Traitor Or Patriot?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Snowden Traitor or Patriot

A lot has been written about Edward Snowden, the NSA employee who leaked files of secret documents to the public. Some of the reaction has been in praise of him as a patriot and some of it castigating him as an enemy of the people and a traitor.

So who is right?

I guess that depends on your point of view.

If you think the government did the right thing snooping illegally on its own people and on its allies, then you are probably in the camp that wants to see Snowden shot as a traitor.

If you think Snowden did the right thing to expose the deceit and crimes of government agencies so that the general public became better informed about what was being undertaken in its name, then you are probably in the camp that wants Snowden left alone.

There is no ambiguity in which camp the government resides. It wants to see Snowden repatriated to the US to face numerous charges that would result in him – perhaps not being shot – but certainly spending a long, long time in prison. It’s not about punishing Snowden, it’s about sending a message to other like-minded government employees.

To back up their claim to have Snowden punished, the press is continually being leaked stories of how Snowden put lives at risk because of his revelations.

Sunday Times Snowden smear

For example, take the latest claims leaked to a British newspaper is that Russian and Chinese intelligence analysts have decrypted some of his Snowden’s stolen files and have been able to identify US and British secret agents as a result. Apparently personnel has had to be withdrawn from overseas operations in hostile countries because their identities have been “blown”. It’s an unlikely scenario because the vast majority of ‘spies’ hold diplomatic posts in embassies and as such have the benefit of diplomatic immunity if exposed.

And there have also been counter claims denouncing stories like these as ‘smear tactics’ used by the government without any evidence to support them. The counter claimers also point to the fact that the latest newspaper to carry the government’s leaked story is Rupert Murdock’s ‘Sunday Times’, the very same source that carried the government’s leaked dossier on Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction, every single “fact” in which proved to be a lie.

Cynics also point out that this latest anti-Snowden non-story in the British press has been timed precisely to coincide with the British government’s new Snooper’s Charter act, which enables the security services to access all internet activity. Convenient to say the least!

As for Snowden himself, he says that when fled the US he took four copies of a cache of top secret documents lifted from the NSA’s intranet but handed these over to carefully selected journalists and no longer has them in his possession.

Naturally NSA sources dispute this, arguing that when Snowden defected to Russia he took the files with him.

Once again who you believe depends on which camp you are in.

It is possible that Snowden is lying, but it is also possible that he is telling the truth.

If it is the latter it is a reasonable assumption that any leaks of his documents after he left Hong Kong have been the result of the files being hacked or stolen from the journalists he passed them on to.

When you think about it, journalists are not intelligence or computer experts and probably were an easy mark for the hackers. Even the more security conscious ones invariably use encryption programs such as PGP, TruCrypt and Tor, which are all vulnerable to the kind of hacking available to the US and other governments.

For what it’s worth, my money is on the government’s latest leak being more bullshit. When you’ve clearly done something wrong, and want to keep on doing it, it’s always cool to be able to distract the crowd by blaming someone else.

So it’s not my fault.

it's not my fault

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Watch This Space!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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classified space shuttle mission

Have you ever wondered what all those space shuttle flights were about? Not the headline grabbing ones, but all the others. Everybody is at it, the US, Russia, China, the EU….

That’s the ones we know about. There have been many others that are never publicized.

And then there is the question of what happens to whatever it is they put up there when they have served whatever purpose they were originally sent up there to do. They call that bit “space junk”. Except sometimes it isn’t junk at all. It only looks like it.

space junk

For example, the Russian government says it recently detected a group of satellites that are spying on Russia while orbiting the Earth camouflaged as “space junk”.

They made the announcement rather appropriately on April 12, which ever since 1961 is known as “Space Day”, when Russia commemorates Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering voyage into outer space.

There wasn’t so much junk about in his day. Now it is estimated that there are 100,000 objects orbiting planet Earth on any given day. So plenty of cover to hide your spies.

spy satellite

Apparently these ‘disguised-as-junk’ spy satellites are designed to collect signals from Russian telecommunications and other electronic systems.

So far the Russians aren’t saying who these junk satellites belonged to, or whether it had tried, or was going to try, to shoot them down or disable them.

Chinese junk

It would be rather appropriate given the name ‘junk’ if they turned out to be Chinese, but with America’s recent record for snooping on the whole world you’d find it hard to rule them out of the silent running.

Watch this space!

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Old Professors Never Die. They Just Lose Their Faculties.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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I probably should have said that they lose their faculties and end up as a pun.

In case you haven’t guessed it yet, today is another Pun Day.

So….

Enjoy or endure!

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rofl

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I call my house Lautrec

because it’s got two loos.

two loos

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Beauty is in the eye

of the beerholder.

Beauty is in the eye of the beerholder

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The UN. Bringing us all together

by ending conflicts around the world.

Peace by Peace.

The UN

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Turns out my ex girlfriend Big Amy

had a secret husband.

If only there had been some clue.

Big Amy

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Lawyers are like rhinoceroses:

thick-skinned, short-sighted

and always ready to charge.

rhinoceros

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Hey girls,

get yourself a Fisherman,

they’re reel men.

Fisherman

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How did I escape Iraq?

Iran

escape Iraq

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My Dermatological Clinic

just wished me Merry Eczemas.

Merry Eczemas

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My wife suggested I go for

acupuncture treatment to cure me

from making annoying timber puns.

I can’t see why that woodwork.

acupuncture treatment

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Let me correct you –

the London Underground

is not a political movement.

Lancaster_Gate_tube London Underground

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It’s ironic that discus isn’t a sport

that many people talk about.

discus

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The Lawn Tennis Association’s website

has a fault they are having

problems with their server.

the_-lawn_tennis_association

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Many Americans oppose any change

to The Second Amendment of the

United States Constitution.

They’re really sticking to their guns.

The Second Amendment

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I ordered a whole duck at the

Chinese restaurant last night!

It was great until I got to the bill.

whole duck at the Chinese

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Last night I dreamt I was

writing ‘Lord of the Rings’.

Turns out I was Tolkien in my sleep.

 Lord of the Rings

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Let’s Not Have A Barney About These Facts.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hi, and welcome to the fasab blog.

Today is fact day with another random selection of hopefully interesting things to learn.

Enjoy

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did you know1

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In gangster slang, a boxing match

that is fixed is called a ‘barney’.

boxers

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In 2009, one of the twelve surviving copies of

Edgar Allen Poe’s first book ‘Tamerlane and Other Poems’

was sold at Christie’s Auction House for $662,500,

a record price paid for a work of American literature.

Tamerlane and Other Poems

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Isaac Smith was a commissioned officer in

the Royal Navy and the cousin of Captain Cook,

with whom he explored the then-New World.

Smith also became the first European to arrive in eastern Australia

and the first man to create survey maps of various Pacific islands and coastlines,

including Tierra del Fuego in South America.

Despite all his pioneering in the world of exploration

he is best remembered as the last survivor

of James Cook’s first voyage in the South Pacific Ocean

aboard the HMS Endeavour, from 1768 to 1771.

Midshipman_Isaac_Smith

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Research suggests that dark chocolate boosts memory,

attention span, reaction time, and problem-solving skills

by increasing blood flow to the brain.

Dark chocolate can also improve the ability

to see in low-contrast situations (such as poor weather)

and promote lower blood pressure.

Yum!

dark chocolate

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On average, 35 meters of hair fiber

is produced on the adult scalp.

Really???

shaved_head

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Ant colonies range greatly in size from

a few dozen individuals to many millions of ants.

The largest ant colonies are called ‘supercolonies’ that create

giant ant hills sometimes thousands of miles long.

The largest supercolony covers over 3,700 miles,

and has over 1 billion ants.

african_ant_hill

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Most toilets flush in E flat.

toilet

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The largest building in the world by volume

is The Boeing Everett Factory, in Everett, Washington,

which was originally built for the construction of the Boeing 747.

It has a volume of 472,370,319 cubic feet (1.7495e+7yd³)

and an area of almost 100 acres (40 ha 4685.6m2).

The Boeing Everett Factory

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Oak trees can live 200 years or more.

angel-oak-tree-l

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Astronaut John Glenn is a decorated World War II veteran,

one of the first American astronauts in history,

and one of the epic Mercury Seven.

Glenn was also the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth

and the fifth astronaut in history to go into space.

At the age of 93 he’s the last remaining astronaut of the Mercury Seven

and one of the very few surviving astronauts (American or Soviet)

of the Space Age that began in the late 1950s.

John Glenn

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A less successful astronaut was a Chinese man called Wan Hu,

a sixteenth-century local government official during the Ming Dynasty,

who had ambitions to travel to the Moon by means of a

special chair he designed with 47 attached rockets.

After lighting the rockets,

instead of shooting the ambitious government official into the air,

the rockets exploded, killing him.

Wan Hu

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When Pluto was first located by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930

it was just given the generic name Planet X.

It was named ‘Pluto’ by an 11-year-old girl,

Venetia Burney of Oxford, England.

Venetia Burney of Oxford, England

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Want somewhere quiet to eat?

Then try Nicholas Nauman’s restaurant called ‘Eat’

in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York,

which features nothing special except for the fact

that you cannot speak while dining there.

Apparently it was inspired by his life-changing stay

at a Buddhist monastery in India,

which made him want to create a place

where people could enjoy silence.

The silent dinners became so popular that nowadays,

people have to book their tables in advance.

restaurant called ‘Eat’

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The first toilet stall in a public washroom is the least likely to be used

and therefore also likely to be the cleanest.

first toilet stall in a public washroom

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The character of Michael Myers

was named after the European distributor of

John Carpenter’s previous film,

Assault on Precinct 13,

and apparently this was the director’s way of

saying a kind of weird “thank you” for the

film’s incredible success throughout most of Europe.

Michael_Myers

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Did You Know? – Americans, Chinese, French, Greeks, There’s Facts About All Of Them In Here!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes, today is a bit of a multi-cultural fact feast.

Hope you enjoy.

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did you know2

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Brown eyes are actually blue,

under a layer of melanin.

blue eyes

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Billionaire Chuck Feeney donated most of his fortune

anonymously and with no recognition,

while flying coach, owning a $15 watch,

and having no cars or homes.

Billionaire Chuck Feeney

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George Washington was surprised to discover

that the Chinese were not white.

(I wonder how surprised they were to find out he was?)

chinese drawing

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When it first opened in 1955 Disneyland had

a lingerie store on Main Street called The Wizard Of Bras

The Wizard Of Bras

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In the mid 1800s France gave a crucial patent

in photography as a free gift to the world…

except for Britain who had to pay for it!

photographing the eiffel tower

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Disaster comes from the Greek

“dis” meaning bad,

and “aster”, meaning star.

The ancient Greeks used to blame calamities

on unfavorable planetary positions.

disaster-sign

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If you are in a room with 23 people,

there’s more than a 50% chance that

two of the people have the same birthday.

Birthday_Paradox.svg

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There are more tigers living in Texas

than in the rest of the world.

tiger

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While serving as sheriff of Erie County, N.Y.,

Grover Cleveland had to spring the trap

at a hanging on two occassions.

This earned him the unflattering nickname

“Buffalo Hangman.”

Grover Cleveland

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Workers at Amazon’s distribution centers

can be expected to walk up to 11 miles per shift,

picking an order every 33 seconds.

Amazon's distribution centers

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The shortest French word with all

five vowels is “oiseau” meaning bird.

oiseau

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Des Moines has the highest per capita0

Jello consumption in the U.S

Des Moines jello capital

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In 1770 the British parliament passed a law

condemning lipstick, stating that

” women found guilty of seducing men

into matrimony by a cosmetic means”

could be tried for witchcraft.

law condemning lipstick

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Mr Feng, a Chinese father, hired a bunch of assassins

to kill his son’s online World of Warcraft character.

Apparently his son was wasting too much time after being laid off.

Mr Feng, World of Warcraft

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Spencer Eldon was the name of the naked baby

on the cover of Nirvana’s album

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If It’s Facts You Want Here They Are!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes, here they are.

Fifteen more fabulous facts for you.

Hope you find something of interest in this selection.

Enjoy.

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did you know2

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When Canada’s Northwest Territories considered renaming itself

in the 1990s, one name that gained support was “Bob.”

nw-territories

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Some cats are allergic to humans.

cat

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The largest flag ever made was unveiled in Romania on May 27th 2013;

it weighed 5 tons and used 44 miles of thread.

largest flag ever made

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Walt Disney refused to allow Alfred Hitchcock to film at Disneyland

in the early 1960s because he had made “that disgusting movie Psycho.”

psycho

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George Washington insisted his continental army be permitted

a quart of beer as part of their daily rations.

quart of beer

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In Japan,

letting a sumo wrestler make your baby cry

is considered good luck.

sumo-wrestlers-make-babies-cry-in-japan-1

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Alaska is so big you could fit 75 New Jerseys in it.

Alaska's size relative to contiguous USA

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Sunglasses were actually invented by the Chinese but not to block the sun.

They were used by judges in courtrooms to hide their emotions.

Chinese-Judge

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In 1999, the U.S. government paid the Zapruder family

$16 million for the film of JFK’s assassination.

Zapruder film Screen-Shot-1963-11-22-at-6.16.58-AM

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The last widow of a Civil War soldier died in 2003.

Gertrude Janeway was 18 when she married 81 year old John Janeway in 1927.

When she died she was still receiving a monthly check for $70

from the Veterans Administration for a military pension

earned by her late husband on the Union side of the American Civil War.

The amount spanned three centuries.

last widow of a Civil War soldier

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Tasmania, Australia has the cleanest air in the inhabited world.

Tasmania-in-Australia_Splendid-beaches_27

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The Code of Hammurabi decreed that bartenders

who watered down beer would be executed.

(And quite right too.)

Code of Hammurabi

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During WWI, British tanks were initially categorized into “males” and “females.”

Male tanks had cannons, while females had heavy machine guns.

British WW1 Tank

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Bikini designer Louis Reard said

a two-piece bathing suit couldn’t be called a bikini

“unless it could be pulled through a wedding ring.”

Bikini

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Sigourney Weaver actually made that

‘impossible’ basketball shot in, Aliens: Resurrection.

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Raw toast is an ideal bread substitute.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Word play day, or more puns if you like that description better.

Endure or enjoy, preferably the latter!

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rofl

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“Let’s order some Chinese.”

“To do what?”

Chinese army

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I remember in 1995 when I went to an Oasis gig with my sister and my brother.

When the band came on stage I shouted, “Go Oasis.”

I never saw my sister after that.

Oasis-gig-at-Heaton-Park

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If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?

pig-clip-art-2

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I went into the hardware store and said,

“These shelves you sold me are useless. I couldn’t even…”

The cashier said, “Put ’em up?”

I said, “Okay, you wanna fight about it? Come on then!”

fight

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I was taking some notes the other day,

when I was arrested and escorted from the bank.

bank_robbery

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I’ve just started a new job at the local slaughterhouse, stunning cows.

…And some of the sheep are pretty good looking too.

cartoon-cow_art

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Did you hear about the neo Nazi builder?

He liked to drill with the bosch.

bosch drill

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As I stood on the tube this morning I thought to myself,

“My pringles are getting crushed”

pringles

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My Pokemon card collection was destroyed in a fire.

I’ve only got Ash now.

Ash

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I was perfectly happy in Mississippi,

Then Mr Sippi came back early from his business trip.

young-man-running-away

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I love watching videos of lakes and rivers on the internet.

I’m viewing a live stream right now.

mossy_stream

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My friend said he met a prostitute who connected a battery charger to his bits.

I said, “Woweee, how much did she charge you?”

Electric Shoc

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Two pencils decided to have a race.

They drew.

cartoon-pencils-friends

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My friend said he’s going to set a new standard in pubs

by opening one on the top of a mountain.

Personally, I think he’s raised the bar too high.

man on top of mountain

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Tattoos are great for preserving memories,

otherwise I would have totally forgotten about those anchors.

popeye-sailor anchor tattoos

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