Tag Archives: blogging

Do I have to explain everything?

I have about a dozen half-written blog posts that are, ultimately, all about the same thing: people come up with really dumb arguments to justify discriminating against or otherwise being awful to other people. Then I have a couple of partially-written posts explaining some fallacies in some supposed-science memes being passed around on social media—not being passed around by the usually anti-science folks, but by the people who are usually ridiculing the cluelessness of the science challenged.

A couple weeks ago there was a rash of op-ed pieces and blog posts debating whether it is the job of various people to constantly educate other people about the realities of oppression, unwitting misogyny, institutional homophobia and racism, and the ways that people unintentionally perpetuate those things. And I understand. Some days I’m just too tired to deal with yet another clueless person…. Continue reading Do I have to explain everything?

Selection bias, confirmation bias, or…?

Conservatives Converge Around Fox News as Main Source; No Single Source Dominates on the Left (Source: Pew Research Center)
Conservatives Converge Around Fox News as Main Source; No Single Source Dominates on the Left (Source: Pew Research Center)
The news seems to have been dominated by a couple of themes this week. I could easily write a whole series of blog posts extending my “Bullied Bullies” series into the double digits, what with The entire Idaho wedding chapel story is a lie, and NC officials refuse to marry gay couples, claim religious oppression, and Gamergate Goons Can Scream All They Want, But They Can’t Stop Progress, and No, The City of Houston Isn’t Bullying Anti-Gay Pastors – This Is Basic Lawyering. I could go on and on.

But I don’t want to only write about people being clueless and/or bigoted all the time. I have to remind myself that one reason I see so many stories clustered around particular topics is because I tend to read news sites that report on topics of interest to me, and as an out gay man who was raised Southern Baptist, studied math and science at university, and have always been a sci fi/fantasy nerd, I gravitate toward news sites that cover social justice, science, technology, and nerd culture. So I’m going to see a lot of stories like Gamer Gate, or the propaganda efforts of anti-gay folks, and so on.

It’s not just which news sites I choose to go to, of course. If some sites are covering a story, similar sites will pick it up, even if only to summarize and point to the original piece. Seeing these stories, and seeing people respond to them, make the news gatherers, reporters, and editors look for similar events in subsequent news cycles.

Sometimes, of course, there really are a lot of things happening all related to a particular topic. The recent Appeals Courts’ rulings about marriage equality, and the Supreme Court’s decision to let them stand, has put a lot of states that no one expected to be dealing with marriage equality so soon into the crosshairs. This makes people who oppose same sex couples having the right to marry feel even more threatened. And because each circuit court covers a bunch of states, these people who feel threatened are scattered over a wide geographical area. You have a lot of people in a lot of places all reacting to a perceived threat, you’re going to have a lot of incidents that will rise to some level of newsworthy. A whole lot.

And of course, I’m not the only person who is reading selective news. The folks who feel exactly the opposite as I do about some of these topics are reading their favorite sites. Or should I say their favorite site, singular (Conservatives Converge Around Fox News as Main Source; No Single Source Dominates on the Left)? Where they find the same stories being couched in a very different light, fanning those flames of fear.

I had about four half-written pieces that I could have finished to post yesterday, but they were all about the sorts of stories I link to up in the first paragraph. One of my goals for the year has been to reduce the outrage, and focusing so much attention on those stories does not help me with that goal. The problem is, the only other topic I had nearly ready to publish was about people who look down on other people because of the kinds of books they like to read. Which had a very same-y feel to it.

Which all led me to here, contemplating how everything I’m writing about (other than my novel) is processing exactly the feelings I don’t want to be spending so much time on. I suppose it could be argued by writing them down, I have gotten some of it out of my system, but I’m not sure that publishing them all would further the purpose.

So I’m going to try to concentrate my attention for the next few days on my fiction writing. I’m overdue for writing about the craft of writing, any way.

Friday Links (with robots)!


It’s Friday! The week is nearly over. It’s time to celebrate!

As usual, here is a collection of news and other things that I ran across over the course of the week which struck me as worthy of being shared:

Fed Up With a Lack of Diverse Children’s Books, Queer Parents Write Their Own.

How Gamora Is Both The Least And Most Interesting Character In GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.

Why Am I Moving Left? I used to be right down the middle. But America’s changed, and so have I..

Photos from the Mars Hill Church Protest in Bellevue.

How My Father’s Gay Marriage Trial Re-Ignited My Calling to the Ministry.

Exclusive: ‘Pro-Troop’ Charity Pays Off Tea Party Cronies Instead.

Paul Krugman cheers the Obama victory everyone else forgot.

Fun with Troglodytes: Battling Angry Right-Wing Trolls.

“Oppressed” Straight White Men Express Right To Hate Football Team For Being LGBT Inclusive. And apparently feeling left out, some baseball fans react just as ridiculously: Anti-Gay Fans Rant On Facebook Over White Sox LGBT Night.

The Colorado Attorney General’s Ugly and Wasteful Crusade Against Marriage Equality.

GOP wimps suddenly fear social issues: How tables turned on religious right.

Rocking The Boat: Fundamentalist Ministry Head Responds To ‘Ark Park’ Criticisms.

They’re Going to Blame the Gays for Climate Change. Some of the commenters on this article scolded the author for focusing on the anti-gay comments when other sins were mentioned. But then how about this other wingnuts: Ann Coulter: Christians Should Just Let Africans Die Of All Those Horrible Diseases. And: Harlem Hate Pastor James Manning: All Those Who Support Homosexuality, Be Thou Cursed With Ebola. (The minister starts shouting his hate partway through the video, be warned!) Even the White Supremacists are getting in on the act: African Negroes Blame Faggotry for Escalating Ebola Epidemic. And also: Pastor Rick Wiles: Ebola Could Solve America’s Problem With Gays & Atheists.

All these haters are just depressing. Let’s get back to science:

Zoologger: Hero ant jumps off cliff to eject invaders.

Astronomers find stream of gas – 2.6 million light years long.

Science and tech prints ads from the 50s-60s.

Scientists introduce new cosmic connectivity: Quantum pigeonhole paradox.

Why Your Supermarket Sells Only 5 Kinds of Apples. (Thanks to @tdjohnsn for the link)

Why Vaccine and GMO Denial Should be Treated Equally.

Giant Penguins Roamed Antarctica 40 Million Years Ago.

Supernovas Might Create Weird ‘Zombie Stars’.

Concerned about Ebola? You’re worrying about the wrong disease: Despite the terrifying headlines, almost none of us will get sick from Ebola – our fears often bear little relation to reality.

The Man Who Invented the 26th Dimension. How a scientist you never heard of made String Theory possible.

Sam Smith – I’m Not The Only One:

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Bear In Heaven – Time Between:

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Hips Don’t Lie – Charity Single – Out of the Blue – Shakira:

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Tom Goss’s Acoustic Cover of Iggy Azalea’s Fancy:

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Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Native Advertising :

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Pentatonix – We Are Ninjas | Inspired by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Short, sweet, fun… which I bet is more than we’ll be able to say about the next movie adaptation):

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Doctor Who Parody by The Hillywood Show®:

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Self-Folding Robot Assembles Autonomously:

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Sunday Funnies, part 5

Another in my series of posts recommending web comics that I think more people should read:

I’ve long been a fan of: “Mr. Cow,” by Chuck Melville… and not just because the artist is a friend! A clueless cow with Walter Cronkite dreams presides over a barnyard of a newsroom. And if you like Mr. Cow, you can support the artist by going to his Patreon Page.

dm100x80I’m also a big fan of “Deer Me,” by Sheryl Schopfer. This artist is also a friend. I have previously described this strip as: “Three roommates who couldn’t be more dissimilar while being surprisingly compatible.” Except in a recent story line Thomas has moved out! Eeek! And if you enjoy Deer Me, you can support the artist by going to her Patreon Page!

designall.dllIf you like epic fantasy with a lot of humor, check out Felicia, the Sorceress of Katara, by Chuck Melville. Felicia is a vixen sorceress who is trying to make her own fate, independent of the Magi Council. Felicia also appears in a series of books, and an actually-printed-on-paper series of comic books! Of Felicia’s prose books, my particular favorite is Felicia and the Dreaded Book of Un. However, if you were to ask my mom which book is best, she would tell you it’s Felicia and the Cult of the Rubber Nose.

And I love this impish girl thief with a tail and her reluctant undead sorcerer/bodyguard: “Unsounded,” by Ashley Cope.

The_Young_Protectors_HALF_BANNER_OUTSIDE_234x601The Young Protectors begins when a young, closeted teen-age superhero who has just snuck into a gay bar for the first time is seen exiting said bar by a not-so-young, very experienced, very powerful, super-villain. Trouble, of course, ensues.

Friday Links (with Weird Al)!

Yay! (www.lolfunnyspot.com)
It’s Friday! Again. And this week I really, really, really am glad that the weekend’s here.

Here’s a collection of news and other things that struck me as worthy of being shared:

Red Lobster Comps Widow’s Check on Anniversary.

In case you needed more proof that the ex-gay movement is a fraud: Pastor Duane Youngblood, author of the book Freedom From Homosexuality: No Longer Living The Lie, was arrested for molesting a teenage boy dozens of times. But wait! This should be a surprise to no one. Back in 2006, the very same year his ex-gay book came out, Youngblood was arrested for molesting a 15-year-old boy in his church office! And that 2006 arrest wasn’t the first time…

One of the very few attempts to render a male superhero costume in the same ridiculously “sexy” female supers are routinely drawn: Why Must Dudes Ruin Perfectly Good Superheroine and Action Franchises with Their Requests for Diversity?

Research: Human friendships based on genetic similarities beyond the superficial.

Church of England approves women bishops for first time in history.

CNBC’s Climate “Expert”: “Demonization Of Carbon Dioxide Is Just Like” Demonization Of “Jews Under Hitler”.

ENDA: The Nightmare Scenario in Which GOPers Push a Bad Bill That Gay Groups Dropped.

Non-Believers Win A Decisive Court Victory In Indiana.

Churyumov-Gerasimenko is a contact binary!.

The distorting reality of ‘false balance’ in the media.

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Calls for Death of Comic Creator.

A History of Throwing Shade for Black Women and Gay White Men. Before “white gays” copied it from black women, black women stole if from black gays…

Why do we have blood types? Scientists still trying to figure out the evolutionary reason for blood types.

Arizona Politician Mistakes YMCA Campers For Undocumented Children. Warning: auto-playing video on site (grrrr)

Marvel Comics Just Made Thor Female, And Conservatives Are Furious.


File this under “Duh!” Studies: Stand Your Ground Laws Lead To More Homicides, Don’t Deter Crime.

Salem Mayor: ‘Apparently, Glenn Beck Is Not Happy With Us’. City hall inundated with angry calls from homophobes, starts donating to gay youth charity.

Blues Guitarist Johnny Winter Dies At 70.

‘Nano-pixels’ promise thin, flexible, high-resolution displays.

Connecticut Supreme Court: Same-Sex Marriage Rights Are Retroactive.

California Experiences Warmest, 3rd Driest Year Since 1895.

Robert Reich: Deadbeat 1 percenters endanger U.S. democracy.

‘Bye Sierra’: A Slightly Angry Queer Response to the Sierra Mannie Controversy.

In case you missed it, earlier this week I had a more concise, less angry response to the same weird op-ed piece: Confessions of a white homo devil, part 3.

Matt Alber Covers “Walking on Sunshine”:

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National treasure “Weird Al” Yankovic is releasing a new video each doy this week of a parody of a hit song. This was Tuesday’s, which is my second favorite thus far, Weird Al’s parody of Blurred Lines, Word Crimes:

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Jenny Lewis – Just One Of The Guys [Official Music Video]:

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Church of England Votes to Allow Women Bishops:

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Exclusive “Weird Al” Yankovic Music Video: FOIL (Parody of “Royals” by Lorde):

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Friday Links – Happy Independence Day!

It’s Friday! It is the first Friday in July, it is a big holiday, and by the time you read this, I will be two days into my vacation where I am attending both a tabletop gaming convention and a My Little Pony: Friendship is magic convention. My husband and I are such nerds!

Here’s a collection of news and other things that struck me as worthy of being shared:

Avoiding “Sagan Syndrome.” Why Astronomers and Journalists should pay heed to Biologists about Extra Terrestrial Intelligence. This is awesome for the explanation of time scales alone!

GOP Candidate Charges Opponent Is Dead, Replaced By A Body Double. Also issues pledge that he, unlike dead, replaced opponent, is human. Wow. Big thanks to Deeptriviality for the link!

GOP Hopeful: My Public Masturbation Fetish and Felonies Were Bad Ideas.

The Normal Heart’s Problematic White Men. Not quite what you think.

“Rarely have so few overlooked so many to claim so much based on so little.” A review of a book by two guys patting themselves on the back for joining the marriage equality fight a couple of years ago.

Drain on My Parade: Did the Human Rights Campaign Sell Us Out on ENDA and Outsource LGBT Rights? Well, yes.

[GUEST POST] Catherine Lundoff on LGBT Science Fiction and Fantasy in the 1990s.

Extinct Humans Passed High-Altitude Gene to Tibetans.

5 states trying to make their kids scientifically illiterate.


Not a Former Lesbian: Bisexual Women Discuss Their Long-term Relationships with Men.

Funnel-Shaped Animals Invented Reefs Prior to Cambrian Explosion.

Fantastically Wrong: The Legendary Scientist Who Swore Our Planet Is Hollow.

‘Jesus’ Went To The Chicago Gay Pride Parade With A Very Important Message.

Kentucky Baptist Church Agrees To Hold Its First Same-Sex Wedding.

N.H. Supreme Court sides with birth mother’s ex-partner in custody case.

John Oliver on Uganda’s Anti-Gay Laws and the Role of American Hater Scott Lively:

Continuing the Daily Show’s tradition on his new HBO series by covering a serious, important story that the big media ignores. It really is worth the full 17 minutes. It’s funny, sad, horrifying, and an incredible interview at the end.
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♫ Ginsburg’s Hobby Lobby Dissent | Song A Day #2007:

Friday Links!

Once more, Friday is upon us. Here’s a collection of news and other things that struck me as worthy of being shared:

How One Trip to the Airport Made Me a Feminist.

Police Bring Wedding Cakes For Wisconsin Gay Couples.

The end of gay history.

No Skynet: Turing test ‘success’ isn’t all it seems.

This map shows every school shooting since Sandy Hook.

Dispelling Myths, Misconceptions and Lies About Gender-Nonconforming Children.

Seattle’s Central District Community Mourns Loss of Two Young Men, Both Reportedly Gay.

Top Anti-Gay Marriage Group And Allies Can’t Handle The Truth

Earth’s Magnetic Flips May Have Triggered Mass Extinctions.

The Catholic Archbishop of Minnesota Claims He Didn’t Know Whether Raping a Child was a Crime in 1984.

Tiny Moon Prometheus Rips-Up Saturn’s Outer Ring.

Oklahoma Tea Party Candidate Supports Stoning Gay People to Death.

Cop Kisses Boyfriend To Piss Off Westboro Baptist Church At D.C. Pride.

Anti-Defamation League Condemns Tony Perkins For ‘Using Holocaust Imagery’ To Attack Gay Rights.

How My Eleven Year Old Son Taught Me That Having a Gay Character in ‘Train Your Dragon’ is Important.

An Astronomical Eloping: How Rare is a “Friday the 13th Honey Moon?”

The Planet With the Seemingly Never-Ending Year.

Two Activists in Mormon Church Threatened With Excommunication.

Southern Baptists Vote: Are Trans People Part of God’s Design?

LGBT struggles go beyond marriage equality.

Van Hollen: Clerks issuing licenses to gay couples could be charged.

“That’s My Baby Til The Day I Die”: Andrea Kelly Speaks On Youngest Child Coming Out As Transgender Male.

Earth’s Moon –“Made the Emergence of Complex Multi-Cellular Life Possible.”

Making new species without sex: Plants can transfer their entire genetic material to a partner in an asexual manner.

Watch: Famous Designers Disown The World’s Most Recognizable Typeface.

“See U Next Tuesday” – MARGARET CHO & ADAM BARTA :

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Neil Patrick Harris stole the show at the tonies::

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Ryan Adamés – As Long As You Love Me:

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DANIEL ROBINSON – “Not Your Boy” :

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Friday Links!

10440947_796190347067387_2731448087041358516_nOnce more, Friday is upon us.

Here’s a collection of news and other things that struck me as worthy of being shared:

What Does This Mean?. A great article about deciphering a 1903 trade magazine advertisement.

It’s three times cheaper to give housing to the homeless than to keep them on the streets.

Don’t Worry So Much: How Not To Review Women’s Writing.

Catholic Parents Furious Same-Sex Couple Has Adopted The Children They Abused.

Why It Matters That Politicians Have No Experience of Poverty.

Judge: Conservative groups cannot become co-defendants in Miami-Dade gay marriage lawsuit.

Star Within a Star: Weird Stellar ‘Hybrid’ Discovered.

Marvel At The ‘Most Colorful View of Universe’ Ever Seen By Hubble Telescope.

Science Confirms: Yup, This Book Really Is Bound in Human Skin.

LEGO’s new toys celebrate women in science.

GOP Homophobia So Bad Not Even GOProud Can Stand It Anymore.

It Shouldn’t Take Magic to Be Accepted.

The Missing Neutrino Evidence –“A Clue to the Origin of the Universe and Matter”.

FLORIDA: Backlash Grows Against AG Pam Bondi For Supporting Marriage Ban.

The Zero Gravity Cocktail Project, Boldly Designing a Cocktail Glass for Space.

My alma mater, Seattle Pacific University, was the site of a multiple-shooting yesterday. This occurred just two miles from my house: Mayor, County Executive, and Governor Respond to Seattle Pacific University Shooting and Call for Action on Gun Violence.

Ryland’s Story (I needed a hanky…):

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ASAP Science – Can You Trust Your Ears?:

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Sam Smith – Stay With Me ft. Mary J. Blige:

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Show Me Your Pride – By Miss Coco Peru:

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Friday Links!

It’s Friday again! It’s already June!?!?! Here’s a collection of news and other things that struck me as worthy of being shared:

Balcony Burglar Bolts for Bay. The people who write for the Seattle PD Blotter blog & twitter stream trying to keep it fun.

Catholic Church Ordained Women Before, Can Do it Again. An essay ignored by the Vatican since the ’70s, translated into English for the first time, shows that the Catholic Church has ordained women in the past, and could do so again.

Visual gags in comedies: US vs UK. This is a very thoughtful, entertaining, and short meditation on how all films can be improved.

Jackson Hole is first Wyoming city to pass LGBT nondiscrimination protections. (I only lived in Wyoming for a few months during third grade, but I’m always happy when something good happens there)

The mammoth that trampled on the history of mankind.

Let’s call the Isla Vista killings what they were: misogynist extremism.

Stormé DeLarverie, “Rosa Parks” Of The Gay Rights Movement, Dies At 93.

Physicists Prove Surprising Rule of Threes.

Pluto’s big comeback: Why it could be reclassified as a planet.

When the Earth Had Two Moons.

Derpitude: Open Carry Group in Texas sues because they can’t approach motorists while fully armed.

An ancient battle: A 900-pound croc takes on a 58-foot snake.

In Your Face, With Cake.

Eli Lieb – Young Love (Official Music Video):

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Sam Smith – Leave Your Lover:

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Maya Angelou on Sesame Street – My Name:

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A thoughtful commentary on the history of the words trans, tranny, and the current controversy:

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“Man up” (really?):

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Friday Links! (for a 3-day weekend!)

It’s Friday!
It’s Friday again! Here’s a collection of news and other things that struck me as worthy of being shared:

New York roomies return $41,000 found in thrift-store couch.

Curbing Online Abuse Isn’t Impossible. Here’s Where We Start. How one enormous gaming community actually reduced online harassment.

The Art of the Title: Rockford Files. A nice look at the design of an awesome title sequence.

Artifact of the month: Disk of Enheduanna. Part of the Ur Digitization Project.

Americans Claim to Attend Church Much More Than They Do.

Maine: State ethics investigators recommend national anti-gay-marriage group be fined $50,250. They broke the law in ’09 by not registering as a political group and then spent at least $2,000,000 on the campaign. They refused to disclose their donors, also as required by law. They lost every appeal, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and have missed multiple deadlines to file tax information. Yet they still insist that theirs is the moral high ground?

400-plus years for gang rape of targeted lesbian. A good, long time…

Twitter joke took five years to pull off — but totally worth it for Rocky Horror fans.

Found: the dinosaur that survived a mass extinction.

Uncovered Papers Show Past Government Efforts to Drive Gays From Jobs
. What’s kind of surprising about this article is 1) how recent some of this is, and 2) just how casually they hurl around blatantly awful ideas in these official memos.

Maine report suggests NOM violated laws in other states, lied to government authorities. As Gomer would say, “Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!”

Yu recites oath, becomes first openly gay justice on Wash. state Supreme Court

Strange Findings on Comb Jellies Uproot Animal Family Tree.

Sailor Neptune and Uranus Come Out of the Fictional Closet. The gay content isn’t news to Anime fans, but the new English releases that no longer hide is are welcome.

I Don’t Want to Die Alone. It’s not just tuxes and cakes…

Why Chess Will Destroy Your Mind. This article from an 1859 Scientific American may surprise you.

Local Lawmaker Compares Gays To Nazi Youth.

Snake Species That Went Missing For 78 Years Is Found.

92-year-old Texas woman denied photo ID to vote: “Not to be able to vote breaks my heart”.

House Science Committee Asked Some Very Non-Scientific Questions at the Astrobiology Hearing.

Yay for same-sex marriage, but ….

‘You guys are HUSBANDS?’: Boy’s incredulous (but adorable) reaction to meeting a gay couple for the first time.

I wrote about a sort of recent historic event: “…that mountain top is sure to blow!”.

Arcade Fire – We Exist (and who knew Andrew Garfield would make a hot transgirl?_:

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KOGA “Lucky Man” Directed By Emile Hirsch:

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Pentatonix – Love Again [Official Video]:

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