National Riot Day (Black Friday)

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National Riot Day (Black Friday)

Postby Gellert1984 » Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:48 am UTC

Pepper spraying shopper

Spoiler:
The pepper-spray attack at a Porter Ranch Wal-Mart at the beginning of Black Friday shopping apparently involved shoppers waiting to purchase Xbox and Wii video games, witnesses said.

The Los Angeles Police Department is searching for a woman who allegedly used pepper spray on at least 20 people at the store in what authorities said was a deliberate attempt to get more merchandise.

Police on Friday were trying to develop a description of the woman, who left the store after the incident.

One witness said screams erupted after about 100 people waiting in line to snag Xbox gaming consoles and Wii video games got into a shoving match.

Alejandra Seminario, 24, said she was waiting in line to grab some toys at the store around 9:55 p.m. when people the next aisle over started shouting and ripping at the plastic wrap encasing gaming consoles. The store was supposed to be opened at 10 p.m.

"People started screaming, pulling and pushing each other, and then the whole area filled up with pepper spray," the Sylmar resident said. "I guess what triggered it was people started pulling the plastic off the pallets and then shoving and bombarding the display of games. It started with people pushing and screaming because they were getting shoved onto the boxes."

The pepper spray wafted through the air, Seminario said, and she breathed some in and started coughing. Her face also started itching.

"This was customer-versus-customer 'shopping rage,' " said Los Angeles Police Lt. Abel Parga.

The Los Angeles Fire Department arrived to treat those who were hurt. Shoppers complained of minor skin and eye irritation and sore throats. None of the injuries were serious.

The woman used the spray in more than one area of the Wal-Mart "to gain preferred access to a variety of locations in the store," said Los Angeles Fire Capt. James Carson.

"She was competitive shopping," he said.

According to KTLA News, YouTube video taken inside the store shows customers jostling to access the merchandise.


Tl;dr: A woman goes through a wal-mart using pepper spray to get at whatever deals she wants.

Faceplanting grandpa

Spoiler:
BUCKEYE, Ariz. - Police swarmed a Buckeye Walmart Thursday night after a man inside was tackled to the ground during a rush to grab video games -- and there are differing stories about what led up to his arrest.

Some witnesses told Fox 10 that the actions taken by a police officer during a fight at that Walmart were wrong, but Buckeye police have a different story.

Witnesses told Fox 10 Friday morning that a grandfather was with his grandson and wife looking at video games. They said that people were tearing the box of games apart, trying to get to the videos, and a woman ended up getting punched.

"You literally would have thought there was a cure for cancer in this box, people were going insane," said witness Skylar Stone, who saw the whole thing and called it 'uncalled for.'

The grandson was trampled on in all the mayhem -- even cutting his lip. His grandpa put the game in his waistband so that he could lift the boy out of the crowd, according to some witnesses.

Witnesses said that's when a police officer grabbed the man and slammed him to the ground – possibly thinking he was stealing the game.

On a cell phone video taken at the Walmart, blood can be seen streaming from the grandfather's face. But witnesses said police didn't believe anything was wrong until they turned the man over.

“They grabbed the guy, body planted him into the ground -- face shatters on concrete. That's a hard concrete floor inside Walmart.

“All of a sudden, you see this little boy run up and wailing and yelling, ‘Grandpa, Grandpa,’ and crying his eyes out,” Stone said.

Witnesses said the man had about $600 worth of electronics that he was purchasing and wasn't trying to steal anything. They said he was just trying to get his grandson out of harm's way.

But on Friday afternoon, Buckeye police told Fox 10 a vastly different story.

The Buckeye police chief said the officer’s actions were justified and that the cell phone video of the fight showed only the very end of it. They said the Walmart's surveillance cameras did not capture the beginning of the fight.

Police said when the officer asked Jerald Newman about the video game he put in his waistband, he began flailing his arms.

"As the officer put handcuffs on the suspect, he resisted arrest, flailing his arms and pulling away from the officer backing up," said Buckeye Police Asst. Chief Larry Hall.

A leg sweep was used on Newman, who hit his head when he fell and began bleeding, police said.

"There's nothing on the surface to indicate our officer did anything inappropriate. It's difficult to arrest an individual because you don't know how that individual is going to react."

Because force was used in the arrest, the incident is under investigation. The officer involved is still on the job.

54-year-old Jerald Newman, of Fontana, Calif., was arrested after he was treated at a local hospital. He faces charges of resisting arrest and shoplifting.

UPDATE: Newman was released from jail at 4:15 a.m. Saturday.


Tl;dr: an older man puts a computer game in his belt, cop arrests guy and plants his face into wal-marts concrete floor. Cop says: shoplifting resisting arrest. Shoppers say: picking up his grandson to avoid getting crushed.

Discussion value: Why do people act like savages on black friday...y'know, more than usual?

Also post more stories of black friday incidents here.
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Re: National Riot Day (Black Friday)

Postby Newt » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:33 pm UTC

'black friday' is primarily a slow news day driven phenomenon.

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Re: National Riot Day (Black Friday)

Postby The Reaper » Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:57 pm UTC

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/two_ ... pfdedSpHaM
Police say two women have been injured and a man has been charged after a fight broke out at an upstate New York Wal-Mart store that had just let Black Friday shoppers into its electronics department.

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2011/11/ ... ck-friday/
One of the most climactic parts of the day was at Victoria’s Secret, where a hot deal on yoga pants had some women fuming.

“Literally, girls were punching each other,” said shopper Liz Wentling. “They threw little bags in baskets and they were just like, ‘Here.’ Girls were literally shoving each other, moms were getting into it.”
Vile miscreants.

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Re: National Riot Day (Black Friday)

Postby Princess Marzipan » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:04 pm UTC

Newt wrote:'black friday' is primarily a slow news day driven phenomenon.
Or maybe it's more to do with consumerism and profit-chasing.
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Re: National Riot Day (Black Friday)

Postby Glass Fractal » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:09 pm UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:
Newt wrote:'black friday' is primarily a slow news day driven phenomenon.
Or maybe it's more to do with consumerism and profit-chasing.

No, the phenomenon of Black Friday is an invention of bored news media. It's barely any worse than normal shopping days in terms of violence and only recently became especially good in terms of profits.

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Re: National Riot Day (Black Friday)

Postby Steax » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:23 pm UTC

Glass Fractal wrote:
Princess Marzipan wrote:
Newt wrote:'black friday' is primarily a slow news day driven phenomenon.
Or maybe it's more to do with consumerism and profit-chasing.

No, the phenomenon of Black Friday is an invention of bored news media. It's barely any worse than normal shopping days in terms of violence and only recently became especially good in terms of profits.


I can't seem to find statistics to back that up, but the issues brought up here seem to be explicitly connected to 'black friday' - if stores weren't giving such offers and/or did their job better, these problems wouldn't have happened.
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Re: National Riot Day (Black Friday)

Postby Tirian » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:34 pm UTC

Newt wrote:'black friday' is primarily a slow news day driven phenomenon.


With a heavy dose of confirmation bias. Yes, it's easy and natural to create the narrative that it's about the breakdown of civility and the harshness of the economy or the fact that WalMarts don't exemplify community values or whatever you like. But, as Lincoln Steffens said and demonstrated, the press can create a crime wave just by writing about all the petty crimes that happen every day and similarly end the crime wave just by writing about something else instead.

That said, this is the fourth or fifth high-profile incidence in the past few months in which people aren't facing criminal assault charges for using pepper spray in a non-defensive manner, and it's bound to eventually settle in our collective intellect that it's an appropriate reaction for being nervous or inconvenienced.

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Re: National Riot Day (Black Friday)

Postby Vaniver » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:31 pm UTC

I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

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Re: National Riot Day (Black Friday)

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:34 pm UTC

Watching brides fight over dresses isn't much different. Frankly, I'm surprised anyone bothers going out to shop on Black Friday anymore. If you can get online, you can get stuff cheaper and without the crowds.
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Re: National Riot Day (Black Friday)

Postby Diemo » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:46 pm UTC

Frankly, I'm surprised anyone bothers going out to shop on Black Friday anymore. If you can get online, you can get stuff cheaper and without the crowds.


Actually (according to that paragon of truth, Cracked.com) the only reason Big Friday is a day of bigger profits is because people shop online.

Part 3 also relevant.
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Re: National Riot Day (Black Friday)

Postby juststrange » Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:59 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Watching brides fight over dresses isn't much different. Frankly, I'm surprised anyone bothers going out to shop on Black Friday anymore. If you can get online, you can get stuff cheaper and without the crowds.


As crazy as this sounds that I have to think like this this year, Im going to avoid shopping so much on line because its not as good for my local economy. Shopping online takes away the sales tax I would pay (I know, I'm probably supposed to itemize and pay it anyway - havent figured out what thats about yet). I'm down with the plan I heard on TV the other day - this year, I might focus on getting folks gift certificates for local services - lawn care, oil changes, etc. as those jobs can't be outsourced.

I'd stick a thumbs up to online shopping under the concept of propping up the USPS a little more, but lord knows noone online actually ships with them anymore.

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Re: National Riot Day (Black Friday)

Postby Radical_Initiator » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:12 pm UTC

juststrange wrote:but lord knows noone online actually ships with them anymore.


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Re: National Riot Day (Black Friday)

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:26 pm UTC

juststrange wrote: Im going to avoid shopping so much on line because its not as good for my local economy.

Your plan of picking up gift certificates for local businesses is a good one, but the argument that you're shopping in your home town to boost the economy only holds if you're not shopping at megastores. If a present is going to be purchased at a chain store anyway, there's no reason to bother leaving your home to get it.
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Re: National Riot Day (Black Friday)

Postby Dream » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:56 pm UTC

Glass Fractal wrote:
Princess Marzipan wrote:
Newt wrote:'black friday' is primarily a slow news day driven phenomenon.
Or maybe it's more to do with consumerism and profit-chasing.

No, the phenomenon of Black Friday is an invention of bored news media. It's barely any worse than normal shopping days in terms of violence and only recently became especially good in terms of profits.

If National Street Racing Day existed, and didn't lead to a spike in road fatalities, fatalities among street racers racing as part of Street Racing Day events would still be directly connected to the event, and not simply ordinary road fatalities with a media tag hung on them.

The existence of other retail related violence doesn't make Black Friday sales a safe or responsible thing for stores to do.
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Re: National Riot Day (Black Friday)

Postby juststrange » Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:13 pm UTC

Dream wrote:The existence of other retail related violence doesn't make Black Friday sales a safe or responsible thing for stores to do.


Are you saying that making lots of money is irresponsible? Thats downright unpatriotic!

The reality is, WalMart didn't pepperspray people fighting over a $2 waffle iron. It may have sold the pepperspray though.....

Toying with supply-demand curves to your percieved benefit and thier actual benefit is something lots of successful enterprises do - see limited edition anything and OPEC for examples.

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Re: National Riot Day (Black Friday)

Postby Dauric » Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:31 pm UTC

juststrange wrote:
Dream wrote:The existence of other retail related violence doesn't make Black Friday sales a safe or responsible thing for stores to do.


Are you saying that making lots of money is irresponsible? Thats downright unpatriotic!

The reality is, WalMart didn't pepperspray people fighting over a $2 waffle iron. It may have sold the pepperspray though.....

Toying with supply-demand curves to your percieved benefit and thier actual benefit is something lots of successful enterprises do - see limited edition anything and OPEC for examples.


Problem is that toying with the supply/demand curves, and pricing significantly in error of those curves, doesn't just have an effect on the money changing hands but (and here's where the problem is) things like the capacity of a structure to safely hold people, the ability for staff (and security, and police, and medical responders, etc. etc.) to move though the structure.
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Re: National Riot Day (Black Friday)

Postby philsov » Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:48 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
juststrange wrote: Im going to avoid shopping so much on line because its not as good for my local economy.

Your plan of picking up gift certificates for local businesses is a good one, but the argument that you're shopping in your home town to boost the economy only holds if you're not shopping at megastores. If a present is going to be purchased at a chain store anyway, there's no reason to bother leaving your home to get it.


Sales tax.

By ordering goods through Amazon (e.g.), my county/state doesn't see a dime of revenue from the transaction. Locally it's a 8.25% rate, so for the $300-ish I've spent online so far I've saved (and not given the government) about $25. Extrapolate over a large population and it surely adds up.

Neverminding the fact that if I drove to the megastore and waited in line, I'd still be paying more baseline than the online price plus S&H in the first place, of course.
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Re: National Riot Day (Black Friday)

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:27 pm UTC

I don't have the literature to back this, but I recall reading that a dollar spent at a local store circulates 5-10x more often through the local community than a dollar spent at a chain store. Don't quote me on the actual number. So yeah, sales tax is good too.
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Re: National Riot Day (Black Friday)

Postby Ghostbear » Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:51 pm UTC

philsov wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:
juststrange wrote: Im going to avoid shopping so much on line because its not as good for my local economy.

Your plan of picking up gift certificates for local businesses is a good one, but the argument that you're shopping in your home town to boost the economy only holds if you're not shopping at megastores. If a present is going to be purchased at a chain store anyway, there's no reason to bother leaving your home to get it.


Sales tax.

By ordering goods through Amazon (e.g.), my county/state doesn't see a dime of revenue from the transaction. Locally it's a 8.25% rate, so for the $300-ish I've spent online so far I've saved (and not given the government) about $25. Extrapolate over a large population and it surely adds up.

Neverminding the fact that if I drove to the megastore and waited in line, I'd still be paying more baseline than the online price plus S&H in the first place, of course.

That only holds true for places with a sales tax however. That is the case for a significant part of the US, but not all of it. I'm also not sure how many counties or individual cities have their own sales taxes on top of the state one.

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Re: National Riot Day (Black Friday)

Postby awesome blue! » Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:28 am UTC



Even worse, it could have been Black Faz Day! Sorry, I just had too.

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Re: National Riot Day (Black Friday)

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:45 am UTC

There's a reason why I use Amazon and super saver shipping. I especially love it when I find used/refurbished items with the free shipping.
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Re: National Riot Day (Black Friday)

Postby Glass Fractal » Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:14 am UTC

Dream wrote:
Glass Fractal wrote:
Princess Marzipan wrote:
Newt wrote:'black friday' is primarily a slow news day driven phenomenon.
Or maybe it's more to do with consumerism and profit-chasing.

No, the phenomenon of Black Friday is an invention of bored news media. It's barely any worse than normal shopping days in terms of violence and only recently became especially good in terms of profits.

If National Street Racing Day existed, and didn't lead to a spike in road fatalities, fatalities among street racers racing as part of Street Racing Day events would still be directly connected to the event, and not simply ordinary road fatalities with a media tag hung on them.

The existence of other retail related violence doesn't make Black Friday sales a safe or responsible thing for stores to do.


Lets say there was a day that the media declared to be National Street Racing Day in which the media tells us that street racing increases dramatically and warns us of the horrible dangers. To extend this metaphor lets say there's another day (call it "Any Given Day During the Third Week of December", randomly off the top of my head) during which vastly more street racing happens but we hear relatively little about it.

Would you say that the focus on National Street Racing Day misrepresents what's going on?

http://www.icsc.org/TopTen02.pdf (though after 2002 Black Friday does jump to the top, though I can't find anything about it being that much massively higher than the days before Chirstmas)

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Re: National Riot Day (Black Friday)

Postby Gellert1984 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:30 pm UTC

Pepper spray lady may not be charged, because she may have been using pepper spray in self defence.

Spoiler:
Walmart pepper-spraying may have been self-defense, police say
By Dana Bartholomew, Los Angeles Daily News

Scene from video shows crush of shoppers at Xbox display. (YouTube video)
The woman who pepper-sprayed more than a dozen shoppers at a Los Angeles Walmart has not been charged because she may have fired in self-defense, police said Monday.

Detectives said they have reviewed videos that indicate the 32-year-old woman who shocked the nation by injuring at least 14 Walmart customers during a Thursday evening sales rush for video-game consoles may have feared for her life.

"What am I going to charge her with?" said Los Angeles police Detective Michael Fesperman, of Devonshire Division.

"There was a stampede at Walmart from people getting Xbox games for half off," he said. "There was no control. People were getting stampeded and trampled. There were people screaming, yelling that they were being trampled or crushed.

"This woman may have fired her pepper spray in self-defense."

It was just after 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving when the woman pepper-sprayed more than a dozen shoppers at the Walmart in Porter Ranch, in the northern San Fernando Valley, as a frenzy broke out over a just-opened crate of Xbox consoles.

Each victim of the capsicum blast was treated at the store and went home.

Police initially described the 140-pound, unidentified Hispanic woman as a "competitive shopper" who may have bought the Microsoft Xbox before fleeing the store.

They said the suspect faced a minimum of battery charges for each injured person.

The story went viral, with residents across the nation decrying consumer violence at the dawn of a shopping season for holidays celebrating peace and joy.

The woman became a symbol for the greediness of the so-called Black Friday sales rush, considered one of the busiest shopping days of the year. At one Walmart in San Leandro, a robber shot a shopper who refused to give up the goods. The man was hospitalized in critical, but stable condition.

"You know it's a sad day when people cannot act like human beings when it comes to Christmas shopping," Marisol Arnold commented on the Daily News website. "When you pepper-spray a group of people for an Xbox, you are not fit to be in society. You are an animal."

On Saturday, the suspect in the Porter Ranch pepper spraying turned herself in at the Northridge police station but was later released.

Over the weekend, two Devonshire Division detectives interviewed 14 witnesses and victims, as well as watched YouTube and Walmart store videos, Fesperman said.

The initial reports about a mad shopper pepper-spraying other customers to grab the discounted games may have been erroneous, he said.

The police investigation continues, with more witnesses and victims to be interviewed, Fesperman said. A formal announcement about potential criminal charges is expected as soon as Wednesday.

"Essentially, what this is: On these Black Fridays, people can't control themselves, and people get killed. They're crushed," said Fesperman, a homicide detective for the Los Angeles Police Department. "We don't know what happened here.

"It appears she may have fired her pepper spray in self-defense, in order to prevent being crushed."

Fesperman said the woman was "in her rights" to carry pepper spray for self defense.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., did not immediately return a request for comment about an alleged lack of security during Black Friday sales at its Porter Ranch Walmart store.
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Re: National Riot Day (Black Friday)

Postby Tirian » Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:24 pm UTC

Gellert1984 wrote:Pepper spray lady may not be charged, because she may have been using pepper spray in self defence.


This seems to me like the same as the Phoenix Jones story: knowingly jump into danger and then use pepper spray to safely extricate yourself. I'd rather they put these cases before a grand jury to let the community decide what sorts of menace deserve indiscriminate pepper spray. I have a really hard time believing that all fourteen people she injured were a credible threat to her so much as a threat to her being the one who bought the Xbox.

I suppose we shouldn't start doorbuster sales until everyone gets the rules straightened out.


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