magnificent film that still won’t knock Trainspotting down, yet, but we’ll see what a bit of marinating does. Until then Trainspotting reigns supreme.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Top Film for Each Year of My Life – 1995

Toy Story

“You are a sad, strange little man, and you have my pity. Farewell.”

“How dare you open a Space Ranger's helmet on an uncharted planet? My eyeballs could have been sucked out of their sockets!”

Now entering the picture… Pixar. For my money, the best run studio (or sub-studio) making films today. And they’ve been doing it ever since their first feature, Toy Story. Talk about hitting the ground running. With the exception of Cars, every time Pixar released a film, it ended up in my top five for the year, frequently top three (though this is the only one to place at number one). They care so much for story and characters that it is impossible not to be sucked into the film. Pixar even made me love a film in a genre I don’t particularly care for, superheroes (the film is, of course, The Incredibles). The films put out by Pixar are one of the main reasons for my hatred of classifying animated films as “children’s movies” (a non-genre to begin with, not to mention that “animated” isn’t a genre, either) and the Academy Awards, who refuse to acknowledge animated films amongst the top tier of live action films in the Best Picture category. It’s absurd.
Anyway, Toy Story is absolutely fantastic in all respects. It’s funny without pandering. It’s emotional, but not sappy. Both Woody and Buzz go through meaningful character arcs. It’s a testament to Tom Hanks and Tim Allen that their voices become the characters so much so that we no longer think of the actor playing the part but of Woody and Buzz (unlike so many other animated features… by DreamWorks ).

I typically balk at the casting of celebrities in the roles of animated characters (something I plan on writing about in the near future). I sympathize with professional voice actors who’ve spent so much time honing their craft only to be thrust to the side by some big name celebrity. But Pixar takes such care in casting people in the right roles. Instead of just giving it to huge stars (admittedly, Hanks and Allen are pretty big), they also give lead roles to people like Dave Foley, Craig T. Nelson, Patton Oswalt, and Albert Brooks. Not exactly mainstream names. And the side characters are always inspired, too. Plus I have to love that they continually use John Ratzenberger, who is, in fact, the shit (even in Motel Hell when he’s buried up to his neck).
Randy Newman’s score for the film fits the tone perfectly (as all good scores should, I suppose). His sensibilities are perfect for the emotions of Toy Story. In fact, the only part of Toy Story that is off-putting is the people. The technological limitations of designing normal looking human beings are still apparent, but the people in Toy Story are terrifying (though not nearly as frightening as the dead-eyed beings in the Hanks’ voiced Polar Express).

I can’t leave this space without saying that 1995 was an excellent year for films. It’s the first time that I filled out the top ten with stuff I love and then some. That’s not even counting the films I haven’t seen (Babe, The Basketball Diaries, Casino, Nixon, Rob Roy). I can’t imagine any of those films taking the place of Toy Story. And while
I haven’t included it here at the risk of being a cliché, feel free to shout Buzz Lightyear’s catchphrase should the impulse take hold.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My TV Friends

I just finished watching the original commentaries on the Spaced series. For those unfamiliar with Spaced, it is the television series Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright, and Nick Frost did before Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. In a word: awesome. Even with the commentary on (and perhaps because of) I felt sad that the last episode of the series was ending. The creators were thanking everyone involved and the image is made for feeling a sense of loss that there will be no more adventures with these characters. Listening to commentaries amplifies certain feelings because they are so casual and unscripted. They feel intimate. These people are talking to me!
Anyway, I realized that this isn’t the first time I’ve felt this way. Nearly every TV series I own that has ended leaves me feeling this way (commentary or no, though Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared commentaries hold a special place for me since I watched them all while I was alone living in Boston). Good television sucks you into the lives of the characters and makes them so believable and complex that it’s like having friends over whenever you watch. This got me wondering why I never feel this way about movies.

For all intents and purposes, I like movies much more than TV. I watch about four shows regularly while I’m constantly watching new films. I think it’s easier to make a bad show than movie since shows are designed to not only appeal to the masses, but also need them to want to stick around. Why do you think there are so many cop and medical shows? I feel like I’m watching the same thing on an endless loop, but many (my mom included) enjoy the familiarity.

That’s not to say that all films are good. I’m of the opinion that most of what is released these days is complete shit. Rarely do my opinions align with Academy opinions. But there is so much film history easily available that I don’t need to get bogged down in what is currently in theaters (I shudder to think about what life would be like in this day and age without home video technology, at least there would be more revival theaters).
The obvious answer is that we spend so much more time with television characters than with film characters. I twenty episode season compared to two hours is hardly fair. So much more character development can be done in that time. Pacing and plot, while still important, can be sacrificed for certain indulgences. In shows like Spaced or the UK The Office, they knew when they were going to end and acted accordingly. All loose ends get tied up. Characters wind up where the audience wants them and wants to see what would happen next. Suddenly, there is a void. Of course, these series were fleeting to begin with. The US audience isn’t used to spending so little time with them.

Then there are the series that go on for years and become household institutions. Seinfeld. M*A*S*H*. Cheers. The Cosby Show. These were weekly visitors for so long that it almost feels like the death of a family member when they leave (OK, maybe someone moving away). Tears are shed and it’s a bit surreal that they aren’t coming back except in reruns.

However, the TV shows that have the most power to reduce me to tears are the ones that met an early and unwarranted death. That’s not to say The Tick or Andy Richter Controls the Universe make me emotionally unstable. It’s shows like Arrested Development, which ended with the words, “It was… Arrested Development” that bring home that it’s over (and the ensuing, “Maybe a movie…” line). And by far the worst for me is Freaks and Geeks. A show with that much humor and heart had so far to go. I admit, I didn’t watch it when it was on TV and I kick myself for it now. Watching the end of the series when the characters are all in different places going different ways makes me need to see what happened to them. The one season of television (which didn’t even get completely screened initially) is as close to perfection as the medium can get.

And I think that’s the crux of why I don’t feel the same about characters in films leaving me. I essentially know where they are going. There is little surprise, and if there is, it’s generally visceral. Fleeting. Film characters aren’t memorable for who they are, but what they represent. There is a wall between them and the audience. One thing I believe (well-written) television does better than film is making the viewer relate to the characters, so that even something as silly and frivolous as Futurama can elicit strong, resonating emotional responses from the audience (you can ask my little sister about that). This isn’t to say that movies can’t or don’t do this, but that TV is a better conduit for it.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Update on the No Updates

A disruption in routine has caused a severe lack in product. I apologize. It shall be remedied in the near future.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Ongoing Saga of Russell

Russell is concerned. His phone hasn’t rung for days. For most, this isn’t a problem and perhaps even desired. But Russell finds the sound of the phone ringing soothing. His nerves are practically shot. A crippling phobia of talking to, even being in the presence of, other people prevents him from asking someone to call. His only hope is to leave notes with his phone number strewn about.

The only time Russell can muster up the courage to leave his home to strategically place the notes is under cover of night. While most are preparing for bed, Russell is skulking around their houses leaving his calling card, quite literally. Unfortunately, a recent crime wave in town has caused his neighbors to increase their security diligence.

Upon his first step onto the property of a nearby house, motion sensor lights explode in bright white light. The door to the house flies open and Russell finds himself staring across the lawn at a vicious, barking Rottweiler on a very strained looking leash. Panicking immediately, Russell drops the rest of his notes where he stands and sprints home. He seeks solace beneath the kitchen sink, his normal calming location.

The next morning, the phone rings incessantly, much to Russell’s delight. He lies down on his couch with pleased expression knowing that the events of the night were well worth the torment. However, a few hours later there is a knock at the door. Russell’s blood pressure shoots up immediately. He sits rigidly on the couch as the knocking becomes more urgent. A muffled voice seeps through the door:

“Open up! It’s the police! We’d like a word with you!”

Russell knows he can’t ignore them, but also knows that he can’t see them due to the aforementioned social phobia. He slowly picks himself up off of the couch and makes his way to the door, using anything and everything he can find as a crutch. The last few steps are passed over in favor of a massive lurch toward the door. The considerable impact startles the cops outside, causing them to instinctually draw their firearms.

Unfortunately, Russell peaks through the peephole only to discover three guns pointed directly at the door and indirectly at him (what with the door being in the way and all). While the police remain cautious, they lower their guns and call to Russell:

“Are you OK in there? Please open the door. It is critical that we talk to you.”

But they were too late. Words are meaningless to Russell now. He is paralyzed with fear and dread. His mind reeled with confusion about what he could have done to warrant the police arriving at his home with guns drawn. He knew that sneaking around people’s property may be a bit uncouth, but not an offense that required bullets be present upon interrogation.

The cops are worried. Perhaps the sound was because Russell hanged himself and banged against the door. Their concern (and a bit of curiosity) takes control and they cautiously break the door in. Upon entry, they find Russell lying prone on the ground and immediately leap to his aid.

A look of utter terror is frozen on Russell’s face. Unable to fight back, his only defense is to become stiff as a board and wait for an ambulance to take him to the hospital for inspection. Tens of people wander around his living room trying to discern what exactly has been going on. A search team takes a look around. All Russell can do is scream with his eyes, not knowing why so many are interested in him or his house.

At the hospital and after a considerable amount of medication, a detective questions Russell about his whereabouts the night before and on the nights of other neighborhood crimes. Russell is useless. He is so drugged up he can only comment on the tiny leprechauns dancing on the detectives head and shoulders (“like the shampoo!”).

The detective tries to explain that after his calling cards were found scattered around a house last night, a neighborhood sweep was conducted to see if any were left at any other crime scenes, and lo and behold, there had been. Russell explains:

“The pink pony is my favorite because it’s pink.”

At this point, the detective realizes that the interrogation is useless. Russell is incapable of speaking when not drugged up and incapable of sense when drugged. The only course of action is to have Russell institutionalized. So he did.