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Ballistic Pressure Wave Theory Confirmed in Human Autopsy Results

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Pasteur, Oct 10, 2009.

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  1. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    Many have asserted this. Dr. Fackler bent the stick in this direction. Some went so far as to maintain that the temporary stretch cavity has no significant effect on wounding or stopping. This is a mistake I believe.

    There has been ample evidence over the decades that both the temporary stretch cavity and any "pressure wave" or "hydro static" shock can and do cause damage.

    What is true is that only the permanent wound cavity (the hole caused by the bullets course in the body) can be relied on to stop anyone or anything (deer, hog, etc.). This is because of the many variables involved in bullets striking a body.

    Leave us suppose that we have a good bullet design in a good caliber for the job and look at what effects how a bullet performs. Leave aside things like body type, weight, sex etc. all of which will themselves greatly effect how a bullet performs and the outcome (effect of a 30-30 round at 75 yards on a 6'4" 300 pound 24 year old male versus a 60 yr. old, 5'4", 140 pd female for example). Suppose also that we strike an area which is not the CNS.

    Col. Frank Chamberlain's work decades back showed us a variety of things which determine the effects of "pressure waves" as well as varying factors in wounding. For example; how soon after a meal someone is shot. Gunshot wounds are more damaging within the first one to three hours after a meal, depending on shot placement of course. Hydration makes a difference. Wounds tend to be less severe in a dehydrated man or animal. Temperature makes a difference. When a person is cold and shivering wounds tend to be less damaging. A relaxed person will tend to show more damage from a wound than will a tense expectant one (all other factors being equal).

    These things and others, are true. But even here there are individual variations. This is especially true when it comes to pressure waves and their effect. Shot placement is what determines the outcome and is what can be relied on. The better the shot placement the more likely we'll get the out come we're looking for.

    tipoc
     
  2. Pasteur

    Pasteur Member

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    Let’s summarize the facts about the supporting evidence for remote BPW effects in published data:
    1) Pressure pulses inducing incapacitation and brain injury in laboratory animals.
    2) Ballistic pressure waves originating remotely from the brain causing measurable brain injury in pigs and dogs.
    3) Remote ballistic impacts producing rapid EEG suppression in animal experiments where the probability of EEG suppression and death increases with pressure magnitude.
    4) Experiments in animals showing the probability of rapid incapacitation increases with peak pressure wave magnitude.
    5) Epidemiological data showing that the probability of incapacitation increases with the peak pressure wave magnitude.
    6) A variety of remote injuries attributed to stress/pressure waves in ballistic injuries in the Vietnam War.
    7) Brain damage occurring without a penetrating brain injury in human case studies.
    8) Ballistic pressure waves causing spinal cord injuries in human case studies.
     
  3. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    Let's summarize the facts about the supporting evidence for reliable BPW effects in producing reliable, rapid incapacitation of a determined attacker, an attacker high on drugs, or an attacker that's psychotic:
    1)
    2)
    3)
     
  4. DAVIDSDIVAD

    DAVIDSDIVAD member

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    Good point, Shawn; most people don't know that drugs are magic, and allow a human body to ignore chemistry.
     
  5. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Pasteur, I still don't see where you have shown the difference between BPW and simple hydraulic pressure spikes. What is the evidence separating the two?

    Also, you seem awfully gung-ho to convince people about BPW effectiveness, even from handguns. Why? Why is it that you feel it is so important people believe your theory?
     
  6. Pasteur

    Pasteur Member

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    Good to hear from you, Shawn. I hope you’ve been well. Thanks for bringing this up. It would be a fallacy to assert that BPW is 100% effective at the power levels available in handgun loads. That is not the point. No mechanism is 100% reliable at producing incapacitation within the short time span of most gunfights with the levels of power available in handguns.

    The question is whether loads with higher BPW give a tangible advantage in producing more rapid incapacitation, on average. Considerable published data says that loads with higher BPW confer a tangible advantage. If a loved one is sick, would you ignore a treatment option because it did not guarantee 100% chance of success? In a life and death situation, who would not be interested in options offering a higher probability of success simply because there was no 100% guarantee?

    The ballistic pressure wave is defined as the force per unit area caused by a ballistic impact that can be measured with a high-speed pressure gauge. Some examples were posted earlier in this thread, and a number of the published papers discuss readings from pressure sensors used in laboratory studies. Ballistic pressure waves have fast rise times (microseconds), short durations (milliseconds) and very large local magnitudes (100-2000 psi). Systemic vascular pressure spikes such as those that might be caused by chest compression during CPR or a vehicle accident have much longer rise times and much smaller magnitudes (< 10 psi).

    It’s quite a stretch to suggest that the ballistic pressure wave theory originated with anyone this decade. The earliest scientific references I’ve found are from a WWII trauma surgeon, Frank Chamberlin, and publications from the WWII era laboratory of Harvey et al. at Princeton University. There is also significant published support for remote wounding effects in a Vietnam era study published by R.F. Bellamy, an Army trauma surgeon. Significant support was published by scientists with the Swedish Armed Forces in a series of papers from 1987-1990. These were the first studies that demonstrated remote wounding effects were possible with handgun levels of energy transfer. A neurologist named Dennis Tobin also published work in the 1990’s suggesting remote neurological effects were possible for handgun bullets. In the 1990’s a shock wave scientist at Cal Tech attributed remote spinal wounding to a handgun bullet in a case study of a 9mm injury and a team of military doctors published a paper attributing remote cerebral effects to a 9mm Makarov bullet in a case study. In 2004, ballistic researchers at the Third Military Medical University in China published a study supporting that remote cerebral injury was possible with energy transfer as low as 200J.

    My personal interest is both as an educator – that sound science be based on published findings rather than “expert” opinions that are not backed up by published data AND as a certified self-defense trainer – that ammo selection should reasonably consider BPW magnitude along with other commonly accepted selection criteria including reliable expansion, penetration, ergonomics, etc.
     
  7. armsmaster270

    armsmaster270 Member

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    I shot a man in the chest with a 38spl +P+ 110gr JHP, The coroner stated it literally blew the heart to shreds but there was no mention of bleeds in the Autopsy Report. If there was enough H. Shock to blow the heart to shreds I would think that should affect the circulatory system. Or could it have been stopped by all the one way valves in the system.

    Note Subj drinking Tequila and huffing Toluene
     
  8. Taniwha

    Taniwha Member

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    I`m sure it would be possible. Similar physics to barking a squirrel i`d guess
     
  9. Pasteur

    Pasteur Member

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    Handgun loads to the chest do not produce brain hemorrhaging that is visible to the naked eye, so detection depends on the sensitivity level of the histology to mild TBI. Forensic autopsies tend to be focused on the cause of death. How can we know for sure if the 1984 autopsy of a rapist who died of a GSW to the chest would have included brain histology of sufficient sensitivity to detect mild TBI?

    The available data suggests that detecting distant wounding effects in the brain require the use of advanced techniques such as specific stains in high-power light microscopy, electron microscopy, and biochemical analysis. Even so, damage is often detected in some regions of the brain but not in others. Damage that is easily visible upon cursory inspection requires much larger pressure waves than produced by handgun bullets. A study by Knudsen and Oen suggests that 30g of penthrite exploding in the thoracic cavity often produces easily detectable damage in the brain (of whales).

    I always wondered if it was a pressure/stress wave that did in the squirrels or the bullet/bark fragments produced by the impact. I lean toward the fragments in this case.
     
  10. makarovnik

    makarovnik Member

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    My head hurts.
     
  11. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Even if true, how has it been determined that the micro bleeds in the study cited in the OP are from pressure waves versus being from vascular pressure (hydraulic) pressure spikes? You claim the study confirms BPW theory, but in no place of that study was there any proof given that the damage caused was by BPW and not vascular spikes. About half the subjects were drunk which can also produce micro bleeds. The author theorized that the bleeds could be from BPW, but in no way could prove this of separate it from a hydraulic spike produced by ballistic impact.

    Okay, why are you so gung ho on trying to convince people of this on gun forums of all places? How is this supposed to be helping us? How does misrepresenting the OP study as supporting your conclusions (the claimed confirmation) actually serve to educate us?
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2009
  12. dom1104

    dom1104 Member

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    We think we are so smart.


    We dont know nothin in the end.


    Just shoot people with bullets and stop thinkifiyin it.
     
  13. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    God gave me a brain, that's why I think....:D Besides, it can be fun and profitable to think.
     
  14. Pasteur

    Pasteur Member

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    What is your basis for excluding “a hydraulic spike produced by ballistic impact” from the ballistic pressure wave, which is defined as every force per unit area produced by a ballistic impact? The rise time and the time scale of the pressure transient reaching the brain does not exclude a “hydraulic pressure spike” from the definition.

    Without implanting pressure transducers in the brain, which cannot be done in humans, we cannot know with 100% certainty whether the observed brain trauma is due to the high-speed fast rise time component of the BPW or to a slower, longer vascular component of the BPW that originates with temporary cavitation. However, several animal studies have used pressure transducers implanted in the brain, and these have uniformly shown that a high-speed, fast rising, short duration ballistic pressure wave reaches the brain and causes neural damage.

    Consider the work sponsored by the Swedish Defense Forces carried out by doctors in the departments of Neurosurgery, Histology, and Surgery at the University of Gothenburg and published in the Journal of Trauma (Vol. 27 No. 7, pp. 782ff):

    The kinetic energy from a high velocity projectile which strikes the body and moves through it, is to some extent transferred to the adjacent tissue as a pressure wave which moves radially out from the trajectory with a velocity of sound in tissue (3,4,8). These pressure waves have been recorded, e.g., in the stomach of cats (3), in the aortic arch of dogs (1), and in the abdominal cavity of pigs (15) after the animals have been hit in the thigh by high-velocity missiles.

    We attempted to test the hypothesis (1,10) that pressure waves may induce damage to the nervous system. To test this hypothesis, pressure waves were recorded in the abdomen and in the brain of pigs injured by a high-energy missile hitting a hind leg. Circulatory and respiratory parameters were simultaneously recorded. Evaluations of the blood-brain and blood-nerve barriers were carried out. . .

    The blood-brain damage demonstratable in small vessels was noticed primarily in the brainstem and basal ganglia.

    A paper published in the journal Brain Injury specifically predicted remote brain injury in humans shot in the chest. This prediction was based on the prior observations of pressure wave transmission and concomitant injury in animal studies such as those quoted above, as well as incapacitation studies showing a strong relationship between rapid incapacitation and pressure wave magnitude. In humans, the only realistic observable is the distant brain injury, and this predicted observation has been confirmed. Since the remote brain injury occurred in 33 of 33 cases that met the selection criteria and was not observed in a control group that included stabbing and other deaths by exsanguination, the conclusion that the observed brain injury was caused by the bullet impact is reasonable.

    The science of wounding mechanisms is usually considered relevant to parties interested in ammunition selection. There is a lot of published evidence showing that, on average, bullets that produce larger pressure waves incapacitate more quickly than bullets producing smaller pressure waves (other factors being equal).
     
  15. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    What is the origin of this definition?

    Pasteur, is there a reason that you have ducked the question asked you earlier about a connection between you and Dr. Courtney?

    tipoc
     
  16. NMGonzo

    NMGonzo Member

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    I want to see the raw data.

    I want to see the MRI's
     
  17. Balog

    Balog Member

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    Two good ways to tell if something is valid or "junk" science.

    Does the proponent of the theory take a flawed test (sample size, correlation vs causality, signifigance of micro-bleeds in incapacitation etc), misrepresent the findings, then claim it as "zomg proof!!1!1!!eleventyone!!" of their pet theory?

    Does the proponent of the theory use deceptive practices (faking a different user account) to attempt to gain credibility?
     
  18. DAVIDSDIVAD

    DAVIDSDIVAD member

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    I see a lot of unwarranted butt hurt in this thread.

    It's not like any of you are scientists, and care about the scientific method, so what gives?

    Why would Courtney's study being correct, in any way, shape, or form, cause you discomfort?


    Is Dr. Courtney selling anything to you guys?


    Why the butthurt?
     
  19. Pasteur

    Pasteur Member

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    Measuring ballistic pressure waves with high-speed pressure transducers has a long history including the studies at Princeton in the 1940’s by Harvey et al. Dr. Karl Sellier at the Institute of Legal Medicine in Bonn also performed some experiments of this type. In work funded by the Swedish Defense Forces, Suneson et al. implanted pressure sensors in live animals and also recorded ballistic pressure waves reaching the brain and brain injury. Lee et al. also consider the “ballistic wave” to be the force per unit area created by a ballistic impact in their 1997 paper on ballistic waves. Harvey et al. wrote:

    It is not generally recognized that when a high velocity missile strikes the body and moves through soft tissues, pressures develop which are measured in thousands of atmospheres. Actually, three different types of pressure change appear: (1) shock wave pressures or sharp, high pressure pulses, formed when the missile hits the body surface; (2) very high pressure regions immediately in front and to each side of the moving missile; (3) relatively slow, low pressure changes connected with the behavior of the large explosive temporary cavity, formed behind the missile. Such pressure changes appear to be responsible for what is known to hunters as hydraulic shock--a hydraulic transmission of energy which is believed to cause instant death of animals hit by high velocity bullets (Powell (1)). The magnitude and time relations of these pressures have recently been recorded by the Princeton Biology Group, using tourmaline piezoelectric crystal gauges (Harvey et al. (2)). The part they play in wounding has also been analyzed (Harvey et al. (3)).

    Many participants in internet forums maintain their privacy and the privacy of their colleagues by using login names that preserve their privacy and by maintaining their privacy when asked invasive questions.

    The OP reasonably asserts “confirmation” (rather then “proof”) because an important published prediction (brain injury in human GSW patients shot in the chest) has been observed in 33 of 33 autopsy cases that met the selection criteria for inclusion. Such brain injury was not observed in the control group. When considered along with the volume of literature demonstrating remote CNS effects in live animal studies, case studies, and an epidemiological-type study in humans, the totality of the published evidence is compelling. The fact of many published studies with positive findings, but not a single published data set with a negative finding, makes it clear that all the published data and the majority of the published authors support the validity of the view that ballistic pressure waves can produce remote damage in the CNS.

    Consider, for example, the pressure wave findings of Karl G. Sellier. The International Journal of Legal Medicine describes Dr. Sellier as “recognized internationally as a leading scientific expert” in wound ballistics. He served as a professor at the Institute of Legal Medicine in Bonn and is widely published in wound ballistics. In the book, Wound Ballistics and the Scientific Background, Sellier describes “Cell damage and histological damage in tissue caused by shock waves.”

    A generalized consideration is that the degree of cell damage will depend upon the amplitude. Thus, a low shock wave amplitude will only disturb cell functions (reversibly), while a high shock wave amplitudes can destroy cells and their functions. There probably is a threshold below which no cell reaction will take place (analogous to the threshold of shock-wave-induced nerve stimulation). Pressure measurements made by Suneson et al. (1987, 1989, 1990 a-c) on the upper thighs, abdomens and brains of pigs after firing at the left upper thigh have already been described in Section 7.2.2.2. Along with these tests, histological studies were also made to determine eventual changes or damage to cell structure caused by shock waves. These results will now be presented, using some medical expressions. For the non-medical layman we can summarize by saying that according to the intensity (amplitude) of the shock wave, reversible functional disturbances or irreversible changes in the cell structure could be observed.
     
  20. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    Pasteur,

    I believe you misinterpreted my question. In a previous post you offered what appears to be a new definition of "ballistic pressure wave" when you said...

    This is in contradiction to Harvey's description of a variety of trauma generally considered to be the result of "pressure waves" which you quoted above...

    Your new definition limits the injury to a specific type only indentifiable by a specific measurement with specific tools.

    If you did not mean to insert a new definition of what "pressure wave" injury is, and one contrary to Harvey, Chamberlain, Courtney, etc. please clarify. If you do have a new definition clarify that as well. If you do I can ignore it.

    To those who asked, I said before that I believe that Pastuer is not Courtney. I still believe that, more so now.

    tipoc
     
  21. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Because the original misattributed and linkless claim that the Krajsa study confirmed BPW theory was completely bogus. It did not confirm it as Krajsa didn't have the tools or methodology or controls to test for it. Krajsa himself theorized as to the cause of the bleeds only. When one theory is made in support of another theory, it is not confirmation of the latter theory. It is not part of the scientific method.
     
  22. DAVIDSDIVAD

    DAVIDSDIVAD member

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    That's the what, Double Naught.

    I'm wondering why people are so offended by Pasteur.


    Also, in before various "I'm objective, not butthurt, etc..."
     
  23. Pasteur

    Pasteur Member

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    I apologize for any confusion. It was not my intent to offer a different definition from published researchers, but rather to paraphrase published consensus and describe how ballistic pressure waves differ from other pressure transients. A reasonable definition of ballistic pressure wave includes any pressure transient produced by a ballistic impact, and this seems to agree with Harvey and other publications. I added the bit about being measurable with a high speed pressure transducer to emphasize the fact that these can and have been measured. For example, Figure 13 of the Harvey paper, THE MECHANISM OF WOUNDING BY HIGH VELOCITY MISSILES (http://www.jstor.org/pss/3143359) , shows a BPW measurement that includes the fast component as well as the relatively slow component associated with temporary cavitation. Even the slower component associated with temporary cavitation is much faster and larger than pressure transients associated with chest compression in CPR or auto accidents; this is a point of description, not a definition. Blunt ballistic impacts (less lethal projectiles) may produce ballistic pressure waves more comparable with pressure transients caused by chest compression during auto accidents. Many published graphs, such as the one on the Wikipedia page for “Hydrostatic Shock” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrostatic_shock ) and the ones in the Suneson et al. papers and the Lee et al. paper zoom in on the fast part of the BPW.

    Different authors describe ballistic pressure waves differently, but I don’t think any really have differing definitions in view. For example, Martin Fackler describes a “sonic” or “shock” component and a “transverse” component associated with the temporary cavity. Harvey’s description (my favorite, quoted above) also includes both. Here is a definition and description offered by Courtney and Courtney, which seems to follow the reasoning of Lee et al.:

    The ballistic pressure wave is the force per unit area created by a ballistic impact that could be measured with a high-speed pressure transducer. The bullet slows down in tissue due to the retarding force the tissue applies to the bullet. In accordance with Newton’s third law, the bullet exerts an equal and opposite force on the tissue. The average pressure on the front of a bullet is the retarding force divided by the frontal area of the bullet. The pressure exerted by the medium on the bullet is equal to the pressure exerted by the bullet on the medium. Because the frontal area of a bullet is small, the pressure at the front of the bullet is large. Once created, this pressure front travels outward in all directions in a viscous or viscoelastic medium such as soft tissue or ballistic gelatin. Propagating outward, the wave’s decreasing magnitude results from the increasing total area the pressure wave covers.

    Short of implanting pressure sensors in human brains, what kind of confirmation would be more convincing to you? Animal studies with pressure sensors implanted in the brain? Confirmation by third parties? Publication in a peer reviewed journal?

    The previously published prediction of handgun bullet hits to the chest producing brain injury was confirmed by the fact of observed hemorrhaging 33 of 33 cases that met the selection criteria and by the absence of similar observations in the control group. Krasja’s interpretation is not a necessary component of the confirmation of the prediction of the theory. (Of course it doesn’t hurt that the author cited references discussing the BPW debate, and describes the data as supporting the theory.)
     
  24. Odd Job
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    Odd Job Member

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    I have been trying to get that information from the Czech researcher but I get no reply. It's not like I asked any awkward questions, such as why he cited your Wikipedia article on hydrostatic shock in his dissertation ;)

    If all 33 of the cases exhibit these microbleeds, then you have a problem since the likelihood of all those cases just happening to match your 1000psi criterion for handgun BPW effects is really slim. There will definitely be cases in there where the pressures involved are not adequate to match your threshold for BPW requirements.
    There may well be a microbleed component of ANY thoracic GSW but the problem we have in that case, is that you can't then offer the microbleeds in support of your BPW theory, because they will be present even in low psi impacts (which therefore means that those microbleeds can't be associated with the <5 sec incapacitation that your BPW claims) and they won't have any significance clinically.

    That's the problem.

    Anyway you have specified that a positive finding on the Military Acute Concussion Evaluation (MACE) in the presence of a GSW to the chest is indicative of mild traumatic brain injury which (in the absence of other factors) has to be from the BPW. That's fine, let's go with that.
    Why don't you get a sample of those also? It is an attractive study because it is low cost, doesn't involve equipment or drugs and will be well tolerated by the patients. You've spoken about specialist magnetic resonance imaging: well you can't use it in live GSW patients who have any projectile fragments in situ, or who have ferrous equipment attached to them that can't easily be swapped in the acute phase (unacceptable costs and risks).

    MACE is the way to go, in my opinion.
     
  25. Odd Job
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    Odd Job Member

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    It's quite understandable. The Michael Courtney web persona has to be buried because of some very rash and unfortunate postings made under that name in years gone by. They don't help his research, so a neutral alias is needed.
    The other thing is that his (Michael Courtney's) angle on this research is continuously changing. Rather than have a tortuous trail of endless debates and incarnations of his theory attached to his name directly it makes more sense to have a neutral alias instead of something that Google can pin directly to his forehead. Can't blame him for doing that, he wants as clean a slate as possible in the lead-up to a commercial proposition.
    That is all there is to it. He probably asked the moderators if he could cease posting under Michael Courtney and continue with Pasteur. He can neither confirm nor deny that Pasteur IS Courtney, of course.
    The two of them are alike in their posting styles, grammar and points of view and the circumstances under which Courtney disappeared and Pasteur was born gives this whole situation a comical slant. It reminds me of a typical Columbo episode: the suspect knows that Columbo knows, and Columbo knows that the suspect knows that he knows, but the charade is continued nonetheless.
     
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