Pretty Nerdy Party Planning: Valentine’s Day

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Happy Valentine’s Day, nerds! Whether single or attached, a great way to spend a holiday is with friends. Why not go out for your special date another day, and throw a kickass party you won’t need reservations for? Fandom is full of romance- why not celebrate your super-powered love this year?

Drinks:

  • Champagne is classic.
  • Red Peach Martinis for Mario and Peach- Make this peach martini recipe than either add a little bit of grenadine or red food coloring to make the perfect union for video game royalty
  • For Valentine’s Day, a romantic chocolate stout is ideal.
  • Complete Cocktails has a great cocktail called Mad Love. For bonus points, freeze some dark grape juice or water with purple food coloring to achieve that Harley Quinn harlequin look.

 

Food: Italian food can be relatively inexpensive and is usually a crowd pleaser. Plus, as it turns out, many of our favorite couples use it in pivotal scenes in their relationship.

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Music:

Last year, we printed a mix cd entry. The track list is as follows:

  • “Ode to a Geek,” Lorraine Cink
  • “Housewares Employee,” Evil Dead the Musical
  • “Under Your Spell,” Once More, With Feeling (The Buffy Musical Episode)
  • “Dusty Cartridges and Long Boxes,” Kirby Krackle
  • “Womanizer,” Venetian Princess
  • “She Blinded Me with Science,” Thomas Dolby
  • “My Freeze Ray,” Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
  • “Aquaman’s Lament,” Mark Aaron James
  • “Skullcrusher Mountain,” Jonathan Coulton
  • “Yuri the Only One For Me,” The LeetStreet Boys
  • “Gonna Make You Happy Tonight,” Tripod
  • “Hot Toxic Love,” The Toxic Avenger Musical
  • “Geeks in Love,” Lemon Demon

Dress:

  • If you’re attached, dress as your favorite couple. Wednesday’s article has some pretty good ideas!
  • If you’re not attached, cosplay anyway- maybe another guest will show up in a complimenting costume!

Desserts:

 

Breaking: Marvel and DC make major announcements

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Today, both Marvel and DC made huge announcements regarding the future of women in comics.

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Marvel: Marvel is introducing the A-Force, an all-female Avengers team.  Included appear to be She-Hulk, Wasp, Medusa, Phoenix, Elektra, Storm, Rogue, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Dazzler(!) and many many more.  The spacy lady is Singularity, a new hero being introduced in A-Force

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DC: DC is killing off the New 52, which had vastly varying degrees of reception.  They’re also adding some new female-driven titles, including Harley Quinn and Power Girl,  Black Canary, and Starfire.  Black Canary is singing, all right, in the stylized promotional art.  Star’s dreadful New 52 incarnation doesn’t look likely to change anytime soon.  She looks fairly vapid.  Am I the only one who’d like to see the Starfire the Teen Titans cartoons gave us: kind and fair, but far from stupid.

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Cosplay Wednesday: Couples Cosplay

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This was the only couples cosplay picture I own the rights to, but we made a cute R2-D2 and Luke Skywalker all the same.

 

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and you know what that means: love is in the air.  And the couple that cosplays together stays together.  So what do you do when it’s time to show the world your super-powered love?

What you need to ask yourself:

  • How much work are we willing to do?
  • If the above answer is “not much,” how much money are we willing to spend?
  • Am I okay with one of us switching genders?
  • What do we both love enough to devote time/ money to being?

 

Admittedly, most of these pairings are guy/guy or guy/girl- next month, we’re going to talk about pairs and groups for ladies only.  Keep on the lookout!

Difficulty Level: Easy

Captain Hammer and Dr. Horrible

  • For the Captain, all you need are a Captain Hammer T-shirt and the right gloves.
  • For Dr. Horrible, a red or white chef’s coat, white or black wellies, and white or black scrub pants are perfect.  The goggles are readily available on Etsy and Ebay

Wash and Zoe, Firefly

  • For Wash, all you need is a good Hawaiian shirt and khaki cargo pants.
  • For Zoe, a long sleeved shirt, long pants, and leather vest and holster can all be found pretty easily online.

Fred and Daphne/ Shaggy and Velma, Scooby-Doo

  • For basic, solid color items, check stores like Target and Wal-Mart, which tend to stock the basics pretty cheaply.  Thick glasses are a must for Velma

The Venture Brothers

  • If you can put together a Fred costume, you can put together a Hank Venture costume.
  • Bonus points if you just wear an ill-fitting Batman costume for Hank

Doctors and Companions, Doctor Who

  • Incredibly easy to do with street clothes and accessories from any Hot Topic.

Daryl/Carol, Rick/Lori, Glenn/Maggie, The Walking Dead

  • Distressed street clothes and a lot of dirt makeup can go a long way.
  • Bonus if you can get Daryl’s crossbow involved without breaking convention rules
  • Which couple you go as depends on who you naturally look like and what you’re willing to do with makeup and facial hair

Peter Pan and Wendy

  • Peter wears a lot of green.  Don’t get too hung up on the tights- green skinny jeans can totally work for the character
  • Wendy wears a simple nightdress in most incarnations, often blue.

 

Difficulty Level: Medium

Mermaid Ariel and Prince Eric:

  • Eric’s relatively plain outfit makes him the exception to the rule.
  • Ariel’s current popularity surge makes her mermaid outfit pretty easy to cobble together out of purple bathing suit tops and green leggings.  If you choose human Ariel, all bets are off- her costumes can be tricky, especially her poofy wedding dress

Mario and Peach

  • For Mario, a red shirt, overalls, and fake mustache are available pretty easily.  Add in a red hat and you’re good to go. 
  • For Princess Peach, you can either buy the Halloween costume version, or put it together yourself using a wrap skirt and a pink dress.  Buy a cute crown, and you’re ready to be in another castle.

Wonder Woman and Superman

  • Kids, you’re going to need to go store-bought on this one.  They’re labeled “medium” because, simply, the costumes are easy to find.  Same goes for Harley Quinn and the Joker, as well as Batman and Robin or Batman and Catwoman

Han Solo and Princess Leia

  • We’ve all seen the jokes about the tall boots, flowy white shirts, and black vests being standard issue for girls during the fall and winter- put them to work!
  • Princess Leia wears white during A New Hope, and the dress can vary from slinky to flowy, based on your comfort level.

Kirk/ Spock/ Uhura/ Bones, in any combination you deem appropriate

  • Starfleet outfits, again, are easy to come by online for relatively inexpensively

Green Arrow and Black Canary

  • Green Arrow is pretty easy to pull off with a dark green hoodie (cut the sleeves off neatly!) and a tactical vest.  Wear the hood up, don a mask, and grab a prop bow.
  • Canary is a little bit more difficult, and she’s the reason this couple falls into “medium.”  You may need to check out web sites such as Corset Story and Frederick’s of Hollywood to find the appropriate bodysuit, since the leather look is essential.  Fishnets and boots can be bought pretty much anywhere you go.

 

Difficulty Level: Expert

For all of these, you’re either going to need some serious skills or some major coin.

Any Disney Princess and Disney Prince (see exception in MEDIUM)

  • Many of the princess costumes are available on Ebay or Etsy, but be wary and make sure to be honest with yourself while measuring.
  • For some of the smaller ladies, you might be able to wiggle into the Disney Store’s costumes.

Nightwing and Batgirl

  • Batgirl is easily store-bought, but Nightwing is much more of a challenge to find.

Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask

Link and Zelda

  • Link is easy to put together on the surface, but has a LOT of iconic accessories.
  • Zelda is just plain hard.  Her dresses are beautiful and complex, not to mention the ears, hair, and accessories!

Are you limited to these?  Absolutely not!  This is by no means a comprehensive list.  I’ve seen couples go as almost any combination, from Kermit and Piggy to Jon Snow and Ygritte.

The Pretty Nerdy Interview: Libby Reindell of Chaotic Awkward

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Chaotic Awkward

Today, we take a few minutes to sit down with Libby Reindell, the woman behind Philadelphia’s monthly geek talk show Chaotic Awkward, which debuted with a Superhero-themed show on a snowy January night to a packed house in Philadelphia’s beautiful Plays and Players theater.

PNT: How did you and [cohost] Mike [Fenn] come up with the idea for Chaotic Awkward?

LR:  I was geek of the week and mike wrote the story on me for geekadelphia. I asked if he wanted to write the show with me since we are both geeky and comedians. I wanted a show that tapped into the huge market of geeks in the city. There is not enough entertainment in Philly that caters to geeks, and I wanted to provide a fun show that celebrates geek culture.

>PNT:  You’re the only woman on the team- what, if any, responsibility do you feel about representing the female fan?
LR: I’m very invested into a positive environment for women in the geek community. I’ve been in comic book shops where the male owners roll their eyes at me. I’ve been accused of not being a real fan just because I was an attractive girl in cosplay. I’ve had guys sneak up behind me and take pictures of my ass in cosplay, had my ass grabbed while in cosplay. I love geek culture, but as a woman, I don’t always feel welcome.  We have issues like Gamergate, which are problems that we can combat with satire andbring attention to how absurd they are. I think a comedy show could be a great platform for changing people’s perception of women in geek culture.

PNT: What got you into fandom?  What are your favorites?
LR: I got into geek culture when I was very young.  I discovered anime when I watched Sailor Moon and  KiKi’s Delivery Service. I also was obsessed with Pokemon and Harry Potter. It was a great time to be a geek kid in the 90’s. When I was fifteen, I went to my first con, and I have been cosplaying ever since.

PNT: What’s next for Chaotic Awkward?  What do you hope for in regards to growth?
LR: After our first show, I wanted to change and improve a lot. I wanted a host that I had a better rapport with so I had Mike take a step back and I’m bringing in my comedy partner Quinton J. Alexander. We also want to script a lot more so things are less chaotic and awkward. The crowd was there and they were on our side, which proved to me that there’s already an eager audience that’s there for us.  We just need to focus on giving them as awesome a show as they deserve. I have very high hopes for this show, it’s my baby, and I want it to be as fun an experience as possible and really build a fan base.

PNT: Where else can we see you and the rest of the Chaotic Awkward team?
LR: You can follow us on Facebook, a lot of our members are a part of the amazing comedy troupe Hey, We’re Cool, a bunch of us will be in 5 Dollar Comedy Week in March, and Quinton’s and my improvisational comedy duo is Bully! Catch us and a lot of other great shows at Figment Theatre or the Philly Improv Theatre.
Chaotic Awkward’s next show will be Friday, February 20th at the Plays and Players Theater at 10 pm, with Quig’s Pub open adjacent.  No theme has been formally announced yet.

Pretty Nerdy Party Planning: The Walking Dead

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The Walking Dead is more popular than ever, and it returns next weekend.  We’re going to throw a nice little theme party to celebrate.  Warning to the squeamish: this one’s a little gross.  And to vegetarians and vegans?  Please accept my apologies, and maybe go back to last week’s lovely Disney party.

Appetizers:

  • Hot wings have the right mixture of gooey, messy, and full of carnage.
  • Fruit and vegetables for “Farmer Rick” from Season 4
  • Braised Short ribs.
  • Cocktail weenies labeled “cocktail entrails”

Drinks:

Food:  

  • There’s no getting around it, kids.  You gotta make a roast.  The more it looks like a leg, the better.  I told you this one was going to be gross.

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Dessert:

  • If anyone has an appetite after the tainted meat, I would go for chocolate pudding.  Served in the largest can you can find.
  • Alternately, bowls of gummy brains can double as decorative touches
  • Buy these cookie cutters, and go to town making Zombie cookies.
  • Make conventional cookie people to be your favorite characters.  Bonus points for disfiguring characters who have died

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Decor:

  • To celebrate the start of the season, place cards around your home with directions to “Terminus” (the food table, or the TV)
  • If you’re having a sit-down meal, place cards can say in a crude scrawl, “(Name of guest,) go to Terminus”
  • Use butcher paper to create a train track leading to whatever your desired “Terminus” is

Favors:

  • Tissues, for the next time a character you like dies
  • Little arrow charms for Daryl, or swords for Michonne
  • Badges for Rick

Dress:

  • Zombie makeup can be messy and uncomfortable.  Go casual and distressed for that perfect survivor look.

Royal Rumble: What Went Wrong

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Early in the show, but a good picture of the scene.

Early in the show, but a good picture of the scene.

So far, everyone’s happy.  Great time had by all.  The Royal Rumble Match starts.  The first few entrants come out.  Bubba Ray Dudley returns to an enormous pop.  Bray Wyatt comes out.  He’s scary.   Cue Curtis Axel.  Or not.  Erick Rowan knocks him out and takes his place.  For reasons.  Wyatt Family takes each other out, leaving only Bray.  Wyatt issues an open challenge.  The Boogeyman comes out.  It’s really stupid but incredibly entertaining watching them try to out-scary each other.  Zack Ryder is in at 9.  The audience loves him, because he’s a cool guy who made himself famous without anyone else’s help.  He’s been injured, and everyone was happy to see him back.  He is dispatched much too quickly.

Daniel Bryan at 10.  The fan favorite, the man of the people, the best part of Total Divas.  The crowd is behind him one million percent.  More people enter, no one really leaves.  There were a lot of eliminations early, and then nothing really happens for awhile as more people fill the ring.

Then Daniel Bryan is eliminated.  The audience turns on the show.  Hard.  The entrances of Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler, two other Philadelphia favorites, are heralded as the last hope for the people who don’t want major front-runner Roman Reigns to win.  The final five were Ziggler, Ambrose, Reigns, Kane and the Big Show.  The audience was firmly behind Ambrose and Ziggler, and I suspect would have happily accepted either if it couldn’t have been Bryan.  Naturally, then Kane and the Big Show dispatched Ambrose and Ziggler, laying them carefully beside the ring in a way that caused the audience to curse at the two big men.  Seriously.  Lots of cursing.

Reigns wins the whole thing.  A chorus of boos falls over the arena, violent and furious.  The two big men come back in and start to beat up on Reigns, and the Rock’s music hits.  He gets a momentary pop, and then the audience does something they haven’t in ten years.

Philadelphia booed the Rock.

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Why don’t you love me? (Apologies for poor phone quality. We weren’t on the camera side.)

 

The WWE Universe (as the company loves to call them) saw quickly through the attempt to force the audience to accept a winner they never wanted by pairing him with one of the heroes of the profession.  The fans were insulted and furious with the concept that WWE knew the ending was horrible, did it anyway, and then tried to pull tricks to make the audience like it.  Did.  Not. Work.

The audience left, furious, and some pretty crazy things happened.  I went on a walk around the arena, because there was too much traffic to leave by the time we were out.  Here is what we saw.

  •  Wells Fargo screwed up again and left the walkway that overlooks the buses and talent cars open.  Foolish mistake.  People crowded to wave at the departing superstars, most of whom had a “don’t feed the animals” response that was probably wise.
  • John Cena waved and bowed to the audience, probably pleased they were mad at something that was not him, for once.
  • Randy Orton, who did not appear in the Royal Rumble, was in the building the whole time.
  • Fans outside were going insane.  We watched several people rush Ryback’s car, not letting him leave.  We quickly left that scene, because we were concerned there would be arrests.
  • As we approached our vehicle, we heard a lot of screaming from that area followed by dead silence.  A Google search for “Royal Rumble arrests 2015” thankfully turned up nothing.

The rest of the fallout has made very mainstream news, with Time reporting on the #CancelWWENetwork movement than resulted from Reigns’s win.  The postshow depicted an infuriated Rock stumbling whilst cutting a promo, something I had never seen him do.

Where does WWE go from here?  Only time will tell, since RAW on Monday night was canceled owing to snow.

 

Last note:  Look at that Muppety young lady over Roman Reigns’s shoulder.  I’m finally on TV.

I'm the Muppet.  The Muppet is me.

I’m the Muppet. The Muppet is me.

 

Royal Rumble: What Went Right

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This article grew to be very long.  So I’m splitting it into everything before the Rumble, and the Rumble and aftermath.  The show splits nicely that way.

 

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If you know anything about wrestling, you’ll know that Sunday night did not go well in the city of Philadelphia.  I was there, and here’s what happened.  First off, we didn’t get in until well after the pre-show started, which was poor planning on someone’s part somewhere.  I don’t know if the blame lies with Wells Fargo Center or WWE, but someone messed up.

The night started off great, with A New Day (I’m not really sure what their gimmick is supposed to be at all) and Team CatFacts.  They’re really called Team UpperCATS, but Tyson Kidd’s “Cats”  and “Fact” kneepads make my name vastly superior.  Philadelphia didn’t like New Day at all, but I don’t really understand why. I’ve always enjoyed watching Kofi Kington and Big E (Langston), and Cesaro and Tyson Kidd are both charismatic and hilarious.  CatFacts won the bout, much to the pleasure of the Philly crowd.

Then, the show actually started.  The opening tag match between the Usos and Miz and Mizdow only really served the latter pair.  The Usos kept the belts, and Miz(dow) kept actually having a storyline.  Philadelphia loves them some Damien Mizdow.

Wait.  The Acension beat the New Age Outlaws before that.  No one cared.  New Age Outlaws enjoyed a nice pop when they ran into the ring wearing Phillie Phanatic hats, but once the match started, no one really cared.

The Divas match was low-stakes, and I didn’t really understand the plot behind it.  Unfortunately, WWE’s booking of the women is generally pretty bad.  When did Brie turn evil again?  Why did Brie turn evil?  No one knows.  That being said, both Bellas are improving in the ring, and Paige and Natalya don’t really need much improvement.  The Bellas won, and I wish the prize had been a rewarding storyline for the female wrestlers.

Next was the match of the night.  Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins.  This was the match of the three-week-old year, and it’s going to be hard to top.  All three men had crowd support in varying factions (Cena with the least and Lesnar with the most.  I’m a Rollins girl.)  Rollins put Lesnar through a table.  Lesnar F5’d everyone.  Paul Heyman yelled a lot.  Cena tried to AA Lesnar five times in a row.  He got to 3.  Womp Womp.  Lesnar retained to the roar of the crowd.

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Seth Rollins, taking a delightful nap.

 

The crowd was ecstatic getting into the Royal Rumble Match…

Pretty Nerdy Party Planning: Disney World!

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Image Courtesy tripsided.com

 

If you’re anything like me, you’re either just getting back from Disney World, getting ready to go to Disney World, or wishing you were in Disney World.  In the coldest part of the Winter, have a delightful shindig to remind you there’s a great big beautiful tomorrow!

As always, take a look at our Pinterest for more ideas!

Food:

For some EPCOT flair, try a little something from around the world.

  • Crepes for France
  • Spring rolls for Japan
  • Make a batch of Orange chicken as hors d’oeuvres.
  • Lazy option: Have Chipotle cater in honor of Mexico
  • If you’re particularly inclined, you can make the famous smoked turkey legs for which Disney is so well known.

Dessert:

Go classic Disney food.   The kind of food you always find yourself blowing your snack credits on.

  • Churros.
  • Waffles and ice cream (though you should use this to make the waffles.)
  • Popcorn
  • Mickey Ice Cream Bars (Here for the recipe)

If you’re feeling ambitious, Allears.net posts recipes to YOUR favorite Disney World dish!

Drinks:

Music:

Youtube has all sorts of great audio from all over the parks- if you’re looking for something specific, it’s probably there.  If you’re not, here are my favorites:

Decor:

  • You know all those souvenirs your parents told you not to buy?  Break them out and display them!
  • Hang leftover maps on the walls, or print them out from various web sites 🙂
  • Pin any Disney pins you might have everywhere- if it’s Disney, put it out!

 

Dress Code:

  • Encourage guests to Disneybound.  Dress up in the colors and style of your favorite Disney girl, boy, or animal!

Enjoy your Disney party, and we’ll see you real soon!

One Shot Wednesday: Wrestling Society X

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In One-Shot Wednesday, we take some time to talk about a show that ran one 13-episode season or less. In honor of this week’s Royal Rumble, we’re going to take a look at a lesser-known wrestling federation.

The year was 2007.  Over three months, MTV aired ten episodes of an extreme wrestling show- electric weapons, coffins, fireballs,  and an exploding cage.  In a “mysterious underground bunker” wrestlers fought over grudges perceived and personal.  A wrestler from 50 years before awoke from a coma, not having aged a day, and was bent on wrestling just the way he always had.  Musical guests such as Good Charlotte and Pitbull stopped by, making this the professional wrestling equivalent of All That.  This was Wrestling Society X.

The show was moderately successful, but faded away quickly in the wake of- of all things- a flash paper fireball being seen as an imitable act, and therefore unairable.  The season/ series finale was pulled, and we never saw them again.

Or did we?

Do you recognize Tyler Black of Do It For Her, the emo tag team?  Do you love the phrase “emo tag team” as much as I do?  You got it- WWE’s current heel darling, Seth Rollins, before WWE picked him up.  Other notables include Evan Bourne (appearing as jock Matt Sydal)  Colt Cabana (as comatose 40s wrestler Matt Classic) and X-Pac (as, well…6-Pac.)

Wrestling Society X is wild, weird, and silly in all of the right ways.  Wrestling Society X is available here for purchase. 

 

 

 

 

 

My Own Personal Neverland: Opening the Disney Store

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Credit to https://disneyfangirl.wordpress.com/

Credit to https://disneyfangirl.wordpress.com/

On Saturday mornings in the winter, my mom and I go to the mall.  It’s too cold out for our normal walk, and the Farmer’s Market has closed for the winter.  So, to the mall for some good old fashioned walking…and admittedly a lot of shopping.

I’d heard a rumor that every day, a little prince or princess would get to unlock the Disney Store.  I was curious, and sort of wanted to see, because I am a sucker for Disney and cute children.  So around 9:55 on a Saturday, we meandered over in that direction.  A leafy green lock stood in the doorway, with velvet ropes on either side.  Williams-Sonoma across the way had about ten kids waiting outside (youth cooking class) and Disney had…well, me.

At opening time, there were still no children waiting outside.  Apparently malls are not busy places on January Saturdays.  So when the nice Disney cast member came to see who was outside to unlock the store, there was…well, me.

“That’s okay!” she chirped.  “Tall princesses can open the store, so long as they have the power of imagination!  Do you have the power of imagination?”

At this point, a little bit of embarrassment crept in.  Yes, I have the power of imagination, but I am also a woman grown.  Ish.    This only got worse as a cast member danced forward holding what can only be described as a keyblade.  About three feet long.

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She asked me a few questions: what was the key in the shape of?  Which Princess had a castle in which park?  She made a “Royal Declaration” that Princess Laura would be unlocking imagination today.  Then I turned the key in the very large lock, the ropes fell, and the store opened.

After this, the cast member presented me with a miniature version of the key, a few inches long.  It’s an interesting keepsake, and really did make me feel like a princess for a moment.  Then I went shopping and bought some gifts for people with birthdays upcoming.

If you’re ever in a mall when it’s about to open, give this a try.  But please, yield to children!

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