Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity
January 6, 2016 2:43 PM   Subscribe

The Miss Universe contest was held recently, and notoriously, Steve Harvey mistakenly announced Miss Colombia as the winner (she was first runner up, Miss Philippines was the real winner). But we don't care about that. We care about Tom and Lorenzo's bitchy roundup of the national costumes, in four parts 1, 2, 3, and 4.

There is also some recursive weirdness in that both Australia and Austria allude to drag queens as national totems.
posted by adamrice (101 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
My favorite description of this part of the Miss Universe contest is "The Cosplay of Nations".
posted by NoxAeternum at 2:49 PM on January 6, 2016 [21 favorites]


No spoilers but, the very last photo in part 4? Why can't I ever have a reason to dress like that?
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:55 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Miss Poland is following tradition.
posted by sukeban at 2:58 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Don't dream it, showbiz_liz. Be it. Dress for the job you want. (What the job is is not exactly clear to me, but maybe you can report back after you get it.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:58 PM on January 6, 2016 [20 favorites]


Their backstage costume storage must be more like an aircraft hangar.
posted by Hypatia at 2:59 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


There is also some recursive weirdness in that both Australia and Austria allude to drag queens as national totems.

Austria's is a homage to Conchita Wurst, their Eurovision 2014 entrant while Australia's is a homage to Priscilla Queen of the Desert, a cult movie classic about drag queens.
posted by Talez at 3:00 PM on January 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


I picked up on Conchita Wurst, but I'm pretty sure that Australia's is a reference to Dame Edna.
posted by adamrice at 3:01 PM on January 6, 2016 [11 favorites]


My bad. It totally is. Australia loves its drag queens.
posted by Talez at 3:04 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


All Miss Mexico asks of you is your heart.
posted by NoxAeternum at 3:04 PM on January 6, 2016 [21 favorites]


The commentary is horrible, and no, I don't want it.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:06 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Pulled still-beating from your chest like that one Indiana Jones movie?
posted by axiom at 3:06 PM on January 6, 2016


All Miss Mexico asks of you is your heart.

Honduras has a train of skulls which is more metal.

I'm bummed that only South Africa brought a weapon.
posted by sukeban at 3:08 PM on January 6, 2016


I've got to give Honduras credit for including an actual fucking skull rack on her train.


"That Miss Mexico thinks she owns human sacrifice? Go big or go home."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:10 PM on January 6, 2016 [7 favorites]


The caption for Miss Turkey just killed me.

“On the back of my skirt, you can read today’s menu specials, which include your choice of a cup of soup or a side salad with every meal.”
posted by dnash at 3:10 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Anyway, in the "Sane" category I award a tie to Norway and Slovakia.
The "OTT" category goes to Argentina.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:16 PM on January 6, 2016


At least they left out Miss Canada's highly questionable look.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:16 PM on January 6, 2016 [10 favorites]


His come Miss Angola gets a cast off from Pertwee-era Dr Who while Italy's national costume seems to be 'expensive dress'.

What is Miss Netherlands' costume representing?
posted by biffa at 3:18 PM on January 6, 2016


Miss Bahamas, clearly cosplaying as Tarot, Witch of the Black Rose.
posted by palindromic at 3:18 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


And half the costumes look like a MOBA is missing its roster.
posted by NoxAeternum at 3:21 PM on January 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


I dunno, Miss Nigeria's fern hat is pretty metal in a green sort of way. Can "leafpunk" be a thing now, like "health goth?" Maybe we can get those moss people in Japan on it?
posted by ostro at 3:21 PM on January 6, 2016 [8 favorites]


Miss India has, I believe, an ovipositer.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 3:23 PM on January 6, 2016


I actually kind of prefer their Victoria's Secret commentary.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:24 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


At least they left out Miss Canada's somewhat questionable look.

"Questionable" barely scratches the surface. It is mortifying that in an age where there appears to be some progress in improving the enduring problematic relations between white Canadians and First Nations that we still have costume designers who figure treating totem poles as vajazzle is appropriate.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:24 PM on January 6, 2016 [32 favorites]


Miss Bahamas, clearly cosplaying as Tarot, Witch of the Black Rose.

No, she's clearly Leviathan, Lord of the Whorl.
posted by NoxAeternum at 3:26 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Miss Puerto Rico - When 1970s decorating goes wrong.

These look like something designed by the Rio Carnival designers on a bad trip.
posted by marienbad at 3:27 PM on January 6, 2016


But we don't care about that. We care about Tom and Lorenzo's bitchy roundup of the national costumes.

Do we? I don't think "here's something terrible, let's all see who can criticize it the loudest" is a good focus for a post. (If that's not how you meant it, then eh, I still think the dresses need no commentary, except maybe for links to their designers.)

The costumes themselves are impressive, though. I'd love if ordinary clothing were just as bold and artistic; usually a forum thread with people's 80x80px avatars shows more variety of form and color than a city street.

Okay, we'd have to restructure doors to fit Miss Indonesia's dress, but it would be worth it—she's framed inside a dragon's mouth, peering down at everyone in front of her. Miss Georgia's takes the opposite approach: no bright colors or detailed gold ornaments, just stark contrast.
posted by Rangi at 3:28 PM on January 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


I would wear Miss Albania's dress. Also, I choose to believe that her mouth is open like that because she's emitting a really loud eagle scream.
posted by ostro at 3:29 PM on January 6, 2016 [7 favorites]


Most of the costumes on page 1 would be okay without the wings and a bit of trimming.
posted by marienbad at 3:30 PM on January 6, 2016


I'm pretty sure Ms Bahamas is dressed as a Glaucus atlanticus.
posted by jamaro at 3:33 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Georgia is great.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:34 PM on January 6, 2016


'okay' is not what you are going for in the Miss Universe costume division. It's fabulous or go home!
posted by tavella at 3:34 PM on January 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


I.... i think Miss Colombia's dress is really pretty.

And Miss Georgia.
posted by ApathyGirl at 3:35 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Incidentally, after the celebrated mixup, I found myself wandering the labyrinth of Wikipedia reading about the Miss Universe, Miss World, and Miss Earth pageants. So far as I can tell, each one studiously pretends that there are not two other near-identical international beauty pageants going one annually in mid-December (at least Miss International cedes the December ground and runs in November). The level of original thinking can be summed up in a quick capture of all three competitions' logos. As best I can tell, Miss World is angling for the RC cola slot here.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:39 PM on January 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


I always feel bad for the ones who misunderstand and think that by national costume the Miss Universe pagent actually means national costume.
posted by ckape at 3:42 PM on January 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


In fairness it must be pretty easy to ignore Miss Earth, I don't think I had heard of it before your post.
posted by biffa at 3:44 PM on January 6, 2016


I refuse to feel sorry for Donald Trump!
posted by clavdivs at 3:44 PM on January 6, 2016


Some of those are gorgeous. Like, you could wear those to a party and easily be the best dressed there. Some of those are costumes which look a little silly but whatever. Some of them are made for war which is wonderful to see side by side with some of the others. A few are just.....what? Great Britain, what? Canada's is.....disgusting. Horrible from any angle you choose to look at it and a failure at anything other than being ridiculed. The ridicule though, is so bad I had to stop reading it less than halfway through. "You know what would make our roundup way better? If we said bitch and ho every other picture!"
posted by Neronomius at 3:46 PM on January 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


I really think this costume thing is about poise more than anything else. Poise counts!
posted by nubs at 3:48 PM on January 6, 2016


I hadn't realized that some countries hold a contest to design their national costume*. Here's the runner ups for Australia, sort of sorry that the one that inspires hay fever in a diaper didn't make it.

*Last year or the year before, I recall reading that at least one contestant designed and made her own costume.
posted by jamaro at 3:52 PM on January 6, 2016


Low hanging fruit.

Seriously, some of those dresses featured literal low hanging fruit.
posted by munchingzombie at 3:59 PM on January 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


My time-traveling neighbor is back, and he says we're basically looking at actual fashion trends in about 80 years.

Me, I think they're silly and impractical yes, and I'm not one of those people who's going to hold back in mocking these things, and many of them are awfully male-gazey. But they're also kind of awesome.

Miss USA could just as well be a superhero, she's got so many Batman-style utility belts (utility garters?). Her shoes don't look like they'd make it easy to fight crime, though.
posted by JHarris at 3:59 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


"Questionable" barely scratches the surface.


Yeah, I realized my Canadian tendency for understatement might be misinterpreted, and changed the intensifier on my original comment.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:59 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


I can't decide if Miss Indonesia's dress has gigantic eyes to survey the landscape for field mice, or if it just has the appearance of them so as to fixate and paralyze its prey.
posted by JHarris at 4:06 PM on January 6, 2016 [8 favorites]


>> Australia's is a homage to Priscilla Queen of the Desert, a cult movie classic about drag queens.

> I'm pretty sure that Australia's is a reference to Dame Edna.


Pretty sure it's both. Also, Opera House for shoulders! Also, judging by the fit in the upper body, I'd be willing to bet she borrowed that from an actual drag queen.

At least they left out Miss Canada's highly questionable look.

Dear god. I mean, seriously, jesus fucking christ. Why, year after year, do they make it seem so difficult? It's Canada. Just do some ice and snow thing. Duh. Duh.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:11 PM on January 6, 2016


I prefer Genevieve Valentine's commentary. Link is to 2015 Miss Universe national outfits, but she does great red carpet rundowns, too.
posted by pie ninja at 4:12 PM on January 6, 2016 [14 favorites]


You know, this sort of Throw Everything At It approach to dress design could revolutionize the wedding industry. White is so boring. I would absolutely walk down the aisle if I could drag along train of grinning human skulls - what bride wouldn't?
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 4:16 PM on January 6, 2016 [15 favorites]


Miss Hungary actually has a Rubik's Cube-themed costume. This is not a sarcastic comment.
posted by JHarris at 4:20 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's Canada. Just do some ice and snow thing.

Here's where we remember and pay homage to last year's Miss Canada dress.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 4:20 PM on January 6, 2016 [32 favorites]


Speaking as a Canadian, the year we did the sexy Mountie costume was questionable. The year of the hockey net costume was sheer whathefuckery. This year was an abomination.

I think we need a royal commission on this.
posted by nubs at 4:21 PM on January 6, 2016 [9 favorites]


I would absolutely walk down the aisle if I could drag along train of grinning human skulls - what bride wouldn't?


"What do you mean I can't wear my quetzal-feather and human skull dress on my special day? God, Lutherans are so uptight!"
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:22 PM on January 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


Dear god. I mean, seriously, jesus fucking christ. Why, year after year, do they make it seem so difficult? It's Canada. Just do some ice and snow thing. Duh. Duh.

Couple years back they just hit the Hallowe'en pop-up store and grabbed a Sexy Mountie costume. I guess in an austerity budget, investing $27.99* in the pageant seemed sufficiently frugal to avoid raised eyebrows.

*Half off if you go November 1.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:23 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Norway indulges this contest but is not invested; you are going to get a bunad every year until the solar system suffers heat death.
...and that is fine.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:27 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


I liked the hockey stick dress, anyone who can carry 10 hockey sticks on their back while walking in 7" heeled skates that lace up to here AND balancing the Stanley Cup on their head has got my vote as the likely winner in any game brawl. Also, she can totally keep score too, so.
posted by jamaro at 4:28 PM on January 6, 2016 [11 favorites]


Here's where we remember and pay homage to last year's Miss Canada dress.

The score is 20-14? Apparently, they're using soccer nets now.
posted by eriko at 4:37 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Beavers, Canadian Geese, Maple Leaves, Maple Syrup, Moose(s), The Winter, Hockey. Sure, through in the RCMP there if you want to. There's so much territory for Canada to mine. I looked back at some of the previous years and this wasn't the first time we've gone down the Native American route. Why can't we just have a nice Canadian Goose dress? They're such beautiful, majestic, love-able animals (that are illegal to hunt for sport).
posted by Neronomius at 4:37 PM on January 6, 2016


Here's where we remember and pay homage to last year's Miss Canada dress.

20-14 with 16:45 left? No wonder they don't have a talent portion at Miss Universe.
posted by Etrigan at 4:38 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Miss Vietnam looks like she is visiting the pageant from her volcano lair. So awesome.
posted by zjacreman at 4:39 PM on January 6, 2016 [13 favorites]


Also, if Colombian narcotraficantes and paramilitares are as patriotically invested in Miss Universe results as my in-laws are, Steve Harvey had better be stocking up on body armor.
posted by zjacreman at 4:44 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Why can't we just have a nice Canadian Goose dress?

They're called Canada geese, not Canadian geese. And they're jerks.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:45 PM on January 6, 2016 [10 favorites]


Okay, we'd have to restructure doors to fit Miss Indonesia's dress,

She is not the only one. I wonder what training the contestants and handlers have for what to do if the fire alarm goes off and the building has to be evacuated. A lot of those getups do not look exactly quick-release.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:47 PM on January 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


Canadian Goose dress? They're such beautiful, majestic, love-able animals (that are illegal to hunt for sport)

Whoa, seriously? I just had a meeting with a bunch of 80-90 year old Canadians that were discussing eating Canada Geese on a regular basis during their poverty-striken childhood and I assumed hunting them was legal. Then again, they were also telling me about all the bootlegging that used to be done around here when people didn't want to drive for an hour to the nearest government store. So maybe I shouldn't be surprised at their flexible attitude towards laws.
posted by saucysault at 4:49 PM on January 6, 2016


Are Canada Geese protected and can they be hunted?

Yes, Canada Geese are protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 (MBCA). This Act arose from an international treaty -- the Migratory Birds Convention -- between Canada and the United States, signed in 1916. The MBCA provides for the protection and conservation of migratory birds, and prohibits people from harming birds, except under specified conditions. Several species, including Canada geese, are considered game birds and may be hunted. The Act gives the federal government the responsibility to establish hunting seasons, and Canada Geese are greatly appreciated by migratory game bird hunters across the country. More than 500 000 Canada Geese are taken in Canada each year by hunters.

posted by Sys Rq at 4:58 PM on January 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm sorry, why can't we have a Canada geese dress, then? Our contestant could also pretend to be a "Canada goose" by attacking everyone and shrieking loudly. I thought calling them love-able would give away that I was joking.

-> saucysault Canadian Geese are protected but you can get a permit. I joked about hunting them a few years ago and he told me about the laws. I think he had the same idea before but actually looked at the laws.

Quote from the same site: Nesting Canada geese will actively defend their nest sites, and aggressive pairs can sometimes cause injuries, especially to small children or pets. (I think especially is the key word here).
posted by Neronomius at 4:59 PM on January 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


I suspect it's the resident geese (aka the fat bastards that eschew migration for pooping on the grass in your local park year round) that aren't being hunted for sport mostly because they flatly refuse to fly over areas where hunting is allowed.
posted by jamaro at 5:01 PM on January 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


If there was a "hissing and pooping" portion of the competition, we would totally own it.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:04 PM on January 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


Although a while back at my local park, I saw an elderly lady grab one by the head, quickly snap its neck and shove it into her wire shopping cart, so there's some heroes among us.
posted by jamaro at 5:05 PM on January 6, 2016 [20 favorites]


> More than 500 000 Canada Geese are taken in Canada each year by hunters.

Good.
posted by mosk at 5:07 PM on January 6, 2016 [8 favorites]


Why can't we just have a nice Canadian Goose dress? They're such beautiful, majestic, love-able animals (that are illegal to hunt for sport).

Do you want to know how I can tell that you've never in your entire life met one of those foul-tempered assholes that pump out so much particularly-disgusting shit it's like they're one of those play-doh pumper things but they pump out amazingly endless quantities of foul-smelling green gross horrible feces ev-ar-y where and oh my god we extincten so many fucking animals all the time and we're extincting great animals like heffalumps and tigers and rhinoceroceseses so why they fuck do the fucking geese still exist if there's any kind of just and loving god why I just want to know why would it be illegal for me to drive a zamboni over them but on the other hand what jury would convict me
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:13 PM on January 6, 2016 [17 favorites]


I would absolutely walk down the aisle if I could drag along train of grinning human skulls - what bride wouldn't?

Would they be the skulls of your enemies?
posted by NoxAeternum at 5:16 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


You'd just need a license to hunt with a zamboni, ROU. They're not hard to get. Most Canadians have one.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:16 PM on January 6, 2016 [11 favorites]


I'm sorry, why can't we have a Canada geese dress, then? Our contestant could also pretend to be a "Canada goose" by attacking everyone and shrieking loudly.

...and stopping every few steps to poop on the floor while hateglaring at everything

I thought calling them love-able would give away that I was joking.

You, sir or madam, give good deadpan.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:16 PM on January 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR
posted by mcstayinskool at 5:18 PM on January 6, 2016


I love the turn this thread has taken.
posted by quaking fajita at 5:39 PM on January 6, 2016 [8 favorites]


->ROU_Xenophobe They could make a little compartment in the dress for the little poop logs, it would be wonderful. And thank you, I tried hard to get that. I worked on Granville Island for over a year and really learned to hate them. A whole gaggle of them would stand on a little bridge before the main bridge and when they did NO one dared to disturb them.
posted by Neronomius at 6:00 PM on January 6, 2016


I figure a nice sharp sword would be the best way to deal with Canada Geese.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 6:00 PM on January 6, 2016


i want to present miss indonesia with a belt made of severed heads
posted by poffin boffin at 6:08 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


oops sorry miss indonesia but im gonna need that back for miss panama instead

pls dont hurt me
posted by poffin boffin at 6:10 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


No, the Zamboni is the weapon of choice for dealing with the Canada Goose. Clumsy and random. none of this elegant weapon from a civilized age crap for those fuckers.
posted by nubs at 6:13 PM on January 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


We must create a national crisis level program to block these images from getting off planet and into the interstellar spectrum, no alien must ever know this is/was our level of civilization. We would be ants under their feet.
posted by Freedomboy at 6:41 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh man, this post and thread came with so many sorely needed laughs!
posted by saulgoodman at 6:43 PM on January 6, 2016




CTRL+F "Genevieve Valentine" and I am not disappointed! Good job, team.
posted by immlass at 7:24 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


One of my best friends MC'd the first Miss Earth. It was...painful. Everyone's platform was "blah blah blah some earth issue blah AND STEVEN RECYCLING!" I could see the death in her eyes.

Miss Vietnam looks like the American Minister of Magic from the Fantastic Beasts movie and Miss Albania's outfit actually looks really cute!

Poor Miss France though. IT'S THE EIFFEL TOWER WE GET IT NO NEED TO PLASTER IT EVERYWHERE
posted by divabat at 7:57 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh my God, I've just realized that thing on Miss Paraguay's staff is a Phrygian cap! What do I win?
posted by thesmallmachine at 8:35 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh, is that what it is? I thought it was because she killed Papa Smurf.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:38 PM on January 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


She killed the Papa Smurf...of tyranny.
posted by thesmallmachine at 8:40 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm very pleased with this photo of Miss Japan and team, from Genevieve Valentine's commentary. It looks like these four have fun together, and also like they all take turns being Miss Japan.
posted by thesmallmachine at 8:42 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've just realized that thing on Miss Paraguay's staff is a Phrygian cap! What do I win?

You win one of these 💩 covered in red glitter, on a stick.
posted by jamaro at 9:10 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


You know, this sort of Throw Everything At It approach to dress design could revolutionize the wedding industry.

Seriously. I am now in accute mourning for the Guy Maddin theme wedding I could have had with that Canadian hockey dress from last year.

I can also imagine building a wedding around the Miss Cayman Islands dress: The guests do the decorations themselves with cans of silly string. Then, at the dinner, every table gets a Tickle Me Elmo doll and Spiralizer.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 11:25 PM on January 6, 2016


Next year Canada should try a depiction of the Wendigo!
posted by orrnyereg at 12:41 AM on January 7, 2016


Is this a kubist bull on Miss Spain's head? And therefore, is this a bull's scrotum dangling on her face?

I can't even
posted by ojemine at 2:07 AM on January 7, 2016


NoxAeternum: "All Miss Mexico asks of you is your heart."

Mkay. Not really using it right now. Knock yourself out, kid.
posted by Samizdata at 2:41 AM on January 7, 2016


I am in awe of Miss Vietnam but Miss Curacao and her blue face win it for me.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:48 AM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


zjacreman: "Miss Vietnam looks like she is visiting the pageant from her volcano lair. So awesome."

Indeed, but she is tragically lacking the ludicrously long, presumably envenomed nails.
posted by Samizdata at 2:51 AM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


NoxAeternum: "I would absolutely walk down the aisle if I could drag along train of grinning human skulls - what bride wouldn't?

Would they be the skulls of your enemies?
"

But, caterers will tell you how hard it is to get a sufficient quantity of "tears of their women" for a host bar this time of year.
posted by Samizdata at 2:53 AM on January 7, 2016


You know, this sort of Throw Everything At It approach to dress design could revolutionize the wedding industry. White is so boring. I would absolutely walk down the aisle if I could drag along train of grinning human skulls - what bride wouldn't?

The train of skulls would get longer with each successive marriage, like counting coup praying mantis-style.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:10 AM on January 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


Its lamentations of the women that is best in life not tears, so how about something on the base of a wine goblet that produces a wail whenever someone picks it up to take a swig at the wedding dinner?
posted by biffa at 6:26 AM on January 7, 2016


Does anyone else think that the Miss New Zealand costume was taken from the Hunger Games movies? I could have sworn I saw it in a crowd shot.
posted by Hactar at 7:16 AM on January 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


At least they left out Miss Canada's highly questionable look.

Is that a totem or are you just happy to see me?

I'm sorry. I couldn't not.
posted by slipthought at 8:14 AM on January 7, 2016


Is Miss Sweden just Drew Barrymore researching an upcoming role?
posted by psoas at 8:52 AM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


another favorite of mine..
posted by mayaflowers at 5:51 AM on January 21, 2016


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