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I have used Movable Type for the last five years of teaching World History. I am using the beginning of the 2012-2013 year to shift over to the WordPress system most other MPA blogs are using...

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Q4 - Lesson #40 - Unit #8 "Two-Minute" Review

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We'll spend our last two days together reviewing the material from this unit. If you want to post anything to the blog, you can do it on this entry.

Congratulations on surviving two years of World History at MPA.

UNIT 8:  Perspectives on the Present

Chapter 33:  Restructuring the Postwar World (1945 - Present)       
    1    Cold War:  Superpowers Face Off
    2    Communists Take Power in China
    3    Wars in Korea and Vietnam
    4    The Cold War Divides the World
    5    The Cold War Thaws
Chapter 34:  The Colonies Become New Nations (1945 - Present)       
    1    The Indian Subcontinent Achieves Freedom
    2    Southeast Asian Nations Gain Independence
    3    New Nations in Africa
    4    Conflicts in the Middle East
    5    Central Asia Struggles
Chapter 35:  Struggles for Democracy (1945 - Present)       
    1    Democracy
    2    The Challenge of Democracy in Africa
    3    The Collapse of the Soviet Union
    4    Changes in Central and Eastern Europe
    5    China:  Reform and Reaction
Chapter 36:  Global Interdependence (1960 - Present)       
    1    The Impact of Science and Technology
    2    Global Economic Development
    3    Global Security Issues
    4    Terrorism
    5    Cultures Blend in a Global Age

HOMEWORK for the end of the quarter...

Your VIP MPA World History Journal article is due.

Your packet of Chapter 36 quizzes should be turned in by tomorrow.

Here are the Unit #8 Identifications and Essays. Remember that you write the Unit #8 Essay out of class, and they are due no later than upon your arrival to the Final Exam on Thursday. (It's at 8:45 AM in the Nicholson Center.) No computers are allowed in the Nicholson Center, so you should have your ID notes printed out in advance.

The Extra Credit - World History Film option, should you choose to do it, is due to be emailed to me no later than the end of Friday, June 8th. (That's 11:59:59 PM.)

Q4 - Lesson #39 - China Since Tiananmen Square

This is it. It's your last "regular" lesson in World History 9/10. We will take a look at the events in China in the midst of 1989, the same year the Berlin Wall fell in Germany and European communism was on the retreat. In China, the outcome will be different.

China: Tiananmen Square and After

Let's take a quick look at some of the events leading up to Tiananmen Square.

  • "It doesn't matter if a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice." - Deng Xiaoping
  • "Poverty is not socialism. To be rich is glorious." - Deng Xiaoping
  • "Reform is China's second revolution." - Deng Xiaoping


To try and make sense of the events surrounding Tiananmen Square, let's try and answer these questions.

  • What led the students to gather in Tiananmen Square?
  • What options did the government have in dealing with the protesters?
  • What happened in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989?
  • What was the reaction of the world to these events?
  • Why did events unfold in this manner in China?

"Massacre in Tiananmen Square" - BBC on This Day (June 4, 1989) This is the actual story that appeared on BBC News.

Here is a set of documents about Tiananmen Square released from the National Security Archives of the United States. They make for interesting browsing.

Here is the website for the documentary film, "Tiananmen: The Gate of Heavenly Peace."

China After Tiananmen:  More than twenty years have passed since the events of 1989, and China has certainly undergone rapid change since then. We can briefly discuss the general direction of those changes, and there are some links below in which you may be interested.

"Chinese learned to live with reform" - This BBC story looks at the legacy of Deng's reforms thirty years after they were put in place.

"Taiwan Flashpoint" - Check this out if you're interested in learning more about China's position on Taiwan and the potential threat posed in the region.

"Where next for post-Games China?" - This takes a look at China's options following the end of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.

Any remaining time is yours to work on whatever needs working on...

HOMEWORK for tomorrow - Friday, June 1st

We'll do the Unit #8 "Two-Minute Review" on Wednesday.

Your VIP MPA World History Journal article is due next Monday or Tuesday.

Your packet of Chapter 36 quizzes should be turned in next week. Yes, you are free to use your book as you complete them.

Remember that you write the Unit #8 Essay out of class, and they are due no later than upon your arrival to the Final Exam on Thursday, June 7th.

Q4 - Lesson #38 - The Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe

We'll check in on changes in Eastern and Central Europe today, before wrapping things up with a look at events from Tiananmen Square forward in China tomorrow. We'll also aim to get you some working time yet this week before next Monday's final "Two-Minute" Review.

Just to clarify:

  • Essay: Due by the time you arrive at the Final Exam.
  • Identifications: You do this at the Final Exam.
  • DBQs: You do this at the Final Exam.
  • Multiple Choice: You do this at the Final Exam.
Remember, no computers are used during the Final Exam, so any note sheet for the IDs needs to be printed out in advance.
Here's a link to the Extra Credit - World History Film opportunity...

Changes in Central and Eastern Europe:


You are several others will be assigned a country. Your job is to prepare us a "travel guide" of sorts for that country. However, we won't be asking questions like, "Where should we stay?" and "What should we eat?" Instead, focus on the following:

  • If at all, how did the fading of communism affect your country?
  • How did the country reassert its independence after the decline of the Soviet Union?
  • What have been some of the key challenges facing your country?
  • Who are the people, groups and/or events we absolutely should know?

These are the countries which we will be "touring" together today:

  • Poland
  • Hungary
  • Germany
  • Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic and Slovakia)
  • Romania
  • Yugoslavia (see below)


By the way, in an attempt to minimize confusion, here's the current status of the former Yugoslavia. These countries have been created: Bosnia and Herzogovina, Croatia, Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. Kosovo declared independence in 2008, but its status is still in dispute. (The United States does recognize its independence.)

HOMEWORK for next session - Thursday, May 31st

Please do the final "regular" reading assignment of your World History career by reading Chapter 35, Section 5, "China:  Reform and Reaction." (pp. 1059-1063) The quiz will be matching.

Your packet of Chapter 36 quizzes should be turned in by Tuesday, June 8th. Yes, you are free to use your book as you complete them.

Remember that your MPA World History Journal "article" is due on Monday. (That's Lesson #35.)

Q4 - Lesson #37 - The Fall of the Soviet Union

The Collapse of the Soviet Union and the Fall of Communism - Our focus shifts today to an event that, had you asked me about it several years earlier (when I was about your age), I never would have expected to see happen. The fall of the Soviet Union both significantly changed the world's political outlook, but it also dealt a fatal blow to communism's chances of competing with capitalist and democratic systems. We'll try and make sense of these events today...

Before we go too far, I want you to put yourselves in the position of a Soviet citizen, say a member of the Communist Party, in 1985. Pair up with those around you and brainstorm a list of complaints and criticisms you have about your lives. It might help to think in terms of social, economic and political issues. Think about both the Soviet Union in particular and communism in general.

Let's take a few minutes now to browse a set of Gorbachev notes that I've used when teaching this topic in other classes. (It will download as a Microsoft Word document, and you're free to use it to take some notes if that would be helpful... That's a hint.)

Here are some events I believe you need to understand to make sense of all this...


Gorbachev and Reform
  • glasnost
    • Chernobyl
  • perestroika
  • demokratizatsiya
ethnic tensions in the republics
rise of Boris Yeltsin


August Coup - 1991
December 25, 1991 - end of the Soviet Union
Commonwealth of Independent States


I'm interested in your opinions on these questions...

  • Which factors were more important in the ending of the Soviet Union? Internal or external?
  • Should Gorbachev be remembered as a hero or a failure?
  • Is Russia better off without communism?
  • Is the world safer now than during the era of the Cold War?
  • Should communism be, in the words of Reagan, left on the "ash heap of history?"

Gorbachev remains active as head of the Gorbachev Foundation. Here's the commercial Gorbachev did for Pizza Hut.

Russia since 1991 - We've talked about Putin a number of times these past two years. Let's talk briefly about some of the issues that Russia has faced since the fall of the Soviet Union.

  • Boris Yeltsin (1991 - 1999)
  • rise of the oligarchs
  • economic transitions


  • Chechnya (1991 - 2002) - insurgency continues
    • Moscow theater hostage crisis (2002)
    • Beslan school hostage crisis (2004)
  • Vladimir Putin (President 2000 - 2008) (Prime Minister 2008 - )
  • Dmitry Medvedev (President 2008 - )


HOMEWORK for tomorrow - Wednesday, May 30th

Please continue reading with Chapter 35, Section 4, "Changes in Central and Eastern Europe." (pp. 1052-1058) The quiz will be true/false.

Your packet of Chapter 36 quizzes should be turned in by next Tuesday, June 5th. Yes, you are free to use your book as you complete them.

Remember that your MPA World History Journal "article" is due next Monday. (All of this Friday will be a work day for you.)

Q4 - Unit #8 Exam - Identifications and Essay Questions

Here's another copy of the Unit #8 Review/Study Guide.

Unit #8 Identifications: On Thursday, June 7th, you will write on your choice of 5 of the 8 identifications that appear on the ID portion of the Final (Unit #8) Exam chosen from the list below. You may bring 10 words of "notes" for each of the 15 possible identifications to the exam. (Printed out, as you will not be able to use your computer.) You will need to turn in these notes, and I reserve the right to count symbols, acronyms, etc. as one or more words. Each of the five identifications is worth 5 points.

A good identification is typically in the range of 4 to 6 sentences in length. (You do need to write in complete sentences.) You should demonstrate both an understanding of just who / what the ID "is" and place it in the appropriate historical context. In addition, you need to explain the significance of the ID. In other words, answer the "So what?" question.

Marshall Plan
Cultural Revolution
Khmer  Rouge
Fidel Castro
Korean War
Nikita Khrushchev
Partition of India
Six-Day War
Tiananmen Square

Unit #8 Essay Exam - Questions and Format - You'll write an essay as part of the Final (Unit #8) Exam. This essay should be turned in no later than at your arrival to the Social Studies Final Exam on Thursday, June 7th. Below you can find both the questions from which you will choose and the format for the essay portion on the Unit #8 Exam. The essay will be evaluated on the usual 30 point scale, and that score is doubled in PowerSchool.

Format: The actual essay will be written by hand or word-processed. You should prepare for a five-paragraph essay. That means that you should include an introduction (with a clear thesis statement), three body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph. (Note that the questions lend themselves to such a format. That is on purpose.)

Remember that the questions are not designed for you to tell us everything you have learned. Focus on what the question is requiring you to do.

* I want them printed out. Printing double-sided is fine.

A. Identify and explain the significance of the three specific events that you feel best represent the overall nature of the Cold War. Is the world of today more or less safe than the Cold War world? Why?

B. During a Cold War lesson, you were introduced to the "Doomsday Clock." (Here's the timeline. It is currently set for six minutes to midnight.) Identify and explain the significance of three factors/issues that you think should be considered foremost in deciding where to set the clock in the near future. Two years from now, what time do you think the Doomsday Clock should read? Why?

C. Imagine that you have been given complete control of the Middle East peace process. Explain your recommendation or position on each of these three issues: the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, the future of the Old City of Jerusalem, and the status of the security barrier built by Israel along the West Bank. Five years from now, will the Palestinian / Israeli situation be more or less peaceful than it is today?

D. To many, the Cold War is the dominant theme of the post-World War II world. Setting aside events that took place between the superpowers, identify and explain the significance of the three world events that you believe will come to be recognized by historians as the most important of the last half of the 20th century. Which specific individual do you believe best epitomizes the post-World War II world?

Q4 - Lesson #36 - Work Day

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You'll have all of today to get some work done after you finish the reading quiz. Here are some additional specifics... Remember that you do have two "final" reading quizzes next week with the final sections from Chapter 35.

Here are some links you might be interested in: (Please use headphones if you are in class.)

  • Here's the Gapminder website run by Hans Rosling. You can download the database yourself off the front page and play with the graphs. You can also check out some of his videos. Here's the "200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes" clip that covers a lot of the ground we looked at in class this year. (You can play with this data by downloading the database and going to "200 years that changed the world.")

  • Here's the "Sun City" video put together by a "supergroup" calling itself Artists United Against Apartheid that I showed yesterday. You'll probably recognize some figures like Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and others if you watch. It also shows real footage from South Africa. The video was made in 1985.

REMINDERS: You can link to the Extra Credit option under "Pages" at the right side of the blog. That needs to be posted (or emailed to me) by midnight on Friday, June 8th to earn credit.

You are allowed to make-up daily reading quizzes where you score less than 8 to earn a score that is the average of your two attempts at the quiz. (There is a maximum score of 8 on the retakes.) You're welcome to do that up through Wednesday of finals week.

Chapter 36 Reading Quizzes
: You've received a set of the five quizzes that accompany the reading assignments in Chapter 36. These are due back to me by Monday, June 4th. You are welcome to use your book as you complete these, but I do expect that everyone does their own work on these. (You're welcome to work together to answer these, but I am not okay with simply copying another's work.)

Unit #8 "Two-Minute" Reviews: We will do a final "two-minute" review on Monday, June 4th. We'll have you draw your assignments for those next week.

VIP MPA World History Journal Article - Remember that this is due on Monday, June 4th. Here is another copy of the guidelines (on the "back" side after the Fakebook). Remember that the "due dates" on the sheet itself are wrong.

OK, that should be more than enough to keep you busy today... Enjoy the long weekend.

HOMEWORK for next session - Tuesday, May 29th

We'll take a break from reading this weekend IF you took the quiz on "The Collapse of the Soviet Union" in class today. Otherwise, please continue your reading in Chapter 35 with Section 3, "The Collapse of the Soviet Union." (pp. 1046-1051) for Tuesday's fill-in-the-blank quiz. (We'll do the final pair of quizzes next Wednesday (35:4) and Thursday (35:5).)

Check all the notes above on other remaining work...

Q4 - Lesson #35 - South Africa Before and After Apartheid

We'll start with the 35:2 quiz.

Your reading for today focused on the challenges of democracy in Africa. We can touch base on the Nigeria story, but the country of South Africa will be our focus for today. In particular, we'll examine the system of apartheid that was in place for decades. After that, we'll consider the threat AIDS is posing in many areas of the world by considering the case study of sub-Saharan Africa.

Apartheid in South Africa - When we last left South Africa, it had become an independent member of the British Commonwealth between the world wars. In 1948, the Afrikaner-led Nationalist Party came to power advocating a system of apartheid. For more than four decades, this become one of the most notorious governmental systems in the world.

  • How did apartheid work?
  • What was the damage done by apartheid?
  • How was apartheid opposed? (Internally? Externally?)
  • How was the system of apartheid dismantled?
Timeline of Apartheid -
  • 1948 - National Party institutes apartheid
  • 1950 - race classification, Group Areas Act passed, ANC banned
  • 1960 - Sharpeville Massacre
  • 1964 - Nelson Mandela sentenced to life imprisonment
  • 1976 - Soweto Uprising - 600 killed
  • 1977 - Stephen Biko killed in police custody
  • 1980s - international pressure increases
  • 1986 - state of emergency
  • 1989 - F.W. de Klerk becomes president
  • 1990 - Mandela released, ANC unbanned
  • 1994 - Mandela elected president in free elections


The colored areas on the map show the "homelands" or Bantustans where the black African population of South Africa was forced to live during the apartheid decades.

AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa: While certainly a worldwide crisis, AIDS has struck most severely in Sub-Saharan Africa. We'll take a look at the extent of the crisis using a set of overheads that look at the "numbers" behind the crisis. (These particular overheads are from 2000, so the specific numbers are no longer accurate. However, they certainly make certain points effectively. You can find updated information below.)


Some questions for us to consider:
  • Why has AIDS hit Sub-Saharan Africa so heavily?
  • What might be done to slow the epidemic?
  • Should (or how should) the outside world help in dealing with the effects of the epidemic?
Here are some additional resources on AIDS:

Here is the 2009 report of the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. There are a lot of links to statistics and resources.

"Death Stalks a Continent" - Time, (2001) - As the front page says, "This is a story about AIDS in Africa. Look at the pictures. Read the words. And then try not to care."

If you want some straight-forward information, the Global Issues - AIDS in Africa site is a good one to use.

"Worldwide AIDS epidemic slowing, says UN" - The Guardian, July 29, 2008. This is one of many articles suggesting that the epidemic may be slowing. (Don't confuse that with being cured.)

"FRONTLINE: The Age of AIDS" - This 2006 PBS site looks at the worldwide aspects. The timeline and map features are both interesting.

HOMEWORK for tomorrow - Friday, May 25th

Please continue your reading in Chapter 35 with Section 3, "The Collapse of the Soviet Union." (pp. 1046-1051) The quiz will be fill-in-the-blank.

Your "Fakebook" pages should be ready to go for tomorrow. You'll simply email me the link, and we will post a page of them for people to check out.

That may be the strangest lesson title yet... These two areas have relatively little in common, except that one closed Chapter 34, and the other began Chapter 35. We'll check in on some key events in both regions.

Before anything else, we can debrief a bit about yesterday's Jerusalem 2012 Peace Conference. In particular, I am interested in how this activity changed or reinforced your attitude toward the Middle East and/or any of the particular sides. As I mentioned, I intend to offer you a choice of essay questions (take home) that includes one on the Middle East.

We will continue to do the Chapter #35 quizzes the regular way. For Chapter 36, you already have received (or will receive) a packet of the five quizzes, and you can complete them on your own as assignments between then and our final day of class.

Central Asia - As you read in Chapter 34, a number of the nations of Central Asia were created in the aftermath of the breakup of the Soviet Union. We can check in very briefly with both the Transcaucasian and Central Asian states, but then we'll focus a little bit more on Afghanistan.



Latin America - I'll be honest when I tell you that the period from the end of World War II to the 1980s in Latin America is hardly one of my specialties. However, we'll do an activity below that should hit many of the most salient and important specifics from that period up to today in Latin America. 

First, I think it is interesting to take a minute and consider what the book establishes as four key practices in a democracy.

  • free elections
  • citizen participation
  • majority rule, minority rights
  • constitutional government
Whether you are looking at Latin America or elsewhere, consider the factors and conditions that might both foster and threaten these practices. Let's hear some of your ideas.


Facebook comes to Latin America... I think I've told you that I have never seen either Facebook or MySpace. That doesn't mean that I've been living in a cave and never heard about the "25 Random Things about Me" fad of a couple years ago. In that spirit, we're going to try and introduce you to "25 Not Quite Random Things about Latin America" as a quick assignment.

You will select one of the "things" below, and there are two components to the assignment.

First, you will have one minute (no more) to explain your thing, and its significance to the class. We try and get these in today.

Second, you will be expected to make a blog posting of 100-150 words or so regarding your topic. Give us the basic facts and significance of your item. If you want to include a link to something useful, feel free to do that. (These blog postings should be made on the entries provided, and they are due before class time Tuesday.)

Here's the Facebook-inspired list of "25 Not Quite Random Things about Latin America":

Juan and Evita Peron - Argentina
"Dirty War" - Argentina
"Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo" - Argentina

Evo Morales - Bolivia

"Lula" da Silva - Brazil

Salvador Allende - Chile
Augusto Pinochet - Chile
Isabel Allende - Chile

Gabriel Garcia Marquez - Colombia
FARC - Colombia
Plan Colombia - Colombia

Fidel Castro - Cuba
Guantanamo Bay - Cuba

"Papa Doc" and "Baby Doc" Duvalier - Haiti 
Tonton Macoute - Haiti

Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) - Mexico
Frida Kahlo - Mexico
Tlatelolco Massacre - Mexico
Chiapas - Mexico
NAFTA - Mexico
Vicente Fox - Mexico
Zapatista Army of National Liberation - Mexico

Manuel Noriega - Panama

Operation Condor - "Southern Cone" dictatorships

Hugo Chavez - Venezuela

Remember that we looked at some of the Cold War events in Central America already, so that's why terms like Contra and Sandinista are not on the list...

HOMEWORK for next session - Thursday, May 24th

Please continue your reading in Chapter 35 with Section 2, "The Challenge of Democracy in Africa" (pp. 1040-1045) The quiz will be multiple choice.

Your "Fakebook" page is due to me on Friday.

Q4 - Lesson #33 - 2012 Jerusalem Peace Conference

Welcome to today's "Jerusalem 2012 Peace Conference." We have gathered in the shadow of  the Temple Mount / Noble Sanctuary in the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem. Our goal is to make meaningful progress toward a peaceful resolution of the crisis between Israelis and Palestinians.


Here is the format: - We'll allow groups ten minutes to meet to plan strategy and discuss issues of importance. After that, we will return to the large group. Members of "The Quartet" will assist in moving through the agenda. 

Remember to strive to be consistent with your role. You do not need to turn only to your "leaders" to speak. Everyone here should have a voice, but "agreements" need only be agreed to by the respective leaders.

Agenda for the Jerusalem 2012 Peace Conference: 

Strategy Planning (10 minutes)

Opening Statements: 

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
  • Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
  • United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Immediate Issues:

  • How can the current tension between Israel and the Palestinians be lessened?
  • Should the security barrier/ wall on the West Bank be removed?
  • What should be done to improve conditions in Gaza?
  • What can be done to increase the safety of the citizens of Israel?

Longer Term Issues:

  • Should an independent Palestinian state be created? If so, where?
  • What should be done with the status of Jerusalem?
  • What should be the fate of Jewish settlements on the West Bank?
  • Should Palestinian refugees receive the "right of return?"
  • How can the prospect of terrorism be reduced?
  • How do we guarantee all have access to water and needed resources?

Announcement of Treaties / Agreements

Closing Remarks / Press Statements

Here's a reminder of who is present at our conference today...

Representatives of Israel

  • Israel - Benjamin Netanyahu (Prime Minister - Likud)
  • Israel - President Shimon Peres
  • Israel - Tzipi Livni (Opposition Leader - Kadima)
  • Israel - Avigdor Lieberman (Foreign Minister - leader of Yisraeli Beiteinu)
  • Israel - Ehud Barak (Defense Minister - leader of Labour)
  • Israel - soldier serving of Gaza border
  • Israel - settler living on West Bank
  • Israel - mother of three (Jerusalem)

Representatives of the Palestinians

  • Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (Fatah)
  • Palestinian -PNA Prime Minister Ismail Haniya (Gaza - Hamas)
  • Palestinian - PNA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad (West Bank - Fatah)
  • Hassan Nasrallah - Hezbollah leader (based in Lebanon)
  • Palestinian - member of Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade (in Gaza)
  • Palestinian - resident of Hebron (West Bank)
  • Palestinian - resident of Jericho (West Bank)
  • Palestinian - mother of three (Gaza)

Representatives of "The Quartet"

  • US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton
  • Russia - Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
  • United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
  • European Union - High Representative Catherine Ashton
  • Special Mideast Envoy Tony Blair

  • US President Barack Obama

Here are the links from the BBC News Special Reports site, Middle East Crisis: Israel and the Palestinians: 

Here are the "Obstacles to Peace" they identified:

Here are thumbnail links to all the maps I used last time. They might again be useful.



HOMEWORK for tomorrow - Wednesday, May 23rd

Please begin your reading in Chapter 35 with Section 1, "Democracy" (pp. 1033-1039) The quiz will be matching.

Remember that the final component of your VIP project (MPA World History Journal article) is due on Monday, June 4th. Here's another copy of the guidelines if you need it. (Ignore the Lesson #35 "deadline," that is from last quarter.)

We'll get you the information for the Final Exam - (Unit #8) before the Memorial Day weekend.

I'll also get you the packet of quizzes for Chapter 36, if you do not already have them. You'll be able to complete those as a take-home assignment due by the time of our last day. Chapter #35 is the last chapter where you'll take in class reading quizzes.

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