Archive for January, 2012

28/01/2012

Taking a one week break.

I am, for personal reasons, taking a break from regular posting until Saturday the 4th of February. I apologise for doing this as I hate to be anything but clockwork regular in my posting of new articles. But for various reasons I desperately need to take a break from writing.

So see you all in a week with the second in my series of article on being a survivor of childhood abuse.

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26/01/2012

No Post Today.

I had planned to do a basic write up of the fun I had steampunking my foam dart gun for today. However yesterday I ended up vomiting, and feeling like my head was trying to detach itself from my body. So nothing got done. Today isn’t a whole lot better I’m afraid. So please be patient, and I’ll have something nice for Saturday.

Hey you can’t complain, you got a badly drawn cartoon. What more do you want?
24/01/2012

Five more awesome things about being transsexual.

No sooner had I finished my original list of awesome things about being transsexual, then I suddenly realised how I’d only barely scratched the surface. After all there’s just so many wonderful aspects to being transsexual, why stop at only ten? So here we go again. This time no numbers, no count down, just another five of my favourite things about being a transsexual, though in some cases they’ll equally apply to any gender squishy person. This list will be a bit more personal, so it will probably be even more oddball than the last one. Well regardless enjoy, and I’m sure we’ll be revisiting this yet again in the future.

———-

So let’s start with, breasts. Let’s face it boobs rock, and jiggle, and bounce, and feel oh so good when you…*coughs* Well let’s just say that after 26 years without a pair I was delighted to be gifted by the boob-fairy with a honkin’ pair of double-d’s. And they truly are Weapons of Mass Seduction.

———-

Of course being transsexual gives you a perfect ready-made explanation for that very natural exploration of your own sexuality.

“Look Mom, I’m who I want to be. I have a great pair of boobs, long legs, and an ass that jiggles quite nicely when it’s spanked. And I wanna find out what I really prefer in a partner. So I’m going to partake of the boys, and I’m going to partake of the girls, hopefully sometimes both at the same time. Yes Mom, some of the girls will have pretty girl-cocks. Sheesh. No Mom I’ll be careful, never mind a condom I’ll wear a Wellington boot if it’ll end this conversation sooner!”

———-

And so very little beats the looks of confusion in sex shops when you ask to see their selection of fleshlights.

“Taking a trip away?”

“No, why?”

“Oh well I thought you were getting a little “Don’t miss me.” present for your boyfriend…”

“Nope, just buying  a little present for me. I’ll need to see what your selection of vibrating glass, and metal buttplugs is like as well please. Oh and lube, lot’s of lube. Strawberry flavour if you have it.”

———-

One of my favourite personal moments of the last eight years has to have been the moment I realised I had my dream butt. Seriously, I have the butt I dream of having on a girlfriend. Not too big, not too small, nicely rounded, firm, but with just the right amount of jiggle. Last night in fact I realised to my joy that it jiggles ever so slightly when I wash my teeth. Not visibly you understand, but just enough that I can quite clearly feel it. That was a really great moment, and one I definitely would not have experienced without a huge amount of hormone therapy, patience, and the careful, scientific  application of chocolate. Now if only I had someone to worship my perfect bum. *sigh*

———-

Finally, for this time, I get to enjoy the wonder that is my ability to pee standing up in a public restroom. As horrible as male restrooms are, sometimes women’s can be even worse. I remember, back in the dark days of B.B.B. (Before Big Bewbs), how horrifying using a men’s restroom could be. The badly spelled graffiti everywhere. The way urine was sprayed seemingly everywhere, sometimes apparently including the ceiling, as if the urinaters had spent their time having a huge make-believe lightsaber battle, but with penises and their piddle. Then there were the sometimes disturbingly large holes in the stall walls, and the…organic objects that would sometimes be shoved through *Karate Chop!*. And last but definitely not least the way some guys seemed to think stall door was meant to be used as toilet paper.

Well in these halcyon days of A.B.B. (After Big Bewbs) I’m equally horrified by some of the women’s restrooms I’ve had the misfortune to enter. Those that are in bars, and restaurants are usually fine. They can be a little grubby, but at the very least you can be reasonably certain nothing is going to try to crawl up out of the toilet bowl before trying to invade your body, from below as it were.  However there are some which are, let’s call them interesting. Where you don’t just wipe down the toilet seat before you sit, you instead fire it up liberally with a flamethrower from across the room, before you even think about entering the stall. You’re sure you saw something moving on the floor…no OH GODDESSES that’s not carpet, that’s the actual floor, and it really IS moving.

In these places it’s a bonus to be a well-adjusted transsexual of the futagirl variety. There’s a toilet seat that makes you want a hepatitis test, just for looking at it? No problem just lift your skirt, a little jiggery pokery in your undies, and you too can safely pee without having to touch bare skin to eldritch horror.

Admittedly you will have to touch the flush handle, but hey you can always cut off that finger at home later, if it shows any signs of demonic possession. Better make it your little finger you use, just in case.

21/01/2012

Being an abuse survivor. Part 1. Admission.

I held off on writing this series of articles for a full year for many reasons. Because I wanted to be sure I would stick with my blog. Because I wanted to mature a little as a writer so I could do this subject justice. But mostly because I wasn’t ready yet. Well I am now.

I was abused as a child. Sexually by senior figures in the Irish Scouting community. Emotionally by my father. And physically in school.

There, that’s the admission made. But some of you have to be asking yourselves “Why is she writing this? It’s not like she has to.”

Actually I do. I feel there is a duty on those who succeeded in being survivors, not just victims, to pass on their stories, and what they’ve learned in becoming a survivor to those around them. A duty to pass on anything which might allow someone else to feel more peace with their own experiences. A duty to share information which might help a parent, a sibling, a teacher, a friend or anyone else to save a child from a youth spent in locked in a living hell.

But as with anything of this nature the first step is the admission.

This happened.

I am this.

I survived this.

I am a survivor.

Over the course of this series of articles I hope to share a little of what happened to me. How I didn’t cope with it back then. How I learned to cope with it over time. How I live with it now. I also intend to pop a few of the myths surrounding a history of abuse when it’s taken next to the future gender and sexuality of the victim. I hope to be able to give a sense of what to look for in young people, so that, perhaps, just perhaps, even one will be helped by my experiences. I have no idea how long this series will run. But I intend to put one up every 2nd Saturday from now until I’m finished.

Link to Part 2.

Link to Part 3.

19/01/2012

Favourite Steampunkable Toys – Tommy Air Blaster Tec 6

Over the course of the coming year one of my projects involves the creation of a Steampunk character. I’ve already spoken a little about this in my post about wanting to modify an old, unloved mandolin. But no steampunk character is complete without some weaponry that looks the part. Preferably for the first time out very cheap weaponry so that when I screw up modifying it I won’t cry too much.  So enter the Tommy Air Blaster Tec 6.

What will be my first attempt at a Steampunk weaponry mod. (image via nerfmodsreviews.com)

I bought mine last Thursday for the very reasonable sum of €8 from Smyths Toys. They do of course also stock many Nerf guns, but I decided to go with something cheaper to pop my modding cherry on. Besides I love the oddly organic look this toy gun has, and the internal mechanism is extremely simple, so I shouldn’t have an insane amount of trouble putting the damned thing back together when I’m done.

Okay so to review the toy itself. It looks great, though admittedly not as good as most Nerf guns. It’s pretty solidly built. I wouldn’t want to drop it from too great a height on to anything solid, but it should survive being owned by me. As a toy gun it works surprisingly well. It has a reasonable range being able to fire the length of my apartment (about 30ish feet). And despite having to be recocked by hand between shots has a nice rate of fire. The darts themselves are not my favourites. I much prefer the darts made by Nerf , but for a much cheaper toy they’re pretty good and the suction cups does allow for some fun to be had.

However, it’s about as accurate as a drunk guy peeing into a toilet with the toilet seat down. Yeah it’s going to be near the right place, but the next girl to use it will probably find herself wondering if she needs a hepatitis test. Also the grip is definitely made purely with children in mind as my little finger has nothing to hold on to, and ends up just dangling below.

My first modding project with one of these will be started tomorrow. At present I’m planning on adding a side-mounted rounded knob for the cocking handle, rather than that silver monstrosity that is currently used. The entire thing will have a matt black undercoat, followed by bronze and gold highlighting. Oh and of course some turquoise will find its way in there somewhere. Physical mods will be kept to a minimum, partially due to time constraints, partially due to my wish to be able to walk before I run. But If this is a success I think my next stop will be a nicely steampunked Nerf sidearm and rifle.

I will of course post an article on how this modding project goes, hopefully with pictures, assuming I can find a digital camera in this apartment that still works.

17/01/2012

My plans for my coffin!

I think it’s very clear by now to one and all that I am a gothgirl. In fact I’m one of the most cheery, happiest goth girls you’ll ever meet. No moping around, thinking about death, and writing lousy poetry for me. Nope. I’m off out to flirt with hot girls, eat sweet things, and generally enjoy life. But at some stage we all have to consider the ultimate destination of our lives. Death.

Actually you know what? Forget that. Instead let us speak of the awesomeness that are coffins, and the stupidity they represent.

Stupidity first. They’re hideously expensive pieces of woodwork, which will only ever be seen for a few hours. Then after those few hours they’re either;

a: buried, and slowly rot over the coming years, in a remarkably similar way to our current economic climate.

or

b: you’re hauled out of them and burned to a crisp. While the crematorium makes a further killing off of your loved ones investment in your eternal comfort, by reselling the damned thing to someone else.

This to me seems nuts. Coffins are expensive, according to the Irish Independent they start for a mid-range one in Ireland at about €800, and from there the sky is almost the limit. Though perhaps the Earths core would be a better limit to set, all things considered. How is this expense to stick someone in the ground not bat-shit crazy?

I on the other hand have a better idea. Let us consider the sage words of Miss Abby Sciuto, as portrayed by the divine Miss Pauley Perrette, shall we?

You see I’m totally with her on this. Not the sleeping in a coffin. I actually prefer a well sprung mattress, with a thick duvet, and a nice memory foam pillow myself. But getting years of enjoyment from your coffin? That sounds like a spiffing idea to me. So my plans? Well they all start with my being a woodworker.

Nope I’m not kidding, I really am a woodworker. So as soon as I have my own permanent place  of residence I’m going to build my coffin. I’m thinking a deep, deep almost black purple carbon fibre shell, with reclaimed, and upcycled mahogany or ebony (nicely carved and finished)  for the handles and decorations. Of course it must be lined in a really delicious deep purple velvet. Nice, and dark, but tasteful. But what to do with it then? I mean such a waste to build it and then just leave it in a shed for the next few decades.

I’ve had several ideas over the years since I decided on this course of action. In no particular order some of them included;

  • A drinks cabinet.
  • A coffee table.
  • A BDSM toybox.
  • A box for my carpentry tools.
  • A rather large bed for my puppy. (Imagine how cute a white beagle would look asleep in that!)
  • And finally my personal second favourite. A book-case for my BDSM and kink related books.

But I decided against most of them for various reasons which included causing my Partner in Crimes granddaughters to freak out, the danger of my puppy getting locked in, and the fact that there’s no way in hell my Miss would ever give up that BDSM toy box.

So now I’ve decided instead to build it, and then standing it on end use it as a case for my musical instruments. Just imagine that dark, beautiful coffin.

Can you see it? Good.

Now imagine it with two rows of hangers, the top ones for ukuleles, the bottom ones for mandolins. And the coffin filled to the brim with musical yumness.

So can you honestly say that that’s not a good idea? Years of entertainment, and happiness provided by my own coffin, built by my own fair, rather scarred  hands.

Admit it you want one! So in the future you can expect a series of articles not only on how this works out, but also on whether I still have a Partner in Crime at the end of it. *gulps*

And now back to Miss Pauley Perrette! *happy sigh*

*sigh* A dreamgirl or what? (Image via comicmix.com)

14/01/2012

Random Ruminations 1st Birthday! (was yesterday.)

Yesterday marked the 1st birthday of my blog, so I decided to do what I avoided doing for the 100th post, and take stock of my first year as one of those internet blogger type people, with some lists! Doesn’t everyone love a list?

My ten most popular posts of the year:

10. Some people love a parade, I love a broken Dell PC. And a few weeks on it’s still lying semi-rebuilt. Boy when someone bricks a computer they really make a masterwork of it.

9. Have a comic – No real post today. I was really surprised by the number of views this received. Perhaps I should work even harder on my drawing for the future?

8. A students guide to cooking – Detonated Potato. I recently received an email from a guy in London, apparently this is now genuinely his favourite way to cook the humble spud. I feel like Nigella Lawson, but even hotter.

7. BDSM How it could/should be – The Good Mistress    I wrote this post, the first of my BDSM themed ones, expecting a shitstorm to come hurtling my way. The storm never arrived, but some nice comments, and emails did.

6. My Top 5 Alternative Christmas Songs. Hey I still maintain that it isn’t X-Mas without the Sohodolls.

5. Top Ten Signs of an Irish Summer weirdly this year most of this post actually applies to January so far. Just goes to show that you simply can’t trust the Irish weather.

4. What do you really need from a gaming console emulator? Another surprise for me, I thought that this would be a throw away piece that one or two people would find useful. It turned out to be a hell of a lot more than one or two.

3. “…as the bishop said to the actress!” Hey when you’re already going to hell, you might as well exit with a giggle.

2. BDSM how it could/should be – The Good Slavegirl. I’m delighted that this post was so popular this year. It was written from a position of absolute adoration and awe for the submissives of this world. So I’m taking the complete lack of trollish comments that needed to be deleted as a sign that it’s a shared adoration.

1: Ever get the feeling that someone, or something is watching you?  Because you know sometimes being a dog owner is a truly disturbing experience.

My nine of my ten personal favourites, and why:

10: Any break up is hard to live with, for more than just the loss of love. Writing this marked the beginning of a period of intense growth for me. After this post went up I started a long process, which is still on going, of assessing myself in the hopes of understanding why I make the same mistakes, and suffer the same hurts over, and over. To say the least the conclusions to date have been eye-opening, and life changing.

9: Straight out of the mouths of babes, while you’re trying to be good. This won’t be the last entry for the Force of Nature, but it is one of my favourites.

8. Screw the future, I want to go back to the past. A short one but oh my how I adore my emulators.

7. The ten most awesome things about being – a ukulele player. I love my ukulele, I love playing music, and I love the phrase “ukulele badass”. What more needs saying?

6. The oddest experience. It’s probably a little self-serving to prefer diary type posts written by yourself. But they’re the ones that poured out after a moment of self-revelation. They mean a lot to me, and being able to share them in this way makes me extremely happy.

5. My daily newspaper, and the four-year old girl. The Force of Natures 2nd and last entry on this list, this post still makes me giggle when I think about it. And she still loves killing sheep and chickens in Minecraft.

4. Oh joy, it’s the Eurovision Song Contest. Crap the next one is getting closer again. Time to start dreaming of Composition 4, and radio detonators.

3. Top 10 “Fuck Yeah” songs of the 80’s. I wrote this as a giggle, I do after all have some very odd tastes in music. But it’s become my go to page for a housework playlist. Nothing quite takes away the sting of hoovering like singing “You’re the BEST around, nothing’s ever gonna keep you down!”

2. I’ve been thinking about PostSecret. Quite aside from simply loving PostSecret, this post led to my being on the receiving end of my first ever fangirl-gasm, at the hands of my very own Velma Dinkley. And now I’ll just have to wait for the second one.

Writing this blog for the past year has been on of the best learning experiences of my life. Not only has it forced me to improve my grammar, and punctuation, but because I have a tendency to research anything I’m not 100% certain of, it’s also been a catalyst for my ever-expanding list of random facts. Writing Random Ruminations has also led me to find fellow bloggers I hugely admire. (Ones who aren’t adopted little sisters, they already know I think that both they, and their writing rocks.)

Though none more so than the,

wonderous Miss Kana Tyler,

and

the divine Miss Victoria Oldham.

So I am off now to enjoy a day of celebratory not writing at all, and I leave you all with my personal favourite blog for the past year. I chose this one because despite being written for laughs it actually means a huge amount to me. Not least because it seems that Satan Claws read it, and decided that I deserved at least some of what I asked for. But mostly because I think the moment I wrote it I started to truly accept all the aspects of who I am. That’s right my favourite post from the last 12 months are

1. A Transgirls letters to Satan Claws. 2011.

So to all my readers, thank you for sticking with me over the past 12 months. And I hope that you’ll continue to find me entertaining enough to stick with for another 12.

12/01/2012

My Top 5 songs to play EVE Online to.

I love EVE Online. Nothing beats chasing down a pirate, and giving him a hot depleted uranium enema. But just as important as having the right weapons payload is having just the right set of tunes on your media player while you do it. So here are my own personal favourites to listen to while playing, along with the situations they’re best suited to.

5. Night Ranger – The Secret of my Success.

Originally used in the soundtrack to a wonderful Micheal J. Fox movie of the same name, I find this piece of music most conducive to making vast sums of money by playing the in-game market. Though admittedly I usually get distracted by something shiny and explodable before I make much money at all.

Best listened to screaming “GREED IS GOOD…BOOMS ARE BETTER!”

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLv6RjnyvVc%5D

4. Heather Alexander – March of Cambreadth.

Any one who has read John Ringo’s Legacy of the Aldenata is familiar with this one. Filled from beginning to end with crazy piping, heart pumping vocals, and one of the best choruses ever screamed by a transgirl on an exercise bike, this is the song to play when you send your destroyer screaming in for a knife range fight with a dozen pirate frigates.

Best listened to while slaughtering everything around you.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCrnF844_ww%5D

3. Bif Naked – I Love Myself Today.

Sometimes even in a computer game a girl just has to stand in front of a mirror, and consider a new look. A change of hair style, maybe a new color of lipstick…well whatever the change may turn out to be nothing helps get those “Damn I look good!” juices flowing like this gem from the delicious Bif Naked.

Best listened to naked while dancing in front of a mirror, and singing into the hilt of a sword, because you couldn’t be bothered to find a hairbrush. (yes I know that description is worryingly precise.)

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdpJh_zc6k8%5D

2. Blue Oyster Cult – Veteran of the Psychic Wars.

For everyone the day dawns when the battle is going against them. No matter how well set up your ship is, or how quick you are getting the right commands clicked. It just so happens that the bastard in the other ship has you outgunned 3 to 1, out-masses by 10 to 1, and has reinforcements on the way. You’re screwed, you can’t escape, and your clone hasn’t been updated so you’re going to lose weeks of character building. Those are the “everything has gone to hell moments.” Those are the moments tailor-made for this treasure from the back catalogue of one of the rock greats.

Best listened to when your back’s to the wall, and you know the gods of EVE have decided you’re time to suffer has come. But don’t worry you can go out swinging and come back for vengeance later.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mWGmzduYnU%5D

1. Within Temptation – Stand my Ground.

Sure for some this is a game of commerce, for others a way to make-believe exploration fantasies. For me it’s all about finding those Thermopylae moments. The one against many. Swooping in between some waste of genetic material, and the total newb he’s been torturing for hours, then opening up with everything you have. It’s like most MMO’s a way to let out that inner warrior, without winding up in prison with the nickname “Glove”. Well for those moments, when you find a set of Hot Gates to stand at, and someone worthy to protect for a few moments nothing I’ve found beats this wonderful piece of music by Within Temptation.

Best listened to while kicking some cyber bullies testicles so high that he’ll speak with a squeak for the rest of his gaming career.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sCkAvh50Vs%5D

10/01/2012

The start of a new project.

As I hinted in the second of my New Year posts I have several important projects starting this year. Well last Wednesday one of them came to a surprising start. My partner in crime had found in a local thrift store an old, battered, bowl-back mandolin. So the next day we wandered, and I purchased her for the princely sum of 15 euros.

She’s in dire need of a lot of T.L.C. The neck was damaged but repaired reasonably well in the past. An internal brace has lifted, though after a huge amount of research I know now that too is a fixable issue. The finish is badly chipped, and scraped. And the inlay around the pick guard has been tortured within an inch of its life. But she’s still a beautiful instrument, and after Sunday I believe she can have an amazing second life as a mandolele. (mandolin-ukulele hybrid. Well in fairness I’m a female/male hybrid so it’s an ideal instrument for me don’t you think?)

My new baby pre-repairs.

Sunday I decided to clean the dust, grease and gunk of the ages off. Then I repaired 2 minor dings on the soundboard. Then finally I test strung her with a spare set of Aquila ukulele strings.The change to a mandolele came because when I got her she had only two steel strings left, both were under tension, and you could practically feel the mandolin getting ready to implode when you touched it. It simply can’t take steel strings anymore. A shame, as I’m sure she was a sweet sounding instrument, and a joy to play when she was in her prime.

Regardless after I fitted the strings the moment came when I plucked a true note from her. Ukulele’s have a sort of furry-ness to their sound that I adore. Each note kind of buzzes ever so slightly, and after trying out dozens of ukes in shops across the country at this stage I’m pretty sure it’s a standard feature of their sound. I do truly love that fuzzy feeling. I think that it is part of what makes music played on a ukulele feel happy. But the note that came from my new toy was pure, sharp, fresh. It was the aural equivalent of the difference between watching a movie on VHS video,  and DVD. (kids if you don’t know what a VHS was, the porn your dad has stashed in his wardrobe is the reason you still have that odd thing that doesn’t play DVD’s under the telly.)

Well the end result of all this is that before Bella’s Steampunk Night I intend to complete all the repairs, and refurbish my future mandolele as a key part of my costume. On that day a new character will rise, a new alter-ego for Amanda Harper, a steampunk luthier, uke player, and all round hottie named…well that would spoil the surprise.

07/01/2012

Christmas trees are unacceptably smug, don’t you think?

So the silly season draws at long last to its close. The expensive presents have been given, the ludicrously calorific meals are a distant, and sometimes painful memory. There are a few of the tins of sweets which have a few forlorn coffee creams rattling around the bottom of them. But that’s it. Christmas/New Year 2011 is done, finished, never to be seen again. Thank frik!

Except it’s not, there’s still one last thing to be dealt with. Taking down the decorations.

Now I could speak about the horror that those nut jobs who deck out their entire houses, outside and in, with sparkly crap are currently going through. But I truly feel that if you had to insist on making your entire house look like the lighting department of a major electronics store puked on it, well you deserve what’s coming to you. Ten thousand lights? Robotic Santa’s? Motion activated singing reindeer? I mean seriously? What the hell were you thinking? Well whatever it was I bet the electricity company loves you right now.

No instead I will speak here about the hell that follows the more, discrete holiday decorator. Undecking the damn Christmas tree. After all everything else is a piece of cake. Garlands, and self-standing ornaments almost pack themselves away. But that six-foot, plastic tree in the corner just looks…smug. There’s no other word for it but smug. That sort of coniferous creep is taunting you, just standing there, still covered in fragile porcelain ornaments, and those blasted twinkling lights.

So you screw up your courage, and start to divest it of its many ornaments. Of course no matter how careful you are one crashes to the ground. Aww well one less to deal with next year. But that part goes pretty well. How can it not? You just lift them off, put them in a box and put them away. Childs play.

Actually this is one time of year it would be nice to have children. To make them take down all the decorations. “Hey kids it’s going to be just as much fun as putting the tree up was!” Then to watch their little hearts break as it dawns on them that there’s a whole year to go until the next one. Why it almost makes you want to sing this…

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4z8GK-Ikwbo%5D

Unfortunately the childs play section ends when the last of the ornaments, and strings of beads are taken down. Now you’re into the nasty part, the removal of the lights. I genuinely think that the manufacturers of these electrical torments design them so that they tangle. This of course leads to the occasional psychotic break, which leads to the second part of my conspiracy theory. The light manufacturers get a cut from the money made by psychiatric care world-wide. My evidence for this, let’s all it a suspicion? Why the fact that they tangle AS you carefully remove them from the tree. No matter how much care you take, as you wrap them onto a frame, or a piece of stick, or a handy passing child, they just tangle. So you’re standing there, staring at this birds nest of wires and bulbs, left horrified by the knowledge that in 11 months and a couple of weeks time you’ll be the one who has to untangle them again.

But it’s done then, finished. Nothing more to do but polish off those last few sweets, and bask in the glow of a de-yuled home. Oops forgot to take down the tree. Needless to say that’s about the time when the tree bites, extracting its pound of flesh. For is it not written (here admittedly, but it’s still written) that the dark yuletide gods require their blood sacrifice before they will allow their avatars to go quietly into their annual sleep?

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