Electric Earthquakes

Historic planetary instability and catastrophe. Evidence for electrical scarring on planets and moons. Electrical events in today's solar system. Electric Earth.

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Re: New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-1812 vs the Great Comet?

Unread postby MGmirkin » Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:11 am

Getting back to the New Madrid quakes:

(A Detailed Narrative of the Earthquakes which occurred on the 16th day of December, 1811)
http://pasadena.wr.usgs.gov/office/hough/mitchill.html

A bit of interesting stuffs thereabouts.

Cheers,
~Michael Gmirkin
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Re: New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-1812 vs the Great Comet?

Unread postby davesmith_au » Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:13 am

Check this out - a great resource covering many of the commentary about the 1811-1812 quake. I've just picked out the parts pertaining to strange atmospheric phenomena and water behaving badly, and the conclusions at the end. This really is a good read. I think I can feel a thunderblog coming on...


http://pasadena.wr.usgs.gov/office/hough/mitchill.html wrote:

[...]

"The atmosphere seemed to forebode some unusual occurrence. One of my most correct and respectable friends, declared in conversation, and stated to me in writing, that he made an observation of the sky about ten o'clock that night. It was quite calm. There was not a breath of wind stirring. The air was perfectly clear and free from clouds. Nevertheless, it was uncommonly dark, and the stars which appeared in every part through the gloom, were lurid and dim, and afforded little light."

[...]

"... During the first agitation, it was observed, that the air felt as if impregnated with a vapour, which lasted for some time."

[...]

"For an hour previous, though the air was perfectly calm, and several stars visible, there was, at intervals of about five minutes, a rumbling noise like that of distant thunder; which increased in violence of sound just before the shock was felt. ... From another source it was related that Charleston was shaken by an earthquake severely, at the time before specified. This was preceded by a noise resembling the blowing of a smith's bellows."

[...]

"The ingenious writer of the meteorological observations for Charleston during December, 1811, has noticed these occurrences in a manner too interesting to be omitted. According to his remarks, there were seven shocks during the month, having a vibratory motion from east to west. In many persons the motion produced nausea. All the shocks, except the last, were preceded by noises resembling the rattling of a carrage over a pavement. There had been less thunder during the preceding season than usual. THe days of thunder amount annually to about sixty; but this year there were no more than thirty-eight. The beautiful comet was visible in the northwest during the whole month.

The inhabitants of Savannah were sensible of four earthquakes. The first was on the morning of the 16th December, between two and three o'clock. It was preceded by a flash of light, and a rattling noise, resembling that of a carriage passing over a paved road. ..."

[...]

"It was observed, by Dr. Macbride of Pineville, (S.C.) that the earthquake terrified the inhabitants exceedingly. It was accompanied by several appearances that countenances the theory of this phenomenon, which brings in the agency of the electric fluid. 1. The unfrequency or absence of thunder storms; that is, they were much less frequent this year than usual, especially in the autumn. 2. Immediately before the earthquake, a red appearance of the clouds, which had much darkened the water for twenty-four hours immediately before the shock; and 3. The loudness of the thunder, and the number of the peals within twenty-four hours after the first shock, and but a few hours before the last, which was felt before he wrote. Such thunder was very unusual at that season."

[...]

"... At the end of the first and longest shock, there were, in a direction due north, two flashes of light, at the interval of about a minute, very much like distant lightning.

At Columbia, in Tennessee, between two and three o'clock on the morning of the 16th December, the inhabitants were suddenly alarmed by a voilent agitation in the earth. It was accompanied by a peculiar sound, proceeding from southwest to northeast. Immediately after the shock had ceased, a very large volume of something like smoke was discovered to rise in the quarter whence the sound appeared to come; and pursuing nearly the same course, finally settled in the north, exhibiting the appearance of a black cloud. The shock was computed to have continued from ten to fifteen minutes."

[...]

"... On the evening previous to the shock, there was a gentle rain, such as we have in April; and the night was rather close and dark; but at the termination of the first shock, it was light enough to enable a pin to be seen."

[...]

"... The day preceding was extremely dark and gloomy there, and warmth and smokiness distinguished the weather for some time after."

[...]

"The town of St. Louis, in Louisiana, experienced a full proportion of the commotion. Mr. Riddick, being at St. Louis, near the Mississippi, observed to me, that the shocks were preceded by a remarkable calm. The atmosphere was of a dingy and lurid aspect, and gleams and flashes of light were frequently visible around the horizon, in different directions, generally ascending from the earth. Sometimes sounds were heard, like wind rustling thorugh the trees, but not resembling thunder."

[...]

"... The sky was obscurred by a thick and hazy fog, without a breath of wind. ... The morning was observed to be very hazy, and unusually warm for the season. The houses and fences seemed to be covered with a white frost; but on examination, this appearance was illusive. A vapour hovered over every thing, and shrouded the morning in awful gloom."

[...]

"By the intelligence from Detroit, from Judge James Witherall, it appears that Michigan was agitated by the same subterranean power. A small shock was felt at Detroit on the 17th December. The atmosphere was serene, but cold. Thirty miles northwest of that village is a lake about nine miles in circumference, of an oval form, and which is supposed to have communication under ground with Lake Sinclair. In the centre of this lake there is an island of perhaps three miles in circumference, inhabited only by Indians. They relate, that on the said 17th December the waters of the lake appeared to tremble, and boil like a great pot over a hot fire; and immediately a vast number of large tortoises rose to the surface, and swam rapidly to the shore, where they were taken for food."

[...]

"... A few seconds before the motion was felt, he and others heard a considerable roaring or rumbling noise, resembling a blaze of fire acted upon by wind. ... In this last shock, the water in the river Mississippi was thrown into commotion, bubbling like boiling water; and, in a few minutes, the whole atmosphere was filled with smoke or fog, so that a boat could not be seen within twenty paces from the water's edge; and the houses were so shrouded as not to be seen fifty feet; this smoke continued all the forepart of that day."

[...]

"... It threw bricks from a chimney which had been previously broken by the first shock; he found, on inquiry, that the motion was considerably greatest near the large water courses. ... In the county of Christian, (Kentucky,) af fine and fresh spring was observe to run very muddy for several hours. On examining it, after the feculence had settled, he found it to be so strongly impregnated with sulphur; so much so that it was spoiled for domestic uses; indeed it had been converted to one of the strongest brimstone springs he ever met with."

[...]

"... But considerable as these operations were, they were surpassed by others which took place along the river Mississippi; indeed, the strata underlying the bed of this stream appear to have been the principal seat of the commotion or, at least, the place where it was most considerable. ..."

[...]

"... The boat was acted upon by the water in such a manner as to induce a belief that she had grounded; but upon sounding, he could find no bottom. The current, at the place where he was at the time of the occurrence, (eighty-seven miles below the mouth of the Ohio,) acquired three times its former velocity, and the river rose six feet upon its former level; the trunks of trees, bedded in the bottom, suddenly rose in great numbers to the surface; the banks tumbled down at an alarming rate; and the land was rent by cracks and fissures."

[...]

"... During the time of the shock, the heavens were very clear and serene; there being not a breath of air stirring; but in five minutes it became very dark; and a vapour which seemed to impregnate the atmosphere, had a disagreeable smell, and produced a difficulty of breathing. This darkness continued until nearly the break of day. During its continuance there were six more shocks. About half after six it cleared up. However, the danger was increased by another shock, which racked the houses violently, and threw down the chimneys. The darkness returned, and it was accompanied by loud noises, and a bounding motion up and down. ..."

[...]

"Accounts from Little Prairie (note 1)[ http://www-socal.wr.usgs.gov/hough/note1.html ] stated that ponds had been converted to upland, and dry land to lakes; that the banks of the river had sunk and fallen in to great extent; that cracks had been formed in the earth; that water had gushed out; and that there was a strange and chaotic mixture of the elements. In some places, sand, mud, water, and stone-coal were reported to have been thrown up thirty yards high."

[...]

"... The bottom of the Mississippi river, two under miles west of this place, was cracked in some places fifteen feet in width, and cast up warm water sufficient to inundate the settlement from one to two feet. ..."


[...]

"... He bears witness of the noises that attended the shocks; the froth that formed on the surface of the river from the bursting of air bubbles; and of the elevation of innumerable logs and trees from the bottom of the Mississippi. Cracks and rents in the earth and the falling of banks were frequent and terrible."

[...]

"... The relater was waked from sleep by a noise like that of a carriage, which was followed by a shake. About six minutes before the shock, the whole heavens appeared to be illuminated, and darkness immediately afterwards ensued. No damage was done."

[...]

"... On the 3d instant, fourteen minutes past 4 P. M., a small shock was felt; the mercury low, but not quite in the ball; it had risen very considerably a few hours previous to the shock. ..."

[...]

"... Flashes of light similar to those seen on the 16th of December were perceived toward the southwest. ..."

[...]

"Being on horseback in Livingston County, Kentucky, Mr. Riddick, on the morning of the 8th of February, was sensible of the earthquake. His horse refused to proceed, and bracing himself on his legs, stood still. The atmosphere was remarkably luminous for some time prior to the shaking of the ground. There was no moonshine; and yet objects could be seen to a considerable distance. On this occasion the brightness was general and did not proceed from any point or spot in the heavens. It was broad and expanded, reaching from the zenith, on every side, toward the horizon. It exhibited no flashes, nor coruscations; but, as long as it lasted, was a diffused illumination of the atmosphere on all sides; but no noise was distinguished until the shaking of the earth began; then the usual rumbling sound was heard. "

[...]

"Mr. Mathias M. Speed wrote to his friend, Thomas Speed, Esq. of Bardstown, an account of the earthquake of February 7, and the following days, in a communication dated March 3, 1812. He states the appearance of frequent lights during the commotions, and that from one of the low islands in the Mississippi, where he was, sand, coal, and warm water were ejected from holes in the earth.

Some of the coal was collected by Mr. Pierce, and transmitted to me. About the 1st of May, 1812, I made a few experiments upon it at the city of Washington. I found it to be very inflammable; it consumed with a bright and vivid blaze. A copious smoke was emitted from it, whose smell was not at all sulphureous, but btuminous in a high degree. Taken out of the fire in its ignited and burning state it did not immediately become extinct; but continued to burn until it was consumed. While blowed upon, instead of being deadened, it became brighter by the blast. The ashes formed during the combustion were of a whitish colour; and when put into water, imparted to it the quality of turning to a green the blue corolla of a phlox whose juice was subjected to its action. By this, and other tests, the alkalinity of the residue was fully acertained."

[...]

""Captain Robert Alexander, of Lincoln, (N. C.) gave me a most alarming account of a phenomenon which was generally seen on the night of the 20th instant. Three large extraordinary fires, in the air, one appeared in an easterly direction, one in the north, and one in the south. Their continuance was several hours; their size as large as a house on fire; the motion of the blaze quite visible, but no sparks appeared."

"Another phenomenon appeared on the 22d of November, of which I was a spectator. About 2 o'clock P. M. a meteor took fire in the air, attended with a fulminating noise, and bore a southeast direction; and however unaccountable, it is a fact, that about the same instant, a whitish substance, resembling a duck in size and shape, detached itself, and descended with a swift motion, from the cloud of smoke that was formed, and was beheld at my house, and fifteen miles due north of it, and twenty-three miles west of it, at the same instant."

"Whether these things are ominous or not, one thing is certain, this is a time of extraordinaries.""

[...]

"The same gentleman afterwards, in a communication from the same place, of January 26, 1813, furnished additional facts, "In the month of September," he stated, "I visited a spring of about the distance of fourteen miles from my residence. It was situated on the bank of a creek that issued forth strong sulphureous water. The smell was evident to a considerable distance. It received its sulphureous impregnation from a very heavy earthquake that occurred in January. Before that event it was a limestone water. On that occasion a new limestone spring broke out about twenty feet above the original spring; and to this day, the respective fountains pour forth their calcarious and sulphureous waters, in distinct currents. Some springs ceased to run for some time; and others ran muddy several hours after the earth had been convulsed. The earthquakes appeared to affect very sensibly both the body and mind of human beings. In some instances, where individuals had been deprived of their usual sleep, through fear of being ingulfed in the earth, their stomachs were troubled with nausea, and sometimes even vomiting. Others complained of debility, tremor, and pain in the knees and legs. The shocks seemed to produce effects resembling those of electricity. We have had a very wet spring, summer, and autumn, with a loaded atmosphere; and I have no doubt much impregnated with sulphureous particles. Sickness was much more prevalent last winter, spring, summer, and fall, than ever was known in this country; and, no doubt, the state of the atmosphere was the principal cause.""

[...]

"After this minute, reiterated, and, perhaps, tedious detail of facts, it will be rational to attempt some deductions. When I engaged the task of collecting the evidence on these curious and interesting phenomena, I was in expectation that physical occurrences so immediately before our eyes and under our feet, would have qualified me to form something like a tolerable theory of earthquakes. I must own, however, that after all the information I have collected, I have not been enabled to offer a solution, by any means satisfactory to myself. But, although materials may yet be wanting for a perfect theory, it is a matter of some consolation to have assembled into one body, the phenomena of the most memorable earthquakes that ever agitated these parts of North America, and to have made a record of them for my sagacious and fortunate successors.

1. The trembling of the earth was felt from the Atlantic Ocean to the regions far beyond the Mississippi. The accounts given by the Indians uniformly stated that the shocks had been very frequent and violent, to a great distance up the Arkansaw. They appear to have been felt very little to the north of the Potomac, and east of the Alleghany.

2. Though the commotions were of great extent, it was not possible to assign a priority to any place. Though the earthquakes were not equally violent or extensive, yet in those of the widest diffusion or circuit, there was no method of tracing a succession; on the contrary, the shocks in the most distant situations were synchronous, or nearly so.

3. Air was produced below, and extricated into the atmosphere.

4. This, when it passed through water, produced bubbles and froth, and after their extrication, formed visible vapour, obscuring the atmosphere.

5. Hot water was ejected with considerable force.

6. Coal or carbonated wood was thrown up in a similar manner, and about the same time.

7. Light, in some cases, was extricated, and from the circumstances of its appearance, may be considered, not as an accidental coincidence of the earthquake, but as a natural and necessary accompaniment. But, in most places, there was no luminous appearance.

8. Sounds were sometimes heard, but by no means uniformly or steadily. In very many cases there was no noise at all.

9. The gas (3. and 4.) the hot water (5.) and the coal (6.) lead conclusively to the existence of subterranean fire; and the light (7.) and sound (8.) induce the same belief. (note 4) [ http://www-socal.wr.usgs.gov/hough/note4.html ]

10. But, after all, it is not very evident what kindles the flame beneath; by what means it is supported by air, and kept from extinction by water; how deep it lies; how it convulses the superincumbent strata, and communicates its tremors instantaneously, for several hundred miles. Nor am I able to explain to my satisfaction, why a certain part of the bed of the Mississippi was its focus; nor why it happened during the winter season.

I console myself, however, that the history which I have written will give valuable information to the curious on these subjects, and assist some more happy inquirer into nature, to deduce a full and adequate theory of earthquakes.

Let me, nevertheless, before I lay down my pen, request the reader to consider this paper as a sequel to the history of the earthquakes in New-England, as has it been written by the learned and ingenious Samuel Williams, LL. D. and published in the transactions of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences at Boston.

Permit me also to observe, that contemporaneous earthquakes have agitated other regions of the globe. Terrible commotions were experienced among the Azores in 1808 and 1811; and in Venezuela and St. Vincents in 1812. I have collected the facts into distinct histories, which I intend at convenient times to offer to this society.

The favourers of the several hypotheses invented to explain the awful phenomena of earthquakes, may all find arguments to support them, in the preceding recitals. The mechanical reasoner will find the great strat of the earth falling in some places, rising in others, and agitated everywhere. The chemical expositor will discover evidence enough of subterranean fire in the coal, hot water, vapour, and air bubbles which were ejected and extricated. The electrical philosopher will deduce from the lights, the noises, and the velocity of their motions, conclusions favourable to the origin of earthquakes from electron, that subtile and universal agent. Even the believer of the conversion of metallic potassium, by rapid inflammation, into common potash in the deep recesses of the earth, will find in the salt-petrous sandstone of the western states, a better argument than any I am acquainted with, to countenance the alkaline system of earthquakes. And yet, these various expositions, plausible, in some respects, as each of them is, are deficient in that general character and universal application which ought to pervade scientific researches."


Cheers, Dave Smith.
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Re: New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-1812 vs the Great Comet?

Unread postby MGmirkin » Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:17 am

Must've been composing our messages in sync... That's awesome! :D

Great minds, and all that... Thanks, you saved me a big load of copying and pasting! ;)

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Re: New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-1812 vs the Great Comet?

Unread postby threegee » Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:31 pm

Has anyone gone through newspaper archives yet? A quick search reveals the following source reprinted the original article (as was typical at the time--the Connecticut Current of Hartford, CT, also reprinted from the N.Y. Evening Post):

"Domestic. Earthquakes." 1812/03/25. Georgia Journal, vol. III, issue 22. Milledgeville, Georgia. NewsBank/Readex, Database: America's Historical Newspapers, SQN: 11B9B944C71D59A0.

Mr. Wm. Pierce may have been exaggerating, but the article itself is real.
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Re: New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-1812 vs the Great Comet?

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:37 am

Great thread. Really enjoyed the article by Pierce - beautifully written.
A few general thoughts:
The various effects of this quake appear to have been felt across quite a large tract of the US.
Is this area / region generally prone to quakes?

The effects seem to have been felt in mountains / hills, rivers and lakes, and regular countryside. Is there anything about the geography / geology thereabouts which could have been a factor?

The report mentioned various smells and visible phenomenon which I personally don't recall seeing in reports of other quakes (admittedly these are generally in the media).

Would it be possible to track down any info on the comet which is mentioned? Did anything else happen in other parts of the world as this comet was over head?

I'm guessing here, but the effects of the comet would be down to its electric charge rather than the comet as a comet?

Was this a known comet, i.e. a regular one? If so, what happened on previous appearances?
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Re: New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-1812 vs the Great Comet?

Unread postby MGmirkin » Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:01 pm

Grey Cloud wrote:Would it be possible to track down any info on the comet which is mentioned?


Certainly, it's the Great Comet of 1811.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C/1811_F1
http://cometography.com/lcomets/1811f1.html
http://www.daviddarling.info/encycloped ... omets.html

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Re: New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-1812 vs the Great Comet?

Unread postby nick c » Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:31 pm

Hello Threegee:
I hate to be a nitpicker, but I will anyway :lol:
A quick search reveals the following source reprinted the original article (as was typical at the time--the Connecticut Current of Hartford, CT,

It's the Courant (not Current altho that would be appropriate for the EU,) oldest continously published newspaper in the US, presently called the Hartford Courant.
sorry about that :geek:

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Re: New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-1812 vs the Great Comet?

Unread postby seasmith » Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:15 pm

~
Grey Cloud wrote:


The various effects of this quake appear to have been felt across quite a large tract of the US.
Is this area / region generally prone to quakes?


Not particularly. The mapped geodetic faults are mainly ancient and fairly inactive,
Sounding maybe that the Missippi River basin acted as some grand lightning rod / electrical grid, as did various conducting subterranean seams ??
Whatever, it makes for a strange witch's brew of electrical, chemical, celestial and igneous events.
I drove through the New Madrid fault area one time, in Arkansas / Missouri [flat land west of the Mississppi river] and it is still quite a scar today.
i'll try to find some air-satellite photoes.

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Re: New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-1812 vs the Great Comet?

Unread postby seasmith » Wed Jul 09, 2008 1:45 pm

Image

http://rmmcweb.cr.usgs.gov/outreach/mapcatalog/earthquakes.html

Image
http://www.showme.net/~fkeller/quake/sitemap.htm

Four earlier prehistoric earthquakes or earthquake sequences have been dated
A.D. 1450 ± 150,
900 ± 100,
300 ± 200,
and 2350 B.C. ± 200 years


New Madrid Fault is in the middle
of a tectonic plate.


Image
http://www.showme.net/~fkeller/quake/liquefaction.htm

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Re: New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-1812 vs the Great Comet?

Unread postby threegee » Wed Jul 09, 2008 5:52 pm

nick c wrote:Hello Threegee:
I hate to be a nitpicker, but I will anyway :lol:
A quick search reveals the following source reprinted the original article (as was typical at the time--the Connecticut Current of Hartford, CT,

It's the Courant (not Current altho that would be appropriate for the EU,) oldest continously published newspaper in the US, presently called the Hartford Courant.
sorry about that :geek:

Nick C


That's a rather funny slip. And yes, it is now known as the Hartford Courant, one of the last American newspapers using that term.
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Re: New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-1812 vs the Great Comet?

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:29 am

Seasmith,
Thanks very much for the links and images. I shall be working my way through them over the next day or three.
And, man, those google links are long aren't they?
Cheers
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Re: New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-1812 vs the Great Comet?

Unread postby BullSchmutz » Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:26 pm

So the report is saying there was a considerable lack of electric activity beforehand, then a sudden boom of it just before and during.

A Calm before the storm, so to speak.
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Re: Earthquakes - Electrical Precursors in Ionosphere

Unread postby GaryN » Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:56 pm

Regarding the China earthquake, this page must raise a few questions:

http://en.epochtimes.com/news/8-7-9/73205.html
In order to change an existing paradigm you do not struggle to try and change the problematic model. You create a new model and make the old one obsolete. -Buckminster Fuller
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Re: New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-1812 vs the Great Comet?

Unread postby MGmirkin » Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:48 pm

BullSchmutz wrote:So the report is saying there was a considerable lack of electric activity beforehand, then a sudden boom of it just before and during.

A Calm before the storm, so to speak.


Seems so, for some reason. Wonder why it was so calm (without the usual thunder and other electrical goings on) for the months / year leading up to the blow? Sounds like it was somehow storing it up and let it all out in one long protracted series of earthquakes for months on end... It was apparent enough that people commented on it (they thought it significant enough to remark upon at the time).

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Re: Earthquakes - Electrical Precursors in Ionosphere

Unread postby MGmirkin » Thu Jul 10, 2008 11:05 pm

GaryN wrote:Regarding the China earthquake, this page must raise a few questions:

http://en.epochtimes.com/news/8-7-9/73205.html


Yes, I'd seen similar reports. But nothing terribly concrete, if you'll pardon the pun.

So, which came first the earthquake or the non-existent armory detonation? ;) Hehe.

A good question. Though the reports of a dip in ionospheric charged particle concentrations leading up to the Sichuan quake (beforehand) seems to indicate that there was some natural cause? Unless of course nukes start doing weird things BEFORE they go off (things which might tinker with the ionosphere)?

But, again, it's all still pretty speculative at this point.

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