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Thread: Into The Wild: Christopher McCandless

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    Into The Wild: Christopher McCandless

    This looks like a good movie. Directed by Sean Penn, music by Eddie Vedder.
    The story is about Christopher McCandless, a 24 year old who, after graduating in 1990, cut all ties with his wealthy family and began to travel all over. In April 1992 he went to Alaska, with very few supplies, and apparently survived for a few months, but was found in Sept. of 1992, by some hunters, dead and decomposed in an old bus. Cause of death remains open, but most likely starvation. I am not sure what would cause someone to turn their back on the world like that, but that is too young to go.

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    The book by Jon Krakauer is excellent. I look forward to seeing the movie.

    A very sad story.

    There is speculation in the book that some seeds he had were actually poisonous. Potato seeds of some sort, maybe?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. Watson View Post
    The book by Jon Krakauer is excellent. I look forward to seeing the movie.

    A very sad story.

    There is speculation in the book that some seeds he had were actually poisonous. Potato seeds of some sort, maybe?
    Yeah, I saw a reference to that, some seeds that will block nutrients even if you have eough to eat?

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    Quote Originally Posted by endsleigh03 View Post
    This looks like a good movie. Directed by Sean Penn, music by Eddie Vedder.
    The story is about Christopher McCandless, a 24 year old who, after graduating in 1990, cut all ties with his wealthy family and began to travel all over. In April 1992 he went to Alaska, with very few supplies, and apparently survived for a few months, but was found in Sept. of 1992, by some hunters, dead and decomposed in an old bus. Cause of death remains open, but most likely starvation. I am not sure what would cause someone to turn their back on the world like that, but that is too young to go.
    Directed by Sean Penn and music by Eddie Vedder, huh?
    Well that can only mean one thing...the Republicans killed him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tugboat25 View Post
    Directed by Sean Penn and music by Eddie Vedder, huh?
    Well that can only mean one thing...the Republicans killed him.
    I roared when I saw this tug lmao

    They did, didn't they?
    Last edited by endsleigh03; 10-23-2007 at 12:42 PM.

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    Don't be silly......it was the same unknown assailant who killed Nicole Simpson, Ron Goldman, & Jon Benet Ramsey!

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    I got the soundtrack...its really damn good....REALLY good.

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    I lost track of this, other than some "Oscar buzz" talk.
    Anyone see it?

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    I didn't even hear any Oscar buzz.

    You don't mess with friggin Dave Coulier click here to mess

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    Quote Originally Posted by djdeath-hag View Post
    Don't be silly......it was the same unknown assailant who killed Nicole Simpson, Ron Goldman, & Jon Benet Ramsey!
    oh dear it seems we have a serial killer known only as the unknown assailant

    Let opinions be heard

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    Here is the trailer for the film

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LAuzT_x8Ek

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    Chris McCandless is to hikers, what Tim Treadwell is to naturalists--- and both paid a terrible price for their delusions.

    Plus, I read that McCandless's family was not well-served by the film version, making them out to be the heavies. Surprise, another "based on a true" story, that's not all that true. As a mother I sympathize with parents, whatever their faults, who were denied a simple phone call or postcard from their boy for over 2 years, and then to find out he died so horribly, within, I understand, a short distance of genuine assistance.

    Plus this isn't the first treament of this subject--- there was an episode in the 2nd season of "Millennnium" (back in 1998) which borrowed elements of the McCandless saga, and dressed the tragic details up with their own metaphysical touches.

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    Yeah, well I still want to see the movie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by endsleigh03 View Post
    Yeah, well I still want to see the movie.
    I want to see this too, I've heard it's really beautiful to watch. It kind of disappeared very quickly...



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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack-O-Lantern View Post
    I want to see this too, I've heard it's really beautiful to watch. It kind of disappeared very quickly...
    It did, didn't it?
    The soundtrack is what took a couple Golden Globes (Or what passed as the Golden Globes this year

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    I think it was some type of roots he was eating, that are poisonous at certain times of the year, while edible at other times. Apparently he didn't know this, and paid the price. According to the book, he went into some very tough country without proper gear, in fact he didn't even have a decent pair of boots. Foolish death, you don't survive in extreme conditions without preparation.

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    I did some research on this because I saw the movie and was intrigued. Chris died of starvation, pure and simple. There was no toxic seeds, roots or anything else found in the autopsy. Just severe malnutrition leading to death. His corpse weighed only 68 lbs.! He was at 80 lbs. when he died.

    But Krakauer first proposed the theory in his book that he had mistakenly eaten toxic potato seeds. The book says :"Initial results from the lab indicate the seeds are toxic." Well, it turns out they aren't. Years later, after the mistake stayed in several editions of the book, Krakauer changed his theory to mold. He says that a mold grew on Chris's seed stash and that's what killed him. This theory doesn't hold water either, since no one has ever died from the type of mold Krakauer theorizes grew on Chris's seeds. Some horses did die from this mold years ago, but they ate---well, like horses--- they ate a ton of the mold before it killed them. In the movie, Penn changed it yet again to Chris discovering he accidentally mixed-up sweet pea seeds with potato seeds, and starved due to poison preventing his body from digesting any food he tried to eat. This is not true either, sweet pea seeds are not toxic.

    Local Alaskans believe Chris basically killed himself, and in fact since he went into the unforgiving Alaskan country so unprepared in the first place, he had a death wish. That he was in fact mentally ill. There are some survival-stocked cabins fairly close to Chris's "magic bus" that were broken into and the food left to spoil. Locals, including the owners of the cabins themselves, believe Chris was the one to break in and ruin the food supply, for whatever weird reason he may have had.

    When Chris apparently tried to leave the bus area and found the river he had previously waded across had swelled from the thaw and could not be crossed, he turned around and went back to the bus. Had he walked downstream a bit there was a hand-pull trolley to cross the river. Some suspect he knew this but just decided to "give up", head back to where he knew there was an inadequate food supply, and die. Even if he didn't know about the trolley, heading back to the bus was a very strange thing to do. Any boy scout knows to walk downstream when you are lost.

    So there are two camps on the McCandless story: Those who consider him an eco-idealist who challenged himself to survive in harshest nature while discovering the true inner-man in himself, made a fatal but understandable mistake in his diet that led to his death, and those who consider him a cocky kid who went to a place he severely underestimated, got in way over his head and didn't try very hard to save himself.

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    I have an early edition of the book that only talks about the seed theory. I always thought it was a bit "off" to go out into the wilderness like that without even a decent pair of boots and expect to survive. Some of his previous actions could certainly point toward some sort of mental illness, I think. Taking all of it into consideration, I would lean toward deliberate starvation.

    Excellent post, Buzzzx!

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    At least he took himself out before breeding. I like happy endings.
    Stay in Drugs. Eat your School. Don't do Vegetables.

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    i never heard this story, i always learn something new on this site

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    I love your avatar Cleanskull!
    I'll definitely be renting this movie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Linnie View Post
    Chris McCandless is to hikers, what Tim Treadwell is to naturalists--- and both paid a terrible price for their delusions.

    Plus, I read that McCandless's family was not well-served by the film version, making them out to be the heavies. Surprise, another "based on a true" story, that's not all that true. As a mother I sympathize with parents, whatever their faults, who were denied a simple phone call or postcard from their boy for over 2 years, and then to find out he died so horribly, within, I understand, a short distance of genuine assistance.

    Plus this isn't the first treament of this subject--- there was an episode in the 2nd season of "Millennnium" (back in 1998) which borrowed elements of the McCandless saga, and dressed the tragic details up with their own metaphysical touches.
    This is why they say movies are based on a true story. The movie-makers can then pretty much follow the real events while taking liberties with the real story, making it "more interesting". No movie that says "based on a true story" or the like is totally true to the story.

    I found an essay written by an Alaska Park Ranger. It's very interesting to read. The most interesting thing to me was that McCandless had killed a moose! But because he didn't know how to perserve the meat, the moose died for nothing and 1500 lbs of meat when to waste. Here's the essay:

    http://nmge.gmu.edu/textandcommunity...n_Response.pdf

    The truly sad thing about this whole story is that people are making McCandless to be a hero. Nothing about what he did was heroic! He didn't have proper clothes, equipment, training, or even a map! I would consider Tim Treadwell a hero before I considered McCandless a hero and it will be cold day in hell when I consider Treadwell a hero.
    Last edited by Lita; 02-09-2008 at 04:27 PM.

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    I wouldn't call him a "hero", but maybe a really mixed-up individual.

    Too bad about the moose.

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    I love the way some people just take off and do something "totally out there"!

    It was his life and he lost it ..........still he got off the couch to do it

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    I wonder how in the hell he killed the moose? Doesn't say he was smart enough to have agun . He sure as hell didn't sneak up pn it and cut its throat or stangle it. Moose are not real friendly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NOVSTORM View Post
    I wonder how in the hell he killed the moose? Doesn't say he was smart enough to have agun . He sure as hell didn't sneak up pn it and cut its throat or stangle it. Moose are not real friendly.
    Killed a moose and let it go to waste? Jesus, this kid sounds more and more like an asshat.

    Is the movie out yet?

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    Its out here in Australia at the cinemas so maybe it has been and gone in the US!

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    Quote Originally Posted by NOVSTORM View Post
    I wonder how in the hell he killed the moose? Doesn't say he was smart enough to have agun . He sure as hell didn't sneak up pn it and cut its throat or stangle it. Moose are not real friendly.
    It didn't say how he killed the moose. The essay just said he did kill one. I'm going to guess a primitive bow and arrow or something. I'll have to look into it further.

    ETA: I found this article: http://outside.away.com/outside/feat...he_wild_1.html It explains in the first page that McCandless had a gun with him. The second page has a picture of him outside the bus in which he died. He looked kind of scary.
    Last edited by Lita; 02-11-2008 at 03:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cherryghost View Post
    I love the way some people just take off and do something "totally out there"!

    It was his life and he lost it ..........still he got off the couch to do it
    Off the couch and into the bus.
    Maybe he shoulda stayed on the couch

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    Quote Originally Posted by endsleigh03 View Post
    Off the couch and into the bus.
    Maybe he shoulda stayed on the couch
    Agreed, then he could have just watched the Movie

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    I saw this one last night on DVD. I thought it was a good movie. I hate to say it, but this guy Chris was a complete idiot to think he could just go out into the frozen tundra with 10 lbs of rice and think he could make it out there.

    And all these people he met along the way who were totally nice to him and helped him out and then gave them the major brush-off. All along all he thought of was himself.

    The article link that was posted in the thread a few posts ago is a really good one and you don't haveto run out to buy the book if you read that, and also explains the way he died - he starved to death. No food, no game around.

    If he only knew how to hunt and smoked enough meat, he would have survived the winter.

    The only thing that irritated me thru-out the movie was the fake beard. It was pretty obvious.

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    I've read quite a bit about this (not seen the movie or book, just searched for info) after my mom told her her book club was reading the book, and that a woman in her book club is friends with Christopher McCandless' parents. (They live near them.)

    I just think that he seemed so foolish...some people should have to go live with their parents again after graduating if they haven't matured enough to go out into the real world. My husband and mother and I all discussed this for hours (days, even) so I won't go into my whole attitude here as it would take ages, but, I mean honestly, no map or compass?

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    I waited endlessly, it seemed for a chance to see the movie. Now that I've watched the movie, I'm not entirely sure if I want to read the book it was based on or not.

    I think that Chris' parents were depended on too heavily as Chris' reason for doing what he did. The movie made Chris out to be something of a selfish brat, I thought. Even if I did enjoy watching it. The cinematography was beautiful...

    What I wonder is, how many of the accusations made about his parents in the film were really truth? His father having an entirely different family? His mother being abused? Those are some intense claims to make without hearing both sides...

    When it boils down to it, my opinion of Chris is that he simply did what he wanted to do, albeit EXTREMELY foolishly. Had he had ANY inkling of what he was getting himself into, any training whatsoever, then he may have survived it.
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    He may have survived it but look at Timothy Treadwell. He knew what he was doing and he still got dead. Albeit they died in very different ways. I just hate it that movies are made about these guys, like they're some kind of heroes. Yeah, it's impressive that Chris left his wordly possessions and went out into the world like he did but obviously he wasn't very smart.

    It doesn't surprise me that there are allegations of abuse in this movie. I think people look for reasons in why other people do things. It makes sense that Chris would leave if his dad had another family or abused him or his mom. I think that part was probably just made for the movie though. It gives the audience a reason where as before that was put in, there really was no reason for Chris to leave like he did.

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    Into the Wild: Tourist Attraction?


    Photo: Marc Paterson
    Chris McCandless, the 24-year-old vagabond who hiked into the Alaskan wilderness alone with a ten-pound bag of rice in 1992, never made it out of the wild, but the abandoned bus where he died of starvation just might—that is, if some Alaskans have their way.
    The Toronto Star has the scoop: Alaskans are now bracing themselves for an influx of “McCandless pilgrims" (such as Marc Paterson, pictured) inspired by the release of the Sean Penn-directed film, Into the Wild, to trek the Stampede Trail, seeking out the infamous city bus where McCandless perished. Local residents in Healy, Alaska, are brainstorming ways to deal with the “unwanted tourist attraction.”
    Among the suggestions is airlifting the bus from its site, either to the start of the trail where it would be more accessible or nearby to a park in Fairbanks. The Star explains:
    About 100 visitors, mostly young men, make the trip to Healy (population 1,000) each year. Many making it into the bus shoot videos for posting on YouTube and snap photos for Facebook, often imitating the iconic pose of the skeleton-like McCandless in Krakauer's book, which showed the young man grinning as he leaned against the bus, days before his death.
    The McCandless pilgrims carve their names into the rusted sides of the bus. Paterson signed his just beside the door. And they leave messages in aged notebooks; [Jon] Krakauer, McCandless' mother and Penn have all left notes.
    According to the Star, hunter’s guide and Healy resident Coke Wallace has had to rescue couples from the bus twice in recent years, one time needing individual airlifts at $2,100 a pop (paid for by the state of Alaska).
    The Fairbanks city bus 142 was intended as a refuge for hunters and is situated about 25 miles (40 kilometers)—which roughly translates to a 12-hour hike—from the trailhead of Stampede Trail, an abandoned mining road in the pristine Denali National Park. The movie features a replicated bus—both out of respect and convenience—more than 50 miles (80 kilometers) away along the Jack River.
    Though we’ll admit that the film’s sweeping Alaskan landscapes are awe-inspiring, IT thinks it’s a bit creepy the morbid spot has become a tourist attraction. And frankly, the idea of more people endangering themselves just to pay homage to McCandless is even more alarming, if not overwhelmingly unwise.
    What do you think?

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    It would be fascinating to visit the bus. Would I hike 12 hours to see it??? No way in hell!! I think it would be a good idea to move the bus to the trailhead especially if idiots continue to put themselves in danger and have to be rescued.

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    Wow, sounds like an attraction for death hags. But no thanks - only if I was flown in right beside the bus for a visit would I go!

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    Sounds like the bus is an up and coming death hag attraction.
    Would I hike 12 hours to see it? No way.
    But boy would I love to see someone do it and plaster a findadeath/death hag sticker on that bus

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    The book tells the story of a young "mixed up" man trying to prove something to himself?

    The movie turns him into a folk hero/legend.

    The Bus would be a great place for a "Death Hag" sticker!
    I aint up to that challenge.

  40. #40
    I love that book. Jon Krakauer was also part of The Mt. Everest tragedy a few years back where several people died on the Mountain. He wrote a great book based on that Into Thin Air..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tugboat25 View Post
    Directed by Sean Penn and music by Eddie Vedder, huh?
    Well that can only mean one thing...the Republicans killed him.




    I think they did, yes. I LOVE that comment Tug. I just got snapped at by the Charlton Heston mourners over in his thread. Where does one go for some good old fashioned Republican bashing??


    On the subject on ITW-I just saw this movie tonight and it was very good and sad. I wasn't aware of Chris' story before watching this. I admire his will to just go out and give up everything and lead a "wild" life. I didn't know he died so that was a sad ending but he wrote one of his last notes that he'd had a happy life doing what he did.


    The movie was like going on a good adventure with lots of characters, which is exactly what Chris' life WAS.


    RIP Chris.

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    Oops, I forgot to add that the scene with Chris and the old man (Hal Holbrook) climbing up the rocks was beautiful. The moment they shared was priceless.

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    One can go to many places to bash opposing political views but here is not one of them. There has been many threads that have been hijacked because of squables over differing points of view.

    Remember, the movie is based on the book but is not totally accurate. I'm glad Chris was happy that he did what he did but it's movies like Into the Wild that glorify mistakes that end lives. Chris had no business trapsing into the Alaskan wild with no map, no proper clothing or equipment and 10 lbs of rice. I'm not trying to pick on any hags here. I'm pointing the finger more at Sean Penn. He took this story and made it Hollywood. The fact that people are trying to get to this bus bothers me. How long before somebody else loses their life trying to get there?

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    Loved the movie. It was great. The story it was based on was very sad. Had the poor little fella traveled up or down the river he was camping on he would have stumbled upon supply sheds. Full of foods and blankets and general things that you need when out in the wild so you dont die.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lita View Post
    Remember, the movie is based on the book but is not totally accurate. I'm glad Chris was happy that he did what he did but it's movies like Into the Wild that glorify mistakes that end lives. Chris had no business trapsing into the Alaskan wild with no map, no proper clothing or equipment and 10 lbs of rice. I'm not trying to pick on any hags here. I'm pointing the finger more at Sean Penn. He took this story and made it Hollywood. The fact that people are trying to get to this bus bothers me. How long before somebody else loses their life trying to get there?
    That's my feeling, as well. I loved the book, thought the film was good, and admire McCandless for the courage he had to live life on his terms - but Penn was irresponsible in this regard. Life ain't a movie, and the reality of death by starvation is horrific.

    Some stories don't translate well to film-this was one of them. It's all in the details.

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    I lived on a semi with my husband close to a year while traveling up and down this country. As close as I've ever gotten to doing something "totally out there." I can't wait for my next totally out there experience! I read the book in college. Even though he died I think what he realized at the end of his life he never would have fully understood otherwise.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lita View Post
    One can go to many places to bash opposing political views but here is not one of them. There has been many threads that have been hijacked because of squables over differing points of view.

    Remember, the movie is based on the book but is not totally accurate. I'm glad Chris was happy that he did what he did but it's movies like Into the Wild that glorify mistakes that end lives. Chris had no business trapsing into the Alaskan wild with no map, no proper clothing or equipment and 10 lbs of rice. I'm not trying to pick on any hags here. I'm pointing the finger more at Sean Penn. He took this story and made it Hollywood. The fact that people are trying to get to this bus bothers me. How long before somebody else loses their life trying to get there?



    Really?? That's not what I got out of the movie/story at all. I thought it was just a tale of one young man's quest to do something different. I didn't feel anything was glorified and I don't think Chris made any mistakes. Why point a finger at Sean Penn? He can't control that others will try to go the bus and he wasn't trying to make anything "Hollywood" either. He was making a movie from a book that was a VERY INTERESTING story.

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    While I thought it was an "okay" movie, we must all remember it was a MOVIE loosely based on this guy's life story. It was NOT a "documentary".

    A lot of these Hollywood movies based on life stories always tend to get a bit "glamourized" to make them more "entertaining". Which is what Sean Penn did to this one.

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    I like the movie, a lot, and I didn't really expect to. I thought Sean Penn did an amazing job, as did Hal Holbrook. The only thing that pisses me off is that Holbrook didn't win an oscar...WTF is up with THAT ???



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    I really didn't like this movie. It seemed like 3 hours of some spoiled rich kid rebelling against his parents and being a douchbag in the process. Who doesn't bring a fishing pole with them? What did he think he was going to do if he didn't find that bus. Where would he have found suitable shelter in Alaska?


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