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Ian's Shoelace Site - Bringing you the fun, fashion & science of shoelaces
Shoelace News Stories
Shoelace News Stories Shoelaces are common, useful items. Here's some links to recent news stories, where you'll discover some of the good and bad, happy and sad events either caused by or involving shoelaces.
External links should open in a new browser window, leaving current page active.

Shoelace News Story Excerpts
Tangled shoelace causes Madison crash
WGME News 13, Portland (USA), 27-Feb-2014
"A driver in Madison had his shoelace become tangled with the gas pedal, causing him to crash into a truck."
Video: Rafael Nadal takes a nasty fall and breaks ... a shoelace
Sports Illustrated (USA), 20-Jan-2014
Tennis player Rafael Nadal's broken shoelace
"When Rafael Nadal takes a bad tumble, the tennis world gasps and holds its breath. Did he hurt himself? Did his knees break?"
...
"Turns out there were no scratches - just a busted shoelace. The match was delayed as Nadal had to run off court to get a new shoelace from the locker room. Apparently, of all the things he carries with him on court, an extra pair of laces isn't one of them."
NBA Fines Knicks' Smith for Shoelace Incidents
The New York Times (USA), 09-Jan-2014
Basketballer untying opponent's laces
"After J. R. Smith was spotted untying one of Shawn Marion's sneaker laces in the Knicks' win over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, N.B.A. officials privately reprimanded him and told him not to do it again."
...
"Midway through the first quarter against the Pistons, Smith unsuccessfully reached for the laces on Greg Monroe's left sneaker as both players awaited a free-throw attempt."
Injured hiker drags himself down Mt Ruapehu
TVNZ (New Zealand), 24-Nov-2013
Injured hiker with helicopter rescue crew
"The 19-year-old man was hiking alone on the northwest slopes of the mountain when he slipped, sliding up to 100 metres and fracturing his leg."

"The man, who is living and working in New Zealand, used his shoe laces to tie his legs together and began to drag himself down the mountain, yelling for help."
Referee punishes goalkeeper after opponent helps to tie his boot laces
Metro (UK), 11-Nov-2013
Opponent ties goalkeeper's laces
"With the match between Al Nahdha and Al Ittihad all square at 2-2 host goalkeeper Taisir Al Antaif was about to make a clearance when he realised his boot lace was undone."

"Unsure as to what to do (those big foam gloves make lace-tying quite tricky) Al Antaif was saved by opposition striker Jobson, who, noticing the keeper’s plight, trotted up to his rival and bent down to tie the goalie’s lace."
Ian's Comment: Amazing sportsmanship! Firstly, to re-tie the laces of an opponent. Secondly, after a penalty kick was unfairly awarded as a result, the kick was deliberately squandered, thus reinstating the gesture that would otherwise have been destroyed by the over-zealous referee. A win for both teams!
Burglar caught out by his own sweaty feet after he leaves DNA evidence at crime scene
Daily Mail (UK), 21-Oct-2013
Burglar breaking in (Daily Mail file picture)
"A prolific burglar was finally jailed after he was given away by his sweaty feet."

"David Wilks, 33, left a small piece of shoelace at a crime scene and police sent it away to be DNA tested."

"A court heard sweat from Wilks's feet had seeped into the shoelace and police were able to get his DNA profile."
Police hunt convicted killer who escaped using shoelace
This Is South Wales (UK), 20-Jul-2013
Prison escapee James Stevenson
"A CONVICTED killer who escaped from his custody cell using a shoelace is wanted by police."
...
"He escaped from a Dorset prison where he was being held for the manslaughter in 2005."

"Four years later Stevenson went on the run for more than two weeks after fleeing from his cell at Swansea's Guildhall, minutes after he was sentenced to five years in prison for possessing a shotgun."

"He was given an additional two years on his sentence after he inserted a shoelace into the cell door and used it to pull back a spring-loaded latch."
Ian's Comment: This is the same person who escaped using the same shoelace technique back in Jan-2010 (see story below) and probably the same method in 2005. When will the authorities improve the locks on their prison cells?
Police officer's shoelace favour tugs internet's heartstrings
Toronto Star (Canada), 30-May-2013
Police officer Mark Borsboom + other man
"It was only after getting a bit closer that he realized the officer was not searching the elderly man – whom Cassidy described as having a cane and a breathing apparatus that ran through his nose – but instead tying his shoe."
'Hissing' passenger tied up with shoe-laces after he tries to open jet plane door mid-flight
Daily Mail (UK), 27-May-2013
Passenger Alexander Herrera
"Ten minutes before Flight 132 was due to land in Portland, Oregon, Alexander Michael Herrera, 23 allegedly tried to open the emergency door after making 'unusual' statements."

"The plane's crew and other passengers in row 17 had to restrain him with shoe laces and belt clips."
Design students step into limelight with sculpture at Malaysia International Shoe Festival
The Star (Malaysia), 29-Mar-2013
Shoe sculpture made out of 40,000 shoelace pieces
"The 3m-high shoe sculpture, made of 40,000 pieces of shoelaces, drew the attention of visitors with its colourful design and sheer size."

"It entered the Malaysia Book Of Records as the largest sculpture to be made from shoelaces."
Man with the world's most advanced bionic hand can now tie his own shoelaces ...
Daily Mail (UK), 11-Mar-2013
Nigel Ackland tying shoelaces with his bionic hand
"Its crazy I can now tie my shoe laces for the first time in years and play with playing cards."
Play of the day: Shoelaces lead to red card
The New Zealand Herald (NZ), 01-Feb-2013
Eredivisie football players tangled by shoelaces
"Roda JC striker Sanharib Malki might be looking to order shorter shoelaces for future games after his current pair led to a red card in a Dutch Eredivisie League game this week."

"The Syrian player (Sanharib Malki) was left tangled with ADO Den Haag striker Mike van Duinen when their shoelaces got caught while both players attempted to go for the ball."
Duct tape and shoe laces propel WRX STI to second overall in Sno*Drift Rally
Torque News, 30-Jan-2013
David Higgins and his WRX
"The 2013 Subaru WRX STI driven by David Higgins took second overall in the first Sno*Drift Rally race after being put back together with duct tape and a co-drivers shoe laces."
Accident tied to shoelace
Observer Today (USA), 03-Nov-2012
Rite Aid car crash
"According to police, the vehicle struck the building after the driver's shoelace interfered with the brake pedal."
... traffic ASP suspended after forcing constable to tie his shoelace
India Today, 26-Sep-2012
Constable ties police superintendent VN Tiwari's shoelaces
"Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday suspended VN Tiwari, additional superintendent of police of Traffic Department for asking a constable to tie his shoelace."
Brock: Shoelace antics led to Suh stomp
Fox Sports (USA), 12-Dec-2011
Football player Ndamukong Suh
"So he says, 'OK, every time you're in a pile, I want you to focus on something. I want you to untie his shoes.' "

" 'Anytime you can, just reach in; he's got floppy shoe laces, he doesn't spat (cover them with tape) or anything, just untie his shoes. It will irritate him.' "

"Brock said the Packers offensive lineman untied Suh's shoes three times during the game."

" 'That's why he stomped him,' Brock said."
Bristol mum's horror as boy's shoelace gets stuck in Primark escalator
Bristol Evening Post (UK), 12-Dec-2011
Connor Garland & mum Kirsty
"A PREGNANT mum says she was abused by shoppers and ignored by staff as she struggled to free her son when his shoelace became stuck in a store's escalator."
...
" 'I was desperately trying to pull his shoe off but it was getting tighter as the lace was pulled in.' "
Shoe laces help Wigton's John Millington master RAC Rally
News & Star (UK), 09-Dec-2011
Rally driver John Millington
"But the event wasn't all plain sailing - the pair had to operate their wipers using shoe laces at one point after they failed in heavy rain."
...
" 'We tied shoe laces around the wiper blade and had to drag it across the screen when the water got too much for Gwyndaf to see through the screen.' "
Van driver cleared of killing biker on Bury New Road after telling jury his shoelace became tangled on pedals
Manchester Evening News (UK), 08-Dec-2011
Van driver Stephen Johnson
"A van driver has been cleared over the death of a biker after the jury heard his shoelace had got stuck around the accelerator."

"Stephen Johnson, 54, couldn't get his foot on to the brake and drove straight into the path of motorcyclist Ian Brierley."
Man dies in freak shooting accident
News24 (Africa), 31-Oct-2011
"Dr Paul Möller, 60, was alone at a shooting range on Saturday morning when he apparently stepped on a loose shoelace and fell down while holding his .357 revolver."
Dravid's shoe-lace costs him his wicket!
OneIndia, 13-Aug-2011
Batsman Rahul Dravid
"... commentator David Frost discerned that the bat had actaully [sic] brushed against the lace of Dravid's boot in the willow's follow-through and that it was most likely this unusual collision that exuded the impression of a thick nick by the ball off the bat!"
David Bowie's Manners Won Over Iman
Daily Express (UK), 29-Jul-2011
Iman & David Bowie
"I remember once the laces on my trainers came undone and David was down on his knees in the middle of the street tying them for me."
Michael Caine hates shoe laces
Yahoo! OMG! (Philippines), 19-Jul-2011
Actor Michael Caine
"[One night] my shoe lace broke. It screwed me right up. I've never worn shoes with laces since."
How the Markells met: Love at first shoelace?
Delaware Online (USA), 24-Jun-2011
Jack & Carla Markell
"Host Joe Scarborough introduced Carla Markell ... noting the couple first met in kindergarten."

"Asked what kind of introduction the young Jack Markell made, the first lady responded: 'He taught me how to tie my shoes.' "
Gosport man gets head stuck in thorn bush after trying to tie shoelaces
Hampshire Daily Echo (UK), 19-Jan-2011
"A MAN fell down a 20-foot embankment and ended up with his head stuck in a thorn bush after an unsuccessful attempt to tie his shoe laces."
...
"Shortly after midnight the man bent down to tie his laces at Rowner Road, Gosport, and rolled down the bank."
Laces save TA soldier from Taliban sniper
Daily Mirror (UK), 05-Dec-2010
"A soldier was saved from a Taliban sniper - by his boot laces."

"Lance Corporal Michael Davies, 31, bent down to tie up his laces a split-second before he was fired on."
Beckham's Newcastle ties
Newcastle Herald (Australia), 27-Nov-2010
David Beckham ties Harrison Jones' laces
"Eight-year-old Harrison Jones will never forget the day football royalty bent down to tie his shoelace, even though the junior rugby league player did not know who David Beckham was before yesterday."
...
" 'I was running around and he asked me if he could do my shoelace up and I said yes. I think it was pretty cool.' "
Movie prank led to marriage of 60 years
Bay of Plenty Times (New Zealand), 20-Oct-2010
Married couple Imez & Harry Johns
" 'I saw this pretty girl sitting in front of me and she had long beautiful plaits which were flowing over the back of her chair. So I took my shoelace out of my shoe and I tied her plaits to her seat,' said Mr Johns."

"Imez believes she may have threw the shoelace back at him."
Teen using shoelace to light candle sets house on fire
NBC 10 News (USA), 04-Oct-2010
Providence house fire
"Investigators said Monday that a teenager who tried to a light a candle with a shoelace started a fire that left seven people homeless."
...
"He couldn't reach the wick, so he set a shoelace on fire and tried to use it as a lighter."

"Officials said the teenager threw away the shoelace in a wastebasket filled with tissues, which started smoking."
Things are picking up for the bionic boy
Telegraph (UK), 06-Sep-2010
Bionic boy Patrick Kane
"On July 22 my 13-year-old son, Patrick, tied his shoelaces. It was a moving occasion. For the first time in his life he had performed this routine but intricate task, on his own and unaided."
...
"Patrick had become the youngest of the small number of people round the world - some 1,400 or so - fitted with the Touch Bionic prosthetic. He was the 'bionic boy'."
...
"It can lift up to 90 kilos, perform intricate tasks (such as shoelace tying, holding spherical objects, using a keyboard), and provide a level of digital functionality previously impossible."
Boyfriend falls 11 stories and dies after trying to scale girlfriend's building
NY Daily News (USA), 09-Jul-2010
Harlem apartment
"A man who tried to scale down the side of a Harlem building [with] with shoelaces and a belt plunged 11 floors to his death Thursday morning."
...
"Wright tied the laces and the belt to a pipe and tried to inch his way to her top-floor window, then plummeted onto a second-floor patio roof."
Slide tackle gets laces stuck to studs
Yahoo! Sports (USA), 19-May-2010
Soccer players Silva & Davi
"After a horrible first touch early on in Cruzeiro's match against Avai on Sunday, defender Leonardo Silva went in for a challenge on a charging Davi that resulted in getting Davi's laces stuck to the studs on Silva's boot."
Man crawls out of ravine after crash
Cowichan Valley Citizen (Canada), 05-May-2010
Crashed car
"When he was going to downtown Duncan his shoelace got caught under the accelerator of the vehicle and he sped out of control and off the road, ..."
...
"It came to rest approximately 200 feet down the bank."
Dog mauls boy, 11, in Tieri street
Central Queensland News (Australia), 26-Mar-2010
"A Tieri schoolboy's face was slashed and bitten in an unprovoked weekend dog attack."

"The 11-year-old was walking alone down Pisces Street on Sunday afternoon when he bent over to tie a loose shoelace and was savaged by the medium-sized black and white dog."
Figure skater Nobunari Oda dragged down by his bootlaces
Reuters, 19-Feb-2010
Nobunari Oda's untied skate laces
"Following a crash landing on the triple loop, memories of Tonya Harding's skating debacle at the 1994 Olympics came flooding back when Japan's Oda had to stop mid routine to sort out one of his bootlaces."

"With the long laces trailing his boots on the ice, Oda skated up to the judges seeking permission to retie the offending piece of cord."
Mandela's Shoelaces
The New Yorker (USA), 11-Feb-2010
Nelson Mandela after his release
"Mandela asked for a meeting with P. W. Botha, the head of the apartheid state, which Coetsee and Barnard finally arranged in 1989. From an account by Richard Stengel, who collaborated with Mandela on his autobiography, 'Long Walk to Freedom':"
"So anxious was Barnard, the intelligence chief, about the meeting that seconds before the two men were to shake hands, he knelt down to fix Mandela's clumsily tied shoes. (Prisoners were forbidden shoelaces, and Mandela was long out of the habit of tying them.)"
Prisoner used shoe lace to escape from Swansea court
BBC News (UK), 04-Jan-2010
Shoelace escapee James Stevenson
"A prisoner has admitted escaping from the crown court in Swansea after using a shoe lace to tamper with a lock."
...
"The court heard Stevenson had used a shoe lace to tamper with a latch on his cell door during the escape."
Ian's Comment: This same person escaped again using the same shoelace technique in Jul-2013 (see story above). When will the authorities improve the locks on their prison cells?
Ayrshire dog rescued after falling from icy cliff ledge
Ayrshire Post (UK), 01-Jan-2010
Rescued dog Bruno
"Bruno somehow finished up on a precarious ledge in the Galloway Hills, beyond Loch Doon."
...
"Brian now had to think about getting them both off the ledge."

"He used boot spare boot laces to make a lead, tying one end to Bruno's collar and the other round his wrist."

" 'I had to virtually throw Bruno on to the ledge above,' said the fit gardener/handyman."
Hiker rescued after falling 100 feet in LA forest
Mercury News (USA), 28-Dec-2009
Splint improvised with hammer & boot laces
"Los Angeles County sheriff's officials say the man fell while hiking a trail in Eaton Canyon on Monday, injuring his right leg."
...
"He also improvised a splint for his injured leg with his boot laces and a hammer."
(Original link on the Mercury News website now dead)
Illinois doctor delivers air male
American Medical News (USA), 21-Dec-2009
Dr. John Saran with shoelaces
"After John Saran, MD, delivered a baby boy on a Southwest Airlines flight on Dec. 4, patients at his Naperville, Ill., office started showering him with shoelaces. Dr. Saran used a shoelace and a sweatshirt string to clamp the baby's umbilical cord."
The luckiest boy in Swansea
This Is South Wales (UK), 02-Nov-2009
Felix Vaughn and his trainer
"A Swansea teenager who disappeared 100ft over a cliff to chase one of his beloved new trainers is recovering at home - with a new pair of daps."

"... Felix had kicked some stones over the edge of the cliff, accidentally sending one his new £20 Quicksilver trainers flying because the laces were untied."
Broken bench lawsuit can move forward
The Jersey Journal (USA), 02-Nov-2009
Fitzgerald Park benches
"A Bayonne woman who injured herself after her shoelace wrapped around a bolt sticking up from a city park bench does have the right to sue the city - even though a Superior Court judge dismissed the case."
...
"Bolger's laces looped around the bolt when she tucked her leg under herself and turned around to keep an eye on her other daughter."

"When Bolger rose from the bench, her shoelace snagged on the protruding bolt and she crashed to the ground, suffering 'facial trauma' that sent her to the emergency room, according to court records."
ECISD bus runs over teen
Odessa American (USA), 28-Sep-2009
ECISD school bus
"An eighth grader at Nimitz Junior High School was severely injured Monday afternoon after getting ran over by a school bus on Odessa's southside, ..."
...
"Chris, 14, said he and Alexis were playing on the sidewalk after getting off the bus when Alexis tripped on his shoelaces and fell under. He said bus 659's right rear tire ran over Alexis' shoulder and collarbone, while his face struck the pavement from the impact."
Baby born in car was in bigger rush than traffic
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (USA), 01-Aug-2009
Taylore Rullo and baby Ari
"Just a few more minutes and Ari Payton Smith might have been born in a nice, soft bed in the clean confines of Magee-Womens Hospital in Oakland."

"But Ari wouldn't wait. So she was born in the front passenger seat of her great-grandmother's Pontiac Aztek, ..."

"One passer-by - 'the shoelace guy' - offered help."

" 'There was a guy who stopped who wanted to know if he could help,' Pat Rullo said. 'I was looking for a string or something to tie off the [umbilical] cord. The next thing I knew, there was a shoelace in my lap, and I never saw him again.' "
Fox steals more than 100 shoes
Retuers, 12-Jun-2009
Fox culprit in shoe thefts
"A fox has been unmasked as the mystery thief of more than 100 shoes in the small western German town of Foehren, authorities said Friday."
...
"Although many were missing laces, the shoes were in good condition and their owners were delighted to reclaim them, he said, adding that no reprisals were planned against the culprit."
Girl survives punctured trachea
UPI, USA, 25-Feb-2009
"A 6-year-old student at an elementary school in Tennessee fell on a pencil when she tripped over her shoe lace and put a hole in her trachea."
...
"School officials said the girl was carrying the pencil when one of her laces became untied."
Burglar left hanging upside down after trapping shoelace
Telegraph, UK, 22-Aug-2008
Burglar John Pearce trapped by his shoelace
"An hapless burglar was left hanging upside down against a window after trapping a shoe lace during a break-in."
...
"The thief, John Pearce, had got his foot caught after smashing his way through the glass."
Bolting to a World Record
Time, USA, 16-Aug-2008
Usain Bolt's loose shoelace
"Usain Bolt of Jamaica broke his own world record in the 100 meters to win the Olympic gold medal."
...
"And he did it with his shoes untied: his left laces were flopping around at the finish."
Man hit by police cruiser was tying shoe, friends say
The Columbus Dispatch, USA, 05-Aug-2008
Boback Pourfarhadi accident scene
"Columbus police said the 25-year-old Boback Pourfarhadi fell and was lying in the roadway when Minerva Park Officer Jason Gross, who was driving south on Westerville Road, ran over him."

"But the friends -- two women and a man -- told the elder Pourfarhadi that Boback had bent over to tie his shoelace and that they were waving at the officer to slow down because they thought he was speeding, he said."
Dad delivers his own daughter in a van
Chippewa Valley News, USA, 04-Apr-2008
Baby Nora Weindorfer and family
"At one point, he asked a doctor there if they had anything he could use as a makeshift shoelace. The doctor handed him something, and Jason laced up the loose shoe."

"It turned out to be umbilical cord tape - the stuff doctors use in the delivery room to tie off the cord."
Ian's Comment: I love the irony of Jason using his shoelaces to tie off the umbilical cord, then being given umbilical cord tape to tie up his shoes!
Andy's High Regard For Doctors
60 Minutes, CBS News, USA, 23-Mar-2008
News correspondent Andy Rooney
"He did not know how to tie his shoelaces. His laces always ended up with the loops parallel to the shoe instead of with the bow across. This is a doctor who knows how to do the most sophisticated things with the organs inside a human body but can't tie his shoelaces?"
Ian's Comment: This sounds like a "Granny Knot", the solution to which can be found on my Granny Knot page.
25 years jail for escaped drug dealer
ABC News, Australia, 04-Mar-2008
Shoelace escapee Chuck Lau
"A Canadian man, once dubbed the shoelace escapee, has been sentenced to 25 years jail for one of Western Australia's largest heroin importations that dates back 14 years."
...
"Lau was once dubbed the shoelace escapee because when he fled the state authorities claimed he used a shoelace to manipulate a lock on a door."
'Shoe tree' toppled
Union Tribune, San Diego CA USA, 09-Jan-2008
Shoe Tree prior to falling
"For some reason, people tossed their shoes onto the massive tree, which graced hole No. 2 at Morley Field Disc Golf Course for about three decades."
...
"Until Sunday."

"Wicked winds knocked the old tree to the ground. It had died years ago, but it was never cut down because of its popularity."
...
"All of the shoes were gone, but there were two pairs of laces - one turquoise, the other white - strung around the branch. And what looked like a black handkerchief was actually a pair of Victoria Secret panties."
Smashed vases go back on display
BBC News, UK, 09-Nov-2007
Restored Qing Dynasty vases
"Three 17th Century Chinese porcelain vases accidentally smashed when a museum visitor tripped are back on public display after being restored."
...
"They were smashed into hundreds of pieces when Mr Flynn tripped over his shoelace."
Ian's Comment: See also the original story at the bottom of this page.
Clinton told to "tie her shoe"
The Messenger, Fort Dodge IA USA, 10-Oct-2007
Hillary Clinton's shoes
"Hillary Clinton was reminded Tuesday that even an undone shoelace can somehow be tied to the health care issue."
...
" 'We've been at this, in Iowa especially, a year,' said the man, adding, 'And lastly, would you tie your shoe so you don't trip over it?' "
...
"Then, proving that even a candidate seeking the highest office in the United States can take a bit of friendly advice, she sat down and tied her shoelace. The audience loved it."
Police release more details in accidental shooting
Capital News 9, Albany NY USA, 12-Sep-2007
Albany Police news conference
"It started as a routine job for an Albany drug task force, but it ended in a bizarre scene."
...
"The officers tied him up with shoelace because they didn't carry handcuffs into the field either. O'Reilly escaped the shoelace restraints and ran away before being caught."
Family Suing After Son Drowns
KNDO/KNDU News, Washington USA, Aug-2007
Memorial photo of Tayler Loch
"Nearly a year later, the family of a Kennewick boy who drown [sic] in an irrigation pipe is suing the Kennewick Irrigation District."
...
"Loch was sliding through a culvert with friends in the Beer Falls area off Clearwater in Kennewick last October when his shoelace got caught and held him under the water and he drown." [sic]
Diana's wolf whistle to Simon
The Sun, UK, 26-Jun-2007
The late Princess Diana
"Duran Duran star Simon Le Bon has told how Princess Di wolf-whistled at him 'like a brickie' as she admired his bum."
...
"I jumped off a running machine because my shoelace was undone".
"She wolf-whistled at me across the room and yelled like a brickie, 'Nice legs!' "
Driver caught on tape
The Bakersfield Californian, USA, 04-May-2007
Hit & run video
"Erica, her brother and their mother were on F Street crossing Poso Drive at 7 p.m. when Erica stopped, apparently to tie her shoes. The mother and brother continued across the street. Erica looked up, saw them ahead of her and ran to catch up."

"A westbound car hit Erica and briefly carried her on its hood before she fell beneath its wheels."
(Original link on the Bakersfield Californian site now dead)
Drummer Bobby Jarzombek Breaks Wrist, Is Forced To Sit Out PainMuseum Festival Gig
BlabberMouth, 23-Apr-2007
Drummer Bobby Jarzombek
"Just one of those things - I was re-arranging my rehearsal studio in Hollywood when my shoelace got caught in the 'U' part of a guitar stand (the part that the neck sits into) that was laying on the floor."
Shoelace costs museum dear as vases are shattered
The Guardian, UK, 31-Jan-2006
Shattered Qing dynasty vases
"According to witnesses, an unfortunate visitor tripped over his shoelace and fell on to three Qing dynasty vases, shattering them."
...
"The man kept pointing to his shoelace, saying, 'There it is; that's the culprit.' "
Please Contact Me if any of the above links doesn't work or if you have another link that you feel would make a good addition to this list.

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