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January 1, 2024 32 mins

Are you obsessed with Squid Game?? Jana couldn’t stop watching The Squid Games Challenge on Netflix so we have one of the contestants here to Whine Down!

Dr. Vuu helps us understand why the competition is so compelling and he gives firsthand knowledge of what the body can take under extreme stress. 

Find out what happened behind the scenes and if Jana would ever try some of the challenges!

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:01):
Wind Down with Janet Kramer and I'mheart Radio Podcast. So
have you guys watched squid Games? The actual squid Games?
I am an odd man out. I have not, but truthfully,
just because I'm not really watching any TV. And I
mean that I get that, but I need to know
about it because I need you guys to vet what's

worth my time and worth my no sleep. Okay, so
I'm gonna ask you have you watched Swigging? So I
watched the challenge. However I did not watch Oh I
know what. Well. I saw the challenge and a lot
of people were talking about it. So I just started
there and I was like, well, now I have to
go back because what is happening? Okay, so back in wait,

can you even tell me what it is? Well, I'm
not about to do right now. Okay, yeah, I know nothing.
This is like there's the challenge and then there's squid Game.
So apparently okay, right after Thanksgiving, obviously just had Roman
and we were watching a lot of TV at that time,
and so my brother and his wife were in town
and clicking through things and I'm like, squid Game, the challenge.

I see it on Netflix. I'm like, what is this
And my brother is like, oh, it's probably based off
Squid Game. I'm like, what is that a movie? I like, know, nothing, right,
that's a weird name. It's weird name. So I go
to well I want to see what it is and
start looking it up. I'm like, oh, they won like
Emmys and stuff for it. It's apparently it was a

big show. Yeah, during like Lockdown two, a lot of
people watched it, and I feel like I watched everything
in Lockdown. Well, so I'm like, well, I'm going to
give it a shot because I have this baby sleeps
twenty four to seven, so I'm just as well just watch.
And the kids were gone, Thank goodness, because this is
not a good show for kids at all. So spoiler alert.

But when I started, it was a TV show like
nine episodes. It's Korean. So at first I'm like, I'm
going to hate this because I don't like reading subtitles.
That's why, and watch it. Yeah, oh my god, you
almost forget your reading really, yes, okay, I believe you.
And then David was in town. My friend was in

town and he's like, what are you watching? And so
he's like, this is what's wrong with America. So I'm
afraid I might be like David Well because literally and
you'll see again spoiler alert. But they go, it's a career.
It's based off a Korean show. And I might be
saying this wrong, but this is from what I know
in my little novice searching of googling squid Games. But

it was these people who were in debt got this
card and then they played this game called the Squid Games,
and they didn't know what was going to happen in
this game, but they're basically like, you're gonna win all
this money. You have to if you're the last person, right.
So cut to the first challenge they do is this
red light green light and if you move a little bit,

there's like this little doll and it makes this really
creepy sound and then boom boom boom boom boom. People
start getting shot, like really shot, like dead in the
TV show. Okay, no, no no, I'm talking to TV show.
I'm talking about Challenge this TV show. And again it's
not a real show. It's a well, okay, it's a

it's a it's a like a make believe show, you know,
it's like a Okay, so it's not a reality show.
The Korean part. The challenge when on Netflix is they're
not dying, they're getting you know, what's that called like
a pellet gun or something. Yeah, like when you air
and when you in movies they have those squid around

your neck that like explodes squid something that uh like yeah,
they fake their desks a squid, thank you, squib whip
Squip had one of those one the machine gun zombie
killed me. I was going to say, people, remember like
it makes sense. I wouldn't know that it's called squib.
And so, long story short, in that Korean TV show

again it's a TV showed, it's make Bley but they're
in this game and all of a sudden they're like no, dude,
get up, and it's like no, he's like bleeding out.
So all these people are just getting like massacred on
the show. And that's when like David walks in and
he's like what are you watching? Like this is fascinating
and he's like, this is what's wrong with America. Yeah,
I kind of I'm still agreeing with David, but it
just kept me and then I watched another episode and

then Alan walks in and he's like what are you watching?
And I j I gotta read, I gotta read. I
got to read the subtitles. And so then I text
Gretzky Sarah because she's loves she watches a bunch of
TV shows and she's got a podcast all about that,
the net Chicks, and I'm like, all right, girl, have
you watched squid Games? And she's like, not my thing?
And I'm like, okay, well it's starting to become my thing.

I like it. So I'm going to continue and I'll
let you know, like how it is you again? You
forget your reading and you become so I mean, I
was crying at the second to last episode because of
something that happens, because you really just love these characters.
And then spoiler alert another one. They're having another season
coming out, which is great. I'm so pumped. So then

I watched the Challenge with my mom and at first
she's like, what are you watching? That's like that's the
theme is like what are you watch? Because it's just
it's so so different. Yeah, you know, but it's good.
So it's a fake series. It's a series, fake series
based on a Korean television show. It's fake. It's fake.

It's a Korean television fake show, just like we would
watch any teacher share. So is the idea that like
they're doing it so they can get out of this debt,
like they would risk their lives essentially to get like,
let's say, thirty million dollars something like an insane amount
of money. So these people, and this is what's a
really interesting. America needs to step it up. Well, this

is what's interesting about the Squid Games is there's people
that want to leave. This is again the Korean show,
not talking about the challenge. They want to leave because
they're like, we're dying here. But they're like, well, we
don't have any thing to even you know, we don't
have a family to go back to, we don't have this,
we don't have X, so our lives are really not
that great. So who cares if I die? Could they

leave if they wanted to? There has to be a
they all have to agree. I'm a minority, so I can't.
I want you to watch it because they do. But
then they realize that the outside world is actually worse
than the world they're living in. And that was interesting too,
So there was just so much flying around with that.
But I mean I'm like clinching the bed sheets and

not the sexual way. I was like, get there. I'm
like it was so intense, and again, these people are dying.
So then I then watched the Challenge. Second, I finished
Squid Games, and you know, it's hard to go from
the TV show with such high stakes in watching that too.

These people on the challenge were faking their Did they
americanize the challenge? They americanized the challenge. They did a
lot of challenges that were similar to the show. They
changed a little bit, but like the ones where there
walking on the glass, the tempered glass that was on
the actual Squid Games. The first one was the red

light green Light? The what was the other one? Oh,
the thing worth the cookie that was on Squid Games,
But you guys, it was I could not look away
from the challenge. Oh. I loved it because I wanted
to know at what happened. I wanted to know the stories.
And again the only thing that I didn't like was

the them faking their deaths. Having said that, now watching
the entire and mind you they're playing, I think it
was like four million dollars. Did the winner one substantial?
Highest game show money ever? I want to do the
like whatever d celebrity a game show squid Games so bad? Oh,

I think it would be so fun. I would I'm like,
please sign me up as I spit on you. I'm
so excited. I wouldn't love to do that. It would
be and but I would want to fake the death.
I'd be like, oh, you'd be. At first, I thought
that was really weird, and then it like just kind
of made it what it was. I don't know. I
thought it was kind of, yeah, interesting if you go
from watching squid Games to that, you're like, I mean

that they really got killed. I could figure out a
lot of the regular show based on this and then
knowing the challenges and stuff. But I was like, they
must really get killed in this show. There pretending but like,
I don't know, it was just such a weird show
anyway that I was kind of like, whatever, couldn't look
away right, We're Oh, No, I just feel like you
and I watched such different things when well I would
normally would not just have a baby. No, this is

so your show. You like stuff, don't you like that
high intensity? Yes? And no, but if it's weird, I
like your normal. So if it is anything that's like
the only I can read. It's weird reading. So I
was tried to watch. I was like, this is just weird.
But I think I'll be able to watch it for sure.
It's so good. Yeah it sounds good. It's like it's

so good. The actors are amazing. I cannot wait for
the next season. I just it's so funny because usually
you can convince me. And I'm still like, if it
feels like it's too dangerous for you, yeah it's too
dark everyone, but also believe yeah, still doesn't matter, Like, Okay,
it's a very sense of anarchy vibe in a jail

hot like people are being shot up. But I like
something you don't like something. Anarchy is my favorite showever. Oh, Like,
I've watched this season literally great each other. I'm like,
you pray love for the seventy well like same, but
also I love that vibe too. It's intense eat pray

love or like l. So it's pretty much just saying
I'm just saying there's mixture. But the cool thing is
we have doctor Vu who is actually on the challenge,
so I'm pumped to talk to him. Actually I can't
remember was he was he the only thing I don't remember,
because I watched it pretty much in two days was
when did he actually get eliminated, because that's the piece

that I forgot when I went. I think the team
I feel like it was some kind of team challenge battleship.
I'd have to look that up. I was trying to
like figure it out, figure everybody out. Okay, come on in, Hi, Hello.

Are you thriving over there in your thrive state? Okay,
doctor Will? I have a lot of questions. Okay, First,
tell us what you do when you're not challenging. When
I'm not challenging, like when you're not doing TV madness.
Oh well, I love playing with my daughter and that's

been a great creative and artistic, you know, expression of
who I get to be. And I love karaoke. Oh
didn't see that one coming. What's your hit? You've lost
that loving feeling? Oh? Okay, that's a good one. Calm down, Merrick,

I love that. Okay. Did I have to ask you
a question about the challenge because did you watch Squid Games?
I did watch it, Yeah, And were you a fan before?
Did you watch it before you knew you were going
to be on the show. Yes, I did. It was
one of those things that my fiance said, we have
to watch this because everyone's talking about it, and so

we've we've binge watched it over a week. Okay, so
I've convinced I think Catherine to watch Squid Games because
I just watched it over Thanksgiving for the first time.
But this is I don't think I'm having a hard
time can convincing her. What would you say to tell
her to watch Squid Games? Well, it really kind of
gives you an idea of the human experience under extreme

stress and pressure. One do people? What will people choose
to do? Choose? You know, what will they do to survive?
And I think you know that question is something that
you know, is something that showed up in the original
as well as the challenge. So it kind of sounds
like my childhood. But I'm wondering, like, okay, so like

why right, Like you're a very smart guy, you have
a career. Why are you doing this to yourself? Well,
when we originally watched the show, we were fascinated by
the Childhood Games and the set was really awesome, and
to be a part of the largest reality show in
television history, I had to say yes. And then the

other thing was, you know what I do for work
is I elevate human and organizational performance in longevity. What
do people do under intense stress and pressure? And can
I maybe share some tools in these situations to bring
them down to calm and even elevate their state, put
them in a thrive state even when it looks like
you know, times are rough and things aren't going so well. Yeah,

because you led them through some breath work. Yeah. When
I was watching the show, I was like, all right,
I'm closing minds, I'm doing this, I'm doing this. I'm
starting to feel a little pressure here watching this, So
I'm like, like, I like this. Having said that, do
you think doing that made you a target? Oh? Absolutely,
And yeah, I think it just goes to show sometimes
when there is a lot of conflict and a lot

of disagreement, in times of a lot of stress, sometimes
being vocal, sometimes being the voice of reason, we'll put
a target on your back. And one thing I did
learn is evolutionarily, the energy of fear can sometimes drown
out the energy love and hope and all of those things.

And certainly, you know, I don't want to compare myself
to Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela being voices of
reason at their time, but that certainly put targets on
their back as well. Sure, because I always thought because
now I'm like wanting, I want to do it. I
want to be on this good game challenge. And I
thought about when I was watching everyone, I'm like, Okay,

he's he's now going to be a target this, this
person's being too. Now that person you know is going
to be even you know, they're going to want to
vote this person off. And I figured I would want
to play it just really quiet. Yeah, And I feel
like that's how I know that's how you would play
it too, but just you're not really you don't want
to be in there too much. You want to have

an alliance but not be too aggression like that one
guy I can't remember his name now, what player number
he was, but everyone was just the one of him gone, yeah,
player four thirty two. Yeah, it was definitely a large personality.
And I know that in Enemy Elimination p if he
didn't actually get eliminated by one of the games, that
a lot of people were targeting to eliminate him. But

then I heard a story and That's that's the piece
too that I liked about all that. It's like, oh, well,
you know, this is his upbringing. He came from a
single mom, and I liked him, but I think he
was showing the other traits that weren't favoring him. Yeah,
well I don't. I mean, does everyone really know everyone's story?
When you're there, you don't really spend some time and

you get to know some people some right. You know,
this wasn't caught on camera, but we had a moments
of heart to heart too, And certainly somebody coming in
from his background has a lot of trauma and cover
itself up in many different ways, one being you know,
potentially arrogance and confidence can sometimes show up. And I realize,

you know, back when I was younger, being a refugee
in this country, being you know, this short immigrant kid
that was constantly teased, there were parts of him that
I saw on myself when I was younger, and it
took some process of healing some of those things in
order for me to show up as someone who can
be truly connected with the other people around me. Is

there something you wish they would have shown more of,
Like when you talk about the human kind of more
of the humanness of it, which I get becomes less
of a game and less entertaining. Right, So that's we
all know how TV works. Like you don't want to
get too sentimental your player four thirty one or whatever,
but do you wish there was some things that were
shown that you know happened that weren't shown. Well, absolutely,

I mean I think from a personal standpoint, really kind of.
I really played that game with the intention of seeing this.
You know, anytime we have conflict in the world, in
the workplace where there is maybe limited resources that people
were vibing for, in this case the prize of four
point five six million dollars in the case of the world, land, oil,

things of that nature, what can we do? What happens
in those situations you have people can destroy each other
in the process to get that limited prize, and in
that case you leave a bunch of carnage behind, and
even you were weakened by trying to destroy other people
in the process. But can you do the opposite? Can
you elevate everybody so that not only is there yes,

there is a fixed finite resource at the end, but
if you're elevating everybody in the process, everybody leaves, even
though they're not getting the full point five to six
million dollars, everybody leaves with a renewed sense of self
and collaboration, and you start to build on that. You
elevate other human beings that help each other out, and
in the process, you build more value than that limited

resource that you were going out and fighting for. And
so I wish that potentially that narrative could have been
shown a little bit more, because I really wanted to
show people that that we can elevate others. And I
think the people that interacted with me that I still
keep in touch with really feel very fortunate that we've
had our interactions on the show. That's so interesting because

I did watch the challenge obviously, just not the first one,
but I kind of at first I was like, why
is everyone so surprised when people like nominated people or
three people under the bus. I'm like, it is a game.
Everybody's going for the prize at the end, and not
having watched the first one, I'm like, obviously people aren't dying,
you know. So I think at first I was kind

of like, I mean, why are they surprised? But then
you start to really feel that and you start to
see how it's like people are are you going to
turn on your people or are you gonna and you
start to really feel that a little bit more. But
I could see where they could have shown a little
bit more for us to see that, like, there's more
to it. It's not just about who wins at the
end of the game. Yeah. I mean, it's certainly a

very curtailed series, and with four hundred and fifty six people,
it's very difficult to highlight the stories, the upbringing, the
mindsets and what made people do what they did during
times of stress. And I certainly think it's a great
idea for show. You could because they were, like I
don't know, a thousand cameras all over the dorms. You

could pretty much do a spin off with each one
of the characters and build actually what happened. And I
actually really see, you know, where were people truly villains
or were they good? I was surprised to see certain
characters marked as being you know, some of the heroes,
and I knew how they acted in games, and that
wasn't portrayed that way. And it just goes to show

that there is are you talking about May was that, no,
are you talking about May? Because I feel like she's
one who won. Oh because I feel like she Sorry
to cut you off, but like you know, everyone was like, May,
I don't know you're like when they were on the
the the tower with the glass or whatever, that one,
it was like, all right, come on, you're the like
pick it for us. And then the next one or

I don't know which one I came after that. But
with the box, it's like he was for sure like
she put the box on someone that like she was
really close. It was like you putting the box on
my table because you would know that I would never
think that it was you. And he's like, I know
you wouldn't do that to me, May, But that was
so smart. It was. But also it's it's the game
playing of what people probably didn't think she was going

to do. So like when you're looking, you're like, maybe
she wasn't as nice as everyone thought she was, you know,
So to me, it's like they're just playing the game. Right.
That's where I'm like, are they bade? That's what I'm saying,
Like it's really hard to say just because someone did
something smart, are they a bad person or they just
being smart in the game, and that was hard to decipher, right, So,
like when you saw that, that was a piece of like, hey,

wait a minute, like she wasn't she kind of played
us all well. I think that in that moment you
just saw that she was a very strategic player, and
you know, you really saw that side of her. Not
that side of her, but she was just a very
strategic person. There are some contestants that were deemed as
you know, looking like you and whatnot. Don't tell me

it was the mom because that would just break my heart.
Oh yeah, no, not the mom, Not the mom. I
just show that in any situation, media or any one
particular perspective is not always going to be the whole truth.
That there's going to be mixed in there so many
different stories than plotlines, and depending on how you highlight somebody,

you can get a different sense of reality. And that
was probably another sort of just interesting insight to be
able to see four to fifty six people with all
different backgrounds and mindsets coming into the place or how
it finally got cut. But also knowing that there's so
many backstories that weren't told, you know, and some stories

being skewed to the truth. We feel that way a
lot about Jana Kramer. Huh. Things get skewed a lot,
and things get picked up and you're like, that's not
actually how it was at all. So if they did

a spinoff, do you put your name in the hat? Oh? Absolutely?
I again, after I passed the Dell going a challenge,
I remember I had to wait, I don't know, maybe
like three hours before I got to join the rest
of the people back in the dorm room. And I swore,
you know, that challenge was was going to do me

in because it was the one oh the umbrella, oh yeah,
cookie challenge, And for you who haven't seen it, basically
you get these really fragile sugar cookies that you basically
had to cut out these shapes using a needle. And
I remembering the cookie cracked and I thought I was done,

but it actually just cracked on the outside. The umbrella
was still, you know, in good form, and so I
think with seconds left, and I remember just that time
waiting outside, I was like, hey, you know, I was
probably put here on, you know, for for good reason,
and maybe how I'm playing the game needs to be shown.
And I remember just feeling very like being on that

show actually had a purpose. And then the next game
after that was Battleships, and my team didn't win the battleship,
but fortunately my ship wasn't Sun, so I got to
continue to play the game. That actually built up a
little bit of confidence that that allowed me to speak
up on the day that I was targeted. Yeahs went
who ended up sending you home? It was player one

nine to seven, I think, and uh, yeah, I realized that,
you know, that group of people that they actually did
show on the show was really targeting me. I was
pretty surprised that, you know that that happened, because I
thought I was a pretty good team player. Not shown
there was like I did laughter, yoga with people and
really elevate their state during those really long hours we

got to spend at the dorms, and I thought that
that was going to be well received. But again, I
think just being out there in a game like this
will put a target on your back. And it was
after that moment that I've realized and I don't normally
watch reality shows, and I don't normally do these elimination shows.

And right then, in that moment, I remember doing the interview,
I said, Wow, I just realize I am in an
elimination reality show, right, yeah, yeah, Well so okay, so
you did the challenge, but obviously you have I can
see behind. You've got a book Thrive State. What is
Thrive State? So we can also promote obviously not only
the challenge that you were on. So watch to see

how a doctor vou did. But where what are you doing?
What's the book tell us about all the things that
you do? Yeah, so I am a minimally invasive surgeon
that I got trained at some of the best institutions
in the county for you, the National Institutes of Health UCLA,
the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. But seven years ago, even
as an attending surgeon that was overweight, diabetic, had high

blood pressure, and I was on several prescription medications, and
I didn't realize that how I was living life, that
the program I was in, I was making unconscious voices
in sleep, nutrition, how I was moving the stress that
I was taking on every day, and those signals I
actually give to every single cell of my body. So
my body was just basically in the state of stress.

And when you're in that state of stress, it basically
turns on the genes that increase inflammation that drops immune
system down. And basically when your systems starts shutting down,
that's when you get chronic symptoms and chronic disease. But
when you can flip that, when you can give the
cell everything it needs and you have a fully functioning cell,
optimal cells lead to optimal tissues, lead to optimal organs,

lead to optimal systems that leads leads us to have
optimal health longe an e peak performance. So health isn't
really about being away from diseases, about really becoming the
best versions of ourselves. And that with seven main pillars
of sleep, nutrition, movement, our thoughts and mindset, stor emotions

are our community, and then our sense of purpose are
actually these pillars that if we make right choices on them,
we create a state in our body what I call
the thrive state, and in that state is the state
of medicine. In that state, we realize that we are
actually our best medicine. And taking this to organizations and
the work I do with them, if we could start

to see an organization, just like the cell basically works
with other cells and the ecosystem of human body. Individuals
are just that of the organism that is in our organizations.
So are you giving every individual the tools to be
able to thrive so that they can connect and then

your organization in a state where everybody feels safe, heard, connected, loved,
because that's how you get optimal performance in your organizations
as well. So the book Thrive State really is teaching
us that our consciousness and how we approach life, that
the energy that we approach life with actually carries the

signals for medicine to lead us to more health, happiness,
and human potential. Yeah. I don't really ever needed to
hear a message so clearly is that today? Actually? So
when you've gone out and worked with corporations, do you
sometimes feel like you've had your own mini reality series
where you're like, oh, this one needs to be eliminated?

Like is there someone that doesn't work with the synergy
of the group and you're like, oh, this probably needs
to go. Have you ever had that identification moment? Well,
normally I do mostly keynotes rather than doing deep in
depth work these days, and so I haven't got a
chance to meet some of those people, but I do
have the c suite attact me about certain apples, uh,

certainly in their organization to ask me what to do.
And certainly in those instances, are you giving that individual,
are you hearing that individual? And do they really resonate
with what your organization is trying to do? And certainly,
every family, every community, every organization, Paula has a couple
of those, uh, And it's just about assessing whether or

not they're really the right fit. Are they the cell
that's going to be contributing to the entire body of
this organization or they sell or is it a cell
that is going to just look out for itself. Only
what happens when we have a cell like that in
our body, it's called cancer. Yeah, this is why you
got eliminate it. I'm so sorry. Next time you should

be really quiet and not trying to do any team
mark because you're way too smart and way too brilliantly fascinating. Like, yeah,
I could see why people are like, hmmm, you're going
to have to believe exact for the whole. Yeah, I
don't keep science claves too Smartochondria gotta go. Well, thank
you so much for coming on. I appreciate it. And yeah,

just everyone go get thrive, stayed and watch us would
gain the challenge on Netflix. Thanks for having me, Thank you, bye. I.
I also wonder what you would really do, because I
do think you would put the box on my table, Catherine,
and I don't mean that, oh no, probably Honestly, I
would really struggle. Here's what I wouldn't do. I would

probably put a box on your table to try and
be smart, and like no one would guess that I
would do that. But I'm not sure what I would
do in like the beginning when they were like you
can either do this or vote someone off or whatever.
That's where I would struggle and not really know what
to unless there was someone that I felt like was
like a really not great person, then maybe i'd vote

them off, but like I wouldn't vote someone off, like
if it was me, Like I wouldn't vote you off,
but I would try and play smart. Do you know
what you guys would do? I think before the show started,
I think you would make an alliance and then you
would split the winnings no matter who made it to THEE.
And that was what I thought the whole time too,
So I was wondering if may gave any I think

either Brad or Chad. Not to quote Taylor Swift, but
I don't remember anything. It was either a Brad or
a Chad, but she was really close with one of them,
and I in my mind, I went, I would give
some of that money to some of them. Yeah, so
that's kind of at least in that moment. But I mean,
if it truly was like us going in one hundred

or like two people that really knew or like mom
and son. Yeah, Like I'm like, it's not that. Just
make sure one of y'all stays in, you know, and
then whatever. So I thought that the whole time too.
I'd be gone in two seconds. But I don't know
because and I feel like you would play it kind
of for example, on the actual squid games or someone

that was like, oh, you made us. She reminds me
of the Indian character where he's just he's so nice
and a little not you're not naive in the slightest,
but you play it, but you were you were You
don't know what you're doing, and so people keep that
around to yeah, because they don't. They probably don't think

that you would make it that far. Underdog, Yeah, we'd
be there, but then you would you switch and then
we'd all split. See, that's a whole different ballgame. I'm like, again,
money or actual death too, completely different. Well, and again,
a lot of people were in the Korean show, a
lot of people this is again that was fake. But

but well, it's kind of like you start thinking though.
It's like you'd think, I mean, if it's death, obviously
I wondn't do anything. But I'm like, wait a minute,
I have to save myself. Right. It's kind of like
that whole I don't know, I'm into it. I gotta
go watch it now. It's love deep. You can catch
me in episode seven of Friends again. See you next year.

Ah sh
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