Calling the quarantine hotline



1. Police board to launch restricted impartial overview of August 18 actions

A Halifax Regional Police officer wearing a mask in the midst of a crowd and has his gloved hand raised

A Halifax Regional Police officer in the course of the August 18, 2021 encampment clearances in Halifax. Picture: Zane Woodford

“Halifax’s Board of Police Commissioners is shifting forward with an impartial civilian overview of the police actions of August 18, 2021,” Zane Woodford experiences.

The board had thought-about launching such a overview final fall, however was ready on a authorized opinion to find out if it had the authority to take action. Woodford writes:

Coun. Lindell Smith, chair of the board, mentioned the opinion opens the door to a restricted overview.

“The board doesn’t have the authority to analyze, in the entire, the incidents of August 18 however we do have the authority to analyze elements associated to governance, oversight and coverage,” Smith mentioned.

Coun. Becky Kent learn from the opinion, which Commissioner Carole McDougall attributed to lawyer Dennis James.

“It’s my opinion that the Board of Police Commissioners does have the authority to create an impartial civilian overview committee as outlined within the movement, of which the overview can’t embrace a overview of police conduct or particular person officer conduct,” Kent learn.

Woodford’s story additionally covers different objects on the agenda at yesterday’s Board of Police Commissioners assembly, together with Halifax Regional Police chief Dan Kinsella’s promise to truly make some police insurance policies publicly accessible on-line, and a suggestion that the police take part in a overview of sexual assault investigations.

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2. QEII redevelopment delayed by “market circumstances”

The brick facade of the Victoria Building at the VG site of the QEII.

The Victoria Constructing on the Victoria Basic web site of the QEII Well being Sciences Centre in July, 2021. Picture: Yvette d’Entremont

Michael Gorman of CBC experiences that the tender for redeveloping the Halifax Infirmary ⁠— a serious a part of the QEII undertaking ⁠— has been delayed. Gorman writes:

“Resulting from present market circumstances, we’ve got been requested to increase the monetary shut of the [Halifax Infirmary expansion project] by a number of months and are working towards that extension,” a press release to CBC Information attributed to officers with the departments of Well being and Public Works reads…

It’s troublesome to know what constitutes market circumstances, as per the federal government’s assertion, however inner paperwork obtained by CBC present Nova Scotia’s booming inhabitants — notably within the Halifax space — has created considerations that the plans for the infirmary have to be revisited.

The paperwork are from an inner presentation in February for officers related to the redevelopment. They present the anticipated inhabitants development of the province is already outpacing projections from 2015 when planning for main hospital redevelopment tasks throughout the province began to take form.

It is smart to pause an enormous undertaking if it turns into obvious that as deliberate it would seemingly be insufficient as quickly because it opens. (Designers of the Bayers Highway multi-use lane take observe.) What I don’t perceive is the necessity for secrecy right here. It’s good to delay the undertaking? Tremendous! What’s improper with telling us why?

And don’t get me began on the enterprise language that continues to contaminate public service and tasks. Is an elevated inhabitants a “market situation” for a hospital? Apparently, as a result of the interior paperwork Gorman refers to additionally name for “enterprise instances” for the potential addition of packages and companies to the undertaking.

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3. Certain, let’s begin mining coal once more

 A protestor in a blue baseball cap and mask with a floral print stands holding a sign on cardboard that says no more coal, no more oil, keep those fossils in the soil #landback

A protester holds an indication studying, “No extra coal, no extra oil, preserve these fossils, within the soil #landback, on the College Strike for Local weather Change in Halifax on Sept. 24, 2021.  Picture: Zane Woodford

Within the Chronicle Herald, David Jala writes about “coal’s final likelihood” and the potential re-opening of the Donkin mine, now that the worth of coal has gone by means of the roof:

Manufacturing at the mine began in 2017 however was stopped in March 2020 attributable to geological considerations underground. It was reported that as many as 14 roof falls have occurred on the Donkin mine. Nonetheless, the entire mining gear stays on-site and the mine has not been sealed. A small workforce is employed to maintain the shafts ventilated and dry whereas idle.

George Karaphillis, outgoing dean of Cape Breton College’s enterprise college, tells Jala it is smart to reopen the mine:

“No one is investing in coal mines as a result of coal is checked out as a dying business that was not purported to be wanted anymore, nevertheless it seems that the demand is rising yearly,” mentioned Karaphillis.

“The factor about coal and fossil fuels is that they’re dependable and reliable sources of power. There isn’t any ready for the wind to blow or the solar to shine.

“And the mine house owners have already made the capital funding so it wouldn’t take a lot cash to re-open.

You’ll not be shocked to study that Mary Campbell of the Cape Breton Spectator has some moderately snide snarky* ideas about all this. She writes:

Do you know that fluctuations out there worth of coal have a direct influence on the geological circumstances in coal mines?

When the worth of coal rises, these circumstances magically enhance.

The mine was shut down and thought of unsafe when coal was low-cost. However now that it’s costly?

It’s a usually accepted undeniable fact that when coal hits over $300 US, coal seams stabilize, rockfalls stop and governmental stop-work spontaneously self-destruct.

What’s extra, whereas emissions themselves stay, concern over emissions and all ideas of local weather change vanish into skinny air.

Conversely, although, when coal costs drop, geological circumstances deteriorate, so regulate the worth of coal, notably coking coal, which soared to dizzying heights in March however has fallen 30% since.

* Campbell clarifies right here use of language.

As with the Examiner, the Cape Breton Spectator is subscriber supported, and so this text is behind the Spectator’s paywall. Click on right here to buy a subscription to the Spectator, or click on on the photograph under to get a joint subscription to each the Spectator and the Examiner.


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4. Throwing shade

A black and white photo of a pair of RayBan sunglasses

Picture: Giorgio Trovato/Unsplash

How do you steal $45,000 value of sun shades from the mall?

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Time is a social assemble

A train stopped at a station platform in Germany.

This prepare runs on time. Picture: Philip Moscovitch

On Saturday night time, we invited a really small group of individuals over for an out of doors gathering: snacks and a bonfire, to have a good time a pal’s birthday. It was a particularly low-key shock get together. The pal celebrating her birthday was invited for quarter-hour later than everybody else.

I’m going to pause right here to share just a few salient information. I used to be born and raised in Montreal, and lived there till I used to be 30. My mom is Greek, and my father, who lived his whole life in Montreal, was of jap European Jewish extraction. My companion was born within the Maritimes, however lived in Montreal for greater than a decade, together with throughout a few of her early life.

Our first set of company have been invited for 7:30pm. I totally anticipated them to come back someplace between 7:45pm and 8pm. Positively not earlier than 7:45.

At 7:25, as I used to be beginning to prep the snacks, I heard automobiles within the driveway. What? The company have been right here now? Why? What the hell have been they considering, arriving early?

I vividly keep in mind my mom’s horror when some American relations confirmed up not simply on time, however early. My mom was nonetheless vacuuming after they pulled into the driveway. She went on about how impolite this was for years.

On Saturday night time, I wasn’t vacuuming. We already had chairs and a desk close to the firepit, so we received the fireplace going and waited for our visitor of honour, the birthday celebrant.

A salient truth about her: she was born and raised in Montreal and can be half Jewish. Half an hour after the time we’d informed her to come back, she nonetheless hadn’t arrived. Now this was extra in keeping with what I used to be anticipating.

Having the company arrive sooner than I anticipated wasn’t an issue, nevertheless it did strike me that I nonetheless haven’t totally assimilated native expectations round time.  That view was confirmed when I went on Twitter and wrote this:

Greater than 20 years in Nova Scotia, and I’m nonetheless shocked when folks flip up on the time they have been invited for.

Some folks replied to this with bafflement. After all folks flip up on the time they have been invited. Why wouldn’t they? A number of mentioned that they had no thought anyone would take into account this bizarre. Some mentioned should you’re not 5 minutes early, you’re late (in a single case, 10 minutes late). After which there have been the judgmental scolds. One among them replied with this:

It’s a present of respect. In case you present up late, it means you possibly can’t be bothered to go away on time or that the event isn’t all that essential to you in comparison with what you have been doing earlier than you confirmed up.

And, as a result of it’s Nova Scotia, somebody needed to level out that being late is a come from away factor:

We’re all robust believers in Vince Lombardi’s ideas on promptness. Additionally we respect and worth different folks’s time. Fashionably late is a ‘come from away’ time period.

(I consider Vince Lombardi was a soccer coach; I do not know what his ideas on promptness have been, nor do I care to seek out out.)

Social constructs and assumptions are fascinating, as a result of we hardly ever cease to contemplate them until we’re encountered with cultures which have completely different ones. Time is considered one of these. To the punctuality-at-all prices sorts, being late is disrespectful. Saying you count on folks at a sure time and never truly anticipating them to reach at the moment appears absurd. However should you come from a tradition the place perceptions of time are extra fluid, and the place the worth of punctuality doesn’t outweigh the relative significance of an appointment, you would possibly see issues in another way.

A 2019 paper within the journal Cross-Cultural Analysis refers to “occasion time” and “clock time” cultures:

In clock time cultures, actions are scheduled and decided by the clock (“It’s 6 o’clock, it’s time to eat”). These cultures have additionally been known as monochronic cultures, by which one exercise is scheduled after one other… Time is a useful resource, one thing that’s mounted, as if it have been materials… Enterprise and achievement are more likely to be extra essential than social issues in a clock time tradition… One illustrative instance relating to lateness particularly comes from Germany, the place “arriving too late” seems as quantity 6 within the checklist of prime 10 of subjects folks dream about most steadily.

Occasion time is completely different:

In distinction, occasion time cultures depend upon how social occasions form the start, length, and ending of actions (“Now that we met on the street, let’s eat”). This kind of tradition could also be seen as polychronic, by which folks use time much less purposefully than monochronic, with frequent switching between actions, and mixing social and work actions. Particularly, social obligations and sustaining relations with out offending anybody weigh closely and coming throughout as pleasant, moderately than skilled and environment friendly, is essential. Though the clock is used, a extra elastic thought of time use is current than in clock time cultures.

You may see how this could trigger some friction for folks working in multinational organizations. In an article from the Harvard Enterprise Assessment, Andy Molinsky describes an American supervisor annoyed with Italian colleagues:

He was annoyed by his Italian colleagues, who have been recurrently late for conferences. Because of this he ended up padding his schedule, including in an hour of “slack” time, simply to take into consideration their tardiness. This was notably irritating for the supervisor as a result of it meant he in the end had much less time to schedule different actions and infrequently, consequently, ended up working late to make up for missed time.

Molinsky continues:

And it’s not simply People and Italians; I’ve heard related tales from Germans annoyed with the dearth of timeliness from their Indian and Brazilian colleagues. I actually have MBA college students from everywhere in the world who typically mimic the cultural norms of their nations by way of arriving to class: the German and Swiss college students arrive 10 minutes earlier than the appointed time, and my Brazilian college students saunter in properly after the bell has sounded. And simply the opposite day, I heard a narrative a couple of Japanese agency who was so annoyed with their American counterparts due to their lack of punctuality with a deadline that the battle threatened the whole working relationship. On this case, the deliverable was solely quarter-hour late.

Generally lateness is used as a solution to undertaking energy. Keep in mind how Stephen McNeil would flip up late for nearly each single COVID-19 briefing? He was letting these pesky reporters know that their time was not essential. This wasn’t a cultural factor, like, say scheduled bus occasions could be.

In a 2005 story, LA Occasions workers author Jane Engle notes variations between Italy and Switzerland:

In Switzerland, the land of watches, trains actually do run like clockwork.

“If I’m 30 seconds late, the prepare is gone,” mentioned Michelle Kranz, who commutes each day into Lucerne, the place she works for the vacationer board.

Step throughout the border, and also you’re in a unique universe.

Italy has two rail schedules: the one printed within the brochure and one other, flashing updates, on a board within the station. The primary could also be a fantasy; the second, actuality.

I’ve skilled this distinction myself. I can keep in mind ready for a streetcar in Zurich, seeing that it was scheduled to reach in 30 seconds, and figuring it could be late because it was nowhere in sight. Twenty-nine seconds later, it pulled as much as the cease. A second later, we have been boarding.

Against this, final month on the Greek island of Syros, we checked the bus schedule on-line, noticed there was a 2:05 bus for the city we needed to go to, and headed right down to the station. A bus pulled in at 2:05, nevertheless it was dropping folks off after which parking. One other bus got here after that, after which a 3rd. The bus to the place we needed to go arrived nearer to 2:30. If that occurred right here, I might be irritated as hell. In Syros? Not a lot. Just about what I anticipated, actually.

After all, cultures are usually not monolithic, they’ll change, and people inside a tradition might not like or comply with the norm themselves. However stepping exterior these norms can take a whole lot of work. In case you dwell in an occasion time tradition however you count on folks to be punctual, you’d higher make that clear, and count on to make it clear again and again.

One Greek cultural norm is to say no if you’re supplied one thing, no matter whether or not you truly need it or not. My suspicion is that this grows out of a mixture of satisfaction and a historical past of poverty: no one needs to be seen as needing one thing, or needs to be ready of making obligation. So this little dance occurs: I supply, you say no, I supply once more, you politely decline, I supply a 3rd time, you say sure.

My mom hates this. She moved again to Greece after spending practically 50 years in Canada, and she or he’s informed all her mates and relations that if they need one thing they need to simply say sure, as a result of she’s not going to maintain asking. And if she says no, she means no, and also you don’t want to supply once more. She says folks finally received this, nevertheless it took a very long time.

Once we first lived in Nova Scotia, I used to be perpetually late. One among my youngsters not too long ago mentioned he doesn’t assume he ever arrived at a celebration on time as soon as throughout his childhood. (I believe he could also be exaggerating.) I spotted that coming on the time you’re invited is a social norm right here, and I don’t need to be impolite. However by some means I nonetheless don’t have the expectation that company will arrive on the invited time.

And to the one who wrote “I might have been ready exterior for quarter-hour till the invited time“? You’re not being invited again.

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A white man in a yellow jacket leans against a payphone. On the wall behind him is a poster that says "Leave me a voicemail."

Vuk Dragojevic, the creator of The Quarantine Hotline is photographed by a payphone, in Toronto, Thursday, July 8, 2021. (Cole Burston/The Globe and Mail).

Vuk Dragojevic is a 37-year-old Toronto-based photographer and documentary maker with a ardour for avenue pictures. However the early pandemic made that not possible — or not less than not notably satisfying.

“As soon as every week, I might do 4 or 5 hours [of photography] out on the street, in order that type of turned virtually like a weekly remedy session for me,” Dragojevic informed me in an interview. “And when the pandemic hit, I discovered I used to be actually lacking that engagement with public area, folks, strangers.”

So he arrange a voicemail hotline, and peppered Toronto (and, to a lesser extent, Hamilton, Guelph, and Montreal) with posters for one thing referred to as The Quarantine Hotline  that mentioned, “Depart me a voicemail.” Near a thousand folks did, and Dragojevic has collected lots of these calls in a five-part audio sequence referred to as The Quarantine Hotline.

Tattered poster on a pole showing an illustration of a hand holding a phone and with the words Leave Me a VoiceMail and a phone number.

One among Vuk Dragojevic’s posters, as seen in Toronto in September 2021. Picture: Philip Moscovitch

Dragojevic got here up with the concept partly as a solution to keep contact with folks. Initially, earlier than he made up the posters, he noticed the undertaking as being primarily for family and friends. His social group: “What’s everybody doing? How’s everybody feeling?” However, he mentioned, because it turned clear the pandemic and its disruptions have been going to last more than just a few weeks, he determined to increase the undertaking, asking strangers to name.

The posters have been an invite to take part in “a pandemic audio time capsule:”

Share your ideas and observations concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.

Have a narrative to inform? Itching to get one thing off your chest?

What’s in your thoughts?

Something goes.

Name and depart me a voicemail. The road is free, nameless, and open 24/7.

Going out postering “turned one other type of weekly ritual for me,” Dragojevic mentioned. “Going out in public area and interesting with the road once more.”

Like avenue pictures, it additionally allowed him to have interaction, albeit at a distance, with folks he may not in any other case encounter. “I used to be shocked on the sorts of individuals this was reaching… Individuals I by no means would have come throughout in common life. We’re far more caught in these social bubbles than we wish to admit,” he mentioned.

The hotline episodes have been launched over the previous couple of weeks, with the ultimate one dropping just a few days in the past. Dragojevic has divided the calls into thematic and loosely chronological chapters referred to as Bored and Scared, Consuming Unhealthy Soup, Vaccine, Lovesick, and Simply One other Day. He’s additionally made the undertaking accessible, with captions on the display for many who can’t hear the voicemails.

Bored and Scared actually captures the sense of the early pandemic — the emotions of confusion, worry, and in some instances anger. (“Pandemic, my ass.”) One artist calls in and says he’s by no means bought extra artwork in his life. Individuals are dwelling, they’ve more money, they usually need one thing stunning to take a look at. A younger girl who has been homeless for a very long time mentioned she was moved out of a shelter and right into a resort room, and it was the primary time in her life she had her personal toilet.

Many individuals, understandably, are confused, scared, undecided what to do.

Right here’s one of many calls:

So… I’m actually bored um…and scared as a result of I don’t know what’s taking place on the planet. I ended watching the information, so I don’t even know the numbers anymore. I don’t know what persons are planning on doing. I similar to sit at dwelling and simply take sooner or later at a time. Additionally, it’s bizarre as a result of I actually haven’t seen anybody for a very long time. I‘ve been forgetting tips on how to work together with folks, and, the bizarre half is that I don’t even wanna exit of the home, like… I’m type of comfortable to remain in. Like, I do know I ought to be like eager to exit and have enjoyable however I don’t need to. Like, I hate everybody. The longer I keep in, the extra I hate folks. I believed I might be unhappy, and I’m not and I hate everybody, so that is type of good. Yeah. That’s it. Thanks.

Chapter 3 opens with a very memorable name about somebody’s motivation to get vaccinated:

OK, I do know that I’m purported to need my vaccine in order that I… you understand, I’m contributing to herd immunity and, like, defending all these folks that may’t be protected or don’t have good immune methods. Like, I do know that the sooner all of us get our vaccines, the sooner the pandemic will likely be over. I do know that there ought to be, like all of those good causes to need a vaccine, however, I simply… I simply wanna be fucked. I simply need to have intercourse. And I simply, fucking…hit me up with that good juice in order that I can get juiced.

Lots of the calls are considerate. Some are deranged. Some are from callers upset about their deranged family and friends. A not insignificant quantity are pranks. Dragojevic mentioned, “It was tempting to make a complete episode on pranksters… The slicing room ground is simply filled with pranksters. And I’m OK with that. It’s humorous, however you get the sense that this wasn’t severe for everybody. It’s just a little bit generational, I discovered. Some folks took it severely, some took it as a joke.”

There are a number of repeat callers within the undertaking. One man is being saved awake by a vibrating sound, and develops every kind of theories to account for it:

My different suspicion was maybe a secret authorities underground lair, uh… housing a big generator just like that in, like, Stranger Issues.

Finally, he figures it out, and the reply is totally prosaic:

So I discovered what that buzzing sound was, the place it was coming from. That, that… wroom… wrooom… wroooom… Yeah, it was a… it’s a vent on the aspect of the home and the cap fell off. Come to consider it, it did type of sound like, like a didgeridoo or one thing. Yeah. Whomppp… whooomp… whoooooo…

Dragojevic mentioned:

He referred to as many, many, many occasions, and thru him and different calls you get the sense that is fairly cathartic and therapeutic for folks, even when they don’t know precisely what they’re contributing to. There may be some catharsis there for them. It did turn out to be this thriller, and each night time I might get a name with the most recent on the thriller… And after this complete conspiratorial factor, it’s only a free pipe on the aspect of a constructing… Generally it’s the best rationalization.

A lot has been written about how the 1918 flu pandemic was largely forgotten. (This was truly a shock to me, as a result of my paternal grandfather’s first spouse died within the pandemic, so I grew up realizing about it.) And even now, persons are rewriting historical past. Just lately somebody was tweeting nostalgically concerning the early days of the pandemic, after we have been all apparently dancing and baking sourdough bread. A number of of the hotline callers commend Dragojevic for eager to create a document of the pandemic, whilst many need to simply transfer on. He mentioned:

Lots of people are carried out, need to transfer ahead, the nice and cozy climate’s right here — I believe we’ll see how related this stays within the months and years forward… .

How will we hear again? How will we keep in mind this unusual time?… Personally, it’s essential to me. I simply had a child a few months in the past, and I’ve been considering loads about what the world will likely be like, what tales she’s going to listen to and what lasting results are going to be round when she’s rising up. It’s fascinating.

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Halifax and West Neighborhood Council (Tuesday, 6pm) — digital assembly


Audit and Finance Standing Committee (Wednesday, 10am, Metropolis Corridor) — agenda

Heritage Advisory Committee (Wednesday, 3pm) — digital assembly

Regional Centre Neighborhood Council (Wednesday, 6pm, HEMDCC Assembly House, Alderney Gate) — agenda


Veterans Affairs (Tuesday, 2pm, Province Home) — Seamless Canada: Overview of Group, with Col. Stéphane Boucher; additionally Agenda Setting

On campus



Artwork Gallery Exhibition Tour with Frances Dorsey (Tuesday, 11am, Dalhousie Arts Centre) — from the itemizing:

Be a part of Plant Kingdom curator Frances Dorsey for a tour of the exhibition at Dalhousie Artwork Gallery, adopted by a stroll by means of the brand new corresponding pollinator backyard throughout campus. Dorsey will talk about a number of the concepts that prompted the exhibition and the works included. The tour will spotlight the ways in which the completely different artists approached their artworks and the methods they work together with the plant world by means of each theme and materials. This tour will likely be partially exterior so please gown accordingly for the climate. No registration is critical.

Ecosystem Triangle Planting (Tuesday, 11am, behind Shirreff Corridor) — Volunteers will likely be working with Dalhousie MREM graduate, Samantha Ceci, and Amenities Administration to put in a brand new Ecosystem Triangle in a naturalized space behind Shirreff Corridor.

PhD thesis defence: Interdisciplinary PhD program (Tuesday, 1pm, on-line) — Matthew Perkins-McVey will defend “Pondering with the Physique: How Morphine, Alcohol, and Different Intoxicants Intersected Our bodies and Minds within the Emergence of the Organic Topic.”


Campus Backyard Tour (Wednesday, 12pm, in entrance of Hicks Constructing) — hosted by the Dalhousie gardeners

Saint Mary’s

Jordan River Anderson, the Messenger (Tuesday, 1pm, Sobey 255) — free movie screening & dialogue of Alanis Obomsawin’s 2019 movie

Within the harbour

06:00: Contship Leo, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from New York
06:00: Berge Nimba, bulker, arrives at anchorage from IJmuiden, Netherlands
06:45: Humen Bridge, arrives at Fairview Cove from Norfolk, Virginia
08:30: NYK Romulus, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for sea
11:30: CMA CGM J. Adams, container ship (140,872 tonnes), arrives at Pier 41 from Colombo, Sri Lanka
12:00: Berge Nimba sails for sea
16:00: MSC Pratiti, container ship, arrives at Pier 41 from Genova, Italy

Cape Breton
05:30: Nobleway, oil tanker, sails from Level Tupper for sea
06:00: Polar Prince, tender, arrives at Mulgrave from Halifax
09:00: NSU Challenger, bulker, arrives at Chedabucto Bay anchorage from Baltimore
09:00: HMS Protector, ice patrol ship, arrives at Liberty Pier 2 (Sydney) from Halifax
15:00: NSU Challenger sails for sea


Gravestone of William Pryor Binney of Halifax.

William Pryor Binnie of Halifax is buried in Syros. Picture: Philip Moscovitch

  • Talking of Syros, we have been shocked to come back throughout this headstone in a cemetery there. Craig Ferguson, who runs the Useless in Halifax Twitter account, presents some background on Binnie:

This man was the scion of Haligonian aristocracy. His dad was the Mayor of Halifax in 1841. His grandmother was a Creighton. His grandfather was the Anglican bishop. His maternal grandfather based the financial institution that turned CIBC

  • As we speak is each the solstice and Nationwide Indigenous Peoples Day.

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