Garbanzo Beans and Lemon Vinaigrette with Ground Flax Seeds

19 Jul

Garbanzo Beans and Lemon Vinaigrette with Ground Flax Seeds

I’ve been revising my salad dressings to be more nutritious and making the dressing stick to the salad ingredients instead of sinking to the bottom of the bowl after tossing the salad. The addition of the ground flax seeds thickens the dressing which helps to keep on the salad ingredients coated with the dressing.

As a relatively new vegan (almost 3 years) I’m always trying to include more plant protein in my food. Garbanzo beans and flax seeds both have more protein than other kinds of beans and seeds.

I prepared the salad dressing first and let it sit in the bowl while I prepared the following salad ingredients in a bowl. Following this order allows the flax seed to thicken the dressing.

Vegan Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette with Flax Seeds    ©2015 Afroditi Katsikiis

Vegan Salad ©2015 Afroditi Katsikis

Vegan Lemon Vinaigrette with Ground Flax seeds 

½     cup olive oil

3      Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice

1       Tbsp. red wine vinegar

3      garlic cloves, finely diced

1      tsp. dried oregano

¼    tsp. fresh ground pepper

1.5  Tbsp. ground flax seeds

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and whip them up using a whisk. Let sit for 5 minutes before using it. Give it a few whisks just before putting on the salad. I used less than 1/8 cup dressing on this salad.


3  large leaves of romaine lettuce leaves torn into bite sized pieces, do NOT cut with a knife

1  large tomato cut into bite–sized pieces

3  thin slices of sweet onion, cut in half

1  cup of home cooked garbanzo beans

2  tablespoons of chopped parsley

Place all the ingredients in a bowl large enough to toss the salad with dressing. Two to three tablespoons was enough for me. The salad recipe makes enough for one person as a main dish but probably enough for two or three people as a side dish.

Half way through eating this salad I remembered half an avocado left in the fridge from yesterday. Too late to take another photo and if it’s not in the photo how can I put it in the salad recipe? These are other ingredients I wished I had available today: roasted sweet peppers, kalamata olives, sliced almonds, or possibly some fire roasted eggplant.  


 ©2015 afroditi katsikis

In the Memetime • If you want Bernie Sanders to get elected in 2016

12 Jun

Bernie Sanders is the candidate I want to vote for in 2016 … no one else has a record that fits my criteria of who should be our next president. His record is an open book and consistent from the beginning of his career fighting for Campaign Finance, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Dairy & Agriculture, Dental Care, Economy, Education, Energy & Environment, Financial Reform, War and Peace, Media Ownership Telecommunications, Prescription Drugs, Primary Health Care, Seniors, Trade, Transportation & Infrastructure, Veterans, Women’s Rights!

Liam Miller in his article today 5 Things Bernie Sanders Has Said or Done That Should Have Been Political Suicide, But Weren’t” Posted: 06/11/2015 1:30 pm EDT includes a brief history of Bernie’s positions and history on issues that are very important to We the People!

We are getting screwed by the very people we elected to office, but Bernie is not like any one of THEM – he’s fought hard for ‘We the People’ and is not a millionaire like many of the congressional members who get rich in office or upon retiring. 

Let’s help get Senator Bernie Sanders in the Whitehouse before the USA is no longer the land of the free and the name changed to: CORPORATE STATES OF NORTH AMERICA.

Do what Luciferandphilosopher says if you want Bernie Sanders to be our next president:

  Continue reading

WestDeltaGirl’s Art and Photography

12 May
Spring Bouquet  ©2013 afroditi katsikis

Spring Bouquet ©2013 afroditi katsikis

I’ve always been fascinated with birds and now that I live in the Sacramento / San Joaquin Delta, I finally became a birder. The winged visitors and permanent residents of the west delta are my inspiration!

Even though I earned a BFA in Photography at ASU studying with Jack Stuler, Eric Kronengold and Bill Jay; and studied with Les Krimms and Paul Diamond at State University College NY at Buffalo, my career path abruptly changed course and I pursued a career as a litigation paralegal with very little time to live my life or take many photographs.

I have always had a camera but haven’t always used it due to time constraints and in fact had not used digital until 2006 when a friend gave me a Lumix digital camera. Don’t know why I waited so long to convert to digital – but I’m still not ready to give up my Nikon F3! My life changed drastically after a car accident that didn’t seriously injure me but it woke me up to what I was letting pass me by and I started photographing Sherman Island.

Spring in the Delta ©2008 afroditi katsikis

Spring in the Delta ©2008 afroditi katsikis

Shortly after that, I became unemployed and had more time for photography here in the west delta. The Sacramento River Delta is a major stopover and destination for migrating birds, ducks and geese. It is not far from Sacramento or San Francisco yet isolated enough to be considered country living.

Egret flying over the river ©2008 afroditi katsikis

Egret flying over the river ©2008 afroditi katsikis

My first intimate knowledge of the delta was as a windsurfer during spring and summer months. After purchasing my home and spending the first winter here I came to appreciate its beauty year round. To the casual observer, it may appear as though the seasons do not change very much here, but the birds know and keep coming back when it’s their time to be here.

Winter on the Sacramento River ©2008As I got more involved in environmental issues plaguing our environment I began modifying photographs in order to express my fears of the future. These heavily photoshopped images are on my Fine Art America gallery: Altered Landscapes And Riverscapes. I feel as an artist/photographer I could help create some awareness about the problems plaguing earth, our home: air pollution, GMO agriculture, fracking and climate change.

View from Sherman Island ©2011 afroditi katsikis

View from Sherman Island ©2011 afroditi katsikis

Artists create art for many reasons and they have, throughout the ages expressed their concerns through their art by sharing the beauty of our planet, expressing their feelings about politics and current events. Writers write about they see and feel, while artists show their feelings and views through their art.

I hope you enjoy my photographs because I sure do enjoy making them.

CLICK HERE to visit My facebook page:  WestDeltaGirl
CLICK HERE to visit My Photo Gallery

The Cancer Industry Does NOT want a cure for Cancer

14 Mar

Another instance in which the government answers to large corporations and not the voters. If the “cancer industry” can’t file a money making patent for a medicine, they want no part of it. Watch the very short video and then read Research Proving Cannabis Kills Cancer Cells Safely Has Been Suppressed Since 1974.

Published on Jul 24, 2012

Watch as the active ingredient in marijuana, THC, kills cancer cells.

Since 1974 studies have shown that cannabis has anti-tumor effects. The results of the 1974 study, reported in an Aug. 18, 1974, Washington Post newspaper feature, were that cannabis’s component, THC, “slowed the growth of lung cancers, breast cancers and a virus-induced leukemia in laboratory mice, and prolonged their lives by as much as 36 percent.” In 1975 an article in the Journal of the National cancer institute titled “Antineoplastic Activity of Cannabinoids,” they reported that “Lewis lung adenocarcinoma growth was retarded by the oral administration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinol (CBD). Mice treated for 20 consecutive days with THC and CBD had reduced primary tumor size.”

In 1998, a research team at Madrid’s Complutense University Led by Dr. Manuel Guzman discovered that THC can selectively induce programmed cell death in brain tumor cells without negatively impacting surrounding healthy cells. They reported in the March 2002 issue of “Nature Medicine” they had destroyed incurable brain cancer tumors in rats by injecting them with THC. And in 2007 even Harvard Researchers found that compounds in cannabis cut the growth of lung cancer. There is also an organization called The SETH Group that showed compounds in cannabis can stop the growth of human glioblastoma multiforma (GBM) brain cancer cells. The SETH Group says “No chemotherapy can match this nontoxic anti-cancer action.” Even last year in 2012 a pair of scientists at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco found THC stops metastasis in many kinds of aggressive cancer.

– See more at: Cure Your Own Cancer

Continue reading

Twenty Genetically Modified Foods Coming to Your Plate | Wake Up World

24 Nov
GloFish fluorescent fish. Genetically modified...

GloFish fluorescent fish. Genetically modified. Danio rerio. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s a scary world that mega corporations are creating! Frankenfoods are already on the supermarket shelves and not many are labeled GMO free. Monsanto and the other companies genetically engineering our food, are on a mission to control our food supply – not only vegetables and fruit but also meat and fish! Continue reading

A Storm Gathers for North American Birds | The Audubon Birds & Climate Change Report

25 Sep

I love to watch and photograph birds – the more I watch and photograph the more fascinated I become. Last summer a family of five kestrels (2 adults and three babies) spent a few weeks in my backyard. I watched the adults teach the youngsters how to fly and forage for food. They grew accustomed to me with my camera as the days went by. ( see Kestrels Came to visit here)

 © 2013 afroditi katsikis

©2013 afroditi katsikis … Click the photo to see my gallery of the kestrels

Not all the photos were beautiful photographs but still the ones I did not publish taught me more about them. I watched the fledglings climb up the shed walls to reach the rooftop to eat the insects (mostly spiders) that they found. Watching the youngsters play and practice quick turns and dives, was fascinating!

One day I heard the parents chattering  in the cottonwood tree. They were hard to see even with my long lens since the tree was leafed out wand, leaves and branches were in the way.  I had no idea what they were doing until I was previewing images on my computer. They were mating and were interrupted by another kestrel that  they shooed away!

After reading this article by Audubon (link to full article below) I was upset and depressed at the same time.  Why is this happening? Why has our government turned a blind eye to the devastation by the oil industry? They are partially to blame but we, as consumers of petroleum products, are also at fault. Please tread lightly on mother earth, share rides, ride a bike to the store, stop buying throw away plastic products, and recycle everything are just a few of the things we can do.

It’s also very important to tell our elected officials how we feel. The two best actions we can take is write a handwritten letter and call their offices. These days handwritten letters stand out amongst the typed letters and emails and add a personal touch while emails and typed letters could be produced in mass and may be difficult to ascertain if they are sent by the signers or not, while handwriting is unique to all of us.

You can find contact information for federal, state, local, or tribal governments and elected officials at:

Government Agencies and Elected Officials. You can contact  federal government agencies here  (ie., Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Council of Environmental Quality, Environmental Management (Energy Department), Environmental Protection Agency, Fish and Wildlife Service, etc.)

If you want to contact a Member of Congress Who Does Not Represent You,  you can:

  • Send a message to the Representative or Senator that represents you, and ask his or her office to forward it for you.
  • Go to the website for the member of Congress you wish to contact to find a postal address and mail a letter.
  • Call the United States Capitol switchboard at 1-202-224-3121.  The switchboard operator will connect you with the office you request.


This is an excerpt of the article A Storm Gathers for North American Birds by Audubon:


“Western North Dakota is famous for its birds. The land here is checkered with neat squares of farm fields and native prairie overlying a scatter of pothole lakes, their curving shorelines shaped tens of thousands of years ago by chunks of melting glaciers. This rich landscape provides critical breeding grounds for millions of birds, from the that pour out of the so-called “duck factory” to the Bobolinks of the tallgrass prairie.


But the region is changing fast. Even as birds continue to flock here every summer, expanding agriculture has eaten away at their habitat, and since 2008 the area has witnessed an energy boom of global proportions. Today the fields, prairies, and badlands are punctuated with hundreds of rectangles of raw, orange dirt, each studded with its own set of trailers, storage tanks, and nodding pumpjacks. Every day, companies use hydraulic fracturing to extract nearly a million barrels of oil from the Bakken formation, a layer of shale that lies about two miles beneath the prairie. Roughly 8,000 wells are operating already, and an additional 40,000 could be drilled and fracked in the next 20 to 30 years. In line at one brand-new convenience store, a woman carrying a hardhat sums up the prevailing attitude: “Patience are for doctors.” In the Bakken, the time is now, and the future is a long way off.


Yet the Audubon Report, a groundbreaking new study by Audubon scientists, suggests that this place will become even more important for birds as the planet warms. For the 26 grassland bird species whose breeding ranges are projected to decrease dramatically by 2050, North Dakota will become an increasingly rare island of viable habitat and suitable climate conditions, one of their few remaining refuges. Protecting a portion of the region for birds could mean the difference between survival and extinction for some species.


That’s just one of the critical findings from Audubon’s seven-year investigation into the expected effects of climate change on North American bird populations. And taken together, the news is grim indeed. By 2080, the climate model projects, dozens of avian species across the country could be hurtling toward extinction—and not just birds that are already in trouble. Both the American Avocet and the Yellow-headed Blackbird, familiar sights in western North America, may be under threat before the end of the century. In the Great Plains, the Chestnut-collared Longspurs range could shrink by 70 percent, while suitable breeding grounds for the Baird’s Sparrow could disappear entirely. The Piping Plover, an icon of the Atlantic Flyway, may vanish from many eastern shores.”



Read the entire article here: A Storm Gathers for North American Birds | The Audubon Birds & Climate Change Report.


Lawsuit Launched to Stop Out-of-control Wildlife Killing by Secretive Federal Agency in Idaho

9 Sep

For Immediate Release, September 8, 2014

Travis Bruner, Western Watersheds Project, (208) 720-5595
Andrea Santarsiere, Center for Biological Diversity, (303) 854-7748
Drew Kerr, WildEarth Guardians, (312) 375-6104
Gary Macfarlane, Friends of the Clearwater, (208) 882-9755
Kristin Ruether, Advocates for the West, (208) 342-7024, ext. 208


“It’s long overdue for Wildlife Services to be held accountable for killing wildlife and releasing pollutants into our environment,” said Travis Bruner, executive director of Western Watersheds Project. “We want an explanation for this deplorable expenditure of public funds.”Lawsuit Launched to Stop Out-of-control Wildlife Killing by Secretive Federal Agency in IdahoBOISE, Idaho— Four conservation organizations today filed a notice of intent to sue

English: Canada lynx by Michael Zahra.

English: Canada lynx by Michael Zahra. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program over its large-scale, often secretive killing of wild animals in Idaho. The program kills millions of animals nationwide every year, and in 2013 killed more than 3,000 mammals in Idaho alone via aerial gunning, neck snares, foothold traps, and toxic devices known as M-44s that spray sodium cyanide into the victim’s mouth, causing tremendous suffering and releasing toxic chemicals into the environment.

The lawsuit will challenge Wildlife Services’ renewal of its efforts in Idaho to eradicate coyotes, black bears, mountain lions, bobcats, foxes and other important carnivores from the landscape for the benefit of private livestock and agricultural interests. Wildlife Services also plans to remove dozens of beaver dams using explosives that will harm bull trout, a protected species. The program admits that its trapping activities will harm threatened grizzly bears and Canada lynx. Trapping also targets fishers, which are in rapid decline in the Northern Rocky Mountains due to a vast increase in trapping activities in Idaho. Conservation groups have petitioned to protect the fisher under the Endangered Species Act.

“One of the many problems with this program is the many unintended victims left in its wake, including endangered species,” said Andrea Santarsiere, staff attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Grizzly bears, lynx and bull trout are all suffering at the hands of Wildlife Services, and that needs to stop.”

Wildlife Services has come under increasing criticism for the sheer number of animals that it kills and injures, (including many nontarget animals), the ineffectiveness of its methods, its cruel and inhumane tactics, and its antiquated attitude about carnivores, which scientists demonstrate are critically important to maintaining intact ecosystems in the western United States. Beavers similarly play a key role in healthy ecosystems and are critical to successful climate adaptation. New research demonstrates the essential role beavers play by stabilizing streams, slowing snowmelt runoff, and improving fish habitat, among other benefits.

“Native carnivores and beavers are key parts of healthy, thriving ecosystems,” said Drew Kerr, carnivore advocate for WildEarth Guardians. “Wildlife Services needs to join the 21st century and follow the best available science to ensure its activities don’t further damage Idaho’s ecosystems.”

After members of Congress demanded an investigation of the program’s practices earlier this year, the Agriculture Department commenced an audit of its wildlife control activities. Due to the lack of any regulatory framework to govern the program, the Center for Biological Diversity and allies filed a comprehensive petition for reform in December 2013.

Wildlife Services has never conducted either an analysis of the statewide environmental impacts of its activities or of the impact of beaver dam destruction.

“Wildlife Services–what a euphemism–has never shown itself to be biologically or fiscally sound,” said Gary Macfarlane of Friends of the Clearwater. “In fact, in the case of coyotes, the killing program seems to be a never-ending bloodbath that harms other species as well.”

Western Watersheds Project, the Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians, and Friends of the Clearwater are represented by Boise-based law firm Advocates for the West.

Western Watersheds Project is a nonprofit conservation group founded in 1993 with 1,400 members whose mission is to protect and restore western watersheds and wildlife through education, public policy initiatives and litigation.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 775,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

WildEarth Guardians is a nonprofit conservation organization working to protect and restore the wildlife, wild places, wild rivers and health of the American West.

Friends of the Clearwater is an Idaho-based nonprofit conservation organization that works to protect the wildness and biodiversity of the public wildlands, wildlife, and waters of Idaho’s Clearwater Basin.

Advocates for the West uses law and science to restore streams and watersheds, protect public lands and wildlife, and ensure sustainable communities in Idaho and throughout the West.

Source: Lawsuit Launched to Stop Out-of-control Wildlife Killing by Secretive Federal Agency in Idaho.

Know Your Rights: Demonstrations and Protests | American Civil Liberties Union

17 Aug
Local issues are often the subject of free speech.

Local issues are often the subject of free speech. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you are going to take to the streets to protest, read this article first. All you need to know about your civil rights when attending a protest: Know Your Rights: Demonstrations and Protests | American Civil Liberties Union.


Since 1920, the ACLU has been protecting the civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The resources below were created by ACLU staff as handy guidelines to your rights in various situations. read more at Know Your Rights – Essential Resources From the ACLU

Cast Iron Skillet Vegan Muffin Cake

21 Jun
Vegan Applesauce Skillet Muffin-Cake

Vegan Applesauce Skillet Muffin-Cake ©2014 afroditi katsikis

Why bake muffins in a cast iron skillet?  When I get hungry for something baked, I figure out how to get around the obstacles that prevents me from baking! The obstacle: no working oven at my house and my barbecue is out of propane.

Several days ago, in my never-ending quest to not waste any food, I steamed some organic apples because they were no longer crisp and I was too lazy to make applesauce.  I also had some frozen bananas that had been ripening faster that I could eat;  I freeze them when they are full of brown spots.  I usually use them in pancakes, fruit smoothies or banana bread and needed to use them up before they became freeze-dried.

For the past several days I have been opening the fridge to see these steamed apples and wondering what was I thinking when I steamed these apples? I was craving something sweet and warm to eat – like a warm freshly baked nutritious applesauce muffin.

Just how was I going to do that on my electric stove top? I have made pan breads like pita bread, biscuits and pancakes in my fry pan. I like the idea of using less energy; cooking on top of a stove must be more efficient than using an oven.  During summer months, it’s too hot to bake inside but using a hooded propane barbecue outside will keep the added heat out of your house.

So I thought back to the early days of camping. If you’ve ever camped without a camp oven stove, then pancakes will be the closest you can get to a baked dessert. Experienced campers and hikers understand that you must make do with what you have and make what you have more than a one purpose item – who brings a muffin pan to make muffins once or twice on a camping trip? However, I can’t imagine going camping without a fry pan! So how was I going to make a coffee cake in a fry pan on top of stove? I put my campers thinking cap on!

As my craving for a muffin increased, I searched the web for and compared recipes for: cakes, biscuits, muffins, cupcakes, griddle cakes, brownies, coffee cakes, fry bread and pancake recipes. Even though some of these recipes used a fry pan, they all used an oven to bake the finished product.  I wanted a recipe that was more like a coffee cake, brownie or muffin cooked on top of the stove, not in an oven.

Naturally, I started experimenting and looked closely at the vegan pancake, muffin and biscuit recipes. I wanted a thick batter, one that would not burn on the bottom and leave the top ‘half-baked’ so I focused more on muffin recipes and decided to make big muffin in a fry pan.

Lately I’ve been lightly steaming veggies so decided I was going to turn my cast-iron fry pan into a steamer for my muffin-cake. I placed a short steamer rack that my slow cooker came with into clean cast-iron 9″ skillet.  Skillet must have a snug fitting lid and should not be flat; a flat lid will not allow the muffin cake to rise and will drip moisture on the muffin cake while it’s cooking.

Slice of Vegan Applesauce Muffin-Cake ©2014 afroditi katsikis

After assembling all the ingredients and needed utensils , the first thing to do is put the skillet on the stove with the short steamer rack in the bottom and grease the 8″ Pyrex pie dish.  It’s always best to make sure the skillet is heated before placing the Pyrex dish in the skillet. Heating the skillet is akin to pre-heating your oven. Heat about 1.5 cups of water in a sauce pan and NOT your skillet. The amount of water varies if you are using a skillet that is larger than the one I used.

While the water is heating up, mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Dry Ingredients

2 cups flour

1/4 cup flax-seed meal

1 & 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Put the skillet on the stove and set the burner to medium. Mix all the wet ingredients into a medium-sized bowl.

Wet Ingredients

3/4 cup cooked apples or applesauce

1/2 cup thawed frozen bananas, mashed

1/4 cup olive oil (and 1/2 teaspoon olive oil to grease the pie pan)

1/2 cup coconut milk, unsweetened

1/8 cup unsulphered molasses

~ optional ingredients ~
1/2 cup: raisins, or craisins (to add to the wet mixture)
1/4 cup granola as a topping before cooking
1/4 cup sliced almonds as a topping before cooking

By now the skillet should be adequately heated; turn it down to medium low heat (the settings you use for pancakes – level 2 or 3 depending on your stove). The skillet must be hot, after all, no one puts a cake into an oven that is not pre-heated.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated – Do NOT use a mixer; use a wooden spoon or spatula.

Place the batter into a greased Pyrex 8″ pie dish and add your selected topping(s).  Place it on the rack in the skillet with room to pour the water.  Pour the heated water into the skillet careful not to drip onto the batter.  Make sure not to put too much water in the skillet – it should be just slightly above the rack so when the water bubbles, it won’t bubble over into the batter. A lot of steam will rise and as soon as it subsides, center the Pyrex dish in the skillet using some long handled wooden spoons and put the lid on.

Cook/steam for about 30 minutes, until the Muffin Cake is browned; lightly tapping the center to see if it’s firm; if not, give it another 5 minutes. An inserted wooden toothpick in the center should come out clean.


Before you start making this recipe, determine how much water to pre-heat by assembling the fry pan, steamer rack and Pyrex pie dish.  Poor some water in the fry pan until it reaches just slightly above the bottom of the Pyrex dish. Pour the water into a measuring cup – so you know how much water to add to the skillet before cooking or just pre-heat the water as noted above.

If you don’t have applesauce, add 3/4 more coconut milk.

Blueberry Skillet Muffin-Cake

If you are going to use berries, put half of the batter into the Pyrex dish and spread it evenly. Add most of the berries evenly – I usually drop them one by one and slightly press them into the batter. Add the rest of the batter using spoonfuls and spread that evenly – do not leave a dome in the middle. Now add the rest of the berries over the top before you add another topping such as granola or sliced almonds.


The first time you make this, keep watch over it while it’s cooking – your stove may be hotter than mine. If you want to make this when camping, mix up all the dry ingredients and store it in a container. Regarding the molasses, pre-measure it and bring it along in a suitable container.



©2014 afroditi katsikis

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Little has changed 1 year after slaying of Costa Rica conservationist Jairo Mora — The Tico Times

1 Jun

Little has changed 1 year after slaying of Costa Rica conservationist Jairo Mora — The Tico Times.


Jairo Mora Sandoval’s murder  got a lot of people riled up last year.  I’m a bit disappointed that  the criminals on the beach have  taken over the beach, turtles nest are still being robbed and the local police aren’t really helping very much. The police have arrested 7 people but their trial is still pending.

Read about the current situation on Moin Beach in Costa Rica:

Little has changed 1 year after slaying of Costa Rica conservationist Jairo Mora — The Tico Times

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