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18 Celebrities That Vanished Without a Trace or Explanation

If the best magicians in the world have taught us anything, it’s that we simply cannot vanish without a lot of preparation and planning. As human beings, we crave closure. As a society obsessed with celebrity culture, we also crave constant news and attention regarding these larger-than-life figures. So what do we do when some of the biggest stars in the world up and vanish?

We look closer.

Today, we are going to introduce you to 18 celebrities that vanished without a trace or a concrete explanation. While these stories are sad and tragic in their own right, they are also thrilling insights into how quickly larger-than-life figures can come and go.

Sean Flynn

The son of Errol Flynn, Sean Flynn was always stuck behind his father’s shadow. Despite a successful career as both an actor and a photojournalist during the Vietnam War, Flynn would potentially lose his life trying to set himself apart from what he wasn’t… his father. Flynn would go to Vietnam in 1970 alongside another journalist named Dana Stone. Their goal was simple, to cover a Viet Cong checkpoint, but they never returned and nobody knows what happened to them.

Leading Guess: The Khmer Rouge has killed at least 30 known foreign journalists and Flynn is potentially one of them.

Oscar Zeta Acosta

Born and raised in El Paso Texas, Oscar Acosta would go on to become a prominent attorney, novelist, and activist within the Chicago Movement. Most well known for his work with and characterization by Hunter S. Thompson, Acosta would live up to his larger-than-life reputation by breaking down barriers everywhere that he saw them.

Oscar Zeta Acosta would vanish without a trace in 1974 while on a trip to Mexico and since he vanished, he has been presumed dead. Some fans of Oscar Zeta Acosta believe that he gave up his life of fame and drugs to live quietly in Mexico.

Barbara Newhall Follett

By the age of 13, Barbara Newhall Follett had already published her first novel. Not long after that, her complex and technical work would land her on lists as the next great American author. Follett would release two celebrated novels before the world would fall from beneath her feet as her father abandoned the family. Follett would be forced to quit writing to support her mother. She would never publish a novel again.

At 26-years-old, Follett would vanish after an argument with her husband. Her husband never looked and Follett’s mother didn’t even notice she was gone for over a decade.

Fan Bingbing

Would it shock you to learn that we have celebrities still vanishing in today’s highly publicized world? Fan Bingbing was ready to explode in the West as a talented performer thanks to an appearance in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Unfortunately for Fan, her contractual information would leak revealing that she had been evading taxes. Bingbing would vanish in 2018 without a trace, with many individuals pointing to the Chinese government as responsible.

Thankfully, Bingbing would reappear years later but her disappearance hung like a bomb ready to go off.

Connie Converse

Connie Converse was born and raised in New Hampshire. She would leave home behind to head to New York City to pursue her dreams as a musician. While Connie wasn’t enormously popular during her time in the city, her work would gain new life long after her disappearance.

In 1974 long after leaving music behind, Connie would send her friends a letter. She told them that she had felt like she had failed and that it was time for a fresh start. She was never heard from again.

Rico Harris

How can someone with such explosive talents simply vanish without a trace? As it turns out, the answer is tragically ‘pretty easy’. Harris made his claim to fame as a member of the Harlem Globetrotters during the early 00s. Prior to his work with the Globetrotters he had been a top-level collegiate recruit. Unfortunately, a problem with alcohol would cause Harris to lose his job later in life as a security guard.

Harris would leave his mother’s house in Seattle only to vanish outside of Sacramento. His car was found but Harris was never located.

D.B. Cooper

We suppose that we are cheating by using a figure like D.B. Cooper, but we figure that he still should be on this list. Yet to be unidentified, the name Dan Cooper was handed to the unidentified figure who would go on to hijack a Boeing 727 aircraft in 1971. Cooper had purchased his airline ticket under the name Dan Cooper, this leading to the name we have given him.

Cooper would jump from the airline that he had hijacked while taking nearly $1.26 million dollars in money-adjusted-for-inflation. Nobody knows what happened to Cooper once he left the plane. Some say he survived, others figure that he died upon landing.

Bisone Delle

Bison Dele was known as Brian Williams as a collegiate basketball player. Talented and athletic, Dele would find his way to the NBA only to quit the game by the age of 30. Dele would travel across the world, enjoying nomadic travel throughout Asia and the Middle East. Dele would live this vagabond lifestyle while setting sail with his brothers and girlfriend for a trip to Hawaii.

Only Miles Dabord, Dele’s eldest brother, would ever be heard from again while trying to cash his brother’s checkbook. Dabord is considered the prime suspect in the disappearance of Dele, but he has since passed away from an insulin overdose.

Richey Edwards

Richey Edwards was Sid Vicious before Sid Vicious was Sid Vicious, ya dig? Edwards was a rock star in every sense of the word, and he was renowned, revered, and repudiated for his larger than life actions. Edwards was known to be unstable, and he often did ‘out there’ things for attention. When he vanished in 1995, many assumed Edwards had simply chosen to vanish. Edwards would never be heard from again, though his car was found abandoned beneath the Severn Bridge.

Jimmy Hoffa

No conversation regarding vanishing celebrities can be complete without mentioning Jimmy Hoffa. Once in charge of the Teamsters union in the ’60s, Hoffa would turn away from his position in the ’70s due to a potential passion for crime. Ultimately, Hoffa would end up vanishing in 1975 while visiting Detroit. He has since been presumed dead and no body has ever been recovered.

Harold Holt

Harold Holt had been serving as Australia’s 17th Prime Minister when he vanished on an otherwise normal December day. Holt had been visiting the Cheviot Beach located in Victoria where he had fostered a love for swimming. The weather was purportedly bad with waves higher than most surfers were willing to handle.

Holt was never found and the general consensus is that he drowned while swimming, or had an incursion with some aquatic life. Imagine if JFK had simply vanished at sea and you’ll get why this was such a big deal at the time.

Solomon Northup

Solomon Northup is the author behind the famous novel and cinematic adaptation, Twelve Years a Slave. Northup had been kidnaped in 1841 by two men, Merrill Brown and Abram Hamilton. Northup would end up in the slave markets where he was sold to James H. Birch as a ‘fugitive’. Solomon would eventually reclaim his freedom only to tragically vanish in 1857 while working in Canada.

Nobody knows what happened to Northup, but his story continues to live on to this day.

‘Sweet’ Jimmy Robinson

Imagine if you will the opportunity to compete one on one with the greatest name your favorite sport has ever seen. That is what happened to Sweet Jimmy Robinson in 1961 when he stepped into the ring with Muhammad Ali. Robinson had been brought in as a last-minute replacement, and he would be knocked out in short order, lasting just 94 seconds in the ring.

Robinson would go on to vanish in 1979 shortly after a photographer had found him broke, potentially homeless, and addicted to alcohol. If Sweet Jimmy is still alive today, he is embracing his privacy.

Jim Sullivan

Jim Sullivan wasn’t your average guitarist. He was a folk singer who had gained a cult following after releasing just two records. Sullivan wouldn’t go out like most rock stars typically do, instead simply vanishing from thin air during a visit to Santa Rosa in New Mexico. Sullivan’s clothing, wallet, and guitar were all found abandoned at a local motel.

Sullivan’s friends claim that he would never have abandoned his guitar and some conspiracy theorists believe that UFOs might have been involved. Sullivan had once written about driving into the desert only to be abducted by aliens.

Amelia Earhart

Celebrities vanishing and historical figures go hand in hand when discussing Amelia Earhart. Perhaps most famous FOR going missing, Earhart had accomplished more than enough in life to put that idea to bed. Earhart was an established pilot, designer, and author with the kind of ambition that would lead someone to try and fly across the globe.

Unfortunately for Earhart and Fred Noonan, the pilots would simply vanish once over the Pacific Ocean. Some say the plane crashed. Others say that Amelia and Fred went to Japan. Simply put, nobody knows.

Hale Boggs

Close your eyes and imagine the most famous politician in America outside the President of the United States. Now imagine that they had vanished without a trace. That is the perspective we need to have when discussing Hale Boggs. Boggs had sat opposite many prominent figures during his time in office, doubting the JFK shooting publicly while also going to verbal war with J. Edgar Hoover, a pretty bad fella.

In 1972, Boggs was expected to arrive in Juneau to help fellow party members hold their seat for the upcoming election. With bad weather and more than 325,000 sq/miles of area, Boggs and his vehicle would simply vanish without a trace. No plane wreckage or body was ever found.

Michael Rockefeller

Young, rich, and exorbitantly handsome. Michael Rockefeller had everything going for him when he simply went missing. Michael could have been referred to as just another spoiled socialite who vanished while on vacation, but that would be doing his story a disservice. Instead, Michael would vanish while visiting Papua New Guinea to visit the local people and embrace their culture.

Rockefeller would see his boat overturned around the Asmat area of Papua New Guinea and his body was never recovered. Some local tribes are said to have seen Rockefeller reach the shore, only to be killed and dismembered as a trophy. Nobody knows for sure.

Don Lewis

Let’s close out our exploration of celebrities that vanished without a trace by pointing to Don Lewis, a self-made millionaire with an eye for automobiles and real estate. Lewis would rise to fame thanks to his mentions in the Tiger King reality series on Netflix. Lewis would vanish in 2002 after developing a history of visiting sketchy places throughout South America. His wife, Carole Baskin, was often pointed at as a potential reason for his disappearance. Carole and Lewis had married in 1991 and had a notably rocky relationship.

Despite all the theories surrounding Don Lewis and his disappearance, no solid or concrete evidence has ever presented itself. Some say that he was fed to big cats after being murdered while others assume he went missing in South America. There have been no charges levied nor any arrests made in connection with his disappearance. Carole Baskin has since used her fame to try and find his remains.

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Walmart Aims to Save Pollinators, Makes Massive Change to Supply Chains

Kelly Taylor

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Were you to tune in for any number of apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic films in the past decade, you’d likely hear a storyline or two revolving around bees. Specifically, you’d hear stories about how the loss of bees in the wild can lead to wholesale catastrophe to ecosystems far and wide.

Bees play a pivotal role within our environment as pollinators, joining butterflies, beetles, and birds. Without these pollinators, the ecosystem as we know it would no longer function. As Walmart is one of the largest corporations on the planet, even the smallest change within their supply chain can have a butterfly-like effect across the planet. A new announcement from Walmart would reveal that they are introducing a pollinator health effort to support these important creatures.

Largest Pollinator Health Effort

As Walmart is one of the largest corporations on the planet, it stands to reason that they’d opt to produce one of the largest pollinator health efforts as well. Walmart announced a new commitment to reduce the threats aimed most directly at pollinators. These efforts by Walmart are going to take many different forms, though one area of focus is on integrated pest management, or the habits and practices revolving around expanding these key habitats while reducing pest threats.

According to Walmart, the U.S. branch of the company will pull 100% of its floral and fresh produce from suppliers that adopt and integrate the pest management practices highlighted above. As America’s largest retailer, what Walmart decides to do can potentially set the tone for discussions revolving around pollinators and corporations in the future. Right now, the alleged goal is to integrate these IPM practices by 2025, at least according to an unnamed third party.

More than just focused on a single aspect of their supply chain, Walmart is actually taking a shot at several areas where they can reduce potential pollinator threats. According to Martin Mundo, Head of Produce Sourcing at Walmart U.S, Walmart is pushing suppliers to phase out and eliminate their use of nitroguanidine neonicotinoids and chlorpyrifos pesticides. Phasing out these problematic pesticides could lead to an industry-wide shift as consumers expect more from corporations.

While Walmart is uniquely focused on pesticides, that is far from the only area that they are addressing pollinator threats. Mundo wrote on the Walmart website that the chain would also begin to phase out and avoid selling “invasive plant species” within their retail locations. Mundo went on to add that Walmart would begin working with solar developers in order to craft pollinator habitats, similar to those found in Laurens, South Carolina.

Working With the Walmart Foundation

Leading the way in the philanthropic fields hasn’t been what Walmart is most known for. With that being said, the Walmart Foundation continues to work with farmers and cultivators around the country to enact positive changes for the environment. Most recently, the Walmart Foundation pushed funding toward the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in order to further its studies and work collecting science data from citizens and local monitors.

Acquiring local data and inputting it at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology will allow scientists and researchers to better approach conservation planning in the future. Conservation planning is vital to the long-term health and vitality of our natural wonders, including the animals and insects therein.

Bees are known to be vital to our plane and if corporate leaders like Walmart understand that, hopefully, others will too. For now, we look to Cornell and to the various pollination partners under the Walmart umbrella while we wait to see if results begin to manifest!

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13% Drop In Repeat Offenses Attributed To Parole Officer Empathy Training

Kelly Taylor

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One thing that family members of ex-convicts and the population hope for is that the offender is rehabilitated and does not go back to a life of crime.

This is not an easy feat, but according to a new report, empathy or sensitivity training for correction and probation officers will help clients avoid repeat offending.

Large workloads, stress at work, and prejudices can harm relationships between officers and their offenders, increasing the probability of inmates returning to prison.

Empathy training without judgment, according to a positive thinking strategy produced by UC Berkeley, makes court-appointed monitoring officers feel increasingly compassionate and empathetic to the offenders, which, according to the new report, can prevent them from crime relapses.

The results, which were reported recently in the publication “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,” indicate that clients of probation and prison guards who engaged in the empathy training trial had a 13 percent lower risk of recurrence on average.

According to research writer and lead author Jason Okonofua, an associate professor of psychology at UC Berkeley, “If an officer obtained this empathic instruction, real-world behavioral results for the people they monitored improved, and they’re less likely to return to jail.”

The findings are especially important because the United States’ criminal justice system has one of the greatest rates of recidivism in the world, with nearly 66 percent of incarcerated individuals being arrested again in about three years after their release, with 50 percent of them being sent back to prison.

“Ongoing criminal justice changes are diverting more people away from prison and into probation or parole, which is why we need to find scalable ways to keep pace with this change,” says Okonofua, who has led similar interventions for school teachers to check their prejudices before disciplining students.

The analysts polled over two hundred parole and probation officers that supervise over 20,000 individuals charged with crimes stretching from serious offenses to petty larceny for the report. They ensure that their clients do not skip a drug screen or a court date, and they have a program to assist them in keeping a low profile and out of custody.

The researchers created and conducted a half an hour digital empathy questionnaire that asked officers about their work motivation, biases, and perspectives on rapport and responsibilities.

Using Suggestion To Elicit Empathy

The UC Berkeley poll asked what aspects of their work they find rewarding in order to elicit their sense of self and beliefs, as well as tap into their empathy. “When I run across those guys, and they’re doing well, I’m like, ‘Awesome!’” said, one respondent. Others said it was most essential to them to become a voice for those who need it.

In terms of biases, the study highlighted extreme circumstances wherein probation/parole officers exploited their authority over anybody under their watch, which include perceptions that some individuals are habituated to a life of crime.

Participants were also asked to rank how much accountability they share for their colleagues’ wrongdoings as members of a profession. The majority of people said they had no liability.

Researchers discovered a 13 percent reduction in recidivism among offenders whose release and correctional officers finished the empathy study ten months after the training was provided. The department and its venue are not to be revealed as part of the research policy.

Although the research did not include information about what kept parolees and individuals on probation from reoffending in the months following the officers’ empathy training, the findings indicate that a shift in relationship dynamics was significant.

Okonofua said, “As our research demonstrates, the interaction amongst parole or probation officers and the individuals they oversee is crucial and can contribute to positive results if attempts to be more accommodating are made.

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Los Angeles Unveils Roadmap to 100% Renewable Energy

Kevin Wells

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The largest city in all of California, Los Angeles hosts a population north of four million people as well as nearly 3.8% of the nation’s economy. Revered as a destination for outdoor enthusiasts and Hollywood aspirationals alike, Los Angeles also has earned a reputation for its smog and pollution.

Fortunately for LA locals, it looks like there is a plan being put in place to transition away from burning coal for electricity. If this goal is enacted, eventually Los Angeles could see itself achieving more than 98% of its clean energy within the next ten years.

Clean Energy to Combat Pollution

A first-of-its-kind study was commissioned by the city of Los Angeles in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The study would go on to reveal that Los Angeles has a legitimate opportunity to attain 98% clean energy by 2031 and 100% clean energy by 2035, both plans that fall in line with the promises made by President Biden on climate change. The report went on to conclude that clean energy can get produced at an efficient level so that rolling blackouts and economic disruptions are no longer required.

According to the NREL, a federal research agency, the path toward clean energy involves the construction of solar farms, batteries, and wind turbines. These clean energy solutions have been around for years, but they’ve only just recently become embraced at a federal level under the Biden Administration, continuing plans put in place by President Obama preceding him. Included in the construction goals listed in the report is a focus on energy efficiency and something known as ‘demand response’, a program that would pay people to utilize energy when the solar and wind farms are producing plentiful amounts.

Not only would the efforts put in place by the NREL study help combat pollution, but it would also go directly toward slashing the traumatic pollution that comes from cars, power plants, furnaces, and trucks all throughout Los Angeles County. These changes would have a dramatic and direct positive impact on lower-income neighborhoods as well as communities of color.

While the NREL study is incredibly optimistic, it is also incredibly feasible. According to researchers and professionals who have absorbed the NREL study, the energy efficiency plan allows for year-round power, with lights on every hour out of the year. Additionally, the commissioned report proposes that homes would even be protected from energy loss due to wildfires and downed transmission lines.

Discussions surrounding clean energy and how to implement it have risen dramatically since the power outages that plagued Texas in early 2021. Power grid failures and an over-reliance on fossil fuels would highlight a natural disaster that saw millions of native Texans without power, forced to boil snow to gain access to life-saving water. With continued weather extremes to come due in large part to climate change, these issues are only going to get worse as time goes on.

Mayor Garcetti spoke on the issue citing a need to keep medical equipment powered, refrigerators running, and the city operational in the face of extreme weather. Garcetti pointed to “top scientists” from “around the world” that have helped to create an actionable plan that is as realistic as it is potentially effective.

The NREL created a study team of more than 100 participants in support of the Eagle Supercomputer located at the Golden, CO, Research Headquarters. The program has incorporated millions of simulations since 2017 while generating reliable data for use with reference to jobs, weather, power lines, solar panels, and electrical use throughout L.A. County.

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School in Birmingham Pilots ‘Build UP’ Graduate Housing Program

Kelly Taylor

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From the 2008 housing crisis to the COVID-19 pandemic, the younger generations are having a tougher and tougher time finding their footing with regard to real estate. As housing becomes a more and more difficult proposition for students and new graduates, a school in Birmingham, AL, is seeking to make a difference for fresh graduates looking for a chance.

Build UP (Urban Prosperity) was established in Birmingham by Mark Martin, an educator, in 2018. The program was conceived after Mark Martin came to realize just how poorly equipped modern schools were to tackle some of the larger issues in life, including the dangers intrinsic to homelessness. Build Up is a school unlike any other in the country as it caters to low-income students looking to earn their high school degree and then their associate’s degree before training in construction through various apprenticeship programs.

While working through the Build UP school program in Birmingham, students will remodel homes in Ensley, a neighborhood adjacent to the school with the intention for students to purchase them in the future. Mark Martin said of the program and students he is targeting have “very limited options” and that this referred not just to upbringing, but also food security, mental health and wellness, and even simple access to education.

The Build Up school is in its third year of operation in the Ensley neighborhood, an area constructed for steel miller workers. After the Ensley mill shut down, the neighborhood saw populations decrease, families fleeing to the suburbs, and homes left to rot before getting torn down. Martin says of the children still living in these areas, “Most are below the poverty line… but all of them are renting somewhere, and many are renting from slumlords.”

Students who join the Build UP program do so after having been targeted based upon their needs. The Build Up program seeks out students who appear to be at risk of dropping out of school, instead paying these students a stipend to help remodel homes. As students work through levels of the program, their pay will rise alongside. From making $125 every two weeks all the way up to $200 for that same period, students are finally being afforded opportunities to both learn and earn while working their way into a better situation.

After spending at least two years in the program, students are eligible to move with their families into a remodeled home where their rent will be matched from their prior home. The goal is for students to have completed the program with a job in construction or a bachelor’s degree waiting for them. Some students opt to start their own business while all applicable4 students can opt for a no-interest loan to purchase the remodeled home that they have been living in.

Mark and the Build UP team are looking to change the way that society provides support to those in need. Rather than giving rental assistance to students and families in need, Mark’s program endeavors to put ownership on the menu because this is where value and equity are in the future. Martin says, “If we are going to change racial wealth gaps, we have to think of equity differently — not just in terms of fairness but also in terms of ownership.”

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Psychedelic Wellness Company Aims to MAP the Mental Health Revolution!

Kevin Wells

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The healthcare industry in the United States of America has been put under a renewed microscope in the past several decades. As the COVID-19 pandemic rages around the world and continued efforts are made to legalize recreational cannabis at a federal level, nobody should be blamed for looking into alternative medicinal solutions. One of these alternative medicinal solutions is a Psychedelic wellness company, one of the first-ever to become publicly traded.

Today, let’s explore the work of Delic Holdings and its founder, CEO Matt Stang of High Times Magazine.

Delic Holdings Seeks to Push Mental Health Solutions

Just under 20 years ago, Matt Stang was working at High Times Magazine as he helped the magazine pioneer the push for legal recreational cannabis use. As Matt’s work continues to pay off at a state level and the federal government considers wholesale changes, another industry has captured his attention – psychedelics.

Stang spoke in an interview with GNN on his work with Delic Holding as well as his goals for the business in the future. Stang pointed to the ‘overwhelming’ positive response to cannabis in both the 2016 and 2020 elections as proof that there was ‘no putting the genie back in the bottle.’

After realizing that there was potential for further growth in the psychedelics field, Stang would pull himself away from the cannabis industry to start purchasing treatment centers throughout California. The ketamine-infusion centers established by Matt and his wife Jackee have been operating for 15 years now, conducting more than 4,000 treatment courses while creating $1.5 million in revenue.

When Stang decided to establish Delic Holdings, he knew that there really wasn’t anything like what they were doing on the market. Stang says, “We think similar pathways have been blazed for cannabis… that will help psychedelics.”

Even though Stang and Jackee are excited about the future for Delic Holdings, they understand that there is a lot of work to do still. As one of the very first publicly traded corporations working with psychedelics, Matt and Jackee is looking to lay the groundwork for the rest of the industry to follow. Stang pointed out that they were at the forefront of the ‘nascent psychedelic revolution’.

Center for Psychedelic Research

While the cannabis industry continues to normalize itself within western marketplaces at a recreational level, there is still some work to be done for the acclimating of psychedelic-use in the medicinal field. Stang is a strong proponent in research, and he has looked to the last 20 years of medicinal research as proof of Delic’s potential in the future. Research over the last twenty years has centered on using psychedelics to treat depression, PTSD, trauma, and much more.

Studies conducted at the Center for Psychedelic Research at Johns Hopkins have repeatedly demonstrated that psychedelics have performed comparably to antidepressants in clinical research. One such study backed by Johns Hopkins indicated that psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy led to more than a 71% reduction in ‘treatment-resistant depression.

Ketamine is one of the few psychedelics approved for work in clinical trials, and it is there that Stang has centered his focus. Stang pointed out the ‘amazing power’ of psychedelics while highlighting their impacts on treatment-resisting conditions like PTSD. Stang pointed to a veteran he worked with in San Diego who stated, without the psychedelic wellness treatment he wouldn’t “be alive”.

In addition to their work in the corporate world, Jackee and Matt have worked with Delic Holdings to raise money, organize, and lobby in midterm elections around the United States. The goal for Stang and Delic Holdings is to get psilocybin on the ballot in key progressive states.

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