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February 2017

Snack Sunday: Lotte Choco Pie

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Snack Sunday: Lotte Choco Pie

Written by Ji | 26 February 2017

Snack Sunday: Lotte Choco Pie

On today’s Snack Sunday adventure, I tried out Lotte Choco Pie.  I was told that this is a very popular snack, pretty much a staple in a Korean household.  Which is a big statement.  I was afraid to try out this product, in fear that I would dislike this product and receive a ton of hate mail.  For someone who writes about Korean snacks, I have never tried out Lotte Choco Pie before.  I have been given samples of this snack many times over the years but I always end up giving it away because those near me always seem to want them so bad.  I have never been remotely curious about product.  For some reason, it just never called to me.

The Choco pies come in a box that contains 12 individually wrapped Choco Pies.  Which is always a plus.  Anything I can toss into by bag and eat on the run, makes me happy.  Upon opening the bag, I could smell the chocolate.  It has a light pleasant sweet smell.  As I examine the product, I notice that it is not thickly covered in chocolate, but more like a light coating.  It’s also a pretty big snack.  Considering the calories, it’s no surprise. I took my first bite into this popular snack and was very much surprised.  I was thinking this would taste similar to a smore.  I was wrong.  The cookie biscuit on the top and bottom were cakey and not crunchy.  The marshmallow was fluffy and sweet and the light chocolate was a perfect touch.  Overall, this was texturally a delight and my taste buds loved this sugary snack.  I was actually disappointed in myself for not trying this out sooner.  I thought this would be super sweet, considering all the ingredients but again, I was wrong.  This should be a reminder to always try out new things, you never know what you have been missing out on.

 

Would I buy this again?

Yes, I would.  Lotte’s Choco Pies are a delightful semi sweet treat that’s huge on flavor.  Not only would I buy this again, but I will keep this product in stock in my home.  One was more than enough to fill me up but I was tempted to have a second one.

 

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beautiFRIDAY: The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Light Oil

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BeautiFriday: The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Light Oil

Written by Ji | 24 February 2017

The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Light Oil

On today’s BeautiFriday adventure, we are going to explore the double cleanse method.  The double cleanse method is the first part of most Korean skincare regime and one that takes the longest to do.  I choose The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Light Oil for this review and next week I will go into the foaming cleanser.  I choose this product because the price is affordable and the results were impressive.

 

Let’s start with how you double cleanse.  There are several ways of doing this.  I, for one, like to use the 4 2 4 method.  Which means for 4 minutes you massage your face (in a circular motion) with an oil cleanser, 2 minutes with the foam cleanser and 4 minutes to wash it off.  I normally do 2 minutes warm water and 2 minutes cold water to seal everything in.  I know what you’re thinking, who spends that long to wash their face?  They must be crazy!  Those were my thoughts too, but after doing this for years, I can’t really argue the results.  On days where I can’t spend 10 minutes on just cleansing, I cut the time in half by 2 1 2.  But those days are rare.

 

The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Light Oil has a medium scent, that might be bothersome to those who are sensitive to scented products.  But considering most of my Korean based products are all scented, this did not bother me.  If you use this continuously, the product really does brighten your complexion, giving your face a nice youthful look.   This product removes make up and cleans up all the impurities and dirt off your face.  The best attribute to this product is how well it worked for my skin.  As you know, I have oily skin with some dry spots.  Oil based products are a BIG NO NO for oily skin.  I had no issues with this product.  I would not advise using this product by itself, I would recommend using a foam cleanser after to remove all oil off your face.  Water alone will not remove this product.

 

 

Would I buy this again?

Yes, I would.  For the price, you get a product that last for at least 3 months and a nice bright complexion.  This is perfect for anyone looking to start their skincare regime or anyone who is looking for a simple brightening cleanser.

 

Stay tuned for the next part of the double cleanse article in two week.  I will discuss why foam cleanser is an important step after the oil cleanser.

Snack Sunday: Oh Sung Yes! Chips! Sweet Potato

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Snack Sunday: Oh Sung Yes! Chips! Sweet Potato

Written by Ji | 19 February 2017

 

Oh Sung Yes! Chips! Sweet Potato

It’s a beautiful slightly rainy weekend and I am excited to catch up on the drama “Hwarang”.  I’ve seen spoilers all over Instagram and I know I will be balling my eyes out in the next two hours.  So I grabbed a box of tissues, my tea, my snack and got cozy by my fireplace and turned on my laptop.  For today’s Snack Sunday adventure, I tried out Oh Sung Yes! Chips! Sweet Potato.

Let’s talk about the packaging.  I love it.  It’s bright and pretty much yells at you to try out the product.  How could I say no, to a chip bag trying to grab my attention?  It’s impossible.  This bag was nicely designed to grab your attention, so you would consider buying the product.  Touché Oh Sung Yes! Chips!, you have grabbed my attention.   I opened the bag and the aroma of honey was strong.  I knew instantly this was going to be a sweet chip versus a savory one.  I popped one of the chip into my mouth and nodded my head.  It’s sweet.  It tastes more like sweet honey than sweet potato.  This product should be called Honey Chips with a dash of sweet potato.  But I’m not complaining, I do like the flavor and crispy texture of this product.  I love chips that have that nice crispy, crunchy texture and this chip delivered.  The aftertaste is mild and not bothersome, which is a plus for me.  I finished the bag surprisingly fast and still wanted more.

 

Would I buy this again?

Yes, I would. This addicting deliciously crunchy sweet snack won me over with its taste and cute packaging.  Congrats, Oh Sung Yes! Chips!, you have won me over and I can’t wait to try out your other flavors.

DKI Playlist: Love Songs for Valentine’s Day

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DKI Playlist: Love Songs for Valentine’s Day

Written by Ji | 14 February 2017

 

Valentine’s Day happens to be one of my favorite holidays.  Specifically, the day after Valentine’s Day, when you can buy a years’ worth of chocolate for practically next to nothing.  But Valentine’s Day isn’t just about chocolate, it’s also about expressing your love and friendship to family, friends and even classmates.  One of the best and cheap ways to express your love for someone is to make a playlist of songs that remind you of them or visa versa.  Or sometimes on Valentine’s Day we long for people we are too afraid to confess too and listen to music that reminds us of them.  Here at DKI, we have songs to cover the spectrum of emotions one might feel during this holiday.  We have picked out ten of our favorite love songs to help you out with your Valentine’s Day playlist.

 

Super Junior(슈퍼주니어) _ No Other(같은 사람 없어)

 

Henry 헨리_1-4-3 (I Love You) (feat. f(Amber))

 

Baekhyun (백현) & Suzy (수지) – Dream

 

DAY6 – Like That Sun (태양처럼)

 

B1A4 -Sweet Girl

 

박서준 (Seojun Park) – 맘에 들어와 (You’re In My Heart)

 

LEE HONG GI (이홍기) – Words I Couldn’t Say (아직 하지 못한 말)

 

Kim Jong Kook (김종국) – Today More Than Yesterday (어제보다 오늘 더)

 

HISTORY(히스토리) – Dreamer

 

MonstaX- White Sugar

 

And because sometimes Valentine’d Day isn’t always peachy…

Gavy NJ(가비엔제이) _ I Wish(좋겠다)

We hope you enjoyed our playlist and we wish you luck with your love confessions for this Valentine’s Day.  What song would you add to our list?

Snack Sunday: Crown Choco Hazelnut Wafers

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Snack Sunday: Crown Choco Hazelnut Wafers

Written by Ji | 12 February 2017

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and everywhere you go, advertisements for chocolate, flowers and a sea of red hearts are posted everywhere.  I decided for Valentine’s Day, I was going to get a box of chocolate and you know… review it.  This is strictly for the article purposes and not just because I want a box of chocolate.  I went to my local market where I was greeted with displays of Ferrero Rocher, American chocolate and Belgium chocolate.  I wanted to try out Korean made chocolate, so I decided to visit another store to see if they had any.  But they did not.  Third time is the charm, right?  Nope, I was devastated that my local three Korean market did not have any Korean chocolate.  I went to the snack section and bought a chocolate wafer, just in case I could not find anything.  My coworker suggested I try Paris Baguette.  As always, their decorations are on point and beautifully displayed but sadly no chocolate.  I debated for a moment if I should buy a Valentine’s Day cake and review that instead.  After all, Song Ji Hyo of “Running Man” gave out cakes to the Running Man members a few years back.  But after staring at the long line, I decided it was not meant to be.

So, for today’s Snack Sunday adventure I tried out Crown Choco Hazelnut Wafer.  The packaging of the product is super cute.  If someone gave this to me, I wouldn’t be disappointed.  It’s not pure chocolate but the product packaging is aesthetically pleasing.  As I was about to open the box, I noticed it has a strip near the center. I pulled the strip off, folded the top back, and loved what I saw.  There are six individually wrapped wafers.  For me, I like when snacks are individually wrapped because they are convenient and perfect for when you want a treat but don’t want to eat 200 calories.  I opened one of the wafers and tried to split it down the middle.  On the cover, it shows two wafers pulled apart.  Like you would do with a Kit Kat bar.  But instead of getting two pieces, I ended up with one squished wafer.  Determined to get it right, I decided to open another wrapper and succeeded in breaking apart the wafer.

Wafer cookies are normally light tasting and this was no exception.  The chocolate hazelnut filling was actually kind of bland and not impressive.  I ended up eating the whole box, hoping it would leave a better impression but sadly it did not.  If anything, I felt ripped off.  I just ate 250 calories and it did not satisfy my chocolate craving.

 

Would I buy this again?

No, I would not.  They had the perfect cute packaging concept down but if they could just work on a stronger flavor and a crisper wafer, I would be sold.

DKI Music Video Review: CROSS GENE Black or White

DKI Music Video Review: CROSS GENE Black or White

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DKI Music Video Review: CROSS GENE Black or White

Written by Ji | 11 February 2017

 

Have you seen CROSS GENE new music video for their single Black or White?  Let me tell you right now, it is not for the faint of heart.  This music video was given a rating +19 for a reason.  It’s bloody, gory, twisted and absolutely brilliant.


SPOILER ALERT– Do not read this unless you want to know what happens.  Which you might want to do, so don’t toss your cookies watching this gut-wrenching horror show.
The music video starts off with a dark ambiance and pretty much stays that way for most of the music video.  This intense music video perfectly shows the conflict of good versus evil.  An internal conflict within yourself.  Now, this is just my opinion since they haven’t stated exactly what this video represents but from the context, I’m pretty sure you fighting yourself to the death is an internal conflict.  But who knows, I’ve been wrong before.  I don’t always admit it, but I have.  Each member, fights themselves and fails.  They all die a horrible, frightening death that would send chills down your spine.


Let’s start off with Terada Takuya a.k.a. Takuya.  He’s in an empty warehouse, stumbling to find a way out while holding his chest as if he was in pain.  He finds an illegal surgery room, and frantically looks around, only to find a ton of black shiny apples stuffed into a locker. He looks inside the glass cabinets, looking for something, while still holding one of the black apples.

He turns around and sees a dark version of himself clad in black.  The dark version picks up a scalpel from the surgical tray, and creepily smiles as if he just picked up his weapon of choice.  Takuya drops his apple and looks upon the man who’s about to kill him.  While the dark version smiles at him, ready to take his life. The dark version, thrusted the scalpel into Takuya’s abdomen forcibly, takes it out and glances at the blood-soaked scalpel with an unhinged smile.  Takuya steps back but is once again stabbed.  He drops to his knees, blood dripping from his mouth to the floor.  His dark version slyly smiles as he watches Takuya bleed out.

The next member we see is Kim Yong Seok, we see him running down a stairway, he’s terrified.  He looks around for a moment and catches his breath. We see him trying to open a locked door, he kicks and pounds on the door with frustration.  He continues to run and stops in front of a doorless opening with what seems like stirps on clear plastic covering the door frame.  He walks towards the opening and notices something there.


A deranged version of himself with a remorseless expression on his face, grabs his throat and chokes him.  Yong Seok struggles and tries to break free from himself.  The deranged version, continues to crush Yong Seok throat while looking at him somewhat emotionless.  He was able to lift Yong Seok off the ground with one hand, continuing to choke him until Yong Seok eyes rolled back into his head.  The deranged version lets go, dropping Yong Seok mercilessly on the floor.

Up next is Kim Sang Min. He’s laying down in an open, old school like coffin.  A malicious version of himself walks up to the casket as his “good” version opens his eyes.  The “evil” version is irritated and rolls his eyes as he steps into the coffin and over Sang Min.

 

The devil like version grabs Sang Min’s throat and begins to choke him.  He proceeds to hold Sang Min down with one hand and begins to beat him with his other hand causing Sang Min’s lips to bust open and bleed.  Coincidentally, there happen to be a hammer placed right next to the coffin.  Which suggest that the evil version premeditated how to kill Sang Min.  He grabs that hammer and bashes Sang Min’s head with full force.  Blood spattered throughout the screen.  Sang Min is still alive after the hit. The malicious version puts the lid back onto the coffin and proceeded to nail the coffin shut as Sang Min tries to hit the lid to prevent him from being stuck in the coffin.  After nailing the coffin shut, he throws the hammer aside and sits on top of the coffin.

Next, we see Shin Won Ho, he’s in a grotesque foreboding bathroom with a tub filled with dark liquid. Curiosity got the best of him, as he dips his hand into the liquid.  Blood.  He’s shocked and confused.  Disgusted with what he sees, he covers his mouth and barely makes it to the sink to vomit.  His eyes widen in fear, as he notices blood flowing from his lips and into his hands.  He looks in the mirror in horror and sees his lower half of his face drenched in blood.  He turns on the faucet to wash his hands but was surprised to see the water turn into a dark reddish stream.  Fearful of what he sees, he steps back and turns off the faucet.  He glances back up at the mirror but before he can see the shadowy figure behind him, his hair is pulled by the crazily insane version of himself.

The insane version slams Shin’s head into the blood-filled sink and attempts to drown him while laughing crazily at horrifying situation.  Shin tries to lift his head but the crazy version of himself is stronger. Shin’s arms fall to his side and his body lifeless.  The insane version cockily looks at himself in the mirror, rolling his head side to side, and wipes his bloody murderous hand on the mirror.

 

Chu Xiao Xiang a.k.a. Casper is the next member of CROSS GENE to appear.  His car is flipped over with a small fire near the engine.  He’s in pain and hurt from the accident.  Unlike the other members, he has wounds visible.   We see through the shattered car window, a mysterious person walking up to the car, holding and swinging a metal baseball bat.  Casper tries to crawl out of the car but is in too much pain to get far.  He looks up to see an unstable version on himself staring back at him.

 

 

He tries to get up, but is instantly hit in the face with the metal bat, making blood project from his mouth.  The unstable version continues to smash Casper’s head with the bat until he’s satisfied.  He yells and throws the bat into the car.  Casper lays there, motionless, covered in blood.

 

We are introduced to the last member of CROSS GENE, Lee Se Young. He’s sitting nervously in a basement type studio on the couch, intensely thinking about his unsettling situation.  He anxiously gets up and oddly turns on the old school boxed television.  He’s surprised and nearly falls over when he sees a mad version of himself on the T.V.  One moment he’s on the television and the next he’s standing next to him.  But only for a second.  Se Young grabs the T.V., while the mad version of himself continues to laugh crazily and mockingly at him.

 

Se Young gets up and steps back from the television.  On the floor, he sees a shattered piece of glass and picks it up. He sees himself for a moment but it changes into the mad version who begins to slice his own neck, with what looks like the same piece of glass that Se Young is holding.  As he slowly cuts his throat, Se Young spits up blood and falls onto the bed.
After every one dies a horrendous death, they all appear together for the first time together wearing white suits, in a heavily lighted angelic room, while the camera pans to each member.  We are brought back to the scene of their deaths.  Sang Min in the coffin. Takuya was moved to the surgery table and attached to a monitor. Shin was also moved into the blood-filled bathtub. Yong Seok and Casper is still on the floor.  And Se Young is on the bed.  We see Sang Min open, what looks like a road side flare as he stares intensely at the camera.  Rain starts to pour on the coffin.  Takuya monitor shows that his heart started to beat again, he opens his eyes and sits up but is emotionless.   Se Young wakes up next, he gets up quicker than Takuya and looks more alert but still confused.  Next, we see Casper slowly stand up and Sang Min pushes the lid off his coffin and gets up.  Se Young deeply stares into the broken glass shard.  While Takuya looks at his bloody hand.  We see Yong Seok is finally up, and holding his neck.  And lastly, we see Shin.  His eyes slowly open, he quickly sits up and looks around the room.  He looks at his blood-soaked hands and for a moment panicked but was able to get out of the tub. He sits down on the floor, showcasing an emotion we have not seen in this music video.  He was lost in his thoughts with the look of sadness, confusion and possibly remorse.

 

My thoughts:
Whoa, that was a lot to take in.  For me, I felt like Shin was experiencing sadness and remorse at the end but that is not confirmed information.  Just my thoughts.  This music video ripped at my emotions apart.  I probably said “Oh, my gosh.”, more times than I can count.  For me, I felt like this music video had a lot of symbolism every English teacher would love for you to discuss and write about.  From the color, items like the black apple, fighting yourself… is basically all symbolism.  And until we know what the director and CROSS GENE had in mind when they did this video, we won’t truly know what this all means.
For me, it had the movie “Saw” vibe except the “killer” wasn’t another person but yourself.  I felt like this whole video was about an internal conflict within yourself that only you can face.  Takuya and Yongseok ran away from themselves.  Shin, Sang Min and Se Young were trapped by their “evil” self.  Casper on the other hand is debatable for me.  I couldn’t tell if he caused self-harm by crashing his car, running away by driving as far as possible or trapped from the pain from the accident.
They all battled their “evil” self differently, some tried to fight to live (Shin, Yong Seok, Sang Min).  Takuya looked like he accepted his fate and stood there as he was being stabbed.  Se Young didn’t fight but it didn’t look like he gave up either.  And Casper, attempted to get up but could not.
In the end, they were all killed but when they woke up, all the damages their “evil” self-did disappeared, like it never happen.  As if they were fighting their demons inside, internally.  For me, it showed the different range of emotions you could go through when faced with difficulties from life.  Some run, some fight, and some just accept fate.  At least, that’s what this music video symbolizes to me.
I like what this could represent even with the gory and twisted storyline.  What this music video actually means, I don’t know and can’t wait to hear what the members have to say.  But again, for me, this video was nicely executed with the members’ facial expressions on point but what else would you expect from a group of mostly actors.


Check out the video below and let me know what you think?

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Dreamkatchers Initiative

Adventure Time with DKI – Asian American Expo January 2017

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Adventure Time with DKI – Asian American Expo

Written by Ji

 

Adventure is out there!  That’s pretty much my motto.  I saw an advertisement on Facebook for the Asian American Expo and decided to click the link.  It’s an expo that that brings together different Asian countries that celebrate the Lunar New Year.  How could I not go?  I love festivals.  Not to mention the websites states there are three different food courts and over 1,000 vendors.  I decided to take my parents with me because there will be giveaways at this event, and I needed help obtaining all the free things we can get. Why?  Because it’s fun and who doesn’t need another free tote bag, that they will forget to bring to the grocery store and end up paying another 10 cents for a recyclable bag.  Just me?

 

When we arrived to the event, it was a sensory overload.  You are overwhelmed with the smell of food, hear different types traditional music, and visually, the magnitude of this expo is off the charts.  They had an anime section with a ton of cosplayers, they had a section for food, skincare, items for the house, the list just goes on.  For the purpose of this article, I will stick to Korean Food and Skincare.

 

Let’s talk about Skincare!  There were familiar booths, brands I’ve seen, brands I’ve never heard of and brands I’ve been dying to try.  It was a one stop shop for all your needs for Korean Skincare.  I was not able to take pictures of all the amazing skincare booths. This place was packed with people who did not appreciate me being in their way, while I was trying to take a picture.  But I was able to take a picture of three booths where I purchased few products to try out for BeautiFriday.  My first stop was the MEMEBOX booth.

 

I bought the ELIZAVECCA Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask.  Sadly, I could not buy more from this booth since it was cash only.  So I decided I would come back after checking out the rest of the convention.  The next booth I hit up was The Korean Beauty Candy’s Cosmetic Store.

 

At this booth, I was tempted to buy the skincare sets in the picture.  I love sample sets.  They aren’t cheap and will cost $30 and up depending on the brand, but it’s still a good deal.  I don’t buy full size unless I know I will like the product.  At this location, I bought Dr. Jart+ face mask. I normally get these at Sephora but I couldn’t help but buy a few here since they priced it below Sephora cost.  The last booth caught me by surprise.  It was located outside by one of the food courts.  I honestly passed by this booth over and over again and didn’t realize it was a Korean Skincare booth.  I was too busy looking for something to eat to notice this booth.  It only caught my attention when I was pushed into this booth due to the heavy traffic.

At the Meng Meng Da Shop booth, I bought a few JayJun face masks, a product I have never tried before but read some great reviews regarding the brand.  When I was finally done, I went back to look for food.

 

This was not a good day for my diet.  Not only did I NOT choose healthier choices but I also exceeded my calorie count by a lot.  My first delicious entrée was from Seoul Sausage Co.  I had the Korean BBQ Beef Burger.  Where’s the picture of my yumtastic meal?  I did not take any.  I was starving at this point, and when my order was ready, I was basically trying to walk and eat to my next location.  Which wasn’t easy, because this burger was messy.  But let it be known, I am not a quitter!  I successfully and messily ate my entrée to my next location.

And this was my next location!  Luckily, I finished my burger by the time I hit up the Miister Potato booth.  From here I got the iconic spiral potato and the very flavorful grilled squid. And I know what you’re thinking.  Ji took a picture, right?  No, I didn’t.  But, how could I? One hand was holding my potato and the other one the squid.  I mean I could hold both in one hand but I didn’t think about that till after.  When I’m hungry, I don’t think properly.  Please forgive me.  Next convention/expo, I will take better pictures.

After eating, I decided it would be officially safe to visit the food market.  I don’t go to the grocery store hungry.  If I do, I end up spending more than I should on products I don’t need.  The food building was one of the busiest buildings at the expo.  There were a lot of people trying to get free samples and trying to make deals with the vendor.  Getting around this area and trying to take pictures was not an easy task.  But I did my best and got a few pictures.

This booth was packed.  I wanted to buy one of the BBQ seasonings but I kept getting pushed to the next booth.  Maybe next time.

I had to take a quick picture of this booth.  Who doesn’t want a picture of one of the best rice cookers.  It has nothing to do with the handsome oppa on the banner.

I found a whole booth selling Master Kim Byeong Man’s Seaweed. Yum!

There were an abundance of booth selling many different types of ramen at the expo.  I bought a few from this booth because sometimes I’m too lazy to use my own bowl.  Sometimes, I just want to add water, wait 3 minutes and eat.  I don’t have to worry about doing dishes after.

 

The last picture I took was of the LOTTE booth.  They had different types of Pepero, Choco Pies, and Milkis.  I decided to purchase the long skinny box of Pepero for $1.  I thought it was going to be one big, long Pepero but instead of one, there were three medium size one.  Similar to the ones they use for the Pepero game in variety shows.  I kinda want to play that game with my new purchase.  But sadly, I don’t have anyone to play with.

 

Would I go here again?

Yes!  There were so many booths filled with food, samples, skincare, giveaways and the entertainment was amazing.  There was so much to do and learn.  This is would be a great experience to go solo or with a family or friends.  I would recommend this expo to anyone. But be warned, there are a lot of people at this event, if you want to avoid the crowds, go when it first opens.

 

Event website:     http://www.asianamericanexpo.com/home/index

 

 

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